By Alan White
Face-to-face meetings and events already feel like a distant memory for many businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But for international organisations that rely on engaging with clients, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders on a global scale, how can they effectively communicate when much of the world is in lockdown?
Companies can, however, continue their operations and strengthen their relationships during these unusual times.
Speaking the same language
Video conferencing tools like Skype and Zoom have soared in popularity, with the latter platform seeing its number of daily users rise from 10m a day in December 2019, to 200m in March 2020.
Such technology provides a great opportunity for businesses to carry out meetings, workshops or conferences virtually. But what happens when organisations need to communicate with an international audience?
In these instances, companies can make use of multilingual remote interpreting platforms. These work by allowing users to create an unlimited number of virtual interpreting booths, meaning that skilled linguists can translate live for attendees, giving them the opportunity to follow the discussions in real time.
The global online education market has already seen a huge surge in recent years, with some studies suggesting it could be worth US$132.9bn by 2023. And with so many of us now working remotely, we’re expecting to see this figure soar.
Whether businesses want to upskill their own teams, demonstrate the benefits of their products and services to their customers, or share their own knowledge by developing an additional revenue stream, creating e-learning content can provide a whole host of opportunities.
One challenge with any digital training course is how to deliver the information in a clear, concise and effective way so the audience can understand and retain the information, as well as complete the lessons.
In order to achieve the maximum impact with your international e-learning content, you should localise the materials by presenting audio content and on-screen text in the user’s first language. Videos where you have a presenter talking to camera will also need translated subtitles and/or a foreign language voiceover artist.
Perfecting your message
If you’re promoting your business’s services or products to potential customers overseas, you need to make sure that you’re getting your marketing right.
It’s often not enough to simply translate a marketing or sales message directly from English into another language, for example. There could be all kinds of problems, such as word-for-word translations not making sense, losing a subtle play on words, or you may even cause offence to other cultures.
To make sure you craft the perfect message, you can make use of a service called transcreation. A hybrid of translation and foreign language copywriting, transcreation is a creative service that helps businesses to develop international marketing and sales content. Specialist transcreators work by applying their knowledge of cultural references, heritage, attitudes, dialects and languages to create impactful straplines, advertisements and other marketing collateral.
Open for business
The coronavirus pandemic has caused the largest shake up in traditional business and day-to-day life many of us have ever experienced. Travel restrictions and remote working may have caused initial challenges for many organisations – particularly those that rely on international meetings and events – but by having a flexible approach, businesses can find ways to make technology and services work for their business and its people.
Not only can creating a ‘new normal’ help organisations survive the current crisis, but they could well find that they identify better and more effective ways of carrying out their operations, selling to customers and engaging with teams all over the world.
Alan White is Business Development Director, The Translation People