Recently I had a chat to a member of the marketing department of car manufacturer AUDI, and they took me on a journey into the very near future: no need to reach into your glove box for the instruction manual anymore – you will merely hold your smartphone or tablet in front of the dashboard and ask it how to change a tire or perform any other activity, and you will be played an instructional video. Obviously you can choose the language you need… and it goes even further. Your car will be your personal assistant and give you restaurant suggestions when travelling or organise hotel accommodation for you – in any language of course. Mercedes Benz in France already advertise their new wireless internet “WiFi In Car” on billboards across Paris.
The way we communicate is changing and communication is diverging into images, videos, fora and spaces. It’s about sharing data, ideas, visions and know-how, it’s about collaborative economies, and this is seen in the latest successful business models like Airbnb, Spotify and Uber.
What does this mean for you and your increased data? What are your options to get your message across into foreign markets or to our CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities here at home?
We can already see that the demand for video & audio translations is rapidly rising. Let’s look at a quick snapshot on just how communication is changing, what the challenges are and how we can stay aboard and continue sailing.
There is a massive explosion in data today, and 99.99% of all linguistic data is available in just one language. Even if everyone in the world were a translator and worked from 9-5 every day, we couldn’t even keep up with the new data being generated.
However, in order to translate all this big data, we need to be faster, cheaper and better. We know the reality: Volumes go up and budgets remain static or even go down. So what is the solution?
Change the way we think: Collaborative Economies
Let’s learn to understand today’s world. The way we communicate is changing, and also the way we are doing business. A new report, The Emerging Collaborative Economy in Australia (produced by Vision Critical in partnership with Collaborative Lab and Nine! Rewards) reveals promising momentum and enthusiasm for collaborative economy platforms that use technology to enable people to share and exchange a variety of goods and services. There is already high penetration of brands in the space, with 61 percent of those surveyed aware of services such as Airbnb, Kickstarter, Uber and GoGet Car Share.
Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
So we are not looking at “Virtual Reality” like all these years ago, that substituted reality – but Augmented Reality supplements it and takes it further, just as in the case of the AUDI car. Imagine the amount of video translations that will increasingly be required.
Sentiment analysis (also known as opinion mining) refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials.
Companies such as Nestle and Barilla have conducted expensive surveys for many years to gauge consumer satisfaction and where their taste is heading. Today, they are monitoring the chitter-chatter on social media in a variety of different markets internationally. Imagine the amount of data that needs to be translated and analysed.
A crucial factor is time to market. Companies want to be the first ones to bring their product to the market. At all cost – even if it means releasing a 2nd version with “bug fixes” immediately afterwards.
So not only do we have the massive amount of data, but need to be fast to translate it. How do we address this need and ensure you find the right model that suits your needs?
Machine Translation or Transcreation?
Yes, just like with airlines you can order the “Qantas” or the “Jetstar” offering. “For information only” purposes of suitable high volume text that would otherwise stay untranslated, you can take a budget approach: machine-translated text that is “lightly” or “moderately” or “fully” post-edited (i.e. cleaned up linguistically). Or you can order high-end “transcreation” for your marketing collateral and any content for publication purposes, legal contracts and other sensitive material.
Think about it as “mind sourcing” – this comes back to these collaborative technology platforms where the concept leverages of the community. Lego, for example, translated one of their recent products through a crowd-sourcing platform and even though done by non-qualified translators, I dare you, who would be more qualified than those passionate Lego aficionados who have been living and breathing Lego for all their life?
For City Councils in Australia, for example, a mix & match approach could be a suitable solution: Translate their publications professionally, and crowd source their social media pages within motivated CALD communities of multicultural Australia.
So how can we ensure Quality?
First of all – what is Quality? Quality is clearly what the client defines as quality. We all have different motivations. If you live in a region where it is always warm, you might not invest in an expensive high-quality winter coat because a cheap version will do for the couple of times you might need it. “Horses for courses” applies for your data translation as well. If you need high volumes fast for information purposes, quality for you is that you can count on getting the data within that time frame. If you need legal contracts translated, quality is that these are certified translations by accredited translators and you are legally covered. Quality can mean value for money for you, or high-end transcreation of your corporate communication and CEO messages.
You choose whether you want to fly business or economy or even take the budget airline. We can assist you though to decide which option is suitable where.
And back to that Audi car in the future. Here’s some of us girls hoping that it won’t only play a video (translation) of how to change the tire, but that it actually changes the tire for you! 🙂
Written by Tea C. Dietterich, CEO, 2M Language Services.
2M at AUSIT Conference ‘Transition into the Future’
Interpreted by talented Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) interpreters, Tea recently delivered a keynote speech at the 2014 Biennial National Conference of the Australian Institute of Interpreters & Translators in Brisbane.
Our General Manager Susanne contributed with a session on “Best Practices for the Translation of Official and Legal Documents”, introducing the relevant AUSIT paper which she had developed and updated over recent months based on existing NZ guidelines, and which is now published here.
We are also proud to announce that Tea has been admitted as Fellow to the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators. This is especially humbling as the Fellowship constitutes a distinguished award and recognition by our most competent peers. Congratulations Tea.
More events – and ’tis the season…
Whilst Tea also presented at ELIA ND Conference in Tuscany and at TC World/Tekom in Stuttgart in November, the Christmas event season has now well and truly kicked off in Brisbane; Susanne and Senior Project Manager Maite had the pleasure of attending the first get-together last Friday. The FACCI (French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) Queensland Chapter, lead by their President Brian Lorigan, hosted a beautiful Red and White Christmas Soirée at the Brisbane Polo Club together with corporate sponsors, featuring a guest appearance by French Ambassador His Excellency Christophe Lecourtier.
End of year events like this are simply a wonderful opportunity to catch up personally with our business contacts and clients – and to sometimes finally put a face to the many e-mails we may have exchanged over months with some of you.