How the Use of Translations Can Help to Overcome Communication Barriers

All over the world, people are thinking, speaking, reading and writing in different languages, and the number one of those languages isn’t English. So while you are reading this right now, chances are there are non-English speakers who are translating it so that they can read it as well. Over 70 percent of the Internet’s websites are in English, and of the rest, only one fourth of all those other websites can be roughly read by those who speak English. Some do not have the time or natural aptitude towards a foreign language, and there is still a significant communication barrier.

Through emails, phone calls, face-to-face interactions and websites, communication is a constant and often instantaneous barrage to anyone. In business, proper communication is essential. Even if you have the best pitch, a lack of understanding will be the one thing that stops any business deal from going forward. In the academic world, knowing the top information in your field will oftentimes require knowing what is happening internationally, and much literature and academic materials will not necessarily be in your native tongue. For example, in the scientific research in Spain, a desire to extend their global business of bringing products, services and new breakthroughs led to a rise in wanting translations of Spanish work.

The question of how to solve that communication barrier comes in the seemingly obvious choice of using translation services of a fashion. For many, this can mean machine-based translations. By putting the text into a translation service on the computer, the basic gist of the text remains. However, details are lost and, depending on the ambiguity of the word choice, the translation can seem almost as confusing as the original. Because much of the original language’s meaning may rely on subtext, many have suggested that machine-based translation is a place to start, but is not an effective method on its own. That is not to say that no one is trying to solve that issue, though. In Europe, much research is being done to develop more accurate software for even speech-to-speech automatic translation. For now there are other methods available.

The classical approach to this communication barrier comes in the form of a person. After all, qualified translators can be the best investment a business has. Qualified translators will have extensive training in translation, with a profound fluency in both the language you need and English. With a qualified translator, the risk of business deals going wrong decreases a great deal, and in the scientific, medical or academic field, it makes finding out the top developments much easier.

Overall, the communication barrier is never going to go away as long as there are different languages that people must speak. Thankfully there are tools, both electronic and human, that are helping to navigate around the barrier in the hopes of clear communication and better understanding globally. As long as people continue to take advantage of the tools available, the barrier will become less of a barrier and more of a minor obstacle to steer around.