Translation News

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Translation Company understands that this Thanksgiving is not like any other and prepared a fun infographic showing that Thanksgiving has not always been the same. We hope that these fun facts can help you have a more enjoyable Thanksgiving in 2020 despite all the challenges faced during these confusing times.


Working to Ensure that Police Officers Are Never Lost in Translation

When it comes to protecting citizens and maintaining public safety, effective communication between police officers and citizens is absolutely crucial. Yet in linguistically diverse cities, language barriers can prove to be a hindrance to such communication, jeopardizing overall community safety.

A Multilingual City with a Monolingual Police Force

Take Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for example. With an estimated population of just over 164,000, this city is rapidly growing and becoming increasingly diverse. Though approximately 93 percent of the city’s population speaks English as a first language, there are sizeable minorities of nonnative English speakers, which can make communication between citizens and public officials difficult.

It is estimated that the current number of languages and dialects spoken within the city is now more than 140. Roughly 6 percent of the population speaks Spanish as a native language, while 1.4 percent speaks Dakota and 1.3 percent speaks German. Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Amharic, French, Tagalog, Czech, and Korean are also spoken by minority segments of the community.

In spite of this diversity in foreign languages, virtually all of Sioux Falls’ 231 police officers speak English as a first language. A handful of the officers do speak Spanish, but their abilities are limited. “I would love for our department to be representative of the community,” explained Police Chief Doug Barthe. “We know we are nowhere near that, but we certainly welcome candidates with those skills.” Certainly, finding a police officer for each one of these languages would prove to be unrealistic. Barthe explained than during the hiring process, speaking a second language is considered to be a plus, but ultimately the department must hire the most qualified person for the job, taking into consideration education and experience.

Saving Lives with Effective Translation

The gap between officer language skills and linguistic diversity within the city has proved to be quite challenging for the department. High-quality, instant translation services have proved to be key in closing this gap. The Sioux Falls Police Department spent more than $10,000 on interpreter services last year, up from $6,528 in 2012. The department is on pace to spend more than $10,000 again this year.

The price, however, is well worth it. Just last month, Sioux Falls Police Officer Greg Logan explained that a woman called 911 to report that a man was attempting to break into her mother’s home. Yet when Logan arrived on the scene and inquired if anything was amiss, the mother told him “no.” As it turned out, the mother’s English abilities were limited. But thanks to access to translation services, Logan was able to quickly get to the bottom of things.

“I found out she was strangled by her boyfriend and thrown on the bed the day before,” Logan explained, adding that if he hadn’t had access to a translation service, the boyfriend may have gotten away. In some cases, translation really can save a life.

Quote Source:

New Translation of 13th Century Persian Poet

Wise words left to us by one of the most famous poets of the 13th century, Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad Balkh?, or in English simply known as Rumi, have, over the years, become quite the trend on social media sites like Facebook. Rumi’s work was renowned in the field of theology, since he was regarded as a mystic whose words encouraged spiritual transcendence, therefore his poetry is the legacy of that work.

These poems were translated worldwide and Rumi is one of the most praised and best selling poets in United States.  The original writings were in Persian and are widely glorified in Persian speaking world (like Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan), moreover it had a significant impact on literature in these countries.

Rumi quotes on Facebook

His works were translated by a retired professor from the University of Georgia, Coleman Barks, and the Google search for “Rumi Facebook quotes” rates at above two million results. It seems a bit odd that a work devoted to spiritual advancement somehow ended up as a Facebook trend, which some may find paradoxical.

This feeling of confusion is probably caused by the fact that predominant content, or mood, on Facebook consists of photos that display drinking, partying, revealing outfits, bikinis etc. Even though that is true when one thinks about it, Facebook is a really vast network that has a number of users which is extremely high. It actually isn’t hard to believe that there are at least two million users who like the poetry written by Rumi.

Chris Jansen the translator

According to Chris Jansen, quoting Rumi on a social network like Facebook is not such a bad thing. He stated that it had been good medicine and that Rumi’s wisdom had introduced some mischief into the culture.

Chris Jansen is an Athenian who also dabbles in the translation of Rumi’s writings – his new book that consist of collected translations of Rumi’s work is called Illumination. Jansen added how Rumi’s poetry helped to bring these two cultures together in a way, despite the ongoing turmoil between them.

He also formed a partnership during the creation of the “Illumination”, her name is Fatima Saidi. Jansen started working with Saidi after he met her at the Maine humanities conference in 2013. Saidi lived as a refugee during her early life and spoke how, during those days, poetry saved her life, which left Jansen standing in awe. Once the conference was over, the two of them stayed in touch, and in the fall of 2013, Jansen brought up the issue of translating Rumi’s poetry.

They worked on those document translations via e-mail and Facebook chat and by spring of 2014, they created a collection composed out of forty poems.

About “Illumination” 

It’s worth mentioning that these are, as Jansen said, “versions” rather than direct translations. Since Rumi’s work was very tightly connected to religion and mysticism and Jansen being an atheist, who studied molecular biology, wanted to simplify them. Spiritual ascension is something an individual must do on his or her own, there are no answers for something like that in those translations.

To put it bluntly, the words have no literal meaning. Saidi simplified the poems in English and Jansen did that in American. Jansen quoted Robert Bly, one of his mentors who also gave task to Coleman Barks to tackle the issue of translating Rumi. Bly stated that translating poetry is an equivalent to robbing a bank, since a poet does all the hard work and a translator gets all the joy out of it. He added that everyone should try to translate poetry for the sake of witnessing just how much is lost once the translation is compared to the original.

One must agree with this statement after all the language of a certain culture is there to serve the needs of that culture, therefore the philosophy and perspective of the same culture is reflected in its language for the purpose of shaping the minds of new generations. When you try to translate that into a different culture which followers are influenced by a different philosophy, you are very likely to be dissatisfied with your work, no matter how hard you try to adapt it.

Translation of Untranslatable Words, Understand the Science

There is a whole science dealing with words and their meaning, and it is quite fascinating when you think about it, as even the simplest language that exists in the world is complex enough to support all the frequent actions, feelings, and can be used as a great source for explaining thoughts and ideas.

When you look at words, they are nothing more than the combination of a few dozens of letters, and speech is made up only from the sounds a human body can produce, but also all the non-verbal cues that we can give.

But, despite being an almost flawless tool that is unique to us, humans, did it ever happen to you that you wanted to explain something but you lacked the proper word? Was it because you forgot it, or the word simply does not exist in your native language? This is quite a common thing, as we have already talked about untranslatable words before, and translation studies is a whole academic discipline that deals with this.

Translation studies deal with both theory of translation and the practical application of translation, interpreting and localization. It is a discipline that relies heavily on other fields of study such as linguistics, semiotics, semantics, literature and the history of language.

The original purpose of translation studies was to offer advice to new translators on how to actually do their job, and later on it developed to be more focused on what translation actually is. Now, it deals with theory of translation, how it can be used, where it can cause problems, without having to solely focus on translating literature, which was the original purpose.

There is even a grammar-translation method which focuses on teaching a foreign language via learning grammatical rules and then applying those rules on translating between sentences of the target and native language. Word-for-word translation is common, and the whole point is to learn a new language by translating back and forth, mostly from Latin. This method went hand in hand with the original translation studies which were focused solely on translating literature as an equivalent, than trying to prioritize the purpose of the original text.

In the second part of the 20th century, with the development of the Internet, translation has gained a new meaning, and its importance steadily grew, as well as the importance of translation that is true to the source increased. This gave birth to new procedures that allowed new ways of translating, especially for words that cannot be simply translated into another language:


Adaptation is a procedure of translation where the translator is totally free to use whatever he or she thinks is best so that the connotation of the original text or language is maintained. This is most commonly used for cultural connotations, and subtle jokes that are only available in the source language. The adaptation is not always accepted as good translation, as it is highly subjective, but it can be recognized as a good adaptation of the source language to the target language.

The common example used here is how detectives from the Belgian comic book The Adventures of Tintin, Dupont and Dupond were translated into foreign languages so that they have names that are not Belgian, but from the targeted language, so in German they became Schultze and Schulze. The original joke of similar names remained, while it was adapted to the target language, and the same is applied to the word “Thanksgiving” which has no meaning in itself, so it is translated usually as “Day of Gratitude”.

Literal translation

Unlike adaptation, word for word translation is maybe the least free translation, where every word has to have an equivalent, without paying attention to the original sense of purpose. It is the most scientific translation, used as a technical translation. The quality of translating this way can be quite poor, as it can be full of errors, as the translator does not have to make any effort to convey the original meaning, joke, or idiom.

This is mostly used by unqualified translators, who do not have a good knowledge of either the source or the target text, and this was the most commonly used method of machine translation until the development of translation software which nowadays uses examples from both source and target language.

The simplest example would be to translate the German word “Kindergarten” as “children garden” in English, while this word is actually referring to the school year before the first grade. The literal translation cannot be used for untranslatable words, and that is why this approach cannot be used at all for words like “Waldeinsamkeit” (German) which stands for  a feeling of solitude and happiness in nature, and not “Woodsolitudeness”

Can a Translation be as Good as the Original?

This all leads to a bigger question: can a document translation be as good as the original document? Saying that those two most important methods we’ve described above are all of them, that would be a huge understatement, as there are numerous other methods that can be used in order to convey meaning between languages. How does all of this deal with untranslatable words? Well, it tries to find the best responding equivalent or phrase in another language without the fear of having to describe the word.

While untranslatable words exist, they are gathering much more attention than they should because the statement itself is wrong; those words do not have a single word as an equivalent in another language, but they can be translated as an idiom, or a phrase.

Look at it this way. A human brain thought of a word so any human with a brain could understand it, despite the fact whether his or her language has the corresponding word to describe it. The translation may be longer and complex, but it is still a translation nonetheless. Some people would say that this is actually defining, and not translating, but even that is good enough, as long as the original meaning and purpose are conveyed, and they are used in the right context.

English Word Creation

In the end, language is not afraid of simple borrowing, and I have intentionally saved this method of translation for the end. It consists of actually taking words from another language, as is, maybe changing its spelling so that it corresponds more the way it is pronounced, adjusting to the rules and grammar of the target language.

English has borrowed many of its words from Latin, French and other languages, simply because it had no equivalent. So, many years from now, you can even see an American in New York saying that he misses waldeinsamkeit. Of course, a word is truly borrowed fully as long as it retains the original meaning.

So, while the popular media are fascinated by seemingly untranslatable words, the truth is that, as long as humans are inventing words, humans of all nations and all language users will be able to understand the meaning of it, and the proper description and equivalents will be found, as long as the original aspects are preserved.

Imperial College London Constructs Research & Translation Hub

Imperial College London recently began construction on its much-anticipated Research & Translation Hub. The Research & Translation Hub will cost an estimated £200 million and is at the forefront of the college’s efforts to expand into West London. With a 2016 anticipated completion date, the hub will sprawl across an impressive 48,000 square meters.

The Hub is intended to deliver world-class education, research, and translation activities, as well as foster partnerships with global stakeholders from business, industry, higher education, and the NHS, the Imperial College explained.

The White City’s New Imperial West Innovation District

The Research & Translation Hub is slated to form the centerpiece of the new Imperial West innovation district in White City, a district in the western part of London that forms the northern part of Shepherd’s Bush. Imperial College London purchased the BBC Woodlands site in the area in 2009 for roughly £28 million. The college is now using the land to develop its new Imperial College West campus, a 7-acre mixed-use campus with a postgraduate focus.

“This really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said President and Rector of Imperial College London Sir Keith O’Nions. “Imperial West will foster a culture of research and innovation electric with ideas. A place where students, academics, and industry partners collaborate to translate knowledge and expertise into solutions which enhance the world around us.”

The new hub will be funded by a £90 million contribution from investor Voreda, in addition to an award of £35 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF). The remainder of the amount will be funded by the college itself. The hub will contain multidisciplinary research space for roughly 1,000 scientists and engineers, as well as state-of-the-art incubator space for spinout companies. The hub will house companies of all sizes, from well-established industry giants, such as Intel and IBM, to small startups.

Business and Financial Aspects

The goal is to better link the Imperial College London with business and finance. “Back in the 1970s, people were building science parks on out-of-town campuses,” Professor David Gann CBE, the vice-president of development & innovation at Imperial College London, recently said in a statement. “[Imperial West] is an inner-city innovation district, a hubbub of activity, well connected, and with good access to London’s financial centre and venture funding. We have good transport links to our research partners in Oxford and Cambridge and also to China.”

The Research & Translation Hub is the second phase of this ambitious project. The first phase, completed in September 2012, saw the construction of Wood Lane Studios, affordable studio apartments for graduate students and researchers. Upcoming stages of development include plans for a 34-story residential tower of 198 apartments. It has been reported that 59 of these apartments will be rented at affordable rents to Imperial’s research scientists.

The Driving Force of Innovation

A part of the college’s new innovation district, the new hub will be run by Imperial College ThinkSpace. ThinkSpace is an innovative multidisciplinary team that works with entrepreneurs and companies in order to provide innovative, high-quality workspaces and relocation support.  In order to further drive university connections with the business sector, the Hub will emphasize linking research and commerce to bring benefits to both society and the economy. Gann explained that “businesses and other world-class universities will have the opportunity to drive innovation through co-location and collaboration.”

“Imperial West’s Research and Translation Hub provides the physical environment to enable world-class research and knowledge transfer at scale – driving innovation and growth,” Gann commented. “Imperial West already hosts scores of innovative spinouts and startups and is highly connected to London’s TechCity and MedCity ecosystems. The Research & Translation Hub allows us to take this to the next level.” (know more about translation services)

Translation of Chekhov’s ‘The Three Sisters’ Attracts Attention

A new English language translation of Chekhov’s classic “The Three Sisters” recently debuted in Portland, Oregon, to much acclaim. Written in 1900 and first performed in 1901 at the Moscow Art Theatre, the play has been translated into numerous languages across the world and is largely considered to be a theater classic.

“The Three Sisters” depicts the decay of Russia’s bourgeoisie and explores the search for meaning in the modern world. It narrates the lives and aspirations of the three sisters of the Prozorov family, Irina, Masha, and Olga, and their brother, Andrei. A refined and erudite bunch originally from Moscow, they are unhappy and unfulfilled with life in a small provincial town. Though all four dream of escaping their tedious provincial existence, none of them do any kind of work to change their situation.

A Different Translation

Many criticize the translation accuracy of the work, arguing that the subtleties of Chekhov’s writing are buried underneath ornate and ostentatious language that is unnecessarily over the top. Chekhov’s use of language is remarkably stark in comparison to his contemporaries, such as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. He is widely praised for the nuanced subtexts of his work, as well as his ability to convey deep meaning with pauses followed by sharp one-word replies.

Stepan Simek’s goal was to bring English translations of the text back to the basics. A Lewis & Clarke theater professor, Simek, who has also worked as a director in Switzerland, was awed by the intensity of “The Three Sisters” when he first heard a Russian recording of the play. A leading translator of Czech playwright and anti-Communist dissident Vaclav Havel, Simek set out to translate Chekhov’s iconic work into English. Simek’s translation is harsher and more abrasive than previous translations, free of any kind of unnecessary language.

Translation Evolution

Constance Garnett’s translation (1916):
MASHA: In this town to know three languages is an unnecessary luxury! Not even a luxury, but an unnecessary encumbrance, like a sixth finger.

Gerlad Ledger’s translation (1998):
MASHA: In this town to know three languages is an unnecessary luxury. It’s not even a luxury, but a sort of unnecessary addition, like a sixth finger. We have a great deal of superfluous knowledge.

Simek’s translation (2014):
MASHA: To know three languages in this shithole is an unnecessary luxury. It’s not even a luxury; it’s more like some sort of an unnecessary add-on, like having a sixth finger.

Simek argues that hard-driving, aggressive language is the way to truly express the meaning of Chekhov’s text. The translation from Russian has been praised for its colloquial nature without being too idiomatic.

Anton Chekhov

Performing with PETE

Simek chose the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble to turn the script into a performance. His bold new translation will be preformed at Reed College’s new state-of-the-art Diver Studio Theatre to a mere 35 audience members. “PETE is known for its extremely, yes almost otherworldly, commitment to a sort of physically and vocally muscular directness in acting,” Simek said. “It is exactly the kind of approach that the original Russian demands.”

Source: The Portland Monthly

Chinese Translator Wins Aurora Borealis Prize

Last week, the member’s assembly of the 20th World Conference of the Federation of International Translators (FIT) awarded Chinese translator Xu Yuanchong the prestigious Aurora Borealis Prize. Xu translates ancient Chinese poems into English and French. He has translated poetry by Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, and Bai Juyi, all well-known Chinese poets of the Tang Dynasty.

Given out every three years, the prize is sponsored by the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators. It is designed to promote the translation of fictional literature and draw attention to the role of translators beyond technical translations. It is one of the highest awards in the translation field, given to translators whose work is of exceptional quality and has the capacity to bridge cultural gaps. Xu is the first Chinese translator to win the award.

Aurora Borealis Prize


Chinese translator Xu Yuanchong

The Three Beauties

Xu’s innovative approach to translation makes a distinction between “verbal translations” (those that strictly adhere to the words in the source text) and “literary translations” (those that involve embellishment). He is the pioneer of the Three Beauties Principals of Translation, a theoretical model of translation that strives to maintain the original beauty of a poem in its translation. This beauty must be maintained semantically (symbolic elements and deeper meaning), phonologically (style and rhythm), and logically (length and order). Xu strives to turn translations into works of literary value in and of themselves and believes that translations should be able to successfully compete with original texts.

Bridging Cultural Gaps

Xu is currently busy with the Chinese translation of the works of Shakespeare. “I spend more than two months translating one book. I plan to finish the complete works of Shakespeare in five years,” he explained. Xu believes that good translation has the power to bridge cultural gaps and facilitate international cohesion and unity. “The habits of thinking are different between Chinese and Westerners, but translation can break down barriers,” Xu explained.

Google Now Uses Crowdsourcing to Improve Google Translate

You’ve probably heard of Google Translate. Of course you have. Its options have allowed us to translate simple sentences since 2007. Its user interface was simple, and its minimalistic style was appealing to users. Nowadays, it is one of the most commonly used programs for machine-translating services, and it supports 80 different languages. It can translate words, whole sentences and even web pages, which is what made it so popular.

How It Works

It works combining words from ordinary dictionaries and by comparing and looking at millions of documents that are already online, trying to find patterns. Those documents were mostly translated by human translators, and Google Translate can conclude a pattern from the sentence and make its own dictionary database from the data created from syntax and vocabulary use. At best, it offered straightforward translations, never bothering itself with the meaning of the text. Then, it makes a lot of intelligent guesses, trying to connect the words to the most probable next word. The resulting translations are not perfect, nowhere near it, but it does its job much better than just a few years ago.

Its complex algorithms can even determine a language on their own, which is a great option. But now, Google announced that there is a new option to Google Translate users: to offer their own, improved translation. It is now open to all its users – to help their favorite online tool, and to contribute with their own personal knowledge and input. All language enthusiasts will now be able to improve translations to any of the 80 languages supported.


Crowdsourcing as a Document Translation Tool

This type of crowdsourcing is an excellent tool, especially for a useful program such as Google Translate, since it can finally offer much more meaningful results, and now, anyone can offer what  the words actually mean, and it is still a task that only humans can do. Crowdsourcing is important for companies like Google, because it is extremely cheap, but they can offer almost perfect quality results. Sarcastic remarks and other pragmatic sentences were usually translated as is, but now, even they can retain their own meaning and purpose. Human translators are concerned with meaningful outputs, so that everything makes sense and is true to the source language.

If we look at Google translate, it used to be a simple math machine, seeing words and numbers, trying to find the best relatable equation in another language. But now, it uses all its human input in order to create translations that retain the whole meaning of the original text, which is the core value any translation company could tell you. But, what is different now is that, over time, this crowdsourcing will improve the translations that Google Translate displays to the everyday user.


Google Translate Improved Little by Little

This can, of course, prove to be valuable to all kinds of users, as the language barrier is slowly, but steadily breaking down. Nonetheless, even with all this development in the field of machine translation, the probability of having machines that offer as good results as professional translators is not that big.

Even with this way of collecting valuable data, there will still be many errors, as contributors can also make mistakes, since Google requires no proof that your suggestion is made by an educated person, or by an individual who only wants to troll the internet.

This option will make it easy even for you to contribute to Google Translate by simply making suggestions, and this will all probably lead to more extensive voice translation machines, which will be able to recognize and translate better. However, this extensive database of knowledge will still be available only to those with data connections in order to work properly, so if you do not have a data plan and you want to go abroad, it’s better to bring a dictionary.

There are translators who believe that outsourcing translation services to the general public is not a good thing and that it will only make a further mess. This only improves the theory that even though Google Translate may become more useful for a casual user, as they will be able to quickly understand a foreign language, it will never truly become a competition to professional translators, and this only supports the fact that the human brain is needed in order to understand all the simple, yet extreme differences between languages and all kinds of hints that can be hidden in a simple sentence.

Unbabel Gets $1.5 M to Improve Machine Translation Service

With astounding developments in technology, one cannot help but wonder whether one day, the art of translation will be completely taken over by a certain software. Although current products for such purposes are still unable to provide their users with a completely accurate translation, one can still use them for basic communication with a foreigner. Since the ability to comprehend and produce language is one of our innate abilities, nobody is fully aware just how many complex operations our brain is capable of performing.

People are capable of deciphering messages based on what is written or spoken, but not only that, we are also able to include context or tone of voice when deciphering a certain sentence. When it comes to machines, performing actions of such complexity for more than one existing language seems very improbable. Foreign languages differ in aspects of syntax and morphology, with a higher complexity of one, the other is simplified, but such circumstances provide obstacles for translation software.

About Unbabel


A company known as Unbable has ongoing endeavours to improve the AI responsible for translating foreign languages. The basic principle of work behind this company is that they use computers for translation purposes, followed by micromanagement conducted by human translators. This is probably one of the most efficient ways to approach the text, since it is still hard to believe that machines can recognize some types of context. Truth be told, if the given text is scientific in nature, more formal and abundant in terminology, a machine will be able to translate it pretty accurately.

However, metaphors, metonyms, idioms and phrasal verbs are still posing a challenge for any software. For the sake of perfecting the art of online translation, Unbable has received an admirable amount of money, 1.5 million dollars to be exact. This kind of service can provide an aid of exceptional quality in any line of work that involves foreign client management, since communication between foreign parties will be significantly accelerated. The founder of this company is Vasco Calasis Pedro and he formed this online establishment in 2013, its headquarters are in Mountain View Calif, along with the offices located in Lisbon and Portugal.

The advantages of this translation service


Unbable offers its service for the following languages: English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Any text in these languages can be translated to an additional fifteen languages for a price of 0,02 dollars per word. Due to this feature, people across the globe have an amazing opportunity to extend the reach of their line of work, since communication will be a lot smoother. Not only that, but now, any advertising in written form or any product description can be adapted for larger masses, making this kind of service an extremely lucrative investment for business owners.

Editors of Unbable approximately earn eight dollars per hour and, considering what this service has to offer, one must agree that it is a mutually satisfying price. The huge demand for this service is currently causing the personnel of this company to turn down some of the clients, however, they are hoping that with this new fund, they will be able to make an extension and support more users.

How does this work 

The process itself is pretty simple – all one needs to do is send an e-mail which contains the text he or she needs to have translated. As it was already stated, the first draft of the translation is done via software and, afterwards, a team of people will make an input of minor changes if needed. This ensures stable and swift customer communication for the purpose of handling social media services, customer communication, feedback, etc.

Human Translators Still a Must

Taking into consideration that there is a human component added to the process, one can rest assured that his or her translation will be handled with care. According to Unbabel, translation services may be handled by artificial intelligence as long as the creative part of the work continue to be done by human translators. This approach is quite reasonable, after all, any existing language is a complex matter, highly dependent on context, making universally accurate translation software still something that is to be expected in the distant future.

Fiverr Now Offering Freelance Translation Services

The Web offers access to large crowds of potential audiences coming from different demographic backgrounds. The more audience you get, the more complex the blend between different backgrounds becomes and your fan base turns into a specific mash of people with one major thing in common – they are all interested into what you have to offer. From this, it might be natural that they know some people that might like your services as well, and you need to capitalize on this fact. This, of course, includes near perfect customer satisfaction.

There are significant benefits you can get from a diverse and widespread audience, customer base or whatever you choose to name the people who engage with your online enterprise. First of all, you get the possibility to expand the variety of services (or goods in ecommerce situations) and through that, bring in even more revenue and more people. Although, things don’t always work out quite as you planned them out.

Hitting a wall


While this may be a desired situation when it comes to the further expansion of your fan base, it can sometimes become difficult to make it larger, even if your customer satisfaction ratio is very high. This happens more often to businesses who have a very narrow targeting scope due to the specificity of the work they do. This category is filled with B2B entrepreneurship, high level academic services and similar endeavors that are not really common.

In this kind of situations, a lot of businesses have taken the following course of action. They used their analytics and found out which languages are the most numerous part of their community and localized their website for these languages, allowing the word of mouth to travel further and bring in new users who are not proficient with the primary language they use for their website content. For this kind of specific focus, you need to spread your reach as much as you can if you want to further increase traffic and through that – your conversion.

The first active freelance translation platform

We are all aware that there are freelancers offering translation services on some of the most popular freelancing platforms but Fiverr is the first one to get a more effective community going. Apparently, they have a large specter of professional, native speaking translators who offer their services at affordable prices starting from $5. The most popular language so far is Spanish followed by French, Italian and German but the numbers are changing fast and there seems to be a significant growth with Asian languages like Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Compered to one-click solutions like Google translate, this setup brings much better results. The automatic translations, later edited by translators with lower than native proficiency is usually a bad approach since you face too many mistakes based on the context and cultural background. With freelancers, you can easily find a native translator who won’t fail that cultural test at least. The problematic thing is still if they have a native level of comprehension of the language you are translating from. In most situations, that language is English, which ups your odds of finding someone who is proficient enough to handle the situation.

The complexity of translating tasks for web content

question mark with speech bubles, vector on the abstract background

Highly specialized B2B niche services are complex to explain and understand in any language and this is why it is risky to choose a random translator, especially if he is not aware of the SEO part of the translation process. This could hinder the usefulness of the localization process and make your localization traffic a lot lower than you could expect which kind of destroys the ROI  (Return on investment) you hope the get from the entire process.

In conclusion

It all boils down to how much you trust the freelancer you are about to hire. If you manage to find somebody on a reference or with a good portfolio (preferably both) this situation could work but when we are talking about localization, we also need to include customer service, troubleshooting and much more. Because of this, you need somebody you can truly rely on since you are going to need his or her services on a regular basis.

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