How does translation matter?
English is not enough?
We feel English is everywhere and everybody understands English.In the business community, we often assume that everybody knows English. But, what is the reality?
Figure 1 Languges according to number of native speakers
According to the BBC, “Around 75% of the world’s population don’t speak a word of English and a grasp of a different language improves your abilities to use your first language and explore other cultures more successfully.”
Though English is one of the three widely spoken languages, UNESCO has identified most widely spoken languages by number of native speakers and as a second language, and they are: Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French.
Let’s see the 4-way significance of translation in your business.
Can you afford to ignore all those who do not speak English?Let alone a global reach, you cannot even reach one continent or one country for your business with just English. Even in the English country, Great Britain, people speak multiple languages.
To ‘sell’ anything to people, the seller needs to touch the heart of the buyer; and nothing appeals the prospective buyer more than one’s own language. It is not just emotional, but scientifically proven that people are attracted to their mother tongue- its words, its tone, its sound.
As the business goes global, an organization starts to collect and disseminate information in different languages. The policies, instructions, publicity content, marketing collateral, Safety protocol, internal communication, reports etc are prepared in multiple languages as needed. As a business enters a new geography, right from the first land document to the first appointment letter, a lot of content has to translated.A business has to be `found’ on the internet and social media, so the content there needs to be in the languages in which users `search’.
Here, translation is the common platform from where the information can be easily shared.
Let us remember that English is not the lingua franca. Not everyone speaks English!