It’s Valentine’s Day again . . . but before you get caught up in all the hearts and flowers, take a step back and think about what’s working (or not working) in your relationship with your translation provider. Just like any relationship, there are a few key factors to consider. If your provider is lacking any of these, it may be time to break up.
1. Trust. “A relationship without trust is like a car without gas: you can stay in it all you want, but it won’t go anywhere . . .” —Michael J. Herbert
Trust is possibly the most important element in any relationship, even the one with your translation service. You are trusting them with material you have invested a lot of time in and you don’t want them to weaken the quality of your work. Of course, it takes a lot of time and effort to build this trust, so if your translation provider doesn’t put in the necessary work, it might be time to call it quits.
2. Timing. “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” —Joshua Harris
Would you want a significant other who is always late? Of course not. Having good timing in both relationships and translation helps build a strong foundation. You need someone who is there for you when you ask them to be. You have important deadlines, and your translation provider should respect them. If they’re always late with their work, it might be time to walk away.
3. Avoid embarrassing mistakes! “Do not be embarrassed by your failures; learn from them and start again.” —Richard Branson
When you take your significant other out on dates to show them off or to meet your friends and family, you don’t want them embarrassing themselves—and you! Just like it’s important that they have good manners and can carry themselves in public, your translations should be attractive to your target audience. If not, it could be embarrassing for you and your company.
4. Don’t settle. “Always know the difference between what you’re getting and what you deserve.” —Unknown
Finding a good partner is hard work, ; so is finding a translation provider.But don’t stay in an unhappy relationship to avoid dealing with the uncertainty of a new partner. Move on! Finding a new translation provider may seem a little scary, but your perfect match is out there waiting for you.
Before you make a serious commitment to your translation provider, take some time to consider these components. If you are looking for a good relationship, take a look at our clients’ testimonials. JPD Systems has never been through a bad breakup!
Little research has been conducted on the intersect between language and international development so far. However, given the fact that cultural understanding plays a crucial role in international development, such intersection is worth exploring. Faced with this phenomenon, here are three examples of the importance of translation in international development with a particular focus on the connection between the principal actors in this field.
First, the use of translation plays a vital role in fostering collaboration among multilateral funding organizations. Today’s development challenges – including climate change, food security, trade, and migration – are complicated and interconnected, which puts forward higher requirements on multilateral organizations to collaborate with each other in the pursuit of global development. The response to the Ebola pandemic provides an excellent example of this trend, where the mobilization of $285 million to support the three countries that were hit the hardest by the crisis was contingent on the French translation of a 28,000-word document.
Translation also plays an instrumental role in fostering exchanges between international aid organizations and the recipients of aid. According to UNESCO, “as demonstrated by the failure of individual projects underway since the 1970s, development is not synonymous with economic growth alone. It is a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. As such, development is inseparable from culture”. Given this new paradigm, the use of translation has become critical in ensuring the success of project implementation.
Lastly, as shown by the recent growth of the nonprofit Translators without Borders, multilingual communication has become an essential element of the humanitarian response. In addition to facilitating necessary information sharing between actors on the ground, the use of translation has become a critical tool for data gathering from social media sources during times of crisis. For example, during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the development of a platform designed to enable the crowdsourced translation from Haitian-Creole to English and geo-location of incoming text messages reporting affected areas played a key role in launching a crisis map of the country.
From securing multilateral aid, to responding to a crisis, translation is playing an increasingly significant role in helping international development actors overcome key challenges. As our world is becoming more interconnected, it is safe to predict this year’s International Translation Day theme will hold true for many years to come.
While a majority of the key actors involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS have integrated the term “global” into their mission, few are investing in the development of multilingual communications tools. With the rise of digital platforms, material such as the proceedings of the International AIDS conference that just took place in Durban can easily become available to an international audience. Yet, according to the FID review on HIV/AIDS and information, “most of the information that is provided is only available in English- a problem for the millions of interested parties who do not have command of this language”.
A tool to foster collaboration
In addition to facilitating access to information, translation can serve as a powerful tool to foster international scientific collaboration. The online collection of HIV/AIDS-related resources AIDSource offers multilingual research options, which shows the international scope of AIDS research. However, providing a thematic selection of abstracts from multilingual sources translated into English and then made available in other languages could help foster more collaboration and promote the work of experts from non-English speaking areas, where prevalence is high.
A tool to facilitate knowledge sharing
A significant amount of resources is devoted to developing new campaigns and programs for the prevention of HIV. Yet, translating the resources that are already available into the languages used by the population that is the most at risk and into the official languages of the UN could help maximize impact at a relatively low cost.
Two projects related to microbicides and gender implemented by the nonprofit FHI360 and supported by USAID provide a good example of resources that could support international advocacy efforts on preventive treatment options if available in multiple languages.
A tool to raise awareness and mobilize resources
While using digital communications channels such as social media, blogging, YouTube, or coming up with a hashtag has become a necessary step to shed light on complex issue, it is not sufficient to achieve global impact. In a world of constant communication, too much emphasis is often put on finding an attractive message instead of focusing on the best way to communicate to the target audience. Integrating the use of translation in the development of a communication strategy will allow organizations to more effectively raise awareness and mobilize resources. This approach will also help them develop a global brand by going beyond translation and adapting content to different cultures. Nevertheless, creating a simple message that can be translated easily such as the Friends of the Global Fight’ #WhyNow campaign is a great start in ensuring the issue is exposed in terms that are easy to understand by all the parties involved.