The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry

The Importance of Language Access in the Manufacturing Industry

Effective communication is the backbone of success in the manufacturing industry. It ensures not only the safety of the workers but also compliance with regulations and overall operational efficiency. However, for companies dealing with a diverse workforce that includes individuals with Limited English Proficiency, language barriers can become a significant roadblock. Let’s discuss the importance of language access in manufacturing and explore practical strategies to overcome these hurdles. 

Understanding the Key Role of Language Access 

These are some of the main considerations you should keep top of mind when it comes to language access in the manufacturing industry: 

  • Safety first: On the factory floor, where precision and caution are paramount, language barriers can translate into safety hazards. When workers struggle to comprehend safety instructions or warnings due to language differences, the risk of accidents and injuries significantly increases. Implementing language access measures becomes a crucial step in mitigating these potential dangers. 
  • Efficiency and quality boost: Effective communication—facilitated by translation services—is the key to enhancing efficiency in manufacturing processes. When workers can understand instructions clearly, they are more likely to perform tasks accurately and efficiently. This not only contributes to increased productivity but also elevates the overall quality of the manufacturing process by reducing errors and defects in the final products. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: While some may perceive translation services as an additional expense, they can be a wise investment in the long run. By preventing costly mistakes and accidents, these services contribute to improved overall efficiency. Furthermore, addressing language barriers can reduce onboarding time and costs, a significant benefit in industries where training is complex and time-consuming. 
  • Employee engagement and retention: Language access initiatives go beyond operational benefits; they also play a crucial role in employee engagement and retention. When workers feel understood and included, their morale and engagement levels increase. This, in turn, fosters a positive work environment and enhances the likelihood of retaining skilled personnel in the organization. 
  • Compliance matters: In the manufacturing sector, staying compliant with regulations, especially those set by organizations like OSHA, is non-negotiable. Providing training in employees’ native languages is not just a good practice but a regulatory necessity, ensuring that your company aligns with the required safety standards. 

How to Boost Language Access in Manufacturing 

To help improve language access in manufacturing, consider taking these steps: 

  • Implement translation services: Utilize translation services to assist workers in understanding critical documents and instructions, including safety guidelines, operating manuals, and employee handbooks. This ensures that information is accessible to all employees, regardless of their language proficiency. 
  • Offer multilingual resources: Make the work environment more accessible by providing multilingual resources and tools such as visual aids, bilingual signage, and language-friendly navigation systems. This promotes effective communication and ensures that everyone can move around the workspace safely. 
  • Provide native language training: Conduct training sessions in the native languages of your employees to guarantee comprehension. Translate manuals, eLearning courses, and add subtitles to training videos. This commitment to language access will reinforce safety protocols and proper equipment usage. 

The Takeaway 

Providing language support services is not just a luxury but a necessity in the manufacturing sector. By addressing communication challenges through translation services and other language access initiatives, companies can foster improved collaboration, increased efficiency, and a safer working environment for all.  

How to Compare Services From Different Translation Vendors

How to Compare Services From Different Translation Vendors

At first glance, when comparing service providers, it may be tempting to go with the least expensive option. When it comes to choosing a translation service provider, this can often be the wrong move to make. Why? If you receive a quote for translation services that is way cheaper than that of a different provider, then something is likely off. Either they are not quoting the exact same services (translation workflows are usually unique to each client) or the people who will be working on the project aren’t as qualified and trained as you need them to be. Oftentimes the linguist doing the job is still in training, is not certified, or is not specialized in the field.

When you choose the cheapest option, there’s a high chance that the deliverables you receive won’t match what you thought you were buying. As the saying goes—you get what you pay for.

That’s not to say you have to go with the most expensive option to get the best quality, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If two different vendors give you a different rate for the same language combination, you need to make sure you’re being offered the same product and only then can you benefit from going with the least expensive option.

These are some factors worth keeping in mind when comparing different translation service providers—especially if you anticipate having ongoing translation needs. Because that means the selected provider may become a long-term partner.


When getting to know different translation providers, pay attention to how your communication flows with them and what channels they use to communicate with you and your team.


You should also take note of what technology the vendor will use to work on your projects. A solid Translation Management System (TMS) and computer assisted translation tools (CAT tool) that allow for good terminology management and QA checks is a must-have.


Ask each localization provider to walk you through their work experience. Does the vendor have case studies or references they can share with you? Success stories and testimonials can also tell you a lot about the company. Experience is really important here, as one company might use non-professional translators or use very low-paying translators that don’t produce the best quality work, nor have resources in-house to check the quality of the work or use the right technology. That may explain why their prices are so low, so be very weary of vendors that offer inexpensive rates.


What workflow does the language provider use to manage projects in a seamless fashion and what integrations do they offer to work with your company? Make sure they align with how you and your team like to work.

Project management

You want to work with a good project manager to make sure the process runs smoothly from start to finish. See if you can find out what the level of expertise the project management team that will be working on your projects has. You can also find out what time zones they are based in to make sure you can align timing wise and can facilitate ongoing dynamic interactions. It can be helpful to meet with the project manager, project management team, or translation team beforehand via a phone call or video call to help make sure you’re all on the same page about project needs and workflow.

Quality control

What quality control measures does the vendor have? Are they certified by international quality standards like ISO 9001 and 17100? Do they work with in-house reviewers and quality control specialists? These are important questions to ask to learn more about the quality control that a vendor offers.


You want to work with a translation company that has a good reputation in the industry and amongst translators. You can look for feedback about the company in social media and online forums to make sure they are a trustworthy vendor.

Company culture

Does the company culture of the provider align with your team’s culture? When you share the same values, the provider feels like an extension of your own team.

The Takeaway

As tempting as it may be to choose the most affordable translation vendor so you can stretch your budget as far as possible, it’s important to compare the services and the experience backing those services before you make a final decision.

How Does Terra Handle Translation Projects Containing ePHI

How Does Terra Handle Translation Projects Containing ePHI?

We believe that every person, regardless of their background or native language, has the right to comprehend their medical information, which may require translation services.  

When it comes to the handling of electronically Protected Health Information, the utmost care must be taken in order to adhere to HIPAA regulations regarding privacy and security measures. Here’s how the Terra team handles translation projects containing ePHI

First Things First 

Before kicking off a translation project containing ePHI, we typically have a call with the client to better understand their needs, expectations, and special considerations. If they have concerns about cybersecurity measures or want to learn more about the HIPAA-compliant team that will handle their projects, we will walk them through our training program and introduce them to the strong culture of compliance we promote. 

Receiving a Project 

Once everyone is on the same page and the client is ready to send their first project, they usually do it through a secure file transfer platform (of their preference) where they upload the files containing ePHI that require translation. Our team also receives an email from the client where the details of this project are included, such as language pair, word count, and deadline. 

Assigning the Project 

Next, we move on to assigning the project to a Terra account manager (AM) trained in HIPAA compliance. The AM opens the assignment email, analyzes the request, and downloads the files that need translation from the client’s platform to their encrypted devices. From there, they upload them to Terra’s secure storage platform. Then, the AM shares the project details with a project manager (PM) who is in charge of uploading the project to a secure translation tool, including only the vital instructions and information the translator needs to perform their job, and assigns it to a linguist selected from a list of already approved vendors.  

The linguists working on these projects are both experts in the healthcare field and are also trained in HIPAA compliance. To test their knowledge, they must pass an internal test to demonstrate their ability to properly handle the documents with the utmost care.

Translating & Editing 

When we’re ready to move on to the translating and editing stage, our trusted HIPAA-compliant linguist receives a notification about the assigned project and proceeds to translate it within the secure translation tool. The access this translator has to the project files is controlled, limited to view-only, and removed once the project is completed. 

Every person involved in the process has unique and non-transferable credentials. This helps us track everything and keep a record of the management of the project.

After the translation is performed, the next step is editing and an editor reviews the final version, making sure there are no spelling, grammar, or formatting errors.  

While the use of a CAT tool during the translation process supposes the use of a translation memory (TM) as well, our team has an established process to make sure that segments containing ePHI are not stored in the project TM

Final Delivery 

After editing steps are finalized, the project is ready and the PM in charge delivers the files to the client through the client’s secure platform. The final files are uploaded to our own secure storage platform for a set period of time in case they are needed in the near future, and after that period is over, the files are deleted.  

The Takeaway 

Terra ensures a secure and compliant ePHI translation process, prioritizing confidentiality and integrity. Clients can trust their sensitive healthcare information is safe thanks to Terra’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in handling electronically Protected Health Information. 


Why Demos & Training Sessions with Your Localization Team Matter

It’s easy to think that if you need something translated, the first thing you should do is find a translation vendor and simply send them your materials to translate. More often than not, it’s not as simple as that, as there are many aspects that need to be evaluated before the kickoff if you want to properly execute a translation project. For example, an employee handbook about company policies will have very different translation needs than a mobile app or video game.  The complexity of translation projects can vary widely and if what you’re really expecting back is a quality translation that is not only accurate but also effective, then just handing over materials for a translation won’t do the trick.  

The truth is that a lot of thinking and knowledge went into creating your product or materials. To get to the final product you have today, a lot of time and hard work was put into it, and only the people that worked on it and developed this product know all its specificities.  

There are ways you can help your localization team get to know your products. Let’s talk through why you should consider doing demos and training sessions with your localization team.  

Understand Product Functionalities and Specifics 

To start the localization process on the right foot, it’s crucial for the localization team to understand the product’s functionalities and specifics. This is why aside from having a detailed style guide and product description or other specs document, it’s a good idea to have a demo of the product with some training for the localization team. That way, project managers and linguists understand the product and are able to see it “in action”. 

Let’s look at video games as an example. If you can, it’s a good idea to give translators access to the video game or to a beta version of the game so they can familiarize themselves with the mechanics of the game and see the product from the gamer’s perspective. In the case of mobile apps, it’s important for the translators to see what the app does and what the UI and UX look like. When working on its translation, translators may only see loose strings of text with little to no context. If you can give them access to play around in the app or video game, they will be better equipped to provide accurate translations.  

If you cannot grant direct access to the product, you can conduct a training session where you can showcase the different functionalities. This is a great opportunity for people involved in the project to get familiarized with the ins and outs of the product and ask questions about it.  

Consider the Length of Project 

The other reason it can be a very good idea to familiarize your localization team with your products through demos and training sessions is so they are more prepared to assist you with translation needs on an ongoing basis. These types of projects are usually ongoing, as video games and apps usually have regular updates. If you already know that continuous localization will be needed, then you can greatly benefit from working with a team that knows your product as well as you do.  

Another timeline concern to keep in mind is that it is highly advisable that you accommodate for demos and training sessions in the timeline of a localization project as it can really make a difference in the result and take your localization to success

How to Provide Fair Career Advancement Opportunities to Your Global Workforce

How to Provide Fair Career Advancement Opportunities to Your Global Workforce

As companies across the world continue to embrace a global presence, it’s critical for employers to ensure that their employees have access to all the career advancement opportunities they need, regardless of where they are located. Implementing a fair system for providing these advances is important not only in recognizing and rewarding employee achievements but also by tapping into their workforce diversity of knowledge and cultural experience.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of providing training to a multiculturally diverse workforce in an effort to provide equitable career advancement opportunities to international staff members.

Benefits of training & development

Investing in employee training and development programs can provide numerous benefits for a company with a global workforce.

  • Enhanced leadership training. With the right training, employees can gain valuable leadership skills and knowledge of how businesses operate from top-level managers and executives. Companies often have dedicated team-building sessions or management workshops that help employees cultivate their leadership potential and understand the nuances of management roles within the organization.
  • More career advancement opportunities. Training and development programs can also help to build a competent and skilled workforce, which is essential in today’s global market. By providing employees with new job-related skills, they can acquire the necessary knowledge to remain competitive in their fields. This can help a company stay ahead of its competitors and remain relevant in the market.
  • Improved performance and productivity. By providing employees with the necessary skills and knowledge, they can perform their job more effectively, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. This results in better overall performance and can lead to higher profit margins for the company.
  • Increased employee engagement and job satisfaction. When an employer invests in their employees’ professional growth, it shows that the company values them and that their contributions to the organization are significant. This can, in turn, lead to increased job satisfaction and improved employee retention.
  • New skill building opportunities. As technology becomes increasingly important in business operations, having tech-savvy employees is essential for companies seeking competitive advantage through digital transformation initiatives. Companies should focus on providing specialized courses that teach topics such as data analysis, cybersecurity protocols, software development methods, and machine learning concepts—all areas are necessary for staying ahead of digital trends in today’s economy.

The language barrier

In the case of global companies, most training is provided in English because it’s assumed that most employees speak that language. However, when it comes to learning new concepts or skills, it’s not the same to have training provided in your mother tongue than in English, even if employees can communicate in English for business purposes.

Studies show that employees incorporate knowledge better when the training is in their native language. Providing training only in English puts non-English speakers at a disadvantage; it ultimately makes them feel incapable and that they will be passed over for promotions by native English speakers. Unless training is provided in their mother tongue, we can’t talk about equal advancement opportunities for everyone.


Diversity and inclusion are top of mind for many businesses nowadays. One way to make sure companies are being inclusive with all their employees is by thoroughly assessing the training opportunities that they are providing and making sure all employees have a fair shot to grow and reach leadership positions, regardless of their background. In the end, diversity and inclusion initiatives are not only aimed at having more diverse staff but also having diversity at the top.

What’s Terra’s Project Manager Selection Criteria

What’s Terra’s Project Manager Selection Criteria?

In our industry, project management consists of managing resources such as time, budget, technology, and people in a strategic and efficient way so that a translation or localization project is successful. The main goal of project management is to ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner and that clients receive quality deliverables. With project management in place, quality control measures can be applied to each project, ensuring that clients receive error-free translations that accurately reflect their needs.

Project managers bring huge value to the table as they combine superb analytical skills to anticipate and prevent any issues that may arise with excellent coordination and communication skills. They have the client’s best interest at heart and do everything within their power to make a project successful. By providing consistency and structure throughout a translation project, project management from start to finish contributes majorly to the success of the services provided by the language service industry.

Because project managers play such an important role in the translation industry, let’s take a closer look at how we select the right project managers at Terra.

How We Select Project Managers

At Terra, we choose project managers according to the specific needs and nature of the projects and accounts they will be working on. We work with both translation project managers and localization project managers. The latter of which are specifically focused on the management of multilingual localization projects done by culturally diverse linguistic teams.

The Qualifications We Look For

There are key qualifications we look for when choosing a project manager. To start, our project managers hold a university diploma in translation, communication, or project management. In order to be selected as a project manager, candidates must have excellent communication and time-management skills, proficiency level in English and another language, with a complete mastery of CAT tools. Our project managers must also be technologically savvy and have a multicultural vision of the localization industry.

In this blog post, we list the 6 must-have skills for project managers if you want more insight into the types of qualifications we look for.

Recruitment and Selection

We have a rigorous recruitment and selection process that helps us find the right candidates. This process includes a technical project management test, a language proficiency test, and several rounds of interviews with our human resources and operations representatives. Additionally, each potential project manager must complete a psycho-technical test aimed at determining the work style of the candidate so we can help determine if they are the right fit for our company’s culture.

When recruiting PMs for specific projects, Terra’s HR team interviews candidates and evaluates their strengths, as well as their compatibility with Terra’s and the clients’ work ethics, values, and cultures. The intention of these efforts is always to minimize staff rotation and to give the client confidence that candidates will integrate seamlessly with their own internal team. We also use the enneagram model to determine the best strategies so the new team member can reach maximum potential within the existing team.

At Terra, we believe in promoting a safe space for neurodiversity by recognizing people’s individual skills and talents and supporting their differences and needs. We also encourage flexibility, clear communication, and the customization of the work environment for each collaborator’s needs.

The Takeaway

Project management is an essential part of the translation industry, as it helps ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. Because project managers play such a critical role in what we do at Terra, we have a thorough hiring process and strong qualifications we look for when choosing a new project manager to join our team. That way, we can ensure our clients enjoy the best possible experience when working with us.

How Professional Translation Protects Your Business from Legal Pitfalls

How Professional Translation Protects Your Business from Legal Pitfalls 

In today’s globalized world, businesses often encounter diverse workforces with employees who speak different languages. To maintain a safe and inclusive workplace, it’s crucial for companies to ensure that their safety materials are accessible to all employees. This means translating safety documents into their native languages. Even if your team has operated effectively with materials in English, offering translations can significantly enhance the message’s effectiveness and protect your business from potential legal pitfalls. 

Let’s examine a few considerations to keep top of mind when you start to translate safety documents.  

Understanding Legal Requirements 

Federal laws in the United States mandate the translation of “vital documents” into an audience’s native language. These laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, aim to prevent national origin discrimination and language-based disparities. The Department of Justice further defines a document as vital if it contains information critical for obtaining federal services or benefits or if it is required by law. This encompasses various forms, policies, informational materials, and outreach content

It’s important to recognize that someone’s residency in a foreign country doesn’t guarantee complete comprehension of technical or complex information presented in that language. By ensuring all vital documents are available in a language they fully understand, businesses can guarantee equal access to information, prevent language barriers, and avoid potential fines for non-compliance with federal law. Moreover, providing access to translated materials fosters an inclusive environment and protects businesses from discrimination lawsuits. 

Determining What to Translate 

Deciding which safety documents to translate can be tailored to each business’s specific needs. Companies should start by identifying key operational pain points and the crucial safety information that workers must comprehend. Consider the tasks employees perform and the risks and hazards associated with their roles. Including visual aids like flow charts, diagrams, illustrations, equipment photos, and maps can enhance the clarity and comprehension of procedures, especially emergency protocols. 

Translating all safety procedures, employee guidelines, and corporate policies into employees’ native languages contributes to the company’s reputation for prioritizing safety and inclusivity. By demonstrating care and consideration for employees’ needs, businesses build trust and foster a positive work environment. 

The Benefits of Translation 

Investing in professional translation for safety manuals yields numerous benefits. First and foremost, it helps prevent accidents and injuries, safeguarding employees’ well-being. When employees fully understand safety protocols and proper equipment usage, the likelihood of mishaps decreases significantly. 

Moreover, translating safety materials protects businesses from potential lawsuits and fines resulting from non-compliance with federal laws. By taking proactive steps to offer equal accessibility to all employees, companies shield themselves from discrimination claims and ensure their policies are fair and inclusive. 

In this globalized era, embracing professional translation is not just a legal requirement but also a strategic move that bolsters the long-term success and sustainability of any business. 

Why Translating Safety Documentation is a Great Investment

Why Translating Safety Documentation is a Great Investment

In the construction and manufacturing industries, the presence of native Spanish-speaking workers has been steadily increasing in the United States. It is essential for companies that value their diverse workforce to ensure that all employees fully understand safety procedures and regulations to prevent accidents. One effective solution to bridge the language barrier and promote workplace safety is by translating safety documents. 

In this blog post we’ll explore valuable insight to guide you through this process. 

What do we mean by safety documents?

Safety documents encompass various materials that prioritize the safety and well-being of employees while ensuring compliance with corporate policies and national safety standards. These documents play a vital role in communicating essential information and procedures to create a safe and productive work environment. Some examples of safety documents include health and safety policies, personal protective equipment policies, general warning labels, machinery safety manuals, emergency procedures, and incident/accident report forms.

Which documents should you translate first?

Before embarking on the translation process, it is crucial to identify the most critical safety documents for your employees’ well-being. Assessing the areas where language barriers might hinder understanding is key. For instance, if certain machinery or material handling processes frequently lead to incidents, prioritizing the translation of related manuals and warnings can significantly enhance the efficacy of safety measures. 

Who should work on the translations?

When the need for translation arises, it may be tempting to resort to bilingual employees. However, relying solely on their language skills is not a great idea, as they may lack the expertise required for precise translation. It is highly recommended to collaborate with seasoned translators who possess expertise in both language translation and health and safety protocols. 

Professional linguists, whether freelancers or language services providers, understand the importance of industry-specific terminology and consistent language usage. They undergo academic and professional training to convey information clearly and correctly, taking into account cultural nuances and your company’s tone. By working with these experts, you can ensure that your translations maintain the highest standards of quality

In addition, involving your employees in reviewing the already translated documents is crucial, as they can offer valuable insights and help identify any potential terminology discrepancies. This collaborative effort ensures that the translations align with your organization’s goals and values. 

For future translation needs, if translating materials at different times, it is preferable to have all translations completed by the same translator or translation team to maintain consistency. Otherwise, subsequent linguists should meticulously review previously translated content while utilizing style guides and term bases, if available. This approach ensures that the translations remain cohesive and adhere to established standards. 

The Takeaway

Investing in the translation of safety documentation is a crucial step toward ensuring the well-being of your diverse workforce. By identifying and translating the most important documents, you can bridge the language gap and enable effective communication of essential safety procedures. Collaborating with professional linguists who understand both language and health and safety protocols will yield accurate translations and maintain consistency across materials.  

Translated safety documents empower your employees, reduce the risk of accidents and potential lawsuits, minimize equipment damages, and safeguard your company’s reputation in the industry. Remember, your translation partner will guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful journey toward enhanced workplace safety and productivity. 

Does Culturalization Impact ROI

Does Culturalization Impact ROI?

We have previously covered why culturalization is often necessary to unlock global success for brands and product launches in new markets. Now let’s analyze whether this strategy has an actual impact on ROI. After all, that is the ultimate goal when you expand globally.

What is culturalization and when is it needed?

Let’s start from the beginning. What is culturalization and when is it needed? Culturalization takes translation a step further to make linguistic and non-linguistic changes that can make an impact. This may include changing imagery, colors, jokes, music, or cultural references to better suit a target audience.

Some real-life examples of culturalization can be seen in the video game Age of Empires and the movie Inside Out. In 1997 Age of Empires was released and featured a historical event in which Japanese forces from the Yamato dynasty invaded the Korean peninsula and took over the Joseon Empire during the Middle Ages. The problem? While the majority of historians believe this event occurred, the Korean Ministry of Information claims it never happened. In order to launch this game successfully in Korea, Microsoft had to decide if they would change history in order to make their game appeal to this new target audience or maintain historical accuracy. In the end, Microsoft’s solution was to release a Korea-only patch that changed that specific scenario to having the Joseon Empire invade Japan (which never happened).

In the film Inside Out, a father tries to feed his toddler broccoli but the child dislikes it. This is a relatable and funny scene in the US where many kids don’t like broccoli. However, in Japan, children don’t have the same dislike of broccoli, but they do dislike bell peppers. In the Japanese version of the movie, the broccoli was swapped with bell peppers to make the scene as impactful in Japan as it was in the US. Including broccoli in the Japanese version of the film wouldn’t have caused offense, but it also wouldn’t have had as much of an impact. These two examples show the different solutions culturalization can bring to the table.

How culturalization improves ROI

If we want to discuss culturalization ROI, what we really need to consider is whether building relationships with customers and strengthening a bond with them really impacts your ROI in the long run (this is known as “relationship marketing”). Understanding the culture and values of an audience, as well as what drives potential clients in a certain market becomes crucial if you want to create a bond with them and nurture those relationships.

If your product does not take into account the particularities of a target audience, no matter how good the product is, it has very little chance of being successful. This is because two things can occur. It can fall flat or it can cause offense unintentionally—either way it fails.

Why Culturalization and Not Just Translation

When you incorporate culturalization into your global expansion strategy, you’re making sure that your product will be well-received and you won’t be getting yourself in trouble. Essentially, culturalization sets your product up for success.

The whole point of culturalization is adapting content to appeal to specific markets and cultures. If you stop at the translation or localization step, you may discover that your content or product is not attractive to a given audience and therefore your efforts have been in vain. Yes, they will be able to understand it, but they won’t be motivated to engage with it in a meaningful manner. Especially not to an extent that will make them want to continuously consume your content or buy your product.

The Takeaway

If your content is good and is culturally appropriate, chances are you’ll get more clicks, more conversions, and ultimately a good ROI. Additionally, you will have strengthened your brand, as well as gained loyal customers that can become your local advocates everywhere. All of which can help you find global success.

The Role of Linguistics in Preventing the Spread of Fake News - Portada

The Role of Linguistics in Preventing the Spread of Fake News

Today there is greater access to information than ever before and that accessibility grows by the day. While the internet, traditional media, and social media all play a positive role in spreading knowledge, there are times when these platforms are used to spread misinformation (whether it is done so knowingly or not). Thanks to the rise of social media, falsehoods that have the potential to cause great harm can spread rapidly. The algorithms social media brands use to encourage engagement can unfortunately help increase the speed at which misinformation spreads. As of late, misinformation (which is often referred to as fake news) has spread about very important topics such as issues relating to politics and health.

Work is being done to help combat the damage that fake news can cause and social media companies are attempting to shed light on which content is inaccurate by adding links to posts that direct users to official and updated information on the matter.

During the coronavirus pandemic, for example, we saw a lot of this happening in regard to drugs and vaccines, and many platforms deployed algorithms to detect this type of content and block it — especially social media platforms.

Unfortunately, the responsibility to engage with accurate content too often falls on the consumer, especially for those who engage in social media in languages other than English.

The Role of Linguistics in Fake News

The topic of fake news is gaining international relevancy and experts are using linguistics as a means to detect and prevent misinformation from spreading. Linguists in Norway at the University of Oslo are teaming up with computer scientists and artificial intelligence researchers at the independent research organization SINTEF to work to expose the language commonly used in fake news, which they are dubbing “Fakespeak”.

While this interest in learning more about how to fight the spread of misinformation online is excellent news, not everyone in the world is lucky enough to be exposed to these warnings, as oftentimes these detection mechanisms are only implemented and analyze text in English and a handful of mainstream languages. Many of these algorithms have yet to be programmed to work for less commonly spoken languages.

The Importance of Language Accessibility

It’s essential for social media platforms to consider other languages when they implement initiatives designed to help combat the spread of misinformation, as language accessibility is the key to equality when it comes to sharing information worldwide. Nowadays, many people learn the news via social media platforms and they don’t fact-check the information they are reading — they trust what they see.

As the internet continues to play a bigger role in our daily lives, it’s important that these platforms make conscious decisions about this and try to protect as many people as possible. Otherwise, they risk endangering their users who may make important and potentially life-threatening decisions based on the information they engage with.