Boosting Employee Retention and Engagement by Translating HR Materials into Spanish

As the US workforce evolves, employers need to evolve with it. Hispanics are the fastest-growing US-born segment of the US population and as of 2018, hispanic workers accounted for 17.5% of the US labor force. Because of this growth, and the fact that researchers have discovered that businesses that prioritize diversity can benefit financially, it is important to adapt on the job resources for Spanish speakers. 

Millennial Values are Key to Employee Retention & Engagement

While having a high employee retention rate and a staff that is engaged in their work is always important, it is especially important now that millennials are the bulk of the workforce. Like all generations, millennials have their own unique set of values (although it is expected Gen Z will follow in their footsteps). To help employees feel a strong sense of personal engagement, and lower turnover risk, it’s important to understand what millennial employees value.

For millennials, it is important to feel valued and as if they have opportunities to connect with their managers or superiors in a way that feels personal to their career and benefits their progress in the workplace. They’re looking for more than just an annual review in terms of feedback and guidance. Millennials are also team players and they want to advance the welfare of their entire team, as well as their own welfare at work.

This millennial generation wants to feel like they belong and are a part of a group that shares their interests, values, and goals. Employers can take advantage of these desires by finding ways to cultivate a sense of community for their employees. One way to foster a sense of respect for employee values and create a feeling of belonging is by speaking their language and providing proper safety and HR materials for employees.

Why the Translation of Company Communications is Beneficial

As the hispanic workforce grows, it is becoming increasingly important to provide HR materials, as well as any safety training or manuals, in Spanish. As most of these materials only require a one-time translation (they can be used any time new hires join the organization), this is not a huge endeavor and is worth the benefits of employee satisfaction. Previous translations can be used as a base if updates are needed down the road, which makes the continued translation of these materials very sustainable. 

There are many other benefits associated with translating these materials. The proper distribution and understanding of both HR and safety materials are imperative for avoiding dangerous accidents or costly lawsuits. On an equally important note, they can help create a culturally inclusive work environment. Businesses need to ensure that their Spanish-speaking personnel understand their company’s policies, procedures, forms, and internal communications clearly in order to have productive, happy, and safe employees.

Other Solutions For Boosting Employee Engagement & Loyalty

Alongside the translation of HR materials and safety materials into Spanish, there are other steps employers can take to make all of their employees, including any hispanic employees, feel respected and valued.

  • Developing benefit designs that account for the extended family make-up of many Hispanic millennials
  • Implementing effective diversity training programs
  • Creating diversity councils
  • Establishing top-down diversity targets for recruitment and retention

The translation of important work materials into Spanish is imperative for building a diverse and engaged team of employees. Providing accessible training and support to Hispanic employees is an investment that is bound to make returns when it comes to employee performance, contentment, and retention.

The Importance of Transcreation in Video Game Localization

The Importance of Transcreation in Video Game Localization

Today, video games are considered by some to be the world’s biggest cult phenomenon. This iconic status exists in-part because of transcreation in video game localization. Without this process, video games would only be accessible to players who speak the language and understand the cultural context of the original game. Transcreation has broken down borders and changed the entire landscape of the video game industry.

What is Transcreation in Video Game Localization?

Transcreation in video game localization is a different process than a traditional translation project. Providing an exact translation is not the goal here. Instead, transcreators use creativity and individuality to retain the original meaning while adapting the language in a video game to the target audience in a natural and effective way. Generally, transcreators have carte blanche to make necessary changes to language, and they generally try to retain the original meaning of the language used in a video game. That being said, sometimes they must change the meaning completely. The most important aspect of their job is to help ensure the desired outcome or result in the game.

Where is Transcreation Used?

A transcreator adapts all of the text and audio language used in a video game. The list of the language they have to transcreate is quite extensive, but the following list captures some of the main considerations.

  • Names of characters: Adapting the names of video game characters can be particularly important for improving the user experience, especially if the original name carries meaning or has a certain connotation. Transcreating names helps users relate and empathize with the characters. For example, if a character’s name is “Berry Cute”, because it’s a friendly little strawberry, you might want to adapt that word play to something related to berries and cuteness in the target language.

Examples taken from Overhit

  • Names of weapons and powers: Generally, the creators of games must coin new terms or names for elements like weapons and powers. Therefore, a word-for-word translation may not be possible under reasonable circumstances. In cases like these, transcreators provide a translation from scratch. In order to do so, they may take into account what the weapon or power actually does. Because of this, it’s especially important that translators play the game during the transcreation process or have visual references of the game.

Examples taken from Pokémon

  • Instances of character restriction: In some cases there is nothing wrong with a literal translation, but in some languages a literal translation can cause issues. For example, a literal translation may end up taking up too much space on the screen, in which case transcreation can help find a solution that takes into account space restrictions. Buttons are usually one of most challenging UI elements because they can accommodate so few characters.

Example taken from Overhit

  • Jokes: Because cultures can have different senses of humor, it is especially important to apply transcreation to jokes. A direct translation can be potentially problematic if a joke that is considered funny in one culture is highly offensive to another.
  • Cultural references: These references can vary in relatability which can cause confusion. Common foods, songs, movies, celebrities, and politicians may be familiar to gamers in the country the game was originally made for, but can be very foreign to other gamers from different countries.

How This Affects the Gamer Experience

Alongside the task of making video games more accessible to audiences from different cultures, the transcreation in video game localization process also helps improve the gamer experience. One of the best things a transcreator can do to ensure they’re executing their job well, is to play the video game in its entirety. Ideally, they will play the game simultaneously as they work through the transcreation process. Doing so will help guarantee the proper interpretation and maintain the context of the game’s plots, tools, and characters.

At the end of the day, video games are supposed to be fun and the gamer should be “immersed” in the world created by game developers. If any of the elements are off, the gamer’s experience could be disrupted. Generally, their sole purpose is to entertain and a transcreator needs to keep that in mind when doing their work. Their end goal should be to convey the game’s play experience in a way that is as close as possible to that of the original, while ensuring that the game is appealing to new audiences. 

Embracing E-Learning for Corporate Training Post COVID-19

As technology advances, the world around us adapts. The education space is no different and for many years now, e-learning opportunities have been growing in popularity. During the onset of COVID-19, as schools and offices closed, online education became the norm overnight. Using e-learning resources to meet the needs of corporate training post COVID-19 is an option many businesses may want to consider. 

Evolving the Workforce through Corporate Training Post COVID-19

Unfortunately, the toll of the pandemic is being felt in rising unemployment numbers. This means many employees may find themselves needing to adapt within their roles to accommodate staff changes at their company. Training is essential for helping employees adjust during this transitional process. Whether or not a company is currently operating remotely or in-office, e-learning can be beneficial to the corporate training process. 

According to the McKinsey Global Survey, 87% of executives reported experiencing, or expect to encounter in the coming years, skill gaps in the workforce. E-learning can help fill in these gaps and can extend corporate training opportunities far past the office. 

The Benefits of E-Learning for Corporate Trainings

Whether or not a company requires corporate training post COVID-19 be done remotely or in-person, there are two major benefits of e-learning worth considering. E-learning training is both cost- and time-efficient. Reusing training content and removing the need for a valuable employee to conduct training will save time and money, especially down the road once more and more employees have used the e-learning training materials. It’s easy to see why, even before the pandemic hit, 98% of all companies were planning to be using e-learning by 2020.

Speaking of saving both time and money, good e-learning training can help retain employees. Forbes found that 40% of employees who did not receive sufficient training left their job within the first year. If you invest in creating solid digital training processes, you may just find yourself with a more engaged, more skilled, and more satisfied workforce. 

Taking Advantage of Learning Trends

For corporate training to succeed, practical training that prepares employees for their actual job is necessary. Gamification is a fun and rewarding example of how e-learning can be optimized to help employees succeed. E-learning courses can utilize gamification techniques to train and engage employees through game thinking and game mechanics that encourage the learner to solve problems. 

Businesses can take advantage of e-learning trends that equip their remote employees to learn new material and apply what they’ve learned to their work quickly, all while allowing them to gain access to educational content and aids. These e-learning trends include: mobile learning, microlearning, gamification, and video-based learning.

A World of Opportunities

Another door that e-learning opens up for corporate training post COVID-19, is the ability to provide training to employees in their native languages. When employees learn information in their native language, they’re likely to have a better comprehension of the material. It’s less likely that they’ll have to worry about terminology or some piece of key information falling through the cracks.

The proper translation of corporate training materials is a great step to take towards a more skilled workforce.

The Value of DTP Services in Translation Workflows

The Value of DTP Services in Translation Workflows

The workflows Language Services Providers manage include more than the translation or edition of a source text. A certain project may need other professional services to ensure a finished and high-quality deliverable. These tasks can be voice-over, subtitling, video editing or graphic design, among others.

Specifically, when translating textual materials (like flyers, books, handbooks, posters, brochures, and so on), desktop publishing (DTP) is a crucial part of the workflow. In the localization industry, the DTP service mainly implies formatting a translated document using page layout software. Specialists recreate the original format, taking into account typesetting and layout, graphics, images, etc.

However, DTP specialists can also work before the translation begins, preparing documents so they are suitable for import into CAT tools. Hence, DTP is a process that can take place before or/and after translation.

Editable documents

Textual materials can be files stored in many different editable formats. The most common and accessible in the industry are Word documents and InDesign documents (IDML). These can be imported into CAT tools, which has many advantages in a translation workflow. Namely because they provide features that help with consistency and accuracy, like translation memories, termbases and quality assurance settings.

If the documents have non-editable images or graphics with text (maps, charts, diagrams), DTP specialists can extract it. Once it’s translated, they insert the text in the graphics retaining the original format.

Scanned documents

DTP specialists can also process and prepare scanned documents and photographs of textual materials that need translation. As stated before, it is always better to have as input for translation an editable text, since with it, the management and linguistic team can process it using a CAT tool.

Optical character recognition (OCR) is a technology that can distinguish printed or handwritten text characters in digital images or scanned paper documents. This way, it’s possible to get an editable version of the text, suitable for edition, formatting, searching and data processing. So, by using OCR software, DTP specialists can provide the translation team with editable documents from non-editable source texts.

However, to get an editable input document is not always possible. Some scanned documents have several pages with unintelligible handwriting or bad quality resolution, so OCR software doesn’t come with good results. In these cases, translators must work from them directly.

Extract of a scanned document processed with OCR

The final eye

DTP is not the final step of a project involving it. After the DTP specialist has worked on the files, a linguist (it can be part of the project or someone specialized in the task) must proofread the material. This last editor will review the formatted document in order to ensure the target text is accurately embedded in the original layout. He or she will also check that DTP specialists inserted no involuntary mistakes during their work process. Furthermore, they search for omissions, bad line breaks, spacing errors, spelling and punctuation errors, and text aspect.

How to Choose the Best Translator for your Project

Many industries and businesses across the world use translators every day to break down borders and expand their reach. If you find that you too need to hire a translator for a project, there are a few considerations you’ll want to take first. Keep reading for our expert breakdown on how to choose the best translator for your project. By prioritizing these qualities and strategies, you’ll find yourself the perfect translator in no time. 

Choose the Right Native Speaker

native-speaker-traslator

What do we mean by choosing the right native speaker? Well, it’s important that the translator you work with is a native speaker specifically in the language you are translating into. As they have an organic understanding of the language they are translating for, their translations will sound more natural. It is possible for translators to achieve fluency in languages that aren’t their native tongue, but you’ll generally find that native speakers do the best work. 

It is worth noting though, that if the language you’re working in varies between countries (such as how Spanish in Mexico differs from Spanish spoken in other Latin American countries), you’ll want to not only use a native speaker, but a translator that has country specific expertise. 

Typically when you translate from non-native language to native language, you are more likely to have accurate text as it’s easier for translators to understand ideas that are written in a foreign language and in turn express that meaning in their native language.

Training and Experience is a Must

translator-degree

To start, your translator should have a translation degree or certification. Although there are plenty of translators without formal translation degrees who can do a good job, choosing to work with a professional who has formal training and job experience is your safest option. You can expect them to do a better job and have industry expertise that can help you avoid mistakes, such as knowing if your translation needs to be certified or not. 

Similar to how you want to work with a native speaker, you’ll want to work with a translator who specializes in your specific topic, such as medical translation or video game localization. Doing so will mean that the translator is aware of complex industry terms and knows the best way to tackle your project. 

Make Sure They Have a Large Tool Kit 

translator-tools-laptop

Translation software offers many benefits such as saving time and minimizing mistakes. Your translator should be familiar with using a variety of software localization or translation tools. While it would be ideal if they have experience with your tools of choice, it is not necessary if they already have a general familiarity with these types of tools and are willing to learn to use a new platform.

Be Realistic with Your Deadlines

translation-deadline

If you want your translator to do the best job possible, don’t expect them to meet unrealistic deadlines. If you don’t give them ample time to research, review important references, or make room for questions to help bring clarity, then their work will suffer. If a translator offers an unreasonably quick turnaround, you may want to get a second opinion on how long the project should take. It is best to choose a translator who is honest about how much time your project will take to execute properly.