21/06/2022

Does machine translation reinforce gender bias?

Although a machine learning model can be a powerful tool in the translation space, it can only be as good as the data it learns from. If there is a systematic error in the data used to train a machine learning algorithm, the resulting model will reflect this. These errors are the main reason that gender bias is present in machine translation. Some aspects of this are out of the control of the machine translation engine creators, but some others aren’t. Let’s examine how machine translation reinforces gender bias and how it can be fixed.

How Errors Can Occur

Wikipedia serves as a good example of how machine translation errors can occur and reinforce gender bias. Wikipedia entries tend to be geographically diverse, lengthy, and refer to subjects in the third person, which leads to the use of a lot of pronouns. Because of this, Wikipedia entries (particularly biographies) often have potential to cause machine translation errors related to gender, especially if an article refers to a person explicitly early in a sentence, but not later on. 

How Errors Can Be Resolved

Let’s look at Google as an example of a company aiming to resolve machine translation mistakes in regards to gender. Google acknowledges that their translation tools struggle with errors that lead to reinforcing gender bias. They believe that they need to advance translation techniques to surpass single sentences. Doing this requires setting new metrics for measuring their progress, as well as creating datasets with the most commonly encountered context-related errors. They’re facing a significant challenge. Translation errors related to gender are very sensitive, as they can incorrectly refer to someone and how they self identify. 

Google is working towards long-term improvements on their machine learning systems so they can continuously improve how they translate pronouns and gender.

The Takeaway

In recent years there’s been more awareness that these biases exist and machine translation engineers are trying their best to resolve this issue quickly, but it’s no easy endeavor since gender works so differently in all languages. Even though many advancements have been made in the machine translation industry, work still needs to be done. In all reality, a human translator is much better equipped to handle such sensitive issues like gender. 

It has taken many years to improve machine translation quality and additional improvements will take more time to make. However, this issue can’t wait that long to be addressed. Errors that lead to reinforcing gender bias are especially important to work on right now, considering the relevance gender inclusivity has taken recently. If a company wants to prioritize inclusive language, then it’s not safe to go with an automated solution. Gender is a sensitive topic and with a translation, you want to make sure your message is conveyed in a sensitive way. Right now, human translators are the ones researching and staying up to date with the latest trends in the languages they work with. This is absolutely necessary, as everything is changing so fast. These professionals are definitely the people companies should turn to in order to ensure their brand is not hurt by a careless machine translation mistake.

11/05/2022

3 Major Benefits of Inclusive Language for Your Business

Adopting inclusive language can help your business in more ways than one. There are both internal (amongst your own employees) and external (amongst customers and clients) benefits that can truly impact your business that are worth keeping in mind. Let’s examine some of the main benefits of inclusive language for your business.

Better Workplace Environment and Employee Engagement

While it’s easy to focus on how your customers and clients would react to the use of inclusive language in your business, you should first look at how this switch will be received internally. 

Using gender inclusive language at work can be a strong step towards diminishing gender inequality both internally and externally. For example, using gender-neutral job titles in your job postings will make it easier for candidates of any gender to view themselves in the role. At the same time, you’ll be helping our society shift away from unconstructive gendered job titles. 

Inclusive language will help attract a diverse pool of job candidates, and will help retain them as well. Both millennials and Gen Z workers tend to seek out companies that prioritize fairness and equality in the workplace. Using inclusive language is a subtle switch you can make to show your employees that you actually adhere to the values your company stands for. 

Improved Customer Perception

Circling back to your customers and clients, you will find that using inclusive language can help you appeal to a more broad customer base and can help you make a good first impression when launching in new markets where gender inclusivity is a priority. Customers want to see that a brand is thinking about them and their needs. Using gender neutral language helps you relate better to those customers and makes them feel more included. 

Of course, your commitment here can’t end with just inclusive language. Your commitment to inclusion and diversity should also be apparent in your hiring practices, product development, and marketing campaigns. On both a public facing and internal front, you need to be practicing what you preach in every area of your business. Using inclusive language is a good method to help further a mission of inclusion, but not the only one. 

Enhanced Social Responsibility

As a business, you should aim to be an authoritative and responsible part of your community, no matter how big or small that community is. Inclusive language is something companies should take on as part of their social responsibility. This effort to be socially responsible may not have visible benefits right away, but it is an important part of running a business. Being socially responsible and living by your values will pay off in the end by helping attract a diverse workforce, making customers feel included, and making your business feel more approachable.

How to Incorporate Inclusive Language 

When it comes time to start incorporating inclusive language into your business, you’ll need to work with your localization provider about how to proceed. The movement for gender inclusive language is rapidly evolving and varies by location, so you need input from in-country specialists to adapt properly. The discussion surrounding inclusive language is not at the same stage in every country and it’s an emotional topic that will elicit different reactions from different customers and employees. It’s important to collaborate with a localization expert who can help you navigate these sensitive waters. 
Adding gender-inclusive language to your style guide is a great first step and these guidelines can provide your company with a road map toward inclusive language.


29/03/2022

How Language Shapes Our Perception of Gender

Language can influence how we see the world in terms of gender and it is also one of the many ways a culture manifests. We know that some cultures are more conservative than others, some are more open-minded, some still have males as dominant figures, and others hold more antiquated views. Language can be a very powerful tool to change these realities and enable us to become a more inclusive society, where gender, race, age, etc. do not play a role in the treatment a person receives.

Let’s examine how language shapes our perception of gender and how this issue can be addressed. 

Why Gender-Neutral Terms Matter

For those who don’t spend much time thinking about how our language choices influence the world around us, the debate over gender-neutral language choices may not seem all that important. However, studies have shown that gendered language can have repercussions. A 2019 study found that using gender-neutral pronouns actually increases positive attitudes towards women and LGBTQ+ community. This happens by reducing the prominence of male identity, which can lead to less gender-based bias.

Language can direct or redirect our attention to certain aspects of reality. For example, someone who is a bilingual Spanish and English speaker, may find themselves less likely to use male and feminine distinctions when they speak English compared to when they speak Spanish. While it can be difficult to change an entire culture, introducing gender-neutral language options can have an impact on the people who employ or are exposed to them. For example, Japanese is another language that has gender influences. The Japanese language reinforces how men and women should speak, with women being expected to be more polite, indirect, and subtle. Many different languages have inverted gender for the same nouns or concepts, but not all languages have marked gender. English does not, which makes it easier to convert English language choices to gender neutrality. Introducing gender-neutral language choices in Japan could lead to less of those stereotypical gender reinforcements. 

Gender Prejudice in Language

Nouns across many different languages can be gendered. Whether or not a noun is considered female or male can alter how the speaker perceives that specific word and often impacts the adjectives they choose to describe that noun. Research has uncovered how people describe objects often correlates with the object’s given gender in a language. For example, in German, the word “bridge” has a feminine pronoun, so Germans are more likely to call bridges beautiful or elegant (traditionally feminine traits). In Spanish, the word “bridge” is masculine and is typically referred to as strong or sturdy. It’s easy to see how gendered language can, in a certain way, limit us or lead to certain prejudices.

Does Language Shape How We Think?

It appears that language does shape how we think. As we can see from the examples above, the gender association words have in different languages does have an impact in how we perceive reality. Once you acknowledge that, you can start making conscious decisions in word choices that are more gender neutral and inclusive. Little by little, languages can become more inclusive by means of their own speakers and effect change in the culture.

08/03/2022

A Commitment to Women Beyond International Women’s Day

The translation field, like many others, has historically been dominated by male participants. In the past, female translators weren’t always awarded the same opportunities as male translators or taken as seriously, despite the fact that they didn’t lack the talent or skills required to get the job done right. 

Even in time periods and locations where women weren’t encouraged (and often actively discouraged) to pursue formal education and careers, many women pushed forward and forged paths of their own in the translation space to become professional translators and interpreters.

We’re happy to report that today, the translation industry is now heavily dominated by female linguists. At Terra Translations, we are proud to be a part of the reason that many women are thriving in our industry. 

Terra has always been a company that values women. Since it first began, the CEO position was first held by Beatriz Cirera and later by her daughter, Marina Ilari. To date, Terra has 154 total team members, 112 of which are women. Currently, out of 17 leadership roles, 13 are held by women and many of Terra’s staff are involved with associations whose mission is to empower women.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to highlight some of our efforts to support women in the translation industry. 

How Terra Supports Women

Terra Translations is a certified women-owned business and we believe it’s our responsibility to lift other women in our industry up. As a part of this mission, Terra supports Chicas in Tecnología by providing pro bono translation services. Chicas in Tecnología is a non-profit organization in Argentina that works to reduce the gender gap in technology in that specific region by motivating and training the next generation of women leaders in technology.

Women in Localization is another nonprofit organization we love to support who has a mission of fostering a global community for the advancement of women and the localization industry. Women in Localization accomplishes this mission by providing networking, education, career advancement, and mentoring opportunities to women in the localization industry. 

Another organization we like to support is Women in Games which aims to build a fair, equal and safe environment that empowers girls and women to join and thrive in the global gaming ecosystem.

Our CEO Marina Ilari is particularly passionate about supporting these types of organizations, including Enterprising Women Magazine, which is a national and global magazine for female entrepreneurs. As of 2020, Marina joined their Advisory Board. This Advisory Board is made up of professionals giving back to the women business owners’ community and as a board member Marina helps provide leadership and inspiration to female entrepreneurs worldwide.

At Terra, we don’t wait until International Women’s Day to celebrate women in our industry and beyond, we choose to celebrate them every day and hope you will join us!

28/01/2022

Why Does the English Language Adapt to Inclusivity Easier?

An international debate has broken out surrounding how to make our language choices more inclusive. While some are pushing back against modernizing language to be more inclusive when it comes to gender — most notably the French — others are more willing to adapt. 

In May of 2021, France’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced a ban would be placed on the use of writing methods designed to make the French language more gender-neutral in schools. While not all may agree with this firm stance, there is no denying that adapting certain languages like French to be inclusive poses more of a challenge than it does in the English language. Let’s examine why the English language is easier to adapt to gender neutrality. 

How Language Structure Comes into Play

From the start, English has the upperhand when it comes to making changes towards inclusivity. Most European languages assign genders to nouns, whereas English nouns are typically genderless. This lack of gendered nouns gives English speakers a major headstart when it comes to making their language choices more inclusive. While pronouns are often assigned a gender in English (she/her/hers and he/him/his), in many cases you can swap in the gender neutral pronouns they/them/theirs. Even though the use of they/them/theirs isn’t quite grammatically correct every time one is used as a gender neutral option, these word choices can feel more natural to implement since they are already a part of English speakers’ daily vocabularies. 

Other languages that place more of an emphasis on gender, such as Spanish, don’t necessarily have gender neutral alternatives at their disposal. For example, some Spanish speakers are beginning to use the term “elle” instead of “ella” (feminine) or “él” (masculine) as a gender neutral replacement. Because this term is so new, and not exclusively accepted as an official word, there is still pushback by those who don’t want to make the switch to a more inclusive language. 

Cultural Differences

How a culture feels about language can also make the transition to gender neutral language easier. English is a more casual language where it’s usually okay to refer to people by their name. This eliminates the need to define their pronouns ahead of time. In some other languages, using someone’s name instead of their pronoun is considered rude. When language choices can have a deep impact on your social interactions and relationships, making gender neutral language choices can require more careful navigation.

Arguments for Both Sides

As can be expected, the gender neutral language movement in the English language speaking community has both supporters and detractors. Supporters tend to argue that the use of gender-specific language often implies male superiority and can reflect an unequal society.  Some supporters also express concern around the impact gendered language can have on children, as they believe the words children are exposed to can affect their perceptions of the gender-appropriateness of certain careers which can limit the career paths some women pursue when they enter the workforce. For example, using the term firefighter instead of fireman is much more inclusive. The same theory applies to policemen versus police officers. Using the gender neutral alternative makes it so women can more easily see themselves in these roles. 

On the opposing side, critics worry that these changes can lead to awkward and grating language constructions. For example, while those in support of making the English language more inclusive feel the use of the word “human” can be used instead of “man” or “they”, critics fear these replacements will make the English language less elegant and more confusing. 

How to Make Language More Inclusive

For instances where the noun is not gender neutral by default, there are new options arising for those looking to incorporate more inclusive language into conversations and written text. Alongside using they/them/theirs when looking to avoid using gendered pronouns, here are some examples of English words that are gendered and how you can work around them for the sake of inclusivity. 

  • Use “Mx” in lieu of Mr, Ms, Mrs or Miss
  • Use “partner” in lieu of husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend
  • Use “sibling” in lieu of sister or brother
  • Use “child” instead of son or daughter
23/09/2021

How Can We Be More Inclusive in Spanish?

Humans continuously evolve, but as we do, we struggle to let go of what is familiar. In recent years, a debate has emerged about if the gendered aspects of the Spanish language should evolve with us or be left alone. Currently, the Spanish culture is divided. Feminists are fighting against the plural masculine in order to make the language more inclusive not only of women, but also of non-binary people. Whether or not it’s been “officially” decided, Spanish is evolving and this can be seen and heard in the streets and in the media. 

Creating a more inclusive Spanish language would take work, but is doable. Let’s look at a few ways to make nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles more inclusive. 

Double Up

Those who support inclusive language are proposing “doubling up” on genders. An example of this would be instead of saying “the school children”, they would explicitly mention the masculine and feminine children at once by saying, “the school girls and boys”. This is not a perfect solution as it doesn’t represent the individuals who don’t consider themselves to fall under the binary representation of male and female. 

People who aren’t a fan of this solution also argue that when you double up, you’re providing an unnecessary and artificial linguistic workaround. Plus, the text can become unnecessarily wordy. Proponents of this change argue that it does give visibility to women and avoids confusion caused by ambiguity. 

Using Collective or Abstract Nouns 

The use of collective or abstract nouns that don’t show gender can also be a potential solution. A good example of making this work, can be seen with “the citizens” which in Spanish is “los ciudadanos”. Instead, you can say “la ciudadanía” which is a non-gendered collective noun and translates to “the citizenry”. You can make similar swaps with other nouns, but do have to be careful as there can be a slight change in meaning which may not provide the right contextual fit. 

The Letter “E” in Articles, Adjectives, and Nouns

Because there are only two genders in Spanish, when a group that contains both the female and male genders is addressed, the speaker will traditionally default to the masculine plural. To make language choices in these scenarios more inclusive, whenever you have an adjective, noun, or article, you can change the “O” at the end to an “E”. Let’s look at how to do this. You can swap gendered nouns like “los niños” or “las niñas” with “les niñes”. If you want to make a singular word gender-neutral, you would make the same swap for the feminine “A” or the masculin “O” at the end of the singular word.

The “Elle” Pronoun

The “E” can also be used when referring to those who are non-binary by using the word “elle” as the personal pronoun. Elle, is the Spanish equivalent of “they”. The Spanish speakers in support of these changes argue that “E” is an existing letter in the alphabet and the pronunciation is easy. On the flip side, those against this change don’t appreciate how against the norm it is and feel that Spanish already has mechanisms that can work to avoid using gendered expressions that don’t require making such a drastic change. 

More Solutions Exist

While these are a few of the more common solutions being used today, other options exist for making Spanish more inclusive. If you’re interested in learning more about them, Modii offers a non-sexist language guide in Spanish that is worth checking out.

05/08/2021

3 Major Benefits of Working with Diverse Suppliers

Diverse suppliers are businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by either an individual or a group that belongs to a traditionally underrepresented or underserved group. These groups can include minority-owned enterprises (MBEs), woman-owned enterprises (WBEs), and businesses owned by minority groups such as LGBQT individuals and veterans. Hiring diverse suppliers provides businesses with a lot of benefits that many people may not be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at what the advantages of working with diverse vendors are. 

Allows for More Innovation

The more diverse a team is, the more access to varying perspectives and backgrounds you’ll gain. When you’re looking for creativity and problem solving abilities, working with experts that stem from different cultures or who have unique outlooks can be invaluable. 

Alongside the benefits that come along with hiring a team that has varied experiences under their belts, diverse vendors have the potential to deliver a highly effective client experience. Because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller in size, they are often more innovative, agile, and responsive than their larger competitors.

Illustrates Your Business Values to Clients

If diversity and inclusion are important values to your company, when you hire diverse suppliers, you are not only putting action behind your words, you’re signaling to your clients what your true priorities are. Diversity is a sign of a healthy and inclusive culture, which can be very appealing to both prospective clients and employees alike. 

Thanks to increased access to information via the internet and social media, it’s easy for potential clients and customers to learn if you truly put your money where your mouth is. While you shouldn’t only hire diverse vendors to prove to outsiders that you practice ethically, support diversity, and champion sustainable practices, doing so does benefit your branding and reputation. 

Economic Benefits

There are financial benefits associated with hiring diverse vendors. A study from the Hackett Group found that 20% of spending directed toward diverse suppliers delivers at least 10% to 15% of annual sales. 

Once again, because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller businesses, the businesses that hire them can benefit from their size. Smaller businesses usually have less overhead than larger businesses do and can be more competitive with their pricing and more flexible with their services and product offerings. 

It’s also important to remember that diverse suppliers have influence in the communities that they represent and working with them may open up new market shares in their communities.

Insight from a Diverse Supplier

Terra Translations is proud to be a diverse supplier and to be committed to diversity and inclusion. At Terra, we believe that diversity is not the goal, but is the means to a more inclusive and just workplace that has the ability to perform better than less diverse competitors. 

According to Terra Translations’ CEO, Marina Ilari, there is very little diversity in top management in the translation industry as a whole. From the top twenty largest language service companies, there is only one female CEO. “What is more surprising is the fact that the majority of translators, interpreters, and linguists that perform the linguistic tasks within the industry are close to 70% women,” Marina explained, “In some regions of the world, such as in South America, 94% of graduates of translation degrees are women. It has always surprised me that this women-driven industry would not see more diversity at the top. It’s important to bring more diversity to leadership roles in the industry, and I would like Terra’s inclusive and diverse team to help bridge that gap.”

As a women-owned translation company that employs workers from around the world that come from a variety of backgrounds, we’ve found we can provide better client services because we’re a diverse supplier. 


05/05/2021

Hispanics, Latinos, and Latinx — Are They the Same?

We live in a very big world that is full of diverse and rich cultures, places, and people. There are many differences between our many cultures that we should celebrate, but far too often overlook. One such example of letting lines blur too easily, are the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx. All three of which tend to be used interchangeably and incorrectly. These three terms are not the same and necessarily don’t represent the same groups of people. Let’s explore what each of these terms means and the one unifying factor that links these different groups together. 

Hispanics vs. Latinos vs. Latinx

Before we look at what unites these different groups, let’s look at how they differ and where some of the confusion about their differences may stem from. In many cases these terms overlap, but they do mean different things. 

Hispanic. The term hispanic is used to refer to those that come from a Spanish-speaking background and does not reflect their geographic location. 

Latino. This term does in fact relate to location and not to language. In order to classify someone as Latino, they generally need to come from the geographic region of Latin America. The term Latino includes people from many areas in Central and South America, alongside the Caribbean. In many cases people identify as both Hispanic and Latino, as both terms apply to their backgrounds. For example, someone from Brazil is a Latino, Latina or Latinx because they are from Latin America, but their language is not Spanish, it is Portuguese. Whereas someone from Colombia is both a Latino, Latina or Latinx and also Hispanic (because they speak Spanish).

Latinx. While the term Latinx is relatively new, it is becoming an important term used in conversations about gender equality and inclusion. Spanish is a gendered language, which means words are associated with the female or male gender. A Latin American woman is a Latina and a Latin American man is a Latino. Latinx has appeared as an alternative to be inclusive of people who don’t associate with either gender. Essentially, Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina. If someone is Latino, they are also Latinx and vice versa. The primary purpose of this term is to be inclusive of people who don’t consider themselves to be female or male.

A Diverse Presence in the US

The US Census Bureau counts anyone who says they are Hispanic as Hispanic, which allows residents to choose how they identify. As cultural norms evolve surrounding what it means to be Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx in the US today, this enables those self-reporting to identify as they see fit. As of July, 2019 it was estimated that almost 61 million Hispanics lived in the U.S. accounting for 18.5% of the nation’s total population. 

What Unites Them

Ultimately, all of these terms are labels and very wide labels at that. Within each label, there is so much diversity and many countries of origin that fall under them. Sometimes, the only thing that unites these groups is a shared language — Spanish. In the US, many Hispanics from different countries are united by their shared language. Because all these Spanish speakers of different nationalities coexist in the US and interact with each other and with English speakers, the language has and continues to evolve and adapt. The Spanish language one can hear in the US is known as US Spanish.

23/02/2021

The Role of Translation in the Education of LEP Students in the US

The importance of education is something we at Terra feel strongly about. Education can open doors and provide invaluable opportunities to students. From art history to math to literature, there is no shortage of knowledge worth discovering. Everyone deserves access to a quality education, which brings us to how translation can improve the education of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students in the US.

LEP students face boundaries that students from native speaking families do not. Let’s investigate what the role of translation in the education of LEP students in the US is and how students and their families can benefit from it. 

The Role of Translation in the Education of LEP Students in the US

Every fall, families sit down with their children to pour over their orientation packets, class syllabuses, and schedules. The influx of important information doesn’t stop in the fall, it continues all year long. Which is why it is important that students and their families have access to these resources in accessible languages. 

Many families require vital education information be translated into their native language. In order to provide a fair and equitable education experience to LEP students, education translation services are of the utmost importance. By providing these resources, schools allow families to be informed about and to be actively involved in their child’s education.

Which Documents are Commonly Translated?

According to the U.S Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, schools are required to communicate information to parents with limited English proficiency in a language they can understand regarding programs, services, or activities that are called to the attention of parents. This information may appear in a variety of formats such as:

  • Enrollment and registration paperwork
  • Language assistance programs
  • Special education discussions or meetings
  • Parent teacher conferences
  • Parent’s handbooks
  • Student’s performance reports
  • Acceptance letters 
  • General communications via letters or emails
  • Testing materials
  • Brochures
  • Legal documents
  • Report cards
  • Schedules regarding the school bus or after school activities
  • Course descriptions
  • Class schedules

If schools do not properly translate documents such as those listed above, they risk harming a student’s learning or advancement opportunities.

How Students and Families Benefit

Both students and their families benefit greatly from translated materials. In the US, there are almost 62 million LEP students. Having access to education translation services can help students progress academically. These services assist families in navigating their children’s education and can aid them in understanding the academic needs and opportunities relating to their child, as well as the progress their child is making. A few example of the benefits of education translation services are:

  • Providing clarity regarding a student’s academic development
  • Enhancing educational experiences for students
  • Improving the student-teacher relationship
  • Making educational meetings more productive

Who Provides Translation Services for LEP Students and Families?

Legally, the school is the party responsible for honoring a parent’s request to receive language assistance. This can be in the form of having an interpreter present at a parent-teacher meeting or having access to the written translation of documents. It is the school’s job to ensure that these services are provided by appropriate individuals, such as a professional educational interpreter or translation agency. A professional translator who has experience translating educational materials, as well as being a native speaker of the parent’s language, is ideal.

29/10/2020

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.