10/01/2022

NEWS: Terra Translations Launches New Branding

While we’ve been working on an exciting project for over a year now, there is no time like the new year to reveal what we’ve been up to! Everyone at Terra couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the new year with a brand refresh that we think our staff and clients will love!

Join us, as we share why we underwent this change, what the process looked like, and what it means for our clients.

Reasons for the change

Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations, wanted to refresh our brand to make sure that it shows the world who we are. “I’m so excited about the brand refresh, because I think it truly represents who we are as a company with a dynamic, young, and innovative team,” Marina explained, “I think this really shows more authenticity, because it really shows who we are as a team and I hope people that interact with us will see that as well.”

Colleen Beres, Director of Business Strategy at Terra, noted that a branding change is a key part of Terra’s evolution, “Terra Translations has been growing rapidly over the last few years,” Colleen said, “We are not the same company we were 10 years ago or even three years ago. So it was time for us to align who we are internally to what the world sees.” Colleen also expressed that this brand refresh is an opportunity for us to share our excitement and show the world that we are an innovative, fun, and collaborative place to be.

Building the new brand

Tracy from Savage Solutions, the strategic marketing agency that oversaw our rebrand, was there from start to finish to make sure our voice, brand architecture, and messaging better aligned with our updated brand. This rebrand was an extremely collaborative process between the Terra and Savage Solutions teams. “For me, as an art director, being part of meetings with Terra and then getting all the feedback from interviews, was essential because we take all of that into account to make sure that your messaging, your voice, and your tone really aligns with the visuals,” Tracy shared.

Tracy’s goal was to highlight our unique company culture, “You’re a large company, but you’re such a close knit like family vibe, and I wanted to make sure that that came out in the refresh,” Tracy said. 

Matt from Savage Solutions explained that the process to build a brand refresh starts off with a lot of discovery calls and research, “That’s where we get the true personality, the true feelings, the values, what the team believes in… that really flows into the messaging, into the voice, and into the core values, and mission statement, which ultimately, once we know what we sound like, what we believe in, the images, and the visuals just match that,” Matt explained, “So that whole process of discovery to final logo, final brand is really collaborative.”

While we’re thrilled with the rebrand as a whole, Marina is particularly happy with the logo that Savage Solutions developed, “The A and R are together almost like they’re holding hands and to me that speaks to partnerships,” Marina said, “It speaks to friendship, and that we’re in this together. And I really think that represents who we are at Terra when we’re working with you. We are holding hands together.”

Mariana Horrisberger, Business Development Manager at Terra, is particularly impressed with our new color palette and the custom doodles that Savage Solutions created for us. “I’m most excited about our new colors and our new doodles,” Mariana said, “I think that they’re going to let us be more creative and more expressive with our client-facing documents and even with the internal documents. I feel it’s just more authentic to who we are and I think it’s going to let us express ourselves more.” 

Mariana continued, “Our current clients can still expect the same level of quality and commitment to our work and to the level of dedication that we currently employ in every single project, but I also feel like our potential clients will see who we truly are and they will be able to see how we’re not just your everyday translation company, we are more human. We have our personalities and we let them show and we want our clients and our potential clients to see that too.”

Our partner

We collaborated with Savage Solutions on this rebrand who we met through an organization we’re both members ofScale Up Milwaukee. Savage Solutions is a creative firm located in the Third Ward, Milwaukee, Wisconsin focusing on mostly branding, whether it’s establishing or reestablishing brands. They spend most of their time repositioning brands out in the wild, whether that’s online or in retail. 

When it comes to the Terra reband, Cory, Founder of Savage Solutions, explained that, “There was a modernization that had to happen from your visual aspect that you were already living and doing and breathing.” Cory’s goal was to push Terra forward, “The maturity of professionalism that the brand represented was one of the things that we wanted to make sure that we portrayed, but still having a little aspect of fun that goes along with it.” Upon connecting with Terra, Cory was surprised to see how much fun our team has as a virtual organization even though we all work remotely.  

“Because as an organization that is so virtually based, you guys still seem to find a way to have fun.” “We landed on a page where you guys are doing videos that just blew us away on the humor. It’s something that people might not think is humaneness and the personality that your brand had wasn’t being portrayed in the way that it was represented visually. So we wanted to bring out a little bit of that personality and a little bit of fun.”

What does it mean for our clients?

During our rebrand we refreshed our brand positioning statement to make it clear just how important the client experience is to us. 

“I think Terra and our clients are going to benefit from the brand refresh, because it truly feels authentic to us,” Mariana said, “I want our clients to look at the new website and go, this is totally you guys…So I’m really excited about getting feedback from our clients and a lot of teammates as well.”

25/08/2021

The Mission Behind Women in Translation Month

August is Women in Translation Month, and as a women-owned business that provides translation services, this initiative is very close to our hearts. Not familiar with what Women in Translation Month is and what it entails? We’re breaking down why this month exists, why it matters, and how you can participate this August and beyond. 

Behind the Initiative 

Women in Translation Month is a month-long celebration and movement that occurs every August and was founded by blogger Meytal Radzinski in 2014. This initiative aims to highlight how few translated literary works in the United States are written by women. Another purpose of dedicating a month to women in translation, is to track women writers’ representation in English-language magazines, newspapers, and journals.

In short, the goal of Women in Translation Month is to encourage and challenge readers to seek out translated texts that are written by women, with the hopes that this will increase the reach of female writers. According to Radzinski, female authors only write about a third of books that are newly translated into English. More specifically, the University of Rochester’s Three Percent blog found that in 2016, 33.8% of books translated into English were written by women, compared with 63.8% by men.

Where the Challenges Lie

Radzinski believes that the lack of translated books by female writers stems from a few different issues. She identified translation bias, a lack of reviews and publicity for books written by women, and cultural gender bias as potential sources of this problem. At the end of the day, no single party is to blame, but she believes that publishers play a large role in this problem. Female writers are not getting the attention or awards they deserve because men are dominating the literary space. This issue is compounded by the fact that books written by women are not being translated into English and made available to that valuable market.

How You Can Help

One of the best ways that the average consumer can help alleviate this gender issue, is by reading books written by women in their language or translated into other languages. Doing so is a great way to get inspiration, support female writers, and learn from them. After you read a book written or translated by a woman author or translator, don’t forget to share your latest find on social media with the hashtag, #readwomen. Reading texts written and translated by women is a great start, but encouraging your social network to do the same is a great next step. 

It’s important to remember that making these efforts this August is a fantastic way to make a difference, but keeping up with the mission all year round will make the biggest impact.


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19/08/2021

Terra is Now Certified as a Great Place to Work in Argentina

Day after day, everyone at Terra works together to make our company an amazing place to work. Which is why we are so thrilled to announce we’ve been certified as a Great Place to Work (GPTW). Terra Translations is the first translation company in Argentina to earn this certification and is now ranked between the best places to work in Argentina among organizations of the same size. We are so proud of all of the work our team has done to earn this certification.

What is Great Place to Work? 

GPTW is an organization whose goal is to build a better world by helping other organizations become a great place to work. In order to get certified by GPTW, you begin by surveying your employees. Over the course of a two-week period, you’ll complete their Culture Brief™ and participate in their Trust Index, which is a research-backed employee experience survey. Once you’ve completed both the Trust Index and the Culture Brief, you have to prove your organization meets GPTW’s criteria for getting certified.

How Terra Translations Got Certified

We couldn’t be prouder to be the first Argentinian translation company to become certified. Natalia Quintás, our Director of Human Resources, was the one who worked towards getting Terra certified. She had previously worked with GPTW in multinational companies and had experienced the great impact that the model has to improve daily work life and the team relationships. She adapted some of what she learned internally at Terra back in 2018, by measuring our team member’s satisfaction with an internal survey. Taking the insights gained from that survey, we implemented successful action plans. In 2020 she realized that it was time to begin to work with GPTW as partners in this process.

“I want to thank each member of our team for participating so honestly in this initiative and for being committed to building a Great Place to Work together,” Natalia said, “This experience can only be created by a team that really wants to work in a healthy environment.”

A Look at the Numbers

One benefit of becoming GPTW certified is gaining insight into how other organizations performed during the survey. As a female-founded company, we’re so proud that 99% of our team members think that Terra is a workplace where people are treated fairly regardless of their gender. Organizations like ours (up to 250 staff members) had 78% of employees reporting they are offered training or development to further themselves professionally, while at Terra this thought is shared by 92% of the people. 97% of our team members also reported that when they look at what our team accomplishes, they feel a sense of pride. 

Teamwork is a key part of why Terra is such a great place to work, which is why we are so proud that 100% feel that when it’s time to close a deal with a client, it becomes a priority for everyone. This truly speaks to our commitment to delivering the best service and giving our best on every single occasion.

Here’s a look at some of our other top rankings!

A Commitment to the Terra Family

We are happy to report that this is not the first time Terra’s employee-centric culture has been recognized. In September of 2020, Terra received the Focus on the Future Award because of our commitment to culture. 

Terra has a great culture with remarkable values such as, proactivity, innovation, diversity, team spirit authenticity and trust and this certification gives us the opportunity to recognize it internally and externally and go deeper in our commitment to create a great place to work to each person that gets in touch with Terra and its team,” Natalia said. 

At Terra, people really matter. Our top priority is always the person and the experience that we have in our daily work. Terra is dynamic, flexible and understanding with each situation we have to go through and we are continuously adapting to accompany our team in their personal and professional journeys.

12/08/2021

How to Implement Multilingual Customer Support Without Hiring a Team

While many businesses recognize the benefits and the potential revenue derived from localizing their website, products, and online tools to reach new markets, most struggle to envision how to execute customer support across multiple languages. Going global is an investment, but hiring the native speakers of all the different languages required to have a multilingual customer support team can be overwhelming and expensive. 

If having a multilingual customer support team is out of reach, there are other ways businesses can give their customers the support they need without having to hire a whole team. Before diving into how to implement multilingual customer support, it’s important to remember that “multilingual” doesn’t necessarily mean covering 15 different languages. Businesses can start small by prioritizing the markets they want to target and can add languages as they become more comfortable with the process. 

1. Utilize Chatbots

If you have chatbots on your website that can answer customer questions, it can be helpful to localize these chatbots to your key markets. Chatbots can provide support 24/7 and are less expensive to implement than hiring live customer support. Localization to your target markets is important, as direct translations may not be enough to get the job done and can cause you to run into cultural faux pas or akward translations. These chatbots can customize your support offerings by collecting data about the issue the customer is having and assigning it to the right team member. This can help stretch your customer support resources farther.

2. Translate Your Knowledge Base

Many websites have helpful Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages that their customers can turn to when they have a quick question. If you can get ahead of the most commonly asked questions by answering them on your FAQ page you can save a lot of time and money on live support services. Translating the FAQ page to suit your most popular markets is a great way to offer support across different languages. This is one of the least expensive options for offering multilingual customer support. You can work with a translation team who has native speakers in the language needed on their team to perfect this page.

3. Provide Support Over Email

Phone support can be expensive and customers can get frustrated with long wait times, so it’s a good idea to consider offering email support in different languages where customers can ask questions or send requests. There are integrations that allow these emails to get machine translated so that the support team can understand what it is that the customer needs. They can then write a response and send it to an external translation team that only translates that personalized response. As these are usually short texts, the team can get the translations back very quickly and send it to the customer. By providing translated responses, communication will be improved and the customer will feel more confident that your brand can meet their needs. 

Implementing a multilingual customer support strategy can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to remember you can start small by tackling your top markets first. As your business and resources grow, you can always expand your multilingual customer support options!


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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. 


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19/05/2021

How to Prepare Your Localization for Success

Navigating the localization waters for the first time can be scary. You may be launching your product or expanding your services to markets that are unknown to you. And while it can be quite challenging, the benefits and the growth that it can lead to are worth it. Having a roadmap before you embark on this endeavor will definitely give you a peace of mind. Here, we lay out some steps that will guide your localization project and ensure a smooth process.

1. Analyze the Project 

Before actually starting a localization project, it’s important that you first identify what steps will be necessary according to the specifics of your project. Translation companies can help you accomplish this and establish the right workflow for the project. It’s also advisable to analyze the target market to ensure that the translation and localization efforts would make sense. You should also study whether internationalization services are required or not. To come up with the right strategy all of these factors should be taken into consideration.

2. Select the Right Team

Everyone on your localization team will play a key role in the success of the project. The team selected should have expertise on your subject matter field and should be well versed in the language and cultural idiosyncrasies of the target market. 

You should strive to maintain a long term relationship with them. Your team will be your most valuable asset as time passes, because they will learn how to handle localization projects in line with your preferences. Ideally, your localization team should consist of a project manager, translator, editor, and quality assurance manager. 

3. Create a Style Guide 

Consistency is key! You need to specify your desired tone, style, preferred units of measurement, and other key language details so that linguists can study those preferences beforehand. That way, when they begin working they will know exactly how to translate those materials from the get go. This will help avoid spending time going back and correcting text that is not aligned with your preferences.

Creating a translation style guide can help improve the quality and speed of a translator’s work and will encourage consistency.

4. Create a Glossary and maintain terminology 

Alongside a style guide, creating a glossary (also known as a termbase) is a great way to ensure consistency and can benefit both parties. With a termbase, linguists can work faster knowing that the terminology included is already approved. A termbase is a database where terminology is managed and published and it contains words and expressions that have specialized meaning. The terms included — that may be prominent in any customer-facing materials — can be technical, scientific, market-specific, or political. 

You can ask the linguists to build the termbase with the important terminology or you can select the terms and work with them to find the most accurate equivalents in the target language.

5. Use technology to your advantage 

When it comes to localization, technology is on your side. Both CAT tools and quality assurance tools can make a localization project more streamlined, more accurate, and more effective. Select a CAT tool so that your team can make the best use of them while translating. CAT tools segment the text that requires translation and then present the segments in a way that is easier and faster to translate. Using a CAT tool has many benefits, as they can help increase productivity, catch mistakes, achieve consistency, and eliminate repetitive translations. 

For an even higher level of quality control, you can utilize a quality assurance tool, such as Xbench and Verifika, that instantly performs quality checks of bilingual files or translation memories. Many quality assurance tools can check for the accuracy and consistency of the following elements: spelling, grammar, number or tag mismatches, missing translations, formatting, repeated words, double spaces or punctuation marks, untranslatable terms, and inconsistencies throughout the text.

6. Maintain a Translation Memory

Once you’ve picked your CAT tool, it’s time to start building and maintaining a translation memory that stores all the translated material. A translation memory is a database that can store text that was previously translated and can help support the localization process by improving the quality and consistency of a translation project and making the work faster to complete. 

7. Define and Measure Quality

It’s important to identify what quality means to you, so you can set clear expectations that the localization team can strive to meet. Understandably, accuracy will be an important factor, but accuracy doesn’t guarantee quality. The final text must reflect the meaning of the source text accurately, have the same intended effect, and should accomplish all project parameters. When it comes to localization, accounting for cultural differences is important as well. All clients will have different ideas of what quality means to them, so it’s important that you lay out your expectations before beginning a localization project so your translation team knows what standards to work towards. For example, a commercial project that is customer facing will likely have much greater quality needs than internal documents will. 

8. Handle Queries and Avoid Miscommunication

One of the best ways to ensure that throughout the whole process you have open lines of communication that lead to the best results is to communicate effectively with your team. Query sheets can be a great tool to achieve this. A query sheet acts as a centralized location where those working on complex translation projects can organize any questions and comments from all parties involved in the project. Doing this can not only help ensure accuracy and efficiency, but it can help keep the client and the translation team on the same page.


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28/04/2021

Microlearning 101: What It Is and What the Benefits Are

With countless schools and offices having to operate remotely in 2020, and people spending more time at home than ever before, e-learning can provide invaluable education opportunities. Whether a college student needs to finish their course requirements, a retiree wants to pass the time learning a new skill, or a business wants to train their employees, e-learning can come in handy. Even once social distancing comes to an end, our very digital world can greatly benefit from e-learning tools. To make the most out of these tools, there are techniques like gamification and microlearning that course creators can take advantage of. Microlearning for employee training in particular has some benefits worth examining. 

What is Microlearning?

Before looking at the benefits of utilizing microlearning in training, it’s important to understand what microlearning is. Microlearning is a short format for content that is intended to drive a specific learning outcome. Most often, microlearning is seen in e-learning platforms hosted on smartphones, computers, and tablets. One of the goals of microlearning is to make the content learner-centric, easily accessible, and quick to consume. 

Essentially, this is an educational approach that focuses on providing small learning units that only include the necessary amount of information required to help the user meet a certain learning goal. 

What are the Benefits of Microlearning?

Before adapting microlearning techniques for e-learning content creation, you may want to know what the benefits are. The three main benefits are better engagement, retention, and saving time and money. 

Regarding engagement benefits, the numbers don’t lie. From the get-go, employees are more likely to be engaged in microlearning. According to Software Advice survey, 58% of employees stated they would be more likely to utilize online learning tools provided by their company if the content was broken up into multiple smaller lessons. 

When it comes to engaging with the content, shorter e-learning modules can help take advantage of an employee’s focus limitations. The University of California Irvine found that on average employees work for just 11 minutes before they typically become distracted by outside stimuli such as emails or phone calls. During those 11 minutes, employees tend to work on very short and quick tasks that last about three minutes. Microlearning can provide busy employees with the option of making e-learning work for their hectic schedules and environment. Not only can microlearning allow the user to engage fully in a lesson for a short period of time, but because the lessons are easier to complete, they can retain the content better. 

Saving time and money on e-learning content is a nice perk. According to the author of 3-Minute E-Learning, learning architect Ray Jimenez, PhD, microlearning can actually decrease development costs for training courses by 50% and can increase the speed of developing them by 300%. This is because this digital form of digestible content is much easier to reuse and refresh than more traditional in-person training. Another benefit of having shorter bits of content is that it can make it faster, easier, and more cost effective to localize your training to your employees’ native languages. Being able to adapt e-learning content to different languages and cultures through localization can create a better and more effective e-learning experience.


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21/04/2021

Are Translation Project Managers the Same as Localization Project Managers?

The functions Translation and Localization Project Managers (TPMs and LPMs) perform daily are the foundation of any Language Service Provider (LSP) workflow. They oversee the entire project cycle by executing a set of organized and planned actions. This may include analyzing requirements, preparing files, putting teams together and allocating resources, time, and budget. 

But in job descriptions, academic work, articles or media posts, these two job titles—TPM and LPM—are sometimes used interchangeably. Since “localization” and “translation” don’t exactly refer to the same thing, we couldn’t help but wonder: are TPMs the same as LPMs? Is it possible to find any nuance of meaning between them? Below we’ll outline some potential answers to these questions.

L10N and T9N

Defining the differences between localization (L10N) and translation (T9N) can be a helpful place to start. Basically, in the industry “translation” refers to the process of changing text from one language into another to achieve an equivalent meaning. Localization, on the other hand, implies making content, products or services linguistically and culturally accurate to a certain region.

Bearing this distinction in mind, it would be safe to assume that the difference between TPMs or LPMs relies on the kind of services LSPs offer. If an LSP specializes in localization, such as video game localization or transcreation for marketing services, their PMs manage localization workflows, so technically they are LPMs. Now, let’s look at  LSPs which offer mostly translation services for specific domain subjects, like medical, legal or technical. In that case, their PMs are most likely TPMs.

Products vs. Documents

Translation and localization are different services that work towards different goals, so they require different kinds of processes. In localization, PMs manage projects that sometimes involve adaptation or transcreation of globalized products. For this reason, they sometimes work alongside developers, designers or UX writers to localize websites, mobile apps, ad campaigns, etc. In contrast, TPMs are more commonly involved in projects that require the translation of diverse types of documents.

This distinction between the translation of documents and localization of content/products results in different workflows for TPMs and LPMs to manage. For example, it’s common for a large and complex localization project to involve multiple steps and services (e.g., file preparation, DTP, implementation). Sometimes, translation, editing or proofreading, or any other service, are part of a wider localization project. On the other side, TPMs tend to tackle projects with a narrower scope, mostly involving the translation of documents, and all the services related to this task.

Common Factors

Given that “localization” and “translation” don’t exactly mean the same, we can conclude that TPMs and LPMs have different roles and functions. Yet, both terms—TPM and LPM—are sometimes used without making any explicit distinction. Furthermore, in some cases, even the contrast between localization and translation is ambiguous, which supports the ambivalent use of the terms.

The overlapping of TPMs and LPMs also comes from the fact that, regardless of the nuances, these roles have a lot in common. Their responsibilities and skills are very much alike. An expertise in technology solutions for localization, an analytical approach, and organizational and communication skills are mandatory for both TPMs and LPMs.


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31/03/2021

What is International SEO and Why is it Important?

SEO. Three little letters, a whole lot of potential. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is a super valuable tool for anyone who wants their website to be discovered by potential readers or customers. Many businesses have their websites and content SEO optimized, but when it comes to localizing a website’s content into different languages, it’s really easy to forget about carrying SEO optimization over into the newly translated version. A simple translation of the website is not enough, international SEO is necessary.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

There are many benefits of using SEO techniques, primarily working towards helping a website get as many eyes on it as possible. Some of these benefits include using SEO to:

  • Help internet users find the answers and solutions they are looking for
  • Increase website visibility and traffic, as well as brand discovery
  • Provide growth opportunities for businesses
  • Grow traffic and sales through targeted searches

Why Machine Translation Can’t Do the Job

Translating a website into a new language can give businesses the opportunity to vastly grow their audiences and brand reach. However, their efforts have to go past a straightforward translation and must take the proper keywords for each specific market into account. Even if the internet users are searching for the same thing, they may not search for it in the same way. 

While it may be tempting to use machine translation because it is time and cost-efficient, the truth is, it can not assist with international SEO needs in the same way a human translator can. Having a list of translated keywords is not always enough to gain the same SEO traction. To properly take advantage of international SEO, there has to be research into the target market and a high level of cultural insight in order to be truly effective. The ideal keywords can change greatly when working with a new language and location. In effect, translating SEO keywords is more similar in nature to transcreation, as you can’t directly translate keywords and instead need to come up with new keywords that suit the needs and habits of the target audience. 

On top of the nuanced SEO requirements that Machine Translation can’t handle, Google recently updated their Quality Guidelines to state that using automatically generated text that is translated by an automatic tool is no longer allowed unless it undergoes a human review before publication — a process known as post editing.

How a Linguist Can Help

A linguist can step in where Machine Translation cannot thanks to having a diverse skill set and a deeper understanding of cultural context and the target audience, as well as SEO and marketing best practices. A linguist with a strong grasp on all of these elements can research which search engines are most popular in a target market, they can complete a detailed keyword analysis, and they can leverage SERP analysis and the ranking factors search engines utilize. 

Alongside understanding the needs of international SEO, linguists specialized in this field also have web writing skills and can create content that is engaging for the audience and utilizes SEO keywords to their advantage.


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24/03/2021

The Translation of Humor and Its Challenges

Whether you want to admit it or not, most of us love a good pun. Puns can be hilarious. In fact, we even frequently use the word “punny” to describe puns that make us chuckle. While this made up word may be hilarious to fluent English speakers, it would leave countless people around the globe scratching their heads, even if it was translated into their native tongue. This not-so-funny issue brings us to the translation of humor and its challenges. 

Why the Translation of Humor Is So Difficult

Humor touches many areas of our lives. From entertainment to advertisements to business relationships. Because movies, products, video games, and educational tools can have a global reach, the translation of humor is often necessary. 

Humor presents a challenge as it is often tied to very niche cultural and linguistic contexts. Some humor is universal, but some is very culturally dependent. This can leave translators with the task of translating humor that is impossible to translate without risking reducing the intended meaning of a joke. 

The Top Challenges

Word play is one of the main challenges that translators face, as many jokes rely on it, yet word play can be lost upon translation into a different language. As mentioned earlier, puns present a particular challenge. Puns use words that sound or are spelt similar, but may have different meanings to humorous effect. For example, the below pun is funny to native English speakers, but would be lost in translation as the word “knights” is being replaced for the word “nights”. In another language, these two words may not have a similar enough spelling or sound to make this joke work. 

Q: Why was King Arthur’s army too tired to fight?

A: It had too many sleepless knights.

There are four types of puns that can cause difficulties in the translation of humor. 

  • Homonymy: identical sounds and spelling
  • Homophony: identical sounds and different spellings
  • Homography: different sounds and identical spelling
  • Paronymy: slightly different spelling and sound


Puns are not the only roadblocks translators may encounter. Allusion, verbal irony,  subtle uses of humor, and cultural references can all fall flat after being translated. Cultural references can cause particular difficulty as pop culture figures, books, movies, or everyday phenomenons may be misunderstood by a foreign audience, making a direct translation not the most advantageous path forward. 

How Translators Overcome These Challenges

For translators tasked with translating humorous text, there are steps they can take to get the job done well and keep the laughs coming. When it comes to jokes that have a cultural divide, a translator may invent jokes that cater to the new target-culture. This can be more effective than simply translating the original joke. Similarly in cases of word play humor, a translator may have to rewrite the wordplay in a way that works in the target language. To successfully translate a joke, it is more important to capture the essence of the original joke than to directly translate it. 

The translation of humor is not a quick and simple task. It can require multiple drafts and countless edits to nail the intended tone and effect of the original jokes. However, it is the role of the translator to bridge differences between cultures and languages. With the proper skill set and work ethic, translators can get their job done and elicit a laugh or two in the process.


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