With the rapid growth of social media, online platforms and e-commerce sites, it has never been as vital as it is now to ensure your message and content is shared widely. For example, the number of videos posted on a network like Facebook has exploded to the point that an estimated 100 million hours of video are consumed by internet users each day. Companies that turn to these communication channels have seen their turnover skyrocket and their international customers grow in unexpected numbers. That’s where video subtitling comes in.
What can video subtitling offer your organisation?
Everyone agrees, your company video presentation was a roaring success, yet there have been no clicks. Why could that be? Well, it’s worth bearing in mind that over 8 out 10 videos online are watched with the sound off.
And this applies across social networks and broadcasting mediums. Ads, trailers, excerpts of speeches and TV programmes are usually watched with the sound off, pushing more and more organisations to have their audiovisual content subtitled by an audiovisual translation agency.
The pros of English subtitles
With subtitles in English, you will be able to reach out to a new audience that, so far, has not been able to access your audiovisual content. For example, once subtitled in English your video will be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, that’s 11 million people in the UK alone.
This method, known as closed captioning, is part of the inclusive communication philosophy that arrived with the early 21st century and allows a larger number of people to access information.
English subtitles on your video will broaden your field of activity and boost your message’s circulation both within your business, through meetings and presentations, and externally to social media users or as part of a client-canvassing strategy. A recent study by Facebook showed that a subtitled video or short film received 10% more likes while its viewing time increased by 12% and shares by a massive 26%! Tempting, isn’t it?
Subtitling in other European languages – a door to more marketplaces
To go even further, and really connect with a huge international audience, many organisations make a habit of subtitling their video content such as their ads, marketing videos, company presentations, official communications and training videos.
Sharing communications of this type in multiple languages on their website or e-commerce platform is one of the best development strategies that internationally-minded companies can put in place. Free of language restrictions, your company video can travel wide, from Brazil to France, passing through Japan and Spain en route.
Video subtitling – bring in the professionals
However, to be able to do this, your video will have to be subtitled by a professional translation agency. It is vital to put your trust in specialist audiovisual translators who know the rights and wrongs of subtitling like the back of their hand, whether that’s for films, short videos or even documentaries and educational films. Otherwise, the proof will be in the video.
These linguists are not only natives of the relevant countries, and so understand the linguistic uses and customs perfectly, but they alone will know how to reconvey your message in line with the many rules of professional subtitling, such as character limits, spotting and managing different types of files and colour codes in closed captions.
Trust us with your video content and we would be delighted to get back to you with a prompt quote taking into account the film’s duration and your personal requirements.
Employing multilingual people or staff with a knowledge of foreign languages is crucial for companies that are working at an international level. Having a good knowledge of English, for example, is a significant advantage in the workplace as in many locations around the globe English is considered a lingua franca when working with overseas clients.
With that said, the ability to master additional languages could be just the thing that gives your business the competitive edge. This is particularly important when doing business in regions where knowledge of English is not a given. Consider hiring staff that are proficient in languages that are relevant to your sector, whether that’s Spanish, French, Chinese, or any other language.
The benefits of speaking your clients’ native language
Your client will view your dedication to having invested the time to learn their language as a long-term commitment. Furthermore, this will reward you with long-standing relationships and loyalty from your customers. It’s also worth noting that having an understanding of the language used in your new market will enable you to acquire far better insights into the local character, customs, and beliefs. This is invaluable knowledge when it comes to marketing and providing the best service to your clients.
Multilingual employees help foster strong relationships with clients
Employing multilingual people can bring great benefits to your company. These employees will enable your business to seamlessly connect with foreign customers and other local organisations. The ability to provide your services in multiple languages gives clients a strong impression of your company; it will build greater trust and appreciation for your services, resulting in strong relationships with your clients. These relationships can be translated into significant profits, meaning hiring multilingual employees is a sensible financial decision.
What if your staff isn’t multilingual?
Not all companies have the luxury of being able to employ people with linguistic skills, which can put them at a disadvantage. But never fear! By hiring a professional translation service, your company can gain many of the benefits of multilingual employees, and more besides.
Translators can be used for a wide variety of communicative tasks, from informal communications between companies to legal contracts and marketing campaigns. Contracting professional translators guarantees that any content you produce in the target language is of the highest quality.
BeTranslated’s vast network of expert translators could be just thing your company needs to facilitate its international expansion. Get in touch today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.
Are monolingual English speakers just lazy when it comes to languages?
People from the UK often get a lot of flak for only speaking one language. This could be attributed to the simple fact we have the luck of speaking what is widely considered to be a universal language. English is usually spoken wherever we go, by so many different nationalities, that we have a good reason to not have the same drive to become bilingual as speakers of other languages. Without that pressing need to motivate us, many people never learn a second language. Hence monolingual English speakers are often labelled ‘lazy’.
Learning languages at school
Most British kids are taught a second language at secondary school, although learning French at school wasn’t very successful for me. Although childhood is considered the best time to learn a language, without an outlet for direct use it’s no wonder it’s difficult to retain. School French classes didn’t get me very far on my many business trips to Paris later in life. Did I wish I’d paid more attention in school? Absolutely! Was I motivated to learn as an adult? Maybe…
Learning a second language later in life
Although those business meetings showed me the value of learning a second language, it wasn’t necessarily a priority. As previously mentioned, finding an English speaker in most situations isn’t too difficult and I’m ashamed to say that language learning was pushed to the bottom of my list of work and personal goals.
For those who are more disciplined than me, however, there are many modern methods to assist language acquisition. From language apps to private teachers, the facilities are there for the taking. And if your linguistic skills aren’t up to snuff? That’s where the professionals come in.
What are monolingual English speakers to do?
Thank goodness for professional translation companies. When it comes to the important things such as translating your business contracts, press releases, or digital content, using Google Translate or cashing in favours with bilingual buddies just won’t cut it.
Due to globalisation, there is an ever-increasing demand for overseas communication on a B2B level, and for businesses to communicate professionally when dealing directly with foreign clients. With this type of interaction becoming commonplace, the requirement for translation has increased rapidly. In lieu of their own language skills, monolingual English speakers can hire experts.
Using a professional translation service
Luckily for the monolingual entrepreneurs and business owners of today, there are well qualified and professional translation agencies available that specialise in a wide range of different fields.
Contracting these services can prevent the loss of independent clients by something as simple as having a website available in multiple languages. They can also translate business documents and contracts for foreign clients, providing new opportunities and opening up business avenues that otherwise would not exist. Put simply, hiring skilled translators requires zero linguistic knowledge from you and can lead to big profits.
Don’t dismiss the idea of learning another language
Knowing that our fellow Europeans are likely to speak English, in the business world or otherwise, should not excuse us from trying to learn other languages. As much as a translation agency can help, there’s nothing quite like being able to connect with another person directly, be it in a business or social setting. So whatever your age, it’s never too late to start learning another language!
In the meantime, BeTranslated’s experienced native translators are here to give you support in your translation needs. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.
After major advances in artificial intelligence (AI) over the last few years, a second generation of chatbots has emerged. With innovative multilingual abilities, it’s now possible to converse with multiple nationalities with just one piece of software. So is it time for your business to join the multilingual chatbot revolution?
The lowdown on chatbots
According to Chatbots Magazine,“a chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface”, and the chances are you’ll already have come across one. They’re popular with online businesses such as Starbucks and Mastercard, but many others have taken up the technology.
What does a chatbox actually do? Well, they’re mainly used for customer interaction, but also have recruitment purposes. You’ll typically “chat” with them through a web-based application or a standalone app. The computer programme simulates a conversation after it recognises key terms. While this was primitive until recently, the aforementioned AI advances mean chatbots now offer a beneficial prospect to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Intrigued? You can read this WordStream article for a detailed analysis of how they work, or read on to find out more about the latest innovations.
Multilingual chatbots have changed the game
Until recently, an online user from, for example, Brazil wouldn’t find a chatbot on a UK site capable of conversing in their native Portuguese. They’d either have to know English or communication would come to an end. But businesses now have the lucrative prospect of using a single chatbot that can understand a wide array of languages. And by this, I mean hundreds, complemented with the capacity to respond to queries in a relevant, useful, and sales-driven manner.
Seems too good to be true? Well, it’s a reality, a state of affairs that could well make the chatbot, unknown to the business world just a decade ago, indispensable. So long as your business plans to expand beyond a local market, of course. If it does, then the technology could lead you to greater things.
Parlez-moi, s’il vous plaît
In an increasingly interconnected world, multilingualism has now grown as an important business factor. And why shouldn’t your doors open for interested consumers from across the world? Language barriers and a lack of the right technology have held business back for decades, now we have the technology to overcome such boundaries. Natural language chatbots can even receive training on customer intent; it’s possible to expand an existing model to have multilingual abilities – “train” it, essentially, to learn new languages.
One example can be seen with IBM Watson. As the company explains: “The chatbot identifies the intent to return a response. Before the response is seen by the user, [the chatbot] will translate the response to the language in which the question was asked.” And it can continue to learn from there; a “forced glossary” increases the accuracy of translations. You can customise the glossary as you learn more from interactions with customers, making you adaptable to your customers’ needs.
Expanding into an international market
If this new technology has convinced you that now is the time to reach out to a wider, international audience, remember that making this big step is about much more than chatbots. When expanding overseas you’ll have to consider your market carefully. You’ll need to shift from a local to a global perspective.
But if this is all sounding ideal for your business, there’s plenty to consider. While multilingual chatbots are cost-effective compared to hiring an entire phone department, they still cost money to develop. This is if you choose to create a bespoke chatbot for your business; you can turn to ready-made chatbots. This makes the process more cost and time-effective, but you will lose out on the individuality involved in a bespoke design.
What are the bonuses involved? In summary:
- Reach a wider audience – you can connect with customers from different nationalities and effortlessly communicate with them. You can also grow your following, increase sales targets, and advance your business.
- Increase customer satisfaction – there’ll be no more confused emails between varying nationalities.
- Cost-effective – there’s no need to hire native-speaking customer service specialists. Your software will handle the job for them 24/7.
- Futureproof – Train your chatbot and adapt it to your industry’s needs. A few multilingual errors? You can update your chatbot to constantly deliver better customer service.
Ready to chat?
Introducing a multilingual chatbot across the 10 most widely spoken languages has far-reaching potential. It could help your business reach millions of new customers. You could create an impressive customer service department—all with one chatbot, but the decision rests with you.
Do you take up the technology and try to steal an advantage on your competitors? Or do you wait a few years for the development costs to come down and the technology to become ultra-streamlined? Either way, it’s a fascinating development for the online business world. It’s setting new precedents and suggesting we’re heading towards a future where your sales strategy will consider dozens of nationalities. As a prospect, it’s unprecedented.
As you contemplate expanding into international markets, and all that that entails, consider how a professional translation agency could assist you in your mission. Experienced native translators who are specialised in niche markets such as construction translation, like those working with BeTranslated, can be relied upon to provide a consistently accurate service. If you have questions or want to request a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.