I just loved the title. Why do we treat out translation service as dirty laundry or even something that we just all pillory? There are always two opposing arguments and no halfway measure. Maybe this is the way forward mixing SLT (Statistical langauge transaltions) and MAT’s (Machine Translaion services) with real people as translators and interpreters. Hum! isn’t this something that we here at EMASUK do? We mix and match on the spot translation technologies for those in need e.g. receptionists, investigators, doctors with translators supporting our books and written content when speed is not of the essence.
When starting from scratch with no knowledge of a service and no pre-conceived way of how the industry works that is when movements forward are made so it is not surprising that this company have used the growing APP market to find a different way of delivering a service and creating a 21st century business model.
Imagine you’ve developed a new iPhone game and you need it translated from English into Spanish, or Russian, or German. What do you do?
Like taking a coat to a drycleaner, you take your source code, send it to a translation agency along with a fee, wait a few days, then get your code back in whichever language you need, hopefully grammatically correct and comprehensible.
So what’s wrong with this approach? For starters, language isn’t laundry. While you can see with your eyes that a drycleaner got a spot out of your coat, without knowing another language, you’ll never know for sure that your text has been translated accurately.
What many may not know is that there is another contender out there, hoping to “break the chains” and make translation by humans simpler, faster, and more accountable. But … let’s talk about why the current model just doesn’t work.
The current state of translation
There are infinite, subtle nuances to language that must be accounted for, which is precisely why accurate machine translation is still just a pipe dream. Machines work on logic; Google Translate can give you a word-for-word translation of your text, but it can’t comprehend emotion, symbolism, or underlying meaning behind those words. It can tell you that “alcornoque” means “cork oak,” but without having a human put it in context, you’d never know someone was calling you a “blockhead!”
So why, then, is the translation industry still running on a 20th-century business model, despite the need for translated, localized content—on the web, in apps, and everywhere else—being more urgent than ever?
The fact is, translation agencies haven’t changed or adapted in decades because they haven’t had to; they’re the gatekeepers. They know the translators, and the translators know the languages, and if you need something translated you just have to play by their rules. Until that holy grail of accurate machine translation can be reached, people have no choice but to put their trust in someone else and hope for the best.
Why is app translation even important?
English-speaking app developers are focusing more and more on foreign-language markets lately for the simple reason that the English-speaking market has flatlined; the biggest, fastest growth can now be found in markets that primarily speak something other than English.
By having an app available only in English, you are shutting out about 74% of your potential users. Meanwhile, by having your app available in just the ten most-spoken languages on the internet, you could triple its visibility and reach over 80% of all internet users. In today’s competitive, world-wide marketplace, you can’t afford to shut that many people out!