After all, a specific language tends to point towards a particular group of people. Interacting with a new language requires considering the following, just to name a few:

Whether you intend to or not, you're usually also interacting with the culture that mostly speaks that language. Vice versa, you cannot gain anything more than a superficial understanding of a new culture without interacting with its language.

Sooner or later, exploring a new language will lead you to the behaviours and customs of a specific culture. So, whether you're teaching or learning a language, understanding the relationship between language and culture is important. 

Start communicating effectively across various languages and mediums today. Find out more here!

To understand the relationship, let’s consider which came first, language or culture?

While exploring the interesting relationship between culture and language, it's worth asking which one came first. Although this might seem like a classic chicken-and-egg paradox, in reality, we actually have a concrete answer to the question: language almost definitely came first.

Now, it's important to note that we only have access to the world's oldest written languages - but it's clear that the history of language far predates the written word. So, we have no historical proof of how people first communicated or what the actual oldest languages in the world looked like. 

Although we lack such fundamental information, the nature of our current languages, coupled with studies from today's primitive languages of indigenous tribes, shows us one thing: language is innate.

In other words, every living being communicates with members of the same species in some way or another. The only thing that differs between animals and us is the communication's level of complexity. 

Luckily, human brains have evolved to the point where our communication can be considered a learnable language. Not just the spoken language but also body language.

With this evolution we have been able to further develop human life in the following examples:

Still, that shows us one important fact: language developed first, and it paved the way for the further development of complex human societies. Without a language that would be used to communicate the elements of a common culture, that culture would have no way of taking root. As our languages became more complex, we were able to use them to convey increasingly complex ideas - allowing for the development of arts and sciences. 

What is the difference between the two?

Both language and culture are societal norms - however, their biggest difference lies in the collectivistic nature of culture and the individualist nature of language.

Generally, most children who develop in a typical fashion acquire at least one language, or potentially multiple ones, during childhood. They do so by observing and listening to the way adults around them talk. 

However, no two people speak in a completely identical way, even in a single household. All of us develop separate and individual speech habits, mannerisms, and patterns. Then, there are regional dialects and language groups that span different cultures, peoples, and states.

Conversely, culture is, by its definition, a more collectivist notion - it describes the basic thought and behaviour patterns of a specific group of people. And language can be one of those patterns, along with traditions, arts, cuisine, religion, etc. 

Of course, people who share an identical cultural background can have wildly different views, thoughts, and behaviours - but culture is still a collective thing, while language becomes more individual from birth. 

Can you learn a foreign language without learning the culture?

To explore the relationship between language and culture, we must also ask ourselves first if this relationship is established? Can one exist without the other? Many people who want to learn a foreign language ask themselves this very question. In other words, is it possible to become proficient in a foreign language without immersing yourself in its culture as well? 

Well, no. Or rather, yes, but only up to a point. If you really want to become effective at speaking a brand new language, you’ll have to learn about the people who speak it as a native language.

How do you start the process of understanding? 

Below are some handy tips you can incorporate into your business when communicating in a foreign environment. 

1) Understand the basics of the language

The first tip sounds a bit obvious You should start by understanding the basics of the language you intend to learn. This means not only being able to read and write, but also speaking fluently. It's important to note that many countries require certain levels of proficiency before they grant visas. It’s one thing to learn some phrases, expand your vocabulary, or even become intricately familiar with the grammar of another language. However, if you want to reach a near-native level of language proficiency, that goal is practically impossible to achieve without interacting with the culture that’s tied to that language.

 2) Learn the culture

Once you've mastered the basics, you'll need to learn about the culture of the country you plan to visit. This includes things like what foods are popular, what holidays are celebrated, what clothes are worn, and how people generally behave. While some aspects of culture are universal (for instance, food), others vary significantly depending on where you go.

In practice, people who are serious about learning a new language know that it’s impossible to do without completely immersing themselves in another culture. If you wanted to learn German or Japanese, for example, you’d have to spend a lot of time watching their TV shows, listening to their music, or just following their news on a daily basis. All of this is necessary to “get a feel” for the language - something you can’t do solely through dictionaries, grammar books, and the odd Duolingo lesson. 

3) Use your knowledge

Once you have a good idea of both the language and the culture, you can begin using your knowledge to communicate effectively. You might notice that certain words have similar meanings in both English and Spanish, which makes translation easier. Or maybe you noticed that the word "hello" is used differently in each language, which allows for a better conversation flow.

Conveying your thoughts clearly in another language entails knowing the intricacies of addressing a native-speaker audience. You may be in the position to perfectly pronounce a sentence "on paper" while also insulting native speakers through your tone or another form of cultural disrespect. 

4) Be flexible

Finally, remember that communication isn't always perfect. Even native speakers sometimes struggle to express themselves properly, and foreigners often find their attempts to communicate frustrating. If you encounter any difficulties or misunderstandings, don't take them personally; instead, try to see the situation from the other person's perspective. After all, they may just be trying to do their best.

Relationship Between Language and Culture

As you can see, the relationship between language and culture is a pretty advanced topic and a source of hot debate among linguists around the world. However, there's one conclusion that's safe to draw -  language and culture are irrevocably intertwined. 

After all, each of us has a language and a culture that are usually closely connected. Our language and cultural background inform how we interact with other people and how we perceive the world around us. If you decide to embark on the exciting journey of learning a new language, you will quickly see that its culture represents an integral part of that path.

To cut a long story short, language and culture are inseparable.

Legal documents are a fact of life. We all use them, and we all need them while dealing with crucial financial and evidentiary matters. 

However, in today’s increasingly globalised world, chances are that you’ll deal with documents in a foreign language at some point, or you’ll need your own documents translated to another language. 

At that point, resorting to the services of a professional legal document translator is the best way to go. While there are plenty of apps and websites like Google Translate that can help with automatic translation of any given word - in legal matters, being correct and extremely accurate is essential.

LEXIGO can provide you with top-rated translators for vital legal matters. Get started here!

Why Do You Need Legal Document Translation?

1. It may be mandatory

The most important reason is the fact that you may not have a say in the matter. Plenty of banks, courts, and other important institutions have rules that compel you to get a legal document from another country notarised and translated by certified professionals. Don’t worry, professional legal translation providers like LEXIGO can handle the entire process.

2. Avoid nasty surprises

Remember, legal documents are there to protect your interests. If you let a professional translate them, you’ll be safe knowing that no language-related troubles will crop up in the future. 

This is especially important when you’re dealing with high-value transactions in different countries. In such situations, amateur translations can easily result in mistranslations, so rely on professionals, rather than supposedly bilingual buddies!

3. The stakes are high

When you need to understand the gist of an email or a single sentence, Google Translate and similar advanced technology platforms can be of help. These apps can also help when you’re in a new country and you want to order food or say a couple of simple sentences in the local language. 

However, when it comes to financial statements, mortgage agreements, and other important legal documents, there’s really no room for error. A single mistranslated word can create a serious mess, so you want these documents translated by professionals. Some of these documents include:


4. Legal documents are tough to understand

If you’re not a licensed legal practitioner, legal documents are often hard to decipher and understand, even in your native language! Now imagine the additional difficulty of dealing with a document in a completely different language. In every legal system across the world, there are tons of specialised terms and arcane legal language that even highly-educated people from other professions just don’t understand.

When you need one of those documents translated properly, you’ll need the help of a professional.

5. Credibility

On top of being incorrect, badly translated legal documents can also result in tensions with local bureaucracies because they simply seem less credible than a professionally-translated one. Whether you’re translating an employment contract, a loan agreement, or any other type of official document, you need it to be legitimate. 

How Can You Maintain High-Quality Translations?

Once you hire a professional translator, there are a couple of things you can do on your end to ensure you get the best possible translation.

1. Make sure the source material is good

No quality translation can happen without a well-made source text. If possible, have your original legal document checked for any grammar or spelling mistakes and legal errors. This will result in a quicker and more efficient translation. Also, if you need to use the legal document in another country, check to see if its format is suitable.

2. Give good and bad examples

If you’ve had other legal translations done in the past, sharing experiences with your new professional translators from LEXIGO is always a great idea. Show them examples of what you liked and what hasn’t worked for you in the past.

3. Help translators with an accurate glossary

Make sure your translators have an adequate glossary of legal terms for professionally translating your documents. They will also need content about the purpose of the document, and as much background information on the document’s format as you can give them.

This will ensure your translators can provide you with the most accurate translations for all the various legal terms in your document.

4. Give reasonable deadlines

Depending on what kind of translation services you need, the actual speed of the process may vary. Even with advanced CAT tools that most professional translators use, they will still need to go through your document several times, in both languages. That’s the only way to ensure consistency between languages. 

While a one-page document should hardly take weeks, make sure you give translators a reasonable amount of time; at least if you want a great level of quality.

5. Collaborate with translators

The best translations are achieved when clients communicate with their translators regularly. If your translators have additional questions or doubts regarding style or terminology, take a couple of minutes to answer them. These kinds of details are what separate good results from truly great results. 

The internet has made it possible for people worldwide to communicate through the simple touch of a button. You no longer have to travel several miles across the world to purchase a particular product or speak to friends - you can do it all from the comfort of your couch. 

Isn’t that amazing?

However, while progress has been major when it comes to global connectedness - the same can’t be said for the language barrier. As the world largely operates as an online community these days, communicating solely in English as a business owner isn’t going to cut it.

It comes as no surprise that at least 76% of consumers worldwide prefer to purchase products with information written in their native language. This necessitates translation as your ticket to engaging international audiences.

It’s important to note though, that translation will only positively benefit your business if the translation itself communicates authentically to intended audiences. So, how can you properly leverage translation to grow your business? 

Here are five essential marketing tips for Growing Your Small Business with translation in 2022:

1. Do Your Homework

The first step to growing your business is to plan for all your translation projects. You need to determine if you can do the translation yourself or have a translation company do it for you. However, each process comes with its pros and cons. But with the proper research, you can find a system that works best for you.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

Start by researching the answers to the questions above. Remember, every business is unique. And once you have the answers, you can then prioritise your translation strategy.

 2. Hire a Reputable Translator

It’s no secret that translating is a challenging task. As a small business, doing it yourself might prove to be a challenge. Rather than burden yourself with all translation responsibilities, you can hire a reputable translator or a translation service provider

So, how do you do that?

With the right translation service, you can significantly reduce your workload and focus on what matters - the growth of your business.

3. Have a Reasonable Time Frame

Quality takes time. This also applies to translation. Unfortunately, most businesses often make the mistake of rushing through translation work which always leads to a rushed and confusing output. When your target consumer gets confused about what you offer, there is always a high likelihood that they won’t return to your page.

Having a reasonable time frame ensures that no rushed output happens. It also helps guarantee that you can afford to pay for the translation services you receive. If you aren’t sure how long a particular translation project will last, you can always have a translation service estimate a time frame for you. Also, take time to schedule a review process. This guarantees that you look over the output and identify areas that may require revisions.

4. Have no Errors

Translating is more than simply pasting your content into Google translate and pressing the translate button. You need professional input if you want quality results. Otherwise, you may end up leaving a negative impression on your target audience by trying to look for ways to save money. A poor translation can sometimes be offensive, and quite often than not, it always reads as nonsense or out of context.

To avoid possible PR disasters, make sure you hire a qualified and experienced certified translation team. With their help, your content will not only be well-written; but is also sensitive to cultural nuances. As a result, it will also sound more natural and show that your company values its language. 

 5. Know What to Prioritise First

The first thing you should think of when it comes to translation is the language. Since your overall cost will multiply depending on the languages you are targeting, it’s always important to prioritise one language at a time. Once one language has been translated, you can move on to the next language. Another aspect you should prioritise when translating is the page you need to be translated. For example, do you want your entire website translated or a particular website page?

By doing your homework, you can get an idea of what tasks to prioritise before moving on to the next task. This also allows you to stay ahead of every aspect of the project and get quality work done. Technology has created avenues for small businesses to grow. With thoughtful planning, you can scale up your business to other parts of the world. With high-quality translation, you can do precisely that.

How do translators and interpreters play a role in your business? Do you need them? What’s the difference between these professionals? Let’s take a look at some key factors that play a key role. 

Today’s technologically savvy world has opened the door to new opportunities for businesses to expand beyond their borders into new areas around the world. It opened the doors to international markets full of interested customers, business partners, and buyers, creating an opportunity that’s for the first time well within reach. 

Yet, to accomplish this, it has to be possible to communicate effectively - which isn’t always as simple as it seems. Without the existence of language barriers, being able to understand how business works and what information customers need to make a buying decision is critical. So how does your company compete in an international market when language stands in the way?

5 major differences between translating and interpreting

When it comes to translating your message to your global marketplaces, both interpreting and translating are valuable tools. Knowing what these services are, how they work, and when to use each is critical.

#1: The Format

One of the key differences in translation and interpretation is the format provided. Interpretating focuses on spoken language. It is typically related to real-time communication. Translation services are text-based. 

#2: Delivery Method

Interpretating services happen on the spot, such as in person or over the phone. It may also happen through video. Most often, translation takes place later, such as through the creation of documents that break down conversations or documents. There’s often more time for translators to create high-quality translations.

#3: The Level of Accuracy

Translators are very accurate. There’s more time for information to be gathered and analysed. Interpretation has a lower level of accuracy in some ways simply because it happens in real-time. In a live setting, it’s difficult to create accurate results. Translators have more time to review and edit to improve accuracy.

#4: The Direction

Although translators are proficient in 2 or more languages, translators work in one direction. That is, they translate information from one language (referred to as the source language) into their native language (referred to as the target language). Interpreters need to be fluent in both languages. They have to translate, in real-time, in both directions. That takes a lot of skill and fluency.

#5: The Details

Interpreters need to have a better ability to capture the tone and infections in communication. They also need to be able to understand and communicate elements of the spoken word. They often do this through verbal cues. In translation, there’s less of this and more context-based considerations. 

When to Apply Translation Services: 

Translation services can take raw material in one language and turn it into usable information and data in another language. This is incredibly valuable in a wide range of environments. For example, contracts typically need to be translated from one language to the next so people can understand the terms. Perhaps a customer in another country sent a detailed set of directions for communicating a project need, and it needs to be understood by your team. You may be able to use a translator to help with breaking down that information into a formal document.

When to Apply Interpretation Services: 

An interpreter’s job is to be a facilitator in conversation that’s taking place in real-time. For example, this may be a necessary service to call on when you need to meet with a partner from another country. It may be necessary to turn to interpretation services when you need to speak to a crowd of people. This type of service may be helpful over the phone, using video remote communication, or in person. 

What Skills Are Necessary to Work as Translators and Interpreters?

In all cases. Language professionals are highly skilled individuals. They have bilingual proficiency and need to be able to communicate. They also are typically individuals who are detail-oriented and precise. 

Bilingual proficiency is critical. It is also important for these individuals to have a good understanding of the cultures of both audiences as well as good listening skills. Both professionals need to be good with meeting standards, understanding complex terminology, depending on the industry served, such as legal, medical, or business fields. 

Interpreters also need to have exceptional listening skills and good memory recall. They need to take good notes, pick up on non-overt cues, and communicate well with other people who could be customers. 

How to Choose Between Translators and Interpreters

When you need to reach out to business associates or determine if an opportunity exists for you to build a relationship with customers overseas, it’s important to weigh which type of service you need. Here are some tips to consider.

Understanding the differences in each of these areas is critical. In many situations, individuals need to have access to both services from time to time. Utilising a proficient service that offers comprehensive, accurate, and clear information is critical to building your global business and tapping into a larger range of customers. 

Cross-cultural training (CCT) is a type of training designed to improve communication skills between individuals who come from different cultures or backgrounds. CCT helps employees become better at understanding each other’s perspectives and behaviours, regardless of their culture or background. It can also help them understand how they might be perceived by others in the workplace. This will allow both parties to gain a greater appreciation for one another and develop more effective ways of working together. 

Why Should Your Team Have Cross-Cultural Training?

The world is becoming more globalised, and as a result, it’s become increasingly important for companies to be able to operate in multiple markets. This means that they need to have employees who can work cross-culturally with people from around the globe. However, many organisations struggle to find qualified candidates who possess this skill set.

As a result, they turn to cross-cultural training courses to fill this gap. These classes allow participants to practice working with people from diverse backgrounds. They also expose participants to new languages and cultural norms. The goal of these programs is to teach participants how to communicate effectively across cultures.

In addition, cross-cultural training can help companies meet the demands of international markets. For example, it enables managers to understand the language and culture of different countries. This allows them to make informed decisions when dealing with customers.

Furthermore, it gives employees an opportunity to explore their own cultural identities. As a result, it helps them develop an appreciation for diversity and tolerance.

10 Benefits of Cross-Cultural Training

There is no doubt that cross-cultural training has become an essential part of any organisation’s strategy. However, many organisations still struggle to implement it effectively and efficiently. The following article will highlight some of the benefits of implementing cross-cultural training within your organisation.It increases productivity. According to research conducted by the International Labour Organisation, companies that offer cross-cultural training experience higher levels of productivity compared to those that don’t.

1. It increases productivity. According to research conducted by the International Labour Organisation, companies that offer cross-cultural training experience higher levels of productivity compared to those that don’t. 

2. It improves customer service. When customers feel comfortable interacting with members of your team, they’ll be more likely to provide feedback and share ideas.

3. It reduces turnover rates. Employees who receive cross-cultural training are less likely to leave their jobs because they know how to interact with colleagues from different cultures.

4. It boosts morale. Research shows that workers who participate in cross-cultural training are happier than those who don’t. As a result, they’re also less likely to take time off or complain about their workload.

5. It helps employees develop skills. As mentioned above, cross-cultural training allows individuals to gain valuable insights into other cultures. This knowledge can help them develop better communication skills and become more efficient at solving problems.

6. It leads to greater innovation. In order to innovate, businesses must first learn about the needs of their target market. By participating in cross-cultural training programs, companies can learn about the preferences and behaviours of people from all over the world. Through these interactions, they can discover ways to improve products and services.

7. It provides a competitive advantage. Companies that invest in cross-cultural training not only increase productivity but also enhance their ability to compete against rivals. They’re able to identify potential opportunities in foreign markets and adapt their strategies accordingly.

8. It saves money. Organisations that offer cross-cultural training often see significant cost savings as a result of fewer staff absences. In addition, they’re able to reduce the number of complaints filed by dissatisfied clients.

9. It builds trust. Employees who have participated in cross-cultural training usually form stronger relationships with their colleagues. As a result, there’s a lower chance of conflict and misunderstandings occurring.

10. It creates a positive work environment. When employees work together in a collaborative manner, they’re more likely to enjoy their job. Moreover, they’re less likely to engage in disruptive behaviour.

How Does Cross-Cultural Training Work?

The goal of CCT is to help people understand how to communicate with others in unfamiliar situations. The process involves three steps:

Step 1: Identifying cultural differences. This step involves identifying what makes one culture different from another. For example, if you were asked to identify the most common difference between American and Chinese cultures, you might say something like this: “Americans are more direct than Chinese. They speak their minds without worrying about offending others.”

Step 2: Understanding cultural differences. Once you have identified the key differences between two cultures, you can begin to understand them and learn how they affect your own behaviour. For example, if I told you that Americans tend to be direct, you could then ask yourself whether being direct is an effective way to get things done. If so, you’d need to change your approach. However, if you find that being direct doesn’t work for you, you could try using indirect language instead.

Step 3: Adjust your behaviour accordingly. After you’ve learned about the differences between cultures, you should adjust your behaviour accordingly. For instance, if you’re trying to make friends with someone new, you may want to use indirect language when talking about personal topics.

The goal of cross-cultural training is to increase awareness of cultural differences so that people are able to work more effectively together across cultures. This may involve learning about the values, beliefs, attitudes, customs, and traditions of one another. It’s important that your staff are able to work together effectively as it will make things easier for you as an employer. When people feel comfortable with one another, they are more likely to get along well and perform better. 

How many times has the team used Google Translate and got amusing translations? Is the phrase "lost in translation" familiar? It happens and it can be hilarious. However, it's no longer funny if mistakes are made and damages the brand or worse, get sued because a piece of critical information was incorrectly translated.

As technology evolves, more free translation applications are flooding the market. These translator apps can translate books, manuals, product descriptions, websites, letters, advertisements, and anything else fast and free. Why would a business need a human translator? Let's find out...

What Is Human Translation? Why Is It Important?

Translation, by definition, is the process of changing written text created in one language into another language. Human translation involves interpretation. It is impossible to get an exact word-for-word translation of a source document into a target language. 

The team can try but may find out that literal translations could sometimes change the whole meaning of the document. This is where human translation comes in. With human translation, the same message can be communicated in a source document into another language. Only humans can understand the intricacies of human language. This is something that machines can't do. 

The demand for translation will always be there. For example, the legal field will need translations for court proceedings, records, depositions, and petitions. Law enforcement organisations have statements, interviews, and other documents requiring translation. The medical field would need records and notes translated. One example in 2020 includes translation demand increasing by 49 per cent in the healthcare industry due to COVID-19 information.

Research showed that businesses that invested in translation have 1.5 times more chances of revenue growth - leading brands and organisations in the insurance, financial, and other industries to translate their websites, marketing emails, medical documents and more.

Understanding the Translation Process

When a translation from a machine is received, the team just needs to copy/paste the text or press a button to start the translation process. However, comprehensive translation is a complex process that only humans can do. The translation process involves having a professional translator or linguist who is a native speaker of the target language or has studied the language extensively. 

The translator will translate the document into the target language with the exact meaning, style, and tone depicted in the original document. Human translators do not use a one-format-fits-all method. The human translator chooses the right words to communicate the right feeling. 

Because of the intricacies of human language, it takes a human translator to understand the expressions involved and the connotations and make sense of phrases used in communication.

5 Reasons Why Human Translation is Important

1. Humans understand the context

Machines and translation apps can be accurate in translating from one language to another, and that's useful. However, when a paragraph or a whole document needs to be translated, the problem starts. Machines cannot process the intricacies of the human language. They translate the words into the target language or give a gist of a foreign language. Unlike humans, it cannot get the concept or the context of the message. 

Human translators take great pains to ensure that documents are translated into their context. A human translator understands feelings and respects culture, taboos, and traditions. They put that into consideration which in turn results in fluent translation.

2. Humans can translate metaphors and slang words

Language is full of slang words, jargon, metaphors, and nuances that either don't translate or translate poorly.  For example, when it is said, "This is a hot commodity." A machine won't understand and will most likely give a literal translation about a hot object. A human translator will explain that a hot commodity refers to someone or something in high value or demand.

 3. Human translation is accurate

Machines can translate some jobs sufficiently. A human translator fits needs best when important business documents require to be interpreted.  

A human translator is accurate and can give precisely what is required. With a human translator, there is no need to recheck the translation as they understand what is wanted, and will use the exact words to match the requirements. They can also add a human touch to make the blog marketing campaign sound more interesting to appeal to people.

 4. Human translation is cheaper 

With Google Translate and all other apps, it is often thought a human translator is not needed for payment anymore. Why would anyone spend money if it is accessible for free? Here's the thing! 

A machine or an app to translate sensitive projects can be trusted. 

However, the wrong choice of words could seriously affect the company's reputation. Translations from apps can be free, but inaccurate results could end up with the team having to spend more money to settle the mess.

 5. Human translation understands the business aspect

If documents and marketing campaigns need to be translated, this is where human translation excels. Companies pour a lot of effort and often spend millions of dollars developing their brands. 

A machine can potentially relay the right message to promote a brand but it will rarely be effective or strongly written. Only a human translator with a background in marketing has the creative thinking required to maintain consistency in a brand.

To Wrap Up...

Translation is not a mechanical process. It's possible to get the accuracy and quality close to a human translation from a machine. That being said, pure machine translation still excels in other aspects. A business can use machine translation for non-sensitive documents. It can help the team get around in a new place with a foreign language. When utilised well it can be an asset to a business. 

However, human translation is far more effective when dealing with sensitive documents. In the world of translation, mistakes are expensive. A business can't afford to have documents get "lost in translation," especially if a whole business or reputation is on the line. At LEXIGO, we provide professional human translation and machine translation and can help you decide which option is best for your type of content.

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