-Written by Erik Sargent
America is more ethnically diverse than ever before. People from different backgrounds and countries make up large portions of our populations, each bringing their own unique lifestyle. With this type of background comes a growing population of people speaking different languages. Communication plays a huge part in the daily lives of millions of Americans each day, but often times, much of our population is left out due to communication barriers.
According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau published in October of 2016, there were 40 million residents in the United States ages five and older who spoke the native language of Spanish at home. This was a 131.2 percent increase from 1990, when it was just 17.3 million people. For reference – this is 13.3 percent of United States residents.
While some of these Spanish-speaking Americans are fluent in English, many are not. This can create a language hurdle in places heavily populated with Spanish-speaking Americans, such as California, Florida, and Texas.
From a business perspective, this creates a dilemma for companies looking to branch out and extend their reach to new customers. If they aren’t able to communicate with potential customers and create a positive brand experience across websites and social media platforms, they won’t continue to appeal to a wide audience.
Often times, you’ll see companies bring on one or two Spanish-speaking employees hoping to handle the large influx of people who don’t speak English, but in heavily populated areas of Spanish speakers, this just simply isn’t enough.
One solution to increasing engagement and appealing to a wider audience is using a translation service. Companies like Amazon and The New York Times have both recently launched pages on their website featuring Spanish content, showing the trend of translation services has reached even the biggest of business.
Translation companies like Tomedes Translation work with big businesses and companies to offer translation services of all kinds, improving the communication levels and helping them to reach customers they normally wouldn’t have the ability to communicate with. Tomedes was founded in 2007, and has more than 15,000 clients across the globe.
“We offer a variety of language services – what that means is translation, proofreading, editing, transcription, subtitles, voice over – pretty much if it’s a service that is connected to a language, we offer it,” said Rivkah Miller, an Account Manager for Tomedes Translation.
Tomedes translates over 50 languages, and takes the burden off companies looking to use employees who are bilingual to communicate with customers.
Clients will send Tomedes files they need translated, and it will go through an extensive review process with the translators and project managers at the company. The work they do covers an incredibly wide spectrum, and clients find translation needs for almost anything.
“We have clients who need CDs translated, we have law firms who want immigration documents translated, we have legal contracts, and we are also getting big into the gaming and app industries as they look to go international,” Miller said. “There’s always a reason why someone would need translation and would want it done professionally.”
This type of translation service is the next step as technology increases and business become global, and it instantly makes a business more accessible to the public and people of varying backgrounds.
“It facilitates visibility, essentially, and facilitates communication,” Miller said.
For the international moving company TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, the translation process has become a main priority, as the company has 350 plus locations in the U.S. with a large number of franchises in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.
People of all backgrounds are always in need of moving services, and for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, it was important to get their websites translated to Spanish and begin to employ Spanish-speaking customer service representatives at their national Customer Resource Center to better handle the communication. The company recently worked with the translation service, Gengo, to implement Spanish content across all of their websites in order to be more inclusive and connected to Spanish speaking customers.
“This is just another step in our continued evolution, and in our commitment to continuously exceeding customers’ expectations,” said Dawn Kroeger, marketing and communications director at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s international headquarters located in Lansing, Mich. “By delivering our local websites and marketing materials in Spanish, we are working to better support the needs of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK consumer base. We know there are loyal customers out there whose primary language is not English, so we are now taking action to provide them with the best experience possible, starting with their initial experience on our websites.”
This translation will allow the moving company to connect with more customers looking to move, and help them continue growing as a brand across the United States and international locations.
“Being in the Los Angeles market, a majority of our customers find us through internet searches,” said Stefanie Shook, marketing manager at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Pasadena, Calif., location. “We also have a huge Spanish speaking population here and by translating our website, we are acknowledging and showing that we want to serve them with the best customer service possible.”
According to Miller, the advancement from technology has made this language translation much more crucial to running a successful business than ever before. There are numerous languages being spoken by people in the country, and many businesses in the country are communicating with customers from around the globe.
For companies like Amazon, The New York Times, and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, their revenue streams rely on people continuing to use their services, and translating their company content into a new language will help with this.
“It’s very hard to navigate when you can’t speak languages,” Miller said. “You might have advocates who can help you, someone who does speak the language, but that’s just one person. That’s not enough.”
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