Closing the gap: translation and crisis management

In the past few months, the world is fighting a major crisis and everyone is trying to fit into this new reality. We are not going to address the crisis itself as the information about it is all over the Internet. Our aim is to showcase how translation and crisis management go hand in hand and how translation itself can literally close the gap and be a solution to a certain problem. Along with that, we will shortly add a few points on how our industry fits into the current situation. We do believe there are certain aspects that deserve admiration and are worth mentioning.

International means Multilingual

When a crisis strikes, sometimes translation and language are on the frontlines. Especially when it is an international one – it can be a mediator or a tool to help cross language barriers. When we say international, this immediately makes it multilingual, too. When the information is crucial English (as universal as it is) is not efficient enough to reach all the layers of society in different countries. That is where translation companies step in and take over.

Information like health warnings, instructions, and major information important for everyone in a country should be available in the local languages as fast as possible and with a reliable quality, which can not be provided with Machine Translation only.

Minorities, translation and crisis

In case of an emergency situation, the information should be available to everyone and at the same time it should be translated with the utmost attention. Local minorities also need translations, smaller countries with rare languages, too. In times like today, every single government needs a translation of all the health information that should be provided to the public and the volumes can be too much for local resources only, so translation companies are approached to work together.

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Remote interpreting & Social distancing

translation and crisisRemote interpreting in conflict zones is crucial and we’ve covered that before but this year it is more important than ever. This is one more situation when its power shines – in such a global pandemic, where social distancing is the only measure that helps the spread of COVID-19, the remote interpreting gives us a chance to be where we are needed – on the front lines.

What is the response of the Translation Industry:

It is amazing how a digital industry can become even more so in a matter of days. And this is, where the true value of the Translation Industry is, the way we know it. Its flexibility and fast response to new factors, make it a fascinating and interesting spot to be in, right now.

So we’ve pointed a few points we’ve noticed that shifted very fast and fit almost seamlessly into the new reality of social distancing and online socializing.

  1. Social distancing for employees implemented in a matter of days – the fact that we work online is a huge advantage in this case. In a matter of days the employees of most companies were able to start operating from home and even though some adjustment was needed the companies didn’t miss a day working for their clients.
  2. Fit services to demand – (for example: with COVID 19 – we started to receive urgent requests from the countries that are most affected. Almost 90% of them were for same-day delivery. This meant we had to shift translators into working in these timezones temporarily).
  3. Fast in adjusting resources – depending on the type of crisis – different resources might be required.
  4. Fit services to the crisis – if it is fast you might need to use MTPE (machine translation post-editing) to be faster in translation than you do it. If it is local, minority, or a narrow audience – you need to make a better localization. When it is biohazard – you need to fit a contactless service to be out of danger. And the Translation industry offers it all…
  5. Social distancing doesn’t mean lack of social contacts – online events, meetings, seminars, and webinars, and even online conferences were started in a matter of weeks. So the socializing was never lost and we kept on exchanging information and experience even in these hard times. We all know social contacts are really important for all of us. In this case, we all got the chance to reinvent ourselves in the more “organic” environment of our own homes. That makes us feel closer than ever, too.
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In conclusion, I’d say the Translation industry never ceases to amaze me and I think this fastpaced environment is a great sphere to work in. It is a wonder how it truly is a tool to close the gap between people, solve problems, be a crisis management tool, and many others. It changes like a true chameleon to fit the need of today and to help the future. And there is still a lot more to show us…What do you think?