Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bridging the Language Barrier

In this day and age of the world-wide-web, we as marketers have the potential to reach virtually every country on our planet. But us Americans tend to be rather arrogant and sometimes assume that everyone can speak English. But this was quickly disproved to me when I tried to hold a conversation with Amazon France.

I managed to pick out enough words close enough to English that I was able to compose an email to customer service. You can imagine my surprise when their return email was entirely in French! What to do?

So, I grabbed my trusty smart phone and hooked into the Google Play store, searching for a 'translator' app. I found one called Google Translate that had decent ratings (and was free!). I read over some of the reviews. There were some complaints that it performed poorly with some Oriental languages or specific dialects, but in general, for the 'romance' languages like Spanish and French it worked nicely. This just so happens to be the same translator that I've attached to the bottom of my blog here, to make it easier for my readers. So I downloaded it.
 Usimg simple copy and paste from my email, I was able to translate the entire message. Not only that, but I was also able to compose a return email, also in French! The app seemed to work rather well for this purpose.

From the reviews, I gather it also has a speech function, but I haven't tried that out yet. All I needed was a text translation. It also seems to have downloadable 'language packs' that allows the app to operate even if you're out of your service area. That's definately beyond my needs! But if you're in need of a translation to other languages, I encourage you to try this app. It may not be perfect, but will enable you to somewhat cross the language barrier. And in sales, that could definately be a plus!

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