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How Businesses in Europe Can Stay Competitive Despite Language Barriers

How Businesses in Europe Can Stay Competitive Despite Language Barriers

In the business world, it is common for companies to communicate with other companies from different areas of the world. Due to this, it is a regular occurrence for language barriers to come up in the world of multinational business. Language barriers can bring about a host of issues in the business world such as creating misunderstandings during face-to-face meetings and conference calls, and also interfere with email communication, and often leading to other unnecessary mistakes. Language barriers can also cause some organizations to feel inferior to others and lead to a lack of respect between companies that do not communicate properly, so, during the early stages of business, these issues must be overcome before they grow into bigger problems.

One of the treasured cultural assets of the European region is linguistic diversity. It has always been and must remain a cornerstone. However, the European market has become fragmented and has fallen short of its economic potential because of the language barriers created by the 24 official European Union languages and the issues that it poses to the business and economy sector. Almost half of the European citizens who shop online never use websites that are in languages other than their native tongue. European SMEs are at a greater disadvantage, because of the high cost of providing services in multiple languages. This has proven to harm their competitive nature.


How to deal with language barrier issues

When it comes to dealing with the issue of language barriers, there are a few simple rules to follow and other general ways of avoiding problems. By learning the languages of your close business partners and clients, and getting to know some of the popular words from around the world, you can easily be on your way to beating the language barrier. The first step is to focus on a smaller market, instead of trying to dominate a huge area. Choose a specific area that speaks a similar language in which you have some close business ties. In this way, you can limit the number of languages that may need to be spoken during virtual meetings and conference calls.

Translation tools

If it proves to be difficult to learn a second or even a third language, you are advised to invest in an interpreter or a translator to help you with communication and assist with the translation of all foreign documents. There are audio transcription tools that can prove to be useful for conference calls. When it comes to interacting and working with international businesses, technology has also proven to be incredibly useful in breaking the language barrier. Search engines, translation services, transcription services such as transcription services Ireland, and multilingual websites have been at the forefront of eradicating the language barrier. Tools such as the Presidency Translator are easily accessible to everyone for free. It demonstrates the capabilities of European technology for all the 24 official EU languages.

Machine translation

This is one of the latest technologies and it has experienced a rapid uptrend in recent years thanks to the learning processes of (AI) Artificial Intelligence. The results are often convincing when it comes to individual communication, however, it is still considered necessary for most machines translated content to be edited and thoroughly counter checked since not all kinds of text can be accurately translated by a machine, so a balance of human and machine use is still required.

The European Commission has a system called eTranslation that covers all official languages. eTranslation is currently connected to more than 50 services, such as the European Open Data Portal and other publicly accessible legal databases such as EUR-Lex and N-Lex. It is used all around the European Union to automatically pre-translate more than 3 million pages every year. This system is being constantly improved by the many linguists who edit the texts produced by the system and continue to maintain and expand the terminology databases it possesses.

Working together, these systems will enable partners to understand texts written and audio spoken in all 24 official EU languages. Translators have made the texts and data from their collections available and taken part in testing to improve the reliability of the MT and transcription systems and content. 

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