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Identifying and Resolving Translation and Interpretation Needs for Organizations

Growing multi-cultural demographics within nations, advancing online technology, and the expansion of international markets are all contributing to the acute need for translation and interpreting services for modern organizations. The specific type of services needed will vary according to the industry, preference, size, and location of each enterprise. In an effort to help, let's examine how to identify and resolve translation and interpretation needs for organizations.


When are Translation and Interpreting Services Required?


Some organizations are required by the government to offer Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals language assistance. This includes all government organizations and any private organizations being funded by government programs.

An article at FindLaw explains more:


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes the following language:

'No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'

If your business receives federal government assistance -- a grant, loan or contract -- you are bound by these terms. And these terms have been interpreted to imply a legal obligation to provide translation services to employees and customers.


Using certified translations and offering language access to customers, patients, employees, and clients are legally required in industries such as legal, healthcare, government, insurance, and education. This may be in the form of translating documentation, providing forms with multi-language instructions, offering an interpreter for LEP individuals, etc. Identifying and assessing these required areas is the first step for resolving language access issues. 


AI vs Human Translation and Interpreting


While AI is making significant progress with the help of sophisticated big data and machine learning technology, the quality of translations are not reliable enough to replace humans. AI translation services by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, are good enough for basic translation services for consumers online, yet not for customer-facing content marketing, legal and healthcare documentation, interpretations for human services, etc.

An article at D!gitalist Magazine explains more:


The recent acceleration in machine translation sophistication and reliability leads some observers to speculate that machines will essentially remove the need for expensive human translation even in the enterprise market, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs in product and service localization, publishing, marketing, and myriad other fields, even as the demand for translation explodes.


However, this is a false extrapolation of current success. Although the hype around recent improvements is largely justified, the idea that machines will destroy language services as an industry and drastically reduce the need for translation and globalization teams is not.

Essentially, organizations still need human resources to resolve their translation and interpretation needs, in order to stay in compliance and improve their services and benefits. AI translation tools can assist in overall efforts, yet have limited capabilities vs. professional certified translators and interpreters.


How to Identify and Resolve Translation and Interpretation Needs


While the exact variables will differ, all organizations will benefit by developing a language access plan, in order to resolve communication gaps and bottlenecks in operational workflows. The task of identifying and resolving these areas needs to be systematic and well-planned for streamlined optimization.

Developing a language access plan can be outsourced or developed by in-house management teams. By default, an organization's language access plan is the overall way they're managing their translation and interpretation needs, including how they provide language services and train their staff to recognize the needs of LEP individuals.

For instance, a healthcare insurance company may want to analyze historical membership data to identify LEP individuals, in order to assess the effectiveness of interactions and overall need.

The learning access plan details an organization's established management policies and procedures when it comes to their translation and interpreting services; including:


    • an initial assessment and analysis

    • implementation and optimization

    • training and integration

    • continual evaluation and maintenance


Improving translation and interpreting services is a way for organizations to increase the value of their offerings, as gaps in communication can cause issues with:


    • legal compliance

    • healthcare outcomes

    • customer/employee satisfaction levels

    • brand identity

    • customer loyalty

    • legal outcomes

    • market reach
    • value of offerings

    • operational efficiency


By identifying these issues, organizations can work to avoid and resolve them by developing and implementing an effective language access plan. This may involve partnering with a full-service language solutions company that has vertical industry experience and expertise.

A language solutions company can help organizations navigate the complexities involved with serving LEP individuals at every level of operational need – from global executive business conferences to domestic signage. Their services can augment in-house teams and efforts or fully develop and manage language access efforts for organizations.

Quality standards with translations and interpretations are getting higher as digital technology raises consumer expectations and expands international markets. Additionally, growing multi-cultural domestic demographics and government regulations require language accessibility with LEP individuals.

These factors are contributing to the industry growth of global translation services, as a research report found at Open PR explains:

The global translation service market is showing immense growth; mainly due to the growing need for accurate interpretation services. Translation services help in bridging the gap between communication and technology.

A second article found at D!gitalist Magazine explains more:

Annual enterprise spending on translation services is expected to grow to US $45 billion by 2020, primarily driven by increasing globalization and an increasing amount of text being generated worldwide.




How modern organizations identify and resolve their translation and interpretation needs will vary, yet all will benefit by developing a language access plan. This formal strategic planning tool will help management teams focus on identifying and optimizing every area of operations where language access is needed.

Improving language accessibility with LEP individuals ensures compliance and increases the value of offerings; additionally, resolving language access barriers streamlines operational workflows and creates marketing/sales opportunities.

The process of optimizing language access starts with an initial assessment and includes the development and implementation of a language access plan. The effectiveness of this assessment and plan will depend on the vertical expertise and experience of those who develop and implement it. This is why many organizations are partnering with a language solutions company with vertical experience and expertise. If interested in learning more please contact Language Network today. 


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