Artificial Intelligence (AI) application seems far away, only interesting for particular niches, or too complicated for medium-sized companies. Nevertheless, the use of AI continues to grow. Many companies are already using machine translation to open up new markets faster and more cheaply, reach a wider audience, and work together without language barriers.
Internationalization is a declared goal for many medium-sized companies. There can be many reasons for expansion: At some point, every company is at the limits of its growth in its home country. Perhaps the development abroad promises success because the services or articles you offer have a unique selling point or fill a niche in the market. When the need for a service in Germany is exhausted, the question arises: which call should be next? Regardless of which country you choose, whether you are a service provider or want to sell a physical product, you face numerous challenges when entering the market.
Requirements from national regulators mean a lot of red tapes before products can be sold in other countries. Product information, guidelines, marketing materials, briefs, etc., need to be localized for each target market, and these translations can quickly add up to millions of pages. This is where AI-powered machine translation comes in. AI-assisted translation can translate the vast amounts of text that arise in the shortest possible time.
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Language Is The Key To Your Clientele
Apart from the bureaucratic effort, it is also like this: Most customers feel more comfortable communicating on the Internet in their native language. Or when was the last time you bought something in a Polish, Italian, or Latvian online shop?
According to the study “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy 2020”, nine out of ten people only surf pages in their national language. The usage and purchasing behavior of people in 29 countries was examined. The willingness to buy something on a website increases sixfold if the page is written in the customer’s native language. At the same time, the study also confirms: 25 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) see language barriers as one of the most significant challenges in international expansion.
Artificial Intelligence Makes Automatic Translations Worth Reading
Machine translation has been around for a long time. As early as 2006, everyone was able to access free online translation platforms that provided instant translations. Of course, this was accompanied by the typical difficulties, some of which revealed very entertaining mistakes. But the real game-changer came in 2016 with the advent of AI and neural networks, which significantly increased the accuracy and fluency of translations.
Since then, a lot has happened: Today, AI-powered machine translation is often integrated into products, platforms, apps, emails, browsers, etc., giving people instant access to information in their native language. It is now possible to make any website instantly available in many languages - with just a few lines of code connecting machine translation systems to your website.
Even the German EU Council Presidency used machine translation to make their official website available automatically and immediately in all 24 official languages of the European Union. Only professional translators did the translations into French and English, while the remaining languages were covered by machine translation.
Dynamic Adaptation Saves Time
The great advantage of using AI-assisted machine translation is the dynamic adaptation of content.
The advantage of dynamic adaptation is explained
using the example of the “online shop”: If you run an online shop in which a new range with new attributes and its description appears regularly, this data would have to be manually filled with the translation via the content management system. A time-consuming procedure. With the dynamic adaptation, you save yourself this work step: Instead, the new part of the website is automatically recognized and translated by the AI. The time saved is enormous, especially if you are active in several languages.
And the effect is noticeable: machine translation has been shown to increase trading activity on the order of magnitude as if the physical distance between two countries had been reduced by 35 percent.
What To Watch Out For
Of course, translations can vary in quality. Therefore, two important questions should be asked when choosing the correct language technology:
- How specialized in my field? If your company uses specific brand and industry terminology, you may need to consider custom translation systems tailored to your needs. For example, if you’re selling pharmaceuticals where getting the translation right is a matter of life and death, it is certainly worth investing in specialized AI trained on your vocabulary. Free translation tools are rarely sufficient for business needs.
- How private must my data be? Like everything seemingly free on the Internet, public translation tools can use your data and pass it on to third parties. So if you regularly rely on free translation tools for business needs, you run the risk of damaging your company by putting sensitive data such as internal company information or contract documents into the wrong hands.
Conclusion: Through The Language Jungle With AI
All in all, expanding into other countries is about adapting to the local language and (commercial) culture as well as possible. Personally, if you had to live in a foreign country for a year or two, you would probably be the first to learn the language. Since your website, your newsletter, or your online shop should achieve success in another country for many years, the target group’s language should also be spoken there. It’s not even about wandering far away – there are 24 official languages in Europe alone. With the right AI translation programs, at least this significant hurdle no longer stands in the way of your expansion abroad.
Also Read: Artificial Intelligence At Work For Health