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Talking Translation with Michael Becker of Identity Praxis – Show #127

  1. Talking Translation with Michael Becker of Identity Praxis - Show #127 globalmarketingshow 40:30

Rapport International President and Owner Wendy Pease was a recent guest on Michael Becker’s Identity Praxis podcast. Michael is a strategic advisor to Fortune 500s, startups, and non-profits worldwide, with a focus on global marketing and product, new market, and business development. In this episode they discuss the importance of translation and interpretation in this interconnected world. 

Translation can be traced back to the Rosetta stone, considered the first written translation in history and the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs dating as far back as 196 B.C.E. Things got interesting with the introduction of machines, explains Wendy, especially at the advent of WWII and codebreaking and spying. All of it was word-for-word translation, which didn’t work then and still doesn’t today, she adds. Even adding grammar rules and machine intelligence leaves us with problematic options like Google Translate and ChatGPT. 

Think about it: “language is a very dynamic, living thing,” Wendy explains. We’re from New England and California and that’s reflected in our speech patterns, word choices, cultural bents – let alone adding in different languages…. And even large, well-known brands with human translators run into issues; just look up Electrolux, Got Milk?, or Braniff Airlines. 

To do it right in this world we can’t continue to do everything manually but we need to do it right. Michael asks: “Can we build IP along the way and elevate our community, too?” 

The solution, according to Wendy, is to leverage translation technologies – proven ones that exist today as well as those emerging daily – only under the guidance of a “detail-oriented, qualified, professional linguist with subject matter expertise.” 

The efficacy of translation technologies also depends on project requirements – TripAdvisor can use translation memory for certain standardized, repetitive content, for example, like room descriptions and amenities. A large retailer necessarily has more detailed requirements – a handbag to one person is also a purse, pocketbook, satchel, clutch, etc. 

As such, large conglomerates are attempting to create IP in the form of customized large language models (LLMs), Wendy adds, not only for increased efficiency but because common options like ChatGPT and Gemini incorporate faulty Google Translate content, Internet disinformation, and even false content in the form of hallucinations. 

In fact, the world changes so vastly, and so quickly, that even fundamental services like translation – for the written word – and interpretation – for the spoken word – are now intermingled in the form of live chat, says Wendy. Unlike chatbots and AI chats that rely on translation, translator-interpreters are facilitating a real-time conversation in the written format. In that light, guest and host agree that the future of computer-aided translation is clearly promising, and it’s simply beneficial to proceed with caution. 

 

Links:  

Website: Identity Praxis, Inc. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/privacyshaman/  

Tinderbox: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6MVDtSfcKxd2XLpenMAd9H4VknDyn6oz  

 

Connect with Wendy – https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/ 

Connect with Michael – https://www.linkedin.com/in/privacyshaman/ 

Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com 

Wendy Pease Cultural Wordsmith

Wendy Pease is the owner and president of Rapport International, a language services company that provides high quality translation and interpretation services with a specialty in global marketing, legal, employee communications, and medical services. Throughout her career, she has worked with hundreds of companies to help them communicate across more than 200 languages and cultures.

Wendy is a frequent speaker, writer, blogger, trainer, advisor, and master networker. She’s the author of the book “The Language of Global Marketing”, the host of the “Global Marketing Show” podcast, which features experts on opportunities and challenges in increasing multilingual lead gen and revenue.

Wendy’s passionate about connecting people across languages and cultures. She lived in Mexico, Taiwan, and the Philippines where she fell in love with differing cultures and came to understand that we are all human, no matter the language we speak.

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