In this article, we explore the captivating realm of languages, cultures, and communication. It's the time of year, September 30th, when we celebrate International Translation Day—a moment that reminds us how translation does more than just convert words from one language to another; it builds bridges between people, ideas, and cultures. We pay homage to this day by exploring the essence of translation in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world and its role at Seibert Media.
Let’s transport ourselves back to the 1980s - picture a world without internet access (which also means no Google Translate) and where English is not as universally spoken as it is today. You find yourself in Germany for a business meeting, and you don't speak the language (granted, you have a German-to-English dictionary, but that would mean translating word for word). Suddenly, one of your colleagues approaches you and says -
"Hallo, wie geht es Ihnen? ich habe Sie hier noch nie gesehen. Sind Sie ein neuer Mitarbeiter oder haben Sie sich verlaufen? Ich arbeite Vollzeit bei Seibert Media.”
In those days, we might have responded with gestures indicating a lack of comprehension or relied on a mix of German or English phrases to convey our confusion. But these days, we have the convenience of whipping our phones out and engaging in a conversation using Google Translate, enabling communication with those who don't share a language. I would now understand that my colleague asked if I were a new hire or if I had gotten lost. However, in the 1980s, this scenario would unfold differently, reflecting the evolution of language learning and translation since then.
It Is Through Translation That Ideas Travel
Translation and communication have become paramount in our interconnected world, acting as the conduits through which ideas, knowledge, and collaboration flow. Translation is far more than linguistic conversion—it's the enabler of global exchange, dismantling barriers that hinder effective interaction. As businesses expand internationally and individuals engage across borders, with over 6,500 spoken languages, translation is pivotal in all aspects of society, from entertainment and business to education and social progress.
Communication at Seibert Media
As a company, we work around the clock with colleagues worldwide. From our colleagues situated in Ireland to our associate working in the sun-soaked coast of Costa Rica and all the way to our recently established team in the United States, our digital interconnection knows no bounds. We understand that effective communication is the key.
Seibert Media is an international company with employees located worldwide. We are German-based, but the fact remains that not everyone knows or speaks German. As such, at Seibert Media, everyone is encouraged to speak the language they are more comfortable with - whether that is English or German. We are also aware that German is not the lingua franca. To ensure that all relevant information is accessible to everyone, this is where the power and beauty of language come in. English is the international language of business and commerce and many other key areas - as such a lot of the work we do is translated into both languages.
Our colleagues produce videos in both German and English, covering products like Agile Hive, drawio, and Linchpin. We've established dedicated YouTube channels for videos in each of these languages.
For videos that originate in German, our team of dedicated translators works to provide English subtitles, thereby enriching accessibility. This essential step ensures that our content can be comprehended by a broader audience. Any fans of the hit best-seller South Korean movie Parasite? The significance of subtitles in surmounting communication barriers was highlighted by director Bong Joon-Ho, who during his speech at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards said: 'Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barriers of subtitles, you will be introduced to many more amazing films.'
Although our videos may not be intended for the grandeur of the silver screen, the value of subtitles remains. Accurate translation transcends mere language conversion; it's a bridge to understanding that actively fosters consumer trust within a business context. In this digital age, where interactions span global markets, precise translation bolsters authenticity. It serves as a testament to a company's commitment to communicating effectively and resonating with diverse audiences.
Denglish? English and German Blogs
Another form of communication, and likely the most obvious (especially if you are already reading this) - is our English and German blogs. Each week our content creators work on writing several blog posts to inform our readers of the newest features, tips, or updates.
Whether a blog is written originally in German or English, we übersetzen blogs in both languages. For example, one of our latest blog posts is available in both English and German. Das Original-blog was in Deutsch geschrieben und then in Englisch übersetzt by one of our translators. 😉 Maybe you noticed some German words in the text - Was it confusing or did you understand it?
Balancing technology and cultural nuances
Companies like Seibert Media can use various tools such as DeepL or Google Translate to facilitate translations (in addition to a translator’s knowledge of a language). Recent advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have raised the question of whether AI could eventually replace human translators. However, the reality remains that AI will always fall short in capturing the intricate cultural nuances of a language. Embedded within cultures are idiomatic expressions that draw meaning solely from context, underlining the enduring necessity for human translators.
As technology evolves, it's evident that AI lacks the ability to truly understand and convey these subtleties. Despite AI's impressive capabilities, it cannot replicate the human intuition and insight required to bridge linguistic and cultural gaps effectively. Underscoring the enduring significance of human translators, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a notable 20% increase in the demand for interpreters and translators, a trend projected to persist until 2029. This projection reflects the ongoing importance of human expertise in facilitating accurate and contextually rich communication across diverse languages and cultures.
Interested in Working at Seibert Media?
Do you want to work in a highly collaborative, international and communicative environment? Seibert Media could be the place for you. Check out our jobs listings for current openings (German positions here and English ones here).
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