The world is in a rapid state of technological evolvement and as we grow ever more connected to one another, the sheer amount of information we have on all our devices is staggering. But having access to the world at our fingertips is at the same time provoking thoughts about the need for security. It is of the upmost importance to protect data from those who should not have it.

Over the years, the language industry has also invested heavily in technological developments which make translation faster and more affordable for a wider audience. Often there’s an implicit trust from clients in the language company or perhaps the belief that there is no risk involved and language security can easily become an afterthought.

This article summarises the questions commonly asked in connection with technological developments in the language industry that tick all the security boxes.

Machine translation as illustrated with a smart phone with one language going in and coming out the other

How reliable are free online translation platforms such as Google Translate?

In the past, automated translation portals such as Google Translate have proven more and more popular. Google may be a quick tool, but the translation – especially in large volumes – is often nonsensical, making common errors like translating Russia into Mordor or Isis into Saudi Arabia. This is because the engine runs off information on the internet, places marred with comment sections and if the comparison is drawn enough times, it believes it to be the definition with no quality assurance. From a security aspect it’s important to remember that a free translation tool like Google Translate uses all the information fed into its engines to improve itself, meaning your sensitive information is within grasp and could be used to benefit your competitors.

In recent years, the trend in the language industry is therefore towards customised engines. Machine translation is a tool that can save a company up to 70% within a year. It is a great tool, but the security of such should be as strong as the tool is efficient.

Customised ‘hybrid-engines’ should be isolated to each client so that competitors don’t benefit from your translations and sensitive information stays safe. This way your information stays completely secure while you benefit from the savings of a quicker, more-efficient and cost-effective translation solution.

Google search in German to illustrate how to translate a web page

Is there a simple and secure way of translating a website to gain access to a global audience?

In theory, it is simple: more languages, broader audience. It’s a smart investment, one that is proven to yield nothing but positive results – especially when partnered with multilingual SEO. For example, over 52% of consumers value information in their native tongue over price.

If partnered with the best available language services provider (LSP), website translation can be as simple as it is effective. Some of the best LSPs are able to ‘plug in’ to your Content Management System (CMS), you tick the box to select the pages you want translated and that’s it. The translation is then put back onto the website ready for in-context review to ensure you are happy before you decide whether or not to put the page(s) live.
From a security point this means that translators have no access to the technical features of your website, they only work on copies of the content of the pages you decide. The decision, and the power, is ultimately yours and all security boxes are ticked.

Where are my documents for translation stored, in the cloud?

That is a great question to ask. Especially if you are dealing with contracts or legal documentation, you want peace of mind that they are protected while a translator works with them. Where your data is stored should be a consideration when looking into starting a partnership with a LSPs. Always look for a translation company that is willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), never has the document downloaded and only accessed from a secure cloud-based system. That way you can relax, knowing that your documents never leave the in-house secure servers and aren’t stored on a translator’s system.

To sum it up, security in the language and translation industry is something that you may not have considered, but even the security of language itself – especially with legal documents – is an imperative that is too grave to ignore. Not only that, translation and bridging out into new markets is lucrative and by doing so, you have an edge over competition.

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by Ashley Norris

Sales & Marketing Executive at Wolfestone.

Ashley Norris graduated from Aberystwyth University with a First Class Honours in Film & Television Studies. Before and during his degree, Ashley became a professional writer and experienced digital marketer across several social channels, design packages and video editing software. Ashley recently expanded his role to manage clients’ accounts.

Ashley is a big fan of writing, films, music, art and his bearded sausage dog, Hudson.