<![CDATA[LEXIGO]]>https://www.lexigo.com/blogRSS for NodeTue, 06 Jun 2023 23:38:53 GMT<![CDATA[Introducing The Native Experience Podcast by LEXIGO]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/introducing-the-native-experience-podcast-by-lexigo647d47380ac48973956ea8b6Mon, 05 Jun 2023 03:02:10 GMTZaina NasserWe did it! After much discussion and debate, massive to-do lists, countless meetings and calls, and several versions of names, colours and branding, we are finally ready to join the ranks of podcast creators on ,Apple Podcasts, ,Spotify, and wherever you listen to your podcasts.

illustration of people from diverse backgrounds introducing the native experience podcast

Introducing The Native Experience by LEXIGO, with your host extraordinaire Brian Kane.

This podcast started as an idea to take what people consider foreign and turn it on its head because foreign, after all, is just a matter of perspective.

Mark Saba, LEXIGO's Founder and CEO, and the creator of the Native Experience, is a Native Melbournian with Coptic-Egyptian roots. Mark has worked in the translation and localisation industry for almost 20 years. The industry is rooted in native communication, creating messages for diverse audiences, not just in their native tongue but in terms that resonate with them. Mark's diverse background made it easy to dive into the world of translation, but with the job came many questions about the state of the industry and the road it's going down with the introduction of Multicultural Marketing.

Multicultural Marketing, otherwise known as Foreign or Ethnic Marketing, has been making waves in Australia for some time. The term is heavily used in the translation industry, which has prompted a lot of internal discussions on what exactly ethnic marketing is.

As we hear Mark say in the first episode:

"In our industry, the terms foreign marketing and ethnic marketing are used a lot, which I think is a little incorrect because what's foreign and ethnic to you is actually native to someone else."

This was the seedling from which the idea of the podcast sprouted.

Professional translators, multicultural marketers, and the like, are on a mission to create localised content to engage and connect with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) audiences. However, to do that, there needs to be a deep understanding of their personal experience.

The Native Experience Podcast aims to bridge the gap between what is native and foreign, going beyond translation and localisation to discuss how to create truly native experiences for diverse audiences.

The podcast brings together industry leaders with a focus on exploring authentic ways to reach, connect, and engage with audiences in their native language. The discussions go beyond mere translation, delving into strategies for delivering native experiences that resonate with audiences through tailored methods and channels of distribution.

We'll hear stories, lessons, and insights from professionals who have successfully localised their products or services and worked with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to achieve equity. They'll take us through their personal experiences that shed light on the unique cultural nuances they have encountered on their journey to provide native communication.

The podcast will be launching on June 6 with the first four episodes. Our guests include Rachel Carruthers, the Platform Partnerships Lead at Canva, Erika Gonzalez from RMIT University and the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators, Andrzej Nedoma, and the LEXIGO team.

Dive into what Native Communication means to the translation experts at LEXIGO, delve into the anthropology of language with Rachel Carruthers, understand the importance of translation services to achieve equity with Erika Gonzalez, and learn about the importance of community-centred ideas and the impact of new technologies with Andrzej Nedoma.

Each discussion prompts a new way of thinking about the world of language, translation and localisation. We hope that with each episode, you feel more inspired and empowered to design effective communication solutions that truly connect with diverse audiences.

Whether you're a business owner, marketer, translation professional, cultural enthusiast, or simply, someone who values meaningful communication, we invite you to join us on this journey as we explore the power of native experiences and how they can shape our world.

Tune into Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts tomorrow and catch the very first episode of The Native Experience by LEXIGO.

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<![CDATA[The Benefits of Embracing Diversity in the Workplace]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-benefits-of-embracing-diversity-in-the-workplace647555a924b80e9357e5f368Tue, 30 May 2023 09:39:39 GMTMichelle TrazoAs the world is growing smaller by the day, diversity is no longer something to seek out but rather something ubiquitous. With approximately 26% of Australians born overseas, chances are there is probably one person in your workplace that is foreign-born or whose parents are born abroad.

man and woman sitting side by side by a table with laptop

Workplace diversity isn't just a consideration anymore but a necessity to ensure that your workplace accurately represents the country's cultural landscape and can keep up with the cultural diversity across Australia.

Diverse teams bring together individuals from different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, creating an inclusive work environment that has been proven to foster innovation and drive success. In this article, we'll dive into the many benefits of workplace diversity and the strategies businesses can implement to create an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

Increased Creativity and Innovation

Diverse teams bring together people with different cultural backgrounds and, in turn, different life experiences. This variety of backgrounds and experiences helps foster an environment rich in creativity and innovation.

When team members have diverse perspectives, they contribute unique ideas and approaches to problem-solving. This varied exchange of ideas often leads to the development of innovative solutions. In fact, ,a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review has shown that companies with diverse management teams generate more innovative ideas and creative solutions, giving them a competitive edge in the market.

Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities

A diverse workforce brings together individuals with a wide range of skills, knowledge and perspectives. This diversity of thought enables teams to tackle complex problems from various angles, which results in more effective and well-rounded solutions. When team members with different backgrounds and experiences approach problem-solving, they can identify risks and opportunities that may be overlooked in more homogenous groups. This diversified problem-solving approach naturally leads to more innovation, as noted above.

,Research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group supports this notion, revealing that companies with diverse teams report a more significant payoff from innovation and higher EBIT margins.

Expanded Talent Pool and Improved Recruitment

Embracing workplace diversity gives recruiters a larger talent pool to choose from and attracts a broader range of qualified candidates. Businesses tap into a diverse talent pool by actively seeking out people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. This not only brings in employees with unique skills and experiences but also creates a workforce that reflects the country's diversity and, in turn, the business' customer base.

Consequently, companies that prioritise diversity and inclusion are more likely to be seen as desirable employers by job seekers from diverse backgrounds, giving them a competitive advantage in attracting top talent.

Increased Employee Engagement and Retention

An inclusive workplace where diversity is celebrated and respected leads to higher levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction. Employees who feel valued, respected and supported are more likely to be fully engaged in their work.

This sense of belonging and inclusivity also plays a significant role in employee retention. Companies prioritising diversity initiatives and creating an inclusive culture tend to experience lower turnover rates and higher employee retention. Employees are more likely to stay at an organisation that fosters an environment where employees can thrive, contribute their unique perspectives, and be recognised for their individual contributions.

Improved Decision-Making and Business Performance

As we've seen above, diverse teams have been shown to have more enhanced problem-solving skills and to generate more innovative ideas. If that wasn't enough to convince you to start employing diversity and inclusion programs in your organisation, we have one more reason that might. Diverse teams have been shown to improve decision-making processes and, ultimately, drive better business outcomes.

Companies can gain valuable insights and perspectives by bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. This diversity of thought allows teams to identify and evaluate risks and opportunities more thoroughly.

,The same study referenced above by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that companies with diverse management teams have a 19% higher revenue due to improved financial performance. Embracing workplace diversity, therefore, has a direct positive impact on a company's bottom line.

Strategies for Promoting Diversity in the Workplace

Recognising the importance of diversity in the workplace and actively working towards inclusivity is not only the right thing to do but also a strategic decision that leads to better outcomes, greater innovation, and a more competitive edge in today's global markets. Companies can harness the full potential of their diverse workforce by implementing strategies that promote diversity.

Diversify Recruitment and Hiring Practices

It is essential to diversify recruitment and hiring practices to promote diversity in the workplace. This can be done by implementing inclusive job descriptions that focus on skills, qualifications, and potential rather than solely relying on traditional credentials. Organisations should also look into diverse sourcing channels to attract a broader range of candidates from different backgrounds and cultures.

Once candidates have been narrowed down, it is crucial to ensure they are given equal opportunities to showcase their skills. Diverse interview panels are an excellent avenue to mitigate unconscious bias and provide a fair evaluation of candidates. By actively seeking out and considering candidates from diverse backgrounds, businesses can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

Foster an Inclusive Company Culture

Creating an inclusive company culture promotes diversity and ensures all employees feel valued and respected. An inclusive workplace encourages open communication, mutual respect, and cultural awareness among team members. Companies can achieve this by fostering an environment where different perspectives are welcomed and embraced.

Employee resource groups and affinity networks can play a vital role in providing support, networking opportunities, and a sense of belonging for diverse individuals within the organisation. By nurturing an inclusive culture, companies can create an environment where employees from different backgrounds can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives.

Provide Diversity Training and Education

Diversity training and education programs are valuable tools for raising awareness, fostering understanding, and promoting inclusivity among employees. These programs can help employees recognise and mitigate unconscious biases that may affect their decision-making and day-to-day interactions with colleagues.

By offering workshops, seminars, and training sessions, organisations can promote cultural competence and create a shared understanding of the value of diversity. These initiatives should encourage employees to embrace diversity, develop empathy, and celebrate the differences that each individual brings to the table.

Establish Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs

Mentorship and sponsorship programs are effective ways to support and empower diverse talent within the organisation. A mentorship program that pairs diverse employees with mentors who provide guidance, advice, and growth opportunities can positively impact their professional development. Mentors can share their experiences, offer insights, and help navigate potential challenges that can lead to massive growth in your employees and, in turn, your business.

Similarly, sponsorship programs are essential in providing diverse talent access to networks, opportunities, and resources that can help them advance in their careers. By establishing these programs, companies demonstrate their commitment to the success and advancement of employees from diverse backgrounds.

Embrace Inclusive Business Practices

Inclusive business practices involve considering your customer base's diverse characteristics and needs when making business decisions. This includes taking into account different cultural backgrounds, languages, and preferences. Embracing inclusivity in product development, marketing strategies, and customer service can allow businesses to better serve their customer base and tap into new markets they otherwise would not have access to.

Inclusive business practices also extend to respecting different political beliefs, religions, and languages within the organisation itself. By fostering an environment that respects and values diverse perspectives, companies can promote open communication, mutual respect, and an inclusive work environment.

Final Thoughts

Embracing diversity in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. Companies prioritising diversity and creating inclusive work environments reap numerous benefits, including improved financial performance, increased innovation, and better employee retention.

By valuing and embracing differences, businesses can unlock the full potential of their diverse talent and gain a significant competitive edge in today's global markets. It's time to recognise that diversity is essential in building successful and thriving organisations.

<![CDATA[What are SRT Files and How Can They Optimize Your Content?]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/what-are-srt-files-and-how-can-they-optimize-your-content646c291b5e85afdc117a54e3Tue, 23 May 2023 04:59:01 GMTZaina NasserIf you’ve ever worked on video content or been part of a video production team, then you might have come across an SRT file before.

woman in black long sleeve shirt using black laptop computer

As video content is becoming more popular, specifically ,video content with subtitles, SRT files, or SubRip Subtitle files, will be used more frequently in the field of content creation. Dive in as we explore the world of SRT files, their format, creation, integration, and all the benefits they bring to video content.

Key Takeaways:

  • An SRT file, otherwise known as a SubRip Subtitle file, is a plain text file that contains the text and timing of subtitles for videos.
  • SRT files are used as closed captions to accompany video content and can be opened in a text editor like Notepad or Word.
  • SRT files consist of a sequential number of subtitles with a time code indicating the start and end times of each subtitle text.
  • Incorporating SRT subtitles in video content makes them more accessible to a wider audience, including those with hearing impairments or non-native language speakers.
  • SRT Subtitles can improve search engine optimization as search engines can index the text within an SRT subtitle file, making videos more discoverable.
  • Manually creating your own SRT file requires precise timing of each line. Alternatively, you can use online tools or a professional captioning service.
  • Your SRT subtitle file can be uploaded to video platforms, like YouTube, or used with video players, like VLC media player, to enable viewers to enable or disable subtitles.
  • Proper timing and synchronization are crucial to ensure that the subtitles or closed captions accurately match the audio and video content.
  • The SRT file format is widely recognized as the industry-standard caption file format and allows for the localisation of video content through translated subtitles to reach a wider audience.
  • Embracing SRT subtitles helps video content creators reach the widest possible audience, improve accessibility, and enhance inclusivity.

What is an SRT file?

An SRT file is a plain text file that contains the text of what is being said in a video, along with the timing for those words and the order in which they appear. It is a raw caption file that doesn’t contain any video or audio content. Rather, it is a text file that accompanies video content, to be used as closed captions when required.

The SubRip file format was created in Europe. Its name and format stem from the software SubRip used for ‘ripping’ or extracting subtitles from films and exporting that information as a SubRip file format. Documents with an SRT file extension can be opened in Notepad, Word or any other text editor that can read Unicode.

A typical SRT subtitle file consists of sequential numbered entries, each containing a timecode indicating the start and end time code, and the corresponding subtitle text. The sequence number in the SRT subtitle file tells media players which subtitle it is in the series and the timestamp duration tells it when to start and stop.

SRT file with sequence number and time code with subtitle text

Many video players allow you to load your own SRT file, synchronizing it with the video file. This ensures that viewers can enable or disable subtitles according to their preferences. The closed captions on Youtube videos, or TV, are generated by these caption files.

Subtitle text files with the SRT file extension, are widely supported by video players, media players, and online platforms, making SRT subtitles one of the top choices for video content.

Why use an SRT file for your subtitles and captions?

Incorporating SRT subtitles can help make your video content more accessible to a wider audience. Closed captions provide an inclusive experience for individuals with hearing impairments or those watching videos in a non-native language.

On top of that, today’s youth prefer to watch videos with subtitles. Adding SRT subtitles to your video content might make it more appealing for the younger generation to consume your content.

Subtitles can also improve search engine optimization, as search engines can index the text within the SRT files, making the video more discoverable. Search engines can’t watch your video but they can process the written text file and can index your video content through your SRT subtitle file. All the more reason to add subtitles to your videos.

Adding subtitles or closed captions to your video content is a great way to ensure that your video reaches the widest possible audience.

How do you create an SRT file?

You can create your own SRT file manually or through a professional captioning service.

Creating an SRT file manually is hard work and quite time-consuming as you’ll need to precisely time every line of your text to appear and disappear at the right time code. Start by opening up a blank document in your preferred word processing software, then type the sequence number, beginning and ending time code, and the subtitle text. You can use a simple text editor or a dedicated subtitle editing software like ,Subtitle Workshop to write subtitles in the SRT file format.

If you prefer for someone else, or something else, to do the work instead, you can use online tools to transcribe your video and create an SRT file for you, such as ,SCRIBE. SCRIBE makes the process quick and easy. All you need to do is upload your video to the platform and it will auto-generate subtitles in the SRT file format using artificial intelligence. SCRIBE can also translate your content into 171 different languages to make your video more accessible to viewers across the globe.

Alternatively, if you prefer a human for more accurate captions, you can commission a transcription service provider, like ,LEXIGO, that can create the SRT subtitle file for you. Online tools and professional captioning services are a hassle-free way to generate closed captions for your content.

If you’re working with a video production company to create your video content, they will usually create and deliver a closed caption file along with the final video file. Make sure you clarify this with them at the beginning of the production process.

How do you use an SRT file?

There are multiple ways to use an SRT file. You can add it to your Youtube videos when you upload your video content onto the platform. You can upload your SRT subtitles at the same time as your video. Just look for an option to Upload captions or Upload an SRT file.

The SubRip file format is almost universal so most video platforms will accept it. They are widely recognized as the industry-standard subtitle format. Some platforms, such as Youtube, even allow you to upload multiple caption files for different languages making your content accessible to a wider audience.

You can also use SRT subtitles while watching videos on your computer. Many video players, such as the VLC media player, allow you to load your own SRT file, synchronizing it with the video file. If you add the subtitles to your video file in this way, you give viewers the option to enable or disable subtitles according to their preferences. SRT files in different languages can also be added to a video file, providing an opportunity for localisation for global audiences.

That being said, it is essential to ensure proper timing and synchronization in your SRT subtitle file to make sure it matches your video. Be sure to review and adjust the time code of each subtitle entry to guarantee that the subtitles match the audio and video accurately. This critical step ensures a seamless viewing experience for all users, especially those who rely on closed captions or subtitles to understand the content.

Embrace the power of subtitles

In today's video-centric world, SRT files have emerged as the go-to format for adding subtitles and closed captions. With their simple text file structure and compatibility across various platforms, SRT files enable video content creators to reach the widest possible audience while ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.

By leveraging online tools and professional captioning or a transcription service, such as ,SCRIBE or ,LEXIGO, you can create accurate and synchronized captions, opening up new opportunities for video marketing and engaging a diverse audience.

Embrace the power of SRT files to make your video content resonate across the globe.

woman on a laptop with headphones and a mic
<![CDATA[The Difference Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-difference-between-verbal-and-nonverbal-communication6467053349580133d27e67b6Mon, 22 May 2023 02:19:32 GMTZaina NasserHave you ever heard the expression, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you're saying”? This quote has been recycled in many different ways but the sentiment is the same, and that is, actions speak louder than words.

Most might associate this with big grand gestures (or lack thereof), but what about smaller nonverbal cues, like your facial expressions, hand gestures, or body movements that can inadvertently influence an entire conversation without you even realising it.

two women communicating in an office setting

Key Takeaways:

  • Actions speak louder than words, and nonverbal cues have a significant impact on the transmission of messages.
  • Verbal communication involves an oral exchange of information, emotions, and thoughts, but nonverbal cues carry more meaning.
  • Non-verbal communication accounts for a significant percentage (70-93%) of all communication.
  • Facial expressions are universal and can intensify or diminish emotions.
  • Hand gestures and movements add emotion and emphasis to spoken words.
  • Eye contact demonstrates respect and interest and aids in lip-reading for individuals with hearing loss.
  • Body language, including body movements and posture, reveals inner thoughts and feelings.
  • Body language can be interpreted differently, so it's important to clarify nonverbal cues with verbal communication.
  • The key difference between verbal and nonverbal communication is that the latter is largely unconscious while the former is conscious and deliberate.
  • Nonverbal cues and signals can occur even when no words are spoken.
  • The difference between verbal and nonverbal messages can lead to misinterpretation.
  • It is important to integrate verbal and nonverbal communication for effective interaction.
  • Developing strong non-verbal communication skills enhances effective communication.
  • Integrating verbal and nonverbal cues creates cohesive and meaningful interactions.
  • Conscious choices in words, tone of voice, and body language contribute to effective communication.
  • Understanding and utilising facial expressions, eye contact, body movements, and other nonverbal cues foster meaningful connections and effective communication.

Communication is the lifeblood of human interaction, allowing us to express feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Verbal communication is usually what people are referring to when they talk about communication but a lot more is said in the nonverbal cues and signals from your body movements than the words coming out of your mouth.

Today we’re going to delve into the world of communication, the verbal and non-verbal, and how you can leverage both to foster effective communication.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication is how many of us communicate with others. It is essentially oral communication through the use of words to exchange information, emotions, and thoughts. However, it’s not just our words that are impactful in oral communication. Our tone of voice, volume and inflection while speaking can also alter the meaning behind the words. A sentence said in different ways can have different meanings.

An example of the difference in tone of voice or inflection can be seen in the following sentence, “You want to go there?” This sentence can be a generic question if said with no emphasis on any of the words. However, once you add emphasis on one of the words, such as “you want to go THERE?” the meaning of the sentence completely changes to be more of surprise or disbelief as to why someone would want to go somewhere.

The subtle shift in tone of voice can create fundamental differences in meaning and impact. These subtleties and the ambiguous nature of language can lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. This is where non-verbal communication comes into play.

Nonverbal communication

It’s said that most of our communication is actually non-verbal. Experts have yet to agree on an exact percentage as there haven’t been enough studies, but the general consensus is that ,70 to 93% of all communication is nonverbal. Though silent, nonverbal cues can express feelings and attitudes to other people more effectively than speaking sometimes.

When we interact with others, we are constantly giving and receiving nonverbal signals. Forms of nonverbal communication include facial expressions, hand gestures, eye contact and body movements.

Facial expressions

Facial expressions can intensify or diminish an emotion that you’re feeling. Many facial expressions are seen as universal, such as raised eyebrows to express surprise or upward-curved lips to express happiness. It’s been found that most facial expressions transcend language and are perceived in the same way by different cultures. A smile means the same thing in all parts of the world, regardless of cultural differences.


Hand gestures can add a lot of emotion and emphasis to the words you are speaking to help you express yourself. Large and sweeping hand gestures and movement create greater emphasis while smaller gestures communicate something more specific, like holding up your thumb to express a positive reaction.

Another gesture that is commonly looked at to express emotion is head movements. Nodding or shaking your head can indicate a positive or negative response depending on what part of the world you are in. In Bulgaria, shaking your head up and down is seen as a negative response in comparison to most other parts of the world.

Eye contact

How you make eye contact is an important part of non-verbal communication. Looking someone in the eye and making strong eye contact demonstrates respect and interest. Just making eye contact with someone is usually seen as a signal to initiate conversation. It’s also important to note that for those who have hearing loss, eye contact aids in lip-reading, making communication more effective.

Eye movement can also convey nonverbal messages. For example, rolling your eyes is seen as a sign of frustration or annoyance. Squinting eyes indicate stress or anger. Pay attention to the micro-expressions in someone's eyes to truly understand how they’re feeling.

Body language

Our body language can reveal our inner thoughts and feelings to others. Body language consists of body movements and posture. How we move and carry ourselves can carry nonverbal messages to those listening.

However, the same body language can be interpreted differently by people. For example, crossing your arms can indicate defensiveness or insecurity. Fiddling with your hands can express anxiety or boredom.

Posture also plays a big role in how people perceive you. Sitting hunched over can send a message that you feel defeated, while leaning back indicates that you are feeling relaxed.

The smallest of body movements can carry so much meaning but different people can interpret them differently so it’s important to clarify any nonverbal cues with oral communication to be sure that it’s being read in the right way.

The Difference between verbal and nonverbal communication

The first difference between verbal and nonverbal communication is that when we communicate verbally, we use a single channel (our words) versus multiple channels when we communicate nonverbally.

The second difference is that verbal communication happens in a linear fashion, and there is a clear beginning and end to the sentence and the message. Nonverbal communication, however, is continuous.

Regardless of whether or not anything is being said, our nonverbal communication is always putting signals and cues out there regardless of whether or not we are speaking.

The key difference between the two is that verbal communication is often conscious, while nonverbal communication is largely unconscious. You usually think about what you will say, but you don’t usually think about your nonverbal cues and signals. They often just happen if you’re not paying attention. The discrepancy between verbal and nonverbal messages can often lead to your communication being misinterpreted; therefore, it's important to find a way for the two different means of communication to work together.

The importance of nonverbal communication

To enhance our communication effectiveness, it is crucial to develop strong non-verbal communication skills. This includes being aware of our body language and facial expressions. Paying attention to visual cues, such as maintaining appropriate eye contact and using open and positive hand gestures can greatly enhance our ability to convey messages accurately and build positive relationships.

Next time you’re in a meeting, notice your posture and what nonverbal message it is sending out. Is it what you want to be communicating or can you adjust your body movements to align better to the words that you are saying?

Conscious communication through verbal and nonverbal cues

To achieve truly effective communication, it is essential to integrate both verbal and nonverbal cues seamlessly. By aligning our words with our nonverbal signals, we can create a cohesive and meaningful interaction with those around us. This requires conscious choices in our use of words, tone of voice, and body movements.

Developing emotional intelligence and practising active listening can also help us become better communicators, ensuring that our verbal and non-verbal messages are in harmony.

Verbal and non-verbal communication are distinct means of transmitting messages, each with its strengths and limitations. While your choice of words provides precise information, nonverbal signals add depth, emotion, and context to your communication. Understanding the power of facial expressions, eye contact, body movements, and other nonverbal cues is crucial for establishing meaningful connections and fostering effective communication.

By recognising the importance of both forms of communication and striving to master them, we can unlock the full potential of human interaction.

<![CDATA[The 20 Best Transcription Tools to Convert Audio to Text]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-20-best-transcription-tools-to-convert-audio-to-text646190deb5be8a9c2087ea89Mon, 15 May 2023 02:57:45 GMTRon LimWith subtitles and captions enjoying their time in the limelight, transcription is quickly becoming a high-demand field.

man in black headphones with macbook and mic

Social media content aside, many fields have always required transcription services. From legal professionals looking to convert recorded depositions into text, or journalists looking to transcribe the audio files of their interviews to have an easy reference for quotes, transcription is an integral part of the job.

Before technology made its way into the field, transcription was a tedious manual job that took hours.

Technology has drastically changed things; a process that used to take hours can now be done in minutes. In more recent years, the transcription services market has exploded with more companies coming onto the scene that provide both automated and human-created transcriptions.

Why use a transcription tool?

There are many benefits to using a transcription tool for your audio or video files. For starters, it’s a much faster process than human transcription, but that aside, transcription is quickly becoming an essential part of content creation as it helps with discoverability, accessibility, and reach.

Below are just a few of the benefits of transcribing your content.

Transcription helps increase your discoverability

If you’re a vlogger, captions and subtitles are essential as they trickle back into your SEO. Transcribing the audio from your video into text helps YouTube and other search engines crawl the keywords and, as a result, increases your discoverability, allowing more of your audience to discover your content.

Transcription increases the accessibility of your content

Transcribed audio and video files can make your content more accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Many smartphones have accessibility tools for the same purpose so it’s worth using them.

Transcribed files can also help you reach a wider audience who might prefer to read a text file, rather than listen to an audio recording. By converting your content, you can target a new audience and increase the exposure of your content.

Transcription provides more outlets for distribution

As a content creator, repurposing your content is key in making sure your message is heard by more people on more channels. Transcription can help with that as there are many more text distribution channels than audio or video channels. If you have a podcast, an instructional video, interview audio files, or any other type of audio or video content, you can turn them into text and distribute them in different formats, such as blogs, manuals, eBooks, or white papers.

20 best transcription software to convert audio to text

In no particular order, let’s dive into the best 20 transcription tools on the market today.

Happy Scribe

Happy Scribe offers a lot of time-saving features, including automatic transcription and speaker identification, as well as a wide range of video formats and language support. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to bring your team members, such as proofreaders and editors into the platform for a seamless collaboration workflow. Happy Scribe supports over 60 different languages and users get a free trial with 30 minutes of free transcription.

Express Scribe

Express Scribe is a popular transcription tool that supports both audio and video files, with features such as foot pedal support, real-time playback, and voice commands. It works with a range of formats, including encrypted dictation files. You can also load audio files from a CD and work on that as it loads. Express Scribe can be integrated with tools like Microsoft Word, FastFox Text Expander, and even text-to-speech tools out there. Once the transcription is done, the software can automatically send it to your client, if it's set that way. It's compatible with Windows and Mac and offers a free version.


Otter is an advanced transcription tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide accurate results. It allows you to record audio from your phone or use a web browser to transcribe it on the spot. Rather than just plain transcription, it can add speaker ID, notes, images, and key phrases, so you don’t have to play around with additional third-party tools. You can also create a group and add members for easy collaboration on your transcripts. On top of that, Otter allows you to search for keywords and jump to them within the transcript, speed up the playback or skip silent parts to jump straight into the talk. It also offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, as well as integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.


Rev is not software but rather a professional transcription service that offers manual transcription by human transcribers, as well as automatic transcription software. It has a user-friendly interface and excellent transcription accuracy. It saves you a lot of time because you don’t have to do anything apart from uploading the audio file. It also integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox for faster workflow.


Temi is an automatic transcription software that uses speech recognition technology to convert audio recordings into text. This tool has advanced features such as speaker identification, custom timestamps, and a simple editing tool to polish the transcripts. Moreover, you can also download their mobile app for IOS and Android devices to record audio and order transcripts on the go. It offers a free trial with 45 minutes of free transcription with access to all its features to get a taste of everything the tool can do.


Trint is an AI audio transcription software that uses natural language processing to create accurate transcripts. It can turn your audio into 31 different languages of text. All you have to do is import the file which needs to be transcribed and you’ll get a text file ready to go for you to edit, if necessary. Trint also offers integrations with Google Docs and Microsoft Word and has features such as automated transcription and a text editor.


Descript is an all-in-one tool for editing and transcribing audio and video content. It has features such as automatic transcription, voice recognition, and text editing, making it an excellent choice for content creators. Some features include auto-save and sync progress, sync files from your cloud storage, importing already-done transcription for free to blend with your media, and the ability to add speaker labels, and timestamps. You can sign up and get started for free to try the features out.


SCRIBE, an AI-powered transcription and translation software, is a newcomer on the scene by the Australian-based translation company, LEXIGO. This automatic transcription software, with the option for human transcription for higher accuracy, is available in 171 languages, more than any other software we’ve seen. The built-in editor allows you to make edits to the text, if necessary and gives you the flexibility to use different fonts and colours for your captions and to add your logo to the video to make it look more professional. The best part of the software is the ability to automatically translate or professionally translate your transcript into another language to make it more accessible to multilingual audiences.

SCRIBE banner, try SCRIBE free


Sonix is an automated transcription service that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide accurate results. Each line of text comes with timestamps providing an easy reference. There’s also a text editor that can be used to polish things up if necessary. On top of that, it has automatic speech recognition and punctuation, speaker recognition, noise cancellation and a global vocabulary that can understand over 35 different languages. It has a user-friendly interface and offers integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.


Speechmatics is a transcription tool that uses advanced speech recognition technology to create accurate transcripts. It offers real-time transcription, as well as a batch operation of recorded audio input, in 34 languages, along with dialects. When it transcribes audio, it also applies the correct punctuation to the text, using full stops, commands and other appropriate symbols. With no option for free transcription, Speechmatics is more suitable for enterprises.


Verbit is a professional transcription service that offers manual transcription by professional transcribers, as well as automatic transcription software. Software AI technology is initially used to listen to and interpret the audio, and then it is passed to humans to pick up any errors. It has features such as speaker identification and supports various formats such as SRT files and subtitle files. Verbit’s packages are customized for certain industries, such as Corporate Learning, Court Reporting, Education and Media Production, focused mostly on enterprises.


TranscribeMe is a solid mid-range transcription tool that offers a low-cost automated transcription service with online editing software and a quality mobile app. It has a user-friendly interface and supports various formats, including video recordings and phone calls. TranscribeMe also offers human transcription for those looking for more accurate transcription. While it offers competitive rates per minute, there is no free option with this audio transcription software.


oTranscribe is an open-source, free transcription software that’s great if you’re not ready yet to invest in paid transcription tools. Some of the main features of this free transcription tool include export to Google Docs, Markdown or plain text, interactive time stamps for easy navigation through the transcript, and support for video files with a built-in player which also features rewind, forward, pause and play through your keyboard. oTranscribe automatically saves every change so you never have to worry about losing your data for any reason.


Scribie is a highly trusted transcription tool that offers manual transcription by professional transcribers, as well as an automatic transcription software. It has transcribed over 7M minutes to date and has a community of over 42,000 professional transcribers who work in different locations around the world. It has features such as speaker tracking tools and offers integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox. The turnaround time for automatic transcription is 30 minutes, while the manual transcription turnaround time is 24 hours. The downside to this tool is it’s only available in English.


Audext is an automatic transcription software with a good price tag that delivers fast results in over 60 languages. It houses essential features such as speaker identification, audio format support, a built-in editor and auto-save progress. It can recognize voices despite background noise and timestamps for each text block. Audext offers human transcription within 3 days if you want to level up for more accurate results.


Amberscript is a popular transcription tool that uses artificial intelligence speech recognition to create accurate transcripts. It offers an online text editor and human transcribers for more accurate transcription. It supports 39 languages for automatic transcription and 11 for manual transcription. The platform is fast, accurate and secure (with GDPR compliance). A free 10-minute trial is available for those looking to try before they commit.


GoSpeech is a transcription software based on artificial intelligence that automatically converts audio and video files into text files. This software runs exclusively on German servers which offers a very high level of data security. GoSpeech offers speaker identification and an intuitive online editor for post-editing your transcription. The online editor featured a group function that allows you to invite your team to collaborate on the transcript with you. The software impressively has a search function to make the audio searchable which can help improve productivity while editing. GoSpeech also offers a local on-premise solution for organisations.


Transcribe is a privacy-focused transcription software that can turn a variety of audio and video files into text, in over 80 languages. They offer both manual and automatic transcription, with features such as voice diction to help you clear up areas of your file that are inaudible. Their manual mode has workflow tools that can slow down the audio and auto-loop it. It also integrates with a foot pedal so you can control the playback speed. Transcripts can be exported into DOC, TXT, or SRT files.


Nuance is more of a speech-to-text software but comes in handy for transcribing as well. It’s a great productivity tool because you can control areas of it with just your voice. There are versions of it that are tailored to your needs, with plans for individuals, professionals, law enforcement, etc.


GoTranscript is an exclusive human-based transcription software. It supports over 60 languages with professional native transcribers that convert your video files to text. GoTranscript offers captions and subtitles for your video, as well as translation. Each captions order includes a free transcript, and each subtitle order comes with free captions and a transcript. Since every order is handled by professional transcribers, GoTranscript can guarantee high accuracy even for videos with lower audio quality and heavy accents. They also have a 4-step process - Transcription, Review, Proofreading, and Quality Check - to ensure high-quality results.

Wrap up

Transcription tools have become an essential part of content creation. Transcribing your audio or video files can increase your discoverability, accessibility, and reach. It can also provide more outlets for distribution and help you reach a wider audience.

There’s a wide range of transcription tools available today that make the process faster, more efficient, and more accurate. From automatic transcription services like Happy Scribe, Temi, and Rev, to advanced transcription tools like Otter and Trint, and all-in-one editing and transcription software like Descript and SCRIBE, the market offers a wide range of options for transcription needs.

Whether you are a content creator, a journalist, or a legal professional, there’s a transcription software out there that aligns with your needs to help you save time, and effort, and improve the quality of your work.

<![CDATA[Gen Z and the Rising Obsession with Subtitles]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/gen-z-and-the-rising-obsession-with-subtitles6459cbac864efad70702094dTue, 09 May 2023 05:17:37 GMTZaina NasserI remember when I first found out that there were subtitles on DVD. They were such a novelty and a novelty I insisted on indulging in. No rhyme or reason behind it. At the time (we’re talking late 90s to early 2000s), subtitles or closed captions were considered to be something only for people who were hard of hearing. I remember being told you’ll miss the movie if you’re reading the subtitles, but I was convinced this was the only way for me to consume content. Oh how far we’ve come since then.

person holding black samsung android smartphone

Today, subtitles and captions are on almost every piece of video content out there, on social media and beyond. And Generation Z is leading the charge!

A recent survey by the captioning charity Stagetext found that four out of five people in the 18-25 age group use subtitles all or part of the time, despite having fewer hearing problems than older generations. By contrast, less than a quarter of those between the ages of 56 and 75 said they watch with captions on.

How did this happen? And why? All legit questions which we’ll be answering today as we take a walk on the young side with the generation that is quickly changing how we make and consume content.

Content consumption evolution: an influence on subtitles and captions

When Instagram first came out it was a platform aimed mostly at millennials looking to preserve a memory in time with images. Millennials were some of the first adopters of social media, and while we had started with status updates on Facebook, we were eventually tapped out of our words and looking for something else to tout.

Instagram came in with pictures, and we were off to the races. Everyone out there was uploading pictures of their lunch and their shoes.

Millennials left, right, and center, were commemorating every single occasion with a post in the beloved Clarendon filter. We were the curated image generation, putting so much thought and effort into every piece of content that went out there and Instagram was a huge influencer on our lives in that regard.

This curation extended into every aspect of our lives, from our food to our outfits, make-up, homes, and beyond.

And while we were busy curating every aspect of our existence, TikTok was shaping a new era in content creation and consumption - of the minute, unedited video content with all the handshakes and half-eaten and mumbled words, watched on a tiny screen in a public space without the luxury of audio always being heard out loud.

TikTok, the video content platform, has taken over from Instagram in the lives of Gen Zers. With the rise of TikTok, has come a new type of content, one that has been characterized by not just videos but by subtitles and captions.

While many like to attribute Gen Z’s love of subtitles to Netflix’s wide range of exceptional foreign language TV, which I do think did have something to do with the emerging use of subtitles, I don’t believe it to be the main contributor to the cause.

Before Squid Games took the world by storm, Gen Zers were already on TikTok, watching videos in the subway on the way to work, without the luxury of crisp clean audio, but rather with the background noise of a loud screeching train halting at every station stop accompanying the sound coming in through their headphones.

Why does Gen Z use captions?

Subtitles are almost an essential part of online content now as younger generations take in social media videos alongside seven other things that they’re doing. Subtitles give its audience easier access and a clearer picture of what they’re consuming as they go through the world.

No longer is watching videos on your phone something you do in your free time, but rather something that Gen Zers are doing while they watch Netflix, eat a sandwich, cook a meal, and/or make a smoothie all at the same time.

Generation Z is moving at a much faster pace than Gen X or baby boomers ever have, and subtitles are helping them zero in on one thing while also keeping up with everything happening around them.

The main reason Gen Zers use subtitles is that they usually consume different media all at once and want to be able to go between screens while still taking in as much information as possible. They can be on their phones with Netflix on a second screen, quickly flick their eyes up, read ahead, take in the whole scene all at once, and then look back down at their phone.

Closed captions help them speed-track their consumption, picking up just what they need and then going back to whatever else they were doing.

Content creators go global

Gen Zers are connecting with content creators down the road and across the globe through the tiny powerhouses in their pockets.

As younger generations have started to rely more and more on the device in their hands, the world has gone from being 6371 km wide to being 720x1280 pixels on a 6-inch screen.

Content creators from a range of countries, speaking in different languages and accents are having their content picked up by audiences in different countries and subtitles have become essential to make sure their audience can easily understand and consume their content.

The range of accents can impact viewing experiences and closed captions help bridge the gap between content creators and their diverse audience.

Subtitles on streaming services

The largest increase in subtitle usage can be seen across streaming services. Netflix’s user survey found that 80% of its members use subtitles or closed captions at least once a month. While subtitles have long been an often overlooked aspect of TV, they have become a necessity on most streaming platforms.

Reasons for this sudden increase in read-watching among young people can be attributed to international audiences watching shows with hard-to-understand accents, such as British accents that are heard in popular Netflix shows Peaky Blinders and Derry Girls.

US viewers have found it difficult to understand the accent of many British actors, with Tom Hardy from Peaky Blinders topping the list.

Some actors are also employing a more realistic diction, with murmuring and mumbling that is difficult for even perfect ears to pick up without some assistance.

On top of that, there has been a boom in foreign-language series on streaming services.

Netflix’s most popular show to date, Squid Game, is South Korean. That and many other foreign-language shows, such as the Colombian series Narcos or the French Lupin are enjoyed by audiences who can’t understand a word of what is being said on the screen.

The most interesting use of subtitles was seen in Season Four of Netflix’s Stranger Things which made a splash amongst its predominantly young viewers. The show took something that is typically bland and turned it into a creative art form of which the cultural impact will be felt for years to come.

The memes have made their way onto social media with screenshots from Stranger Things frozen with incredibly descriptive sound-effect captions at the bottom of the screen.

Some of the other more popular Stranger Things subtitles that now live as memes on “out-of-context” Twitter accounts include “Eldritch thrumming” “Wet footsteps squelch” and “Wet writhing.”

stranger things screen capture with eldritch and subtitles wet footsteps squelch

Netflix has revolutionised its captioning on English-language shows with an English Timed Text Style Guide, an ever-changing set of rules for subtitles.

According to its director of globalisation, Kathy Rockni, subtitlers are encouraged to “Describe sounds, music, and even silence. It’s important if it adds to the emotion.”

This shift in subtitle use has created a growth in demand in a long-undervalued industry, language service providers (LSPs) that provide subtitles, captions, and dubbing—just like here at LEXIGO.

On the flip side, diplomatic translation services are finding their translators are choosing to make their way into TV, creating a shortage of linguists in the industry.

Subtitles and captions are the future

We have entered a new era of captioning, an art form that began with intertitles in silent films and transformed into open captions in the 50s (captions burned onto the screen with no option to be turned off) before the BBC finally adopted closed captions for TV shows in 1979.

The new and improved captions of today provide so much more context, nuance, and creativity than ever before, allowing young viewers with short attention spans to easily come in and out of their multiple screens without skipping a beat.

Generation Z has changed the course of closed captions and subtitles in pop culture, making them more than just a way to deliver information but turning them into a creative art form that allows viewers to step into a new world of squeaky squelchy subtitles that can make anyone cringe, regardless of whether or not they can actually hear what is going on.

<![CDATA[Talk like an Aussie: 55 of Australia’s Must-Know Slang]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/talk-like-an-aussie-55-of-australia-s-must-know-slang64548969569e2b8ed2c4b58aSat, 06 May 2023 05:18:19 GMTZaina NasserWe spend a lot of time talking about the various languages, communities, and cultures that make up Australia’s unique fabric. One of the things that is most unique to Australia is its slang, the day-to-day expressions, and phrases that most Australians don’t even notice they use because it's so entrenched in their vernacular.

map of australia with pin

There’s an abbreviation for most words and names that would be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t spent much time in Australia or around Australians. As a Canadian in Australia, I thought I’d have an easier time since I’m from an English-speaking country, but I still feel like I need a localised Australian English dictionary to understand a conversation. There's a slew of new words I've had to learn to keep up with my Australian friends.

This one is for all the visitors coming to Australia who want to better understand Australian expressions or for the Aussies that don’t even realise the words they’re using are Aussie slang words that are indecipherable to others.

Let’s dive into the obvious and not-so-obvious Australian slang words and expressions:

  1. Avo - a typical Aussie abbreviation usually utilises the first half of the word. We’ll be seeing many more of these. “Avo” is short for Avocado.
  2. Barbie - short for Barbecue. You might hear the Australian expression, “throw another shrimp on the Barbie,” regularly in the summer season.
  3. Bathers - the colloquial Australian term for swimsuits!
  4. Bloody Oath - a dramatic interpretation of “Yes!” “100%” or “Definitely”. It’s an affirmative response to almost anything.
  5. Bludger - a derogatory word used to refer to a lazy person. “Why do you keep skipping class? You’re such a bludger”.
  6. Bogan - the Australian term for someone who is considered unsophisticated or unrefined. The expression is commonly associated by Aussies with someone of low socio-economic status.
  7. Booze Bus - not the sort of bus you have a beer on. Quite the opposite. It’s a police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers.
  8. Bottle-o - otherwise known as a bottle shop or liquor store. A place where Aussies buy their alcohol.
  9. Brolly - short for an umbrella.
  10. Budgie Smugglers - otherwise known as Speedos, which is also the name of the brand.
  11. Cab Sav - I think the rest of the world should adopt this Australian slang term for the well-known wine, Cabernet Sauvignon.
  12. Choc-a-bloc (or Chock-a-block) - if a place is chock-a-block, it is full of either people or things, like cars in a parking lot.
  13. Chook - take the word chicken and make it cute. Enter Chook. And yes, we are referring to the animal here.
  14. Cold One / Coldie – “Cold One” is used in other countries, so you might know what this is referring to. A “coldie” is the lesser-known of the two phrases. I’m sure you might gather by now that we’re referring to; an alcoholic beverage otherwise known as a beer.
  15. Coppers - the Australian expression for Policemen.
  16. Crook - mirroring the expression “bent out of shape”, crook is actually a term used to express an old British English verb for “bend” or “hook” that Aussies when they’re feeling unwell or angry. It can also be used as the word "criminal" (eg. that person is a crook).
  17. Dag – typically refers to someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.
  18. Defo – definitely!
  19. Devo – and devastated! Are you noticing the pattern here?
  20. Dunny - otherwise known as the Toilet in other parts of the world.
  21. Durry- a slang word for “cigarette”.
  22. Esky - Esky is actually a brand of portable coolers. The term has now been adopted by Australian culture to refer to all coolers.
  23. Facey – none other than Facebook!
  24. Fair Dinkum – a typical Australian English expression reminiscent of the term “honestly” in the English language. It is an affirmation or response to good news. Fair dinkum can be used in a variety of contexts, such as to say that someone is genuine or to ask if one is telling the truth. It is one of the most commonly used Australian slang phrases.
  25. Far out – ‘Really?!’ – the term can be used with a positive or negative sentiment.
  26. Flat out - usually means you’re extremely busy. “I’m flat out at work today”.
  27. Frothy – another word for a cold one, or a Beer.
  28. Good day or G’day – the Australian Hello
  29. Good on ya - this is an Aussie slang phrase for “good work”, or a job “well done”. “Good on ya, mate!”
  30. Hard yakka – Aussies use the term hard yakka to refer to “Hard work”.
  31. Heaps - a phrase to indicate an extreme, similar to “really,” or “very.” ”That’s heaps good.”
  32. Hungry Jacks - not exactly an Aussie slang phrase, but rather, the Australian name for “Burger King.”
  33. Larrikin - someone who is mischievous but has a good heart and is well-liked. Often a jokester or someone who likes to play pranks.
  34. Lippy- I believe this term is used more commonly across the world as it’s made its way to the English dictionary. The informal expression for lipstick.
  35. Lollies – this term typically refers to lollipops in British English, but in Australia, lollies refers to all kinds of sweets and candies, not just lollipops.
  36. Maccas – you know Aussies love their slang when the giant fast food chain McDonald’s starts to refer to itself as “Maccas” in Australia
  37. Milk bar - The local general store, deli, or corner shop. No, they don’t just sell milk.
  38. Mozzie - short for a mosquito. You’ll see a lot of these in Australia during the summer.
  39. Rapt - Aussies use this word to mean happy!
  40. Reckon - A short version of “Do you reckon?”, an Australian slang equivalent for “Do you think?”.
  41. Rego - short for Registration. It usually refers to a car’s registration.
  42. Servo – the abbreviated word for a “service station”, otherwise known as a petrol station or gas station.
  43. Sheila – refers to a woman. Sheila initially was how Aussies would refer to Irish women, but eventually, the name stuck as slang for women in general.
  44. Sickie – a sick day off work. “Pulling a sickie” would be to take a day off work when you aren’t actually sick.
  45. Straya – Australia. Need I say more…
  46. Stuffed – to be tired or physically exhausted.
  47. Sunnies – short for sunglasses.
  48. Thingo - a thing, a thingy, a thingamajig. What you call something when you don’t know what it is.
  49. Thongs - sandals, flip-flops. Don’t be surprised if your Australian friend asks you to wear thongs to the beach. They are most likely asking you to bring your flip-flops so you don’t burn your feet on the hot Australian sand.
  50. Tradie - short for “tradesman”, a skilled manual worker specialised in a particular craft or trade (electrician, carpenter, plumber, etc.).
  51. Truckie - you guessed it: A truck driver!
  52. True blue - used to refer to a real Australian. “You’re a true blue.”
  53. Uey - otherwise known as a U-turn. “Chuck a uey” is typically said when driving to make a U-turn.
  54. Woop-Woop - used to refer to a place in the middle of “nowhere”. “He lives out woop woop.”
  55. Yous - the plural form of you, used to refer to a group of people. “What are yous up to today?”

Australian slang is deeply embedded in the country's culture and is unique to the region. Many words and phrases are often used on a daily basis by Australians and are so ingrained in their speech that they may not even realize they're using slang.

For first-time visitors to Australia, even if they do come from English-speaking countries, it can be challenging to understand these expressions. While Aussies rarely use a full word and instead prefer to use abbreviated words, the structure of most Australian slang words is the same and can be easy to figure out over time.

Next time you're around your Australian friend, impress them by throwing out one of the unconventional words from this list. Just make sure you're using these Australian slang terms in an appropriate situation so as not to offend anyone.

<![CDATA[Why Translation isn't Enough: The Case for Transcreation]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/why-translation-isn-t-enough-the-case-for-transcreation6451cff67010776fd894abedWed, 03 May 2023 03:54:18 GMTMichelle TrazoIn a multicultural country, translation is always a consideration in communication but over time, the gaps in translation can start to come through.

group of people walking near high rise buildings

Key Takeaways

  • Transcreation is a type of creative translation and re-structuring of copy to adhere to the cultural and linguistic standards of the target audience within another country.
  • Transcreation goes beyond the literal translation of words to capture the intended message, tone, and cultural context of the original content.
  • Good transcreation involves close collaboration between the transcreation team and the client, with a well-defined creative brief and market research as the foundation for a successful campaign.
  • The goal of transcreation is to ensure that the original message of the marketing content is effectively communicated to the new audience in a way that resonates with them emotionally and culturally.
  • The linguistic copywriters need to have a deep understanding of both the source and target languages and cultures, and the project manager needs to coordinate the creative process to ensure that the final product meets the client's expectations.
  • Transcreation offers brands a myriad of benefits, the most prominent of which is brand resonance with your audience and improved brand awareness.
  • Transcreation is more complex than translation and requires not just creativity in language and writing skills but also insight into the audience you are trying to reach.

"This word doesn't translate well."

"There's no word for this in that language."

"This message doesn't resonate in this language."

Not every message can be adequately translated, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing. The main purpose of advertising is to encourage your target audience to buy your product or service. The delivery is key. Otherwise, you won't get the desired action and outcome from your audience. If a word doesn't translate well, your whole marketing campaign will flop, and it's back to the drawing board. Enter Transcreation.

What is Transcreation?

The word transcreation first made its way into academia over 60 years ago and was mainly associated with literary texts. In 1957, Purushottama Lal, an Indian poet and scholar, used the term transcreation to refer to his English translation of a classic Indian drama in Sanskrit. He explained that "the thing to do is to attempt to preserve not the Sanskrit language but the Hindu tradition which it enshrines". The purpose of transcreation, as Lal intended, was to capture the spirit of the text and recreate it in a different language to engage the target audience. It's translating and creating all in one. The key here is to reflect the source text and keep the original message alive, just in a different language. Easier said than done.

Transcreation became mainstream in the advertising and marketing world in the 1990s. In marketing, transcreation is described as a type of creative translation and re-structuring of copy to adhere to the cultural and linguistic standards of the target audience within another country. It goes beyond the literal translation of words to capture the intended message, tone, and cultural context of the original content.

Typically with transcreation, as the target audience is different from the audience of the original message, the content needs to go through a new briefing process. The campaign and advertising copy need to be recreated to resonate with the new audience in their language while taking into account their cultural background, local customs, and marketing preferences. A good transcreation process involves close collaboration between the transcreation team and the client, with a well-defined creative brief and market research as the foundation for a successful campaign.

Why is Transcreation Important?

As the world is becoming more diverse and interconnected, brands are spilling over into new countries and markets around the globe. To succeed in these new markets, businesses and brands must reframe their marketing messages to elicit the same intended response in their new audience. Transcreation aims to do just that.

The goal of transcreation is to ensure that the original message of the marketing content is effectively communicated to the new audience in a way that resonates with them emotionally and culturally. Good transcreation considers not only the target audience's language but also their cultural norms and preferences, ensuring that the advertising messages are relevant and engaging.

This is especially important for global brands that need to adapt their marketing content to different target markets and languages, where a direct translation of advertising copy may not resonate with the local audience.

A classic example of translation gone wrong is KFC's "Finger-Lickin' Good" campaign, which, when it made its way to the Chinese market, was translated into "Eat your fingers off". Definitely not the message they wanted to deliver to their customers. Transcreation ensures that translation blunders like this don't happen in key markets.

The Challenges of Transcreation

Transcreation is more complex than translation as it requires not just creativity in language and writing skills but insight into the audience you are trying to reach. There needs to be a high level of expertise and experience to ensure a good outcome. The linguistic copywriters need to have a deep understanding of both the source and target languages and cultures, and the project manager needs to coordinate the creative process to ensure that the final product meets the client's expectations.

In some cases, drastic changes may need to be made to the original text or product names to ensure that the transcreated content resonates with the target culture. This is particularly true for advertising content, where a simple translation may not capture the intended emotional response of the audience.

An excellent example of a slogan that had to be completely altered is Intel's "Sponsors of Tomorrow" in Brazil. In Portuguese, Brazil's native tongue, the direct translation of the slogan implied that Intel would not deliver on its promises immediately. Intel used transcreation to update the messaging used in Brazil to "Intel: In Love with the Future". While vastly different in its meaning in English, this Portuguese iteration captures the same essence for its Brazilian audience.

The Benefits of Transcreation

Transcreation offers brands a myriad of benefits, the most prominent of which is brand resonance with your audience and improved brand awareness. In turn, this can lead to more consumer engagement and a higher conversion rate.

By adapting the marketing messages to the local audience, businesses can establish a stronger connection with their target market and increase their chances of success.

Sometimes transcreation can work so well that the transcreated slogan is even better than the original. An example of this can be seen with Proctor & Gamble's 1999 campaign in Italy for their Swiffer dusting products. The original English slogan was "When Swiffer's the one, consider it done". The rhyming couplet worked well in the original language, but the direct translation in Italian would've ruined the flow. The team was tasked with creating an Italian rhyming couplet that would retain the meaning and resonance with the Italian audience.

The Italian creative translation, "La polvere non-dura, perché Swiffer la cattura," changed the slogan's meaning to "The dust doesn't linger, because Swiffer catches it." but kept the rhyming couplet power. Some might argue that this version is even better than the original as it directly mentions the product's benefits. This is widely regarded as one of the best examples of creative slogan transcreation.

Final Thoughts

Transcreation is an important tool for brands and businesses that want to effectively market their products and services to international audiences. While translation may be more suitable for more functional and technical content, transcreation is essential for advertising campaigns and other marketing messages that require a deep understanding of the target culture and language. By working with experienced linguistic copywriters and project managers, businesses can ensure that their transcreation projects are successful and resonate with the local audience. Remember, good news travels fast, but bad translations can travel even faster.

<![CDATA[The Art of Multilingual Desktop Publishing and Typesetting]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-art-of-multilingual-desktop-publishing-and-typesetting64489e0c9ee27246582b8a57Wed, 26 Apr 2023 04:11:32 GMTZaina NasserA common misconception of translation jobs is that they are limited to copy and written content. In reality, they extend beyond the written word into design, desktop publishing and typesetting.

metal typesetting letters on a table

While the bulk of the work is in translating text, marketing materials, annual reports and other business materials, it doesn't end there. In fact, one of the biggest challenges of multilingual communication is presenting the content in multiple languages while maintaining the integrity of the original layout.

Visual communication is more powerful than ever. Your message needs to be clear, resonant, and eye-catching to stand out and get attention from your audience. This is where multilingual desktop publishing (DTP) and typesetting services come into play.

Key Takeaways

  • Desktop publishing (DTP) and typesetting are essential aspects of multilingual communication.
  • DTP involves using design and software programs to create print-ready documents, while typesetting involves composing text and words to create an optimal reading experience.
  • Multilingual DTP and typesetting consider font sizes, line spacing, page layouts of the target language, as well as the overall look of the end product.
  • Ideally, multilingual DTP specialists and typesetters should be familiar with the languages they are working with to ensure that the copy is placed in the layout and designed in alignment with the rules of the target language.
  • Multilingual typesetting and DTP start with text translation, followed by typesetting and design adjustment, and end with an in-context review to ensure the translation quality and accuracy.
  • Multilingual DTP and typesetting can be used for both print documents and online content.

What is the difference between Desktop Publishing (DTP) and Typesetting?

One of the most common questions we get is, "What exactly is the difference between DTP and Typesetting?"

Let's start with Desktop Publishing Services.

In the simplest terms, DTP services involve the use of design and software programs on a "desktop" computer to create print-ready documents. These documents may include user manuals, reports, or marketing materials, such as brochures and flyers.

DTP allows us to create beautiful designs and layouts that enhance the visual aesthetic of a document, thereby amplifying the key message it's meant to convey. When working on a translation project, the desktop publishing team needs to consider multiple things, including, but not limited to, the target language's font size, line spacing, and page layouts, to ensure that the end product meets the client's specifications.

What about Typesetting?

Typesetting refers to the composition of text and words on a layout to create an optimal reading experience. Quite literally, the setting of the type. It is one element of design, but good typesetting is an art form and is a vital part of the translation process as the content size can drastically change in translation, and the copy typically needs to be reset.

In simple terms, desktop publishing refers to the overall design of the material and content, while typesetting specifically refers to the art of arranging the text in a way that optimizes the reading experience.

Multilingual Desktop Publishing and Typesetting

Now that we've covered the basics of DTP and Typesetting, let's jump into the ins and outs of Multilingual DTP and Typesetting.

Multilingual typesetting involves the process of typesetting translated text in different languages into layouts designed to showcase the text in the best way possible. Multilingual typesetting takes into account the font sizes, page layouts and overall look of the end product.

Multilingual DTP specialists play a vital role in creating print-ready documents in the required target language (or languages) aligned with the business' brand image. Not only should the text be correct, but it needs to be placed into layouts that fulfil the branding requirements and adhere to the linguistic rules of the target language. Skilled graphic designers and typesetting teams typically work with popular software programs such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Publisher.

Ideally, for multilingual projects, the multilingual DTP specialists and typesetters should be familiar with the languages they are working with to ensure that the way the copy is placed in the layout and how the text is designed is aligned with the rules of the language they are working with, i.e. the direction of the text, justification, etc.

From translation to typesetting and desktop publishing: a step-by-step process

Text Translation

The process of multilingual typesetting begins with the translation of the source text. Professional translators who work with different languages ensure that the translated text accurately conveys the message of the original text. They also take into consideration text expansion, which can be an issue when translating from English to languages such as Arabic or Indian languages.

Instant translation quote banner for LEXIGO


Typically, when it comes to translated materials, there is a source design file containing the content in the source language. Once the translation is complete, the typesetting team works on a new language version of the document while maintaining the original design. This involves adjusting column widths, line spacing, and sometimes the direction of the text for right-to-left scripts. In the case of user manuals or other technical documents, the typesetting team must also work with CAD software to ensure that any related graphics programs are correctly typeset.

In an ideal world, the text could fit right into the design of the original document. If we're working on this basis, then a typesetter would be all you need, but as this is not typically the case, a typesetter and DTP specialist might have to work together to redesign the document in a way that still reflects the original design but is optimized for the target language.

It is important to note that multilingual DTP and typesetting are not limited to print documents. The same process is also used for typesetting online content such as PowerPoint presentations or website content. In the case of websites, language service providers may offer online typesetting services to ensure that the website's basic functionalities and browsing experience are not compromised.

In-Context Review

As it goes with every translation project, there is always a final check or audit of the content.

At LEXIGO, as a triple ISO-certified company, we have an extremely stringent quality assurance process.

Our ISO-17100 certification ensures our translation quality and process, which includes a quality assurance check. Our ISO-9001 Quality Management certification showcases our top-tier quality management system.

Our initial quality assurance check assesses the translation text before it is typeset or placed into the design. We also have a second in-context review that happens for the typeset files.

In the DTP and Typesetting process, while placing the text into the design file, a number of errors could occur that the typesetter or designer might not pick up on. On the other hand, the design and copy might be perfectly placed, but the context of the content might need to be reviewed for cultural sensitivities. The typeset files are usually sent back to the professional translators for a final quality assurance check to ensure that all the text is correct and that the final design is also culturally appropriate and relevant. Once the copy and design pass the quality assurance check, the final files are sent to the printer.

When working on a translation project, working with a translation company that offers professional typesetting services is crucial. The translation company will ensure that not only is the quality of the translation up to par but that the end product meets the needs of the target audience.

Final Thoughts

Language service providers that offer multilingual DTP services understand the importance of presenting foreign language texts in a professional manner. Whether it's an annual report or a single business card, the overall look of the end product should convey a high-quality message that resonates with the target audience. Multilingual typesetting and desktop publishing are essential in this process.

Working with a professional translation company that offers multilingual DTP services ensures that businesses can accurately communicate with their customers in any language. Whether it's Latin script or right-to-left languages, multilingual typesetting provides an end-to-end solution for creating professional-looking documents in any language.

,Learn more about LEXIGO's translation services here.

<![CDATA[12 Ways to Say Good Morning in Arabic]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/12-ways-to-say-good-morning-in-arabic64422cab710c6e58d0673190Fri, 21 Apr 2023 07:19:12 GMTZaina NasserGrowing up in a primarily Arabic-speaking household, I always struggled to fully grasp the many complexities of the Arabic language.


As a rich language that was developed through a predominantly oral and poetic tradition that flourished in the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabic language, and its different dialects, is very expressive with multiple words to describe emotions and feelings. This perplexed me when I was younger, but now as an adult, I love being able to express myself in so many ways.

One of my favourite aspects of the language is the varying ways you can say “Good Morning”. The first time I went to Egypt, I noticed that the morning greeting I would receive was different from anything I had heard anywhere else in the region, as their dialect is quite unique.

Many of the Arab-speaking countries all have different Arabic dialects and, as a result, their own form of verbal greetings, each being beautiful and expressive in its own way.

In this article, we’ll be diving into traditional Arabic greetings and the many ways to say “Good Morning”, from the more common and generic greetings to the dramatic & flowery expressions that are common in Arab culture.

Sabah El Kheir

“Sabah El Kheir” is the most common way to say good morning in Arabic. It literally translates to “morning of goodness” or “good morning” and is used in formal and informal situations alike.

It’s a traditional Arabic greeting and is widely used in almost all Arab countries and among Arabic speakers around the world. Native speakers of Arabic use “Sabah El Kheir” to greet each other in the morning, and it is considered a polite and respectful way to start the day.

Sabah El Noor

“Sabah El Noor” is a literal translation of “morning of light” and is usually said in response to “Sabah El Kheir”. It translates into wishing someone a bright morning, a positive start to the day. It can be used in both formal and informal occasions, especially among close friends or family members.

Yaseed Sabahkom

“Yaseed Sabahkom” is a common greeting that can be used in both formal and informal settings. It translates to “May your morning be happier” or “Have a happy morning”.

It’s another regional favourite that showcases the trademark warmth and generosity that characterises everyday interactions in the Arab world. The typical response to “Yaseed Sabahkom” is “Wa Sabahkom”, which translates to “and your morning”, reflecting the same wishes back to the greeter.


“Sabaho” is an informal greeting and is a shortened version of “Sabah El Kheir” or “Sabah El Noor”. The literal meaning of “Sabaho” is “Morning” and can be used the same way that an English speaker would use the more colloquial “Morning” greeting. In an Arabic-speaking country, “Sabaho” would be used in a casual way amongst friends and family.

Naharak Saa’id

“Naharak Saa’id” is another way to say “Good Morning” in Arabic, and it translates to “Your day is happy”. It is commonly used in the Middle East, and it is a great way to wish someone a good day ahead. It can be used in formal and informal situations, and it is a polite way to start a conversation.

Sah El Noum

“Sah El Noum” is an informal greeting similar to “Wakey Wakey”. It is a cheeky way to greet someone who is tired or sleepy, or who has arrived late to a morning meeting or event. It’s best to use this term with your inner circle or close friends and family.

Sabah El-Yasmine

“Sabah El-Yasmine” is a classic morning salutation in the Levant Region. The colloquial greeting’s literal meaning is “A morning of Jasmine”, referring to the Jasmine flower, which is commonly found in many of the Levant countries. This unique greeting is usually used to express kindness and tenderness. It is an informal greeting typically used with loved ones or a romantic partner.

Sabah El-Ward

Similar to “Sabah El-Yasmine”, another common greeting is “Sabah El-Ward”, which means “A morning of flowers”. The sentiment is the same as “Sabah El-Yasmine”

Sabah El-Ful

“Sabah El-Ful” is an Egyptian Arabic greeting with a similar sentiment to “Sabah El-Yasmine”. El-Ful refers to Arabian Jasmine, a flower commonly found in Egypt. Sometimes Egyptians combine “Sabah El-Ful” and “Sabah El-Yasmine” to “Sabah El-Ful wa El-Yasmine”, which literally translates to “A morning of Arabian Jasmine & Jasmine” in English.

Sabah El-Ishta

I’m sure by now you’re noticing a pattern when it comes to the different greetings. “Sabah El-Ishta” echoes the same sentiment of “Sabah El Ful” and “Sabah El-Yasmine”. “Sabah El Ishta” is another Egyptian Arabic morning salutation. Ishta is creamy cheese used in Egyptian desserts, such as qatayef. This common greeting is referencing the sweetness of Ishta, thereby wishing people a sweet day.

“Sabah El” phrases are common in the Arabic language, and a lot of the different Arab-speaking countries play around with them and change the last term to something that is prominent in that country. In some countries, you might hear a group of people joking around with expressions like “Sabah El Falafel” or “Sabah El Mutabal”, poking fun at the common good morning greeting.

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan is a general greeting that can also be used in the morning but can also be used at different times of the day. It translates to “Welcome” and can be used as an informal or formal greeting. It is commonly used to greet visitors in Arabic-speaking countries to make people feel welcome. It is a common greeting used to show hospitality in Arab culture as it is derived from a longer expression, “halalta ahlan wa nazalta sahlan”, which means “You have come to a people who are like family and to a place that is smooth/easy”.

As-Salam Alaikum

Many people might have heard this term as it is more commonly used than most other Arabic expressions, and that is “As-Salam Alaikum”. “As-Salam Alaikum” is a traditional Arabic greeting that can be used at any time of the day, including in the morning. It translates to “peace be upon you”, and it is a common greeting among Arabic speakers.

As you might have noticed, the variety of greetings is endless across these different phrases. There’s a greeting for every mood and every occasion.

Take your pick and impress your Arabic-speaking friends with your favourite “Good Morning” phrase the next time you see them, and wait with bated breath to see what they’ll come back with.

<![CDATA[ChatGPT vs. Google Translate: who does it better?]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/chatgpt-vs-google-translate-who-does-it-better6440d208940b43ec45c9e0a7Thu, 20 Apr 2023 06:27:50 GMTZaina NasserChatGPT, self-defined as a "large language model developed by OpenAI based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture", has taken the world by storm.

Our world, which is already quick to shortcut any job possible, has turned to ChatGPT for countless tasks ranging from writing your essay for you to giving you recipes for dinner using only the ingredients you have in your pantry.

It truly is an amazing tool that has changed the face of technology, but today we put it to the test in translation efficacy and pit it against what some might deem a giant when it comes to Machine Translation, Google Translate.

web code on a computer screen

Key Takeaways:

  • ChatGPT vs Google Translate: a comparison for multilingual translation finds different uses for each platform
  • Preliminary evaluation of ChatGPT and Google Translate for translation robustness finds Google Translate to be better at translating long-form content
  • ChatGPT translation is better at cultural idioms and expressions but struggles with longer-form text
  • Google Translate tests better with longer-form text and translating into more target languages
  • Launch of ChatGPT and GPT -4 engine: promising AI chatbot for translations and for not only translating content but creating content in-language
  • Both tools use interesting strategies for improving translation accuracy over time and still require human translation for validation and cultural adaptation
  • Source language and natural language processing challenges in both translation platforms
  • Tone adjustment, creative content, and detailed responses are still ongoing challenges for machine translation platforms
  • Social media posts and biomedical abstracts have varied success in translation tasks across both platforms
  • Short-term vs. long-term translation goals, for example, balancing performance and utility
  • Different families of languages and training data impacts translation outputs
  • Chat GPT and Google Translate vs. human translators leaves room for collaboration and growth in the translation industry

Machine Translation has become an important tool in breaking down language barriers. With the rise of global commerce, many businesses are crossing over into other countries and have to conduct business in multiple languages. Content creation in one language only is no longer the standard with many content creators having to turn to translation professionals to help them diversify their content writing.

Google Translate is one of the more popular commercial translation products that most small businesses and language professionals turn to, but a worthy competitor might be joining the ranks.

ChatGPT, as an AI tool, has many functionalities. When asked about its potential uses, ChatGPT itself actually lists Language Translation; more specifically, it states, "ChatGPT can be used to provide real-time language translation, making it easier for people who speak different languages to communicate with each other."

As a regular user of Google Translate, which I used regularly in my travels to help me oscillate between languages, the possibility of another machine translation tool that could potentially offer a more accurate translation piqued my interest. I had to test it out for myself, so I took to the World Wide Web and tested both platforms on accuracy, functionality and user experience. Keep on reading to find out which of these takes the cake when it comes to machine translation.

Testing on Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the most critical factors to consider when using a machine translation tool.

Google Translate has been in the game a long time, using Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) technology. It's a technology that constantly improves the quality of translations by learning from millions of examples. With a large end-to-end framework, the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations, which, funnily enough, I got to see in action in my tests (more to come below). On top of that, Google Translate supports over 100 different languages.

ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM) that responds to prompts by processing large amounts of data. This input becomes the basis for the tool to predict an output consistent with the user's instructions. ChatGPT knows at least 95 natural languages, so it is less robust than Google Translate in terms of language pairs, but we're testing on the languages that it knows to keep the experiment controlled.

I conducted my tests in Arabic, which both platforms are familiar with. To start, I decided to go for the more difficult idiomatic expressions, translating them between English and Arabic.

I started with an Arabic expression that literally translates to "Tile (or Pave) the Sea", a cultural idiom to express a challenge or provocation in a moment of anger. Google Translate did not pick up on the expression at all, offering the translation of "Sea Tiles". ChatGPT actually understood the phrase and translated it correctly into "Pave the Sea."

google translation for tile the sea in english and arabic
ChatGPT conversation about translating pave the sea from arabic to english

I decided to turn the tables and translate an English expression into Arabic. This time we went with "I'll take a rain check and see you next week."

Google Translate still wasn't able to pick up on the expression and translated rain check literally into the term "check the rain" in Arabic.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, was able to pick up on the expression and offered a more accurate translation, even using the correct term in Arabic for someone to excuse themself from an event or outing formally.

google translate for i'll take a rain check and see you next week from english to arabic
chatGPT translation from english to arabic for i'll take a rain check and see you next week

So far, ChatGPT appears to be superior in translating cultural expressions and idioms.

I tried to translate another Arabic expression that literally translates to "on my head", but is usually a term used to express a willingness to do something for someone, similar to "Anything for you" in English.

While Google Translate did translate the phrase correctly, ChatGPT took it a step further, offering insight into what the phrase actually means.

google translate for on my head from arabic to english
chatGPT translation for on my head from english to arabic

The next step was to test the translation of more general text. I pulled quotes from Twitter, one in English and one in Arabic, to try to translate into both languages. Let's start with the Arabic social media post, which was about the results of a charity campaign in the United Arab Emirates.

Google Translate offered an adequate description, but the translation had a lot of missing pieces. It was more like it provided a summary in English (with a poor choice of words) rather than translating every single phrase.

ChatGPT offered better translation accuracy, translating every single phrase rather than summarising the key points across one sentence. Not a perfect translation, but it definitely fit more with the intended message of the original post.

google translation for an arabic twitter post into english
chatgpt translation for an arabic twitter post into english

When it came to translating an English social media post into Arabic though, Google Translate, which seems to have learned from all of the terms I kept feeding it, provided a much more accurate translation than ChatGPT.

The phrase spoke of peace and positivity. Google Translate was able to pick up on all the statements correctly, understanding the placement of each term in the sentence and translating it accurately into Arabic.

ChatGPT here mistranslated some of the terms; for example, it translated "peace of mind" into "inner peace" instead. A slight difference, but this instantly puts into question the accuracy of the platform when it comes to wordy sentences.

google translation for a twitter post from english to arabic
ChatGPT translation for a twitter post from english to arabic

The short expressions were a walk in the park for ChatGPT, but when it comes to longer sentences, I think it has more to learn, mainly when translating from English to Arabic. It's got the translation into English down though, and seems to have a better understanding of the English language over Google Translate.

That being said, it appears as though Google Translate has learned from all of my inputs of idioms. I decided to try out one more sentence with an English expression to be translated into Arabic, and it seems like it finally figured out that it's not a literal phrase.

It translated "takes the cake" into "more useful", which isn't exactly what I was trying to say, but it understood that two things were being assessed, and one was to be found more beneficial or “useful” to the reader by the end of the article.

All in all, there are minor performance differences, but there is room for improvement on both platforms when it comes to accuracy.

Google Translate learns very fast and adjusts quickly. It has a good understanding of the Arabic language and is good at translating longer-form phrases into Arabic but doesn't read Arabic as well to translate into English.

ChatGPT, while really good at translating idioms and expressions, could perform better with translating longer-form, wordy phrases into English. ChatGPT also reads Arabic better to translate into English.

Platform Functionality

Next, we're testing the functionality of both platforms. Functionality plays a critical role in choosing a translation tool. You want to be sure that the tool works for the purposes that you need it.

Both tools support a variety of languages, with Google Translate offering more language translations than ChatGPT. On that basis alone, Google Translate could win. However, let's look a little deeper into how both tools learn and how a user can use the different functions and features.

Google Translate is a web-based tool that can also be used as a mobile app. It uses a neural network to translate text and has been trained on a large number of benchmark test sets. The mobile app can also translate text in images, allowing travellers to quickly and easily translate signs in foreign languages, a functionality that ChatGPT doesn't have yet as it is a text-based tool.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence-based chatbot that uses a deep learning algorithm to generate human-like text. If you take that into consideration, maybe the slight errors it has been displaying make sense and will be perfected as more and more people use it for translation. However, ChatGPT is a desktop application and can only be used in limited settings. In an office setting, ChatGPT is ideal, but for those on the go, Google Translate is easier to use.

User Experience

User experience is an important consideration when choosing a machine translation tool as it can affect adoption and usage rates.

On Google Translate, the user can quickly go in, select their languages, type in a phrase and go.

In ChatGPT, the machine needs to be prompted. A user will need to explain to ChatGPT that they want a translation. For a more precise translation, you could also prompt ChatGPT to assume the role of a machine translation tool, which is what I did that might have led me to a more accurate translation in my trial. However, in terms of steps to take to translate, Google Translate is faster to use.

As for the user experience over time, this is linked to the machine learning process. Both Google Translate and ChatGPT have learning strategies to provide a better translation experience to their users.

Google Translate, through the help of GNMT, is able to remove bias from their translations and provide relevant and detailed answers. ChatGPT, on the other hand, uses a high-resource pivot language to improve its translation ability across different languages. This is useful in providing more human-like translations, which some people may prefer.

Translation Performance

The translation performance of both platforms has been evaluated in many ways. In a preliminary study, ChatGPT performed better than Google Translate in translating biomedical abstracts. However, in a Google Translate test involving a social media post written in Spanish, Google Translate performed better.

In my experiment, I found that Google Translate provides more accurate translations for longer-form posts and performs better in translating things into other languages rather than English.

ChatGPT performed much better when it came to the cultural idioms and expressions but was hit-or-miss for longer-form text. There seems to be a benefit to each platform; however, the true test lies in the learning of each platform over time.

ChatGPT performed much better when it came to the cultural idioms and expressions but was hit-or-miss for longer-form text. There is a benefit to each platform; however, the true test lies in the learning of each platform over time.

Final Thoughts

ChatGPT and Google Translate are both useful tools for breaking down language barriers.

While ChatGPT is a promising general-purpose language model that has shown good results in preliminary evaluations, Google Translate remains the most popular machine translation tool in the market. However, with the launch of ChatGPT and the GPT -4 engine, we can expect better translations, improved translation outputs, and more award-winning stars in the different families of generative models.

Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of which to use depends on the translation task, language pair, and intended meaning. However, for the translation industry, both tools may require further linguistic validation and cultural adaptation.

While they could be helpful in small translation jobs, in most cases, a human translator might be required to confirm the translation as, at this point, they can't be blindly used. That being said, if you're ever looking for translation services, you know where to find us!

P.S. Shameless plug, I know. I couldn't help myself.

P.P.S. You would do the same…

<![CDATA[Writing for Translation: 18 Tips For Effective Communication]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/writing-for-translation-18-tips-for-effective-communication643e19003f80b5fd7fd38311Tue, 18 Apr 2023 04:37:32 GMTMichelle TrazoIn today's world, where different languages and cultures are no longer something just found across the globe but rather in our backyard, it is becoming increasingly important for a business to take translation and multiple language considerations into account in their work.

Woman typing on laptop

Key Takeaways

  • Writing for translation requires a different approach than writing for a single-language audience.
  • Using simple language with standard vocabulary is crucial to avoid confusion and mistranslations.
  • Short sentences with clear formatting make it easier for translators to work with your content.
  • Avoid idiomatic expressions and cultural references, as they may not translate well.
  • Be as precise as possible in your writing to limit ambiguity and misinterpretation.
  • Proofreading your work is important to limit mistakes that could lengthen translation time.
  • Using the active voice and avoiding -ing words and jargon makes translation easier.
  • International dates and measurements should be used to eliminate any potential confusion.
  • A style guide, reference material and a glossary of terms help maintain consistency in translation.
  • Humour and culturally insensitive content should be avoided.
  • Providing context for technical terms and abbreviations, using visuals to convey meaning, and working closely with the translator are some best practices for writing for translation. As more and more people are trying to get their message across to global markets and international audiences, translation, whether through a machine, tool, or human, is now essential for most businesses.

Writing for translation is an art form in and of itself, with many tips and tricks that can help optimise your experience and the results you get. As a dual language speaker with a slightly less-than-ideal relationship with one language over another, I sometimes find myself in situations where I need to turn to a translation tool to help guide me with my own communication in multiple languages.

My experience with Google Translate and machine translation has informed my relationship with professional translators and translation companies with many lessons that can be carried over from one experience to another.

Below, we'll cover the industry tips, tricks and guiding principles for effective communication through your translation process.

Best practices for writing for translation

You've just been given a new translation project that you need to complete, and you're wondering what the best way to go about it is to ensure you get an accurate translation for your audience. While there are multiple options, such as using a translation agency or a freelance translator, the guiding principles to communicate effectively and get the best possible results are the same across the board.

Keep reading for the best practices when it comes to writing content that needs to be translated and how to get a quality source text guaranteed to give you the results you're looking for.

Use simple language

When writing content you want to be translated; it's essential to keep the source language simple and straightforward.

In the English language, many words can have different meanings. It's imperative to use clear words and standard vocabulary that cannot be misconstrued or misinterpreted to avoid any confusion. Be sure to also use proper punctuation to ensure an accurate translation of content.

Keep your sentences short

Short sentences are easier to understand and translate. Using shorter sentences with uncomplicated structures makes the content easier for a language service provider to work with.

Use clear formatting

Formatting your content clearly with headings, bullet points, and numbered lists make your text easy to read and navigate, which can help the translator find the key messages quicker.

Avoid idiomatic expressions and cultural references

As much as you might want to use an expression for impact, it might not translate well, therefore, losing any effect it might have had otherwise. Phrasal verbs and noun strings can also cause confusion for a non-native English speaker. Instead, use simple words, short sentences, and uncomplicated structures to make it easier for translators to understand the key message that needs to be translated.

Limit ambiguity

Be as precise as possible in your writing. Limit words that can be interpreted in multiple ways and use specific and precise language to avoid any confusion.

Proofread your work

One misspelled word can sometimes completely change the meaning of the text. Be sure to proofread your text for grammar and spelling mistakes to avoid misinterpretation and potential back-and-forth communication with your translation company.

Use the active voice instead of the passive voice

In the passive voice, a subject receives an action, vs in the active voice, where the subject is performing an action, i.e. "John threw the ball in the air" vs. "The ball was thrown into the air by John." The passive voice is less direct and wordier, while the active voice is more direct and uses fewer words. Using an active voice allows for easier translation.

Another tip is to avoid -ing words where possible, as they can be a big trouble spot in translation and may cause confusion.

In the English language, there are many different types of words that end in '-ing' from nouns, adjectives, progressive verbs, etc. But a translator who is a non-native English speaker may not be able to recognise the distinctions and may try to translate them all in the same way.

Use international dates and measurements

Many countries document dates in various formats. In the United States, they have the month come first in the MM/DD/YYYY format, while in Australia, the day usually appears first in this way DD/MM/YYYY.

Spelling the month out instead of using a number could help eliminate any confusion. Provide context as well to ensure the translator is clear on the measurements and format.

Use consistent terminology and avoid jargon

In every industry, there are key terms that are regularly used. In translation, it's best to always use the same key terms your audience is familiar with. Create a glossary of terms and reference materials, especially for technical terms, that can help guide your translation agency and ensure consistency.

Avoid humour

Humour can be difficult to translate based on cultural differences. What is funny in one language and culture might not be relevant in another. Limit the inclusion of humour in your source text to reduce the potential for misunderstanding in other languages.

Be culturally sensitive

People from different cultures and backgrounds can sometimes have a different world view. Be sensitive to cultural differences and avoid content that may offend your target audience.

Create a style guide for your content

A style guide can help maintain consistency across your content. When creating a style guide, consider standard rules for your writing style, tone of voice, branded words and phrases and formatting guidelines.

Provide context for technical terms and abbreviations

Providing context for technical terms and abbreviations will help the translator better understand the meaning behind your content, especially if it's a more complex idea.

Use visuals to help convey meaning

Using visuals, such as graphs or charts, can help convey the meaning of your content more clearly to a translator. Be sure to include any images that can convey the message without using too many words.

Make sure that the images supporting the text can be easily understood in different cultures as well.

Avoid using text in images

On the topic of images, while they can be helpful, text embedded into the image can prove difficulties in the translation process and may require additional time and work from the translator. Speed the process along by providing the text directly in your document instead of in the image.

Provide reference material to help translators understand the content

Reference material can help translators better understand your content and key message. Providing them with these references or background material can ensure a more accurate translation and a quicker turnaround time.

Work closely with your translator to ensure accuracy and quality

Working closely with your translation company will ensure your content is translated accurately and effectively. Including a translation brief and answering any questions your translator might have will help you get the best out of your translation.

Consider localising your content for different regions and cultures

If you are translating your material into multiple languages, consider localising the content to meet the specific needs of your target audience. Localisation considers the cultural difference and reframes the key messages to align with the mindset of your audience.

Final Thoughts

As the world gets smaller and smaller, translation is becoming more prominent to help businesses communicate with a larger and more diverse audience. As businesses turn to translation agencies to help them reach a wider audience, they also need to do their part to help translation agencies give them the best results.

A good source text that is easy to read and understand is essential. The quality of the source text will determine the quality and accuracy of the translation you receive. Following the principles outlined above and keeping your content simple, clear, and straightforward will help you and your translator create the best content for your global audience.

<![CDATA[Australia's Multicultural Framework Review: is interculturalism the future for a bonded Australia]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/australias-multicultural-framework-review-is-interculturalism-the-future-for-a-bonded-australia642ced06a4cea36ef687aaa2Wed, 05 Apr 2023 04:23:31 GMTMark SabaOPINION PIECE In response to Australia's Multicultural Framework Review, join me as I look into the heart of ,,Australia's Multicultural Framework Review, and passionately explore the need for a revitalised approach to our nation's diverse and colourful cultural tapestry.

Melbourne, Australia city cafe with diverse multicultural clientele

The latest census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reflects a very culturally diverse Australian population with 320 different ancestries and 429 languages spoken (including 183 indigenous languages).

Yet, multicultural Australia remains an outlier in mainstream Australian society. Despite its good intentions for social cohesion and inclusivity, multiculturalism creates a sense of segregation of sorts.

So what's the future state to continue advancing a more socially cohesive and inclusive Australia?

Enter interculturalism.

Should the Multicultural Framework consider Interculturalism?

Interculturalism and multiculturalism share similarities; both aim to create a more cohesive and inclusive society. However, they also have key differences that set them apart.

The two different approaches can be likened to growing a beautiful garden

Imagine multiculturalism as a garden where flowers of various species are planted in distinct plots, each retaining their individual colours, shapes, and characteristics. In this garden, the beauty is in the rich tapestry of unique flowers, each celebrated and respected for its individual qualities. These flowers represent different cultures, coexisting side by side but with limited interaction and exchange.

Interculturalism, on the other hand, is like a garden where the flowers are carefully cultivated to intertwine and interact, creating a rich and harmonious blend. In this garden, flowers of different species coexist and share nutrients, cross-pollinate, and intertwine their roots to create an interwoven and interconnected garden.

This represents the essence of interculturalism: the constant dialogue, exchange, and mutual enrichment that occurs when diverse cultures come together while still maintaining their distinct identities. In this garden, the beauty emerges not only from the diversity of the flowers but also from the complex and vibrant tapestry that is formed when they are woven together.

Flowers in a garden with focus on one flower

What are the benefits of interculturalism?

The current state, multiculturalism, is a concept that recognises, embraces and celebrates Australia's cultural diversity. It is characterised by the coexistence of multiple cultures within one society, where individuals maintain their cultural identities and practices.

Multiculturalism has been an essential part of Australian history since the 1970s. It's played a crucial role in advancing Australia's multicultural society and promoting the idea that cultural differences should be recognised and valued and that diversity is to be celebrated.

Interculturalism is a relatively newer concept emphasising interaction and dialogue between different cultures.

Multiculturalism, I would argue, was theorised for situations in which immigrants were seen as legally authorised, permanently settled, and presumptively loyal. In an age of securitisation and super-diversity, these assumptions are put into question. Early theories of multiculturalism now seem at best incomplete, and at worst outdated, resting on assumptions and preconditions that may no longer apply. ,—Will Kymlicka, 2015, p. 244

Interculturalism goes beyond the mere recognition of cultural diversity. It encourages individuals to engage with one another and learn from each other's cultures. Interculturalism is characterised by a shared experience and mutual respect between cultures that share one common culture, in this case, the Australian culture.

More in line with Australia's cohesive and inclusive society

While multiculturalism acknowledges cultural diversity, it doesn't necessarily promote interaction between cultures which can cause segregation and separate community units, even within communities.

In contrast, interculturalism stresses the importance of engaging and learning from each other's experiences. This approach aims to promote social cohesion and reduce potential conflict between cultural groups, including Australia's broader culture.

Another difference between interculturalism and multiculturalism is how they approach cultural identity. Multiculturalism emphasises the importance of maintaining cultural identity, while interculturalism promotes the idea of a shared experience and identity.

In interculturalism, cultural identity is not fixed but dynamic and evolving, much more reflective of Australia's ever-changing cultural landscape and migration policies.

This approach recognises that cultural identity is not static and that individuals may have multiple cultural identities that are influenced by their experiences and interactions with different cultures, particularly the culture of the country they live in.

The future for a culturally-sustainable society?

As well-intentioned as the concept might be, today's reality is that multiculturalism is outdated and separates society more than it unites it.

Interculturalism aims to celebrate differences, increase social connections, and promote a united Australia bonded by the many cultures we have to share.

With Australia's ever-increasing population, continuing to move towards a more socially cohesive and inclusive society in the years ahead will come with its challenges.

Interculturalism aims to proactively address these challenges by taking advantage of Australia's national strength, 'the blending of histories and cultures which has resulted in a unique Australian identity'—an intercultural identity.

We must recognise that our uniqueness as Australians is something to embrace and celebrate, not separate.

Approaching the review from an intercultural lens is the key to strengthening Australia's cohesion.

What are your thoughts on multiculturalism versus interculturalism? Do you think it’s time that Australia adopts a more culturally inclusive and united society? ,,Join me on LinkedIn to discuss.

<![CDATA[The Differences Between Tagalog and Filipino]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-differences-between-tagalog-and-filipino6423e273cdee67eda165b9ddWed, 29 Mar 2023 07:09:50 GMTMichelle TrazoHave you ever wondered what the differences between Filipino and Tagalog are? Whether a linguistics enthusiast or culturally curious, you might have come across these terms and felt puzzled by their differences. Especially when they're often used interchangeably.

Key takeaways

  • The interconnection between Filipino and Tagalog has led to mix-ups and confusion among native and non-native speakers.
  • Major languages in the Philippines include Tagalog, Cebuano, and Ilocano.
  • The native language of the Tagalog ethnic group is centered around Manila and surrounding provinces, particularly near the Pasig River.
  • The main difference between Filipino and Tagalog is that Filipino is more inclusive and flexible, borrowing from various source languages.
  • Most Filipinos are bilingual, speaking both Filipino and English, the two most widely spoken languages in the country.
  • Modern Filipino integrates the letters F, J, V, and Z, which are not part of the traditional baybayin alphabet.
  • Mass media and younger generations have popularised the use of Filipino, solidifying its status as a lingua franca

The Philippines has been one of the most dynamic and thriving economies in the Southeast Asian Region. Being one of the Asian hubs, the Philippines has much to offer to global companies and businesses, so, unsurprisingly, its language has significant reach and impact.

As we explore these unique languages, you will gain a deeper understanding of why they play such a significant role in the rich culture of the Philippines.

Let's investigate their origins, characteristics, and critical differences to unlock common questions and misconceptions about the two languages.

Brief History of the Philippines and its Languages

The archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia boasts a diverse and complex linguistic landscape. With over 7,000 islands and a history marked by various foreign influences, it's no surprise that the country is home to more than 170 languages. Before diving into the distinction between Filipino and Tagalog, it's essential to appreciate this linguistic diversity and the historical context from which these languages emerged.

Throughout history, the Philippines has been subjected to numerous colonisation attempts, most notably by the Spanish, Americans, and Japanese. Spanish colonisation began in the 16th century and lasted over 300 years, significantly shaping the Filipino linguistic landscape. As the Spanish regime sought to consolidate power and establish a centralised government, they introduced the Spanish language as a lingua franca, bringing about the widespread use of Spanish loanwords in local languages.

In the late 19th century, the Spanish-American War led to the United States gaining control of the Philippines, ushering in a new era of linguistic influence. The Americans introduced English as the medium of instruction in schools, and it quickly became another dominant language in the country.

However, despite these foreign influences, the native languages of the Philippines have persisted and continue to thrive. The sheer linguistic diversity of the country led to the need for a national language to foster unity and communication among its citizens, which brings us to the story of Tagalog and Filipino.

Let's talk Tagalog

Tagalog is an Austronesian language predominantly spoken in the Philippines, particularly in Central and Southern Luzon regions, including the capital city, Manila. It is one of the major regional languages of the country, with an estimated 28 million speakers as of 2021.

The Tagalog language boasts a rich history, with its earliest inscriptions dating back to the 9th century. Tagalog has been influenced by an array of different languages, such as Sanskrit, Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and English, resulting in a unique blend of vocabulary and linguistic features.

Tagalog initially used the Baybayin script, an ancient writing system native to the Philippines. However, the Latin alphabet was adopted due to the Spanish colonisation, leading to the current Tagalog writing system, which uses the modern Latin script with some additional letters.

Tagalog literature has flourished over the centuries, with notable works such as the 17th-century epic poem "Florante at Laura" by Francisco Baltazar and the revolutionary novel "Noli Me Tangere" by national hero Dr. José Rizal, written in the late 19th century.

When the Philippines gained its independence from the Spanish and American colonisers around the 1930s, the Philippine government declared that Tagalog was the primary language by then-President Manuel L. Quezon since it was widely spoken in the country's capital.

However, this was met with controversy because, in the other significant parts of the country, the usage of its native language has been retained. Thus, in 1973, Filipino became the National Language, further enhanced in 1987 when the constitution was established. Tagalog purists argue that the Filipino language dilutes the purity of Tagalog.

Definition of Filipino

Filipino encompasses all Philippine languages, including Tagalog and is currently being used as the official language of the Philippines.

Filipino, the national language of the Philippines, was established in 1987 as a standardised version of Tagalog. It was developed to foster a sense of unity and facilitate communication among the diverse linguistic communities within the country. According to the Philippine constitution, Filipino is the official language alongside English, and both languages are used for government, education, and business purposes.

While Filipino is based on Tagalog, it has evolved to incorporate words, expressions, and grammatical structures from other Philippine and foreign languages. This linguistic integration reflects the Philippines' rich cultural heritage and makes Filipino a more inclusive language representing the various regions and ethnic groups nationwide.

Filipino uses the same Latin-based writing system as Tagalog and has a similar phonology and grammar structure. However, the language continues to evolve as it assimilates influences from other languages spoken in the Philippines and worldwide. As a result, Filipino is a dynamic and ever-changing language that reflects the diverse and multifaceted identity of the Philippines.

English words have been integrated into Filipino, reflecting the influence of American colonisation

Key Differences Between Tagalog and Filipino

Though Tagalog and Filipino share many similarities, some key differences set them apart:

Where it's spoken

Tagalog-speaking regions are usually tied to specific ethnic groups in provinces such as Central Luzon (particularly in Nueva Ecija), Southern Luzon, and Bicol Region.

Filipino is primarily used in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and some urban centres across the Philippine archipelago. The confusion comes in because Metro Manila, the capital, is located within the region formerly mentioned.

Scope and inclusivity

The primary distinction between the two languages is their purpose and scope. While Tagalog is a regional language spoken mainly in Central and Southern Luzon, Filipino was created as a national language to represent the entire Philippines. Filipino aims to be more inclusive by incorporating words and expressions from other regional languages and foreign influences, making it a true reflection of the country's diverse cultural landscape.


While both languages share a substantial amount of vocabulary, Filipino has a broader lexicon due to its integration of words from other Philippine languages and foreign languages such as English, Spanish, and Chinese. This expanded vocabulary makes Filipino more adaptable to various contexts and better suited to address the needs of a multilingual nation.

The vocabulary of Tagalog and Filipino also differs in some ways. Tagalog has many words specific to the region where it originated, while Filipino has incorporated words from other Philippine languages and Spanish.

For instance, in Tagalog, the term for "car" is "sasakyan," while in Filipino, it is "kotse," derived from the Spanish word "coche." Similarly, the term for "shirt" in Tagalog is "baro," while in Filipino, it is "damit," borrowed from the Visayan language.

One intriguing feature of Tagalog vocabulary is the use of "affixes," which are attached to the root word to create new words. For instance, the term "ganda" means "beauty," and by adding the prefix "ka-" to the word, it transforms into "kagandahan," signifying "beautifulness."

In contrast, Filipino vocabulary is more standardised and borrows words from various languages, including Spanish and English.

Language evolution

As the national language, Filipino is subject to ongoing development and standardisation, allowing it to adapt and evolve in response to the changing linguistic landscape of the Philippines. On the other hand, Tagalog remains more static, preserving its traditional form and regional identity.

Official status

According to the Philippine constitution, Filipino and English hold the official language status. This designation means that Filipino is used in government, education, and other formal settings, while Tagalog is primarily employed in informal and regional contexts.


The Tagalog Alphabet consists of 20 letters, while the Filipino Alphabet includes 28. The additional letters in the Filipino alphabet are 'j, c, x, z, and f", which demonstrates the western influence the language has adopted with time.

Usage and Significance

Tagalog is regarded as the old language still being used in some regions, especially by native Tagalog speakers. At the same time, Filipino is the new language regarded as the Philippine national language used for official documents and as the language of the education system, particularly in public schools. As a rule of thumb, Filipino is the "modernised version" of Tagalog that has naturally evolved over the years to keep the language fluid and alive.

Grammar Differences

While Tagalog and the Filipino language share numerous similarities in terms of grammar, some notable differences exist between the two languages. One significant difference is the use of pronouns. In Tagalog, exclusive and inclusive pronouns differentiate between the speaker and the listener. For instance, the pronoun "tayo" is inclusive, meaning "you and I," while the pronoun "kami" is exclusive, meaning "they and we, but not you."

In contrast, Filipino employs a single pronoun "tayo" to indicate "we." This simplifies the language, making it easier for non-native speakers to learn.

Another difference is the use of formal and informal pronouns. In Tagalog, formal and informal pronouns are utilised depending on the social status of the speaker and the listener. In Filipino, however, formal and informal pronouns are less rigid, and the language generally adopts a more casual tone.

Common Misconceptions

Despite the distinctions between Tagalog and Filipino, a few misconceptions often lead to confusion. Let's address some of the most common misunderstandings:

Misconception #1: Filipino is just another name for Tagalog

While Filipino is based on Tagalog, they are not interchangeable. As mentioned, Filipino is a standardised and more inclusive language designed to accommodate a broader range of vocabulary and expressions from various Philippine languages and foreign influences.

Misconception #2: Tagalog is an ancient language

Although Tagalog may not hold official status like Filipino, it remains a vibrant and widely spoken regional language. It continues to be used in everyday conversation, literature, and entertainment and is an essential part of the Philippines' cultural heritage.

Misconception #3: All Filipinos speak Filipino

While Filipino is the national language, the Philippines is home to a diverse range of regional languages. Only some Filipinos speak Filipino as their first language, and some may primarily communicate in their local language or dialect. However, Filipino and English serve as a lingua franca that enables communication among the various linguistic groups in the country.

By dispelling these misconceptions, we can better understand Filipino and Tagalog's unique characteristics and appreciate their important roles in the Philippines' cultural and linguistic landscape.

Final thoughts

The differences between Filipino and Tagalog may seem subtle at first glance, but understanding these distinctions helps us appreciate the intricate linguistic and cultural tapestry of the Philippines. As the national language, Filipino serves to unify the nation and accommodate the diverse influences that shape its identity. Tagalog, on the other hand, remains a vital regional language that reflects the history and heritage of the Filipino people.

By unravelling the mystery surrounding these two languages, we gain a deeper insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines and the unique aspects that set Filipino and Tagalog apart.

As we continue to learn and explore the world's languages, we understand that every language has a story.

Each one, contributing to the beautiful mosaic of human communication and cultural expression.

<![CDATA[17 tips for choosing the right translation service for your business]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/17-tips-for-choosing-the-right-translation-service-for-your-business6406719559b2fd0e1c09baf7Wed, 15 Mar 2023 13:00:00 GMTMichelle TrazoIf you're running a business, chances are you'll need to communicate with people in different languages, globally and even locally. A good way to do this effectively is by investing in translation services. But with so many providers, how do you choose the right one for your business?

In today's business world, it's more important than ever to communicate with customers and clients in their native language. With globalisation, businesses increasingly operate internationally, creating a need for translation services.

Translation has become an essential part of businesses that are expanding their reach to international markets. Companies need to communicate with their target audience effectively. The best way to achieve this is by translating their marketing materials, legal documents, and other types of content. However, choosing the right language service provider can be daunting, especially when you need to consider an array of critical factors.

A bad translation or a machine translation can cost a company dearly in terms of lost business and damage its reputation. That's why choosing a reputable and experienced translation service provider is essential.

We see several examples of the importance of translation in business worldwide. Apple creates tech products that people use in every corner of the world. Even though Apple is an American company, its products still offer over 100 languages for users to read prompts. Apple breaks the language barrier as a business by communicating with users in their specific language, thus expanding its market, reach and brand loyalty.

In this article, we will give you 17 tips to help you make an informed decision when selecting a translation services provider. Let's go!

  1. Dedicated Project Managers
  2. Professional Translators
  3. Native Translators
  4. Expertise in Specific Fields
  5. High-Quality Service
  6. Confidentiality Agreements
  7. Value for money
  8. Quality Management
  9. ISO Certifications
  10. Translation Management Systems
  11. CAT Tools
  12. Specific Expertise in Different Countries
  13. Years of Experience
  14. Customer Support
  15. Effective Communication
  16. Second Translator Review
  17. Languages

1. Project Managers

A good translation company will assign a dedicated project manager or project management team to oversee your translation project from start to finish.

This person will be your main point of contact to ensure effective communication between you and translators, manage deadlines and ensure the project is complete on or before the deadline, and take care of any clarifications needed when translating content into another language.

2. Professional Translators

Translators are the backbone of any professional translation agency. The translator should be an expert in the target language and have an excellent grasp of the source language to ensure the best results.

However, it is essential to note that professional translators are more than just people who can speak two languages. Expert translators are trained professionals who consider nuances, cultural concepts, context, lexicon, grammar, and more to ensure your translation is polished and doesn't lose its intended meaning.

They better understand the intended audience, target language's grammar, spelling, and punctuation, which is vital for accuracy and quality. A professional can also identify potential misunderstandings or mistranslations and provide an appropriate solution.

3. Native Translators

A native translator is a linguist who is fluent in both the original language (source) and the target language and has a deep understanding of the nuances of the language, including its cultural and social context.

A translator must be able to accurately convey the intended meaning of the original text when translating content. Professional translators who are native speakers are familiar with colloquialisms, idioms, and cultural references unique to the language and can ensure the translated text flows naturally, reads well, and conveys the intended message.

A native translator understands the target audience's cultural expectations better and can adapt the language and tone of the translated text accordingly. This is an important factor when translating marketing materials or content for a specific market.

A translation company with a team of experienced and certified translators ensures that your translated material resonates with your target audience.

4. Expertise in Specific Fields

There is a good reason why reputable translation companies specialise in specific fields or industries.

LEXIGO, for example, only hires translators who are subject matter experts in the sectors we serve. This method ensures that professional experts only work on content they understand.

As a result, the translated content considers industry terminology, sector-specific context, and message accuracy that can only be achieved by an expert in the field.

5. High-Quality Service

Choosing a language service provider that offers high-quality service is just as important as choosing one that provides high-quality translation.

Translation accuracy, excellent customer service, efficient project management, and adherence to quality standards are all factors that contribute to high-quality service.

From the initial consultation to the final delivery of the translated material and after-delivery service, a professional translation company will provide high-quality service throughout the entire translation process, even when it has ended.

High-quality service can also be achieved through efficient project management. The translation company should have a streamlined process that ensures the timely delivery of the translated material without compromising quality.

6. Confidentiality Agreements

A translation services provider will ensure the security of your sensitive information regardless of whether or not they sign a confidentiality agreement.

Translation confidentiality agreements help protect sensitive information and documents during the translation process, helping to further ensure their confidentiality and security.

When working with a professional translation company, you can expect to sign a confidentiality agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of how your information will be handled during the translation process. The agreement will typically include clauses that specify that the translation company will keep your information confidential and not share it with any third party without your permission.

Confidentiality agreements are crucial for legal and financial documents, as they often contain sensitive information that needs to be protected. By signing a confidentiality agreement, you can be confident that your confidential information will be protected and that the translation company will take all necessary precautions to ensure its security.

Furthermore, the right partner should have robust security protocols to safeguard your information. This may include secure file transfer methods, password-protected documents, and access controls that restrict who can view or edit your documents.

A reliable partner with ISO 27001 certification, like LEXIGO, would have all the necessary security measures covered.

7. Value for money

A good translation company should offer competitive prices without compromising on the quality of the translation.

Value for money can be found in all the auxiliary services provided, such as pre-order customer service, post-delivery service and support, cultural advice and any technology offered during the process to make the ordering and management of your translations as easy as possible.

It is crucial to determine what pricing model works best for your needs. Some translation services offer a flat rate for their services, while others charge by the word or by the hour. For example, if you need a quick turnaround time, you may be willing to pay more per word. However, if you have a large document to translate, you may choose a provider that charges by the hour for the entire project.

Finally, consider any additional services that the translation service offers. Some providers offer proofreading, desktop publishing and formatting services in addition to translation. These other services can be helpful if you don't have the time or resources to do these tasks yourself.

8. Quality Management

To expand your business into new markets, you must ensure that all your materials are accurately translated into the target languages at high quality.

Professional translation services can handle projects quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality. Quality management systems are used by the best translation companies to ensure the highest quality of translations. A system should be in place to check for errors, mistranslations, and many more factors, such as terminology, language, and geographical factors.

As we'll cover in the next tip, ISO certifications are a great way to assess a service provider's quality standards.

9. ISO Certifications

A translation company with ISO certifications is a good sign of their commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

ISO certifications require regular compliance through independent auditing, so be sure to check your provider's ISO certificates are up to date.

ISO certifications for translation service providers include:

  • ISO 17100 for Translation Services Management and Quality
  • ISO 27001 for Information Security Management
  • ISO 9001 for Quality Management

10. Translation Management Systems

A Translation Management System (TMS) helps manage translation processes. In order to streamline the translation process, reputable translation service providers will at least use an off-the-shelf TMS.

With LEXIGO's award-winning TMS, LEXIGO.CORE, we offer bespoke and customised translation workflow solutions, offering extra features with the added benefit of hundreds of automated quality assurance controls and enterprise-level advantages.

LEXIGO Technology integrates globally-recognised Translation Project; and Production Management standards, namely ISO 17100 and PM-BOK, along with ISO 9001 Quality Controls, that deliver a variety of advantages, including high-quality translation and production services, consistent service provision and, consequently, clear value-for-money benefits.

11. CAT Tools

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are software programs that help translators work more efficiently by automating certain aspects of the translation process.

CAT tools are an essential component of the translation industry. Working with a translation company that uses these tools can help ensure accurate and high-quality translations. CAT tools offer several benefits, including:

Improve consistency

they can help translators maintain consistency in terminology and style throughout their translation work. By storing translations in a translation memory database, CAT tools can help ensure that key terms and phrases are translated consistently across all documents.

Reduced costs and increase efficiency

CAT tools can also help reduce costs by allowing translators to work more efficiently. By automating certain aspects of the translation process, such as formatting and repetitive tasks, CAT tools can help translators complete projects more quickly and accurately.

Increased security

In addition to these benefits, CAT tools also help ensure the confidentiality of translated materials. Most CAT tools offer secure file storage and encryption features, which can help protect sensitive information.

12. Specific Expertise in Different Countries

Each country has unique cultural norms, language nuances, and regulatory requirements that must be considered during the translation process.

For example, suppose your business is expanding into Japan. In that case, you'll need to work with a translation company with a deep understanding of the Japanese language and culture and the nuances of Japanese business communication; ideally, they would need to be an in-country translator. They should also be familiar with Japanese regulations and requirements for legal and technical translations.

By working with a translation company with specific expertise in the countries, languages, and industries you're targeting, you can ensure that your translations accurately convey your intended message, comply with local regulations, and resonate with your target audience.

13. Years of Experience

Translation companies with experience understand the translation process and the nuances of different languages, which allows them to provide more accurate and reliable translations.

They have likely handled a wide range of translation projects, from legal and financial documents to marketing materials and technical manuals, so they are well-equipped to handle any type of project.

A well-established translation company typically has a team of professional translators, project managers, powerful technology and experienced support staff. As a result, they can handle several translation projects at once, ensuring timely delivery of translations without compromising quality.

Over the years, an experienced translation company has likely developed a reputation for providing quality translation services. Read case studies and research their track record to better understand their experience and quality.

14. Customer Support

Dedicated, responsive, helpful customer support teams are the hallmark of a good translation company.

Your dedicated support teams should offer the following advantages:

  • should be able to explain their translation process
  • provide clear timelines for the project
  • address any issues that may arise during the project.
  • should be available to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have
  • provide regular updates on your translation project

Effective communication is also an essential aspect of good customer support. A good translation company should communicate with you clearly and promptly and be able to understand your needs and requirements.

Lastly, a good translation company should have a system for handling customer feedback and complaints. You should expect them to listen to your feedback and take appropriate actions to make any improvements.

15. Effective Communication

Speaking of communication in the previous tip, effective communication is a crucial aspect of any successful translation project.

Communication is essential to ensuring that everyone involved in a translation project is on the same page and that the project progresses smoothly. Some examples of essential communication during translation project management include:

  • Establishing clear expectations and goals for the project is the first step to effective communication. This includes determining the scope and desired outcome of the project, as well as the completion timeline.
  • The roles and responsibilities of all parties involved should be clearly defined, and any potential challenges should be discussed in advance.
  • During the project, regular communication is essential. This includes providing updates on the project's progress, addressing any issues or concerns, and clarifying any questions or uncertainties.

A good service provider will conduct all the communication tips mentioned here as a part of the standard procedure, so you don't have to worry. However, they should also be responsive and available to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the project.

16. Second Translator Review

The second translator review, also known as checking and editing or proofreading, is a crucial step in the translation process.

It involves having a second translator review the translated text to ensure accuracy, consistency, and readability.

A second translator review aims to catch any errors or inaccuracies that may have been missed during the initial translation. This includes issues such as grammatical errors, misspellings, and typos. The second translator also ensures that the translation accurately conveys the intended message and is consistent with the source text.

Having a second translator review your translation is particularly important for high-stakes projects such as legal documents, medical and life sciences texts, and technical manuals. In these cases, even minor errors or inaccuracies can have significant consequences.

Working with a translation company with a well-defined process for separate translator reviews is important. This includes selecting a qualified and experienced second translator fluent in both the source and target languages. The second translator should be provided with the source text, the initial translation, and any relevant context or background information.

During the review process, the second translator should focus on ensuring accuracy, consistency, readability, and overall quality. They should provide clear feedback and suggestions for improvement and work with the initial translator to make any necessary revisions.

17. Languages

An essential factor to consider when choosing a translation provider is the language range the company offers.

Some businesses provide a few languages or only specialise in one or two. In contrast, others may offer a multitude, ranging from several dozen to even hundreds of languages. The paramount factor is collaborating with a translation firm that can cater to the specific languages mandatory for your project or target audience.

However, more is not always better. For example, at LEXIGO, we only add languages to our portfolio if we can genuinely support the language. The accuracy and skills of each translator are continuously rated using a proprietary algorithm called SmartRank, which uses the scores to allocate translators as new jobs are received.

With the help of SmartRank and our award-winning software, we can manage hundreds of languages at scale and perform quality assurance checks to our ISO certifications, all while keeping the quality of translator resources high.

It is also crucial to consider the quality of translations in every language. To ensure precise, uniform, high-quality translations, translation agencies must implement a rigorous quality management process. Second translator reviews, quality assurance checks, and computer-assisted translation tools are part of this process.

Bottomline: Consider Your Needs and Requirements

In choosing the right translation agency, it is essential to take your needs and your audience's needs into consideration.

You must determine what content needs to be translated, how fast you need them translated, and how much you are willing to spend on translation services while considering the required quality output.

You'll also need to consider what languages you must translate and what subject matter expertise you need.

If you need clarification on any of these factors, it is best to consult a translation professional who can assess your needs and recommend the best course of action. Trying to save money by choosing a less expensive service may end up costing you more in the long run if the quality of the translation is poor – which is another factor that showcases the importance of translation in business.

However, depending on what you need translation for, a cheaper option might be the most appropriate. That's why LEXIGO offers a number of price points with the recommended use case so you can easily decide on what you need.

At the end of the day, following our 17 tips should help you narrow your choices and decide on a translation partner with your interests at heart.

<![CDATA[100 ways to say 'hello' in different languages]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/100-ways-to-say-hello-in-different-languages63fddac5a44e73f1051b337eWed, 15 Mar 2023 04:36:27 GMTSophia DickinsonDid you know that more than 7000 languages are spoken worldwide? Although we won't go through all 7000, this blog post will teach you how to say hello in 100 of the most widely spoken languages.

No matter what language you speak, your race, or your country, one of the most common ways of starting a conversation is with a simple greeting, 'hello'. It is also often the first word anyone learns when learning a new language. The list of 'hellos' we've prepared below will aid you in learning as many 'hellos' as you need to.

  • How to say 'hello' in 100 different languages
    • A-F (Afrikaans - Filipino)
    • F-K (Finnish - Kurdish)
    • L-S (Lao - Scottish)
    • S-W (Serbian - Wu)
    • Y-Z (Yiddish - Zulu)
  • The importance of saying hello in-language
  • Beyond words: things to consider when greeting someone in another language
  • Various ways to greet someone across the globe

'Hello' in 100 different languages

Now, let's explore the many ways to say hello in different languages. We'll start with some of the more common greetings and then explore some of the different ways people greet each other across the globe.

A-F (Afrikaans - Filipino)

F-K (Finnish - Kurdish)

L-S (Lao - Scottish)

S-W (Serbian - Wu)

Y-Z (Yiddish - Zulu)

Importance of Hello In Every Language

Many people are unaware of how important "Hello" is in every language. In fact, a "Hello Day" is celebrated every 21st of November each year, and it justifies its importance.

Let's explore some of the reasons why it's important to learn these greetings.

Make new friends

Greeting someone with a 'hello' in their first language is a great way to break the ice and potentially make a new friend; the power of a single word shows you respect their culture and always precedes a conversation.

Cross-cultural communication

Knowing how to say hello in different languages can help break down language barriers and facilitate communication with people from diverse cultures. It shows that you respect and appreciate their culture and can help build bridges between people of different backgrounds.

Cultural Awareness

Greetings are an important aspect of many cultures and can reveal a lot about a society's values and customs. Learning how to say hello in different languages can help you better understand and appreciate the cultural differences that make our world so diverse.

Personal Growth

Learning a new language or simply expanding your vocabulary can be a fun and rewarding experience. Knowing how to say hello in different languages can be a great first step toward achieving this goal.

The Icebreaker

If you're shy, you should know that a Hello can be an essential weapon in your arsenal. In other words, if you find it daunting to talk to people, then a simple hello is all you need to utter - and let the conversation flow from there. The best part is it works for every language. All you need to know is how to say hello to your new acquaintance in their own language.

Polite Greeting

It can be considered rude or intimidating to approach someone unknown and just start talking away. Beginning with a hello shows you respect the person's time and culture and reflects your intention to build rapport.


Travelling can be fun; visiting new countries, learning about new cultures and hearing the sounds of foreign language conversations is always a rich cultural experience. On the other hand, when you don't understand the country's native speakers, and they don't understand you, things can get tricky. Starting with a 'hello' in their native language can initiate a response that gives you a new and native experience, assistance around town and any other help you might need while travelling.

For instance, if you're an American visiting China on a business trip, saying Hello in Chinese can be a good conversation starter. All you need to do is say "nǐ hǎo"(ni hao), which means hello in Chinese.

Cultural considerations when greeting someone

Social Hierarchy or Age

In some countries such as Japan, it's important to greet people in the correct order of organisational hierarchy. It is also customary to initiate the greeting with older people as a sign of respect. Other countries, require that you greet those older than you in a different way than you would a peer or a younger person.


Some cultures greet differently depending on the time of day. For example, there'll be a different greeting for the morning, afternoon, evening and night.


Depending on the gender of the person, a greeting or hello can be altered or be completely different.


Did you just meet this person? Are they long-time friends? Is it a business meeting? The status of the relationship is an important factor in how you choose to greet someone correctly across the world. You may find a formal greeting is more suited to a business context, and in contrast, you might find a more informal way of greeting someone you made friends with.

Various Ways to Greet Across the Globe

It's unnecessary that you literally have to utter "H-E-L-L-O" to greet a person. There are different ways different cultures perform greetings; these can include:


Greeting someone with a 'how are you' or 'g'day' (good day) is the most common way to say hello. These phrases and greetings sometimes portray only some meaning. For instance, 'how are you' is not an actual inquiry into your health or financial state but is simply extending a hello as a greeting to start a conversation.

United States

Greeting someone with a 'how are you' should solicit a response (this is in contrast to Australia), and a simple hello or handshake is always a common greeting.


Aloha is a Hawaiian word that means love, affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. It's a common greeting in Hawaii and can also be used to say goodbye.


Greeting each other with a 'wai' in formal business situations is expected. This consists of a bow with your hands clasped together. The depth of the bow and other factors should be taken into consideration. Sawadee khrap/ka is a standard greeting that can be used in various situations. Khrap is used by men, while ka is used by women.

Certain European countries and Brazil

Air kisses to either cheek are shared among friends and family. In Brazil, one kiss in Sao Paolo, 2 in Rio.


In Hindi, which is the third most spoken language in the world, Namaste means "I bow to you." This greeting is commonly used in India and is a sign of respect for the other person's divine spirit.

Middle East

Greetings can vary between countries and genders (male and female, male and male etc.). Long handshakes between men are common and a sign of welcome, and it is not uncommon to shake someone's hand and touch your chest/heart with your left hand.

New Zealand

Kia ora is a Maori greeting that means "be well" or "good health." It's often used as a general greeting or farewell.


Handshakes are acceptable, along with bows. The order you greet people is also essential in Japanese culture.

South Africa

In the Zulu language of South Africa, Sawubona means "I see you." The response, Ngikhona, means "I am here." These greetings acknowledge the other person's presence and show respect for their being.

As with all cultures, it's wise to research the forms of greetings and how greetings should be conducted before visiting the country. As you would have learned, not all greetings are created equal

Getting to know people from different cultures by saying hello in their language can be a fun and rewarding experience.

By showing respect and appreciation for other cultures through greetings, we can break down language barriers and build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds. Try saying hello to someone from a different culture the next time you meet them and watch their faces light up.

<![CDATA[The most common languages spoken in Australia]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/most-common-languages-spoken-in-australia6401ce370ee93cb5be01ab3eSun, 05 Mar 2023 03:50:05 GMTSophia DickinsonIn an incredibly multicultural nation with a rich history of immigration, Australia is home to people who speak a variety of languages, have a diverse culture, and have a distinct identity. Australia is known for its linguistic diversity, with over 400 languages spoken across the country, including indigenous languages spoken by indigenous Australians.

A pie graph reflecting the top ten languages spoken in Australia, after English.


  • The top languages spoken in Australia
  • A brief look at some of the most spoken languages
  • The top 63 languages targetted by Government and Public Organisations
  • ​Comparison between 2016 and 2021 census data
  • The future of languages in Australia

The top languages spoken in Australia

Unsurprisingly, the English language takes the top spot as the most common language spoken at 18,303,662 speakers or 72% of Australia's population of 25,422,788 and the time of the 2021 census.

Australian English is the national language of Australia and the most widely spoken language in the country. It is a variation of British English with unique slang and pronunciation. Nearly all Australians speak English, with most of the population being native speakers.

However, due to Australia's very diverse society, languages other than English are spoken among Australia's Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.

A good understanding of the most common languages spoken in Australian homes is vital for several reasons;

  • We better understand and appreciate our fellow Australians' cultural diversity.
  • We can also broaden our horizons, improve our communication skills, and build new relationships by learning about other cultures.
  • Communication strategies can include producing more accessible content for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) audiences and cater for a truly diverse country.
  • In a commercial sense, it allows us to find new markets in CALD audiences.
  • It also ensures social cohesion by ensuring we target CALD audiences in significant messaging and other government communication efforts.

Now let's look at Australia's top 25 most commonly spoken languages (other than English).

The data is from the 2021 ABS census, the Australian government's latest information on spoken languages.

¹ Rank after English which makes up 72% of the total population's language spoken at home.

² Number of speakers based on languages spoken at home, which is a way of classifying an individual's first language.

³ Percentage of Australia's population who speak the language. Australia's population at the time of the 2021 census was 25,422,788

Clearly, lots of different languages are spoken across the country.

The most interesting thing about this data is that it means 22.3% of the Australian population are NOT speaking English at home. This is far higher than most people expect, meaning that roughly a quarter of the country speaks a foreign language when at home.

(If you're wondering why 72% and 22.3% don't add up to 100%, that's because 5.7% of the population didn't state what language they spoke)

A brief look at some of the most spoken languages

#1: English

As the official language of Australia, English is in everyday use for 72% of Australians. However, the differentiation between Australian English and other English dialects is not made. We also have to consider large migrant populations from North America (the United States and Canada), United Kingdom and New Zealand where English is also an official language.

#2: Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is the second most spoken language in Australia, with over 600,000 speakers. It is also the most widely spoken Asian language in the country. This can be attributed to the growing number of Chinese immigrants and students in recent years.

#3: Arabic

Around 400,000 Australians speak Arabic, making it the third most spoken language. Arabic is the official language of many countries in the Gulf regions, the Middle East and North Africa. It is spoken by a diverse range of people, including refugees, immigrants, and students in Australia. Most Arabic speakers in Australia speak the Levantine dialect, commonly spoken in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.

In its written form, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the official language of the Arab world. It is used in formal settings as well as in written communication.

#4: Vietnamese

There are over 300,000 Vietnamese speakers in Australia. Australia's cultural and linguistic landscape has been influenced by Vietnamese immigrants since the 1970s. Vietnamese is most often spoken in Victoria and New South Wales, which have large Vietnamese populations.

#5: Cantonese

People from the Guangdong province in China, Hong Kong and Macau speak Cantonese as a dialect of Chinese. The number of Cantonese speakers is nearly 300,000 and can be found in areas with large Chinese communities, such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Cantonese is one of Australia's most widely spoken Chinese languages, particularly among Chinese immigrants who arrived in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s. Spoken Cantonese is most commonly attributed to the Traditional Chinese writing system.

#6: Punjabi

Over 200,000 people speak Punjabi in Australia, making it the seventh most common language. Indian and Pakistani Punjabi-Australians and expatriates around the world speak this Indo-Aryan language. The language is also widely spoken in religious settings, particularly in Sikh gurdwaras.

#7: Greek

Greek is the seventh most spoken language in Australia, with around 260,000 speakers. Greek immigrants have been settling in Australia since the early 20th century, and Greek culture and language have become an important part of Australian multiculturalism.

#8: Italian

Over 200,000 people speak Italian in Australia, making it the ninth most common language. The migration of Italians to Australia began in the late 19th century during the gold rush and has continued to this day. Italian culture and language have significantly impacted Australian society, particularly in areas such as food, fashion, and the arts.

#9: Hindi

Hindi is gaining popularity in Australia due to a growing population of Indian immigrants and students. The number of Hindi speakers in Australia stands at over 250,000, making it the tenth most spoken language in the country. The language is spoken primarily in northern India but can be found in other parts of India, Nepal, and Mauritius. It uses the Devanagari script for its writing system and is one of the most used writing systems in the world.

#10: Spanish

Spanish is the eleventh most spoken language in Australia, with around 170,000 speakers. Despite Spanish culture and language being part of Australian migration since the 19th century, it has become more popular in recent years. The number of Australians learning Spanish and visiting Spanish-speaking countries is rising.

#11: Nepali

Moving up a spot since the 2016 census, the official language of Nepal is now Australia's 12th most spoken language, with approximately 133,000 speakers. In Australia, Nepali is most commonly spoken in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, where there are large Nepalese communities. Nepali is also widely used in religious settings, particularly Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries.

#12: Tagalog

Tagalog is Australia's tenth most spoken language, with over 150,000 speakers. It is the dominant language of the Philippines out of 'Tagalog' and 'Filipino'. It is also spoken by Filipino expatriates around the world. In Australia, Tagalog is most commonly spoken in New South Wales and Victoria, where there are large Filipino communities.

#13: Korean

A little over 100,000 people speak Korean in Australia, which makes it the 14th most spoken language in the country. It is the official language of South Korea and North Korea. Its language and culture have become an important part of Australia's diverse communities because of Korean migration in recent years, particularly in urban areas such as Sydney and Melbourne.

#14: Urdu

Urdu, the official language of Pakistan and spoken in parts of India, make up .40% of Australia's population, with just over 110,000 speakers. The Urdu language has a rich literary tradition, with poets like Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal contributing to the cultural identity of South Asia.

#15: Tamil

There are 95,404 Tamil speakers in Australia. It is the official language of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. The language is also spoken in parts of Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia. In Australia, Tamil is most commonly spoken in Victoria and New South Wales, where the largest Tamil communities reside.

#16: Filipino

Filipino and Tagalog can be used interchangeably but are technically different languages or different dialects of the same language, especially due to differences in their alphabet. One could argue that #12: Tagalog, and Filipino could be combined in the census data. Recording 90,000 plus speakers in addition to Tagalog's 130,000 plus speakers - the two dialects combined form a considerable number of total speakers and people from the Philippines.

#17: Sinhalese

Over 85,000 people speak Sinhalese in Australia, making it the 17th most spoken language. Sinhala is most commonly spoken in Victoria, where there is a large Sri Lankan community.

#18: Gujarati

Having over 80,000 speakers, Gujarati ranks 18th in Australia. It is the official language of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is also spoken in parts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Most Gujarati speakers live in Victoria and New South Wales, where there is a large Indian community.

#19: Malayalam

Malayalam, not to be confused with the Malay language, has over 78,000 speakers across Australia. It is the official language of the Indian state of Kerala. It is also spoken in parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

#20: Indonesian

At number 20, Indonesian or Bahasa (literally translates to 'language') has grown significantly since the last census to 73,000 speakers. It is the official language of Indonesia and is also spoken in parts of East Timor and Malaysia. Some of the first Indonesian migrants to Australia can be traced back to the early 19th century.

#21: Persian

Also known as Farsi, Persian sits at number 22 with 72,498 speakers at the time of the 2021 census. It is the official language of Iran and is spoken in parts of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Persian has been spoken in Australia since the 19th century, when the first Iranian migrants arrived.

#22: French

French is Australia's twenty-second spoken language, with over 45,000 speakers. It is the official language of France and parts of Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada. French has been spoken in Australia since the early 19th century when the first French migrants arrived.

#23: German

German is the official language of Germany, Austria and some parts of Switzerland. At number 23, German has been spoken in Australia since the 1830s, when German migrants arrived in large numbers.

#24: Bengali

Bengali, as it is known in English, is referred to as Bangla in-language. It is the official language of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. It is also spoken in parts of Assam, Tripura, and Jharkhand. Referring to the language as 'Bangla' is also making its way into English communities where Bengali speakers are growing. At number 24, Bengali has grown considerably since the last census, driven by an increase in Bangladeshi migration.

#25: Portuguese

The official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola and several other countries, Portuguese is last in our top 25 list with a considerable number of speakers at just over 67,000. People from Portuguese-speaking backgrounds form part of a well-established broader community in Australia, with the first migrants arriving in the 1820s.

The top 63 languages used by Government and Public Sector Organisations for Translation

You may have noticed some public sector and government organisations translating content across 63 languages. Although the top 63 languages they use do not align precisely with the top 63 reported in the census, there is a good reason for the selection of languages.

The 63 languages include Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bangla, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hakha Chin, Hazaragi, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Khmer, Kirundi, Korean, Kurdish Kurmanji, Lao, Macedonian, Malayalam, Maltese, Nepali, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Rohingya, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urd and Vietnamese.

The selection of languages is based on a vast range of factors which includes:

  • Consideration of all states across Australia (for example, Victoria's top 63 languages could be very different to New South Wales' top 63)
  • Communities that may require more engagement and therefore more translated communication.
  • The census data accounts for spoken languages, while the government-targeted languages are more reflective of the top communities.
  • Communities or languages require in-language communication vs. communities with a higher percentage of English speakers and do not require translated material.
  • Some languages from the census are either listed as non-verbal or have been recorded more than once. For example, Tagalog and Filipino make the census list. However, they are essentially the same language (respondents would have answered Tagalog or Filipino).
  • Another example is the census data includes AUSLAN and English in the top 63, which the government accounts for in separate campaigns to their 'top 63' languages for translation.
  • The number of available certified translators or if translation certification is even available.
  • And many more factors and nuances, such as Chinese being identified as Mandarin and Cantonese (in its spoken form) in the census but as Simplified and Traditional (in its written form) in Government communication.

Comparison between 2016 and 2021 census data

The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts its national census once every 5 years. Looking at the results, we can see a notable changing face of Australia. In 2016, there was a slightly higher percentage of English-only speakers in Australia and 20.8% of non-English speakers.

We can also highlight a few of the big changes over the last five years by looking at the different data sets:

  • Mandarin speakers remained in the number 2 spot after English.
  • Since 2016, there has been a significant increase in Vietnamese speakers in Australia. While a boost from 1.2 to 1.3% may not seem that big, it's quite substantial in terms of actual people. The stats show that 320,760 people speak Vietnamese at home now, while only 277,391 did so in 2016. For comparison, that was around 3,000 fewer Vietnamese speakers than Cantonese - and there are now around 25,000 more Vietnamese than Cantonese speakers in Australia.
  • Italian is one of the languages seeing the biggest decline since 2016. It was sixth on the list in 2016 and eighth in 2021. A decline of 0.2% is fairly large, with only 228,046 people speaking Italian now compared to 271,602 five years ago.
  • Arabic and Cantonese both moved up a spot.
  • Vietnamese moved up two spots, while Greek moved down one spot.
  • Punjabi is by far and away the fastest-growing language based on data. From 0.6 to 0.9% and 132,500 speakers to 239,041 speakers over this five-year period. It means that over 100,000 people now speak this language compared to in 2016.
  • Urdu is another language gaining popularity. Almost double the number of people speak now compared to five years ago (11,864 and 69,295)

If you take a deeper look at the statistics - which you can do here - there are a few interesting trends to spot. For one, in almost all languages from East Asia, the number of speakers has increased, possibly indicating a rise in East Asian immigrants.

But, the biggest gainers are South Asian languages from countries such as India, Pakistan, etc. This shows that Australia is seeing a larger influx of immigrants from this part of the world. Interestingly, the number of people speaking European languages does seem to be on the decline. Perhaps this means fewer people are moving to Australia from central European countries.

The future of languages in Australia

Essentially, all of this information means that Australia is a country with many different cultures all mixed together. Almost 25% of the population does not see English as its primary language. Clearly, this has a knock-on effect on society - especially in the business world.

If you own and operate a business in Australia, it's not enough to only provide content in English. There's a large section of the population that could struggle to read this and would benefit from seeing it in their preferred language.

Consequently, the need for translation services is greater than ever before. At LEXIGO, we provide a whole host of translation services for anyone in Australia to use. We can convert your content from English to a different language, ensuring that everyone can understand what you're saying.

If you need help with any translations or would like to learn more about the complex lexicon in Australia, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

<![CDATA[Number of international visitors to Australia: guide for 2023]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/number-of-international-visitors-to-australia63fac518729a35896c825b99Sat, 25 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMTMichelle TrazoDue to the Coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions, Australia's international visitor numbers have declined substantially in recent years. There is, however, some good news for the tourism industry, with borders opening up around the world and in Australia.

Picture: swimmers swimming in beach side pool at Bondi Beach

Key takeaways

  • There has been a significant decline in Australia's international visitor numbers due to the pandemic and travel restrictions.
  • Tourism contributed significantly to Australia's economy before COVID, accounting for 3.1% of Australia's GDP and supporting over 600,000 jobs.
  • China's top spot as the country with the most visitors to Australia has been lost to New Zealand due to China's travel restrictions.
  • There are many reasons why people visit Australia, including leisure travel, visiting family and friends, conducting business, studying, and more.
  • Leisure travellers are drawn to Australia's natural beauty and cultural experiences, such as the Great Barrier Reef and vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
  • Business travellers are attracted to Australia's strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, world-class facilities, and multicultural society.
  • Australia's world-renowned universities and high-quality education system make it an attractive destination for educational tourism.

Pre-COVID, the tourism sector significantly contributed to Australia's economy, with tourism GDP accounting for 3.1% of Australia's GDP and supporting over 600,000 jobs.

With over $60 billion in revenue generated by the tourism industry, overseas visitors to Australia contributed significantly to the Australian economy.

The tourism industry generates considerable revenue in Australian dollars, contributing to the country's foreign exchange earnings, while Australian residents also contribute significantly to the tourism industry, with domestic travel accounting for over 74% of all tourism expenditure in 2019.

The Australian government and tourism operators have been working hard to restore tourism levels to normal by promoting sustainable tourism and supporting Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Which countries visit Australia the most

When we look at Australia's number of arrivals in 2022, we find that the top ten source countries for international tourists are New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, China, Canada, Indonesia, Germany and Malaysia.

This looks substantially different to pre-COVID levels where China was in the number one spot for many years, including in 2019.

Graph showing the number of international visitors by country.

New Zealand

In the top spot of all international visitors, New Zealanders are a significant source of international tourists to Australia, thanks to the proximity and strong cultural ties between the two countries.

As part of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealanders can travel to Australia without needing a visa, making visiting for leisure and business easy and convenient.

The country is also a favourite destination for reunions and celebrations among New Zealanders, who often visit family and friends there.


India is the fastest-growing source of international tourists to Australia. Visitors from India make up a significant proportion of the country's overall tourism market, coming in at number two.

The Australian government and tourism industry have been working to further promote Australia as a desirable destination for Indian tourists. It's also no coincidence that one of Australia's largest populations of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) citizens are from an Indian background, naturally opening the door to the tourism category of visiting Australia to see family and friends.


Although China doesn't even make the top 5, it is extremely noteworthy to mention since Chinese tourists were the largest group of international visitors to Australia before the COVID-19 pandemic by a mile—with over 1.4 million visitors in the last year before the pandemic.

As the largest source country for international visitors to Australia, Chinese visitors accounted for 15% of all international visitors.

Reasons people visit Australia

As Australia's third-largest export, there are many reasons people visit Australia. The most common reasons international tourists travel to Australia include leisure travel, visiting family and friends, conducting business, studying and more. We'll explore some of these below.

Educational tourism

Due to its world-renowned universities, high-quality education system, and diverse cultural experiences, Australia is a popular educational tourism destination. The tourism industry in Australia is significantly impacted by international students, who account for approximately 10% of all international visitors.

Bar graph displaying number of international student visitors to Australia

Some of the world's top universities are in Australia, including the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, and the University of Sydney.

Its reputation as a global leader in education and research, combined with its rich cultural experiences and natural wonders, makes Australia a top destination for educational tourism.

International student on University grounds

Leisure travel

Leisure travellers from all over the world flock to Australia. Its breathtaking natural beauty is one of the main reasons people in this category visit Australia. The country boasts a diverse range of landscapes, from the Gold Coast's stunning beaches to the Outback's rugged wilderness.

Visitors can explore ancient rainforests, hike in national parks, swim with dolphins, and witness the spectacular beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

In addition to its vibrant cities, like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Australia offers a rich cultural experience, world-class dining, and endless entertainment. The country is also famous for its laid-back lifestyle, friendly locals, and warm year-round climate.

Business travellers

Thanks to its thriving economy and strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, Australia is a popular destination for international business travellers. The tourism industry also benefits from Australia's domestic business travellers thanks to Australia's size and population.

Many global companies establish their Asia Pacific offices in Australia to cater for their Asian markets and the southern hemisphere. Australia's multicultural society and openness to international trade also make it a prime destination for companies looking to expand into the Asia-Pacific market.

Australia's cities also have world-class business facilities, including convention centres, meeting rooms, and state-of-the-art technology.

The country's robust infrastructure and skilled workforce make it an attractive location for industries such as finance, mining, technology, and healthcare.

Where do people visit Australia

International visitors account for over 60% of all international inbound tourists in Australia, with many visiting for the first time. The majority arrive between December and February when summer is in full swing.

The most popular tourist destinations in Australia for international visitors are the major cities alongside Bondi Beach, and the Great Barrier Reef.

The city centre of Sydney is the leading destination for international tourists in Australia, with around 30% of all international visitors spending time in this area.

The most popular destinations for international visitors were Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, with each city receiving over 2 million visitors.

The Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales are two of the most popular destinations for international tourists, with over 40% of all international visitors spending time in these areas.

Sydney Opera House

Getting back to pre-COVID levels and beyond

The number of international visitors to Australia in the last year before the pandemic was close to 9 million, with most coming from China, New Zealand, and the United States.

To put things into context, consider the following numbers according to Tourism Research Australia based on the financial year of 2019-2020 (pre-pandemic);

  • Western Australia had the highest growth in international overnight tourists, with an increase of 9%
  • The Northern Territory had the highest growth in same-day visitors, with an increase of 12%.
  • South Australia steadily increased international tourists with an annual growth rate of 3.9%, according to Tourism Australia.

Since border restrictions were eased, the Australian government and tourism operators have been working to promote domestic travel and attract foreign tourists.

One initiative is Zero COVID, a concept introduced in Australia to reopen international borders while maintaining a COVID-free environment.

Even though travel costs have increased, efforts have not been in vain. The RBA reports that visitor numbers in Australian tourism have recovered to around 85% of pre-pandemic levels.

However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that the number of international visitors to Australia in December 2022 was 39.8% lower than pre-COVID levels.

The ABS data also shows that the number of international tourists arriving in Australia by air decreased by 80%, with international flights decreasing by 95% in the previous year.

Where to find more information and research

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data provides historical data on the number of international visitors, their usual residence, and the total number of visitor nights. The ABS collection methods include surveys of international travellers and crew members, border statistics and other travel data.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission provides an interactive dashboard with industry performance data, external debt, and current accounts.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looks at the global tourism industry and how it has been affected by COVID to suggest ways for rebuilding and recovering tourism.

<![CDATA[Managing virtual teams: 7 challenges and the tools and tips that helped me overcome them]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/managing-virtual-teams-7-challenges-and-the-tools-and-tips-that-helped-me-overcome-them63f6fe8fda4d6c65e0105601Thu, 23 Feb 2023 06:01:04 GMTMark SabaAs the CEO of a ,global translation company, I have harnessed advantages in our own technology and available cloud-based technologies to efficiently work and communicate with an international team.

Key takeaways

  • Remote teams can provide a better work-life balance for team members, allowing more flexibility in work schedules and reducing commuting time to a physical office.
  • Virtual teams can be a great way to tap into a diverse talent pool, regardless of location, providing access to a broader range of expertise and experience.
  • The best way to ensure successful virtual teams is to set clear expectations, goals, and communication protocols from the outset.
  • Virtual team managers and project managers play an essential role in virtual team management by using the right tools and training programs to ensure effective communication and track work output.
  • Virtual communication technologies (such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet) offer real-time communication and collaboration, allowing face-to-face interaction, shared vision, and regular team meetings.
  • Social interaction and small talk can be challenging in a virtual world. However, remote team members can still build a team feel through phone calls, video chats, and in-person meetings (when possible).
  • Communication issues can arise in virtual teams, but with the right tools and response times, managers of virtual teams can address problems and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • The Harvard Business Review reports that virtual teams can be as effective as in-person teams. Still, managers of virtual teams must be proactive in addressing new challenges and finding the best technology and communication strategies for their type of work.
  • Establishing clear goals, following steps, and ensuring everyone has access to critical information can help remote teams avoid poor performance and achieve success over the long term.

Author's note and update: editing this article for 2023 and beyond is very different to when I first wrote this article in early 2019. So many things have changed for obvious reasons (i.e. the coronavirus pandemic). For example, some remote teams have become permanent virtual teams; web-based software is now more widely known as cloud-based. The idea of video conferencing in 2019 was surprisingly rare and would take some convincing (and technical support) to organise one.

To give you a final example, the following was a paragraph written pre-COVID, which I thought I'd leave as a time capsule. Today, engaging with people through 'online platforms' is the norm, if not the default!

In such a globalised and connected world, where the concept of traditional physical workspaces is being usurped, you will at some point be compelled to engage with people through online platforms.

Fortunately for LEXIGO, our processes and teams were born in the cloud from day one. All the tools to work virtually, remotely and with distributed teams were already in place before COVID. This was the main reason the article was initially written: to help other organisations embrace online teams in an ever-increasing globalised world.

In addition, LEXIGO is global by nature; our team is distributed mainly across the Asia Pacific region, with the exception of our translator teams located globally across 138 countries.

Here's what I've learnt about managing global virtual teams.

What's the difference between remote teams and virtual teams?

Before diving in, it's important to note the distinction between remote and virtual teams. Often used interchangeably, they have essential differences.

Remote teams

Remote employees comprise remote workers in different remote locations who work on the same projects together. Teams communicate and collaborate using digital tools like email, messaging apps, and video conferencing. While they occasionally meet in person and conduct face-to-face meetings, most interactions occur remotely. Still, they share a physical workspace that they might occasionally attend.

Virtual teams

Virtual teams, on the other hand, refer to a group of people who work together on a project or task without ever sharing a physical workspace. Virtual team members are composed of remote workers who are geographically dispersed and may work in different time zones. Virtual teamwork relies heavily on technology, with digital tools being the primary means of communication and coordination.

To make matters more confusing, virtual and distributed teams are sometimes interchangeable. For this article, we'll stick to using the term virtual teams.

Hybrid teams

Hybrid teams are becoming increasingly popular post the peak of COVID. By combining remote and on-site workers, a hybrid work environment enables organisations to reap the benefits of both remote work and in-person collaboration. Hybrid teams offer flexibility and convenience for remote workers, who can work from anywhere while also providing the opportunity for in-person collaboration and socialisation for those who prefer to work on-site.

Managing virtual teams

Managing virtual teams can be challenging, to say the least. In fact, a virtual team leader is becoming a new form of leadership in its own right, and a quick google search differentiates leadership from virtual team leadership.

There are cultural best practices to consider, language barriers, real-life distractions and time differences, just to name a few.

It also requires self-awareness; you're more likely to be less empathetic online and more inclined to become desensitised to societal rules that usually guide real-life social interactions.

This could translate into becoming more susceptible to being rude, discourteous, condescending and more inclined to make an offhand remark where you wouldn't otherwise if you were in a face-to-face meeting.

Sometimes, even when you're being sincere, it could come across as rude because you might be communicating through chat.

Tools and tips I've found to overcome the challenges

In the same way, companies evolve and adapt to new technological advancements, companies must also translate these recent changes by updating their approach to human resource management.

Sometimes it can result in an overhaul of how we manage employee relationships since communication in a virtual team is full of challenges.

These include:

Challenge #1: Geographical and time differences

Preparing a video conference with different time zones requires strict rules that everybody adheres to. Sometimes, you leave team members out of meetings due to significant time and geographical differences.

Try to pick a time of day that is suitable for everyone. Some great tools out there to help you choose mutually suitable times include:

Timeanddate.com's Time Difference Calculator

This is a great tool because you can add as many cities and time zones as you like and compare them simultaneously. For example, what time is it in Paris, Copenhagen and Beijing at 2pm in Melbourne?

WorldTimeZone.com World Map

Get a visual outlook of the time and date all around the world at the current time and compare cities and countries before making calls.

Timeanddate.com's Meeting Planner

Timeanddate.com does it again with this awesome meeting planner. Select the cities you're trying to plan a meeting with, hit go, and it will highlight the best time for all 3 cities in green.

Challenge #2: Limited opportunities for interpreting nuance and nonverbal cues

Good communication means interpreting subtle hints about what a person is saying from non-verbal communication.

This includes facial expressions, posture and gestures. Decoding these kinds of communications is valuable for team building and cohesion as we get to know our colleagues on a more human level.

This kind of human experience cannot be replicated in virtual teams. The closest thing is a voice and video call. When it's over chat and email, don't sweat the small stuff when being spoken to, do sweat the small stuff when speaking - this will allow cultural consideration from both sides.

Another factor is being behind a keyboard. You may be very cordial in real life, but once you are on an online platform, the likelihood of your demeanour changing or being misinterpreted is dramatically high.

You are also more prone to invalidate other people's concerns and dismiss them when in a virtual team. Regularly scheduled team meetings over voice and video help to put everyone's approach in perspective.

Great tools and techniques to address this challenge include:

Old-fashioned phone call

you can download an app like WhatsApp and make calls via WiFi or simply call using your landline or mobile.


Create groups, chat individually, make voice or video calls, share your screen and much more.

Regular meetings

Scheduling regular virtual meetings, huddles, catch-ups, and more helps teams remember they're not isolated and play an essential role in supporting their team's needs. Team meetings held on a regular basis are also proven to increase productivity.


Zoom meetings are great for online meetings with plenty of options to ensure important stuff is recorded and sessions run smoothly.

Challenge #3: Virtual teams are not a one size fits all mechanism

Not all industries are adapted to online communication. The organisational design needed to run a virtual team is counterproductive for some departments and industries.

Make sure a virtual team is beneficial for your organisation. While it may work well in a travelling agency or advertising, it may only hold true for some industries. Having a virtual team as support staff or back-end administration work for these industries makes more sense.

Challenge #4: Why more is never merrier in virtual teams

If you have a message board where all team members contribute, inevitably, you will have to deal with lengthy messages in the discussion forum. The constant barrage of messages in an online chat room can impede effective output since the likelihood of ignoring messages is high.

To counter this, try to split virtual teams in silos (see Challenge #6) with team leaders who report to you - not too dissimilar from running large on-site teams.

There are many tools out there to help online collaboration across time zones, teams and even for teams right next to each other!

Here are a couple of my favourites:


Versatile with a variety of templates for different purposes.


Streamlined. Great if you want a uniform approach to planning work.

Challenge #5: Virtual teams are fertile ground for e-failures

E-failures are a combination of the complications associated with email communication and human error.

Did you forget to attach a document? Did an important message go into the spam folder? Have you sent a message to the wrong receiver?

These kinds of errors are frequent among virtual teams collaborating on a project. Yep, you guessed it! There are tools to help you out.

Apart from some of the tools mentioned in the previous point, these tools help you manage files and email.


Asana makes the list again. One of many different types of project management systems, Asana offers a suite of project management tools that address the unique challenges of virtual team leaders and individual team members.


Dropbox is an ideal tool for managing files across virtual teams, offering cloud-based storage and collaboration features that enable seamless work across multiple locations. Real-time collaboration and a user-friendly interface make it easier for team members to work efficiently and stay organised.


Checking and editing this article using Grammarly is not the only advantage we get from its use. Managing our brand and terminology across distributed teams is all centralised in Grammarly and is another significant benefit.


Obviously one of the most used and preferred forms of communication by all virtual teams, upping your email game can have significant advantages. You can do this by scheduling emails, setting auto-responders and organising your email to suit the requirements of your virtual teams.


Rather than rushing to send your emails across the world before you or your colleagues end the day - with Boomerang, you can take your time writing emails to your global colleagues and schedule to send them at a more professional time. However, most email service providers now include this as a standard feature.

Challenge #6: Time wasted unravelling communication failures

When miscommunication happens in virtual teams, you can't get clarification as quickly as you could from a colleague who is a few feet away.

This means virtual teams waste lots of time before clearing up misunderstandings. To ensure communication is always open and constant, consider more frequent contact and scheduled meetings and try not to allow 'elephants in the room'.

Tools you can use to facilitate regular communication include:


Set up separate workspaces for each team and post to the workspace anytime. Slack allows for a continuous flow of conversation and ideas across time zones.


Skype gets another mention for its versatility. Create groups, chat individually, make voice or video calls, share your screen, and more with Skype.

Challenge #7: Understanding the five dimensions of culture to help you manage diverse virtual teams

Cross-cultural expert and Dutch social psychologist Dr Geert Hofstede undertook studies on the impact of different cultures in the workplace and identified five dimensions of culture. His research is based on years of collected and analysed data from over 100,000 people across 40 countries.

Culture is often a bigger source of conflict, and differences in culture can become a real nuisance that can lead to disastrous results. —Dr. Geert Hofstede

His solution—understand the culture and values of the workforce you're working with by identifying the varying degrees of importance in each of the following dimensions:

PDI: Power Distance Index

This dimension focuses on how much equality or inequality exists between people from different countries. If the PDI is high, it shows that there are significant inequalities of both power as well as wealth. This also shows that society uses a caste system and keeps its citizens more or less in their normal place in life. On the other hand, a low PDI shows that society does not emphasise differences in wealth and power and that there is more equality in society.

IDV: Individualism

This dimension is focused on the degree to which society strengthens an individual or society as a whole regarding their achievements and relationships with each other. If the degree for this dimension is high, it shows that society places maximum importance on individuality and personal rights.

MAS: Masculinity

This dimension is focused on how much a society strengthens the traditionally held notion that men are the primary achievers and power in society. A high score shows that the country values traditionally male traits such as assertiveness and material success. A low score means a national culture values more "feminine" traits such as nurturing and caring.

UAI: Uncertainty Avoidance Index

This dimension shows how tolerant society is regarding uncertainty and ambiguity. A high score indicates that the country does not have a high tolerance.

LTO: Long-term Orientation

This is a dimension that is focused on whether or not a society embraces long-term devotion to values that are traditional and futuristic. Long-term orientation shows that society values its traditions, and this buttresses a stronger work ethic. Businesses that operate in such an environment will find it challenging to merge with society, as they will be considered outsiders.


While identifying the challenges that underpin virtual teams, it is essential to remember that they are here to stay. For some industries, the future of virtual teams is already here. Ranging from non-governmental organisations, intelligence services, journalism, shipping, aviation, diplomacy, the military, scientific communities and universities, just to name a few.

But the good news is that the virtual environment is not all doom and gloom since there are also demonstrable best-case scenarios when employees collaborate within a virtual environment.

For one, as much as we have affirmed that online environments are ripe settings for breaking social inhibitions, virtual teams ironically reduce traditional work conflicts that may be occasioned by interpersonal relations when in face-to-face interaction.

The biggest challenges for global virtual teams are cultural and time differences. And if the following sentence written in early 2019 is proof of anything, it's of how quickly things have changed in this space.

As more people worldwide become accustomed to other cultures and globalisation increases, there will no doubt come a time when virtual teams will be more forgiving and open to cultural sensitivities.
<![CDATA[How Professional Translation Can Connect You and Your Customers]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/how-professional-translation-can-connect-you-and-your-customers640120c1326b50972cdd60abTue, 21 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMTMichelle TrazoA professional translation can connect you to your customers in beneficial ways. To start, providing a professional translation in your customer's native language, whether it is Mandarin, Hindi, or Spanish, can build new relationships and trust with those customers. It has the added benefit of increasing your growth and establishing yourself as a worthwhile professional business.

What Is a Professional Translation Service?

A professional translation service is a process that translates your business documents into another language. When you need a foreign language translation, you should contact a professional translation company that can utilise linguistic experts, not computers, to provide you with the most authentic translation possible.

Why Do You Need Professional Translation Services?

Outside of the obvious financial and brand growth possibilities, a professional translation can ensure your marketing material, legal documents, and personalised advertisements translate effectively into a foreign language.

Ensures Effective Communication

One of the most significant reasons to have a professional translation is to eliminate miscommunication. A foreign language translation can ensure effective communication for marketing materials and documentation, which benefits several industries, including law, marketing, and insurance brokering.

For example, a professional translation can speed up the process if you request documents for a client's legal proceeding. Many clients, even those who speak English fluently, may need help understanding the rigid, jargon-heavy legal paperwork, leading to miscommunication and delayed responses. You could sit and explain every detail to them, but that wastes time you could better spend planning for the next conference, hearing, or trial.

Establishes Transparency

Stepping away from the realm of law, insurance companies who use a professional translation for their client's documents and plans can help eliminate confusion about what is covered and offered by them. As a result, it leads to an established transparency that clients appreciate.

Translation services eliminate the anxiety of the unknown regarding client documents. As mentioned, insurance companies who can provide a client's plan in their preferred language will help eliminate that anxiety because clients want to feel like they have the whole picture.

Imagine if someone handed you a large stack of paper in a strange language you vaguely understood and said, "in this is everything you need to know; read it at your leisure." While they would comprehend many grandiose clauses, a non-native speaker may need help understanding particular words and contexts. Double meanings and accepted vocabulary can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and a growing sense of "shadiness."

After all, would you want to pay someone monthly that could not satisfy your worries? A company with transparency and accommodations for all its clients creates a place that has an envious client acquisition.

Higher Client Acquisition

Finally, companies that provide a foreign language translation for their documents and marketing materials have a higher client acquisition rate. They have the tools and know-how to cast the most extensive net into the biggest demographics.

As a marketing tactic, think about the four most spoken languages in the world. English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish. Providing these four as a foreign language translation option for your marketing materials can help secure the largest collection of clients for your products and services.

More clients mean more growth, and you can expand your business from a local or nationwide name to a global sensation in a few short months when you start advertising to communities abroad in languages they understand and for which they are comfortable.

Should You Try To Translate Documents On Your Own?

Now that you know how a professional translation can benefit your business, here are some pitfalls you should be aware of if you try to do a foreign language translation on your own.

Being a Native Speaker Isn't Guaranteed

If you are fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, or some other language, it would be easy to perform your translation services by hand. After all, you speak the language and know how to convey sentences with it.

It's the first significant pitfall many companies fall into when they try to start a foreign language translation for their marketing materials and other documents. Spoken language and written form are often vernacular and variations of the official language.

Programs are Inaccurate

Programs such as Google Translate or AI software must be more accurate when translating documents. For example, Google Translate does not consider context or form when translating a sentence. Instead, the system attempts to find the best word to replace the native word in the original script. Consequently, specific Spanish sentences written for the collective "we" are mistranslated into English, as Google does not understand the feminine/masculine shift or the plural change.

You should always seek out a professional translation for your documents.

How Does Professional Translation Work?

There are several ways a professional translation works. At LEXIGO, we begin with a simple process that we have outlined down below. As the premier provider of professional translation services across 171 languages, we are your trusted translation partners.

Submit Your Documents

First, you will submit your documents. Depending on what kind of documents you submit, we may need to review some things with you first. You should check out our webpage to better understand what you need to push your business to the next level.

Match with a Certified Linguistic Expert

When we receive your documents, we use our sophisticated algorithm and software to find you the perfect translator. We do not use a computer or AI to translate your documents, opting to match you with a live person who knows how to translate them. If you submit a legal document, we will ensure it reaches a legal translator with a repertoire of successful, professional translation services.

Reap the Benefits

At LEXIGO, we want to be your partner in professional translation services. Whatever language you need your documents translated to, we can ensure a professional translation, prompt service, and guaranteed satisfaction.

For more information, click here and start reaping the benefits of a professional translation service for your documents and marketing materials.