<![CDATA[LEXIGO]]>https://www.lexigo.com/blogRSS for NodeThu, 30 Nov 2023 14:45:20 GMT<![CDATA[Diwali: the festival of lights]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/diwali-the-festival-of-lights653ed661b3ac8a4d981e76e6Sun, 29 Oct 2023 22:19:20 GMTSophia DickinsonDiwali is celebrated by millions of people worldwide, including Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. It is the most important annual festival in India, where 2.8% of Australia’s population was born.

Himanshi Munshaw Luhar is the founder of Foodie Trails and originally hails from Mumbai, the home of Bollywood on India’s western coast. Himanshi and her family are from the Gujarati ethnolinguistic group.

Diwali is a huge celebration for Himanshi and her family, with preparations starting weeks in advance and festivities lasting a few days. It is a time to spend getting together with family and enjoying good food and special desserts.

LEXIGO interviewed Himanshi about her Diwali experiences in Australia and India:

“For Gujarati people, celebrations include prayers and ceremonies to honour Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth,” says Himanshi.

New Year also falls during the Diwali festive period.

“On New Year's Day, we perform the tradition called ‘counting houses’, where we visit older relatives to wish them a happy new year, and children receive envelopes with a small token amount of cash,” Himanshi explains.

“Then, on the day of Diwali, we have prayers, a big lunch, spend time with family and have more food at dinner time.”

“Traditionally, after sunset, there were firecrackers, but last time I was in Mumbai for Diwali (6 years ago), there were a lot less firecrackers, but everyone still hung out with family and had lots of food,” Himanshi shares.

“It’s a lot of spending time together, punctuated by prayer ceremonies. We also wear new clothes for Diwali or New Year’s Day."

“Our outfits have to be traditional Indian clothes and not black or white – it’s very colourful.”

These traditions mean a lot to Himanshi, and it’s something she is trying to pass on to her children.

“Preparation at my mum’s house would start weeks in advance, making snacks to have sitting on the table so you can constantly graze. In Australia, we still try to get together with friends and family."

“I make a point of cooking Indian desserts in my house with my kids to keep the connection. They don’t have to ask mum’s permission to eat dessert during Diwali.”

Food is a big part of Diwali celebrations and a highlight for passionate foodie Himanshi.

“In my region, my mum’s household is 100% vegetarian, but my siblings and I eat meat when we go out."

“Mum would make a paneer dish, yogurt-based curries, little vegetarian samosas and puri, our deep-fried bread. My mum makes triangle-shaped puris – they’re rolled out, folded into triangles and fried,

and then you dip them in sauces. We also have a special Gujarati dish called Undihu, which is made in layers in a pot, then you turn it over."

“There are also lots of fried snacks, including savoury and sweet fried dumplings and fafda, thick noodles that fluff up, kind of our version of chips. My husband’s side has Chakri, savoury spiralled rings made from steamed rice and wheat flour mixed with butter and spiced, then deep fried. There’s also lots of nuts - during Diwali, we give them as gifts and have them sitting on the table for visitors."

“My absolute favourite dessert is Mohanthal – it’s made from chickpeas and ghee, sugar and milk is added, then it’s poured into a big tray then cut into pieces to make little pastries or cakes decorated with edible gold, pistachios and almonds."

India is now the birthplace of the second-largest group of Australia’s overseas-born population after England, overtaking China and New Zealand in the 2021 Census. Australia’s Indian-born population has more than doubled in the last decade, increasing from 337,120 people in 2011 to 710,380 in the 2021 Census. Diwali celebrations in Australia have grown, too.

In India, we get public holidays for Diwali, so everyone has time to catch up, but in Australia it’s not a holiday, so we have to try to get time off from work and school or wait for the weekend to do a celebration.

“For years, I’ve hosted a Diwali get-together for friends and family, but this year, I’m working so I’m trying to find another time to celebrate.

“Generally here in Australia, people get together, drink alcohol (we don’t drink in India), enjoy lots of good food and try to go to the temple on New Year’s Day.”

“When I first moved to Australia nearly 20 years ago as an international student, we didn’t have established connections, so we Indian students got together to try to create the atmosphere of Diwali. The big Diwali celebration in Federation Square in Melbourne has been happening for a long time, and now there are Diwali celebrations in every local council; lots of communities create Diwali celebrations, so there are a lot more opportunities to celebrate even if you’re not as established in Australia."

“We have lots of options, from kid-friendly activities to banquets, so you can pick and choose the kind of celebration you want to go to. They run over different dates, so you can always catch something."

Still, I think in Australia, there’s much more scope for our various multicultural communities to embrace each other’s traditions, and so can workplaces. If you come across someone celebrating Diwali, don’t shy away from wishing them ‘Happy Diwali’ – we wish people ‘Merry Christmas’, so we love our special celebrations to be acknowledged too.

Himanshi Munshaw Luhar is the founder of Foodie Trails, which offers cultural food walks, festivals and events in Melbourne: foodietrails.com.au

<![CDATA[16 of the Most Endangered Languages in the World]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/16-of-the-most-endangered-languages-in-the-world6539edaab6c33d7bda3cfd0bSun, 29 Oct 2023 22:01:48 GMTMichelle TrazoThere are over 7,000 documented languages currently spoken around the world. However, that number is expected to steadily decline in the coming years.

man wearing headdress

Australia National University conducted a study in 2021 on endangered languages. While around half of the world’s 7,000 recognised languages are currently endangered, it is estimated that approximately 1,500 of these endangered languages could no longer be spoken by the end of the century. In this article, we explore some of the languages that are expected to disappear by the end of the century and the cultures we will be losing with them.


The Ainu language is a critically endangered language primarily spoken by the Ainu people in Japan. Historically, the Ainu people lived in the northern regions of Japan, particularly Hokkaido, and parts of the Russian Far East.

The Ainu language has been under serious threat due to a long history of assimilation policies by the Japanese government, which aimed to suppress Ainu culture and language. The Ainu population was marginalised, and speaking their native tongue was actively discouraged in favour of Japanese. As a result, the number of fluent Ainu speakers has dwindled, and the language is now critically endangered. The language is believed to be spoken by only a handful of elderly people, approximately 10, who belong to the Ainu community.


The Irish language, also known as Gaeilge, is one of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland and holds a special place in the nation's history and cultural identity. However, the Irish language faces the challenge of endangerment due to historical factors and language shifts.

For centuries, Ireland experienced colonisation and British rule, during which the use of English was encouraged while the speaking of Irish was suppressed. This historical context, coupled with the dominance of English globally, has led to a decline in native Irish speakers, especially in urban areas and among younger generations.

In recent years, the government has implemented plans to revitalise the language, including educational initiatives, bringing it back to be taught in schools.

Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic, also known as Gàidhlig, is primarily spoken in Scotland, as well as in immigrant communities in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada. Like many minority languages, Scottish Gaelic is endangered due to a complex interplay of historical and sociocultural factors.

Gaelic was the principal language of Scotland; however, rebellions in the 17th and 18th centuries resulted in it being persecuted. By 1972, it was essentially banned in schools nationwide due to the Education Scotland Act. This led to a significant decline in native speakers, with older generations being the primary preservers of the language. Although efforts have been made to promote Scottish Gaelic in recent years, including its inclusion in primary schools and their corresponding high schools, the number of fluent speakers remains relatively low.

The language is considered endangered, and its survival depends on continued revitalisation efforts and the transmission of the language to younger generations.

Cappadocian Greek

Cappadocian Greek, or Cappadocian, was historically spoken in the region of Cappadocia in central Turkey, which was once home to a thriving Greek community. However, it is now on the brink of extinction. Cappadocian Greek’s endangerment can be traced back to the late 19th century when a significant population exchange took place between Greece and Turkey, leading to the dispersal of the Greek-speaking population.

It was discovered in the early 2000s that the language had gone underground with elderly speakers in Larissa and Thessaloniki. Today, there are 1,000 - 2,000 speakers of this language, making it a critically endangered language under UNESCO, meaning it can become fully extinct in our lifetime.

Rapa Nui

The Rapa Nui language is used on Easter Island, a volcanic island in the South Pacific Ocean. It is the native language of the Rapa Nui people, who are indigenous to the island. Despite its unique cultural and historical significance, Rapa Nui is a critically endangered language, with less than 3,400 native speakers left.

The language's endangerment is primarily due to the geographical isolation of Easter Island, which has limited interactions with the outside world. As a result, the younger generations on the island are increasingly exposed to and using Spanish, the dominant language of Chile (Easter Island is a Chilean territory), for education and daily communication. This shift towards Spanish has diminished the use of Rapa Nui among the island's residents, making it more common on special occasions and cultural events rather than everyday life.


Saami, often called Sami or Saami, is a family of Uralic languages spoken by the Saami people, who primarily inhabit the northern regions of Scandinavia, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, and parts of Russia.

The Saami languages, with their rich linguistic diversity, are endangered as a result of the historical assimilation and suppression of Saami culture and languages by national governments, particularly in Norway and Sweden. This led to the discouragement of Saami-speaking and the adoption of dominant national languages. There are around 25,000 - 35,000 speakers of this group of languages left in these Northern regions.

One of the Saami languages, Ter Sami, is nearly extinct with only 30 native speakers worldwide. Ume Sami, which also belongs to this family of languages, is moribund, with approximately 20 speakers. It is spoken in the Ume River Valley, an area encompassing parts of northern Sweden and Norway. It is completely extinct in Norway and almost extinct in Sweden.


The Mudburra language is an Aboriginal Australian language primarily spoken by the Mudburra people in Northern Australia, specifically in the Barkly Tablelands region in the Northern Territory.

The younger generations within the Mudburra community are increasingly adopting English as their primary language for education and communication, which has led to a significant decline in the number of native speakers. Additionally, historical factors, such as the impact of residential schools and the pressure of dominant Western culture, have contributed to the erosion of indigenous languages, including Mudburra.

That being said, the language might actually be growing now. Australia’s 2006 census estimated that there were 47 speakers left, but the 2016 report showed an increase to 92 speakers of Mudburra at home.


Urum is a Turkic language spoken by ethnic Greeks who live in a few villages in Georgia and Southeastern Ukraine. This Turkic language is considered to be a variant of Crimean Tatar, originally spoken in the south of Crimea. In recent years, there has been a deviation from teaching children Urum to more common languages of the region, leaving a limited number of new speakers in younger generations. Currently, it is estimated that there are between 10,000 - 99,000 native speakers of this language worldwide.

Southern Paiute

The Southern Paiute language is a member of the Southern Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. This Native American language is spoken by the Native American Southern Paiute people, primarily in southwest Utah, northern Arizona, southern Nevada and northwest New Mexico, in the United States.

Over the years, Southern Paiute communities have faced cultural assimilation and the suppression of their native language through various policies, including the establishment of boarding schools that attempted to eliminate Native American culture. This led to a decline in native speakers and a shift towards English. The last count in 2010 found that there are around 1,640 speakers left; however, most of the speakers are over 50 years old.


The Yarawi language is a dying language spoken in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. It belongs to the Binanderean family to the Trans-New Guinea phylum of languages. While the language was in use throughout the 20th century, today, there is only one last living speaker of the language. Natives are now more popularly using the language of Binandere instead.


Hawaiʻian was the native language of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, which had a language literacy rate of more than 90%. However, after the takeover of the monarchy in 1896, speaking Hawaiʻian was discouraged, and the official language was replaced with English. Native speakers of the Hawaiʻian language dwindled as a result.

However, the Hawaiʻian Renaissance in the 1970s sparked a renewed interest in the native language, and efforts to promote the language re-emerged. Hawaiʻian language immersion schools were created in the mid-1980s to reintroduce the language to the island’s future generations. A 2016 state government report found that more than 18,000 people living in the state speak Hawaiʻian, as well as English, at home, a massive increase from the 2,000 native speakers they had in the 1970s.


The Potawatomi language, spoken by the Potawatomi people in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, is critically endangered. This verb-based language is characterised by long words and a lot of sounds that make it difficult to learn.

In recent years, the number of first-language Potawatomi speakers has declined to 10, most of whom are close to 70 years old. This small group of speakers includes only those who learned Potawatomi as their mother tongue at home and then learned English later in life. However, there are Potawatomi speakers who are teaching the language to others. Many Potawatomi tribes also have language programs open to anyone interested in learning the language.

Te Reo Māori

Te Reo Māori, the native language spoken by the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, is classified as a threatened language. Te Reo Māori's endangerment can be traced back to the historical impact of British colonisation, during which the language was marginalised and suppressed in favour of English. Up until the 1980s, the Te Reo Māori language, along with anything to do with Māori culture, was banned. As a result, the language started dying out, with only 5% of young Māori people speaking the language in the 1970s. However, with efforts by the Māori, backed by the government, more than 25% speak it now.


The Coptic language, the direct descendant of the ancient Egyptian language, is classified as an endangered language. The endangerment of Coptic can be attributed to several factors, including centuries of Arab-Islamic rule and the gradual Arabisation of Egypt. The suppression and marginalisation of Coptic culture and language, coupled with the widespread use of Arabic, have led to a decline in the number of Coptic speakers.

Although Coptic isn’t spoken much in communities, it is still the official language of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt. Their church services are conducted in Coptic, which means that parishioners need to have a general understanding of the language to follow along. The churches have also begun offering courses in Coptic to help revive the language. Its prevalence in the church ensures that there are several fluent speakers of the language in Egypt today.


The Jeju language, or Jejueo, is the native language of the people of Jeju Island in South Korea. The language isn’t widely spoken, and it is estimated that there are only around 5,000 fluent speakers left.

The Jeju language has been on the decline as a result of the Jeju uprising and the Korean wars back in the mid-1900s. Since then, it is estimated that only a small percentage of the elderly population on Jeju island speak the language. Interestingly, Jeju uses the same alphabet as standard Korean but cannot be understood by Korean speakers.

Gagauz (Bessarabia)

Gagauz is a Turkic language spoken by small communities in several parts of Eastern Europe. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Gagauz speakers moved to the Bujak area, a region located in the south of the Republic of Moldova. Today, Bujak is the main area where Gagauz is spoken. There are also some communities speaking the language in Odesa, Ukraine and near Varna, Bulgaria. Smaller Gagauz settlements were also found in Romania, Serbia and Central Asia. In the Bujakarea of Moldova, there are around 115,000 speakers, but in most communities, the language is not being taught to children, and its usage is gradually declining.

The Future of Endangered Languages

While the survival of these languages is crucial for the preservation of indigenous cultures, history and identity, as it stands, there is no guarantee of the continuation of many minority languages. However, more and more language preservation efforts are being made worldwide to combat ,language endangerment and keep our linguistic diversity alive. With the efforts of linguists around the world, there is a continued hope for many languages to remain alive for as long as possible.

<![CDATA[Unlocking the Future: The Role of AI in Translation]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/unlocking-the-future-the-role-of-ai-in-translation6524da2329dc773dee058df2Mon, 23 Oct 2023 06:39:22 GMTRon LimArtificial Intelligence (AI) has infiltrated almost every single industry and translation hasn’t been spared.

colourful web code on a computer monitor

In recent years, the translation industry has witnessed significant advancements, and at the heart of this transformation is Artificial Intelligence. AI, particularly in the form of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), has begun to play a significant role in bridging linguistic gaps and offering accurate translations at scale.

As the world becomes more interconnected, language serves as a powerful tool for effective communication, opening up new opportunities in various industries and connecting different cultures across the globe. Translation is the bridge that connects global audiences and it's rapidly changing with the advent of translation technology and AI. In this article, we will dive into the world of translation technology, exploring the past, present, and future of AI's role in the field of translation.

The Evolution of Translation Technology

The mission to overcome language barriers through technology has been a long journey. The industry was initially limited to human translators to translate text and spoken words from one language to another. However, the translation process was labour-intensive, time-consuming, and limited by the availability of skilled human translators. It’s a good thing AI came about.

How it Began

The seeds of transformation in translation were sown with the development of translation technology. In the mid-20th century, the emergence of electronic computing machines paved the way for initial attempts at machine translation. These early systems used rule-based approaches to translate text from one language to another. However, their results were often far from accurate, highlighting the complexities of language that machines struggled to grasp.

The Georgetown-IBM Experiment was a significant milestone in the development of machine translation and artificial intelligence. It took place in 1954 as a collaboration between Georgetown University and IBM. The primary goal of the experiment was to explore the feasibility of using computers to automatically translate human language.

The experiment involved the development of a computer program that was designed to translate Russian sentences into English. Russia was chosen as it was a critical language during the Cold War, and the US government had a pressing need for Russian-English translation. The experiment was groundbreaking in its time but the results were less than perfect. The quality of the translations was often inaccurate and lacked the nuance and context human translators could provide. However, the experiment laid the foundation for further research in machine translation and AI. It sparked interest and investment in the field, leading to the development of more sophisticated translation technologies and algorithms over the decades.

Statistical Machine Translation

Over time, translation technology evolved, incorporating more advanced methods and algorithms. One significant development was the shift from rule-based systems to statistical machine translation (SMT). SMT relied on vast datasets, statistical models and probabilities to make predictions about the best translations. SMT systems were popular in the early 2000s and played a significant role in the development of machine translation technology. While this approach improved accuracy, it still had limitations in capturing the finer nuances of language and context.

Neural Machine Translation

The breakthrough in translation technology came with the advent of Neural Machine Translation (NMT). NMT represents a significant departure from earlier methods, as it uses artificial neural networks to model the entire translation process. These networks are inspired by the human brain's structure, enabling NMT to understand and generate language with greater accuracy and context awareness. NMT overshadows SMT due to its ability to capture context and nuances more effectively which has led to significant improvements in translation quality.

In recent years, the emergence of AI-powered translation tools has revolutionised the translation industry. AI, with its ability to process vast amounts of data quickly, has made instant translations a reality. Google Translate, one of the most popular AI translation tools, utilises machine learning and statistical models to provide real-time translations for different languages. This represents a significant stride from the traditional translation process, which often relied on manual input from professional translators. This rise in technology has helped propel our field forward in many ways.

How AI Translation Works

Machine Learning and Training Data

AI translation relies on the principles of machine learning and neural networks. These systems are trained on vast amounts of multilingual text data, allowing them to learn the patterns, syntax, and context of various languages. This training process involves exposing the AI models to millions of sentences and their translations, enabling them to make predictions about how to translate new, unseen content accurately.

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the technology that allows AI translation systems to understand human language. NLP algorithms break down sentences into their constituent parts, including words, phrases, and grammar structures. Through NLP, AI models can analyse and generate text that is coherent and contextually accurate in the target language.

Statistical and Neural Machine Translation

AI translation systems have evolved from traditional statistical models to advanced Neural Machine Translation models. Statistical machine translation relies on patterns and probabilities in language, while NMT uses artificial neural networks inspired by the human brain. NMT excels in capturing context and nuances, making it highly effective in producing accurate translations, even for complex content.

Benefits of AI in Translation

The adoption of AI in translation has brought with it several benefits, addressing many of the challenges faced by human translators and language learners alike.

Speed and Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of AI translation is its speed and efficiency. AI systems can process and translate large volumes of text in a fraction of the time it would take a human translator. Time is money, as they say, and the quick pace of AI translation can help many global businesses where timely communication is crucial.

Multilingual Capabilities

AI translation tools can handle multiple languages with ease. This versatility makes them indispensable for businesses and individuals seeking to communicate across different regions and cultures. This is particularly valuable for companies operating in global markets in their local languages, such as Amazon and Airbnb.

Accurate Translations

Recent advancements in AI technology have led to more accurate translations. Neural machine translation models excel at capturing context and understanding idiomatic expressions, cultural references, and nuances in language. While this doesn’t compare to a human translator, it has improved significantly over the years that AI-powered translation can stand on its own for more simple translation jobs.


AI-powered translation tools are highly scalable. They can translate vast amounts of data, very quickly, making them suitable for translating content on websites, e-commerce platforms, and social media in real time. This scalability is a game-changer for businesses looking to expand their global reach, and it’ll help them do it in record time!

Challenges and Limitations

While AI in translation has many benefits, it comes with challenges and limitations as well.

Accuracy and Context

AI translation tools, while improving, are not without fault. They sometimes struggle with content that requires, including specialised terminology, idiomatic expressions or cultural nuances. Typically, when translating context-heavy content, human intervention is required to ensure accuracy. The quality of translation is incredibly important and, often, the human touch is required to ensure that quality isn’t compromised.

Ethical Concerns

The use of artificial intelligence in translation raises ethical concerns, especially when it comes to privacy and bias. Data privacy and the responsible use of AI algorithms are crucial considerations in the development of AI-powered translation tools.

Cultural Nuances and Idiomatic Expressions

Most languages are rich in cultural references and idiomatic expressions. These expressions can be challenging for AI systems to interpret accurately. Human translators, with their understanding of the source and target languages, are much more likely to be able to pick up and express these nuances effectively.

AI vs. Human Translators: Finding the Balance

While AI translation tools have made significant strides in providing fast and accurate translations, the debate about AI versus human translators persists. AI and human translators each have their strengths. AI excels in processing vast volumes of text quickly and consistently, making it ideal for routine translations. On the other hand, human translators bring their cultural awareness, context comprehension, and the ability to express subtle nuances and emotions in the target language. They are necessary for content that err on the creative side of the spectrum, such as literature, poetry, or marketing material. Ultimately, the future of translation lies in striking a balance between AI-powered efficiency and the expertise of human translators, ensuring that the quality of translations aligns with the specific needs of the content and the target audience.

The Future of AI Translation

As AI technology continues to advance, the future of translation holds exciting possibilities. Here are some key trends to watch out for in the next few years:

Deep Learning Algorithms

Deep learning algorithms mimic the human brain's ability to understand and process language. These algorithms are expected to play a more significant role in improving the accuracy and context awareness of AI translation systems.

Advancement of AI-Based Technologies

The rise of AI will lead to the development of more sophisticated AI models and tools, further enhancing translation accuracy, improving the quality of translations, and maybe even matching the capabilities of human translators.

The Human Touch

While AI might be able to get to the point of matching a human translator, the depth of understanding, context and nuance that humans bring to language can’t be completely replicated by AI. While the role of humans might shift to potentially be more focused on editing, humans will still play a massive role in the translation process.

Ethical Considerations

As with any new technology, there are ethical considerations associated with AI translation. Issues related to privacy, data security, and the potential for bias in translations have come up already and must be addressed responsibly. One of the main concerns is the elimination of jobs due to AI, something that could impact translators greatly if AI were to achieve the same level of accuracy as humans in the upcoming years.

Moving Forward with AI

As AI technology continues to advance, it will play an increasingly crucial role in bridging language barriers, connecting different cultures, and promoting global communication. However, the importance of human intervention and the preservation of translation quality cannot be underestimated. The future of translation lies in harnessing the power of AI, alongside the expertise of professional translators to deliver high-quality translations that cater to a diverse and interconnected world. By embracing AI-based technologies and addressing ethical concerns, the field of language translation is poised for a future where language is no longer a barrier to effective communication.

woman looking at phone
<![CDATA[Lost in Translation: 16 of the Biggest Translation Fails]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/lost-in-translation-16-of-the-biggest-translation-fails651cd2e79a43ce90f7ab68c8Mon, 23 Oct 2023 06:37:50 GMTZaina NasserGlobal expansion is no longer just a consideration for most businesses but rather a necessity.

cocacola vending machine with bottles

Businesses from Australia to Japan and England to the US are all looking for a larger market share, more customers and higher revenue. More times than not, that usually means expanding beyond your current market. Global growth requires taking into account multiple factors, such as the market’s local needs, preferences and expectations.

Translation is one consideration of many that can make or break a business when expanding globally. A good translation allows for a seamless transition, while bad translations can cause significant damage to a company’s reputation. In this article, we’ll explore 16 real-life examples of translations gone bad, how they were resolved and how to avoid these mistakes in your own business.

What makes a translation bad?

While translation isn’t an exact science, there are key factors to consider that can determine whether a translation is good or bad.

A bad translation typically falls into one of these translation traps:

  • Fails to accurately express the meaning of the original text
  • Strays away from the tone or style of the original text
  • Contains grammar, spelling or punctuation errors in the target language
  • Incorporates outdated or inappropriate terminology
  • Sounds unnatural or awkward in the target language

The Impact of Bad Translation

A poor translation can have many negative effects on a business, such as:

A confused or offended audience

If a translation has negative connotations in the target language, customers can be put off the brand or business. The poor translation might even turn into a negative perception of the business.

A loss in sales or potential opportunities

A bad translation can be associated with a lack of care or professionalism on behalf of the business. This could lead to a loss of potential customers who may prefer taking their business to a competitor that has put in the effort to ensure their translations are up to par.

Additional costs to fix the error

Most times, when a translation has gone wrong, the business needs to fix the mistake, investing more money and time into something that should’ve been done and dusted. For products, this could also mean pulling the product off the shelf and reproducing it with the correct translation which could lead to a loss in product as well as time.

Legal liabilities

In some cases, translation errors can lead to legal liabilities, such as an offended group filing a lawsuit claiming damages. Companies can end up paying a high price for an error that could’ve been easily avoided.

16 Real-Life Translation Errors

Translation mistakes can happen in a range of industries and fields. From marketing campaigns, video games, product names, and instruction manuals, there are plenty of places where a bad translation can be found. We’ll explore a range of blunders, from those that sound like a botched Google Translate job to those that were just a misunderstanding of local cultures and traditions.

After all, translation is so much more than just using the right words, but rather having an understanding of the country, its people and its traditions. In all the translation mistakes though, we see a company that probably would’ve rather invested just that little bit more for a professional translator or language service provider with a fail-proof method that involves humans, rather than machine translation.

“Pepsi Generation” brings your ancestors back from the grave

In the 1960s, Pepsi’s slogan, “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation,” landed in China with very negative reactions. This slogan for the advertising campaign had been inadvertently translated to “Pepsi brings your relatives back from the dead,” which didn’t go over very well with the local audience.

Taking “Got Milk?” too far

The American Dairy Association’s iconic “Got Milk?” campaign, which was incredibly successful in its native language, among English speakers, found some challenges when it was eventually taken to Mexico. The literal Spanish translation for “Got Milk?” reads as “Are you lactating?” which is definitely not the message that they were trying to convey. Luckily, they found the translation mistake early and quickly changed the messaging.

Parker Pen won’t get you pregnant

Assumptions in language can sometimes lead to the worst translation fails, or the best, depending on how you look at it. When Parker Pen expanded into Mexico, their slogan which usually reads as “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you,” was mistranslated into “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” The verb “to embarrass” was mistaken for “embarazar” a false cognate in Spanish, which actually means to be pregnant.

“Do Nothing” with HSBC Bank

In 2009, HSBC launched a campaign with the tagline “Assume Nothing.” However, when they launched the campaign in non-English speaking countries, it turned out to be too complex of a phrase for the usual translation process and was mistakenly translated into “Do Nothing” in several different countries, causing massive problems which the bank reportedly spent 10 million dollars to replace the problematic tagline with “The World’s Private Bank.” Marketing messages are some of the most complex to translate because of the creative aspect ingrained in them. Simple phrases are best for an easy translation, otherwise, transcreation might be a better option to avoid embarrassing mistakes.


Swedish brand IKEA is known for their unique product names. Instead of using product codes to label the products, they opted for Swedish names that illustrated a key feature of the product. For non-Swedish speakers, the names are just words that sound cool, that is until the FARTFULL workbench came along. Fartfull’s root word, FAHRT, which means “travelling in a vehicle with wheels,” made sense in Sweden, but the English association with flatulence was not well-received in the United Kingdom. The product was eventually taken off the market after people worldwide had a good laugh. A good lesson for global brands to always consider the local language when putting products out in foreign markets.

ikea website workbench with wheels

Loose Bowels with Coors

American beer company Coors decided to use a slang slogan for one of their campaigns which unfortunately got a lot of unwanted attention. The beer maker’s “Turn it loose” campaign took to Spain and they didn’t do their due diligence in the translation process to check if it would resonate with customers. The tagline translated into Spanish used an expression that’s commonly interpreted as “suffer from diarrhea,” which got a lot of attention from the local market, just not the right kind of attention.

Laundry Soap Encourages Hurling

Paxam, an Iranian company, expanded into English-speaking countries with its laundry soap. They referred to the product as “Snow” in their Farsi marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, they went with a phonetic translation which had the labels reading “Barf.” I’m sure that’s not the impression they wanted to leave with foreign markets.

Save Money with XBOX

When Microsoft released the XBOX gaming console in Germany, they made the mistake of not translating their store listings and other auxiliary materials correctly. This left them with a slew of translation errors that caused a stir in the German gaming community. The most noteworthy mistranslation was the term “Save” (as in storing something) being mistranslated as “Save Money.”

A Bright Future with Orange

Not all translation errors are about the words themselves. Sometimes it's an error in localisation and a lack of cultural awareness for a specific country or region. This was the case for Orange, a UK telecom company, that launched a new campaign in 1994 with the slogan “The future’s bright… the future’s Orange.” While the tagline seems simple, it didn’t go over well in Northern Ireland, where the colour orange represents the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation. The slogan implied that the future is Protestant. In a country that’s mostly Catholic, this was problematic for the target audience.

Before it was Honda Jazz

In 2001, Honda introduced their latest car, the Fitta to the Nordic countries. They were in the process of launching and had produced all their marketing collateral when someone within Honda discovered that the word “Fitta” is a vulgar word that refers to female genitals in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. The ad for the car didn’t help either, describing the car as “small on the outside, but large on the inside.” It was too late to save the expense of the wasted marketing material but fortunately early enough to not do damage to the Honda brand as the car hadn’t publicly launched yet. The Honda Fitta was renamed to Honda Jazz in Europe, parts of Asia and Australia. It was renamed to Honda Fit in the US and China.

Bite the Wax Tadpole in China

In the 1920s, when Coca-Cola was first translated phonetically for the Chinese market, the phrase read as “Ke-kou-ke-la.” When translated the phrase meant “bite the wax tadpole,” which doesn’t sound very appetising for a soft drinks brand. Coke then modified the translation to “Kokou Kole,” which translates as “happiness in the mouth.” Much more appropriate!

Eat Your Fingers Off at KFC

The Chinese market seems to be at the receiving end of bad translations quite a bit. Another brand that had to quickly do damage control in China is KFC. When they first launched in the market in the 1980s, their famous tagline, “Finger Lickin’ Good,” was translated to “Eat Your Fingers Off.” Not a very appetising message for a fast-food chain. Fortunately, the mistake didn’t scare off too many customers. By 2011, KFC made up about 40% of the fast-food industry in China.

Amazon Making Headlines with Mistranslations

In 2020, Amazon launched in Sweden. Unfortunately for them, instead of getting positive PR for their launch, they were left with a mess of criticism for multiple major translation errors, including mistaking the Argentinian flag for the Swedish flag and using automatic translations for listings from other European branches of the retailer. This led to mistranslated product descriptions that ranged from hilarious to obscene.

Nintendo Switch games were listed as suitable for the Nintendo Circuit Breaker. A collection of Second World War-Era Russian Infantry figurines was wrongly translated to “Russian Toddlers.” Items featuring cats were hit the hardest though with one T-shirt with a cat on it being labelled with a vulgar Swedish term for female genitals.

When Vicks went Dirty

Vicks, the popular cough medicine, ran into a little trouble when Proctor & Gamble introduced it to the German market. The letter “V” is pronounced as “F” in Germany, making the brand name sound like an English expletive. The name “Wicks” was considered at first but that was a homophone of another German slang word. The company eventually decided on the name “Wick” for German-speaking markets.

Mercedes Benz Rushes to Die

Chinese translation seems to be a sore spot with a lot of huge companies, including Mercedes Benz. The language has a large number of identically sounding characters making it easy to make a mistake that could change the meaning of your name completely, which is exactly what happened with Mercedes Benz when it first launched in the Chinese market in 2009. The first translation of their name meant “rush to die,” which isn’t the message you want associated with a car. The name was changed to a phrase that meant “to run quickly (as if flying)” which is more fitting.

Coca-Cola Greets Death

Sometimes trying too hard to localise your marketing messages can end up in a failure of epic proportions, especially when working with rare target languages. It happened to Coca-Cola in 2018 when they tried to mix 2 languages from New Zealand, English and te reo Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous language.

Coca-Cola advertised “Kia ora, Mate” on a vending machine in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the combination translates into the native language as “Hello, Death.” Definitely not what Coca-Cola wanted to promote. The error sparked a wave of outrage online with people tweeting messages like, “The Coca-Cola company gains self-awareness?” and “Totally spot on it does mean death for a lot of Indigenous people” in reply to Coca-Cola’s translation gaffe.”

The incident probably won’t cause too much damage for huge companies like Coca-Cola but could wreak havoc and generate massive expenses for smaller companies.

Getting Translation Right

Translation is so much more than just translating words from one language to another. There’s a lot to consider when expanding to foreign markets beyond just the local language. There are cultural nuances, religious beliefs, and political and economic ideologies that might need to be considered.

Opting for professional translation services that will do their market research is essential to help understand the culture of a country and make your brand relevant to the audience. It can also help ensure that you have accurate translations that will resonate with the locals, rather than having them in stitches laughing over the latest translation blunder in your advertising campaign. Choosing the right translation partner ensures that your brand, marketing campaigns, and products are accurately represented in different languages.

At LEXIGO, we use professional human translators who are assisted by AI to help speed up the translation process without the hiccups of mistranslations. We also have Community Liaison Officers who are entrenched within diverse communities and can advise on localisation for each market. Our tools and services can help any brand reach its preferred audience in the right way. Next time you’re on the lookout for translation, let us know and don’t let your brand become the next "lost in translation" story!

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<![CDATA[The Phenomenon of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Global]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/the-phenomenon-of-third-culture-kids-growing-up-global6511323159ffa514665c4d0eFri, 20 Oct 2023 06:35:50 GMTZaina NasserI remember the first time I was asked, “Where are you from?” at my new school in the town I was now calling home, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. Without thinking, I answered the same way I have my entire life and was instantly bombarded with questions about what it’s like growing up with such political unrest. My 13-year-old mind was so confused, and in that moment, I experienced what some might call a paradigm shift.

people holding shoulders sitting on a wall

I realised the idea I’ve had my entire life of where I’m from is just one definition of belonging and that this question is actually a lot more loaded than I’ve ever known.

The first 13 years of my life were spent in a country that has one of the highest concentrations of expats in the world. The UAE, only second to Qatar, has an expat population of 77%. “Where are you from?” is one of the most common questions to ask when you first meet someone because almost everyone is from somewhere else. Growing up in an environment like that, when someone asked you where you were from, they were generally referring to ethnicity. At least in my limited understanding of the world as a child, that’s what I thought they were referring to. It never occurred to me that where you live can also be where you are from and vice versa.

This was the first time I realised my story wasn’t quite as clear-cut as others. Up until that point in my life, I had only ever attended international schools, and all my friends were imports to the UAE, only there because of the work opportunities it provided their parents. Everyone spent their summers in their home country with their grandparents and came back in September to exchange stories of summers spent wandering around Levantine suburbs. To move to a country that was the complete opposite of that, where where you’re from is where you live and summer, and your grandparents and cousins live just a couple of streets apart was a reality I had never encountered. It wasn’t until I was a 20-something-year-old exploring an exhibit about identity at MOMA in New York that I discovered that there’s a term for how I grew up - Third Culture Kid.

What is a Third Culture Kid?

The term Third Culture Kids (TCKs) was coined by an American sociologist, Ruth Hill Useem, in the 1950s, to describe children who spent their formative years in places that are not their parent's home country. Third Culture Kids are often the children of expatriates, military personnel, or missionary families. They typically move regularly to different countries and attend international schools with other kids with similar experiences. These kids grow up influenced by three cultures: the first culture is their heritage culture, otherwise known as their parents’ culture, the second culture is their host-country culture, and the third culture is the culture of expatriates and other TCKs. The array of cultures they pick up and integrate, shapes TCKs into cultural hybrids, cultural chameleons, and global nomads.

One of the most notable examples of a Third Culture Kid is 44th US President, Barack Obama, who was born to a Kenyan father and an American mother. He moved to Jakarta after his mother married an Indonesian. Another famous TCK is the late Kobe Bryant, who grew up in Reiti, Italy until he was 14. That’s where he learned the fundamentals of basketball. While he eventually settled down in America, he made frequent trips back to Italy, and the impact of his Italian upbringing can be seen in the Italian names he gave his daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

In summarizing that which we had observed in our cross-cultural encounters, we began to use the term "third culture" as a generic term to cover the styles of life created, shared, and learned by persons who are in the process of relating their societies, or sections thereof, to each other. The term "Third Culture Kids" or TCKs was coined to refer to the children who accompany their parents into another society.

— Dr. Ruth Hill Useem, TCK World: The Official Home of Third Culture Kids

Over time, Third Culture Kids develop their own distinct standards of interpersonal behaviour, lifestyle, perspectives, and communication style, creating a new cultural group that doesn’t quite fall into their home culture or host culture, but rather shares a culture with all other TCKs. They often have a greater sense of belonging with other Third Culture Kids and the international community rather than the host or heritage country.

This was true for me, as well, growing up in St. Catharines, when I made friends with a group of international students from the boarding school in town one spring afternoon in the park. If you were to look at us from a distance, we seemed like the most unlikely group of friends, but each of us had been raised in countries different from our parents' home country. Their experiences were more similar to mine, and some had even lived in the GCC region. In one day, I connected more with this group of TCKs than I had with anyone in my community high school in the three years I was there. That is the power of the shared experience of Third Culture Kids, uniting people beyond their location, ethnicity, or heritage.

The Perks and Pitfalls of Being a Third Culture Kid

The upbringing of a Third Culture Kid is far from the typical upbringing of most children, and with that comes many advantages and disadvantages.

In 1999, David C. Pollock and Ruth Van Reken published their book, The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, and in it, they pioneered the TCK profile, bringing to light the emotional and psychological realities that come with the TCK experience. Their definition of a TCK is widely referenced as, “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background." Through interviews and personal writings, they explored the challenges and benefits that TCKs encounter, including the experiences of cross-cultural kids who may be immigrants, international adoptees, or children of biracial or bicultural parents.

On the positive end of the spectrum, Third Culture Kids are more likely to speak more than one language, with 85% speaking two or more languages.

They have a broader worldview and are more culturally aware. They understand that there is more than one way to look at situations that they are exposed to or experience. Increased exposure to a variety of cultures and lifestyles allows them to register societal cues more skillfully as they are more sensitive to other cultures and ways of life. This, in turn, helps them be more adept at building relationships with other cultures, while not possessing their own sense of cultural identity.

Third Culture Kids also tend to be more adaptable, adjusting faster than others to changes. On the flip side of that, though, TCKs can typically feel a sense of rootlessness and restlessness, not being able to answer the question of “Where is home”. The repeated losses caused by frequent moves can trigger anxiety and stress among TCKs. These feelings can make transitioning to adulthood challenging for Third Culture Kids who have no sense of belonging.

However, it’s all just a matter of perspective. As Renato Beninatto, Chairman and Co-Founder of Nimdzi Insights, said in Episode 007 of The Native Experience podcast, “Where are you from is the hardest question you can ever ask a Third Culture Kid. Even in my home country, people ask me where are you from - one answer is where I was born, the other is where I live, or where I work… You’re always from somewhere else but you’re always home, you’re always comfortable wherever you are because you’re a little bit of a chameleon.”

The Future Role of TCKs

In 2020, there were an estimated 281 million international migrants in the world who lived in a country other than their country of birth. This is approximately 3.6% of the global population. It might not seem like much, but Australia’s entire population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is approximately 26M, which means that there are almost 10 times as many migrants in the world as there are Australian residents.

With such a large percentage of the population living in countries other than their home countries, it’s only natural to see a rise in Third-Culture Kids. These global nomads are not just a statistical phenomenon, but a living, breathing reflection of our increasingly globalised world. They embody the spirit of diversity, bridging languages, cultures and traditions, and in doing so, they contribute to the tapestry of our intercultural, global community.

The Third Culture Conundrum

Today, my answer to the question “Where are you from?” is a lot more fluid to reflect the experiences I had growing up in multiple countries. I’m the little girl who spent her childhood playing between parks in the UAE and hilltops in Jordan and Palestine. I’m the teenager who became a young adult in the Great White North amongst blizzard-filled winters and leafy-green summers. I’m the grown-up that gets really excited to see another Canadian, and the adult who will proudly tell anyone who listens about the indigenous roots that have been passed on to me from my grandparents and great-grandparents.

I’m the culmination of every place I’ve been and every person I’ve interacted with along the way. After all, aren’t we all just the sum of our experiences? But, it’s what we make of them that matters. As a Third Culture Kid, if all I ever do is bring just a little bit more understanding and compassion for differentiation in the world, then I know I’ve done my part.

<![CDATA[LEXIGO announced as a Partner for the Multicultural Health and Wellbeing Conference]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/lexigo-announced-as-a-partner-for-the-multicultural-health-and-wellbeing-conference650bc50014815eef8bc308feMon, 25 Sep 2023 01:27:04 GMTMichelle TrazoWe are thrilled to announce that we are the Multicultural Communications Conference Partner for this year's ,National Multicultural Health and Wellbeing Conference 2023.

announcement banner for lexigo conference partner

This is a significant milestone in our commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of CALD communities in Australia. As a leading translation and multicultural communication provider, we understand how vital accessibility in healthcare and wellbeing services is, and we are proud to be one of the champions for this essential cause.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that in 2021, 27.6% of Australia's population was born overseas. With a statistic that high, it is essential for all industries, such as public health, mental health care and health education, to ensure that they create content in-language to answer the community needs of Australia's diverse population.

Breaking Down Barriers

Accessibility in healthcare goes beyond providing physical access to hospitals and clinics. It encompasses the broader goal of ensuring that every individual, regardless of their language, cultural background, or physical abilities, can access and receive high-quality healthcare services, including mental health services. For culturally diverse communities in Australia, this issue takes centre stage, as language and cultural differences often present formidable barriers to accessing healthcare.

Language Is No Longer a Barrier

One of the most significant challenges faced by individuals from multicultural backgrounds is language. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can have dire consequences in healthcare and clinical services settings. LEXIGO's mission is to bridge these language gaps effectively. Through our translation and multicultural communication services, we facilitate clear and accurate communication between healthcare providers and patients who speak different languages.

Our team of skilled linguists ensures that patients can understand medical advice without any language-related obstacles. This enables healthcare providers to deliver safer and more effective care to multicultural communities nationally.

Cultural Sensitivity Matters

Cultural competence is another critical aspect of accessibility in healthcare. Understanding the cultural beliefs, practices, and preferences of patients is essential for providing care that is respectful and relevant. LEXIGO's expertise on community health and our close connections with community leaders and community organisations can help empower healthcare professionals to navigate these complexities with ease.

By fostering cultural sensitivity and awareness, we help healthcare providers create a welcoming environment where patients from diverse backgrounds feel understood and respected. This not only improves patient satisfaction but also leads to better health outcomes.

A Partnership that Makes a Difference

Our partnership with the National Multicultural Health and Wellbeing Conference 2023 reinforces our dedication to enhancing accessibility in healthcare. We are excited to collaborate with like-minded organisations and professionals who share our passion for ensuring that healthcare services are accessible to all.

This conference provides an invaluable platform to exchange knowledge, ideas, and best practices in the field of multicultural healthcare. It's an opportunity for us to learn from experts, showcase our commitment to accessibility, and connect with those who are working tirelessly to improve healthcare outcomes for CALD communities.

Join Us in Building a More Accessible Future

At LEXIGO, we firmly believe that everyone deserves equal access to healthcare, regardless of their background or abilities. We are honoured to be part of a conference that champions this cause, and we invite you to join us in building a more accessible future for all Australians.

Together, we can break down language and cultural barriers, ensuring that health care is accessible across Australia's diverse population.

Stay tuned for updates on our journey with the National Multicultural Health and Wellbeing Conference, being held at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park on 21-22 November. Let's make a positive impact on the lives of multicultural communities in Australia.

To meet us at the conference and discuss how we help healthcare providers with their multicultural communication objectives, please contact hi@lexigo.com

<![CDATA[Everything you need to know about Translation Memory]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/everything-you-need-to-know-about-translation-memory650112bf2330495c40102578Thu, 21 Sep 2023 01:37:45 GMTMichelle TrazoIn a world connected by language diversity, efficient and accurate translation is critical in various industries, from marketing and finance to healthcare and technology. With the advent of translation technology, two powerful tools, Machine Translation (MT) and Translation Memory (TM), have revolutionised the translation process.

two black computer monitors on a black table

The concept of machine translation is probably familiar to most, with Google Translate becoming mainstream amongst travellers and tourists exploring countries that speak different languages. Translation Memory, however, is not talked about as often, being an industry tool, rather than a consumer-facing tool. If you’ve worked one-on-one with a translation company, they might’ve taken you through their translation memory system and its advantage when it comes to having multiple, repeat jobs. Well, there are plenty more benefits to Translation Memory, often referred to as a CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tool, and its pivotal role in ensuring consistent, high-quality translations.

Keep on reading to learn more about the translation technology that changed the game, how it works, how it can benefit you and your business, and how it’s changing the face of the translation industry.

Understanding Translation Memory

Translation Memory, as a part of the broader translation process, is a database that stores segments of text, which can be sentences, paragraphs, or even individual words, along with their corresponding translations. The database is called a translation memory database and automatically matches and pre-translates similar phrases in future translations, which helps increase consistency and efficiency in the translation process. Translation memory database software can also track changes and revisions over time and share information between team members working on the same document or project.

How Translation Memory Software Works

Most Translation Memory tools operate using the TMX (Translation Memory eXchange) format, a standard format for storing translation memories. When a new translation project is initiated, the software compares the source text to its database of previous translations to find matches. Translators will then be given suggestions based on the previous translations available in the database. Matches are classified into two categories: “perfect matches”, which are identical matches, or “fuzzy matches”, which are usually similar sentences. Translators can then work on the translation with that base, modifying for context, and translating phrases and sentences that don’t have matches. Here's a closer look at how it works.

Translation Units and Segments of Text

In the translation process, text is divided into smaller, more manageable units known as Translation Units (TUs). These units can be as long as a paragraph, sentence, phrase or string of words, and are the building blocks for translation. Each TU consists of a source text segment and its corresponding translation, creating a reference point for future translations.

Source Text and Previous Translations

The source text is the content, in the source language, that needs to be translated. Previous translations, stored in the Translation Memory database, are the translated versions of segments from past projects, and the base upon which the translation memory database is built.

A language service provider using translation memory software doesn’t have to start working on every new translation project from scratch. They can rely on previous translations to inform the translation of the new project. With every translation job, the database is enriched with more newly translated, reusable content.

The Translation Process with TM

When a new project begins, the source file is uploaded to the CAT tool. The tool analyzes the source text, breaking it into segments. It then checks these segments against the database for matches. If a match is found, the corresponding translation from the database is automatically inserted into the target text (the translated version of the source text).

The accuracy of translation matches is categorised based on a rating system. A perfect match, where the segment of text in the source file is identical to text in the Translation Memory, is a 100% match. A fuzzy match, where only parts of the translation unit correspond to the content in the database, can be modified by the translator who can make some changes to the text to create an accurate translation.

When there is no match at all, the translator needs to come up with a new translation that will be added to the Translation Memory, building up the database for future projects.

Benefits of Translation Memory

Now, let's dive into the benefits of incorporating Translation Memory into your translation workflow.

Consistency in Translation

Consistency is a main quality criterion when it comes to translation, however, when translation projects are months apart, remembering the exact terms and phrases can be a challenge. Yes, a style guide and glossary can help but they can be time-consuming in the grand scheme of things and are not 100% fool-proof. Translation Memory tools ensure that the same phrases and terms are translated consistently across different projects and languages, maintaining brand and message integrity.

Time and Cost Savings

Translation Memory Tools accelerate the translation process by reusing previously translated segments. This can reduce the translation time turnaround without compromising on quality.

Projects with repetitive content benefit greatly from Translation Memory as they can involve much less actual work than they first seem. The reduced turnaround time can help companies go to market faster with their translations, which could, in turn, mean higher revenue for them.

Enhanced Translation Quality

With the use of translation memories, professional translators can focus on refining existing translations rather than starting from scratch, leading to higher translation quality. Translators can also focus on new translation segments to achieve better accuracy in their translation.


TM facilitates collaboration among team members working on different parts of a project or across different languages. Across the collaboration, with the use of the translation memory databases, you can ensure consistency and quality across the entire team and all the various human translators that work on your business.

Best Practices in Using Translation Memory

To make the most of this powerful tool, consider the following best practices.

Use Consistent Terminology

It's important to use consistent terminology throughout your Translation Memory to ensure consistency of translations. This can be achieved by creating a glossary of terms and their translations and using it to pre-translate similar phrases and sentences in your TM. This process can help to ensure consistency and accuracy across all your translation projects.

Train Your Translation Memory

If you are working in a specific industry, it’s crucial to train your TM using specific content and terminology from that field. This, in turn, will improve the accuracy and consistency of your translations.

Optimise your Source Text

Pay attention to your source text, even before translation. When creating a new text, try to reuse as much content as possible that has already been translated. This will increase your perfect matches and allow you to benefit from your linguistic database to the maximum.

Consistent formatting and structure of the source language content can also help the translation memory system recognize and match text segments more easily. For example, using the same punctuation can make it easier to find perfect matches.

LEXIGO Core: Our AI-Powered Translation Management System

Translation Memory is a valuable tool for professional translation services, offering unmatched benefits in terms of translation consistency, cost-efficiency, and quality, especially for organisations that frequently translate large volumes of text. By understanding how Translation Memory works and adopting best practices, companies can harness the power of this linguistic database to enhance their translation projects, streamline workflows, and prepare for future translations effectively.

At LEXIGO, we’ve created our AI- powered translation memory platform, LEXIGO Core, which serves as a reliable ally for our clients in achieving impeccable translation quality. This dynamic tool diligently records and manages all translation units, providing an essential foundation for maintaining consistency and precision in every translation project. Whether managed entirely by LEXIGO or adopted by our clients for their in-house teams, the benefits are unparalleled. LEXIGO Core not only streamlines the translation process, but also empowers businesses to communicate effectively in a globalised world. It's more than just software; it's a key to unlocking language barriers and ensuring that your message resonates accurately and consistently across cultures and languages.

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<![CDATA[Why are so many languages disappearing and can we save them?]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/why-are-so-many-languages-disappearing-and-can-we-save-them64f93c953480c67225d38f7dThu, 07 Sep 2023 07:20:47 GMTZaina NasserThere are 195 countries and over 7,000 documented languages currently spoken around the world. If you do the maths, that gives us approximately 35 languages per country, but not every country has 35 official languages. Some countries, such as Papua New Guinea, have over 800 native languages. Others, like Montenegro, have only 5 languages spoken in the country.

person wearing black yellow and white tribal face paint

All of this to say, language is an expression so localised that, while it can extend across countries, can also be limited to a few square feet in a town or village.

Localised native languages are quickly disappearing to make way for more commonly used languages. Australia National University conducted a study in 2021 on endangered languages. While around half of the world’s 7,000 recognised languages are currently endangered, it is estimated that approximately 1,500 of these endangered languages could no longer be spoken by the end of the century. With every loss of a language, comes the erasure of art, music, literature, traditional knowledge and heritage tied to it. We are not only losing languages. We are losing cultures.

The inexorable march of time, globalisation, and other factors have led to the gradual extinction of many languages. Take a journey with us as we dive into the alarming issue of disappearing languages, their impact on cultures, and what can be done to prevent the deterioration of language.

The Slow Demise of Language Diversity

Language is more than just a medium of communication; it embodies the soul of a culture. For native speakers, their language is not merely a means to convey ideas; it's their mother tongue, their identity, and their connection to their heritage. The world's languages encapsulate millennia of history and diverse cultural practices. With over 7,000 languages across the globe, the world is rich with heritage and culture, for now.

Between 1950 and 2010, 230 languages disappeared, according to the ,UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. The threat continues with approximately ,40% of languages being endangered, most of which have less than 1,000 native speakers remaining. On the flip side, only 23 languages account for more than half the world’s population, with languages such as English being taken up instead of indigenous languages by younger generations.

Australia alone had over 250 First Nations languages spoken across the continent before colonisation. Today, only 40 native languages are still spoken, with only 12 being learned by children.

Gottscheerish, an Upper German dialect that was the main language in Gottschee, a town in the highlands of modern-day Slovenia, is a 600-year-old language that is now considered critically endangered. Gottschee was annexed by the Italians in 1941, and its residents were sent to resettlement camps. Several years later, many Gottschee immigrants made New York their home. While many in the community spoke Gottscheerish amongst each other, they raised their children with English. Now, 70 years later, their language is on the brink of extinction.

The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi had a Hawaiʻian language literacy rate of more than 90% but after the takeover of the monarchy, speaking Hawaiʻian was discouraged. In 1896, after the US government illegally overthrew the Hawaiʻian government, the Hawaiʻian language was banned from school instruction and replaced by English as the official language to be taught at schools. Native speakers of the Hawaiʻian language severely dwindled as a result. However, the Hawaiʻian Renaissance in the 1970s sparked a renewed interest in the native language and efforts to promote the language re-emerged. Hawaiʻian language immersion schools were created in the mid-1980s to reintroduce the language to the island’s future generations. A 2016 state government report found that more than 18,000 people living in the state speak Hawaiʻian, as well as English, at home, a massive increase from the ,2,000 native speakers they had in the 1970s.

In New Zealand, the Māori language was also on its way to extinction in the 1970s, with only 5% of young Māori people speaking the language. However, with efforts by the Māori, backed by the government, more than 25% speak it now.

However, not every language has a happy ending. The Australian National University’s study on endangered languages has identified factors that can help linguists determine which languages are at a higher risk of extinction.

Factors Leading to Language Extinction

While many factors contribute to language loss, the biggest of them being globalisation and migration, linguists have identified several other unexpected factors.

A surprising find is the correlation between ,road density and dying languages. The more roads there are connecting countries to cities and villages to towns, the higher the risk of languages being endangered. The more roads there are to areas that use a dominant language, the higher the risk of endangerment for a minority language.

Institutionalised schooling also contributes to language loss as many schools do not have curricula that teach indigenous languages. Students are not given the opportunity to learn their mother tongue in schools but instead are being taught more common languages that are used by the larger population, leading to the death of many aboriginal languages.

Climate change has been linked to the demise of many things, and surprisingly, linguistic diversity is one of them. Most of the world’s languages are concentrated in places that are now suffering from climate change, becoming unlivable and forcing populations out. Climate change has led to forced migration for many small linguistic communities in countries such as Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. As these populations leave to resettle elsewhere, their native language is no longer a viable option for communicating with others. They are forced to adopt more common languages to communicate with the community at large.

Language Revitalization Efforts

Linguists, anthropologists, and organisations are working hard to combat language endangerment.

The, Endangered Languages Project, managed by British Columbia’s First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the Catalogue of Endangered Languages team at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in coordination with the Governance Council, has created an online resource for samples and research on endangered languages. Native speakers can also put their local language on their database by submitting samples of their language in either text, audio or video files.

The ,Enduring Voices Project, supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation, has documented some of the world's most endangered languages with a goal to prevent language extinction. When invited, they assist indigenous communities in revitalising and maintaining their threatened languages. The Enduring Voices Project also supported the, Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in their effort to build Living Dictionaries. These dictionaries are collaborative multimedia web tools that combine language data with digital audio recordings of speakers and other multimedia. Some of the languages they’ve documented now have only a handful of speakers. In some cases, the last native speaker has passed away, marking the end of an era for, not just a language, but a culture.

,Wikitongues is a nonprofit organisation based in New York working to make the first public archive of every language in the world. They’ve already documented 900 languages, 700 in videos and 200 in lexicons. They have a team of volunteers around the world filming native speakers talking in the past, present and future tenses of their mother tongue. The volunteers ask them to speak about varying subjects such as their childhood, hopes and dreams, so they can capture a range of tones and emotions. They have already gathered recordings of a language native to Vanuatu that had never been studied before, as well as Ainu, a rare indigenous language in Japan that bears no relation to any other known language.

In 2005, Swarthmore College created a series of ,Talking Dictionaries™ that now includes over 200 endangered languages. Anyone can use their tool for free to learn a new language at risk of extinction.

Keeping Our Linguistic Diversity Alive

The world's linguistic diversity is a treasure trove of unique cultures, histories, and traditions. The disappearance of languages threatens not only our cultural heritage but also the human rights of indigenous peoples. It is our responsibility to ensure that the next generation does not witness the final nail in the coffin of linguistic diversity. With the technology and the tools that we have, language preservation is more attainable. With the efforts of linguists and anthropologists, a record of the world's languages and the rich tapestry of human history they represent is slowly being built for us and future generations to appreciate, learn from, and ensure that the cultural diversity of our past continues to thrive.

<![CDATA[Strengthening Immunity Within Community: A Tale of Co-Creation]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/strengthening-immunity-within-community-a-tale-of-co-creation6514e9c1ab00c068eb0b7cfeTue, 29 Aug 2023 14:00:00 GMTMichelle TrazoIn the world of translation, access to information is king. It’s why we exist. It’s why we do what we do.

hands holding a smartphone at a dinner table

Sometimes, access to information can help people improve their quality of life, make more appropriate purchases, and make informed decisions. Every once in a while, there comes an initiative that’s bigger than just translation, an initiative that is not just about access, but rather about community, connection, and resonance.

This is the story of an initiative that was not just about translation but about impact. In July of 2023, after months of working closely with multiple CALD communities, LEXIGO launched the “Strengthening immunity within community” initiative, a healthcare promotion initiative, co-created with input from over 10 CALD communities. The initiative serves as an essential platform for conveying critical in-language information about COVID-19 to various communities across Australia. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that crucial information regarding vaccination, protection, treatment, safety and support reaches every corner of society.

Aside from access to the information for the communities we sought to serve, there was also ensuring that it resonated with them too. Over several months, LEXIGO worked closely with all the target communities to craft the message and the information in a way that speaks to them. We facilitated co-creation sessions with every single community, drawing upon extensive research conducted within each community to inform the sessions and ensure that we got the best outcome possible.

Community members with lived experiences in each group played a pivotal role in the co-creation process, helping us make sure that the messaging directly addressed the unique needs and concerns of each community. We also worked with community ambassadors to extract invaluable insights into the community’s experiences throughout the pandemic and how these experiences influenced their perception of COVID-19.

The primary goal of the initiative is to bridge communication barriers and facilitate dialogue between individuals who predominantly communicate in their native languages and their family members, friends, carers and English-speaking community members. By connecting with members of each community, we were able to craft messaging that helps initiate these conversations between community members, as well as provides essential information in-language for them to make informed decisions.

Our founder and CEO, Mark Saba, highlighted the importance of crafting messaging that resonates with communities in a way that reflects their everyday lives and experiences.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Health and Aged Care on this vital initiative. We know that 21% of Australians use a language other than English at home, which means almost a quarter of Australians are often overlooked when it comes to accessing reliable healthcare information and services. Even flawless English speakers often connect more deeply with content in their native or second language, allowing key messages to truly resonate.”

The distinctive approach of co-creating the initiative with communities helped LEXIGO avoid the potential confusion and misunderstandings that can arise from merely translating content intended for English speakers. Through extensive research to understand the characteristics, context, priorities and perspectives of these key cultural groups, we were able to create tailored content, social media strategies and traditional media strategies for each unique cultural and linguistic group.

With that research and the co-creation sessions, we were able to craft carefully designed headlines and calls to action that resonate with each community. A QR code system implemented on all campaign materials redirects individuals to a landing page that can be read in their preferred language, including access to information in English, to promote cross-cultural communication.

LEXIGO’s Head of Client Strategy, Tony Lee, emphasised the importance of this project in providing essential information to people from different communities.

“By tailoring each element of the initiative to the community we are engaging, we’re able to deliver health messages in a way that really resonates with community members.”

The initiative information disseminated across all the target communities through community leaders and organisations. LEXIGO is also connected with community members for feedback to ensure the messaging remains relevant and impactful for the duration of the initiative. So far, approximately 800,000 people have been reached across all the targeted cultural groups Australia-wide.

It is incredibly important to ensure that critical information isn’t just translated for distribution, but for understanding and impact as well. We hope that this approach will become the standard for communicating with CALD communities across Australia.

<![CDATA[MasterChef Australia: A Story of Cultural Diversity Told Through Food]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/masterchef-australia-a-story-of-cultural-diversity-told-through-food64b8ab41034908e47eb522d8Thu, 20 Jul 2023 05:47:22 GMTZaina NasserAs a recent export to Australia, I have to admit, the cultural landscape here baffled me, that is until I watched MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises. I’d never seen any MasterChef show ever but having recently moved to Australia with a lot of time on my hands, sitting down to watch reality television every night at 7:30pm wasn’t difficult to do. However, as I watched the show, I realised, not only how special this series and this season was, but how unique Australia is, if only you know where to look.

Cast of MasterChef Australia posing together

MasterChef Australia has been criticised in the past for not being diverse enough, and other times for being too diverse (who knew there was such a thing) but as I sat almost every night for the last 10 weeks to watch this unique group of amateur cooks create magic in the kitchen under the guidance of three masterful judges, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo, I could see the light of what Australia truly is shining through the cracks.

This isn’t the story of what the news tells us Australia is, or the story that media outlets are trying to force onto us of Australia's multiculturalism.

This is the story of what I saw unfold day after day in the MasterChef Kitchen as these home cooks, some who were born in Australia, and some who have only been here a few years, came together to create food that you can only make here. This is my personal reflection of what I saw and what it told me about Australia’s food and cultural landscape.

Diversity in Origin

MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises follows the story of 18 amateur cooks, Adi Nevgi, Alice Han, Amy Tanner, Andrea Puglisi, Antonio Cruz Vaamonde, Brent Draper, Cath Collins, Declan Cleary, Grace Jupp, Jessica Perri, Larissa Sewell, Malissa Fedele, Phil Conway, Ralph Kahango, Rhiannon Anderson, Robbie Cooper, Rue Mupedzi and Theo Loizou.

If the names of this year's contestants didn’t give it away, this season featured a unique set of home cooks with roots from many different places across the globe, including China, Croatia, Greece, Italy, India, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. The cultural diversity really came across in the plates we saw them serve the judging panels and celebrity chefs throughout the show.

Adi Nevgi, a doctor with ancestral roots in India who has already started writing her own cookbook, brought a dish from her native Indian state of Maharashtra to the Masterchef Kitchen. Adi, who was born in India but moved to Australia when she was just a year old, took it upon herself to go to India to learn how to cook Indian food with her grandma. Taking what she learned during that time, she made Maharashtrian Squid Curry for Chef Rick Stein that, as MasterChef Judge Melissa Leong, said, would make her aunties “proud.”

plate of maharashtrian squid curry with rice

Theo Loizou, a Greek electrician by trade who found his passion in baking, had the MasterChef kitchen singing when he made his Greek Lamb with Pita bread and Tzatziki. In an attempt to make his dad proud by bringing a piece of his heritage into the kitchen, he got the highly-coveted clap from Jock Zonfrillo.

Two of the contestants this year, Ralph Kahango and Rue Mupedzi hail from Zimbabwe. Ralph Kahango, while an avid fan of Italian cooking and Chef Marco Pierre White, brought a slice of home into the MasterChef kitchen in one episode, creating Chakalaka, a dish steeped in his culture and memories of his childhood in South Africa.

Antonio Cruz Vaamonde served up a little piece of Venezuela with his Cachapas, a fresh corn pancake that is usually filled with layers of cheese. His version had three different types of cheese. The dish was so unique it had Jamie Oliver asking Antonio to educate him on its origins. This plate of cheesy goodness won Antonio a spot in the very first immunity challenge and gave him a chance to cook alongside 4 other contestants in a MasterClass led by Chef Jamie Oliver.

Larissa Sewell, who is both Russian and Ukrainian, won the very first Masterchef Advantage with her borscht and Ukranian pampushky dish. The gratitude she felt in being able to present a dish that represents her culture shone through the screen as she talked about the dish and her Babushka with tears in her eyes. It’s this representation that makes this show so unique, and it’s also in the knowing that a dish rooted in a culture that seems so far removed from where we are can still have such an incredible impact. The judging panel were so moved by the dish and the flavours on the plate, they awarded Larissa the very first advantage of the season.

plate of borscht and ukranian pampushy rolls

And then there was Robbie Cooper… Robbie was deemed the uncle of the group with many contestants, including Declan Cleary - his MasterChef son as he called him on social media- turning to him for moral support and guidance throughout the experience. Robbie is a proud Iwaidja man whose ancestry incorporates Asian heritage, including Malaysian, Indonesian and Filipino, along with Torres Strait Islander.

The 65-year-old labelled his food as “Aboriginal Asian fusion” and brought incredible dishes showcasing his unique heritage, including a bush-inspired Seafood and Tomato Soup, that he made for Julie Goodwin, the MasterChef winner of Australia’s inaugural season. When faced with an overnight challenge, he served an Asian-infused slow-cooked succulent duck that won him the infamous clap and a well-deserved hug from judge Jock Zonfrillo, reaffirming his belief in himself in the competition.

Intercultural Cooking

While the competition served us heaps of cultural dishes, it also showcased a range of intercultural dishes that brought to life the uniqueness of what can be found in an Australian kitchen.

Australia is, after all, a country whose diversity doesn’t exist in silos, but rather in the weaving of multiple cultures into one. The display of dishes we saw from these home cooks showcased just how much Australia’s food is a fusion of multiple cuisines from around the world but particularly influenced by its proximity to Southeast Asia. We saw that influence show up on the plate time and time again with contestants serving up a slew of Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and Chinese-inspired dishes.

Rhiannon Anderson, who hails from Townsville, Queensland, has a deep love for Asian cuisine. We saw that love in the many dishes she served that were inspired by her time spent in Southeast Asia but the one that stands out the most is her Prawn Laksa, which her family requested for her to cook in the last mystery box challenge of the season. She brought the dish to life with a fragrant broth that had an Australian touch of finger limes that took the acidity to the next level. Her recipe was a true representation of the beauty that can be found in the combination of Asian and Australian ingredients.

Alice Han, a Chinese Australian who grew up in Sydney, wowed Chef Jamie Oliver in the very first cook of the season, making a dish that he’s never seen before, a dish she coined “Moondust” on her Instagram page. In her own words on this work of art:

This is a fusion dessert that represents who I am on a plate: a dialogue and intersection between East and West, between the old and the new. Growing up Australian and Chinese in Sydney, I didn’t always feel at ease in my dual identity but it’s taken years of growth, travel and learning to get to where I am today: someone who is actively proud of the rich cultural tapestry that surrounds me.
plate of mooncakes

Grace Jupp, who was born in Victoria but grew up in Queensland, is most inspired by her family’s rich Croatian heritage. Grace’s diversity in cuisines shone through as she gave us dishes inspired from multiple regions including her take on falafel and tabbouleh, her Cevapi-style spiral sausage and her ,Squid with Ajvar. However, the dish that stood out the most is the one she made in the competition between the Home Cooks and the Pro Cooks, which won her team the battle, her ,Tempura Betel Leaf with Pork, Pineapple and Rosella Sauce, and Salsa. An unlikely combination of ingredients but a winning one as demonstrated by Andy Allen's feedback after he tasted the dish, "You are going up against some absolute weapons in the NOMAD crew, and you are right there with them."

Brent Draper, this year’s MasterChef winner, was also a contestant in the 2021 season but decided to leave the competition to focus on his mental health. He came back to the MasterChef Kitchen this year with his eyes on the prize and that came across in almost every single plate he served. What was also evident across his impressive array of dishes was the influence of multiple cultures, including Asia and the Middle East. His ,Middle Eastern Chicken with Hummus and Cumquat Glaze brought his love of two very different cuisines together and kept him safe from elimination in the first week of the show.

In the Family Mystery Box Challenge, his wife asked him to make a, Balinese Braised Pork Belly, one of their favourite dishes from their travels. His interpretation of the dish won him immunity in the final week of the season. As judge Melissa Leong said to him after tasting his dish, “What this plate of food demonstrates to us is a profound respect for what you love and an innate ability to bring it to us in a language that is all of your own.”

plate of balinese braised pork belly

However, the dish that knocked it out of the ballpark for him, a dish that he made on his first day and his last day in the MasterChef Kitchen this season, is his ,Tamarind Glazed Pork Chop and Charred Cabbage. Tamarind, an ingredient that is predominantly found in Indian food, took his pork chop to the next level, helping him win the title this year.

The contestant that had one of the biggest arcs this season was probably Declan Cleary, a 24-year-old fresh-faced carpenter from the Northern Beaches. Declan came into the competition not knowing what a choux bun is and left being an expert in making them. He challenged himself with every cook and made it a point to try new things every chance he got. His very first dish on the show, which he called a “Northern Beaches Curry,” was a Sri Lankan-inspired yellow curry with coconut, chili and kingfish. Throughout the show, we watched him bond with Robbie, and through Robbie’s mentoring, develop his own style of cooking.

In the Family Mystery Box Challenge, Declan’s partner asked him to make Chili Prawn Pasta and as he was starting to work on the dish, judge Andy Allen asked him how he was going to make the dish, prompting a discussion on his evolution throughout the show, stating, “You might need to push a bit to MasterChef it and really show your growth. I don’t know whether this is now you.” Declan quickly pivoted to a dish that was more aligned with the style that he has crafted over the season, which was influenced in part by his relationship with Robbie, and instead made Thai Chili Prawns with Rice Noodles in a Prawn-Head Broth. When he presented his new take on the dish to the judges, Andy Allen, talking about Declan’s progression, said, “I’m very, very proud of you just for going, ‘you know what, this is what I’ve become. Prawn Chili Pasta was what I used to be, but this food right here, this is who I am.”

It is this story that I saw in the show that opened my eyes to what Australia and Australian society is. Through the story of Declan and Robbie, we see the spirit of this country. This unlikely pair, with such different backgrounds, found common ground here. They became fast friends, learned from each other, grew together, and will forever be influenced by what they created in that kitchen.

aboriginal man and white man standing side by side embracing

The Magic of MasterChef

While I’ve always loved reality TV and cooking shows, I’ve never experienced one quite like MasterChef Australia. Jamie Oliver said in the first episode of this season that the Australian version is “the best version in the world by a long, long way,” and I felt that in so many aspects. Not only are the plates imaginative and spectacular, steeped in cultures near and far, but there’s also a sense of acceptance for every individual and what they have to offer as they walk into the kitchen. With that spirit of allowing people to embrace where they’re from and be inspired by where they are, to grow and evolve, magic can happen.

I think MasterChef Judge Melissa Leong said it best when Chef Ross Magnaye of Serai Restaurant made his ,Seared Beef Kilawin in the MasterChef Kitchen, “What you do for Filipino cuisine by elevating it, modernising it and celebrating it in the way that you do makes me so, so happy to be Australian.”

Herein lies the beauty of this show and of Australia, in the weaving of multiple cultures and backgrounds together to create an ,intercultural landscape where everyone, no matter their cultural background, can create (or recreate) their identity based on their own set of experiences. Regardless of what that identity is, it can still be called Australian.

<![CDATA[How the Concept of Kaizen Has Shaped Japanese Work Culture]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/how-the-concept-of-kaizen-has-shaped-japanese-work-culture64af7dbe03b484099e19606eTue, 18 Jul 2023 04:21:54 GMTZaina NasserMy very first client, when I started working in advertising, was Toyota. On my first day at work, I was introduced to the Japanese concept of Kaizen as the cornerstone of their business philosophy. It even has a deep history in our own values at LEXIGO, as you'll soon find out. Continual improvement seemed like an easy enough concept to understand but in reality, there is so much more to it.

aerial view of buildings on city

What exactly is Kaizen? Where did it come from? And how has it shaped Japanese work culture? Take a deep dive into this Japanese business philosophy with us and learn how you can use the Kaizen method to improve your business.

What is Kaizen?

The Japanese word Kaizen is broken up into "Kai" which means "Change" and "Zen" which means "Good". It literally translates to “Good Change” or "Change for Good," but, as we know in the translation space, you can’t always take the exact translation of a word.

It is better explained as “Change for the better,” which is how Toyota, the Japanese company that has popularized the concept of Kaizen, explains it. This definition has evolved and is now a philosophy of continuous improvement, focused on small changes implemented everywhere, every day, and with everyone at your company, that can add up to significant results over time.

The core philosophy behind Kaizen is simple: you can always make or do things better, even if they seem to work well in a particular moment, and all problems should be seen as opportunities to improve things.

The History Behind Kaizen

The Kaizen concept can be traced back to the Japanese car manufacturer, the Toyota Motor Corporation, which implemented Kaizen principles in its production process, introducing lean manufacturing to the world, which has helped them become one of the most successful companies in the world.

Kaizen was first practised in Japanese companies after the Second World War, influenced in part by American business and management consultants. Post World War II, American management consultants visited Japan to study agricultural production problems and other issues in the country that were damaged by the war.

W. Edwards Deming and other experts collaborated with Japanese business managers to come up with new ways to increase productivity in manufacturing and improve product quality for the consumer. They came up with the idea of quality circles, where quality control is put more directly into the hands of line workers. This concept was further developed by the Japanese into the Plan > Do > Check > Act (PDCA) Cycle, which is still one of the essential tools of the Kaizen Method today (more on that later).

Toyota introduced quality circles in the 1950s as part of its manufacturing process. These quality control circles consisted of groups of employees with the same (or similar) role(s) who would get together regularly to define, analyse, and find solutions to issues related to their work. This eventually led to the development of Toyota’s unique “Toyota Production System,” also known as "The Toyota Way," which they still use today.

Their lean manufacturing system integrated Just-in-Time inventory management as well, which aims to match production to demand by only supplying goods that have already been ordered, and focuses on efficiency, productivity and waste reduction.

"Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is the hallmark of the Toyota Production System. The primary objectives are to identify and eliminate "Muda," or waste in all areas, including the production process. Kaizen also strives to ensure quality and safety. Its key elements emphasise making a task simpler and easier to perform, re-engineering processes to accommodate the physical demands on team members, increasing the speed and efficiency of the work process, maintaining a safe work environment, and constantly improving the product quality.” - From Toyota Production System Terminology on their Georgetown website - Nov 2003

When the Kaizen method was first introduced, it was seen as a way for Japanese businesses to compete with their counterparts in Western countries. It quickly became an integral part of Japanese working culture, and is still used by Toyota, Honda, Sony, Canon and Nissan, among other automotive, technology, and manufacturing companies.

In the 1980s, partly due to the book, "Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success" by Masaaki Imai, the Kaizen approach began to gain attention in the West.

Today, the Kaizen philosophy has been adopted by Japanese organisations, as well as foreign companies, in multiple sectors. It's used in various industries, including education, healthcare and government.

The Kaizen system has been credited with a positive change in work processes, management practices, waste reduction, as well as total quality management.

The Principles of Kaizen

Kaizen is built on five main principles fundamental to any application of the Kaizen philosophy. These principles are:

Know Your Customer

Knowing who you're selling your product to allows you to identify your customer’s interests to enhance their overall experience and add value to their interaction with you or your product.

Let it Flow

This principle’s goal is achieving zero waste, an impossible goal but that is the point of Kaizen. If you could achieve perfection, then improvement would stop. At its core, this principle means everyone in your organisation should aim to create value and eliminate waste.

Go to Gemba

Gemba translates to “the real place.” In this context, it’s about leadership knowing what is happening at every level of the organisation. It’s about following the action as value is created where something is actually happening. That’s where you want to be.

Empower People

This principle is directed towards teams and having them organised in a way that supports the principles of Kaizen. Leaders should set clear goals for their teams that are not contradictory and they should offer a system and tools to help the teams achieve these goals.

Be Transparent

Data is the strongest determining factor and is the metric that measures success. Performance and improvements must be tracked with real data, showing tangible and visible results.

Kaizen at Work

Within the Kaizen method are tools that can be implemented to help companies strive for continuous improvement. We’ve chosen a few of these tools that can help businesses get to the root cause of their challenges, measure the impact of change in a data-driven way, and standardise the new way of doing things.

The 5 Whys Analysis

The first technique, called the “5 Whys Analysis,” aims to identify the root cause of the problem. The premise is quite simple. Repeat the question “Why?” at least five times, until you find the root cause. This interrogative technique is part of the Toyota Production System and is an essential approach to problem-solving.

"The basis of Toyota’s scientific approach is to ask why five times whenever we find a problem … By repeating why five times, the nature of the problem, as well as its solution, becomes clear." Taiichi Ohno

The PDCA Cycle

The second technique, which we briefly covered above, is called the “PDCA Cycle.” The PDCA Cycle is a system for continual improvement.

P for Plan is about finding problems and preparing a plan.

D for Do is about implementing and testing different solutions.

C for Check is about analysis, reflection, and introspection.

A for Act is about final implementation and standardisation.

In practice, the PDCA cycle can look like this:

  • In the P stage, getting team members and employees involved to identify problems and brainstorm solutions for the problems that present the greatest opportunity.
  • In the D stage, creating pilot programs, test runs, or other types of experiments, in a controlled environment, to test the solution and measure the impact.
  • In the C stage, measuring the success of the solution based on the agreed metrics and preparing a detailed analysis of what works best.
  • In the A stage, implementing and standardizing the best solution that has met all expectations.

The 5S System

The third technique is called the 5S system, which is essentially a 5-step system. The 5 S’s stand for:

  • Seiri/Sort - This step involves sorting through items in the workplace and getting rid of anything unnecessary in order to make it easier to find things.
  • Seiton/ Set in Order - This refers to setting up an orderly system for organising and storing items that are needed in the workplace.
  • Seiso/ Shine - This stage is all about cleaning the workplace. Cleaning the workplace allows for a more pleasant working environment and makes it easier to spot problems or potential hazards.
  • Seiketsu/ Standardisation - This step is all about establishing standard work procedures for performing tasks in the workplace. It helps to improve efficiency and quality as it ensures that everyone is doing things the same way.
  • Shitsuke/ Sustain - This fifth and final step is all about how to maintain the improvements that have been made. It aims to make sure that the system is kept in place and that the changes become part of the normal way of doing things.

The 5S system might sound like it’s only effective in a warehouse or factory setting but it can be applied to any area of a business. By following these 5 steps, businesses can make significant changes over time that improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of their operations.

How We Use Kaizen at LEXIGO

LEXIGO was created with a set of distinct values in mind to help us grow and evolve as a brand and as a business. Kaizen is a key part of that with one of our values being "Evolving." We constantly question what is comfortable in the pursuit of what is better.

The first example of this came with our name. Not many know this but LEXIGO started as ANECSYS and while we were growing, clients and customers had trouble with the name ANECSYS. We took that as an opportunity to evolve the brand into something better, introducing LEXIGO which has been our namesake for over 12 years.

We started our business in translation but have expanded to serve our clients better with multicultural marketing, creating a new department within our company to deliver on a gap in the market and in our own business.

We created an AI-powered program that all our translation work goes into that remembers common terms and phrases in-language that our clients and brands use. This tech helps our translators by remembering key phrases used by brands. It also helps our clients by ensuring consistency in their terminology in-language. Much more efficient than having to keep a separate brand document that both translators and clients need to keep referring to when they write and proofread.

Another request we encountered quite often in our business that was quite time-consuming was for transcription and subtitling. This is a very work-intensive process and we knew there had to be a way to do it better, which led to the creation of SCRIBE. SCRIBE is an AI-powered platform that quickly and accurately transcribes, subtitles, and translates audio and video files, saving us, and our clients, hours of tedious work.

Through the Kaizen philosophy, we have been able to uplevel our business, providing better and more efficient services for our clients, saving them time, while also delivering the quality and consistency they need.

The Evolution of Kaizen

The Kaizen approach was initially identified as a way to continuously improve a production system but has evolved into a business philosophy that lends itself to so much more than just lean manufacturing.

However, in recent years, the approach has been criticised for being too focused on the granular level, prioritising short-term improvement over long-term enterprise-wide success. Some also believe that it's no longer innovative enough with the rapid pace of technological change, which could lead to Japanese businesses struggling to compete in the long run with Western companies empowered by the latest technical and digital innovations.

While there's no doubt that the Japanese economy has struggled in recent years with its aging population, its economy is still the third largest economy in the world, with low inflation. Their currency is up, their banks are stable, and with several nuclear plants being brought online, their energy costs are low.

Maybe a more holistic view of Kaizen is at play that is more than an approach to business, but an approach to economic, political, and even social life, in Japan. Tourism is increasing, their stock market is growing, and their investment opportunities are still experiencing slow but steady growth. It appears as though the Kaizen philosophy is still beneficial to Japanese business and culture as a whole.

banner with a woman with headphones and a mic on a computer
<![CDATA[30 Beautiful Words That Don't Exist in the English Language]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/30-beautiful-words-that-don-t-exist-in-the-english-language64a5099084d6fb9ad7108845Wed, 05 Jul 2023 23:58:11 GMTZaina NasserI’ve always been a die-hard fan of words and how they can express such rich emotions. It’s a beautiful thing if you know how to use the words in the right way.

brown wooden surface with etchings

I remember the first time I heard the Portuguese word “Saudade”. I could immediately feel it in my body, this pull of longing that hit me right in the gut. The beauty of the word to express such a specific emotion intrigued me. As a lover of words, I wanted to know what other words are out there that can express something so beautiful so succinctly.

If you think about it, language is a series of sounds that come together to express a thought or a feeling but when you take a deeper look, you’ll come to find that language is so much more than words. Language is an expression of thoughts and ideas, specifically linked to the culture of the people speaking it.

Language gives you a peek into a culture’s way of thinking. To see what is unique about a culture, look at the words you can’t directly translate from it without a long explanation. These untranslatable words allow you to directly peer into the soul of a culture or a people.

I went down the rabbit hole of untranslatable words exploring words from different languages that resist direct translation and picked my favourites that I feel express something unique about the culture of its people.

Embark on a linguistic journey as I explore 30 untranslatable words that evoke unique emotions, capture specific cultural concepts, or convey profound sentiments that the English language struggles to encapsulate with a single word. Get ready to delve into the intricacies of language and uncover the beauty of untranslatable expressions.

Aware – Japanese

Picture yourself enjoying a perfect moment, while knowing that the moment is already fading into a memory. The bittersweet feeling of enjoying a moment while knowing it’ll soon be gone is what the Japanese refer to as aware.

Iktsuarpok – Inuit

You know that anxious feeling you get while waiting for someone to come meet you, how you keep looking at your phone for a message from them, or out the window to see if they’re walking down the street? The Inuit language uses the word Iktsuarpok to sum up this feeling of anticipation and the impatience and frustration that builds while waiting for someone to show up.

Toska – Russian

Russians are known to be a particularly melancholic people and one of their famously untranslatable words is a clear show of just that. Toska is a Russian word that means yearning or ennui, but it's so much more than that because no English word can reflect all the shades of the word. According to the Russian-American author of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, toska is better described as “a sensation of great spiritual anguish, lacking any specific cause.”

Voorpret – Dutch

Imagine you’re planning a big trip abroad. You buy a couple of guidebooks, comb through Culture Trip to decide what to do once you get to your destination, and map out your future journey. The joy you’re feeling in that moment is what the Dutch would call voorpret, which is fun you experience in anticipation of an event.

Tartle – Scottish

Tartle is a Scottish word that proves that Scottish is its own language, separate from the English language. Picture this, you’re at a party and come across an acquaintance whose name you can’t remember. Now imagine you’re with a friend and have to introduce said acquaintance, whose name you can’t remember, to your friend. That hesitation you feel before you introduce them because you can’t remember someone’s name is called a tartle.

Ilunga – Tshiluba (Southwest Congo)

This word is probably one of the most specifically defined words on this list. It’s a testament to just how much meaning you can put into one word. It’s a word from the Republic of Congo and its specific definition is best said by linguist Christopher Moore who wrote a book on intriguing words from around the world. “It describes a person who is ready to forgive any transgression a first time and then to tolerate it for a second time, but never for a third time.” Trying to find an exact translation for such a uniquely specific word is definitely a challenge.

Ya’aburnee – Arabic

The direct translation of this phrase can seem quite morbid but it’s in fact an expression of love. It translates to “you bury me” but the phrase expresses a hope that you will die and be buried first because you can’t live without the other.

Schnapsidee – German

Have you ever been at a table full of people drinking and exchanging what they think are “amazing ideas" while they’re under the influence? Or maybe you’ve even come up with your own brilliant ideas after one too many drinks that don’t sound too good once the beer goggles come off? Schnapsidee is a German word that refers to these not-so-brilliant ideas and plans that you come up with while intoxicated.

Abbiocco – Italian

Otherwise known as a “food coma” in English, the Italian word abbiocco refers to the content drowsiness that comes after eating a big meal. This phrase reveals just how important food is in the Italian culture that they have a word to express the feeling of sleepy content following a satisfying meal.

Löyly – Finnish

Finland is a country of five million people and three million saunas. It’s only fitting that a country that places such an emphasis on this pastime has a set of vocabulary dedicated to it. The literal translation of Löyly refers to the enveloping of steam that surrounds you in the sauna when water is poured on the hot rocks. On a deeper level, the term refers to the soul of the sauna.

Sobremesa – Spanish

You might have witnessed this ritual, or even took part in it unknowingly, at the end of a long afternoon, sitting around the table enjoying post-lunch drinks with friends, family, or colleagues. The Spanish word Sobremesa refers to that time frame after having a meal when food gives way to hours of talking, drinking and joking. It’s the digestive period that allows for the slow settling of food and conversations.

Feierabend – German

Anyone who has ever tried to call a German office after hours will be met with deafening silence as the Germans, while hard workers, also value their time off. Feierabend, which translates to “celebration evening” is a term that dates back to the 16th century and used to refer to the evening before a public holiday. In recent times though, it has come to refer to the free time between leaving the office and going to bed on a working day. Feierabend specifically refers to time doing nothing though. The cultural historian Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl described the concept as “an atmosphere of carefree wellbeing, of deep inner reconciliation, of the pure and clear quiet of the evening”.

Wabi-Sabi – Japanese

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese word used to describe the beauty in imperfection. It’s not just a word but rather a philosophy tied to the idea of Kintsugi, which is the Japanese art of repairing broken things with gold lacquer. It’s a beautiful reminder that everything is beautiful just as it is.

Sisu – Finnish

Have you ever had a difficult experience that you persevered through with resilience and determination? That’s what the Finnish would call sisu. This untranslatable word blends resilience, tenacity, persistence, perseverance and sustained courage. It refers to the psychological strength to ensure that regardless of the cost or the consequences, what has to be done, will be done.

Shouganai – Japanese

The Japanese have fallen victim to many situations beyond their control, from natural disasters to human-imposed catastrophes, and in many of these situations, you can hear Japanese whispering the phrase Shouganai amongst each other. This untranslatable Japanese word is a typical reaction to situations where you have no control or influence. The expression means “it can’t be helped”, similar to the English phrase “it is what it is”. With its roots in the Zen Buddhist belief that suffering is a natural part of life, it aims to express the recognition that sometimes acceptance of an unfortunate situation is much easier than denying it.

Saudade – Portuguese

The expression that kick-started this interest in untranslatable words for me, Saudade is a Portuguese word for a beautiful, bitter-sweet longing for something that doesn’t exist. It could be something that you have experienced in the past or something that may have never happened at all. Portuguese speakers around the globe though will insist that it’s not nostalgia or bitter-sweetness as English speakers have tried to explain. There is no English equivalent that can express the full meaning of this word. Writer Manuel de Melo poetically describes it as “a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy.”

Desenrascanço – Portuguese

This literal meaning of the word desenrascanço is “disentanglement” but Portuguese speakers use it to describe finding an unusual or unexpected solution to a problem, serendipitously finding a way out of a challenge or problem.

Fernweh – German

Some might liken this German word to wanderlust but it’s the subtle difference that gives this word its essence. While wanderlust refers to a desire to travel, Fernweh, literally translates to “far-sickness” and refers to “home-sickness” and deep longing for distant places that you’ve never been to. Similar and yet vastly different to wanderlust.

Hygge – Danish

Of all the words on this list, I think this one is probably the most popular in the English-speaking world with Denmark marketing it as their nation’s defining characteristic. Hygge literally translates into the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends. However, that feeling can be felt beyond moments spent around a fire with friends. Hygge combines all the feelings of cosiness, comfort, and contentment that you could feel, alone or with friends, into one word.

Meraki – Greek

You know the feeling of pouring your heart and soul into something you’re doing, leaving a piece of yourself in it. The Greeks call this meraki. Meraki can extend into so many things, including cooking with meraki, painting with meraki, building with meraki, writing with meraki. Whatever your craft is, chances are, if you’re passionately invested in it, you’re doing it with meraki.

Yaani – Arabic

As a native Arabic speaker, trying to translate this word to English speakers always eluded me when I was younger. The direct translation is “I mean” but the way this word is used amongst Arabic speakers goes beyond that. It could be used as a filler in conversation as they try to find the right words to express themselves, in the same way as “like”, “you know”, “umm” or even, “I mean”. It can also be used according to its meaning, like when you’re telling someone what something means.

Gigil – Tagalog (Philippines)

I love this word because I think it truly embodies the spirit of the Philippines. This word translates into the feeling of joy and the overwhelming sense of happiness that comes from being around something irresistibly cute. Having spent a lot of time with people from the Philippines, I think this word showcases the joyful way that they look at life, to have a word that specifically describes the feelings we get from cute things. That it’s phonetically similar to the English word giggle is just a bonus.

Kefi – Greek

Kefi is a fairly modern word that has recently been added to the Greek vocabulary following what has been an economically turbulent period of time. Kefi is the art of being in good spirits even when times are tough. Find joy within and enjoy life regardless of what is going on around you.

Yuánfèn – Mandarin

This word refers to the serendipity and destiny that brings people together in pre-destined love. The Japanese have a direct equivalent in the expression “Koi No Yokan” which describes the feeling you get when you meet someone for the first time and know you’re going to fall in love.

Tsundoku – Japanese

There are people who love to read and people who love to buy books. I belong to the latter group and funnily enough, this specific term from Japan describes this hoarding of books, left unread. Good to know I’m not the only one.

Treppenwitz – German

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and thought of a comeback to whatever they were saying after the conversation has ended? The German language has a word to describe this far too familiar feeling, treppenwitz. The direct translation of treppenwitz is “staircase joke” because you thought of your comeback on the stairs on your way out. The French have their own idiomatic expression for this, calling it “l’esprit de l’escalier”, the literal translation of which is “stairwell wit”.

Dépaysement – French

This French word describes the combined feeling of disorientation and euphoria you get from not being somewhere new and unknown, terrifying and exciting all at once. Many travellers have probably felt this feeling as they try to figure out how to get around a new city they just landed in.

Hiraeth – Welsh

Hiraeth is a Welsh word that describes a longing, or homesickness, for a place that you can’t return to or a place that doesn’t exist. It’s a combination of longing, nostalgia and yearning and the feeling doesn’t necessarily go away when you go home as the place isn’t what it used to be.

Verschlimmbessern – German

If I was German, I would probably be using this word a lot. Verschlimmbessen is a compound word that combines the German word to improve with the German word to make something worse. In their combination, they have created a new phrase that means to try to fix something but accidentally make it worse, like when you add too much salt to a bland dish and inadvertently make it too salty.

Cafune – Brazilian Portuguese

This Brazilian Portuguese word in English means to tenderly caress or run your fingers through the hair of someone you love. While it literally translates into a caress, its meaning is much deeper as it represents the affection and tenderness and calming force that people can be for each other. When words fail, cafune rises to the occasion.

The Final Word

As a lover of language and words, embracing the diverse vocabulary of different cultures allows me to deeply understand the range of experiences and emotions that colour a culture or a nation.

The English vocabulary, while vast, cannot do justice to the diversity and richness of all the languages on earth and we shouldn’t ask that of one language. Instead, we should embrace the range of beautiful words that exist across the world, and even adopt some of them, to help us externalise and express some of our feelings and our very specific emotions. For the feelings that have no English words to express, we can turn to the range of foreign words and expressions that we have just covered above.

As language learners and professional translators, embracing the diversity of languages and the variety of unique words that exist in each native language allows us to better integrate the expression of cultural differences into our work.

By exploring the untranslatable, we bridge the gaps between cultures, enhance our linguistic understanding, and gain a deeper appreciation for the richness of human expression across the globe.

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<![CDATA[Unlocking the Power of NAATI Certified Translation Services]]>https://www.lexigo.com/post/unlocking-the-power-of-naati-certified-translation-services64812fc16207c7e705d34155Thu, 08 Jun 2023 05:53:32 GMTMichelle TrazoNot all translations are created equal. Harsh but true. While most professional translation service providers will make it a point to deliver the highest quality when it comes to translation requirements, sometimes an added level of certainty is required to ensure the translation is accurate and up to standards. In Australia, that added level of assurance of translation quality comes with a certified translation service, otherwise known as NAATI.

brown wooden hand tool on white printed paper

This one is for all our translation newbies wondering how they can make sure they’re getting exactly what they need when it comes to their translation requirements. We’ll be covering what certified translations are, their professional standards that guarantee a high-quality translation, when NAATI translation services are required, and the benefits of choosing a NAATI-certified translation service for your translation needs.

What is NAATI translation?

NAATI, the official Authority for certified translations in Australia, is short for “National Standards and Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters”. NAATI sets and maintains the high national standards for the translation and interpretation sector in the country. It’s important to note that it is the only accreditation body that can issue credentials or certification to people who wish to work in this profession. There are currently over 10,500 NAATI practitioners, holding 15,000 credentials in over 180 languages, so there is no shortage of professional accredited translators that can be used for certified translations.

NAATI as an organisation issues certification to people who wish to become professional translators or interpreters in Australia. The NAATI accreditation process evaluates the language skills of translators in language-specific tests and includes a competency assessment. NAATI certification provides translators with official recognition for their language proficiency and translation. NAATI-certified translators typically have extensive experience and years of professional practice in the industry, which guarantees accurate translations that are aligned with the strict standards of the Australian national accreditation authority.

The rigorous application process to be an accredited translator means that professional translators with NAATI certification possess in-depth knowledge of terminology, formatting, and legal requirements specific to official purposes. As a result, they are typically sought out for official document translations such as legal documents, medical records, immigration papers, and more.

When should you use NAATI translation?

NAATI-certified translations are required under many different circumstances. Typically any documentation that is translated for Australian government departments, such as the Department of Immigration and the Department of Home Affairs, needs to be done by a NAATI-certified translator and must include a NAATI stamp, signature and certification on each page.

Documents requiring NAATI translation include birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce papers, diplomas, academic transcripts, police checks, payslips and bank statements.

While NAATI translation isn’t mandatory for private business translations, such as user manuals or product descriptions, there are many benefits to choosing to work with a NAATI-certified translator in the Australian market.

Professional translators with NAATI certification have proven they meet the strict standards at Australia’s national level. They are in tune with Australian political and cultural sensitivities and can cater their translations to align with these sensitivities. NAATI certification also expires every 3 years meaning NAATI translators must constantly be up to date with their certification, which ensures that their translation services are still valid and up to standard. Lastly, as practising professional translators, NAATI translators can be trusted to treat sensitive documents with confidentiality, providing customers with peace of mind through the translation process.

Why is NAATI translation the best choice?

Quality Assurance and Accuracy

NAATI-certified translators have undergone rigorous testing and assessment, ensuring their linguistic proficiency and translation skills. Their extensive experience and years of professional practice guarantee accurate translations with attention to detail.

Professional translators with NAATI certification also follow a comprehensive quality assurance process to maintain the highest level of accuracy. Their translations are reviewed, proofread, and double-checked to ensure they meet the professional standards set by NAATI.

Expertise in Legal and Official Documents

As mentioned earlier, NAATI-certified translators specialise in translating official and legal documents. Terminology aside, which is a key part of translation, NAATI translators are also fluent in the formatting of official documents and the legal requirements for governmental authorities.

Working with a NAATI-certified translator will give you peace of mind in knowing that your translated documents will be accurately translated and formatted for official use.

Compliance with Government Departments

NAATI translators are well-versed in the requirements of Australian government departments, such as the Department of Immigration and the Department of Home Affairs.

They understand the nuances of visa applications, ensuring maximum accuracy for successful outcomes. NAATI-certified translations are the best choice when it comes to documents for the Australian Government.

Confidentiality and Privacy

NAATI-accredited translators adhere to strict privacy policies to protect personal data and confidential information contained within translated documents. They understand the importance of handling sensitive information with the utmost care and professionalism. For highly sensitive documents, using a NAATI translation service ensures the security of your personal data.

NAATI-Certified Translation at LEXIGO

LEXIGO offers professional translation services and NAATI-certified translations in multiple industries, including Digital and Ecommerce, Marketing and Communication, Enterprise and Business, Government and Public Sector, and Medical and Legal.

NAATI-certified translations are available in the Pro and Prime package options, which are recommended for any formal communication or consumer and client-facing content.

All our packages come with 24/7 support, translation guarantees and dedicated project success managers. Our NAATI translation services include a quality assurance review to ensure that the final translated documents are up to standard.

,Get a free quote now for your NAATI-certified translation.

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<![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.