** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in April 2021 **
Due to the myriad of changes the earth is going through because of climate change, the world has been an increasingly complicated place. Add to that the ongoing economic slump and the pull between globalization and nationalism, it can seem like many of our challenges are insurmountable.
Global challenges will always require global solutions, and this will inevitably require the many different people of the world to actively communicate their ideas in a manner that anyone can understand. Translation services can provide text-based conversion of a message from one language and culture into another. It can help bridge the gaps where there are language barriers between people, cultures, and nations.
Below we’ll look at some of the challenges we’re facing, such as globalization, the ongoing pandemic, and climate change. We’ll see how translation services can bring about changes in this sector.
The Need for Translation Services in a Highly Globalized World
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, globalization isn’t going anywhere. Every so often, a leader tries to put the needs of a single nation above others, as in the case of the Trump and Brexit upsets in 2016, both of which are still affecting us to this day. Despite these disruptions, between 2001 and 2017, the flow of international information was listed at about 275% in depth.
One thing is for sure, global trade will inevitably continue no matter what any national results will be, and international trade requires translation services for ongoing communications between peoples of many nations.
Becoming more globalized raises the need for translation services, as businesses work across borders and information flows across national lines. With solid communication, we can make it easier to be a truly global society, promoting understanding and efficiency.
Using Translation Services to Overcome the Downsides of Nationalism
Nationalism has always been a tricky subject. Oxford Languages defines the concept as, “Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.”
However, a secondary definition is, “Advocacy of or support for the political independence of a particular nation or people.”
Nationalism can turn toxic in a heartbeat when it’s applied to supporting your own national interests over those of other nations. It can also be used to express a desire for certain groups of people to have the freedom to rule themselves. At its heart, nationalism is a concept that has a pull between independence, self-sufficiency, and freedom while also not working to the detriment of other nations.
So how can translation services help with such a difficult concept? One way to overcome some of the most toxic forms of nationalism is simply to open a dialogue, especially between developed and underdeveloped nations. It becomes harder to put your own national interests above others when you remember that other people are still people and you begin to understand and appreciate them more. Translation services can be the first step in opening that dialogue.
Translation Services For the Medical Field in An Era of An Ongoing Pandemic
Another very obvious challenge is the current pandemic from this past year until now in 2021. Translation services are especially necessary during a pandemic.
COVID-19 has become a truly global problem. Even as countries enact travel bans, it will be necessary to communicate globally about how to combat the virus. If one nation has a breakthrough on a vaccine, for instance, the rest of the world will need to benefit from that knowledge.
The pandemic has made remote video interpreting more necessary than ever. Since fewer people should be talking face-to-face, in order to prevent the spread of disease, that means having an interpreter physically present is less feasible. So it has been convenient to have translators work over video.
The healthcare sector is already a large-scale user of interpreters and translators. In the US alone, 8% of interpreters and translators work in hospitals, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the pandemic continues, more and more patients are seeking care related to COVID cases. That means more potential for interpreters to work between English-speaking medical staff and non-English-speaking patients. Remote video interpreting has made this easier than in the past.
While we have to keep more of a physical distance from each other, that doesn’t eliminate the need for translation and interpreting services.
Climate Change Translation In An Effort to Combat Earth’s Devastation
Another major issue the world continues to face in 2021 is climate change. This is perhaps the most global of our problems, as rising sea levels and devastating weather patterns affect more than one nation.
In order to combat the issue, it’s going to take a large global effort to collectively reduce carbon emissions. It won’t do any good for a few nations to take the problem seriously while some of the largest carbon emitters refuse to address the matter.
To collaborate on one of the most global challenges to ever face this world, it will take smooth communication across many different borders. Some institutions are turning to machine translation to help, but is there a more accurate translation than Google? Yes, and that’s where human translation services can help build the necessary bridges.
For something as serious as controlling climate change, the messages must be clear and must take cultural sensitivities into account. Translation services can help messages remain professional and carry across into other cultures in ways that maximize their impact and efficacy.
Climate change is a multifaceted issue that involves businesses making commitments and legal agreements between governments. Specialist translation services can facilitate this, helping with certain aspects of collaboration, like legal documents and business negotiations and meaning we can work more effectively as a global community.