RSS Feed


More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

The Rising Role of Language in Internal Comms 

Mihai Vlad

The growth in globalisation, a rise in outsourcing, and the increasing popularity of remote working practices have forever changed the ways in which international brands collaborate internally. Contributor Mihai Vlad, VP AI & Machine Learning Solutions – SDL.

With employees, partners and third-parties based in various locations around the world, enterprises – and their HR departments – have been forced to rethink the ways in which they interact and communicate with each of these disparate stakeholders. 

Despite 87% of companies claiming that internal communications budgets will stay the same or increase, according to a recent report, it appears that many organisations may still be overlooking the importance of engaging with people of different cultures (and different languages) within their own business. 

Despite senior decision–makers seeing the value in internal communications at large, many either don’t view language translations as a priority, or simply aren’t up set up to achieve this at scale, despite their desire to do so. Some may not even know there’s a solution available. 

Cutting corners when it comes to reaching the entirety of your organisation can lead to inadequate communications, misinterpretation, and fatigue from employees. This can lead to major problems in terms of both attracting and retaining talent. And, the simple fact is that a business cannot be successful without the right people on board. The good news is that much can be done to prevent this from happening, if businesses are equipped with the right tools. 

Cultural nuances

The fact is, seamless translation goes undetected, yet poor translation is instantly noticed by the human eye. Poor translation can have numerous knock-on effects. When a key piece of information or meaning is lost due to the misinterpretation of a cultural nuance, it can mean the difference between an employee taking the right course of action, or not. After all, one word itself is just part of the equation where global communication is concerned. In China, for example, the colour red is a symbol of prosperity, whereas in most Western countries it represents danger. Stocks that are up are green in the U.S., while stocks that are down are red. In Taiwan, it’s the opposite. And, of course, British football fans will become quite incensed whenever the beautiful game is referred to as soccer. 

It’s vital, therefore, that businesses factor in these cultural idiosyncrasies when localising their communications, to ensure that what they’re delivering the intended message to each region. Technology and sensitivity are key to this. The latest advances in AI achieve high speed, linguistically accurate translation. But by combining this with a deep human understanding of localised cultural nuances, etiquette, and corporate messaging, it’s possible for an organisation to speak directly to its every employee, delivering content that will be understood by all, at scale, in just a matter of seconds. Only when in-house linguists and machine translation work side by side can businesses ensure that their internal communications are relevant, accurate and effective. 

Demonstrate value 

Businesses need to understand the value of localising content in this way, as a central element in an organisation’s internal communications strategy, as its benefits are manifold. 

Perhaps most importantly, effectively supercharging internal communications by delivering more impactful and valuable messages will serve to strengthen the relationship between an organisation and its workforce. Ultimately, the better a company’s employees understand their corporate strategy and values, the more engaged they will be in helping the business reach its goals. 

Accurate and culturally sensitive translation enables genuine collaboration, which can be particularly important for projects managed across different markets. The best technical solution to a particular issue may come from a global organisation’s operation in China, for example, but language differences and regional nuances shouldn’t act as barriers to it being used for the benefit of the UK operation. 

What’s more, effective, localised content can help support businesses in attracting and retaining more diverse talent. Not only does it enable organisations to clearly communicate their recruitment needs to potential candidates but, by demonstrating that they actively acknowledge subtle cultural differences, it signals that these organisations are invested in their staff – a facet of the business that can prove immensely appealing. 

Effective internal communications are essential to the successful running of a business. It is vital, therefore, that global organisations combine the latest AI-powered translation solutions with the experience of human linguists, in order to provide truly localised internal communications to stakeholders across territories. By speaking to their employees, partners and third-parties in the most personalised, accurate and relevant way possible, they will enjoy greater collaboration and understanding than ever previously possible.  


Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)

Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)