Words Alone Can’t Solve the Miscommunication Problem

By Atlas LS

Simply putting the right words together is not enough to ensure that the listeners will understand what is being said. Today, virtually every business and corporation have a multi-national workforce, which makes the idea of translation essential. If listeners are not native English speakers, miscommunication is more common than you would think.

miscommunication - language translation

It Doesn’t Mean What You Think

Both Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) and Conference interpretation services are extremely helpful and can help you to avoid being misunderstood or even embarrassed. This is because having an understanding of what a word means, out of context can be confusing. This post on LinkedIn highlights some of the comical examples of how miscommunication results from the different ways that words are used, despite their meanings.

Slang may be one of the reasons for this, as well as, colloquial uses that not everyone knows. It doesn’t matter whether you are hosting a meeting, conference, or promotional event. The use of RSI is a good way to translate what is being said, for every listener or attendee.

RSI provides event planners and business leaders with resources that resolve translation problems. Back in the 1990’s major corporations like Coca-Cola even messed up the whole international marketing approach because of this. They were marketing their product in China using Ke-kou-ke-la, which they thought translated. Instead, this meant “Bite the wax tadpole” to the audience they were desperately trying to reach. This translation breakdown was only discovered after thousands of signs had been produced. Although funny, not resolving issues like this in advance can be a very costly mistake, especially for branding purposes. The wording here didn’t mean what the brand thought, which required a major change.

Delegating Is a Problem, Too

Your annual meeting is likely the time that pertinent information is presented to stakeholders and employees. The ability to properly delegate tasks to your staff means having solutions in place, such as RSI. If your goal was to instruct salespeople to make 30 cold-calls per week, that’s probably what you expect to happen.

The word cold-call alone might not make sense in other languages. Instead of launching a process that is tailored to meet revenue objectives, you may discover that the delegation directive hit a snag. Even small local businesses have to find effective ways to address their staff and investors, without relaying the wrong information.

According to Small Business Chron, not addressing cultural and language barriers could negatively impact workforce efficiency. It’s difficult to achieve short-term and long-term goals without addressing this effectively.

Fortunately for organizations, groups, and even political campaigns, using RSI services reduce translation concerns. These are tools that can be productive for operating effectively. Clarity is necessary despite the goal or initiative and has to be invested in for correct translations.