Are translation apps the solution for limited-English employees?

(No — here’s why.)

If you’ve ever used Google Translate, you know how helpful translation apps can be. They get you an answer in a pinch. They convey important changes to company policies with minimal effort.

Do we really think that translation apps are the ultimate solution for connecting to your employees? Is an app the most personable way you can greet your customers, or interact with managers?

While good for solving quick problems, apps keep interactions transactional.

Sometimes, they result in more confusion.

We love Jimmy Fallon’s bit, “Google Translate Songs” to illustrate how automation gets so close to, yet remains so far from, goals of clear communication.

For those unfamiliar with this bit, his team runs the lyrics through a translation app, and then does it again to reverse them back to English. For example, the lyric “All that glitters is gold” translates back into, “Shiny things are not metal.”

(For quick entertainment, check it out):

But, my company relies on these apps! What other options do we have?

With Entrada’s workplace language program, your employees gain conversational skills that transform your company communications.

Investing in language skill training reduces the need for the translation apps over time. Of course, we don’t recommend eliminating one in place of the other, but rather phasing out their necessity over time —(Conceptually similar to a using present technology while advocating for policy change for future societal outcomes.)

We built out a chart to further illustrate the challenges with relying exclusively on translating apps for connecting. Consider the following when considering what tools you’re using to develop your workforce:

To us, it’s clear. Using the best resources available means utilizing a combination of translation apps and developing your team so that the apps are a benefit, and not the only ‘band-aid solution’.

Communication goes hand in hand to running a more efficient, successful business with a committed team of employees.

Intrigued and want to learn more?

Reach out today:

Creating a communicative, compassionate workforce and society. Teaching staff English while they work to upskill and improve operations.

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