The need to communicate in other languages
One of the many challenges you will face in international markets is dealing with the different languages you will encounter across the world. Fortunately, English is the 'lingua franca' of the export world, but nevertheless, you are likely to come across potential customers that simply do not speak English and somehow you may need communicate with them. Alternatively, you may receive a communication from an overseas customer written in German or Spanish or Chinese. You could ignore it, but with a bit of effort you can have the communication translated and a reply set up in the target language and you can be assured that potential customer will be very impressed with your seriousness to do business. Of course, you wouldn't take this effort just with every customer.
You would only do so with reputable firms, so the first thing you would do is check the website of the firm communicating with you - if it appears that they are a substantial concern, then perhaps it is worth taking the effort to translate the communication. If it is a small firm or they simply don't have a website, then perhaps you should think twice.
Online translation programs
One of the first online translations services; it remains
one of the premier online translation facilities and it covers
quite a range of languages. This is the place to start. The
facility is powered by Systran, which you can also purchase
and download from this site for use on your PC.
Offer free website translation and free translation services
A very nice, easy-to-use online translation program that
covers the main languages (English, Spanish, French, German,
Russian and Portuguese)! It is one of the better interfaces
This site offers an online machine translation facility,
where you can enter the text you want translated and the
program translates the text into the language of your choice.
A nice, easy to use service - worth a try.
A simple, uncluttered online translation program. Not fancy,
but it covers quite a few languages, including Japanese,
Chinese. Korean, Dutch, Greek, Italian, etc. A good place
This is another e-mail translation service from WorldLingo,
except that it is free. With this service, you can create
an e-mail online and then send it to a specific person. When
you create the e-mail it is automatically translated and
the translated e-mail is sent to the recipient. This means
that the recipient has no choice and only receives the already
translated e-mail, which may not be ideal. Still it remains
a useful tool for the odd occasion that you need to translate
an e-mail for sending.
Let's start with a home-based service. Using Interpret you can translate not only from English, but also from other local languages such as Afrikaans, Sotho and Xhosa. Target languages include French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Danish and Spanish. You can translate pieces of text, whole web sites and whole e-mails. Keep it up guys!
This is specialised translation service that offers both online and human translation services. The online translation facility is free and easy to use. In addition, they offer a website translation service that enables you to enter a website created in another language and to have that translated into English. In addition, they offer professional human translation services at US$0.10 per word.
Promt is another online service that you can use to translate text, web pages and e-mails. It only covers seven languages though (English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese and Italian). There are also software products for sale. Registration is available - for free - to access more advanced features. Worth a try!
Word2Word's list of online translators - A nice collection of online translators out of the mainstream. If you're looking for a way-out language, this list may cover it.
Like the name says, this service is aimed more at the traveller, but offers similar services to all the other online translators.
There may come a time when you need to look up just a single word or short phrase (in English or in any other language). For this, a dictionary is likely to suffice. What is more, the translators referred to above, only work for a limited number of major languages, but what about Hindi, Indonesian or Korea. Most of the languages in the world are covered by the dictionaries provided below. Browse through them to find the one best suited to your needs.
Multilingual dictionaries with pronunciation, conjugation and context sentences.
More than 280 dictionaries, supported by glossaries, language courses, and other features.
A simple service focusing on French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
A useful dictionary with plenty of additional facilities.
201 languages listed!
Maintains an odd list of dictionaries (try it if you can't find anything else).
In addition to offering an online machine translation service,
Foreign Word offers a freely downloadable software program
- Xanadu - that can translate your text into 70 languages
- sounds like a great tool.
This is a site where you can purchase translation software.
If you are doing regular business with a particular country,
then this investment might be worth it. The site offers 359
translation products available in 33 languages.
This is the company that powers most of the other online
services. They offer a range of software products for use
in small businesses to large enterprises. Need the best software?
This is the site to visit.
This page provides a list of translators' associations around
the world. If you are looking for a human translator somewhere
in the world, this is a good page on which to start your
Need to find a translator or translation services, try this
site. It maintains a worldwide database of translators (including
a few in South Africa).
Need a source of translations into a wide range of foreign
language? Try this site - they claim to over human translations
into 70 different languages. Remember, this is a US company,
so the fees may be high.
Offer translation services.
Editions du Jour
Editions du jour is an international company supplying the global market with professional language services including translation, interpreting, proofreading, editing, voice over and transcription for European and African languages.
A US-based service. Click to send them the file to be translated. They will send you a quote and if accepted, you pay, they translate and voila!
Another US-based service that provides translations in 141 languages - beat that if you can. They make use of translators around the world.
Access a list of translators around the world according to subject, country or language.
Provides a list of human translators. May be worth a try?
This is a site that offers links to 201 language resources.
Some of these are online translation facilities, while others
simply contain a list of commonly used words. It remains
a good resource, however.
An excellent site for a glossary of terms that are used in
the world of online translation.
Their services include free text, document, website and email translators, and they also offer professional services.
Language statistical facts
A great source of interesting language facts and figures.
Do you need to make use of specialised subject dictionaries?
Try this list. It covers a range of subject areas.
WorldLing offers a pay-for e-mail translation facility that
allows your readers to translate your e-mail into any one
of 12 different languages with a 75% accuracy; enough for
them to get the gist of the e-mail. When they receive your
e-mail they can select the language in which they would like
to read the e-mail by clicking on the language option that
accompanies the e-mail message. The e-mail is then automatically
translated into their language of choice. The advantage of
this system is that they receive the original e-mail written
in English and if their English is good enough, they can
read it without translating it. If, however, they do not
understand English, they can choose to have the e-mail translated,
but this remains their choice.
This site provides a large number of dictionaries; some online,
some just common words. In addition, there are also links
to technical dictionaries. Quite a comprehensive listing,
but it still requires quite a bit of browsing to get what
Another source of online dictionaries, translator programs,
glossaries and more. Can't help yourself elsewhere; give
this site a whorl.
This US-based company offers a range of products which include
computer translation software, as well as PDA translation
software. They also offer human translations if required.
This site offers a range of 100 links to online translators
and machine translation programs. This is quite a good source
of translation links.
Foreign Word offers a translation and language search engine.
Looking for something to do with translations or languages,
give this search engine a try.
This portal provides lists of sites that provide translating