Long-tail Languages: A Social Justice Perspective

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to long-tail languages worldwide. Apps and games are being localized into them, and critical information and government announcements have been translated. Although international travelling has been limited during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns over the past year, information exchanges across borders have never stopped, making languages that were once maybe considered non-essential decades ago now not only paid more…

Chatbot and the Language Industry

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator  What comes to mind when you see the word chatbot? Siri? Alexa? Or the automatic replies you receive when you type in an online customer service chat box? Well, they are all a part of the big chatbot family. As the name indicates, chatbots are robots that can automatically generate conversations with humans and fall into the artificial intelligence (AI) category. When asked questions, chatbots generally come up with…

Localization: The Secret Weapon to International Brands’ Success Revealed

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator When brands or companies want to expand their businesses to a wider audience or unknown international market, the first thing they should do is to localize their brands. This applies to everything: brand names, slogans, advertisements, product/service names, and sometimes, even creating products targeted to customers in the specific region to which they’re expanding. Localization is what makes a business abroad look local. It brings customers the familiarity of…

COVID Stories: COVID-19 and the Limits of Machine Translation

By: Sara Parker-Toulson, RFP Coordinator Public displays of information on COVID-19 seem to be everywhere now, reminding us to wash our hands, keep six feet between one another, and to wear our masks. Information about how COVID-19 is quickly spread, about signs and symptoms we need to watch out for, and the latest data on infection rates and mortality is now widely available in a variety of formats. But what if you don’t speak one…

COVID Stories: Highlights of Challenges Facing Ontario’s Language Services Sector

By: Craig Carter-Edwards The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stress-test for many essential services offered in Ontario. It has brought to light the challenges, inequities and structural flaws within systems designed to support the health and well-being of Ontarians. These challenges, of course, existed before COVID-19, but this crisis has increased the level of general public’s awareness of them. Among these are translation and interpretation services. Many Ontarians with limited knowledge of English and/or…

Without Cross-Cultural Competence, This Love Story Would Be Impossible to Tell

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Imagine you were telling someone a story. A fairy tale that involved the love between a knight and a princess. The task might sound fairly easy: A knight saw a princess. He fell in love with her, proposed to her, and they got married. Now imagine you were telling this story to a person who is completely unfamiliar with European culture. The story would be much more difficult to…

Multilingual Content Strategy for E-commerce

By: Sanskriti Ravi, Communications Intern In this increasingly globalized world, it comes as no shock that people are relying more and more on e-commerce to meet their demands. Companies are beginning to change their communications strategy to match their modern-day potential customer base that spans across the globe. Having a multilingual content strategy is no longer reserved for only the biggest of companies; it is increasingly crucial for even small to medium enterprises (SME) to…

Starting from “How Are You” – How Communication Barrier Goes Beyond Language

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Seven years ago, when I first came to Canada, the first culture shock I ever experienced was the question “How are you?” It was my biggest fear at the time, that someone would show up in front of me and burst out the words: “how are you?” I, feeling attacked, would have to answer in return, without having developed the conditioned response of replying with “I’m good.” Before I…