Reducing the Impact of Language Barriers in your Business

Forbes, in association with Rosette Stone Business, recently released an amazing study titled “Reducing the Impact of Language Barriers”.  The study speaks volumes about the need for businesses to improve their multilingual capabilities. It also points to the trajectory of businesses planning to internationalize in the future – and consequently, it reflects the increased need for a truly multilingual workforce or having resources in place to facilitate cross-language conversations.

In global, multicultural organizations, simply expecting all employees to speak one common language, such as English, marginalizes the potential impact of international talent and leaves monolingual staff ill-equipped to help the organization compete effectively in a globalized environment.

Key Points:
  • Survey of 100+ executives at companies with at least $500mm in sales (30% of these companies had over $10 billion in sales)
  • Monolingual staff leaves firms ill-prepared to operate on a global scale
  • The benefits of a multilingual workforce or access to translation capabilities can result in fewer mistakes, increased efficiency and productivity, and safety (an issue in light of increased overseas manufacturing facilities)
  • Great analogy on managers who speak the native language being informed earlier about mistakes in the banking industry (think deterioration of asset quality, NPLs .etc., in the financial crisis)
  • Impossible to succeed in emerging market economies if you don’t understand the language or become accustomed to culture
  • U.S-based firms are seriously disadvantaged relative to non-US firms – 75% of surveyed believe that it’s harder for US citizens to operate abroad due to language barriers than for non-US citizens to succeed in the U.S.

The full report can be viewed HERE.

Contact us to learn about how VerbalizeIt can help your international business.

Translator Spotlight – Judy Cheng

In our second installment of our “Translator Spotlight” series, we get to know Judy Cheng, another one of our amazing translators. Judy, who speaks English, Mandarin, and Spanish, earned over $550 in two days translating for VerbalizeIt!

Judy Cheng

Judy Cheng

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Queens NY, parents are from Taiwan

Where do you currently live?

Long Island, NY

What languages do you speak?

English, Mandarin, Spanish

How did you learn to speak more than one language?

When I was growing up, Mandarin was the main language spoken at home, and English was the language spoken outside of home. Spanish I learned in school, and continued to study it all through college.

How has being multi-lingual affected your life?

Being multi-lingual has opened many doors and has provided great benefits. For example, when applying for certain jobs, speaking more than one language is a requirement.

Why do you enjoy being a translator?

I enjoy being a translator because I love helping people. I’ve witnessed first hand the struggles some people have to go through because of language barriers.

What motivated you to become a translator for VerbalizeIt?

VerbalizeIt is a one of a kind, unique translating idea. There are so many translating companies all over the world, but none can compete with a human, who speaks the native language. The people at VerbalizeIt are very friendly, professional and are such a pleasure to work with.

What do you when you’re not translating for VerbalizeIt?

Because VebalizeIt offers such flexibility, I can go about with my normal routine. I am a part time hair dresser, and I manage a small restaurant.

What’s your best piece of advice for other translators?

My best advice for translators is to translate for customers as if it were for yourself. Give people the same attention you would want others to give you, if you were stuck in a similar situation.

What is your favorite travel location?

My all time favorite is Taiwan! Everything there is pure greatness! ;)

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include ballroom dancing, playing Mahjong with family and friends, and of course, shopping.

Do you have any interesting stories of a time when a language barrier was an issue for you?

When I went to Taiwan on vacation a couple of years ago, I decided to go shopping by myself. I saw a very small boutique that sold exotic, out-of-the-ordinary things. To make a long story short, the older lady spoke ONLY Taiwanese and we could not communicate. Because of the language barrier, my shopping experience was difficult and I wished someone was there to help me translate.

Visit to connect with Judy and all of the other great VerbalizeIt translators.

VerbalizeIt Translator Earns over $550 in Two Days!

Here at VerbalizeIt, our translators never cease to amaze us. One of our top translators, Judy Cheng, recently earned over $550 in two days!

Judy, who translates Chinese and Spanish into English (and vice-versa), tells us that she often translates through VerbalizeIt for Skype, “Skype is a great program to use, and I use it with a lot of students. I do a little bit of translations, but mostly language lessons. I work with the students to better their pronunciations and grammar. ”

One of Judy’s favorite translation tasks was a recent one she completed about women’s skincare and makeup, “It was very interesting for me and I learned quite a few tips!”

We asked Judy how fellow translators can maximize their income potential and she offered the following great advice:
“Translators need to take pride in their work. You have to be punctual and understand the importance of deadlines, and when a project needs to be done before a certain time, it NEEDS to be done, no excuses. Once you’re late, you are not only affecting your reputation, but the company you work for as well.  By proving that you possess great work ethics, you’ll get more work.”

Judy’s most unforgettable translation?  ”The most interesting, unforgettable translation I’ve ever done was on Skype. I had to help a wife and a husband translate what each other were saying. The wife was from China, and the husband was American. The translation started off calm, peaceful and professional…then….lets just say the conversation ended with 4 letter words I refused to repeat! That was a moment I will never ever forget, and I was glad I was behind a computer screen and not in person! ”

Judy’s success story can be yours, too!

If you’re interested in becoming a translator for VerbalizeIt, visit our translator page.

Allergy Translation, Don’t Trust Computers

We recently received a request from a prominent traveler to help him translate an English paragraph into Mandarin:

“Hello, can you recommend something on the menu that is gluten free. I’m very allergic, and will get sick if the food has any bread, breadcrumbs, soy sauce or wheat flour. If you don’t know, can you ask the cook?
Thank you.”

We sent the paragraph to one of our amazing VerbalzieIt Mandarin translators and they provided the following:

??????????? ?????????? ??????? ???
??? ??? ?????? ??

If you insert the correct translation into Google Translate, you’ll see the following result:

“Hello. Can you give me a little built instrument with no gluten food Service.
In response to the bit of my body is sensitive to gluten. My body can not have bread, bread flour, oil, flour. If you do not know, you asked the barber
Thank you”

Google Translate Result

If you suffer from any type of allergy then you understand how serious an error like this could potentially be. Would you trust the translation provided by Google Translate? Neither would we. VerbalizeIt puts you in touch with real, live human translators in an instant.

Learn more on our website:

Win Free Stuff!

Want to win this cool VerbalizeIt T-Shirt?

Here’s your chance!

To celebrate our new Skype App, we’re giving away a VerbalizeIt T-Shirt, a free Level 1 VerbalizeIt subscription, and we’ll feature one lucky winner right here on the VerbalizeIt Blog.  Here’s how to enter:

  1. Download the VerbalizeIt Skype App (3 entries)
  2. Follow VerbalizeIt on Twitter (1 entry)
  3. Like VerbalizeIt on Facebook (1 entry)
  4. Tweet about the VerbalizeIt/Skype contest (1 entry per day)
The contest will end on Friday, July 13th. So what are you waiting for?
Log in with Facebook or your Email below to get started!

Congrats to the Travel Shark Trip-in-a-Tweet Winner!

VerbalizeIt recently partnered with Travel Shark to offer a free 20 day VerbalizeIt subscription to the Travel Shark Trip-in-a-Tweet Contest winner. The theme for VerbalizeIt’s week of the contest was “Best Lost in Translation Moment”.

Chris Christensen

The contest received numerous worthy entries and the chosen winner was Chris Christensen (@Chris2x). Chris Christensen is the publisher of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and the best places to travel to.  It covers everything from knowing what to put on your Chicago dog when you go to the Windy City to swimming with whales in Tonga. It includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast and a blog.

Chris’ winning tweet:

“My Best Lost in Translation Moment was reading the Chinglish Menu items in Shanghai, lol #triptweet

Congratulations to Chris! We hope your VerbalizeIt subscription will help you better navigate your next trip into a foreign land.

Translator Spotlight – Armando Moncada

At VerbalizeIt, our translators are our greatest assets.  This is the first post in our ‘Translator Spotlight’ series. For this edition, we sat down with translator Armando Moncada to learn a little more about one of the many talented voices behind VerbalizeIt.

Where are you from?

El Paso, Texas

Armando Moncada

Armando Moncada

Where do you currently live? 

Glendale, California

What languages do you speak?

English and Spanish

How did you learn to speak more than one language?

I was raised in a bi-lingual home.  I learned to speak both languages simultaneously.

How has being multi-lingual affected your life?

Being bi-lingual has allowed me to have more opportunities and more choices in life.

Why do you enjoy being a translator?

Being a translator is a way for me to help other people communicate with one another.  With communication, human beings can resolve anything.

What motivated you to become a translator for VerbalizeIt?

I saw an opportunity to make a little extra money while talking to people from all different parts of the world.

What do you do when you’re not translating for VerbalizeIt?

I practice my computer programming skills, I read alot and I spend time in church.  I also volunteer at a non-profit center translating for them as well.

What’s your best piece of advice for other translators?

When translating, do  it in a cheerful manner, with a smile on your face.  This will be transmitted to both parties and will result in plenty of good will for VerbalizeIt

What is your favorite travel location?

The Mexican Riviera.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy photography, reading, fashion, american football, electronic gadgets, and exercising.

Do you have any interesting stories of time when a language barrier was an issue for you?

Once, when I was with the US NAVY, visiting Hong Kong, I was trying to buy some clothing in a shop from a young lady.  It was alot of fun using pantomime to communicate.

Visit to connect with Armando and all of the other great VerbalizeIt translators.