Mining companies are global in nature. They operate and excavate precious resources in one part of the world and send them to other parts of the world. Their headquarters are often not located in the country of operation.
Consequently, their staff are spread out throughout the world, hail from different cultures and countries, and speak many languages.
Clear, effective communication is necessary to successfully carry out the day-to-day tasks and to reach business goals. In a mining company, the communication needs to be also multilingual, and sometimes, multicultural. In this post, we’ll talk about why multilingual, multicultural communication is important, what needs translation, and how you can achieve it.
Why translate internal communication?
Given the global nature of their work, the staff of mining companies speak different languages. For the smooth conduct of business, clear and effective intra-company communication is essential. Only then can all the employees work together towards their common goals.
Some companies may think that having one language across the company is sufficient. And, usually, this is English. The people at headquarters may expect employees at other locales to speak English, irrespective of their native tongues.
This can lead to misunderstandings, as the English proficiency of overseas employees may vary. Such misunderstandings may cause errors, which may turn out to be grave sometimes. They may lead to accidents at worst and inefficiencies at best. They may also lead to feelings of alienation among the employees and contribute to labor strife.
In some locales, it may be required by law that the communication with local employees be in the local language. This helps in better outcomes for training programs, better understanding of compliance requirements and safety regulations.
In mining companies, safety is a priority, and hence in-language communication must be followed.
What needs to be translated internally?
Critical information: Every employee needs to be aware of the company’s goals, so they can work towards these goals. This is important not only for the realization of overall business goals, but also for the individual performance requirements of the employee. Select the language or languages most commonly spoken by your employees and translate this information into those languages first.
Company/Sector jargon: Every sector has terminology that is specific to it. And, then a company might have its own set of terms or jargon to refer to its products and processes. Translating them is important so that you are sure that the terms are understood accurately, without any room for misunderstanding.
Company newsletters: Keeping employees informed of the goings-on in the company is a good way to keep them engaged. They can participate in company events, assimilate company values, and collaborate better.
Training material: When you train staff in their languages, they are able to learn and understand better. They can adhere to the company’s internal processes better. This leads to a coherence in the working of the company across all departments and locales. In some countries, it might even be required by law that the employees be trained in the local language.
Communication between the employees: This can be in the form of mails, memos, and the like. These are typically more urgent. They may not be voluminous all the time, but accurate understanding of the message is required.
Processes for translation of internal communication
Reaching any goal in a multinational company involves translation. Here are some guidelines to follow to achieve efficient translation.
Localize and translate for each locale. Company documents must be localized and translated to suit every location where the company is operating from. This ensures accurate understanding of the information by all employees. They can and should give feedback on the quality of translations and suggest documents for which they need translations. Translations must be coordinated centrally so that quality consistency can be maintained.
Collect data on languages for translation. Don’t assume the languages of choice of your employees. Ask them which languages they would prefer to have the translations in. You can always prioritize and translate in batches, if you can’t accommodate all the languages at once.
Work with an experienced translation partner. Internal document translation requires constant collaboration with a translation company. It must not only be a veteran translation company, but must also have significant experience in the mining domain. They can advise you on the different processes to be followed for different types of content. For instance, you might need a machine translation (MT) solution for translating emails on the fly. For longer documents related to training or safety regulations, for instance, may need to go through a more conventional process of translation, editing, and proofreading.
Mining companies create a lot of documentation and a significant part of this is for internal consumption. Translating internal documents makes for effective communication when the sender and receiver speak different languages. It leaves no room for error and miscommunications. Most importantly, it makes both parties feel included. Neither party is forced to speak another language in which their fluency might not be the same as in their native language.
Partner with Lexcelera today for accurate and fast translation for efficient communication within your company.
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