communication errors cover photo

Distinct communication errors you should be aware of

Famous George Bernard Shaw has once said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Find out most common communication error to master negotiation skill and get a better understanding of human nature.

Don’t let people die from boredom

Is the conversation really necessary? People now live much faster lives than ever before, mostly due to the technological advancements. They don’t have time for minor and meaningless information. First think what you want to say and why you want to do it. When you are ready, start addressing energetically and purposefully.

Don’t be shy of new technologies

If you follow the rule if it’s not broken, then don’t change, we have some really bad news for you. This will most likely make you fall behind the very fast growing and developing technology market. If your smartphone is more than three years old, 100% it does not support the newest communication applications. Only advice on this: live with the time!

Don’t send e-mails or text messages in hurry

Text messages and e-mails are practically eternal. Be careful and proof read everything you are about to send; otherwise you may have to regret it. Gmail has rolled out a new feature undo which postpones email sending for a few seconds so the user would have time to recall it, before it’s too late.

Be precise

Be in agreed place on agreed time; don’t postpone meetings without real need. Keep in mind that time is money. It explains it all.

Trash the fax machine

It’s the PDF era now. Neither you nor your partner needs additional phone line for that. Many choose to store documents in the e-mail or cloud storage rather than in printed form. You will do a small favor to the nature, in addition – locating the necessary document will be much faster and comfortable.

Don’t carry more than you can lift

First, think about what you are speaking to and what language you should use so he would understand you the best. Second, people who try to sound smarter than they actually are, most of the time don’t understand what they have answered in the end and no longer recall the question, too.

Choose an appropriate communication form

There are hundreds if not thousand different communication platforms available today. It often happens that people choose ones who can’t deliver the expected results. Email is great for long and official correspondence. Text messaging and chat rooms are great tools for short and urgent conversations. But phone call is still the best way to remotely discuss confidential or particularly sensitive information. We recommend that you learn these differences and use each of the above appropriately.

Let’s try to improve others by improving ourselves! And remember – important is not only the content of the information, but also the way it is presented.

speaker in front of an audience

Ten things that a good speaker will never say

Everyone knows how hard it is to overcome stress and capture audience’s attention with the first sentences of presentation. If you fail to do it within the first minutes, you will not be able to do it at all. To make sure you succeed, we suggest to stick to these 10 simple advice what to do or say (and what not) during your presentation.

I’m tired or sleepy

One of five presentations in any conference starts with words similar to: “Only yesterday I found out that I will need to deliver a speech on…” or “I’m really tired from the trip”, or any other excuse nobody actually wants to hear. The audience is there to see and hear the best you can deliver. If you are not feeling good and cannot give a presentation, then perhaps its better to cancel it at all. Or drink a cup of espresso and overcome the problems!

Do you hear me? Yes, we do!

A lot of people start their speeches or presentations by knocking to the microphone or shouting: “Can everybody hear me?”, followed by an awkward smile when realizing everyone hears well but simply do not react in any way.

It is not your obligation to check the equipment, there are usually people responsible for it. If not, do the check up before the audience has taken their seats. If you get a feeling that the microphone is not working properly during your speech or presentation, do not panic. Just relax, count to three and try again. If you think that the sound is still bad then quietly go off the stage and tell the event host to solve the problem. In general, the key is staying calm and positive, show others that you are in charge of what is happening.

I do not see you because the light is too bright

Yes, when you are on a stage, lights are bright and hot making harder to see the audience. But this does not mean they have to know it. Look in the dark, smile often and try to feel as if you would be at home. Conversely, if you want to see the audience in the vicinity then feel free to move around the room and enter the spectator area. Do not squint or close your eyes. Politely ask the staff to reduce the lightening if you need to see the raised hands in a Q&A session. In perfect case you should arrange all of this beforehand the presentation, not during it.

Can you read the text?

Rule of thumb is that presentation font size should be twice as much as the average age of the audience. For instance, if the average age of the conference members is 40 years, then the font of your presentation should be at least 80 pixels. If the font size is 80 pixels, you will not be able to write much text on each slide. Another benefit, as you will find out in the next point.

I will read the slide aloud

Never ever create slides with long texts that people should take the time to read. If there’s no other way, at least do not read them out loud. This is the single best way to lose the attention of your audience! What happens when the slide is more than a few words? People are starting to read it. What happens when they start to read? Immediately cease to listen to you. Use only short titles and descriptions (and of course, other visual materials like tables, graphs etc.), learn the rest of the text by heart.

Turn off your electronic devices

Days you could ask the audience to switch off their mobile devices are long gone. Today people tweet about interesting observations (which can be facts or conclusions from your presentation!!!), note key thoughts on their iPads, or just play solitaire, or check their Facebook news feed. You cannot control them, but you can deliver a presentation or speech so good and exciting that they will put the devices away themselves. Demanding the attentions is not effective approach. Earn it instead.

You do not need to take notes or pictures because the presentation will be available online

Of course, it is super handy that the presentation will be available on the Internet, but knowing that your presentation is not overfilled with text blocks, uploaded file will not be of great value without additional notes the listener should take himself. For many people writing is the easiest way to learn and remember new information. In addition, it gives freedom to the audience so that they can do whatever is best for them.

Let me answer on this question

Of course, it is a great thing you are capable of answering a question on the spot. But before doing that, you have one thing to remember. Often the speaker hears the question very well, but not the rest of the audience. So, as a presenter, you should first repeat the question and only after deliver the answer on it.

I will be brief and quick

Nobody cares about it. People who are there to listen to you have devoted their time to gain new knowledge, to be inspired or to get any other kind of benefit. You can give a time frame, but in such case you have to keep the promise.

Time is out? How can it be? I have 20 more slides to show

If you have not prepared for the presentation (meaning you need more time for it than you actually have), it is a complete failure. Cut slides or text to fit into the time allocated to you. Remember to leave approximately 5 minutes at the end of the presentation so the audience can address you questions regarding the information you have provided. If they do not have any questions, then invite them to join you at the coffee table, where you will be able to talk to some of them face to face. To sum it up, prepare for the presentation you are going to deliver. Be yourself, but in the same time a professional in your field of expertise. The audience will love you if the presentation will be direct, serious (of course, some jokes are acceptable) and useful.

phoenix dent repair

Dent Removal Phoenix translation project

Today we are going to tell you about our client Dent Removal Phoenix,llc and the project of introducing their service of paintless dent removal for repairing hail damage in a number of different locations. This project involved not only translating the technical material of the services description but also adapting it to the different culture of the different locations. Also we worked not only with the translation and adaptation of the text, but also designed the marketing materials for them. This is a highlighted example of the services that we here at RRD Translations offer.

First about our client. Dent Removal Phoenix is a business located in Phoenix, Arizona, and offers the innovative service of paintless removal of different dents, dings and hail damage. This service rids your car from all dents ranging from the smallest dents caused by hail to the largest dents caused by traffic accidents. For this service to be able to help you all that is required is that the original paint work of your car is not damaged. The originality of the factory paint will also be maintained through the repair process, and this is the first advantage of this innovative service. But a more important advantage to most of us that this service offers is the economy of time and money compared to the other well-known techniques for repairing dents. Their offered services can be both carried out in house at their repair shop located in Phoenix, Arizona or as a mobile paintless dent repair service at a location convenient to the client. The service makes use of a number of specially designed tools to first push out the dent from behind of the damaged panel, then an adhesive tool is used to pull the remaining ding out. All of the paintess dent removal process is done under a special fluorescent lightning that helps to highlight the damaged area and ensures that all of the damage is taken out and no trace is left of it.

Dent Removal Phoenix marketing material sample

Now about the project we did. Dent Removal Phoenix came to us with a project that required translating their material on repairing hail damage with paintless dent repair technique for a number of locations that they aim to expand their business in. These are areas where hail is a common occurrences, and so car owners are in need of the services offered. The project included not only working with a translation of a technical material filled with specific terms but also adapting the material so that it fits best the different culture for each location. This required us to know the local customs and life approach to be able to reach our clients target audience in a way that would ensure a transaction takes place. As their service boasts with a number of different advantages, it was our challenge to correctly highlight the top advantage for each location. In one area, people prefer the quality of the work carried out, in another the money saved by choosing this service is appreciated the most, in yet another place time saved is valued the highest. After translating and adopting Dent Removal Phoenix paintless dent repair service for hail damage offer, we also developed a number of different marketing materials for them to aid the market penetration process.

machine translations cover photo

Machine translated text. Go or no go?

Nowadays increasing number of people is ready to rely on various translation-machine solutions. This time we are not just talking about Google Translate that is not capable of flawlessly translating a longer and more complex text, but also a variety of other solutions whose ads claim to provide generally accurate output.

Literal translation

It should be understood that by translating any text with a help of any web tool or application, the software’s algorithm perceived each and every word literally and, hence, provides a literal translation. For this reason, the text becomes unsaturated with imaginative language expressions such as sayings, aphorisms and idioms, and, simply put, is too static. Any expression in English will never mean exactly the same in other languages, as well as different words may have different meanings usage of which depends on the context and logic. Translation-machines are not able to choose the most appropriate translation in any given situation.

The tenses for verbs differ

As we have already discussed in other posts of our website, languages are diverse not only in aspect of writing style, word meaning and other criteria, but also the tenses. To illustrate, there is a small Baltic country – Estonia. Its language has only four tenses – one present tense and three past tenses. Judge yourself, how would a text in English speaking of company’s future plans translated to Estonian look. Would software recognize this? You are right, it would not!

Failure to check the translation result

Obviously if someone is using a translation-machine, his abilities in the respective language are quite limited. But what should one do if he would want to check whether the result is correct? The solution for this is to show the text to someone who is familiar with the corresponding language. But perhaps it is a much wiser decision to entrust the job to a professional translator from the very beginning? We bet he fill do a better and more qualitative work and you will be able to avert potential misunderstandings and disagreements that may arise if a phrase, sentence or whole document is processed inaccurately.

All in all, translation-machines are quite handy when it’s necessary, let’s say, to translate simple texts that are necessary to communicate with familiar people like your family or friends. But, for different document or longer material translation which should be both stylistically and orthographically correct, machine offered solutions should be avoided. Professional interpreters will do the assigned work in outstanding quality with a 100% guarantee.

Good to be bad

Below is an amazing ad for Superbowl 2014 from Jaguar. One would expect this commercial to be boradcasted only in the US. It would be a logical guess because the rest of the world actually does not care about football… But the truth is.. It has been adapted to more than 50 countries speaking more than 70 different languages. One piece of art from an marketing company, but hundreds from us – translators!

ELIA logo

RRD Translations at ELIA Together

Three month ago our translation bureau received an invitation to European Language Industry Association (ELIA) organized event Together which took place in Barcelona. We decided to seize this opportunity and here is how it went for us…

It was a two day program with many thematic conferences and seminars, and a ton of networking with new business opportunities. All in all around 350 participants from 37 countries, including the US and China, took participation in Together. First thing to impress was the participant openness, which is usually not present in the framework of other one industry organized events. It was like we all would be a single and unite family, without any breakdowns in professionals and newbies. Natural and super friendly atmosphere allowed and promoted a free discussion with other about the scope of work, methodology, future trends and many other important topics.

In regard to seminars, their presenters mostly expressed well known opinions and conclusion, but which had not been expressed in words up till that very moment. In particular, about the establishment of successful business relationship. To illustrate, Sette Robert from Colorado revealed a mind blowing paradox – those involved in translation industry help their clients to better address the audience, but forget to communicate with each other. Interpreters forget to share and exchange their experiences, know-hows and so on.

Another important aspect that S. Robert spoke about is the last minute or so called ASAP orders. There may be situations when deadlines have to be extended due to initially imprecise information, especially if the project is on several tens of pages. Even a single word replacement to a synonym can take days if not weeks. Additional problem with large scope projects is the number of involved interpreters. Too many people doing the same task may take more time. Why? Because in the end somebody will have to spend time consolidating pieces of translation every interpreter will have delivered. To conclude, in some cases less may be more!

Next topic that caught our undivided attention was relating the privacy issues of translation work. Confidentiality of interpreter occupation appears to matter greatly, just like breathing does to a human being. But there are still colleagues of our trade who face leaks on regular basis. Although not deliberate, it still does a lot of damage not only to the translator or his employer, but the whole industry as well.

Last but not least presentation that had a huge impact on us was by Neil Ferguson, the famous translation tool Trados SDL representative who have previously worked for different language and communication tech companies. From his own experience and research he provided quite shocking figures – 85% of tech business related employees (especially engineers) tend to use three or more terms when talking about the same item or process. Meanwhile, on average 50% of employees know and use on a daily basis terminology, but does not understand the meaning of it!

And that is about it. Hope You enjoyed reading about key acknowledgments of our participation in ELIA Together. Hope we will get an invitation next year, too.