Florida has long been known as a multilingual state. So it goes without saying that translation services are a necessary component of a well-functioning Florida business that wants to engage with as many customers as possible within the state. Below we’ll look at why translation is needed in Florida, how many people speak a language other than English there, and how you can source the best language services provider for your business.
The need for translation in Florida
About 12.8 million of the 17.4 million people in Florida speak English only. Almost 4.6 million speak a language other than English and around 2 million of those people speak English less than “very well.” Meanwhile, about 3.3 million people speak Spanish, a little under half of whom spoke English less than “very well.”
By 2030, the estimation is that around 5.9 million people in the state will speak a language other than English at home, while 2.6 million of those people will speak English less than “very well.”
Florida has a higher than average number of people speaking Spanish natively. As represented on Statistical Atlas, a little over 20% of the state’s population speaks Spanish at home, which is around 7% above the US national average.
What all this shows is that it’s important for Florida businesses to consider translation services if they want to serve a decent percentage of the population. Below we’ll look at the benefits of translation services in more detail, as well as how you can find a top translation agency to meet your company’s needs.
The benefits of translation services
What is the concept of translation? It is the conversion of one language to another, usually in written form. Finding translation services for your business has several main benefits. Doing so shows your customers that you care enough about them and their culture to use their language.
As touched on above, you can reach the decent portion of Florida’s population who doesn’t speak English at the “very well” level. Given the numbers run into the millions, doing so has the potential to make a big difference to your bottom line.
Using a foreign language allows you to more easily communicate the complicated aspects of your business/products with potential customers if they do not speak English well. Finding the best translation services to do so allows you to communicate in a way that’s far more professional and culturally sensitive than if you tried to learn a language in passing.
When working with a top translation service, your individual translator will have the knowledge of your industry and know the specific terminology used in your profession.
If you want to start looking for translation services, it can be hard to know where to start. Below we’ll cover how to find the best translators or certified translators for your business.
How to find top translation services
The easiest way to go about obtaining high-quality translation services is to find a reputable agency. You can ask around your professional network so see if they’ve had good experiences with a certain agency. They might also recommend a proficient translator. You can also perform an internet search to look up well-reviewed translation services in your local area.
Once you find an agency, make sure to carefully vet it in light of your needs. What is the best online translation service? It’s one that provides outstanding language skills, specialist knowledge of your sector, and excellent customer service.
A few key components that you should specifically grill the translation service or translator on include:
- How long has that translator been working with the two languages they are translating between? Are they native in at least one of them?
- What is that translator’s background with your industry? For instance, have they translated business documents in the capacity you need them to, such as translating contracts?
- How easy is the translator to communicate with? Do they answer calls or emails in a timely manner and are they forthcoming in answering all your questions?
- How does the translator keep things organized? Do they use directories and other files to keep track of translated text? How do they keep your data secure?
It’s important to properly vet your translator, translation company, or translation services, so you may want to ask if they have referees you can check in with. Translation errors in a business setting could lead to improper instructions, inaccurate or misleading advertising materials, or even incorrect contract terms. All of these can have costly consequences.
The importance of localization
What are localization services? Localization goes above and beyond business translation. It is the process of making sure a message fits in with the culture surrounding the new language while retaining its original meaning to the fullest extent possible.
Localization is especially important if you plan to use translation services to adapt a marketing message into a new language and culture. It adapts all aspects of the message into the new culture, including graphics, layout/design, and other practical aspects such as converting currency signs.
Localization is important if you plan to offer a website in a new language. This service can help adjust the website to fit local consumption habits, change small details like address layout, and make sure the layout of the website fits the new language.
Another key use of localization is to make sure the message addresses local regulations and legal requirements if you plan to sell beyond your local market. These can include making sure you abide by privacy laws, disclaimers required by other locations, labeling requirements, and accessibility requirements.
Do businesses in Florida need interpreters?
Another component of reaching non-English speakers is interpreting. What is the difference between interpretation and translation? While translation handles the text of your business, interpreters can translate your conversations in real-time.
If your business plans to have many meetings with people who are non-English speaking, for example, you will most likely need a language interpreter.
Your business may also work directly with clients who are non-English speaking. For instance, if you run a clinic, some of your patients may be non-English speaking and you may need an interpreter.
Video interpreting has made it easier than ever to have an interpreter present. Many interpreter services now offer this as an option, especially in a world that has undergone the massive changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with translation services, vet your interpreter agency by asking detailed questions similar to those you would ask of a translator.
By following these tips, you can expand your business to meet the local needs of the millions of non-English speakers in your community.