Thanks to the Internet, companies can leap over most geographical barriers to conduct business globally. But language barriers remain a tough hurdle.
Increasingly, though, translation software is making it easier to do business in other languages. While computer translation isn’t perfect — human input is still needed to ensure complete accuracy — the latest programs are faster and more accurate than earlier generations of translation tools.
That’s helping businesses decipher foreign-language Web pages, news reports and documents, translate company communications for foreign workers and reach customers around the world in their own languages.
Ford Motor Co. uses translation software from Systran SA of France, along with some human input, to convert vehicle-assembly instructions written in English into four languages: Spanish, German, Portuguese and Dutch. It also uses software from Applications Technology Inc., of McLean, Va., for translations from English to Turkish. Nestor Rychtyckyj, a Ford technical specialist in artificial intelligence, says that while machine translation still isn’t 100% accurate, it has improved over the years and is good enough to convey the substance of instructions to foreign workers.
Read more: Wall Street Journal