We spent over 5 years of full-time researching Language, Translation and Communication because we really wanted to discover everything there was to know and discover about Language, Translation and Communication. Not the academic stuff, the on the ground, stuff. We wanted to answer a simple question: If communication was important (and it is) why weren't brands communicating with their customers in their language?
This is what our over 5 years of research looked like: we scrounged and saved and begged and borrowed and spoke and emailed and messaged and posted and wrote for over 5 years in an effort to research Language, Translation and Communication. We knew you could translate documents. We knew there was a need for translated documents. We knew there were billions of people in the world that did not read English (even native speakers). We wanted to know why translation wasn't done by default, what was missing?
It was really obvious to us there was a problem that needed to be solved and discovering the solution to the problem took us 5 years. The problem we needed to solve is best illustrated by Amnesty International's Amnesty International Report 2021/2022. The report in English is 416 pages of beautifully formatted text and images, the report in Armenian is 4 pages of text, there is no way the Armenian version is as thorough as the English version. It's the equivalent of in school you getting the warm soggy tomato sandwich for lunch and everyone else getting steaming hot chips...
This is not to single out Amnesty International, it's to highlight how big the problem is. This was happening with millions of organisations globally. If Amnesty International, an organisation devoted to human rights worldwide cannot get their yearly report translated so each one of their stakeholders got the same version no matter the language they read, something was missing, something big because if it wasn't, Amnesty International would have used it.
In a world where nothing was in the way - Amnesty International had an original document they would get translated into as many languages they could, have the document look the same whatever language someone read or could hear/understand. On the surface, quality translations available quickly looks like it would solve Amnesty International's issue, except they are already available. Machine Learning might not be perfect but its better than no translation and it's capable of translating the full 416 pages of the original document into many different languages. The solution that seemed obvious didn't solve the problem, which meant we didn't know what the problem was. This was a regular occurrence for us, we would test a problem and solution and see if they fit, then test again.
We had over 5 years of research notes, recordings, discussions, technology, software, documents, emails and post it notes available to us. We were constantly checking them to discover a solution to the problem. We wanted people and organisations to be able to communicate with their customers, staff, community, stakeholders and the world in their language, while maintaining their brand identity.
When we asked Brands about why they didn't translate their documents, the most common answer was they wanted better translation. Many had stories of information being lost in translation and felt that better translations would solve the problem. That if better translations were available, they would get more documents translated. This was an interesting finding, mostly because of some research we had done earlier:
It didn't matter what was communicated, even if it was between two native speakers of the same language, something was always lost in translation. Better translations wouldn't necessarily result in better communication. You could already get incredibly good human translations, where very little was lost in translation and yet Brands were not using those resources either.
The next few most prevalent responses were:
We had to assume that Brands were telling us what they wanted, we just couldn't hear it - we had to create new methods of research and questioning to discover what was missing.
We could go on talking about our research for about 5 more years but we won't - if you want to hear more about our research, we will be happy to elaborate for minutes or hours (you get a choice), you should contact us.
We discovered the answer by speaking to:
The people who read the translations:
They told us that they wanted you to give them the same document whatever language. They didn't want the text only "crappy" version that had half the content. They wanted you to come half way and show that you cared what language they spoke. They wanted to be included in your communications.
They wanted a way to know if a document was translated just by looking at it. They didn't want to have to search the internet or call someone, they wanted a easily recognisable mark put on a document to tell them it was translated and a quick and easy way to access those translations.
The TStreet QR code was created.
By putting the QR code with the T in the middle, people would not only know the document was translated but they could use their phone or computer to access those translations. We then created a purpose-built translation distribution system so that it was fast, effective and easy to use.
The people who create your documents
They didn't want to translate documents not because the translation took a long time or was costly. That was the easy part, they spent 90% of the translation time reformatting each documents language. Even better would be a tool that allowed them to create a document that looked great in every language.
We created software that allows us and in the future our customers to create a single document in multiple languages in real time. One you are happy with the document, you can publish it anywhere, including to our translation distribution system. Any changes to the original document change all the translations in real time, so you never have to worry about dealing with hundreds of different versions.
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
490 Old Cleveland Road, Brisbane, QLD 4152
09:00 am – 05:00 pm