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Governments Need to Provide Critical Information in Relevant Languages

Sören Stamer

By Sören Stamer

May 5, 2020

Brands Communicate in Multiple Languages Simultaneously and Governments Must Do the Same to Save Lives

Imagine you run a major country and a pandemic hits. You move quickly and assemble the right experts. They develop a detailed plan for responding and you get all government agencies aligned. Then it’s time to instruct and convince the public. You give a convincing and honest speech on prime time TV. Newspapers report it and your call to action is trending on social media. To make sure citizens can find all necessary information, you provide a comprehensive digital guide, an app and multiple websites.

BUT IN HOW MANY LANGUAGES?

So let’s assume you run the German government. You would certainly publish all information in German first. And to make sure you’d be understood by most foreigners living in Germany English would be a good second choice.

But what about all the other languages spoken in Germany? In 2018, 24% of Germany’s population had a foreign background. There are 19.3M immigrants, including 2.8M from Turkey, 2.1M from Poland, 1.4M from Russia, 1.2M from Kazakhstan, 859K from Italy, 859K from Romania, 706K from Syria and many more from other countries. All of them would benefit from having access to critical information in their mother language. Could you communicate your message in a dozen different languages at once?

GOVERNMENTS SHOULD PROVIDE CRITICAL INFORMATION IN ALL RELEVANT LANGUAGES SIMULTANEOUSLY

At CoreMedia, we learned how important efficient and effective communication is working with the global brands YOOX Net-A-Porter Group, Pandora and Luxottica. First and foremost, you better communicate in all the native languages of your audience if you want to be heard and understood. But In times like COVID-19, breaking down language barriers becomes essential for governments as well.

This might sound challenging – publishing and maintaining all of your content in a dozen or more different languages – but it doesn’t have to be.

Mastering simultaneous language translation has been a big challenge for big brands. On top of antiquated workflows (including a reliance on Excel spreadsheets), things have gotten even more complicated with multiple visual elements to be orchestrated as well. But there was no way around it – they couldn’t ignore this requirement. And that’s why over the past decade a wave of innovation has done into multi-language, multi-site and multi-country content management development.

COVID-19 PROVES HOW IMPORTANT MULTI-LANGUAGE PUBLISHING IS FOR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

COVID-19 is the defining global challenge of our time. Our lives and wellbeing are at risk in every country around the globe and we need everybody to do their part so we stay safe. This is why governments need to take their cue from global brands and start communicating in dozens of different languages at once.

In an ideal world, everyone living in every country would receive official information not just in a timely manner but also in a form easily understood – which means in their mother tongue.

Only if everybody understands what they need to do to stay safe can they do their part to fight this pandemic. In this regard, digital media has been essential. We’ve all learned more about the virus, faster as well as what to do than was possible even just a few years ago. And our collective behavior adjusted quickly because of it.

But let’s make sure nobody is left out.

THE EFFORT TO PUBLISH IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES CAN BE REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY

Advanced content management technology like CoreMedia Content Cloud enables organizations to communicate in multiple languages across all their digital channels at no extra effort or cost. Translations can be outsourced to translation agencies and augmented by translation memory systems. Dependencies between languages and subsequent edits are automatically tracked and orchestrated.

By integrating the editorial and translation process right into the content management system, content editors remain in full control of all languages. Translated content is automatically updated in all digital channels. And additional languages can easily be added afterwards.

To support the fastest possible publication of new content, the system can take advantage of fallback languages or algorithmic translations to include only those elements that haven’t been translated yet.

One of our global brand customers reported that all of their translations – 14 languages in various markets around the world – are managed by just a single employee using CoreMedia Content Cloud with Translations.com.

That is impressive communication power for a brand. There’s no reason why governments shouldn’t be able to do this, too. And they need to, because our lives depend on it.

 

Sören Stamer

Sören Stamer

Sören Stamer is head ninja, top strategist, main innovation engine, and chief optimist of CoreMedia. As CEO he leads the company’s vision: forward focused while acutely aware of today’s competitive climate. Sören’s interest is in the power of massive networks to bring about massive change. A pioneering advocate of social media, he has contributed important thought leadership on web content strategy, digital rights management, and enterprise 2.0. Along with a Master of Business Administration (Diplom-Kaufmann) from the University of Hamburg, he has extensive startup and leadership experience, co-founding CoreMedia in 1996