Benefits of language standardization - Multilizer Translation Blog

Benefits of Language Standardization

Benefits-of-language-standardization-bLanguage standardization practically means that there are predefined guidelines and vocabulary for writing content. It isn’t a good method for novels or other emotional texts because it can make the story a bit monotonous, repetitive and robot-like. However, there are plenty of other text types that would benefit from some standardization ─ especially in the business world.

Any company can collect a glossary or write a style guide in order to standardize their communication through all the communication. Here are some of the benefits of language standardization from business point of view.

1. Simplicity & Professionalism Increase

Sometimes the industry itself carries a certain set of terms that everyone knows and uses actively. By choosing to use the same words, it’s easier to communicate with other people in the same industry. It’s much more straightforward to talk about things and phenomena when there is a mutual understanding of the terms. This all makes sense and encourages companies to absorb this type of language standardization.

One term can contain a lot of information. Without the standardized term describing the same thing in other words could become complex and take multiple sentences. For example lawyers and doctors learn to speak with specific terms in order to shorten the text or speech, and to decrease the chances of misunderstandings and unclear statements.

For the potential customers and stakeholders ─ who may not even understand the jargon themselves ─ utilize it as an indicator of credibility. The correct and standardized communication style shows that the company is professional and it knows the business environment well.

2. Brands Become Clearer

Branding is another reason why an organization should pay attention to the language. Branding is more than just choosing a name, a logo and colors. The words which are used when speaking about products or brands shape the attitudes of the audience. Even ordinary words may be charged with emotions.

Unintentional meanings or impropriate word choices may harm the brand. It’s not the same whether a restaurant offers food, meals, dinners or culinary experiences. Most companies tend to do this kind of language standardization but they rarely write it down as real guidelines.

One-man offices probably execute uniform brand management without separate guide books, but big companies with many content writers need to make sure everyone knows ‘the official language’ and its limits. People are more likely to become emotionally attached to a brand which constantly delivers clear and coherent messages.

3. User Experience Improves

Language standardization plays an especially vital role in the area of technology. Standardization makes sure that new innovations get unified vocabulary everywhere. In consumer markets technical terms can be difficult for users to understand. Still it’s always easier to learn one term than many similar and variable terms which feel like synonyms but only confuse people.

Software is usually an application which has only short sentences or single words every here and there. The most important is that people can learn how to use the tool. Whether they enjoy the ‘reading experience’ is less important. This is why software user experience might improve with language standardization. If every item and action only has one expression, the user knows what will happen next when he clicks the button. Predictability and consistency have a clear effect on the overall opinion of the software quality. This is why almost all software applications use standard terms like ‘open’, ‘close’ and ‘menu’.

In worst cases software users think that the application doesn’t work when the real reason is bad word choices. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t always simple to identify. From the user perspective, the outcome of both technical issues and lousy usability is the same: he can’t achieve what he wants to do. The company only sees negative impact on the sales.

4. Localization Is Easer & Faster

In software localization the benefits of language standardization come forth quickly. To ensure coherent user experience across all language versions, the original language needs to be well thought. Otherwise, all the possible mistakes will be multiplied with the number of languages.

Another reason is language technologies and tools. Languages are extremely illogical and full of irregularities. This is a challenge to translation technologies. If the language is controlled, technologies become more useful and the quality increases. For example, today machine translation quality is highest with extremely controlled languages, like in the machine usage manuals.

Even without using machine translation, language standardization eases the work of professional translators as well. CAT tools and translation memories become more usable when the language is standardized. Translators could take full advantage of their tools and improve translation speed. For the company this means faster and more cost-effective translation projects.

 


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