Translation Services on an International Stage

Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” in 1962 to describe how electronic mass media overcame the physical boundaries of the world and brought nations closer together as they exchanged cultures and transacted business. The rise of the internet and email brought the world even closer together, as people from across the world discover shared interests and interact via online communities. But for all its idealism, the global village still has some boundaries to overcome, one of which is language.Language barriers aren’t insurmountable, people can still communicate and make themselves understood even when a common language is lacking, but when it comes to business conferences, political summits and international events misunderstandings that can be laughed off in an informal setting can be disastrous. And that’s where translation services come into their own.Consider, if you will, the upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa, or the 2012 Olympics in London; even though they are sports events they play out on an enormous international scale, cross-cultural connections are made, international relations are solidified and politicians set aside their differences for a few weeks at a time to cheer alongside one another. And while the potential for forging friendships and alliances is strong, so it is the potential for real or imagined slights and insults, especially as emotions run high.Often ambassadors or representatives are accompanied by their own trusted translators, whom they have used on numerous occasions and with whom they know they work well. But sometimes host countries have to provide translation services to their guests, and on an international stage such as the Olympics or Soccer World Cup, hosts need to ensure that they can cater to all languages, even the most obscure and least known, from Arabic and French to Uzbek and Tuvaluan.English is generally considered to be a universal language, but it would be a mistake to make that assumption in any instance with potential language barriers, no matter how big or how small. An important aspect of the global village is not only increased interaction but also increased consideration. To make the most of cross cultural meetings the provision of translation services is a must.

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