"Every language is a world. Without translation, we would inhabit parishes bordering on silence."
George Steiner
"Our company will provide that cultural component that is so important to truly have all parties understand what is being converted from one language to another. This cannot be done by a machine, or by a person that has just studied the language, but only by a person who has lived it."
Shane Auxier – VP

A Culture Based Approach to Language

Here at Song Birds International we believe that Culture is a huge piece of effective communication, and how it effects the Interpretation or Translation from one language to another. However, many Industries either misunderstand or just do not see the significance that this plays in the part of the message being delivered or received. This misnomer unfortunately can cause the message to be distorted or lost all together. Mu Hpare has witnessed this first hand working as a Professional Interpreter in the past. It is more to just understanding how to speak or write the language. Words can be Interpreted or Translated to have different meanings based upon the Culture or Sub-Culture that is involved in the conversation.

Let us first explain the definition of Culture and how it applies to language.

Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. - Wikipedia 2017.

Culture is what makes countries, regions, or societies unique based on their specific way of life that has been passed on from generation to generation.  Just as if genetics may make a person look differently from region to region. Each Cultural group may vary from diet, rituals, religion, language, or even concept. For example: In the country of Myanmar the common American gestures of patting someone on the back to congratulate them for a good job or the gesturing of someone from afar with your hand to come toward you can be very offensive or disrespectful. This isn’t something that a machine or a person who just understands the language may know. This is Cultural Norms that come from people that have been immersed within the Culture itself, either from being born into it or from a person who has lived within it for a considerable amount of time.

Many countries have an official language, but within that country there may be many other languages or dialects that speak and understand things differently. For example: The United States the official language is English, but there are many who do not speak or understand English, or you may speak and understand English from the state of Iowa, but when speaking to someone in Louisiana that may have some French influence it may be hard for both parties to understand each other fully. 

Educational level will have a huge impact on the understanding of each other. This is one common thing that Language Lines do not account for. For example: in the American Hospital setting it was found that not all English-speaking people were understanding the Medical Terminology that Medical Professionals were explaining to them. There had to be a major overhaul of how the Medical field was explaining the information to their patients. The Information passed on had to be explained at a 6th grade level for most Patients to understand it. Now, put this in the context of English to Karenni (A Myanmar Hill Tribe Dialect) who has more than likely had little to no education in their country let alone any idea what is being said in English. 

Many languages do not have a word that can be translated from one language to another. For example, in Karenni: The word "Release" in Release of Information does not exist.  This will be extremely difficult to explain if the Interpreter or Translator does not have any idea about the Karenni culture.

As you have just read there are many facets to Culture and how it affects the message being transmitted or received. Wouldn’t you want your message or the message you are to receive to be clear? Mu Hpare, CEO of Song Birds International, wants that for you as well. Contact Us Now, and remove all the worry.

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