Tech Insider

Susan Gryder | Nextgov | July 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Agencies Can Tap Tech to Bridge Language Divides


Susan Gryder is the government industry director for Lionbridge.

Government agencies must refocus their strategies to support the languages of everyday life to ensure they reach all citizens—regardless of their native language—in a seamless manner.

The way government agencies engage with constituents is changing dramatically because of two critical factors. First, globalization and immigration are creating more diverse populations than ever before, with populations that speak limited English growing larger by the day. Second, the explosion of emerging digital technologies has dramatically shifted consumer expectations so constituents now expect access to information across all channels, at any time, in any language.

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Current executive orders in the U.S. require local government and federal agencies to provide equal access to information to limited English proficiency speakers. Ineffective communications can result in regulatory noncompliance for the agency but could prohibit individuals from having access to services that impact their everyday lives like paying taxes or applying for Social Security.

Many government agencies struggle to be truly multilingual. The public sector, however, can lean on translation and interpretation technologies such as over-the-phone interpretation and real-time translation for self-service and agent-assisted communications channels to interact with all constituents regardless of language. This allows them to overcome emerging trends that include:

As the public sector continues to evolve because of new technologies, globalization and ever-changing regulatory requirements, government agencies are refocusing their priorities to adapt to these pressures. Leveraging translation and interpretation solutions to increase language breadth and provide multichannel support is opening new opportunities for the public sector to ensure effective communications, reduce costs and maintain compliance.