How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Translations

Translation is essential for today’s global businesses.  Translation allows multilingual teams to work together, makes it possible to communicate rules and operating procedures to employees around the world and enables businesses to communicate with an international audience.

But the translation process doesn’t always go smoothly, and the resulting problems can negatively impact businesses and consumers alike. That said,  most of these problems are solvable. Here’s our take on how to solve the biggest problems with translations.

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Translations: Communication and Project Management

Translation projects often involve stakeholders from around the world. Differing time zones, differing communication styles and differing cultural expectations can all combine to create roadblocks to completing the project efficiently.

A centralized project management approach is often the best way to solve this particular problem.  There are a lot of moving parts in any large-scale translation project, and having one team to manage them makes it easier to strike a balance. When you work with a language services provider who specializes in project management, efficiency improves. There are fewer opportunities for misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. Plus, your organization gains a host of other benefits as well.

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Translations: Cost

As international operations grow, translation projects begin to compete for more resources. . . and in most organizations, those resources are limited.

But how to control translation costs without sacrificing quality? The solution to this particular translation problem is two-fold: improved translation processes and better project management.

By using the most up-t0-date translation processes, including translation memories and customized machine translation when appropriate, organizations can save on translation costs and maintain quality. Meanwhile, an improved, centralized project management process can reduce redundancies and maximize efficiency to further reduce costs.

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Translations: Volume and Scale

There’s no doubt about it – the 21st century is a “content-rich” environment. This can create challenges when it comes to translation. For example, consider the ocean of user-generated content created daily, both public and private. There are social media posts, text messages, emails . . . and the list goes on. All of this content may need to be translated, for one reason or another. Cross-border eDiscovery, for example, often involves staggering amounts of text.

So, how do you scale translation to take on these intimidatingly large projects? Machine translation is often the answer. While it may not be 100% accurate, machine translation really shines at translating large volumes of content quickly. Important content can then be translated by hand or improved by human post-editing.

The use of translation memories is another best practice for “scaling up” translation projects. Translation memories give human linguists a “head start” on a project by automatically translating words and phrases that have been translated before.

How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Translations: Quality

Translation quality is another issue. Depending on the circumstance, translation errors have a variety of potential negative consequences. These can range from comparatively minor, like bad press, to major consequences like compliance issues that result in hefty fines.

Here again, an effective project management process can improve quality by improving the quality scoring process and review procedures. Using translation memories and an approved glossary and style guide will also help to improve consistency and quality over time. The appropriate use of customized machine translation can also help in this regard.

However, when it comes to quality, improved processes and technology can only do so much. You also need a team of skilled linguists on tap, native speakers who are fluent in both languages and have the subject matter expertise and experience to translate specialized terms when required.

At VIA, a United Language Group Company, we offer the best of both worlds: Custom machine translation solutions, expert qualified linguists and an award-winning project management process that can help your organization save time and money. If that sounds good to you, give us a call at 1-503-243-2007 today. 


I Need Translation Services: What Are My Options?

Is your organization in the market for translation services? As with any purchase, it’s a good idea to research your alternatives first. With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of the most common translation options for businesses and organizations of all sizes.

Machine translation: Is the hype real?

You’ve no doubt seen the many headlines about enterprise technology companies turned machine translation engines. If you believe everything you read, language barriers are already a thing of the past.

The reality is more complicated. Machine translation is a good option for some projects. As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s the best option. For tasks such as translating a massive amount of user-generated content, or for eDiscovery, it’s just not feasible to rely solely on human translators. It would take too long and be too expensive.

So, there are some cases where machine translation makes the most sense from a business perspective. However, that doesn’t mean you can just turn your content over to a free online translation tool.

Free translation tools have the following disadvantages, and they should be enough to give you pause:

  • Headline hype aside, they are often seriously inaccurate.
  • They have enough data security issues to create a compliance nightmare.

To minimize the drawbacks associated with machine translation, use a professional translation company. They can create a custom solution that’s tailored to your organization and your industry, reducing inaccuracies. If you choose a reputable company with a focus on security,  your sensitive data will remain secure, too.

At VIA, a United Language Group company, our custom MT solutions translate more content, faster, than public machine translation engines and can help you save up to 98% of the cost compared to human translators.

Human translation services: The gold standard?

Looking at the different translation options available, translation services from professional human translators are the gold standard, and for a good reason. When accuracy matters, there’s just no substitute for a skilled human translator.

At this point, only human translators can understand the intricacies of language and culture and accurately translate a message from one language to another. Additionally, they can be subject matter experts in specific industries, like the legal industry or the medical industry. That expertise is invaluable and irreplaceable for specialized content.

The cons? Human translators have a longer turnaround time. They also cost more, of course, although the increased accuracy can save your company from incurring additional costs down the line.

While you can work with freelance translators individually, using a translation company is often a better move. You’ll have immediate access to a network of vetted translators, with subject matter expertise if necessary, and you won’t have to spend time and resources managing them.

Machine translation with human post-editing: A happy medium?

Machine translation and human translation don’t have to be mutually exclusive, of course. For many projects, machine translation combined with human post-editing is a happy medium. It speeds turnaround time and reduces costs, while still giving you the benefit of a professional translator’s expertise.

At VIA, a United Language Group company, our  RapidEdit® software as a service gives organizations the best of both worlds: savings of up to 35% in total translation costs, fast turnaround, and the accuracy you expect from hand-picked linguists.

Want to learn more? Contact us at 1-800-737-8481 for information about the services we offer and our award-winning project management process. We’d love to hear from you!

Healthcare Translation Errors Endanger LEP Patients at the Pharmacy

According to the Mayo Clinic, “hundreds of thousands of people” are injured by medication errors every year in the United States. Some of those errors are caused by doctors prescribing the wrong medications, or by pharmacists dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dose. However, a significant number of medication errors happen because patients are confused about how to take their pills correctly.

Studies show that it’s difficult for even native English speakers to understand the directions on their pill bottles. According to a study published on, around 35% of Americans aren’t “health literate” enough to interpret a prescription label accurately.

So what about patients with low English proficiency? Currently, only California and New York require prescription labels to be translated into languages other than English. That said, some major pharmacy chains do offer translated labels even in states where it’s not required. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean those translations are accurate.

Healthcare Translation Errors at the Pharmacy Are Disturbingly Common

Even where translations are available, they are often riddled with errors.  For example, in a 2010 study published in Pediatrics, researchers reviewed Spanish-language prescription labels from pharmacies in the Bronx. Half of them contained errors.

According to, most prescription label translations from the study were computer-generated. These translations had three major types of errors:


Many of the prescription labels referenced in the study weren’t even entirely in Spanish. That could be confusing for LEP Spanish speakers. Even more concerning were “false cognates” like the English word “once” and the Spanish word “once.” In Spanish, “once” means “11,” and there’s a big difference between “take once a day” and “take 11 a day.”

Typos and Incorrect Spellings

Some words were frequently misspelled, like “poca” (little) instead of “boca” (mouth).  These errors resulted in instructions like “take by the little” instead of “take by mouth.”

Complete Gibberish

Sometimes, what came out was nothing more than gibberish. Here are three examples referenced in the study:

  • “Take 1.2 aldia give dropperfuls with juice eleven to day.”
  • “Taking 0.6 mL two times to the day by the little with juice.”
  • “Apply to affected area twice to the indicated day like.”

That study was from 2010. Have things improved since then? Not much. Although California does provide vetted translations of the most common prescription label instructions, not all pharmacists use them.

Instead, according to a February article on, most translations are automatically generated based on information provided by third-party aggregators. According to MedShadow:

The result is a patchwork of words with the same English phrase reading multiple ways in the new language, depending on the pharmacy and the drug. 

How to get the details right in healthcare translation

In medical and healthcare translation, details matter. Machine translation can undoubtedly be helpful, but quality control from skilled translators is a must.  Many of the same guidelines that we advise for managing international content would also help here, like using simple language and consistent terminology in the English versions of prescription labels.

Incidentally, following these guidelines would also make the instructions more accessible for English speakers. However, getting the entire medical profession on board with following these guidelines is likely to take time.

Meanwhile, providers and pharmacies should make sure that patients know about options like interpreter lines to explain prescription labels orally. Providing additional information such as brochures can also be helpful for informing patients and improving overall health literacy.

At VIA, a United Language Group company, we are healthcare specialists with more than 400 healthcare clients nationwide. We are experienced in all aspects of healthcare and medical translation and compliance. Our skilled team, specialized technology, and award-winning project management process can help your organization meet its language access goals, on time and on budget.

Does that sound good to you? Then contact us at 1-800-737-8481. We’d love to talk!

The Top 5 Asian and Pacific Island Languages in the US

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.  To celebrate, let’s take a look at the top 5 Asian and Pacific Island languages in the United States.


Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with somewhere between 955 million and 1.2 billion native speakers.  3.4 million Chinese speakers live in the United States, which makes it the third most common foreign language here.

Some linguists consider Chinese a language family rather than a single language. There’s a good reason for this. “Chinese” contains hundreds of local language varieties, and many of them are not mutually intelligible when spoken.

While spoken Chinese varies considerably, all Chinese dialects use the same writing system. Since Chinese characters represent units of meaning instead of sounds, written Chinese is relatively consistent across the different dialects.

In China, the most widely spoken Chinese language is Mandarin.  However, in the United States, Mandarin and Cantonese are tied for first place, followed by Hokkien.

Within the United States, Chinese-speaking communities are concentrated in California and New York. There are also significant Chinese-speaking communities in Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Chicago. That said, Chinese is one of the top 15 non-English languages in every state.

Want to learn more about the various Chinese languages? Here’s an informative video from LangFocus:


Tagalog is one of the official languages of the Philippines, where a quarter of the population speaks it as a native language. It’s an Austronesian language, but it has quite a few loanwords from Spanish and English. “Taglish,” or switching mid-sentence from Tagalog to English, is also common among younger Filipinos.

English has picked up a few loanwords from Tagalog as well. For example, did you know that the word “boondocks” comes from the Tagalog word bundock? Bundock means “mountain.” Also, the word “cooties” comes from the Tagalog word for head lice, kuto. 

  • boondocks, which comes from the Tagalog bundock (mountain).
  • cooties, from the Tagalog kuto (head lice).

In the United States, Filipinos are the largest group of Asian Americans in the following states:

  • Alaska,
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota

Meanwhile, Tagalog is the 3rd most spoken language in California, Nevada, and Washington. It’s also one of the top 15 non-English languages in all states except Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

You can learn more about Tagalog and hear what it sounds like here:


Vietnamese is the national language of Vietnam.  75 million people around the world speak it as a first language. Meanwhile, 1.5 million people in the United States speak Vietnamese at home.  The Vietnamese language is the 2nd most-spoken foreign language in Kansas, Arkansas,  Colorado, Georgia  Mississipi, Nebraska, Oklahoma Oregon, Texas. And it’s one of the top 15 non-English languages in every state.

Vietnamese is written in the Vietnamese alphabet, which is a variation on the Latin alphabet that uses diacritics to indicate linguistic features like tones.

Learn how to introduce yourself in Vietnamese here:


Korean is the national language in both North and South Korea. It’s not related to other Asian languages. In fact, it’s a language isolate.

Around the world, about 80 million people speak Korean as a first language. In the US, approximately 1.1 million people speak Korean at home. There are thriving Korean communities in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and Seattle, as well as in many other cities and towns. Korean is one of the top 15 non-English languages spoken in every state.

For more about Korean, see Korean Translation: 8 Facts You Need to Know

Learn how to introduce yourself in Korean here:

The Hindustani Languages (Hindi and Urdu)

The Hindustani languages are spoken by 329 million native speakers, mostly in India and Pakistan. Hindustani consists of a pair of languages so close they could be twins: Hindi and Urdu. Hindi is spoken India, while Urdu is spoken in Pakistan. Hindi and Urdu are almost identical in many respects. However, there are a few crucial differences. First, they are written in different scripts. Like Sanskrit, Hindi is written in the Devanagari script. Meanwhile, Urdu is written in the Nastaliq script. There are also some differences in vocabulary since Hindi has more loanwords from Sanskrit and Urdu has more loanwords from Persian and Arabic.

In the United States, .81 million people speak Hindi at home. Another .47 million people use Urdu.
Learn more about Hindi, Urdu and the differences between the two here:

Want to learn more about Asian and Pacific Island languages and culture?

Read about the languages of the Pacific Islands here, or find more facts about Asian languages and cultures here.

As you can see, Asians and Pacific Islanders have a significant presence in the United States. In heavily regulated fields like healthcare and education, that means you may be required to translate some of your business content into these languages.  In other industries, translating may simply be a good idea to help bring in new customers.

Either way, VIA, a United Language Group Company, can help.  Contact us today at 1-800-737-8481 to learn more about our award-winning translation process and how it can keep your organization running on time and on budget.

5 Compelling Reasons to Use Machine Translation

How do you know when machine translation is right for a particular job or for your business? Some translation jobs are better left to human translators. However, machine translation has distinct advantages of its own. With that in mind, here are 5 compelling reasons to use machine translation.

Machine translation is faster.

One of the key advantages of machine translation is speed. A computer program can translate tremendous amounts of content quickly. Human translators, on the other hand, are more accurate but take much longer to complete the same amount of work.

Machine translation is less expensive.

Machine translation is also less expensive than using a human translator. After all, not only is it faster, but computers do not (yet!) require a minimum hourly wage. Professional translators, on the other hand, are experts who deserve to be compensated for their expertise.

The key here is to save that expertise for when it’s actually needed. If all you need is a rough translation, machine translation can get you the information you need much more cheaply than a human translator. In fact, our machine translation solutions can save you anywhere from 35% and 98% of the cost of a human translator. 

Machine translation is the only practical solution for sifting through large amounts of data.

For example, in cross-border eDiscovery cases, it’s not unusual to have terabytes worth of data to inspect. That’s quite literally millions of documents, most of which are likely irrelevant to the case.

Finding enough professional linguists to translate all of these documents is almost impossible. Even if you could hire enough translators, the costs would be staggering. Machine translation makes it possible to sift through the foreign language documents, search for relevant terms, and get the gist of what they’re about. Then, only the documents that are pertinent to the case at hand can be sent to human translators.

For more on how machine translation improves the eDiscovery process, see the example use cases here. 

Machine translation is also useful when you have large amounts of user-generated content that needs to be translated quickly. For example, machine translation makes it possible to quickly translate and review customer reviews, online comments and social media posts. Human translators can then follow up if necessary.

Machine translation is more secure.

Even the most trustworthy employees can make mistakes. That’s why, as a general rule, the more people who have access to a document, the higher the security risks. By reducing the number of humans who have to access sensitive data, machine translation can improve data security.

(One caveat: Free translation platforms, like Google Translate, come with security vulnerabilities of their own! If the documents in question aren’t public, don’t use a free online service. Instead, work with your language service provider to find a secure machine translation solution. Unlike free machine translation tools, VIA, a United Language Group Company’s machine translation solutions are secure, auditable and trackable.)

For more, see 4 Ways Machine Translation Improves Compliance. 

Machine translation improves consistency.

Machine translation engines can also be customized with your preferred business terms, improving the consistency of translated documents. The computer program can be trained to use the same term for the same concept every time. This helps keep your company’s “voice” intact even when working with multiple linguists and reams of content.

Trying to decide between machine translation or human-powered translation? Why not both?

When you combine the speed and efficiency of machine translation with the expertise of human translators for post-editing,  you get the best of both worlds: accuracy and efficiency, for a reasonable price. VIA, a United Language Group Company’s RapidEdit® software-as-service reduces manual resource drain to make the process even more efficient.

Most businesses have no business using the free online version of translation tools like Google Translate. Professional, customized machine translation solutions are faster, and more accurate and secure. For example, VIA, a United Language Group Company, has a proprietary system that increases the speed and efficiency of standard machine translation software. When you need trained human eyes on your project, our expert linguists are there to help. And our award-winning project management process keeps your projects on time and on budget.

Does that sound good to you? If so, give us a call at 1.800.737.8481.

VIA – ULG Acquisition Update

As many of you know, in March we announced United Language Group’s acquisition of VIA. This partnership allows us to refine our localization and translation solutions with the addition of technology infrastructure on a global scale. We’re excited to offer the highest level of language solutions and technology available in the world, and welcome you, our valuable customers, to the United Language Group (ULG) family!

Brand Changes

You may have noticed that our website, email signature lines, and social media channels now display a temporary VIA, a United Language Group Company logo. During the next 30-60 days we will continue the transition towards the exclusive use of the United Language Group (ULG) name, logo, website, social media channels and IT infrastructure.

  • The VIA website will be redirected to the United Language Group site.
  • VIA employees will receive ULG email addresses ( and emails sent to VIA addresses will be forwarded to ensure communication isn’t lost during the transition.
  • Please be sure to begin following ULG on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn, as the current VIA social media channels will be phased out in coming months.

Embracing Our Legacy

The rebranding process will not change the core staff or day-to-day operations at VIA, and our legal information will not be affected by the rebrand. We remain fully committed to our customers and employees.

We will continue to announce our product offerings and improvements in the coming weeks, and look forward to showing off our new look in May. Stay tuned to ULG social media channels for updates.

Have You Translated in Compliance with the GDPR?

From Experian to Facebook, large-scale data breaches have become a regular part of the news cycle. But the need to protect customer data isn’t limited to enterprise organizations. Companies of all sizes are vulnerable to data breach, whether through accidental negligence or criminal intent.

How can organizations protect customers and themselves? The European Union (EU) has an answer: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And it goes into effect on May 25th.

United States-based businesses are not exempt from the GDPR. In fact, it will apply to most U.S.-based organizations, especially global ones. If you collect, process or hold the personal data of EU citizens you’re on the hook.

The GDPR mandates a swift data breach response, requiring companies to notify authorities and customers much more quickly and comprehensively than most currently do.

The GDPR requires organizations to look carefully at their data breach response plans. And given the multilingual nature of the EU, choosing the right language solutions partner (LSP) is now more important than ever. Your LSP should be willing and able to help you manage the following aspects of GDPR compliance:

GDPR Compliance: Educating Employees

Want to ensure your organization is GDPR compliant? You must ensure employees are educated in the following areas:

  • The importance of protecting customer data.
  • How to protect customer data, and
  • How to handle a data breach.

Do you have a multilingual workforce? If so, you need accurate, culturally-relevant translated training materials to ensure employees understand how to comply.

Reporting a breach: GDPR compliance and the 72-hour notification rule

In today’s digital world, it’s not a question of if a data breach is going to happen. It’s a question of when. 

And when a breach happens, you must be ready. Under the GDPR, you only have 72 hours from the time a breach is first confirmed to inform both the authorities and all affected EU consumers. Most US companies currently take nearly 40 days to do the same.

Many US-based companies will have to radically change their data breach plans to comply with the new law. What’s more, the multilingual nature of the EU makes this requirement especially challenging for US-based companies that are used to communicating mostly in English.

What happens if you don’t notify your customers appropriately and on time? Well, you might as well be setting your profits on fire! The GDPR specifies noncompliance fines of 2 percent of worldwide company revenue, with penalties topping out at €100 million.

Does the GDPR require translation?

It’s not enough to inform consumers- you must ensure they can understand the information you provide:

“Controllers may also need to ensure that the communication is accessible in appropriate alternative formats and relevant languages to ensure individuals are able to understand the information being provided to them. For example, communication in the native language of the recipient will help to ensure their understanding of the nature of the breach and steps they can take to protect themselves.”

Bear in mind, the EU has 24 official languages. Feeling dizzy? Take a deep breath and partner with your LSP to ensure your data breach response plan includes the ability to communicate quickly to a multilingual customer base.

Additionally, your breach response plan must include a 24-hour, toll-free call center to take questions from affected customers. That includes customers who don’t speak English as their primary or first language. So be sure your LSP has over-the-phone interpretation capacity to assist you  in the event of a data breach.

There’s no doubt that the GDPR sets high expectations for companies and backs them up with painful fines.

But there’s a silver lining: creating a GDPR-compliant data breach response plan makes your organization more secure and should help protect against class-action lawsuits, like the one filed against Yahoo in 2014. Meanwhile, going over your data breach response plan with your LSP gives you a chance to evaluate their compliance expertise and capabilities before a breach happens.

VIA, a United Language Group Company Can Help

Looking for an LSP to help you build a GDPR-compliant, multilingual data breach response plan while saving your organization time and money? VIA, a United Language Group Company, has spent years developing specialized expertise to respond to the legal translation and compliance training needs of global organizations, and our quality, award-winning project management process saves you time and money.

Want to learn more? Give us a call at 1.800.737.8481.


8 Facts About the Russian Language You May Not Have Heard Before

There’s no way around it – Russian is an important language. In fact, Russian is one of our most-requested languages.

Here are eight interesting facts about Russian language and translation that you may not know:

Russian boasts 155 million native speakers.

That’s around 2.4% of the world’s population, and it makes Russian the 8th most-spoken language in the world.

Russian is an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

That said, these are far from the only places where people speak Russian. For example, it’s also used for some government functions in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. And it is also a significant language in parts of Ukraine.

Of course, you’ll also hear Russian in Russian expat communities around the world, including the United States. In fact . . .

More than 850,000 Americans speak Russian at home.

Russian is one of the top 15 non-English languages in 47 states. Why is that important? Well, if your organization is a “covered entity” under the Affordable Care Act, that means you need to provide taglines in Russian in all 47 of those states to remain compliant.

In the US, the following six states have the most Russian speakers:

  • New York (130,296 speakers)
  • California (73,133 speakers)
  • Washington (25,421 speakers)
  • Illinois (19,419 speakers)
  • New Jersey (18,816 speakers)
  • Pennsylvania (17,418 speakers)
  • Florida (16,572 speakers)

According to the US Foreign Service, Russian is a difficult language for Americans to learn.

However, it’s not the most difficult. Russian is a “Category 3” language, which makes it about as challenging to learn as Hindi or Thai. Languages like Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean are even more difficult.

Russian and English have several deceptive “false friends.”

About 10% of Russian words resemble their English counterparts. But don’t get too comfortable with guessing.

These are also many words that look or sound the same but have different meanings between the two languages. For example, in English, “angina” means chest pain. But the Russian word Ангина means tonsillitis, a much less severe affliction (and all the more reason that limited English proficiency healthcare patients need access to information in their own languages!)

Russian is written using the Cyrillic script.

However, the Cyrillic script was not developed in Russia. Instead, disciples of St. Cyril and his brother, St. Methodius, designed it based on the Greek alphabet during the first Bulgarian Empire.

So while some people call the Cyrillic script “the Russian alphabet,” it might be more accurate to call it “the Bulgarian alphabet.”

Additionally, the Cyrillic script is named after St. Cyril, but it was developed by his disciples, not by the saint himself.

Some of the letters are pronounced quite differently than English speakers might assume. For example,  Д may look like a variation of our letter “A.”
However, it was actually derived from the Greek letter Delta. And it’s pronounced like “d” as in dolphin.

Russian has less than half the number of words as English.

There are about 200,000 words in the Russian language, compared to more than one million in English. But of course, that doesn’t mean that Russian speakers are less able to express themselves. It just means that there are more words in Russian with more than one meaning. And that makes a qualified translator even more crucial!

Text translated from English to Russian usually expands by around 15%.

Meanwhile, text translated from Russian to English usually contracts by the same amount.

Ideally, that means you’ll start out with a flexibly designed document, created with translation in mind.  Check with your language services provider for recommendations, or for help redesigning materials as needed.

Do you need to translate healthcare materials for Russian speakers in the US? Or maybe you need to translate contracts or large amounts of Russian language documents for eDiscovery? Whatever your translation needs, VIA’s team of native-speaking translators and innovative machine translation solutions will keep your Russian translations accurate, on brand, and in compliance.

Want to learn more about VIA, a United Language Group Company, and our award-winning translation process? Give us a call at 1-800-737-8481 today.

VIA is now a United Language Group Company!

We are excited to announce that VIA has recently been acquired by United Language Group (ULG). ULG is one of the largest translation, localization and interpreting providers in the world, transforming language barriers into opportunities by providing smart, seamless and secure language solutions that help businesses win in the global market. ULG represents the best of the best of global solution providers like VIA, and our complementary approaches and service offerings will enhance the global success of our valued clients.

What will change?

This acquisition will significantly enhance VIA’s capabilities, allowing us to building on ULG’s technology and service offerings to provide clients a wider array of solutions. It will also give VIA a much larger global footprint to provide improved support for our clients worldwide. During the next 90 days, VIA will transition to the ULG brand, and our corporate, operational, sales, and leadership teams will be aligned to maximize capabilities, solutions, and reach.

What will remain the same?

VIA clients will continue to work with the same account and project managers. Our fee structure will not change. And we will continue to offer the services that we have provided you in the past. In the near term, there will be no changes to our Tax ID information, legal name, or billing/AP system.

Growing with Gratitude

The VIA team is grateful to you, not only for giving us the opportunity to provide you language solutions, but for your loyalty and friendship during the time we have served you. We will continue to build on our relationship and exceed your service expectations as we move forward together in this new exciting chapter.

Please stay tuned for additional updates as we build on ULG’s technology and service offerings to provide you a wider array of solutions.

Please see United Language Group Announces Acquisition of VIA, Inc. News Release for additional details about this exciting change.




Four Ways Machine Translation Improves Compliance

Compliance management is no simple task in today’s world. The sheer volume of data involved is intimidating enough. But when that data is in multiple languages, you have an additional layer of complexity to manage as well as another significant expense to budget for.

Machine translation is no replacement for expert human translators. But it can help solve some of the compliance problems multicultural organizations face.

Internal Compliance Monitoring

Ideally, organizations should aspire to catch (and end) compliance issues as early as possible. Firing employees is an expense in and of itself, and if you address these issues quickly you can often solve the problem with education rather than termination. Meanwhile, whether the behavior in question is illegal, unethical or just plain risky, the sooner you put a stop to it, the less likely you are to get stuck with expensive fines. 

Is your organization monitoring employee communication to identify concerning behavior? Machine translation makes it possible to understand, analyze, and review large amounts of archived data in foreign languages, so you can stop problems before they start. 

eDiscovery Compliance

Businesses today generate vast amounts of electronic documents and communications. That makes eDiscovery like looking for needles in a haystack, sifting through tons of irrelevant information to find materials that are relevant to the case. And of course, there are penalties for not identifying and producing all of the necessary documents in a timely manner.

The most workable solution is appropriately-deployed machine translation followed by review and post editing from human experts, when required. Machine translation is not a substitute for human translators. That said, in large cross-border cases, machine translation can be used to produce documents for opposing counsel, and then human translators can translate only those documents that seem relevant. Machine translation can also help your team identify and classify large numbers of documents for review.

Learn more about VIA’s machine translation solutions for eDiscovery here. 

Data security

Using machine translation when applicable can also improve data security, as long the platform used is secure. (Note: That means free platforms are strictly off limits!) No matter how careful your employees are, each person who accesses a document creates a new security risk. Machine translation can reduce the number of people who need that access to reduce security vulnerabilities.

Machine Translation and Compliance Budgets

As the cost of compliance goes up, so does the pressure for businesses to make their compliance procedures more efficient. Machine translation can help optimize your compliance budget by only using human translators when necessary.

When Machine Translation is a Compliance Nightmare

When wielded wisely, machine translation can be a powerful weapon in your compliance arsenal. But it can also be risky.

For instance, if individuals in your organization rely on free online translation services, your data security could be at risk.

Last year, employees at Norway’s Statoil discovered that sensitive data translated using’s free MT tool was available to the public via a simple Google search. 

Though the quality of machine translation has improved by leaps and bounds during the past few years, it’s still not a substitute for human translators when clear and accurate translations are required. If inaccuracies make your translations misleading or incomprehensible, that’s a compliance risk, too.

Want the advantages of machine translation without the potential pitfalls? Work with an experienced language translation partner that uses both machine translation and expert human translators to reduce costs and turnaround time while maintaining quality.

At VIA, we use custom machine translation tools and an award-winning project management process to deliver accurate translations efficiently and effectively. If that sounds good to you, give us a call at 1.800.737.8481.

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