In an earlier blog post we discussed the benefits of custom software to help businesses establish a
competitive edge. Yet designing, testing, installing and training can be a significant battle for the team
Organizations quite often conclude that their in-house development team is either already overworked
or that they don’t have the necessary skills required to complete the project. Coders and app developers
have specialties, generally in different languages like HTML, Java Script, C++ — the list goes on. If the
new system calls for Python and that’s not in the programmers’ wheelhouse, you’ll likely outsource the
Outsourcing in the US likely means the computer language is the primary concern. Outsourcing offshore,
however, will invariably add a few layers of complexity to the project, including the spoken and written
language. Having your team work in different development languages is one thing. Having them try to
understand a second language and envelope that into the system may be the breaking point for a
Dialect, Accent, Colloquialisms
When folks from the northeast move to southern states, they often found themselves having a hard
time understanding the accent, especially in the deep south. Are they hearing a foreign language? Even
those with a rather well-developed ear, who’ve traveled extensively ask people to repeat themselves.
There are so many English dialects that misunderstandings occur regularly. Accents among Americans
are difficult enough but add accents of English speakers from across the globe and it’s likely that the
work to decipher meaning can confound situations. Non-native speakers often slip into the sentence
structure of their native language and confuse inferences due to colloquial speech and slang that
dominate today’s communication style.
A friend of one of our co-workers lives in Poland. His Facebook feed recently had a cute picture of a child
and a description written in Polish. Not speaking Polish himself, he decided to use one of the many
translation apps available. Apparently, the way it was translated made our colleague shudder that his
Polish friend was speaking so negatively about his son…
Of course, when asked directly, the translation software had not interpreted the comment correctly.
Imagine a situation like that when teams are trying to work on projects as complex as a software system.
It’s not enough to outsource to an English-speaking team. Communication among those working on the
project can make or break its success, so consider the clarity of working with an astute team here on US
soil. Don’t let any part of your system get lost in translation.