A few months back we blogged about the headway we, as well as the likes of Zonegreen and Alcumus Sypol, are making in the area of digitising the train depot… Our online worksite safety induction solution Site Sentinel allows depot visitors to complete an induction before they arrive on site, meaning they arrive equipped and ready for work. What better way to optimise the digital technology available to us?
However, what if visitors first language isn’t English? To date, we’ve always run Site Sentinel in English, however, more and more site visitors need the worksite induction in their native language to ensure safety critical details are not ‘lost in translation’.
This development is unsurprising, the range of skills required in a train depot is vast… there are train engineers, construction workers, electricians, safety managers and administrative staff, not to mention a whole heap of specialist rail contractors and visitors who enter the depot each day. We can’t expect each one of these people to have a high standard of English literacy – but neither can we afford for them to misunderstand or misinterpret the safety induction briefing.
So, what do we do? Well if you decide to translate your induction, you’ll need technical language support and a good deal of technical proofreading. Google Translate – albeit a great way to quickly and cheaply translate big pieces of text – won’t suffice – it could lead to unintelligible or, worse still, misleading statements. The devil is in the detail and technical accuracy is key.
Once you’ve had the site induction translated, a little user testing wouldn’t go amiss either… the text may make sense to you, but it needs to be trialled with different people to ensure the testing is sufficiently robust.
But… once this is all in place, there’s no reason why Site Sentinel can’t be rolled out in a whole variety of different languages. You could even give people the choice to read it in more than one language – just for good measure!
Have you translated safety materials into different languages? What challenges have you faced?