Can Robot Teachers Become the Next Generation of Language Tutors

Can Robot Teachers Become the Next Generation of Language Tutors?

We all have a soft spot for R2-D2 don’t we? Oh come on, of course you do – what’s not to like? Not only is ‘he’ an incredibly cute, rotund little robot, but his method of communication, just a series of beeps and boops, is indiscernible to the human ear. That means we don’t have to put up with any of his rubbish. The job of translating is left to his trusty sidekick C-3PO, who acts as the robot-human filter.

It’s a good job most of us are fond of our robot friends, because if a recent an article in the New Scientist is to be believed, R2-D2’s automaton buddies could soon be coming to a school near you!

The friendly face of language learning

In four cities across Europe, the trial phase of an exciting new initiative is underway. In Tilburg and Utrecht in the Netherlands, Bielefield in Germany, and Istanbul in Turkey, young immigrant children are having a helping hand settling into their adoptive countries, courtesy of a number of robot teachers.

The robots, called NAO, have been built by the French company Aldebaran Robotics. Working in conjunction with a consortium of roboticists and linguists from leading universities across Europe, the company have created the robots to help youngsters learn the language skills they’ll need.

The benefits of one-to-one teaching

Life can be tough for children who have to move away from their home. Not only do they have to adapt to a different country and culture, but they also lack the language skills to integrate into society and make new friends.

Studies have shown that children learn best in a one-on-one environment rather than a classroom setting, but resources are simply too scarce to dedicate a language teacher to each child. The L2TOR project is not designed to replace teachers, but rather, to give children a three-dimensional presence that can work alongside teachers to support the language learning.

NAO’s teaching style

The NAO robots improve language learning by watching over the children and providing assistance while they complete exercises on a tablet. NAO also explains to the children what they will learn from each lesson, and observes their body language to identify when they become stuck.

One of the biggest benefits of NAO is its infinite patience. This allows the repetition that forms an essential part of language learning, without eating into the teacher’s time.

The tablets the children use also feature a software system, CoWriter, which helps them practice their writing skills. The robot can write on the tablet too. However, NAO is prone to the occasional mistake; at this point the children and step in and teach NAO where it went wrong. The result is a truly interactive learning experience.

Do you need help adapting to new cultures?

If you’re expanding your business overseas and struggling to overcome language barriers of your own, our expert team of human translators can help. Get in touch to learn more about our translation, transcreation and multilingual copywriting services.

Linguistica Announces 7% Growth for 2015 and Confirms Price Freezes for 2016

Linguistica International is reflecting on a phenomenally successfully 2015, as well as looking forward to a 2016 that involves yet more price freezes and the transformation of the firm into a one-stop-shop for all clients’ linguistic needs.
2015 saw Linguistica achieve 7% growth, with two million words translated in total throughout the calendar year, and an incredible 98.5% client retention rate. The year was the firm’s most successful to date, with hundreds of happy customers across a range of translation services, from proofreading and copywriting to telephone interpretation and transcreation.
At the beginning of 2015, Linguistica also committed to a prize freeze for the entire year, ensuring some of the most competitive quotes in the industry across all of their services. Now, at the beginning of 2016, Linguistica has once again committed to this price freeze – which means that prices have remained the same since 2013. This demonstrates Linguistica’s dedication to offer unparalleled value-for-money on all of their specialist linguistic offerings.
Carrie Wilson, Director of Linguistica, says, “2015 was a remarkably successful year for us here at Linguistica – we retained almost all of our existing clients and won over many more, translating more than two million words and achieving excellent growth. We hope to carry that momentum into 2016, helping our clients to meet their business goals with our unrivalled translation services.”
Carrie adds, “We’ve also frozen our prices for yet another year, which means our prices remain exactly the same as they were in 2013. Whether we’re working for huge brands like Santander and Manchester United FC, or the startups and SMEs that form the foundation of the global economy, we guarantee budget-friendly prices without ever compromising on the exceptionally high standards we’ve built our reputation on.”
Linguistica’s success in 2015 is, in large part, down to its commitment to quality. With a vast network of more than 2,000 linguists speaking over 200 languages fluently, Linguistica is able to provide word-perfect translations of almost any language spoken on the planet. All translators and linguists work in their mother tongue, to ensure jargon, terminology and colloquialisms are expressed properly, rather than being lost in translation.
In an increasingly globalised world, being able to transcend language barriers and reach out to consumers or businesses on the other side of the world has become a vital part of everyday life. After a 2015 which saw Linguistica help thousands of clients achieve their global business goals, the team look forward to a 2016 of further growth and continued client satisfaction.

Buyer personas for your international marketing campaign

How Do Buyer Personas Help you Sell to Overseas Customers?

Creating an effective international marketing campaign is all about speaking to the right people, at the right time, with a message they understand. This is difficult enough when marketing products to domestic customers and clients alone, but when you have an international customer base, the whole process becomes a lot more challenging.

Language and culture are hugely important factors to consider when creating an international marketing campaign. Buyer personas are an extremely helpful tool to not only help you understand your customers better but also to target them in a culturally relevant way.

What are buyer personas?

This definition, courtesy of online marketing powerhouses Hubspot, should give you a clearer idea of exactly what we mean by the term buyer persona:

‘A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.’

Companies looking to market more effectively to overseas customers need to better understand the behaviour of buyers in each of the markets they operate in. They should also explore how this behaviour effects the decisions their buyers make.

When developing buyer personas for international markets, it’s essential you take into account the subtle differences in attitude, values and conduct to target your marketing campaigns effectively. Failing to account for the multi-cultural aspect of your buyers could vastly reduce your return on investment, and even lead to customer alienation.

What does a buyer persona look like?

Examples of buyer personas are hard to come by, as understandably, companies that have gone to the time and expense of creating personas want to keep their findings pretty close to their chests. However, we have managed to find the following fictional examples of three B2B buyer personas, again courtesy of Hubspot, along with these B2C buyer personas.

Mapping the customer’s journey

An essential part of developing buyer personas is to accurately map a typical customer’s journey all the way from the initial awareness stage, through to the decision to buy. International brands should map this journey for each market, as the inherent cultural differences at play can have a significant impact on buyer behaviour, particularly when selling business-to-business.

When mapping the buyer’s journey, you should canvass as many sources as you can for input. Engaging with customers directly or simply asking “how did my find my website?”, or “why did you decide to buy from me?” can be extremely insightful and help you build a clearer picture of the typical journey.

You should also ask suppliers, logistics companies and other stakeholders for their input. The more information you gather, the more valuable the buyer personas you create will be.

What do you need to know?

Sales strategies are often based on simple demographic data, but information such as age, gender and profession rarely provides much insight into the customer journey. Developing buyer personas is all about finding what prompts the buying decision, what barriers to the purchase exist, and why a customer would choose to buy from you.

Asking the following questions can help you dig much, much deeper…

  • How do customers gather information to make their buying decision?
  • What sources do they use?
  • What was the trigger that prompted them to search for a service like yours?
  • What language do they search for information in?
  • Would they buy from a foreign language website?
  • What benefits do they anticipate from the purchase?
  • What criteria do they use to evaluate potential suppliers?
  • What barriers could prevent them from making a purchase?

The answers to the above questions will not only help you support the customer at every stage of the buying journey, but also communicate to them in a culturally appropriate way, and in a language they understand. The result is a marketing message that is aligned to their values and also addresses any potential barriers or concerns they might have.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, our transcreation and localisation services help you produce marketing materials that transcend cultural and linguistic barriers and compel your overseas customers to act. We create copy that strikes the right chord in any language, and gives your international marketing campaign the very best chance of success.