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Spotlight: AI-Powered Translations

Andrew Pressault

By Andrew Pressault

·

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Published Nov 16, 2023

Spotlight: AI-Powered Translations

Implementing a localization strategy is hard. In fact, language is one of the biggest barriers for organizations looking to tap into new markets. Think about the last time you visited a non-English speaking country and tried to do something simple like ask for directions or order food. You probably stammered through the very few words you remember from the Duolingo courses you took on the plane. Possibly reverting back to English at a slower cadence and higher volume. And you almost certainly used pointing and other dramatic hand gestures to illustrate what you’re talking about.

Now, imagine how challenging it would be to actually sell something to people in other languages.

That’s the problem we’re solving with our new AI-powered Translations feature: Helping marketing ops teams enter new markets, and/or scale up their current localization efforts. Translations is going to make it almost effortless (at least comparatively so) to create campaigns in almost any language.

If you’re already running campaigns in different languages, it’s going to streamline your processes and save you a LOT of time. And if you’re not currently localizing content? Congrats—it’s never been easier to reach (and sell to) more people in more places.

We have a product page where you can read about some of the high-level features and benefits of Translations. But we wanted to write a post that dives a bit deeper into what AI Translations is, how it works, who it’s for, and how it’s going to help.

How did Translations come to be?

Translations initially started as a feature request from one of our biggest customers to help them simplify their processes. Given that the whole existence of Knak is based on simplifying campaign creation, this was a challenge we were eager to solve. But, somewhere along the way, we started asking even bigger questions about how Translations should work—and if we could make it work for every customer rather than just one.

As it turns out, we could.

So what started as a handy third-party integration (that’s still a part of the feature), is now something very powerful and useful. And we have AI to thank for that.

Enter the power of AI

Until now, regionalizing a campaign meant you needed to have a translator physically rewrite any marketing copy that appeared in your emails or your landing pages. While not necessarily starting from scratch, this was a time-intensive process that often involved several stakeholders, assets, review cycles, and approvals. Getting a campaign out the door was a huge lift.

Now? It happens instantly. Knak can give you the translated version of your copy in just minutes.

How it works

Knak Translations is built on the Amazon Translate service using neural networks that have been trained to perform language translation that converts text from a source language (the text’s original language) to a target language (the language into which the text is being translated). It currently supports 75 languages and it does translations in just seconds.

Inside Knak, all you have to do is populate the asset with content, choose which languages you want to translate, and AI does the rest. No spreadsheets. No text docs. No back and forth across different platforms. It’s done. Just like that.

How it’s going to help your team

If you already regionalize your campaigns using in-house translators, this is going to drastically augment how they work. Instead of rewriting every email or landing page word-for-word, and then editing for local or cultural nuance, they can now focus solely on the localization aspect of every campaign. So not only will those campaigns be hyper-relevant, you’re going to have the bandwidth to do more of them.

If you’re not yet regionalizing campaigns and/or don’t use translators at all, this feature is your gateway to expanding your reach into new markets and getting more out of your campaigns.

Limitations

Having AI-powered translation capabilities inside Knak is a huge efficiency booster and barrier remover. But, like all AI, it has its limitations. While it’s incredibly accurate in that it will give you exact, word-for-word translations, some of those words may carry slightly different meanings or contexts. Furthermore, it cannot account for cultural differences or nuances. So we definitely recommend having a team member in the region you’re operating review the content before it publishes.

What else does Translations do?

The AI functionality of Translations is really impressive. But, it’s only half of what makes it so useful.

Before, the process of translating content involved different teams, stakeholders, spreadsheets, text docs, review cycles, and approvals.

Now, it all happens inside of Knak, which is going to speed up the process and keep things on track.

Before, you had to create different variations of every email and landing page for each language from scratch.

Now, you can close every translated email or landing page based on a primary one. And if you need to make changes to the design after content has been populated, simply make it in the primary version and those changes are applied to every other variation.

Those functions alone are going to turn the otherwise bumpy road of a campaign process into a freshly paved, 12-lane highway.

Furthermore, you don’t have to use the AI functionality. Teams can enter translated content manually inside Knak and still take advantage of the new seamless process.

We’re also integrating with many of the world’s largest and most-trusted third-party translation services. Customers working with one of these services can now request and receive their translated content inside Knak, too (subscription to that service required).

A final word

Even though we’re always working on ways to make Knak better and campaign creation easier, Translations is a feature that we’re really proud of and excited about. We know it’s going to make a huge difference for all of our customers and we can’t wait to see the results you achieve with it. Learn more about Translations on the product page.


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Andrew Pressault

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Andrew Pressault

Senior Content Writer, Knak

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