Telegram and translation – what you need to know

March 7, 2018
Telegram and translation – what you need to know

Part of a successful career in professional translation – or any field of freelance work – is ensuring you have the right tools to hand to conduct your business. Whether you specialise in legal translation or prefer to spend your time translating marketing brochures, the right setup in terms of technology is essential if you are to work as efficiently as possible. 

One tool that everyone seems to be talking about recently is Telegram. As such, we’ve explored what Telegram has to offer to professional translators. 

What is Telegram?

Telegram is a messaging app. What sets it apart is that it delivers messages faster than any other application. Those messages are heavily encrypted, which is ideal for business users looking to assure the security of their (and their clients’) data. 

Telegram users can access their messages from multiple devices, safe in the knowledge that their messages are safe from hackers. Messages can even be set to self-destruct – and all of this is provided by Telegram at no charge, making it ideal for freelancers looking to keep control of their costs. 

Telegram and translation

Telegram interacts with the translation community in numerous ways. For example, the app is using crowdsourced translation in order to make its mobile, web and desktop versions available in multiple countries. At the time of writing, the Android version of Telegram has been translated from English into 144 languages. Other formats have been translated into anything from 11 to 30 languages. 

Translation bots are also a key part of Telegram’s offering. A number of bots are available for use with Telegram, in order to enable business users to connect with their contacts around the world, regardless of any language barriers that may exist. Of course, machine translation is still a long way from professional human translation, but it’s a handy feature for Telegram to have included for those who need an instant translation – even just a rough one – as part of a conversation. 

Telegram translation channels 

Another feature of Telegram is its Channels. Channels are provided as a means of broadcasting messages to large audiences. Members join channels that suit their interests and a vast range of channels is available. 

The True-(To)-Life Translators channel offers an open forum for translators from around the world to connect. Translators are invited to talk, ask and share as they see fit, making this channel a great resource for those with translation queries, as well as a place to socialize and network online. 

The darker side of Telegram

As with all new uses of technology, there are those who have chosen to use Telegram for illegal purposes. The encrypted nature of Telegram messages, along with their ability to self-destruct, make the app a tempting choice for those with nefarious purposes in mind. 

Interestingly, the criminal Telegram world also has its use for translators. Back in 2016, jihadist Telegram channels advertised their need for translators. Translators of French, Bengali, Russian, Chinese and other languages were sought in order to spread the jihadists’ messages to new and wider audiences. 

Telegram for translation

Putting aside the negative uses of Telegram, the app is an excellent tool for freelance translators looking for a quick and easy way to connect with their clients. As an instant messaging app, Telegram ticks all the right boxes, providing translators with a quick and easy way to converse with their clients at no cost. 

Telegram’s data security credentials also stand the app in good stead as a professional business tool, ensuring that translators can focus on the work at hand, rather than worrying about the confidentiality of their communications.

All in all, Telegram offers multiple advantages to freelance translators looking to work as efficiently as possible.  

Final thoughts

Do you use Telegram as part of the professional translation service that you deliver? What do you love about it that sets it apart from other messaging apps? And what other tools do you use that you wouldn’t be without as part of your day-to-day translation work? Let us know by leaving a comment below.