Language Inclusivity Enhances Meeting Communication

Language inclusivity encompasses refraining from using terms that marginalize specific groups, and providing maximum accessibility to multilingual participants.

Refraining from marginalizing specific groups, also referred to as Inclusive language, involves avoiding the use of expressions that imply sexist, racist, or otherwise biased language that could be offensive to someone in the audience. Some examples include:

  • Avoiding terms like “guys” for everyone and using gender-neutral terms like staff members, folks, volunteers, visitors, or members.
  • Instead of assumptions about biological parents and assuming there is a mother or father, use terms like carer, guardian, parent, caregiver, grownup, or responsible adult.
  • English idioms or phrases like “ it’s raining cats and dogs” may need to be explained to international staff members. Not due to poor English, but the fact these phrases are very specific to UK and American English.
  • If you say it’s “awfully good”, does this mean it’s good or bad? This is contradictory and confusing for international audiences.
  • Use factual language rather than value-laden words and phrases. For example, a phrase like “Older drivers are a liability” can be rephrased to say something like “As we get older, sight loss is more common and as a result driving may become difficult.”

In addition to these examples, another component of language inclusivity is speaking in the languages preferred by the audience members and participants. Providing maximum accessibility to multilingual participants involves ensuring needed interpretation options are available. Consider these numbers.

  • Only 6% of the global population grew up speaking English.
  • For another 12%, it’s their second, third, or fourth language and they may not speak it comfortably.
  • 82% have no functional English proficiency.
  • It’s the same or worse for most other languages.

Many people globally grew up speaking a language other than yours, and if you level the language playing field, you can get more insight, engagement, and productivity from them.

Language Inclusivity Benefits

If you can solve the language inclusivity challenge, you have the potential to improve communications with 10x more employees, members, or citizens depending on your organization. There are many use cases where organizations may have participants who speak multiple languages. Whenever there are participants whose primary language is different from the presenters, there is a risk that there will be communication issues. Providing interpretation helps make sure all participants are fully engaged in the event. Some examples include:

  • All Hands Meetings
  • Customer and Employee Training Sessions
  • Sales Presentations and Sales Kickoff Meetings
  • Industry Conferences and Trade Shows
  • Community Events

How Wordly Supports Language Inclusivity

Wordly provides an AI-powered interpretation platform that delivers a powerful language inclusivity solution. This real-time translation platform is cloud-based and provides a faster, easier, more cost-effective solution for meetings and conferences than traditional human-powered remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) solutions. Wordly is used by over 500 global companies and organizations and enables participants to read along or listen to conference presenters in their preferred language on their own computer or mobile device.

To see Wordly in action, watch this short video or schedule a demo.