How High Quality Translation Acts As a Tool for Museum Accessibility?

How High Quality Translation Acts As a Tool for Museum Accessibility?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Museums are more relevant than ever before. They are necessary to appreciate and understand different cultures and various groups of society.

The museum is a medium to comprehend mankind's history, to learn from our past, and to construct a better future.

Museums are now becoming more inclusive, providing accessibility to all its visitors, even to those with disabilities. Museums are also going a step forward by addressing linguistic diversity through translations. 

Moreover, museums are going above and beyond to become more inclusive and accessible in every way.

The accessibility resources at museums across the U.S. are now becoming more available due to the language diversity and special needs of some visitors.

Some of the resources include assistive listening devices, open captioning, sensory maps, and braille signage.

Translation Services for Museums

Translations play a key role in museum accessibility. With a large number of non-English speaking audiences visiting the museum, it becomes imperative to have multilingual comprehension.

These transcripts can be easily repurposed for visitors with hearing disabilities, the visually impaired, and those with accessibility issues.

Having the subtitles or the audio files translated into another language can help visitors with auditory or cognitive disabilities understand the content.

For visitors with disabilities or diverse linguistic audiences, the reason to visit a museum is common, to connect with stories and to experience art, history, and nature.

Translation can also be equally helpful for foreign visitors who don’t speak the native language of the country they are visiting.

Many famous museums use translation services in audio guides and maps for their visitors with special needs and foreign tourists.

It allows visitors to access any information about the exhibits and collections easily. 

Translation is not limited to just audio guides for museums.

Many established museums have labels and wall texts translated into other languages for easy maneuvering in and around the gallery for disabled audiences or to cut language barriers. And don’t forget the Museum’s website.

Before visiting any place of interest or tourist attraction, foreign visitors always check out the website, and museums are no exception.

From directions to hours of operation, the website is the go-to place to get any information.

Therefore, proper translation for the museum's website is one important aspect that should be invested in.

A Few Things to Consider While Translating for Museums

  • It is important to respect all languages and cultures. A translator should keep in mind cultural values and respect other languages while translating.
  • Professional translators need to consider the differences in terms of experience and expectations varying for those who speak a common language but come from different cultures.
  • Translators should aim to make the experience memorable for the visitor. It is the translator’s job to make the transcript more personal rather than just focusing on the technical aspect. 
  • The translation should convey the intent and effect of the original text or audio file. If one fails to translate handwritten documents and other original texts correctly, their essence is lost.
  • Excellent translation is critical in guided tours to keep the audience engaged at all times.
  • Do not forget to 100% translate handwritten text and labels, because many individuals leave the title and credits in English, defeating the translation purpose.
  • Having a team of the best translators on board is a must. The translators should not only have a sound knowledge of the language, but they should also understand the culture well. 

Museum Accessibility Can Reach Greater Heights with Proper Translation

To get a correctly translated audio or text file, always rely on a professional transcription service company like GMR Transcription.

With a team of experienced and knowledgeable translators, you are guaranteed to get precise, contextually accurate, and fast turnaround transcripts.

With the help of GMR Transcription, images, sounds, words, and of course, technology, museum accessibility can reach greater heights than ever.

These efforts by the museum will be able to convey the message to their audience that all visitors are welcome, regardless of the language barrier or disability.

Also Read: 5 Tips for Communicating With a Deaf Person through an Interpreter

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.