The heart of SDL has always been about language, which is at the heart of human communication and expression throughout time. From cave drawings to hieroglyphics to Gutenberg’s Press to broadcasting the moon landing on television to the Twitter-fueled Arab Spring to today’s latest taco emoji-obsession, humans have always craved this communication with each other.
The Age of Information came about with the widespread dissemination of written language that started with the printing press and is currently housed and distributed online as humans create more information than ever before. Access to that information is empowering and necessary, but is also meaningless if the information isn’t understood. SDL began as a company specifically to address the challenge of making this information available in multiple languages.
Eventually one-way information (publishing and broadcasting) evolved into two-way channels, the Age of Communication, running in parallel and quickly becoming the essential fact of all business-to-business, business-to-customer and most importantly human-to-human interactions. Individuals came to expect being able to communicate with each other, with brands, with the world, across multiple mediums.
Companies began to focus on interactive marketing and communications, and social media. They evolved beyond analogue formats and fully embraced digital content. Instant connectivity became the norm. SDL expanded as the world around them changed, facilitating not just the logistics of connectivity, but those of human-to-human communication.
Now the digital world and human communications are evolving again. Multiple technologies and possibilities are at play. What is relevant for one customer in one region may be completely irrelevant to another in a different part of the world. So how do companies embrace that challenge? Clearly help is needed to master the complexity of the feedback loop that happens as scaling businesses cycle through an ever-increasing need for content. There are other companies that offer language services, and many others that offer content management.
SDL offers more—they strive to be on the forefront of translation, content management, and understanding, as these three elements catalyze one another and will allow SDL’s clients to remain competitive. While our competitors strive to digitalize this human world, we strive to humanize the digital. This means making every translation both global and local, making person-to-person connection scalable, and celebrating how the nuance of language is critical to true communication.
We all still seek to transcend literal messages and/or specific channels to be able to understand essential meaning. Nuance, subtlety, the sometimes unspeakable meanings that come from language (i.e. subtext, dialect, and connotation) and channel-specific communications (i.e. "the medium is the message").
By housing both content and language management technology with translation services, SDL now helps organizations create more meaningful communications through its powerful platform that leverages digital technology and human expertise to create impactful experiences for its customers. Companies work with SDL because they know the digital world is evolving, and SDL helps to bridge the complex and simple, the local and global, the human and technological side of global communications. They refuse to be left behind.
The understanding goes both ways: companies understanding customers, customers understanding brands, humans understanding each other in our highly complex, globalizing world. SDL believes at the heart of being human is a desire to be understood, not just heard, anywhere and in any language, and we’re committed to providing software and services that enable that.
Welcome to the Age of Understanding.