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Create Multilingual Safety Signs & Labels

By Jordy Byrd

The industrial economy has gone global. Gone are the days of one language per instruction manual and one language per box. The same should be true for safety signs and labels – messages that matter most.

Enter Google Translate, the company's free online and mobile multilingual service provided to translate text, speech, images, or real-time video from one language into another. More than 500 million people use Google Translate every month, translating more than 100 billion words across some 90 supported languages every day around the globe.

The technology has vast safety applications for multilingual workforces and international distribution centers. Using DuraSuite Labeling Software and the DuraLabel Kodiak full-color printer, chemical manufacturers can use Google Translate to design and print GHS compliant labels in minutes. With DuraSuite's pre-designed templates and Google Translate, you can create labels in Dutch, Bosnian, and more.

A mobile app is also available for iPhone and Android. Safety officers can create regulatory-compliance or general safety labels on the jobsite with a stand-alone industrial printer like the DuraLabel Toro. Use the mobile Google Translate app and DuraLabel Toro to create on-the-spot pipe markers, hazard warning signs, or personal protective equipment reminders in Filipino, Catalan, or Russian.

The free mobile app offers the following on-the-go applications:

  • Type to translate 90 languages
  • Use a camera to translate text instantly in 26 languages
  • Two-way automatic speech translation in 40 languages
  • Draw with your finger as a keyboard alternative
  • Download language packs for use when traveling
  • Bookmark translations for future reference
  • Take pictures of text for higher-quality translations or for languages not supported by instant camera translation

Third-party safety auditors or consultants can use the mobile app when touring unfamiliar facilities. Before shifts, temporary workers with language barriers can be provided with a virtual tour of safety signs and labels.

The possibilities are endless once language barriers have been removed, opening the door for broader conversations about safety and hazard prevention. Technological advances like Google Translate and visual communication tools like the DuraLabel line of industrial printers makes it possible to communicate safety messages to the global workforce.