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Asterix the Gael: Asterix and Tintin get Irish language translation

Source: BBC
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

As well as defending their small corner of Gaul from the Roman Empire, Asterix and Obelix have also been conquering a new language.

The Asterix comics, published in 107 languages, are now also available in Irish.

Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock teamed up with translator Antain Mac Lochlainn to translate Asterix in Gaul, and Asterix and the Golden Sickle into Irish.

Crime-fighting journalist Tintin, and his faithful dog Snowy, have also been given a Gaelic makeover in Cigars of the Pharaoh.

Asterix was first published in 1961, and the series has sold over 250 million copies around the world.

Much of the books’ humour comes from word play, which makes it difficult to translate.

The publishers gave specific instructions on how names should be translated. More.

See: BBC

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Interpreter prevents miscommunications in court

Source: Gainesville Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Starting almost 20 years ago in translation, Guillermo Arenas often works as the middleman between the judge and the defendant.

A certified interpreter used frequently in the Hall County Courthouse, he’s worked everything from traffic violations to murder cases.

“Many people do not understand the role of the interpreter, don’t really value the importance. We’re talking about somebody’s life,” Arenas said. “If the interpretation is not done correctly, big mistakes can be made.”

Arenas is in and around the Hall County Courthouse usually three days a week, he said, working four- to five-hour days. With a large Hispanic population in Gainesville, he works with a team in Hall County interpreting for Spanish speakers.

“Throughout the courthouse, probably at least four of us on a given day (interpret), covering the first floor up to the fourth floor,” said Melva Mendoza, court administration director of interpreter services.

While Spanish is the most prevalent, some uncommon languages will be requested by defendants or witnesses needing lingual assistance. One instance on a recent court call list required a Burmese interpreter. More.

See: Gainesville Times

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5 tips for editing literary works in translation

Source: Publishing Perspectives
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Three top US book editors and one translator share their top tips for working with literary translations.

On Tuesday night, the German Book Office in New York City hosted a panel entitled, “Editing Translations – Editing Susan,” which offered attendees advice on editing works in translation. It followed a day-long workshop in which German-English translator Susan Bernofsky worked with up-and-coming translators around a text by Jenny Erpenbeck, whose novel The End of Days (New Directions) Bernofsky had recently translated.

Moderated by Publishing Perspectives editor-in-chief Ed Nawotka, panelists included, in addition to Ms. Bernofsky: Declan Spring, vice president and senior editor at New Directions; Edwin Frank, editor of New York Review Books Classics; and Stephen Twilley, managing editor of Public Culture and Public Books — all three of whom have edited her work.

Here are the panelists’ top five tips for editing works in translation:

1. Listen to the Author
According to Bernofsky, the problem with translation is this: you must create something that has legibility in its own right, not necessarily “an exact representation of,” the text, but a credible version of the author’s text, voice, and — of perhaps most importance — tone. She gave a shout-out to Erpenbeck, sitting in the audience, and the two recalled the collaborative work between translator and author. When it is clear the translation cannot be an exact representation of the original, the input of the author is essential.

2. Don’t Edit Where You Don’t Need To
Stephen Twilley says that an editor must always ask him or herself, “Can the text justify this?” This means, besides listening to the author, one must “listen” to the text. What is the significance of a particular detail in the narrative, for example? What are the consequences of removing or altering it? If this is removed or altered, does the work lose something crucial? More.

See: Publishing Perspectives

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Following client instructions

Source: Translation Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Today’s brief post is about something very simple that can make you very popular with clients: following their instructions. This should be easy enough, but the reality is that some client instructions are relatively complex (some can be several pages long), and can be hard to follow. However, you can really set yourself apart from your colleagues by doing a very thorough job at following these instructions.

We are oftentimes clients ourselves, as we frequently outsource work to our superstar colleagues, and naturally, we tend to work with linguists (always the same people; not accepting applications!) who are not only extraordinary translators and communicators, but are also great at following the instructions we pass along from the client. Some of these instructions can be quite cumbersome (don’t translate the text in red; all headlines need to be font 13 and not 12, etc.), but we pay our contractors well, and hence expect them to follow instructions carefully. We’ve oftentimes heard from our clients that they like working with us because we make 100% sure all client wishes and requirements are always met, the first time. More.

See: Translation Times

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Google is working on a mobile keyboard with an incredible real-time translation feature

Source: BGR
Story flagged by: Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy

With so many awesome third-party keyboard apps out there, it can be hard to distinguish yours from the crowd. It seems that Google has been working on a keyboard app that really delivers something we haven’t seen in any other keyboard app so far: The ability to have conversations with people in multiple languages that will automatically translate for you with the help of Google Translate.

According to a Google patent filed two years ago and flagged by GreyBMusings, Google has designed a smartphone keyboard that essentially splits into two halves that let people type on opposite sides of the device. So if you’re writing something in English and you hit “send,” it will pop up on the other person’s side of the screen in whatever language you’re translating it into. Then when they respond on their keyboard, their reply will show up in English on your side of the keyboard. More.

See: BGR

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It’s a courtesy: On extra charges when working with direct clients

Source: Thoughts On Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Translator mailing lists and message boards are full of translators asking, “Can you charge extra for…?” (formatting, translating from a poor-quality PDF, talking to the client’s staff on the phone, and so on). If the client is an agency, you have to negotiate those extra charges (or extra unpaid work) directly with them. But here’s my solution for when you’re working with direct clients (and of course you can agree, disagree, or offer your own solution).

  1. Charge the client an all-inclusive rate that’s high enough to cover the occasional unexpected “extra” service: for example the client needs hard copies of a translation with your Certified Translator stamp on them, necessitating an impromptu run to FedEx. What’s that you say…you passed the ATA exam and you never downloaded your Certified Translator seal to have a stamp made? Well, you’d better take care of that right now!
  2. Then, don’t nickle-and-dime the client for these small extra services. Of course if you spend hours on an extra task, you should charge for it. But the FedEx run, the 15-minute phone consultation, the 33-word e-mail that the client forgot to ask you to translate…don’t make a big deal out of those.
  3. But don’t let the client simply forget about them either; it’s a good reminder of the value of a professional translator, and of why the client pays you a premium rate in the first place. My solution: put those items on your invoice, and in the column where you would normally include the cost, write “Courtesy.” “Overnight delivery of hard copies: Courtesy.” “Press release headline suggestions: Courtesy,” and so on. This will jog the client’s memory, remind them of how you helped them out in a pinch, and hopefully help you retain them as a premium client. To me, adding an extra charge for a task that took 10 minutes looks a bit petty and desperate; better to charge a higher rate overall and then do those Courtesy services without additional billing.

See: Thoughts On Translation

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Ten things your clients should consider when preparing a text for translation

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: OlegSemerikov

Use this simple checklist to make sure you receive the best possible translation

So you’ve decided to outsource your translation needs, you found a great translation services company or team of translators and you’re ready to start work. But before you send off that big job, take a minute to read through these ten tips on how to prepare a text for translation, to ensure that the job goes smoothly and everyone is happy.

1. Check that your text hasn’t already been translated

This may sound like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of larger companies pay to have texts translated without checking if they already exist in translation. Most translators have had the experience of googling a key term from a text, only to discover the entire text hidden somewhere on the client’s website. Particularly for large multinational corporations, or any company with decentralised management, a quick check could save you a pretty penny. More.

See: Translators Family

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Connection, communication and culture: a history of translation

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: OlegSemerikov

We journey back in time 4,000 years to discover the story of human communication

Translation today is a high-tech, high-speed affair. Businesses as far-flung as New York, Hong Kong, London and Moscow need lightning-fast communication at low rates without sacrificing quality, and the translation industry has experienced a huge boom in technological aids in order to provide it. But how did translation first develop, and how did we get to where we are today? Examining these questions might shed some light on the nature of translation, as well as give us some clues about where translation might go in the future.

Translation: shouting over a great divide

The word translation derives from a Latin phrase, meaning “to carry across”. The earlier ancient Greek term, “metaphrasis” means “to speak across”. In both of these terms there is the sense of a gap, a gulf, and it is this disconnect in human communication that is at the heart of the myth of the Biblical Tower of Babel, in which human speech was shattered in a thousand tongues to punish the united peoples of the earth for their hubris in building a tower to reach the heavens. As long as humans speaking different languages have gathered, the need for someone to reach over the divide and “to carry across” meaning must have been pressing. Anthropologists can only speculate at what point our ancestors first developed language, but it is not hard to imagine these early humans meeting other tribes and needing to break the language barrier in order to trade, intermarry or go to war. More.

See: Translators Family

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The biggest mistakes companies make when outsourcing translations

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: OlegSemerikov

For companies at the start of their journey into an overseas market, procuring translation services can be a complicated and confusing business. With so much of the translation industry now based online, finding a translation agency or team that can meet your needs can be a tricky business, and there are plenty of pitfalls awaiting the unaware. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the biggest mistakes businesses make when getting texts translated, and how you can avoid them.

It’s only natural that companies look to minimise costs throughout their business dealings, including the cost of translation. However, companies sometimes go to extremes in looking for the best deal, and end up with a damp squib. A classic example of this is when companies settle for machine translation (MT), which is extremely cheap because the translation is conducted by a computer program rather than a human. Like most things, if it sounds too good to be true that’s because it is. Machine translation is a very pale imitation of professional human translation. Computers simply aren’t able to deal in nuance, handle idiomatic language or distinguish contextually between two meanings of the same word in any consistent or reliable manner. At best, a machine translation will result in nonsense, and at worse, dangerous nonsense, and many companies end up coming to a professional translation services company asking them to fix the mess, paying twice over for the job. Until we reach the stage where machines’ thought processes are indistinguishable from our own, it’s best to avoid machine translation. More.

See: Translators Family

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Welocalize receives Deloitte 2014 Technology Fast 500 Award

Source: BWW
Story flagged by: Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy

Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, has been recognized by Deloitte for the thirteenth time as one of the fastest growing North American companies in the prestigious 2014 Technology Fast 500™ annual ranking.

Welocalize has received the respected award for the percentage of fiscal year revenue growth from 2009 to 2013 among other companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and clean technology sectors. The ranking distinguishes companies of all sizes, both public and private who are driven by technological innovation and entrepreneurship, demonstrated through their rapid growth. More.

See: BWW

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Translation by machine or human?

Source: EContent
Story flagged by: Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy

Let’s assume you have an English-language, web-based business, including downloadable documents. To expand, you have to reach out to non-English-speaking customers. You must translate and transform your content for non-English speakers. When you get into the details, you realize this is complicated: Numbers may need different formatting, print and web layouts will likely need to be adjusted, cultural differences can be a mine field, specialized technical terms require deep expertise, and myriad other issues. You quickly realize that localization is a lot of work, and you may have to repeat it for each target language or culture.

Where do you start? You must choose between automated and human translation-or some combination of the two. Automated translation is fast but generally low quality. Using Google Translate, I round-tripped a former General Electric tag line: “We bring good things to life.” I translated that from English to French, and back to English to see what, if anything, changed. The round-tripped English was, “The good things in life.” Clearly, something was lost in translation. More.

See: EContent

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‘Lost’ first languages leave permanent mark on the brain, new study reveals

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: missdutch

MRI scans show Chinese babies adopted by French-speaking Canadian families retain ‘unconscious’ knowledge of their mother tongue

“Lost” first languages leave a permanent mark on the brain, a report this week has found. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the US, challenges the existing understanding that exposure to a language in the first year of a child’s life can be “erased” if he or she is moved to a different linguistic environment.

The study showed that Chinese children, adopted at 12 months to French-speaking families in Canada, responded to Chinese tones, despite having no conscious understanding of the language.

The experiment involved 49 girls aged between nine and 17 in the Montreal area. The girls fell into three groups: monolingual French speakers with no exposure to Chinese, girls bilingual in French and Chinese, and the Chinese adoptees. All groups were asked to listen to “pseudo words” that used the tones prevalent in Chinese languages. MRI scans revealed that the adoptees showed the same brain activity as native speakers, despite no longer being able to understand and speak anything in the language. More.

See: The Guardian

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Language preservation is necessary for maintaining cultural identity

Source: The Crimson White
Story flagged by: Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy

[...] In Brittany, a cultural region in northwestern France, Bretons are in fear of losing their cultural identity through the loss of the native language, Breton. Breton is a Britannic language closely related to Welsh and Cornish and is considered “severely endangered” by UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. According to Ethnologue, there are only 206,000 speakers and that number is not expected to grow. Policies were instituted in the 19th century, such as banning Breton in schools that discouraged people from speaking Breton and switching 
to French.

Furthermore, Breton was seen as an inferior language to French as it was traditionally spoken by people in poor rural areas. Even today, Breton as well as several other minority languages in France, and the rest of the world, are not legally protected. Also in France, the Académie française, which regulates and protects the purity of the French language, has protested efforts to give minority languages legal protection in France.

The situation in France is hardly unique. Of the 7,106 of the world’s living languages, 1,519 are categorized by Ethnologue as “in trouble,” and 915 are “dying.” In comparison, only 560 are “institutional.” Some people argue it is not worth the effort to save these dying languages because they have ceased to be, or never were, languages of thinking, innovation and diplomacy. As the languages die out, their speakers are assimilating into the modern world and perhaps are utilizing more aspects of modern technologies and the comforts of today’s society. More.

See: The Crimson White

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How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

Source: TED Blog
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

They say that children learn languages the best. But that doesn’t mean that adults should give up. We asked some of the polyglots in TED’s Open Translation Project to share their secrets to mastering a foreign language. Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles:

  1. Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
  2. Make language-learning a lifestyle changeElisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.
  3. Play house with the language. The more you invite a foreign language into your daily life, the more your brain will consider it something useful and worth caring about. “Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language,” says Russian translator Olga Dmitrochenkova. Label every object in your house in this language, read kids’ books written in it, watch subtitled TED and TEDx talks, or live-narrate parts of your day to an imaginary foreign friend. More.

See: TED Blog

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Vape gathers linguistic steam to become Word of the Year 2014

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Oxford Dictionaries settles on term for using e-cigarettes after the word’s usage more than doubled in the last year.

This was the year of vaping, according to Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen “vape” – the act of inhaling from an electronic cigarette – as its word of 2014 after use of the term more than doubled over the last year.

Vape – defined as to “inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device” – beat contenders including slacktivismbae and indyref to be chosen as Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2014. The shortlist is compiled from scanning around 150m words of English in use each month, applying software to identify new and emerging usage. Dictionary editors and lexicographers, including staff from the Oxford English Dictionary, then pinpoint a final selection and an eventual winner, which is intended to be a word judged “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.

The concept of slacktivism also took off this year, said the publisher, defining it as “actions performed via the internet in support of a political or cosocial cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement”, and pointing to the Ice Bucket challenge, the no make-up selfie and the hashtag #bringbackourgirls as three examples of the trend. More.

See: The Guardian

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How to avoid destroying your translation budget

Source: Bizcommunity
Story flagged by: Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy

Commoditisation is sweeping through every industry as products and services are made as uniform, plentiful and affordable as possible to make them more attainable – just think how cellphones have converged on features, size and form factors with similar products competing at similar price points. In the language services industry, translations are also frequently bargained down to the lowest cost per word.

But as the demand for global collateral grows, translation services have become much more than just changing copy into another language. Recreating a product manual of 50,000 words in three new languages involves a magnitude of work to manage the project, solve technical snags and assure quality. These specialised capabilities don’t come standard with a cut-rate price per word.

You get what you pay for

The question of ‘how much is all this translation going to cost?’ always comes up right at the beginning of any localisation campaign.

Different teams have different expectations when it comes to translation budgets, but cutting corners around services can mean trouble and more costs down the line. Every piece of collateral has to be perfectly translated, especially if you’re breaking into a market. Or, you could stumble before you’re even out of the gate. More.

See: Bizcommunity

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The amazing brains of the real-time interpreters

Source: BBC
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The world’s most powerful computers can’t perform accurate real-time interpreting of one language to another. Yet human interpreters do it with ease. Geoff Watts meets the neuroscientists who are starting to explain this remarkable ability.

[...] Neuroscientists have explored language for decades and produced scores of studies on multilingual speakers. Yet understanding this process – simultaneous interpretation – is a much bigger scientific challenge. So much goes on in an interpreter’s brain that it’s hard even to know where to start. Recently, however, a handful of enthusiasts have taken up the challenge, and one region of the brain – the caudate nucleus – has caught their attention.

The caudate isn’t a specialist language area; neuroscientists know it for its role in processes like decision making and trust. It’s like an orchestral conductor, coordinating activity across many brain regions to produce stunningly complex behaviours. Which means the results of the interpretation studies appear to tie into one of the biggest ideas to emerge from neuroscience over the past decade or two. It’s now clear that many of our most sophisticated abilities are made possible not by specialist brain areas dedicated to specific tasks, but by lightning-fast coordination between areas that control more general tasks, such as movement and hearing. Simultaneous interpretation, it seems, is yet another feat made possible by our networked brains. More.

See: BBC

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France to honor Iranian translator Lili Golestan

Source: Iran Daily
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Iranian translator and artist Lili Golestan is to be honored with France’s high cultural distinction dubbed the Order of Academic Palms.

French Ambassador to Iran Bruno Foucher will award the medal to the Iranian artist at the Embassy in Tehran on November 17. Press TV reported.

The Order of Academic Palms is an Order of Chivalry of France, which is awarded to distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education.

Golestan who has a hand in various arts is also the artistic director of Golestan Gallery in Tehran.

Born in 1944, Golestan studied dress and textile design at the National School of Decorative Arts (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris.

She also attended classes on world art history and French literature at “La Sorbonne.”

She translated many books from the world literature into Persian, most of which have been republished several times. More.

See: Iran Daily

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New Mexico seeks new 911 translation company

Source: KOAT Albuquerque
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Action 7 News exposed the problem earlier this week, and it extends beyond Bernalillo County.

There’s a company that’s hired to translate 911 calls. The dispatcher transfers the caller to that company and then sends out emergency help.

Action 7 News confirmed that vendor is used at dispatch centers statewide and it hasn’t been getting the job done, so the state is looking for a replacement.

“It could literally cost somebody their life,” Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson said. “Absolutely it’s disappointing. In a perfect world this never happens.”

A woman who’d been shot in the head was rushed into El Paisa Taqueria on Bridge Boulevard. A worker who only spoke Spanish immediately called 911 for help.

But he hit a major road block and in nearly 10 minutes there were no translators. So the emergency was simply lost in translation. He says the 911 operator only told her “No Spanish” and that’s it. More.

See: KOAT Albuquerque

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2015 International Congress on Medical Interpreting opens registration

Source: Kontax
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) is proud to announce dates for an International Congress on Medical Interpreting to take place on April 24-26, 2015 in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. The dates were selected to coincide with the Cherry Tree Blossom Season!

[...] A key pre-congress activity with this event, US Congress Advocacy Day, is on Thursday, April 23. Interpreters from across the United States as well as other countries will unite to advocate for the provision of certified medical interpreters to ensure patient safety and appropriate language access in healthcare. “We did this once before in 2010 where interpreters and advocates convened for the first rally for recognition of professional medical interpreters,” said Jeanette Anders, IMIA Events Committee. “This was a landmark event and we are calling on interpreters from every state to gather as it is time to take our message to the congressmen’s doors once again!” International attendees learn and have taken some of our advocacy initiatives to their own countries. More.

See: Kontax

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