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Free e-books on business, marketing and management

Source: Want Words
Story flagged by: RominaZ

In her blog, Marta Stelmaszak shares  some of my favourite and most useful free e-books online. Some of them require an e-mail sign-up to download, but it’s well worth it. Browse through and read the descriptions here.

See: Want Words

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Translations of Japanese legislation

Source: From Words to Deeds
Story flagged by: RominaZ

The Japanese Ministry of Justice makes available English translations of legislation online. Japanese Law Translation

Laws can be searched by keyword, by title, by number, by category, or by organization (institution). More.

See: From Words to Deeds

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Dictionary reaches final definition after century

Source: BBC
Story flagged by: RominaZ

A dictionary has finally been completed after more than a century of accumulating entries.

The 17-volume dictionary of medieval Latin, launched in 1913, has reached its final definition, “zythum”, a type of fermented malt drink.

The editor, Richard Ashdowne, from Oxford University’s classics faculty, said such a laborious, long-term project would never be initiated now.

“Some people really did doubt we would ever reach the end,” said Dr Ashdowne.

The project began when Oxford historian Robert Whitwell wrote a letter to The Times calling for volunteers to help with researching this dictionary. More.

See: BBC

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On the Evolution and Likely Disappearance of Certain Professions, Including the Translating Profession

Source: Patenttranslator's Blog
Story flagged by: RominaZ

(…) Some people think that the translating profession’s days are numbered as well. I hear it all the time from non-translators. “Is there even a need for translators when machine translation is easily available?” people sometime ask me when they find out what it is that I do for a living.

Most people have already discovered that machine translation often makes no sense, but they still don’t understand that it will never really make sense because the reason why machine translation often makes no sense is that it is not translation. It is basically just a bunch of words generated by a machine based on an algorithm and it is up to the reader to make sense of these words. More.

See: Patenttranslator’s Blog

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Translation contest for schools in the European Union

Source: Juvenes Translatores
Story flagged by: RominaZ

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DG Translation) is organising a translation contest for schools in the European Union.

DG Translation will announce the contest on its dedicated website:

Any school wishing to participate must respond by registering electronically on the website between 1 September and 20 October 2014 (section 1). The registration will start and end at 12.00 midday on these dates.

A random draw (see section 2) will be held to select schools to take part in the contest from among those that register.

After that, the selected schools can choose between 2 and 5 students to take part in the contest and must enter their names and language pairs in the database by 20 November 2014 at the latest. More.

See: Juvenes Translatores

International Literacy Day 2014 #whyiread

Source: International Book Bank
Story flagged by: RominaZ

On September 8th, the International Book Bank is celebrating International Literacy Day with the hashtag #whyiread, and we need your help to remind your friends and the world that:

Currently 775.4 million adults cannot read or write; two thirds are women. Illiteracy affects an individual’s access to education, ability to exercise her civil rights, and even impacts her health and development. The consequences of illiteracy are devastating for the individual, the community and the world.

In 1965, UNESCO declared September 8th International Literacy Day (ILD) in an effort to focus attention on global literacy issues. This year, IBB is asking our donors, partners, and friends to share why you read. Here’s how

See: International Book Bank

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How translation amplifies ideas: TED speakers show appreciation

Source: TED Blog
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

[...] This is the point of TED’s Open Translation Project, a global volunteer effort that enables the amplification of ideas across languages and borders. When a talk goes live on, translators around the world have an open invitation to subtitle it in their language. Over time, OTP volunteers subtitle each talk in more and more languages.

Speakers are taking notice and reaching out to thank translation volunteers for their efforts. Rocero, for example, took to Facebook to publically thank the OTP network for amplifying her idea. Meanwhile, TEDxUNLV speaker Cortney Warren (watch her talk “Honest liars—the psychology of self-deception”) was so thrilled to find out that her talk was being translated by volunteer Adrienne Lin that she sent her a copy of her book and offered to do the same for anyone else who worked on the talk. “That’s such a generous service,” Warren said.

Repeat TED speaker Mikko Hypponen also sends personal thank-yous to his translators. He even translated two of his talks—“Fighting viruses, defending the net” and “Three types of online attacks”—into Finnish. “These translations made my talks accessible to a group of people that would otherwise miss them completely,” he says. “For example, my father has never studied English and wouldn’t be able to follow my talks.” More.

See: TED Blog

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The problems of a multilingual Spain

Source: The Economist
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

A RECENT Johnson column on the treatment of Catalan sparked hundreds of comments. My colleague argued in favour of multilingualism in Spain on the grounds that speakers of Castilian Spanish should be “proud to learn their country’s other languages”. This post will offer a different proposition: though this form of multilingualism is clearly useful, it may be more valuable for Spaniards to concentrate on learning languages spoken outside their own country.

Given that there are roughly as many speakers of Catalan as there are of Swedish, Castilian speakers considering how best to use their language-learning time might prefer to focus on a tongue that yields broader opportunities. Spain is still re-orienting its economy towards export competitiveness and away from over-investment in housing: France and Germany are its largest export markets and English remains the default language for international business. Yet the number of Spaniards able to speak English, German or French fluently is not high. They are moderately proficient in English, according to Education First’s (EF) index, which puts them at the lower end of the spectrum compared with other Europeans.

With unemployment stuck above 20%, many Spaniards are making the effort to gain additional skills or to take advantage of the EU’s free movement of labour. Castilian speakers may well feel that learning Catalan does not provide the benefits of studying English, French or German—or indeed Portuguese, Arabic or Chinese. More.

See: The Economist

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British readers lost in translations as foreign literature sales boom

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

British readers are devouring foreign fiction in record numbers amid a mini-boom in translated novels, inspired by the success of Scandinavian authors such as Jo Nesbø.

Among a string of high-profile launches, Penguin Classics is soon to publish a collection of Arabic short stories, entitled Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange, translated by the Cambridge academic Malcolm Lyons. It is the first time in 1,000 years that the earliest-known Arabic stories will have been printed in English.

Harvill Secker, a mainstream publisher focused on translated literature, is this year publishing authors from 18 countries including Haruki Murakamiand Nesbø, the Norwegian crime writer who has sold more than 23 million copies internationally. Next year they release the fourth of a six-book autobiographical series by Karl Ove Knausgård. In Norway alone, the volume has sold 450,000 copies.

Liz Foley, Harvill Secker’s publishing director, said: “There used to be a feeling translations were ‘good for you’ and not enjoyable … like vegetables … But actually they’re wonderful books.” Translations had “become more mainstream”, said Foley, with competition for translation rights intensifying.

Surging interest in foreign literature in recent years has been sparked partly by the success of Scandinavian fiction – notably Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium books have sold more than 75 million copies in 50 countries, and popular television dramas such as The Killing. More.

See: The Guardian

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Dostoevsky’s cacophonic catastrophes: A new translation of ‘Crime and Punishment’

Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Scholar and translator Oliver Ready talked to RBTH about the methods he used to tackle such a challenging book and explained why “Crime and Punishment” is as powerful now as ever.

What unites Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” and Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”? Both are centered on the perception of reality through literature. As translator Oliver Ready argues, Raskolnikov, the anti-hero of “Crime and Punishment,” is most at home in the world of words, whether books, newspapers or letters from acquaintances and relatives that he analyses like a literary critic or a detective. He is not just a student and a murderer – he is a reader and a writer, whose literary debut, an article about crime, is one of the great missing clues in the novel.

The very fact that Raskolnikov is a man of letters is what makes it so important to get as close to the original as a translation allows. Out this year in Penguin Classics, Oliver Ready’s new translation of Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” aims to preserve the original’s troubled and polyphonic narrative, and the varying language and vocabulary of its different characters.

In his translation, Ready, a research fellow in Russian society and culture at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, chose not to use 19th century English or contemporary language. Instead, his vocabulary belongs somewhere in the middle of the 20th century, and he tries to avoid words that appeared after the 1960s. This makes the new translation’s language “modern, but not contemporary.” More.

See: Russia Beyond the Headlines

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How to separate mediocre, good, and great stories in translation

Source: Arabic Literature (in English)
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Translator Max Shmookler, who is currently co-editing a collection of Sudanese short stories with ArabLit contributor Raphael Cormack, explores the tension between what Sudanese readers think is a great story and the story that will appear “great” in English translation. This post is the first in a series, and originally ran on Baraza:

One of the unexpected benefits of preparing an anthology is the chance to read through enough mediocre literature to begin to ask yourself what “mediocre” actually means. This summer, as Raph Cormack and I co-edit a book of Sudanese short stories in English translation, we are finding out that our attempts to distinguish the great stories from the mediocre raises interesting questions about competing literary aesthetics. Figuring out which stories to include and how to justify our selections to the publisher has been a hands-on lesson in how a literary canon, even a marginal canon such as Sudanese Arabic literature in English translation, is formed.

In our work, the basic tension is that some stories generally regarded among Sudanese readers as “good” do not translate into “good” literature by Anglo-American standards. It’s not that Anglo-American standards are superior to the Sudanese, largely because that way of speaking presumes we have some outside standard by which these two literary aesthetics could be properly compared. We don’t. But we do know that some of what is written, printed, appraised and ultimately bought and sold in the Arabic speaking parts of Sudan is quite different than what is appealing to English readers. As translators, we must either conceal or explain that difference to our imagined English readers. These essays are a first attempt to do the latter: to explain those aspects of my encounter with Sudanese Arabic literature that I cannot properly translate. In large part, I’ll be looking at different aspects of the marvelously complex relationship between the two literary critical traditions, call them for the sake of convenience Sudanese and English, brought together by global trade relations, colonial dominance, educational and cultural exchanges, and the emergence of specific technologies and revolutions in literary form that they entail. More.

See: Arabic Literature (in English)

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Globalisation prompts interpreter boom

Source: Yahoo Finance
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

It’s a high-stakes, multibillion-dollar industry with tight deadlines, demanding clients and lives at risk. Any miscommunication could cause a deep financial loss or death. Some in the industry work in war zones while others have cosy home offices.

“The stakes can be huge,” said Lillian Clementi, 55. “There’s tons of time pressure.”

The business is language. And it’s booming.

The number of jobs for translators and interpreters has doubled in the past 10 years and their wages have steadily grown – before, during and after the recession.

Jobs are expected to grow 46 per cent between 2012 and 2022, according to the US Labor Department, making it one of the fastest growing occupations. More.

See: Yahoo Finance

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Could the lingua franca approach to learning break Japan’s English curse?

Source: The Japan Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Perfection is unattainable: Learning English as a lingua franca (ELF) involves approaching the language as a tongue shared by non-native speakers around the world rather than as a lingo that must be mastered to native-speaker level. Letting go of the idea of speaking ‘perfect English’ could do wonders for Japanese students’ confidence.

According to EF Education First’s English Proficiency Index for 2013, English ability among Japanese is flat-lining — and may even be falling — “despite enormous private investment.”

In a damning assessment, EF concludes that “In the past six years, Japanese adults have not improved their English. If anything, their skills have declined slightly. During the same period, other Asian countries, most notably Indonesia and Vietnam, have made enormous progress. Despite being a far wealthier and more developed country, Japan is struggling to teach its students English for use in a competitive global economy.”

Newspaper headlines constantly speak of tweaks and reforms to English education here, yet school lessons remain teacher-centered and grammar-heavy, with much of the instruction conducted in Japanese. This means “students have no opportunity to practice or apply new skills,” EF says, meaning many Japanese lack confidence when it comes to speaking English despite spending years learning the language. More.

See: The Japan Times

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Translate Your World software for real-time voice translation adds WebRTC

Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Translate Your World, developers of linguistic and mobile marketing technologies, today announced the release of the latest update to its groundbreaking TYWI-Live (“tie-wee”), the voice translation software that translates what people say in real-time into 78 languages. The update adds cutting-edge WebRTC capabilities to its speech translation software capacity. WebRTC is designed to enable web browsers to transfer spoken words over the internet in addition to text. WebRTC is expected to revolutionize online communication, and has certainly revolutionized Translate Your World’s already jaw-dropping speech translation software.

Often described as a leap in the direction of Star Trek’s Klingon Translator, Translate Your World has been used to provide automatic subtitles and interpretation in multiple languages for major conferences; to speak over Skype across languages, and to turn webinars into truly global experiences while using WebEx, Adobe Connect, Blackboard, GoToWebinar, or any other web conferencing software. More.


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Books in translation take off in the U.K.; can they do the same in Canada?

Source: Quill & Quire
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Two of the year’s biggest bestsellers thus far have something in common – something that may come as a surprise to those who haven’t really considered it.

At first blush, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, an 800-page tome about income inequality, and Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, a multi-volume autobiographical novel, may seem completely different from one another, and in most respects they are. One aspect they do share: neither was originally published in English. Piketty’s book first appeared in France in 2013 as Le Capital au XXIe siècle; Knausgaard’s six-volume opus, which runs to more than 3,000 pages and has so far had the first three volumes appear in English translation, was published in his native Norwegian between 2009 and 2011.

Conventional wisdom has it that books in translation are a tough sell, though this attitude may be changing, thanks to Piketty, Knausgaard, and such best-selling foreign authors as Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Herman Koch, and Haruki Murakami. According to the GuardianBritish readers lined up to get their hands on copies of Murakami’s latestColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. (The queues are testament to Murakami’s international rock-star status, and belie naysayers like Janet Maslin, who wrote in The New York Times that the new novel “is as short on explanations as it is long on overwrought adolescent emotion.”) More.

See: Quill & Quire

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Valeri Petrov, Bulgaria’s most prominent poet and translator of Shakespeare, dies at 94

Source: Newser
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Valeri Petrov, Bulgaria’s most prominent contemporary poet, who translated the complete works of Shakespeare, has died at age 94.

Petrov’s family said he died Wednesday in a Sofia hospital following a stroke.

Valeri Nissim Mevorah, better known by his pen-name, Valeri Petrov, was born on April 22, 1920, in Sofia to a Jewish father and Bulgarian mother.

Besides poems, novels and translations from Russian, Italian and English, Petrov authored numerous film scripts and plays — both for adults and children. More.

See: Newser

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Lost in translation: International comics in Edinburgh (video)

Source: BBC
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and attracts artists and visitors from around the globe.

Comedy is big business and a successful Edinburgh run can make a comedian’s name.

It is vital to connect audiences and reviewers to get noticed amid fierce competition.

International artists have the additional hurdle to clear – the language barrier.

BBC World visited the fringe and spoke to comics from across the globe to see if comedy is lingua franca.

Watch the video here:

See: BBC

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Ground-breaking new Oxford Arabic Dictionary on way

Source: Arab News
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

On Thursday August 28, Oxford University Press will celebrate the print and digital publication of the Oxford Arabic Dictionary.

Produced by an international team of expert translators and advisors using Oxford’s renowned language research program, the Oxford Arabic Dictionary is the first of its kind to be based throughout on real modern evidence of both English and Arabic usage, says a press release received here.

The unique Arabic corpus, developed specially for this project, provides evidence of the latest vocabulary used in computing, business, the media, and the arts, making the resource the most up-to-date bilingual Arabic and English dictionary available.

The dictionary focuses on the standardized variant of Arabic used in writing and formal speech, commonly known as Modern Standard Arabic.

One of the key strengths of this project is the 70,000 real example phrases that illustrate the dictionary entries.

These examples help the user interpret everyday modern meaning and usage accurately, and cement the Oxford Arabic Dictionary as the most pragmatic work of its kind. More.

See: Arab News

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15-16 December 2014: On translated meaning

Source: University of Geneva
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

15-16 December 2014 : On translated meaning

Geneva, 15-16 December 2014

Faculté de Traduction et d’Interprétation, Université de Genève, CH
New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ


Meaning is a crucial aspect of the theory and practice of translation.

Over the last few years, scholars from various disciplines interested in the process of translation – linguistics, literary studies, cultural studies, philosophy, semiotics, cognitive sciences and information technology – have theorized the concept of meaning and developed methodologies.

Each field of study applies its own methodology in order to advance our understanding of translation from a theoretical as well as practical point of view. Consequently, methodology nuances the meaning of the concept of translation and of the idea of text. In short, different perspectives and approaches unfold specific meanings.

The very notion of meaning, of translated meaning, has shifted and changed over time and across cultures, contexts and media.
The aim of this conference is therefore to explore the notion of translated meaning from different perspectives:

  • Translated Meaning across Time and Space: Methodologies and Theories – an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Translated Meaning in Different Forms of Translation – written and oral translation of technical, scientific, economic and legal texts.
  • Translated Meaning and Multimedia – audiovisual translation, intersemiotic translation (comics; book covers; ecphrasis), localisation, funsubbing.
  • Translated Meaning, Ethics and Aesthetics – the separation and reunion of signifier and signified in the negotiation of texts, contexts, contents and forms.

See: University of Geneva

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What’s up with that: Why it’s so hard to catch your own typos

Source: Wired
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

You have finally finished writing your article. You’ve sweat over your choice of words and agonized about the best way to arrange them to effectively get your point across. You comb for errors, and by the time you publish you are absolutely certain that not a single typo survived. But, the first thing your readers notice isn’t your carefully crafted message, it’s the misspelled word in the fourth sentence.

Typos suck. They are saboteurs, undermining your intent, causing your resume to land in the “pass” pile, or providing sustenance for an army of pedantic critics. Frustratingly, they are usually words you know how to spell, but somehow skimmed over in your rounds of editing. If we are our own harshest critics, why do we miss those annoying little details?

The reason typos get through isn’t because we’re stupid or careless, it’s because what we’re doing is actually very smart, explains psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos of the University of Sheffield in the UK. “When you’re writing, you’re trying to convey meaning. It’s a very high level task,” he said.

As with all high level tasks, your brain generalizes simple, component parts (like turning letters into words and words into sentences) so it can focus on more complex tasks (like combining sentences into complex ideas). “We don’t catch every detail, we’re not like computers or NSA databases,” said Stafford. “Rather, we take in sensory information and combine it with what we expect, and we extract meaning.” When we’re reading other peoples’ work, this helps us arrive at meaning faster by using less brain power. When we’re proof reading our own work, we know the meaning we want to convey. Because we expect that meaning to be there, it’s easier for us to miss when parts (or all) of it are absent. The reason we don’t see our own typos is because what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads. More.

See: Wired

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