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“Gender and Family in the Language Services Industry” research from Common Sense Advisory

Source: PR Newswire
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Issues related to gender, the workplace, and family are important social and political concerns. “Gender and Family in the Language Services Industry” is the first in a series of reports by independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) dealing with gender and family issues among those who are employed in the language industry – translation, localization, interpreting, and related tasks – or who work with language services.

What matters most to you in your career?

What matters most to you in your career?

Earnings Reports
Economic studies show that jobs considered “women’s work” typically show lower pay than those associated with men, and that wages fall as more women enter a field. By contrast, both genders earn above-average wages in language services: US$50,900 in North America and $34,800 in Europe (versus economy-wide averages of US$49,630 and roughly US$20,000, respectively).

“These results are generally positive. Despite significant downward price pressures, language services professionals’ earnings are in line with – or exceed – those of other skilled professionals, without the penalty often associated with ‘women’s work,’” comments Arle Lommel, a senior analyst at CSA Research.

Key Findings and Dataset
Based on 2,200 global responses, the CSA Research report shines light on topics ranging from pay to personality to promotions. Key findings from the report, which is available for free with registration, include:

  • The world-wide language services gender pay gap is 19%. Adjusting for employment status, men still make 14% more than women. Earning disparities are highest in top and middle management and executive positions.
  • The gender gap is lowest in North America, but higher in Europe. However, Europeans believe they are closer to pay equality than others and Americans believe their employers are less equitable than others.
  • Majorities believe that gender issues do not affect them personally. Women are more likely to believe they have been personally affected, but both men and women, tend to see gender issues as important problems that affect other people.
  • Both men and women see women as having more positive qualities as employees. Respondents of both genders tend to agree that women have more positive qualities – including those important for leadership roles – than men do. Nevertheless, these qualities do not convert into advancement opportunities.

See more >>

These are the nominees in the 2017 edition of the ProZ.com community choice awards – vote now

By: Jared Tabor

Voting is now open in the 2017 edition of the ProZ.com community choice awards. Be sure to check out the people and resources that have been nominated, cast your votes, and spread the word.

Nominees in the translation category:

Blog: Best overall blog related to translation, based on activity and content from January 2016 to date.

Website: Best overall professional translator’s website.

Twitter: Best overall “Twitter”, based on activity from January 2016 to date.

Facebook page/group: Best overall Facebook page or group, based on activity and content from January 2016 to date.

Podcast: Best podcast (series or single podcast) from January 2016 to date.

Trainer: Active trainer in in-person or online training.

Conference speaker: Based on lectures/sessions given at events from January 2016 to date.

Best presentation: Best in-person or video presentation related to translation, based on activity and content from January 2016 to date.

Translation mentor: Based on quality and quantity of mentoring.

Article: Best article published (online or in print form) from January 2016 to date.

Book: Best book published (print or digital format) from January 2016 to date. May include re-releases or new editions.

Blog post: For a single blog post, as opposed to the “blog” category, which is based on a blog as a whole. This category may include guest blog posts.

ProZ.com profile: Most professional/attractive ProZ.com profile.

Most helpful contributor: All-around contributions, be they in forums, in term help, on social media, etc.

YouTube channel: Active YouTube channel dedicated to freelancing and translation.

Platform/resource: A platform or other resource designed to help freelance translators.

Nominees in the interpreting category:

Blog: Best overall blog related to interpreting, based on activity and content from January 2016 to date.

Website: Best overall professional translator’s website.

Twitter: Best overall “Twitter”, based on activity from January 2016 to date.

Facebook page/group: Best overall Facebook page or group, based on activity and content from January 2016 to date.

Podcast: Best podcast (series or single podcast) from January 2016 to date.

Article: Best article published (online or in print form) from January 2016 to date.

Voting will be open through the end of July. Cast your votes here >>

Results of Slator’s reader poll on subcontracting, payment methods, adaptive MT

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

In June 2017, a German federal court published a ruling in a tax case that delved into the details of where exactly freelancing ends (German: freiberufliche Tätigkeit) and a commercial enterprise begins (German: gewerbliche Tätigkeit).

As Slator reported, the court ruled that freelance translators are not allowed to offer languages they don’t personally understand and continue to enjoy the tax breaks and other administrative benefits that come from operating in a freelance capacity.

On Twitter and LinkedIn, the Slator article triggered an interesting debate about outsourcing to fellow freelancers and Slator’s take of the ruling (we stand by it). Beyond the ruling in Germany, subcontracting by freelancers has been a hot-button issue for decades, and so we wanted to know how our readers perceive the practice.

A clear majority of the 118 respondents who participated in the poll conducted among Slator’s e-mail newsletter subscribers view subcontracting unfavorably — 22% of respondents say it depends and only 10% approve of subcontracting.

If there is an industry that could benefit from more efficient payment technology, it’s the language services industry. Global in nature, hundreds of thousands of freelancers are based in every possible country under the sun, and millions upon millions of relatively small payments are made every single month.

But despite a boom in fintech, two decades of PayPal, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin becoming more mainstream, bank transfers, which often involve expensive fees, remain the top choice of paying freelancers among the respondents to our poll. Expect this to change in the coming decade.

Read more >>

Translation news roundup for June

By: Jared Tabor

Here are some of the highlights in Translation News for the month of June 2017:

Translation / Interpreting

Language

Technology

Business

Amazon is planning to rival Google with a service that translates languages

Source: CNBC
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Amazon’s cloud computing division has been working on a translation service that developers could use to make their websites and apps available in multiple languages, CNBC has learned.

Amazon already has machine-translation technology that it uses across the company to do things like provide product information in multiple languages. Now, the company is preparing to make it available through Amazon Web Services, said a source familiar with the matter. Amazon could announce the service before its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas in November.

The imminent launch comes almost two years after Amazon acquired a translation start-up called Safaba. A co-founder of Safaba, Alon Lavie, leads Amazon’s machine translation research and development group in Pittsburgh.

The other major cloud infrastructure providers, Alphabet and Microsoft, sell translation services. Google first released a language translation service for developers in 2008Facebook has developed machine translation technology for use in its own main app.

AWS in recent months has released services that draw on artificial intelligence in various ways — there are tools for recognizing objects in images and for turning text into speech, for example. A translation service would fit in well with that strategic push, which could help AWS further diversify its revenue away from the raw computing and storage resources that other companies provide.

The field of machine translation has been exploding with activity in the past two years as researchers have found gains by adopting deep learning. Deep learning is a type of AI that involves training software systems, called neural networks, on lots of data — like text snippets labeled with translations — and then getting the neural networks to make predictions about new data.

When Google Translate switched from a phrase-based system to a neural machine translation system for Japanese a few months ago, people immediately picked up on the higher quality of translations. Google has also added the neural system to its service for developers.

AWS, which generated $3.66 billion in revenue in the first quarter, offers more than 70 services, including applications for email and video conferencing. Companies that already extensively depend on AWS might well be willing to experiment with a new application programming interface for translation. Amazon also operates the Mechanical Turk web service that companies can use to farm out small tasks such as translating sentences to a number of people.

Independent companies like Gengo, Smartling and Unbabel rely on AWS infrastructure to operate human-powered translation services for companies.

ModernMT: new open source machine translation engine

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Four major institutions in the European Union have developed a new machine translation (MT) engine that will be released worldwide. The source code was also made available to the developer community on GitHub.

The open source project, called ModernMT, received a EUR 3m grant from Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework program for research and innovation, and was released in beta in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Built as a ready-to-install application, the software seeks to address the remaining hurdles that still hinder the adoption of MT technology by end-users, notably language service providers (LSPs) and enterprises.

Currently, it is available as a plug-in for various computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, including SDL Trados Studio. The full version of the enterprise-grade software is set for release in the fourth quarter of 2017.

See more >>

China clamps down on poor translations

Source: RT
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor
Inventively mangled foreign-language versions of signs and menus have become an iconic feature of China, but the government is imposing a compulsory list of 3,500 common translated phrases for public use in a bid to rid the country of Chinglish.

Starting from December, the Standardisation Administration, Ministry of Education, and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine will issue a new guide, while encouraging sign-makers to “prioritize correct grammar” and avoid misleading direct translations.

Particular focus will be on translations that are offensive, discriminatory, or unpatriotic.

© Phillip’s Adventures / YouTube

Wrong translations “damage the country’s image,” while better use of foreign languages in public spaces will pave the way for the “development of a multilingual society,” officials explained in an article published in the state-owned People’s Daily.

The rapid opening up and economic development of a country, where most do not read foreign alphabets or speak other languages, in the past several decades has produced a demand for foreign-language texts that is simply not matched by the requisite expertise.

German court bars translators from outsourcing if they run a freelance business

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

In a February 2017 ruling published on June 7, 2017, Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court struck down an appeal lodged by two freelance translators that they not be charged back taxes equivalent to the fees paid by commercial enterprises.

For more than two decades, the two freelancers had formed a so-called “civil law partnership,” a special legal form of incorporation under German law that allows two or more freelancers to pool resources. Such partnerships enjoy a number of advantages such as lower taxes or simplified accounting compared to other commercial enterprises such as an AG or GmbH (Ltd. or plc).

To qualify for such a status, the law specifies that the partners must provide the services entirely by themselves, which has made the legal form popular among freelancers.

The tax authorities, however, conducted an audit in 2008/09 and concluded that the partners’ business sold services provided by third-parties to a “significant degree.” As a result, the tax authorities ruled the partnership owed the government back taxes.

The two freelancers appealed the ruling all the way to the Federal Fiscal Court, which is the Court of last resort within the German jurisdiction over tax and customs matters.

The two plaintiffs’ business focuses on technical translations for mechanical engineering, translating mostly manuals, and technical documentation. Both are qualified translators. In addition, one of the partners holds an engineering degree.

Originally, the two limited their work to German, English, Spanish, and French – languages they were able to work on themselves. Over time, however, customers requested additional languages such as Turkish, Swedish, Dutch, Russian, and many others.

Therefore, the pair decided to farm out translations to other freelancers. By doing this, they exceeded the scope of business they were entitled to under the legal form of a partnership, the court now ruled.

The plaintiffs argued that they provide many other important services in a freelance capacity, such as consulting, technical editing, and layouting. They also explained that they maintain a Translation Memory and that their careful selection of third-party freelancers was essential to the overall offering.

The court would have none of it, however, explaining in elaborate German legalese that “shortcomings in a freelancer’s knowledge of a particular language cannot be offset by deploying a Translation Memory system, nor by carefully selecting third-party freelance translators, since the freelancer cannot personally ensure the accuracy of the translation.”

In short, freelance translators are not allowed to offer languages they don’t personally understand and continue to enjoy the tax breaks and other benefits that come from operating as a freelancer.

In Germany’s fragmented language services market, where individual freelance translators and boutique agencies form the backbone of the vendor ecosystem, the ruling’s impact will likely reverberate beyond this single case.

AUSIT national mini-conference (17-18 November, Canberra, Australia) – Call for papers

By: Aurelie Sheehan

AUSIT ANNUAL MINI-CONFERENCE, NOVEMBER 17-18, 2017, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

*

CALL FOR PAPERS

TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETING: ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM

Submission deadline: 31 July 2017

Bridging the gaps between languages and cultures as we do, it can sometimes be difficult for those of us in the interpreting and translation industry to balance expectations.  Particularly when working with sensitive information or in tricky situations, our errors in judgement can have far-reaching consequences.  In these circumstances, our professional ethics can help us make informed judgments to navigate tricky situations and guide us through ethical dilemmas.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of AUSIT’s ongoing commitment to raising professional standards and awareness of the translation and interpreting industry, this year’s mini-conference serves as the best opportunity to reflect on our professional and ethical values, converge our thinking and discuss.

The Organising Committee is now inviting translation and interpreting scholars as well as practising translators and interpreters to submit proposals for papers addressing the conference theme, Translation and Interpreting: Ethics and Professionalism.  Presentations on all related aspects are welcome including, but not limited to, practice, theory, research and pedagogy.

SUBMISSION

Proposals for individual papers should be submitted as abstracts of 250 words via the submission page (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ausit2017) by 31 July 2017.

TIME ALLOCATION

Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

IMPORTANT DATES

31 July 2017: Submission deadline

1 – 31 August 2017: Committee appraises abstracts and notifies presenters of acceptance

22 September 2017: Registration deadline for presenters.  Presenters need to register for the Mini-

conference on or before this date.

17 – 18 November 2017: Mini-conference, NAGM & Jill Blewett Memorial Lecture

APPRAISAL CRITERIA

Please ensure that you meet all or most of the following appraisal criteria.

• You clearly state the purpose of the presentation.

• You focus the content of your presentation, pacing it so that it fits into your allocated time slot (timekeepers will stop presentations at the advertised times).

• You contribute a presentation of good quality.

• You clearly reflect the conference theme in your presentation

RESEARCH PAPERS

- You define the method/approach, data and results (if applicable) in clear terms.

- You note the implications/relevance of the findings.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE PAPERS

- You clearly identify the issues discussed as issues arising from particular professional situations.

- You clearly identify the implications/relevance.

For any enquiries, please contact the Organising Committee via natminiconf(at)ausit.org

Parlez-vous franglais? More English words officially enter French language

Source: The Local
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The 2018 editions of France’s two most popular dictionaries reveal there are several new entries that won’t be so foreign to English speakers.

France’s two main rival dictionaries Robert and Larousse are set to release their 2018 editions and have leaked a few of the new words that made the cut.

Le Robert has added 200 words while Le Petit Larousse will see an additional 150 words on its pages.

To qualify for the honour, the new entries had to be in popular use, be used frequently by the media and not at risk of falling out of use in the short term.

The influence of technology is clearly visible in this year’s selection of anglicized French words getting the seal of approval.

With the words “spoiler” (usually a crucial bit of information that gives away the plot to a tv programme or film), “googliser” (to google), “liker” (to “like” something on social media) and “retweeter” (to retweet something on Twitter) joining the French language, younger generations of French and English speakers will have few problems understanding each other, at least when talking about the internet and social media.

Similarly, words inspired by English, such as hacktivisme (using technology to promote a political agenda) and uberisation (using web platforms that directly connect customers with the person providing the service to ensure lower costs than the traditional model), which have become common in France, have been included in the dictionaries.

Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon perform Google Translated songs — ‘Yeah I like that cadaver’

By: MacLeod Cushing

From New York Daily News June 15, 2017:

Miley Cyrus does not like the pressures stones make.

What, you ask. Well, please see Google Translate.

Cyrus, appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” took part in the host’s segment “Google Translate Songs,” putting strange lyrics to hits like Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Rick James’ “Super Freak.” The lyrics were placed into Google Translate and then shuffled back into English.

Cyrus kicked things off with the strange rendition of “Shape of You,” which is surely a version Hannibal Lecter could relate to.

One line: “Latch to my torso and throw me a cadaver.”

She continues, “I stand on your body’s curves/We do not like pressures stones make/But my organ drops right out/Yeah I like that cadaver.”

Next up: Fallon, with his version of “Super Freak,” which became “Really Weird.”

He sings, “This girl has an exemplary/Until toenails come from the top.”

“This girl has become mad/Literacy for the girl/Newspaper’s new thoughts/She is OK, she is OK/The girl has become OK for me/She’s really weird, she’s really weird, yes.”

Cyrus then continued the fun with a translated version of Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” While the lyrics were drastically altered, Cyrus still carried the performance with that “exemplary” voice of hers.

“Can you tell me where I left my house/Only one person contacted me/A minister’s male child/Only one male child ever informed me/A minister’s male child…” Cyrus sings.

The pair finished things off with a duet of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The new title: “Land Forms Do Not Prefer to Get High.”

“I want aided limbs/I arrive two times/Very rapidly,” Cyrus sings.

The two then reach the chorus singing, “Landforms don’t prefer to get high/Depressions don’t prefer to fall over/I won’t overweight your harbor/I’m going to purchase your baby.”

View the segment here on YouTube >>

A look at some Chinese translations of upcoming movie titles

Source: Hallyunation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Here’s a fun look at how some new an upcoming movie titles have been translated for Chinese audiences. Some hit the mark, some do not:

Translation – God of Thievery Milk Daddy 3

Actual Title – Despicable Me 3

Rating: 1/10

OK, so instead of any translating, the title has been completely remade into a description of the movie’s main character in order to appeal to the younger Chinese audiences. The worst part is that when the first Despicable Me film was released, it was originally called 《卑鄙的我》which both directly translates into “despicable me” and doesn’t sound like “generic children’s film”. To clarify though, “milk daddy” when translated a little less directly means “surrogate father”. Even then, it’s a bit weird here.

View all >>

CSOFT – Stepes and mobile interpreting

Source: Common Sense Advisory
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

CSOFT (#22 on our global list of the 100 largest LSPs) has banked on mobile being a driving force behind language needs. In December 2015, the company released Stepes (pronounced /’steps/), a human-powered mobile translation app designed to mobilize professional translators and Uberize the world’s bilingual population in the process. Last year, the company broadened the offering to support on-demand social media and image translation, again harnessing the power of the crowd. However, 2017 will be the year of interpreting for the company. EVP Carl Yao briefed us on CSOFT’s latest offering: on-demand interpreting from mobile devices.

This new capability is significant for several reasons:

  1. Stepes combines multiple desirable attributes into one package. Yao said that the service lets you access interpreters on demand, but still have the ability to schedule calls. It taps into local interpreters who are knowledgeable about the area in which customers need service. The platform is designed for both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, enabling simple one-to-one conversations where the customer often puts the interpreter on speakerphone.
  2. The service leverages the power of the crowd. The company relies on a pool of 100,000 professional linguists today, but CSOFT plans to tap into the much larger population of bilingual people. Many of them essentially provide language services for extra revenue in their spare time. Linguists can indicate when they are online and able to accept jobs. The Uber-style app shows you a map with the location of nearby interpreters on standby. Upon completion of each interpreting session, customers have the opportunity to rate the performance of each interpreter.
  3. The service will evolve the role of Interpreters into that of a multilingual concierge. You can ask a bilingual crowd member for a restaurant recommendation or tips on how to use the local public transport system. Interpreters step out of the role of linguistic mediator between two parties exchanging information to become an information source themselves.
  4. CSOFT is going after travelers frustrated with MT results. It sees tremendous potential when looking at the numbers of downloads of apps such as iTranslate and Google Translate. The company wants to provide a more personable service with a local helper, yet at a modest cost because its fees range from US$0.60 to 0.75 per minute.

Of course, this disruptive offering brings up a lot of questions. What about the ethical boundary for interpreters not to add to or change the message being delivered by another? How do you ensure the privacy of interpreters? How can the system’s ratings distinguish between linguists’ language skills and their knowledge of gluten-free restaurants in the area?

Read full article >>

Worldwide consensus on the terminology that supports research into sedentary behavior

Source: Youth Health
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The results of the ‘terminology consensus project’ led by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute’s (CHEO RI) Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) were published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in a paper co-authored by 84 scientists from 20 countries.

“This is the world’s most extensive agreement to date on consensus definitions for researchers examining sedentary behaviour, an emerging global public health priority,” said lead author Dr. Mark Tremblay, director of the CHEO RI’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) and a professor at the University of Ottawa. “There is an urgent need for clear, common and accepted terminology worldwide to facilitate the interpretation and comparison of research. We have made tremendous progress by defining terms such as physical inactivity, stationary behaviour, sedentary behaviour, and screen time. These terms have already been translated into several languages for rapid global uptake.”

The paper, entitled “Sedentary Behaviour Research Network: Terminology Consensus Project Process and Outcome”, provides refined definitions to suit all age groups, including babies, young children and people with chronic disease or mobility impairment. It also describes how bouts, breaks and interruptions should be defined and measured in the context of assessing sedentary behaviour and in relation to health outcomes.

The conceptual framework described in the paper also illustrates how both energy expenditure and posture are important components and how the terms relate to movement behaviours throughout a 24-hour period, including physical activity and sleep. Examples provided distinguish between active and passive sitting, active and passive standing, sedentary and stationary behaviour, screen time and non-screen-based sedentary time. Sedentary behaviour for a baby, for example, includes sitting in a car seat with minimal movement and, for a toddler, watching TV while sitting, reclining or lying down.

The 84 SBRN co-authors, which include researchers, trainees, graduate students, health practitioners and government employees, agree that standardization of the terminology is crucial to advancing future research, especially since this rapidly growing field of health science involves multi-disciplinary researchers, practitioners and industries.

“These consensus definitions will help scientists and practitioners navigate and understand the rapidly evolving field of sedentary behaviour research, allowing for more consistent and robust exploration of behaviours across 24 hours – sleep, sedentary behaviours and various intensities of physical activity – and may facilitate future research exploring ways to alter behaviours to improve health,” Dr. Tremblay said. “Our hope is that these will reduce confusion and advance research related to sedentary behaviour and, ultimately, promote healthy active living.”

Dr. Tremblay will chair a discussion of the project’s findings at a workshop today at the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity annual meeting in Victoria, British Columbia. Consensus definitions have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, German, Greek, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese.

See more >>

MyVoice: automatic sign language to English translation/interpretation

Source: University of Houston
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language. During the past semester, students in UH’s engineering technology and industrial design programs teamed up to develop the concept and prototype for MyVoice, a device that reads sign language and translates its motions into audible words. Recently, MyVoice earned first place among student projects at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) – Gulf Southwest Annual Conference.

MyVoiceThe development of MyVoice was through a collaborative senior capstone project for engineering technology students (Anthony Tran, Jeffrey Seto, Omar Gonzalez and Alan Tran) and industrial design students (Rick Salinas, Sergio Aleman and Ya-Han Chen). Overseeing the student teams were Farrokh Attarzadeh, associate professor of engineering technology, and EunSook Kwon, director of UH’s industrial design program.

MyVoice’s concept focuses on a handheld tool with a built-in microphone, speaker, soundboard, video camera and monitor. It would be placed on a hard surface where it reads a user’s sign language movements. Once MyVoice processes the motions, it then translates sign language into space through an electronic voice. Likewise, it would capture a person’s voice and can translate words into sign language, which is projected on its monitor.

The industrial designers researched the application of MyVoice by reaching out to the deaf community to understand the challenges associated with others not understanding sign language. They then designed MyVoice, while the engineering technology students had the arduous task of programming the device to translate motion into sound.

“The biggest difficulty was sampling together a databases of images of the sign languages. It involved 200-300 images per sign,” Seto said. “The team was ecstatic when the prototype came together.”

From its conceptual stage, MyVoice evolved into a prototype that could translate a single phrase: “A good job, Cougars.”

“This wasn’t just a project we did for a grade,” said Aleman, who just graduated from UH. “While designing and developing it, it turned into something very personal. When we got to know members of the deaf community and really understood their challenges, it made this MyVoice very important to all of us.”

Since MyVoice’s creation and first place prize at the ASEE conference, all of the team members have graduated. Still, Aleman said that the project is not history.

“We got it to work, but we hope to work with someone to implement this as a product,” Aleman said. “We want to prove to the community that this will work for the hearing impaired.”

“We are proud of such a contribution to society through MyVoice, which breaks the barrier between deaf community and common society,” added Attarzadeh.

Read more >>

Translate One2One: Lingmo language translator earpiece powered by IBM Watson

Source: New Atlas
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Australian start-up, Lingmo International, has brought us one step closer to the science-fiction dream of a universal translator earpiece. The Translate One2One, powered by IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology, is set to be the first commercially available translation earpiece that doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Translation technology has been rapidly progressing over the past few years. Both Google and Skype have been developing, and constantly improving, both text-to-text and speech-to-speech systems, and the current Google Translate app offers fantastic translation functionality through your smartphone, but we haven’t seen that transferred into something like an earpiece until very recently.

Last year, Waverly Labs launched its Pilot earpiece, which communicates with an app via Bluetooth to offer near real-time speech-to-speech translation. Waverly Labs made US$5 million from its initial Indiegogo campaign, and is set to ship the first round of pre-orders later this year. The handheld ili translator also promises Wi-Fi-free language translation when it launches in October.

With the imminent launch of the Translate One2One, Lingmo is poised to jump to the head of the class with a system that incorporates proprietary translation algorithms and IBM’s Watson Natural Language Understanding and Language Translator APIs to deal with difficult aspects of language, such as local slang and dialects, without the need for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.

“As the first device on the market for language translation using AI that does not rely on connectivity to operate, it offers significant potential for its unique application across airlines, foreign government relations and even not-for-profits working in remote areas,” says Danny May, Lingmo’s Founder and Director.

The system currently supports eight languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish. The in-built microphone picks up spoken phrases, which are translated to a second language within three to five seconds. An app version for iOS is also available that includes speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities for a greater number of languages.

The Translate One2One earpiece is available now to preorder for $179 with delivery expected in July. A two-piece travel pack is also available for $229, meaning two people, each with their own earpiece, could hold a real-time conversation in different languages.

Just a few years ago the idea of a universal translator device that slipped into your ear and translated speech into your desired language in real-time seemed like science fiction, but between Lingmo, Waverly Labs, Google and a host of other clever start-ups, that fantastic fiction looks to be very close to becoming a reality.

20 modern marketing terms

Source: Microsoft
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

I’m not sure how much of interest this is, but the folks at Microsoft have posted on some key marketing-related terminology:

1. Buyer persona: A semi-fictional profile of your ideal customer based on real-world data and research. Marketers use them to target content, social media, offers and more.

2. Inbound marketing: The process of attracting customers through useful, relevant and interesting content and interactions, typically online. It differs from more traditional ‘outbound’ marketing, such as advertising, direct mail and cold calls, which are more ‘pushy’.
Over the past decade, prospects have become so used to being ‘marketed at’ and ‘sold to’, they no longer respond to gimmicky ads. Instead, modern marketers assist potential customers by providing quality, engaging content.

3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The strategies and techniques used to increase the amount of organic (i.e. non-advertising) traffic to your website from relevant search engine results. Google considers several factors when presenting a ranked list of results for a user’s search query.
Quality, relevant and well-optimised content increases your Google ranking opportunity. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on ‘9 tools to benchmark your digital marketing’ to help explore this further.

4. Blog: Typically, companies use blogs to publish relevant, engaging content to build credibility with their potential customers, establish thought leadership and technical credentials and as part of an SEO strategy designed to attract visitors to a website.

5. Smart Partner marketing model:model of the buyer’s progression through the marketing and sales funnel. Modern marketers provide the right content at each stage to attract, convert and qualify leads.

6. Exploration stage: In the exploration stage, marketers provide content that addresses their personas’ core challenges. Use this content to drive traffic to a qualifying action, such as a demo or trial.

7. Evaluation stage: At this stage, customers will compare potential solutions to their problems through demos and testimonials. Track a prospect’s progress through the smart marketing model to determine their buying intent.

8. Purchase stage: In the purchase stage, a customer will commit to a proposed solution and negotiate terms and conditions. Partners should provide a quote, ROI tools, case studies and references to support their position.

9. Landing page: A standalone web page used to capture visitor data and convert them into leads. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of MOFU content offers such as eBooks and webinars. Each landing page contains a form, which visitors must complete to access the gated content.

10. Call To Action (CTA): A button image or text link on a website, social media page or email that encourages a website visitor to head to a landing page or take some other step along their marketing journey such as booking a demo.
CTAs should be visually striking with copy that compels engagement. They should be concise, action-orientated and easy to spot.

11. A/B testing: A way of testing different variables on a webpage or email. Modern marketers test and tweak page content, CTAs or subject lines to see which version has a higher conversion rate.

12. Analytics: Measuring and analysing marketing activity using automation tools to benchmark performance. In modern marketing, cost per customer acquisition and customer lifetime value can be easily calculated. Measure ROI instead of number of leads or website visits to determine the success of each individual marketing campaign.

13. Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors navigating away from your site after visiting just one page. Ideally, your content should be ‘sticky’, and your navigation should be clear to encourage people to stay and see more of your site.
Average bounce rates vary based on your website’s content and target audience. However, as a general rule of thumb, you want to limit your bounce rate to between 26 to 40 percent. Anything over 70 percent is worrying.

14. Click-Through Rate (CTR): A click-through rate measures the number of people who actually click on a link, offer, CTA or advert relative to the number of people who see it. A high click-through rate (around 2%) suggests a popular or attractive offer.

15. Infographic: Content that combines vibrant imagery with pithy text and statistics. Infographics are easily shared and can generate great backlinks for your site.

16. Influencers: A person who impacts the purchase decisions of others via a position of influence. They’re usually a celebrity, journalist or successful blogger within your chosen niche.
Influencers work with brands in various industries and verticals. In the tech sector, influencers address partners at events or provide online exposure through the endorsement of your products or services.

17. Pay Per Click (PPC): Purchasing advertising space within a search engine, social media platform or external website. Search engine PPC allows businesses to appear on the first page for selected keywords. Companies pay for every click their advert receives.

18. MQL and SQLs: Although there is no universal definition, a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a website visitor who shows a high level of interest in your business. They might indicate this by filling in a form, visiting certain pages or opening your emails. Most MQLs meet some basic suitability criteria: for example, working in a large company or having a specific job title.
A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) meets your sales team’s criteria for proactive engagement. For example, if a lead requests a demo, a sales rep might validate them by checking their LinkedIn profile. It’s important sales and marketing work together to qualify all potential leads.

19. Closed-loop marketing: The practice of tracking a customer’s entire marketing journey, from website visitor to closed sale. Closed-loop marketing is a key concept of the inbound methodology, as it allows you to see the exact impact of your strategy on business growth.

20. Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing or ‘drip marketing’ is a method of qualifying leads through continuous engagement. The aim is to move prospects through the sales funnel by providing relevant information at each stage of the smart marketing model. Emails and social media messages are both effective ways to direct buyers to the next stage and help them to qualify.

Spike in Kannada publications not translating into readership growth

Source: Deccan Herald
Story flagged by: SATISHA KM

The Kannada book industry is thriving with each passing year, but quality remains a major concern. The number of Kannada publication houses has increased, but the reading community hasn’t grown much.

There are over 1,000 publication houses across the state, but only around 100 publication houses publish books of quality. “The reading habit hasn’t diminished, but has grown in proportion to the population. However, the growth of the reading community doesn’t match the number of publication houses,” Na Ravikumar of Abhinava Prakashana says.

“Like music, reading attracts fewer people. The industry is slowly witnessing the digitisation process slowing down the expansion of reading community,” he says.

Many publishers say there are hardly any best-selling authors in Kannada at present. “Only two writers — S L Bhyrappa and Sai Suthe — are in demand now. Absence of masters like Kuvempu,
Tejaswi, P Lankesh and U R Ananthamurthy has hit the growth of the reading community,” says Guruprasad of Akruthi Prakashana.

Nearly 900 titles a year used to be released a decade ago, but today, around 5,000 titles are released every year. Many publication houses publish books only to sell them to libraries. Many people want to project themselves as writers. They start their own publication houses and sell their books to libraries.

“We often get calls from people settled abroad for publication of their parents’ works. They are ready to shell out money, but aren’t bothered about the quality,” says Sameer Joshi of Manohara Grantha Mala, Dharwad.

The e-book trend had affected the offline book sales in 2015-16. However, offline sale has increased in the past one year.

“The e-book sale has dipped from 21% to 11%, striking a positive note for book industry,” Paresh Shah, CEO, Sapna Book House, says.

Literature continues to be the most popular genre among customers. Books on popular science, environmental issues, personality development, recipes and time management are also in demand.

Demand for classics
“There has always been a demand for classics in literature. We get many retired employees seeking classics in Kannada and translation of classics from other languages,” says Joshi. Books on films and sports have fewer takers as media largely covers those fields.

The print form is making way for the digital form, while audiovisual trailers for books are slowly gaining momentum. Manohara Grantha Mala is digitising classics and titles that are out of print.
The Kannada book industry registers business worth Rs 25 crore a year.

White Paper: Why AdaptiveMT is the dawn of a new horizon for machine translation

Source: SDL
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

With ever-increasing demand for local content, the pressure is growing on translation teams to do more with their available resources.

AdaptiveMT, introduced in SDL Trados Studio 2017, is a game-changer for machine translation (MT) technology. By learning from post-edits it provides translators with a self-learning, personalized MT service that improves the quality of suggestions and boosts productivity.

Learn about how AdaptiveMT is transforming the role of MT in this white paper.

Download this white paper here >>

Translators without Borders and The Rosetta Foundation announce merger

Source: Translators without Borders
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

DANBURY, CT, USA and DUBLIN, IRELAND – 15 June 2017. Translators without Borders (TWB) and The Rosetta Foundation (TRF) have agreed to merge operations. The merger, announced today at the Localization World conference in Barcelona, brings together the two leading non-profit organizations focused on better access to information in languages people understand.

In the past five years, and especially since the devastating outbreak of Ebola in 2014-15, there has been a greater awareness that language is a critical part of humanitarian response and development work. TWB and TRF have responded by building technologies and communities of translators to ensure non-profit organizations have access to high quality local language resources. Additionally, TWB has developed its Words of Relief crisis response service, which has been active in a number of major crises, including the Ebola outbreak, Nepal earthquake and the European refugee crisis.

“We have all seen time and again, for example recently during the refugee crisis in Greece, how information can save and transform lives. For information to be effective it needs to be in local languages,” said Andrew Bredenkamp, board chair of TWB and member of the TRF board. “The need for local language information is huge, urgent, and growing fast – this merger will give us greater scalability and a stronger platform for advocacy to help meet this need.”

With this merger, the organizations will increase efficiencies and ensure that both entities continue to offer high quality language services to the aid community and the affected populations they serve.

Aimee Ansari, executive director of TWB and Olga Blasco, TRF executive for the past 1.5 years, worked together to complete the deal, backed by the boards of both organizations. Olga has said, “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Aimee, a veteran of the humanitarian sector who truly understands the importance of language. Over the coming months, we will work together with the TWB and TRF teams to merge operations as required to meet our strategic goals and, most importantly, to strengthen outreach and processes for our highly motivated translator communities.” Olga will be relinquishing her role as executive to become a new TRF board member.

TRF works with translators through the Trommons platform, developed by the Localisation Research Centre at the University of Limerick and exclusively licensed to TRF, who have open-sourced it. TWB has been operating on the ProZ.com powered translation center, which it has recently complemented with state-of-the-art open-source translation technology and CRM functionality to build its unique Kató translation platform. For now, services to partners will continue as normal on both platforms, while some administrative tasks will be merged.

TWB was founded as a United States non-profit in 2010 by Lori Thicke. TRF was founded by Reinhard Schäler during the Action for Global Information Sharing (AGIS) conference in Limerick in 2009. Further details will be communicated to the organizations’ communities over the next six months. Additionally, the organizations have jointly created an FAQ; specific questions can be directed to info@translatorswithoutborders.org or info@therosettafoundation.org.



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