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When YouTube launched its translation options in November 2015, it offered four choices for content creators ― do their own translations, use automatic captioning through Google Translate, tap the fan base for free multilingual translations through the Community Contributions (CC) tool, or hire the services of professional translators from its own Translation Marketplace.
Since then, YouTube said it has received over 900,000 contributions for translating video subtitles and closed captions. With free multilingual translations available, would the marketplace take off as a viable business platform for professional content creators and language service providers (LSPs) to meet and do business?
“In March, we received almost twice the average amount of requests from the previous three months. Not only do we now have recurring customers, but many creators are also becoming more familiar with the marketplace tool. So, yes, we are expecting the volume to grow even more in the next months, and we’ll be working to promote that on our end,” Latinlingua, an LSP based in Argentina, said in an e-mail interview with Slator.
“Community contributions are an amazing tool and we are not trying to compete with that. It is nice that their (content creators’) own followers can give them the possibility to spread their content worldwide,” Latinlingua added. “But we believe our customers look for professional services instead of the community contributions to guarantee the quality of the transcripts and translations.”
With more than 300,000 videos being uploaded to YouTube daily, Latinlingua sees a lot of possibilities ― and challenges as well ― for paid translation.
“On the platform, the customer has to choose among four to six vendors from a list that only has prices and a link to their website. So, pricing plays an important role in their decision. On the other hand, we know we are not the cheapest agency for some services and language pairs and yet receive requests; so prices are not the only thing they take into account,” Latinlingua said.
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Throughout Andrew Byrd’s successful career in academia, he has pushed to understand ancient languages to a depth no one has before. His goal was to understand how languages spoken thousands of years ago actually sounded.
That scholarly obsession has led Byrd, an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Kentucky, to places and experiences he never imagined. He just completed creating ancient languages for National Geographic Channel’s new series “Origins: The Journey of Humankind.”
The global notoriety began in 2013 when Byrd’s work caught the attention of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Archaeology magazine. The magazine published an online piece that included recordings of Byrd reading two fables he had constructed in the prehistoric language known as Proto-Indo-European (PIE). It wasn’t long before he was featured in several major news outlets, including the BBC, The Huffington Post, io9.com, Le Figaro, USA Today, Smithsonian magazine and more. To listen to Byrd explain and speak PIE, visit www.as.uky.edu/fables-reconstruction-andrew-byrd.
Byrd had always been enthralled by PIE, the language spoken before any of the Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Greek, Sanskrit and Old English and the prehistoric ancestor of hundreds of languages spoken today, including English, Spanish, Greek, Farsi, Armenian and more.
Linguists were familiar with PIE, but Byrd was one of the few determined to figure out how it might have sounded to the human ear.
To reconstruct the 7,000-year-old PIE, he first collected Indo-European translations of the same word. For example, he gathered the word “king” from those I-E languages and then looked for the common threads. He began noticing similarities to all the words meaning “king” or “ruler.”
“When you bring these words together, you’ll see that all of the words meaning king or ruler begin with something like an ‘r’ sound followed by a long vowel. Through examining trends in each language, you can tell which parts of the word have changed over time, and working backward from that you can peer into the past and get an idea of what PIE might have sounded like.”
Visit www.as.uky.edu/fables-reconstruction-andrew-byrd to learn how Byrd constructed PIE. The site includes a BBC interview and recordings of the two fables Byrd re-created, www.as.uky.edu/sites/default/files/PIE%20-%20King%20and%20God.mp3 and www.as.uky.edu/sites/default/files/PIE%20-%20Sheep%20and%20Horses.mp3.
Not only has this fascination led to an illustrious career in academia, the commercial world has found an expert that can fulfill its creative fantasies in a realistic way.
Now that the Brexit process is officially under way, officials must decide where to rehouse the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Currently in London, the EMA assesses new medicines for suitability to enter the European market.
The regulator will need to move when the United Kingdom formally exits the European Union, which sets the rules and assessments that the agency enforces.
The relocation decision will be made by the European Council, and more than a dozen nations have expressed an interest in becoming the new host. The timescale of the process is uncertain, but at least one of the candidate nations — Malta — has an interest in a final call being made sooner rather than later because it holds the presidency of the European Council for the next three months.
By a curious quirk of paperwork, when the United Kingdom does leave the EU, the most widely spoken language across the bloc — English — will no longer be a nominated official language. Under EU rules, every member state is allowed to bring just one of its recognized national languages into the EU system. This guarantees, for example, translations of documents and decisions.
Under the existing arrangement, the United Kingdom currently nominates English, which leaves Ireland and Malta (the only other member states to have English as a formal national language) free to have Gaelic and Maltese as their choices. (Ireland has also offered to host the EMA.) Once the United Kingdom leaves, it takes with it the formal nomination for the EU to include English in its list of official voices.
Various EU officials have already made it clear that the English language will not be allowed to exit the EU along with its main speakers on the continent — chaos would surely follow if, for example, the English-speaking EMA was expected to work with documents in every language but English. But the political mechanism to secure a future for English — like much associated with Brexit — is contested and unclear.
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Kory Stamper, a Merriam-Webster lexicographer, joins us to discuss her book, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. The book explores what it takes to make a dictionary in a world where language is constantly evolving. Stamper details the people, events and stories that have shaped the English language, and goes inside the halls of Merriam-Webster.
Listen to the interview on The Leonard Lopate Show >>
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Google’s newest machine translation system converts speech directly into the text of another language, greatly speeding the process by removing the intermediate transcription step.
Google’s offering isn’t the first real time speech-to-text options. Skype, for example, rolled out a live translation feature in 2014. The difference, though, is that Skype’s and others’ translate from a transcribed version of the audio. Errors in speech recognition could result in incorrect transcription and, therefore, translation.
Google’s deep-learning research team, Google Brain, is essentially cutting out the middle step which has the potential to lead to quicker, more accurate translations. The system was developed by analyzing hundreds of hours of Spanish audio along with the corresponding English text. By using several layers of neural networks, or computer algorithms that mirror the human brain, wavelengths of the spoken Spanish were linked to the corresponding chunks of written English. It’s the computer equivalent of your ears hearing Spanish while your brain understands the words as English.
Here’s Matty Reynolds, reporting for New Scientist:
After a learning period, Google’s system produced a better-quality English translation of Spanish speech than one that transcribed the speech into written Spanish first. It was evaluated using the BLEU score, which is designed to judge machine translations based on how close they are to that by a professional human.
The system could be particularly useful for translating speech in languages that are spoken by very few people, says Sharon Goldwater at the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
International disaster relief teams, for instance, could use it to quickly put together a translation system to communicate with people they are trying to assist. When an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, says Goldwater, there was no translation software available for Haitian Creole.
Not only could this system come in handy for international disaster relief teams, but it could also be used to translate rare languages that are seldom written down. For example, Goldwater is currently using similar methods to translate Arapaho, a Native American language spoken only by about 1,000 people of the Arapaho tribe. She is also working on translating Ainu, which is spoken by a small portion of the Japanese population.
The new approach isn’t ready for prime time, but with additional training on bigger data sets, it could set a new standard for machine translation.
Related: Sequence-to-sequence models used to directly transcribe target text from source speech
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A recent Slator roundtable, sponsored by Lionbridge, tackled the topics of cybersecurity, privacy and data protection, particularly in Asia:
“The reality is that, in today’s world, personal data is an asset,” said Elizabeth Cole, Partner at Jones Day.
“We talk a lot about breaches, but almost all of us use personal data for multiple reasons — for employment, for identifying talent (in our organizations), for research, or for aggregating data from customers. And all of the new technologies — cloud storage, Internet of things, among others – is impacting how data is processed, used, and stored.”
In Asia Pacific, Cole said every country struggles to introduce regulations that would mitigate the impact of cyber risks. However, country regulations today are varied and at different stages of implementation.
“South Korea is one of the most aggressive in enforcing regulations. It has both national and sector-specific laws, as well as detailed data security obligations and data breach notification requirements,” she said.
Australia and Japan also have comprehensive privacy and cyber security laws. In February 2017, Australia introduced the data breach notification law, which specifies a set of principles for compliance for cross-border disclosure of personal information.
Meanwhile, Japan approved new changes in its laws that will expand the scope of its rules in processing big data, restrict more cross-border transfers, and guide organizational response to a data breach, effective May 1, 2017.
In Cole’s view, Singapore and Hong Kong tend to be more conciliatory and are constantly looking at ways to help organizations develop their systems. Though Hong Kong has a Data Privacy Ordinance that restricts cross-border data transfers, it has not implemented the law and merely issued voluntary guidelines.
China also does not yet have a national data protection law. It has only sector-specific laws on data protection obligations dealing with consumer, employment, and finance. It, however, passed a cybersecurity law, which takes effect June 1, 2017.
“There are some jurisdictions that still don’t have comprehensive laws — Indonesia and Thailand are the two big ones here in Asia,” Cole noted, adding that many see the need to keep their jurisdictions a safe place to do business by allowing easy transfer against the need to protect data.
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TransPerfect, the world’s largest privately held provider of language services and translation-related technology solutions, today announced a full integration with Aspera, an IBM company, and the leading high-performance file transfer protocol with a focus on the media industry.
By integrating Aspera’s FASP protocol into TransPerfect’s technology stack, high-volume file transfers—particularly common in the media industry—are now available, enhancing the level of service available to clients as well as the overall client experience. Files that once took days to transfer across multiple production stakeholders, reviewers, or recipients can now be sent and received in minutes.
Aside from offering pure speed, Aspera’s FASP protocol is equipped with built-in security for data transfers using the standard open-source OpenSSL toolkit, ensuring that file transfers are not only the fastest in the industry but also the most secure.
See full press release >>
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A deep neural network architecture which can directly translate speech from one language into text in another language is being developed by Google researchers.
The study, titled Sequence-to-Sequence Models Can Directly Transcribe Foreign Speech, describes using a modified sequence-to-sequence model, which has had previous success in speech recognition, to create a powerful encoder-decoder network for machine translation.
The paper explains that the new model does not explicitly transcribe the speech into text in the source language, nor does it require supervision from the source language transcription during training.
In testing, the research team reported ‘state-of-the-art performance’ on conversational Spanish to English speech translation tasks. The experiments used the Fisher Callhome Spanish-English dataset and found that the proposed model could outperform cascades of speech recognition and machine translation technologies.
Using the BLEU (bilingual evaluation understudy) scoring framework, which evaluates the quality of machine-translated text, the proposed system recorded 1.8 points over other translation models.
According to the study, when Spanish transcripts were used as training data for additional supervision across independent automatic speech recognition (ASR) and speech translation (ST) decoders, additional improvements of at least 1.4 BLEU points were obtained.
In future work, the Google researchers plan to construct a multilingual speech translation system in which a single decoder is shared across multiple languages.
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“Mansplain” made its way into the Urban Dictionary in 2009. In 2010, “mansplainer” was a New York Times Word of the Year. In 2014, Salon declared the word dead (the true sign of making it); the Oxford Dictionaries added “mansplain” as an entry; and the Macquarie Dictionary named it Word of the Year.
At its most basic, “mansplaining” refers to — as a 2015 Merriam-Webster “Words We’re Watching” column put it — “what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”
Although the term “mansplaining” originated in the United States, the practice may very well be universal — and in fact, the term has already moved abroad. In 2015, the Swedish Language Council welcomed “mansplaining” to its list of new Swedish words. Iceland made its own variant (“hrútskýring,” or “ramsplaining”) the 2016 Word of the Year — and named a beer after it. In Greek, Japanese, Portuguese, Swedish, and many other languages, the English “mansplaining” just gets dropped into the conversation, and folks nod.
This list was crowdsourced among friends, writers, and scholars, who reached out to their own friends and families around the world to collect the words on everybody’s lips — and even to coin a few. Like the original term, new words for “mansplaining” get invented on the fly, sometimes in a single, offhand tweet. From that point of origin, they go viral on social media, or get adopted by a national tourist board, and finally make their way into lexicons.
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Germany’s BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators) recently published an update to its curated list of technical translators (Fachliste Technik).
The list features 340 professional translators, all of whom are BDÜ members and had to submit their qualifications to the association before being included in the list.
This article is based on the list of linguists specializing in translating technical documentation, a major sector in Germany given the country’s thriving Mittelstand (i.e., small and medium manufacturers), which often occupy leading positions in a particular niche.
The BDÜ advises buyers of technical translation that selecting professional translators is key to avoiding the potential risks arising from Germany’s strict product liability laws.
In addition to name, address, e-mail, and other personal information, the list also includes the translation productivity tools used by featured translators. The association published similar lists for the medical, financial, and legal sectors, but do not list any tools. A list for the energy sector, which did have tools, was published nearly two years ago.
Linguists were able to mention multiple tools. The sample size is relatively small (340 linguists). However, we feel that given the careful curation of the list by the BDÜ, it does provide a good indication of the overall market position of major tools among Germany’s technical translators.
We cleaned up the data for double entries as some translator profiles appeared more than once in different language combinations.
Top 5 Tools
Going by product (i.e., not by developer), SDL Trados Studio 2015 dominates with 22.2% of mentions. Local German champion Across comes in second with its Across Translator Edition basically receiving 11.1% of overall mentions. Closely following is SDL Trados Studio 2014 with 11%. Kilgray’s memoQ 2015 got 7.5%, while STAR Transit NXT rounded out the top five with 6.8% of mentions.
Top 5 Developers
SDL continues to dominate the market going by the number of tool developer mentions: 52% of all mentions are for SDL products. Here too, Germany’s Across is the runner-up at a distant 15.3%. Kilgray (memoQ) comes in third with 11%. Star (8.6%) and Wordfast (3.1%; or 10% percent higher if one includes Alchemy).
The main takeaway from this well curated, yet still relatively small sample, is to show just how conservative this market segment is. SDL continues to benefit from its decades-old, first-mover advantage against challengers like Across, Kilgray, memoQ, and others. More recent entrants like Wordbee (a TMS with productivity features) or Lilt (adaptive MT) are completely absent from the list.
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Now it’s easier to manage and accept projects on the go with the Memsource mobile app. The mobile app gives users the access and flexibility to manage translations, and to respond to project issues directly from a mobile phone.
The app was announced at the 6th Memsource User MeetUp prior to the 2017 GALA Conference in Amsterdam.
For Project Managers, the mobile app allows them to easily create new jobs, select desired settings, assign translators and due dates, and monitor the progress of all projects, without needing to boot up a computer. Resources like translation memories and term bases can be assigned to projects and users can filter projects to find specific clients or project names. With the mobile app, project managers can easily respond to urgent client requests, have an overview of projects in progress, and see which jobs are overdue.
Translators can also accept translation jobs on the go through the mobile app. After receiving an email notification about a new job, simply open the app, and change the Job Status to “Accepted”.
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This article is about the registration requirements (conditions) for Interpreters (Translators) / Experts for the year 2017 related with the courts in Istanbul and the court decision given by this court. For this reason it is applicable in whole Turkey, it is an important news for langauge experts/ interpreters in Istanbul and whole Turkey.
The related link is: http://www.istanbul.adalet.gov.tr/duyuru/2017_Y%C4%B1l%C4%B1_%C4%B0stanbul_%C4%B0li_Terc%C3%BCman_Listesi-%C4%B0tirazlar%C4%B1na_%C4%B0li%C5%9Fkin_Karar.pdf (pdf file)
Istanbul Court (Civil and criminal jurisdiction)
Registration requirements (Conditions) for Interpreters (Translators) / Experts for the year 2017 and the related court decision.
Bilindiği üzere, tercüman listelerinin düzenlenilmesinde ve bilirkişiler hakkında yapılacak
işlemlerde 5271 sayılı CMK gereğince 28578 sayılı resmi gazetede yayınlanmış olan “Ceza
Muhakemesi Kanununa göre Tercüman Listelerinin Düzenlenmesi Hakkındaki Yönetmelik”
hükümlerine göre hareket edilmektedir. Yönetmelikte başvuru usulü, başvuru dilekçesine eklenecek
belgeler ve listeye kabul şartları ile ilgili maddeleri aşağıda belirtilmiştir.
Listeye kabul şartları
Madde 6 – (1)
Listeye kayıt olabilmek için tercümanın;
a) Türkiye Cumhuriyeti vatandaşı olması,
b) Başvuru tarihinde fiil ehliyetine sahip olması,
c) En az ilkokul mezunu olması,
ç) Başvuru tarihinde onsekiz yaşını tamamlamış olması,
d) Affa uğramış ya da ertelenmiş olsalar bile Devlete ve adliyeye karşı işlenen suçlar,
12/4/1991 tarihli ve 3713 sayılı Terörle Mücadele Kanununda yer alan suçlar ile basit ve nitelikli
zimmet, irtikâp, rüşvet, hırsızlık, dolandırıcılık, sahtecilik, güveni kötüye kullanma, hileli iflâs veya
kaçakçılık, resmî ihale ve alım satımlara fesat karıştırma suçlarından hükümlü olmaması veya
hakkında hükmün açıklanmasının geri bırakılmasına karar verilmemiş olması,
e) Disiplin yönünden meslekten ya da memuriyetten çıkarılmamış veya sanat icrasından
f) Komisyonun bağlı bulunduğu il çevresinde oturması veya bir meslekî faaliyeti icra etmesi,
g) Başka bir komisyonun listesinde kayıtlı olmaması, gerekir.
Madde 7 – (1) Tercüman olarak listeye kaydolmak isteyenler her yıl 31 Ekim tarihine kadar
komisyona veya buralara gönderilmek üzere mahallî Cumhuriyet başsavcılıklarına bir dilekçeyle
şahsen başvurur. Mahallî Cumhuriyet başsavcılıklarına verilen belgeler UYAP üzerinden ilgili
komisyona gönderilir. Belgelerin asılları veya mahallî Cumhuriyet başsavcılıklarınca tasdik edilen
örnekleri ayrıca ilgili komisyona ulaştırılır. Bu tarihten sonra verilen dilekçeler değerlendirmeye
(2) Başvuru dilekçesinde ayrıca kendisine ait bir banka hesap bilgilerinin belirtilmesi gerekir.
Başvuru dilekçesine eklenecek belgeler
Madde 8 – (1)
a) T.C. kimlik numarası beyanı,
b) Adrese dayalı nüfus kayıt örneği,
c) Tercüman olmak istediği dil veya diller ile işaret diline ilişkin diploma, ruhsatname,
sertifika gibi belgelerin aslı veya komisyonca onaylanmış örneği, böyle bir belgenin olmaması
durumunda tercümanlık faaliyetini yerine getirecek derecede dil bildiğinin yazılı olarak beyanı,
ç) İki adet vesikalık fotoğraf,
d) Mezuniyet durumunu gösterir belgenin aslı veya komisyonca onaylanmış örneği, eklenir.
(2) Bir önceki yıla ait listede kayıtlı olanlardan birinci fıkranın (a), (c) ve (d) bentlerinde
sayılan bilgi ve belgeler istenmez.
Tüm bu bilgiler ışığında;
İstanbul Adliyesi Resmi Web Sitesi adresinde (http://www.istanbul.adalet.gov.tr) kararın
Komisyon Başkanlığımıza 10/01/2017 tarihinde oy birliğiyle karar verildi.
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The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on March 20, 2017 who is going to get a piece of its EUR 2.4m translation pie. The framework agreement is divided into 19 lots for the translation of 19 source languages into English. Winning a place in the framework were 20 language service providers (LSPs) and 10 freelancers. Duration of the framework is three years.
Two lots remain unawarded as of press time: Lot 6 (Estonian into English) and Lot 13 (Maltese into English). According to the ECB notice, either “no tenders or requests to participate were received or all were rejected” for the two lots.
The ECB named eight criteria it intends to use, among others, to determine the importance of a document for translation: high-profile nature of text and/or author (e.g., Executive Board or Supervisory Board member’s speeches, articles, interviews), content relevance, potential market impact, sensitivity, technical complexity, translation turnaround time, revision, and further modification and/or publication.
Vendors for all lots were chosen based on which were “most economically advantageous” in terms of quality (given 60% weight) and price (40%). The ECB determined vendor eligibility from the results of a test around translation quality. The test taken by vendors was part of three sub-criteria under quality, the two others being experience and qualifications.
And the winners are…
The 20 LSPs awarded slots in the framework are Alumnus Translation, Better Business International (Scotland), CLS Communication, DG Translations, DNA Language, Eclipse Translations, Euronet, EXACT!, FORDuna Fordító, Hathaway Green, Xplanation’s Matrix Communications, P & V International Servicing, Donnelley Language Solutions (Luxembourg), sbv anderetaal, SeproTec, The Language Technology Centre, translate plus, UAB Metropolio Vertimai, Veritas Traducción y Comunicación, and Wessex Translations.
The most competitive lot, receiving 21 tenders, was Lot 5-German with total contract value of EUR 1.12m. The lot was topped (for both pools A and B) by freelancer Matthew Hart, a former ECB in-house translator according to his LinkedIn profile. Hart also ranked first in both pools for Lot 7-French.
Freelancer Hart shares the EUR 415,000 French lot with four LSPs and three other freelancers; and the German lot with six LSPs and three other freelancers.
Second most competitive lot, Spanish, received 14 tenders. Winning places in the EUR 370,000 lot aside from translate plus, were (by rank) Donnelley Language Solutions (Luxembourg), CLS, Euronet, Wessex Translations, Eclipse Translations, and Spain’s SeproTec and Veritas.
Freelancers either topped or were the only ones named for some of the smaller lots, such as Lot 1-Bulgarian (EUR 3,000), Lot 8-Croatian (EUR 15,000), and Lot 19-Swedish (EUR 3,000) topped by freelancer Carl Sholl.
The third biggest lot behind French and Spanish is Lot 9-Italian with a contract value of EUR 295,000. Only nine tenders were received for the lot, which the ECB did not categorize into pools. Ranked first under the Italian lot was Wessex, followed by Eclipse, and tiny Glasgow LSP DNA Language.
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The life sciences sector is in a bind. While there is an adequate pipeline of medicines under development (over 240,000 clinical studies across countries are listed on Clinicaltrials.gov), major challenges affect the speed of bringing these drugs into full development, starting off with bottlenecks in doing clinical trials.
A recent study conducted by Lionbridge identified the top issues in clinical trials – delays in patient recruitment, increased regulatory guidelines, compliance and vendor management issues, and global language challenges, particularly in culturally sensitive regions like the Asia-Pacific.
Slator gathered industry experts in Singapore on March 30, 2017 to discuss these issues in greater detail and foster a better understanding of the challenges ahead. Participants included senior executives from leading life sciences companies such as Anidan Group, Alcon, Astellas, Elsai, EPS International, Gsk, INC Research, Johnson and Johnson, Lundbeck Singapore, Novartis Asia-Pacific, PRA, PRAHS, Sandoz, Sanofi, Takeda Development Center Asia and Vifor Pharma.
The roundtable was sponsored by Lionbridge, one of the largest global providers of language translation and localization services for the life sciences industry. Maija Burtmanis, an Australian qualified senior Legal/Compliance Life Sciences Professional, who led the discussions, emphasized at the beginning of the presentation that only four countries in Asia-Pacific have English as a first language. This makes bilingual translation, interpretation of key data, and compliance to regulatory guidance absolutely critical.
Burtmanis has worked as a senior lawyer and compliance professional for Pfizer, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson and has covered jurisdictions including Russia, Japan, China, India and the breadth of Asia-Pacific.
“From a legal perspective, if there is one thing we must be concerned about, it is how to get the interpretation of the language right,” she said.
As conducting clinical trials across different locations often include working with third parties such as contract research organizations (CROs), the process requires a robust structure for success. A participant highlighted the fact that a global company working in the local China market may be constrained to work with local companies working in local Chinese protocols only and have to use English translation services.
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Over the last four weeks, Slator asked readers to give their take on what methods work best for lead generation, whether machine translation has actually moved the needle in their day-to-day business, which global markets are most attractive, and how fast linguists will be translating in five years.
Has MT Moved the Needle?
With the rise of neural machine translation, there has been a huge buzz in industry publications and mainstream media about MT reaching (supposedly) new heights. So we wanted to cut through the hype and ask respondents if this, at all, moved the needle in the real world.
Surprisingly, perhaps, 63% of respondents said MT progress has, thus far, had zero to very little real-life impact on their work or business.
In private conversations, some freelance translators have argued that unless you produce more than 800 words per hour it is hard to make a living.
Of course, the productivity-profitability nexus depends on subject-matter expertise, language combination, physical location and markets, and tools used.
Still, almost everyone agrees that the productivity of human translators is on the rise. Opinions differ very strongly, however, on how far the journey will take us.
Roughly half of respondents see output per hour below 700 words by 2022 — this despite rapid progress in adaptive machine translation and related user interfaces.
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We’re happy to announce our new ebook The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Freelance Translator.
Covering everything you need to know from day one, including qualifications, key skills and how to win your first customers, this Ultimate Guide also shows how you can branch out and grow your business over time. The back of the book contains an extensive list of resources for translators and other language professionals, including translators’ associations, conferences, blogs, podcasts, online dictionaries and handy Internet links.
It’s ideal for translators who are just getting started, those thinking about making the leap into freelancing, or even established translators looking to pick up some tips and tricks for taking their business to the next level.
Why the Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Successful Freelance Translator isn’t just for beginners
Of course, this Ultimate Guide is ideal for new freelancers. If you’re just starting out in the translation industry, we aim to give you a comprehensive introduction to every aspect of it, so that you can feel confident about setting up your own business and diving in head first. After all, the career of a freelance translator may be exciting and fulfilling, but it can also be risky and even intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with it. Having an expert guide will help you to confront the challenges you’ll face along the way.
At the same time, though, there’s also plenty here for experienced translators. Once the basics are dealt with, the book gets to grips with all kinds of advanced tricks and techniques that respond to real challenges that all translators face. Ever asked yourself any of these questions?
• How can I market myself more effectively?
• What can I do to improve my relationships with my clients?
• Am I charging enough for my work?
Over 150+ pages, we give you the skills, resources and advice to answer these questions and more.
Being a freelancer means taking responsibility for our own continuing professional development, and everyone can always find some way to improve. For example, many translators still don’t offer a translation portfolio that their clients can access at a glance – so in one chapter of the book, we lay out why portfolios matter, how to build one, and how you can make sure people see it once it’s ready. In other chapters, we explain the importance of social media, discuss the pros and cons of working for direct clients or translation agencies, and explore what we can learn from one of the worst translations in history.
Our aim is for this book to be a valuable companion whether you’ve been a translator for a few weeks or a few decades. To find out more about the book and what it can do for you, visit translatorsbook.com or our Amazon product page.
Make sure to tell us what you thought of the book after reading it: your feedback will help us to reach out to the broadest possible range of translators all over the world.
You can get this book at a 50% discount if you apply the following code at the checkout page of our website translatorsbook.com:
The discount is valid until April 30.
An interesting reflection from Tim Parks on the expendability of translators (from a commercial point of view) and the contentious issue of what a book’s translator deserves to be paid. Though everyone might agree that translators should be better paid, do we think of translation as its own intellectual property, and therefore translators deserving of a book’s royalties, like an author is? Or would it be better to be paid based on the difficulty of a translation, which likely has nothing to do with how commercially successful a book is (but everything to do with how long the translation takes)? Or will certain literary translation always be a labour of love? ( I was interested find out that 0.10 euros a word is a going rate for top-quality literary translation …)
From the article:
“Krieger eventually won her case and the money she was owed, but the sequence of events suggests the essential difference between translators and authors: [the publisher] Piper could never have tried to deprive [the author] Baricco of his royalties, since without him there would have been no books and no sales. He was not replaceable. But however fine Krieger’s translations, the publisher felt that the same commercial result could be achieved with another translator. It’s not that translation work is ever easy; on the contrary. Simply that it rarely requires a unique talent. Krieger wasn’t essential. She could be replaced.”
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Estelle Caswell of Vox spoke with Amber Galloway Gallego, a sign language interpreter who is known for creatively visualizing music into grammatically correct American Sign Language. Gallego, who has worked with over a great number of famous musicians, explains why she translates the emotion of the music for those who are hearing impaired or deaf.
If we merely show the sign for music then we are doing an injustice as an interpreter. So after listening to the beat and how their their tonality is and all the instruments then what I do is I break it down from English to ASL. So rhyming, metaphor, and wordplay are an intrinsic part of lyrical music especially hip-hop. …Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 concert venues have been required to provide interpreters for deaf attendees. …It’s vitally important that concert venues hire interpreters who understand the emotional power of music.
See the video interview with Amber >>
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With this new text translation language available, locals and travelers can communicate from and to Bangla throughout Bangladesh, the Indian subcontinent and around the globe by using the Microsoft Translator apps on their preferred device (Windows, Android, Kindle, or iOS). Businesses can also easily integrate the Translator text API in their business processes such as customer support, web localization, training or internal communication. The API can also add native translation support for solutions businesses market for industries such as manufacturing, retail, education, gaming, or government services.
With the Microsoft Translator live feature, whether in the Translator apps or on the web at http://translate.it, users can also translate speech from any of the nine supported languages to Bangla.
See more >>
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Translation took to the big screen this year in the Academy Award-winning film, Arrival. Indeed, when an ominously oblong spacecraft touches down on Earth, translation proves to be humanity’s only hope. As the world descends into utter chaos, linguistics professor Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is sent to the frontlines to attempt to communicate with the mysterious “Heptapods”—to find out what they want and why they’ve come.
We asked three top translators to watch Arrival and to give us their two cents (via email) on the linguacentric feature: Hillary Gulley, translator from the Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, and instructor at CUNY—Queens College; Esther Allen, translator from the Spanish, French, and Portuguese and associate professor at CUNY Graduate Center and Baruch College; and Will Evans, translator from the Russian, president at Cinestate, founder of Deep Vellum Publishing, and cofounder of Deep Vellum Books.
Esther Allen, Will Evans, and Hillary Gulley.
Here’s what they had to say:
Words Without Borders (WWB): What did Arrival get so right about being a translator?
Esther Allen: In “The Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, on which Arrival is based, the words associated with Dr. Banks are “linguist” and “linguistics”; the word “translate” never appears in the story. Part of what Arrival’s cinematic translation of the Chiang story does is introduce translation. And Arrival is an incredible translation, which takes a short story written in 2000 and adapts, expands, and reinvents it to make a statement that is profoundly and presciently about where we are now in 2017. Reading the story provides an interesting perspective on the film’s origins, but the story’s intellectual and political ambitions are far more limited.
What Arrival gets—far better than the Chiang story does—is that translation is about context. When Banks translates one of the alien symbols as “offer weapon,” the world goes into a panic. But she argues that in context the term could have a number of meanings, “weapon” being only one. This is exactly how a translator deals with the ambiguity that is inherent in every word and particularly challenging when moving between languages. Any given term in one language has the potential to become, legitimately, a range of other terms in translation, depending on context, intention, and a host of other factors.
Hillary Gulley: I like that Arrival so vividly illustrates that what a translator communicates and receives in language has at least as much to do with the subconscious element of language as it does with the information that we receive and reconcile consciously.
Will Evans: The importance of translating the whole experience of language—beyond words, combining the phrase or statement or entire text, adding in context, nuance, phrasing—rather than to think of translation as a direct word-for-word transfer of meaning.
WWB: What did Arrival get horribly wrong about being a translator?
Hillary Gulley: The movie confounds the skill sets of a linguist and a translator, for one thing, and then the separate skill sets of a live interpreter and an ESL teacher on top of that. I couldn’t figure out why Dr. Banks was expected to be all four. Maybe because she is a woman? Women tend to be great at making seventeen disparate jobs look as though they belong to one seamless role. Look at the rest of the characters in the movie, who are all men, each with a single mission—or maybe two: their assigned task, involving either fighting or science, and their seemingly self-assigned duty to second-guess the only woman there, who also happens to be the only one of them equipped to save humanity. At some point I said, this screenplay was definitely written by a man. (I was right—and the same applies to the short story that inspired the screenplay.)
In any case, there is this assumption—in the movie and in life—that a linguist and anyone else who speaks multiple languages is automatically a translator, which isn’t the case at all: some of the best linguists and most fluent speakers of a second language I’ve known are not great translators, and vice versa.
The film also propagates the common misconception that translators are walking thesauruses. Maybe this bugs me because I am the worst thinker on my feet, and prone to blanking on all names and the simplest terms. At home I handle this by using a series of sound effects—there’s a favorite clicking sound I usually resort to—so I can move quickly through a sentence without getting stuck on a word. In the film, whenever someone asked Dr. Banks for a term, I wanted her to pass them a copy of Roget’s instead of obliging herself to answer as if it were part of her job description.
Esther Allen: I winced when it’s revealed, in one of the many flash forward scenes, that the book Banks has published about the Heptapod language is titled The Universal Language. That indicates a return to the Chomskyan linguistic model which scorned the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. But Sapir-Whorf—the hypothesis that your experience of the world and particularly of time is conditioned by the language you speak—is the central underlying premise of both movie and short story. And it’s only Sapir-Whorf that has something to tell us about translation. Translators don’t deal in universals, they deal in particulars, in contexts. But that has more to do with the history of linguistics than with the practice of translation.
Will Evans: I don’t know too many translators who live in modernist masterpiece houses on lakefront property, but I like the idea of a linguist approaching translation as a series of problems to be solved without losing the empathy so necessary to make translation successful. It’s super valuable to keep the fields of linguistics and literary translation in dialogue with one another to continue to expand our understanding of the full range of possibilities that language contains.
Read the full interview >>
Related: Interview with the linguist behind the film Arrival
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