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Russian poetry, Israeli novel take translation prizes

Source: CBC News
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

An Israeli novel translated from Hebrew and a collection of Russian poetry have won an American prize for best translation.


Germany facing cuts in funding for literary translations

Source: The Local
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

In the wake of the worst recession since World War II, the German Foreign Ministry has decided to cut funding to international literary projects. Advocates say it imperils the already threadbare livelihood of translators across the country.

The ministry’s cultural budget for 2010 – which mainly goes to large programmes such as the Goethe Institute and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – has been reduced by a modest €3 million to €723 million.

The most visible change due to the reduction means that there will no longer be a translation forum at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October.

Read more:

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European Commission plans to provide full interpretation and translation for criminal suspects

Source: Press Association
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

All EU governments will be obliged to provide full interpretation and translation for criminal suspects under European Commission plans.

The proposal – requested three months ago by EU ministers themselves – is the first step under the new Lisbon Treaty towards setting common EU standards in criminal cases.

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Google’s Computing Power Refines Translation Tool

Source: The New York Times
Story flagged by: P Forgas

Automated translation systems are far from perfect, and even Google’s will not put human translators out of a job anytime soon. Experts say it is exceedingly difficult for a computer to break a sentence into parts, then translate and reassemble them.

Mr. Och acknowledged that Google’s translation system still needed improvement, but he said it was getting better fast. “The current quality improvement curve is still pretty steep,” he said.

More at

Conference on ‘Translation at the European Commission: 1958 – 2010′ – 12 March 2010

By: Cristiana Coblis

DGT presents a study on the multilingual operation of the European Union, from the days of the Economic Community in 1958, with six Member States, to the present Union of 27 Member states, with 23 official languages. Right from the very start, the translation service has guaranteed European citizens access to the legislative and major political documents of the EU in their own language and enabled each Member State to contribute actively to EU policy making.

The conference will be broadcast live on the web at into French, English, German).

More information at:

Event in Louisville mayoral race features interpretation into French, Spanish, Swahili

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

In an apparent first for a Louisville mayoral race, a forum was held among mayoral candidates, with messages from the candidates interpreted at the event into French, Spanish and Swahili.

See: Louisville Courier-Journal

New York Times compares machine translations from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft with that of humans

Source: New York Times
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

The New York Times has published a side by side comparison of translations produced by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and humans. See: New York Times

How did we do?

Interpreters Unlimited offers turnkey licensing package for companies interested in offering interpreting services

Source: PR Newswire
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

In a press release, California-based interpreting company Interpreters Unlimited announced that it was making available a turnkey licensing package for companies interested in offering interpreting services. For information, see: PR Newswire

Penguin Publishing to double volume of Chinese to English literary translations

Source: People's Daily Online
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

Penguin Publishing, one of the bigger Beijing-based translators of Chinese fiction into English, has said they will begin doubling their efforts to produce translated Chinese literature for the western market, Jo Lusby, Managing Director of Penguin Publishing in Beijing told METRO.

In the 5 years Penguin Publishing has been operating in China, they have produced more than 20 translated books from six key Chinese authors, but Lusby says they hope to increase the number of Chinese translations two-fold in the coming years, producing between five to eight literary translations a year.

“It is a very financial viable project, we are not doing this for vanity,” Lusby said.

See: People’s Daily Online

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New Wii adventure game to be translated into Spanish by fans

Source: Nintendo Life
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

The Wii’s upcoming near-apocalyptic adventure Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is on course for a European release on March 19th, with plenty of intriguing characters and a rather moving script all painstakingly translated from its original Japanese. Naturally such translations are huge, costly productions that don’t always include every language, but Rising Star has just announced a collaboration that will see the game launched in Spanish.

Not news-worthy, you say? Well, the translation was actually undertaken by a group of fifty fans after Spanish site approached Rising Star with the idea. With over 35,000 words to translate that’s a huge amount of work even for professional translators, but the translation will be available as a free download after launch…

See: Nintendo Life

Don Quijote translator Edith Grossman on viewing a translation as a separate entity

Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

IDEAS: In your new book, you argue that a translation is an independent work of art, the product of the translator and not the original author. Why?

GROSSMAN: Languages are different systems. They have different vocabularies; they have different histories. [And] although the inspiration for a translation into English comes from someplace else – the original text – the creation of it is the work of the translator. That makes it a separate entity, and that certainly helps to account for why translations of the same text are different – because different translators bring different sensibilities to the work. Translations are not made with tracing paper. There is an interpretive act that goes on, and if you have 10 different ways of saying something – which isn’t an unusual occurrence – the choice of which of those 10 ways you use in the translation affects the tenor and tone of the work.

See more from the interview on

Youtube opens auto-captioning — with translation — to all

Source: Wall Street Journal
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

Google Inc.’s YouTube said it will offer automatically generated captions for its entire video catalog, a boon for deaf users and those who want to watch videos in other languages.

Google research scientist Mike Cohen said the captioning technology blends Google’s speech-recognition and translation algorithms.

Full story: Wall Street Journal

Afghan translators for US military targeted

By: Jared Tabor

Thousands of English-speaking Afghans make good pay working as interpreters for the US military, but some are being targeted by the Taliban.

The U.S. surge into Afghanistan will bring 30,000 new troops to the country in the coming months. And many of those units will need Afghan translators.

Read more at Public Radio International

Economist magazine discusses “combinations of human and computer translation”, remarks on lowering cost of human translation

Source: The Economist
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

Thanks to the internet, this [translation] is now a relatively flexible and cheap process. At the base of the translation hierarchy are free services offered by Google and others. Such services “learn” by analysing collections of documents that have been translated by humans, such as the records of the European Parliament, which are translated into 11 different languages. These collections are so big, and the machines that analyse them so powerful, that automatic translation (known in the jargon as “machine translation”) can usually convey the gist of a text, albeit it in a slightly garbled manner. Google and its rivals focus on widely spoken tongues, but academics are working on machine-translation services for more obscure languages.

An army of volunteer translators occupies the next level up in the hierarchy. Several prominent English-language publications, including this newspaper, are regularly translated into Mandarin by groups of unpaid volunteers for the benefit of other readers (see More formal projects also exist. At Global Voices, a kind of polyglot bloggers’ collective, around 200 volunteers select and translate their colleagues’ posts. Items on Meedan, a social network dedicated to the discussion of Middle East news, are translated into English or Arabic by machine and can then be tidied up by readers.

Paid human translators, unsurprisingly, still produce the best results. But even here costs are coming down, as the translation industry is shifting from project-based to piecemeal working…

See: The Economist

Rutgers University (US) adds translation program in Arabic, Chinese

Source: The Daily Targum
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

Students proficient in Chinese or Arabic can earn a certificate showing that they completed a translation program this summer, which will help them prepare for state and federal exams for government certification, said Marion Yudow, director of the Language Institute.

The courses introduce the basics of translation and interpretation, then have break-out sessions for practice in Chinese and Arabic guided by native speakers of these languages who are experienced translators, Yudow said.

See: The Daily Targum

Ben Gurion Airport (Israel) selects Tiqua Translations for providing Hebrew English Russian translation services

By: Jared Tabor

Translation company Tiqua Translations issued a press release announcing that it had been selected by Tel-Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to provide Hebrew, English, and Russian translation services.

For more info see:

Translation Part II: The case for transcreation

By: Jared Tabor

Excerpt from an article at State News

Ms. Ballance is an advocate of translation, but in addition to simply translating ads she says marketers need to understand the cultural differences in language. This calls for transcreation.

“[Transcreation is] normally reserved for marketing copy with heavy messaging that does not ‘translate’ simply. It is localization at its best combined with a flair for copywriting,” said Ms. Ballance. “Imagine you work directly for a company that has a new product or service that they wish to launch, and you are charged with creating and manipulating the promotional text that will not only introduce this to the [domestic] audience, but bring it to life and make people really believe in it. It should intrigue them, beguile them and, ultimately, prompt them to buy into the concept. [Transcreation] allows you to reach the audience at an emotional and intellectual level, making the communication both more meaningful and more effective.”

Read more here

New translation of New Testament completed for Quechua

By: Jared Tabor

Excerpt from an article at Mission Network News

The Quechua people of Ecuador have a new tool to help in discipleship and evangelism. The tribe known for their encounters with five frontier missionaries in the 1950’s just celebrated the completion of a new translation of the New Testament.

Scott Bolinder with Biblica says while the Quechua had a Bible in their language, “They haven’t really had a translation that has been done with the kind of care that this translation provides, which would be similar to Biblica’s popular NIV translation — that kind of NIV philosophy of highest accuracy and greatest readability.”

SDL announces “Starter Edition” of Trados Studio at €8 per month

Source: Global Watchtower
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

…SDL is offering “occasional translators” and freelancers is the Trados Starter Edition, a pared-down version of Trados Studio 2009 at a monthly subscription fee of €8 (we figure on US$10 or so per month in the States). This edition limits the number of languages and size of the local translation memory, but it does allow translators to do their own projects and participate in a GIM supply chain involving SDL’ s TMS and WorldServer.

See: Global Watchtower

“Linguistic supply chain” technology provider Across Systems announces conference and exhibition schedule

Source: .NET Developer's Journal
Story flagged by: Henry Dotterer

Across Systems, a company that produces “linguistic supply chain technology”, announced that it will exhibit at several events and “provide experts to educate globalization professionals on ways to increase productivity and simplify workflow processes.”

See: .NET Developer’s Journal

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