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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.
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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 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.
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.
Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.
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
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
- 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
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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.
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 >>
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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
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.
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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 >>
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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.
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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.
The 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.
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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.
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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: A 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.
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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.
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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 >>
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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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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More than a year has passed since our first edition of startups to watch. So it was time to check in again with language industry founders and see what new business models are emerging. The companies we cover in this edition have all been founded after 2013 and are starting to get traction.
Interprefy: BYOD Remote Simultaneous Interpreting
The Pitch: Get rid of those clunky translation headsets and listen to a live interpreter at conferences using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Variations in streaming speed and audio quality considered, it should be easy, more convenient, fast, via an app or a web browser.
Cadence Translate: Real-time Interpretation for Business Meetings
The Pitch: Hire an interpreter from anywhere in the world for your business meetings, conference calls, and livestreams. As you talk, remote interpreters are translating your message on the fly in another language or multiple languages. A proprietary matchmaking platform called “SmartMatch” can connect buyers with the right interpreter.
VoiceBoxer: Voice Interpretation for Multilingual Webinars
The Pitch: Live voice interpretation for international webinars, virtual meetings, and web presentations is made easy with VoiceBoxer’s multilingual web presentation and communication platform. Established in 2013, the startup is run by a team of five in its headquarters in Copenhagen.
MiniTPMS: Management System for Small LSPs
The Pitch: If you still use spreadsheets and post-its to track your translation business projects, then you’re living in the wrong century, says MiniTPMS Founder and CEO Nenad Andricsek. These tools may get a job or two done, but in terms of technology, it’s prehistoric, he continues. Andricsek’s startup offers a tool which helps organize the business of very small, boutique LSPs.
Translation Exchange: Website and App Localization
The Pitch: More and more companies are discovering the value of localization, but the traditional process of localizing websites and mobile apps is outdated, cumbersome, and error- prone.
“Translation Exchange automates the entire localization process,” says Co-founder and CEO Michael Berkovich. “My co-founder Ian McDaniel and I led the localization efforts at a company called Yammer and that was the genesis of Translation Exchange.”
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The move comes after, apparently, low usage. From the YouTube help section:
Turning off the Translation marketplace
We’re working to develop tools that benefit the broadest number of creators, such as a our free translation tools. We noticed that usage for the Translation marketplace has been low, so we’ve made the decision to turn it off starting in June 2017.
This means that you’ll no longer be able to buy transcriptions and translations for your videos directly in Video Manager. Don’t worry — If you’ve already purchased translations from the marketplace, they’ll continue to show on your videos. And any orders you place before the marketplace is turned off will still be delivered.
You can continue to make your videos available to a global audience by having your community contribute translations or manually adding translations to your videos.
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On this week’s episode of Globally Speaking, Renato Beninatto interviews Ellie Kemp, who heads crisis response at Translators without Borders.
- The challenge of finding qualified translators in Bwa and Ligenza, the two biggest languages in the stricken zone
- How to communicate with a largely illiterate population
- How to address local customs that contribute to contagion
- How a small group of translators can impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
- How you can help by supporting Translators without Borders
- How Translators without Borders continues to build awareness of the importance of language issues in international humanitarian programs
Listen to the podcast >>
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All indicators point to the fact that the language services industry is doing well. In the United States, the total headcount nearly doubled over the past decade. Investment bankers are bullish about the sector’s prospects. Even venture capitalists see opportunities. And over 200 private investors participated in a Finnish language service provider’s recent EUR 0.7m crowdfunding.
Nearly three quarters of Slator readers who participated in a poll conducted among our email newsletter subscribers concur that business is good. Only a small minority of 9% see their businesses deteriorating fast.
To balance all the talk about disruption and the hype around neural machine translation, we wanted to know if there are still buyers who do not ask for discounts generated by the use of the good old translation memory.
There are a million ways to fine tune this question and make it more specific. But the point was to get a sense of whether translation memory use has become ubiquitous or if there is still a considerable number of buyers who do not ask for potential discounts generated by repeat content.
The results created an interesting discussion on social media. On LinkedIn, the ever combative Tom Hoar of Slate Desktop criticized the poll using words such as “fake” and “misleading”, while Bill Lafferty of Lafferty Translation, LLC, commented that he doesn’t see “why this is alarming.”
Lafferty continued, “CAT tools aren’t always the best option. For instance, clients may not want confidential data to reside in a TM database. Or redundant text might be readily identifiable using MS Word’s compare tool.”
David Altmann from nlg GmbH commented that “I can only assume that we are mostly talking about (small) companies that don’t know what TM is and the supplier doesn’t care to tell the client, to make more profit.” Altman suggested that a good follow-up question would be to ask how many small LSPs are not passing on TM savings because clients don’t ask.
French, Japanese, and Arabic share the crown of being perceived by our readers as the most difficult major languages to find highly qualified translators for. Fewer respondents mention Korean, German, Portuguese, and Chinese as tough to source. And only a handful think Italian and Spanish present the greatest sourcing challenges. Happy hunting, Vendor Managers!
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Unsure of the right terminology to use? Gearing up to build a style guide for your app or website translation, but don’t know where to start? Always admired a global company’s content style and wondered how they pull it off?
Don’t send up silent prayers to the universe asking for help. This list of freely available localization resources from some of the biggest global brands is just what you need. Each resource in this alphabetically-arranged list offers some general guidelines as well as instructions specific to their website, product, or service.
Apple’s internationalization (i18n) guide is geared toward developers—it lists a wide range of programming resources for iOS as well as Mac developers. Apart from guidelines on making apps ready for localization, the guide points to downloadable glossaries (a login is required).
The European Union’s 263 specialized glossaries range in topics from the automotive industry to trade unions, nanotechnology, and fisheries. Though this is a huge database, not all of the glossaries are in all the official languages of the EU.
Facebook Translation App Guide is meant to help translators using the Facebook app for translation. It explains various nuances of the app such as tokens, variations, attributes, inline translations, and voting with the app. But it also touches on linguistic aspects such as translating with gender in mind, given that Facebook offers users the option to not mention their gender.
Facebook accommodates different language conventions with the help of tokens, variations, and attributes. It also offers style guides and glossaries for most languages on Facebook. Volunteer translators can head over to the Translator Community for their language when they have feedback, suggestions, or questions. Facebook’s resources, too, require a login.
Google Global Advertiser’s localization guide consists of tips on how to work with translation companies and a short glossary of terms used in the localization domain. Like Apple’s i18n guide, this isn’t meant for translators, so detailed resources aren’t available.
Microsoft Language Portal
This is by far one of the most comprehensive and freely available term bases online. You can search in English for equivalent terms in over 100 languages and even download the term base for offline access. The portal also offers localization style guides, a localized error message lookup tool for Microsoft products, a reference library for building global-ready apps, and many more resources.
Mozilla’s extensive style guide stresses that translators must make translations resonate well for their culture and audience instead of trying to be strictly faithful to the format and style of the source language. It says here: “Localized content shouldn’t be a literal translation, but it should capture the same meaning and sentiment. So feel free to pull it apart and put it back together; replace an English expression with one from your native language; Mozilla-fy it for your region.”
In fact, their style guide is a series of questions to translators on how dates, time, and abbreviations, among other things, are used in their language. When it comes to loanwords—an important policy item in translation—it asks, “Will you use loanwords from another language or coin new terms in your language to maintain language purity? Is there [a] government requirement or policy to encourage creating new terms for new concepts, or will loanwords be sufficient to reach broader masses and expedite new technology adoption?”
I particularly liked some of the tips on translating difficult concepts . . .
- Know your product and understand the function of the feature.
- Consider similar ideas for those functions in your culture.
- Associate a culturally-specific image with the meaning and function of the term.
. . . and advice on developing new term bases.
- Avoid overly borrowing English expressions.
- Referencing another language from the same language family may inspire you to come up with your own terms.
- Consider the product target audience (age, level of literacy, education, and social and economic status).
Apart from a short style guide, TED has a rich mine of support files for subtitling. In true TED spirit, the style guide starts off with tips on collaboration, asking people to direct criticism at the work and not at translators. Translators are also encouraged to contact their Language Coordinators in case of disputes.
TED Talks have been subtitled by volunteer translators in over 100 languages.
Twitter provides a glossary for the language you choose to translate into. This is available in the Help section of Twitter Translation, which can be accessed after signing up to translate and agreeing to Twitter’s terms.
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For several years, the field of quality checking tools has been largely stagnant, with incremental updates to established tools. Recently, TAUS’ Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) and the EU’s Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) have set the stage for new developments in quality assessment methods thanks to their new methods and push for standardization. In this blog, we’ll review three new market entrants that are hoping to shake up this area. But let’s start with an overview of the types of tools out there:
- Automatic quality checkers. These tools use pattern recognition and other language technology approaches to identify potential problems, such as broken or missing links, inconsistent terminology, and missing content. These applications help linguists identify and fix problems during production to ensure quality.
- Quality assessment scorecards. Many LSPs use spreadsheet-based tools or simple software applications to count errors in translations to generate quality scores. They use the figures these produce to decide whether target text meet thresholds for acceptance. The classic example of such a system is the now-defunct LISA QA Model, but most CAT tools have some basic functions in this area.
Both of these approaches serve their purpose and help both LSPs and their clients, but three companies are bringing energy to an area that has been something of a language technology backwater. In CSA Research’s briefings with the developers of these tools, we saw encouraging signs that quality assessment is taking off again.
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