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The Need for Linguistic Services

The Need For Translation Service

The global economy is a vast connection of suppliers and buyers.  While this is a very high level view of the global economy, this explanation holds a lot of truth. Virtually every industry exists because there are buyers who want to buy the products and services of that industry.
The Translation services industry is no different. The need for a translation service is as old as history itself.  In fact, much of the history as we know it comes to us via interpretations and translations.  For example, “the translator’s role as a bridge for “carrying across” values between cultures has been discussed at least since Terence, the second-century-BCE Roman adapter of Greek comedies. The translator’s role however, is by no means a passive, mechanical one, and so has also been compared to that of an artist.”
In our more recent history, the need for document translation services came about not only due to the industrial revolution but also because of the rapid rise of the Internet that has created a global market for translation services and localization.  Can you imagine an American company wanting to expand to France without being able to communicate to French consumers in their native language?  Furthermore, can you imagine an organization wanting to sell products and services to French speaking Canadian citizens without using the Canadian French dialect? The fact of the matter is that the need for a translation company exists because the global economy demands it.
The purpose of a translation is to convey the concepts and meaning of the source text.  Therefore, it is important to understand that word-for-word translation is not always the perfect translation. Rather, the ideal translation will use the target language to convey the meaning of the source text while keeping in mind the cultural norms of the target audience.
Regarding the translation needs of multinational corporations, the type of information that often needs to be translated relates to:
  • product manuals
  • financial documents
  • service offerings
  • company policies
  • clinical studies / medical reports
  • technical specs
  • annual reports
  • intellectual property
  • legal text
  • religious text
For those companies that are expanding or are looking to expand to other countries, the need for translation services cannot be underestimated.  Therefore, it becomes essential that the translation company you select has prior experience within your industry. Other important factors to consider are that the translation company must have the expertise to translate large volumes of text in a short period of time, sufficient quality controls in place, and the ability to accommodate sudden changes to your demand.
Mostansar Virk – President of EPIC Translations

About software localization…

About software localization

About software localization…

WITNESS OF A PRACTICE:

While working in the software localization field for a big IT company, I figured out how sometimes translators can’t avoid bad translation renderings. I  found out that About software localization strings are translated out of context, the mainly visual context in this case. Once the translation was passed onto engineers, ‘words’ were assembled to the software itself and just a quality review used to follow this stage of the process. At this stage, translators were not allowed to correct so many things  (as the main work was already done), while, instead, a lot of errors were spotted when words were finally associated to menus, windows, etc.

Someone said that the translator is a rational agent aware of and controlling his actions and that he/she surrenders to external coercion only if his/her reason decides that it is the wisest thing to do.

I don’t agree with such an out-of-date and topical thinking.

News – latest translation softwares around

Latest Translation Software Around

I’ve just read in a NY Times article published in November that IBM is working hard on a new translation software – called n-Fluent – which sounds interesting. On IBM’s website you can find detailed info about it: the development process of the software apparently involved 400,000 people, that is, IBM staff worldwide, and n-Fluent should really be smarter and able to deal with idiomatic expressions etc. I just hope it is MUCH better than IBM’s Translation Manager, which probably is the worst-ever released translation software to date, according to my experience and to my colleagues as well.

In the meanwhile, I subscribed to receive “useful localization tips and funny bloopers” (so it says) from another company. I’ll let you know soon whether it is really useful&funny. This is the link.

What really seems to be interesting, though, is Clay Tablet, the collaborative translation tool, version 2.5: here’s some general news and the homepage. Clay Tablet connects to corporate databases as well as translation vendors, reaching an impressive 210 million translated sentences. Is anyone ever used it?

Translation and translators in the market

Translation and Professional Translators in the Market

Translation is mostly conceived as a pure language knowledge and automatic activity performed by those who “can speak” or “know” one or more foreign languages. Few know that it’s a skilled and creative action and that in order to make it a suitable preparation is needed.

The business market is requiring more and more skilled translators in order to translate their documentation and websites, so apparently, companies address to professionals in order to get their translations done. Agencies and freelance translators have a good load of work (even though translation demand is lower than the offer). By the way, if we consider results our certainties start to fade away. This is not a general rule or hypothesis applying to all countries in the world; Europe, in particular, the southern area, has nothing to do with translators’ status in the USA. If we have a look at localized websites, for instance, we can spot the results of these differences.

I recently read on an Italian recruitment website the wonderful translation from English into Italian of the word interview into Intervista. Unfortunately, localization is often considered as the less creative field of translation and the simplest from a fraseological point of view. As a matter of fact, many freeware, web applications and social networks are translated by volunteers and this is certainly not a way of recognizing the importance of translation and localization! If a single term has been wrongly translated, it’s very likely not to there have been a translator behind it.

There’s a huge gap between big companies who search for professional translators in order to translate software and websites and the examples above made.

Will it be a matter of budget or of common declassification of translation activities? The only conclusion we can come to is to advise to address to professional translators and agencies for both translators and company’s results protection! How and what we write and say is often more important than any marketing strategy!