Every year on April 20th, the UN celebrates Chinese Language day. The event was established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization. As mentioned in this translation blog before, the other five official UN languages are: Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and English.
This date was chosen as the date for the Chinese language to pay tribute to Cangjie, which corresponds to Guyu in the Chinese calendar. According to a legend when Cangjie invented Chinese characters, the deities and ghosts cried and it rained millet; the word Guyu literally means “rain of millet”.
JR Language joins the celebration and takes this week of April to acknowledge the amazing job that our Chinese translatorsand interpreters carry out for us every day. Thank you for your loyalty and work ethic. Without your effort and knowledge we will not be able to provide high quality Chinese translation for our clients.
To Celebrate Chinese day we offer 15% discount for Chinese Translation this week.
Happy Chinese Day!
Pan American Day and Pan American Week in the United States is observed by Presidential proclamation on April 14 and the week thereof. This observance commemorates the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90, which created the International Union of American Republics. Pan American Day and Week also commemorates the diplomatic ties and relations of the United States with the other countries of the Western Hemisphere, including Latin America.
Each year Pan American Day and Pan American Week set the moment when Americans of all ages and nationalities can strengthen the bonds of friendship. Americans from one end of the continent to the other, come to know each other better through special observances, classroom projects, club programs, plays and pageants, parades and social events.
As part of both, Latin America and the United States, JR Language Translations joins the Pan American Day and Week celebrations. We proudly and diligently provide, day after day, high-quality translation, localization and interpretation services to hundreds of clients along the Americas in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and many other languages, allowing effective communication that enables business, social, and diplomatic relations.
Let’s celebrate the cultural richness of the Americas and sing together the Pan American hymn!
Back in August, we wrote a post about Legal and Medical interpretation. Regarding medical interpretation, specifically, we presented an article about a program at the University of Rochester Medical Center were interpreters are hired to help lower admissions and readmission rates due to language barriers non-native English speakers may have. This practice was a success but, what happens if those non-native English speakers don’t have the language resources to even access medical care in the first place?
This is the problem the health insurance industry is facing now. As if choosing a health insurance wasn’t difficult enough, for those whose English or Spanish is not their native language, this process becomes exponentially more dreadful. Starting October 1, the Affordable Care Act will come into effect allowing people to compare multiple health care plans in one place. Until know the applications have been traditionally translated into Spanish, due to the ever-increasing amount of Spanish speakers in the United States but, it completely leaves out the 4 million Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S. who speak other language than English.
The solution? Translating the application forms into the main foreign languages spoken in the United States among them Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Russian, Korean, and Farsi. Translation is the only way in which people who speak different languages can accurately communicate and get the right message across. We all know how important health care is so, the translation of these forms is not something insurance companies can “think about” or “do later on”, it is a vital necessity that should be addressed and solved immediately for the benefit of their potential insured people.
Let’s work together so everyone can have access to the same information, and therefore, access to the same benefits. We must push for better legislation and more comprehensive and affordable health care option that are accessible for everyone alike. Health care should not be an option, a luxury only those who can pay for it have, it is a right and we need to do whatever it is in our hands to make sure everyone enjoys it.
JR Language will attend GALA’s 5th annual conference at the end of March 2013. GALA’s acronym stands for Globalization and Localization Association.
We are looking forward to this conference after the fantastic experience we had last year. From Monaco 2012 we got new partners and providers, as well as a myriad of new ideas for the growth and development of JR Language in 2012. Overall we came back energized, and with new technologies to improve quality and the specialization of our translation services.
After checking the conference schedule, we are looking forward to get more insight on the maturity and new developments in Machine Translation; we have big plans for this technology in 2013. We are especially interested in post-editing techniques and measurements for TM.
GALA brings together a diverse and interesting group of people from all areas of the translation industry, among them: language technology developers, translation agencies, localization providers, consultants, and clients. Presentations will continue to focus on the tag line of the organization: “The language of business and the business of language”. This year the keynote speaker is stressing the importance of embracing technology, in general but, particularly in localization and translation services.
We are also interest in the updates on localization standards and connectivity between applications and translation tools.
Stay tuned for JRL’s summary of this important conference, which gathers representatives and players from all industries and countries of the world.
There is always text expansion or contraction when you translate content from one language to another. It is important to take into consideration this expansion or contraction, especially when translating any marketing material, for example: brochures, presentations, or websites since you will need to revise, and adapt your layout and design for proper presentation. Text expansion in translation is inspected by graphic designers in the multilingual desktop publishing department of translation agencies or by the person responsible for testing/proofreading in the website localization process.
When a document is translated from English into another language, it usually takes more words to convey the same idea. It is always possible to handle text expansion when translating technical or marketing documents by tweaking it a little, although the presence of graphics, diagrams and images in any type of document makes the adjustment a bit more complex, if it wasn’t considered at the document creation stage. It is safe to design your layout assuming that English text will expand by 20 to 30% once translated. Every language has a different expansion percentage but, when it comes to adequate space, the expression “better to be safe than sorry” holds true. Remember that white space is not necessarily wasted space; it allows for a more versatile layout and can greatly increase the readability of a document.
A few elements to keep in mind for document translation:
- Pagination (the arrangement and number of pages): Does this need to remain the same as the original? Will references within the text be affected if the page numbering differs?
- Table of contents: Is consistency between languages important?
- Any areas (tables, diagrams, etc.) where your English document completely fills all available space can be problematic upon translation without layout adjustments.
When dealing with online material:
- Navigation elements and links can change in length and might cause problems in display.
- Online forms and page elements in your website, like graphics and buttons, may also need to be re-sized after translation.
Although easily overlooked, text expansion can affect much more than the visual consistency of your document and websites. It can bring higher cost to your project by adding hours of multilingual desktop publishing. By addressing the relevant elements that can change at the beginning of the process, during the design stages, and by designing with Internationalization practices in mind, layout sacrifices and rework can be avoided and reduced; saving you time and money.
To find related information about text expansion and localization, please read this post from our series of articles about website translation and localization.
On our last article we talked about dubbing and subtitling. Coincidentally, we found a very interesting article in La Nación, an Argentine newspaper, addressing the topic. At JR Language, we deem important that the translation community is aware of what is happening in the industry around the world. Here we will highlight the facts of the issue and the opinion of the writer, Marcelo Stiletano:
One of I.Sat channels’, namely Cinecanal, announced a year ago in Argentina that they will no longer offer subtitling and that all of its programming will be dubbed. It is a controversy that is been around since and it doesn’t seem to mitigate. Up until that moment, Argentina had an almost unanimous preference for subtitling. Premium channels were subtitled constituting the main difference between paid and free TV programming. According to Stiletano: more knowledgeable viewers, eager for new things always prefer subtitles[…]it provide a wider view of the world, the opportunity to learn other languages and a greater consideration for the artist’s original work. He also point out that Spain’s Minister of Education, under Zapatero’s government, Angel Gabilondo, argued that dubbing is one of the reasons Spaniards have such a hard time learning other languages.
But, was are the channel’s grounds for implementing this drastic measure? Socioeconomic changes! They claim there is an emerging social groups that, although can now access cable TV, still prefer TV programming dubbed in Spanish and that, in order to maintain high ratings, they have to meet this requirement. It seems like subtitling “will remain in a more exclusive and expensive end of TV.”
On our previous post about dubbing and subtitling, I gave my opinion about it (I prefer subtitles); however, I was certain that my dissatisfaction was the result of coming from a country where both Spanish and English are the official languages and from a generation used to subtitling. Much to my surprise, the Argentinians commenting on this article, who come from an entirely monolingual country with a large and rich cinematographic history, shared my opinion about the cultural and linguistic benefits of subtitling and actually preferred them.
Do you prefer dubbing or subtitling better? We will love to hear your opinion.
Reading the latest issue of Multilingual magazine (Oct.2012), we stumbled upon an article about dubbing, written by Jacques Barreau, vice president of dubbing and subtitling at Warner Bros. We decided to write a post about the subject because we have received several dubbing/subtitling projects lately and we find that it is sometimes difficult for clients to grasp the importance of having the appropriate voice talent not just someone who can “speak” the language. Jacques knows this all too well having traveled the world to guide new markets in their dubbing efforts. Here are some key elements we wanted to highlight from the article that will ensure the best dubbing outcome:
1. Voice Talents- While actors with a background in theater can perform several voices, they may not be familiarized or even comfortable working with dubbing techniques. They should be the first choice especially in markets that are new to dubbing and where voice talents are scarce. Training these actors in dubbing techniques will ensure a fast dubbing process, lowering studio time and cost.
2. Technical Elements- Music and film sound mixing are not the same techniques. This could represent a problem in countries with little dubbing experience. Fortunately, music is universal and the equipment is already there but, with music you only have to take into account the music itself whereas in films element such as character movements and special effects come into play.
3. Cultural Elements- In an English into Spanish translation there is approximately 20% text expansion. If that represents a problem in paper, imagine the consequences in lip synchronization for a dialogue. If an English speaker says “Let’s eat”, an option could be: “Vamos a comer”. Try saying that out loud with a partner or even recording yourself and you’ll notice that the Spanish takes a little longer. The translator will have to come up with something like “Comamos”, to make it work.
There is still one aspect I don’t agree with the author: the complete localization of the cultural elements (for example, the localization of jokes: taking the elements of a joke and adapting them to the reality of another culture). I still remember as a kid watching the dubbed versions of Punky Brewster, Alf, Baywatch, Knight Rider, Bewitched, etc. But it wasn’t until I was older and had the opportunity to rewatch them subtitled that I really understood and appreciated their cultural value. I was able to learn and understand a second language by making connections between the written and the spoken words and, two, I was able to learn their cultural references and enjoy them as if there where my own. A complete localization of the cultural references will let you enjoy a program in your native language but it will limit your knowledge of the original culture. For this reason, I will prefer to localize only elements that might be offensive to the target audience.
Dubbing and localization are processes that allow people to have access and understand information that would be otherwise missed. Knowing what the goals of the project are and implementing the right resources for the job will ensure a successful outcome and an appropriate preparation of your content.
Individuals often seek ways to reinvent themselves with a new job or business venture during times of financial constraints. These conditions also pressure companies to explore new markets to sell their products and services. This expansion does not necessarily require developing new products, but rather customizing existing products/services to target a new market. We have helped many of our clients expand their markets by translating and localizing their products.
To communicate with potential clients; you must speak their language in every sense of the word. One approach to target a new audience is by localizing your website. With the right plan and the right team, you’ll successfully enter new markets in no time.
What do you need to localize?
Images and colors: First impressions last forever. Select images and color schemes your target audience can identify with.
Language: Use common expressions and terminology and be aware of different locales of the same language.
The message: Adapting ideas and transcreating messages will ensure clear communication as if it was written originally for the reader.
While reading Multilingual Magazine (June and July 2012 issues), we found three articles covering brand/website localization.
Positive Example 1: Pantene’s localized campaign for the Latin American/Spanish market. On a portion of their website localized for Peru, they display a female who appears to be of Japanese heritage (due to historic Japanese immigration, Peru has the second largest Japanese population in Latin America).
Positive Example 2: Eva Mendez is the face of Pantene’s Spanish site in the United States, another cultural connection.
Positive Example 3: When referring to hair, Pantene uses “pelo” for Argentina and ”cabello” for Peru; the most commonly used variations of the term in each country.
Positive Examples 4 & 5: To adapt to the Chinese market, Coca-Cola changed the characters to say something along the lines of: to allow the mouth to rejoice (a very positive feeling/image) Google adapts to the Chinese market by changing their name to “GuGe,” eliminating pronunciation difficulties with the letter “L” in Mandarin.
These are great examples of cultural localization through the use of appealing and familiar images targeting a particular market. At the same time, if you are not mindful you can make a negative impact:
Negative Example 1: The term “voseo” (a form of the pronoun you) is used within the Argentina localized website. At first it appears to be used correctly but after further analysis, inconsistencies are revealed. This is a concern because your audience may feel that the brand is careless and does not relate to them.
Language localization is an extensive process requiring time and research. To ensure a positive and fruitful reception of your products, it is essential to:
- understand your market
- maintain a clear strategy
- be respectful and consistent in your delivery
- set realistic goals
These guidelines will ensure a positive reception and fruitful future for your products. Please feel free to contact us today for assistance with your website localization project.
As part of the National Hispanic Heritage Month festivities, the Rochester Hispanic Business Association held the annual luncheon on September 25; acknowledging the work and public service life of one of our own. This year, it was an honor to celebrate the nomination of LaBella Associates CEO, Sergio Esteban. A Rochester resident for more than 2 decades, Sergio shared many kind words that touched all of our hearts. His years of dedicated work on many causes made him the Hispanic Person of the Year 2012.
As many other companies at the event, JR Language, had a booth showcasing their translation services, notably their Spanish translation and localization services. While at the exhibition, we had the opportunity to interact with other companies and members of the community.
The Spanish language is one of the common denominators of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association. As Spanish speaking members of the Hispanic community, we unite as one, regardless of our background: Argentina, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Spain, and the Dominican Republic, among others. The Hispanic Person of the Year is an uplifting award that celebrates great personalities, commitment to good values, and recognizes hard and selfless work.
Let’s continue to rejoice in the success of our community and help each other in the pursuit of a better world!
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15. This time-frame was chosen in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson to acknowledge the Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During this period, Mexico, and Chile also celebrate their Independence, and Columbus Day falls within the 30-days time-frame.
As a translation agency, and a part of the Hispanic Community in the United States, JR Language celebrates the Hispanic culture every day through high quality Spanish translation services and professionally localized documents for the Spanish market. Our mission is to help our clients communicate effectively with the Hispanic community to create long-lasting relationships.
Before the celebration ends, we want to celebrate the National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing all the translators, linguist, interpreters, project managers, and business people who help bridge the gap between Spanish speakers and the rest of the world.