As students, we’ve needed a transcript at some point in our lives. And maybe this is the reason why the first thing that comes to mind when talking about transcripts is an academic transcript. However, in the translation world, there is another kind of transcript that sometimes can be a real headache for translators.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a transcript can either be:
- an official document of a student’s academic records, or
- a written copy of dictated or recorded material
In this post, we will be talking about the latter transcript.
There are many instances in which one could need a transcript, for example:
- Legal - A lawyer may need a court activity transcript to review a case, or counsel may need the transcript of a potential client’s interview performed at a police station to build a case.
- Marketing - A marketing agency may need a transcript of a focus group’s conversations or interviews in order to take their suggestions and create a successful product or campaign.
- Academic – Subject interviews are the main source of study for linguists, using them to determine different linguistic phenomena.
Transcripts are treated basically as legal documents in the sense that they have to be a verbatim copy of the original and should not be modified, unless otherwise specified by the client. One of the most important things to know is that, given the oral nature of these documents, you have to make sure that the person performing the transcription can identify the speech of the speaker(s); if not, you will end up with an unsuccessful transcription.
In an upcoming post, we will discuss what to take into consideration when pricing a transcript.
Two main reasons have triggered the need for legal translation:
- World Immigration
- International Commerce (globalization)
And, contrary to marketing translation, there is no freedom when translating legal documents. The translation has to be a verbatim of the original document since one change will render the translation invalid or could be the reason of a lawsuit.
But there are a couple of similarities between marketing and legal translation. One is that translators specialize in legal translation. Legal terminology is very specific, almost unnatural compared to every day vocabulary. It uses, for example, many Latin words. That is why translators train to do this job and go to workshops to keep up with the subject.
And just as with localization for marketing material, there is localization in legal. The legal system in England and in the United States use different words to name the same things, for example:
Lawyer is a general word for someone who has professional training in legal work or who is an expert in the law. In American English, the word attorney is often used instead, especially in legal or official language and especially to refer to a lawyer who represents people in court.
In British English, there is a difference between a solicitor, who gives legal advice and prepares legal documents, and a barrister, who represents people in court.
Not to mention that different countries have different legal systems, which carry many other variations.
Hiring a professional translator cannot be more important than in legal translation. It can only be compared to medical translations. Make sure that your translator is aware of and able to perform perfectly your legal needs to avoid difficulties in your legal process.
A key element for an excellent translation is to know and understand the target audience, the people that will read and use the translation. The translator needs this information to communicate effectively. With that in mind, the translation service provider has to ask many questions to understand completely and accurately each client’s unique needs and expectations for a translation project. For the project to be successful in the translation process, the client must clearly identify the audience and context.
Translating ideas from one language to another is a very sensitive matter; each project has its own set of goals, and every person involved in the translation process has to be clear about those goals and expectations. With the best information at hand, the client and the translation team will be on the same page and will have the same information to work with. The main goal is for the client to give complete information, providing the translator with the social, cultural and linguistic knowledge to select the appropriate words.
Important elements that are taken into consideration when starting a translation:
- Age of the target audience
- Academic level
- Ethnic group
- Social group
- Country or geographical area
- Purpose of the translated document
Each element provides different ingredients and characteristics, and will aid the translator to convey the message in an appropriate and sensitive way. If your company has an in-country reviewer, with extensive knowledge of the product and its audience, the reviewer should be involved in the translation process from the beginning. This role is an important resource to support the project, especially during the initial phase of establishing the target audience.
Next time you have a translation in mind, you need to think that each project is as different as its recipients and that it is vital to describe the audience in detail. Give as much information as you can to your translation team and, if possible, provide previous translations. No matter how insignificant you think the information you have is, it will surely make a difference in the end result.
The internet has certainly changed the world in many ways. One is the way translation intertwines with other disciplines. Marketing is one of the most notorious examples. The development of international commerce, global economy and specially the desire to cover markets in the, so called, developing world (Korea, Brazil, etc.) makes translation the best friend of marketing agencies.
And just as there are many elements to take into consideration when developing a product, there are also many others involved in the translation process of marketing material. One of the most important elements is localization. In every translation the most important aspect is the ability of transmitting the correct message and, for that to happen it is critical to use the right words. Fortunately, marketing translators have a great deal of freedom when translating jingles, tag lines or songs.
But, freedom will achieve nothing without the proper knowledge of the target audience. Spanish is the perfect language to exemplify the importance of localization. The music, colors, food and words a country identifies with changes from country to country. Translators have to not only know the language spoken in a given country perfectly but also have an in-depth knowledge of the culture. They must know that, for example, the word chaqueta in Mexico is a forbidden word and that chamarra is the right one.
Also, it could seem logical that the vocabulary and the techniques used in a marketing translation should be different from those of a mere descriptive document but, sometimes people forget that. When trying to capture an audience and sell a product, it is very important the use of the imperative, for example words like: CALL, TRY, GO give a sense of urgency and need.
Every trade has its specializations and translation is not the exception. Hire a professional translator and you will sell your product anywhere.
JR Language Translation Services Inc. will be attending the 2012 GALA Conference in Monaco from March 25th to the 28th. GALA 2012 is the fourth annual Language of Business conference hosted by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). GALA promotes communication between its members, 275 companies in 50 countries .The conference will be a great forum to display multilingual strategies and proven tools to aid global business efforts.
The conference will be covering important subjects for the Language industry, some of the relevant topics of the gathering are: Machine Translation, Localization Standards, Globalization and content development, Quality in Translation, Multilingual and International SEO Strategies, cloud-based and server-based translation technology among others.
Jackie and Sergio from our company will participle in the CEO Forum, will go to the conference workshop “TAUS” Open Source Machine Translation Showcase on Sunday and will attend the 3 days of sessions.
If you are interested in meeting up with someone from JR language Translation Services during the conference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
GILT is the acronym used to define the steps or processes required in software localization to produce a global product. These steps can be applied to any product or service that needs to be designed/used for a global audience. The acronym comes from the first letters of the words: Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation.
Due to the Internet and communication speed, nowadays products and services can go global quickly but, should follow this ordered procedure for a successful globalization. We used LISA’s website (former Localization Industry Standards Association) to find accurate definitions:
- Globalization handles the process of marketing a product or company worldwide.
- Internationalization creates a product that can be marketed worldwide. The idea is to be able to change the language without redesigning the product.
- Localization adapts the product to the linguistic and cultural specifications of a given region.
- Translation is the process of reproducing a text from a source language into a target language.
Imagine the GILT process in a marketing agency for a product’s marketing material. The Development Department would undertake the Globalization stage. They would gather comments and suggestions from focus groups and distributors around the world to create the best product possible, taking into consideration the world market and demands. Then, the Design Department would do the product’s Internationalization. Its task is to create the best marketing campaign suitable for all markets, in a very generic way, indicating the areas that will stay the same for all markets and the areas that need to be adapted or localized to a specific market. The Production Department will take over the Localization process, changing all the parts that need to be adapted according to the local market, including changes to ensure colors, graphics and other elements of the campaign do not offend the target audience; the text boxes are big enough to handle language expansion; and the text can be read left to right and vice versa. And, finally, the Translation will be done to reproduce the campaign to any particular language required for the project.
The GILT process requires a lot of coordination and planning but ensures the success of any globalization effort and allows timely control of all activities and potential problems.