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!
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.
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.
Creating and updating terminology and translation glossaries requires time and effort, especially in the initial phases of a project. Organizations and translation agencies that used those tools know that, but understand the importance and usefulness of them. Translators also know that they will save time and effort in the long run, with the additional benefits of maintaining consistency and clarity on the terms. The use of translation glossaries and terminology guide and aid the quality assurance process of the translation project as well.
Term bases and glossaries are databases where we store either the explanation of a term (as in a monolingual dictionary), the equivalence of a given term in a different language (as in a bilingual dictionary) or both. These databases facilitate the translation process particularly preserving consistency throughout all documents, websites, software, manual and user interface.
The use of terminology, term bases, and translation glossaries are very beneficial in technical translation and within subjects that require the use of specific vocabulary. Also when working on a project with a large amount of documents or with a client that returns regularly, having term bases brings benefits for both the translator and the client.
Benefits of Terminology Management:
- Reduces time to market. It reduces translation time. All terms, even internal terminology of the company, forbidden terms, acronyms and accepted translation are approved and ready to be used in the term base and in the translation glossary.
- Facilitates edition and revision of documents.
- Translation will become more and more consistent with time even if multiple translators are involved.
- By eliminating ambiguity in the terminology your message will always be clear for your reader.
- Share knowledge of your business domain with the staff of your company and with outside organizations among them, your translation agency.
- Use of the same terms consistently across the different content and communication process that support your product or services.
Your translated content should be clear and precise. Your translators are the vehicle to achieve that, the more information and resources you provide them the more time they will to work in the creative process.
We live in a global world! Our world became so small that, nowadays, we can find products from distant places available to us that we never thought about. We can access pretty much everything using the internet; we can communicate with people from around the world and see them rapidly through Skype or FaceTime on your iPhone. But, I still marvel by the fact that even in a highly globalized world, one size does not fit all. Differences are still important and, they are what sets one market apart from another, even within the same language. After all, differences are what bring flavor to our lives. And speaking about flavor, during my last trip to Europe, I had a great afternoon wondering through a store called “Epices – Sels Poivres du monde entier” (Spices, Salts and, Peppers of the World); a little piece of flavor heaven nestled in the middle of a narrow street in Nice, France.
As the store name suggested, they truly had salts, pepper and, spices from around the world. I spent more than an hour trying to decide what to buy from that unique and picturesque place. From Norwegian salt to Mexican spices, they had everything to please even the most demanding of the chefs.
The pictures we share in this blog post are indications that even food can be localized or globalized for everybody to enjoy. I also live a globalized life (we are 5 siblings living in five different countries (United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela) and often I find myself trying to localize it, either during phone conversation when the vocabulary is not a common ground anymore, even if we all speak Spanish or by taking trips to reconnect with them. Localization can be challenging at times but extremely effective!
Have fun traveling and send us your comments about your own experiences with localized and globalized product.
At JR Language we believe in the social and business benefits of multiculturalism, in regard to the elements of cultural diversity within organizations and, nations. As a translation agency, we promote diversity in everything we do because we have witnessed how it enriches our lives and our business.
Our multicultural, multidisciplinary and multilingual translation team is a fundamental element of our success. Among our translators, project managers and, executive team, we have people who have lived, studied or worked abroad, studied other cultures or, both. Each one of them is an asset to our agency: thanks to them, we are able to communicate better with our clients by understanding or by having the willingness to understand their culture and where they are coming from.
Last week we read an article published in Inc. titled Travel Much? Living Abroad Tied to Entrepreneurship. The following passages were extracted from the article to emphasize the importance of multiculturalism and diversity and, the attitude one should have towards it:
- “Those who get the most out of travel learn the mental agility to see things from the perspective of both their own culture and the one they’re visiting.” – When we travel or interact with people from another cultures, our mind opens to new lifestyles and cultural realities, which gives us new perspectives.
- “To extract maximum benefit from time in a foreign land, what’s needed is a “bicultural” perspective–the ability to identity with your new home, but all the while continuing to connect with your native country too.”- We cannot expect the journey to change us; we have to be open to change, we have to analyze the differences based on its surroundings, on its own cultural and historical context. After all, one of humanity’s biggest flaws is judging what is foreign based on our own values.
We think this article’s approach on the importance of traveling, openness, tolerance and, multiculturalism, goes hand in hand with our vision.
We would like to hear your opinion. How does traveling have changed your vision of the world?
After reading Sophie Pitman’s blog post about the 2012 London Olympics’ Opening Ceremony, I can’t help but wonder: What went wrong (and what happened to Elton John)? On her post she explains how amazed she was after receiving many emails from her American friends who were totally lost by some elements of the ceremony. Maybe this is the reason why China decided four years ago to give the world a pyrotechnic show instead of one filled with historical references.
Although the United State and the United Kingdom share the English language, they do not share the same historical evolution, which creates a significant cultural gap. For this reason and, as Pitman points out, NBC should have had a British commentator to explain the elements that could have seem obscure to the American audience. Obscure as the giant baby born before our own eyes; maybe some of us did not take advanced English Literature and did not read Paradise Lost (if you read John Milton you realize that Cruella De Vil and Lord Voldemort were completely appropriate). What surprised me the most was that her friends did not recognized Kenneth Branagh! Most of us have read and watched countless versions of Shakespeare’s plays; I am sure the younger generations recognized him as Professor Lockhart from Harry Potter.
The Opening Ceremony was not the occasion to globalize but the perfect one to localize; after all the whole idea was to highlight what is intrinsically British, the good and the bad (very moving the commemoration of the War to End All Wars) but also, a local perspective would have helped understand what was happening.
Sports inspire universal values: Unity, Friendship, Equality, Patriotism and, maybe, this is where the Ceremony failed. Maybe they were too patriotic; maybe they failed at conveying a more global message that not only gave the world an in-depth vision of the United Kingdom but made the world feel welcome and part of it.
Fortunately we, at JR Language, know the difference between globalization and localization, and can help in deciding which is best for each situation so that our clients can benefit from it and prevent their copy from getting lost in translation.
Your website plays an important role in the success and image of your business. So chances are you’ve invested substantial resources into perfecting its look, message, and ultimately its ability to sell your products. And, by now, it should be doing a great job. However, it still has tremendous unrealized potential.
Think about it. Even if your award-winning site is coming in at the top of all the search engines, it’s still missing a huge amount of potential customers. So, what’s the most effective way to reach them? Break the language barrier! Even if your focus is on domestic sales…it doesn’t matter. The web is a multilingual environment.
Let’s look at some numbers:
- Over 60% of Internet users speak a native language other than English.
- Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. They reached 16.3% of the total population by the end of 2010.
- People are three times more likely to buy a product available to them in their native language.
Knowing this, what’s the best investment you could make for your website today? The answer is a customized, search engine optimized, professional website translation.
Beware! Some companies are lured into using computer translations. This is risky business. Your company may save a few dollars with the initial investment but at a considerable cost to your image and sales. Translation is much more than changing words–– it’s about understanding your target audience. Culture matters. Respect this truism and your website will increase your bottom line.
That’s where professional translation agencies, like JR Language, come in.
Professional translation agencies offer complete translation solutions. They use professional translators who work in their native language and understand the variations in pronunciation, word usage, and range of cultural sensitivities across markets. This means, your business receives translation appropriate to the nuances of that particular language and culture.
You’ll get peace of mind knowing your company’s branding efforts, sales pitch, and copy will be accurately translated and localized for your target audience. This effort will increase your customer base, expand your business, and boost your profits.
Remember: website translation is a key marketing strategy for today’s successful businesses.