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.
As an effort to develop a culture of peace that emanates from a complete belief in the importance of translation in achieving rapprochement among peoples, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia created the King Abdullah International Award for Translation. Texts can be submitted in Arabic or any other language in the fields of humanities, natural sciences, religion, and literature although one of the main purposes is to further knowledge about scientific research.
According to UNESCO reports, Greece alone translates double the entire translation volume of all of the Arab countries put together, and Spain translates five times the volume that the entire Arab world together translates. In other words, the Arab world has translated less than 10,000 books during the past 50 years, while Greece has translated 10 times the amount of books translated in the Arab world during the same period.
There are two prizes, one is a $200,000 and a $140,000 second prize for the appreciation of contributions of individuals. The first award was presented in 2008 for works published in 2007. During the past five years, the award has received about 650 submitted translated works from different countries, submitted in various languages. So far, a total of 50 people have won this award.
We encourage professional translators as well as translation agencies around the world to submit their translations in and from Arabic and may the best ones prevailed for the conservation and enrichment of the Arabic language.
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.
For anyone who’s in one way or the other involved in the translation industry and especially for those who speak Arabic, December 18th is a day to celebrate. In 2010, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established this day as the UN Arabic Language Day. The goal: “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”. They chose this date to commemorate when Arabic was incorporated, in 1973, as one of the six official languages. The other five official UN languages are: Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian and English.
At JR Language, we celebrate with the world this Arabic Language Day and, we want to take this moment to thank all of our hard-working, professional Arabic translators and interpreters throughout the U.S. and the world, who always deliver reliable and timely translations and, interpretation services, in a wide variety of subject matters ranging from marketing, legal, medical, to governmental material. Their professionalism and expertise are a great asset to our translation agency.
We hope we will continue working together for many years to come!
Depending on your budget, there are several options for translating video files. As with any other translation project, the client must identify the target audience and what they want to achieve with the translation. Once that is established, everyone will have a better understanding of the scope and will be better equipped to determine the best option for their needs.
There are many options to accommodate any video and multimedia project and budget. The key is to know your options and to have a thorough understanding of your project.
- Subtitles- the text that appears at the bottom of a video file providing the translation of the audio.
- Close Captions- text that appears in a black box as a transcription of the original spoken language. It is usually destined to help the hearing impaired.
1. Voice Over
a. On camera narration
-UN Style- the original language of the speaker can still be heard underneath the voice talent’s translation.
a. Lip Sync-the replacement of an original voice on a video in synchronization with the lip movements.
*An alternative to lip synching (when there are budget restraints and you don’t want to use voice over), is to add images related to the narration that could “cheat” time making it look like you actually lip synched the narration.
b. Looping- a very expensive type of dubbing. It consists in recording tiny fragments of the speech at a time. A machine then determines the amount of time that takes saying that fragment on the source language and the machine will continue to loop back to the beginning until the voice talent renders the translation in the same amount of time.
c. Lock-to-Picture-the voice talent sits in a recording booth with a headset where he can hear the original audio on one ear and his voice on the other. This allows the voice talent to take visual and audio cues.
d. Time Match- the length of both, the source and target language recording will be identical but, there the lip movements will not necessarily match meaning that, both recordings will be 20 minutes long, for example, but sometimes it would take either the original speaker or the voice talent more or less time to finish a given sentence.
e. Off-camera narration- the replacement of a voice recording for which the speaker is not visible. Such is the case of some National Geographic or Discovery documentaries.
We hope this quick tips will help you better understand the media and video translation business and point you into the right direction when seeking professional services. At JR Language, we always try to inform our clients and provide them with the services they really need to achieve their goals.
For translators, beyond knowing the translation of a given word, knowing the origin of it could make a significant difference especially when working on subjects we are not too familiar with. This is why the research of biologist Quentin Atkinson could be interesting and helpful to our field of translation services.
Evolutionary biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Quentin Atkinson, believes the birthplace of all Modern Languages is Turkey. Along with a team of scientists specializing in various disciplines and by applying evolutionary biology and epidemiology methods, he has tracked down the origins of Modern Languages to Anatolia, the territory known today as Turkey. According to archeological records, agriculture was introduced there ten thousand years ago and people settled in Anatolia started migrating to other parts of the world, taking their farming skills with them. So far, they have studied over 6,000 cognates (words that have a common etymological origin) within the Indo-European languages, among them: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu and, German. They now want to study the regions of Australasia (a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean) and, Central America.
Follow the link to hear NPR’s interview to Quentin Atkinson.
First, video killed the radio star and now, it is taking over everything else. With the emergence of youtube, video has confirmed that it is here to stay. The use of video is also reaching the global world and there is a growing need to localize video files. In the world of translation, video comes with certain specifications. Clients have many options when translating a video dialogue. It is kind of a grey area that should be cleared out to help clients pick the best options for their needs.
There are three main techniques to translate a video dialogue:
1. Subtitling- This is the best known technique of the three. It consists of inserting the oral dialogue into words on the video file, without altering the audio file. Different countries have different ways of placing the subtitles on the screen: many Asian countries place them in the right corner of the screen as a column (as to simulate their writing format), while other countries place them in the upper-centered part of the screen, but the most common method is to place them at the bottom of the screen.
Elements that determine proper subtitling location:
- How many words the audience will read
- Over what length of time
- How fast the subtitles replace each other
- In which country will the video be viewed
2. Voice-over- This technique does not completely replace the original voices, but rather new voices are recorded over the original ones. Here, the original dialogue is muted slightly to allow the voice talent to perform the translation, yet one can still hear the original voice recording.
3. Dubbing- This is a complete replacement of the original voices. We do not hear them at all. A voice talent will translate the original dialogue transmitting the tones, emotions, and other elements of the original dialogue or speech.
If you have a need for video translation, contact us to talk more in depth about your specific needs and provide you with a free estimate. We would love to help you translate and localize your video so that you can communicate with the world.
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.
memoQfest 2012, the annual users’ meeting for the CAT Tool memoQ, was held at the Ramada Plaza on the Danube. Kilgray’s event was informational and fun. They provided different theme tracks throughout the day aside from great networking events every evening. There were a wide range of attendees from around the world; translation agencies, translators, developers for translation technologies and, big translation services’ users like Microsoft.
Trainings and presentations were full of information about the translation industry’s newest trends, in general, and Kilgray’s lastest developments, in particular. Speakers covered a variety of topics. For example, memoQ’s interoperability with products like Plunet, a project management platform. They discussed, for instance, how this merger facilitates content extraction from CMS’s to be uploaded into a translation environment like memoQ.
Other presentations addressed topics such as how to handle big and complex project in memoQ and how to integrate Microsoft’s Translator’s Framework with memoQ.
We also had the opportunity of joining memoQfest online on Friday and, we took advantage of that! Some of our employees woke up at the break of dawn to watch a presentation about Multilingual Project Management and Website Translation with memoQ. Kilgray will be posting the web recordings of the presentations in a few weeks.
After attending Gala and memoQfest 2012, we are looking forward to embracing new translation technologies and translation trends. Go to our Facebook page to view pictures from the memoQfest event.
In this section, we look over the financial aspect of your website translation planning.
The elements mentioned below impact your costs, strategy, and work time when introducing a new translated and localized website.
- Do you need a partial translation or the translation of the complete site? Some clients decide to do a partial translation eliminating sections that are not important to them, such as events, job postings, or other sections of the site that are specific to the source language or original audience.
- Is the content of your site static or does your company constantly update the site with new pages? The frequency of content updates to your site is an important element to ensure you have sufficient funds for ongoing maintenance of the website translation process.
- How many languages are you going to have in your multilingual translation? Are you going to have different locales for languages (i.e. French translation: France or Canada)? Sometimes it is better to start with fewer languages and learn from the process before the next set of languages is implemented. Do not give in to “get-it-done-quick” temptations by using a device like Google Translate or low quality services in effort to reach a wider audience. Many companies fall victim to this trap and tarnish their image and reputation.
- Your budgeting must account for suspected IT work. The structure, navigation, and platform of your translated website must be determined and may require revising.
- Will you have customer support within your company for the new languages? If you publish content in Spanish for your audience, you should expect phone calls from customers that will have a need to communicate in the Spanish language.
If you have any ideas or comments about budgeting while planning for website translation and localization, we would love to hear it. Please leave us a comment, write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call to speak with one of our project managers experienced in website translation.