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.
On International Women’s Day, JR Language wants to take the opportunity to highlight the professional and valuable contribution of the women working for our translation agency. Founded by a woman, JR Language always looks for ways to recognize the women in our community and around the globe. Today we celebrate the success and achievements of the women in our team and of the many women translators and interpreters around the world.
As we all know, women are from Venus and men are from Mars; two different planets with very distinct characteristics. Humans are the same; gender somehow predisposes us and provides us with a set of skills and characteristics that makes us more inclined for certain tasks. According to statistics from studentscholarships.org, 71% of translators, interpreters and terminologists in Canada are women. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find gender-related information for the United States or other nations but, we are convinced that this is the rule around the world given the proportion of women that we find in our team and the colleagues that we have met within the localization world.
There are many organizations dedicated to help and empower women. In the language industry we could mention Found in Translation, a Massachusetts-based program which helps low-income and homeless multilingual women become professional medical interpreters. This program was also founded by a woman, Nobel Prize nominee Kip Tiernan, a fierce advocate for social justice and we can’t stress enough about the amazing and noble job they are doing and the enormous difference they represent in the lives of all the women they have helped.
Whether it is because we are natural multitaskers or because we like to communicate (aka talk, now accredited to a gene), the truth is we love and enjoy helping others (and apparently language-related careers) and we excel at it!
Happy International Women’s Day to all our friends and colleagues!
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.
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.
After reading and very much enjoying the book “Found in Translation” by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche, what we found was validation. Not that we ever thought our job as translators and interpreters wasn’t relevant but, hearing people talking about translation services as if anyone could do it, it is scary sometimes, mostly because these are the same people that could potentially hire us and if they think they can do it, they will, no matter the consequences. We are not trying to say that this is a translation-specific issue, we know, for example, there are many “doctors” out there but, in the end, people value their health more than they value words on a piece of paper or a screen. There is a misconception about translation being a commodity and not a service that requires skills, knowledge, and dedication.
Going back to the book, here are some of the stories we enjoyed the most:
- Lifeline- What a way to kick off the book! It is a one minute horror movie. If there is one story that could summarize the relevance of our job, it is this one (and perhaps Parlez-Vous C++). Lifeline is about an interpreter who gets a call in the middle of the night after a long and tiring day of work, to interpret for a person who called an emergency line: a woman who’s about to be murdered.
- Flowery Words- The joy of localization at its best! A Bellagio employee gets completely lost in translation when a guest asked for orchids. Pretty simple request, right? The problem? The employee is a Turkey native and, in his native country, Orchid is the name for the sanitary napkins we know, in this side of the world, as Always. So, you can imagine the face of the guest when she received sanitary napkins instead of flowers!
- It’s Raining Falafel- Who doesn’t love movies and, who doesn’t love (or hate) movie translations? Those titles! Those subtitles! In this story there are a couple of good examples of translated titles:
a. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatball became Rain of Falafel for the Israel market. My question is: did it really rain falafel instead of meatballs in the movie? I guess we’ll have to rent that one!
b. Knocked up became Slightly Pregnant in South America and Very Pregnant in Italy. But, is there such a thing as being slightly or very pregnant?
These are just some of the stories you’ll find in the book. They are all very well-written, well-researched, entertaining and most of them, very surprising. If you haven’t read it, please buy it and, if you like it, like we did, share it. We want to thank the authors for compiling these amazing stories and for sharing them with the translation community and the world. May this be the beginning of so many other books that point out the importance of translation and interpretation services day by day and in some crucial moments of life. Well done!
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.
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.
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.