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!
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!
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.
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.
International Translation Day has arrived once again! For JR Language, this means celebrating our most valuable assets: the hundreds of translators who work hard to deliver professional, reliable and on-time translations so people all over the world can communicate effectively. Translation services are not a commodity; they are the key to new markets, new ideas, new friends! The deciding factor between a failed or successful business venture; between taking the correct dosage of a prescribed medicine or going back to the hospital with a worsened condition; between winning or losing a legal battle. Good translations equals good communication and, after all, isn’t that what we really need?
The International Translation Day is celebrated every year on September 30th, the same day of the feast of Saint Jerome, patron of translators and the translator of the Bible into Latin. Today, we celebrate and thank Saint Jerome for his intellectual curiosity, language knowledge and for thinking it was important for people to have access to the same information. His work made way to us modern-day translators!
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?
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.
Globalization has brought substantial benefits to countries around the world. Suddenly, the world is smaller and places that were remote and distant are now within reach. With the globalization phenomenon, the importance of communicating with people around the world has grown, and the simple translation of a document is not enough. For that reason, localization services have boomed. Localization is the process that culturally adapts a translation. It looks for linguistics, graphic and numeric equivalencies among other elements of communication.
Marketing and Technology
The tech era allows companies to launch their products to any market in the world from day one, but this advantage also carries responsibilities and critical steps for the product to be successful. A successful marketing campaign will impact the demand for the product, and for that to happen, a sense of identification is necessary. The more the public feels that the product was created specifically for them and to satisfy their needs, the more successful a campaign will be. Localization services, provided by native translators, will help achieve this goal in the translated message.
English and Spanish Localization
The vocabulary used by people with the same language changes with country and region. Linguists have identified and use four major divisions when dealing with Spanish localization, and the same has happened with English localization. The best-known divisions in English localization are English (USA) and English (UK). But, we can’t forget about Australian English and the different variations of English-speaking people in the Caribbean, to mention a few.
You will need localization services to understand and take into consideration the differences. For example, in Australia an esky is a cooler and a nappie is a diaper; in England a garage is not where you park the car at night but a gas station; in Midwest U.S. a pop is a soda.
JR Language has translators from all over the world to meet your localization needs. Trust our excellent localization services and your company will make a first-class, lasting impression
One of the main concerns clients have when asking for professional translation services is the cost. There are many aspects that are taken into consideration that can affect the final price of a professional translation, such as:
Price vs. Quality
Although money is very important, also keep in mind that most of the time there is a very close relation between price and quality. What if you have a very strict time frame and when you get the translation back it is a mess? Names misspelled; dates are not in the correct format, etc. Maybe with a 5 page-long translation is not the end of the world, but what about with a 300 page-long translation project?
Time = Money
You thought you were getting a bargain but, what about the time you will now spend correcting the translation? That will cost you time and, therefore, money. Professional translation agencies and professional translators will offer you the most competitive prices in the market for a job well done. They use a different translator to review your translation, a translator with a new set of eyes and a different thinking.
Always Know With Whom You Are Dealing
Before hiring someone to do your translation project, you want to make sure that you are dealing with a serious translation agency. That is why JR Language Website includes the option of getting free quotes and also offers advice from experienced project managers for your translation requirements. You will be able to get estimates on the cost and delivery time without obligation. Remember: the more you share about your translation project the more exact the estimate will be.
Also, be sure to read testimonials from previous clients that would give you peace of mind about JR Language Translation Services’ performance.
The sole purpose of professional translators is to communicate your message just as you intended and the purpose of experienced translation agencies is to provide you with the best services available. Always put quality first!