Friday, 20 June 2014

8 Code of Ethics that Every Interpreter Need to Follow

The role of a professional translator or interpreter isn’t just restricted to knowing different languages; it also includes connecting cross-cultural thoughts and ideas in an accurate manner. So, apart from being proficient in grammar, syntax and vocabulary, in both source and target languages, a thorough understanding of the cultural aspects is equally important. According to the American Translators Association (ATA), reading a wide variety of materials, participating in different discussions and training can lead to a successful career as a translator/interpreter.

What are the ethics in translation?
· Confidentiality: As the name suggests, this ethical aspect is associated with maintaining confidentiality of information and not disclosing the same to others during the course of work. As an interpreter/translator, you should neither reveal information on accessible reports/documentation, nor offer opinions to others unless legally solicited. Moreover, the information attained should never be used for personal, professional or financial benefit.
·  Accuracy: Next in the line of translation ethics is to remain faithful in maintaining the meaning of a content, which is conveying the original theme effectively from speakers/writers to the listeners/readers. Any linguistic variations may change the tone and purpose of the message if not conveyed properly. Literal word-by-word translation may change the actual meaning.  A professional translator needs to ensure that synonyms and phrasing of sentences are done with precision for the correct interpretation of the texts.
· Impartiality: The third ethic is impartiality, which emphasizes on being unbiased throughout the course of the translation work. A professional interpreter/translator should always remain neutral to both the author and the reader, irrespective of their gender, status, belief, or age.
· Conflict of Interest: Conflict of interest such as personal relationship with the client should always be disclosed beforehand. This is usually done to avoid conflict in textual difficulties like unclear source text, unconfirmed terminologies etc.
· Conduct: Certified interpreters and translators need to follow their code of conduct to keep up with the required compliance.  They need to operate within their scope and avoid offering advice, opinions, counseling etc. to clients. They need to maintain cultural sensitivity, respect and professional integrity throughout the course of their work. For instance, a professional translator needs to dress up professionally while offering such services to avoid being a distraction to the clients.
· Competence: You may be accredited to offer services for some specific languages based on your skills, experience and capability. You should undertake work as per your competence and strive hard to develop your skills in that domain through knowledge and experience. You can participate in workshops or attend professional meetings to enhance your knowledge and skills.
· Maintaining Professional Relationship: Whether you work as a full time employee in an agency or a freelance practitioner, you need to maintain a professional relationship with your clients all the time. From initial interaction to client briefing, professional translators need to make an effort to secure a satisfactory work environment. They ensure that the work is completed on time, and at the same time foster a respectful business relationship with clients. Moreover, they should not accept gifts and tips from the client in any situation.
·Professional Solidarity: Apart from maintaining their repute and trustworthiness, interpreters and translators need to show respect and provide support to the fellow professionals.

All types of professions are associated with different ethics and work culture and translation service is no exception. Thus, you need to be aware of various ethical issues to comply with and fulfill your responsibilities effectively as a translator.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

What You Should Know about the World’s Spoken Languages

Some Language Facts

Let’s begin with some key facts about the world’s spoken languages:

  • More than 50% of the world's languages have no written form.
  • In Papua New Guinea over 10% of the world's languages are spoken.
  • In the United States more than 100 languages are spoken.
  • Over 80% of the languages spoken in the United States are endangered.

The facts above show that most of the world’s languages are still in spoken form. Hence, a lack of written documentation leads to the dying of many of those languages. Another challenge is to understand and interpret the spoken languages correctly, because interpretation should consider cultural differences, native vocabulary, sentence structure, sound etc. 

Words that can’t be translated!

An interesting article published on the Huff Post site gave examples of some untranslatable words throughout the world. It’s because appropriate terms or words are not available in the target languages. 

A few examples of such untranslatable words are:

Culaccino (Italian)
This word is used when a cold glass is left on a table, and it leaves its mark there due to condensation. 
Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
This is for expressing a feeling of anticipation that makes a person to go outside and check if someone is coming. 
Komorebi (Japanese)
This word signifies the interplay of sunlight through tree leaves.  
Pochemuchka (Russian)
This portrays someone who asks too many questions. 
Waldeinsamkeit (German)
This one expresses a sense of loneliness or solitude in the woods and feeling connected to nature. 

The above examples make it clear how verbiages vary from one country to another, and the relationship between words and their meanings are unique. Linguists have been researching for years to deconstruct the words to figure out how to provide numerous expressions and ideas that are difficult to translate.  

Can Real-time Translation technology solve translation issues?

Recent technological innovation like Project Glass does real-time translation of different languages. An automatic translation application in the glasses translates languages and helps people communicate.  The translations appear both on television screens and inside displays of the headsets.

Experiments like the one mentioned above were also done earlier in time. In January 1954, scientists experimented to translate from Russian to English through an electronic translator.  The machine was able to successfully translate multiple sentences from Russian into English. This experiment gave confidence to the scientists, and they claimed that the machine will be able to handle all translation issues over the next few years. However, that didn’t happen.
The following are some of the key reasons why even an advanced machine can’t provide comprehensive solutions to translation issues:

  • Languages are often quite subjective.
  • There are thousands of languages spoken across the world, and understanding their nuances is difficult for a machine.
  • Most Languages are not written and documented.
  • Understanding the language context is difficult for a machine.

The last pointer above on understanding context is considered as one of the major differentiators between a human and machine translation. When humans interpret, they don’t just translate words, they also think about the context to understand meaning. These understandings change according to the constantly changing situations, and only human creativity can keep up with that. A high-end technology aiming to play a major role in the translation domain needs to tackle additional issues such as grammar, speech recognition errors, high accuracy and speed for real-time use. 

Keeping off Translation Woes

In order to avoid ‘Lost in Translation’ issues, spoken language translations need to be done by qualified and experienced interpreters. It’s a key job considering the industries and domains that use interpreters. Be it politics, business, technology or any other field, incorrect translation can have a negative impact in terms of efficiency and credibility.

Interpreters need to consider translation assignments, keeping in mind the specific region, dialect, cultural and contextual issues along with skill sets and industry experience.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Why should we hire a certified translation agency for the Polish anguage?

Polish is the official language that is spoken throughout Poland. Polish minorities in other countries also speak the language. Poland has a population of about 39 million people, and for most, Polish is the native language. Argentina, Belarus, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, UK and the USA are also home to Polish speaking people.

In the recent years, Poland has held responsible positions in European and international affairs. The country has established cordial relations with European nations and other developing countries. Poland is a member of NATO, the UN, the WTO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G6 and other significant international bodies.

With globalization, communication has changed drastically. Communication has crossed all geographical and linguistic barriers today. Development and specialization of language services has benefitted mankind in various domains like engineering, medicine, literature, art and culture and technology to name a few. This has led to the enhanced quality of life that we lead today.
Some of the industries where Polish language translation is commonly used are:
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Government and Non-Governmental Agencies
  • Technology
  • Advertising
The demand for Polish language translation services continues to be in great demand. Language translation is done by freelancers as well as translation companies across the world. In the recent past, many certified translation agencies for the Polish language have opened up. Across the world, a large number of national as well as international organizations such as embassies, publishing houses, research institutes, marketers and legal teams look to translation service providers for a smooth and fruitful sharing of information and opinions.

Need and use of language translation services:
  • Translation services are commonly used to translate legal documents such as marriage certificates, migration documents, divorce decrees, passports, medical reports, birth certificates and more.
  • With ecommerce commonly being used, websites are translating their content into more and more languages to reach out to customers around the globe. Translation helps them localize their portals.
  • For IT companies, translation services have facilitated easy sharing of the latest technology. Likewise, medical research teams, the fashion industry and many more streams are developing at a faster pace.
However, for best results from translation, these services should be trusted to professional translating agencies. Poor quality translated work is futile as it would not fulfill the aim of translation. On the other hand, hiring a certified translation firm to undertake the work would ensure a high quality final product.

Some challenges to polish-English-Polish translation:
  • Most Polish words are longer than English words. This means that the translated work would vary significantly in volume, by almost 30% in some cases.
  • While the English language is very flexible in terms of language formalities, Polish is not. The Polish language has a lot of tones, nuances, expressions and linguistic characteristics which may lose essence when translated to English.
  • There is a big difference between English word order and Polish word order. Unless done by a professional, the two languages, when translated poorly, can lead to disastrous results.
Many certified agencies offer services for Polish-English translation work. It is best do some research and hire an agency that has ample experience in Polish language translation.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Cost and Pricing Factor in Translation Services

If you are in the translation services business or are seeking such services for education, training or media work, then both cost and pricing are important. One of the most persistent issues for your business could well be the cost factor. You receive orders from clients for translation work as they are looking for cheaper, faster, and quality work. To fulfill such business expectations, you make plans and execute them in the best way possible. You may still find controlling costs a little difficult despite using new techniques and tools for improving efficiency. If you hire translation services for your business, better pricing with high quality will help you save on operating expenses.

As a service provider what can you do to manage costs more efficiently so that you can keep competitive pricing, provide quality yet fast delivery time, and create a significant profit margin? Organizations with global vision find it a challenge to keep operating costs under control as they need to invest significantly in order to have a competitive edge in the global economy. For creating a niche in such a domain, you need to provide acceptable pricing and service quality as per the international standard. In that endeavor, you can implement the following action plan for effective cost management:

  • Some translation service providers offer multilingual A/V audio-visual recording as well as subtitling along with high quality (ISO 9001 certified) translation work by the experts. Also, with proper software localization, all the components can be quantified in terms of words to translate, to review, and to leverage from previous translations, page layout, compilation of topics and of course Quality Assurance (QA) work. 
  • Service providers with a translation website and an automated system can significantly reduce service costs by eliminating non-value added tasks and the third parties involved in the process. In this way you will be able to provide high quality translation services instead of wasting too much time for exchanging files, resource management or accounting. The reduced cost will enable you to offer more competitive pricing to your clients.
  • If you have a translation website, it will allow clients to request free quotes to get pricing in advance. Also, through the website you can simplify the communication process with the clients.
  • Try to optimize different components that include localization costs. The optimization process is quite important as it will lead to significant reduction of translation and localization project costs.

By saving long term localization costs, service providers can invest that amount in hiring professional translators and make the quality assurance (QA) system efficient and robust. This will provide benefits to both service providers and clients and create a win-win situation.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

How Can International Language Translation Services Bring Different Worlds Together?

Translations are supposed to stick closely to the original content. They need to be technically accurate and relevant to the target audience. As each language is different, their terminologies and culture differ. As a result, any literal translation, with a word-to-word rendition, loses the essence of the original content. Content that is translated on the basis of the values and principles followed in a particular country is considered an ideal translation.

International language translation services are about creating communication solutions for bringing together people and businesses from different parts of the globe.  Translations are responsible for guiding conversations to a particular direction. Translated documents should be interesting, appropriate and comprehensible. There is a combination of things that are linked together for ensuring a good piece. The purpose is not just to make the target group read the content; rather, it is to engage them completely.

There are a few translated copies that capture the intent and the feel of the original content successfully. Even the most meticulous translator may find it challenging to understand the essence in one language and depict it in another. It requires deep understanding and an eye for detail. As content gets transformed from one language to another, facts, both big and small, get distorted. It becomes imperative for the translator to understand these deviations and to keep them in sync with the basic meaning of the original document.

It is worth noting that translation is a job that needs precision, language skills and knowledge simultaneously. Translation is critical in nature especially when it is about medical or legal subject. Inadequate understanding can result in dire consequences. When it is advertising or a media translation, any wrong usage may not create the same impact on the target audience as was intended. It is necessary to understand that a successful translation is the one that remains faithful to the original content.

“Multiples shows us that the most innovative translations are still crafted rather than invented from scratch.” – Lucian Robinson

Translation agencies that offer international language translation services to clients worldwide ensure cost effective techniques, in several languages, that are well adapted to different industries and the target culture.

A wrong translation is not just about poor grammar or incorrect sentence formation, but about the crux of the text. When the content contains idioms and phrases, the translator will have to find the colloquial alternatives to them in the target language. This is often referred to as “transcreation” instead of translation. Transcreation takes the information and recreates it from scratch to meet up the expectations of the target audience. It ensures that the final translated document is in sync with the culture of the target country.

Global marketing strategies are tailored to address the specific challenges that are imposed due to language differences.  In order to meet these challenges, it is important to have a clear picture of cultural insights of the target country so that the flow of information is streamlined with the level of understanding. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Connecting the Modern World through Foreign Language Translation Services

The power of effective communication is a well-established fact. In the present era, where globalization is at an all-time high, one of the important aspects of the modern business world is foreign language communication. Today we need to deal with a diverse world where there are virtually no physical, cultural or other boundaries. The Internet and other communication tools enable you to interact with different people from different cultural and regional backgrounds. Foreign language translation services are very important for pursuing in any kind of communication process.

Translation makes it easy to reach out

Translation is not merely supplementing a word with another word; in fact, it plays a vital role as a mediator between two cultures or languages. The translator has the capacity to enhance our understanding of the issues or problems by explaining the content in the language which is clearer. It is indeed a complex process which requires replacement of source language text with target language text, with emphasis on cultural and educational nuances. The importance of foreign language translation is growing rapidly day by day. A businessman sitting in one part of the world can easily send his message to any part of the world in the language of the target audience. Translation is indeed beneficial for both the parties as through communications in the native language, the target audience gets a better understanding of the subject matter. Ultimately, the process creates more opportunities of growth worldwide.

For your growing business or social needs, you require quality translation services which are reliable and cost effective at the same time. In order to reach a diverse and different audience you need competent translators from different languages and cultures.

Translation is needed due to coexistence of multiple languages

Today there are many companies or corporates that work in different countries. For such companies which operate in multiple countries, translation is inevitable. They require communicating and sharing information in many languages. This can be done only through translation.

Foreign language translation services also play a vital role in negotiation and expansion. There are cases when businesses have to deal with local companies and vendors and at times even with the local government.

It is important to know that foreign language translation is the most important part of a nation’s international diplomacy. International diplomacy is necessary for global economic growth and in creating a favorable environment for bilateral trade and business. Countries are establishing embassies and consulates all over the world to promote exchange of trade and to strengthen business relations. Translation plays a significant role for presenting and exchanging ideas on important issues. It is also needed for resolving international disputes as it gives an opportunity to express better.

It is hard to imagine the development of the modern world without effective translation services. As an impact of globalization, the world is coming closer day by day due to technological development and mutual needs. There has been a growing demand for translation service from one language to another. Translation has helped to bridge the cultural and regional gaps to a great extent. It has also helped in creating new opportunities, exploring these opportunities and most importantly in making the world secure and interlinked and a better place to work in.