Posted by: Michela
Are you considering having your website translated? It’s worth bearing in mind that it won’t just be the visible content you’ll be working with, you’ll need to translate website HTML as well…underneath every website on the web lies source code, or, HTML (HyperText Markup Language). HTML is the vital component of many webpages and browsers use the HTML coding to interpret what is on the webpage and display it in a visual or audible format; when considering utilising website translation services it is vital not to overlook its importance…
Images and objects can be embedded in the HTML and it creates structured documents by ‘telling’ the browser the format for things like headings, paragraphs, lists and links etc. When looking into website translation services, or if you are a website translator yourself, the easiest way to go about the translation whilst preserving the formatting is to go into the HTML code and translate the text from there.
Now, go onto any webpage and click on ‘View source’ and the HTML coding will pop up in a new window; obviously you cannot just change the code from there, as otherwise the content of the internet would never be stable and some companies could wake up to a drastically different website than the one they fell asleep to the previous evening! You need to save the coding as a ...Continue Reading →
This September I started my MA (Translation with Language Technology) which includes a module on the use of SDL Trados 2009, MultiTerm and various online translation resources. At first I was quite daunted by the reems of instructions, menus inside menus inside menus, file formats I had never seen before (.xdl anyone?) and all the while missing my midnight tortures with a pen in one hand and a dictionary in the other endlessly scribbling just trying to phrase something, just right.
When I translate documents, my favourite kind of texts to work with are literary or academic (as I’m sure my early blog posts demonstrate!) and I think this is what made me so defensive about translation software…this trepidation was soon replaced, however, by a growing sense of awe at how much easier translation software makes life for a freelance translator.
I found Trados very user friendly, and once you get used to the (initially daunting) interface, it all falls into place fairly quickly… You can build a TM (Translation Memory) which is invaluable if you translate documents that are very similar as it readily suggests pre-translated segments saving you time and work. You can also import a TM if, for example, the translation company that has asked you to complete the assignment has worked with the client before on previous, similar translations and has sent one to you to make your ...Continue Reading →
One of the first things that we learn in any language is how to count up to ten, but in some languages this is more complex than others. In many languages, children are taught to count using their fingers, as they use the decimal system (count in blocks of ten), but there are still some groups of languages which use a number of other number systems. For example, Celtic, Mayan and Inuit languages favour the vigesimal or base numeral 20 system, which, unsurprisingly, counts in blocks of twenties. Knowledge of these systems is one of the essential building blocks of required knowledge for financial translations.
Some East-Asian languages such as Korean and Japanese actually use two numbering systems, one being based on their native vocabulary and one on a formal writing system, the latter of which is commonly used in spoken Japanese. In addition, in the Sinitic languages, two separate characters are used to signify the concept “two”: 二 designates a number involving two e.g. “200″, “the year 2012″, whereas 兩/两 identifies a pair e.g. “two books”, “my two brothers”. As financial translations between English and Japanese are common, this knowledge is vital.
If we look at the change in the way that numbers have been written in English over time, it gives a great insight into the evolution of writing systems. Let’s look at how English numbers were ...Continue Reading →
As an example of how easy it is to offend in an unfamiliar culture, try to avoid giving someone a thumbs up in Iran, as it carries the equivalent meaning as the middle finger does in Western cultures.
In the business world, to ensure you do not alienate potential clients, you need to be aware of a region’s beliefs and have a familiarity with their way of life and their culture, their interpretation of various ideas/ideologies; social norms, the local dialects, symbolism etc has to be understood if you are to communicate effectively. The list is endless.
So, when it comes to your marketing messages, the business translation must be carried out by a native speaker (this is a universal truth for all translation anyway in our opinion) who will understand these nuances. They may also advise you on how modify your communicated message for the target consumers; even if the text of your campaign is grammatically correct, it may not successfully carry the message you want it to.
This message is a multi-faceted asset to your company consisting of advertisements, leaflets, brochures, presentations etc. and it will need to be customised, consistently, throughout. This will also enable you to accurately judge how people are reacting to the material and if it needs to be adjusted ...Continue Reading →
Posted by: Lauren Webb, Operations Manager
I recently read a report that translators of the hit Danish crime drama The Killing had been asked by the BBC to tone down the translations of swear words in the English subtitles. This came following a complaint that many ‘softer’ expletives were being translated as the f-word.
Simon Chilcott, the programme acquisitions editor responsible for bringing the show to Britain said that they had felt the need to rein in the translators if they were being too edgy. According to a leaked memo, the translators were told: “Where there are a number of options of which word to use, err on the side of caution, and use the less strong word.” Chilcott did however acknowledge that the translators were effectively carrying out a re-write of the series, and that sometimes translators need to improvise where a direct translation would sound clumsy or not read well, adding that it was important to stay faithful to the characters and script.
On one article about the issue, a comment was made that the only thing unusual about this situation was that it was only just being discussed in the UK. Many other countries, who import foreign programmes more frequently than Britain, are much more accustomed to these type of considerations. I for one am pleased about the recent popularity of overseas programmes such as The Killing, and films like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and think it’s great that they highlight translation issues such as this. We Brits might be a bit behind ...Continue Reading →