Francesca Riley
Is English still the world’s lingua franca?

As the ever-expanding translation industry brings people more content in their native language, and on the eve of talks aiming to set out Britain’s exit from the European Union, it has been suggested that English is starting to diminish as the world’s lingua franca. This blog post seeks to establish if there’s any truth to this idea.

Translation agency fees: what are you paying for?

In a world where machine translation (MT) is on the increase, it’s no surprise that someone might wonder whether they could save some money by having their text translated automatically. A performance comparison of machines vs humans is one factor in the debate, and is something we’ll touch upon soon. For this week however we’d like our clients to consider: what are you paying for when you hire a professional translation agency? Or to phrase this differently: what do you forgo when you choose to put your translation into a machine?

LSP insights: getting hired as a freelance translator

Job applications can be daunting in any profession; not least in the language service industry, with most agencies operating a rolling recruitment process for new talent across various languages and specialisms. What does it take to stand out in a crowded inbox? The Web-Translations Projects Team weigh in on what they look for when hiring new translators.

When’s a paella not a paella? When it’s rice with stuff…

The rise of social media giants like Twitter and Instagram have changed the food industry. With instant access to an audience voraciously consuming ‘little twist’ recipes and how-to videos, TV chefs are now better placed than ever before to sell their brand to the public and attract more fans. However, increased access to followers works both ways, and the risk of a misguided post going viral is one downside to this new form of exposure. This is something Jamie Oliver found out on Tuesday when he took on Spanish gastronomy and lost.

Web-Translations Supplier Guidelines

When it comes to project work, it’s important that we’re on the same page as our linguists every step of the way. Our supplier guidelines can be found here. They outline examples of best practice at every stage of the process, as well as detailing cases of infraction. Communicating ideals to those that we work with is important for maintaining a trusting and respectful collaborative environment. Any queries regarding our guidelines can be directed to our Project Managers.

Mistaken identity: the importance of checking your references…

Following Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal from the leadership race, it was announced yesterday that Theresa May will take over from David Cameron as PM later this week. The news was soon trending on Twitter, with Brits across the country documenting their reactions. Amidst the ranting, raving and jokes lay one subtle spelling error that caused a stir: Teresa May (without the ‘h’) actually refers to a UK Glamour Model, not the next Prime Minister. It is evident that Teresa uses Twitter as a marketing tool to good effect; as such, we hope that the added publicity was positive rather than negative. Nevertheless, it must have quite bemusing to suddenly find yourself involved in such a public discussion! We noticed this morning that Theresa (with an ‘h’) had now taken over as a trending topic; it seems that the general public did eventually check their spelling.

Brexit: what does the future hold for exporters?

Last Friday the nation woke up to the news that the public had voted by a slim majority to leave the European Union. The shock waves were felt across the world instantaneously: the pound dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, the stock markets were in chaos and the political and social repercussions of a resounding ‘no’ to the European project raised questions for other member state governments. Watching the political situation unfold over the past ten days has not always made for pleasant reading, and – as is customary for such an uncertain time – it would seem that almost everybody has put their two cents in. As an office we have strong links to Europe both through our multilingual projects team and international freelancer and client networks. As such, we couldn’t help but wonder what the future might hold for us as a translation company, and for the exporters we translate for. As a translation company, we […]

‘Czechia self’: what’s in a name?

By 9am this morning, the Czech Republic was trending in the UK, as news that the country’s parliament is discussing changing its name to ‘Czechia’ hit our media. Proponents of the name change put forward a range of compelling arguments. For starters, ‘Czech Republic’ is a political term, reflecting constitutional changes brought about by the splitting of Czechoslovakia into two countries in 1993. Secondly, the length of ‘Czech Republic’ means that the shortened ‘Czech’ is already used for some sports team kits and other product branding; ‘Czech’, however, is a reference to the country’s people rather than its geographical location. Thirdly, other countries refer to the Czech Republic using a variety of unofficial shortened versions, which results in confusion.

Why do we think that language affects personality?

One of the major misconceptions about languages and translation is the presumed presence of direct equivalents. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked ‘what’s the German word for …?’ and had to answer ‘well, there isn’t one’ or ‘How would you say … in German?’ ‘you wouldn’t – at least not in that context’. Indeed, for anyone who speaks two languages it often becomes glaringly apparent that their two chosen vernaculars don’t allow them to express themselves in exactly the same way. Generally, this is a great thing; how dull would things be without variety? Yet this observation lends weight to a rather controversial argument: that languages may actually shape the way we see the world and the way we interact with it.

So, what do the Projects Team do?

The translation industry is extremely varied in nature. Huge multinational language service providers are contrasted with agencies home to less than 10 full time members of staff. Translators, reviewers and terminologists may work in-house, or freelance anywhere in the world. With skills required for various roles within the industry overlapping, very few people seem to wear just one professional hat. With this in mind, we created the following infographic to explain the various stages our Projects Team go through every day. We think this shows what a varied range of skills the job requires!

Get in touch

Your Name

Your Email

Your Message

Enter the code: captcha