Jennifer Rodgers
Grow your business internationally – our Top 6 tips

Global trade has never been so easy! The web has removed geographical barriers from international trade. If you can overcome language and cultural barriers, the world truly is your oyster. The UK export trade is worth millions, and with a well-localised website, you are better positioned to tap into these growing international markets. Positioned between the translation and web industries, Web-Translations offers a unique, low-risk, low-cost approach to international eBusiness. Here are our Top 6 tips for growing your business internationally: 1) Make friends with Google. Google has a host of online tools to help you analyse market data and understand trends around the world. The Market Finder tool can recommend the best market for your business, providing insights to help you reach the audience in a particular country. Google Trends shows what topics are trending in a particular country, as well as providing data on individual search terms. More fantastic graphs and charts help you to decide if a […]

Why does Google Translate work better for some languages than others?

The quality of translations from Google Translate can vary from good to absolutely terrible, and some language pairs are much better than other language pairs. So, why does Google Translate work better for some languages than others? Zero-shot technology pairs Did you know that Google Translate can now translate from Uzbek into Zulu? And Javanese into Chichewa? Surely there aren’t many native Zulu speakers who can also speak Uzbek, or Chichewa speakers who can translate from Javanese… Google now uses ‘Zero-shot’ translation technology, which means that it uses intermediate languages to match up content, and that no translations between the source and target were necessarily entered into the system. For example, if English was translated to Uzbek and Zulu, then Zulu can be translated to Uzbek, and vice versa. The output is not going to be as good as for some of the other language pairs in Google Translate, however. Amount of data Frequently translated languages with many contributions to […]

Certified and Sworn translations

At Web-Translations, we provide B2B translations to help our clients trade internationally.  This includes website translation as well as translation of marketing collateral. Occasionally we are approached by individuals who require translation of certificates for public authorities to support an application, such as a visa, passport or residency permit, or at the request of other official organisations. Certificates that are requested include birth certificates, marriage certificates and degree certificates. In the UK, we do not have the ‘sworn translator’ or ‘certified translator’ concept that exists in some other countries. However, translators may opt to become members of official translation organisations, where they are required to present their translation qualifications before being accepted for membership.

Choosing the right domain

Have you seen fewer .co.uk sites recently? Many companies with an international presence have moved to a single site with subfolders for each country. At Web-Translations, we started with a .co.uk domain in 2003, and as we grew, we added a .com domain, then a .jp domain, and over the next 10 years we purchased domains for many different markets including .es, .it and .pt. It began to get expensive and complicated! In 2014, we moved our primary site to a .com domain, with subfolders for different languages. Previously, we would have advised against this. Top-level domains, such as .de and .jp, are automatically picked up by search engines, and are therefore good for in-country SEO. However, with newer geotargeting techniques, a single site with subfolders (also known as subdirectories) can be as effective as a ccTLD.

Omelettes, and frequently misused words

We talk a lot about quality in the translation community. Or rather, we debate a lot about quality, especially as it relates to grammar and style.  What is considered to be ‘correct’ grammar or usage by one person may be viewed differently by someone else. The Guardian recently published an article listing “the 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong”.

The Importance of Languages and Dialects

Guest post by Georgina Cornforth With an estimated 6,000 languages already being spoken around the world in 2017, it’s surprising that there are enough speakers of the tens of thousands of dialects which we often don’t even realise exist. Although it is believed that languages and dialects are becoming extinct at a rate of around 3-5 each year, new ones are slowly evolving such as ‘Textspeak’ or even ‘Emoji’. If ‘Emoji’ were to one day be officially recognised as a language, it would certainly facilitate communication between people from all over the world and break down language barriers, however simple that form of communication may be. Nevertheless, dialects are extremely specific to certain regions and villages, so therefore maintain a great deal of culture within them which a possibly universal language such as ‘Emoji’ simply could not.

Plural patterns

In English, we say 1 pig, 2 pigs, 3 pigs and so on. So, does it follow that in another language it should be 1 [insert translated word for pig], 2 [insert translated plural of pig], 3 [same again] and so on? Nope! Earlier this month we worked on a project for one of our clients, a customer review network, which reinforced the fact that plural usage can vary greatly between languages. For this particular project, the translation source text included two snippets of text, one of which had a variable: 1 review Showing {{number}} reviews As the translation was into 27 languages, we saw many different patterns. We found this really interesting, and wanted to share them with you.

Translating mqxliff files in Trados Studio

Have you been sent a MemoQ .mqxliff file to translate, but you work with Trados Studio instead? Don’t worry, we can help you work with the .mqxliff file in Trados.

Guidelines for writing for translation

In the translation world, we talk a lot about quality.  The first building block of a top-quality translation is a quality source text. Writing source content with translation in mind is critical.  In addition to the standard rules for well-written English, there are specific guidelines to follow when creating source content for translation. Keep reading to find our Top 10 Guidelines for writing for translation.

Writing for translation

The London-based author Kazuo Ishiguro writes with translation in mind. ‘I want my words to survive translation,’ he says. ‘I know when I write a book now I will have to go and spend three days being intensely interrogated by journalists in Denmark or wherever. That fact, I believe, informs the way I write – with those Danish journalists leaning over my shoulder.’ Ishiguro concedes that the process of globalisation, of appealing to and ensuring that one is understood by audiences around the world, may lead to a ‘greyness’ of language: ‘There are a lot of things I don’t write now. I stop myself writing certain things because I think, for instance, that it wouldn’t work once it’s translated out of English. You can think of a line that’s brilliant in English — with a pun or two, you know — but of course it becomes nonsense once translated into a different language, so I don’t use it.’

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