Jennifer Rodgers
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”. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jun/05/the-35-words-youre-probably-getting-wrong Some of these 35 are based on etymology as opposed to current usage, such as alternatives (there can only be 2 alternatives; if there are more than 2, it would be ‘choices’). When carrying out translation QA we would be more likely to consider this as stylistic preference, instead of labelling it as incorrect.  Also featured in the list are words which are commonly misused, such as inflammable.  It is synonymous with flammable, which could lead to some dangerous translations if someone thought it meant not flammable! Language obviously evolves and what was once considered to be incorrect usage may […]

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. What is a dialect? A dialect, (‘un patois’ in French or ‘ لَهْجة ’ in Arabic) is a form of an official language […]

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.’

New government grants for exporters

DIT funding worth £6.7 million is now available to businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber The Department for International Trade (DIT), known as UK Trade & Investment until it was rebranded last September, has 9 English regional DIT branches, as well as Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish branches. The DIT Yorkshire and the Humber will deliver a programme of £6.7 million of funding for its Enterprise for Growth programme. Funding for the programme comes from the EU to strengthen the region’s businesses. Targeting both first time exporters as well as businesses already exporting, companies can access matched financial support to develop exports and create jobs. To qualify for the funding, companies in the Yorkshire and the Humber region must work with the DIT, who will help them to develop their international trade plans. Funding provided will support a company’s export strategy, which may include translation of marketing collateral for international visits, website localisation to improve positioning in target markets, translation […]

The results are in… 2016’s Most Valuable Translator awards

Happy New Year!  We have had a great start to 2017, and would like to announce Web-Translations’ Most Valuable Translators for 2016. We’re extremely grateful to our network of linguists, whose extensive talents allow us to offer translation services across a wide range of industries. We’re privileged to work with many exceptional translators; our MVT awards showcase just some of these.

Style. It’s not just for Versace…

I awoke this morning to find… I woke up this morning and found… When I woke up this morning, I found… When I awoke this morning to find… When writing original English copy, there are multiple options for conveying an idea. Similarly, there is almost certainly more than one way to translate a particular idea from another language into English.  The same is of course true when translating from English into other languages, to varying degrees. You can probably think of other ways to express the idea of waking up this morning and finding something.  Imagine how many variations there are in a full sentence, a paragraph, or a page of text.

Is your site mobile-friendly?

Ours is! You can easily check with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. Visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/, pop in your URL, and Google will analyse your site. Having a mobile-friendly website is incredibly important, not only because so many people rely on their smartphones for internet access, but because Google uses mobile friendliness as a ranking signal.

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