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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.

image courtesy of UKTI

image courtesy of UKTI

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.

For more information on what requirements the UK government has for translations submitted in support of visa/passport/residency applications, please follow this link to the www.gov.uk site.

At Web-Translations, we can provide translations with a statement on company letterhead stating that the document has been professionally translated.  For some requests, we can provide a statement that the translator is a member of the UK’s Institute of Linguists (IoL) or the UK’s Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), or is a member of an official body in a different country, which will satisfy the UK government requirements.  However this is not always possible.  Some of our translators are not members of these organisations, so it does depend on what languages you require as to whether we will be able to assist you.

Please note that our minimum charge for translations under 300 words is £60 (VAT inclusive) for most languages.

 

Are you making the most of your TM? – Concordance searches

Translation memories are one of the most useful tools at a translator’s disposal. They allow us to save translated work to then leverage it at a later stage when translating a new text by providing matches at the segment level. However, many translation theorists argue that whilst these matches are very useful to a translator, a lot of the repetition in a text occurs at the sub-segment level, i.e. individual words or short phrases. This is where concordance searches come in handy for a translator.

A concordance search allows a translator to search their TM for a particular repeated word/phrase in order to see how they translated it in context at different stages in the text, helping to improve the consistency of the translation. In addition, to maximise the leverage of all previous translations, a master TM containing all of their previously translated work can be added to the current project so that it can be used to perform concordance searches. What is more useful is Trados allows the translator to choose whether this TM should be updated with new target text segments or whether it should be purely used to perform concordance searches.

Concordance search TM pic

To perform a concordance search in Trados you just have to highlight the particular word or phrase and hit F3. In Trados, the results will include the word that was searched for as well as similarly spelt words. This is particularly useful for translators who work with languages with declensions like Russian where the same noun or adjective can differ in spelling by just one or two letters. Or even when searching for a plural noun and you want to still see results for the singular noun.

However, if you would rather this didn’t happen as you find it clutters up the results too much for you, you can easily change the settings of the concordance search to only produce 100% matches.

Concordance search changing percentage screenshot

Concordance searches are an incredibly useful tool which, in my opinion, all translators should make the most of! They improve the consistency of the translation as well as increasing the efficiency and productivity of the translator!

Why keyword stuffing is a really bad idea

Adding keywords to your website, in a natural and readable way, is a great idea, but keyword stuffing is considered a black-hat SEO tactic. Even the phrase itself suggests furtive, shady behaviour; something that you wouldn’t want to be caught doing. There are real reasons behind why you shouldn’t include this method in your SEO strategy.

keyword-research

Google’s Matt Cutts warned webmasters about SEO keyword stuffing and over-optimisation, saying:

“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect.”

Squeezing keywords into your content anywhere they will go (and plenty of places they don’t!) is playing a dangerous game, and Google is only getting better at catching people out. If Google finds your site to be full of keywords and dodgy links, your site will be penalised by demotion of its rankings.

Also, although such tactics may currently result in a higher SERP for your website, this effect is ruined when a human being actually clicks through to your site. They won’t stay, and they almost certainly won’t buy – so what was the point of the exercise?

Instead, concentrate your time and energy on creating genuine and interesting content focusing on your expertise. By producing content that your potential customers will want to read you will earn their attention and attract organic traffic to your website.

Creative Translation in the Spotlight

The likelihood is that all254255_4204 of us will have read a translated book at some point of our lives, even if it was just a fairytale in our younger years. We often discuss translation, and ‘transcreation’, with our clients and fellow translators. This is because, as readers, we tend to spend little time thinking about the challenges a translator may have faced when trying to translate the text we are inwardly digesting.

It is far from reassuring that Daniel Hahn, director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, has described translation as ‘impossible’. But why is it this hard to transfer a story from one language into another? As translators, many of us are accustomed to the widely held assumption that speaking another language makes us naturally able to translate or interpret from that language into our native tongue. The reality is far from this.

While we don’t typically work with literary translations here at Web-Translations, we are certainly familiar with one of its main features: creativity. Many in the translation industry would argue that translating, particularly in the context of literary translation, is an art in itself. In this case, the sentiment can be that a translator should be credited as more than just a translator, but perhaps as a co-author. The same principle can apply when we work on marketing texts that often need to be considerably rethought and rewritten for different target markets. This can involve the search for culturally equivalent references, puns and double entendres that may require hours of research and careful crafting. In this case, a translator is as much a marketing professional as the author of the source text.

Transcreation has become something of a buzz word in the translation industry in recent years, and more and more translators are focusing on becoming transcreation specialists. The priority in this case should always be the target audience and can mean moving away from the source text, sometimes quite significantly. The aim is for the target audience to read the text as completely natural and original; there shouldn’t be even the slightest whiff of translation. A recent story from Spain has highlighted how Ikea has gone as far as to localise their in-store signs into regional dialects, symbolically transforming the company from an international giant to a local and friendly shop purely via word choice. Words have never had more power.

We would certainly agree that all our translators are talented authors in their own right, with this being an essential quality to producing a quality target text. When it comes to any kind of creative writing, this is why it is essential to work with professionals and ditch the machine translations for good!

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.

web consultancy
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. (more…)

Meet the Team – Amy Forrester

Hi everyone,

I have recen10959696_10205023503298748_7147275264288063395_ntly joined the Web-Translations team as a Project Coordinator, having just finished my Masters in Applied Translation Studies at the University of Leeds. Prior to this I graduated with a first in Russian and Spanish, again from the University of Leeds. During my MA we studied a module on CAT tools which was geared towards preparing us for the world of translation and the language services industry. I particularly enjoyed this module; especially when we took part in simulated localisation projects which allowed us to mimic a ‘real life’ translation project and workflow. It was these projects which actually introduced me to the role of a project manager and piqued my interest in wanting to pursue a career as one. (more…)

Do you need an ‘Olá’ or an ‘Oi’? How to make sure you are really speaking to your target market.

Believe it or not, one of our most popular questions from clients is which languages they actually need to translate their materials into. This may seem obvious on the surface, but it can often bring up the least obvious of answers. Take a look at our top recommendations for getting your language choice right:

1. Check which languages are spoken in your target country.

Even if there is only one official language, there may be a number of co-official regional languages to consider, as in the case of Spain. You may be missing a trick if you are launching a marketing campaign in Spain and neglect to provide a translation in Catalan, for example, which is essential for capturing the imagination of a Catalan audience, particularly when considering that all important hub of Barcelona.

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What’s new in Trados Studio 2017?

As a company specialising in website and web-based translation, Web-Translations likes to keep its finger on the pulse when it comes to translation technology. This month we upgraded to Trados Studio 2017; here are some of the new features we’ve experimented with since the move, along with some of our thoughts about their relevance to our day-to-day workload.

  1. Overall interface aesthetics

The first thing we noticed when firing up Studio 2017 was the changes in aesthetics. Whilst we were relieved to see that the basic user interface has changed very little, we did notice some brighter hues, as well as a new colour-coding system on file completion bars, which is a nice touch.

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Omelettes, and frequently misused words

egg2We 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”. (more…)

Translation Tips from our Translators #Top11

Thinking about a career in translation? Read through these top tips from Web-Translations’ qualified and experienced translators.

Guest post by Georgina Cornforth

IMG_1246

1)   Master your mother tongue

According to Web-Translations’ linguists, the best way to start is by mastering your mother tongue as much as possible. Translations should have smooth, uniform and consistent usage of language, which is not possible without a good foundation.  If you will be translating into English, bear in mind that the English language has over 170,000 words currently in use! (more…)

The Importance of Languages and Dialects

Endangered language

Endangered language

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. (more…)

Is English still the world’s lingua franca?

striped globe cropAs 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.

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Plural patterns

piggy 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.

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How to sell the benefits of yourself as a human translator

Reports last week claimed that 40% of jobs would be replaced by machines by 2030, and that they will be able to ‘translate and interpret text quicker than humans’.

Many companies already use machine translation to provide quick and free translations of their websites and other materials, so it is down to us as language service providers along with our team of trusty translators to explain the added value of human translation.

But where do we start explaining to a company with their eye on the bottom line why they should invest in professional translation? Here are a few of our suggestions:

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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? (more…)

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.

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Would your SMS be over the limit?

Ever contemplated a multilingual marketing campaign that uses SMS messaging to contact your customers? Or simply wanted to practise a bit of French with your latest foreign speaking acquaintance? Then you may want to have a serious think about size. Because when it comes to texting, it really does matter.

As English speakers, we are lucky enough to be given a grand total of 160 characters per text message. These days, our mobile providers generally allow us to exceed these limits and will concatenate multiple messages into one long message, billing us for the equivalent number of messages. UK mobile networks use GSM encoding, which supports a character set consisting of the Latin alphabet, numbers, many other symbols, and some support for non-English accented characters. ‘Extended’ GSM character sets are also provided in some countries and offer additional characters, but this can vary depending on the mobile provider and handset. Often, using these characters will also subtract more than one character from your precious 160 character allowance. In fact, even using your favourite smiley or salsa dancing emoji will instantly convert your message to Unicode and reduce your character limit to 70. And if you send a special character to someone with an incompatible handset, which is tricky to know beforehand, it may simply appear as a ☐. (more…)

LSP insights: getting hired as a freelance translator

translationJob 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.

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Guidelines for writing for translation

content_highlightedIn 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.

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Writing for translation

bookcountriesThe 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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