Women in Translation month is an intiative developed by The Reading Agency in order to appreciate women writers, including the writers whose works are translated, and the translators and publishers who transfer them into different languages. August was full of events and discussions around this theme, and our Client Services Director, Jasmine, attended an event in Sheffield arranged by Tilted Axis Press. The event featured Korean and Japanese authors, along with English translators who had worked with them. Some of the points raised left an impression and as a team with a real love for languages, it’s worth shining a light on them.
Under a third of literary translations published in the UK and US are produced by women. Given that only 1.5% of books published in the UK are translations into English, this represents only a tiny fraction of all literary fiction that we consume. Despite these surprising statistics, recent findings suggest that translated literary fiction sells better in the UK than fiction originally written in English.
Perhaps one reason is that languages and translation students are often discouraged from going into literary translation, with it being perceived to be a time-consuming, difficult task with little financial reward. However, it must be argued that there is real personal reward from being involved in such a project, aside from the positive cultural impact it can have. From the translators who spoke at the event, there was a sense of warmth and mutual understanding between the authors of the original works and the translators who produced the translations. This is because the literary translation process is very much a collaboration, with the translator and author being in contact to ensure the translation is as faithful to the original as possible.
Another thing we hadn’t realised was how much influence a translator can have on whether or not something is translated. Deborah Smith, who spoke at the Tilted Axis event, explained how she herself suggested translating The Vegetarian, a Korean book, to a publisher. It was this impetus from the linguist that led to The Vegetarian being translated into English, and subsequently winning the Man Booker International Prize in 2016. Interestingly both the original author, Han Kang, and the translator won the prize and an equal share in the award.
While we have previously become accustomed to translators taking very little credit, with their name often not even appearing on the front cover, it is encouraging to see the translator given equal acknowledgment in this way. The focus must now be on increasing the presence of female translators, which initiatives like the Women in Translation Month can only help to improve. We certainly have some fantastically talented female translators in our team of freelancers!
One of the other important things to take away from this is that linguists should be proactive in seeking out content and being confident enough to propose a translation, rather than waiting to be asked. The next time you read a good foreign language book, check out whether it’s been translated yet. You could be the one who is responsible for bringing it to a whole new audience, which is perhaps the most rewarding thing that a translator can experience in their career.
I have recently 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…)
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.
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. (more…)
I have recently joined the Web-Translations team as a Project Coordinator, having just finished a Masters in Applied Translation Studies at the University of Leeds. During my Masters I particularly enjoyed the modules relating to CAT tools and Machine Translation, and it was in these fields that I focused a lot of my time. Working as part of a PM team during our CAT module’s team projects lead to an interest in this part of the translation industry, so the vacancy I found at Web-Translations seemed an ideal starting point for my career. (more…)
Contrary to what some may think, not all translators sit alone in a dark room, typing furiously, using only a dusty old dictionary for reference. Translation has moved on!
It is more than just one opinion, one draft, one dog-eared dictionary. Translators, like lawyers, refer to myriad sources to select the best terminology, cite examples of similar contexts, delve into background information, and so on.
Saint Jerome, best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, is the patron saint of translators. In 1991, the International Federation of Translators selected 30 September, Saint Jerome’s day, as International Translation Day, with the goal of bringing together the global translation community once a year to celebrate the art of translation.
This year, the British Library is holding its fourth International Translation Day symposium, with a programme full of interesting-sounding seminars. One topic concerns how translated literature is reported in the press. Translated literature receives little attention in the press, and when it does, the translator’s contribution is generally either ignored or mentioned only very briefly. This is also often the case with the book itself; whereas the author is frequently lauded with a page detailing their life and previous works, the translator is usually just listed on the title page and that is it!
Is this really fair? Translation is an art, and translators should be recognised for the work they do. Translating an entire book takes months of research, creativity and hard work. The final translated book’s style, tone and how interesting it is to read, depend largely on the translator. Different translators will produce incredibly different books, directly affecting popularity and sales. Let’s take today to reflect on the efforts of talented translators around the world. Thank you to all of the Web-Translations translators – we appreciate what you do for us!
I recently joined the Web-Translations team as a Project Coordinator, after studying a Masters in Translation Studies at the University of Sheffield. Prior to this, I graduated with a First in Hispanic Studies (also at the University of Sheffield), where I studied both Portuguese and Spanish. During my MA, I was instructed in the use of CAT tools and studied a module on Localisation. This piqued my interest in the field and led to my subsequent focus on the translation of Social Media and Crowdsourced Translation for my dissertation.
Being from the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield, outside work I like to make the most of all that Yorkshire has to offer, particularly at the local theatres and music venues. In 2012, I was lucky enough to play a part in Olympics volunteering, working alongside Sheffield City Council to support a group of Brazilian Judo and Boxing athletes training in the city during the Games. This was a truly special experience, not only giving me the opportunity to use my Portuguese skills, but also to meet a lot of talented people and watch 7 of the athletes that I was assisting go on to win medals!
After many years of working exclusively with SDL’s Trados software, in January we purchased memoQ, a new type of translation software. The purchase was primarily to aid the provision of a new site for Party Delights, a UK e-tailer selling party products. With nearly a million words to translate to French, we needed software that could handle such a large word count. memoQ quickly handled large Excel files that Trados often took over a day to analyse, making it much more suitable for the project. It also correctly handled the .resx files we needed to translate.
memoQ was also selected for this particular project because of how it aids our QA processes. With 13 translators each working on multiple files, we needed to be able to review multiple files at once in order to ensure consistency. With memoQ, we could open all of the files for a particular product type, checking for consistency and running various functions across large amounts of text in disparate files. The user interface improves the QA process, with many features which help Project Managers to ensure consistent and accurate translations.
In a recent article about the external Google Keyword Tool, I wasn’t overly positive about Google, so I would like to use this article as an attempt to redeem myself in the eyes of the Great Google… Google does aim to provide the most useful, accurate and valuable information in its search results, and they make constant improvements to their algorithms to ensure this is the case.
Recently, SEO experts have been focusing on using anchor text on links to make their sites rank more highly. The idea being that Google will bump a site up in the rankings for a particular keyword if it finds an association between the keyword and the site – and a link on a keyword seemed a surefire way to achieve this.
In turn, Google has changed the rules again in order to provide the best information, and not just what the SEO experts want them to provide. They are looking for statistical correlations that they can use to judge the relevance and importance of a site. The experts are now saying that co-citation is the best way to improve your website’s rankings. This means that if website A mentions sites B and C, and site B has a high page rank, it will help site C. Conversely, if site B is a poorly ranked site or link farm, then it will negatively affect site C.
GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd.) is known for conceptualising, developing and operating an exclusive group of hotels and resorts. With an expansive portfolio and more projects in the pipeline, GHM prides itself in providing guests with a distinctive lifestyle experience that is unrivalled. To maximise their presence in the Japanese and Chinese markets, GHM selected Web-Translations to localise their corporate site and the sites of 8 of their luxury hotels. A full localisation of the website into these two languages was undertaken to attract traffic from those key markets. GHM is currently opening a new location in Switzerland, and the website for that hotel will be available in German, Italian and Russian. Read more…
“We’ve been working with Web Translations since early 2012 when we launched our Japanese website. We’ve since localised our website into Chinese as well. The Project Managers are prompt, communicative, responsive and accommodating to our needs. Finding a suitable linguist to suit the GHM-style is often a challenge, due to the travel-editorial-style nature of the website copy, however the Web-Translations team were able to cater to our needs by overcome this by sourcing an excellent panel of linguists for the languages featured on our website.”
Liza Latif-Grossinsky, Digital Marketing Manager – GHM
I don’t think a cow can be a box, but I recently spotted a child’s toy that did describe a cow as a box:
The toy is a shape-sorter in the form of a cow, and is described in French as a ‘boîte à formes’, which is translated as ‘sorting box’ in English on the packaging. In French, ‘boîte’ means a rigid container, among other things. (For a complete list, try WordReference.com). However in English, ‘box’ means a rigid rectangular container. A cow is definitely not rectangular, and I wouldn’t call a cow a ‘box’! Perhaps it could have been better described as ‘shape-sorter’.
I imagine that the French text for this packaging was included in a long list of product names and descriptions, and that the translator did not have access to images, and so chose the most logical translation of ‘boîte à formes’. Unfortunately it was not the best option, in my opinion. Perhaps if the translator had been provided with images, they would have translated it differently.
Last week I had the honour of being part of the UK Delegation selected to attend the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit in Moscow. The Summit brought together over 400 entrepreneurs representing 20 of the world’s most powerful economies, to discuss and try to solve many of the challenges facing Small Businesses in the current economic situation. The UK delegation led by Alex Mitchell of Young Brits and Helen Gale of YBI, were represented by 12 young entrepreneurs – the largest UK delegation to attend any YEA Summit to date.
The Summit took the form of a combination of panel discussions, breakout sessions and guest speakers. Ernst and Young presented their findings on their ‘Entrepreneurship Barometer’ and Accenture presented on ‘Innovation as a major factor of growth and employment’, there was also a very interesting panel discussion on doing business in Russia. It was discussed how Russia’s strong telecommunications infrastructure, balance of labour cost vs. skills and above average education levels continue to make it a prime target for international investment and trade.
I joined Web-Translations as a Project Coordinator in April 2013. I am a recent graduate of languages and translation, and was looking for a career either within the translation field or within administration/project management, in particular with an international outlook. It was for that reason that I applied for the position as it matched perfectly with my aspirations, as well as with my skills and qualifications.
Originally from the East Riding of Yorkshire, I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2011 with an MA in Applied Translation Studies, having received a BA Hons (2:1) in French and German from the University of Hull in 2011. I also hold a Certificate of Higher Education in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Leeds and 4 A-Levels. During my undergraduate studies, I participated in the University of Hull’s Year Abroad programme, living in Osnabrück, Germany and Lyon, France. In addition to improving my linguistic competence, it also greatly improved my self-confidence and enhanced my cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Prior to joining the team, I had been working as a freelance translator, translating most text types, including but not limited to: legal, business, technical and administrative texts. I also worked in retail for nearly 8 years, during which time I rose to a supervisory role. This allowed me the opportunity to deal with both customers and clients, to resolve their enquiries and to fulfil their requests, all of which taught me how to adapt my conduct to suit the situation.
I was delighted to be accepted onto the University of Leeds’s Applied Translation Studies course, one of the most prestigious Master’s courses in translation and one which provides training on a vast number of CAT tools as well as training in localisation. During my postgraduate studies, I gained significant experience working within various multicultural teams and took on the responsibility of being the project manager for one of the assessments. In this role, I was responsible for the successful completion of a multilingual translation project involving seven translators. I was also able to pursue my interest in business by attending the Managing Business across Cultures module, through which I learned about business etiquette across cultures, the use of culture in advertising, business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
The MA was the prefect training ground for my role here at the company, and I look forward to working with my fellow team members and hope to continue developing my skill set during my future career at Web-Translations.