About Translation

How to Avoid a Branding Blunder

Following the decision of a Judge in France to prevent parents from naming their baby girl ‘Nutella’, this has sparked debate over words that should be deemed suitable, and indeed unsuitable, to be used as a name. In this case, the French courts deemed that the name would ‘lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts’ (BBC News) due to its association with the popular hazelnut spread. This certainly isn’t the first case of its kind, but brings to mind an interesting point regarding our word associations and the power held within language. There are few instances where this becomes more apparent than in the translation world.

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Will 2015 be the Year of Instant Translation?

Back in November 2014, Skype launched a preview of Skype Translator, which will aim to provide real-time translation of conversations in over 40 languages. Hot on its heels, Google has now updated its own app to include an instant interpreting function using voice recognition, as well as an impressive translation feature which utilises a phone’s camera to automatically translate text viewed through the lens. Long gone are the days of trying to decipher the unusual looking dishes on foreign menus – now all you have to do is hover your phone above the page and receive an instant translation. Here at Web-Translations, we’ve given the app a quick road test using three major tourist preoccupations: warning signs, tourist information and those all important menus. Take a look at how we got on below.

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Why use CAT tools?

Last year, a Proz poll indicated that 88% of professional translators use a CAT tool. For the 12% of you who don’t, here are some reasons why we think CAT tools are essential:

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6 resources every translator should use

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.

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7 Common Misconceptions About Translation

1. Machine translation (e.g. Google translate) is a great way to translate a website.   Google’s translation engine actually learns from content published on the web, so the more websites that are translated this way, the worse the quality of translation produced eventually becomes. Computers may be good at translating individual words and simple sentences that are repeated frequently online, however they will never be able to understand context. Only a human can understand a language and the subtleties within it. 2. Translation is easy and shouldn’t cost as much as it does. Translators are skilled professionals and are as knowledgeable and experienced in their specialist field as solicitors or medical professionals. When you commission a translation, you are paying for that expertise at a rate that reflects the time and investment the translator has put into developing their skills, and the ongoing effort to maintain them. You wouldn’t ask a carpenter to perform an operation on you, so why […]

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