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Translators & Project Managers – just like Fish and Chips!

Translators and Project Managers (PMs) are just like fish and chips: one won’t go without the other. Here’s a short guide on how to enjoy this recipe without giving yourself indigestion!

Rather than writing about what freelancers love or hate (or a similar rant from the Project Manager’s perspective), it’s possibly more useful for everybody to know what elements link translators and agencies together so tightly, and how they can work better together. (more…)

Web-Translations says ¡Hola! to a new Madrid office

Ignacio de Pablo

With the recent changes in Spain comes new opportunities and a new office for Web-Translations in Madrid. Spain may be going through some economic pain, but the fact remains it is the best placed European country for helping businesses to make the most of the fast emerging markets of Latin America, or any of the 27 countries for which Spanish is an official language.

Ignacio de Pablo, an experienced localisation consultant, will head up the Madrid office and spreading the word about Web-Translations among local contacts and partners who recognised the need to export as a strategy to grow. (more…)

Web-Translations translate website content for Online Gaming giant Betsson

“We know we can relax when it comes to translations because Web-Translations has got it covered.

The projects team is quick to respond to our requests, and we know we can rely on them for prompt delivery of time-sensitive translations for our website updates and various campaigns. They’re really easy to use and operate seamlessly in the background, so definitely make our job easier.

The service is excellent, and I’d recommend it to other international companies.”

Jonas Eriksson, Website Content Editor – Betsson Group

International websites need at least 16 languages to be competitive online

A recent report by the Common Sense Advisory states that global companies need to have multilingual websites in order to compete on an international scale.

According to the report, an English-only site can be read by 23.2% of the global online population. Making it readable in simplified Chinese adds 22.3% and Spanish 9.0%. (more…)

Football proves popular with foreign tourists

According to research carried out last year by Visit Britain, “foreign tourists spend £2.3 billion a year watching and playing sport”.  Unsurprisingly, football is the main sporting attraction in Britain, with matches throughout the country attracting 1.2 million foreign visitors in 2008 (the most recent year with complete figures).  A percentage of these were from English-speaking countries: 267,000 were Irish, 95,000 were American and 55,000 Australian.  However, a large number of these spectators were from non-English speaking countries: 88,000 Germans, 86,000 Norwegians, 75,000 Spanish, 65,000 Italians, 52,000 Dutch, 46,000 French and 39,000 Swedes. (more…)

Endangered language at risk of extinction

A language that has been spoken for centuries in modern-day Mexico is at risk of extinction as only two elderly people can speak it fluently – and they’re not talking to each other! Ayapaneco is the official name of this language, but is known as Nuumte Oote (The True Voice) by the two remaining speakers.

In the 20th century, there were a number of decades during which the use of indigenous languages was prohibited, and Spanish became the language of education. Following urbanisation and migration in the second half of the century, the close-knit group that had used the language gradually dispersed, and as a result, fewer and fewer people spoke the language. (more…)

Here Comes the Bride…

The greatly anticipated event is almost upon us… with so much hype surrounding the big event, we couldn’t not comment on it! Very soon, Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot in front of nearly 2,000 guests at Westminster Abbey, and what promises to be a vast number of people via television and internet. With so many people wanting to be involved, from all over the world, multilingual communication is in high demand. The monarchy has long been an extremely popular tourist attraction for foreign visitors, and there are a huge number of non-English speakers who want to be able to watch and understand the wedding of the year. (more…)

Web-Translations speaking at Internet World – 11th May

Register free online (a saving of £30) for Internet World (10-12 May, Earl’s Court – London) and come and hear about the success we’ve brought to South African Airways by localising their website.

Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting our case study of the South African Airways website localisation project at 15:00 on Wednesday 11th May in the Content Management Theatre.

We’ll also be on stand E3055, showcasing recent client success stories and demonstrating how localising your website can dramtically improve your bottom line.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Meet the team: Malcolm South

Hi, I’m Malcolm! I’m 23 and I’ve just started work at Web-Translations as a Project Coordinator. I was born in Leeds and grew up here before going to the University of Nottingham for a degree in Hispanic Studies.

On my year abroad as part of my degree I studied in Santa Maria, Brazil and Granada, Spain. I really enjoyed it and found the time to discover Argentina, Uruguay and Chile as well. I speak Spanish and Portuguese and I’m learning French in an evening class at Leeds Met.

Before working here I worked as a waiter – you’d be surprised how much you can learn about communication that way! I also worked as a personal Spanish tutor.

I enjoy learning about other languages and cultures, listening to music (especially live!) and caving.

I love the challenge of working at Web-Translations and it feel great to know that I’m playing my part in helping people communicate across the world.

I look forward to working with you if I haven’t already!

You can read Malcolm’s first Web-Translations blog post here: http://blog.web-translations.com/2011/01/what-makes-wordreferencecom-so-good/

Meet the team: Geraldine McCarry

Hello!

I joined Web-Translations in January 2011 as a project coordinator after graduating with a degree in Spanish and business administration from the University Of Kent in July 2010.

I’m new to Leeds, having recently moved here from my hometown of Sychdyn – for those of you with no idea where that is, it’s in North Wales, not far from Chester.

I’ve lived, studied, worked and travelled overseas fairly extensively, including a five-year stint attending an international school in Sri Lanka, a gap year (which I spent on a work placement, a volunteering programme and generally travelling) and also a year abroad at a university in Spain. In fact, many of my closest family members and friends still reside abroad; the main advantage of which being that should I fancy a trip away I have lots of options for where to stay! Other languages and cultures are therefore inevitably of great interest to me.

I’ve had some varied and interesting jobs in the past – museum guide and dog groomer to name but two – and I’m sure Web-Translations will become another example of a varied and interesting job if the past couple of weeks are any indication! I certainly do relish a challenge and always strive to set myself goals for personal development.

Apart from the usual things like spending time with my friends and family and pets, in my spare time I like going to the cinema, visiting museums and art exhibitions, long walks in the countryside, reading, singing and writing poetry.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Welcome to the team, Geraldine, and keep up the good work!

You can read Geraldine’s first blog post here:http://blog.web-translations.com/2011/01/the-relevance-of-online-translation/

Google to machine translate patents

Google has confirmed that it will machine translate patents into more than 29 languages, using the Google Translate interface.

On 30th November, an agreement was reached between Google and the European Patent Office (EPO), in order to facilitate the understanding of patents throughout the world.

(more…)

Highest ever online sales from South African Airways multilingual website

“Only a couple of weeks after the relaunch of our website, we achieved our highest revenue ever from online sales! I’d expected it to take longer to achieve results, so am really impressed with the outcome.”

Benjamin Schubert, E-Commerce Project Manager – South African Airways

How to find the best translation agency

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a rating system to identify the best translation agency?

Buying translation is a daunting prospect for those who have no prior experience of commissioning this type of service, and if the buyer has little or no knowledge of languages, then it’s hard for them to have a point of reference on what is needed to produce a good translation; specifically: the level of skill, and the combination of education and experience that qualifies one person as a translator rather than simply a native speaker of a language.

Consequently many fall into the trap of buying translation as a commodity; as if buying rice or cotton; and go about comparing quotes on the basis of cost and/or speed of delivery. Translation is a service, however, and like all services, it is performed by people whose education, skills and time all contribute to delivering the final ‘product’ (for want of a better expression).

While it’s logical that you would want a service to be performed by the best people, it’s actually quite alien to most of us to buy a service from a) someone you don’t know b) aren’t ever likely to meet and c) where you as a buyer do not actually consume or experience the service first-hand.

Here’s what translators say about translation agencies

Every now and then I take a peek at what our translators are saying about us on the Proz Blue board, the litmus test with contented suppliers – we are well on the way to being the best translation agency.

Company Rating over last 12 months Overall rating
Web-Translations 5 5
Lingo 24 5 4.9
Thebigword 3.4 4.2
Applied Language 4.4 4.4
Transperfect 3.6 4.1
SDL International 4 4.4
Lionbridge 1 4.6

* Note: The links are to the corresponding blueboard page used by translators to rate each agency for likeliness to work again on a scale of 0-5. The scores in the table above are accurate as of the 29th October 2014.

Think of the last service you bought…

You might have had your car serviced, or maybe you had your hair cut in a salon/barber’s, perhaps you’ve visited the dentist recently? These are all personal examples that everyone can relate to. It’s easy to pay more for a service when you’re the direct beneficiary, the experience you go through and the interaction with the person providing the service can easily and quickly justify the value. Personally I get my haircut on the corner of Leeds city train station, not for its location, I just like the guy that does it and he does a great job.

It gets harder to gauge the value on a service where you have no idea what has been done – we place the trust in our car mechanic when they say there’s a split in a pipe and it needs to be replaced, or when your dentist explains that although there’s no pain, its important you have a filling. This is where trust is important, but because you are personally involved you can quiz the person directly; there is something comforting about looking in the whites of the eyes of a person asking you to buy a service from them.

Business is different…

Unless you need a haircut, don’t drive or need to see the dentist you should be able to relate to the personal examples, however business services are different in that they tend to fall into the rather broad categories of: Legal, Financial, Web or IT. When you choose a lawyer or solicitor you might go by recommendation or you might have looked someone up for a particular skill. The natural thing to do is arrange to meet. Once you get to know someone’s background, invested the time to communicate your situation (giving rise to the need for the service) you have some comfort factor in knowing that you now have a relationship with a person you will entrust to do a good job. You feel confident, you like the person, and so you buy the service.

Now imagine…

You need a document in another language so that someone can understand it. There isn’t any desirability in this purchase; -it’s not something that will ‘happen’ to you personally (like a haircut), neither is it likely to be an on-going business need so you don’t feel the need to establish a relationship (in the way that you might with a lawyer or an accountant). You don’t speak the language, so feel uneasy that you can’t even tell if what you are getting back is excellent, good, average or worse. You weren’t the person who wrote the text in the first place. You just want a document in another language, surely that’s pretty standard right?!..

Not just any translation will do…

Conveying something in another language in a way that reads naturally is actually quite hard. When a text needs only to inform, the reader needs to understand. When a text needs to sell or influence, the reader needs to be motivated and compelled. Achieving the desired outcome isn’t easy.

So please… be kind… show a little appreciation

Web-Translations understand that delivering good quality translation can be a pretty thankless task to the many millions of freelance translators out there. If it wasn’t an art from which people derived satisfaction it would be on a par with legal and accounting services, which (as I understand it) are not quite as much fun in providing. But translators can’t just work for the love of it. They need agencies that fight their corner, justifying better prices, upholding greater values, raising standards.

Web-Translations is a high quality agency

Ultimately it is our freelance translators that provide our service, so in keeping them happy; we are in the best position to pass on a great service. We use highly skilled, educated project managers to develop and nurture great working relationships with suppliers in the same way that we do with clients.

Take a look at our Translation Buying Guide for more tips on how to buy translation.

Help us get the word out…translation quality is worth paying for!

Citigroup save valuable resources by using Web-Translations

“Web-Translations offered the service we were looking for, and we have found the staff to be helpful and very knowledgeable.

I love the new tools that are being developed to simplify the process of maintaining our international communications in different languages, and would definitely recommend Web-Translations to other companies. We continue to save time and make money efficiently through using this service.”

Richard Gompels – eCommerce Manager – Citigroup

Web-Translations meets Future Publishing’s need for urgent translations at a competitive price

“Price & speed of service are key factors in our choice of translation provider. Web-Translations was recommended to us, and the team has been brilliant at handling our requests, which are often urgent and needed at short-notice. I’d definitely recommend Web-Translations to other companies who need this level of service.”

Katherine Raderecht, Future Publishing Group

Translations help Esendex to launch in new markets

“Working with Web-Translations has enabled us to launch in new countries, and to maintain our website for those target markets as well as localizing our application interface.

The translation process is very straightforward, and having a named account manager really helps.”

Ann Wilkinson, Marketing Manager – Esendex

Quiet PC gains European web visitors for only 2p

“The results of localizing the key pages into 11 languages have been excellent; the traffic to the French, German and Dutch has been especially good and equates to a cost of 2p per visitor
– that’s fantastic value compared to pay-per-click advertising in a competitive industry like ours!
Web-Translations definitely go the extra mile – we’ll be working with them again to expand the multilingual sites.”

Glenn Garrett, Partner – Quiet PC

Emerald Publishing loves the outstanding Web-Translations service

“We’ve used Web-Translations for several years, and are really pleased with the outstanding level of customer service we receive.

The Pay-as-you-go arrangement works really well for us, as it makes the process quick and efficient while saving us money as well. The end result is that our promotional literature is now accessible to many more people.”

Niall Hawkins, Marketing Executive – Emerald Insight Publishing

Web-Translations helps London Zoo welcome international web visitors

“We were unsure of the best way to present translations of key information on our website – we’d always used PDFs before.
The Wéb-Tränslatiôns team was very knowledgeable – I was impressed by the way they talked me through what was best for us and how their International Blast service could achieve this.”
Paul Hutton, Web Editor – ZSL (London Zoo)

New EU language Regulations for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device manufacturers

Latest EU regulations demand that all packaging and instruction leaflets for pharmaceutical products and medical devices are translated into the official language of the country they are being exported to.

American companies in this sector who intend to export their products to Europe must comply with these regulations, and indeed should embrace multilingual packaging in order to compete with their European counterparts.

(more…)

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