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WordPress Translation now easy with livetranslation.com

WordPress (WP) has evolved a long way from the journalist-loving blogging platform it once was to becoming a powerful CMS of choice for many SME’s. What it lacks in out-of-the-box functionality is compensated for with the vast selection of user-contributed plugins, which evolve practically at the pace of the web itself.

Matt Mullenweg (all hail) & the team beautifully balance the division between core functionality and community contributed functional extension, making it elegantly simple to learn. Making a platform so usable means that marketers can use it in as much anger as the journo’ types.

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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…)

Neutral Spanish

One of the most important questions a project manager can ask when preparing to organise a translation is about the intended audience.  Is the Chinese translation for mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan?  Is the Portuguese translation for Portugal or Brazil?  Is this Spanish translation aimed at Spaniards or Spanish speakers in South and Central American countries?

These variations on one language are more in-depth and important than some people may realise, and as such, it is important that any translation is specifically carried out with the audience country in mind.  This often means translating a text into one language twice, one for one country, and one for another.  However, if a client only wishes to invest in translating text once, yet wants to appeal to both South American and European markets, for example, what can be done?  Should they choose between the two, use the same translation for both markets, or is there another way?  This is where “Neutral Spanish” comes into play.

The idea behind this concept is that vocabulary and terminology be defined early in the process, so that only terms that will be understood in both target audiences are used in the translation, thus ensuring that the final translation is suitable for use in both Spain and South American countries that use Spanish, such as Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.  The large number of Spanish speakers who reside in Central America may be included in the client’s target market as well, so their variation of the language must also be taken into consideration. (more…)

Sweden’s genderless pre-school bans ‘he’ and ‘she’

The question of gender and its importance in language and society has recently been raised following the banning of the terms ‘he’ and ‘she’ at a Swedish pre-school.  The school – named ‘Egalia’ – introduced the measure to allow children to develop regardless of their gender.  Teachers at the school in Stockholm refer to the children by their names, as ‘friends’ or by using the term ‘hen’, a unisex pronoun borrowed from the Finnish language, rather than using gender-specific pronouns.

This news has sparked debate worldwide regarding the importance of gender stereotypes, typical roles of men and women, and benefits and disadvantages of the policy in terms of child development.  From a language point of view, it also raises the topic of personal pronouns, gender, and whether the two are always necessary and how commonly they are used. (more…)

Do the British mean what they say?

A Spanish friend recently sent me the link to an article published online.  This “guide” explains to the rest of Europe what British people really mean when they say certain things, and what others understand by what has been said.

For example, according to this article, when a British person says “You must come to dinner”, the real meaning is “It’s not an invitation, I’m just being polite”, whilst the listener will think “I will get an invitation soon”.  Obviously, this is an extreme generalisation, but I have to admit, it does ring some bells.  If you accidentally bump into someone and they say “we must do lunch” or “we must get a coffee one day”, chances are you won’t set eyes on them again until you accidentally bump into them again… (more…)

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…)

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…)

A travelling Spanish translator

This – the second guest posting on our company blog – comes from Spanish translator Carlos Montilla. Unsurprisingly, given the subject of his post, tourism is one of his specialisms but here he recounts a tale from his recent trip to Peru in near native English: cheers Carlos!

Spanish from Peru

Puno is a city in south Peru located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Puno’s access to the lake is surrounded by some 40 man-made floating islands inhabited by the Uros people. The Uros people live on these islands and depend on the lake and tourism for their survival. We took a boat with members of a Chivay Cultural Association and their families and disembarked at one of the islands, where part of the Uros community welcomed us.

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