Let’s Bring Cannes Film Festival to You!

This week is the 75th Cannes Film Festival, an annual event which previews new films of all genres. The festival’s purpose is to draw attention to film, celebrating cinema at an international level.

Composed of films from all over the world, it is a truly international festival which as a language agency, is something that we love!

In honour of such an occasion we wanted to help bring the Cannes Film Festival to you! That’s why we’ve collated a list of some of our favourite international films.

So, whack out your fanciest frock, bust out the popcorn and get ready to commence your very own Cannes Film Festival!

1. Ochos Apellidos Vascos

Released in 2014 and directed by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, Ochos Apellidos Vascos is one of the best Spanish comedies out there. Within six weeks of its release, it became the second biggest box office hit ever in Spain. Pretty impressive don’t you think?

Known as ‘Spanish Affair’ in English, the story centres upon Rafa and Amaia. The former is a proud Andalucian who has never left his native Seville and the latter is an equally proud girl from the Basque Country. Having discovered that Amaia left her purse in Seville following a night out with her friends, Rafa decides to pursue Amaia to her native Basque Country to return her belongings.

However, as a series of misunderstandings unfurl, Rafa is forced to feign a Basque identity, concocting an elaborate series of eight Basque surnames – hence the film’s literal English title: ‘Eight Basque Surnames’. As he becomes more and more entangled in his lies, a film of comedic farce ensues which is thoroughly entertaining.

Funny, light-hearted, and endearing, you’re bound to laugh with this film.

2. 기생충

Our second movie recommendation is the South Korean film Parasite. Not merely did this win the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, but it also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It became the first non-English language film to win such an accolade.

Labelled as both a black comedy and psychological thriller, Parasite follows the poor Kim family who scheme to become employed by the wealthy Park family. Infiltrating their household by posing as highly qualified individuals, greed and class discrimination soon come to the fore and threaten the seemingly symbiotic relationship.

It’s perhaps a little darker than our previous pick. But if you’re looking for a film to sink your teeth into, this is certainly the one to watch!

3. El laberinto del fauno

It is unlikely that you’ve never heard of our next choice. Released in 2006 and directed by Guillermo del Toro, El laberinto del fauno (Pans Labyrinth in English) is a critically acclaimed Mexican film that premiered at the 59th Cannes Film Festival.

Exploring both a magical realist world as well as the horrors of Falangist Spain, El laberinto del fauno centres upon an 11-year-old girl named Ofelia. Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother to the countryside. Here she meets her new stepfather, a sadistic captain of the Spanish army.

Furthermore, upon arrival, she meets a faun in the centre of a labyrinth. A faun that informs her that she is a princess. Tasked to prove her royalty by performing three tasks, Ofelia enters a world of mythical beings that albeit frightening, bears little to the sadistic horrors taking place outside of the magical realm.

Del Toro’s work won a multitude of international awards including three Academy Awards. It is magical, distressing, and yet enticing. It is simply a film you must watch.

4. Les Choristes

Known as The Choir in English, Les Choristes is a 2004 French musical drama directed by Christophe Barratier.

The film centres upon a French boarding school in the late 1940s. Although its students and teachers are constantly at odds, everything changes with the arrival of a music teacher, Clément Mathieu. Starting a choir, Clément attempts to change the school’s reactionary policies. He particularly impacts a young boy named Pierre, someone who shows great musical promise.

Full of whit, drama, and stunning original music, you are bound to be encaptivated by Barratier’s work.

5. La vita é bella

La vita é bella (Life is Beautiful) is a 1997 Italian comedy drama directed by Roberto Benigni. The film is one of the highest grossing non-English language films of all time. It won the Grand Prix at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

The film centres upon Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who utilises his prolific imagination to protect his son from the reality of internment within a concentration camp. Inspired by the novel, In the End, I Beat Hitler, the film wields elements typical of both soul-stirring romantic comedies and grittier historical genres.

It is truly stunning. Upon watching the masterpiece, you will laugh, and you will cry. You will hate and you will love. La vita é bella is a film which sticks with you and rightly so. Its origins in history make the film tug at your heart strings more so than most, but despite the sorrow, one cannot deny that it truly makes you believe that life is beautiful.

What is more it makes your heart forever warm upon hearing the infamous words ‘Buongiorno Principessa’. It may make it ache a little too, but it will warm, nonetheless.

These are just a few of our favourite international films. We’d love to hear your top picks, however! Get in touch via social media to share your favourite foreign language films!

International Marketing | A Focus on Your Customer’s Wellbeing

It is no secret that the online world of social media and marketing can often present a picturesque veneer of an idyllic universe. A universe in which we all have our affairs in order and look picture perfect at any given moment.

Whilst this world can at times provide a welcome escape from the monotony of daily life, it can also isolate many. What is more, this isolation is exacerbated by the fact that the picture-perfect world is often singular, representing one standard of beauty, one version of culture, one language of communication.

The consequence of such a singular marketing strategy is that many feel left out. This both can then negatively influence your prospective customer’s mental health and furthermore reduce engagement with your brand. Quite simply, it’s a lose-lose situation.

This is where localised marketing comes into play. It is common knowledge, that if you want your business to succeed, you need to consider your Ideal Client Profile. But how do you actually talk to your specific client and how do you make them listen?

In this blog, we at Web-Translations are going to provide you with some tips to make sure you’re localising your content the right way. So, get your pen and paper and get ready to start jotting!

1. Language

It may seem like an obvious starting point, but if you’re planning to target the individual customer, you need to do so in their own language. For example, if you’d like to target a Chilean customer, you can’t simply translate your content into ‘Spanish’. You need to ensure that your content is professionally localised into Chilean Spanish.

This is because certain vocabulary has different meanings depending on the country in which it is spoken. For example, whilst ‘guagua’ means ‘baby’ in Chile, it means ‘bus’ in Puerto Rico. Quite different you have to admit!

Image to show language of marketing.

Although these differences can be comical, they immediately illustrate to the customer that they are not the priority audience. In other words, they immediately suggest that the business doesn’t care about them.

This can then increase the likelihood of a disconnect arising between customer and advert. Research is vital to ensure you’re translating into the right language for your audience. If you need guidance, we would be happy to advise!

2. Content

It is not uncommon for adverts to include cultural references within their content. In likening their product to something associated with a celebrity, many brands may increase their appeal.

For example, if a musician were to liken their new album to the sound of Take That in the 90’s, many British customers would likely be excited at the prospect.

The same might not be said however for a German audience. After all, they’re probably not as up to date with Take That’s greatest hits as we are!

It might be a good idea therefore to domesticate this reference. In other words, it might be a good idea to replace the comparison to Take That to a German band that has a similar sound. (Maybe Scooter would be a good option…?) Your customer still may not recognise the band, but they are more likely to recognise something from their own culture than another’s.

3. Aesthetic

Furthermore, the images used within your marketing campaign should be relevant to your specific audience. For example, if you’re selling a baked good which has a unique selling point of making you feel at home, you might want your image to reflect your target audience’s home and not the source country’s home.

House to show marketing.

It’s not rocket science, but you might be surprised by how much of a difference it makes.

4. Music

Music is integral to any marketing campaign. Establishing the mood of the video, music has the potential to instantaneously unlock your desired emotion in your customer.

Although it’s often the melody that triggers a reaction, the lyrics may also play a fundamental role.

When adapting your content for each target market therefore, it might be a good idea to think about altering the audio. Whether you substitute the English lyrics for Polish or replace the English song for a Polish song for example, time should be taken to ensure your specific audience is being catered to.

5. Timing

Lastly, our final aspect to consider is time. Across the globe, there are more than 24 different time zones. When planning your social media campaign, these time zones need to be respected. For example, if you’re a British company trying to branch into Mexico, tweeting at 9am GMT is futile. Whilst 9am is a great time of day to tweet, the same cannot be said for 3am in Mexico City.

When planning your social media campaign, therefore, take a moment to reflect upon the time zone of your target market.

After all, if you’re trying to target your customer directly, you don’t want there to be a 6 -hour delay between publication and reception! It may make your customer feel a little bit like an afterthought!

As we’ve established, therefore, it isn’t simply the case that one piece of content suits all. The language, content, aesthetic, music and timing of your content are all variables that should be adjusted and localised to your individual customer.

At the end of the day, it’s simple: people like to feel valued. If your marketing strategy can achieve such a goal, then not merely will you reap greater rewards, but you might just make people happier too!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. If you’d like some more tips on reaching your ICP, why not check out our Spring Towards your Target Market blog post. Equally, if you’d like to read more blogs from our Mental Health series, why not start with our Mindfulness in Translation blog post?

Mindfulness in Translation

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.

Alan Cohen

The fast-paced nature of the modern world can often mean that it is easy to get swept away by the hustle and bustle. Consequently, you would not be alone if you felt like it was necessary to work every waking minute and repeatedly push yourself to achieve your greatest potential.

Whilst there is undeniably something to be said for wielding an unwavering work ethic and caring about your career progression, it is also important that you take a moment to breath.

This is why at Web-Translations we wanted to help. In this blog, we’re going to share some of our favourite books in translation that explore all things mindfulness.

Mindfulness in Translation

So, sit back with a nice cup of tea, grab your favourite biscuits and enjoy a moment of quiet. After all, you deserve it!

1. Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Héctor Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Our first recommendation of mindfulness in translation is a Spanish novel which was translated into English by Heather Cleary.

‘Ikigai’ is the Japanese word to mean a ‘reason to live’. It is the place where desires and ambitions meet. This book helps you find your own Ikigai, equipping you with the ways in which you can change your life and make each day joyful.

As an international bestseller, it is spell bounding and a novel that you must read.

2. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World by Haemin Sunim

Our second choice of recommended reading is a Korean novel translated into English by Haemin Sunim and Chi-Young Kim.

Haemin Sunim is a Buddhist monk who was born in Korea and educated in the United States. In this book, Sunim reminds us of the beauty which can be found in slowing down. He offers advice on how to approach setbacks and how to manage relationships.

Selling over three million copies around the world, it is not hard to see the novel’s popularity and with simplistic messages and stunning illustrations, it is not hard to see why it is so popular.

Mindfulness in Translation

3. Handmade: Learning the Art of Chainsaw Mindfulness in a Norwegian Wood by Siri Helle

Our third choice of translated literature is slightly different from our other picks. Written in Norwegian by Siri Helle and translated into English by Lucy Moffatt and Kari Dickson, Handmade follows the autobiographical story of Siri Helle who, after inheriting a small cabin, decided to build an outhouse for herself.

Handmade celebrates the notion of making something with your own two hands. It perhaps doesn’t teach you the practice of mindfulness but, through humour and insight, it teaches you the power that comes with crafting.

4. I Have More Souls Than One by Fernando Pessoa

Next up on our list of mindful reading is a Portuguese poetry collection. Translated into English by Jonathan Griffin, I Have More Souls Than One contains poems written by four distinct personae. Each follow a mind tormented by suffering and a mind that journeys on an endless search for meaning.

With many of the poems covering merely a single page, it is the perfect book to dip in and out of and take your time to process each and every masterful stanza. Dramatic and lyrical, you’re bound to love it.

5. You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Naht Hanh

Our final recommendation of mindfulness in translation is a French novel translated into English by Sherab Chodzin Kohn.

In this book, the author simplistically explores the heart of Buddhist thinking. As a Vietnamese monk and meditation master, Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings are powerful and thought provoking. His work will empower you to witness the wonder of life and stay within the present moment.

Explained in simple prose, Thich Naht Hanh’s work is perfect to begin your mindful journey.

We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a moment to read our mindful recommendations. If you’d like to continue with the mindful theme, why not check out our other blogs in honour of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek?

Equally if you fancy hearing more recommendations of literature in translation, why not check out our Valentines day blog?

Lifting the Lid on Desktop Publishing

Do you need to translate PDFs, brochures, or other carefully designed content? And have you considered that the layout of these translations may need to change slightly in order to accommodate longer texts, or right-to-left languages?

There’s no need to worry, as we offer a desktop publishing service that will help. Read on to find out how we can help you create perfectly localised materials for print or download.

What is Desktop Publishing?

If you haven’t heard of the term desktop publishing before, you may have heard it referred to as typesetting or DTP. This process involves using design software, such as InDesign, to create files with customisable layouts for print or download.

Simply translating an IDML file export won’t mean that your translated file is ready for printing right away. A specialist designer needs to import the translated file into InDesign, and make any changes. These changes can include:

  • Lengthening text boxes
  • Changing font sizes
  • Tweaking elements
  • Adding line breaks
  • Formatting embedded graphics

The aim of this process is to make the translated file look as good as the original, whilst avoiding the ‘this has been translated’ look.

The Process

Why use Web-Translations?

Text could expand or contract by around 25% once it has been translated. This may cause some issues when trying to retain the original file’s formatting and layout. If you haven’t planned for this in advance, our designer may need to reduce a font size or increase the size of a text box, for example.

Non-Latin alphabets can also be difficult to work with for the uninitiated. One example of this is Arabic, which reads from right to left. This means that the entire page layout needs to be reversed. As most designers don’t have experience with translation and probably don’t speak the language of the target text, it can be difficult for them to rework the layout and format of the translation. In fact, some designers may even introduce errors to the translated content, as they are not translators themselves. At Web-Translations, however, we could save your designer’s both time and effort, as we have the skill to adjust the formatting and page layout of your translations ready for print.

Our experienced typesetters can tackle anything from business cards to technical manuals, and from packaging to posters, so it’s safe to say that your content is in good hands. But if you’re in the process of designing new marketing collateral for translation, check out our blog post on translating PDFs for some pointers.

Differences Between Languages

As we mentioned earlier, texts can become considerably shorter or longer during the translation process, as each language has its own structure and set of characteristics. Below we’ve provided a few examples of how much some languages can expand or contract when translating from English:

LanguageAverage Expansion/ Contraction
French20% longer
German20% longer
Korean10% shorter
Swedish10% shorter
Arabic25% longer
Spanish20-30% longer
Finnish30% shorter
Norwegian15% shorter

We hope these figures give you a better idea of the differences between the languages, and that you’ll be able to bear this in mind when creating your carefully designed documents.

To find out more about our language solutions, please visit our Services page.  Or, if you’d like to talk to us directly, why don’t you fill in our contact form? We’re more than happy to help.

Spring Towards your Target Market

With lighter days and daffodils blooming, it is clear that spring is well and truly upon us. And with that, it may be time to have a little sort out!

Yes, spring is the perfect time to refresh, saying goodbye to former, ineffectual habits and hello to revitalised, propitious behaviours. Such changes may take place within your personal life, but such a spring clean can also be carried out within your business.

This is why, at Web-Translations, we wanted to help. Although we may not be able to advise on finance or product creation, we can certainly assist you with the marketing of international campaigns. As such, in this blog, we’re going to go back to basics and explore the five key points to consider when branching out into international trade.

1. Language

It may sound like an obvious starting point, but if you’re planning to target international markets, then it’s important you do so in your target market’s language. Not merely does this illustrate respect to your customer, but it may also increase conversions. This is because online customers are statistically more likely to buy from a website in their own language. For example, a study found that 40% of internet users stated that they would never buy from websites outside their native language. What is more, 65% of people would rather look up content in their native language.

Making an effort to localise your content yields benefits. However, if you’re going to localise, you need to do it right.

In other words, if you’d like to expand into Argentina, it isn’t simply sufficient to get your website translated into ‘Spanish’. You need to ensure that your site is professionally localised into Argentinian Spanish. Furthermore, if you’d like to branch into the Canadian market, you can’t simply reuse your French for France content. You’d need your content localised into Canadian French.

See the pattern? Research is vital to ensure you’re translating into the right language for your target market. If you need guidance, we would be happy to advise.

2. Time Difference

Nowadays, it is taken as a given that any successful company will have a thriving social media presence. Whether it be via Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, a global presence is key. However, it isn’t simply the case that one tweet suits all.

Across the globe, there are more than 24 different time zones. Consequently, when planning your social media campaign, these time zones need to be respected. For example, if you’re a British company trying to branch into Mexico, tweeting at 9 am GMT is futile. Whilst 9 am is a great time of day to tweet to achieve maximum outreach, the same cannot be said for 3 am in Mexico City.

When planning your social media campaign, therefore, take a moment to reflect upon the time zone of your target market.

3. Seasonal Difference

Heralding in longer days and warmer climates, March in the Northern Hemisphere signals the start of spring. As such, many businesses move away from the snowy and cosy advertising of winter and shift towards the bright and pastel tones of spring.

However, if you’re targeting international markets, it may be worth holding back on such advertising. Whilst spring may be in vogue in the Northern Hemisphere, the same cannot be said for the Southern Hemisphere. Similar to how time varies in different countries, climate varies too. You should thus consider this when launching any global campaigns.

4. Cultural Difference

Every corner of the world has its own set of cultural traditions that are unique to them. It’s what makes the world a beautiful and vibrant place. However, within these cultures there are sensitivities that need to be respected.

For instance, whilst an image of a sausage sandwich may be enticing to a British audience, this would unlikely be the case for an Arabic-speaking audience. This is because, in many Arab countries, pork is a forbidden food. Any advertising including such meat therefore may not only be fruitless, but it could be disrespectful.

Consequently, when engaging in international trade, an awareness of cultural traditions and sensitivities are essential.

5. Local Competition

Finally, when journeying into international waters, it is important that you know your local competition.

By knowing what your target market currently has to offer, you will be able to ascertain the correct marketing approach. For example, it would be futile advertising a building block related toy as revolutionary and unseen in Billund, Denmark – the home of Lego. Perhaps it would be better to present it with a new twist, building upon an aspect that Lego doesn’t provide… We’re not sure what that could be, but it could be anything!! The world’s your oyster!

When expanding into international markets the basics to consider are: Language, Time, Climate, Culture and Competition.

We hope this blog has helped you go back to basics and encouraged you to have a bit of a spring clean. After all, it is that time of year! Or at least it is for us in the North! 

Any other tips you fancy sharing? Get in touch via our social media channels!

Lifting the Lid on Machine Translation Post-Editing

If you’ve used Google Translate, then you would have already used Machine Translation. But you may have also noticed some of the embarrassing blunders that the machine makes. This is why we offer Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE).

MTPE is a low-cost translation solution. It allows translations to be generated quickly at a lower cost through the use of machine translation. However, it also uses the human post-editor to put the text into context and helps the translation to sound natural.

What is the MTPE process, and how is it different to other Machine Translation services?

Once we have received the original file, we put it into our industry-leading machine translation software. This software generates a quick and raw translation in the chosen languages. We then send this output to our professional linguists for review. The linguist will correct any errors, improve its readability and adjust the tone and style to meet the client’s needs.

Unlike other machine translation providers, our machine translation software is secure and confidential, ensuring that your content is safe. We can also integrate any existing translations or preferred terminology that your business may have. This means that your translations are consistent and tailored to your brand.

Translate button on a keyboard

MTPE is a low-budget and quick solution for your translation needs.

Is MTPE appropriate for all types of translation?

Although it may be tempting to opt for the cheaper translation option, this isn’t the preferred solution. We would always recommend getting your content translated and proofread by a professional linguist. Our linguists are qualified to translate and proofread, and are experts in their field.

We understand that this option isn’t always feasible however. You may require large quantities of translation quickly, or have a restricted budget. In these cases, MTPE would be an appropriate solution for most types of text.

Notice the emphasis on ‘most’? Well, this is because some texts should not be submitted to MTPE. Marketing content and creative texts, for example, should only be translated by professional, HUMAN linguists. This will give your text that creative edge, that a machine can’t.

If you’d like to find out more about our Machine Translation Post-Editing service, take a look at our web page.

To find out more about our language solutions, read our services page here:  Or, if you’d like to talk to us directly, why don’t you fill in our contact form? We’re more than happy to help.

Valentine’s Day Reading: Fall in Love with Translated Fiction

If someone were to ask you to name the most perfect novel to read on Valentine’s Day, what would your answer be?

Perhaps your first thought would be Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that no one can resist Austen’s witty and sardonic prose. Maybe your thoughts would travel across the pond and land upon Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. Every great love starts with a great story and with a story such as Allie and Noah’s, it’s hard not to fall in love with this classic.

But have you ever thought about the other love stories that exist? The stories that centre upon the Señor, rather than the Mr Darcy, or those that follow the Mademoiselle, rather than the Miss Bennett?

With approximately 7000 languages in the world, there are a multitude of happily ever afters waiting to be read. In this blog, we at Web-Translations are going to help you explore those happily ever afters as we present you with our top five translated romance novels from across the globe.

Books to represent Valentine's Reading

So, are you ready to fall in love with translated fiction? … Well then, let’s begin!

Sensei no kaban (Strange Weather in Tokyo) by Hiromi Kawakami – Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell.

Our first choice of Valentine’s Day reading is Sensei no kaban. Uncluttered, dreamlike and enchanting, Strange Weather in Tokyo is the perfect novel for you to embark on your voyage into translated fiction.

Centring upon a young woman in her thirties and her blossoming yet hesitant relationship with her former schoolteacher, Kawakami’s novel is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance. It realises a balancing act between the lost Japan of the old and the modern, fast-paced Japan of today.

Furthermore, whilst the protagonists’ stories are universal, it is culturally embedded within Japan. From cherry blossom parties to drinking hot sake, the translated novel is intrinsically faithful to its source culture.

The novel states that ‘being in love makes people uncertain’. True as that may be, you are guaranteed to have one certainty after falling in love with this novel: Kawakami’s writing is pure brilliance. 

La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast) by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

As a tale as old as time, it’s not hard to recognise this French classic. Nonetheless, what you may not be as familiar with are the translated origins of the tale. Although immortalised by Walt Disney’s 1991 filmic adaptation, the French novel was first published in 1740 in La Jeune Américaine et les contes marins. It was then translated into English in 1757.

Although devoid of talking crockery and stirring musical numbers, Villeneuve’s tale is as magical as Walt Disney’s later adaptation. After all, with a moral celebrating the triumph of inner beauty over superficial entities, it’s hard not to become a thoroughly enamoured guest in the magical realist world.

El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) by Gabriel García Márquez – Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman.

Our third choice of Valentine’s Day reading is El amor en los tiempos del cólera. First published in 1985, it is a Colombian novel written by the Nobel prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez.

Exploring the enduring power of true love, this Colombian classic centres upon the lives of two protagonists: Florentino and Fermina. Falling in love in their youth, the two write letters to each other as they embark upon a secret relationship. However, due to the complexities of familial relations and expectations, Fermina eventually marries another. Despite whiling away the years in 622 affairs, Florentino reserves his heart for Fermina.

With subject matter a touch heavier than the previous two novels on our list, it might not be the best book to start your journey into translated fiction. Nonetheless, Love in the Time of Cholera is certainly a novel that you should at least dip your toe into. After all, how can you not be swept away by quotations such as:

The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love’.

Le Livre de Perle (The Book of Pearl) by Timothee De Fombelle – Translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon.

Our fourth recommendation for some Valentine’s Day reading is a YA novel, and it is quite simply stunning. Exuding romance, history and adventure, Le Livre de Perle will captivate you in a timeless fairy-tale of eternal love.

The story centres upon Joshua Pearl, a protagonist who comes from a world different to ours – a world of fairy tale. Despite knowing that the love of his life waits for him in such a magical realm, Joshua is trapped in our own world on the eve of the Second World War. What is more, as his memory fades, Joshua must piece together his past and find his way home.

The novel states that happiness is a dance where each steps brings you closer together or farther apart’. Reading this novel will certainly be a step that takes you towards that happiness. 

Hearts to represent Valentine's Day Reading

대도시의 사랑법 (Love in the Big City) by Sang Young Park – Translated from the Korean by Anton Hur.

Fresh. Unique. Modern. These might perhaps be the best adjectives to describe our final recommendation of Valentine’s Day reading.

Depicting the messy riots of young life, Sang Young Park’s novel follows the life of our protagonist Young. Recounting both his rakish college years and his still carefree thirties as he drifts from boyfriends, jobs and friends, the novel explores the hardships of platonic, romantic and familial love.

Unashamedly messy, cruel and raw, the love depicted in Sang Young Park’s story is real. Because of that we love it … and so will you!

These are just five of our favourite translated love stories from across the globe. We’d love to hear your favourite books to read on Valentine’s Day! Please feel free to get in touch via our social media.

Feeling the love and fancy reading more translated fiction? Why not check out our other fiction in translation blogs?

Lifting the Lid on Translation and Interpreting

It is likely that you have heard of the terms ‘translation’ and ‘interpreting’. They are fairly common terms and are used frequently in everyday speech.

However, do you know that they actually refer to different services?

Yes, that’s correct. Despite the media often using them interchangeably, translation and interpreting are not the same thing.

It is true that both have the shared goal of conveying meaning from one language into another. However, there is a fundamental difference between them:

Translation involves written language, while interpretation involves spoken language.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences!

Image to represent translation and interpreting.

The Medium:

TRANSLATION is a written form which sees the translator convert a source text from one language into another language, usually their mother tongue.

INTERPRETATION is a spoken practice which sees the interpreter verbally convert a speaker’s message into another language, often working between their mother tongue and another language.

The Speed:

TRANSLATION is a practice in which the translator can work at their own pace, thinking carefully about each word before writing.

INTERPRETATION is a practice in which the interpreter must think imminently, often speaking at the same time as the speaker. Given the fast-pace nature of the practice, it is much more about paraphrasing than word-for-word conveyance. Short-term memory is essential.

The Specialism:

TRANSLATORS need to be specialists in the field they translate in, but they can always rely on dictionaries and search engines to help them find fiddly terms during the translation process.

INTERPRETERS need to be specialists in their field too, but they cannot rely on reference material when working. If they do not know the exact meaning of a term in their own language, they must think on their feet and describe or summarise the term.

The Location:

TRANSLATORS often work at home, using their computers and dictionaries as their only work tools.

INTERPRETERS are at the location of the event, either in specific booths like at the European Commission or perhaps stood behind the speaker, whispering the translation into their ear. Regardless of the medium, they attend the event live!

The Direction:

TRANSLATORS translate into their mother tongue from their second language.

INTERPRETERS may need to interpret from their second language into their mother tongue, and then interpret from their mother tongue into their second language. And yes – this is as difficult as it sounds!!!

We hope this blog can clear up any confusion once and for all. Get in touch via our contact page or social media if you have any comments or queries that you’d like to share!

Fancy learning more about the world of translation? Why not check out our blog lifting the lid on Proofreading?

Festive Phrases

It’s finally December, which can only mean one thing …… It’s CHRISTMAS!!!

Time to whip out your festive jumpers, gobble up all the mince pies and blast Michael Bublé on repeat!

As the many Christmas songs state, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we at Web-Translations wanted to help you spread that festive cheer by providing you with some festive phrases from all around the world.

Snow globe to represent Festive Phrases.

Veselé Vánoce

Our first festive phrase is ‘Veselé Vánoce’ and it means ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech.

Fun Fact: In the Czech Republic, one Christmas tradition is to take an apple and cut it lengthwise (in other words, the opposite way to usual). A symbol will appear in the middle of the apple and, if you’re going to be healthy next year, you will see a star. Alternatively, if there is a symbol of a cross, this suggests that you may have ill-health in the coming year.

God fortsättning

Our next festive phrase is ‘God fortsättning’ and it means ‘Good continuing’ in Swedish. Specifically, it is only used after Christmas.

Fun Fact: No Swedish Christmas is complete without the Lussekatt. This is a sweet wheat bun which tastes of saffron and it is often sprinkled with raisins. Furthermore, the bun is curled into an ‘S’ shape and it is delicious.

Meilleurs vœux

The third phrase on our list is ‘Meilleurs voeux’. This French phrase means ‘best wishes’ and it is usually followed by the year. For example, “Meilleurs voeux pour 2022!”

Fun Fact: The thirteen desserts of Christmas are a tradition in Provence. Yes, you heard correctly! Thirteen desserts!!! They eat these after a large supper and they represent Jesus and his twelve apostles at the Last Supper.

क्रिसमस की बधाई

Our fourth festive phrase is Hindi and it means ‘Merry Christmas’.

Fun Fact: In South India, one Christmas tradition is to put a burning earthen lamp on their roofs. It symbolises that Jesus is the light of the world.

Christmas image to evoke Festive Phrases

Que se cumplan tus deseos/sueños

The next phrase on our list is Spanish. ‘Que se cumplan tus deseos’ translates to mean ‘I hope your dreams come true.’ Quite sweet isn’t it?

Fun Fact: In Catalonia, they hide an unusual figure among their nativity scenes. Called the ‘caganer’, this little figure depicts an individual with their trousers down, going to the toilet. It’s a little odd, but you can’t help but love a festive tradition!

Vi auguriamo, un Natale pieno di amore, pace e felicità

This is an Italian festive phrase which translates to mean ‘We wish you a Christmas filled with love, peace and happiness’. That’s to say, it’s the perfect greeting to show someone that you care.

Fun Fact: Did you know that in various Italian cities, it is common to see men playing bagpipes in the squares across town at Christmas time? They are called ‘zampognari’ and they dress as shepherds.

Zdrowych i radosnych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia oraz szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

The above phrase is Polish, and it means ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.’

Fun Fact: Poland really loves Christmas carols. In fact, one even nearly became their national anthem!

Boas Festas

Our penultimate festive phrase is Portuguese, and it means ‘Happy Holidays’.

Fun Fact: The traditional Christmas meal in Portugal is called ‘Consoada’ and it is eaten on Christmas Eve. It consists of codfish, green vegetables and boiled potatoes. Moreover, it is normally followed by shellfish or perhaps wild meats.

Viel Glück und Erfolg im neuen Jahr!

Finally, our ninth festive phrase is German. It means ‘Good fortune and success in the New Year!’ – something that we are wishing all of our clients and suppliers this year!

Fun Fact: Christmas markets are very important in Germany. In fact, there are around 3000 markets each year!

These are just some of the many festive phrases out there, but we’d love to hear how you say Merry Christmas in your language! Get in touch via Twitter to spread the festive cheer.

Furthermore, if you’d like to read more about languages and translation, why not check out our blog exploring some of our favourite untranslatable phrases from across the globe?

Lifting the Lid on Proofreading

If you’ve ever had something translated, your translation company will most likely have explained their Proofreading and Quality Assurance procedures. That’s because QA is an integral stage of the translation process.

At Web-Translations, we ensure that all translations are proofread by a second linguist as standard. This is to ensure that we deliver translations of the highest quality.

But, what do we mean by top quality? And, why is it not sufficient to simply use one linguist?

Whilst our translators are experienced and specialised in their field, they are also human beings. Consequently, they sometimes make mistakes.

Although natural and few and far between, mishaps can have damaging consequences for your brand. A typo or a missing word may affect the trust that your customers have in you.

Proofreaders thus give you peace of mind because they catch these errors.

A hand editing a text to represent proofreading.

More than simply an editor – a proofreader also checks the accuracy of a translation

So, where do Project Managers fit in? And, what are Project Management QA Checks?

Most translation agencies offer in-house, Project Management QA Checks. These make use of advanced QA software and include procedures such as:

  • Checking that the translator has translated everything
  • Ensuring that the translator has edited all fuzzy matches
  • Highlighting any inconsistent translations
  • Identifying errors in punctuation, font or spacing

These checks are undeniably an essential part of the translation process, but there are limitations to what they can achieve. Although Project Managers are trained linguists, they are not proficient in all languages and are not experts in all specialisms.

We thus need proofreaders to look beyond the surface-level errors.

Nuances and readability in proofreading

Beyond providing basic grammar and formatting checks, proofreaders equally check the readability of your translation. As professional translators specialised in the text’s subject matter, second linguists are able to provide a second opinion. In other words, they ensure that the exact meaning of the source material is conveyed in your translation.

If the text doesn’t read as it should, appears clunky, or if there’s any alteration in meaning compared to the original, a proofreader will pick this up.  

Proofreading thus makes the difference between a good translation and an EXCELLENT translation.

To find out more about our language solutions, read our services page here:  Or, if you’d like to talk to us directly, why don’t you fill in our contact form? We’re more than happy to help.

International Translation Day

It’s International Translation Day! The perfect opportunity to celebrate all things translation.

Although translation might just seem like the simple transfer of written content from one language to another (the ‘source language’ into the ‘target language’), translation can be quite an intricate process. For example, what do you do when the word in the source language doesn’t exist in the target language?

Maybe it’s a noun for a German object that doesn’t exist in the United Kingdom. Or maybe it’s a Spanish verb that refers to a quintessentially Spanish action!

To give you a taste of these words, we’ve collated some of our favourite untranslatable terms below …

1. Morriña

Morriña is a Galician noun which represents a feeling of nostalgia. But this isn’t simply any nostalgia, this is a nostalgia for the vibrant green hills and the deep blue sea: it’s nostalgia for Galicia itself.

Put simply, it’s used to describe that deep homesickness that the Galician people feel when they are away from their homeland. Quite poetic isn’t it?

2. Peiskos

Peiskos is a Norwegian noun that embodies the act of sitting in front of a fire and having a good time. It’s an ambient mood that embodies a warm and peaceful sort of calm.

If we were to break it down, we would see that ‘Peis’ means fireplace, and ‘kos’ can mean to have a good time, and to cuddle.

3. S’entendre

S’entendre is a French verb that describes getting along with someone because you think in the same way. It’s the perfect term to use if you and your best friend are on the exact same wavelength.

4. Pаспутица

Pаспутица is a Russian word that doesn’t have an English translation because it describes something that doesn’t exist in English. It refers to a season of bad roads. Specifically, it describes a period during Spring and Autumn where the weather is so bad that unpaved roads are practically impossible to drive on.

It comes from the root ‘путь’ which means ‘road’ and the prefix ‘pac’ which is similar to the English ‘dis’. You can see how a literal translation may cause confusion. ‘Disroad’ is pretty nonsensical.

5. Zugzwang

Zugzwang is a German noun which describes a situation in which you are obliged to make a strategic decision. Furthermore, this decision is likely to be quite stressful.

It was originally used to describe the feeling that chess players felt when trying to make a move. However, now it is used to simply refer to any decision that must be made.

As you can see, translation is no easy feat! That’s why it’s vital that you work with native, specialised and experienced linguists.

We at Web-Translations feel very lucky to work in an industry full of talented and creative individuals, and we just wanted to say thank you to all the amazing linguists who work with us. You are very much appreciated!

What are your favourite untranslatable words? Get in touch via Twitter to share your top picks!

Thank you in lots of languages to celebrate International Translation Day

Let’s celebrate #WorldKidLitMonth!

Time to whip out your party shoes as September is a big month in the translation community, hosting not merely International Translation Day and the European Day of Languages but also #WorldKidLitMonth!

As a team of passionate linguists, we wanted to honour #WorldKidLitMonth by sharing some of our favourite translated children’s stories. Whilst some are age-old classics, some are more recent publications that you may not have heard of. Have a look below; maybe there are a few you didn’t even know were translations!

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

This is a Swedish story originally published in 1945 as Pippi Langstrump. Although many translations now exist, it was first translated into English in 1954 by Edna Hurup and illustrated by Richard Kennedy.

Why should you read it?

The collection of three books centre upon the strongest girl in the world. She lives on the outskirts of a small Swedish town and shares her house with a monkey and a horse. Pippi is eccentric, tells lies and subverts the adult world in an utterly marvellous fashion. She is quite frankly a girl that all children should meet.

When is the best age to read it?

Between the ages of 5 and 9 (but to be honest, you’re never too old for a good adventure!)

 #WorldKidLitMonth | Child holding Pippi Longstocking book

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

This international best-seller is a German story originally published in 1992 as Der Regenbogenfisch. It was translated into English by J. Alison James and soon became a modern classic, even being adapted into an animated television series.

Why should you read it?

Rainbow Fish teaches about the importance of sharing. Possessing scales that shimmer like the colours of the rainbow, Rainbow Fish is the most beautiful fish in the ocean. When asked to share his scales, however, Rainbow Fish refuses and keeps his scales to himself, ultimately making him very lonely. Although a simple message, it is one that is universal: sharing makes us happy.

When is the best age to read it?

Between 3 and 6 years.

 #WorldKidLitMonth | Children sat listening to stories

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is a French story published in 1943 as Le Petit Prince. It is one of the most translated books in the world. Although it was first translated into English by Katherine Woods in 1943, many now read Richard Howard’s translation, a version that is perhaps less poetic but easier to read.

Why should you read it?

The Little Prince tells the story of a pilot who is stranded in the desert and on the edge of survival. He meets a young prince who has travelled from his home on a distant asteroid. As the only occupant on the asteroid, the little prince is neither a boy nor a man, yet he educates the pilot in extraordinary ways. It’s a timeless tale of childhood, imagination and the inevitability of growing up, and it is truly beautiful. How can you not fall in love with quotations like this…?

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

When is the best age to read it?

From the age of 6 and up.

The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo

This is a contemporary Spanish story published in 2015 as El Día que Saída Llegó. It was translated by Lawrence Schimel in 2020 and it centres upon the friendship between two little girls: the first a Moroccan child who has recently migrated to Spain and the second a Spanish girl who searches for the words to help her friend feel welcome in her new home. Although they do not speak the same language, they forge a strong bond and learn about the wonders of the world around them.

Why should you read it?

It is a heart-warming story that offers an accessible introduction to talking about immigration. Not merely does it offer engaging and vivid illustrations crafted by Sonja Wimmer, but it includes English translations and pronunciations to Arabic words as well as an Arabic alphabet. The short yet beautiful story shows how bonds can be built beyond borders and the barriers imposed by language. It is a story of unity, love and acceptance, and it is a tale every child should hear.

When is the best age to read it?

Between 3 and 8 years.

Children sat on a park bench reading #WorldKidLit

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Everyone has heard of Pinocchio, right? But did you know that, before it was a Disney animation, it was an Italian novel for children called Le avventure di Pinocchio. It was published in 1883, and inspired by a series called La storia di un burattino which appeared in an Italian weekly magazine for children called Giornale per i bambini. Nearly ten years after its publication, and two years after Collodi’s death, Pinocchio was first translated into English by Mary Alice Murray in 1892.

Why should you read it?

Although the novel is quite gruesome compared to Walt Disney’s adaptation, it remains a classic and, not including religious texts, it is one of the most translated books in the world. Telling the tale of a poor man named Geppetto who receives a piece of enchanted wood to carve himself a marionette, Pinocchio imparts some important traditional morals: disobedience does not pay off, you should not tell lies and those who care for their parents will be rewarded.

When is the best age to read it?

From the age of 7 and up.

These are just some of our favourites, but we’d love to know what your favourite translated stories are! Please get in touch via Twitter or our Contact Page to share your top reads and keep this discussion going. Also, be sure to stay up to date with all things #WorldKidLit by checking out their website.

Let’s get talking about #WorldKidLitMonth!

Microsoft’s Speech Translation is still all talk

At an event in China last month, Microsoft’s Rick Rashid unveiled a piece of technology that will likely attract a considerable amount of hype. In front of the company’s Asian 21st Century Computing gathering, the Chief Research Officer showed off speech recognition and automated spoken translation technology, his words being accurately transposed into Mandarin with his vocal tone synthetically carried through to the translated version. From the reaction of observers, the demonstration appeared a success, and the technology raises interesting questions about the possibilities, and the limitations, of automated translations.


Much has been made of the voice recognition and emulation side of Rashid’s translation, which is at best an optional enhancement, and in some cases would appear as undesirable excess. It’s exciting, for sure, that a computer can imitate a person’s vocal habits – but it’s not earth-shattering. On the other hand, the suggestion from some quarters that we are now capable, to some degree, of replacing interpretors with computers, is one worthy of serious intrigue.


The question we need to ask, though, is how this would ever be possible. You might pin me as naïve, and you’d be half-right, but language factually entails more than a series of algorithms. Consider the relationship between semantics and pragmatics; one concerns itself with somewhat strict meanings and definitions, while the other is wrapped up in the implicit nature of what we say, how we really use language. Which of these is more important? You could certainly argue that each requires the other to act as a balance, but it’s absolutely clear that the way we communicate has more about it than mere dictionary definitions and the frequency of a word in proximity to another.


It is common for us to assume that we can build machines capable of anything and everything, but the simple fact is that most of language is conducted on a very human level, in our instinct and the traits we share. For us to understand one another, we need to have a good idea of unspoken context, of the intricacies of a conversation, and of the peculiarity of much of our language. If a computer can do this at all, it cannot do it well. It cannot purposefully soften a verb to keep a diplomatic meeting from boiling over and it cannot understand the in-joke and explain it to a new audience. Those things exist in a different ball park to what we’re currently excited about; the art of professional translation is still as essential as ever.

qTranslate: The easy way to talk to everybody


For all our proclamations that the Internet has rendered geography null and void, it’s startling how many business opportunities are still missed because of language barriers. Though much progress has been made since the turn of the millennium in bringing global reach to a huge number of successful brands, many great organisations still don’t know how to even begin communicating with audiences abroad.


In this light, it’s a wonder that the fantastic qTranslate plug-in for WordPress has taken so long to flourish. Once activated, qTranslate transforms the control panel into an incredibly simple and reliable interface for making your site’s content multilingual. It organises your pages neatly and intelligently, and offers a user-friendly integration which is compatible with Search Engine Optimisation add-ons and a huge range of content types. In essence, qTranslate condenses the work involved in reaching foreign-language users down to an absolute walk in the park.



If you’re fluent in the second language you want to target, it’s as simple as opening that language’s tab in WordPress’ Post Editor and writing your new content – you can even change the layout of your posts based on the language in play. But if you’re not a native speaker, part of the beauty of qTranslate is how easy it makes getting what you’ve written translated by professionals at LiveTranslation. There’s an option to turn on the translation service, which allows you to pay for an affordable, professional translation, courtesy of Live Translation, with just a couple of clicks.


There’s no mess involved: you get your content, in a range of different languages, all housed on one site but still clearly distinct from both your users’ and a search engine’s perspective. It’s simple to install and even simpler to maintain.



When combined with the supplementary qTranslate with Slugs, what results is a multilingual WordPress control panel which is both intelligent and uncomplicated. It’ll translate your dates and times without being told, let you optimise your URLs for each individual language, and even give you multilingual menus. And if you’re missing a language that could help you crack a key market, you’re literally five clicks and no effort away from taking the first step across the border. Online, you can talk to everybody. Now, they’ll be able to understand you, too.


Download qTranslate.


First Time Exporters: Full Support for your Website Translation

As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business.  While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.

Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey.  We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.


Olympic Gold Website Package – Fit for London 2012

Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.

The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?

Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.

As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?


Meet the Team – Fiona Henderson

Project Coordinator - Web TranslationsHi Everyone!

I’m Fiona Henderson and I have just joined the Web-Translations team as a Project Coordinator.

I was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the nearby seaside town of North Berwick. After studying Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Glasgow, I moved to Leeds to study towards an MA in Applied Translation Studies at the University of Leeds.

I’m delighted to have found a position which allows me to engage with my knowledge of languages on a daily basis, whilst learning new skills and building on my experience in this exciting and constantly evolving industry.

Other facts about me: I am extremely musical and love going to the theatre to watch an opera or ballet, or to listen to some classical music. I am not very sporty but I do enjoy horse riding, ice skating and dancing. My dream is to take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok!

Meet the Team: Dominic McGrath

Dominic McGrath, Project CoordinatorHi everyone!

I’ve recently joined the Web-Translations team as a project coordinator. I am originally from Bradford but familiar with the local area and went on to University of Manchester where I graduated in 2009 with a BA in German and Business Management.

Since graduating I have worked in a couple of different industries – finance and logistics – but always with the view to these jobs being short-term. I have been on the lookout for a role that could essentially combine my knowledge of another language with my innate passion for business, and have found a perfect match with Web-Translations. I furthermore believe I have found somewhere with the right tools to enable me to develop and to launch a successful career.

I am highly driven to achieve goals and to deliver for our customers as the business looks set to grow and expand into new markets, and what’s more, I look forward to helping other businesses do exactly the same.

Outside work I’m passionate about sport, in particular football, and have never wavered in my support of a team going through dire straits at the moment. I also love to travel and experience different cultures and meet people from different nationalities. Building on the time I spent living in Frankfurt, I travelled around Central and South America during the summer of 2010, and am certainly keen to do more of this! I got to go on the recent trip to the dmexco event in Cologne with my new colleagues Lynn and Cassandra, and am looking forward to putting my skills and newfound knowledge into practise.

I look forward to the challenge the future holds.

In the mood for foreign films?

It’s a comment you may have heard expressed before by many native English speakers: despite possessing an interest in foreign films and a willingness to embrace their ‘quirkiness’, it sometimes feels as though you have to be “in the mood” to watch them. After watching a French film the other night and hearing my housemate make this exact comment, my thoughts consequently drifted to how world cinema seems to have rapidly gained popularity over the last ten years in the U.K. (more…)

Pre-translation preparations

There is a lot more to translation than meets the eye. Yes, the essence of the process is translating a piece of text from one language into another, but there is a lot more to consider than many people are aware.

There are lots of factors that need to be taken into account both before starting work, and during the translation process itself. Clarifying these points, and identifying any issues at the start helps to ensure a smooth translation process, and avoids delays while any difficulties are overcome.

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, clients should be asked several key questions, including (but not limited to):

What is the purpose/end use of the translation?

File formats – what format do they need the translation back in?

Processing text post-translation – will it be added to a Content Management System, or typeset into a design ready for print? If so, are those responsible experienced in doing so?

Reference material – could include previous translations and any background information to guide the translators. Clients who take the time to provide such information reap the benefits by getting an accurate translation that reflects their company style and is immediately fit for purpose. Without background information, the translators are often working in the dark, and it can take longer to produce text that is ready to use or publish.

Is there an  in-country manager who will be reviewing the text, or who can help with any terminology queries?

Is the author of the document available to answer any queries about its contents?


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