Author Archives: Pangeanic

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American English Translations or British English translations – it matters

by Garth Hedenskog
Any native British English speaker like myself will be able to recall a moment while using Microsoft Word® where their carefully chosen words get automatically corrected to American English – the default setting: “The shopper stood there momentarily to analyse the colour of the garment “ corrects to “The shopper stood there momentarily to analyze the color of the garment.”

Both American and British English are dialects of the English language; the second most spoken language worldwide. This renders the language as an essential tool for somebody to express their opinions in their respective fields, particularly in the ever-increasing medical and pharmaceutical industries where English remains as the only literary language – a fact that is largely accepted within the scientific community.

English was introduced to Native Americans during the 17th century during the colonisation of North America – and the worldwide strength of the language is parallel to the unrivalled maritime strength of the British Empire at the time. From the first confirmed British colonisation of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, the English spoken in the UK and the English spoken in North America began to diverge – and this has lead to the formation of American and British English, two key dialects in the language today.American-English-translations-British-English-translations.

In recent history there has been more of a friendly rivalry between the North American and British peoples, and has moved away from animosity of the 17th and 18th centuries partly due to the formation of the ‘special relationship’ in the 1980s. This ‘rivalry’ often manifests itself in the way a person from the UK mocks a person from the USA (or vice versa) due to the differences in dialects – particularly in certain sayings and idioms, as well as certain meanings for words which may differ ‘across the pond’. An example of which may be the meaning of “rubber”, which in British English may refer to a tool to erase pencil, however in American English it is a common slang term for “condom”.

It would seem therefore that it is imperative for a translation company to be able to offer the choice of American English translations or British English translations by native speakers so as to correctly and professionally translate a document for the intended target audience, whether it is for the North American or UK audience.

It is just as important, if not more important to take particular care when translating a document into a specific dialect, e.g. Spanish into American English, or even translating between dialects i.e. British English into American English; an aspect of translation that is sometimes neglected in terms of its importance – particularly true for unscrupulous companies who rely heavily on machine translation with minimal post editing. Implementing the incorrect dialect could have disastrous effects for a company attempting to break into either market, and would see potential profits fall drastically. A company with publishing needs must therefore have complete trust in a translation company such as Pangeanic with specialist native American English translations or British English translations at their disposal to ensure accuracy and professionalism in document translation.

Can You Trust Free Web Language Converters To Do The Job

A big question we get asked by consumers is why do we need a language translation service. If you go online, you’ll often find the search engine offers to translate the page for you. Google in particular offer what might seem like a brilliant translation service. The best news? It’s completely free, and you don’t even have to set it up. When a consumer or user views your site they’ll get the chance to translate it themselves. But that might not be the best idea if you want your site to be successful online and here’s why.

 

Lost In Translation

First, you might think that a free search engine translator is doing a fantastic job, converting your site into any language. Well, for a free, automatic service it is. But you should understand that that piece of software will be converting your site at a basic level. While it might be possible to understand what your site is about from the translation, important details might be lost. If you think about it, there is a basic structure to most languages. But underneath that structure, there’s a subtext. For instance, in Italian, there are male and female genders for nouns. These simply don’t exist in the English language. A free language translator isn’t going to pick up details like this through the conversion. But there could be bigger issues as well.

 

Blind Spots

Often when you use a translator like this on your site, you will find a blind spot. This is an area of your site that the translator hasn’t been able to convert. This could be due to the wording or a fault in the subtext. It might be because you’ve written in an accent that the software could not translate. For instance, in China, there are a number of different written accents. Not all of these will be translated for free by a search engine.

 

That’s Not What I Meant

If you use a free translation tool on a search engine like Google, you’d be amazed how many times it’s reversed the meaning of the words completely. The best way to test this is to get a bilingual native speaker of the language to check it. They will often find your website isn’t saying what it should. That’s a problem, particularly if you’re looking to attract new foreign customers. This brings us to another point.

 

Unprofessional

Your site might look fantastic in your native language. It’s a clear site that tells the customer what they need to know. But after a free language conversion, it’s a different story. Due to blindspots, incorrect translations or details lost your site now looks a mess. It might not be somewhere an international customer would want to buy a product from.

 

Can You Rely On It?

The last issue is the problem of reliability. Despite all these flaws you might still think you can count on a free translation service for your site. You might be able to…if they always worked. But the fact is some search engines have them; others don’t. It depends if the specific user has the plug in plugged in. Then there’s the issue of phones. On many phones, these free translators don’t work at all. It’s for this reason that a professional translation service could be the best option for your website.

Break Through The Language Barriers In Your Business

Business owners overlook the importance of making sure that their company is ready for international trade. They don’t put the effort in to ensure that their business is appealing to people from all around the world. This is a big mistake and comes with several disadvantages that you will certainly want to avoid.

Unexplored Demand

By not making an effort to make your business open to an international community you will have unexplored demand. What this means is that your company might be doing great in the local market. But, there could be potential to repeat that success internationally. However, if you don’t cater to an international audience, you’ll never find out. A big part of that is making sure your company materials are being translated into different languages. It doesn’t take a lot to make a local business international. But without a translation service for your company, you could be facing a massive block in the road.

 

 Missing Customers In Your Home Country

Of course, it’s not just an international market that you might be missing out on. If you’re not using translation services, you could be missing out on demand at home as well. These days the world is a melting pot. There are more than 37 million native speakers of Spanish in America. If that number shocks you, we’re glad. It shows that if your business in America isn’t prepared for Spanish speakers, that is a massive potential demand missed. Don’t forget that demand could translate into huge additional profits for your business.

Losing Investor Interest

We are seeing more and more how important international investors have become for businesses. For instance, businesses in America are commonly funded by investors in countries like China and India. These investors could provide a lifeline for your business. But that will only happen if your company is accessible to them. If there’s a barrier in language, they may look elsewhere for business. One that is already prepared for international transactions.

Added Value

Making your business prepared for international trade makes it more valuable. One day, you might consider selling your company on. If you want it to fetch a good price, making sure it’s a player on the international market is a good step to take. Business buyers know that it’s no longer possible to make profits based on local demand.

Cheap To Run

If you use a translation service for your company, you can get rid of the language roadblock. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring full-time translators for your business. This is a service that you should think about outsourcing. A translator is often seen as a specialized business resource. This means that they can charge more than they perhaps should. Particularly, now that translation services are in such high demand on the foreign market. By outsourcing, you’ll be keeping your costs low while staying prepared for future foreign trade.

Thus, it’s in your best interest as a business owner to break those language barriers down. If you do, your company will be on a stronger position on the world market.

 

 

Translation Has Become A Vital Part Of Manufacturing

The importance of translation has been growing in the manufacturing industry. This has occurred due to the reasons that we’re going to discuss below. Technical translations, in particular, present a challenge. It’s crucial that instructions to different parts of the business or outside companies are followed to a tee.

 

Outsourcing

Lately, all businesses have become more reliant on the potential of outsourcing. The manufacturing industry is no exception. In fact, it’s usually the industry that’s leading the charge. Outsourcing is the process of using out of house resources to complete a job within a company. This is usually done to save money, time, and resources. Theoretically, an outsourcing company could be just down the road from the business. But usually, these transactions occur on an international level. The reason for this is that outsourcing businesses often stay profitable due to cheaper labor laws or tax incentives. These usually occur in other regions from the buying company. For instance, China is famous for its lenient labor laws. Many major businesses like Apple use outsourcing companies there.

If you are outsourcing to international companies, the language must be clear. You can not afford to lose anything in translation. Technical translations ensure the product or process is completed to the best possible quality.

 

International Trade

But it’s not just outsourcing that has shifted the focus on translation in manufacturing. Many manufacturers aren’t catering to local demand. They are reaching out to an international population.These days it’s cheaper to trade internationally. Businesses can run on a global level while keeping costs low. But again, translation services must be used. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to make business deals and form contracts with foreign buyers.

With the right translation service, business deals can be set up easily, usually online. A face to face meeting won’t always be necessary if all the information the buyer needs is readily available.

 

Getting Leads

To get these international business deals, companies have to be able to use leads. When a business is looking for leads in a country with a different native language, translation again plays an important part. The manufacturing website needs to be set, so businesses know what they’re buying. Again, technical translations are important because they can be tricky. If one small detail is missed, it can change the concept of what’s being offered and sold completely. Business leads are only going to be interested in buying if they know exactly what they are looking at.

 

International Workforce

Lastly, there’s the workforce. In the USA alone a massive section of the population does not speak English as a native language. However, these employees may still be the best workers for the job with the most skill. A manufacturing company will be able to hire them if they have the business materials they need. But the correct translations of these materials also need to be readily available.

This is why manufacturers have become one of the biggest users of translation services.

 

 

Essential Steps for Accurate Italian Translation

Businesses everywhere need to translate documents and materials into other languages. Several European languages are some of the most popular, and Italian is no exception. If you need to translate any article into Italian, you shouldn’t just dive straight in. There are some important considerations to take into account to make sure you get the job done. There’s more to an accurate Italian translation than using a machine translator or having someone go over the text. There are a number of steps you should take to ensure the accuracy of your translation to or from Italian. Follow these rules to get it right.

Understand the Local Culture

Before you start producing texts in another language, you should know the country. You’re not just translating into a different language but a different culture too. So you might produce a different source document for Italy than the one you use for the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Swiss Italian is strongly influenced by German and French, from which it copies several expressions (from “driving license” to “bus”, for example). It is one of the three official languages of Switzerland (350,000 speakers approximately).

Any business going into a new international market needs to understand the potential pitfalls. For example, could your brand name mean something rude in Italian? Might it be offensive to use a particular tone of voice that’s funny in English? These things are essential to understand. Remember Italian is spoken not only in Italy (65 million speakers) – there are recognized minorities in Slovenian and Croatia, too. Across the Atlantic, There are some other 20 million Italian speakers in large immigrant communities around the world, particularly in the US, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Accurate Italian translation services

Use a Professional Translation Service with tested and native Italian translators and Italian proofreaders

To get accurate translations for your materials, you should select the best translation service. Choosing the right Italian translation services means having to look at what they can deliver. The first thing you want to see is that they use native speakers to translate their documents. A translator should translate back into their native language. A professional translator has many benefits. They include having an eye for detail that a machine can’t possess. They can pick up on the smallest mistakes and produce accurate work that will impress any Italian.

Ensure Materials Are Edited

After the initial translation, your materials should go through further checks. This is known as proofreading by translation professionals. Starting with a professional translator is a good beginning. But you have to ensure their accuracy. A decent translation service will have a piece of text go through at least two stages. There should be another native Italian speaker to check your document. They can spot any mistakes or suggest more accurate translations. When you select services, make sure that they perform rigorous checks.

Go Beyond Individual Translations

What else should you look for in translation services? Another step they should be taking is to go beyond translating individual materials. When you select your service, you should see how they keep their translations high-quality across the board. One of the ways they might do this is to have a style guide. They might have their own or create one for your business to maintain your voice. They can also have glossaries to ensure proper use of technical or colloquial language. You can also take a further step by having an in-house native speaker to check any work. These vital things must be done to ensure your Italian translation is as accurate as possible. Choosing the best translation service is the most important factor.

The Top Benefits of Using a Professional Japanese Translation Service

Many people wonder why they need to use a professional translation service. After all, an online translation tool could do just as well, couldn’t it? Unfortunately, that line of thought couldn’t be more wrong. Tools such as Google Translate can help to give you a general understanding of a text. However, the quality isn’t good enough for your business. When translating from English to Japanese, it’s essential to have a professional Japanese translator. You may think that bypassing the process will save you money, but it will, in fact, cost you. The Japanese language is very remote to English language word order. Japanese also has a very different way to express themselves. A direct “Japanese English translation service” will make no sense to English speakers as the word order is all upside down If you’re not sure why you should use a professional Japanese translation service, have a look at one of our presentations on English Japanese machine translation challenges and the important reasons below.

Remove Barriers to the Japanese Market

If you want to break into a new market in Japan, there is no doubt that you need to produce materials in Japanese. However, why should you use “traditional translators”, when there are cheap online translation tools available? The primary reason to seek out a professional translator is accuracy. A person who has acquired a deep fluency in non-related languages such as Japanese and English has spent years learning not only the language but also expressions and cultural references. The right skills and qualifications cannot be beaten by a machine when it comes to translating from English to Japanese or for Japanese to English translation. Many translators also spend long periods of time in the country in question. Using a cheap translation service usually means you end up with material that makes no sense. Even worse than that, it could also be offensive and you will end up having to translate it again. By that time, you have already made it known to your audiences that you are prepared to cut corners in quality translation services. What does that say about your business?

Reduce Your Business Costs

You might think that avoiding the use of a professional translation service will save you money. However, it’s much more likely to do the opposite. If you use a poor service to begin with, you might end up having to pay again to fix it. Using a professional service ensures that you get it right the first time. It can be especially difficult to translate from or to Japanese. It’s not something you want to leave in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Speed Up Your Marketing Process

If you don’t choose the right service, your launch on the Japanese market could suffer delays. A less than professional service could take a long time to get your documents and materials back to you. When they do, they might not be as accurate as you had hoped. The worst part is that you might not realise that until it’s too late. By selecting the right Japanese translation service at the beginning, you can ensure you don’t have to waste time.

Ensure You Have a Respectable Business Image

If you use a service that doesn’t deliver top results, how will you know if your materials are accurate? You don’t read Japanese, so you have no idea of the validity of your documents. That’s why it’s essential to be careful about which service you choose to use. Sending out anything that’s inaccurate or even unintelligible could damage your reputation in Japan. Once your business image has taken a hit, it can be tough to come back from it.

Using a professional translation service is essential when you’re entering a new market. Don’t skip it if you want to save time, money, and your reputation.

5 Tips To Make Your Technical Translation Project Smooth & Seamless

More than ever, companies are expanding to new countries and territories. That often requires a completely new approach to the native language. It means translating complicated documents such as manuals or business plans. Translating your essential documents will open up a new world of opportunity. However, you must get this simple translation stage right. Each language has its unique subtleties, and a poor translation could misinterpret your entire business. We specialise in technical translation and we’ve picked up some tips over the years. Here’s how to make sure your project runs smoothly.

1. Find a specialist agency

Different technical translators have different skills. When it comes to complex or dense material, you need a translator with specialist experience. If you’re translating legal document, for example, you need a legal expert. The wording could quickly lose its meaning under an inexperienced translator. Speak carefully to your translation agency, and ensure they have experience in your field.

 

2. Define the target audience

You’ll get a much smoother translation when you discuss the target audience in advance. The linguistic nuances change dramatically according to the target audience. For example, some countries use a formal and informal system. If you’re translating a legal or financial document, you certainly don’t want the informal wording. The target audience also helps define the tone of the translation. Remember, this isn’t about simple word-for-word translation. A good project will also translate the entire tone and communication of the document.

 

3. Outline the overall purpose and direction

As we said, this isn’t about word-for-word translation. A good agency will look to understand the entire scope and purpose of the document. They’ll take a big-picture approach, and use the translation to encompass the whole document. You can help the process along by defining this from the outset. Give them a clear understanding of the end goal, and how this translation fits into your overall business model.

 

4. Communicate throughout the project

A good project always requires communication from day one. A translation is a crucial piece of work, and there should be lots of questions. A regular dialogue is essential between the two agencies. It’s a good idea to appoint one point-person to communicate with the translation agency. It’s easier to direct all communication through one person. There should also be regular contact to keep track of progress, and make sure questions are answered. A good translation agency will ask a lot of questions, so make sure you have all the answers!

 

5. Proofreading and quality control

Most technical translation agencies will have an in-house proofreading system. However, it’s always worth sending the translated document to an independent proofreader. That way you get a second opinion, and ensure the document is faultless. By doing this, you can ensure the translation conveys the same in both languages. You can check the tone, and make any changes as necessary.
Follow this advice and your technical translation project should run smoothly. If you’d like to know more about technical translation, get in touch with one of our experts.

How Medical Translation Services Are Changing the Healthcare Industry

The translation of medical documents can be needed in healthcare for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons for translating medical documents is having a foreign patient or client. It’s so important that medical documents are translated as accurately as possible, so that everybody involved is on the same page. If mistakes are made, you could put your patients in grave danger and yourself in a lot of trouble. You just can’t afford to make any guesses or mistakes when it comes to somebody’s health. Although you may have employees that speak second languages, asking them to translate medical documents will take up a lot of their time. This means they’ll either have to put it off or their day to day work will suffer. With medical translation services, you can get things done fast and accurately. Here’s more about how medical translation services are changing the healthcare industry:

Automate Certain Processes in Your Establishment

Automating processes in the workplace can make everything so much quicker. If only you could automate everything to make life easier! While you can’t automate everything, you can automate lengthy processes like translating medical documents. As the service is so quick and affordable, you won’t need to worry when you get a foreign client or patient through the door. Everybody will have ample time to do the things they trained to do!

Less Stress for Everybody Involved

Going to the doctors, hospital, or even the vets can be a stressful experience for people. When your health or the health of a loved one is on the line, you can feel all kinds of conflicting emotions as it is. That’s without misunderstanding what is actually going on! Put yourself in a patient’s shoes for a moment. Imagine going to the hospital and receiving a document in a language you can barely understand. You wouldn’t know what to think or do. By using medical translation services, you’ll put patients and clients at total ease. Communication will be improved and the experience will be a more positive one. You won’t need to worry about documents being translated in the right context. Medical translation professionals are experienced in healthcare.

Protect Patients and Safeguard Yourself from Lawsuits

When it comes to medical documents, the slightest mistake can mean big trouble. It could mean a dangerous situation with your patient for a start, let alone a dangerous situation for you. Using a medical translator means you’re not only protecting your patients, you’re safeguarding yourself. You’re also taking care of your reputation, which is one of the most important things in the healthcare industry. The smallest mistake could force you to close your establishment, let staff go, or offer large amounts of money as compensation.

Many establishments are now turning to medical translation services to minimise the risk of mistakes. Also helping to keep patients safe and avoid getting into trouble. Jobs are made that bit easier and experiences in the medical workplace are better for both employees and patients.

The benefits of translating a website into a different language

There are more than one billion live websites online. They are mostly monolingual, although translations are becoming increasingly important. There’s no denying the Web has become the ‘de facto’ tool to search for information (much to the relieve of trees) and, as all statistics point, for commerce, too. And there is no better way to make a website more enticing to a broader audience than making it multilingual.

Companies such as Microsoft and Adobe have versions of their sites in several languages. It helps them to gain the competitive edge. Especially when targeting new foreign markets. By the way, did you know which is the website with the most translations in the world? Surprisingly none of the above, nor Wikipedia.

But it is something you all wish to do. The economics of offering your website in different languages are unquestionable. But let’s try to be precise. The following six reasons explain the benefits of using a website translation service provider:

1. English isn’t the dominant language in the world

You might think that English is the most common language in the world. But, you may not know that English is only the third most common spoken language. The dominating language is Mandarin Chinese, followed by Spanish.

2. You will increase your company’s revenue

Large, medium and small companies and brands realise the benefits of selling to an international audience. In a digital age, there’s no ‘local economy’. If you only target an English-speaking audience (or a monolingual audience), you’re missing out on a lucrative opportunities.

There are plenty of people that want to use your products and services abroad. You just are not talking to them. Take mobile games as an example. Typical games directed to an online audience under 16 or 18 many times but who has a cellphone. Kids play online with other kids from China to Spain, from Tokyo to Buenos Aires. And they buy credits. Online, in their language.

3. A website translation service is better than Google Translate

To cut costs, some firms rely on nothing more than machine-based translation services. One typical example is Google Translate. You just need to read a few more articles in our blog to realize how terrible this decision can be.

The issue with using unchecked machine-based translators is that you always end up with the wrong translation. The last thing you want to do is to become a laughing stock, an Internet joke.

As a developer of machine translation technologies, I can only say to you: use it for fast translations where speed is more important than quality, like reviews or just to get the gist. Machine translation is not a publishing service.

4. You will increase consumer confidence in your brand

Following the above line of thought…What happens then when you take the time to translate a website? Your potential customers will have more trust in your brand. Why? Because they will feel you understand their needs. You have now reached to them. You are not saying ‘hey, I have this cool stuff, which by the way you can’t really use nor understand, ¿sabes amigo?‘.

5. Multilingual websites overcome cultural barriers

When a website is in a person’s native tongue, they will feel more comfortable browsing through it. I travel frequently to Japan and China and, believe me, I feel very comfortable when I ser something in a Latín script.

6. You’ll gain a significant competitive edge

Surely! How many restaurants in Shanghai or Dalian won me only because I could read the menu! Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant where everything was written in Chinese? I have. I settled down for ‘spaghetti’, in whatever shape it came.

There are many universal things in life that people use, regardless of their language. If you sell something they use, you should tell them about it. Having a multilingual website (and menu for your restaurant) will give you the competitive edge.

But there’s more…….

Website translation services are useful beyond the Web

The Internet offers many different ways of communicating and trading online. During the Web’s infancy, people would do those things solely on websites.

These days, with the rise of smartphones and tablets, we also use “apps” for the same purposes. After all, they offer a convenient way to talk and buy online without opening a browser!

Professional website translation services can get utilised for multilingual apps. This also includes rich HTML content served within those apps.

Translate content that makes sense to your audience

When you use a good website translation services, one thing is for sure: the translated content you receive will make total sense to your target audience!

Pangeanic provides a raft of website translation and localization services. We can translate your content to and from dozens of popular spoken languages.

And now the commercial line…. Contact us today to request a free translation quote.

Google Translate error: we thought Russia was Mordor

Google Translate errors have become a kind of popular culture joke (see our previous entry about the “clitoris festival” in a Spanish town). Some years ago, it proved unable to translate President Obama and it kept naming him “Bush”. This was due, at the time, to the larger amount of data linking the words “President” and “Bush”. Now, Google provides another interesting translation error.

Google Translate is one of the most widely used translation tools worldwide. We have to say  that Google has had the good taste to offer its product in mobile applications, and even applications for smartwatches in addition to the web version. It is extremely convenient to use and it has become a reference tool for translation professionals and users of translation services at least to discern or understand texts in foreign languages. And let’s be fair, Google Translate’s machine translations are often of good quality considering it is a very general software, an “non-customized machine translation engine” (read more about how machine translation works here). Because of its ubiquity and availability, it is a product that is hard to beat.

But voila, Google translate is an automatic tool, and is likely to produce errors. It relies on thousands of alingned, bilingual documents. So, some mistranslations can occur… but some are a little more odd than others. So, according to BBC reports, the tool recently found no better match for the country name “Russia” than “Mordor” (or Black Land in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s “The Lord of Rings” fictional universe, the region occupied and controlled by Sauron). To continue with the story, “Russians” became “occupiers”.

According to Google translate, Mordor is real and is none other than Russia.
Well, Russians may have bad press, but for Google to say this…

So how can these machine translation errors happen?

First of all, one needs to remember that these errors are not produced by any particular language. In reality, they are the result of a translation of the Ukrainian language into the Russian language. The search giant does not rely on simple dictionaries, but on huge databases, and many entries are web pages indexed by its own search engine. Therefore, Google Translate ultimately depends on data provided and created by us, the general public.

Google translates Russia as Mordor

The tool analyzes millions of documents and matches certain words, certain habits of language. Statistically, it finds equivalents between languages because after a certain number of occurrences in a given language, it infers that a certain word happens in a certain way. This approach works better in some languages than others, but combined with other techniques, it can provide fairly decent results.

To translate Russia as Mordor can then be explained like this:

  1. It appears that these terms have been widely used by Ukrainian soldiers after the invasion by Russia of the Eastern Ukrainian regions. The have created documents or texts that Google has been able to find.
  2. Google has aligned these texts, pun included.
  3. Statistically speaking, there was enough or even more data at one point equating the word “Russia” to “Mordor”, just as it happened with “occupiers” (the coverage by the Ukrainian and Russian media and TV was very one-sided in both cases).

To avoid the wrath of the Russia, Google has of course responded in a statement, specifying that its automated tool was not always perfect and that errors could occur.

The research giant then assured that it would continue to do its best to improve Google translation and in the future to avoid such errors.
The point remains that to rely on millions of documents instead of a simple dictionary to translate terms like “Russia” is a little bit unnecessary, but that it is another story.