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Back issues are available in digtal format and many are also available in print.The topics listed are just a sample of what you will find, each issue has much more than we can list here.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

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January/February 2014

Translation Quality Is a Client Oriented Guideline
The Real Concept

SALT Group is steadfast in its belief that quality is a mandatory factor in maximizing the value of a product in the market. Relying exclusively on internal quality review structures exposes your company to mistakes that will harm your brand image. If that happens, your efforts in building your business will have gone to waste.

Recent advances in technology mean we have the technical solutions and better machinery and tools to increase quantities produced and improve the quality and performance of products and services.


December 2013

Post Editing: Education of the living

My introduction to translation was through my semi-weird childhood education. I was homeschooled and we were taking Latin, which involved, among other things, transforming the story “Horatius Pontem Defendit,” a popular beginning Latin text, into English. So, line by line, I tediously researched the words of this dead language, deciphered the grammar and came up with my English translation. I imagined that any English translation of Latin should sound about as formal and archaic as the original. . .


December 2013

Translating Technical Documentation Without Losing Quality

Technical translation is a wide-ranging field, and most professional translators have had to deal with a technical document at some point in their careers, be it a set of instructions to install a piece of equipment, a long manual for a new procedure or a “simple” PowerPoint presentation scrutinizing some obscure aspect of a company.

While other types of translations aim to inform or convince the readers, technical translation is most often used to direct them through an activity. As such, clearness and simplicity outweigh style considerations or the gradual presentation of a concept. As the author states in his introduction: “If you mess up in your translation what technical writers have carefully worked out for the original document, you won’t make them happy.” . . .


December 2013

Off the Map: The promising future of games in Africa

The outlook for Africa is certainly optimistic, as some countries have already been aggressive in their diplomacy and desire to leverage the great, untapped resources of the continent. For example, China has established economic cooperation agreements with over 45 African countries and the China-African trade value has easily surpassed $100 billion a year, most of which is concentrated in resource development projects. However, despite the optimism for Africa, the region certainly has real challenges, such as some ongoing geopolitical conflict as well as being able to create policies that can generate sustained and equitable growth, as opposed to being concentrated in just a few countries, and/or just a small group of stakeholders in a country. . .


December 2013

Perspectives: Translation education: A three-legged table

Translation buyers and employers have clear expectations of new graduates in translation: to them, universities often fall short of meeting their expectations regarding the skills and preparation for being in the workplace. The main obstacles encountered when hiring graduates are their lack of preparation for dealing with specialized translation, terminology management and information technology and a narrow exposure to culture. And, additionally, an inability to organize themselves autonomously, to work independently or in teams, to solve problems, or to establish and effectively manage social relations on the job. . .


December 2013

Careers in localization

I am a big fan of education and school in general. Taking extra courses, even while we are working, helps us keep up-to-date on current trends in our field and supports better performance in our jobs. Educational programs can get us ready for advancement, or help us transition to another job altogether. When I coach people and see that they are planning to move to something new, I like to be sure that they know what kind of job they really want before they start to move in a particular direction. This is doubly important to know before someone invests in educational programs. A job may sound inviting, but until it is really understood what the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities will be like, we can risk going for something that didn’t appeal to us much in the first place. . .


December 2013

The influence of advanced degrees on career paths

Despite the shorter time-to-market and international simultaneous shipment business demand of burgeoning content, internationalization and localization considerations are often still an afterthought. Within the cross-functional and collaborative nature of agile-based projects, my colleagues and I from the localization team where I am now employed work hard to get an equal seat at the project planning table, acting as a liaison in realizing localization requirements and as an advocate for our international customers. Project management and communication skills are crucial to perform well in a fast-paced localization environment. We often have to prioritize and reprioritize on projects running in parallel as deadlines and schedules get shuffled around. . .


December 2013

Learning localization in context

Placeholders are a relatively simple problem; one of the most difficult hurdles for translators, who often work remotely, is the lack of context. They receive text strings that should be translated into another language, mostly without the proper information about the context, such as screen shots of a user interface. While translating once, I was really frustrated when I found only Sun in a spreadsheet of source language text. Did it mean a star in the solar system, the abbreviation for Sunday, the company Sun Microsystems or a person's surname? Nobody can confidently translate something like this without contextual information. I frequently wished I could have displayed the translated strings on the user interface immediately after finishing translation to check if they appeared correctly in context. . .


December 2013

Why traditional sales training doesn’t work

The problem isn’t that the training content is wrong or that your sales team is unmotivated. Most sales methodologies provide sound fundamentals in selling, and most people really want to succeed. Many sales executives are highly motivated and excited to implement new sales knowledge into their practice. During sales training, many people feel “pumped up” with excitement and imagine their future sales increasing with the help of their new skills. Unfortunately, too often, this excitement is short-lived, as reality sets in and they revert back to old ways.

This is all pretty normal. Have you ever been deeply moved by a sad movie or an inspirational story — so much so that you vowed, at that moment, to change your behavior in some way, only to find yourself forgetting about it days and sometimes even moments later? Look at traditional sales training the same way, as a variation of an inspirational story. . .


December 2013

Expanding localization services in education and training

Consider this scenario: a well-known software company was planning to roll out an online course on disability awareness to its customer service staff in 13 countries. The learners were technical support staff who worked online or on the phone with software end-users. The goal of the course was to ensure that the technical support staff understood the company’s policies with respect to disabilities; that staff could recognize that an end-user might have a disability; and, if the disability was interfering in some way with the support, the staff would know how to modify their interactions. In principle, the goal of the course was common among US companies. In practice, however, the course suffered from a range of challenges that made it practically useless to most of the target audience — non-American employees. The most regrettable aspect was that all of the challenges could have been avoidable if the client had been coached or trained on culturally appropriate instructional design. . .


December 2013

The impact of new technologies on e-learning courses

According to Education Sector Factbook 2012, e-learning is slated to grow at an average of 23% in the years 2012-2017. What new technologies will drive this growth? First, let’s look at a chart showing ownership of different electronic gadgets in recent years (Figure 1). The trend is clear: stationary desktop computers are being replaced by mobile devices such as cell phones, laptops, e-book readers and tablets. Providers of e-learning tools have been keeping pace and new versions of authoring software, such as Captivate, Articulate Storyline and Lectora allow courses to be delivered to a variety of mobile operating systems and devices in addition to PCs. . .


December 2013

Money-saving tips for the new localization coordinator

When you look for LSPs, have your top criteria in writing ready to reference. Probably, you will include price near the top of your list of priorities. For basic translation projects, you will pay a price per word. These prices should be similar across all LSPs, or within an acceptable range. For example, the price to translate an English word to a French word should be in the range of $0.19 to $0.22. More important than the price per new words is what “comes with” that new word. Find out if the price includes translation, or if it includes translation, editing and proofreading (TEP). You want it to include TEP, or your results may be of poor quality. Correcting the poor quality later will cost more money than including it in the first place. . .


December 2013

Training for the real world

It’s not just mediocre American fast food joints feeling the brunt either. On June 22, The Economist reported that a lack of skilled workers could “kill” the fashion industry in Italy. Not being able to buy a ham and biscuit is one thing. Take away my couture and we have a real problem on our hands. Yet in the article “Dropped stitches,” designer Ermanno Scervino says, “Within a generation the ‘Made in Italy’ label may be gone.” Fashion, one of the few industries in Italy to survive the economic downturn unscathed, is now in jeopardy for the same reason the Hardee’s in Cadiz, Kentucky shut down. . .


December 2013

Connecting the Eco-System around Translation Production

Translation is a complex business with workflows and stakeholders spread throughout the world. While translation production software has revolutionized the way most business translations are done on an expert level, other aspects that involve more “occasional” participants and more remote stakeholders have often been neglected. This article focuses on exactly these important yet sometimes forgotten or avoided aspects from the point of view of an LSP or an in-house language department.


December 2013

What Matters Most: Time, Cost or Quality?

Historically, the most frequent response to the time, cost or quality question has been a resounding “all of the above,” knowing that one would win out and the other two would be sacrificed to meet a deadline. Times are changing. Not all content is created equal.


December 2013

Some Facts About Poland

Poland, with its population of over 38.5 million, is an important member state of the European Union. Its position becomes more and more significant due to its tight economic bonds with Germany, as well as the high and still growing purchasing power of the population and a highly receptive market.


December 2013

Extreme Project Management — Success where others failed.

GLTaC received an urgent request to correct work done improperly by another translation agency. Over 15,000 sentences in over 40 languages that MUST comply with specific regulations. Complexity after complexity kept appearing throughout the project which resulted in over 400 source text changes while guidance from the customer changed frequently. The end result took the work from an error rate of approximately 60% down to under 0.5%.


Oct/Nov 2013

Post Editing: Out of Africa

It seems as if Africa has a special place in the hearts of localization professionals. It arises often in our discussions of the future. Though we may not have made the case to ourselves that localizing for all of Africa will be an immediate reality, we are sure that the market will expand for a number of reasons, including economic development and the increasing involvement of many African prosumers that in the end will meet the needs of the long tail of language. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

Macro/Micro: Listen up, translation, women are talking

With so many women meeting this category, one might think that in our industry, this is the age of the woman. It certainly is in general, with more women opening up companies on an international level than any point in recorded history. According to US-based Women’s Business Council, between 1997 and 2013 the number of women-owned businesses (WBEs) worldwide surged by over 100%. In the United States alone, there are 8.3 million WBEs. We account for 16% of all American jobs and employ 40% more people than Walmart, McDonald’s and IBM combined. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

Africa, the final economic frontier

These forecasts for growth and increased capital do not come without challenges. The income disparity and political instability within some African states still do pose a risk. These issues do have to be kept in mind, but it also must be calculated that there is a lot of international and regional support to help with these challenges. The most prominent restrictive factor to this growth, however, is Africa’s linguistic diversity. Africa is a continent compiled of over 2,000 local and regional languages. Most of the information that enters African states is transmitted in the more commonly known colonial languages such as English and French. In major cities, this tactic can work with ease. But anywhere outside of these international hubs, almost all communication is done through the original regional languages. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

Localization for the long tail in Africa

Clearly if we are looking at pro bono and prosumer efforts, which is often what is needed for the long tail, we must be concerned with the total of institutional, developing and vigorous languages. Scholars interested in cultural diversity will on the other hand be looking mainly at dying and threatened languages, as there might be a short window for documenting most of them. This is basically per definition, as the dying languages only have speakers who are no longer able to biologically procreate, so that their languages will be dying out with the individuals . . .


Oct/Nov 2013

TWB Kenya addresses translation needs

The translators at TWB Kenya are involved with various projects, and the translators in the center cover around a dozen language combinations, including minority tribal languages such as Dorobo, Njems and Gusii. In Kenya, TWB translator Matthias Kavuttih Kathuke says, “English is very formal, used by the elite, and the majority of the people are not in that class, in the upper class.” Many Kenyans, particularly in the lower class, use Swahili. To reach everyone in Kenya, 42 local languages are required. However, nearly all health information available in Kenya is in English, as well as many important legal documents. “Even the Kenyan constitution is not available in Swahili today,” notes Paul Warambo, TWB Kenya’s center manager. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

In-house translation teams — still worth the investment?

Fast forward to 2013, and it becomes obvious how much technological advancements have transformed the industry. It’s still growing year over year even during times of economic uncertainty in the traditional markets. However, benefiting from that growth are less the in-house translation teams and more those who support an outsourced translation approach such as freelancers and language service providers (LSPs). Granted, LSPs offer a strong value proposition: they are specialists in localization, project management and translation technologies; their services are often available 24/7 with as many or as few freelancers on call as necessary, businesses only pay for the services they use (as opposed to an in-house team that is a fixed cost); and increasingly LSPs specialize in a field — a single language, market, technology or industry — that makes them true subject matter experts. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

Managing localization while ensuring your global image

Relying on an across-the-board translation approach can risk damaging an enterprise’s global brand. Simple translation doesn’t take into account the distinctions that exist between countries that share a language. For example, although Portuguese, Spanish and English are spoken on multiple continents, a mere translation doesn’t address the cultural differences that distinguish the Brazilian from the Portuguese market; El Salvadoran Spanish from Mexican Spanish; or US English from Canadian or British English. Even within countries, regional dialects and cultures can lead to even further differences.

Localization is so fraught with risk that an entire category of urban legends has sprung up around the unfortunate translation errors allegedly committed by companies that didn’t do their homework. Here are two examples that aren’t folklore. They are genuine mistakes made by companies that thought translation equals localization. . .


Oct/Nov 2013

Exploring TMS pricing structures

Viewed from another angle, translation is needed everywhere, every day and probably gets dealt with on an ad hoc basis using whatever resources are close at hand. In this decentralized context, disparate business units, functions and regions call up their own language resources to conduct their day-to-day activities. As the needs of global markets, supply chains and operations affect more functional groups within the enterprise, enterprises will grant access to centralized translation tools and processes to ever wider swaths of employees. From drivers to shop floor assembly workers, today’s workers are all knowledge workers, and knowledge workers need language tools. . .



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