When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859, he forever changed the view that the natural world was an ordered system that had existed as-is for countless years and would remain immutable until the end of time. “Survival of the fittest” became a basic axiom, not only in biology, but also in other spheres of human endeavor.
The business world in particular has embraced this principle, and its imperatives currently rule the vast majority of commercial ventures, from multinational corporations down to the small shops on Main Street....
Other sections on accessibility and localization, fan translation (“ROM hacking”) and crowdsourcing, as well as the use of machine translation in online games provide valuable insights. To me, however, the most interesting chapter was “Pedagogical issues in training game localizers.” The authors criticize the fact that despite the large demand for game localization and the existence of numerous translator training programs at universities worldwide, this subject has been largely ignored (though they do include an appendix on “Postgraduate courses in game localization in Spain”). Rather than simply decrying this state of affairs, they offer a detailed discussion of what such programs should consist of, including specific course descriptions . . .
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.” . . .
The comic strip, which you can also peruse by going to the author’s blog at mox.ingenierotraductor.com, is interspersed with essays written by translation bloggers Sarah M. Dillon, Alex Eames, Céline Graciet, Judy Jenner, Laurent Laget, Benny Lewis, Corinne McKay, Pablo Muñoz, Rose Newell, Jill Sommer, Ramón Somoza, Steve Vitek and Kevin Lossner. Lossner praises Moreno-Ramos’ take on the life of a freelance translator in his introduction, noting that “I find myself working as a translator among peers whose real world and imagined tribulations are not unlike the comic characters of my college days,” who “succinctly described the absurdity of existence and helped me to laugh at it.” . . .
As the reader, I found myself caught up in the tale, wondering what was going to happen next and how the story was going to end. I took a moment to reflect that this was not a suspense story, but a real life situation of an interpreter doing her job to help people struggling in life and death situations. Starting off the book with such a powerful example, the authors paint a perfect picture of how language plays an integral role in real life situations. It illustrates clearly how important interpreters and translators are. . .
Nancy A. Locke
As old-fashioned as it seems by turns, however, overall Gauthier’s book succeeds as an authentic, “tried and true” account that functions as much as a welcome, if at times avuncular, pep talk as a reference. Decades working as a professional translator in both the public and private sectors and, finally, as a freelancer, have given Gauthier a clear understanding of translators and translation. . .
So a fitting addition to my ongoing consideration of all things prescriptivism-related, as well as a contribution to the growing body of work on World Englishes (see Mark Abley’s The Prodigal Tongue, reviewed in the December 2009 issue of MultiLingual, for example), is another recent book attempting to shed new light on English standardization, globalization, electronic transmutation and perceived deterioration: Arthur Rowse’s Amglish in, Like, Ten Easy Lessons: A Celebration of the New World Lingo. While its main goal is to “[describe] how informal American English . . . has begun to dominate the globe,” as the back cover says. . .
Book on hyperpolyglots challenges perceptions of language proficiency
I’ll come clean. When I was asked as a child in primary school, “What would you do if time and money were no obstacle?” the answer I wrote was, “Travel the world and learn as many languages as possible.” Whether you grew up in a multilingual family or were raised in a largely monolingual environment like I was, those of us who have worked in the language industry have an undeniable love of and penchant for languagesBook on hyperpolyglots challenges perceptions of language proficiency
I’ll come clean. When I was asked as a child in primary school, “What would you do if time and money were no obstacle?” the answer I wrote was, “Travel the world and learn as many languages as possible.” Whether you grew up in a multilingual family or were raised in a largely monolingual environment like I was, those of us who have worked in the language industry have an undeniable love of and penchant for languages. . .
Nancy A. Locke
Both fans of science fiction and translation buffs may quickly twig to the “fish” reference in the title of David Bellos’ recent book on translation, which has made it to the lists of both The New York Times Notable Books for 2011 and The Economist’s 2011 Books of the Year. The uninitiated may have to read through to Chapter 24 to understand the title. But not to worry — any reader who enjoys language, linguistics, history, politics or philosophy written in accessible language, illustrated ...
In Capti (The Prisoners), Stephani Berard has written a novel that deserves more of an audience than it will conceivably find. There may be a few relevant reasons for this paucity of readership, but the obvious one is the author’s choice to write his tale of intrigue, farce and metaphysics in Latin — the first novel to be originally published in this language in over 250 years. There are a few tempting presumptions ...
Nancy A. Locke
The Interpreter’s Journal: Stories from a Thai and Lao Interpreter by Benjawan Poomsan Becker might be more aptly entitled An Interpreter’s Journal because it describes the unique experience of one interpreter, from her relatively humble beginnings in Isaan (Thailand) and study abroad experience in Japan, to her trials, personal and professional, in her adopted homeland (the United States), ...
Back in the day when I used to work in a quality assurance department in the United Kingdom, The Game Localization Handbook by Heather Maxwell Chandler was stealthily circulating as the ultimate reference book, being passed under our desks piled with debugging equipment, localized ...
Barbara Inge Karsch
The German version of this terminology research report has been on the market for a year. Its structure allows terminologists, translators, content publishers, and managers as well — in short, anyone involved in communication — to learn more about the field.
In early 2010, tekom published ...
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
Those of us who work in the language services industry, and especially in Spanish <> English translation and interpretation, realize the need for what we do and the demand for it in a rapidly growing US Latino population. Joe Kutchera, author of the 2010 book Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content, focuses on ways businesses...
Ultan Ó Broin
John Yunker’s The Savvy Client’s Guide to Translation Agencies, now in its fourth edition, is a fine book. Well written and in a straight-to-the point, jargon-free style, it is a very useful orientation and reference for individuals and small or medium-sized client operations new to the often stressful task of ...
Many people love etymology, even if they might not be familiar with the term. Venues exploring the fascinating meanings and background of words — books, articles, newspaper columns, electronic newsletters (see, for example, “The Word Guy” with Rob Kyff), and websites (such as Richard Lederer’s Verbivore) — have abounded at least since Samuel Johnson ...
Ultan Ó Broin
A statement in The New York Times Arts section of 21 April 2010 that "the future of the French language is now in Africa" reminded me of the complications of language policy on the world's second largest continent ...
Ultan Ó Broin
It's all the fault of "insecure marketing professionals anxious to display supposed cosmopolitan credentials." So says the Irish Times report of 17 February 2010 on the German rejection of "senseless Anglicisms." ...
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, also called the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (LRH), has been a staple of introductory linguistics courses for decades, probably ever since the early twentieth century, when Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf ...
Mark Abley must have a lot of frequent flyer miles accumulated. In gathering material for this book alone, he traveled from Singapore and Japan to India and England, interviewing natives and collecting language data along the way ...
Ultan Ó Broin
Having reviewed several "culture" books for MultiLingual, I now wearily shortcut such assignments by establishing early on how much new information is brought to the debate by immediately looking up the index to determine the extent of references ...
This stimulating collection of 10 essays brings together a group of 11 scholars working in the field of translation studies at various institutions of higher learning, four in China, three in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao ...
Ultan Ó Broin
Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, is a fine time for me to review CJKV Information Processing, 2nd edition, by Ken Lunde. Having seen Ken a few years ago at an Internationalization Roundtable in Tahoe, California, and being familiar ...
Ultan Ó Broin
"My grandfather spoke only French, and until I was 14, I thought he had a speech impediment," a vice president (VP) and native of the southern United States once announced to a product internationalization team assembled from Europe, Asia and the Middle East ...
Even nonlinguists may have heard of Derek Bickerton from a profile in the April 1992 issue of Discover highlighting his career and the controversies surrounding his ideas about language. In the world of linguistics, however, Bickerton is extremely well known ...