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Marcia Rose Sweezey & Stefan Visuri
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. . .
Columns and Commentary
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
Evelyn Teo, Elias Ferguson, Lian Zhu & Allie Browne
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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.” . . .
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. . .