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MultiLingual
Friday, October 31, 2014

MultiLingual is the leading source of information for the language industry and businesses with global communications needs. Published eight times a year plus an annual index/resource directory, it is read by more than 12,000 people in 67 countries. Information and current news are also provided by www.multilingual.com and the free electronic newsletter, MultiLingual News.

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Current Issue

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Oct/Nov, 2014

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Columns and Commentary


Perspectives: Social media strategies for international communities

Your community consists not only of everyone talking about your product in your official forums and official social media pages. Your community also exists on private forums that have no official association with your company. It lives as well on unofficial Facebook accounts and tweets from influential Twitter users. On top of that, it’s taking place on fan pages on social media platforms that you have likely never heard of, which are specific to non-English speaking populations....


Post Editing: Improving the world

We all want a better world. I’d say this is about the most universal philosophical truth about the human race you can come up with — we all want a better world (or maybe only 99% of us do) though we seem to have wildly differing ideas on what that means and the best way to get there....


Off the Map: Propaganda vs preference

So instead of engaging in direct negotiation with the appropriate parties, making concessions or going to war to change the real-world status, an alternative method is to use information to alter the public perception of the issue. This is often labeled as “propaganda,” but in today’s rich environment of information production and consumption, the term propaganda doesn’t fully encapsulate the dynamic at work. This is really a battle for the mindshare of the public, not only in the local country under the government’s jurisdiction but also in the global audience....


Core Focus


Transcreation, localization and content marketing

Transcreation goes beyond localization to actually re-creating the content for a specific market. In transcreation, the concepts, feelings and calls to action that are expressed in the source material are maintained in the target material, but the emphasis, design and the text are oriented specifically to the target culture. While there are some gray areas (for example, regulatory information), transcreation goes much deeper than localization typically does, and consequently, incurs significantly higher costs....


How to localize rich media for your global market

Localizing and managing distribution of rich media assets presents numerous challenges. Before starting a campaign, decide which assets will be translated. Then build them with localization in mind. Because they are comprised of so many interdependent components, it is essential that all the elements are developed to appeal to global markets and be easy to translate.

For example, video components such as the music and effects tracks should be kept separate from any voiceover. Also, place text separately in the native design program or an external XML file for animated screens. Eliminate layers and compile assets using a localization-friendly editor such as Final Cut Pro or After Effects whenever possible, to simplify the translation process and avoid rework....


Practical SEO tips for international websites

To improve your business, you need to drive quality traffic to your website and engage your prospects. This is a challenging task, especially when adding multiple languages to the mix. For this reason, the fields of search engine optimization (SEO) and localization are becoming increasingly intertwined.

In e-commerce, your ranking on Google (or any other local search engine) is key for a successful web store or service offered online. Most companies start a website in their local language and make an effort to make it visible on the respective local search engines. But what if they grow and start looking for opportunities abroad? They translate their content and hope their pages will somehow rank high in the new target language....


Industry Focus


Language revitalization in the Pacific Northwest

Linguists estimate that a language goes extinct every 14 days. Of the 7,106 living languages that have been identified, from 50% to 95% are predicted to disappear before the end of this century. National Geographic has designated the Canadian province of British Columbia as one of the most endangered “hotspots” on the planet because of the high concentration and diversity of its aboriginal languages, all of which are facing the threat of imminent extinction. In Vancouver, where the sea meets the mountains, Becky Campbell of the Squamish nation is fighting to save her language. The survival of her people may depend on it.

Campbell is an unlikely warrior. One of the first things you notice about her is that her cheeks dimple when she smiles — and she smiles a lot. With hair the color of a raven's feathers, the 44-year-old bubbles over with enthusiasm when she talks about her language....


New resources for endangered languages

Languages such as French, Italian, German and Spanish are undeniably the language industry powerhouses. However, languages with both large and small community bases, from Igbo to Ojibwa, are stepping up and finding a way to make their presence known. In the twenty-first century, this equates to being available on a digital platform, and tremendous work is currently being done by individuals, companies and educational institutions to bring greater linguistic diversity to the world of digital communication.

The reality is that people across the globe are relying increasingly on technology and are experiencing greater access to mobile phone networks and the internet. If people cannot navigate this technology in their own language there are two potential results: they will remain at a disadvantage since they will not be able to access this information as readily, and they will most likely move away from their native language to one that allows them to access this global network....


Fostering accessibility through web localization

Fifteen years after the publication of the first Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the lack of universal access to information on the internet remains a major stumbling block for inclusiveness and participation in today’s society. Although disabled users' interaction with the web has experienced major improvements, a strong commitment toward social inclusion is still required from all actors involved in the web development cycle, including localization professionals.

The World Report on Disability 2011, a joint effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, indicates that over a billion people in the world today experience disability, also known as functional diversity. People with special needs generally have poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the multiple obstacles they have to face in their everyday lives. Since the advent of the web, these difficulties have been softened. The internet and the growth of mobile devices have helped people with mobility impairments to shop online, children with dyslexia to read adapted e-books, or blind people to regularly check their emails or independently complete administrative tasks. For all those services to be accessible across languages and communities, however, a series of requirements must be met....


Takeaway


More language outsourcing on the horizon

Whenever I sit down to write an article or speech about the importance of language on websites or mobile apps, I have to turn off that part of my brain that incessantly whispers, “Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone? Most people prefer speaking, reading, and doing most things in their own language.” Nonetheless, executives responsible for their company’s global presence regularly ask us for data showing the return on investment of translation as they struggle to justify their localization budgets. Many language service and translation software suppliers hear the same demand, so they sprinkle their websites with statistics about consumer preferences for content in their own language....