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Columns and Commentary
We waited for the computer to inform us that one of us, usually me, had died of snakebite or cholera. It was like the world’s most boring historical fiction program, personalized with our names. Since we did not have television, however, my sibling’s entertainment expectations were fantastically low
A clear trend over the past decade or so has been the introduction of spatial information into our digital lives. While I could be referring to conveniences like Google Maps, which is a good example, I’m really addressing the prevalence of not just maps but location-based information and how it’s become increasingly more mainstream. This has occurred through an infusion of consumer devices that have made knowing one’s location convenient, critical and often fun. The first wave of location-based media came through handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices. . .
Indeed, with all the anti-corporation rhetoric circulated by the Occupy movement and elsewhere, it’s really easy to forget that businesses are run by people. In Every Language may not be a person, but I am. My assistant Abigail is one and our bookkeeper Peggy is also a person. In fact, every employee we have working here is, well, a person. No Data from Star Trek or robots of any other type. We’re people. But this is a fact that’s easily forgettable in today’s social climate. . .
Christopher S. Carter
It's a beautiful summer day and you're in your Volkswagen with the windows down, driving around the suburbs of Stockholm. But you're exceeding the speed limit. That's a shame — the Swedish National Society for Road Safety in Stockholm has already started their Speed Camera Lottery program, and you just made someone else's day.
The Swedish road safety program was started in early 2011 as an attempt to make more drivers obey speed limits. Cameras take pictures of drivers while measuring their speed, and if your car is over the limit, you will have to pay a fine. However, in this unique program, even drivers going below the speed limit are photographed. . .
The proliferation of games and e-learning over the past few years has had a dramatic effect on localization companies. From traditionally translating training information in documentation form, usually in enormous quantities, the rise of multimedia trainings has meant that localization companies, including our own, have had to adapt to a new way of thinking and of working. Nowhere has this been seen more than the rise of audio-related projects. . .
In one of the games I worked on, there's a section where the main character examines a ladder several times. In Japanese, he makes a number of jokes that play on the word hashigo, which means both ladder and bar-hopping in Japanese. Specifically, he makes a series of jokes about going out drinking with someone who gets progressively more and more sloshed. . .
Corporations and other organizations around the world are recognizing that games promote cognitive reasoning and information retention. These days, games are much more advanced, immersive and engaging. There are e-learning games that teach everything from sales techniques to medical procedures. Even world governments use games to instruct. A few years ago, China funded the creation of Glorious Mission, a game used to train military personnel. . .
The downsides of keeping company or product names in English include the risk of not being understood by the few in-market consumers who do not read English letters. There are also issues of bidirectional text in mixed language string display. For example, a localized application into a right-to-left language, such as Hebrew, Arabic or Urdu, will have within the same string both right-to-left localized text and the left-to-right text of names left in English. This will cause word inversion bugs during testing once the localized application is compiled. . .
While the software was still in its beta phase and again since its release, I tested its track changes features, terminology extraction, file-based pre-translation, file imports and more. Although most of these features are useful for project managers and translators alike . . .
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. . .
I have many fond memories of those good old days when clients were loyal to their localization suppliers. We didn’t have to do much to keep business coming in. Competent resources were scarce, which meant clients were happy just to hear you say you could handle their list of languages.
Larger suppliers got all the business from cash cows like Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. After all, large clients could only do business with large localization houses. Clients paid invoices promptly without reading them. What a time! Then came the world economic downturn. Suddenly, corporations began evaluating everything, including their localization efforts. . .
Over the last ten years, terminology management in simultaneous interpretation was a topic I had the occasion to discuss with over 200 colleagues. In seminars, we often did hands-on testing of interpreter-specific terminology management programs like Interplex or LookUp as well as programs of general purpose like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. All in all, I got a broad picture of their tendencies and preferences. Every so often, the use of terminology databases and translation memory (TM) systems in the booth has come up, which is why I finally decided to take a closer look at this question. . .