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September, 2012

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

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 and the free electronic newsletter, MultiLingual News.

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Back Issue

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September, 2012


Columns and Commentary

Post Editing: Medical Learning

Because I grew up homeschooled by a doctor, drawing out math problems with pens emblazoned with drug logos on the backside of EKG reports, I feel at ease with medical jargon. Rumor has it that “zygomatic arch” was one of the first noun phrases I uttered. . .

Off the Map: Hand gestures

Throughout history, human society has found all sorts of ways to communicate with one another. Probably the most obvious form that comes to mind is the one with which this magazine is chiefly concerned, the written and spoken varieties of human language. Yet as most of us are aware, ideas, stories, thoughts and feelings can all be conveyed in nonlinguistic ways. Perhaps because of its physical versatility and natural role as an additional outlet of human expression, the hand has accumulated a diverse vocabulary of its own. . .

World Savvy: The challenge of outsourcing across cultures

To date, the call centers accepting orders have been in the United States, but in lower cost areas. McDonald’s noted that “sending orders directly to a call center and back to the grill could also allow McDonald’s employees to focus on delivering better customer service,” according to the CBS News article “Outsourcing Drive Thru?”

But by simply focusing on the cost, many companies learned that there are hidden economic if not social costs to outsourcing. . .

Macro/Micro: Better business through transparency

To say which is right and which is wrong isn’t the point of this article. I write about the trends I see that shape and shift our society and then I try to predict how those trends will affect our industry and clients. But the trend I’m noticing is that in this day of disbelief, it’s probably not healthy to hide anything. I’m not saying every language service provider (LSP) or industry organization should make itself an open book. . .

Industry Focus

Training health translators from scratch

April 2, 2012, wasn’t just another hot day in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the day Translators without Borders (TWB) started the pilot test site of its Health Translators’ Training Program, to train a team of Kenyans how to translate health information into Swahili. You may wonder “Isn’t TWB the web-based platform that facilitates the work professional translators volunteer to do for humanitarian organizations? So why training?”. . .

Perception versus reality in medical translation

Since we are a language service provider (LSP), we obviously approach our interaction with medical device companies based on our perception of what they need. Every LSP should be trying to offer a service that really satisfies the needs of its clients. Unfortunately, the reality is, what we as service providers consider important for these companies is not always critical, while we sometimes miss identifying needs that are truly crucial. . .

Statistics as a medical translation specialization

Since the late 1990s, the trend dictates that any medical procedure, either for preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic or rehabilitating purposes, should be defined based on its level of scientific evidence — so called evidence-based medicine. In the medical arena, statistics plays a predominant role as a subfield of medical specialization, in particular in the branches of epidemiology and clinical trials. . .

Language requirements for EU medical device labels

As things stand, a number of deficiencies exist in the EU medical device regulation, which the European Commission is currently trying to address. The current system is seen as too fragmented and difficult to follow, not reflecting the advances brought by new medical devices and technologies. Last but not least, it is hampered by the national variations as well as incoherent interpretation and implementation in individual countries. . .

Anticipating the EU medical device e-labeling opportunity

In less than a year, in March 2013, the European Union (EU) e-labeling regulation will come into full force. Whether companies love it or hate it, the regulation represents an important path toward modernizing labeling. The regulation also opens the potential for improved safety and increased efficiency.

However, this potential is not without challenges and opportunities for helping clients move toward incorporating the regulation. . .


Enterprise Innovators: Industrializing the translation process

Liegard: Accenture manages the externalization of IT activities for its customers. We realized a couple of years ago that translation is starting to take on more importance in this domain. More and more IT projects require language skills, and English is not necessarily a lingua franca in these types of projects where development teams located in India or the Philippines, for example, must understand IT project documentation from customers who speak Spanish, German, French or Portuguese. In 2009 we defined where we wanted to go with translation activity for projects. . .


Alchemy CATALYST 10


CATALYST 10’s second major project preparation improvement is the new Terminology Harvest Expert, which generates terminology databases in the open standard TBX or CSV format by analyzing CATALYST projects using a combination of statistical methods, content examination and optional manual override thus identifying term candidates. “Minor” innovations are the new Project Division Expert, which streamlines and foolproofs distributed localization effort and a new connector to the GlobalLink Term Manager. . .


Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World

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. . .


Is our industry still cold to user experience?

Take the issue of translation cost savings. Often, this means dumbed-down content too devoid of any context or detail to be of any use in problem solving or task completion. Such content generally facilitates large scale “leveraging,” but it is in direct conflict with a basic of good design, that context always wins over consistency.

Or consider the controlled authoring debate as a sine qua non to facilitate the introduction of machine translation (MT). This can result in source material that is so dismal in terms of content, style and grammar that it generates support calls and does nothing for disaffected users. . .