Why you Shouldn’t Expect your Smartphone to be a Serious Translation Tool

In this age of universally available and technologically sophisticated communication, it may be tempting to fall for the hype that some translation app promoters appear to promise. Just imagine, you may think, how you could cut down on translation costs by doing everything yourself. Just arm yourself with one or another translation app which has come on to the market and you can dispense with that expensive professional translation service you were first considering.

Unfortunately, no translation app can yet match the quality of a professional human translation service if the sort of text you want to be translated is crucial to your business.

The reality is that translation apps generally translate a text word for word and are incapable of considering the context of a phrase or paragraph. There are some apps that have been designed and promoted by people who have never bothered to learn any other language except their own and have absolutely no idea of the intricacies of translation.

The worst thing that can happen if these sorts of translation apps are used too widely is that words are translated too literally and become meaningless or even cause offense in the target language.

Admittedly, there are occasions for which a professional translation service in Sydney or other Australian cities is not necessary. Translation apps are quite useful for the sort of communication you are likely to use while on holiday, especially if you are traveling somewhere on a one-off basis and there is no benefit in the long term in learning the local language. A lot of these new smartphone apps will allow you to communicate on a rudimentary basis and get by even if from time to time you may be confronted with incomprehension when the app spits out phrases that have been mistranslated.

If you are traveling on business, then relying on a translation app is trickier as the fate of your business trip may be dependent on effective communication. It is best to take with you copies of any important documents that you need translated by a professional translation service and make use of a local interpreter if you have a lot of verbal communication to do.

So do translation apps have any value at all and are they getting better?

The answer is yes to both questions: take Google Translate, for instance. You would be very unwise to use it, despite it being a free service, to translate your important legal documents, but for casual travel, it at least tries to use contextual translation rather than rely totally on word-for-word translation. Some of the new apps do have large vocabularies and have the advantage of being able to be used away from an internet signal, which can cut down on phone and roaming charges, so the conclusion is that smartphone apps have, at least at present, limited use whenever the translation needed is not critical or too important.

Balancing Campaigns in your Global and Local Markets

Global marketing of a product does not mean that the product is just marketed to the global market – the local market must be considered and maintained at the same time.

It is just as important to understand the needs of your local market as the global one and develop a suitable approach to the marketing of your product. You understand far more easily how your local market behaves than a market in an overseas country. Your local market is ready and waiting for you to approach them with a new product line. You can promote it easily in the language that you both understand.  You know what medium of advertising works to attract your local customers whether it is a television campaign, a shopping mall marketing event or a street event where prizes are given away as a promotional stunt.

Going global and reaching out to customers far and wide is a complex undertaking. You have to learn what sector of the global market you are targeting. It might differ from the characteristics of you local market. You will have to get a team of NAATI translators on the job translating you product into suitable languages with appropriate style and tone to suit your global customers.

For global marketing to work you have to have a  global team out on the job learning about your potential market so that the certified translation services you choose to do your translation work know what calibre of language to use in translations.

Most important is being actively involved in any marketing approach so that you are aware of any problems that may arise including the monitoring of any immigration translation services you use to help you get across your marketing messages to your potential customers.

When a marketing campaign has been completed, whether to your local or overseas customers, it is important to call a meeting to appraise the campaign so that any mistakes can be corrected before any future campaigns are initiated.

What’s Going On in July 2015 for Global Translators?

The world is in constant change and the translation industry is no exception. Translators, whether they are accredited NAATI translators, or any other translators who provide essential translation services in Australia need to keep abreast of developments in the sector. Every month there is something going on somewhere in the world which provides an opportunity for translators operating in the challenging second decade of the twenty first century to learn something new or just make contact with fellow translators.

July 2015 is the month in which a key translation conference is being staged in Brazil, called IATIS 2015. The conference is open to all translators, wherever they are based in the world, who are prepared to make their way to the conference venue. The conference’s theme is “Innovation Paths in Translation and Intercultural Studies”. The conference’s theme recognises the new and evolving challenges in what is an increasingly globalised world to intercultural studies and translation.

The conference organisers recognise the fact that society world-wide seeks out new technologies so that a whole diverse set of information and meaning can be exchanged, created and spread around effectively. The conference seeks to discuss and discover the innovative insights and solutions which provide answers to the challenge of this ever present search.

The term “innovation” used in the conference theme is used in its broadest sense. It doesn’t just include all those technological developments which have affected communication so much over the last few decades, but includes cultural and social practices and interactions as well, particularly those that affect translation and intercultural discourse.

The conference will be a broad based one and will include a huge number of different topics which conference participants can choose from. Some of these are listed below, although the full list is much longer.
Conference topics for IATIS 2015, July 2015

• Interaction of translators and interpreters with and through technology
• Innovative approaches to multilingualism, translation and intercultural studies
• Innovation in approaches to the use of style in translation
• Innovation in media accessibility and audiovisual translation
• The use of IT in translation
• Recent perspectives on the relationship between translation and literature

Tokyo is Ready For the Translation Challenge at Olympics 2020

Every Olympics event has to deal with a multitude of languages, but Japan is already prepared well in advance for its own contribution to the world’s greatest sporting event in 2020. In 2014, NTT DoCoMo, the main Japanese mobile phone provider, has created a translation app called “proproJspeak”, which has the capacity to translate into English spoken Japanese. The app doesn’t just handle those two languages but can also interpret French, Chinese, Thai and German, too.

An app which has been called ‘VoiceTra4U’ has the ability to translate Japanese into languages like Sinhala, Urdu and Dzongkha. The Tokyo based National Institute of Information and Communications Technology was the founder of the app. Translation machines are not well known for their accuracy as their grammar is of doubtful quality, but translating conversations at a simple level can be quite useful. Basically, for simple everyday conversation you don’t need a quality service like a NAATI translation service.

The Japanese government knows full well the limitations of machine translations, so they are also currently training human translators which will add that personal touch. The interpreters will help visitors as well as foreign athletes. A multilingual call centre is to be made available at no charge for cab drivers, hotels and restaurants to use. Public transportation such as buses will be equipped with displays which will be multilingual and street signs are to display their names in English as well as Japanese.

Many people are put off travelling to countries like Japan because of the difficulties with understanding the Japanese language. Tokyo Governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, is set to change that image and not just by making the Olympics more accessible in terms of language but he has the aim of increasing the number of travellers to Japan from the 2014 level of 13 million to 20 million when 2020 is reached.

This is great news for international travellers who have not yet mastered the Japanese language or, more likely, never will master the language, as they will have at their fingertips so many sources for meeting their translation needs that whether they are travelling for business or leisure there will be no obstacles to communication.

Swedish is One of the Official Languages in Finland

In Finland, most people speak Finnish and English but there is another language called “Finland Swedish” that is also spoken. While the majority of Finnish citizens speak Finnish as a first language, a significant minority also speak a dialect of Swedish, either as a first or second language. Most Finnish people, like many Scandinavians, have a good understanding of English and find it easy to travel in English language countries like Australia. However, the picture changes when any official documentation is required. Generally, any Finnish person seeking to apply for jobs in Australia or for a visa will be required to produce a number of documents, which will probably be in Finnish or Swedish.

If you are thinking of coming to work in Australia and your native language is Finland Swedish you will need the skills of a NAATI translation service. NAATI translators provide translation services that ensure the translation matches the necessary requirements to gain permission to work in the country. Generally, finding a Finnish English translator is not particularly easy, but any Finnish person who has documents in Swedish will probably find that they will find adequate document translation services, either in their own country or in Australia itself.

Studying the geography and history of the two countries it doesn’t take much of an imagination to believe that the Swedish language would be quite widespread in Finland. At one point in time, Finland was even incorporated into the territorial boundaries of Sweden. Finland’s proximity to Russia meant that the country was always under pressure in relation to language preference but in the end adopted Swedish, which was given official status in the then independent Finland.

When it comes to a professional translation, Finland Swedish is not identical to the Swedish that is found in Sweden, so if any certified translation services are required, the translator needs to be able to understand the nuances between Finland Swedish and the Swedish spoken in Sweden. Grammatically, not many differences will be found between the two languages, but the vocabulary differs somewhat due to the evolution of the language Finns that speak Swedish are small in number in Finland but there are sufficient speakers to mean that under Finnish law it shares the same status as Finnish.

Was Japanese PM’s “Apology” for WW2 Atrocities Lost in Translation?

This year is the 70th anniversary of the finish of the Asia Pacific war and Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, does not support his country’s preoccupation with their role in the war. When he attends an official visit to Washington he is going to have to watch his words as he has to keep his internal political support for his own country’s attitudes as well as appease the Americans. He also has to watch what other countries think too, such as South Korea, which is not only strongly allied to the US, but has its own grievances about what happened during the Japanese occupation of Korea during the Second World War. By using language skilfully, it will be a matter of interpretation which will affect those showing an interest.

It is expected that despite his leanings, Abe is going to show that he is remorseful when talking about events of the past and this will probably mean using the word “remorse”. In Japanese this is translated into the word “hansei”. This is where the words can get lost in translation and entirely different meanings can develop. In Chinese, when the Japanese word “hansei” is translated, the word f?nshè is used and in Korean “banseong”. When the word “hansei” is used for remorse it is not a strong word at all and is more related to reconsidering past actions rather than being apologetic and regretful. By using this word in the eyes of the Chinese and Koreans he may accidentally appear to be downgrading the catastrophic long term effects of the Japanese occupation.

As patriotic as Abe purports to be, restoring Japanese honour is far more important than being apologetic for Japan’s past actions. He will have to use the word “owabi”, which means “apology” along with ‘hansei” to have the effect of being remorseful of Japan’s past actions. The use of these two words together will please the Chinese and Koreans but will not have the desired effect on the Japanese people. Good relations with America are important, but not showing weakness is important to the Japanese’s concept of honour. It’s a tight balancing act.

There have been many translations in the past that have often triggered unintended reactions because of the words used have been interpreted differently when translated into different languages. There are many words that don’t have words in other languages that have precisely the same meaning. A good translation is more than just exchanging words as it is as important to understand their context when translated into other languages. This is why it is so important to use the right translation services in Australia. A NAATI translator should always be chosen when the documents or other materials to be translated are as sensitive as Shinzo Abe’s speech.

How a NAATI Translator can Help Your Business Grow Overseas

Business OverSeas

If you run a business which makes or sells a product or provides a distribution network for products that either originate overseas or are to be sold overseas, you will need to use a translator at some time or other. A NAATI translation is one that has been approved to undertake accurate translations that any business you are dealing with overseas will accept. Whether you are intending on translating your website into many languages or trying to boost your sales a NAATI translator can do all the accurate translation you want. In fact, NAATI translators cover all the languages and will do translations for a variety of purposes.

Many businesses don’t realize that they are not reaching all their potential clients because their product descriptions, marketing tactics and websites are all in English. Even though English is a commonly used language in business there are still many people who have ready cash to spend and are looking for suitable products to buy but they don’t speak English so use only businesses in their own language when it comes to purchasing. Some businesses or even eager consumers will try to translate product information using online translation tools. These are not always accurate so can be misleading but NAATI translators go the extra mile and ensure the meaning is conveyed accurately and clearly to the potential buyer. In the end your business will grow if you use a NAATI translation.

It might be a surprise to know that only 40% of those who use the Internet globally do actually search for products in English and approximately 25% of Internet users know any English at all but they are still out there searching for well priced products worldwide.

In some countries such as Britain it has been estimated that sixteen billion pounds are lost in business revenue yearly by companies because they fail to market their products in other languages. No doubt there are similar statistics for other primarily English speaking countries such as the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This is why employing the services of a NAATI translator in Australia, for example, may change the business potential of your company forever as your market grows.

10 Reasons Why Australia Still is the “Lucky Country” to Live

Moving to Australia is a dream many people have. But is it worth it? As a specialist NAATI translation business dealing mainly with migrants, we hear about what people like and dislike about Australia every day. Our clients are people from all walks of life who are on the move: immigrants, visa applicants, expatriates, international students, visitors, travellers and diplomats.

Moving to Australia

For our clients from Europe, it’s often the wide open spaces, the well-paid vocational jobs and the laid back culture that is appealing. People from Africa and South America appreciate the security and safety that “the lucky country” offers. Our Asian clients particularly value the education and career possibilities.

In summary, Australia has features that appeal to most cultures, and it is no coincidence that it is and always has been a classic “immigration country” that depends on and cherishes multiculturalism and diversity. Check out our infographic for a handy summary of what Australia can offer. We hope it helps you – because it is our sole core purpose to facilitate our client’s lives by providing a reliable document translation service – on time, on scope, on budget.

How can Translation Help Someone to Learn a Language?

Translation Help Someone to Learn a LanguageUsing translation to teach a language or learn a language is somewhat controversial. There are those educationists who are dead against it and prefer language to be learned in context and there are others who think that it is a useful activity. The world’s classrooms reflect this dichotomy of views, with a bias one way or another. The fact that most language learners go on to master a language, whichever technique they use, probably reflects the fact that the most important factor behind language learning is motivation, not technique.

Translation is a vital part of the modern, interconnected world and most people become amateur translators at some stage of their lives, even if it is just to find one’s way around a new country, interpret what a street sign says, read the instructions on a label or help an overseas visitor. The need for simple translation is a very important motivator and many people end up learning a language through using translation in the early stages.

Continue reading “How can Translation Help Someone to Learn a Language?”