Facebook is a Universal Language Learning Machine!

Do you use Facebook? Probably! Around 900 million people use Facebook on a regular basis around the world in a plethora of different languages. It’s not just all those boring daily quips from people who are really not doing anything interesting at all that often clog up your own Facebook feed either. There are literally thousands of really interesting organizations and individual Facebook pages out there that you could use to help you learn a different language if that’s what you want to do.

Facebook, like all the other social media giants, including Google and other search engines, has been professionally translated into hundreds of different languages to make it more readily used by people around the world. If your interest is mountaineering or music, the arts or sport, then there is a safe bet that there are Facebooks of organisations all around the world that focus on these topics. And they won’t just be in English. They will be in whatever he language is in that country. So here are some tips you could use to help you use Facebook to learn a different language.

Tip#1 Use the top ten world Facebook pages in the language you want to learn and the topic you are most passionate about. “Social Bakers” has a list of links which records the greatest number of likes in your target country. Don’t forget that some languages are spoken in several different countries, so if you are after Spanish Facebook links, you can search for South and Central American based Facebook pages as well as European Spanish ones. You can sort the list by industry and choose say 5 or 6 pages that interest you.

Tip#2 Use “Alexa Rank” to search for the most popular news websites in the places where your chosen language is spoken. Connect with these websites’ Facebook pages. Make sure that you are not just connecting to e-commerce sites that will just try and sell you things that you don’t want to buy.

Tip#3 Use Google in the language you want to learn. Google is location based and you don’t have to be a translator to change the location settings. Go into the “Settings” on the main Google search page, then go into the “Advanced” settings and you can select the country and language to be a preferred language. You don’t have to use a professional translator to find search word or phrases. For your amateur needs, just use “Google Translate”.

Of course, there is no point in piling up your Facebook feed to make it more relevant to your language learning needs unless you read everything you see and respond in the language you are learning. The best thing about using Facebook is that you can do this anywhere, even in the Antarctic, as long as you have an Internet signal!

Arabic is Widespread so Translators Should Take Advantage of It

Arabic is spoken by 300 million people, which makes it the world’s 3rd commonest language, closely following Spanish and English. In English there are even some Arabic origin words like algebra, alcohol and algorithm.

Arabic is known to be the language used in Islam but it’s not often seen on the Internet. However, statistics from a report into online presence reveal that the online Arabic population exceeds French, Russian and German. Also, it was revealed that Arabic speakers achieved the fastest growing online gross domestic product GDP from 2011 to 2012. But only 4 out of the 100 top internet brands provide content in Arabic and 1 in 5 Fortune 500 brands showcased their websites in Arabic. As far as a professional translation company is concerned there are plenty of opportunities for translating product information into Arabic

The School of Government in Dubai has shown in the last year that Twitter users who come from the Arab world have increased by almost double from just 2 million to at least 3.7 million. LinkedIn attracts 5 million Arabic users. There is even a new Islamic social networking site called baytulamin.com which has recently been made available in both Arabic and English. This site is expected to grow in popularity over the coming months.

These trends are like looking at a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to advertising a product in Arabic and sharing it on Arabic social networking pages. This is the time for professional translation services to be advertising their services to businesses who want to grow their customer base. The Arabic world is looking for ways to spend their money like everyone else. They aren’t all English speakers. Most companies have found that localizing their product descriptions and advertising material by translating them into the languages of consumers drives traffic to their websites and attracts potential buyers to purchase.

Anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to hire an experienced professional translator to localise their products to the Arab world is doing a disservice to their business and the products it’s trying to market.

Translating Bahasa Indonesia for Official Purposes

Indonesia is not one single landmass but is made up of 17,508 separate islands, of which just 6,000 are inhabited. It is in the heart of the tropics where not only humans seek out an existence but so do a variety of exotic wild animals that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

There is one official language but more than 700 other languages spread throughout the country. The Bahasa Indonesia written form has been influenced by Arabic, Latin, and Tamil. But today the government recognizes the Latin script. Indonesian has 8 vowels and more than 18 consonants. From time to time changes are made to the way the letters are used in Bahasa Indonesia so it is important if any translations of the language take place that these changes are incorporated into the translation.

Many Indonesians travel to Australia for various purposes, for business, migration, and study and if they need to get any documents written in Bahasa Indonesia translated into English for government purposes in Australia it will be necessary to hire the services of a professional translator who understands all the intricacies of Bahasa Indonesia in order for the translation to be accurate.

You may be setting up a contract between your Indonesian company and an Australian company so you will have to ensure you get a NAATI translator to undertake the work. If you settle for someone who has not been accredited with the reputable NAATI accreditation the translation may be far from perfect and may not put the intended message across in the right way.

A NAATI translator has undergone training and accreditation by passing an exam in his or her pair of languages which gives you a quality guarantee. Bahasa Indonesia is an ever-changing language and by hiring NAATI translation services you will get a competent translator who knows about any changes and will ensure your translated documents matches any new requirements.

An accurate translation is essential if you intend to live permanently in Australia or are setting up a business. You won’t regret getting one as it will speed up your entry to Australia.

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 Freelance Translator can Take Advantage of a USP

The acronym “USP” means “Unique Selling Proposition’, which is the unique aspect of your service that makes you stand out from the rest. It is not necessarily based on how competitive you are but is more related to the type of service you offer. It’s often difficult to evaluate your USP if you are offering professional translation services. You have to think about how what you have to offer is so different from other translators. If you can set yourself apart from other translators in any way at all this gives you your USP. With this USP you are able to market your NAATI translator services in relation to it.

Some translators choose to select an area that few translators focus on such as mastering the language of certain technical products. This can open doors in that specialist area that other translators don’t know how to tackle because they lack the language expertise in that particular field. A person who has gained recognition as a NAATI translator can take on language translations that require the translation to be done only by a qualified NAATI translator. This excludes other professional translation services which do not have these credentials. A NAATI translation accreditation can be part of your USP too.

Identifying your USP can be difficult, as most professional translation services have standards to follow which makes it difficult for a freelance translator to better.

There are some general points outlined below about translation services which you can use when considering your USP.

1. Professional translation service offer high quality translations on time;

2. Freelance translators have the edge over agencies and tend to offer high quality, polished translations;

3. A few translators provide translations that are exceptional because they are able to specialise in some select areas which enable them to be true masters.

From these points you can draw up what you think you should aim at for your USP.

Translation Test Confirms Spanish as a Happy Language

A unique test which compared 10 of the world’s most used languages revealed that Spanish used more emotionally positive words in its language than the others. The test was completed in Vermont in the United States using 10,000 of the commonest words in each of the 10 languages , translating them and then asking a bevy of native speakers to rate them in terms of “positivity”.

Continue reading “Translation Test Confirms Spanish as a Happy Language”

Common Challenges for Spanish to English Translators

One great thing for translators working for professional translation services translating Spanish to English is that no one assignment is ever the same, so language translation can be interesting and challenging. There is always a need to use different writing styles, translate a wide range of topics and often have to consider the use of dialects or slang. You have to be more than bilingual when it comes to providing professional translation services.

Continue reading “Common Challenges for Spanish to English Translators”

What Didn’t You Know About Turkish Language Translation?

The Turkish language is not a new language. Turks have crossed over borders dating back to the era of Ottoman rule, making moves into countries nearby such as present day Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia and Syria with their variety of native languages and as far away as Egypt and Sudan, where the Arabic languages had steadfastly maintained their own presence. When a Turk meets a Greek some sort of language translation has to take place just as it does when a Turk meets up with an Arabic speaker.

Continue reading “What Didn’t You Know About Turkish Language Translation?”

A NAATI translation expert can teach us why language study is so important

Learning another language can be tough, so why do it in the first place? After all, isn’t the language you were born with good enough to get us through life?  Unfortunately, the answer is no – at least not in the era we are in today. Here’s why.

Continue reading “A NAATI translation expert can teach us why language study is so important”