What Were the Main Translation Trends in 2015?

Professional translation services, wherever they are based, whether they are translation services in Sydney or any other city in Australia, are always aware of any emerging new developments that can help them provide a better, more efficient service. Translators are well aware that if they don’t keep up with the trends in translation especially in translation related technology, that their competitors may do so, leaving them behind in the translation stakes.

Of course, any new developments in translation quality do not always mean a more accurate translation. Technological breakthroughs often address the question of speed rather than accuracy. Here in Australia, the bulk of translation work is done by those who have achieved NAATI translation accreditation and it is not a standard that the average translator is willing to lose because they have leaned to a new technology that appears at first sight to mean faster work and therefore more work and higher returns.

So, what were the main trends in translation in 2015 that got the industry talking and thinking?

The two main trends are both technology based, as might be expected.

The growth in demand for cloud based translation tools is probably the most significant trend throughout the year. Cloud services have become one of the most important services for small businesses or freelancers who either can’t afford or haven’t got the expertise or confidence to use tools themselves. Cloud based translation software is available at a very reasonable cost to translators anywhere and provided by a number of key companies.

One of these companies, Memsource, reported a 93% satisfaction rating from its 30,000 users. Significantly, the number of these users and the number of translated words has increased this year and this trend is unlikely to stagnate any time soon.

The second main trend this year is the increase in the use of machine translation or MT. MT has played a somewhat controversial role in professional translation services because some view it as a poor substitute for human translation. However, the reality is that most of the demand for MT this year, according to figures made available, show that it is professional translators themselves who are looking to use the software. Far from being a substitute for human translation quality, the idea is to speed up translation in a relatively raw form and then pass this over to human translators who post edit the text and proofread any mistakes that the software inevitably produces.

Why Does Professional Translation Take so Long?

Businesses that are new to needing translated documents, texts and websites become impatient when they learn just how apparently slow good quality document translation services take. They may then make the ultimate mistake of opting for machine or automatic translation which is certainly far faster, but without human intervention prone to errors of many kinds.

Let us examine the speed issue. Professional translators, for instance Australia’s NAATI translation service providers are likely to translate at an average speed of around 4 to 5 words a minute. Compare that to the professional typist who can process words 10 to 15 times as fast. So why is there such a yawning gap?

The answer is that the translation process is a multi step one. The professional translator may in fact spend considerable time at first communicating with a client to ensure that any particular style or grammatical, cultural and social nuances are noted. This has to be taken into account when calculating the overall time taken.

Next comes the actual translation itself. This is very rarely an easy, word for word, literal process. The translator has to read through the text to be translated, absorb the meaning and then translate the meaning in the best way he or she can taking into account exactly who it is intended for. This may very well mean changing words and expressions which have a meaning in the original language but are meaningless when literally translated into the target language. It may take time to research and find expressions and vocabulary that suits the context of the document or text to be translated. This all takes time and this becomes part of the overall project.

Next comes editing. This is usually done by the translator and is basically a process which involves reading through the document or text thoroughly and slowly to make sure it will be understood perfectly by the person who it is intended for.

Last but not least, there is proofreading. This simply can’t be overlooked. To be honest, any document that has been typed onto a computer also has to be proofread but the proofreading process in a translation task by necessity has to be more careful and thorough. It may in fact be repeated more than once to get a perfect translation outcome.

Techniques Required for Financial Translations

Globalisation has lead to banks and companies establishing their offices and even their headquarters in many places throughout the world. This means that any documents related to their business have to be translated into the languages of the countries they either base themselves in or do business in. If your company is a German company and you want to conduct business with an Australian company there are translation services in Australia based all around the country. In fact every major city will have its own translation services.

Overall, there is a tendency for conferences and other meetings to adopt English as the main language for communication but there are always times when a translation is required, especially if some of the key business players are not fluent in English.

Translators do have a plan when performing document translation services for companies or financial institutions which involve specialised techniques and rules.

Techniques for a Financial Translation

  • The starting point for a translator working for translation services in Brisbane or any other major city is having experience in translating for financial institutions as banking terminology is specific and the translation must be correct. Depending on the audience for the translation it may be necessary for the translator to translate complex terms into an easily readable form.
  • As a financial translation often involves numbers and finer details it is crucial that the translator who is working for document translator services makes no mistakes when it comes to these details.
  • It is essential with any financial document that the translator reads it carefully before starting the translation. Understanding the overall document will mean the translator will be quicker at finding appropriate words throughout the translation process.
  • A good financial translator will not allow any mistakes at all and this is what financial institutions expect. Institutions such as the United Nations Federal Credit Union and the World Bank are prestigious financial institutions and will pay highly for a good translator who makes no mistakes. Large well known industries such as MacDonald’s fast food restaurants need translators who understand their product and can translate it appropriately into the languages of their customers which are spread across the globe and English is not their first language.

This applies to international companies as well as they expect translations to be perfect. The same rules apply, because we are usually talking about important brands that have headquarters all over the world. Take the example of a Chinese company that has headquarters in France. As an extremely bureaucratic country, France will require a lot of paperwork, which eventually will need translation. In this case as well, the lack of attention to details or a misunderstanding can cause confusions among the members of the company. The translator will have to be very professional and check his work carefully before submitting it. In this case as well, the pay check will be high, so the work must be done perfectly.

In conclusion, the most important translation techniques in the financial industry are the background knowledge, the attention to details and the ability to be organised. Communication with your employer is also important in certain cases such as ambiguities of the language. The work of a translator in this sector is really difficult, but it is one of the fields that will give you the certainty that the long hours of work will be paid off.

Qualified Professionals Provide Accurate Translations

Manufacturers who produce cheap, copied merchandise don’t usually invest much in professional language translations but they still run the risk of being sued if instructions are misinterpreted and a customer is injured.

For a business to accurately get their product information translated a well qualified and certified reputable or professional language translation services Australia can offer a NAATI translation service which is the accreditation given to approved translation companies in Australia. This includes professional translation services that offer specialized legal and medical translators who know how to use the different vocabulary required for these disciplines as well as providing industrial, academic and technical translators.

Providing an accurate language translation is of great importance for a business to be effective in its promotional campaigns and it ensures that errors are avoided and communication is clear.

What you must do is ask your chosen translator to provide proof of their competence in the language or languages that you wish to market your product. This means in Australia asking for NAATI credentials as this provides quality assurance. You should also ask how the translation company ensures that the translation provided is of indisputable quality. You may have to pay a little more for that quality assurance but it’s worth it if it means your business grows as you are able to reach more customers.

If it’s your first step into the global world you want to ensure you look good. The best way to mar your reputation as a provider of a product is to get the product specs poorly translated by using an unreliable online machine translator so that your target audience has virtually no idea what your product is. You have to have some certainty that your chosen language translator doesn’t let you down and this can be difficult, particularly if you have no knowledge of your targeted languages.

This is where a country like Australia can provide quality assurance because they provide NAATI accreditation for those translation companies that reach the required standard. You have to research in your own country for translation companies that have been accredited in a similar way to translation services in Australia so that you have peace of mind that your product message comes across effectively.

What is the meaning of terms used in the translation industry?

The translation industry can sometimes sweep new entrants off their feet with all the jargon used in the industry such as “translation company”, “translation agency”, “localization agency”, as well as “Language Services Provider” (LSP).

Language Services Provider (LSP) is a term used for conference presentations as it basically goes beyond simply just translating, but it implies other services related to translation, such as oral and written translations.

The term “translation agency” is more traditional and covers translation services and is usually interchangeable with “localization agency” or “translation company”. A translation agency generally offers translation services and provides management skills for clients.

Interpreters and desktop publishers who are multilingual, website and software translation are all part of the services provided by a translation agency which can also be called a Localization Agency, Globalization Services Provider and Language Service Provider. A translation agency provides professional translation services such as a NAATI translation in Australia. NAATI is the officially accredited accreditation authority for a translation agency that provides high quality translation services Australia.

You may be wondering what the word “translation” really means. Quite simply, it means the communication of one language text into another language where the true meaning of the source text is maintained. This translation is undertaken by a single translator or if the text requires multiple translation skills a translation team.

Copywriting, or put in another form, transcreation, performed by skilled transcreators copy write text into a target language, while a translator accurately translates the required content into the target language. Multilingual assignments that require persuasive or marketing text may require copywriting as in certain situations translated text may need to be rewritten so that the message is more persuasive, accurate and appropriate to the targeted culture.

Localization as defined by the Localization Industry Standards Association is the taking of a product and ensuring it is culturally and linguistically appropriate to the target region or country where the product is to be marketed.

Translation Memory is a very important translation product as it is memory technology that permits translation services in Australia to both store and reuse target language words and terms for all types of translation projects. Translation teams make use of tools for translation memory that create and maintain translation memories as well as multilingual glossaries.

You Can Only Depend on a High Quality Website Japanese Translation Service

If companies and even smaller businesses want to sell their products to customers who speak Japanese not English it is sensible to use Japanese as the language tool. This is the only way that a marketing campaign is likely to be successful. Many Japanese speak English but they will react far more favourably to product marketing information if it is written in good Japanese. This means you will need to get a high quality Japanese translator who understands the correct use of keywords in the Japanese language that will attract the right Japanese customers.

Many important big spending clients prefer to see precise and detailed product information about products they may buy. They may consider it some guarantee they are purchasing a quality product they will like to see some information on the company’s website about the company itself and its mission statement. All this requires the use of a professional translation service in Australia that has the knowledge of business language and what a potential client wants to know.

In Australia, accreditation is given to translators who match certain requirements and this is called a NAATI translator who provides a NAATI translation for all types of clients whether on a freelance basis or through professional translation services. Translation services Australia offer high quality translators who are bilingual in many languages including Japanese.

A quality website translated by a professional translation service from English into Japanese will ensure that the message and content of the website will engage and attract a potential Japanese consumer. Globalisation is here to stay and with online marketing as the most effectve way to promote products on an international scale and a quality translation is one way one company can get the edge over another. Japan has one of the highest access rates to the Internet so is a potential market for online buying. A version of your website well translated into Japanese is an invaluable marketing tool that brings you up t close to a potential Japanese customer.

Quality is even more important when it comes to marketing products such as medicines and medical devices as misinterpretation through a poor translation could lead to all sorts of outcomes such as lawsuits if someone is injured because the directions for use of the medicine or device were poorly translated.

Tricky Translation Tips for Businesses

Many businesses now have the opportunity to expand their sales to a much wider international market than ever before. In many cases, international expansion is almost mandatory if a business is not to lose out to its competitors. When the expansion is to a country where a similar language and culture exists, then there is no reason to use any sort of professional translation services. However, there are potentially huge markets opening up in Asia and in that case, there will be a significant language barrier to overcome and effective and culturally appropriate translation will by necessity become one of the important ingredients in an effective overseas marketing strategy.

Many businesses are forced to think about the importance of translation too late – usually when their product does not fire up in the new market they are targeting, despite the demand being there. This is usually because the company hasn’t bothered to consider the fact that most consumers take notice of information that has been provided in their own language. What other tips might expansion minded businesses find useful?

Tip No 1: In-house translators are not always the cheapest option

Some businesses might be tempted to use their own staff as translators, known as “in- house” translators, but this is not necessarily a cheap or effective option. Professional translation services in Sydney, or any other city in Australia for that matter can be used whenever a translation project is needed, but there is no need to pay them when translation is not needed, or pay them holiday and sickness benefits and any other perk which must be paid to your own staff.

Tip No 2: When translation accuracy is critical use a professional translation service

Many professional translators belong to an officially recognised organisation like the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Using a NAATI translation service is a guarantee that the translation will be done correctly and efficiently. When your business expansion depends on official document translation, for example when negotiating with overseas government agencies licences and rights to operate as a business.

Tip No 3: Avoid over reliance on machine translation

Machine translation or automatic translation has its place in the overall scheme of things, but is best left to translators themselves. Good translators will use computer aided translation tools to reduce their workload, especially when they do a lot of work for the same company and many of the documents they translate are repetitive. The temptation for some businesses is to use an online or automatic machine translation themselves without considering that it has to be part of an overall translation project and not an absolute substitute for human translation. Over reliance on MT will result in clumsily worded phrases, even gibberish at times, cultural insensitivities and end in negative sales growth in that particular market.

There are many other tips which can help companies aiming to expand their business away from home. They all boil down to the same main message which is that using a professional translation service is a wise investment in future business growth and not a waste of resources.

Why Choosing a Competent Patent Translator is All Important

Patent translators have an extremely important role when it comes to helping a company move into an emerging international market. For many companies, their first experience with translating patents into the language of the new market they are seeking to develop can be a frustrating one as they may choose a translation service provider which does not have the competence to deal with international patents.

Patents describe and define the parameters of the commodity or product which is being sold. If the description of the patent is distorted or not fully defined, the company stands to lose a lot of money or may even fail to develop in that market at all.

It is not simply a matter of choosing any accredited NAATI translation service provider if it is an Australian company, for instance. The patent translator must have a range of expertise which includes the nuances of linguistic translation which apply specifically to patents, a legal background which enables the translator to interpret the requirements of the law in the target country as they apply to patents as well as a technical knowledge of the product being marketed.

Many companies make the mistake of relying on translation services in Melbourne or Adelaide or any other city which advertise their expertise in marketing translation and of course this is important in translating marketing content but international patents are a different matter. A couple of examples demonstrate the peculiarities of patent translation.

In Germany, patent descriptors do not start with a definite or indefinite article which is very unusual for German as a language. Almost always nouns in German begin with “der”, “die” or “das” (the) or “ein” or ‘eine” (a). However, this is not the case with patent descriptions. The words in English for the patent for an applicator would start with “The applicator…………” while the German translation would be “Applikator…….” without the article. This may seem pedantic and trivial, but the reality is that patent applications may be dismissed or misinterpreted if the correct procedures for that country are not followed precisely.

The need for a competent patent translation service provider in Adelaide or any other city in Australia to be technically knowledgeable is just as important if the protection for specific lists of products is to be obtained by the patent process. It doesn’t take very much imagination to see how a lack of knowledge of a particular product can mean it being omitted from protection and allowing infringement by competitors.

4 Typical Translation Service Misconceptions

Misconception 1: If you are able to speak a 2nd language you have the capability for being a translator

Experience has shown that this is not the case at all. In fact, not all speakers of many languages have the qualities to be an effective translator. Translation work is a specific skill with its own set of rules and conventions which not all multilingual people possess.

To begin with, a NAATI Translator needs to be meticulous and pay attention to every detail however small. Perfect writing skills come next which includes perfect use of punctuation and grammar. A translator needs to be in possession of exceptional language knowledge in the language that is being translated (the source language) and the language that this language is being translated into (the target language).

Misconception 2: If you are able to interpret you can translate

There is an important difference between an interpreter and a translator and that is that translators work with a language that has been written, but an interpreter plays the role of an intermediary coming between a minimum of two people who are taking part in verbal communication. The role of an interpreter requires exceptional oral skills, a quick reaction time and the ability to focus quickly on speakers, subjects and situations.

Misconception 3: It is not necessary for a translator to have an understanding of what they are focused on translating

To successfully translate a document, the translator has to possess the ability to perform a translation of a document into the required target language. It is crucial to understand every word in the text and have an understanding of the topic in question, so that an accurate meaning is included in the translation. An understanding of different writing styles is important too so that the text is reproduced in the required style for its purpose.

Misconception 4: You get well paid as a translator

There is no doubt that money can be earned as a translator but it does not translate into amounts that will give you access to millionaire status. Translators do work long hours and have to be on call to perform a translation while deadlines are important too.

Cheap Translation can be Costly

Translation services used by businesses are more commonplace now than they have ever been. This doesn’t mean their quality is better.  Errors are made by translators and if not corrected can do damage to the image of the company that the translation was completed for. This really boils down to the fact that you should not undermine the impact of a translation and you should ensure you hire a NAATI translation service and a proofreader too, so that your reputation of being a quality company with quality products is upheld. A small mistake made by a cheap translator can lead to all sorts of negative side effects which could even lead to legal action being taken.

Many companies these days have a multi lingual work force by default not by design and sometimes they add on translation duties to a job description even though the person may not be qualified to undertake translation work. This is where a cheap translation may prove costly and should be avoided at all costs by a business that is serious about promoting its image and products to the world and should be seeking out certified translation services.

The fact of the matter is that if someone believes they have the ability to speak several languages this does not mean the person is qualified to translate in a professional, precise manner.  Translation requires talent and professionals translators constantly aim for perfection. Translating words one by one does not usually result in a satisfactory translation as a good translation requires taking into account linguistic and cultural conventions of the language, culture and country in question.

A costly but interesting translation blunder was when an HSBC bank tag-line was “Assume Nothing” which was mistakenly translated into a number of languages as “Do Nothing!” To repair the costly damage done, the bank had to pay out $10 million in a new campaign which advertised the company in a good light.

A second historically more important mistranslated incident was when the patron saint for translators St. Jerome translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Latin. He misread the word “karan” as “keren.” This may seemingly be a small mistake and no doubt appeared to be to St. Jerome, but Moses ended up having “horns” over his head instead of the “radiance” he was supposed to have had. This sad mistake ended up with sculptures and even paintings of Moses depicting him with horns, which certainly did not portray him in a favourable light.

In France, the toothpaste company, Colgate, made an attempt to market a new brand of tooth-paste which was named Cue. They had done so little research into this word that once out on the market the name was linked to a French porn magazine which also carried that name.

These examples and thousands of others stress the importance of paying for a professional translation service which knows the language to be translated so well that costly mistakes will never be made.