Some Tips to Make Language Learning Easy

If you are an English language speaker and really want to learn another language, it can be frustrating hearing all those Europeans and others who seem to be able to speak English, and often one or more other languages, so fluently, when you stumble over the simplest conversations.

We have probably all had the experience of trying out our newly learned new language expressions on a native speaker and finding they switch to our language because it is so much easier to communicate.

But if they can do it, so surely we can, too! In fact, the fact that as children we pick up language learning without any formal training should indicate that just about every human being has the innate ability to learn a language.

Can children teach us anything about learning a new language?

The fact that children learn languages easily doesn’t always help us, as they have unique advantages over older learners. For a start, they don’t have any other language they know (apart from body language) to confuse them. One of the problems that can be frustrating when an adult learns another language is that the syntax of their native language is often so different from the new language that it confuses them.

The incentive is a key Ingredient in Learning another Language

The key ingredient in learning another language is an incentive. Children have a huge incentive to learn the language of meaningful people around them. So do those whose native language is spoken by hardly anyone! Scandinavians and the Dutch, for example, learn English very quickly; otherwise, like children, they would be unintelligible to anyone else other than their own countrymen.

We can turn that around to help us learn another language more easily. Immersion in the language we want to learn is one of the best methods. Immersion can take many forms:

Make friends with those who speak another language. Even if you only mix some of the words and phrases you know, making conversation with friends whose native language is the one you want to learn can be a game changer. Of course, they may try and make it easier to communicate by talking only in your language, but if you make it known that you are trying to make an effort to learn their language, then you should get along just fine.

Read books, papers, websites, and magazines and watch the news or films that don’t have subtitles in the language you want to learn. If you do this with things you enjoy then you will find you are picking up useful vocabulary and even grammar more easily. For example, if you like sport, make an effort to read, watch and listen to the sport in the language of your choice.

Visit the Country where the Language is Spoken

This is the most expensive way to learn another language, but potentially the most fun and the most productive. Now, here is a word of warning. If the main purpose of your visit is to learn a language and not just go on holiday, then you are best going alone. If you visit another country with someone else you inevitably spend much more time talking in your own language and not in the language of the country you are visiting.

Another way of maximizing your learning experience is to find a way of ensuring you are forced to communicate in the language of the country you are visiting. An easy way to do that is to volunteer with a group or organization of your choice. This way, you will find that you are made welcome and you will certainly have an incentive (remember the key ingredient!) to learn as fast as possible.

Conclusion

Some people have a natural advantage over others when learning a new language. The younger you are, the quicker you will learn any language. The more incentive you have to learn another language, the faster you will pick it up. The key to learning another language then without reverting to becoming a child all over again (!) is to find an incentive that suits you and your pocket. Reading, watching and listening to foreign language media can be useful. Making friends and visiting other countries, preferably on your own and integrating with those that are there, are all tried and true methods of making language learning easy.

Preparing Properly for the NAATI Exam is the Best Route to NAATI Accreditation

It is quite possible to survive as a translator or interpreter in Australia or New Zealand without certification or accreditation with a body like NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters), but the possibility of lucrative work and career prospects are very limited, even if your grasp of a second language other than your own is quite sound.

A career in translating or interpreting generally requires NAATI accreditation first and then a subsequent application for membership with one of the professional associations, like AUSIT or NZSTI. Respectively, these are the Australian Institute of Translators and Interpreters and the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters.

Professional accreditation and association membership is generally necessary if you intend getting a job as a translator or interpreter with one of the many agencies that provide professional translation or interpreting services. Translation and interpreting work for the government and large corporations also depends on NAATI accreditation.

So, how hard is the NAATI test? The contradiction is that many people who sit the qualifying NAATI exam, particularly the exams for professional translator and professional interpreter actually fail. The pass rate is typically only around 10 to 12%.

Is the NAATI test difficult? The high failure rate in the NAATI test is a measure primarily of a lack of thorough preparation for the exam and unfamiliarity with the style of questions in the exam, rather than any suggestion that the NAATI professional exams are too difficult. It is entirely possible to pass the NAATI exam at the first attempt as long as the hard work of preparation for the exam has been done first of all.

How to pass the NAATI exam at the first go

There is no easy way to pass the NAATI exam at the first go apart from ensuring that you have completed all the course work related to the NAATI exam thoroughly first. Most courses that lead to professional translating and interpreting as a career are available at all major Australian and New Zealand universities. Completing a recognised translating or interpreting course at one of these institutions is the best guarantee of passing the NAATI exam at the first go rather than becoming one of the unfortunate 90 odd percent who have failed to prepare themselves first.

Like many exams, the NAATI exam is designed to ensure that your working knowledge both of your own native language and your second language is good enough to cope with the demands of professional translating and interpreting.

The NAATI course work will certainly help to prepare you for the all important NAATI exam. Most successful would be professional translators and interpreters have not only mastered the complexities of a second language but have understood the particular demands of the profession they are aspiring to become part of.

As far as passing the NAATI exam goes, either for professional translating or interpreting, there are many NAATI exam samples to practice on and it is quite useful to take at least one or more NAATI practice tests. Your success in these practice tests and exams will give you an idea whether it is feasible to take the final NAATI exam itself. NAATI accreditation is not cheap, so it does not make sense financially to sit the exam without making sure you have a good chance of passing it.

NAATI Course fees

NAATI sets a variety of fees depending on whether you intend to become an accredited translator or interpreter and at what level you intend to aim at. There are introductory and more advanced levels, each of z=which have their own exams and fee structure.

In general, the higher the accreditation, the higher is the fee. For example, the fee for the Certified Conference Interpreter, Certified Specialist Interpreter and Certified Interpreter exams are currently 880 Australian dollars each, while the Certified Provisional Interpreter fee is 550 dollars. For translators, the exam fee for the Certified Advanced Translator level is 770 dollars, while the Certified Translator exam fee is 550 dollars.

NAATI does not actually run courses. These are provided by colleges and universities in selected cities. Courses are designed to lead to translation or interpreting exams set by NAATI. The course structure and fees for these courses can be determined by looking at the individual university or college websites. The fees tend to be similar but not necessarily exactly the same. Note that the course fees themselves are not necessarily the most expensive part of studying to be a translator or interpreter and often it is the accommodation and other expenses which determine just how much it costs to become a professional certified translator or interpreter. That means that the NAATI course fees in Perth, the NAATI course fees in Adelaide and the NAATI course fees in Melbourne all seem to be similar, the expense of staying in these cities can be quite different.

What is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter and Why Is It Required For Hospitals?

Hospital interpreters have increased in numbers over the years due to more and more people ending up in countries who are not completely fluent in the host country’s language. The main aim of a healthcare interpreter is to provide an interpretation service in his or her pair of languages to those who need to access medical services but their competence in English, for example, is not good enough to understand in order to be able to competently provide the medical services that are required.

The medical professionals that a patient may need to communicate with effectively include:

  • doctors,
  • nurses,
  • other hospital staff.

Who provides a healthcare interpreter is decided by the medical facility that needs them. Increasingly local and federal governments are providing funding for a healthcare interpreter to be made available as required. They don’t always have to be physically present in the hospital, as sometimes video conferencing can be set up to provide the interpretation. Phone calls can be used as well.

Proficiency of a Healthcare Interpreter

It’s typically quite normal for a hospital interpreter to be fluent in two languages. In some cases, a healthcare interpreter may have studied healthcare terminology in both languages so they can deliver the best job possible for patients who have limited competency in English. It’s possible to become a certified healthcare interpreter by following a medical interpreter programme. This gives the healthcare interpreter the responsibility of being able to certify their healthcare interpretations. This is sometimes required when the medical document being interpreted and explained to the patient is an informed consent form. This needs to be accurate otherwise it may provide wrong information to the patient that could cause unnecessary stress.

When a healthcare interpreter attends a medical interpreter programme s/he will be taught that it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences that exist between people. They will also be taught how important it is to keep all information about the patients they interpret for confidential. Most hospitals publish their policies on patient confidentiality.

Qualities of a Healthcare Interpreter

A healthcare interpreter needs to be all of the following:

  • punctual,
  • communicative,
  • reliable,
  • sensitive to the multicultural environment.

The healthcare interpreter who focuses on maintaining good interpersonal relationships is likely to be successful and will excel as a healthcare interpreter. Apart from these skills he or she needs to have a high level of understanding and be able to understand complex information that is used in the medical setting. This also includes conforming to any written guidelines and hospital policies with regard to the healthcare setting.

Medical Interpreter Programme

Interpreters possess a high level of skills ranging and are often qualified up to degree level. There are some schools that offer medical interpreter certificate programmes. These programmes can be studied either at a college campus or online whatever is preferred.

What is a Certified Healthcare Interpreter Programme?

There are a few states in the U.S. which require a healthcare interpreter to be certified. In order to become certified, there are a number of certification programs available if a healthcare interpreter has completed no less than 40 hours of training to become a healthcare interpreter. To become certified it’s necessary to pass the oral component of the certification process. In the U.S., the National Board for Certification of Medical Interpreters offers a credential called Certified Medical Interpreter. To qualify for this, each healthcare interpreter needs to have successfully undertaken and completed a medical interpreter program, have passed an examination prove proficiency in no less than two languages.

Gain Experience to Enhance your Career as a Healthcare Interpreter

It might be difficult to get your first job as a healthcare interpreter unless you have accumulated some useful experience in the field. If you are determined to make a career of being a healthcare interpreter you can build up your profile by volunteering your services through organizations that regularly communicate with people who have limited proficiency in English. This includes organizations like the Red Cross which depends on volunteers in order to provide its interpreting services. Once you have built up your experience you will be ready to take the examination that qualifies you to be a certified medical interpreter.

Conclusion

Overall, a healthcare interpreter is vital for the normal running of a hospital, but it’s important that a healthcare interpreter program has been completed so that the healthcare interpreter has the knowledge to become fully certified.

Is it Worthwhile Learning Vietnamese?

Choosing a foreign language and then trying to learn a foreign language at the best of times can sometimes be a challenge but on occasions it’s worth putting yourself out and setting a day or a week or so to try to learn a foreign language, especially if you have been offered a job in a country that doesn’t speak your language as well as you do.

If your first language is English and you have been offered a job in Vietnam, for example, which involves working for an English speaking company, it’s still worth learning Vietnamese as it gives you more of a window onto Vietnam, which allows you to better integrate with Vietnamese people which may be good for your job. Many people go to Vietnam to teach English but this isn’t an excuse not to learn Vietnamese because it is itself a valuable tool for communication.

Is Vietnamese difficult to learn?

Learning Vietnamese can be a challenge because Vietnamese has six tones which make it hard for English speakers. This means even if the smallest mistake is made when speaking, the speaker won’t be understood. These sorts of hurdles have to be solved otherwise there are lost opportunities when overseas businesses invest in Vietnam’s business sector. The Vietnamese have to be more patient when listening to those who are struggling to learn the Vietnamese language while the new learner has to work harder at becoming more competent in Vietnamese. It’s certainly not an easy challenge but the rewards will come from the Vietnamese people who really appreciate people who try to learn their less than widespread language.

Inability to speak your host country’s language is your loss

Many English teachers In Vietnam spend most of their day speaking English because that’s what their role is. Even managers of English owned businesses in Vietnam address their staff in English. In some situations workers and temporary residents in Vietnam don’t necessarily need to speak or learn Vietnamese at all. As long as they don’t stray too far from the environment they feel comfortable in especially in relation to language. The question you have to ask yourself is it worth going to live and work in a country where you aren’t prepared to immerse yourself in the culture? You lose so much by not learning your host’s country language as language is the basis of culture and enables the speaker to learn more about the life of the people who speak it.

The Vietnamese involvement in you learning their language

The Vietnamese people often don’t even recognise when non-native Vietnamese are trying to speak their language because of the difficulty non native speakers have in pronouncing the language. They give little time to those who are trying to speak the language but aren’t getting it quite right. They have even been known to mock foreigners who try to speak Vietnamese but don’t get it quite right first time. Sometimes this means many people stick to English rather than trying to speak Vietnamese. Mispronunciation in Vietnamese simply isn’t acceptable and many people just give up learning the language. But being persistent will eventually reap rewards. It’s just a case of learning words and phrases that are most useful in the environment that the learner is likely to spend most of his or her time while in Vietnam. Spending more time practicing Vietnamese with Vietnamese people after attending classes will accelerate the learning of the language and not the other way round. Classes in Vietnamese are only one route to competency in the language but they don’t necessarily give the learners the confidence to speak the language with ease.

There is no easy way to learn any language

For many, the Vietnamese language is actually quite easy to read, but the pronunciation is the stumbling block, stifling the language learner’s journey to competency. It’s not surprising because when finding out how many languages are spoken in Vietnam the answer is there are many local languages that have brought about the evolution of the Vietnamese language, resulting in a common language that’s widely spoken across the country which isn’t necessarily easy to learn.

There are teaching methods used to help the learner pronounce Vietnamese and if the stages are followed the route to competency will be shorter. With so many people from overseas wanting to move to Vietnam permanently it’s a crucial time for language schools in Vietnam to recruit these eager learners and devise a course that focuses on solving some of the difficulties they have with pronunciation and other aspects of Vietnamese so they can genuinely become a part of this ever popular destination.

Conclusion

When answering the question “is Vietnamese difficult to learn?” research has indicated that Vietnamese is a difficult language to learn and it’s not so much the vocabulary that creates the obstacle but the pronunciation and the wide variety of accents encountered in the country. Some people recommend learning the Hanoian accent because it is the most widespread across the country and at least the learner will be more likely to be understood.
The worst thing to do when living and working in Vietnam is to ditch learning the language altogether and just speak ones native language which would most likely only extend to a small group. The world is a multilingual and multicultural place and there is no room for people to ignore languages just because they are hard to learn. Once a learner becomes more fluent he or she will reap the benefits of being able to access a multicultural environment which is more comfortable and makes the wider community more accepting.

There are Many Challenges in Financial Translations

All successful translation work depends on the outcome of the translation being accurate, but a financial translation requires far more attention to detail. This is because a simple mistake could lead to a serious problem. A financial translator must have a clear understanding of the targeted so as to make sure the right terminology is used in the financial translation.

If you are looking for a financial translation, you will need the experience and expertise of a financial translator. You can’t usually expect a good financial translation from a general translator.

Financial Terminology is Important in a Financial Translation

Precision and accuracy are extremely important in all financial translations. The translator must use the correct terminology depending on the targeted audience and target language as not all financial terms are universal. For example, in the U.S. ‘common stock’ is used while in Britain ‘called-up share capital’ is used. The ‘share of stock’ in France is called ‘action’ but ‘capital’ in Russia is called ‘share capital.’

Financial terms are full of unique and complex nuances which are quite a challenge for translators who haven’t yet build up experience in the financial translation industry. In the U.S. ‘accounts receivable’ is commonly heard, but it’s called ‘trade debtor’ in the UK, while in New Zealand, this is called ‘debtor.’ Additionally, in New Zealand, ‘stocks’ is a financial term, but the term ‘inventories’ is used in the U.S.

It’s not acceptable to directly translate terminology as this could confuse the meanings of different terms. The translator has to know what terms are applicable. For example, smart contracts and mining are commonly used terms in dealings with cryptocurrency. It is crucial for the translator to know which has to be used. A financial translator must be able to translate quickly fast and meet all deadlines set.

Confidentiality in Financial Translation

Financial documents have to be totally secure as they could reveal important confidential information about a company. They must be kept private and only passed onto to a translator who can be trusted.

Most professional translation services typically require both their translators and interpreters to sign a non-disclosure contract. Because translation companies often make use of translation memory tools, they have to ensure that no external sources can access them. This is crucial to clients who want financial translations.

Clients need to be sure that translators who have been assigned to conduct a financial translation are always professional, trustworthy and responsible because the information being translating is usually valuable.

You are Advised Not to Lie in a Foreign Language!

It’s not often you probably really think about whether someone is lying or not but if you do think about it there are some cues that indicate somebody may be lying. Perhaps they start to speak quickly, or even stumble when speaking. Some people will even try to avoid making any eye contact. It seems that not all cultures use the same methods when lying.

Lying in English

For English speakers the tell-tale signs that show someone is lying are generally nervousness: a quiver in the voice, little eye contact and stuttering. However, there is still evidence to show that liars aren’t always nervous while nervous people are not always lying.

A United States study in 2003 examined the language of lying people and found that speech quality changes when English speakers lie such as the rise in the voice’s pitch.

Lying in another language but not English

When Chinese speakers of Mandarin told lies online, there was an increase in the use of 3rd person pronouns. Also, in the Netherlands, Dutch speakers’ pronoun use didn’t differ in either lies or truthful speech which is not the same as in English. With Italian speakers there is little difference in pitch when an Italian is telling the truth or lying. However, an Italian speaker speaks more slowly when he or she is lying, which is not the same with English speakers. This may be to do with the fact when speaking normally an Italian speaks faster than English so, when lying, the speech becomes slower.

Lying in a 2nd language

When a non native speaker of a language lies there is some indication that the skin temperature rises in response. This seems to be prevalent more so when someone lies in a language that isn’t their own but not after the translation of the foreign language.

Because there has been experimentation on how to detect whether someone is lying, it might be something you can’t conceal even if you think you are convincing. This means you should be very careful when lying as you don’t know who has the ability to detect those lies.

5 Factors Affecting the Cost of Translation

There is not complete equality between translation projects, as some are just a matter of translating straightforward documents, while others could be medical or legal documents which ultimately will affect the cost of translation services.

In general, there are 5 factors that play the most important roles in determining the cost of translation while influencing translation prices.

1. Language

Some languages typically cost more than many others to translate. For example, the cost of translation services for English to Japanese is considerably more expensive than English to Spanish. English generally plays the role as an intermediate language, between the less common translated languages, so this means adding an extra layer to the translation process which of course adds to the cost of translation of a complete project.
If someone is looking for a translator to translate between say Hindi and Icelandic most Language Service Providers (LSPs) would first try to locate a translator who is able to translate the Icelandic language into English. The second translator will be paid to translate from English into Hindi. This is one of the factors affecting cost of translation.

2. Deadline

Some translation projects may be considered very important with tight deadline dates set. LSPs take this into consideration when considering the cost of translation services. Some may even charge anything from 10% to 200% more for urgent translation projects.

3. Size

A translation project’s size clearly has an impact on the cost of translation. This is normally based on the word count of the project. For example, a small company memo being translated into another language will quite naturally have a far smaller number of words than a manual for a manufacturing company which needs to be translated into 3 languages.

4. Complexity of the document

Big projects with different sorts of translation requirements may require a whole team of translators depending on the nature of the work. Often a translation services will charge more for these sorts of projects. Say for example the translation has to be laid out on a specific company website which is already written in the company’s native language. Desktop publishing and website planning are additional services that will need to be used to complete the project well. This of course will add to translation prices.

5. Quality

Depending on where the translation will end up will influence quality control. Even though of course all translations should be high quality there are some like for the pharmaceutical industry that might require more than a second pair of eyes to ensure that a high quality translation has been completed. This ultimately is one of the factors affecting cost of translation.

Cyber Crime & Data Security in Today’s Translation Services

Security for almost the whole history of the internet has been a hot topic. These days, whether you are involved in politics, in a business like a translation business, or you are concerned about your own computer or laptop, there have been more real security issues threatening our data that has ever been seen before.

Translation services may be a more likely target

All sorts of business and organizations, including multinational corporations throughout the world, use translation services to translate key documents that need to be circulated amongst people who don’t speak English. There are huge numbers of documents and files transiting the internet from one server to another every day. This is just the sort of place a commercial spy could hack and try to access financial details of these well-heeled clients who request translations.

There are 3 key areas that need to be considered

1. Data protection is an important concern so much so that the EU has implemented strict data protection laws such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from May 2018. This makes it an offense if a business fails to protect any EU citizens’ personal data and other information. It has to be stored, used and transmitted only under strict rules. For translation businesses that handle translations for private individuals, this means having suitable security measures in place to protect customers.

2. Cybercrime is on the rise and it doesn’t just affect governments and other well-known organizations but even SMEs which make up many translation businesses are facing problems with cybercriminals who are planting viruses, closing down websites, hacking into systems and even going as far as stealing data and asking for ransoms. This is now referred to as “cyberextortion.” This is certainly not the time to under-invest in following the correct IT security protocols.

3. Industrial espionage is on the increase as companies are increasingly paying individuals to steal information about competitors. This means stealing designs, plans, documents, and proposals. It’s not only about hacking servers and copying files but much more serious as sometimes undercover spies are planted into businesses so they can steal files. Employees are even being bribed to make copies of key information. Translators are quite obvious targets as often they don’t have the most sophisticated of security measures to protect their LSP clients. They commonly work at home with little or no security in place.
Maintaining a high level of security for both translators and clients is a high priority for all translation companies. One of the most important steps is to ensure translators know when something unusual is taking place on their computer so a security alert can be put in place.

Three Benefits of Translating E-Commerce Products

If you are thinking of marketing your products online to a global market it’s not worth the effort unless you translate the information about your products into the language of your proposed market. There are two main things you need to get your e-commerce products globally mobile, one is the translation of products and two is the localization of products. Before you can start with the localization which is getting both your website and your product to meet the global market you need to translate your product information first. This information can then be adapted to meet the requirements of localisation.

Benefits of Translating your e-commerce Products

1. More Sales than Non Translated Product

Before making a purchasing decision, 56 percent of potential e-commerce customers indicate that their first consideration is learning about the product in their own language. This is in fact more important than the price of the product. In the EU, when it comes to booking tours or hotels, 80 percent say that they must read the promotional material in their own language first before deciding to buy. This is the first reason for translating your website.

2.More Customer Loyalty through Translated Product

One of the things that ensures regular income for a business is customer loyalty. Once you have got a customer interested in your product because of your e-commerce product translation so they can understand it in their own language, they will go back to your site over and over again because they know what to expect. It’s loyalty that brings in consistent sales.

3.Better than your competitors

An e-commerce translation of your products puts you ahead of your competitors, which offers you a better chance of determining the price of your product. Your brand will begin to stand out in the international market if customers know your website is easy to understand and you are reliable. This information will likely be shared on social media sites so you can expect even better sales.

If you don’t translate your e-commerce products you can only expect to sell your products to those who understand the language of your website. Customers are savvy and won’t let go over money unless they are sure the product is what they really want. Appearance and language on your website that suits your intended customer puts you ahead of the rest and grows your business’s revenue.

Need of Localization for B2B Websites Through a Microsite

A microsite is a website that is smaller than a business’s main site but has links to it. Often a business will create a microsite when starting to promote a new product.

Creating a microsite in a foreign language

This is a particularly good idea if a business’s main site isn’t entirely appropriate for another country. Some of the useful content can be translated and transferred to the microsite while marketing material for the particular customer in another country will need to be adapted to suit the culture of the likely customer whether it’s B2B or B2C.

A Microsite for localising your B2B website may be a good idea if:

  • You are out to target and welcome new audiences.
  • It offers good search engine optimization (SEO) prospects.
  • It is a way to customize your product to a new B2B market.
  • You are testing your product in new waters.

What you should include when localising your B2B foreign language microsite

First of all check on the visitor numbers for your main site and those that attract the most hits should be transferred to you new microsite. Do some research on your B2B target audience and see what sort of content attracts them the most. Make sure what you choose is translated appropriately for a B2B audience. You must ensure that the links work back to your main website as the businesses accessing your profile will see where your business origins are.

The localisation process for B2B

Once the microsite is ready to load localising it appropriately means ensuring any images or videos are suitable for the intended audience and any voice over translations have been completed. This includes everything from image choices to videos and PDF files. You will need to get your search or keywords optimised for SEO and this means getting an experienced translator to incorporate the keywords into your content pages.

This has to be done in such a way that the text flows smoothly and there is no inappropriate or poor language used that may distract the reader from your site. B2B localisation is very important as this is a far more competitive world than B2C. You want to attract overseas businesses to buy your product in bulk and on sell it to the final consumer. Packing a container load of your product into a container or two to send to an overseas business is far more lucrative than handling one good to one customer sales which is takes up much more time and involves a higher cost per product.