Category Archives: Chinese Translation

Chinese Translation: Why You Need It

The question isn’t ‘does my company need Chinese translation?’, but, ‘how can we
choose the right Chinese translation for our company ASAP?’ There’s no doubt that
you need it; you just need a translation partner that has the expertise to help you
make the right choices.

Firstly, translation done between English and any Asian language is as rich in
detail as the cultures and countries that comprise this expansive, beautiful part of
the world.

chinese translation

When it comes to Chinese translation in particular, companies who want to be
successfully received in China must understand China itself, its people, its cultures,
and its languages, in order to create the best brand and linguistic strategy.

Perhaps some important words to use when having this discussion are: vast and
varied. If companies understand that China and its languages are extensive and
differing, they can begin to prepare to have their content translated.

This is where VeraLanguage comes in.

When translating into Chinese, the key questions for our clients are almost always:
do you know whomwhat, and where you’re targeting?

If yes, then, we will choose the right translation teams to match these goals.

If no, then, we will help our clients answer these questions, and from there, choose
the right translation teams.

Maybe biggest pitfall is just saying ‘we want Chinese’ and not knowing whom /
where / why… which, really, is a poor marketing strategy to begin with.

If a company’s marketing strategy is just a vague approach, or a, ‘hope for the best’
dream, this won’t work – especially when entering China’s linguistic space. This
would be like saying ‘we want European – any language will do’, and only offering
Dutch – for the whole continent. This is a broad example, but still, the fact remains
that there are different versions of languages in the ‘Chinese’ language family, and,
speakers of one don’t always understand the others.

Specifically, when it comes to Chinese, some parameters are:

Traditional Chinese / Mandarin: useful in Mainland China and beyond
Simplified Chinese: also useful in Mainland China and beyond
Cantonese: useful in Hong Kong, Guangdong, & Macau
Taiwanese: useful in Taiwan

And – really – that’s just a shortlist. For each of the above languages, there are
strategies as to which should be chosen, and why, remembering that comparing these is
like comparing Spanish / Italian / Portuguese / French.  Again, speakers of any
one can understand a little of the others, but, if you speak only one, you definitely
cannot converse or fully understand another.  If mainland China is your target
demographic, or if Hong Kong, the Guangdong Province , Macau, or Taiwan are
within your plans, there are answers to each which will help you choose the correct
language.

As far as industries go, look no farther than China for literally anything and
everything: high tech, communications, computers & computer science, medical,
pharma, outdoor, retail, textile, legal, patent, engineering, mining, natural resources,
sport, automotive … the list goes on and on, and little convincing is required when it
comes to the need for businesses to include Chinese languages in their plans.

Again, the question isn’t whether or not your company needs Chinese translation,
but, how to translate into Chinese the right way, and who can help you do it
correctly.

That’s what VeraLanguage is here for.

Call us – we’ll help you before, during, and after your company enters China. Our team of in-country professionals will help you choose the right demographic and target languages, and, they’ll relive you of the stress and worry of ‘I see Chinese text on our company website & products – I hope it’s right!’ With us, there’s no need to hope or worry – we’ve got you taken care of – from here to China, and back again.

Why Do You Need a Professional to Translate? 5 Reasons…

If your company is doing international business, you need translation services.  Many companies start managing translation on a project-by-project basis, delegating translation to their staff, or an outside company.  Many companies rely on Google Translate, or Microsoft translation services, but, both leave your company looking foolish to the people reading the translation.  At this point, approaching a professional translation agency might seem unnecessary, but, if you want to look credible, you can’t afford not to hire a professional translation company.  Building a long-term partnership with a professional translation agency early on can help you avoid potential pitfalls, and give you the edge on your competition.  Here’s why:

1.         Experience

By partnering with a professional translation agency early on, you benefit by being able to take advantage of the experience a translation company has to offer.  The translation company will have worked with companies like yours on similar projects, and will have professionals who speak the language your customers use every day.  A professional translation agency can advise you on everything from how best to set up translation workflows, to the cultural connotations of your latest marketing campaign.  They can help you avoid common mistakes, as well as help you plan your internationalization strategy, and even help you adapt TV advertisements or digital marketing materials for foreign markets.

2.         Resources

Many companies that start managing translation internally find it very difficult as their business grows.  As a company expands and resources become stretched, translation management often gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile, or delegated to inexperienced employees.  Deadlines get missed, or translation jobs get rushed out, and mistakes are more likely to take place.  Business development teams complain about the poor quality of translations; calls to customer support increase – all of which makes your company come across looking foolish.

A professional translation agency will have access to a huge pool of professional linguists that can be called upon as demand increases, or when big or special projects come up.  Often, senior linguists can be found who have expertise in your particular field of business.  They have an understanding of your customers, your competitors, and your market so you can rest assured that translations are always of the highest quality, and spoken to reflect the local dialect or cultural representation of the language.

3.         Tools

A professional translation agency will have access to a range of tools for managing translation projects.  The benefits these tools offer – over internal processes that use Word, Excel and copy/paste – are huge. The first step for any company that’s serious about language support is to begin building translation memories.  Using translation memories can then help drive down your long-term costs.  With a translation memory, each new project is scanned for translation matches and pre – translated content is reused.  This not only reduces your costs, but also helps you support language consistency.

The types of tools required to do this are often complicated and expensive, requiring significant investment if you want to do this yourself.  In addition, translation tools and translation memories require constant management and revision to make sure they work efficiently.  A professional translation agency can manage this for you, without the investment required in the tools and resources to do so.

4.         Consistency

Managing translation internally through language / country teams can work in the beginning, but, the challenges outweigh the benefits.  One of the biggest problems with this approach is: how to support language consistency. If staff members leave, teams change, or products change, how do you make sure that translations stay intact?

The solution to this is language standardizing and control.  This is an important area where a professional translation agency can help.  Using terminology lists for each language, setting up glossaries, and clearly defining your language style and tone of voice is key to providing consistency across all your multilingual documentation.  Again, the tools required to manage this are expensive and time-consuming to manage, which is why outsourcing this to a professional translation agency will save you money in the long run.

5.         Efficiency

Partnering with a professional translation agency to help manage your translation and localization projects is much more efficient, and less of a risk overall, than trying to establish your own team or set of tools.  The money you save can be used in other areas of your business, and. who wouldn’t want that?  Using a professional translation agency is less risky, requires less upfront investment, and is much more flexible.  Using professional linguists guarantees the highest translation quality and faster output than using members of your in-country sales team, who should be focused on selling.

With all these points covered, for anyone involved in translation or localization management, the decision to use a professional translation agency should be an easy one to make.  If you have questions and would like to get a cost analysis, speak with VeraLanguage. If you’re looking for a new translation vendor for the first time, or if you’re looking to change, contact us for a friendly, impartial chat.  Whatever your requirements, large or small, we’re confident that Veralanguage.com is your solution.

Adobe Captivate: Translation / Re-Design, & VeraLanguage

Adobe Captivate 7 - the new release - continues to be an excellent tool for e-learning across multiple languages - but - expert support from a team of humans is still needed...

Adobe Captivate 7 – the new release – continues to be an excellent tool for e-learning across multiple languages – but – expert support from a team of humans is still needed…

Firstly: thanks to @captivatecrazy (Anita), The #AdobeCaptivate Daily, and http://paper.li/tag/AdobeCaptivate for sharing our blog post from yesterday!  We are very grateful… Secondly: how about some more detailed info about working with VeraLanguage International for your Adobe Captivate translation / re-design / localization projects?  Sure?  Ok, here we go. Anyone familiar with Adobe Captivate will know that it’s an excellent platform for creating e-learning courses.  Absolutely top notch.  We have nothing but great things to say about it. So, let’s say you have a course, created in English (or, any language, actually), which you need in other languages.  You have various animations, functions, images, transitions, audios, etc etc etc throughout your course, and, you’d like the same things…but in, say, Traditional Chinese.  Or Brazilian Portuguese.  Or Canadian French.  Or Russian.  Do you try an automated approach – or – a human approach? That’s where we come in. (The answer, by the way, is: a human approach.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a scored exam.  It’s a blog post.  SCORM and LMS functionality is not attached herein.  Yes, that’s an inside joke for developers and e-learning pros…but, we digress.) The benefit of working with us, rather than going the automation route – is that our team of in-country, expert linguists and Captivate designers actually speak the languages needed, and, they speak the language of Captivate.  Placement is done in detail, with special attention to typesetting, layout, formatting, and so on. Why does that matter? Consider that a title in English may be up to 3 times longer in Russian – so – automation may give you a title which is hanging off the right edge of the screen.  Multiply that concept across the whole presentation – and you’ve got a course whose text looks … unacceptable. Think about how Chinese and Japanese have unique typesetting rules: indentation, margins, what sentences can and can’t start with, and so on.  Again – a human needs to do the work.  Automation (autobots?) will miss these crucial, cultural details, which can cause a complete fail.  No matter how good your English course is, if it wasn’t laid out and re-designed properly in foreign languages – the course will not be accepted by readers of those languages, which leads to lost business, frustration, offense, fail, fail fail… We can save you from those pitfalls, and, localize your Adobe Captivate courses to a level of quality and cultural acceptance.  Our clients come to us exactly for these reasons.  This is why we’re confident enough to offer posts about our Captivate services… Again – what to do?  Get in touch with us any time, 24/7 – to discuss your E-learning Captivate projects: info@veralanguage.com As always, thanks to all our clients and friends.  We are here for and because of … you. Cheers, Vera VeraLangauge International www.veralanguage.com 801-984-3346 Any Language. Any Project. Any Time.

E-Learning Localization: Vera’s the Best of the Best

Do you use Adobe Captivate? Do your clients need your courses in other languages? (Yes.) That's what we're here for...

Do you use Adobe Captivate? Do your clients need your courses in other languages? (Yes.) That’s what we’re here for…

Why not take this opportunity to discuss e-learning?  Better yet – why not talk about Vera’s skills in e-learning localization?

…we see no reason not to.  That’s good enough for us.

In 2013, we’ve completed a number of multi-language, multi-national e-learning courses.  Not only do we love e-learning and education – our skills in this space are truly unmatched.  Where else can you localize your e-learning courses – in any language – via native linguists, voice artist, and designers, with the accuracy, intelligence, relevance, and passion – all for excellent rates and in record turnaround times?

(The answer is: nowhere else.)

Don’t worry – we don’t give away the answers that easily in our e-learning courses.

So, we’ll be talking a good deal about e-learning translation, voiceover, design, desktop publishing, programming – and localization – as we go on.

Adobe Captivate?  Check.

Articulate?  Check.

Articulate Presenter and Storyline?  Check and check.

And the list goes on and on…

What to do?  Get in touch with us any time, 24/7 – to discuss your E-learning Captivate projects:

info@veralanguage.com or call us at 801.984.3346.

Thanks to all our clients and friends.  We are here for and because of … you.

Cheers,

Vera

VeraLangauge International
www.veralanguage.com
801-984-3346
Any Language. Any Project. Any Time.

On With the Series … About The Wondrous ≈ Sign

I must admit, using the ≈ sign in our blog titles and posts probably does(n’t) (do) wonders for our search engine ranking.

I’ve mentioned this before – when we kicked off our series on how translation is often a combination of ≈ and =, and rarely about = alone.

In that previous entry, I showed a screenshot of how a Google search for ≈ yields a goose egg (or, nothing, if you will.  Or a donut.  Zero.    Cool?  Cool.)

This time, how about a Google image search for ≈?

Here it is:

Screenshot of the (lack of) results from a Google image search for ≈ on 12 March, 2013.

Screenshot of the (lack of) results from a Google image search for ≈ on 12 March, 2013.

And, for a bit of time-stamping, heres a screenshot of the date and time at which the screenshot was taken:

Date and time of when the above screenshot was made.

Date and time of when the above screenshot was taken.

How’s that for both proof of ≈’s lack of place in the (internet search) world?  And, how’s that for redundant redundancy?  I love, love redundant redundancy, a lot – a lot.  No, I don’t love it – I love identifying when it is used, particularly, unwittingly / unknowingly (see how I did that?).  A screenshot, and then, a screenshot of the screenshot’s time stamp, and then, a paragraphical paragraph rife with redundancy.  Lovely.

Also, I think if I keep doing screenshots of screenshot image file titles, we might create optical feedback, like this:

Video feedback, featuring Adam Savage.

This would create redundantly redundant redundancy.  Or, would it?  It might create a void into which all our blog posts get dragged.  We don’t want to find out.

The point being, ≈, which is so important when understanding translation, still, yields almost naught, in search terms.

So, to continue with our series, here’s a couple of nice lists about what we’ll address in upcoming posts.  Really, of all that there is to consider when embarking on a translation project, a short list would include:

(From our last entry)…

  • Who is seeking localization? (e.g What company?)
  • Why is it sought? (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Instruction, Information?)
  • Who will do the localizing? (e.g. What professionals?)
  • Who will review the localizations? (e.g. An in-house team of the client’s employees?)
  • Who will view the finished product? (e.g. Employees, stakeholders, clients, everyone on YouTube?)

And, for our series on ≈, we’ll discuss:

  • VeraLanguage Services List:
    • Translation
    • Transcription
    • Interpretation
    • Voiceover & Professional Audio
    • Subtitles
    • Design & Desktop Publishing
    • Proofreading
    • Consultancy

And, these aspects of linguistics and nonverbal communication:

  • Selected aspects of linguistics
    • Grammar
    • Stylistics
  • Selected aspects of nonverbal communication
    • Subject Position
    • Posture
    • Clothing
    • Gestures
    • Engagement
    • Genetics
    • Tone
    • Voice
    • Gaze
    • Haptics
    • Kinesics
    • Proxemics
    • Chronemics
    • Semantics

And, with the stage set thusly, we’ll keep the posts a-flowin’…

Cheers,

Vera

Grandpa Ghostbuster Goes to Sea ≈ …

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

(See why here.)

Image

Never was there a better opportunity to emphasize the ≈ in the concept of translation and international marketing / communication. Also, any time we can reference Wes Anderson and Bill Murray, we will.

Thus – our blog series on localization takes us to an examination of the art form of translation, with the help of some of the greatest artistic representations known to man. (Mmm hmm).

First off, this isn’t a commentary about ‘bad’ translation or ‘wrong’ translation. Yes, there are plenty instances of mistranslation out there (or, Lost in Translation, if you will) – but, this is a note about translation as localization, or trans-creation, rather than apples to apples, word-for-word translation. The most accurate translation isn’t always a exact word for word translation.

Of all that there is to consider when embarking on a translation project, a short list would include:

  • Who is seeking localization? (e.g What company?)
  • Why is it sought? (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Instruction, Information?)
  • Who will do the localizing? (e.g. What professionals?)
  • Who will review the localizations? (e.g. An in-house team of the client’s employees?)
  • Who will view the finished product? (e.g. Employees, stakeholders, clients, everyone on YouTube?)

In the case of marketing a product – those who understand more than one language will tell you that between languages, there is a lot of word-for-word, but there is just as much (often more) room for interpretation and new creation of text. Simply put: it’s not always as simple as taking source words like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and translating them word-for-word.

More specifically, if the purpose is to market a product – and if the absolute, stripped-down purpose is to turn a profit – perhaps a different title or tagline altogether is necessary. Perhaps the translator will give you something that only slightly resembles your source text. It’s not always this drastic, but, any translation is always a version of this concept.

Hence, the use of Grandpa Ghostbuster Goes to Sea as the title to market The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in another country and language. Want to read more fun titles like this? Check out this website, also linked above, for translations of Wes Anderson titles in multiple languages.

Why such a different title than the original? To understand why, we must consider why the source title makes sense in the first place. Considering that this film was made in and first marketed in the U.S., it makes sense that the title can be artistic. Quirky. Whimsical. Catchy. Fun. And, given the genius and success of Mr. Anderson, the title does what is intended: it disperses a brilliant piece of artwork to an audience who will understand and appreciate (and also, consume) it.

Task number two: selling the film in other countries, to speakers of other languages. The translator, in this case – as in any case – must ask the client: what is the purpose of this translation project? If it’s to be whimsical and artistic, and not to care about the bottom line – then great, we’ll translate the title into something whimsical.

If the goal is simply to turn a profit – then, we’ll give you a title that will sell. We’ll consider that our audience remembers Ghostbusters, and will recognize the lead character from his role in that enormously popular film. We’ll note that he’s now grandpa-aged, and that, well, the movie has something to do with the sea (which is less sellable than the chance to see a beloved Ghostbuster again).

In the end, we may not know the details behind this particular translation project, but, those who understand translation will understand that this title may not just have been a Fail Blog entry waiting to happen; rather, it could have been the best way to market a U.S. movie abroad.

What to do? Watch Wes Anderson films. And, try not to get lost in translation, or worse – get lost thinking all translation must be word-for-word in order to be perfect. Ask yourself: do you want to be artistic, or profitable? Both can be important. Only you know which will be more important for your translation projects. Of course, that’s what we’re here to do – to help you determine which witch is which. Or which Ghostbuster is where. (And so on…)

Cheers,

Vera