Category Archives: Document 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.

Italian Translation: Why You Need It

Companies who do business internationally understand the need for Italian translation.  Successful international entities who hold themselves to the highest standard always feature Italian as an integral part of their global brand strategy.

A major reason for this is that Italian brands – which are world leaders in how they combine style and innovation – have set a worldwide benchmark for attractiveness and quality, and have lead many industries in areas ranging from automotive, engineering, and food & beverage, to fashion, and even everyday family products.

Brands originating in Italy have cemented Italian as a linguistic necessity for international businesses.  This is why Italian is in the must-have EFIGS category of European languages: English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

If your company wants to be held to a standard of worldwide quality, think of how these Italian brands represent global brand success:

In the automotive space, Italy has given us Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pirelli, and Ducati.

In fashion, Italy has produced the luxurious Versace, Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Bvlgari brands.

Italy is always a top standard in food & beverage, with household products from Nutella, Martini, S. Pellegrino, and Barilla.

And, in the infant & stroller category, the Italian brand Chicco is a major success.

These brands’ success make it easy to gauge Italy and Italian consumers’ Internet presence: Italy has the 4th highest Internet usage population in Europe, making it a mainstay among the top 10 Internet countries in Europe.

On the world economic scale, Forbes has reported Italy as a country with a GDP of over $2 Billion, produced by its population of just over 61 million.

Considering Italy’s list top world brands, and European Internet presence, the question about working with VeraLanguage to provide your company with Italian translation, voiceover, interpretation, and any language service you need, is a simple decision: you need Italian translation; you need VeraLanguage.

German Translation: Why You Need It

For any company doing business internationally – and particularly in Europe – translation into German is a must.

Not only is German the language with the most native speakers in Europe, it’s the language of a country with one of the world’s most advanced, stable, profitable economies, with top global brands in finance, technology, automotive, engineering, and more.  Top global companies like Allianz, Deutsche Bank Group, Siemens Group, ThyssenKrupp, Volkswagen, and BMW are all based in Germany.

To put the need for German translation into perspective, here’s a quick question to put help illustrate just how popular German translation is: does the acronym ‘EFIGS’ means anything to you?

If it does, then, the need for this article will be obvious.  If EFIGS sounds more like a dried fruit that belongs in a cookie, then, the following explanation should shift your thoughts from dessert, to languages and professional translation.

EFIGS is the commonly used acronym for English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.  This group represents a list of European languages where, when one is needed, all are needed.

But, if we were to list these in order of which has the most native speakers in Europe, which is among the top 10 languages on the internet, which is an official European Union language, and which is the language of the country with the 5th largest economy in the world, then, all answers point to German.

If your company is interested in being taken seriously as an international enterprise, these services – provided by VeraLanguage International’s German teams – are absolutely crucial: having a German language version of your website, German text in your product manuals, and German voiceover in your videos.  Other necessary services include German interpretation for phone calls, and German cultural analysis and planning for your international brand strategy & business plan.

Canadian French vs European French

Don’t mistake them for the same thing.

france and canada

The differences between French spoken in France and Canadian French have often been compared to those of American English and British English; but, this is of course a hotly-contested debate.  The relationship is perhaps more akin to that of Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

Speakers of one dialect can easily understand another yet could find the definition of certain words changes dramatically across the Atlantic. Accents and pronunciations, like between the US and the UK, are also noted differences, sometimes to the extent that a Canadian francophone may be required to modify their accent in Europe to be understood. The major differences, however, are in vocabulary.

Let’s apply this to business: say your company has a big project coming up, and you want to cover the major French markets. There are many countries where French is the official language, and the two which are mostly discussed in this category of comparison are Canada and France. If you do one French translation, and expect it to cover both bases, you will undoubtedly turn one region off. They are the same language, but there are two very distinct ways of speaking that language. To give a comparison: would you use an Australian English translation in the United States? It is the same language, but it isn’t.

It is extremely important to make your company look professional and to appeal to the market you’re trying to reach, so, if you are going to do a project in Canada for French speakers, use a French Canadian translation.  The same rule applies for France. The people in each country will be able to tell in the first sentence what type of French you are using. You can’t afford to only cover one market when your marketing strategy calls for both markets. Don’t make this mistake.

This same principle also applies to Spanish, German, English, Chinese, and any other language which is spoken in multiple countries. Don’t make your company look arrogant, or unprofessional – it is well worth spending the money to hire a professional French translation company with native speakers who provide the correct regional and national translations. This simple principle will give you a better outcome on your project, and allow you to correctly target the audience you intended.

VeraLanguage International LLC is a licensed, certified international language services agency. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, we have offices and professionals in over 50 countries.

Founded in 2010, our team has grown to include over 1,000 professionals worldwide. Our linguists, interpreters, designers, consultants, and leadership team are second to none. Our leadership team has worked in the international language and localization community for decades, and our team comprises some of the most seasoned language professionals on Earth. We can handle any job you can throw at us. Contact us today: VeraLanguage.com.

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.

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