Looking for translation services in Chicago? Look no further

Winds of change are blowing across the Chicago translation services scene. 

It’s been some time in the making, but it’s finally here. We are proud to inform you that we opened our new branch office in Windy City.

Chicago is the biggest city in the Midwest and the third largest in the US. It’s also an international hub for finance, commerce and industry. Several Fortune 500 companies have settled their headquarters on the shores of lake Michigan. Among the prominent names, we find Boeing, Exelon, and United Airlines.

This diversified industrial hub has been ranking as one of the most productive areas in the world for years. In 2018, the Chi-town area generated a whopping $689 billion of gross domestic product (GDP).

What will we bring to the Chicago translation services landscape?

Expanding our reach to the Midwest came naturally. We’ve had a major growth in translation services for engineering, legal, and finance industries. And many of our clients have their headquarters in Chicago.

Our focus on quality and technology brought shorter turnaround time. Our clients like that we listen to their needs and structure our development along their own strategic axes. So we diversified our portfolio of services, too. A good example is our recent boost in growing our remote interpreting services.

Our localization expertise is yet another benefit we bring to the Chicago businesses. Launching an e-store in Colombia? We can do it. Localizing it for Chile? Sure. Need to tweak your UI to fit with the new locale? No problem there, either.

We are a one-stop-shop who can assist large corporations with localization projects across their global footprint. This is key to streamlining projects and cutting down turnaround time. 

And it’s not just technical text translation we are known for. Across years of work experience, we helped many of our clients with translating marketing collateral, as well. Product pitches, landing pages, video subtitling need a creative approach. Our expert linguists will make it feel like it was written in the target language originally.

Want to schedule a meeting to discuss your translation and localization projects? Our team is here to help you ace your next translation project. 

To get in touch with our Chicago team, hop over here.

 

Zoom meetings: Interpreters are joining you on your beloved video platform

We wrote extensively on OPI/VRI services. Not because it’s a new tech craze. During the pandemic, our businesses, schools, and social life moved on video. And among them, one place in particular: Zoom meetings.

One thing the pandemic didn’t solve was the language barriers. So the need for remote interpreting naturally arose. And sometimes, remote interpreters even saved lives.

One of the problems with remote interpreting was the lack of immediacy. To connect the interpreter to your meeting, it was you who had to access the interpreting platform. 

You had to make sure attendees had downloaded the necessary app and that they had a go at the new interface. At least locate the mute, video, and screen sharing buttons.

Not anymore. 

As of now, our interpreting platform has fully integrated with the video conferencing’s darling, Zoom

Your zoom meetings are new interpreter-ready.

What does this integration with Zoom meetings bring you?

Ease of access

It’s not you who has to access the interpreting platform anymore. You can invite the interpreter directly into your Zoom call.

Our provider’s routing engine will call up the appropriate interpreter into your Zoom meeting within seconds.

Your participants connect to your meeting and listen to the interpreter directly through Zoom.

 

Multiple interpreters at once

You are now able to connect multiple interpreters to the same Zoom meeting. This will prove helpful for long sessions when interpreters need to take turns. 

 

Security

The interpreter listens to your zoom call and translates via our interpreting platform.  The language service is therefore covered by an extra level of encryption provided by our platform.

 

Next time you need to schedule a multilingual video conference, call us. We’ll show you how easy it is to set it up.
Do you have any other questions or concerns? Please let us know and we will try to help.

 

Save on legal costs now: LingPerfect e-discovery translation

Our world has come a long way. The digital dimension is easing exchange of information and overseas business. We sit in Miami, placing an order with our vendor in Shanghai. But what happens when business doesn’t go as planned? How do we solve legal disputes when so much of our data has gone all Greek? A lawsuit may still fall under US jurisdiction. But its discovery material is now in Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. How does this digital and multilingual world affect the e-discovery process? Is there a way you can save on e-discovery translation without losing on quality?

What is e-Discovery?

E-discovery is a phase of a lawsuit. It mandates the opposing parties to share digitally stored data. Discovery and e-discovery referred to different things in the past. But in today’s world of all-things-digital, they have become synonyms. 

E-discovery is complex and costly. It must follow strict rules on data retrieval, storage, analysis, and preparation for court use.

When you add different languages into the equation, the job becomes grueling. The legal team must analyze tons of gigabytes in a digital Tower of Babel.

The challenges of e-discovery translation

When e-discovery goes multilingual, there are a few points to keep in mind.

There’s mooncake, and there’s… mooncake.

The discovery phase involves searching through thousands of pages to find a handful of responsive material. 

The reviewers are not reading full texts but rather search for specific keywords. What lies at the base of a successful e-discovery is not thorough reading. It’s smart keyword research strategy.

Suppose a lawsuit entailed a search for illicit payments across documents in Chinese. Only an expert linguist would know you should include mooncake in your Chinese keyword set. This delicious mid-Autumn festival dessert can be a synonym for illegal payments or bribes.

The cost of multilingual e-discovery

Imagine the eleventh-hour nightmare. A few thousand pages of material in Spanish to review in e-discovery. A translator’s daily output is a few pages a day, at most. Of course, this job was not in the budget. 

Sourcing last-minute translations is an increasing issue for legal teams tackling overseas litigation. Besides the stress, multilingual e-discovery has brought cost flare-ups. Often, these end up being useless. You spend thousands of dollars on legal translators only to find out there’s no responsive material to use.

How can LingPerfect help you with e-discovery translations?

We treat preliminary documents and culled material differently. We reduce costs and save time by machine-translating the initial bulk. Don’t worry, machine translation has come a long way since the days of epic fails. It might feel a bit clanky, but our algorithms will make sure the content is accurate. And it helps you cut costs by two-thirds, if not more. 

Only once responsive documents emerge, we employ our expert legal linguists. They work on pre-translated material, so they focus on perfecting the texts instead of translating from scratch. Another smart use of resources, there.

Give us a call to find out how we can help you reduce your e-discovery translation costs, while leaving no mooncake unturned. 

Apostille, certified, sworn? An easy guide on official translations (part 2)

In this article, we pick up on official translations right where we left off last week. Only this time, we’ll look into the types of official translations that have legal value in other countries.

Sworn translation: a legalized translation in some countries

The concept of sworn translators doesn’t exist in the US, but it’s common in Europe and Latin America. 

Suppose you need to translate a document that has to have legal value in Spain. In that case, you could have it translated directly by a sworn translator. 

Sworn translators are language experts with a valid degree who have passed a certification process by the relevant government authority. This can either be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Spain) or the Courts (France and Germany). Their translations have legal value in the country where they are sworn in. 

The upside: it saves you the step of legalizing or apostilling a translation made by a random translator in your own country. 

The downside: sworn translators require the original source document in order to validate it. So if the sworn translator is in Spain, it might take some time (and money) to FedEx it overseas.

Legalized translation and Apostille

What if you already notarized a translation in the US? Will it have legal value elsewhere? Unfortunately not. 

To make a translation legally valid in another country, you have two options. 

If the countries are not part of the Hague Convention, you’ll have to have it legalized once more in the recipient country.

If the countries are signatories of the Hague Convention, you can have it apostilled in your country of origin. This will give the translation legal weight in the other country, as well.

So to legalize a translation in Italy,  you could simply apostille it back in the US. But if you needed it to have legal value in Canada, it wouldn’t work. The Canucks have not signed the HCCH treaty.

Conclusion

When it comes to officializing, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A lot depends on the nature of the document and the country where it must have legal value.

Luckily, there’s LingPerfect to help. With years of experience in the field, we’ll give you the best advice on the type of translation you need. Send us a message and let us take the burden off your shoulders.

 

 

Apostille, certified, sworn? An easy guide on official translations (part 1)

Have you ever needed an official translation? A college certificate or a license? It probably felt like going through a maze. Certification, legalization, apostilling—the bumbledom language never ceases to confuse and irritate.

Let’s cut this red tape short, shall we? 

Official translations: what are they?

An official translation is an umbrella term for many types of document translation. The name seems quite simple, but there’s a catch. There isn’t one single way of officializing a translation. It depends on:

  • The nature od the document
  • Its final purpose
  • The receiving country

Certified translation: official, but not legal

A certified translation happens when the translator or a translation agency attests that the translation is faithful, accurate, and complete. This is usually done by signing and stamping each page of the translation and accompanied by a translator’s affidavit.

Any translator or translation agency can self-certify the translation. Want to give more weight to the stamp? Choose a provider who’s a member of an association like the American Translators Association (ATA). Like yours truly.

A certified translation does not have legal value, though. To do so, it has to pass through notarization.

Notarization: legalizing a translation in the US

A notarized translation is when the translator swears an oath before the Notary Public that he or she has translated the document faithfully and accurately.

Does this mean a notary public is also a language specialist? Not by a mile. Notaries public don’t attest to the quality of the translation. Instead, they verify the translator’s identity so that the language expert can be held accountable for the translation produced.

By notarizing, your translation finally gets legal value in your country, as well.

How to make your translation legal in another country?

In this article, we shed some light on what it means to certify your translation and make your translated text have legal value in the US. What happens when you need to have your translations legally valid in another country?

Make sure you hover over next week to find out.

 

 

 

Save time and money with machine translation post-editing

Robot against human. The eternal dispute among translators. Well, it’s time to strike that. 

With machine translation post-editing (MTPE), the language industry is finally overcoming the eternal struggle of man versus machine. It’s welding a partnership. It’s giving us robot and human. 

A faster turnover and better cost efficiency make MTPE an increasingly alluring pick. But it isn’t a fit choice for all types of content.  So what is it, and how can you benefit from it? 

Read on. Or ask your R2-D2 to read it out to you.

Machine translation: and old technology with breakthrough improvements in recent years

Machine translation is not a new kid on the block. But only recently, it’s washed off the smirch of delivering faulty (and often funny) translations. This improvement happened mostly to a revolutionary technology called Neural Machine Translation

Today, machine translations can process huge bulks of text and produce a decent translation output in a matter of minutes. 

But decent is often not good enough. Pure machine translation can still feel clanky, unnatural. That’s why it gets coupled with a human process.

Post-editing: making the metal sound like music

As the name suggests, post-editors check the machine’s output and tweak it depending on its final use.

Light post-editing makes the text coherent and error-free, with minimal human intervention. 

It’s perfect for rush jobs and non client-facing documents.

Full post-editing refines the text further. It makes the translation stylistically appropriate, as well. This means swapping words with more powerful synonyms, changing the syntax, and giving rhythm to the text. This option is more human-heavy (ergo more expensive), so it’s appropriate for client-facing content. 

Can MTPE replace human-only translations across the board?

The benefits of MTPE cannot be ignored. In some cases, it can save you up to 50% and quadruple the turnover time. With a thorough post-editing process, MTPE can bring significant savings in a variety of content. But there are a few caveats.

MT Engines are not equally efficient for all language pairs

While it works perfectly with some language pairs, we’ve seen that machine translation is still glitchy when it comes to other language pairs. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use MTPE. It just means that the machine translation will require a heavier post-editing process, resulting in less cost- and time- efficiency.

Creative content is still best translated by a human

When your message contains specific cultural notions, puns, and wordplay, humans beat the machine by a long shot. In other words, what you get out of machine translation requires so much human editing that it simply isn’t worth the while. So keep your marketing collaterals, website copy, and social media posts in the hands of someone with a pair of eyes and whose name isn’t spelled in digits. 

Drop us a line and find out how your next translation project can benefit from MTPE, too.

 

 

 

 

Unlock the power of your content: subtitling services by LingPerfect

If you thought that at LingPerfect, we only dealt with translations, buckle up. The range of content-related services we excel at goes much further. That’s why we decided to write a set of articles that describe all the services we can do for you. 

Today’s special: subtitling.

What is subtitling?

Subtitling is the process of adding text to videos to describe what is being said on the screen. 

There are a myriad of different types of subtitling formats. Not to vex you with too much detail, here are the two major ones: 

  • A translation of the audio track (subtitling proper
  • A rendition in the same language meant for the deaf or hard of hearing community (captions). 

No big deal, you might say. It’s just an audio transcription or a translation of the same, at most. 

Not that elementary, Watson.

The hidden art of (good) subtitling

Spotting high-quality subtitling is hard. Much harder than noticing when something goes awry. 

When done well, subtitles feel natural, flow smoothly—they render the message with the right words at the right time. To achieve this, subtitle translators must factor in a variety of aspects.

Spoken and written language are like apples and oranges

We’ve briefly discussed this in our previous article. Spoken language syntax and grammar are quite different from the written form. If the subtitle translator just translated what is being said, the subtitles would often be illegible. 

When used in spoken language, false starts, repetitions, and sentence fragments sound natural (and make sense). But when put into writing, they fog out the meaning completely:

I d– I don’t… I mean… haven’t seen him around. 

To follow such a thread with your ear is one thing. Reading through 90 minutes of such prattle would probably get you a migraine.
A skilled subtitle translator will convey the meaning from one language to another and transpose the content to comply with the rules of written language.

Space and time restrictions in subtitles

Subtitles have to follow the action and be paced with scene changes. This process is called spotting. There are 24 frames in every second of video. An expert subtitle translator will be able to spot the best frames to start and finish a subtitle caption. 

Another thing a subtitle translator must consider is character length. A subtitle can be placed on two lines, at most. Each line can contain a maximum of 35 characters. But the words spoken in that scene can be many more.
Subtitles must therefore be much shorter, yet retain all the meaning from the audio source. It takes exceptional synthesizing skills to do that.

Knowing your audience: localization in subtitling

Imagine you’re watching a Japanese movie, and the character says: 

“This sake is delicious. It tempers the strong wasabi we had before.” 

Should the subtitle translator keep the sake and wasabi in the English subtitles? Or should they become rice wine and spicy dip? There is no unanimous answer. It depends on the audience, and how well-known the foreign term is in the target culture.

How about subtitling cartoons? A fifth grader’s grammar and vocabulary differ a lot from an adult’s. Unless the cartoon is about spelling bee contests, the language will have to adapt to the level of an eleven-year-old.
Knowing who the subtitle text is meant for makes a world of difference. An expert subtitle translator will be able to navigate through register differences and cultural notions so that the audience will get the most out of its viewing experience.

Why should you care about subtitles even if your surname doesn’t spell Spielberg?

You’re not working in the movie industry, so why bother? Well, here are just a few ways how you can benefit from subtitling your audiovisual content.

  1. It’s the cheapest way to make your content accessible to other cultures

When compared to dubbing, subtitles come at a fraction of the former’s cost. Talking about other cultures doesn’t mean you’re targeting foreign overseas lands. In the US, over forty percent of the population is native in a language other than English. Subtitling your content will make it more available for the ESL community. 

  1. You’ll make your content more inclusive for native English speakers with disabilities or special needs

Captioning your audio track can help reach a broad spectrum of native English population with ADHD, dyslexia, and autism. The same goes for the deaf or hard of hearing people. 

  1. Search engines will like you more. As will your boss.

If you’re betting on SEO, think seriously about subtitling your videos. Here are some spicy stats:

  • An astonishing 85% of Facebook videos are watched without the sound on. According to the social media giant’s data, captioning your video increases the viewing time by 12%.
  • A study by PLY media found out that 66% of uncaptioned videos are watched until completion. When captioned, the figure bumps up to over 90%.
  • Research by Instapage uncovered that captioned videos earn 15% more shares and 17% better reactions. But most importantly—they get more than 26% of call-to-action clickthroughs.

Whether you’re in airspace or agriculture, captioning your videos will help you reach better results across the board. With our set of expert subtitle translators and years of experience in the field, we’re here to help. 

What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone or drop us an email.

Unlock the power of your content: audio transcription services by LingPerfect

If you thought that at LingPerfect we only dealt with translations, buckle up. The range of content-related services we excel at goes much further than bridging language barriers. That’s why we decided to write a set of articles that describe all the services we can do for you. Today’s special: audio transcription.

What is audio transcription?

Audio transcription is the process of converting an audio file into written text. It doesn’t look like rocket science, right? Think again. The way we speak differs a lot from the way we write. When speaking, we focus less on grammar and syntax. The use of pronouns spikes up, and our sentences become shorter. It doesn’t mean that spoken language equals illogical prattle. But the way we express this logic differs a lot between spoken and written word. 
By consequence, a transcription that merely puts voice into writing is often abstruse. That’s why audio transcription usually requires an additional step called normalization. A normalized transcription conveys the original message faithfully, but it becomes more readable because it adapts the message to the rules of written language.

How does audio transcription work?

Audio files can come in various formats: mp3, wav, and others. We can work with any type you have at hand.

We then import the file in proprietary software, which is used by our team of professional transcribers. Besides impeccable knowledge of grammar, a transcriber must be well versed in the transcription conventions. These span from using tags to denote special sounds to removing unnecessary clutter. Not to talk about diligence and superhuman focus. It takes a special kind of person to be able to sit through hours of audio files and decode utterances.

The audio file gets processed depending on the final use of the transcription. For instance, if you plan to use it for subtitling, we will insert timestamps along with the text. This will make your life much easier when you need to embed the subtitle file into the video.

It’s 2020. Can’t the machines do the transcriber’s bidding?

They can, but only if you are willing to compromise on quality. With AI powering up automated transcription programs, the number of bloopers like 49-year-old occasional male instead of 49-year-old Caucasian male went down by quite a few notches. 

But a machine won’t do all the dirty work for you. In years of transcription experience, we never received a file that didn’t contain proper nouns like surnames or places. Without adequately researching them—which only a human transcriber can do—the final product is bound to contain mistakes.

Isn’t audio transcription just for legal proceedings and medical files?

Litigation and medical transcripts are the more traditional sectors that have benefited from it. But if your business is elsewhere, don’t steer away from audio transcription just yet. Here is some food for thought on how audio transcription can unleash the power of your content, too.

  • CONTENT (RE)CREATION

We all know creating content can be costly. Coming up with ideas for new posts is often a daunting affair. Surprise: your next blog post topic is actually lurking in the video or podcast you already produced. 

You can get a head start on your new piece of written content by captioning your audio or video content.

That way, you’ll spend less time on brainstorming and “reinvest” the money you put into previously published content.

  • ACCESSIBILITY

The WHO recently published a staggering figure. One in every twenty people suffers from disabling hearing loss. By 2050, they estimate this figure to double—in a group of ten, one person will suffer from a hearing impairment. Transcribing your audio content will help you reach an otherwise inaccessible audience. 

  • SEO

There’s no point in denying: video is the new king of content. But if your videos aren’t searchable by search engines, you limit your reach potential. Thus, the ROI on your marketing collateral plummets. Think about it for a second: a five-minute video can contain as much as nine hundred words. That’s a wealth of keywords.

Posting the transcript next to your video increases your chances of ranking better because you make it easier for crawlers to index your content.

Wrapping it up

Have you been shying away from audio transcription because you thought it was unnecessary for your business? Well, now is the time to reassess your position.  
Transcribing your audio material can help you hit a higher ROI on your marketing efforts with better SEO ranking, a wider distribution, and content recycling. Send us a message, and we’ll be happy to explain the perks of audio transcription in greater detail.

E-learning courses: 5 reasons why your company can’t do without it

E-learning, also known as CBT (computer-based learning) is an umbrella definition for all types of training performed through digital mediums. The increasing speed of the internet has made e-learning gain a lot of traction–for all the right reasons. Here are a few of them.

1. E-learning saves time (ergo money)

All the recent studies have pointed out that e-learning saves more than 50% of the time compared to traditional classroom-style education. Since training happens within employees’ paid time, your company needs to cash out less time on employee education.

2. E-learning courses are student-centered

Ever gone through training, where half of the students were clearly ahead of the learning curve? That’s right: half the audience was dozing off, making the other half lose motivation and gain less from the training. 

Grouping people by their subject-matter proficiency is costly, so classroom training is bound to prove efficient only for a part of the group. E-learning, on the other hand, solves this issue nicely. Students who are ahead can skip through the training content they are proficient in and focus on the novel subjects. This ramps up everyone’s learning efficiency.

3. E-learning is scalable

Organizing classroom training is always a hassle. Too few people and your training cost pro-capita skyrockets. Too many, and the training yields less effect because it becomes too impersonal. E-learning solves this before you say Jack Robinson. Each student—or group of students—access the training whenever and wherever is most convenient for them and their line manager.

4. E-courses use more mediums, raising the level of training success

Start off with an intro video. Add an interactive module. Test your employees with a gamified quiz during their coffee-break.  All this and more can be done easily with modern e-learning platforms like Lectora Inspire, Adobe Captivate, and Articulate Storyline. While standard classroom training relies solely upon the educator’s level of preparation and charisma, e-learning uses all the different mediums and senses to make the training varied and interesting to follow.

5. E-learning unlocks the power of analytics

Calculating ROI on training has always been a grey area. With classroom training, you can’t pinpoint whether an increase in your employees’ KPIs is due to the educator’s super-power or the training module itself. E-learning removes this barrier. You can measure the effectiveness of a training session by analyzing the dropout rates at any step of the module. This insight will allow you to improve your courses quickly and painlessly. You could also split-test two different approaches with two groups, and see which one brings a higher yield in the target KPI.

And if you need to translate it?

This is where things can get tricky. Employee experience is as important as customer experience for your company’s success. But different cultures require different training approaches. At the same time, you want to make sure that your company culture’s tone and style remain as uniform as possible. Put shortly, what you need is localization, not translation. 

Luckily, there’s LingPerfect. Not only we make your life easier by working directly in the e-learning platform of your choice, but we also help you create glossaries, style guides, and manage the implementation of your localized e-learning courses. Send us a message to request more information, and we’ll be glad to walk you through the process.

Translation Memories: better, faster, cheaper translations

Have you ever wondered how a translator can get through a 20,000-word user manual and make sure that 500 occurrences of Turn on the computer always translate into Encienda la computadora and not once in Prendé la compu? Meet Translation Memories, a translator’s—and your—biggest allies.

What are translation memories?

A translation memory is a database of previously translated segments with the help of a computer-assisted translation (CAT) software. 

When a source text gets imported into a CAT tool, the software breaks the content down into segments or strings. These strings are usually sentences, but can also be clauses, phrases, or titles. When the translator writes the translation of a source string, this source-target pair gets stored in the translation memory. 

If a similar or equal source string appears later in the text, the translation memory will prompt the translator with the previously saved string as a possibly reusable match. 

There are three types of translation memory matches: 

  • A context match, also known as a 101% or 102% match. This type of match means that the source string is equal to the one previously translated and that the strings before and after it are the same, too. There is a high chance that the translation can be reused.
  • A 100% match. This string is the same as the one already stored in the translation memory, but the preceding or the succeeding strings are different. The linguist can rely on its accuracy but should pay special attention to whether the new context still warrants the same translation as before.
  •  A fuzzy match means that the source string is similar to a previously translated one, but not the same.  For instance, there is a translation entry for The summers are hot in Tampa. A few pages down the road, The summers are hot in San Diego appears. The software recognizes the second string as a fuzzy match. Depending on the context, the translator might reuse some of the already translated text. The level of fuzziness can be anywhere from 99% to 0%. Fuzzy matches below 70% are generally useless, and the linguist will translate the string from scratch.

How do you benefit from translation memories?

Here are a few ways in which you benefit from translation memories:

  • Consistency

With translation memories, language experts can process a lengthy document without going willy-nilly with repetitive strings. The same string will always be translated the same way, ensuring a high level of consistency throughout the content.

  • Quality

All the stakeholders in a translation project (the client, the agency project manager, the linguist, and the reviewer) work on one single source of truth. This makes sure that everyone is aligned with brand guidelines, tone, and style.

  • Price

It’s standard practice that repetitions and high-percentage fuzzy matches are discounted. You might wonder why they don’t come free of charge. The reason is simple. Even a 100% match still needs to be proofread to make sure that the previously translated target language equivalent fits the new context. But usually, this revision comes at a fraction of the cost you pay for a new segment.

Do all types of content benefit from translation memories?

To put it shortly: no. User manuals, guidelines, product specs, and contracts are the most fitting group because they are repetitive. 

Creative writing like marketing collateral, hero copy, and social media contain little repetition. By consequence, they yield little to no optimization from translation memory software.

So the translation memory is an ever-growing translation tool that needs no maintenance?

If only that were true! In reality, as a translation memory grows, so does the need to keep them nice and tidy. Over time, you might have done changes to your content style guidelines. You might even have launched a new business line where you address a different audience. If your translation memories do not reflect these changes, the translator will face dilemmas when finding different matches for a given source segment. So instead of speeding up work, it will lead to wasting time trying to figure out which entry is the more relevant one. 

Translation memories help defy the Triple Obstacle Triangle. They make things cheaper, faster, and better—all at the same time. And the more they grow, the more value they bring.  But only if they are kept clean and updated. 

Not sure how? Give us a call, and we’ll tell you more.