We’re ATA members now. What’s in it for you?

It’s good to dip one’s feet out of one’s comfort zone, they say. Spend time with people outside your picket fence. It freshens perspectives. Brings new ideas into life. But there are times when peer support brings fresh ideas, too. When flocking together with birds of a feather means exchanging good practices, learning new things. And why not—raising the bar of the trade that unites you. But you need to choose your peers wisely. Aim for the best. We did. We became members of ATA, the American Translators Association.

ATA members: much more than just translators and interpreters

ATA is the largest and one of the longest-standing associations of translators and interpreters in the States. 

Brought to life in 1959, it grew to reach over 10,000 members today. Its band goes well beyond American language experts. Currently, ATA members come from over 100 countries.

ATA members are not just translators and interpreters. There are educators and software developers. There are agencies, government offices. Even hospital representatives. This mix of professions proves translation is so much more than just knowing a foreign brogue.

ATA members have access to a myriad of webinars and workshops. They can also get ATA-certified in more than 15 language pairs.

But ATA’s most notable event, however, remains the ATA Annual Conference.

ATA members’ annual conference: the language industry’s finest mob

The ATA Annual Conference is a three-day event attracting language mavens from all four corners of the world. Participants can choose from over 100 different sessions with top-notch panelists and industry experts. We don’t discuss theory. There’s a lot of practical knowledge shared. Here’s a quick bite of a few topics from this year’s program, which will be exceptionally held online, for you-know-which reasons:

  • “Translating for the Pharmaceutical Industry and Language Access”
  • “Localization for Applications on Voice Assistants”
  • “Legal Translation: How Hard Can It Be?” (sarcasm intended)
  • “Terminology Management”

ATA + LingPerfect: what’s in it for you?

The easy answer would be: we can certify our translations with ATA’s rubber stamp. This seal means a lot when you need official translations from us. But that’s just a nibble.

It should be clear by now that ATA is not a trade union. With peer members, we discuss the recent developments, share new technologies. We put our heads together to solve the language industry’s biggest conundrums. We do this to deliver better, faster, and smarter language services to you

If there’s anything new and exciting in the language market, ATA members get to know it first. So you are first in line to benefit from it, too.

 

 

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.

 

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. 

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.

Why Mistranslation Matters More than You Think

We’ve all had the pleasure of laughing at a funny translation fail. Like the time when a restaurant owner served Language in Sauce on his menu. A very witty Google Translate suggestion for translating of Lengua in Salsa in English. 

But if you think mistranslations are harmless mistakes that cause an occasional giggle, think again. 

The real cost of mistranslation

A faulty translation can end up in devastating lawsuits and losses, too. There are glaring examples of million-dollar hospital lawsuits due to a wrong diagnosis. We’ve also seen cases of large corporations losing hundreds of thousands in marketing costs. The main culprit? A mistake in translation. 

A mistranslation might be eroding your revenue stream more subtly, too. With the exponential growth of information, our attention span is decreasing. So your customers are becoming pickier about their purchase decisions. A poorly translated message can become a tipping point for a customer. Why? The low quality of your content does not evoke trust. And if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

Saving on translation services looked like a wise move. But in reality, it could be costing you tenfold in the sales you lose.

How to avoid mistranslations?

Speaking two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. Translation requires skill and training. Another vital part of ensuring quality is inherent to a well-controlled process. It includes certified translators, translation memories for consistency, and proofreading. Something only a serious translation agency will provide.

If assurance fails, there’s insurance

Translation is a human process. So there is a slight chance of something going South even with the best processes in place. If that happens, a good translation agency will have business liability insurance to cover potential losses arising from a mistranslation. This is something that freelancers rarely offer because the cost of such insurance is high.  

With LingPerfect, you can rest assured and insured. We have a rubber-stamped quality management process (ISO 9001:2015). And on top of it – best-in-class liability insurance. 

Learn how medical interpreters are adapting to help fight COVID-19 and read our latest post.

Localization in our World: Managing the Language of International Business Mergers and Acquisitions

Another day, another merger, another acquisition. Whether it is your company, your client’s company or your supplier’s company, it feels like international business is always shifting in some way or another. If you’ve been through a merger or acquisition in your own company, you know first hand how this can affect your business, your employees, and your bottom line. Let’s take a look at these areas in more detail and take a look at how language is a key factor in all of this.

We can start with the basics of what it means to merge or to acquire a business. It is not always transparent to the outside or inside world what is actually happening. A merger is a consolidation of 2 or more companies into a new entity. In mergers, generally a new company name is created as well as a new organizational structure. With an acquisition, there is a lead company that takes over another company and typically retains the same name of that company. Regardless of whether it is a merger or an acquisition, you are taking 2 or more companies, and with them all the cultural considerations, both company culture and the country culture of the enterprise.

What kinds of considerations should be made for mergers and acquisitions that cross international lines? You need to think about how the company culture is defined by the country culture of the companies that are being combined. How is your HR department organized? What has been the official HR language until this point in each of the entities?

There are many levels of employee engagement that need to be considered. We will start with the basics, the content for contracting and HR documents.You may have 2 companies, each with HR in the native language of their home HQ. It’s possible that they have already translated major contracts and documents into English as a common language, especially if they are doing any international recruiting. As you combine the HR function, you will want to take a look at redundancies in contracts and aligning language between the 2. It may make sense to adopt English as a common source language for these documents and then extend out to different languages, or to keep the source content in the native HQ language.

After the basics are taken care of as far as internal communications, you will want to consider what the approach will be for ongoing training and communication. Internal communication includes training and learning as well as memos about the merger/acquisition itself. The clearer you can be with your staff, the more settled they will feel. This includes giving them the details about future plans and changes in their preferred language to avoid misunderstandings.

Once you have determined your internal communication strategy, you can begin to think about your customers as well as your suppliers. Like internal employees, they are going to want clear communication in their language if possible. They will need to know if and how any of their working relationships might change as a result of the merger/acquisition and whether new contracts will be needed. Consider whether, due to your new organizational structure, you are able to service your clients or support your own suppliers more effectively and make sure to include this in your communication plan. Of course, if you are expanding the sales of your products internationally, you will need to localize the product, marketing and training as well. If you need help planning for an international merger or acquisition, contact LingPerfect Translations for a free quote.

Certified vs. Non-Certified

For many of LingPerfect’s legal clients, a key consideration when developing the initial workflow for a project is whether the final translation will require a certification of accuracy. These certificates are notarized affidavits detailing the nature of the document as well as the languages implicated in the project, and attest to the accuracy and quality of the completed translation. The primary factors in considering when certification is needed ultimately rests with the ultimate use of the translated file, whether it be for regulatory, immigration, litigation, or discovery purposes, and it decided on a case-by-case basis.
For example, although there is no standard certification requirement or formal entry into evidence of foreign documents in US federal courts, several state courts, including Texas and Florida, have enacted certification requirements for translated documents in state evidentiary requirements. However, many legal clients engaged in federal litigation will often certify the documents as a preemptive measure to guard against any challenges or objections by the opposing party.
Further, US Customs and Immigration Service requires that all documents submitted in support of an application or petition (i.e., birth/marriage certificates, education and employment records) require a formal certification attesting to the accuracy of the translation to be included with the application. Another example is in the life sciences and medical device fields, where the US Food and Drug Administration requires translation of a number of documents prior to registration, including the actual patent itself and training documents, label text, instructions, informed consent forms, brochures, and case reports.
On the other hand, if the translations are being used primarily for internal or reference purposes only, certification is not necessary or the files may be reviewed or certified prospectively depending upon the client’s preference. LingPerfect always provides notarized certifications as part and parcel of a project upon request without any additional fees, and our team is flexible with any requirements the client may have.

Please feel free to contact our team directly regarding any questions or concerns regarding the certification requirements for your translation project, and we look forward to hearing from you.

What is the difference between Localization, Globalization and Internationalization?

LOCALIZATION

Localization is the modification of a product or content to the language or other specification of a particular locale. The process of localization involves changing content to align to what obtains in the region of the target audience. This can include converting currencies and units of measurement and changing the presentation of dates, phone numbers and addresses. This could also mean changing the designation of a cultural group or country for political reasons; for instance, many residents of Taiwan will resent being referred to as “Chinese,” preferring instead the appelation “Taiwanese.”

Localization can also involve alterations to graphical content; most images are of a culture-specific nature, and therefore need to be slightly altered (or completely replaced) in order to seem natural to the intended viewer. The kind of clothing being worn by people in a stock photo, for instance, can immediately tie the content to a specific region of the world. Likewise, a color with positive connotations in one culture may carry negative connotations in a different one. Symbols and icons are another graphical element that are far from universal and may therefore require replacement.

Localization also involves certain aspects of language that are not strictly covered by translation. For instance, idiomatic expressions and proverbs—if not omitted from the source material from the start—will require replacement by a comparable one from the target destination, assuming a suitable correlative actually exists.

In summary, Localization therefore aims to give a product the feeling that it was produced solely for the target audience, irrespective of culture and language.

GLOBALIZATION

Competition—both domestic and international—has motivated many companies to begin targeting global audiences; for these companies then it is imperative that their products (especially in the case of interactive software and applications) are compatible with their global consumers’ operating systems, web browsers or other local specifications.

For the most part this process revolves around the translation into the local language of any textual components that the user is likely to interact with, including menus, toolbars and dialogue boxes. Globalization also involves the various ways in which onscreen text is to be sorted or displayed.

Because this process is mostly linguistic, it makes little sense to recreate applications from scratch every time they need to be prepared for a specific market. Instead, the application to be globalized should initially be coded in such a way that text can easily be replaced without affecting its underlying (non-textual) components.

Globalization is therefore a process that is used to address the challenges of logistics that an organization faces when it expands its content and assets into new markets with different perspectives and cultural beliefs.

The processes involved in globalization include carrying out research and identifying global markets, validating and selecting these markets, formalizing global business requirements, translating into the target audience language and putting their culture into consideration while aligning it and getting support for internalization.

INTERNATIONALIZATION

Internationalization involves planning for and implementing products and services such that their localization for the target audience and culture will be easy. A blend of international expertise and technicality is needed to pull this off. New systems are deployed in the process while the ones in use are reengineered. Internationalization helps to ensure that when you roll out your services in the selected target countries, there is cost efficiency in the way you do business.

Internalization processes include making illustrations for documents whereby text is easy to change to another language, creating space in user interfaces in case there is a need for more space during translation into another language, making web site graphics and print such that their translation is not expensive, using examples with global meaning, using tools that are able to give support to international character sets and making sure that there is data space in software so that messages can be translated from a source language with single-byte character codes to the language of the target audience language that has to make use of multiple-byte character codes.

Translation & Localization – How can you tell if your content needs localization? When is ONLY translation needed?

The time will come when you have content that needs localizing. You may have this realization because your company has an international presence, or because you want to expand your services into new markets. At this point, it will be clear that in order for your content to travel easily and connect with your target audience, it will have to be localized. In order to accomplish this, a number of steps will be necessary.

Localization involves adapting the content in question so that it provides an equal amount of value to end-users in a new locale. This may include altering the names of currencies or other region-specific attributes such as employing a different color palette. It may also require the text to be translated from its original language into that of the target destination.

HOW TO LOCALIZE YOUR CONTENT

There are several ways to guarantee the usefulness of your content across cultural and linguistic barriers. These include the following.

Ensure that the language of your content is tailored to your audience. Modifying the language to suit that of your target audience does not necessarily require a complete conversion into a foreign language like French or Mandarin; sometimes this may be as simple as modifying the spelling of certain words only (as when differentiating UK and US spelling). Other times it may require changing the phrasing of sentences that are idiomatic.

Formatting & Design

When localizing your website, brochure or other content, formatting and design alone can tip-off your audience that you are involved in international business. For this reason, when making formatting and design choices you must be mindful of the sometimes-significant differences in cultural attitudes that can positively or negatively bias the reactions of your intended audience with regard to your content.

A successful localization should conform to the local audience’s social conventions in a way that seems as natural as possible. Ensure that your design is done appropriately such that it will align with the people you are intending to reach. Create graphics and work with icons that are understood by your target audience.

Take the culture of your target audience into consideration. The visual content and the colors of the people you are trying to get across to should be put into consideration. In different cultures, visual metaphors and colors have different meanings; therefore, carry out some research before you decide on the ones to use. You need to do this so that you do not offend the sensitivities of the people with which you are trying to communicate.

WHEN ONLY TRANSLATION IS NEEDED

Oftentimes only translation is needed when you just need to substitute words from one language to the other. Therefore, one has to be careful in differentiating between localization and translation. Localization has to do with translating and modifying a product or service offering from the source language to the language of the target audience, with the modification being the key aspect of it. Translation simply involves converting the source language to the target language such that it can be understood in the proper context.