Jan 172012

Pages of a dictionaryIn America, the word “swag” has several positive connotations. The official meaning is having “enviable, casual-cool appeal” and a “charismatic positive aura”. Additionally, the term can refer to the way in which you carry yourself – your overall confidence, style, and demeanor.

Based on the popularity of the word in young people, German dictionary-maker Langenscheidt has chosen the word “swag” for it’s 2011 Youth Word of the Year. The Verein Deutsche Sprache, which is dedicated to preserving the purity of the German language, is not pleased with this choice. The group said the dictionary’s choice is contributing to the language being diluted by foreign influence.

As we’ve seen with other recent articles that we’ve posted, it’s important for many of these groups to preserve their native languages as much as possible. When our company does any translation, interpretation, or localization work, we strive to preserve all aspects of the source language.

Language Translation, Inc.
A leading language translation and interpretation service provider for more than 20 years.

Jan 132012

Image of a large mainframe computer in black and whiteOn January 7, 1954, IBM announced that they had teamed up with Georgetown University to run what they claimed was the first English-to-Russian language computer translation program.

Although it was hailed as a major breakthrough, that sort of programming translation proved to be difficult and expensive. In 1964, a group of scientists known as the Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee (ALPAC), evaluated language translation computing technology and largely halted the process with a report issued in 1966. Part of the report stated that the systems were no faster than human translations, and as a result of supply and demand issues, human translation was relatively inexpensive.

This report led to a substantial amount of funding being cut from machine translation research in the United States until the late eighties. It also sent a message to the public that machine translation was mostly illegitimate.  However, with the recent improvement in technology, machine translation has proven to be a viable option for professional translation work when it has been post-edited by a human.

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Jan 112012

Malaysia’s defense ministry has opted for human translation for its website, after the use of Google’s free translation service resulted in several mistakes in the English translation of its site. According to The Star, Defense minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admitted the inaccurate translations caused much embarrassment to the ministry. Continue reading…

Jan 092012

Google Translate, the free Machine Translation tool provided by Google, now has official support for the Apple iPad. This app has over 60 languages that can be translated via text. It’s a handy tool to use when you need only to get the gist of what is written or spoken in another language.  For anything requiring a completely accurate translation, you’d want to look at having it human translated.

Google Translate can be downloaded from the iTunes store.

Language Translation, Inc.
A leading language translation and interpretation service provider for more than 20 years.

Jan 062012

In a sexual assault case in Canada, Supreme Court Justice Casey Hill declared a mistrial because the quality of the Hindi interpretation was poor and substandard. The audio tapes from the cross-examination were reviewed by an expert in the United States, who said the interpreter “did not interpret verbatim, summarized most of the proceedings and was not able to interpret everything that was said on the record.” Apparently the interpreter did speak perfect Hindi, but could not keep up fast enough to accurately perform simultaneous interpretation. Continue reading…

Jan 052012

The term “hyperpolyglot” refers to someone that can speak six or more languages fluently. This is derived from the word “polyglot”, meaning one who can speak multiple languages. Continue reading…

Jan 042012

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and The Interpreting and Translation Professors have filed briefs in court in support of Kouichi Taniguchi, a former Japanese professional baseball player who sued Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd., owner of Marianas Resort and Spa, in 2008 for alleged negligence. Taniguchi raised the question to the U.S. Supreme Court of whether costs incurred in translating written documents are “compensation of interpreters.” Continue reading…

Jan 032012

On a regular basis, we will share with you some examples of translation errors and follies. While most of these mistakes are humorous, some can be very problematic and can cause significant issues with clients or customers.

A while back, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a present representing a “resetting” of the relationship between their two countries. Instead of saying “reset” the message on the present said “overcharge” in Russian.  Click on the video below to view this humorous interaction. Continue reading…

Jan 022012

Kansas University School of Education Logo

The Universities of Kansas and Oklahoma are working with members of the Cherokee Nation in an attempt to preserve the Cherokee language.

The goal of the project, known as “Documenting Cherokee Tone,” is to improve Cherokee language proficiency and increase understanding of tonal languages. Some aspects of the project involve audio transcription and fluent speakers working with second language learners to do the documentation work.

You can read more information about this project here.

Language Translation, Inc.
A leading language translation and interpretation service provider for more than 20 years.

Dec 272011

Newseum, a Washington D.C.-based museum, hosts an online exhibit where visitors can view newspaper front pages from across the world. Over 800 newspapers participate in this project, which allows visitors to take a look at publications that they might not otherwise be able to access. Archived front pages of historical events are available, and there is also a daily newspaper “top ten” available to view.

One of the things I enjoy doing with this resource is viewing front pages in their native languages and trying to understand the underlying stories. In most cases the pictures reveal the story, such as the recent Kim Jong-Il news that the Korean newspapers have been publishing. For a general idea of the text, I could navigate to the newspaper’s host website, copy the link, and have Google Translate or Yahoo Babelfish perform a rough machine translation. Or for the full text of the story I could have the article accurately translated, since Korean is one of the 60+ languages that we translate.

Language Translation, Inc.
A leading language translation and interpretation service provider for more than 20 years.