Sometimes It Just Gets Lost in Translation

Sometimes It Just Gets Lost in Translation

For businesses to succeed in a foreign market, it is important to understand how both words and situations appeal to the international consumer. When this isn't done correctly, it can have disastrous results. Unfortunately, many U.S. businesses had to learn their lessons the hard way. Chad Brooks, senior writer for Business News Daily, identified eight great examples of translation blunders that had previously correctly performed in their country of origin.   AMERICAN MOTORS In the early 1970s, American Motors wanted to market its new midsize car in Puerto Rico. They quickly discovered that it isn't just the marketing message that has to be accurately translated -- sometimes it is the product name. Everyone at American Motors were eager to launch the "Matador" in a Latino-based market only to discover after the fact that translated it means "Killer". The campaign was a huge blunder in a country that is plagued with bad roads and many auto accidents. &nbs...

March 16, 2016

Celebrate International Mother Language Day

Celebrate International Mother Language Day

You probably didn't know that February 21st is International Mother Language Day. In the United States, we often take the importance of multilingualism for granted. Somewhat stymied by ignorance and arrogance that English is the "Gold Standard" for communication among nations, most of us fail to appreciate what one's mother tongue means to their society as well as the rest of the world. Languages have long been considered to be one of the most powerful instruments in preserving a society's tangible and intangible heritage. In Bangladesh, a nation where the right to speak their own language was a major reason for seeking independence from Pakistan, International Mother Language Day takes special meaning. It provides an opportunity to recognize those students, now known as "Language Martyrs", that were massacred in 1952 for protesting the right to speak their mother tongue. On that date, anyone speaking Bangla (one of two Pakistani languages) were massacred in the...

February 19, 2016

What Type of Interpretation Do You Need?

What Type of Interpretation Do You Need?

With virtually all aspects of business going global, many conferences, business meetings, training sessions and facility tours need to be understood in more than one language. If you are tasked with the job of planning such an event, choosing the right provider for interpretation services is crucial for success. Although there are several options available, a variety of criteria will determine your physical and human requirements when buying interpretation services as well as when renting or purchasing interpretation equipment. A consultant interpreter may be the most logical answer. After all, right from the start it is imperative to work through which languages will be spoken by speakers on the floor as well as which languages need to be understood by the attendees. At ProLingo, our multilingual event planners have the experience and expertise to assist with every aspect of planning and delivery. Once our staff has helped to determine the differing languages involved, decisions h...

February 10, 2016

Demand for Native Language Websites Is Growing Rapidly

Demand for Native Language Websites Is Growing Rapidly

In today's digital environment, every business and organization needs to have an active website. A large percentage of consumers expect you to have a presence when they search the Internet. In fact, your website is the basic building block for establishing trust and verifying the legitimacy of your operations. Recent studies have suggested that other businesses as well as online shoppers prefer to communicate with you in their native language, even though they may know English. If you already have a website hosted in English, there are three approaches to translating pertinent information into another language that your company, institution or organization should consider. These are discussed below: Create a Landing Page - You can create a specific landing page for each additional language. This unique webpage can be used as a gateway that is written in the native tongue of the target audience. It is an inexpensive way of connecting with website visitors in their language. Basic i...

January 19, 2016

The Birth of Simultaneous Interpretation

The Birth of Simultaneous Interpretation

Historians basically agree that the first use of simultaneous interpretation equipment (for an important multilingual event) was the Nuremberg Trials in 1945. The series of international military tribunals were held in Germany by allied forces following World War II to prosecute key members of the Third Reich who participated in the Holocaust. To properly address the complex political and military war crimes, interpretation and translation departments had to be established that employed the four (4) official languages: English, German, French, and Russian. Judicial leaders had a growing concern that consecutive interpretation could slow down the proceedings significantly. Therefore, the introduction of an entirely new technique (simultaneous interpretation) that was unique to the Nuremberg tribunals as well as the history of the interpretation profession. Applying the new technique required the interpreters to listen to a speaker in a floor language and orally translate that speech...

January 12, 2016

Signs That Your Business Needs Translation Services

Signs That Your Business Needs Translation Services

Did you start out your company as a small business venture and grew it into something much bigger over the years? Small business owners have to make do with whatever means are available. However, as time goes on, you might find that your business has grown large enough to warrant spending some more money on things that were initially unnecessary, such as translation services.  Here are a few signs that you might need translation services for your business: Are you located in a place with a high percentage of minorities?  If your business is located in an urban area, you’re probably more likely to attract minorities which speak languages other than English.  Do you run a business that is geared towards a particular minority?  Certain businesses might appeal to a wide range of cultures, but there are some that might only appeal to certain minorities.  How is your business developing?  Sometimes, businesses start out with the intentio...

December 15, 2015

Marketing Materials Can Be Tricky To Translate

 Marketing Materials Can Be Tricky To Translate

The Internet exposes businesses to new markets instantly. And the market can be anywhere in the world. Marketing staffers may look for translators who can read and speak Chinese to reach the billions of people new to Internet commerce; however, this would be a mistake. You won’t simply need someone who can speak “Chinese,” you’ll need experts in Mandarin Chinese, and within that group, you’ll need several experts. You’ll need someone familiar with the northern people on the mainland, and those familiar with the Mandarin speakers living in Taiwan, to name two. The complexity of Chinese culture with many regions, languages, dialects and customs underscores the need to make a more complete inquiry when looking for someone to translate marketing copy. Ideally, you will want to have several native speakers of the language you want to translate documents into, those familiar with region specific cultures and the slang and style from each. Having a ros...

December 3, 2015

Good Translation Is About More Than Just Words

Good Translation Is About More Than Just Words

In today's increasingly global economy, the demand for good, accurate translation is great. When hosting a multinational event, your ideas must be translated effectively into the native language of everyone who attends your meeting. For example, assume the people at your event speak French, Spanish, Hungarian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, German, and Italian. To ensure everyone feels at home, you have to successfully translate your words into all of these languages. If someone doesn't have access to translation services at your conference, he or she will feel isolated, unengaged, and unimpressed with your company. Successful translation is about more than mere words. It involves an understanding of both the source culture and the target one. For example, to efficiently translate business principles from one language to another, a translator must possess knowledge of the business practices prevalent both in the source language and the target one. Therefore, human ...

November 21, 2015

Why Words Often Fail Us

Why Words Often Fail Us

If you have a cat or a dog, you've probably learned the meaning of their vocal signals. After all, animal sounds are typically very reliable. When a cat purrs with contentment or a dog growls in anger, it is very easy to assign those corresponding meanings. Even with a very limited number of sounds from which to choose, animal signals constitute direct evidence as to their state of mind. In fact, there is very little concern as to whether the animal is communicating honestly since it is virtually impossible for them to fake the noises they make. For the most part, communication in nature is not mechanistic. In the animal world, the best way to guard against deception is to ignore any signal that is not an instantly verifiable sound. This can be witnessed in monkeys and apes where vocal signaling evolved into a much broader range of sounds but failed to become a language due to their perceived need to guard against becoming a victim of deception. Although social intelligence is obvi...

November 10, 2015

Three Tips for Conducting Better Multilingual Events

Three Tips for Conducting Better Multilingual Events

If you're in the business of planning and producing multilingual conferences or major business events, you know that applicable trends come and go. But three new musts likely will steer your efforts for years to come. Meetings as Experiences: Today's conferences are far more than mega networking and information-exchanging encounters. The best are unique, enriching and memorable experiences. Toss out the "been-here, done-that" and develop a themed multilingual experience that involves a high degree of interactivity and features that attendees won't get anywhere else. Local Flavor: Many conferences are turn-key operations that look and feel the same no matter where they are, and that's doing a huge injustice to all involved. A conference in South Florida should bear little or no resemblance to one in Seattle, particularly if attendees are expected to travel great distances. Focus on incorporating local elements such as food, music and art into conference features for you...

October 30, 2015

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Your onsite technician was the exact definition of the word professional. The sound quality was outstanding and it was expressed to me that all interpreters did an outstanding job. Keep up the great work! - C. Parchy, CEO
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