Do You Need Attendees to Answer Questions Honestly?

Do You Need Attendees to Answer Questions Honestly?

So how do you get much needed feedback from your presentations without generating long discussions? In business today, there seems to be a growing need for an efficient flow of two-way of communication at meetings and presentations and many companies are turning to audience response systems for the answer. There's no doubt that it is great to deliver a presentation and then have an open floor discussion of ideas, but often the time required for lengthy collaboration is simply not there. Audience response systems are easy to setup and just as easy to operate. The hardware basically consists of a central receiver and individual key pads for each member of the audience that is being polled. ProLingo's wireless technology makes it easy to use in any environment from the board room to the classroom. Whether you are working with a small group of employees or having a much larger meeting of the minds, your attendees will feel less intimidated and more comfortable in telling you what they ...

October 22, 2015

Do You Know Which Readability Test to Use for Your Document?

Do You Know Which Readability Test to Use for Your Document?

Although scholarly types of readers may prefer content that contains complex sentence structures with multiple syllable words that most of us would have to look up in a dictionary, writing content for the general population to read should be accomplished at a more appropriate level. In fact, reading metrics in the United States go back more than 165 years when the school systems established an individual's "Grade Level". Prior to that time, classes were taught to a collective group with much less attention paid to a student's age or level of reading proficiency. Today, writers of all sorts have an easy way of determining the reading level required for their content using differing readability tests. One of the forefathers of readability assessment was Rudolph Flesch, an Austrian-born and naturalized American writing teacher and author. After receiving his Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, he published his most famous book, Why Johnny Can't Read: And What You Can ...

September 28, 2015

How Do Languages Become Extinct?

How Do Languages Become Extinct?

In recent years, sociolinguists and linguistic anthropologists have expressed a growing concern over the number of languages that have become extinct worldwide. As speakers of a less dominant language abandon their native tongue, much of the intangible heritage of that culture is lost for all of mankind. Whether the decline in the number of speakers of a primary language is subtle or striking, language endangerment has both social and psychological consequences as a language becomes dormant. Since language is so closely linked to a group's culture, the loss of a heritage language is always accompanied with some level of social disruption. Ethnologue is a web-based publication that provides the most current information by location of where all languages are spoken as well as the number of speakers and dialects associated with each linguistic affiliation that make up the languages of the world. Although scholars around the globe don't agree on the evidence used to determine language ...

September 14, 2015

Whisper Interpretation for Small Multilingual Meetings

Whisper Interpretation for Small Multilingual Meetings

Requirements for a multilingual meeting are typically based on the equipment that's available, the number of languages being spoken, the amount of time allocated and the setting. Most conferences or large business meetings use and interpreter who sits in a soundproof booth. He or she will listen using headphones to the speech being delivered in a floor language and immediately interpret the speaker's message into another language using a microphone. Targeted attendees receive a simultaneous interpretation of the message through headphones. Since simultaneous interpretation requires a considerable amount of concentration to analyze what is being said, multiple interpreters are used in shifts. So what happens when you are hosting a very small meeting with only a couple of spoken languages? It would seem strange indeed to have interpreters in a booth relaying information through headsets to just a few attendees or delegates. This is where "whispered interpretation" (sometime...

August 18, 2015

Could Mandarin Become a Lingua Franca for Global Business?

Could Mandarin Become a Lingua Franca for Global Business?

If you want to make an great impression when speaking on a global stage, begin your speech in the native tongue. Fluency in a local dialect can capture a crowd's attention and earn you brownie points with many of those in attendance. Recently, while on a business trip to Beijing, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg gained worldwide attention when he did a question and answer session in Mandarin. And, although the unique high and low tones resonated with the local crowd, Mandarin isn't a likely choice to become the Global Linqua Franca. The fact that it spoken by over a billion people is quickly outweighed by the language's requirement for multiple pronunciations (or tonal inflections) of the same word to mean different things. So the most widely spoken language on the planet, which doubles the number of English speakers, does not appear to be destined to become everyone's second language. Thanks in part to the spread of the British Empire, more cultures around the world speak Englis...

August 13, 2015

Importance of Relay Interpretation at Multilingual Events

Importance of Relay Interpretation at Multilingual Events

Around the Middle Ages, seaports developed along the coastal areas of the Mediterranean and seafarers suddenly had a pressing need to communicate with strangers who spoke different native languages. The need resulted in a bridge language being created for trade that was different from everyone's mother tongue. Quickly trade languages, which had no native speakers, made communication possible for thousands. Called a lingua franca or pidgin, most survived until the nineteenth century when French became the common language of Mediterranean traders, but other parts of the world were creating their own lingua franca. Most of these impromptu dialects consisted of a limited number of morphed terms, which were never written down.* Assuming you don't have the time to establish your own lingua franca, then how do you plan a multilingual event where the native languages of the speakers involved must be converted to a variety of target languages simultaneously? Can you actually find an interpr...

July 21, 2015

How Many Languages Are Too Many?

How Many Languages Are Too Many?

It is easy to assume that somewhere on the planet there would be someone who would know exactly how many languages exists worldwide... right? Truth is that has been a difficult question to answer for as long as linguistics has been a scholarly endeavor. Most sources today speculate there are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world. However, the 18th edition of Ethnologue* has 7,102 living (written and verbal) languages currently catalogued. The mastery of a language may be the most essential skill that anyone learns during their lifetime. It is how we articulate our thoughts and present our observations to others. Whether it is verbal, written or gestured, the role of language is at the very core of all developing civilizations and is the heart beat of today's global village. Although it is said that all languages derive from another language, no one knows for sure which "word" came first or what "language" evolved from that undeniably unique uttering. What ...

July 9, 2015

Should I Use Machine Translation for My Documents?

Should I Use Machine Translation for My Documents?

That depends upon the quality of translation required as well as the importance of the document that needs to be translated. Many people mistakenly think machine translation (MT) is a by-product of the computer age, which isn't true. The idea of building a machine to translate different tongues into a common symbolic language can be traced to a French philosopher, mathematician and scientist named René Descartes in the 17th century. Although his dream of universal MT was never recognized, traces of his applied uses of mathematics to explain humanly concepts still exist in the field of computational linguistics. Machine Translation today basically relies on two entirely different approaches: rule-based or statistical. Rule-based MT focuses primarily on converting words from the source language to similar words in the target language with human input for exceptions like grammar and disambiguation. Statistical-based MT works by detecting patterns in millions of documents that h...

June 17, 2015

What's the Difference in Simultaneous and Consecutive Delivery?

What's the Difference in Simultaneous and Consecutive Delivery?

Advancements in computer technologies and improvements in transportation worldwide have caused many nation-based companies to rapidly adapt to life in the Global Village. As international barriers to commerce are lessened or eliminated, there has been a globalization of the production and delivery of goods and services that has advanced more quickly than changes to each nation's language. Naturally, the more languages being spoken in a multilingual meeting or event, the more complex the interpretation and translation tasks become. Nowadays, it is the role of interpreters to make communication possible between persons who do not share a common language. Listed below are some helpful definitions: Native Language defines one's most basic sociolinguistic identity. It is the mother tongue that was first learned and most often used. Floor language is the language that a presenter or main speaker is using to deliver a message. The floor language can change as different speakers take the...

June 3, 2015

Interpretation: Infrared versus Radio Frequency Systems

Interpretation: Infrared versus Radio Frequency Systems

As global markets continue to develop at an amazing pace, it is becoming increasing important to ensure that all communication is accurately conveyed. Whether you are hosting an international convention or leading a group tour around your manufacturing plant, wireless audio receivers and headphones allow for fluid reception of everything said. However, several crucial factors come into play when selecting the best equipment for your attendees. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of infrared (IR) wireless transmission. Infrared Wireless Systems Utilizing the same technology as most inexpensive TV remote control units, infrared wireless transmitters deliver the audio feed to your audience using invisible pulses of light. Some key points about Infrared systems: IR headphones require a clear line-of-sight to the signal, so there are limitations to where and how the transmitter(s) is setup. IR systems are immune to radio interference eliminating the need...

May 29, 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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