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

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

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