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Translation and Language Industry Observations
Translation and Language Industry Observations
Hinglish – the Biggest Language you’ve Never Heard of with 350 Million Speakers
June 12, 2019
What if your company assisted customers in more than 85 languages but suddenly you realise that 350 million people speak a language you had ignored? It could happen to you as well if you are overlooking Hinglish. Because believe it or not, India does not have one ‘universal’ language. It has more than 8 major languages, but only 41% of the population consider the largest, Hindi, their first language. So for people to talk to one another, a compromise or a hybrid is needed. And that is where Hinglish comes in. But what is Hinglish? It is a mix of Indian languages (including Hindi) with a sprinkling of English. WHY HINGLISH? The Indian population is surprisingly mobile, the nation is going through both the industrial and information revolutions at the same time. Families migrate vast distances to urban areas for jobs, lifestyle and the perceived benefits of modern infrastructure. But with this movement comes challenges.Since there are so many different Indian languages, it is common that two people do not speak the same one. That is why the use of a mix of languages (including English) is practical. English is often the only language in which two people who speak different Indian languages mutually understand a word for something. Increasingly, using Hinglish is not only out of necessity, but also a proud demonstration that you are both modern (English-speaking) and locally-grounded (Indian language-speaking). Whatever the background, the defining characteristic of Hinglish is that speakers naturally switch between two or more different languages (an Indian language, predominantly Hindi, and English) merging them into one. A HISTORY OF HINGLISH Hinglish is not a new phenomenon. The British rule or raj in India was central to the genesis of Hinglish. Without Hinglish, there would have been no trading and no spices! Hard to imagine a world without a Chicken Balti! Thankfully the British quickly picked up on key Hindi (and other Indian language) words and phrases and the locals likewise learned English phrases. EDUCATION Since the British left over 50 years ago, English has, cemented its place more firmly as unifying point within the unofficial-official language of Hinglish. Today’s most aspirational Indian parents send their children to schools where all lessons are taught in English. But ironically, although officially equipped for ‘English’, the students actually emerge speaking a language that is not really Hindi or English, but between the two. And that is how Hinglish grows stronger with each generation! BOLLYWOODBollywood has taken up the trend and played a vital role in the emergence of Hinglish. For example, popular Bollywood songs such as “My Mind Blowing Mahiya” are sung in fluent Hinglish. And many mainstream films contain both actual titles and spoken dialogue in Hinglish: “Love Aaj Kal (Or Love Today Tomorrow)” and “Badmaash Company (A Company of Dishonest Undisciplined Men)” both successfully use the Hinglish language in their actual titles and exploit the growing trend towards a multi-faceted, interchangeable language base. BRANDING AND GLOBAL ADAPTION In the last six years, digital advertising spend in India has increased by 500%! Hinglish is now the broadcast language of choice for advertising in India. If you’re looking to export a product to the nation, Hinglish is the way to go. In broadcasting, India’s MTV often broadcasts Hinglish voice over to engage with as many speakers as possible in just one language, and Pepsi are well known for their Hinglish Slogan – “Yeh Dil Mange More” (“Our hearts want more”) And as a sign of global adaption, even Amazon’s Alexa now understands Hinglish commands, and – even more astounding – Alexa now responds in Hinglish. Clearly the language has arrived! HINGLISH IN ENGLISH It may surprise you how many Hinglish phrases have already made their way into the English language!Bungalow– an Indian word adopted by the English. Cash – a very English word for money? Actually, no! Cash originates from the Tamil word “kāsu” – which literally means “coin”. Shampoo– this word also originates from Hindi – from the word “chumpee” meaning “massage”. Thug- a “bandit” Pyjamas – “pyjamas” Pukka – which in English means “good” but in Hindi means “solid” Whether we realise it or not- we have already adopted Hinglish into English! Observed this way, it could be said that Hinglish isn’t just used by Indians – but that in a minor way it is actually widely spoken throughout the English language! A LIVING LANGUAGE Although originally integrating English and Hindi words into the same sentence, as a living language, Hinglish has now taken further steps of evolution. Often one may find Hinglish speakers pairing words which fail to make sense in English, or are thought by the purist English speaker to convey a broken message, but in the “new” language of Hinglish, supposedly English words have come to mean new things (in Hinglish): “First Class”-This does not actually refer to a premium ticket on a train but actually means “very well” – as in “How are you?” “First class” (meaning “I am very well, thank you”). “Ji” – a suffix which is added to phrase to indicate a sentiment of respect. So rather than simply reply “OK” in response to a question, one adds on the suffix, “ji” – as in “OK ji”. It is a mark of respect for strangers or elders or betters. Evolutionary, new uses of English like this – which would be relatively incomprehensible to the traditional or old-fashioned English speaker – are prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent. A LASTING PHENOMENON Hinglish has not only been around for a while, but it is also one of (if not the) most exciting, evolving and growing languages in the world. Not only enabling different people to communicate, but also moving with their geographical and linguistic adaptations. Regardless of when or how the Hinglish hybrid language came to be, how it changes, or where it is used – as a ‘modern yet localised way of speaking which is also available to the masses’, it is well and truly here to stay! The article is written by Simon Luckhurst, MD of Voice Talent Online. Voice Talent Online is a voice over agency, video translation and subtitling company in the United Kingdom that was founded 16 years ago. Please also visit our website www.voicetalentonline.com and follow us on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook....
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By Rowland Hill
/ June 10, 2019
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By Simon Luckhurst
/ June 5, 2019
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By Joni Bithell
/ May 10, 2019
Mayday? Or May Day?
May 1, 2019
Today is May 1st. Which may not mean much to some people. But in many countries May 1 is an official holiday which is commonly referred to as International Workers’ Day or May Day. The list of countries in which May is a national holiday is very long and includes Germany, France, Russia, China, Spain, Italy and many more countries. If you are ordering translation services from GTS around May 1st, please bear in mind that slowdowns may result owing to the holiday. Ironically, and even though May 1 is not celebrated in the United States, International Workers’ Day originated due to an event that took place in the USA: the Haymarket affair was a bombing in Chicago that interrupted a peaceful demonstration for worker’s rights. Despite this fact, the USA celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September. and May 1 is just another work day. Much can be said for the United State’s way of celebrating Labor Day. Since it is always observed on a Monday, the disruption to the economy is minimized. And it can be said that the “long weekend” even stimulates productivity since people need a break now and then. But in countries that celebrate May 1st, the holiday is observed no matter what day of the week it falls on. In years like 2019, when May 1 falls in the middle of the week, productivity at workplaces is low in the first week of May. If you are celebrating May Day this year, have a nice holiday. If you are not, then have a great day at work....
Localization, Internationalization or Globalization? Which one do you need?
March 27, 2019
Translation & Localization
Localization vs Internationalization As our world becomes increasingly smaller and interconnected through the rapid advance of technology, translation alone is often no longer enough. That’s where localization, globalization and internationalization services come in. But which do you need – and what is the difference between them? Read on to find out. Localization Definition Localization, often abbreviated as L10N, refers to the process of adapting a product for use in a different locale or country. Localization often involves, but is not restricted to, language localization and translation of texts to a different language. What is Localization? Whether you’re translating marketing materials, an app, a video or something else, it’s important to focus your material on your target audience. Localization does just that. The process considers everything from the popular culture and current slang to the religious beliefs of the translation’s intended audience, molding the resulting language to meet those needs. Localization can apply to imagery, logos, company names and more, with all of these potentially being amended to suit one specific audience. Your localization strategy should take all of this into account. Internationalization Definition Internationalization, often abbreviated as I18N, refers to the preparation of the infrastructure that lends to easy deployment of localized products. What is Internationalization? Internationalization is essentially the opposite of localization. It is the process of preparing something to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Instead of focusing a translation on the needs of a specific group, the process creates a document (or logo, app, video game, etc.) that can be used by people around the world without the user experience diminishing in any way. Internationalization must often be addressed at a deeper level than localization. Data encoding, software and hardware issues can all have a fundamental impact on internationalization and must therefore be considered as part of the overall process. Globalization Definition The process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. (from Oxford dictionary) What is Globalization? Globalization is a very broad term with various meanings. For the purpose of the translation and localization industry, globalization is the process of preparing something for a global audience. This is a broad term that can actually encompass both internationalization and localization. For example: as part of its globalization strategy, a company could seek to make its website appeal to as wide an audience as possible through internationalization when developing the site itself and the content, but then localize elements such as currencies and the checkout experience. Which service do I need? If your business has plans to expand its operations and court a global audience, then globalization is an essential part of the process (along with translation, naturally). In all likelihood, you will need both internationalization and localization expertise in order to build your brand around the globe. Speaking with an established translation agency can be a helpful part of establishing the best way to go about reading your documents for your company’s globalization. Such entities have a great deal of experience when it comes to supporting brands to go global and will be able to offer insights as to where internationalization will be absolutely essential and where localization may also be of use. It’s a process that can at times seem complex, but the business benefits are undeniable. Building a brand that appeals to customers around the world is easier than ever before and can be an immensely rewarding – not to mention profitable – experience. As such, it’s time to start mapping out your globalization (and internationalization and location) needs. Author Bio William Mamane is Head of Digital Marketing at a translation company that provides translation, localization, globalization and internationalization services....
Will Machines Replace Professional Translators?
March 14, 2019
This debate has been going on for years. Will machine translation (MT) become good enough to replace human translators? Will professional translators need to find another line of work? If recent history is any proof, the answer is no. MT will not replace professional human translators in our lifetime. This notion is shared by many people in the industry. Here is a supporting quote from a recent (February 2019) Techcrunch article on MT: The problem with machine translation, when you really get down to it, is that it’s bad. Sure, it won’t mistake “tomato” for “potato,” but it can’t be trusted to do anything beyond accurately translate the literal meaning of a series of words. In many cases that’s all you need — for instance, on a menu — but for a huge amount of content it simply isn’t good enough. The simple fact is that as much progress as has been made in the last 10 years, MT is (a) not reliable enough to replace human translators and (b) it is unsuitable for 98% of the mission critical tasks needed by today’s customers. Brief History of MT First there was rule-based MT (RBMT), which was deemed as not ready for prime time. Then about 10 years ago, Google started the statistical MT (SMT) revolution which was supposed to bring MT to the next level. Which it did, but the promise did not come to fruition and the models did not deliver human quality translation. Then came neural MT (NMT) which was definitely the greatest MT technology ever invented. Now, companies are touting Deep NMT based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will surely replace professional translators. The MT experts keep on telling us that MT will be ready really soon. But that ‘really soon’ has already stretched out into a long time with no real end in sight. And the demand for professional human translators seems to be growing steadily and outperforming other professions. According to a USA Department of Labor report in 2016, translation jobs are expected to grow by 18% in the next 10 years. Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States will drive employment growth. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification. Drivers of MT As it has been from the start, MT is a scientific endeavor which combines several advanced fields: computational linguistics, mathematics, computer models, statistics among others. MT technologists are geek scientists who speak in a language of their own. If you suffer from insomnia, go to a conference in MT and you will be put to sleep in no time. Advances in MT are driven by one thing and one thing only: money. Companies are hoping to capitalize on advances in MT in order to make money. The companies who are promoting MT as a business are either tech giants (like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook) or LSPs. The tech giants want to get their hands on cheap translation services since they have gigantic amounts of text that need to be translated. The tech giants also have the resources to train the MT systems to provide good translations for their own purposes. LSPs are using MT so that they can offer low cost translation services to customers with large translation budgets. The tech giants have peripheral objectives as well. For example, both Google and Microsoft have been developing speech-to-speech translation systems for commercial use. Microsoft and especially Google are monetizing access to their MT APIs. And MT is helpful for search engines who want to gain market share. What Can and Can’t be done with MT As stated previously, MT can be improved by training the system with large corpora (plural of corpus) of aligned text. So if a company like Microsoft trains their MT to translate Microsoft’s knowledge base, then the system will yield good results. But since it takes huge resources both financially and technically, almost all companies can’t undertake this kind of work. Likewise, using an MT-savvy LSP for PEMT (post-edited MT) work is also tricky. Firstly, the LSP will need to make a huge investment in their MT which will be passed along to the client. And if you do not have huge amounts of texts then the price may be comparable or even higher than human translation. And even after all of that, a human translator is needed to post-edit the MT. The following kind of translation work can’t be done with MT: – Certified translation for official purposes. This kind of work requires a signed statement of accuracy by the translator, something that can’t be done by MT software. – Books/Novels/Poems. In the 1970s and 80s my uncle, Ivan Sanders, had translated a number of Hungarian novels into English. I remember that these projects involved numerous face-to-face meetings with the author so that that translator (my Uncle) could gain an in-depth understanding behind some of the characters in the novel and to understand the author’s thought process on certain parts of the novel. These projects took about two years to complete. No way a machine can translate a novel at the same quality level. – Scanned images on PDF files. At GTS, most of the orders for online translation services are for PDF files. Some of them are scanned documents which are not great quality. These kind of files require prep work and getting MT into the loop may not be efficient. – Critical legal documents. If you were buying a house in France for $5 Million and needed to translate the contract, would you trust a machine translation? Summary Scientists and engineers funded by the private sector will continue to develop MT systems which will represent breakthroughs in science and technology. Quality will improve but only marginally. Demand for translators will increase due to the increase amount of content that needs to be translated....
Top Online Translation Companies
March 8, 2019
Online Translation Services
Buying professional translation services online has emerged as a viable solution for today’s customers. In the traditional, full-service model that prevailed in past years, customers would contact a translation agency by phone or by email. Ensuing communications between the client and the agency would also be done offline-sometimes even using postal mail to send in materials. Today, customers can get instant price quotes, order translation services and complete payment online. This results in lower prices and faster delivery times. Now, you can get a professional translation services in a matter of hours. Here is a comprehensive list of online companies, not listed in any specific order. In this list we only included companies that provide instant translation price quotes anonymously (without needed to enter your name and email address). If anyone comes across an online translation company that is not on this list, or if you have any reviews or comments about a company, please feel free to comment and we will update this list. gengo is a Japanese company which was recently acquired by Lionbridge (one of the biggest translation companies in the world). Together with OHT (see next entry), Gengo pioneered the professional online translation space. Prices at gengo start at $0.06 but are much higher for reviewed translation. Up until recently, gengo only provided translation of business and general texts. Now they provide translation service in most subject matters. One Hour Translation is an Israeli company that provides translation services in all subject matters. Prices start at around $0.14 for specialized text. Based in San Francisco, Rev seems to have shifted their focus towards the video and entertainment industry. They offer services not related to translation, such as transcription and captioning services. They do provide certified translation of official documents and business translation services. Stepes is a US-based company that provides professional document translation services. Self-billed as the “Uber of Translation Services,” Stepes has a nifty, easy to use user interface which can be used on mobile devices as well as computers. Textmaster is a company based in France that provides professional document translation services. Specialized translation services start at 0.16 Euro per word. Translated is an Italian company that has been in the translation business for 20 years. Their online interface is not very convenient. Prices for professional translated start at $0.10 per word. They offer buy-now-pay-later service for corporate clients. They also offer Post-Edited Machine Translation (PEMT) services in partnership with Google. Based in the UK, Turbo Translations provides fast document translation services starting at $0.10 per word. Tolingo is based in Germany. There prices seem to be high (around 0.20 Euro per word). Furthermore, they add 19% VAT to the price even if you are outside of Germany. Mars Translation provides instant quotes but asks you to enter your name and email address. You can enter a fake name and email to get the instant quote. Prices start at $0.15 a word. Smartlation’s user interface is cumbersome and it takes many clicks to get a price quote. It is really an online marketplace of translators and you get several options from specific translators in their database. It is unclear what responsibility Smarlation assumes in the process. Furthermore, I am not sure I would want to order translation services from a company that has typos on their home page. Nativy is an Austrian based company. They add VAT to all orders even if you are outside of Austria. There User Interface is not very convenient due to a wizard that constantly serves up popup windows. MyTranslation is a professional online translation agency based in France. They only offer translation into German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch. They offer two modes of service. They choose a translator for you with prices starting at $0.14. Or you get bids on your projects with prices starting at $0.11. They also add VAT to the translation price even if you are outside of France.GTS Translation is the owner of this blog. Click here to get an instant online price quote for professional translation services. ...
How to make BIG bucks as a freelance translator
March 7, 2019
Let’s start with a few basic facts: the translation industry is huge and generated over US$45 Billion in 2018. The world has several hundred thousand translators who are making a living in this industry. It is clear that there is a lot of money out there and freelance translators can do very well in today’s market. There are translators who make over $100,000 a year. And most of the freelancers can work out of their home and at their own hours. Sounds good right? The downside is that there is a lot of competition out there and the barrier of entry is low. Anyone with a PC and Internet connection can open her/his own freelance translation business. So how can you fare better than the competition? This post provides a few pointers that can help you on the road to success. Love your work. This point is banal and can be said about any profession. If you don’t get excited about your work then you won’t be successful. Words matter! While you are working, consider that the words that you are writing may be seen by millions of people. MILLIONS! With this is mind, your translation work should be crafted carefully and joyfully. And when you love your work, you will do your best to constantly hone your skills which will drive you to improve in your chosen profession. Be Professional: the most important thing you can do is have a professional attitude about your business. A freelance translator will need to invest money in setting up her/his business. This includes buying a decent PC and purchasing software licenses. Buying a CAT tool is a must. It would behoove a professional translator to have licenses for all software products and not steal copyrighted products. Don’t skimp on other expenses which will make you look better to potential clients. Invoices, letterheads, mailers, web pages and your CV should be designed so to appear as professional as possible. Be Quick. Another no brainer but needs to be said. You can make more money delivering 5,000 words a day then if you only deliver 3,000 words. Speed can be achieved without compromising quality. CAT tools can help speed up the process. Translators have been known to use other software aids in their work, like speech-to-text software, all in the interest of increasing throughput. The best paid translators are the ones who can work fastest. Prepare a kick-ass CV. Your resume should be ready to go. The CV should be written in the language that your customers understand (in our case this would be primarily English). A good quality photo on your resume is recommended. Avoid listing previous jobs which are not relevant to your objectives. A resume that includes jobs as a phone receptionist, waiter or lifeguard at a summer camp are not going to make you more attractive as a freelance translator so leave them out. Likewise, avoid listing hobbies that have no relevance to your objectives. Finally, distribute your CV in PDF file format and not in Word. CVs in Word format can get messed up when viewed by your customers. Maintain an Online Presence. There are several ways you can do this and it is highly recommended. A website will show your potential customers that you mean business. There are good low cost options for publishing a 1-2 page website in which you can tout your skills (wix.com and wordpress.com are examples). Register on freelance translator directories like proz.com and translatorscafe. Once you have profiles in these websites, send them to clients in your proposals. Sign up on online translation company websites that are looking for translators. Click here to sign up as a freelance translator on GTS Translation website. Be Social. Be available to answer questions raised by your peers on the various forums and social networks. This will raise your profile online and get you more exposure. If will also show customers that you are an expert in your field. Price yourself industriously. When you are out of work, bid low. When you are busy, bid high. The main thing is to keep busy and stay in business. Did you ever pass by a restaurant with people waiting on line to get in? The food is probably good there. Did you ever pass by an empty restaurant? The food is probably bad. The same with translators. The good ones are busy and often unavailable. The poor ones have plenty of time on their hands. Follow the money. The translation business can be highly sporadic. Feast to famine. So take work when you can because it may dry up tomorrow. Try not to tell your customers that you are too busy because then they may find a replacement and cut you out of the loop in future jobs. Work 16 hours days when you can and rest during the slack times. When you are rich enough, then you can turn down jobs. Be timely, polite and flexible. Answer all emails quickly. If you don’t have a smartphone with an email account then get one, that way you can be on top of your emails. Be polite to your customers and try to use the word YES more than the word NO. At the end of the day, your customers want to order from someone who is not only competent but is also a nice person to deal with. Be grateful to the people that provide you with work, as it will ingratiate you to your clients. Try to solve problems on your own. Translation PMs don’t like to be besieged by pesky questions. It wastes time and delays delivery. If you have a pressing issue which you can’t solve on your own then fire away. But if it is something you can solve on your own then do so (and consider adding a translator note to the finished text). Be a stickler for quality. This is key. Proofread your material carefully, run a spell check as much as needed. Try not to assume that someone else will catch your mistakes and avoid making any. Deliver on time and never make excuses. If you can’t deliver on time (which is in itself a cardinal sin), then at least notify the customer of the delay in advance. NEVER make excuses and provide reasons for the delay (my mother-in-law is in the hospital, the work is in my office PC and I am now at home, etc.). These excuses just make you appear to be a liar and better just to apologize for a delay and offer a price discount if you can afford to....