All posts tagged: mitra

Can’t I just Use Google Translate?

If you’re a professional translator or work in the translation industry, we bet you’re tired of hearing this question over and over again. If you don’t travel abroad, don’t live or work in a big city, or don’t do international business, maybe all you need to translate is a word or two here and there, probably just out of curiosity. But if you’ve ever tried to use Google Translate to try communicate with someone in another language, you probably realized pretty quickly that Google Translate just isn’t worth it.

mitraCan’t I just Use Google Translate?
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Christmas around the world (Part 1)

Christmas is celebrated all over the world every year. And even though there are some common traits in the way people celebrate, the holiday carries the charm of every separate culture and reflects the local traditions and worldview. Read on to find out how people celebrate in different countries.

mitraChristmas around the world (Part 1)
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15 Reasons to Learn at Least One More Language

Mastering a second or third language may seem frustratingly hard. It’s not easy to memorise hundreds of words and to suffer through the humiliating conversations that may make you feel like an idiot because you can’t make a simple sentence.

Here are some of the most important reasons for you not to give up on learning foreign languages:

mitra15 Reasons to Learn at Least One More Language
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Black Friday and Translations – What Do They Have in Common?

Black Friday is an American holiday celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving. Though recently, it has travelled all the way across the Atlantic over to Britain, where it has now become an annual phenomenon. And it doesn’t stop there – it’s spreading to other countries as well!

mitraBlack Friday and Translations – What Do They Have in Common?
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Yes! There Are Famous Translators Out There!

We all know some famous writers Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, or contemporary ones, like Dan Brown, Joanne Rowling, and many, many more. But the question we’re asking is – are there any truly famous translators out there? How popular would her books be if there were no translators to share them with the rest of the world?

In fact, there are! Here are some of them!

Lia Wyler – Brazilian Translator

The Harry Potter series of books has been published in over 68 languages. One of the people who contributed to this is Lia Wyler. She translated these novels from English to Brazilian and European Portuguese. Rowling was very generous with her praise for Lia and has personally congratulated her for her creativity when it came to translating the personal names from English to Portuguese. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Lia changes the name of Bob Odgen to Beto Odgen, which is a pet name for Roberto in Portuguese.

In addition to translating this beloved series of novels, Lia also translated famous authors such as Margaret Atwood, Henry Miller, Stephen King and Sylvia Plath.

Lewis Borges – Argentine Writer, Poet and Translator

Lewis Borges is a respected writer in the world of Spanish literature. However, most people don’t know that, in addition to being a writer, he was also an amazing translator. He was a mere 9 years of age when his first translation work got published in a popular Argentina newspaper – a translation of Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Happy Prince,

Throughout his whole life he has translated literature from German, English, Old English, French and Norwegian Norse, to Spanish. Some of the writers he translated are Hermann Hesse, William Faulkner, Rudyard Kipling, Franz Kafka, Virginia Wolf and Edgar Allan Poe.

Gregory Rabassa – Prominent Literary Translator

He is a translator who worked with Portuguese, Spanish and English. He has translated works from Jorge Amado, Julio Cortázar and Gabriel García Márquez. Cortázar was so impressed with his translations that he personally recommended Rabassa to Márquez. It took him 3 years to have One Hundred Years of Solitude, translated. At some point, Márquez shared that, in his opinion, the translation was superior to his Spanish original.

But unlike Márquez, you don’t have to wait for 3 long years for the translation that you need. Contact us today!

mitraYes! There Are Famous Translators Out There!
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Meet the Interpreters: Four Things You Might Not Know About Them

History has seen situations where people had to deal with more than one language. In translation, however, there are often two faces. Just think of the Italian pun “traduttore, tradittore” (‘translator, traitor’).

Yet people still respect and recognize the skills of the translator as something extraordinary. Few realize, however, how difficult it is to understand and interpret something from one language, while producing the same meaning in a second language.

Susan Sontag says: “Translation is the revenge of intellect upon art. Even more! It is the revenge of intellect upon the world.To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world – in order to set up a shadow world of ‘meanings’.”

If you think of it, we can all agree that translators have always been engaged in one of the most important and difficult jobs in the world and definitely deserve respect and recognition for it. Often heard, but rarely seen. Maybe they don’t quite have “a front row seat to history”, but you can guarantee that interpreters are always hidden somewhere in the most significant rooms.

In appreciation of these people who make the remarkable utterly routine, we have compiled a list of four things you might not have known about their lives.

  1. Your intepretator is (most probably) not a translator

The qualifications are different, and the job descriptions barely match. We’re talking about different qualifications here, even job descriptions. One works alone, at home, with a dictionary; the other gains experience from meeting people face to face. Not only do the skills involved differ, but the kinds of people attracted to each profession may be different too. One of the main misconceptions out there is that mastering multiple languages somehow makes you an all-rounded professional. Mastering multiple languages is the (necessary but insufficient) minimum entry grade for either profession. Much like having two hands is probably a minimum requirement for becoming a concert guitarist; ditto for becoming a car mechanic. And here’s the analogy: someone being a professional translator and a professional interpreter is rather like someone being a premier league footballer and a pro tour golfer at the same time*.

*There are, of course, more people who earn money as translators and interpreters than as footballers and golfers. This is an example to show that these people have a unique set of skills.

 

  1. Interpretation is Rich in Content

Different situations call for your interpreters to have a diverse range of skills.

  • Simultaneous Interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting occurs at the time of speaking. It is usually performed by a team of two interpreters. Here, any more than a few seconds lag would disrupt the entire event With this kind of instantaneous, real-time transfer, 30 minutes is considered the absolute maximum time any individual can sustain this feat.

  • Consecutive Interpreting

With consecutive interpreting, the speaker has to leave gaps at the end of a sentence or a conceptual break in their content. In these breaks, the interpreter renders what has just been said into the target language. Events that use consecutive interpreting can take up to twice as long. Someone doing consecutive interpreting may have a few seconds pause to think.

  • Chuchotage

This type of translation is derived from the French verb “chuchoter “which means “to whisper”. Chuchotage involves the interpreter sitting next to the client and performing simultaneous interpretation in hushed tones. It’s best suited for meetings. Too many people in a room doing this for any length of time might result in progressively raised voices and ultimately chaos. Therefore, it’s best suited for shorter meetings in a narrow circle of people. Strictly speaking, the former don’t need to have any interpersonal skills to do their job, whereas the latter couldn’t survive without them.

  • Relay Interpreting

This is an interpretation between two languages via a third one. When a delegate speaks a language that is “unmarked” by the intepreter in the booth, it can be “transferred” (via audio) to another booth which marks the respective language and accepts the function of the active languages booth. The interpreter works via another language without disrupting quality. To understand why relay interpreting is necessary, we just have to imagine the complexity of the situation at the EU. There are 24 official languages, into which every single document must be translated. When it comes to conferences, the same job must be repeated verbally with interpretation. Languages like English and French are far more widely spoken and understood than, say, Maltese and Latvian, and it’s uncontroversial to say that you will have trouble finding many Maltese-Latvian speakers qualified to interpret in either direction. When the delegate from Latvia is to give a presentation about Marine Preservation to a conference, the simplest solution is to find a common language – for example, a Latvian-English interpreter and an English-Maltese interpreter. One will read from Latvian into English for all English speakers. The second one will listen directly to the original speech, but to the rendition provided by the first interpreter. Then the second interpreter will interpret this English version of the speech into Malteese for the Malteese attendees.

Simple, isn’t it?

Except that adding in even another language increases the scale of the challenge, and there are other language-specific obstacles to successful relay interpretation.

 

  1. Your Interpreter is a True Artist

Interpreters are hired for events where there are live audiences. The stakes are very high. Every assignment entails an on-the-spot compromise. Part of the performance comes with striking the balance between preservation of tone and transposition of cultural differences. A speech on a serious subject must have its austere tone transmitted; while a lighthearted, funny delivery poses the ultimate interpreter’s nightmare – spontaneous translation of humour into a different language. Interpreters must have a good feel for what may be funny or polite in one language but dull or shocking in another. Similarly, they have to be attuned to all of the clues that make up a linguistic message – including the slightest hints from body language. One of the more important skills this high-stress job requires is the ability to clamber out of a hole. Even the most skilled linguist can find themselves mid-speech having forgotten a pivotal sentence, or being confronted with an unfamiliar word. In such awkward situations your interpreter’s improvization skills will save the day.

 

  1. Your Interpreter’s Job is Safe

And as much as people would love to find a way of avoiding the interpreter’s fee, the profession is safe for several reasons.

Firstly, more people than ever may be learning major global languages like English, Spanish and Mandarin…But this doesn’t foreshadow a decline of the language service industry. The amount of time, effort and investment that corporations like Google and Microsoft have lashed into automatic translation software is a testament to the growing demand of the global population have access to foreign language content. But there is no such automatic translator that translates a long speech or a difficult content so that it makes sense.

Machine interpretation relies on the synchronisation of two pre-existing, quite shaky technologies – voice recognition followed by automatic translation. The application of speech synthesis is a further stumbling block. Even with recent advances, the best this field can offer falls well short of acceptable standards in voice tone, emphasis and pronunciation. So, it relies on three collaborating levels of automation in which things regularly go wrong.

 

So, next time you work with an interpreter, spare a thought for the human being behind the booth, and remember that you haven’t paid for a computer;

If you need professional interpreting services, we will be happy to respond to your request!

mitraMeet the Interpreters: Four Things You Might Not Know About Them
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3 Common Mistakes that Could Exceed your Translation Budget

So you’ve hired a translation agency and you’ve determined a budget. The project has already started and you’re just waiting for the results. However, take a minute and take a look at some common mistakes you should avoid, so you don’t exceed your project’s budget and in order to get a quality service.

mitra3 Common Mistakes that Could Exceed your Translation Budget
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Vasil Pavlov – General Editor of Mitra Translations

  1. What exactly does the General Editor of Mitra Translations do?

The editor’s work is somewhere between the translator’s and the project manager’s work. It goes in both areas of expertise. To achieve high quality, it sometimes necessary to get feedback from the translator and discuss the choice of phraseology, or carry out kind of a micro-research in specialized literature, dictionaries, etc. The project manager stands on the other side of the bridge – he or she makes the contact with customers and a great part of the work depends on our good communication. Though rarely, the editor also talks to the end customer whose requirements often change in the course of the project, or have been missing in the first place; very often we’re talking about hundreds of pages after all. However, the editor’s proofreading talent often comes first – I’m talking about all those little “details” like spelling and literary norms that sometimes neither customers, nor linguists clearly understand. In order for you to get the whole picture, I shouldn’t fail to mention a couple of very interesting moments like text formatting (which can be a real headache sometimes), evaluation of external translations, localization (or adaptation) and to top it all off – the technical aspect, called CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools.

mitraVasil Pavlov – General Editor of Mitra Translations
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