All posts tagged: translation

Here’s Why I Enjoy Being a Translator

Are you considering translating as a profession? Project managers will also call you ‘vendor’, ‘linguist’, ‘resource’, and give you tasks more varied than just translation. Here are the reasons I enjoy this job.

  1. You’ll be writing every day. Some of us enjoy that. Just writing. Keeping your language skills at a good level. The challenge of finding the best wording.
  2. You’ll be clicking buttons and typing. I can’t be the only one to enjoy that, right? And some of the translation software I have used still fascinates me. With those translation software tools and their translation memory files, you can store entire sentences you have translated before, and if they appear again in a new text, the software will bring them up for you. If they have been modified, you will be shown just which words were changed. Sit back and watch your translation software automatically fill in translations that it remembers… until it gets to a passage that’s new and requires your brain work. You are partners with this machine.
  3. Your direct interactions with customers will be limited, since you aren’t at front desk. You may occasionally have to come out to give advice or listen to a client’s instructions, however. Not to put down client-facing jobs, but if you’re an introvert, you won’t be bored as a translator.
  4. Depending on the nature of your work, you may also get to do interpretation and simultaneous translation. I, the introvert, thoroughly enjoy going out and interpreting. The satisfaction with that sort of work is immediate: you see the other person’s face light up the moment you help them understand what their interlocutor is saying.
  5. You’ll broaden your horizons. Suddenly you will know things about medicine, technology, law or any other area your translations specialise in. You will be able to identify devices and tools both in your language and in the foreign language(s) you work with. You’ll find things out before others – you’ll know about new inventions if you translate patents, about the educational system of other countries if you do diplomas and certificates, about big business deals if you’re in the area of finance Various documents will bring you all sorts of personal stories from all over the world. You’ll have to keep them all a secret, of course, because you’ll be bound by a confidentiality agreement, plus you’re not a gossip. But that doesn’t take the thrill out of your everyday work.
  6. Your studies will not go in vain. High school, university, courses, certificates… Life is short; we don’t want any of our time or efforts to go in vain. Start using the foreign language you’ve studied… before you start forgetting it.
  7. You will know what you’ll be doing at work. Some other jobs tend to have very flexible tasks. Yours will gravitate around translating, editing, proofreading, adapting text, assessing other people’s translations. There’s always new types of linguistic tasks and new software to use, but you definitely will not be your company’s Jack of all trades (and master of none).

If you are qualified enough and you’re looking for a place to start, here’s something I learned: translating will not be the dream job right away. You won’t sit at home with your coffee and cookies and work on your laptop at whatever time of day you want. You’ll probably have to start as an in-house translator and get trained. After you’re gained experience and people’s trust, you can think about going freelance.

Lora Dobreva, Editor and translator at Mitra Translations

mitraHere’s Why I Enjoy Being a Translator
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What is Legalization of Documents?

Let’s say you have a business or live outside Bulgaria. You need your documents that were issued here, so you can use them abroad or vice versa. It’s likely you’ll stumble into some difficulties if these were issued by state institutions (diplomas, birth records, conviction status certificates), other types of certificates, company documentation (registration, good standing, etc.). To authenticate your document for use in a country different from the issuing one, it needs legalization.

The Process…

Legalization lets you use a document issued by the authorities of one country, before the authorities of another one. If, for example, you got your high school diploma in Bulgaria and would like to apply to a university in Germany, you’ll probably have to translate and legalize it, along with other documents intended for your stay.

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Translation and Localization of Mobile Apps

With the continuous growth of the global market for smartphones and related technology, comes the need for translation and localization of mobile apps.

Apple’s AppStore has over a million apps developed for iOS. Google, on the other hand, uses open source for its Android apps (Android—the OS with the highest number of active devices). Android smartphones has 50% of the global market share. For a short period of time, Windows Phone apps collected numerous impressive reviews. Apple’s UI is localized in over 30 languages, having over 50 keyboard layouts with specific language functions and voice control able to recognize over 20 languages.

Mobile apps are not only games and social media plug-ins. Large online retailers apps are becoming more and more popular. You can easily purchase various types of goods and services through a mobile app. Whatever its intended purpose, your customers will expect their app to be available in their native language. Even if you offer it for free, it will definitely need localization.

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Important Facts About Legal Translation

We often hear, “Why is it so important for legal documents to be professionally translated?” We, at Mitra Translations, believe that the inaccurate translation of legal documentation may lead to serious negative consequences.

A good legal translation depends on the accurate selection of terms and whether they are relevant to the respective legal system. Legal terminology, whether it is intended for laws, contracts, patents, confidentiality agreements, or witness statements, always has to be properly translated into the respective language. From a legal standpoint, it is extremely important for each term to be translated accurately.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that the terms used in legal documents often have multiple meanings.

As with any other type of written document, legal documentation may include content intended to persuade or influence the reader. Adherence to style isn’t always easy and requires close attention by both legal experts and linguists. Similarly, legislative texts or commercial legal statements are both open to interpretation. Clarity is important in order to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.

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Top Languages Used On the Internet

The Internet is much more dynamic than it was 10 years ago. Today, it is a much bigger, much more diverse and accessible place. According to Internet World Stats, there are now 3,345,832,772 active Internet users in the world. That’s almost half the world population. So what languages do they speak?

Currently, about half (48.1%) of all Internet users are in Asia; nearly a fifth (18.1%) are in Europe; another 10.1% are in Latin America and the Caribbean; 9.8% are in Africa; 3.7% are in the Middle East; and 0.8% are in Oceania and Australia. These millions and millions of users speak a wide range of mother tongues.

If we look at the W3Tech’s ranking of languages for published web content available, we’d see that the number of English speakers on the Internet has actually started to decrease.

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Тranslation services in 2017

With the start of 2017, each of us takes a look at the future filled with hope. In the first days of January, we set our goals and make plans for our future development. Instead of outlining a “bright future“, we, at Mitra Translations, are going to ask ourselves a few exciting questions related to the upcoming 2017.

Translation business is directly influenced by the changes in our society. The dynamic 2016 brought up a lot of questions related to the changes happening in Europe.

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Biggest Misconceptions of Amateur Translators

For someone who knows more than one language, the idea of becoming a translator sounds perfect.You might think you’re a translator only because you know a language It only takes a couple of minutes and I’ll get paid by the word!” Sounds easy, right? Well, in reality, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to be an adequate translator.

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“Huh?” – the word that needs no translation

 

Translation agencies can do anything but there is at least one word out there that doesn’t need translation.

The simple “huh?” (in Bulgarian we use “A?”) is rarely written down. However, it is used to signal that one either didn’t hear or didn’t understand what was just said is indispensible, especially in informal conversation.

But the interesting thing about “huh?” is that it’s practically universal, according to a study published by researchers from the Max Planck Institute. They studied 31 languages from around the world as diverse as Icelandic, Cha’palaa (a minority language spoken in Ecuador), and Murriny Patha (an Australian Aboriginal language). Their findings were that every language studied uses “huh?” in the same context to mean the same thing.

 Every language needs a “Huh?”

Other common words are often radically different across languages. Consider the English “dog” – “chien” in French, and “gǒu” in Mandarin Chinese. The humble “huh?” is actually an instance of convergent linguistic evolution. Regardless of language family or location, in all conversation we are expected to reply promptly and appropriately to what has just been said. When we are unable to do so – through not hearing or not understanding what has just been said – we need an ‘escape.’ This need to quickly pause the flow of conversation to enable us to better understand and respond imposes a very specific constraints on the “escape” words that evolved.

As a result, we find a word like “Huh?” in every language and it fits the bill perfectly: it is a simple, minimal, quick-to-produce questioning syllable.

Although “Huh?” doesn’t need translation, there are so many other words we can translate. If you need professional translation, contact us now!

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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!

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