All posts by LocalConcept

Six Traditional Chinese Words that don’t have an English Translation

By | Culture, Translation | Nessun commento

Unlike alphabetical languages such as Spanish and French, the Chinese language is a writing system that is composed of over 50,000 characters. This logographic writing system gives access to visual representations of objects and concepts. This makes the language both difficult to translate, and less precise than its counterparts. Here we present six examples of Chinese words that are hard to translate.

撒嬌 (sā jiāo)

Little girl holding flower

Leo Rivas via Unsplash

Whiny, to seek attention in a childish but lovely way.
This is an act particularly practiced by a grown-up female to her partner. It is considered as a way to show the side of her feminine character.

面子 (miàn zi)

Woman holding rose

Giulia Bertelli via Unsplash

Surface (literally), referring to dignity or self-esteem.
For example, I was just pretending to understand the conversation in French in order to save face (保全面子, bǎo quán miàn zi).

風水 (fēng shuǐ)

Furniture

ROOM via Unsplash

Feng shui, known as Chinese geomancy.
The term literally translates as “wind-water”. By orienting buildings and furniture, it’s practiced bolster the harmony between individuals and their surrounding environment.

緣分 (yuán fèn)

Many hands together

Tim Marshall via Unsplash

Fateful coincidence, an interactive concept that describes good and bad chances and potential relationships.

Sometimes, it’s simply translated as “destiny”, “fate” or “luck” with a focus on the relationship two people or objects share.

幸福 (xìng fú)

Yellow book named happy

Josh Felise via Unsplash

A state of being satisfied and content with life especially when with families and significant others.

It can be simply translated as “happiness” depending on the context.

孝順 (xiào shùn)

Two elderly people sitting in their chairs

Elien Dumon via Unsplash

Filial piety, a virtue of respect for one’s parents that is commonly praised in the Chinese community.

It includes but is not limited to being a loving, dutiful and caring child, as well as being responsible for the well-being of one’s parents.

Written by: Yijen Lu, Project Coordinator at Local Concept. 

How Different Cultures Perceive Emojis

By | Culture, Translation | Nessun commento
Woman holding emoji balloon

Lidya Nada via Unsplash

Emojis are undeniably fun, and sometimes they ‘speak louder than words’. They enable us to add emotional context to plain text, such as humor, brevity or irony. They illustrate non-verbal cues that could be expressed in face-to-face communication including gestures and facial expressions. However, when creating content for a multicultural audience, it’s important to consider how different cultures perceive symbols, colors, and body language.

The most popular emojis around the world

Although being an “official” emoji translator just became a thing in 2017, a study done by Swiftkey in 2015 uncovered insights to how different languages around the globe are using emoji by analyzing over one billion pieces.  Here are some interesting findings:

  • Americans score highest for a variety of emojis, including skulls, birthday cake, fire, tech, LGBT, meat, and female-oriented icons.
  • Canada uses the smiling poop emoji more than any other country. It also leads in violent, body parts, money, sports, raunchy, and ocean creatures.
  • French leads in the heart emoji, and uses hearts 4x more than any other languages. The red heart is also the #1 emoji for several Scandinavian and Eastern European countries.
  • Arabic-speakers are fond of roses and flowers.
  • Swedish-speakers use the bread emoji more than any other language.
  • Scandinavian (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian) use the Santa emoji more than all other languages. (But… doesn’t Santa live in Finland?).
  • Australia uses double the amount of alcohol-themed emoji than others, 65% more drug emoji than average, and leads for both junk food and holiday.
    • Portuguese speakers actually topped Australia in the use of drug emojis (pill, syringe, mushroom, cigarette) when Swiftkey published its second report.
  • Brits use the winky emoji twice the average rate.

Emojis are understood differently by different cultures

The meaning of an emoji varies greatly depending on culture, language, and generation. Using emojis in cross-cultural communications runs the risk of being misunderstood. Here are some examples of cultural variations:

Sign of the Horns GestureIn countries like Brazil, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Colombia and Argentina, the “metal horns” can indicate that the person was cheated on by their partner.

 

Waving HandWhile the “waving hand” is used to say hello or goodbye in one language, it can signify the ending of a friendship in another.

 

Thumbs UpThumbs-up” may be a sign of approval in Western cultures; but it is considered an obscene gesture in Greece and the Middle East.

 

OK HandIn Brazil and Turkey, the “OK” hand gesture is considered as an insult, and is equivalent to giving the middle finger in America.

 

Clapping HandsClapping hands” shows praise and offer congratulations in Western countries, while in China it’s a symbol of making love.

 

Slightly Smiling FaceThe “slightly smiling” emoji is not used as a sign of happiness in all countries. In China, it implies distrust, disbelief, or someone humoring you. It can also convey an ironic tone of voice in other contexts.

Baby AngelThe angel emoji can imply having performed a good deed or signify innocence in the west, while it may be used as a sign of death and be perceived as threatening in China.

 

Eggplant Dreaming of an eggplant on the first night of the New Year means good fortune in Japan. Some people take the eggplant for what it is: a vegetable. In other countries like the U.S, Trinidad and Ireland it has a strong sexual connotation, especially by users ages 18 to 24.

 

PeachSimilarly to the eggplant, some cultures take the peach for what it is: a fruit. Other countries translate this emoji to “butt”.

 

Tips for localizing cross-cultural content with Emojis

Given that emojis are open to interpretation, using them for a multinational audience can be tricky. However, emojis have been proven to boost engagement levels, click-through-rates, and open rates in marketing initiatives. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries made the Face With Tears of Joy emoji the word of the year. There are many benefits of using emojis in marketing, and they are inevitably here to stay.

So, what should we consider when localizing cross-cultural content?

  1. Avoid using hand gesture emojis.
  2. Avoid using only emojis to convey any idea.
  3. Make the emoji relevant to the text in order to enhance the meaning.
  4. Consider how it looks on different platforms.
  5. Sometimes it might be best to spell it out *Neutral face*.

Conclusion

Just being proficient linguistically is not enough to translate emojis. Context and cultural differences need to be considered, thus full localization of the content is essential.

Are you curious about using emoji in your cross-cultural content? Send us an email.

Written by: Tina Frantzen, Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing at Local Concept. 

Six French Words that don’t have an English Translation

By | Culture, Translation | Nessun commento

Do you ever get that feeling when you can’t find the right words to describe something? Maybe you’re not thinking in the right language. Here are six French terms with no English equivalent.

N’importe quoi 

Person holding his hand on his face

Adrian Swancar via Unsplash

Literally translates as “it’s no matter what”, but it means it’s a nonsense, but not really, it means you can’t even try to find the words for something, so absurd that something is.

Frette

Freezing cold high rise urban town

Geoffrey Chevtchenko via Unsplash

When it’s really, really cold. Even colder than cold (cold = froid). (i.e. below -4 F).

Jaser

Lighthearted talk between girls

Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

To have a lighthearted talk, very friendly and unrushed with someone.

Tiguidou

Woman tiguidou

Miguel Bruna via Unsplash

It’s a popular expression similar to “It’s all good”, but has an impressive capacity to flex into different contexts.

Examples:

  1. He’s “tiguidou” = he’s great!
  2. My doctorate thesis? It’s “tiguidou” = it’s finally done, so happy!
  3. I’m “tiguidou” with you = I completely agree with you!

Déjà vu

Man realizes he is having Deja Vu

Laurenz Kleinheider via Unsplash

Most of us know this one, but did you know it originates from French? It translates to “already seen”. It’s that feeling of having lived through the present situation before.

BONUS:

Another noteworthy point to mention about this language is that in French there isn’t a word for cheap – only not expensive (“pas cher”). There was even a grocery store whose tagline was “the less expensive grocery store”.

Some of these words are only used in Canadian French. Can you guess which ones?

Check out these Six Spanish Words with no English Translation if you need more terms to express yourself.

Written by: Camila Silva (Localization Manager) & Tina Frantzen (Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing) at Local Concept. 

Six Spanish Words that don’t have an English Translation

By | Culture, Translation | 2 Comments

Language tells us a lot about a particular culture, and there are some Spanish words that don’t have an English translation. For instance, in Spain, they use a number of sayings having to do with food. Spaniards love food. For instance, when trying to say that something takes a long time, they say that it’s longer than a day without bread. 

Here are examples of six Spanish words with no equivalent in English.

Sobremesa

People eating a meal around a table

Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

This word is a unique part to a Spanish meal. It relates to the time spent talking and drinking after the meal is over. The largest sobremesa I ever participated in was three hours.

Estrenar

Wearing something for the first time

Another word that is not a part of the English language is estrenar. In short, it means to wear something for the first time. There seems to be a certain pleasure one gets the first time something is worn. Separately, in English, there is a concept of ‘breaking something in’ when wearing it for the first time, but this is not the same as estrenar.

Tuerto

One-eyed person

Scott Umstattd via Unsplash

Another word, tuerto, loosely translates as a one-eyed person. The word comes from the Latin word, tortus, crouket. In early times this word referred to injustice.

Desvelado

desvelado

Christian Erfurt via Unsplash

The word desvelado means a person who is not getting enough sleep.

Merienda

merienda

Sarah Swinton via Unsplash

The closest translation is a “snack”, but not really. Many Spanish-speaking countries include a small meal between lunch and dinner where you sit and have coffee, hot chocolate, pastries or a small snack. If you’re an American visiting Spain where there’s an 8 hour lag between lunch and dinner, a merienda might be just what the doctor ordered.

Te Quiero

man and woman hugging

Candice Picard via Unsplash

It’s a word used to show you appreciate someone or care about them. It’s a midpoint between I like you and I love you.

Written by: Michael R. Cardenas (President) and Tina Frantzen (Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing) at Local Concept. 

Will God Bless you when you sneeze? It depends in what Country you are sneezing

By | Culture | Nessun commento

sick snow white GIF by Disney

Before we discuss international treatment of “God bless you,” let’s discuss the origins of these three words. It seems that sneezing goes hand-in-hand with an old superstition that said sneezing happens when your body is trying to get rid of evil spirits. Saying, “God bless you,” is, in essence, the same as wishing a person good luck from those evil spirits.

Another superstition is that the evil spirits hurry into your body when you sneeze. Yet another popular superstition around the words, God bless you, has to do with Pope Gregory, the Great, who ruled during the black plague. He started saying God bless you to those that sneezed, since sneezing was a sign that they had the terminal disease. Most countries use similar words as God bless you. Some countries refer to good health. In some countries they don’t address the God bless you form, nor do they wish you good health.

In France, first sneeze gets you, “à tes souhaits,” which translates into “to your wishes.” The second sneeze gets you, “à tes amours,” which means “to your loves.” A third sneeze will get you, “qu’elles durent toujours,” which means, “that they last forever.”

In Korea, no one says anything after a sneeze. I guess no evil spirits in Korea.

In Portuguese two different versions are used: “santinho,” or “little saint,” and “Deus te,” which means, “May God smother you.” The Dutch, after a third sneeze, go on to say, “The weather will be nice tomorrow.” I guess they’re moving away from using satellite weather maps.

No matter what country you’re in, and what you’re told after, we can all agree a sense of relief is had after every sneeze.

Written by: Michael Cardenas (President) and Tina Frantzen (Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing) at Local Concept. 

How Emotions and Silence can get you in or out of Jail

By | Translation | Nessun commento

Emotions and silence can get you in or out of jail or in trouble, depending on your Interpreter.

In court criminal proceedings, you have probably seen a witness speak for 30 seconds while the interpreter takes 10 seconds to translate what has been uttered by the witness.

The interpreter role is not only to interpret the words, but to create the same tone and emotion of the witness.

well let me translate that if i can hillary clinton GIF by Election 2016

Imagine in a criminal rape case if the witness is asked “have you ever raped anyone?”.

Scenario A: The witness quickly answers NO.

disagree no way GIF by VH1

Scenario B: The witness is silent for three seconds… thinks about it… utters a murmur and then answers NO.

not for me no GIF by Originals

These two answers say a lot about the state of mind of the witness and they should be “mimicked” as part of the interpretation. It is the role of the interpreter to step in the shoes of the witness and sound like him.

In scenario B, all utterances, and even “hums” need to be interpreted. Sometimes, the emotions of the witness will play an important role in the interpreters’ choice of words.

In 2007, Spain’s Prime Minister Zapatero was trying to speak. Hugo Chavez, ex-President of Venezuela, kept on interrupting him. The king of Spain, Juan Carlos, then asked Hugo “¿Porque no se calla?”. By his tone, you could see he was just asking him to be quiet. The interpreter for the US media interpreted it as “Shut up”. This is obviously a different message, one that did not allow for context and interpretation of the emotions.

Often times, emotions take on more meaning than words, especially when it comes to communication in high context cultures.

court GIF

Written by: Michael Cardenas (President) and Tina Frantzen (Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing) at Local Concept. 

Happy Lexi Day

By | Technology | Nessun commento

April 25 is recognized as World Penguin Day to celebrate this amazing creature’s annual, northward migration. These black and white feathered animals are superbly adapted to aquatic life. Penguins are counter-shaded for camouflage. Their white belly, when looked at from below, looks like reflective water surface instead of a penguin. 

Many have asked, who is this cute guy behind the image of Local Concept?

In the event of World Penguin Day, we have the pleasure of introducing him. His name is Lexi. He is over 30 years old. He was born in San Diego, California, and has also lived in over 50 countries.

Some penguins love the cold, some love tempered weather. Lexi is adaptable to any weather, country, or language. He is the perfect representation of Local Concept: he fits in anywhere, and will go above and beyond to help our clients create a truly global product.

We love our penguin Lexi so much that we have developed our very own technology offering named after him!

LexiPM

When you work with Local Concept you can view all of your translation projects online, review schedules, budget, and pending issues. LexiPM can be accessed 24/7 by any of your team members as well as your Ad Agency.

LexiTerm

With our online Glossary Management system, all you need is a browser and you can connect to your very own glossary and branding strategy.

Each client gets a customized account with login credentials. It is very easy to setup and to use – no software installation required.

It offers you one central location for all of your glossaries. 

and gives authorized users access to the same document, so no need to find out which version is the latest one.

For an in-penguin interview with Lexi, or to find out more about LexiPM or LexiTerm, reach out to our Client Strategies team today.

Email: info@localconcept.com

Telefono: +1 (619) 295-2682

Easter around the World

By | Culture | Nessun commento

Egg hunting, bunnies, and baskets full of candy – it’s that time of the year again. While these traditions are well known in North America, what does Easter mean for different countries around the world? And how do you say Happy Easter in five different languages?

Spain – Felices Pascuas

Easter is known as Semana Santa which means Holy Week in English. It is the biggest religious celebration of the year, and it includes a great deal of eating and drinking. Parades crowd the streets replicating the day of crucifixion, and Spaniards enjoy some time off work to spend with families and friends.

Indonesia – Selamat Hari Paskah

Portuguese missionaries brought Christianity to Indonesia, which is primarily a Muslim country. While Easter is celebrated mainly among Christians (10% of the population), Good Friday is a day-off for all. Re-enacting the crucifixion is a ceremony that mixes Filipino folk tradition with Christian devotion, and it is considered an honor to be tied to the cross like Jesus was.

Czech Republic – Veselé Velikonoce

On Easter Monday, a rather unusual tradition is carried out. Men playfully spank women with handmade, ribbon-decorated whips made of pussywillow twigs. Pomlázka means whip in English, and it has become the name of this tradition itself. It is believed that being spanked with a whip will bring health, beauty, and fertility during the next year.

Norway – God Påske

It is a holiday which many Norwegians look forward to after a long winter period of darkness. In fact, they have the longest Easter holiday in the world. Shops and work places are closed over Mandy Thursday (skjærtorsdag), Good Friday (langfredag), and the Monday following Easter Sunday, known as andre påskedag. Traditions unique to this country include heading out to the mountains enjoying sunshine, skiing, eating oranges and chocolate, as well as reading crime stories and detective novels.

Brazil – Feliz Páscoa

Easter eggs are an important part of the Brazilian celebrations, and can be found a month in advance strung across ceiling aisles inside supermarkets. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, with sprinkles, caramel, hazelnuts, raisins, cookies – Chocoholics of the world wouldn’t mind a trip to this country during Easter. They also create straw dolls to illustrate Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, then destroy them in the streets.

 

We would love to hear about your Easter traditions – leave a comment below!

 

Written by: Tina Frantzen, Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing at Local Concept. 

Is Neural Machine Translation (NMT) Here to Stay?

By | La traduzione automatica | Nessun commento

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is like politics: everyone talks about it, but few know what’s truly going on.

President of Local Concept, Michael R. Cárdenas, and President of Systran, Dennis Gachot, presented at this year’s LocWorld in Kuala Lumpur on the status of NMT. The discussion outlined an objective view on this technology.

What is Neural Machine Translation?

In short, it replaces traditional, statistical MT with a Neural Network model. NMT is known to create more accurate output than Statistical MT, however, it is not for everyone. You have to dive in and get your feet wet before concluding if it will work for you or not.

What is the difference between Neural Machine Translation and Statistical Machine Translation?

While MT uses algorithms purely based on statistical models, NMT learns linguistic patterns and applies them to translate text. In other words, the neural network can be trained to recognize data patterns and improve translation output over time, whereas Statistical MT uses the most probable output.

How do I know if MT is for me?

The standard statistical quality analysis methods, such as BlueScore, are a starting point for quality analysis, but you need to follow up with data analysis from a human-based quality metric.

While it works considerably well for technical text, creative material still sees very weak results. The quality is also different per language pair. To effectively rely on NMT for technical material, there needs to be a substantial investment of time and money to train the engine for your language pair(s).

Is NMT here to stay?

Yes, it definitely is. More and more research is being done each day and the advancements in the area are noticeable. If you want to remain ahead of the game, you need to get your feet wet now.

Any questions about NMT or MT? Leave a comment below!

 

Written by: Michael Cardenas (President) and Tina Frantzen (Director of Client Strategy and Social Media Marketing) at Local Concept.

Pain-Free Client Reviews

By | blogpost | Nessun commento

Pain-Free Client Reviews

By Michael R. Cárdenas

I lied when I created this title. Client reviews just like any other type of reviews are never easy but here are some strategies that can ease the pain.

Set Expectations

What kind of quality are you looking for? Did I hear you say you always expect perfection? That’s fine. However, some clients might have different quality standards. For instance, a high visibility project, such as a marketing or advertising campaign, needs to be just right. I would also strongly suggest instructions on how to launch a parachute be correct.

Some other types of projects like creating a service manual for a washing machine may have more flexible quality requirements. I would first agree on general quality terms such as “perfect,” “good,” “unacceptable” and “acceptable.”

Now comes the tricky part: How do you match these quality definitions with the actual translations? For a large part of my career, I’ve tried to come up with a formula to define these quality standards. I could write a book on this topic and let you read it, but I’d have to charge you.

I would suggest that you define errors as either objective or subjective. For example, a subjective preferential bias towards one way of translating when there are two equally correct ways to translate is subjective. Whereas, a mistranslation is objectively an error, no matter which translators you consult with.

Errors also should be weighed depending on the nature of the mistake. For instance, at Local Concept, we look at several determining factors:

  1. Accuracy of translation: Does the translation convey the intended message?
  2. Grammar and spelling mistakes
  3. Local differences: Are local requirements being taken into account? (i.e. local telephone numbers)
  4. Consistency: Is the glossary used throughout the translation?

Once you have identified all of the types of errors, you can provide a different penalty to each one.

I would also suggest a holistic approach to client reviews. By holistic, I mean each of the stakeholders in the project – the client, the client reviewer, and the agency – need to share a goal to work toward together to create the best translation possible. This is the most challenging part of client reviews.

Let me speak to each stakeholder and provide areas where each one tends to make things challenging and ways to ease the pain.

Understand the Basics

The job of a client reviewer is an important one. Most of the time clients look to anyone in their company who speaks a second language to handle this task. If such a candidate does not exist, some clients ask anyone who has visited the country, where they speak the language, or a restaurant from that same country.

Here are some basic requirements for a good reviewer. They must have:

  • excellent grammar skills;
  • subject matter expertise;
  • a working knowledge of translation memory, and lastly;
  • time to perform their work.

Clients need to understand that translations are not an exact science. Through a collaborative effort, clients will be able to create the proper tone, terminology, and branding no matter what locale or language.

Errors will undoubtedly be made. When issues arise, everyone should take note, and have a plan in place to make sure these same errors don’t resurface. The focus for the team, when difference of opinions or errors in a translation comes up, is not to place blame, but to look to executing the best strategy going forward.

Once this has been achieved, you can better recognize which process changes need to be improved upon, based on the root cause of the problem. Clients should be somewhat patient while the review process is being finely tuned. Once this has occurred, then clients need to be less forgiving to errors.

Before making a change to a translation, make sure it’s necessary. Since this change will have to be made in the entire database, (no, you can’t just do a simple search and replace) you need to review each sentence that contains that word.

Finally, client reviewers should be tested in a timed environment. This is not common practice in our industry, but you can only make sure your reviewer is good if they pass a test. The test should include three different skills. 1) Knowledge of the subject matter; 2) A marketing piece that tests creativity even though creativity may not be required. You want out-of- the-box thinkers and a marketing or advertising piece will pick up on this skill.; 3) Lastly, they should edit someone’s work so you can see whether they perform a rewrite.

Identify Client Reviewer Stereotypes

Now it’s time to go over the most popular reviewer stereotypes out there.

The “I need to earn my pay” reviewer

This reviewer feels he/she needs to make as many changes as they can in order to substantiate their role. Even when asked to focus on the errors, they end up delivering a rewrite. They’re more concerned with having their changes all over the document, than making only what’s required. These reviewers can’t usually be coached and end up costing clients time and money.

The “It’s my way or the highway” reviewer

This reviewer doesn’t want to hear anyone’s opinion. They have an ego that barely fits through a door. When challenged, they don’t bark, they bite. In translations, often times, there is no right or wrong strategy. For instance, for an eLearning course for Hispanics working at a fast food chain, where they’re taught food handling techniques, one can argue that the formal tone should be used out of respect. The opposite, informal approach can be just as likely to be used (since it levels itself to a more collaborative working environment). Client reviewers need to be flexible and allow ideas to be bounced back, instead of pushing their own agenda.

Client reviewers need to be flexible and open-minded about language and translation. When I first started out as a translator, I would try to reason with such authoritative types. What did this approach get me? A lost client.

Now, I document our translation choices and allow for the inevitable to happen for this type of reviewer; making a mistake that causes him/her a job. Our industry requires collaboration; without it, no one wins.

The “I know it all” reviewer (but knows nothing)

These reviewers are quick to criticize and make generalizations without proper foundation. When their grammar or translation is questioned, they get offended. From an agency’s perspective, these reviewers can cost you your client.

White gloves with these reviewers are strongly recommended. My strategy is to go through each client reviewer change and prepare an explanation detailing whether you are in agreement or not. Then, I would have a call between the client reviewer and the agency linguist to go over the changes. This is an opportunity for the agency to determine your standing with the client reviewer, the knowledge of the reviewer, and his/her impression about your quality.

If your client’s reviewer is making the wrong translation choices and you feel they’re not competent, you have two choices. First, diplomatically tell the client the truth. Before you do so, find out a little bit about the reviewer (i.e. Is he employed by your client? What is his role in the company?) You must assume your comments may get back to the reviewer and he/she might decide to change translation houses.

A second option is to explain to the client that you’re willing to make all of the changes the reviewer has suggested, even though you’re not in an agreement, but will keep a document that stores this information.

Then, there are times the error is so egregious you have no choice but to escalate the matter to higher authorities. I had a client reviewer who I agreed to make her changes, although most were wrong. It was a cosmetic company and they were coming up with a cream to be applied on the buttocks of women who wanted to lose weight. Unfortunately, the client reviewer changed the application to mean “please insert the cream” …you get the point. We sent a letter to the president of the company informing him of the nature of the translation. We got a new reviewer.

The “perfect” reviewer

I left the best for last. He/she:

  • has excellent command of both the source and target language;
  • is a subject matter expert for the material being translated;
  • makes only the necessary changes and is open to difference of opinions; and
  • works with translation memory.

Heck, I’m on a roll here, how about he/she tells your client to pay you more. I would say 20% of our reviewers fit this personality. Treat them well, send them Christmas cards, chocolates, and vote for them to be President.

All client edits need to be reviewed by the agency, to make sure nothing has been lost in translation. A question often asked is if clients need to perform a full review or just a spot check. My philosophy is: start reviewing everything and once the quality is good, perform random reviews.

Continue with What Works (and Leave Behind What Doesn’t)

When choosing a linguist, agencies should look for the same attributes as we mentioned when discussing the client reviewer. I would add one more requirement here; they must leave their ego/emotions at the door. We all understand how seriously linguists take language and culture. We need to not take it personally when we receive client feedback.

You might have noticed me alluding to the fact that often times we need to work with a difficult reviewer, clients, or agencies. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with difficult colleagues.

First, choose your battles wisely. Stand your ground when the term or the translation will have some serious consequences when it goes out on the market. Remember the Spanish translation for “Got Milk?” It ended up asking consumers if they were lactating.

Second, state your position with the necessary backup. Google is a pool of information, but it is not always reliable. Dictionaries are helpful, but not always spot on. Use subject matter experts who ultimately should be the decision makers on the subject being translated. Also, stay positive during your communications. Try to resolve differences gracefully. Oh boy, I sound like a counselor.

A caveat I would like to share with you is to not make any assumptions. During editing, I find many translators prefer to translate without asking for clarification. This can only lead to errors. At a translation conference in Seville, where I presented on the topic of creating quality translations, I put what looks like a traveling bag on the top of the table where I was presenting. After speaking for 90 minutes, I asked the translators in the audience what was in the bag. They answered a computer, papers, clothing, and traveling items. I opened the bag, and took out my dog, “Toro,” who had been quietly sleeping.

Case in point: don’t make assumptions. With a closer look at the bag, they would have noticed there was a mesh net for an animal to breathe and would have identified it as a pet carrying bag.

I leave you with two last thoughts. Increase your tolerance to frustrations, which are inevitable and part of the review process. Secondly, translators who know their translations are being reviewed by the client will perform better than if no review is done.