Professional Croatian Translator: Nadira Ljevaković Garić – Part 2

Based on the few months I’ve been working with you, I can only say that you are one of the best clients I’ve ever had. I prefer long-term cooperations and BigTranslation offered me that very thing. It really is a pleasure to be a part of a professional team where you always get your questions answered and, at the same time, have the freedom to organize and decide the amount of work you accept – this is definitely something that makes BigTranslation stand out from other companies.

In what capacity do you work with BigTranslation and what was it that made you choose the company? In your opinion, what makes it stand out from other companies?

Based on the few months I’ve been working with you, I can only say that you are one of the best clients I’ve ever had. I prefer long-term cooperations and BigTranslation offered me that very thing. It really is a pleasure to be a part of a professional team where you always get your questions answered and, at the same time, have the freedom to organize and decide the amount of work you accept – this is definitely something that makes BigTranslation stand out from other companies.

croatian translatorWhat essential qualities or skills should a translator possess? What’s your ‘motto’ on translation, if you like?

In my opinion, working as a freelance translator is not as easy as it may seem. The knowledge of source and target language is essential. Translation goes way beyond being able to speak both the languages you’re working on. One needs to be able to flawlessly transfer both syntax and semantics from one language to another and make the final “product” as natural as the source it came from.
The process of translating itself aside, you need to organize your time, especially if you are working for many clients at the same time. You need to plan, communicate to clients, look for new ones and only then you do the translation work. Many people tell me that I’m having super easy time, a great job where I can work whenever I want to without realizing that I, myself, do the same amount of work which is distributed to 3-4 people in the companies they work in. My motto is: „Think, translate, fascinate“. The greatest pleasure I can have is my clients’. ☺

Imagine a world without translators. What would it be like?

I’ve recently read an interesting story. A professor from the USA was giving some lectures in Japan and started one of them with a joke that lasted a few minutes. After he told the joke in English, he waited for the translator to do his job. The translator only talked for a few seconds and the audience burst into laughter.
After the lecture, the professor asked the translator how she managed to convey all the humour from his joke in only a few seconds. She shrugged and said: “I told them our American guest had just told a funny joke and that all should laugh.”
Most things that we use and buy daily go through the process of language adapting first which is obviously done by translators. Imagine you need to cook for some very special guests and go to a supermarket to buy spices, among other things. How spicy would your lunch be if you didn’t know which spices you used? That’s just a small example how important translation is.
In the bigger picture, translators are the ones connecting the world. Be it culture, finance, politics, education or any other crucial aspect of human existence and growth – none of it would be possible without translation.

International Translation Day

Since 1991, every year on the 30th September, translators from all over the world join this celebration to promote translation as a profession, and each year a different theme is chosen. In the past the themes have included Language Rights and The Changing Face of Translation and Interpretation.

Each year, the 30th September marks a very important event in the world of translation-International Translation Day, in celebration of the patron saint of translation, St. Jerome.

Where Did It All Start?

The Bible is by far the most translated text in world history, and has been translated into over 2800 languages. St. Jerome was one of those to translate this famous text, translating it into Latin, the style spoken and written by the people of his time, despite being well versed in Classical Latin. Jerome died peacefully in 420, on the 30th September, and it is on this day that the translating world comes together to celebrate translation across the globe.

International Translation Day As We Know It Today

Since 1991, every year on the 30th September, translators from all over the world join this celebration to promote translation as a profession, and each year a different theme is chosen. In the past the themes have included Language Rights and The Changing Face of Translation and Interpretation. This year, the theme which was proposed by the American Translators Association (ATA) and is Translation and Interpreting: Connecting Worlds. The idea behind this theme is to celebrate how translation brings enables us to share the worlds of business, science, medicine, law, etc.

Feeling Artistic?

In 2012, the International Federation of Translators introduced a poster competition to the event, allowing member associations and other people with an interest in translation to submit posters promoting International Translation Day. The motif of the poster must be linked to the theme chosen for the year, and the design must accommodate two different languages. The winner of the poster competition receives the International Translation Day prize, which consists of a certificate and/or plaque, and where possible their logo will appear on the poster.

This event is a great way of celebrating the importance of translation, and promoting it across the globe!

 

And what about us?

Here at BigTranslation we have celebrated it the best way possible: translating! Of course every good celebration needs delicious food, especially when it’s our international team! We hope you have enjoyed the day as much as we have, and that it helped you to realise how essential translation is.

Linguistic variations: Minor Mistakes, Major Consequences

It is well known that English is among the most widely spoken languages in the world, along with Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish, but we never specify which English we are referring to. Although we think of English as being one universal language, it actually has many variations across the globe.

It is well known that English is among the most widely spoken languages in the world, along with Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish, but we never specify which English we are referring to. Although we think of English as being one universal language, it actually has many variations across the globe. This is why it is important to bear in mind your target audience when you are translating – because one word may have two very different meanings depending on where you are from.

Do you dare to assume linguistic variations are insignificant?

For example, if you are giving an address to the first floor of a building, an American would go to the ground floor of a building, whereas a British person would be waiting one floor above.

Another issue may arise when a party invitation has the instructions fancy dress. At an American party this would mean formal dress, black tie and ball gowns, but a British person could turn up in any outfit from a Mickey Mouse costume to a Superman cape – not a mistake you want to make!

Another common error is the difference with the word pants in the UK and the USA, as in the USA it means trousers, whereas in the UK it means underwear. Another piece of clothing American’s tend to find confusing is the jumper. Although to British people this is quite clearly an item to keep you warm in winter, in America a jumper is somebody who commits suicide by jumping off a building or bridge. Fortunately the popularity of Harry Potter, and particularly Ron Weasley, across the globe has helped Americans to understand the commonly used British meaning!

But perhaps the most embarrassing slip up you could make is with the word “rubber”. In Britain, this is a commonly used classroom object for erasing mistakes, and nobody would bat an eyelid if a 7-year old said “Please may you pass me the rubber”, but in America this would seem very strange, as rubber in America means condom!

Native translators, and say goodbye to misunderstandings!

It is clear to see that for different audiences across the globe, the same word may have very different meanings and connotations depending on its variation, which is why when doing a translation it is of the utmost importance to use experienced translators who know their language and their target audience to avoid these simple but significant errors.

Gigantia Choose BigTranslation

Gigantia is a Spanish based company that specialises in large scale offset printing. With offices located throughout Spain and staff with over 29 years of experience, Gigantia provides large format printing, displays, packaging, signage, assembly and much more. BigTranslation was recently chosen by Gigantia to translate the site into English, French and Portuguese, allowing the company to open itself up fully to the global marketplace.

Gigantia is a Spanish based company that specialises in large scale offset printing. With offices located throughout Spain and staff with over 29 years of experience, Gigantia provides large services in format printing, displays, packaging, signage, assembly and much more.
Its website features a very modern and attractive design, and is very easy to navigate. BigTranslation was recently chosen by Gigantia to translate the site into English, French and Portuguese, allowing the company to open itself up fully to the global marketplace. Our team of native translators worked together quickly and effectively over a period of days, translating, editing and proofreading the entire website in order to achieve the highest possible level of accuracy and to successfully convey the company’s unique selling point to an international audience.

 

Gigantia expert in offset printing

Improve your business results with SEO

At BigTranslation, we choose our words very carefully. When our team was completing this website translation, we made it a priority to carry out a full SEO analysis on Gigantia’s specific product range, analysing and specifying the keywords used and incorporating these into our final translations to achieve the kind of results that the client was looking for in terms of search engine results.

 

We are committed to providing a quality service that will be greatly appreciated by the client. Thanks to our team of native translators and our marketing and SEO experts, our translation agency is able to provide a quick, efficient and accurate translation service that can propel your business towards achieving its maximum potential in terms of online positioning. We are aware of the importance of good language translation, but we are also determined to provide our clients with a service that will allow their company to stand out in their field of expertise. Choosing to work with us provides an excellent opportunity to boost your SEO, promoting your product online and raising your business profile.

 

What Happens to the English Language Now?

For native English translators and language undergraduates, one of the main points of concern in the aftermath of Brexit has been the prospect that English will now cease to be an official EU language. It is claimed that this scenario would result in English becoming far less in-demand, reducing the overall status of the English language in terms of business, culture and international relations.

What happens to the English language now?

For native English translators and language undergraduates, one of the main points of concern in the aftermath of Brexit has been the prospect that English will now cease to be an official EU language. It is claimed that this scenario would result in English becoming far less in-demand for European institutions, putting the jobs of language graduates in danger and reducing the overall status of the English language in terms of business, culture and international relations. This would all seem to make sense, given the fact that Ireland and Malta will be the only remaining countries in the EU with English as an official language. However, there’s reason to believe that things may not be so simple.

La Langue Universelle?

A quick scan of history shows that it wasn’t the presence of the UK which gave English its status as Europe’s lingua franca in the first place. When the British joined the EEC along with Ireland back in 1973, the official language of communication within the EU institutions was French. This was partly for historical reasons, and partly because the institutions were located in predominantly French-speaking cities: Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. The priority given to French was therefore justified, and the incoming UK and Irish officials alone were not numerous enough to make a difference to the language arrangement.

Native English Translators| BigTranslation
Native English Translators| BigTranslation

Things started to change about 20 years later. With the arrival of Sweden, Finland and Austria in 1995, English was used increasingly and was used to draft legislation, as it was the first foreign language of a growing number of new officials who required a common language for consultation purposes.
The 2004 enlargement of the European Union was its largest single expansion to date. 10 new countries became members, nearly all of whose national education systems offered English as first foreign language, not French. As a result, English became the most obvious common language of communication of new member states and therefore, by extension, the European Union as a whole. Now the EU works with 24 official languages.

Native English Translators still in High Demand

This is why even without Britain’s continued membership of the EU, one would suspect that English will continue to have a central role in communication between member states – at least for the considerable future. The Lithuanian official will still have to use English to communicate with her Dutch colleague, who will then be required to relay the information in English to his Czech boss. For English speaking language graduates, the image of this very common scenario may represent some light at the end of the tunnel.

In terms of translation post-Brexit, it is still the case that English-speaking officials, both administrators and clerical assistants, are in great demand. This puts translators from the Republic of Ireland, Europe’s largest remaining English speakers, in a rather advantageous position. Future selection competitions for recruitment, without competition from British nationals, should therefore favour Irish nationals slightly more than in the past.

Go East for Translation Inspiration

The languages of Central and Eastern Europe are rich, complex and steeped in centuries of history. The years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union have seen the reopening of these societies after decades of isolation. Indeed, Eastern Europe’s desire to revolutionise itself in terms of establishing democratic institutions and free market economies has led a number of Western companies to invest in this virtually unexplored part of the continent since the 1990s.

Go East for Translation Inspiration

The languages of Central and Eastern Europe are rich, complex and steeped in centuries of history. The years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union have seen the reopening of these societies after decades of isolation. Indeed, Eastern Europe’s desire to revolutionise itself in terms of establishing democratic institutions and free market economies has led a number of Western companies to invest in this virtually unexplored part of the continent since the 1990s. The demand for translation and interpretation is in consequence increasing significantly.

However, in terms of providing language training in light of the growing demand for translation and other language services to and from Eastern European languages, the response of many Western countries has been surprisingly poor. For example, in the United Kingdom, there are fewer students of languages in secondary and higher education whilst the demand for translation and interpretation is increasing significantly. Of the languages we do study at school, German is one of the most widely taught, yet recent years have shown the demand for translation from and into German slowly decreasing.

Eastern Europe Translation: Big demand for Czech, Polish, Russian

On the other hand, language service companies, like BigTranslation are seeing a marked increase in requests for documents to be translated from and into Eastern European languages, particularly Polish, yet the response in terms of education has been almost non-existent. In the years to come, this could be a considerable cause for concern if we fail to give our young people the training they need to respond to this increasingly fast growing market. Britain’s universities have been slightly more effective in terms of providing adequate language training services to modern language undergraduates. At the University of Glasgow, for example, students from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) are now free to take up the study of subsidiary Czech, Russian or Polish on entering Junior Honours. This opportunity should be particularly attractive to students of French and German, since the European Commission is looking for translators and interpreters who speak French or German with Czech or Polish.

However, the benefits of studying Eastern European languages aren’t limited to graduates of Central and Eastern European Studies; SMLC graduates who have any knowledge of Czech, Polish or Russian have found it has helped them in finding jobs on graduation, since UK employers tend to interpret this expertise as a special commitment and are impressed by the line of study. Native English UK graduates with some knowledge of Czech or Polish are also sought after in Central Europe. So, for current or future translation students looking for the language combination that could serve them best in terms of employment, new experiences and opportunities, it may be an idea to look towards the East for inspiration. The possibilities are very exciting indeed!

 

 

Dispelling the Myths: Translation and History

As previously mentioned in our blogs, we at BigTranslation know the realities of business and commerce inside out, so we are more than aware of the important role that translation plays in international cooperation between people from all sorts of backgrounds. With this in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to correct one of the biggest misconceptions in the history of language.

As previously mentioned in our blogs, we at BigTranslation know the realities of business and commerce inside out, so we are more than aware of the important role that translation plays in international cooperation between people from all sorts of backgrounds. With this in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to correct one of the biggest misconceptions in the history of language.

“Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) is a quotation from a June 26, 1963, speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in West Berlin. Speaking in German, John F. Kennedy said “I am a citizen of Berlin.”
Pronounced at the height of the Cold War, with the intention of underlining the support of the United States for West Germany following the erection of the Berlin Wall, the speech is remembered as being one of Kennedy’s best. However, it is also the source of one of the most widely believed myths in the history of popular culture.

There is a common misconception that Kennedy made a rather comical error in pronouncing the words Ich bin ein Berliner. As the myth goes, his use of the definite article would change “I am a citizen of Berlin” to “I am a Berliner” (a Berliner being a type of German pastry, similar to a jelly doughnut). However, scholars of German will know that the indefinite article is omitted in German when speaking of an individual’s profession or residence, but still used when speaking in a figurative sense. Since the President was not literally from Berlin but declaring his solidarity with its citizens, “Ich bin ein Berliner” was the only way to express what he wanted to say.

Unfortunately, this still hasn’t deterred everyone from Len Deighton to Eddie Izzard using the misconception surrounding the phrase for comic effect, nor did it prevent JFK’s political opponents from repeating it to have a cheap laugh at the Bostonian President’s supposed linguistic ineptitude. On one hand, the extent to which this misconception has managed to manifest itself in popular culture is quite remarkable. However, the idea that translation may be used as a political football is less uncommon than one might think.

Translation History | BigTranslation

In Catalonia last year, the Institute Nova Història made the rather surprising claim that, for centuries, Spanish leaders have used translation to downplay the role of Catalonia in the country’s history. They even went so far as to claim that Miguel de Cervantes’ famous Don Quixote – widely considered to be the first modern novel – was in fact written in Catalan by Cervantes and subsequently translated into Spanish. It is argued that several linguistic errors in the text point to the possibility that Don Quixote was translated into Castilian from Catalan.

For a translator to provide an accurate, unprejudiced view of the characters and events which shape history, he or she must have an in depth knowledge of the social and political issues surrounding the source language and the people who speak it. If the whole story of Ich bin ein Berliner tells us anything, it’s that translators of the past haven’t always lead by example in this sense. And if the initial translations of Saddam Hussein’s last book (ranging from ‘Devil’s Dance’, ‘Begone Devils’ to ‘Get Out, You Damned One’) are anything to go by, it’s clear that the translators of today have got still got their work cut out for them.

Good SEO Translation: More Than Meets The Eye

From the high street to the online world, globalisation is undoubtedly upon us. Every day, more and more companies are going international, with eLearning, software, consumer goods and high tech industries among the fastest growing online markets. Even for an inherently global profession such as translation, the last few years have been huge in terms of its expansion into the worldwide marketplace.

From the high street to the online world, globalisation is undoubtedly upon us. Every day, more and more companies are going international, with eLearning, software, consumer goods and high tech industries among the fastest growing online markets. Even for an inherently global profession such as translation, the last few years have been huge in terms of its expansion into the worldwide marketplace. Indeed, a recent spike in Google searches and blog posts about international SEO translation shows that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of good language practice to the success of their business.

However, translators themselves would be mistaken to believe that an accurate SEO translation in itself is all that’s needed for their work to reach its full potential. While SEO translation is one of the latest and most efficient methods of optimising your online business results, it is not always enough if you want to speak to your potential clients in a language they truly understand.

Any of us who have spent anySEO translation | BigTranslation time in the translation field are aware of the basic practices to avoid. Relying on translators who are competent, but not native speakers of the target language comes with a considerable amount of risk. Furthermore, using automated translators such as Bing or Google Translate is even more perilous. As a Scot living in Europe, I’m always reminded of one particular translation of Robert Burns’ Address to a Haggis. The poem is customarily read before the cutting of the Haggis before a meal, and contains the line ‘Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!‘. It was once translated into German for a Burns event in Berlin, and then independently translated from the German back into English. This ended up with the rather curious description of our national dish as the ‘Mighty Führer of the Sausage People‘.

While perhaps an extreme example of why it’s a good idea to avoid using Google Translate for anything, it’s not the only way that a poor translation can lose an audience. One thing that SEO translations often fail to take into account is the importance, or even the existence of, a target culture – as well as a target language. In this case, what’s needed is a touch of Cultural Consulting.

The overall point here is that, even within the same language, there are a number of cultural factors that have to be taken into account. The same concept therefore applies to business translation. In terms of SEO translation, getting the site architecture, page titles and keywords correct is, of course, extremely important. However, if you neglect the cultural side of things, the translation will never reach its full potential.

In a world where translators have deadlines repeatedly thrust upon them at short notice, they often focus too much on just getting the SEO details right before sending their translations off again. As a result, what really makes a translation palatable for your clients can be easily overlooked. The world may be bigger and more anonymous now than it has ever been, but if you’re thinking about entering the global marketplace, it’s important to choose a language service company that understands what makes your target audience’s culture unique among the rest.

Cultural Nuances in Website Translation

Translation agencies are now offering their translation services to translate websites in the most professional way. And professionals are what you need, as there are many things to take into account when opening up to new cultures through website translation, mainly due to the different connotations attributed to words and expressions.

With more and more of us resorting to typing into a search engine whenever we’re looking for a particular service, it has become more important than ever for websites to find ways of standing out among the rest. Translating their content and opening up to the global market is the answer. However, this process isn’t a case of simply copying and pasting from an online translator. Translation agencies are now offering their translation services to translate websites in the most professional way. And professionals are what you need, as there are many things to take into account when opening up to new cultures through website translation, mainly due to the different connotations attributed to words and expressions.

Translate your brand name or slogan correctly

So your company haWebsite Translation | BigTranslations a catchy name and slogan in its original language, but does it work in the target language? Take American Motors as an example. When launching its new medium-sized car The Matador in Puerto Rico in the early 1970s, it probably had more connotations of power and strength than murderous, which is how it was translated! This mustn’t have been very reassuring for drivers. Another example is that of KFC whose slogan was translated from ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ to ‘We’ll Eat Your Fingers Off’ when it opened in China in the 1980s. This is where translation companies with native professionals come in handy, such as BigTranslation.

 

No sarcasm please

It’s also wise to think about the tone of the content that appears in your website. As in the UK, the difference is made between formal English, which is considered professional but could intimidate some audiences, and colloquial English, which would create a more intimate relationship when trying to reach out to your potential new clients. Therefore defining your clientele is always essential. Another thing to be aware of is that content written in British English often contains a touch of sarcasm, something which doesn’t exist at all in Japanese for example, so looking for an alternative style of writing would be necessary.

Regional Localization

Thinking about the language you would like to translate your website into is crucial, but specifying it to the actual country you’d like to open up to is equally important. American and British English have some major connotational differences, as the search engine Dogpile found out the unfortunate way. Looking a bit closer and ensuring you have covered all ground in that particular culture is also useful, as in the case of Canada, it would be necessary to translate into both English and French.

Colours, symbols and pictures

Along with the written content on your website, the colours, symbols and pictures you choose to illustrate your content are equal priorities. For example red has a very positive connotation in China, whereas it can have an aggressive one in the UK. The symbol of a house for the home page needs to be treated with care as the shape of a house isn’t the same for everyone. Pictures also need to be thought through, as for example a picture of a director sitting alone in his chair  would be more normal in societies with a hierarchical system, but not in those with an egalitarian system, where a picture showing the director mingling with his team would be more appropriate.

So if you are thinking of having your website translated, it would be extremely wise to have an in depth study, carried out by a professional translator, of the idiosyncrasies of the target language and culture. This will avoid any undesirable faux pas!

“Black hat & White hat” SEO translation

Is your website doing well in your company’s business sector? Would you like to open up to the market on a global scale? If you haven’t done so already, you need to learn about SEO translation. By definition, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the technique used to ensure that one’s website is among the first on a search engine results page, which is obviously very desirable for companies wanting to obtain maximum visibility when it comes to promoting their services.

Go Global with SEO

Is your website doing well in your company’s business sector? Would you like to open up to the market on a global scale? If you haven’t done so already, you need to learn about SEO translation. By definition, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the technique used to ensure that one’s website is among the first on a search engine results page, which is obviously very desirable for companies wanting to obtain maximum visibility when it comes to promoting their services. As the name suggests, SEO translation is the translation of content, keywords and meta tags, while taking into account the way certain words or ideas would be conveyed in each language. A valuable way of considerably improving your website’s global visibility! However, as with anything in this world, there are certain rules of conduct; the do’s and dont’s of SEO if you will.

SEO Translation | BigTranslation

There are considered to be three main types of SEO translation. The first one, which is very much a ‘don’t’, is black hat SEO. This method goes against search engine regulations and is therefore illegal. They are generally high-risk, on a short-term strategy and used for a quick financial turnaround. Such techniques include keyword stuffing, which attemps to forsee the keywords a regular Internet user would type into a search engine when looking for a particular service or article, and join as many of these keywords as possible throughout the different pages of the website. Another method is parasite hosting, which involves posting a link to a blog, wikipedia page or forum on a high-ranked website, which will then create a backlink to the black hat’s website. Also, cloaking is considered a black hat SEO method. This involves delivering completely different web page content to that of the one found in the search engine, due to misleading meta tags. If caught when performing black hat SEO, the penalties are extremely high and could result in the website being removed entirely from the search engine’s index.

Then there is grey hat SEO, considered technically legal but not completely ethical. This includes methods such as article spinning, in which, as an attempt to escape copyright penalties, a webmaster will take portions of an already existing and successful article in order to create his own content. Another technique is that of buying old domains, where a grey hat will look for domains that are soon to expire and then use it to link back to its own site. One method has more of a comical or satirical purpose, called Google bombing which ranks in the first position for searches on unrelated or off topic keyword phrases by creating a large number of links. An example of this was a Google bomb in January 2007, which resulted in typing ‘miserable failure’ into Google and the first result being George W. Bush’s biography on the White House website.

SEO Translation | BigTranslationLastly, there is white hat SEO. This is based on a long-term strategy and is associated with ethical SEO, complying with search engine regulations. One of the most recommended methods, it consists of is creating solid titles and meta tags and making insightful alterations to the content of your website. Having content of the highest quality will appear much more valuable to the search engines and to visitors. Quality is therefore essential in obtaining the best results in Search Engine Optimization.