Translation & Localization
draft translation, revision, proofreading, bundled “TEP”, terminology management, alignment, software localization
Translation represents the core of our business. While translation means a lot of things to a lot of people, the term is generically used to refer to the linguistic conversion of text from one language into another. To professionals, this conversion is not limited to a mere word-for-word rendition from language A into language B, but it should aim at transferring an equivalent meaning between the two languages.
Localization (despite being often used as yet another fancy way of referring to translation) is more than just linguistic equivalence and also involves cultural adaptation. In other words, content (and this mainly refers to web content and software applications) can be localized, i.e. translated in such a way as to ensure it is “fit for purpose” not just linguistically, but also culturally.
Professional translation and localization involve multiple processes and operations (both linguistic and non-linguistic) that will depend on a number of variables like the nature of the content involved, the purpose of the translation, the targeted audience, or other client specifications. Typically, the generic workflow we apply to most translation and localization projects involves the following basic stages:
- 1quote request from client:
source document, target language(s), format, preferred deadline, other specifications
- 2content analysis:
subject matter, volume, file formats etc.
- 3resource analysis:
availability of qualified linguists, translation memories, glossaries, reference materials etc.
- 4agreement of project specifications:
language pair(s), workflow and guidelines, deadline, cost, deliverables etc.
- 5project preparation:
file processing, glossary preparation, TM allocation, team assignment etc.
- 6draft translation:
initial translation and self-check performed by the same translator (or team of translators, for higher turnarounds)
quality assurance checks (consistency, spellcheck, compliance with specifications)
bilingual revision performed by a different linguist
- 9QA / proofreading:
monolingual target language checks of format, spelling, integrity etc.
files are delivered to client in the agreed format, by the agreed deadline
- 11project analysis, feedback:
evaluation and feedback provided to linguists
Depending on individual client requirements, projects may involve all or just some of these services, or may require a customized workflow (click here for a case study of a more complex workflow).
consecutive, liaison, simultaneous interpreting, whispering, sight translation, interpreting equipment rental
Whether you represent a large corporation or a small business, a government agency or an NGO, your international communication needs must take into account the importance of conveying the message accurately and appropriately across language barriers. When spoken interaction is required in real time in a context where at least two languages are involved, professional interpreting services must be available. Depending on the type of event, the number of participants and the number of languages involved, there are several interpreting modes. Besides, it is essential to remember that not any person who can speak two languages can actually interpret between the two languages. We only employ professional interpreters who have been trained for this job, who have hundreds or thousands of hours of experience and who master excellent language skills and documentation skills.
Consecutive interpreting – the speaker utters a message in one language, the interpreter listens and takes notes; then, when the speaker pauses, the interpreter renders the same message in a different language. A professional interpreter can do this in “blocks” lasting for up to a few minutes. A client organising such an event must take into consideration that the duration of the event effectively doubles compared to the situation where only one language is required.
Liaison interpreting – this is similar to consecutive interpreting in that it also involves two-way spoken translation, but the interpreter translates shorter blocks of the speaker’s message (normally sentence by sentence), so the speaker needs to pause accordingly. Note taking is not mandatory but of course it can prove useful.
Simultaneous interpreting – the speaker utters a message in one language, using a microphone, the interpreter listens to the speaker using a headset and at the same time translates into a different language using a microphone, while the audience listens to the translation using wireless headphones. It also implies the use of specialised equipment (one soundproofed booth per language pair, microphones for the speakers, wireless headsets for the audience, mixers etc.). Given the very demanding task of listening in one language while at the same time speaking in a second language, at least two interpreters per language pair are required, so that they can shift their active roles between them at regular intervals.
Whispering – this is, in fact, a simplified form of simultaneous interpreting where the interpreter sits/stands next to the beneficiaries and literally whispers into their ears. Due to practical constraints, this is only recommended where just one or two beneficiaries need to understand the spoken message in a language they do not use.
Sight translation – this is a hybrid form in that it involves written text and spoken messages. The interpreter reads the text written in one language and, as they read, they verbally translate into another language for someone who cannot read the language of the written text.
Interpreting equipment rental – the success of an international event that requires simultaneous interpreting will also depend on technical and logistical aspects. If you organise such an event and your chosen venue does not provide such equipment, we can help you select the right provider, or rent the equipment for you, or simply provide assistance or consulting with the logistic arrangements involved.
Language Consulting & Training
linguistic needs and assets assessment, content management, project management training, CAT tool training
Apart from translation and interpretation, we also offer consulting services in these fields. There are so many things people take for granted when talking about translation and interpreting, and yet so many aspects that a non-specialist simply cannot consider. Whether you are already using the services of a language service provider and want a “second opinion”, or you are looking for professional advice on how to approach language services acquisition, you are welcome to contact us and see how we can help.
Linguistic needs assessment – Your organisation may require linguistic services, but you need to get a clearer picture of exactly what you need and how to approach language service providers in order to get your expectations properly met. We can help you identify your linguistic needs, formulate a meaningful request for quote and design a benchmarking system that would help you choose the best supplier for you and evaluate both the process and the outcomes.
Linguistic assets assessment – Your organisation may already have a body of content that has been translated into one or several languages. From how to handle multilingual content to how to manage glossaries and style guides, from evaluating legacy translations you already own to building your own translation memories, we can help you weigh what you already have and turn that to better account for your organisation.
Project management training – Translation and localization are complex processes and involve several stages and, most frequently, several people. Apart from the quality of the linguistic services as such, much of the outcome will also depend on how the translation project is managed. That is why anyone handling translation projects (a freelance translator, a team of freelancers, a key purchaser of translated/localized content in an organisation) will benefit from improving their skills in this specialised type of project management.
CAT tool training – Your organisation may already have an in-house translation department but your translators may not yet be familiar with using a CAT tool (Computer Assisted Translation) software. We can provide general training in how to benefit from a CAT tool workflow or specialised training in using memoQ, the leading translation environment tool.
Translation process and administration training – Translators and revisers may excel in their linguistic skills, but they do not always have the business acumen that would provide them with the competitive edge they need in an ever fiercer market. Freelancers working alone or in small teams will benefit from updating their processes and work methods, as well as from tips and hints to improve the business side of their work.
Organising multilingual events – Your multilingual conference, seminar or training session can reach its objectives and expected impact only with careful preparation and the right amount of logistic efforts. We can advise you on how to organise those events that involve the work of interpreters.