Language facts: Thai

Thai, also called Siamese, is the official language of Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia with a population of 63 million people. However, only about 20 million of the people in Thailand are native speakers.
Thai is a tonal language. Different tones give different meaning, which makes it quite difficult to learn the language in the beginning. In spoken form, Thai is very similar and in fact mutually intelligible with Lao (the language of Laos). Both Thai and Lao belong to the Kra–Dai language family that covers dialects in the area of southern China, northeast of India and parts of Southeast Asia. 
There are various dialects of Thai used in Thailand and while scholars and linguists consider these to be separate, albeit related languages, the native speakers tend to perceive it as one language with regional dialects. 

‘Corruption’ in Thai vocabulary

Thai vocabulary consists of many foreign expressions, and paints a picture of historical development in the region. The Chinese influence, mainly until the 13th century when the Chinese script was replaced with Sanskrit and Pali scripts, caused there to be a good deal of words from Middle China. Trade relations with the West has also influenced the language considerably. Notably, basic trade-related and religious words were taken over from Portuguese, as that was also the first European nation to arrive in Thailand in the 16th century (words such as padre for a priest, carta for paper or real for a coin, etc.). English has become the most influential language since the 20th century, mainly when it comes to technical, scientific and modern society terms (such as computer, graph, government, technology, visa, taxi, diesel, and even corruption and wreath). 

Alphabet includes tone forms

The Thai alphabets were first introduced in the 13th century by an ancient great king. Over time, the characters have changed in appearance. Today the language contains 44 consonants with 42 that are still in use, and 21 vowels in 32 combinations.
Thai words are often – although not always – composed of characters. That means in one single column, there may be up to three characters including consonant, vowel, and tone composed together. 
When it comes to transcription of the Thai alphabet into Latin, there is no universally accepted method to follow, resulting in Thai words being transcripted differently. In fact, an ISO standard for Thai-Latin transcription exists since 2003 and is even used by Google Translate, but yet not very common in daily use (e.g. in textbooks or instructional texts).
For this reason, it is highly recommended to learn the Thai script in order to master the language itself.

Consonants:
ถ ท ธ น บ ป ผ ฝ พ ฟ ภ ม ย ร ล ว ศ ษ ส ห ฬ อ ฮ ก ข ฃ ค ฅ ฆ ง จ ฉ ช ซ ฌ ญ ฎ ฏ ฐ ฑ ฒ ณ ด ต

Vowels:
ะ ั า ํ ิ ่ ่ ่ ุ ู เ โ ใ ไ ็ อ ว ย ฤ ฤๅ ฦ ฦๅ

Tone forms: ่ ้ ๊ ๋

idioma @ the 29th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS) in Tokyo

DMS is Japan’s largest exhibition gathering all kinds of IT solution providers and attracting professionals looking to buy IT solutions for their business. This year, the number of exhibitors is expected to reach 2,600.

At our booth we are planning to exhibit our various translation services, latest trends in technical translation, and introduce our 3 international standards including ISO 18587 on post-editing of machine translation which was newly acquired last year.

If you plan to visit this exciting event, please feel free to contact us in advance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive your entrance ticket.

Exhibition details

Held inside Manufacturing World Japan 2018
Our booth: E26-40
Dates: June 20th (Wed) – 22nd(Fri), 2018 10:00 – 18:00 (last day until 17:00)
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
http://www.dms-tokyo.jp/en/Home/

We are looking forward to seeing you! 

Language facts: Finnish

Finnish is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family (Uralic languages) and is closely related to Estonian and Saami (also known as Lapp). It is one of the two official languages in Finland (the other being Swedish) as well as one of the official EU languages. Additionally, it is used by Finnish-speaking minorities in Sweden and Estonia. The majority (more than 90%) of Finland’s population speaks Finnish, while the remainder speaks Swedish and Sami. Overall, Finnish is spoken by a little more than 5 million people.

Thanks to the existence of Nordic Language Convention, Finnish-speaking citizens can interact with governments and official bodies in other Nordic countries in their native language.

A language with a few relatives but many phonemes

Finnish is related also to some other of the few Uralic languages (such as Hungarian for example) in many aspects, including shared morphology, similar grammar, as well as basic vocabulary. The origin of Uralic languages is not entirely clear even today, but the most widely accepted theory is that this branch originated in the boreal forests around the Ural mountains and around the middle Volga river. Actually, Uralic languages, such as Finnish, are believed to be the proto-language of the area.

The Finnish language gained its official status no sooner than in 1863, after the rise of the Finnish nationalistic movement. The first Finnish writing system was, however, created already in the 16th century by a Finnish bishop Mikael Agricola, who wanted to translate the Bible, and thus needed to standardize the Finnish dialects into a comprehensive system. He failed to do so, as he wasn't able to unify the signs with different phonemes (the intent was for each phoneme to have a corresponding one letter). Later, Finnish actually lost several phonemes from the standardized language due to this unification.

Alphabet

In the Finnish alphabet, 'Å’ is carried over from the Swedish alphabet and is redundant in Finnish; it is merely retained for writing Finland-Swedish proper names.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V X Y Z Å Ä Ö

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v x y z å ä ö

We wish you a successful new year!

Our production center runs no matter what.

If you fight with end-of-the-year deadlines, our language factory is open for you even between the Christmas and New Year's festivities.

We will help you with last minute changes to your multilingual 2018 catalog or website and of course also with any express translation need.

Are you an LSP with a need to cover more volume or delicate language combinations? We can provide full LSP Back-office services for you.

Justgo to our e-shopthat runs 24/7.

Thank you for meeting idioma @ 27th JTF Translation Festival in Tokyo

We would like to thank everyone for visiting our booth at the JTF Translation Festival 2017 in Tokyo on November 29. idioma introduced its core ISO:17100, ISO:9001 and ISO:18587 certified translation services. We enjoyed meeting you and were happy to greet visitors, both new and old, some of whom we haven’t seen in a while. 

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Please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or would like further information.

idioma sponsoring Translators without borders in 2018

Tokyo/Prague, (November 7, 2017) – idioma, an international translation services provider based in Tokyo since 1980, is pleased to announce that it has once again pledged its support to help humanitarian translations reach more people around the world by becoming a bronze sponsor of Translators without Borders.

Translators without Borders (TWB) strives to provide people access to vital, often life-saving, information in their own language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of professional translators, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. The organization has responded to urgent crises by using its Words of Relief model, working with partners, to provide vital information in the appropriate languages to those affected by the European refugee crisis, the Ebola crisis and the Nepal earthquake. 

Commenting on idioma’s decision to become a sponsor, Steen Carlsson, the managing director of idioma’s Production center, said:

“Having worked with languages all my life, in my job and privately, I know what the difference of even the most rudimentary translation can mean to a person unable to communicate. When those you communicate with do not understand what you say, or what you need, or why you behave the way you do, there is only despair. Translators without Borders is a concept we are happy to support and it is my sincere hope more people in need will benefit from their help.”

idioma is proud to be supporting Translators without Borders in this work.

More about Translators without Borders

Translators without Borders envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by partnering with humanitarian organizations. Originally founded in 1993 in France as Traducteurs sans Frontières (now its sister organization), Translators without Borders translates more than five million words per year. In 2012, the organization established a Healthcare Translator Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information and to volunteer or donate, please visit the TWB website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

People are different, but we share many customs, as we observe daily also in our multinational company. Localization obviously affects cultural customs worldwide, but one thing is in common – we all like to stop and celebrate on many occasions and for many reasons. One good reason, for example, has historically been the advent of autumn and harvest. 

Wine and the Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic usually enjoys a nice and mild mid-European autumn atmosphere featuring beer and mainly wine festivals as well as grape harvest feasts in the romantic fall settings with beautifully colored leaves... during this time, usually there are no inversions or freezing drizzle. There is a number of mainly regional and local events (often with traditions that are centuries old), featuring folklore arts and lots of food and, as is pretty common in the Czech Republic, plentiful to drink – mainly new young wine called "burčák" (tastes like sweet grape juice, but already contains a fair share of alcohol, so one should be careful to regulate the intake). 

Autumn is doubly significant to Czech people as the very first Czech nation state gained its independence from Austria in autumn 1918. October 28th, when the Czechoslovak Republic came into existence has since been celebrated as the most important national day of all. 

Lights on the ground

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Another important event but, in this case, a religious feast that also has become a secular tradition – in the otherwise highly atheist Czech nation – is All Saints Day on November 1st. On this day (and usually the two weekends surrounding it), Czech people visit cemeteries and light little candles on the graves of their dead, as well as on memorials. Graveyards turn into nostalgic sites with dim, yet magnificent light shows, and the event is, although a little melancholic at its core, considered a social event and a time for family members to meet. 

Conveniently enough, the two autumn national feasts are close to each other in the calendar, therefore they are frequently used for holidays by quite a number of Czechs.

Piece of Japan in Prague

Even in the Czech Republic, there's also a Japanese community that shares the Japanese culture and traditions with locals at various feasts and events. On October 4th, the "Aki Matsuri" 2015 autumn festival took place in Prague, organized by the Czech-Japanese Association. The event, focused mainly on families with kids, offered a peak into Japanese martial arts and food, and it had even organized origami or kendamu workshops and Japanese games. With a beautiful weather and a temperature nudging close to 25°C, everyone could enjoy.

Over the course of history, languages and their evolution have proven to be an accelerator of brawls between nations, as language happens to be the one common denominator for different groups inhabiting the same area that we actually call a nation. Language is an identification mark of affiliation and there are still languages in Europe that bear the nation-building agenda, even in 2017. Examples of such languages are those of Basque and Catalan, the Spain's rebellious regions. 

Basque language

Basque is a language spoken by people in a geographic area in northeastern Spain stretching into parts of southwestern France. Over the past centuries, this region has contracted. Recently, as a result of the Basque nationalistic movement, the language has made a slight comeback. Basque is, in fact, a rather interesting language, as it is an isolated language and is not even remotely similar to any known existing language in the world. Presumably, Basque happens to be one of the few pre-Indo-European languages, the only one remaining in use in Western Europe. 

Several dialects of Basque exist, however, the main dialect is Euskara Batua, a standard introduced in the 1960s that is generally taught in Basque schools. Basque is spoken by a little less than one million people. The language has co-official status in the Basque regions  of Spain, but has no official status in the French regions. 

During the era of Francoist Spain, the language was reluctantly tolerated in the Basque regions that supported the uprising of Franco, yet frowned-upon in those regions where the uprising gained little support.

Alphabet

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N Ñ O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n ñ o p q r s t u v w x y z

AdobeStock 132268873

Catalan language

Catalan is a Romance language with somewhere between 9 and 10 million speakers, but not necessarily native. It is the official language of Andorra and enjoys co-official status in a few Spanish communities, mainly on Spain's east coast, among others in Valencia, where it is called Valencian, or in the Balearic Islands. Similar to Spanish, Catalan also originates from Vulgar Latin. It reached its golden era in medieval times, particularly the Low Middle Ages, when it spread through the Mediterranean. It was used as an official language even in Sicily (until the 15th century) and Sardinia (until the 17th century), while the city of Alghero in Sardinia still tends to use Catalan until the present day. 

The decline of Catalan, that in fact still continues, can be traced back to a specific historical event, the union of Castille and Aragon crowns in 1479, which caused an increasing influence of Spanish in the region. Yet another blow came in 1659, when the northern parts of the Catalonia region was ceded to France. Not only did the language come under the influence of French, it was even drastically prohibited from public use, with efforts to revive Catalan literature coming no sooner than in the half of 19th century. 

The language was banned in use yet again during the Francoist era and has been recognized as an official language only after Spain's transition to democracy. 

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Nowadays, there are efforts to revive the language, among others by the French General Council of Pyrénées-Orientales (who introduced Catalan as one of the official languages of the department), to further promote it in public life and education. This seems to be necessary, as statistical research showed a quite dramatic decline of the population in the Catalan region that self-identifies primarily with Catalan (from 44.3% in 2003 to only 36.4% in 2013), which is believed to be caused by immigration, mainly from Arabic-speaking countries. A share of Catalonia's annual budget is poured into promoting the use of Catalan and integration of newcomers. Another issue is that the Catalan-speakers are actually becoming extinct and outside Catalonia itself the language is being replaced by the stronger national languages such as Spanish, French and Italian. 

Alphabet

Catalan uses the Latin alphabet and uses acute accents (é, í, ó, ú) as well as grave accents (à, è, ò). 

A B C Ç D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

a b c ç d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

ISO 18587: What it means for translation providers

Quality is one of the most crucial factors within the translation industry. Responsible providers not only know that high translation quality is an ongoing sales pitch, but that the perception of quality throughout the entire industry is important for all players involved. 

The evolution of machine translation (MT) is a game-changer in how the industry itself (and subsequently the public) considers the quality of translation services, and what is a translation service as such in the wake of machines assisting with translation.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) together with translation industry professionals have addressed the development by issuing two translation-related international standards, namely:

So, what is new with ISO 18587 and what should translation providers and clients alike pay attention to?

Translators and reviewers become post-editors

The norm deals chiefly with the term "post-editing" and focuses on "post-editors" instead of translators. In a strict sense, whenever input text passes through an initial CAT tool check or any computer-assisted pre-translation analysis or content processing, it becomes machine output.

Defining full post-editing vs. light post-editing

Moreover, the ISO 18587 standard distinguishes between “full post-editing” as a product comparable to a product of human translation in the final result, and “light post-editing” that provides results of "merely comprehensible text without any attempt to be similar to human translation" (as defined in Annex B of the norm). Obviously, in terms of the current perception of "quality" within today's translation industry, only full post-editing meets the quality standards as it delivers a professionally impeccable result. 

However, as long as “the final text is not intended for publication”, the norm clearly states what requirements need to be met to establish light-post editing that could, in fact, be turned into a service. It's up to discussion whether this approach of post-editing output quality will be feasible in the near future.

Post-editors need the same qualifications as translators

In ISO 18578, post-editors are considered translation professionals in the exact same sense as in ISO 17100, therefore an LSP needs to provide evidence that its post-editors either:

  • obtained a linguistic degree that has required significant translation training from a recognized organization, or
  • hold a degree from a field other than translation, while the subject can prove two years of professional experience in translation or post-editing, or
  • can prove an experience of 5 years of full-time translation or post-editing

Training of post-editors for machine output required

As translators transform into post-editors in this type of service, and because machines are heavily involved in the translation process, editing of MT output requires special knowledge of CAT tools and an understanding of how translation and terminology management systems interact with MT and MT systems. Post-editors need to be thoroughly trained to use the post-editing tools, recognize common MT errors, assess whether it makes sense to even edit the MT output in terms of effort and time spent and to become familiar with the difference between the full and light post-editing processes and the eventual outcome.

To maintain a high regard for the players in the translation industry, and especially for the companies that rely on the use of translation memories and other translation resources and workflows including MT, we would highly recommend getting familiar with the ISO 18587 standard and also consider their third-party translation suppliers' quality approach in the context of post-editing MT output.

All translation services by idioma are performed in compliance with ISO 9001:2016 (reg.no.:10.711.365), ISO 17100:2015 (reg.no.:7U426), as well as ISO 18587:2017 (reg.no.: RI004) standards.

Language facts: Azerbaijani

Azerbaijani, also known as Azeri (or Azeri Turkish), belongs to the Turkic language family and is spoken by some 25-35 million people. There are two variants of the language, North and South, and it is used by the Azerbaijani people in southwestern Asia (also referred to as Transcaucasia, or the South Caucasus region). 

North Azerbaijani is the official language of Azerbaijan and is spoken mainly in Azerbaijan, southern Dagestan and along the Caspian coast. South Azerbaijani is spoken in East and West Azerbaijan and in parts of Iran and Kurdistan, Iraq, Syria and Asian Turkey. 
Azerbaijani is closely related to Turkish, Qashqai and Turkmen. There are various levels of mutual intelligibility between each of the named languages. Turkish and Azerbaijani speakers are actually able to communicate with each other quite easily, not only due to historical reasons, but also due to being exposed to each other's cultures via radio and television. 

Lingua franca of Transcaucasia

From about the 16th to 20th century, Azeri served as a lingua franca of the Transcaucasia region, which could also be a reason why it adopted so many loan words and expressions from the Persian, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Russian languages. After the region was conquered by the Russian empire in the 19th century, there was a split in the development of the language, as the Azeri-speaking community was divided between two states (Russia – later the Soviet union, and Persia – now Iran). The Soviets, albeit promoting the language development, made two significant changes to the language by changing its script two times in a relatively short period of time, from the Persian script to the Latin script and later to the Cyrillic one. The Azerbaijani community in Iran kept using the Persian script. Azerbaijani did not become an official language until 1956. 

Alphabet

The country decided to abandon Azbuka and switch to the Latin Script after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1990's. The language and its variants are practically still using 3 writing systems: Latin, Cyrillic, and Perso-Arabic. The North Azerbaijani use both Latin and Cyrillic scripts, while South Azerbaijani have adopted the Perso-Arabic writing system.
This is the Latin alphabet:

A Ə B C Ç D E F G Ğ H X I İ J K Q L M N O Ö P R S Ş T U Ü V Y Z a ə b c ç d e f g ğ ı i j k q l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z

Benefit from a long-term translation relationship

It's been a long time since translation involved a typewriter, a printed dictionary and very skilled translator. The process of translation, as well its quality standards are taking leaps and bounds forward thanks to modern technology. Today's advanced language service providers (LSPs) utilizing computer-assisted translation tools (so-called CAT tools) have turned translation from a one-off, ad-hoc service, where only the initial price is a decisive factor, into a long-term sustainable client-supplier relationship. 

Translation services: A love story

Let's explain the latter thought further: thanks to employing a combination of human translation powered by IT, considerable value has been added to translation services nowadays. There are numerous tools to ensure this, such as creation and maintenance of translation memories (read more here) or glossaries (read more here) and machine-powered quality analyses with subsequent final human input in the form of proofreading, while every single intervention is recorded and stored on clients' account. In fact, the more data and text segments (phrases, sentences, expressions) that are collected from previous translations as a result of creating glossaries, translation memories and understanding clients' specific terminology, the less content needs to be translated in future translation projects. And, as the phrases and segments used in clients' materials meant for translation tend to be repetitive (especially in technical translation and documents like catalogs, user manuals, etc.), many of them have already been translated and recorded in memories and glossaries. Eventually, this leads to a clear equation: the longer and deeper relationship with your language service provider you maintain (and the more material you have translated) = the lower cost of translation you get.

Invest in your translation healthcare

Maybe you have never thought of it this way, but an investment into your translationresources is similar to those into your health. The more you maintain an active lifestyle and a good health, the more you guard against future medical outlays. Keeping your translation resources in good condition and error-free is very similar, while it significantly and visibly pushes down your future translation costs. To achieve this, you need to find a suitable LSP that has means to clean, update, convert and store your resources. Here at idioma, we're ready to offer you such services on a whole different level, upgrading mere translation to a smart and efficient service with a long-term benefit for our clients and truly added value. 

To learn more, please visit www.idioma.com or contact us about our SMARTER translation services.

Manage your very first translation project like a pro: Where to begin?

If you are new in a company and are suddenly assigned with also handling translations in your role as product manager, office manager, marketing manager, documentation manager, etc., or you are simply the type whom everyone turn to for help when they are stuck, this blog is a must-read.

The material to be translated is not so important. You could end up having to find someone to translate a data sheet, a press release of a new product, brochure or even a web site. Based on our experience, it's not that uncommon that companies have no workflow or protocol in place when it comes to the occasional need for translation, especially for new languages or exotic ones. Imagine having to find someone to translate your company’s English company intro into Maltese or Hebrew…

It is a fact that all translated content published by a company speaks to potential customers in new international markets and therefore should be considered as “weapons” to gain new ground. And because of this it's quite surprising how often companies lack a conceptual approach to their documentation and translation management. Often this area involves unwritten know-how that leaves the company with the person who has been used to handle these tasks. 

If you are the lucky one assigned to manage, say, translation of an annual product catalog, and you have never managed any translation project before, here are some important tips how to deal with it like a pro:

  1. Search for translation resources. You could save a lot of effort.
  2. Map the suppliers thoroughly. The difference is night and day.
  3. Document your company's language management.
    4. Establish a translation management workflow in your company.

Let's break it down a bit more, point by point.

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1. Make a search for translation resources. If none are available, create them for the future.

'Translation resources' doesn't refer to the actual document you need to translate. But what’s important is that when translating content that is similar or basically an update of something already translated (e.g. a catalog in this case), there is a good chance some or even a lot of the volume has already been translated and saved in the form of a translation memory, preferably together with a glossary – most likely at your previous translation supplier. So you don't need to translate that again.
Translation resources and the knowledge of them are important and make up a valuable resource:

  • If you have no translation resources at all, you will pay the full price for translation. This is a cost issue. And here's the deal: Having access to already pre-translated content reduces both the translation cost and delivery time.
    Creating and preparing translation resources for future savings on translation expenses is a common service included in the price of translation by professional agencies that work with special translation tools and software.
  • If you have translation resources in your hand, your company has most likely already cooperated with a language service provider (LSP) at some point in the past. Try to find out the details of this cooperation, and if you gain positive feedback, you have a hot candidate for translation supplier.
    More importantly, if you do not have the resources, but know an agency has built them, your company is the legal owner of the resources, and you can request if from your agency any time.

And here we get to the next point – mapping and choosing a translation supplier – explained in our next blog --->

Emoji translation: New field in the localization industry?

What an emoji translator does for a living

Businesses who target younger consumers obviously tend to customize their content to the likes of their potential buyers. The increasing business usage of emojis is visible mainly on social media, delivered by administrators of an age similar to the targeted customers. Emojis are, after all, very simple and straightforward pictures used to express non-verbally in written communication, so what's there to translate, you ask? 

idioma emoji string

One level of the occupation is to actually transform regular human speech into attractive emoji strings. It's not always easy to express the original meaning correctly and mainly to invoke a certain type of "feeling" to the text. 

The other level is that not all the devices where the communication is viewed are the same. Different smart devices and different operating systems do not have a common protocol for how an emoji displays, which lays ground to a number of unforeseen faux pas when it comes to brand communication on social media. The job of an emoji translator is also to customize the content for the devices first, in order to convey the correct meaning and desired emotion to the reader. Emojis do not display the same way across different devices, and the developers tend to upgrade the looks and design of their emojis, sometimes to an extent that even changes the nuance and contextual meaning of the emoji (e.g. when Apple changed the regular gun emoji to one with a water pistol). 

unicode emoji comparison

Your emoji use can show your background

Cultural differences and social development are also a huge factor here. Emojis of gestures common in the West, such as a thumb-up, might be considered offensive in the Middle East, while another common Western OK-hand gesture translates offensively in Latin America. Similarly, certain emojis have gained alternative meanings while being around online, which makes their business usage rather unfeasible (e.g. such as the emojis of an eggplant or a peach, which according to Emojipedia research conducted in December 2016 on a sample of over 570 tweets referred to the actual fruit only in 7% of cases).
Another research conducted by Swiftkey suggests really interesting cultural differences in the use of different types of emojis as well. For example, Arabic speakers tend to use much more heat and sun-related emojis than any other language. French overuse the heart emoji, using it four times more than any other speakers. In Australia, the usage of alcohol-related emojis is twice the average, while drug-related emojis rate 65% over the average. The most used emoji overall is, however, still a set of smiley faces (44.8 % of all usage).

With the revolution in communication around and behind us, it is really fascinating to watch seemingly unrelated factors to combine and create new job opportunities and trends, also in the translation industry. Looking to the future, let's hope people won't forget to use the actual written words.  :)

*Emojis are sets of different icons or images that display certain emotions, ideas, objects, etc. The first set of emojis was developed in 1999 in Japan and contained 176 icons. Nowadays there are over 2,000 available icons (taking skin color and gender variants into account).

Language facts: Flemish

Flemish, or Vlaams in Dutch, is the standard Dutch variant spoken in the Belgian region of Flanders by around 6.1 million speakers, sometimes also referred to as Southern Dutch. It includes several dialects, all of which (depending on who you ask) are interrelated with the southwestern dialects of Dutch. 

Differences between Flemish and Dutch

Flemish, or Vlaams, is actually highly similar to the Dutch language used in the Netherlands. The official language in Belgium's Flemish region is indeed Dutch, and along with German and French you then have the country's three official languages. In essence, the Dutch languages are the same, and the only main differences are in pronunciation and frequency of some words. Because certain expressions (around 3-4,000) are more frequent in Belgian Dutch, many people refer to the language as Flemish, however, the words are really part of standard Dutch. There are no spelling differences between Dutch in Belgium and Dutch in the Netherlands.

Dutch pride

However, in actual practice, many Dutch nationals often question Dutch text content when they find it 'suspicious' or slightly off. This is probably a natural reaction and similar to what Germans things of Austrian and Swiss German: it simply sounds wrong.

Loan words in Dutch

In case of loan words, interestingly, Flemish speakers tend to apply Dutch pronunciation, whereas speakers in Netherlands maintain the original foreign pronunciation. Compared to Dutch, Flemish has also adopted many more loan words from French. The main difference between the languages is exposed in informal usage though. The pronunciation, slang expressions, and also common phrases can be very different, so different that Dutch television programs are sometimes even subtitled in Belgium and vice versa.

Alphabet

The Flemish alphabet is identical to the Dutch alphabet. The most frequently used letter is "e". Also, notice the unique IJ character.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y IJ Z

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y ij z

Staff from the idioma Tokyo office attended the 28th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo at the Tokyo Big Sight venue as one of the exhibitors for 3 days from June 21 through June 23rd.

In the three days, the total number of visitors reached 88,000 where 2,454 exhibitors participated concurrently with other exhibitions such as the Japan Manufacturing World. 

The weather was wonderful for the three days and there was a very inspirational and productive atmosphere at the site.

Exhibitors from different fields conducted hands-on demonstrations of products, held live presentations on the spot, and the venue was packed with visitors from all over Japan.

In this midst of this manufacturer-oriented atmosphere, idioma was right there to offer high quality technical translation services and its 37 years of expertise on multilingual technical documentation. 

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Many interested visitors stopped by at the idioma booth with an interest in effective overseas development. Quite a few admitted they had experienced difficulties in translation and localization. idioma representatives were happy to help potential buyers with our tailor-made solutions. 

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All in all, idioma’s presence at DMS Tokyo 2017 was a big success, which motivated us to participate again next year, hopefully with new services and technologies to come.

For anyone who is interested in the Japanese market and its need for multilingual documentation, do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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