Aftercare. That magic something that distinguishes good and bad service providers in general. The more intense the client-provider relationship is, the more relevant data are generated, and this in turn helps the service provider improve and customize the client experience. In the translation business, though, where the translation process itself is being slowly taken over by machines, human support and aftercare services still is a core issue that makes a difference. 

Our care starts before your order

Having 35 years of experience in translation and localization still give us an edge when it comes to the size of useful translation memories (TM) and glossary resources, especially since we focus on technical translation. With a significant part of Clients’ source texts already pre-processed within past projects, proper application of these well-maintained translation memories and associated glossaries significantly shortens the time and reduces the cost of translation projects. This is one reason why our care starts even before your order – always ensuring that you can benefit from our state-of-the-art expertise. idioma’s aftercare and extensive support also includes maintenance of your TM resources and ensuring it is error-free, and we strive to inform you via unique reports about text segment issues, such as inconsistencies, just to give an example.

Another feature of our Premium Aftercare is Last Minute Additions, enabling you to use our express translation service to translate small projects, such as text additions and amendments within 4 working hours (CET). And we don’t charge an arm and a leg for this help – if you need 5 words translated, you only pay for these 5 words, no minimums, no start-up fees or other hidden charges.

Ask! for premium aftercare

Ask! - Premium Aftercare service by idioma

Ask! is a service concept we offer to clients to place questions and other issues related to translations and localization in a convenient, organized way. It is available online, runs 24/7, and it can be used by anyone. You don't even need to have had your project translated by us to be able to benefit from Ask! And guess what… It's FREE! Use the service to question and comment content in your translated documents, or to simply request additions and amendments in a completed delivery, without drowning in e-mails and inevitably loosing track of the job flow.

Eventually, there are real human beings behind every single process we execute. And despite of the increasing use of machines in the translation process, here atidioma, we go beyond the algorithms to also emphasize the craftsmanship and care you take for given when e.g. visiting your hairdresser.

To learn more about our aftercare, please visit www.idioma.com

Language facts: Swedish

Swedish (or Svenska) is the mother tongue of idioma's top management and one of the Scandinavian languages, a branch of the Germanic languages - North Germanic, or East Scandinavian in particular. 

Viking heritage and God bless Guttenberg

Swedish is the official language of Sweden and due to six centuries of Swedish supremacy also one of the two (and equal) official languages of Finland. Until World War II, it was also spoken in parts of Estonia and Latvia. Swedish is an official EU as well as a Nordic Council language, spoken by approximately 9 million people in Sweden and by around 300,000 people in Finland. 

Similar to e.g. Czech and Slovak, Swedish is mutually intelligible with Danish as well as Norwegian, but only to some extent. This is actually a Viking period heritage, as these languages have a common predecessor, the Old Norse, generally spoken in Scandinavia by Germanic tribes. New classifications in fact label Swedish together with Norwegian and Danish as one branch of Continental Scandinavian languages. It was not until the invention of printing and the Reformation movement for what is now known as modern Swedish that the language emerged. King of Sweden Gustav Vasa wanted to have the Bible translated into his native language, and indeed, in 1541 the Gustav Vasa Bible was introduced, representing the first full Swedish Bible translation, common in use for almost four centuries, until 1917.

Swedish language influence and translation specifics

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Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte became
 King of Sweden as Karl XIV Johan
in 1818  and reigned till 1846.
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Over the years, Swedish language has taken over many loan words from other languages. A number of French expressions were introduced in the early 19th century when the Royal House of Sweden took in a French marshal, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, from the Napoleon reign. He took over the throne in 1818, but never managed to learn proper Swedish during his 26-year reigh, instead communicating in  the international French language.
Now, in more modern times with the influx of computers and the digital age, the vocabulary has expanded with many English words – often replacing or anglicizing old-style traditional Swedish words for better or worse.

In translation, documents in Swedish tend to address the reader directly and in the informal style instead of the more common passive voice as used in English language, or the polite "Sie" form in German.

Alphabet: 

Swedish uses the Latin alphabet and has in addition to English three extra letters … X Y Z Å Ä Ö. Interesting to note is that sorting follows this order, and e.g. the "Ö" entries are not included under "O", nor the "Å" and "Ä" under "A" as one does in e.g. German.

The vowel "Ö" is often perceived as very typical for Swedish by non-Scandinavians, mainly those familiar with distinctive patterns of product names in IKEA catalogues :) Other companies have elected to drop the distinctive letters, for example SKANSKA, by converting the "Å" in "Skånska" to a standard "A" in their internationalization efforts.Interestingly, the consonant "Z" is used in foreign words only.

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 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 w x y z å ä ö

Another year, another catalogue and promo materials to release in your standard 5 languages, another headache. Translation resources and documents scattered across the company, know-how inevitably lost after your ex-colleagues left for other positions, tight deadlines and even tighter budgets. Translation and localization costs can become pretty costly if the process is not efficiently managed. Here, we will let you in on a little secret how to deal with lost resources.

Translation memory

Simply put, a translation memory (TM) is a digitally stored database of already translated content, divided and structured in so-called text segments (words, key phrases, complete sentences, etc.). A TM allows recycling of translated text. When a memory is used on a new project, translators speed up their work because a lot of text segments can be reused from the database. This saves cost, increases quality and makes for a unified result. In technical translation, this is the way to go.

Create your own translation memories

So back to the situation above. If you lost your resources or have not even had a translation memory before, it is time to make one. idioma offers this as service to many companies. We create memories based on existing documents, no matter whether you have them in Word, desktop publishing formats or even only PDF. We have developed tools that our native, human translators use to save source and target segments together, effectively creating useful TMs. With such memories as a base, translation of your documents will go faster, become cheaper and the text in your documentation will become more consistent.

Our TM tools can save bilingual text segments in different formats, such as TMX, native Trados, or the standardized Xliff format so the output is useful and compatible with the TM systems you use. Efficiency is something we emphasize, and creating memories is no exception. When aligning text from file formats such as Word, Excel, InDesign and FrameMaker, you can count on a speed of around 25,000 words/hour. With PDF files, the process is a little slower due to more complicated text extraction, but usually we align around 10-15,000 word/hour.

Keep your TM error-free

Once you've got your translation memory created, you should also rely on professionals for maintenance of the same. It is very common that TMs get outdated and unsynchronized with your current documents. Even if you have gone to the effort of creating a translation memory, it may not include all additions, changes, etc. that your published documents have undergone. Instead of trying to update your memory and performing tedious TM maintenance "manually", our TM service offers a smarter and much quicker way to keep your TM up to date. Simply send us your original and translated DTP files and we will create bilingual text files that can be copied into your existing TM to replace old outdated segments. At the same time we can also run an analysis to detect possible errors, such as number mistakes, untranslated text, text consistency, glossary misuse, etc.

Innovative solution for innovative companies

Outsourcing translation memory creation and maintenance service is a modern, innovative way of approaching the translation needs of a company. Large companies, including manufacturers and distributors demanding technical translation (multilingual documentation, catalogues, etc.), can benefit enormously by saving working hours lost on preparing and managing the translation process. If you have access to already published documents in many languages, use them to your advantage by converting them to a TM, the start saving on every project you translate.

Would you like to learn more about how to get translation memories built for you and reduce costs significantly?

Please visit www.idioma.com

Language facts: Czech

With our production center based in Prague, Czech is after English and Japanese one of the most used "in-house" languages at idioma. 

More popular as appears 

Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers. "Čeština" (= Czech), is the name derived from a Slavic tribe of Czechs that inhabited Central Bohemia in former days. Today it is the official and main language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide (especially by immigrants in the USA, Canada, and Ukraine). Czech is similar to and mutually intelligible with Slovak, due to mutual history and decades of being a common republic: Czechoslovakia. Even today, many books or films distributed in Slovakia come with Czech, rather than Slovak translation or dubbing. 

Various internationally significant artworks in literature and music (especially opera) were originally written in Czech – Dvořák's Rusalka, the works of Alois Jirásek, Bohumil Hrabal and many more.

Since the integration of the Czech Republic into the European Union, Czech has also become an official EU language.

"Strč prst skrz krk!" (stick a finger through a neck)

Czech is considered one of the hardest languages for foreigners to actively master, due to overcomplicated grammar, as well as tricky pronunciation. Some words, for instance, do not have vowels, such as zmrzl (froze solid), ztvrdl (hardened), scvrkl (shrunk), vlk (wolf), krk (neck), prst (finger) or smrt (death) and more. There are actually tongue-twisters based on consonant-only words, such as "strč prst skrz krk", frequently used by Czech wives late in the evening to check their husbands' alcohol intake.  :)

Czech also features the consonant ř, a phoneme that is said to be unique to the Czech language and that is problematic to articulate even to some native Czechs. 

Alphabet:

A Á B C Č D Ď E É Ě F G H Ch I Í J K L M N Ň O Ó P Q R Ř S Š T Ť U Ú Ů V W X Y Ý Z Ž a á b c č d ď e é ě f g h ch i í j k l m n ň o ó p q r ř s š t ť u ú ů v w x y ý z ž

Quality in translation is not only a matter of presenting a correct translation free from spelling mistakes and other linguistic errors. It is also about using correct terminology from glossaries, making sure text in the document is unified and that rules and customs for the language have been respected.

Quality can suffer in many ways. Short deadlines, for example, affect the outcome of quality in translation especially with large volume projects. How can we speed up delivery without compromising the quality of translation? This became our mission years ago.

Check record volumes in record time

An obvious solution is to check documents more than once, however, when humans check text, they have limited capacity, get tired and make mistakes. We wanted to find a different, complementary and automatic solution, so we could check more languages and bigger volumes in less time. It should detect mistakes like wrong numbers, untranslated text, misspelled words, unification issues, etc. So we put many brains together and with the help of our in-house programmers we developed a unique QA (Quality Assurance) concept that checks bilingual files for errors in record time. The main tool is CrossCheck™, a cornerstone in a comprehensive concept forming a framework of quality that all translations must adhere to. 

Quality assurance at a whole new level

CrossCheck™ departs from the need to develop glossaries, e.g. from existing translated bilingual data such as PDF files, website text, etc., and prepare language-dependent style guides for translators and verifiers working on projects. 

CrossCheck™ checks documents according to detailed client-specific criteria and resources that can include client glossaries and customized style sheets. This way, we create a standard that everyone must respect to enable us to produce unified and consistent translations with a clearly defined level of quality. If glossaries and style guides do not exist, we will be happy to help prepare them, and we also assist with client preferences, such as forbidden words and other issues. These contents prepared for the QA concept are automatically integrated in our production system. This QA concept has taken quality assurance to a new level, especially thanks to inclusion of morphology and locale settings. With CrossCheck™, terminology and language rules become compulsory ingredients in the translation and verification process. 

FREE QA for everyone!

idioma’s QA service is, however, not limited only to the projects we translate. We also offer it as an aid to our clients and anyone else wanting to assure the quality level in translated documents. 

Visit www.idioma.com today to test it yourself.

For more information about the QA service, please contact your project manager.

Our Tokyo staff had lunch together on their last day of work at Toranomon before the New year and here's a little photo report! 

After lunch we were very close to the famous Atago Shrine http://www.atago-jinja.com/

So we had a visit to thank you for a good 2014 and wish a prosperous New year. 

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Atago Shrine, on top of Atago Mountain - the tallest mountain in Tokyo, has one of the most steepest Tokyo stairs. 

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You can actually see the steepness of the stairs so you can also imagine that the climb was quite tiring after lunch.

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You may not believe it but these stairs have been climbed on horseback 3 times. There are also stairs made for women and children which are not that steep.

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The Shrine is in the middle of metropolitan area so you can witness the contrast between Shrine and the city.

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There are many little shrines in Atago area, as well as unique Japanese yard with shrine in water.

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Fortune papers are tied all around to wish good luck (O-mikuji). It's kind of like a horoscope, or better said like throwing a coin into a wishing well or fountain. The tradition was supposely started by Ryogen (warrior monk). 

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There are even small wooden fortune plaques (Ema) where people write their wishes and hang them for good luck. It can vary from wanting to pass a test, to get married, to have a healthy child, etc. . 

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For us, it says "All the best in 2015!" :)

Language facts: Japanese

Federico Fellini said, that a different language was a different vision to life. While we cover over 70 languages at idioma, we can only agree with that statement. Each language has its history, specifics and flavors and we're here to inform you about it regularly in the Language facts.

Did you know Japanese uses four "alphabets"?

Japanese (Nihongo in Japanese) is spoken by around 127 million people in Japan, plus a couple of million people outside of Japan. It is of course the official language of Japan, but it is even an official language of Angaur (island nation of Palau). Japanese is not directly related to any other language even though it does share a lot of characters with Chinese. It uses four writing systems: kanji, hiragana, katakana and romaji. Hiragana is syllabic and is used for simple words, conjugations, particles and children's literature. Katakana is used to write foreign words. Kanji is based on the Chinese writing system and has about 2000 basic signs, but there are thousands more. Romaji is a Romanization of Japanese words, basically relying on the letters in the Roman, or Latin, alphabet, used e.g. for company names, logotypes and text entry of Japanese text into computers. 

Japanese translation specifics

Japanese has borrowed many words from the Indo-European languages, primarily English, and even made up terms that a native English speaker would never understand, especially in the line of business we are in: Technical Translation. The Japanese term for such "borrowed" words, especially from english, is Gairaigo (外来語).

Would you ever guess that ハフコン [hafukon] is a reference to 'half-concealed' wipers", while リモコン [rimokon] means 'remote control'? Or that ペンション (pension) should actually be translated as a 'a guest house'? Because Katakana can be very ambiguous, sometimes it is hard to determine how to translate a given term. "Hose" and "Hawse" for example are both written as ホース in Japanese.

There are many, many more where translators have been pulling their hairs for days, even weeks. Combining this with other peculiarities of the Japanese language – such as where the subject in sentences is often omitted – makes translating Japanese text into other languages a true undertaking.

Japanese alphabet:

Hiragana (ひらがな)

あいうえおかきくけこさしすせそたちつてとなにぬねのはひふへほまみむめもやゆよらりるれろわをん がぎぐげござじずぜぞだぢづでどばびぶべぼぱぴぷぺぽぁぃぅぇぉっゃゅょ、。 

Katakana (カタカナ)

アイウエオカキクケコサシスセソタチツテトナニヌネノハヒフヘホマミムメモヤユヨラリルレロワヲン ガギグゲゴザジズゼゾダヂヅデドバビブベボパピプペポァィゥェォッャュョー 

Kanji examples

自動, 計算, 費用, 納期, 即時, 提示, 天気, 管理, 健康, 旅行, 料理, 鍋

Romaji examples

We love Japanese!

It was raining on Wednesday and pretty cold. Nonetheless, the 24th JTF Translation Festival in Tokyo turned out to be a successful event with many inspirational panel discussions and presentations revealing new perspectives on the translation industry.

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A miserable day for translators in rainy Tokyo :)

We set everything up at our idioma booth early in the morning, and then welcomed visitors throughout the day until 5 pm when the festival ended. It was really nice to see our existing clients visiting us, and we also met many new people and had constructive discussions about our cooperation and future translation projects.  

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idioma booth at 24th JTF Translation Festival in Tokyo

The topic we introduced at the 24th JTF Translation show was the improved Stream online estimator and idioma's document alignment service iSync. Along with other smart language services we provide, all are based on a combination of online solutions, in-house software development and most importantly: human professional translators, reviewers  and project managers.

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Presentation of Stream – online translation estimates service

This year's show was noteworthy because many participants were discussing machine translation (MT) as one of the possible future scenarios for the translation and localization industry. While considering machine translation a promising field as an aid in the translation process, we believe it should be an aid to human, professional translators who will be "editing" text instead of translating. Machine translation sure does have a lot of potential, and we look forward to how it will affect the way we work and our translation services.

Streamstream transparent – our popular online ordering system – has evolved into a new and improved processing tool. The service currently supports 70+ languages in over 5,000 combinations. Stream runs 24/7 and can be reached by any device with an Internet connection. Whether you are in your office, meeting clients, or travelling and need to manage translation projects, Stream is the ideal solution for you. Use its clear 3-step process to easily upload files, receive instant estimates with clear deadlines, and then place orders. 

Timezones work for us!

Moreover, you can order translation project during your day via Stream and let our European production center take care of it overnight. Our shift-based coordination system and 24/7 availability make Stream the best choice for overseas clients in different time zones.

New features

Stream has now been improved with these convenient features:

  1. Advanced Options feature has been added to allow inclusion of translation memories, glossaries, references, etc. that are relevant to your project.
  2. Express translation (our speedy 4-hour translation service) also supports the Advanced Options feature including uploading of reference material. This will assure consistency in translation with other text content. This service has no minimum charges!
  3. Any language to any other language. Thanks to a large supplier network, Stream goes beyond standard language combinations to offer more than 5,000 different combinations to choose from. No matter whether you need to translate from Tagalog to Kazakh or Danish to Japanese, Stream can help you and provide a price and delivery term any time of day.
  4. Full TM support allows you to upload e.g. a Trados project and get an estimate with turn-around and a detailed price breakdown for different fuzzy match categories. These new features are just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to try out our improved Stream. It makes ordering translation a lot easier for you and it works any time of day. If there is something you think should be added or changed, we will be happy to listen and then implement it. 

Streamline your translation today with Stream!

Hmmm, what to do on November 26th 2014...? How about going to Tokyo to the 24th JTF Translation Festival?! The country's biggest annual show for translators and translation vendors takes place in Japan and idioma will, of course, participate, as it does every year.

jtf2014

Break the Paradigm, Shape the Future

With Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games in 2020, the festival is likely to unknowingly face the "dawn of the new translation era until 2020". idioma will present its innovative portfolio focusing on online translation services with trendsetting potential (Stream, CrossCheck, Ask, iSync and more) that might also shape the future of translation services in general.

Stream - Putting Translation Orders Online

Our top asset to boast at the festival is our flagship service - Stream. It provides free online translation estimates and 24/7 ordering, with no minimum fees and delivery within 4 business hours. With new handy features including full translation memory support and fuzzy matching, over 5000 possible (and exotic) language pairs and an API that supports integration with CMS systems, Stream is the future of ordering and purchasing translation projects. We have developed Stream to support fast turn-around of ad-hoc mini orders, as well as demanding translation projects.
So come and see us yourself...or wait for the Festival to finish to see none can rock harder than translators! (will provide the footage) :)

Time flies, no matter how much we try to outwit it. As it happens, because of all the intense translation, amazing project management and innovative online translation and localization tools development, we almost missed that the Czech office of idioma® is already 20 years old! :)

To celebrate such an important event, we decided to launch our very first idioma blog at blog.idioma.com. Our idioma blog represents a platform to inform you about the field of translation localization as well as to bring useful information and guidelines. And, of course, to give you a little peak behind the curtains and show more about us at idioma®...

...for example, what's our secret at idioma® that we look so cool and fresh even after 20 years... :)

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idioma group2013



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