20x30 PRAA1422Every May since 1995, there has been a big runners' event going on in Prague – the Prague International Marathon, celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. The Prague Marathon has risen in popularity and has become one of the most prestigious city marathons in the world, hosting up to ten thousand runners from many different countries. The Prague Marathon even gained  IAFF Gold Label status in 2010, an award that only 17 city marathons has won world-wide so far. 
Of course, as the  Prague office of idioma includes a number of serious sportsmen of all kind, we had our representatives in a peloton of the major marathon event this year in the Czech Republic. READY - SET - GO!

Finish line of heroes

photoThe first idioma runner, Tomas – one of our IT and TM guys, has already participated in various half-marathons, but this time he decided to go all the way and apply for his first full marathon in life.

"I had a feeling that (compared to half-marathons) the crowd in the audience was more appreciative and grateful towards the runners who actually passed the finish line. It didn't matter whether someone made it in 4 or 6 hours, everyone was cheered and applauded rapturously. A lot of little kids were standing by the track with their hands extended, eagerly asking for high-fives and having a wonderfully joyful time when they collected some." 

Although probably gripping for foreigners and out-of-Prague participants, the marathon circuit starting and ending at the famous Old Town Square, runs through Prague's old town and along the Vltava riverbanks. Still these were unsatisfactory vistas for Tomas, who's been living in Prague for years. "The track is indeed long, but to me also a bit boring – after the 10th km had passed, I contemplated how to (except for the running) entertain myself for the next 3 hours", he said. As marathon is both physically and psychically exhausting, it's definitely a discipline for winner-oriented minds. "At  the 32nd kilometer I got struck by a terrible pain in my knee, so I alternately ran and limped the last 10 kilometers. But I told myself I just had to make it through the finish line."

Don't dive and run

20x30 PRAA5384Another story is our Prague office manager Jan, an experienced marathon wolf running already his 2nd full marathon. Being a passionate long-distance and cross-country runner, Jan rarely misses events and opportunities for a good run. But, as Jan remarked, "life is too short to enjoy all we wish to do and sometimes we need to pick just one". But this wasn't the case this time, as the choice was really impossible.

"Last weekend, two events of my favorite activities took place at the same time – two days of deep technical diving in beautiful lakes in Austria, followed by participating in  the Prague International Marathon on Sunday, with only one short night in between", Jan said. "All was just beautiful and great, however, it made me  realize one deep truth: man can do just one activity with top results, or can enjoy several activities, but on lower level only. The price I had to pay for the great weekend combining my two obsessions was a lot of pain and personal overwhelming, for just a very average marathon result – 4:15, more than 30 minutes behind my best time". 

Despite Jan's little disappointment over his 2015 Prague Marathon result, the truth is that there's not many people who would even run a full marathon, but instead walk the full  distance. Therefore we congratulate all the Prague Marathon participants...but mostly Tomas and Jan!20x30 PRAG0871

Given idioma's headquarters are in Tokyo, this happens to be a common business trip target for our managing director in Prague. Despite being used to the different culture after years of living in Japan, visiting Tokyo after a longer period of being exposed to Central European free-thinking can still strike hard. On the other hand, it's interesting to perceive how cultures are literally clashing. Behold, Chapter One from a manual of "How to overwhelm your average tourist in Tokyo": Signs.

Love and signs are all around

Roads, sidewalks, walls, glass walls, doors, windows. The Japanese sense of manners and organisation demonstrates throughout the need to organize and structure as many activities and processes as possible. 

Of course, there's nothing strange with signs painted on roads, at least not when they relate to traffic – such as prohibiting pedestrians from blundering into unwanted places. But how about a sign painted on the road, prohibiting you from smoking on the open street in four languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English)? Let's try to find similar one, say in Vienna or Paris :)

P4090098

STOP

P4090099crop

...and in case you were distracted and missed an announcement, they repeat at very short intervals, even onto benches and walls. Very expressive visuals ensure you understand even if you unable to read Japanese.

Never let you down 

One could consider this cultural difference as a helpful aid that never lets you down if you possess the ability of reading. A true sign paradise (or better said hell) lurks in train or subway stations and the never-ending passageways. They appear one after the other, each one eager to deliver its own specific prohibitive or directive statement, and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of all the well-intended signs.

Don't stop here...

P4090106crop

...or run into the train (try that in rush hours)...

P4090107crop

...and better don't stick your fingers between the train doors (who would have thought that)...

P4090109crop

...keep out, don't rush, don't smoke, don't be impolite...

P4100112

...don't worry, be happy, and keep your hands safe...

P4100113crop

...had enough? Hold on, there's more!

P4100110

In case you didn't know, you should be extra careful when riding escalators in vinyl shoes.

P4090103

Now this one actually helps if you're not familiar with local customs. Japanese drive as well as walk "British-style" and you do want to keep to the left on escalators, walkways, in staircases or while walking in crowded corridors as long as you don't want to be frowned  upon. After all, Japan is the land of politeness, and when in Rome do as the Romans do.

P4090102

...spekaing of politeness, did you ever switch on the "Manner Mode" on your phone when getting on a train or bus? When commuting in Japan, dive into your phone's mode settings and then hold on!

P4090108

 At this point, you may have contemplated alternative means of transport instead of trains. Well...better think twice :)

P4100122

Next part: Reign of machines in Japan...

We are often approached to provide guidance on what is the most common way of using decimal dividers and thousand separators for the various languages that we translate into.

While everyone is aware of US English using periods for decimal division and commas to separate thousands in big numbers, the issue is somehow obscure when it comes to all the different lan­guages used in Europe. 

Diacritical mayhem

comaperiodIn US English, the value of pi is 3.14 while a million is written as 1,000,000 with comma separators. This system is also used widely throughout Asia and in almost all English speaking countries. In Spain, pi is written like “3,14” and everyone would like to win “1.000.000” Euro in a lottery. Many other European countries apply similar punctuation in numbers, but there are exceptions. In Germanic languages, i.e. German, Dutch, Danish, Norwe­gian and Swedish, the decimal comma is also standard and pi is written as “3,14”. However, while a million can be written like what is the custom in e.g. Spain, there is now a general trend to instead use nonbreaking spaces and people like to win “1 000 000” Euro instead on the lottery. To complicate things, for the Germanic (and also Slavic) languages there is also a general preference to not use any divider in single thousand numbers. So you would e.g. pay “€1500” for a very good bicycle and “€9000” for a decent car. If you add German value added tax of 19%, the final price becomes “€10 710” (yes with a space) for the same car.

Solution? idioma QA style sheet

This trend of omitting the separator is also picking up in many other European countries, and it is a commonplace practice today. We have learned that many of our clients are not aware of this. As a result, we have developed special QA style sheets in which we have recommendations for all the 70+ languages we translate into.

Clients can accept these recommenda­tions or enter their own preference for the various languages that projects should be translated into. It is even possible to enter non-standard practices, e.g. to omit all dividers in thousands and larger, for example when translat­ing very technical documents where numbers should simply remain the same in disregard of what language they are translated into. The information in the style sheets is passed on to our translators and proofreaders as ‘mini rules’ so they can adhere to your pref­erences while handling your projects.

Please contact our project manager for more information on these style sheets and how you best can use them to your advantage.

iqube bigMultilingual documentation has become increasingly challenging over the years – quality in translation must be maintained while we match clients’ detailed specifications accompanied with short deadlines. One translator can only produce so much in a day, and splitting projects on multiple translators usually affects the overall style and draw negative feedback from clients. As we accept clients’ requests with increasingly shorter delivery terms, it is unrealistic to make translators remember each and every instruction and use reference material that overwhelm rather than help. We have taken this issue into serious consideration to be able to handle volume projects in short time frames without this affecting the quality. So, through extensive development and testing, we have developed an innovative translation platform called “iQube”.

TM engines – friends or foes?

iQube™ is a smart Translation Memory (TM) solution developed in-house at idioma. It represents a 3-dimensional service: Quality, Quantity, and Quickness. Many TM tools exist in the translation industry today, each with different advantages. We have tried to implement most of these in iQube while we have kept an extremely simple interface. From experience we know that the majority of translators struggle in a TM environment, many are lost in all the available settings and almost everyone complain that tags in existing TM systems make actual translation difficult and post-checking even more so. Style, being another issue, is difficult to unify as every translator has different writing styles. As such iQube was designed as an intelligent TM platform, where emphasis was on a clean work environment for the translator to make it easier to concentrate on the translation task and subsequent verification of translated documents.

4 reasons 4 iQube™ 

iQube™ accentuates Quality, Quantity, and Quickness in translation in the following ways:

  1. Integrated QA! idioma’s CrossCheck® QA application is completely integrated in iQube – each and every segment that is translated and verified is subject to mandatory QA checking to make sure Quality is not compromised.
  2. Highly customizable! iQube™ can be adapted to match client specifications – it notifies translators working on projects about client preferences, even checking to make sure writing rules are respected.
  3. Team work! If you have a tight deadline and are in a hurry, we can divide your project among multiple translators who will work in real time together against the iQube™ platform so translators can check and reuse each others’ work. This common way of working ensures unification of style in translated content.
  4. Process automation! As translation projects become increasingly complex with unification and detailed specifications constituting core issues, iQube™ systematizes glossary use, automates QA checks, and style sheet loading, this way contributing to Quickness.

1 more reason – it is Free!

A fifth reason should also be mentioned. iQube™ is offered for free use to all idioma suppliers. There is no need to invest 50, 100 or even 1,000 Euro in an expensive commercial solution that you don´t know will be useful or even used again. The iQube™ software solution also undergoes continuous change to make sure it is always up-to-date, making it an ideal work tool for translators and reviewers.

The better TM engine, the better translation?

The end result to clients is of course shortened delivery terms with enhanced consistency in their documentation. iQube™ has positively changed the translators’ work experience. Translators now receive maximum assistance and can focus on producing premium quality translation. As iQube™ manages the translators’ work environment, we recommend generation of custom glossaries, style sheet creation, and to specify project parameters prior to starting projects. We are determined to make your translation perfect. By combining iQube™ with our QA services, we can guarantee a completely different quality dimension on your translation projects even when working with large volumes and short deadlines. To get to know more about iQube™, please contact us (either via email or just call our office for further assistance), or visit www.idioma.com

Language facts: Spanish

Spanish (español) or Castilian (castellano) is an Indo-European, Romance language that originated in northern Spain and gradually spread in the Kingdom of Castile eventually evolving into the principal language of government and trade (mainly thanks to King Alfonso, who standardized the language for official use already in 13th century). It was taken to Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the time of Columbus exploring the New world, Spanish reached the point where it would be understandable even today. The authority in terms of standard Spanish is The Royal Spanish Academy, that has been producing grammar guides and dictionaries since 18th century.

Lucrative language

Spanish is the official language of more than twenty countries, mainly in the Americas besides Spain, but it is generally spoken on all five continents. It's also one of the EU languages as well as one of six official languages of the United Nations. Interestingly, after Chinese Mandarin, is Spanish language most spoken around the world by the number of speakers who has it as a mother language. Spanish language is spoken as the first and second language by between 450 and 500 million persons. Spanish is said to be quite easy to learn, also due to being one of the most phonetic languages in the world.

From Latin to Arabic

The Spanish, as other Romance languages, is a modern extension of spoken Latin (also called Vulgar Latin) from around the 3rd century A.D. However, the evolution of Spanish language was heavily influenced by Arabic and later also English. The resemblance between English and Spanish is quite visible, while the two languages share a large volume of common words and expressions. 

Alphabet:

A B C D E F G H I J K L Ll 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 ll m n ñ o p q r s t u v w x y z

sakuraEvery year, spring in Japan gives an energy boost and invites to festive get-togethers. Spring in Japan indicates change with new beginnings and endings. The business year and even the school year both end in March and begin anew, fresh in April – around the same time as the cherry tree, Sakura, blossoms. It is a season where college graduates say their goodbyes and the young work force begins new careers. People across Japan wait for the Sakura to bloom in their region. The Sakura Zensen, or “Cherry blossom front”, indicates in what regions in Japan the Sakura is blooming. Naturally, the flowers start blooming from the south as it gets warmer, working their way up to the north following each of Japan’s islands in her archipelago.

Defend your spot under the tree!

sakura 2As soon as the Sakura blooms in their region, people are quick to reserve a spot under a tree so they can gather for a Hanami, “flower viewing”, together. You will see one blue plastic sheet after the other spread out under every Sakura tree as far as the eye can see. Many families enjoy the scenery during the daytime, relaxing and enjoying the warm sun-rays and cool breeze. University students, particularly freshman, get together and try to get to know each other, breaking the ice with stuttery introductions. And then there are all the company workers, men and women alike, who are ordered to find a spot for their company, waiting alone under the blooming trees to secure a good spot before it is taken by somebody else. Almost unimaginable to the western mind, this waiting can last many hours and even days! Then after work, when all the coworkers are available, they gather to eat, drink, play games and sometimes even sing together. This goes on well into the night even after dark. If they run out of food or drink, they call the local pizza or sushi delivery, and use GPS coordinates for the point of delivery…  

Spring celebration at the cemetery

sakura 4Some people even bring private electric generators and floodlights so they can enjoy the Yozakura, “cherry blossoms at night”. Aoyama Bochi, the big cemetery in Aoyama in central Tokyo, is a famous Hanami spot and extremely popular for its Yozakura. The cherry blossoms are especially pretty at this sacred place, and throughout the night you will see many people gathering. Being a cemetery, there are graves everywhere but it doesn't seem to bother anyone. People enjoy Hanami, celebrating their goodbyes and new beginnings with those who have long since passed away.

English is spoken as a native language by around 375 million people (250 million people in the USA, 180 million in India, 58 million in the UK, 18 million in Canada, and 16 million in Australia) and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. English is the official language in 53 countries and enjoys special status in at least twenty plus more countries with a total population reach of over two billion. As for now, we can surely say Modern English stands its ground as the most popular and dominant language in international communications, probably even more so than Latin in former days. This is due to global historical development and possibly also the simplicity of English grammar compared to other world languages in addition to its significantly rich, extensive vocabulary (although it is said you only need to learn 2,000 basic words to start communicating in English). English is an official EU language and actual one of the "procedural", i.e. working, languages at the institution. English is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Dialects and foreigners' nightmare...or nitemare?

Every language obviously generates various dialects through its use. And since English is the world's most popular language, the differences of speech in various regions are much more pronounced. Most of English learners can distinguish between British, American, or Australian English after only several lessons, the more experienced have no problem identifying  dialects by sub-region (a New Yorker would definitely not pass as Texan, and Irish and Yorkshire dialect speakers wouldn't fool anyone they are from Devon). Typically as a foreign learner of Oxford or Cambridge English, in your first encounter with native British speakers you could be in for a rather shocking experience. Maybe even making you doubt the legitimacy of all that time and money spent on countless English lessons, as you feel like being spoken to in Klingon. Once the shock has faded though, endless English dialects and differences are actually something to be even enjoyed. Not so much in case of writing. Color vs. Colour, Center vs. Centre, and Neighbour vs. Neighbor. Interestingly, there was no standard for English spelling until the early 18th century and it was basically established with the publishing of the dictionaries of Samuel Johnson (Dictionary of the English Language, 1755) followed by the current British English and of Noah Webster (An American Dictionary of The English Language, 1828). It is worth noticing that the first attempts of spelling standardization followed soon after the printing press invention arrived in England in the 15th century. Nowadays, the difference between BrE and AmE emerges also in the world of computers, where PC keyboard layout differs.

English translation specifics

When we translate into English, it is important to know for which market documents are intended. Everyone knows that Queen’s English differs from US English in spelling. The examples above are well-known, others are more subtle differences such as use of past tense of verbs where UK English uses “-lled”, while US English uses “-led”. And which variant uses a period in “Mr”? Even simple things such as a writing the date differ.

As a result, sometimes it is worth contemplating whether texts should be published in different English language variants. In car manuals, for example, the British put their travelling bag in the boot and head for the motorway. An American would put his travelingbag in the trunk and get on the highway. And when it rains in London, children put on their wellingtons…

Alphabet:

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

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

Website localization. You know the process. Exporting the content, sending it to translators, importing the content, files, and files and more files resulting in chaos... monkey work with endless cut & pace routines. Or you employ machine translation plug-ins and make your peace with inevitably unsatisfactory errors and a lack of understanding by your readership. You can solve this dilemma with our free Stream Translation plug-in and integrate human, professional translation right inside your CMS!

No more file storms

Dollarphotoclub 60044409All requests for estimates and online ordering are integrated in your CMS, on your web hosting platform or in other documentation systems. This eliminates the need for export of text content to separate file formats and loading text into TM solutions. The Stream Translation API transfers the text you need to translate straight to idioma’s translation platform, where it is handled by our project managers and native human translators. When translation is ready, we send the text back to you the same way, right into your own CMS – ready to publish.

We go beyond algorithms

Not only is  translation done by humans, to make sure your translated content is perfect, we have also integrated a proofreading process in the localization cycle. Your pre-published content will be reviewed by our native proofreaders exactly as it will appear in its final form so they can correct and comment on text and layout errors. If text needs to be adapted, it will be updated on your site automatically, If illustrative material does not fit a certain country or culture, we will tell you. This way, you localize your website and improve your brand image at the same time.

To learn more, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or read more at www.idioma.com

Translation is not an easy task. Many people say that the best translation is when translated text exceeds the quality and understanding of the original text. We fully agree, but to get there is an uphill battle and a struggle unless we know what we are dealing with. In reality, there are hundreds of different ways that you can combine words to make up an intelligent expression that reflect the original meaning without getting into wordiness or veering too far off subject. We do this as a matter of course daily – actually round the clock.

Translating for industries is a continuous undertaking, and we do it in close to a hundred languages. We use translation memories, reference resources, and then we use glossaries – either ones we have made ourselves or those provided by clients. All of this helps, but there are times when we are at a loss, and then we usually ask.

Context matters

Many of our assignments are additions to existing documents, where we translate out of context. This can be a nightmare to a professional translator.

Once in a while, we come across terms that simply cannot be translated unless we have references. As in this title “jack” is a good one. It has so many meanings, especially when it appears as a lone item. Even my good friend Jack agrees.

jacks
Many Jacks 1 Jack Jack

But there are many others. When clients ‘help’ and prepare projects in e.g. Trados, we often come across terms like “No” that can mean both Number and the opposite of Yes. It is of course also a Japanese style of theater, mostly performed by men, and it has even more meanings, e.g Nitric Oxide. Here we try not to guess, and we use the context to try to figure out the meaning, but it is undeniably a challenge.

Don't risk. Get reference.

This is why we always emphasize use of references. Original files as PDFs are most helpful, especially with pictures. Just think of another simple term like "cart". This being a reasonably old term, it has numerous different translations in any imaginable language. It can refer to a shopping cart, the horse driven variant, or something small and ‘fast’ that kids love for downhill races and band-aid use. Grandpas and other fellows use it on the golf course, some use it as a beverage carrier, and in Africa you can go on a Rhino safari in a Cart.

The above is a typical translator dilemma. For the Rhinos, you definitely need to emphasize some protective elements when referencing the “cart”; if you are dealing with a grocery store, you simply use the standard “cart”.

cart

The core of this issue is reference. All translators need good reference that supports the text s/he will translate. Glossaries are a good help, a translation memory too – anything less is a risk of stating something imprecise or downright wrong.

Translating from and to many languages brings about lots of interesting facts, increases curiosity and reveals things most people would hardly think twice about. Well we do, so why not share some the know-how?

For instance, we regularly work with translation into English – who doesn't, to be honest :) – and handle both British English and English for the U.S. market. While it is common knowledge that U.K. and U.S. English differ slightly in spelling and also between certain expressions, the two tongues also have very different approaches to the use of Initial Capitals, i.e. the custom of capitalizing the first letter of every word in headers and sub-headers. 

The British keep it subtle, Americans Like it Big

capsTo roughly sum it up, people generally favor the use of initial capitals in the U.S., while in the U.K. there is a tendency to avoid them. If you open a newspaper from the U.S. and one from the U.K., this becomes obvious (well illustrated by the picture  on the right). To a translator, the issue is trivial, but if you publish documents for English readers in general and there is no target market, it may be worth to reconsider the use of initial caps in headers. 

Avoid international Caps schizophrenia

Having noted that Americans like to use initial caps in titles, while the British try to avoid them, for International English we recommend not to use initial caps, because it makes it difficult to balance the heading levels that should have initial caps and those that should not. It is difficult to keep respecting the rule and even more difficult to unify all headers throughout documents and between projects. Further, when writing International English text for a worldwide audience, it is easy to make mistakes if initial caps are used, which is another good reason for advocating the British preference. As to the general opinion of the British that initial caps usage appears ugly, we won’t comment. But let's admit that caps overuse can confuse and distract the reader, a fact that eventually will affect the level of understanding the context and slow down the reading speed. You really don't want your target text to appear that way to the reader – at least not if we talk promotional material. 

When to use initial caps?

519oGTae6RL. SY344 BO1,204,203,200 We do, however, agree with and encourage the use of initial caps in proper names, including product names and to some extent special part names, as well as in key phrases, e.g. catch phrases. This includes also titles (e.g. on book covers - as on the picture on the right).

The easy way out

If you are really stuck and can't make up your mind, there is always an easy way out: Simply capitalize all your headers and reduce the point size to avoid them dominating the content.

For other translation and localization tips, language facts and curiosities, keep tracking our blog!

"Otaku culture" in Japan came from people with particular tastes in specific culture that developed into their own subculture – in other words, a specific type of cultural obsession. In Japan, the label "Otaku" (used also as a noun) relates mostly to young men who are into video games, cartoons/manga, anime, and science-fiction – even collecting figures, dolls, games, and magazines (apparently not only in Japan, hint: The Big Bang Theory)  :) 

Anime costumes and digital bands

otaku1Otaku culture evolved into a modern cultural "thing" that has spread around the world. Even in Prague, you can find a Japanese grocery selling cosplay apparel. Explanation: cosplay (costumes + play) is another original element of Otaku, with many people dressing up as cartoon or anime characters. These days there are numerous  cosplay events in Japan and worldwide, the phenomenon has even brought to existence so-called maid cafes such as Cafe Athome  where Otaku people can relax, talk and be silly with cosplay maids.

People idolizing particular characters have formed special idol groups, and they organize daily live shows, such as AKB48 for instance – an idol group with a special theater in Akihabara. Otaku style audiences of mostly men hold lumica glow sticks and swing them around in unison, yelling their favorites idol's name and singing along together. Momoiro Clover Z is another very popular group but their fan base is more gender neutral. Some men even prefer complete digital idols who are actual anime characters to the living ones. They go to concerts, watching a big screen and chanting to this digital anomaly, having fun... In the end, it is quite harmless and cutely obsessing.

Young Japanese in closets

Idol culture existed in Japan before, but thanks to new markets booming because of Otaku culture, these adolescent idol groups have made a comeback again. Otaku culture has also migrated to China, Thailand and Indonesia, which have their own idol groups, resembling the original Japanese ones. Otaku men are commonly known to be introverts, but there is also a famous non-fictional exception that has become a great hit in Japan, inspired books, drama shows and movies. The story is about a timid Otaku man helping several women from a drunk groping man on a train. This Otaku man eventually married one of these women, and that is how the famous story of Densha Otoko (Train Man) came to being. The story became recognized by many common folk in Japan with Otaku culture at its peak. 

Halloween beats Valentine's Day

 Dollarphotoclub 46146473
Otaku idol. 
Source: DollarPhotoClub.com

Japanese otaku and cosplay culture and the pagan Halloween holiday has fused together into an enormous event in Japan. There are parades for children and adults together with parties held throughout the during Halloween week. In 2014, the Japanese Halloween surpassed Valentine’s Day in terms of consumer spending, and it is now in 2nd place next to Christmas. The estimate of consumer spending for Halloween in Japan now is approx. 110 billion yen, or around 810 million euros. That's what you call a business!

Otaku culture is a subculture that has evolved from closeted young men to a more open style, where people are able to share their interests, hobbies and even obsessions with one another. This is not just restricted to video games, cartoons/manga, anime, and SF. You can be an Otaku with anything, such as cars, music, or even language. It’s great when you can lose track of time for something you love to do.

What are you an Otaku of?

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

Dollarphotoclub 68212871
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



Blog archive

Sign in
Get a free account now
This website uses cookies to analyze website traffic, enhance functionality of provided services and to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Learn more

I agree!