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"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

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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

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