Monthly Archives: March 2015

25 Language Facts That You Might Not Already Know

Language is all around us. From birth, we are taught to speak the language of those around us in order to communicate. Some of us might learn another language, or several, later on in life. We spend our lives using languages day after day, but there are so many things about them that we do not know. While there are hundreds of facts about languages, some jump out as particularly interesting or very unique.

Since language is our business and our passion at TranslationsXXX, we wanted to share some of these facts with you.

25. Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, has the largest alphabet with 74 letters.

24. The most translated document is Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by the United Nations. It has been translated into 321 languages and dialects.

23. In the United States, there is now almost 7 times the number of Vietnamese speakers there were in 1980.

22. Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken dialects of Chinese. Traditional and Simplified are written forms of the language.

21. South Africa used to have 2 official languages: English and Afrikaans. Now, there are 11: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

20. The name of the Irish language is actually “Irish.” Gaeilge (Gaelic) refers to the name of the language in Irish. Irish is the name in English.

19. The Constitution of Bolivia recognizes 37 official languages, aside from Spanish, including the languages of Bolivia’s native indigenous nations. This is the most of any country.

18. The literal translation of the German word Kummerspeck into English is “grief bacon.” However, the meaning is the excess weight gained due to emotional overeating.

17. In Japanese, Tsundoku describes “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”

16. There are 381 languages spoken in the United States; about 169 are Native American languages

15. Persian is also the same as Farsi. There are so many former Iranian nationals and their descendants living in Los Angeles that it is sometimes nicknamed “Tehrangeles.”

14. In Vatican City, the directions for ATM use are in Latin: “Inserito scidulam quaeso ut faciundam cognoscas rationem.”

13. There is a single word in Russia, Zapoi (Запой) to describe a drunken bender.

12. Swedish was not the official language of Sweden until 2009. The usage of English became so prevalent that the government wanted to strengthen the status of Swedish!

11. It took the Greeks nearly 200 years to decide which official language – Demotic Greek or Ancient Greek (katharevousa) – to use. Demotic Greek won.

10. The popular phrase “Hakuna matata” (meaning “No worries”) from The Lion King is from Swahili.

9. Papua New Guinea has no less than 832 different languages!

8. The number 5 is pronounced “ha” in Thai, so 5555 is Internet slang for LOL.

7. In Indonesian, “Jayus” is a slang word for someone who tells a joke that is so bad, that you laugh because it is so unfunny. Such a word does not exist in English.

6. The word for turkey in Turkey is Hindi, which is an official language in India.

5. David Peterson, inventor of Dothraki and Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones, is known as a professional ‘conlanger’- someone who has been hired to create languages.

4. There are 6 official languages of the United Nations.

3. Pope Francis tweets in 9 different languages.

2. There is no official language of the United States.

1. There are about 7,000 languages in the world.

How TranslationsXXX Makes Website Translation Easy!

As a marketer, you are looking to expand into new locales. You are tasked with translating and localizing your content to reach overseas markets – this includes flyers, catalogs, and other collateral, and of course… your website! Your website is an important component because it is your virtual storefront, a gateway into a new market without having to establish a brick-and-mortar business.

With many tasks on your plate, you can come to us for a hassle-free, turn-key solution. TranslationsXXX provides website localization and translation proxy services that allow us to serve as a man-in-the- middle; a real-time interpreter between the visitors and your server.

What does this mean exactly? Pretend you are shopping for a car. Are you looking to buy or lease? The proxy is a translation layer of your website. This is an alternative to localizing directly onto your content management system (CMS) on the server side. There are three major benefits:

  • Was your website designed by a 3rd party developer? If so, you can localize your site without having to heavily involve your IT resources
  • No back and forth having to extract content into files, and then integrate the translation back from files
  • You won’t have to give your language service provide (LSP) partner access to your CMS

How does it work? Simple. We have the ability to crawl your web content and handle translation without any intervention required from your side – you don’t need to extract the content! Translators will work right in your original layout to avoid any contextual or fitting mistakes.

Do you update your site frequently? Not a problem. We’ve got our eye on you! It’s up to you how often you want us to check for updates; weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. When new content is added, it will be translated immediately and will be available in every language version.

Along with this, we provide a worldwide content delivery network. Meaning, each language version will be hosted on servers near to the relevant market. This allows for shorter response time for visitors and is duly beneficial for multilingual SEO.

Are we forgetting anything? Just a few things.

  • PDFs, videos, and other non-Web components have to be sent separately. We can add those to the multilingual websites, too! Remember, we also offer multilingual DTP and subtitling solutions!
  • How do we charge? You will be charged the standard per word pricing with a tiered discount.  You will also be charged a monthly hosting fee.
  • If you decided you don’t want us to host anymore, no hard feelings! Your content is yours, in XLIFF format to take with you.

Why You Should Outsource Your Language Translations

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This quote really resonated around our office – change is not always bad. It is good to accept change and make sure that you adapt to what is happening in the world around you, especially as it relates to your industry and your business. Embracing change is important for any business or organization.

This quote also reminded us of a frequent phrase that we hear in the translation and localization industry: “We handle translations in house.” 

This really resonates, too. While this might be something that looks more cost-effective on the surface, this might not always be the best approach. Looking at outsourcing your translation services could be a change that you make that will be more cost effective and efficient in the long term.

More Markets Equals More Linguists

Let’s put it in context – you are a United States-based company and you have just expanded into Mexico. You have a team in your Mexico office that handles all of your Spanish translations. Things are going well, so you decide you want to move into China, Brazil, and maybe Russia. Hiring internal translation teams might prove to be costly in this case as the demand for more languages increases. Speaking of demand, you might not always need someone on staff full time for German translation or Finnish translation. Agencies have an extensive pool of freelance translators that they can align on demand to help your organization best meet its needs.

Finding the Right People

Handling translation internally might mean having employees in Brazil translate documents into Brazilian Portuguese or having a bilingual employee in the marketing department translating documents into Chinese. This doesn’t always mean the quality will be up to your standards. Linguists are in-country speakers with subject matter knowledge of the content. In other words, they are professionals. An LSP should also have a vetting process for their linguists to ensure quality.

When You’re In A Hurry

When deadlines are tight, it is hard to scramble for resources. Due to a linguistic vetting process, a translation vendor will have quality linguists readily available. Think of your vendor as a resource. A good journalist has their sources that they can call upon when writing a story on deadline; this is somewhat similar.

For Large Projects

Sure, this statistic applies to an internal translator or a freelance translator, but an LSP can have multiple translators working on a project. How? The wonders of technology! Translation memory and CAT tools like MemoQ allow for more efficient workflow which means consistency, time efficiency, and cost effectiveness. It makes more sense to see this claim in practice.

There is one theme that is present throughout the key points above: be proactive. If going global is part of your growth strategy, or even if your domestic client base is multilingual, taking the time to carefully select a vendor and weigh your options is much better than being reactive on a short notice. It’s like when you’re in college and know you have a long term paper coming up – start researching now for when the deadline approaches. The task will seem much less daunting then!