Egypt’s Revolution: Good for Business?

February 17, 2011 by Garner Gollatz
Category: International & Global Translation Services, International Business

cairo fruit stallThe international business community is still trying to assess the effects of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia for investment and growth in the Middle East and North Africa—especially now that similar uprisings are springing up across the Arab world. A brief look at the Arab and foreign media reveals uncertainty and concern over what will happen next. Yet there is also hope that greater democracy will improve the economic outlook both in Egypt and elsewhere in the region.

To be sure, the economy of the Arab world’s largest country is still reeling after weeks of paralysis. Banks have reopened, but Egypt’s stock market remains closed, reportedly infuriating foreign investors, and the tourists who power much of the economy have been slow to return. Exacerbating the immediate crisis, the rash of labor protests and strikes that helped bring down Egypt’s dictatorship has not yet abated. The Egyptian state newspaper Al-Ahram (in Arabic) echoes the new government’s call for the strikes to end, saying they endanger the country’s economic growth.

Locale-Awareness: Take Your Software Global

February 14, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Software Translation

Computers across the globe speak the same language – a dialect composed solely of zeros and ones - but we humans make numbers much more complicated. If you are in software and have global ambitions for your program, sooner or later you will have to tackle international treatment of numbers.

Whether dates, financial figures or something as simple as the time of day, global-ready software must accommodate different linguistic protocols for handling numbers. The earlier you approach this process in your software development cycle, the more money you will shave off of your production costs.Locale-Awareness

Let's take time for example. Did you know that there are time zones with half hour increments? New Delhi is currently 10 ½ hours ahead of New York. Time zones in Europe are more standard but time is told differently there than it is in the U.S. 15:30 would seem like a ratio in the States (i.e. there are 15 children and 30 people total on the bus) but in Italy, this number would be interpreted as a time of day: 3:30 pm.

Take today’s date as another example: February 14th, 2011 (Happy Valentines Day!). Here are three different ways to transcribe this date, according to country:

USA:      02/14/11

France:  14/02/11

Japan:   11/02/14

Getting time and date to display correctly in each language market is essential. 

Translating Wine: Part Two

February 10, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Translator's Corner, Culture

wine bottlesEvery industry has its own unique culture, complete with an insider lingo and a clear definition of who the elites are. In the world of wine, the elites are the French. Look no further than the Napa Valley for proof of this. American wineries pay homage to the French all the time by adding words such as château or clos to their estate names (i.e. Château Saint Jean, Clos du Bois), or creating new labels with famous French expressions (Ménage à Trois, Vérité, Amuse Bouche Winery). The most popular grapes bear French names: Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Chardonnay (which is actually the name of a village in Southern Burgundy where the grape was first planted). French wines are associated with quality, tradition, breeding and good taste.

And because the French have historically dominated the international wine scene, “winespeak” is often derived from French. For example: it is common to hear words such as en primeur, cru, remuage or caudalie roll off the tongue of English-speaking wine tasters. Such high-class Franglais can seem a bit cheeky but it’s not frowned upon in wine culture – after all, any savvy wine aficionado should know a little French. So how does this particular industry jargon affect wine translation?

As with most translation, it’s all about the target audience. For French-to-English wine translation, the target audience is an English-speaking demographic that is receptive to the subtle qualitative messages French terms convey.

Let’s revisit the tasting notes from our first blog post and take a stab at adapting them for this particular audience. In French, we have:

Un vin blanc subtil et souple, aux arômes de pâte d’amande et de brioche. La bouche est ample avec des nuances de coing confit et des groseilles, se culminant en une finale qui est fraîche et persistante.

A literal translation would be:

A subtle and supple white wine with aromas of almond paste and French breakfast bread. The mouth is broad with nuances of candied quince and gooseberries that culminate in a long and refreshing finale.

Egypt Is Heard

On Friday, January 28, 2011 the ruling government of Egypt cut off access to internet and cell phone services to its 80 million inhabitants. That’s the equivalent of shutting down access to everyone in California, Texas, and Florida. Yet, despite this, individual voices among the hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters are still being broadcast not only via traditional television news, but also via YouTube, personal blogs and Twitter feeds. Similar to the events that occurred in Thailand in 2010 and Iran in 2009, the "internet revolution" has transformed the 21st century civic revolution into a 24/7 newsfeed of insightful, real-time protester tidbits.

egypt twitter feed

Videos, blogs, and tweets are the new call to arms — instead of picking up pens, protesters now wield phones. Want to glean a bit of what’s being written by Egyptians but don’t speak Arabic? No problem. Check out Meedan, a service we profiled in a previous blog that translates various news items from Arabic into English, along with translated reader comments. Another similar website is Alive In Egypt, which adds English subtitles to videos, and Arabic transcriptions along with English translations of Speak2Tweet audio files. Speak2Tweet, launched by Google when the Egyptian protests started, allows anyone to leave a voicemail that is then placed onto Twitter with an #egypt hashtag.

Translating Wine: Part One

February 3, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Translator's Corner, Culture

wine Speaking the language of wine fluently requires a study of so many interesting disciplines such as biochemistry, gastronomy, linguistics, foreign languages, art, history and geography, to name a few. Add translation to this rich and complex culture and things get really challenging.

Translating the taste characterisics of wine requires the melding of a scientific mind and an artful spirit. As with any hard science, there is a great deal of objective material that needs to be rendered accurately in the target language — data such as sugar levels, degrees of alcohol, chemical compounds, temperatures, acids, fermentation processes, and the like. This is straightforward enough, albeit technical. But unlike purely scientific translation, wine also has a subjective element: the human factor. This is the sommelier or winemaker’s sensory experience of the wine. And here is where literal translation ends and artistic license begins.

Opera and Translation

February 1, 2011 by Ben Howdeshell
Category: Culture

Opera wouldn’t be quite the art form that it is without the words highlighting the story behind the music. This, however, poses its own challenge to understanding an opera for modern, global audiences, as the poetry of the libretto might be missed unless you happen to speak the language fluently.

sydney opera house

As Anthony Tommasini points out in The New York Times article that inspired this humble blog post, providing a translation that is not only accurate to the source but also fits the musical line is a challenge for translators. However, with credit again to another of Mr. Tommasini’s articles, there are strong artistic opinions on the merits and benefits of opera in translation, and when done, linguistic fidelity often cedes to linguistic creativity. When it’s well done, you get a wonderful marriage of emotion and meaning that blends in well with the music. When not, well, it can sometimes feel like reading badly translated subtitles.

The 2011 Website Globalization Report Card

January 25, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services

global website report cardLast year, we took a quick look at the 2010 Website Globalization Report Card. Let’s see the 2011 Report Card and learn about this year’s best globalized websites.

Who’s at the Top and Why It’s Not a Big Shocker:

“The Social Network” may soon be declared best picture of the year, so it’s no surprise that Facebook is #1 on the list of 250 sites, unseating international powerhouse Google. Facebook has expanded rapidly into new markets, mainly using crowdsourcing to translate their site into nearly 100 languages (including Pirate). El numero uno has also introduced some innovations such as multilingual social plug-ins to propel them into the top spot. Aside from Facebook and Google, the top ten consists of global corporations such as Cisco, 3M and Samsung. LG surged ahead in one short year from #21 to #5. Those sites ousted from the top ten versus last year’s evaluation: Wikipedia and Lenovo.

The 411 of Global Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising is definitely here to stay. In fact, across all advertising media, it’s quickly emerging as the global dominator, second only to online video. How does mobile advertising work and which foreign markets offer the most promise for your mobile campaign? Here’s the 411:phones

Quick Facts

The figures will make your head spin:

  • Mobile advertising is projected to grow steadily at a rate of 19.4% between now and 2016. Advertising growth in general will average a mere 6.3% each year in comparison.*
  • U.S. mobile advertising is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2015 from $800 million in 2010.**
  • Global mobile advertising is projected to rise from $2.7 billion in 2011 to $6.6 billion in 2016.*
  • There are nearly five billion mobile phone users currently in the world.***
  • The average mobile user has a device with them 16 hours per day and 95% of text messages are read within three minutes of being sent.**

Cliché Got Your Tongue? Copywriting for an International Audience

January 18, 2011 by Guest Author
Category: Marketing, Document Translation, Localization Tips

Guest author Christine Kent is an editor with the Content Bureau, a full-service copywriting agency.

The process of transcreation requires writers and translators to come up with alternatives for the idiomatic and casual language often used in marketing campaigns, particularly for consumer products and advertising. However, for some marketing pieces, the transcreation process can be made vastly shoes clicheeasier by simply writing clean, usable copy from the very beginning. In other words, assume that your text will need to be translated down the road, and from the get-go, avoid piling on the clichés and idioms.

(Whoops, I’ve already broken this rule in the line above: “down the road,” “get-go,” and “piling on” would not make life easier for writers doing a transcreation. Lucky for me, we’re not planning to get this blog post translated!)

This “think before you write” approach makes sense for some, not all, marketing pieces. Ad campaigns usually demand highly colloquial language, especially for taglines—better to write them in the fashion required for the initial audience, then recast the copy into another language using idioms that convey the same idea. However, product brochures, fact sheets, and white papers likely don’t require the use of much untranslatable wording, so it makes more sense to tone down the casual lingo in these documents.

Navigation Options for Your Localized Website

January 13, 2011 by Jon Ritzdorf
Category: Website Translation Services, Localization Tips

About author Jon Ritzdorf: Jon serves as the Acclaro in-house globalization architect, regularly consulting with clients and presenting seminars for many of the world's leading IT corporations on localization best practices, internationalization and testing products for global release.

internet-signWeb developers and marketing managers often ask me for recommendations as to how they should configure their navigation system on their multilingual website. Ideally this is determined well before starting website localization, as this decision can really affect your overall global site architecture moving forward.

For multilingual site navigation, it’s good to familiarize yourself with all the different options available for navigation and how they will impact your site. In short, with global navigation it comes down to four major options, which can be combined or kept distinct within a site:

  • Language toggle
  • Dropdown
  • Gateway/splash page
  • Automated (or semi-automated) redirection

Usually the first two options, language toggle and dropdown, work well for smaller sites.

For a small- to medium-sized site that is only going to be localized in a few languages, I would suggest the very simple toggle approach, like seen with Northeastern University. Or, a language dropdown written in the native script for the language markets you are targeting, as seen with Vuze

Q&A: What's Included in a Glossary?

We’ve already written about the importance of a glossary and why it’s important to create one before copyright symbolstarting any major translation effort — whether it be for technical documentation, marketing communications, web, software, eLearning, or multimedia projects. Now, let’s look at what should be included in a glossary.

What goes into a glossary?

  • Corporate/product nomenclature
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Metaphors or compound noun phrases.
  • Terms that remain in English (i.e. perhaps anything with a copyright, or a product name, etc.)
  • Generally accepted “lingo”

What should a glossary look like?

A glossary can be a complex database or a simple spreadsheet. It depends on your global reach and the size of your overall globalization efforts. If you are just starting out, you may just want to use an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can work your way up to a more complex database.

Bring Local Flavor to Your Marketing Campaigns with "Transcreation"

January 7, 2011 by Stephanie Engelsen
Category: Marketing

The Acclaro blog entry below is featured today on the Content Bureau Blog. The Content Bureau is a full-service copywriting agency that creates custom content for business, consumer, and technical audiences.

You and your team have spent hundreds of collective hours and thousands of dollars on the launch of a great marketing campaign in English. Along the way, everyone gained a few new grey hairs. Whew! You’re done, right? Bring out the Champagne, bonus checks and hair dye. Not so fast…your boss wants to take that campaign into eight new language markets. Now you need a great global campaign.

How do you ensure that your campaign maintains the impact of the original without having to launch new creative in each market? This is where marketing “transcreation” comes into play. Transcreation is a freer form of translation, closer to copywriting. The result is a text that’s linguistically and culturally adapted for specific countries and/or regions, be it for Latin America, AfricaEurope or even local U.S. Hispanic markets.

Three Reasons to Get Into Brazil

BRIC is more than a simple acronym symbolizing the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China. It's often a business imperative to sell into these countries, where the population increasingly has income not only for lower-priced commodities, but also for luxury goods. Let's focus on Brazil. 

brazilWith an estimated 201 million inhabitants and a land mass nearly equal to that of the U.S., Brazil is a huge player in the global marketplace. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 4% in the past five years and purchasing power of over $2 trillion. Economists estimate at least 7% growth for 2010. Much of this is due to a quickly emerging lower middle class of 95.4 million people who are snapping up cars, cell phones, new homes and all the items needed for these newly-built homes — commodities and discretionary products that American companies produce and sell.

So is now the time to start offering your company's products and services to Brazilian consumers? Absolutely. Here are three reasons to start tapping into the potential of this market:

1. The economic future is bright. Thanks to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of President Lula and his economic team, Brazil was shielded from much of the fallout from the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Though growth rates slowed, the overall impact was minimal, and the country emerged in 2010 to lead South America with sustained growth, strong exports, moderate inflation and decreasing unemployment. It is predicted to become one of the five largest economies in the world in the decades to come.

As an American company, breaking into the Brazilian market is not as much of an obstacle as in other countries. Since Brazilian independence in 1822, the U.S. and Brazil have enjoyed relatively friendly, active political and economic relations. Currently, the United States is one of the largest exporters to Brazil, representing nearly 16% of their $128 billion imported goods and services, followed closely by China.

Saving A Language

December 27, 2010 by Stephanie Engelsen
Category: Culture

database of endangered languagesAccording to UNESCO, there are 3,000 endangered languages around the globe. Since 1950, 350 languages have become extinct.

The recently released Endangered Languages Database from the University of Cambridge World Oral Literature Project lists languages from around the world that are extinct, endangered or nearly extinct. In Brazil alone, there are 35 critically endangered languages; in Europe, 49 languages are spoken by less than 10,000 people; in Vietnam 37 languages are in the database, ranging from extinct to vulnerable.

With so many languages about to vanish, what can you do? On the Acclaro Blog in March, we suggested four ways that you can help to save a language. Perhaps this is could be a New Year's resolution for 2011? It may seem like one person cannot save a language, yet a 21-year old Frenchman proved that this is indeed possible.

A Spotlight on Women in Localization: A Silicon-Valley Group Gone Global

Three talented women with a vision.  Four Masters degrees and one Doctorate. Combined fluency in 10+ foreign languages. Forty years of localization management experience. The math is pretty impressive – and the sum is one groundbreaking group: Women in Localization, founded in 2008 in Northern California’s Silicon Valley.

Anna Schlegel of NetApp, Eva Klaudinyova of VMware, Inc. and Silvia Avary-Silveira of Symantec, are the pioneers of this new group (previously NCWL for Northern California Women in Localization), and their credentials are impressive (see their bios). Their education and professional experiences in the industry with leading international companies such as NetApp, VMware, VeriSign, Xerox, Cisco and Symantec make them the female equivalents of Warren Buffet to the localization industry. If anyone is qualified to lead an international support group for women in the field, it is most certainly these three ladies.

Gone GlobalWL was forged out of passion for globalization and a desire to facilitate networking among female localizers. “We wanted to have a group for women where they could ask questions and share their professional challenges without feeling intimidated”, Anna Schlegel explains. “This would be a dedicated place for women to develop their careers in localization with a goal of creating an open and collaborative forum where women could share their expertise and experience…Women often get overlooked for career moves and promotions, so we wanted a group where women could help each other to grow and learn.”

Last Minute Holiday Solutions

December 20, 2010 by Alyssa Paris
Category: "Spot" on Language

Those of Holiday Treeyou who braved the crowds and were trampled by hoards of not-so-merry shoppers this past weekend know that last minute shopping is the pits. There’s no better way to get instantly harried and haggard. Pacing the mall the week before Christmas is sure to take you from jolly to jaded in no time, extinguishing your flame of holiday merriment.

Sparring for a parking place, elbowing your way through the crowded aisles, dodging shopping carts and wayward children, languishing in long lines…only to discover that the items you wanted are sold out – such madness can turn the biggest holiday reveler into a grinch real fast.

Desperation may be setting in today as you come to terms with the fact that not even Amazon can save you at this stage in the game – there are only four business days left before Christmas and rush shipping is sure to cost more than the gift itself.

Presents from colleagues, partners, clients, vendors and friends have started to pour in; your holiday unease is amplified this morning as you contemplate the many offerings from individuals you completely overlooked in the holiday gift list. It’s way too late to reciprocate, especially with your overseas contacts who diligently mailed their gifts to you a month ago to ensure an on-time delivery.

Levi's Gets Adventurous Marketing to Young, Bi-Cultural Hispanics

December 16, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, International & Global Translation Services

jeansThis past year we saw several examples of global brands that used cultural and linguistic differences to their advantage, taking a unique cross-cultural approach to marketing and advertising.

One of these was the iconic American brand Levi's and their Nuevo Pionero campaign.

In this campaign that showed a truly "adventurous" approach to catching the eye of the young, bi-cultural Latino market, Levi's took five young U.S. Hispanics on a journey this summer from Alaska to Argentina on the Pan-American Highway. This literal and metaphorical journey from North to South shows the five travelers fully clad in Levi's new Work Wear line, stopping in ten different cities and pitching in on work projects involving the arts. Their experiences were documented in a ten-week reality show, "Norte a Sur: Una Ruta, 5 Experiencias" (North to South: One Route, 5 Experiences), that aired in the fall on Discovery en Español.

Go Global With Your Holiday Greetings

December 13, 2010 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Culture

The holidays are an excellent occasion to reestablish contact and renew relationships with business partners and friends who may have gotten lost in the shuffle this year. A standard holiday card with a generic greeting can get thHoliday Cookiee job done – but a personalized card is often more considerate and meaningful, as it truly communicates the value you place in that particular relationship.

For international business contacts, a personalized greeting in their native language is the ultimate expression of sensitivity to their culture and appreciation of the relationship you have fostered with them. Though English may be the international language of business, your friends and partners overseas would be pleasantly surprised by your efforts to send holiday tidings in their language. This small gesture can speak louder than words to communicate how much you value their partnership.

In the spirit of the holidays and with this international business audience in mind, we have designed a multilingual card creator that allows you to create and send personalized greetings to your international contacts in eight different languages - in less than a minute!

Three Tips for Mobile App Localization

December 9, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Localization Tips, Mobile

mobile apps

The mobile app market is quite literally exploding, and developers are discovering that there is a fountain of new revenue streams from downloads and advertising outside of the US. Are you ready to capitalize on emerging markets? Do you have a mobile app localization strategy?

To make sure you do your mobile app software translation in the most efficient way possible, we'd like to share some tips to guide you through the process...

Q&A: What is HTML5 and How Does it Affect Website Localization?

December 6, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services, Localization Tips, Q&A

1. What is HTML5?HTML5-and-website-localization

HTML5 is a major revision to HTML and XHTML, the standard for structuring and presenting content on the Internet. It includes everything you see in your browser, such as text, images, multimedia, web apps, search forms, and so on.

2. How is it different from HTML and XHTML?

  • Canvas — JavaScript to create web graphics
  • Location API — Interface to location data from GPS or other sources
  • Video Element — Easier to embed video on web pages
  • AppCache — Allows websites to launch even while offline
  • Web Workers — Background thread that speeds execution

3. Why all the fuss?

Many of these new features, like video playback and drag-and-drop, have been dependent on third-party browser plug-ins like Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and Google Gears. HTML5 changes all of that. As an open source system, it supports open standards that expose underlying technologies, enabling integration, innovation and development of more complex software and services.

4. How does HTML5 affect website localization?

HTML5 is a game-changer, however, it won't drastically alter the way that your translation partner localizes your website. HTML5 is simply a revision of the "old" HTML and XHTML, and thus requires the same translation and localization skills used with previous versions.

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