Category Archives: Lost in Translation

Verbatim Advances Translation Technology

Industry-First Feature. Cloud-Based Translation Platform, Verbingo™, integrates Microsoft Word Documents.

Verbatim released details of a groundbreaking, industry-first upgrade to its cloud translation platform, Verbingo™, that enables support of Microsoft Word documents. Now users can easily take existing documents and upload to the system in Word, Excel, CSV, InDesign, HTML, PO/POT, XLIFF, PDF, and custom tags for rapid, seamless translation into more than 120 languages.

File transfer is easier than ever with the range of files supported, but Verbatim has also added a feature which allows the user to upload directly from Dropbox. In fact, Verbatim is currently integrating other content management tools with Verbingo™ so the file transfer process will be simplified for all users. Exchanging FTP files and emails for translation is a thing of the past with this platform.

Verbingo™ enables clients to monitor project progress and quality in real time, while more than 4,000 Verbatim certified translators use shared resources like the glossary, as well as the translation engine and memory. Clients can choose a Verbatim project manager or manage their own translation service projects while maintaining brand consistency and controlling transaction costs.

“Adding Microsoft Word as a fully supported format in Verbingo™ is a major breakthrough for Verbatim, our transactional and enterprise clients, and the entire translation industry,” said Tim Olds, managing director at Verbatim Solutions. “This is a unique industry-first feature developed by some of the best software engineers in the world. And it’s just the beginning. Our programmers are continually enhancing the Verbingo user experience and interface to offer our clients the most robust and agile localization value proposition available.”

“This update further strengthens our technology leadership and value add in the transactional and enterprise localization market,” said George Matus, managing director at Verbatim Solutions. “With more than 2,000 Verbingo™ projects since recent launch in all formats including Excel, CSV, InDesign, HTML, PO/POT, XLIFF, PDF, custom tags and now Word, our enterprise clients have dramatically reduced their localization costs while receiving the highest translation quality in half the time. The results are impressive and demand has far exceeded our expectations. Our programmers are awesome. It’s a game changer.”

Additional benefits and features of Verbingo™ include: centralized file management, real-time translation memory leveraging, translation reuse, terminology management, quality control, privacy and security, push notifications, real-time status checks, and more. Visit: http://www.verbatimsolutions.com/verbingo for more info.

About Verbatim Solutions
Verbatim Solutions is a leading provider of translation services to organizations worldwide including Fortune 500 Corporations, US Government and other multinational organizations. With the recent launch of Verbingo™, Verbatim has the capacity to localize up to 3 million words per day, empowering some of the world’s largest corporations to manage their global brands and effectively communicate with their customers, employees, suppliers, and partners into more than 120 languages. With a global network of 4,000 certified translators, Verbatim Solutions has the global reach, infrastructure, and experience to support both transactional and enterprise-scale projects. For more information, contact us.

How to Take on the World

globeYour business is doing well and you want to take the leap. You’ve set your sights on the world. The decision to become a global company is a big deal. There are laws, logistics, and research to worry about. There is also translation which, depending on your business, could include product information, packaging inserts, web pages, internal manuals, and much more. Communication with customers, employees, and partners needs to be accurate, but it must also maintain the spirit of your brand.

Translation can sometimes mean a literal or word-for-word rendition, but localization means you are adapting for the culture to ensure you preserve the character of your company. Idioms and local quirks affect the interpretation of text. Do an online search for “mistranslation” and you will find collections of knee-slapping and head-slamming examples. (We would share some links, but many of the mistranslations are racy, even though unintentionally so.) A commonly recited faux pas is the translation of the Coors “Turn it loose” slogan into Spanish as “Suffer from diarrhea.”

Localization means expert translators take such idioms, and non-native references and comparisons into account. Localization requires the extensive knowledge and understanding possessed by the most talented translators, which is why Verbatim Solutions has put so much energy into growing its pool of exceptional translators. This talent, combined with Verbatim’s state-of-the-art, cloud-based tool, Verbingo, offers the optimal balance between machine capabilities and the human aspect of translation service and management.

Verbatim built the Terminology Management feature into its Verbingo platform to allow clients to maintain control of their brands and consistency across texts. Terminology Management allows you to enter words and phrases that you want translated a specific way each time those words appear. Then, when that text appears, the Verbingo workbench prompts translators to use the term you chose. A translator never has to guess what you want conveyed and can protect your brand and focus on the nuances. So the combination of Verbingo and cream-of-the crop translators gives you invaluable control in an almost-effortless process.

If you are growing your business, you face a lot of challenges. Translation service doesn’t have to be one of them.

Swann Fast-tracks Its Global Messages with Verbingo

Swann has sold do-it-yourself security products for 27 years, growing into a global company that spans six continents and more than 40 countries. It prides itself on providing customers with peace of mind through not only its surveillance and alarm equipment, but because it offers lifetime product support and 24/7 customer service.

In fact, Swann’s tagline is “Advanced security made easy,™.” To keep that promise of simplicity to customers, Swann needs to provide clear, understandable user manuals. Because the company has customers all over the world, the company places a high priority on translating user manuals and other easy-to-use materials.

The traditional translation process was slow, inflexible, and not user friendly. Previously, Swann project managers manually sent text to the translation agency. Once it was translated, managers pasted it back into the document or format they wanted, often taking days. Time zone differences added extra challenges to communication and flow because the company is based in Australia.

Swann project managers had little or no control during the translation process. They had no visibility into the project until they received the translated files. Translation was a several-step process that needed to be simplified.

Seeing the need for a change, Swann moved to Verbatim Solutions’ new real-time translation management system, Verbingo.

Since the change, Swann has translated 220 documents—from small brochures to larger documents of 50 pages and longer—into several languages including Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese. Many of the translations have taken only hours to complete.

The Verbingo process of directly loading and retrieving material to and from the cloud database requires mere seconds per document. The initial scan provides an analysis report that allows Swann to see exactly how much of the text matches portions of previous translation projects, eliminating repeat work and unnecessary cost.

Texts are translated in pieces, or segments, then saved to Swann’s translation memory. Then the next time one of those words, phrases, sentences, or segments is used in another document, it does not have to be retranslated. Cutting translation redundancies has saved many days of project time over the past year. It has also saved money. Seeing the matches up front allows project managers to make quick and accurate budgetary decisions about the company’s globalization effort.

Once they initiate a translation project, Swann team members see status reports in real time. They can also access the company’s own translation memory any time to ensure accuracy. When a project is complete, all Swann’s in-house desktop publishing team needs to do it is format the final translated material to look just like the source material.

Swann has a history and a reputation of quality, so the brand protection offered by Verbingo is just as valuable as the time, savings, and control it provides. In fact, users can select an option not to translate certain words or phrases or to always translate certain phrases in a particular way. That control gives Swann the peace of mind that all of its materials carry the same message, and they can focus on providing security and peace of mind to their own customers.

Manage Your Site’s Translation from Your Easy Chair

Your website is your welcome mat to the world. What is the best way to open the door of your business to customers of different languages?

happyclock-veer-4665716Maybe you’ve decided it makes sense to translate your website because you get a decent amount of traffic from other countries, and you would like to see more sales coming from those visits. Perhaps you’ve read that experts say that you should translate your content. Direct Marketing News just published an article explaining why localization is now a necessity, stating “global consumers are demanding information in their own language and they’re willing to pay for it.”

Quartz, a site “for business people in the new global economy,” states that “English is no longer the language of the web.” More non-native-English speakers are online, and they want content in their native language.

Even if you’ve put off website translation because the chore sounds daunting, you know it’s time because global eCommerce continues to grow. Fortunately, there has not been a better time to quickly and easily localize your website. With Verbatim’s Verbingo tool, you can be assigned a project manager or manage the project yourself. Anyone working on the project can do so from anywhere, any time. You can check on the project in real time or receive notifications from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.

verbatim-real-timeTM-leveragingAs a Verbatim client, you can log into the dashboard and see the status of the project. From there you can see stats, who the translators are, and how much progress has been made. You can sign in and view your project at any time, but you don’t have to because you can request to receive a push notification each time a change is made. You can even easily make edits or changes whenever necessary. You never lose track of a project’s status, and your project can be completed without ever having to speak with anyone or having to worry that you will miss deadline.

It’s easy to welcome the world to your website. Learn more about Verbingo here or submit a quote request.

Localize Your InDesign Brochure in Just One Day

rocketPast translation processes were a lot like the Pony Express. The road could be grueling and the conditions exhausting, and you had to ride, word for word, through every step of the journey.

However, recent processes and technologies have introduced the equivalent of a rocket engine into the equation. New cloud-based tools mean that instead of traveling the translation trail step by step, you can set much of the process to autopilot. Translation is now faster, more accurate, and less expensive.

Remember when a simple, 1,000-word brochure took at least a week to translate because you had to factor in translator availability and time differences, as well as file management? You also had to transfer or email files, then download and re-upload when complete. No more. Verbatim has created a tool that streamlines the translation process: Verbingo.

Verbingo puts the latest in cloud and translation technologies to work. A job that could have taken a week or more previously can be completed within 24 hours. There are only a few simple steps you have to take:

1. Export your InDesign file to IDML format. Verbingo supports several file formats, including Adobe InDesign Markup Language (IDML).

2. Choose your language. Verbingo scans the document, pulling data about the size of the project and matching it with the translation memory database.

3. Create your project. Enter the deadline, as well as the original PDF document, for reference. Verbingo assigns the translation to a project manager. Then real translators who are assigned based on a leaderboard translate it.

4. Retrieve your translation. Open it in InDesign and touch up the formatting and spacing.

Not only is Verbingo’s self-propelled process fast and easy, it’s also manage.fwaccurate and secure. The translation memory stays within the cloud, so phrases do not have to be translated over again, saving even more time and money in the future. All work is completed by Verbatim, which has 11 years of translation experience and more than 4,000 certified translators available.

Verbingo has put the old system of translation out to pasture. It is more than automation. It is the future of global commerce and communication. With these “autopilot” features, it’s so easy to protect your brand and translate more. The results ultimately improve understanding and communication with your customers.

Looking for Global Love? Submit to Win an iPad Mini!

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Verbatim Solutions has a fresh new look for 2014!

In celebration of our redesign, we want to share the love with you this Valentines Day by helping you expand globally with our translation services.

Submit your order of $250 or more by March 31st, and be automatically entered to win an iPad mini!

Order valued at $250 or more is equal to one entry; multiple entries are accepted. The more translation projects you submit the better your chances to win! Order must be received by 5 PM MST March 31, 2014 to be eligible for entry. Winner must be 18 years of age. Offer valid on new orders placed through March 31, 2014; entry must be applied at time of order; cannot be applied to previous orders. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Winner of 16 GB  iPad Mini with Wi-Fi will be notified by April 1, 2014.

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What exactly is cloud translation?

Cloud Translation ExplainedThere is great excitement in the air about the shift to cloud translation. The concept appears simple and seamless, i.e. translation can now be done with greater collaboration and ease for clients, LSPs and translators on a unified platform. But what exactly is involved in this shift? What is required to create a true cloud translation system? Who stands to benefit?

To fully understand the shift from desktop to cloud computing in the localization industry, is to accept the fundamental change in ownership and access of translation memories from LSP to client.

Step 1:  Centralization of File Management

In traditional desktop translation, standard over the past two decades, the typical LSP project manager knows that a portion of the day will be spent troubleshooting hardware, software, or connectivity issues. Not something to look forward to for sure, as many such issues come as not-so-pleasant surprises that almost always cause uncomfortable delays. File management and organizational skills have always topped the list of a project manager’s resume. Translators as well have had to accept the unwanted tasks of file management and learning more about files, folders, and hard drives than they ever cared to.

Cloud translation promises to ease that pain and eliminate most file management tasks. In theory, the concept of a package, archive, file, or any of a host of project-related contrivances disappears. Best of all, reference materials such as term lists and translation memories are no longer scattered around the world to be later gathered and merged together by the LSP. They are kept safe and sound on the cloud for easy access.

Step 2:  Live Translation Memory is Where it’s at!

For twenty years file formats have changed, but the concept of translation memory has not, i.e. translation memory is a storage area where all past translations are stored and from which new translations can be leveraged. All sorts of attempts have been made to best manage this concept; from using translators on intranets or LANs to the aforementioned scattering and merging of “packaged” TM curated specifically for translators located around the world. Each method offers collaboration and leveraging, but each is limited by restrictions of scale, costly coordination, or lack of ROI.

Even the best of these attempts have fallen short of managing TM the way the cloud can; it is for this reason that cloud translation is so important to the industry and to those requiring translation today and in the future. The main feature of the translation cloud is access. Access eliminates the need for a given person to be in a specific location, which means translators can ideally be located anywhere in the world and have the same efficiency as if they were together in the same room.

Cloud translation is NOT just a system of file-less project management and online status, as some would have their clients believe. Rather, it is a system of access to a client’s LIVE translation memory where new translations are entered and existing translations are edited at any time from anywhere. Any system that does not include this feature is not true cloud translation.

Step 3:  True Integration = True Cloud Translation

It is popular in CMS systems for seamless translation to be confused with cloud translation. Customers find it easy to submit their text through plug-ins or apps that claim to translate in the cloud, but essentially those plug-ins simply “package” up the client’s content and send it to the chosen translation vendor. There it is translated using traditional, inconsistent means and the final product is returned to the plug-in company as a digital file that is then uploaded to the client’s CMS. It’s seamless to the client, but it’s not cloud translation.

Access, not seamlessness, is vital when choosing a translation vendor; by providing access a LSP is essentially giving ownership of a live TM to the client and providing support for it. And why not? Clients pay for translation, so why shouldn’t they have complete access to it at any time they want with the ability to modify at will? There are few systems today that offer this type of true integration, but the results are fantastic!

So, who benefits? Ultimately, everyone.

With access, clients no longer debate pricing. Analysis reports are performed by the clients themselves, and decisions can be made based on actual volumes and matching, nothing padded. Exact matches are priced at $0.00 since, after all, that is the best benefit of leveraging the TM; and clients can even get more for their translation dollar by doing some of the work themselves.

One client found that updating his user manual from Product ABC to Product XYZ could be performed entirely by himself using true cloud translation tools provided by his LSP. This type of product update cannot be performed by the plug-in company at such a convenience or savings because the client ultimately does not have access to their TM in a live environment.

The cloud is exciting because it is finally allowing LSPs to connect translators with clients via access to translation memory. Ownership can now be easily placed in the hands of the client and LSPs can provide better tools for better translation instead of file management.

 

Tips for Website Translation

WebsiteWhy Human Is the Only Option

As a website owner, it is your job to ensure every person who comes to your website or blog has the ability to read what you have to say so they can make the decision to take action. Yet, if you do not invest in professional translation for your website, you will under-whelm your target audience. You’ll also be wasting your marketing dollars. With human translation services, you get a better result every time.

Why You Need It

You may know the importance of having a website that is easily accessible to a wide range of people. No matter what you are selling or what information you are presenting on the site, clear information is a must. Keeping that in mind, consider the problems with computer-generated website translation:

  • It lacks any real passion – it does not know the unique cultural components that make a language authentic.
  • Poorly constructed translation leads to mistakes and misunderstandings with your audience (likely an audience you spent significant amounts of time drawing in.)
  • Mistakes will make you look bad. In fact, mistakes on a website are one of the most common reasons people do not trust a new provider. Would you trust a provider with content with strange phrases?

There is something you can do about this, though. Instead of using a basic website translation tool, turn to a human translation service instead. When you do so, you’ll benefit in a number of ways.

Consider the Benefits

With professional translation, you’ll gain the following. You will be simplifying your translation process, getting better results the first time. You’ll meet the demands of your local environment. Localization is a critical component to translation that computerized systems miss. Additionally, you will find that you are losing far fewer customers and website visitors because you have a website that people can understand, enjoy, and react to in the way you want them to do so.

The final website will sound natural. It will communicate effectively with your audience. None of the original meaning of your statements will be lost. Human translation does take slightly longer, but the quality provided far outweighs anything offered by a computer program. The complex sentences and unique local phrases are not lost. You get to provide your readers with a genuine, natural website that they feel right at home using.

Turn to a professional translation service to help you to achieve your goals. You’ll love the results you get and so will your customers.

3 Common Mistakes of International Marketing

The need for global marketing has increased more in recent history than ever before.  Now, companies don’t just compete on a local or regional scale.  They must be prepared to expand to international markets if they truly want to succeed.  Unfortunately, most executives are not well versed in all the different languages of the countries they hope to do business in.  A savvy businessman understands this shortcoming and plans accordingly to avoid potential pitfalls.  Those who do not plan ahead may find themselves succumbing to one of these common mistakes.

English is everywhere.  Why translate?

English is spoken in many areas of the world but that does not mean that all people everywhere speak and understand English fluently.  As a matter of fact, most countries around the world only teach English to small groups belonging to the upper classes. This leaves out the majority of potential customers from any marketing campaign conducted only in English.  A prime example of this mistake occurred when Starbucks attempted to break into the holiday market in Germany by offering their Gingerbread Latte.  What should have been a great selling product performed very poorly because the company failed to translate it into German.  The next year saw a drastic improvement when Starbucks changed the name to Lebkuchen Latte.  Once everyone could read and understand what the product was, it sold quite well.

You ignore local culture.  Every country has its own unique idiosyncrasies and rituals.  Not fully understanding those cultural issues can lead to epic failures on the marketing front.  For example, suppose your client went to Central or South America with a campaign that compared the locals to Americans.  Most people in the region would be completely confused by that statement as they consider themselves to be Americans.  Instead of giving a compliment, your company would be insulting them with the exclusivity.

Likewise, each country has its own religious doctrines to follow.  Whether the religious majority happens to be Catholic, Hindi, Muslim, or Buddhist, failing to take into account the religious aspects of translated material can not only lead to poor sales, but in some cases it could lead to public outrage.

But it sounded great in English!

Would you drink ‘toilet water?’  Or let restaurant staff ‘eat your fingers off?’ Probably not.  But that’s exactly what some American ads in other countries sounded like when poorly translated.  Schweppes Tunic Water became Schweppes Toilet Water in Italian.  And Kentucky Fried Chicken went from ‘finger licking good’ to ‘we’ll eat your fingers off’ in Chinese.  Sometimes, the literal translation of the word or phrase is not what the message or the product is actually trying to convey.  There are subtle nuances that the translator must be aware of in order to translate the implied meaning rather than a literal translation which is what would be found in most OTC translation software systems.

Incorporating the global economy into your business plans in the future provides an excellent opportunity to expand your business like never before.  That being said, businesses that fail to capitalize on that opportunity are doing little more than spinning the wheels in the dirt.  The errors are costly and time consuming.  And, failing to capture the initial launch into a foreign estate, that’s one more opportunity for your competition to come in and steal the thunder.

Tips for Mobile Translation

When professional human translators take on the job of creating mobile apps in different languages, these specialized projects often require a specific approach that considers the design complexity of mobile apps, as well as the particular user base and how they will respond to translated text. When a company wants to reach local language communities with an mobile app, translation can be a core part of getting a project ready for release. Some simple tips can help companies pursue effective mobile app translations that work the way they are supposed to.

Do the Background Research

Before going ahead with mobile app translations, it’s extremely important for the company to know what kinds of language their targeted users have in common – beyond this, companies can also pursue what’s called ‘localization’ where they break down user groups into other demographics or identify different slang terms or dialect that may be popular among a user base, to really fine tune a project and its results.

Separate Text from Code

Many professional human translators are not advanced in handling raw code, but they are very good at translating words from one language to another. That means that for the most effective mobile app translations, some of the text for the app may need to be removed from its programming setting for translation. Some companies use simple spreadsheets to take out snippets of text that will be reinserted into code later, where others use specialized web hosted tools or other methods to sort out text that needs to be translated.

Plan for a Consistent Interface

One other very big tip for a mobile app translation is that all of the text on various screens or pages needs to be consistent in terms of format and appeal. That means looking at the individual phrases and sentences that will appear as the user makes his or her way through the app, to make sure that these will have the same kinds of sentence structures or formats that will be clearer to users – it also makes sense to make visual diagrams of how text will fit with graphics on any given app screen.

Define Common Terms

Having a list of definitions of common terms and spellings for ambiguous or most-used terms will also be a major part of effective mobile app translations – terms that may be used differently in different countries or language groups will need to be presented consistently and in ways that the largest segment of the user base can understand. That means having good reference materials that professional human translators can use to really achieve good results for these kinds of digital-based translation projects.