Using Video Resumes to Find a Job Abroad

Video Resume

Video resumes have exploded onto the employment search scene in the past few years, as savvy job hunters have discovered the many advantages they offer over the traditional written resume and cover letter. For an international job search, a video resume is virtually a requirement today, to demonstrate language mastery and cultural fit. You can improve your chances by utilizing the services of a translation and localization specialist, to infuse your video with the cultural nuances that will land you the job.

Why Video Resumes Are the Wave of the Future

Around the world, people are turning more and more to multimedia for all sorts of purposes. You can see proof of this trend on news outlets and business websites, many of which offer video as the dominant form of sharing information. This is even more true when it comes to hiring, both domestically and overseas. A traditional paper resume provides information about your education and experience, but it’s a poor representation of who you are as a person and potential employee. When potential employers can see your face and hear your voice, they are better able to evaluate your possible fit into their organization. This is critical for jobs overseas, where an in-person interview won’t take place until much later in the process.

Building Your Internationally Targeted Video Resume

To land your ideal overseas job, you will likely need to demonstrate mastery of the local language in your target region. Demonstrating your skills on video will allow the potential employer to evaluate your level of fluency and ability to communicate. Most international employment search firms recommend using both a video and a traditional resume.

Your video must be short and concise, more of an introduction and overview than a vehicle for listing every detail of your experience. Tailor your presentation to your target market. For example, telling a funny story or anecdote may score you bonus points in many Western cultures. But if you seek a job in an Eastern culture, your approach will likely be more formal and respectful than casual and conversational. It isn’t necessary to have your video professionally made if you have the right equipment and basic knowledge of the medium, but do try to avoid having the dog bark in the background or a family member ducking through the frame behind you.

Localizing Your Video Resume

There is more to this equation than simply demonstrating your prowess with grammar and pronunciation, however. You will also need to be a good fit culturally. You may be competing for this job with people who are native to the region, so you must demonstrate that you would be as competent working within their culture as local candidates. For this reason, it is critical that you localize your video resume. French-speaking countries are a great example, as the culture can change drastically between regions that share a common language.

If you haven’t spent time in your target country, consider hiring a translation and localization service to help you with this aspect of your presentation. A professional translator can work with you to localize your written resume as well as your video resume script. He or she can help you work in small details and nuances that will demonstrate to your potential employer that you can fit right into their organization.

Verbatim Solutions offers a full suite of translation and localization services. If you plan to seek a job abroad, contact them for assistance with all of the components of your search. Their experienced localization experts can help with correspondence, emails and even traditional and video resumes.

Creating a Multilingual WordPress Site

Multilingual WordPress Site

Multilingual WordPress sites can provide a variety of significant benefits for companies doing business on an international level. WordPress (WP) has been the most popular blogging platform for years, but today it’s also one of the most frequently used platforms for creating company websites, thanks to its great flexibility and ease of use. Unfortunately, WP itself is not a multilingual tool, creating a problem for those customers who wish to offer content in more than one language. Many plug-ins can solve this problem, but not all language functionality plug-ins are created equally.

The Popularity of WordPress

Experts estimate that more than 75 million websites now run on the WP platform, comprising about 20 percent of the world’s sites. The WP engine itself is free and open-source, highly adaptable, flexible and reliable. Users love WP for these reasons, but also because they can select (or design) what is known as a WP theme to customize their site’s appearance and functionality. In addition to themes, users can select from more than 30,000 plug-ins. Plug-ins offer additional and specialty functions of all types, including contact forms, client portals and search engine optimization.

Multilingual WordPress Sites Can Benefit Your Business

You can use a multilingual WP site to build or expand your business in many ways. You may want your site visitors to be able to choose from two or more languages when they arrive, or you might want to translate your existing website into a different language and use that site to target international customers within a certain region.

You must consider several variables when performing site translation, each of which can influence the ultimate success of your expanded site. The size and complexity of your website can influence both the cost and success of the translation, as can your level of technical prowess. Perhaps most important is how effective different translation tools may be.

Choosing the Best Way to Localize a WordPress Site

With a WP site, you can change your theme to one that offers multilingual functionality, or you can install a multilingual plug-in. This approach is cost-effective, but unfortunately you’re going to get automatic machine translation, which may not make sense. You can choose from among a few hybrid and human translations, but these are reported to have extremely limited accessibility and support.

Many of the free or inexpensive options can effectively translate the functionality of your site, but when it comes to your content, you need a different approach. If you’re serious about expanding your business into new markets, experts recommend using a professional translation and localization service to render your content for your new site. The cost of this service will quickly be recovered once your overseas site goes live and customers connect with you through it.

For WordPress translation as well as your other localization needs, Verbatim Solutions offers a valuable suite of services to businesses and other entities that need assistance with their international operations. Contact them today and ask how they can help you with your multilingual WordPress needs.

Localizing Apps for International Markets

International App Localization

Localizing apps may be trickier than you realize. Even if you have had your app professionally translated and localized, the process can still go wrong in a myriad of ways. Before you launch in the new market, it’s important to have your applications thoroughly tested. If you implemented internationalization strategies from the time of project startup, the chances of running into translation issues are fewer, but even so, proper testing can save you time and money and ensure higher quality ratings from end users.

Why Test Your Applications?

Testing is all about ensuring functionality and usability, and preventing linguistic problems from cropping up after market release. It is far more efficient to find and fix problems before launch, to eliminate the need for multiple updates. Localizing can’t always catch programming details that may cause snags across all platforms and software iterations. Some issues are caused by over-translation or system variables that are invisible to the target audience. These potential pitfalls can be corrected easily in the testing phase, as can problems with functionality that was modified to meet the needs and expectations of the target local market area. Professional translation and localization services that include pre-market testing can be helpful, especially since linguistic requirements are best handled manually.

Linguistic Application Testing

The first type of test, linguistic testing, confirms how text appears in the user interface. It looks for consistency and completeness as well as translation corrections, ensuring that the language isn’t truncated, misapplied or mistranslated. This type of testing is hard to automate, as it generally requires not only a familiarity with the product itself, but a high proficiency in the target language, which is difficult to program into software. Experienced services are highly recommended, as they can anticipate and seek out common areas of concern. Linguistic testing can detect missing translated text, text that remains in the source language, mistranslations based on context, improperly formatted text and inconsistencies in usage and appearance.

Functional Application Testing

Testing for functionality is usually accomplished by utilizing prescribed scripts that run through a predetermined roadmap. This ensures that all aspects and utilities of the target app are used. This test script is then repeated in various operating systems across multiple platforms, then interfaced with a variety of third-party products. As with linguistic testing, a familiarity with the product and various platforms is critical, as is a high proficiency in both the source and target languages. Problems revealed through functional testing include incorrect or mistranslated error messages, translation errors that may cause software crashes, user interface inconsistencies and errors created by localized software installed on localized operating systems.

Obtaining Effective App Testing

At minimum, you will need both the source and localized language versions of the app and software installed on a platform the target market will typically use to access the product. You will also need access to current and correct versions of all operating systems, regional settings and any accompanying third-party software. It is vital that the source and target software programming match, so that any expected functionality can be tested and verified. For the most thorough localization testing, the tester should follow the test scripts strictly, document any discovered bugs and then re-test once those bugs are corrected to ensure they were addressed properly. If you follow all of these steps, your targeted localized launch should run smoothly.

Offering an entire suite of translation and localization services, Verbatim Solutions provides those tools that you need to access key overseas markets. Contact them today to discuss your needs and to learn more about localizing apps for your business.

Many Languages in Classrooms Cause Translation Issues for Teachers

Teacher Translation Issues

Students speak a number of languages, come from a variety of regions and stem from diverse backgrounds. Unfortunately, most schools have little — if any — services for ESL (English as a second language) students, forcing teachers to get creative.

At the 2015 conference for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, educators gathered to talk about the challenges of having 300-plus native languages spoken in schools and the total lack of support, including translation services, from school districts. These students are simply not receiving a comprehensive education, according to the attendees, and native English-speaking students are also getting the short end of the stick, since teachers need to balance language education with routine education.

According to one conference speaker, teachers have little time or training when it comes to teaching bilingual students, much less students who do not speak English at a conversational level. In the United Kingdom, the issue is on par with the United States, with nearly 20 percent of primary school students also being EFL students. Joy Wilson, one of the speakers at the conference, said, “We need funding to train and support teachers to meet the needs of this growing group of learners.”

Lost in Translation and the Public School System

Some educators say their only option is to use Google translate to add directions to assignments. While many are aware of the incredible limitations of such a solution, including a complete lack of cultural sensitivity, with schools on tight budgets and teachers having zero training in bilingual education, they have no alternatives. Educator Diane Wilson says, “I was up until midnight writing individual lesson plans for the three (EFL) students and two other differentiated ones for the rest of the class.” She notes that some students speak virtually no English at all, but funding is not available to give these students “the specialist support staff they need.”

She is one of many educators who admits that native English-speaking students also “do not get a fair share of the teacher’s time.” It seems to be an obstacle with no easy solution. Another teacher, Heather Emerson, says, “It’s hard, not just for the teachers, but for the children as well, and we need to be able to support them.” However, with budget cuts rampant and overcrowding already an issue, it is becoming easier and easier for students, regardless of their language abilities, to get lost in the system.

Attempting the Impossible

Many teachers report trying to learn basic conversational skills in other languages. Emerson says, “I’ve learned how to speak a little bit of Urdu, a little bit of Persian, a little bit of Spanish and I’m currently learning Arabic.” However, as anyone who has studied another language knows, those skills do not develop quickly, especially for overworked teachers.

Translation services with a cultural twist can provide great help with documents and homework, but for many schools it simply is not feasible. If you have a need to communicate better with those who speak other languages, contact Verbatim Solutions for help.

Document Translations: Is Improving the Original the Goal?

 

Document Translation

Can document translation actually be a form of “forensic translation?” In German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s commentary, The Task of the Translator, he suggests that quality translation comes with an intense pressure for the translated materials to be so good that “to some degree, all great texts contain their potential translation between the lines.” However, a growing pool of people (translators and non-translators) believes the ultimate goal of a translation is to actually be better than the original text. Is that possible, especially in an era in which author John Ciardi says translation is “the art of failure”?

It depends on what you define as better. For example, translation trumps original documents only in that it provides more access. Without translation, we would have no Proust, no religious texts, no Nabokov. It is dangerous to assume that anything worth reading is translated into English — or the language of your choosing.

The reality is that what gets translated into any language is a sliver of what is available, and the people making the decisions on what gets translated likely have power and money, but not necessarily the skills or ability to judge the text’s worth. Sadly, this means it is likely that you will never have the ability to read what has potential to be your most-loved book.

Access Defines Superiority

Texts chosen to be translated more often are considered more worthy, when in fact they are just more accessible. It is the job of a translator to optimize information availability, then stage it so it produces a desired effect in the new landscape. For example, let’s say there is a funny quip about elephants in Korea. You cannot translate it into English by simply writing a sentence about elephants. It must be funny, and the translation of humor is challenging at best. A genius translator does not often moonlight as a comedian, which is why style is so difficult.

Many times, the stylistic ingenuity is lost in translation. Translation itself is like the theater, because it uses someone else’s words (the playwright’s) and forces them through the actor’s mouth. Translation is competitive at times, with numerous interpretations available of a single book (Beowulf, anyone?). Yet, the assumption lingers that “the original is always better,” even though people who say this often have zero experience.

The Power of Words

Translators come in all types. Some are like actors, peppering a lot of their personality into the work. Poet Charles Simic dubs translation as “an actor’s medium” because he sees it as an opportunity to make the work their own. Then you have the method actors who let the role swallow them. In this simile, we encounter the translator who aches over a single choice or word or Oxford comma in order to honor the original author.

Choosing a translator is like selecting the lead in a Broadway play. Every one is different, and brings something unique to the table. Verbatim Solutions is a leading provider of translation and localization services. If you need documents translated quickly and accurately, call Verbatim.

High Quality Translation Required for these 5 Difficult Words

Difficult Word Translation

Sometimes even the best high-quality translation is not enough — like when a miracle is in order. Every language has some words which just cannot be translated easily. A good translator will find the closest possible match or provide more context to convey a similar meaning. In true translation, it is the meaning that is important, rich with cultural understanding, and not simply the literal translation. However, in the instance of words which cannot truly be translated, it is usually best to check with the original authors and see if there is another word they would like to substitute.

Here are some of the least translatable words and (kind of) what they mean. A translator’s job is a challenging one, and when you consider these words, it is clear why a digital translator is often left wanting:

1. Waldeinsamkeit

In German, this loosely translates to being afraid of being left alone in the woods. Perhaps the Brothers Grimm are responsible for the necessity of this word. A translator might use a word like hylophobia, which is actually a fear of trees (not of forests in general or being left alone there), and then fill in the rest with context.

2. Papakata

In the Cook Islands, this means one leg is shorter than the other. There may be a medical term for this, like leg length alignment asymmetry or short leg syndrome, but it is a mouthful that only MDs would appreciate. It’s hard to know if the need for this term suggests that this infliction impacts an inordinately large number of people in the Islands or not, but it is one word which is so niche that it does not bridge translation gaps.

3. Aloha

In Hawaiian, aloha has many meanings from hello to goodbye to c’est la vie. While most English speakers can glean the general vibe of aloha, English has no real equivalent. However, there are a number of nonverbal translations for this word, like waves, handshakes, fist bumps and more.

4. Love

Love is a word you would think would have a direct translation in any language. But Hindi (and many other Indian dialects) has no direct translation for love. Some might suggest pyara (lovely) is the Hindi equivalent, but even strictly Hindi speakers will make English exceptions for love and many other English words.

5. Pura Vida

Similar to aloha in Hawaii, in Costa Rica this Spanish phrase literally translates to “pure life,” yet actually means hello, goodbye, doing well and more. However, it is so well-known among travelers that pura vida is making its way into American slang in some circles.

As you can see, translations are much more complex than they appear. Even within the same language it can be tricky — after all, how many meanings does run have in English? The answer: 179. Verbatim Solutions employs only the most knowledgeable translators and interpreters. Trust their high-quality translation skills to convey the meaning of your important documents.

Human vs. Google in High-Quality Translation Contest

Humans vs. Google

Will you get better high-quality translation from a human or from artificial intelligence, such as Google Translate? A competition pitted a human translator against Google’s latest translation technology to see who really comes out on top. Google’s competitor was a highly ranked and certified Spanish-to-English human translator, Adriana. Fellow human translators were the judges and were charged with pinpointing who was better at cultural idioms, comprehension, grammar and basic translation.

It’s no surprise that Google Translate worked faster than Adriana. However, Google couldn’t pick up on the language nuances that Adriana did. Currently, no technology is advanced enough to read how a particular phrase is used with cultural idioms. It was found that Google “overly literally translated” the text and used poor word choice as well as broken syntax.

The Results

The small piece was about beekeeping. Google translated it as, “Let’s get high demand in foreign markets and provides services such as pollination in crops of commercial interest.” Adriana translated it as, “Beekeeping has become an enterprise of great importance, as it allows for creating high demand products in foreign markets and provides services such as pollination of crops that have commercial interest.” Even without seeing the original Spanish piece, it’s clear that Adriana has a stronger grasp of the language and translates it into a reasonable piece.

However, you may be able to get the gist of what Google Translate was trying to convey. This highlights why this type of translation can work in a pinch, but should not be used for important documents. The judges found that Adriana has “excellent accuracy and interpretation of the original text” and no weaknesses were found in her translation. Google, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. One judge said, “I think the app did a good job of providing the gist of the text. It could serve as a quick read tool or for cases where the reader needs to get to the general idea on the spot.”

Which to Choose?

Google and other artificial intelligence tools can be great in a pinch. However, one judge said, “The sentences were disjointed; the grammar, readability and flow needed to be corrected for the text to make sense.” Another judge said, “Google Translate is a great tool for certain purposes, but not for achieving a professional translation. A good-quality translation will entice and provide useful information.”

Adriana passed with flying colors. “The translation was well-crafted and thoughtful without losing the intent of the original,” said a judge. In this competition, it’s human 1, Google 0.

Verbatim Solutions provides professional translating and interpreting services for documents, websites, voice-overs and more. Contact them today to get a free quote on their high-quality translation services.

Translations Must be High Quality to be Effective

High Quality Translation

High-quality translation is important with any type of project, but arguably most important in the literary arts. You would not want an embarrassing translation in a legal or business document, of course, but when you introduce the arts into the translation industry, it’s an entirely different ballgame. You must consider more nuances and subtleties, and a reputable translator is charged with preserving the voice of the author while simultaneously turning the literature—whether poetry or fiction—into a different language.

There’s no easy answer to the question, “Who decides which books are translated?” Sometimes a publisher gets the rights to a book and thinks translating it into a certain language will be profitable. Other times it is a complete passion project, and a translator takes on a beloved piece because he or she wants to share it with an entirely new demographic. However, in celebration of World Book Day last month, the question, “Which books have been translated the most often?” was answered.

Are Your Classics in Your Native Language?

Many people know The Little Prince was originally in French, but did you know Pinocchio was originally in Italian? Both are favorite children’s books that have been translated into hundreds of languages—253 and 240, respectively, to be exact (and counting). Coming in third is Andersen’s Fairy Tales with 159 translations, followed by The Adventures of Tintin with 112 translations and The Alchemist with 80 translations. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into 67 languages, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn boasts 65 translations.

Additional honorable mentions include Sophie’s World (60), Things Fall Apart (50), Perfume (47), One Hundred Years of Solitude (37) and, surprisingly, The Catcher in the Rye comes in last in this list of 50 at just 30 translations. However, it’s also important to bear in mind different laws and cultural mores may stop some books from being safely translated and/or distributed in some countries.

Stop Getting Lost in Translation

It’s a pretty safe bet that if you buy a book with a skilled translation, the gist of the original will be preserved. However, ask a history professor or medieval literature professor, and they will likely have strong opinions on which translation is best—which really boils down to which translation they prefer (unless of course they speak the original language themselves).

Whether in the literary arts, business, personal communication or another form of data, the quality of translation matters. After all, technically Le Petit Prince could translate into The Diminutive Prince, The Toy Prince, The Petty Prince or The Remote Prince. That sounds like quite a different storyline than The Little Prince people know and love. If you need a book or business document translated, contact Verbatim Solutions for a free estimate. They provide high-quality translation and interpretation services you can depend on for all types of businesses.

Do Portable Translation Devices Work?

Pocket Translator

Portable translation tools, sometimes called pocket translators, have carved out a huge market segment today. These devices are the perfect solution when traveling abroad or attempting to communicate with someone who doesn’t share your language. Many of these handy tools offer additional functions and services too, allowing them to multitask on your behalf. Because translators use machine language translation, however, they have some limitations. If your needs for translation and interpretation are casual and temporary, a portable device may be the answer. If you require more complex or critical translation services, however, these devices can fall short.

Why You May Want a Pocket Translator

The most popular use of portable translators is for international travel, because learning a new language just for a vacation isn’t practical for most people. In the past, you may have packed along your phrase book or foreign language dictionary. Today, these tools are incorporated into handheld translators or smartphone applications. Consumers may also use these devices to help learn a new language, as a companion to other learning materials. Some translators offer a robust set of tools including learning games, flashcards, currency converters or tip calculators. Many translation devices contain multiple language databases as well, taking you through several countries with a single, portable device.

What Portable Translation Devices Can Do

Pocket translators are ideal for interpreting phrases and individual words. Whether the device works by scanning text, voice recognition or simple keyboard input, you can use this tool to read transportation directions, street signs and restaurant menus. They can help keep your finances in order too, with currency conversion and calculation functions that help you avoid overpaying. Some even let you save words and phrases as favorites, allowing you to locate them quickly. Most accept spoken and typed input, but some can use your phone’s camera as an input device for faster results. Speech synthesizing is another popular feature, allowing you to hear how a word or phrase should be pronounced in your target language.

What They Cannot Do (or Do Well)

Translating devices are ideal for negotiating in a foreign country when you don’t have a firm grasp of the language. Generally, however, they simply cannot translate long texts or even paragraphs. Voice recognition devices still have a long way to go as well, even if the TV commercials may seem to indicate otherwise. Speech-to-speech translation algorithms have made great strides in the last decade, but programming them to overcome the diverse dialects that make up most languages is difficult. Likewise, idiomatic words and phrases may present a challenge in context. For example, Americans refer to their dinner bill as the “check.” Trying to find the equivalent word using a pocket translator is likely to provide you with words that mean “verify” or “confirm.”

Although handheld translators work well for travel abroad, they can be problematic if you attempt to use them for business or legal purposes. Machine translation of any kind can be highly unreliable and potentially risky. Verbatim Solutions offers a variety of quick and affordable translation services. Contact them for help with localization and interpretation services whenever your portable translation device isn’t up to the important tasks.

The Importance of Localizing Apps

App Localization

The decision to localize apps can be difficult for many companies, especially for resource-challenged startups or microbusinesses. When you compare the cost of localizing an app versus potential revenue, however, you may find that the choice is clear. In most countries, sales of native language apps far outpace non-localized choices. The type of app does matter somewhat, as does the target release location. Fortunately, localization for iOS and Android apps is simple, straightforward and cost-effective.

The App Localization Process

For those applications that work on Apple’s iOS platform, localization is fairly quick and simple. Essentially, you need to collect all the user-facing texts in the app and place them in resource files. Next, you send these resource files to a professional translation and localization service. Once translation is complete, the translated resource files are recompiled into the app. The application’s Xcode is then updated with the two-letter language code for all languages in which the app is available. All iPhone and iPad devices are already multilingual, so once your app is available in multiple languages, the devices know which version to render based on the user’s language settings. Localization for the Android platform involves a slightly different set of steps, but the process is also relatively easy to accomplish.

Does the Type of App Matter?

Experts are torn on this issue, but the statistics provide some clean answers. Overseas users largely prefer games and commerce apps in their native language. Utility and business-related applications are somewhat better tolerated in English. Nevertheless, the statistics are persuasive. Analytics company Distomo published a survey that showed localized apps were downloaded 128 percent often more than those that were not. Within the first week of launching a localized app, companies in the study increased application revenues by 26 percent in each country for which they had localized.

Consider Target Markets Preferences

The statistics also show that you should consider the market when deciding to localize applications. In China, for example, almost 60 percent of apps purchased are native Chinese language apps with Chinese names. The stats are very similar for Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In the European nations, the percentage of native language apps is much smaller, approaching 5 percent in Switzerland. It may be optional, therefore, to localize for Europe, but less of an option for Eastern markets and Asia. The one European exception, however, is France, whose native language app purchases were as high as Korea’s.

If your objective is to position your app for the largest possible audience, localization is the most effective way to achieve your goal. Verbatim Solutions provides professional translation and localization services for every business need. Their revolutionary Verbingo™ translation management system makes the process even more effective, especially if you plan to localize apps across multiple platforms.