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It’s long been hailed as one of the great international cities, but now London’s linguistic diversity has been mapped — thanks to Twitter.
This color-coded graphic pinpoints the location and language of tweets sent from the British capital and shows how linguistic groups are clustered in the city’s various districts.
Using an open-source website language detector, the pair detected the predominant language used in 3.3 million GPS-enabled tweets sent over the summer 2012.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 92.5 percent of the tweets were sent in English, but the researchers detected a total of 66 languages among the data including tongues as esoteric as Haitian Creole, Basque and even Swahili.
Other interesting revelations from the map
Professor Cheshire had this to say on his blog: “The geography of the French tweets (red) is perhaps most surprising as they appear to exist in high density pockets around the centre and don’t stand out in South Kensington (an area with the Institut Francais, a French High School and the French Embassy). It may be that as a proportion of tweeters in this area, they are small so they don’t stand out, or it could be that there are prolific tweeters (or bots) in the highly concentrated areas.”
Mr Manley stated that the project revealed a few matches but “a lot of the time it didn’t actually match in the same volume as we expected.” On his blog, he points out that languages he had expected to feature prominently such as Bengali and Somali barely appear on the map.
“Either people only tweet in English, or usage of Twitter varies significantly among language groups in London,” he speculated.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2222959/Twitter-map-London-shows-linguistic-diversity-truly-international-city.html#ixzz2QHgNEwq8
This blog is for all who have been/or will be involved in buying translation services. Every day we meet new clients and learn about their requirements, needs and demands and most of all their expectations from a translation provider. And what we find is that most share the same goal: buying translation services for a cheap price with good quality. In today’s tight economy, most companies are dealing with drastically reduced budgets. As such, the primary focus is on the bottom line of any quote.
But when it comes to language/translation services, the bottom line from some providers is not always in line with what the provider says it includes or what they deliver. That is why it is extremely important for those responsible for securing language services to take a careful and thorough look what is actually contained in the quote.
Below are a few recommendations we have for what to look for when comparing quotes from different language service providers (LSP).
These suggestions are designed to help you avoid a negative experience with an LSP. Yes, it is important to stay within budget, but not at the expense of quality.
By Vicki Flier Hudson – http://www.highroaders.com/
While traveling in Nepal for a year, I spent many hours in tea shops talking to tourists passing through town. “What do you think of Nepal?” I asked. Their answers rarely strayed from one of two responses. “Nepal is a poor country full of people who want to rip you off,” said one camp.
“Nepal is a spiritual country where the people are very much in touch with nature,” said the other camp.
Both answers bothered me. Although the second response was certainly kinder than the first, neither was complex enough to capture the spirit and richness of Nepali culture. This constrained perception of the cultures around us is something that is not limited to tourists. Inattentiveness to the complexity of culture is one of the main impediments to successful intercultural communication, and no culture is exempt.
By all appearances, we are living in a shrinking world, one where an explosion of wealth, technology, and change has us all scrambling to keep up. Emerging economies like India and China have taken the world stage. We now have the ability to purchase products and services and chat with colleagues from anywhere in the world, all from our computers. Does this increase in global communication mean that we understand each other any better? Are we really becoming more alike? Just like the tourists in Nepal, a strong need exists to examine culture more deeply and the role it plays in our daily lives. Nowadays, our personal and professional growth depends upon our ability to live comfortably in a “connected” world.
Research indicates that national culture still plays a significant role in the workplace. A study by Accenture in 2006
1 concluded that cross-cultural communication would continue to present the main challenge for global organizations wishing to reach their full potential. Another study by the founder of Let’s Bridge IT, a company specializing in offshore consulting, found that unresolved cultural issues can add up to 30% to initial project costs.
2 Christoph Boehm, chief executive office of TransCrit Offshore IT-Consulting, called cultural differences “the highest risk factor of offshore information technology delivery.”
3 Even if you do not conduct business internationally, the changing demographics of the U.S. are putting everyone in touch with cultural differences. Culture influences do matter, so what should we do? How can we communicate successfully with people who have such varied backgrounds and experience? Although there are no magical answers, the five keys to intercultural communication presented here will help you navigate more effectively in a complex global environment.
Key #1: Strike a Balance Between Commonality and Difference
Today, navigating cultural differences can be confusing, in part because they are not as visible as they used to be. You might interact with people in another country who seem “just like me.” For example, many of my colleagues in India dress in Western clothing, listen to iPods, follow modern and innovative business practices, and speak fluent English. Working with them over time, however, I have discovered that they still operate by core Indian values, eat traditional foods at home and at work, and view life through an Indian perspective.
The key to successful intercultural communication is to strike a balance between focusing on commonality and focusing on differences. Contrary to popular belief, an overemphasis on commonality can contribute to just as many issues as overemphasizing what is different between ourselves and the rest of the world. When we view commonality as the best way to get along with people and accomplish goals, we may project similarities onto our colleagues or clients that are not there. As a result, we might experience conflict with them when differences do arise, or we may not meet their needs. Similarly, when we overemphasize differences, we create defensiveness, an “us versus them” mentality, and we miss opportunities to learn from viewpoints outside our own sphere. Just as the tourists’ answers to my questions about Nepal indicated an overly simplified cultural mindset, failing to understand the intricacies of cultural influence can lead to ineffectiveness in our dealings with the international community. If we each make room for both differences and commonalities and have an understanding of how culture shapes actions, we will have more conscious and effective conversations with our colleagues from around the world as well as here at home.
Key #2: Find Variety Within Variety
With the global economy in full swing, mobility is at an all-time high. People from the rural areas of China are flooding into the cities to look for opportunities, students from India are studying in London, and American workers are seeking jobs in India. Today in the U.S., you are more likely than ever to encounter many nationalities. This variety offers both challenges and a wider array of ideas and solutions.
The key to successful intercultural communication here is to look for variety within variety. For example, imagine you are a U.S. citizen working with a group of people from Mexico. Variety inherently exists because there are two cultures present. Consider, however, the following questions:
•What part of Mexico or the U.S. are your colleagues from?
•What languages do they speak?
•What is their experience in your industry?
•What kinds of business practices have they experienced?
•What did they do before working with you?
•What are their cultural views and practices regarding gender and age?
•What are their core cultural values?
• Where have they traveled or lived?
The list goes on. Learning about culture-general patterns is helpful, because in spite of the rapid changes in the world, cultural traditions remain strong. To be effective we must also seek out the variety within those cultures and leverage any differences to accomplish our communication objectives.
For example, when I last visited Chennai, India, I met with the senior vice-president of a software company for an interview. We talked about cultural differences, and I asked him how much he thought Indian culture had changed. His response was not what I expected.
“I don’t think the cultural differences are that significant anymore,” he said. “We’re all data driven now, and we’re all aiming for the same results, especially in business.” I then asked him about his background. He had been born in India, educated in the U.K., and had worked in the U.S. As soon as I walked out of his office into the employees’ cubicles, I saw that cultural differences were alive and well.
The staff members had never been outside of India, came from small to mid-sized towns, and
had little exposure to Western business practices. They were shy and spoke little to me.
To be effective in communicating with the people from that company, we would need to examine the variety of backgrounds and be willing to shift our style accordingly to accommodate the differences between us.
Key #3: Adapt to Different Cultural Rules
We use the word “culture” frequently in the workplace, but how do we define it? There are protocols and etiquette for every culture, such as whether you bow or shake hands, but we could memorize a book of these details and still experience intercultural challenges. Beneath the surface of etiquette lies another layer of culture, the values by which people of a particular culture orient their lives.
For example, when I was in India earlier this year, I visited a friend named Narayan who lives in Bangalore. He told me that his father once asked him to deliver a package to a man named Suresh, whom had never met. Narayan set out, found the neighborhood and the house, and rang the bell. A man answered and invited him in. They had tea together and snacks were served. Narayan was there for 45 minutes before his host finally asked him what had brought him in. Narayan replied that he was there to deliver the package from his father. “What package?” the man replied.
Even though Narayan had gone to the wrong house (Suresh actually lived two doors down) and was a stranger to his host, he had been offered hospitality as if he were a member of the family. This type of interaction is common in India, because Indian culture is oriented more toward the collective. In the U.S., we sway more toward individualism, and chances are if the same interaction had occurred in this country, Narayan would have been sent on his way the moment the homeowner discovered the visitor had the incorrect address.
Neither scenario is better or worse, but a difference does exist. It just emphasizes the point that if we are to communicate successfully across cultures, we must learn to adapt to other cultural rules. This does not mean that we need to change or abandon our own values, but that we must become adept at shifting our framework, seeing things through another’s eyes, and coming up with creative ways to solve intercultural challenges. Without knowledge of the deeper layers of culture, we run the risk of not meeting our goals, or missing out on useful resources in the workplace.
Key #4: Widen Our Communication Repertoire
Everyone has a preferred method of communication. For example, when a project does not go as planned at work, two different communication styles might emerge. A person with a more explicit style might go to the boss and say, “This deadline will not be met. The timing is just too tight, and we do not have the resources to complete everything by the date you expected. We need two more weeks.” A person with a more implicit style of communication might go to the same boss and say, “Boy, we are sure busy over in Quality Assurance. The guys are working Saturdays to meet the deadline.”
In the second scenario, if the employee and the boss have two different communication styles, the boss might think everything is fine. The boss would empathize that the staff is working hard, but would never dream that the employee was actually saying he could not meet the deadline. What happens when the deadline is not met? People are blamed, the product is not shipped, and chaos ensues.
Did the person in the second scenario cause the problem by not being more explicit about the possibility of an unmet deadline? Did the boss cause the problem by not picking up on his employee’s cues? Answering these questions does not solve the problem, and saying one way of relaying the message is better than the other forces us into an “either/or” framework of communication.
The most effective way to navigate different communication styles is to widen our communication repertoire. For example, if all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. If you have several tools, however, you will be able to participate deftly in a variety of inter-cultural situations. We can learn to listen more carefully for subtle cues, to read body language, pay attention to tone, be more specific with our instructions, appreciate how other cultures communicate, and adapt our style to facilitate the goal at hand.
Key #5: Adopt a “Both/And” Mentality for Success
Working across cultures brings challenges and sometimes frustration to our work environment, but we are rewarded for our efforts through the richness of differences. In today’s marketplace, the best framework by which to operate is one of “both/and” rather than “either/or.” When two cultures work together, the question often arises, “Who should adapt to whom?” There is a saying in Japanese that loosely translates to “incorrect question.” Perhaps a more effective set of questions would be:
•How should we adapt to each other?
•How can we leverage our differences to meet our common goals?
•What creative solutions can we offer to the organization? What challenges might we face as a multicultural workforce?”
When we move beyond the “either/or” mentality to one that encompasses “both/and,” we enter into endless possi-bilities for enriching relationships across cultures.
For example, imagine that a manager says to me, “Should I make my employees from Korea learn to speak English while they are working here, or is that culturally insensitive?” That type of question forces an “A or B” answer instead of a creative solution. Why not offer the Korean employees English lessons as part of their training, but also have them teach the English-speaking staff some phrases in Korean? Perhaps the Koreans could take English lessons and then practice their English by teaching the rest of the staff about Korean culture. The solutions are endless if we ask the right questions and stay open to all possibilities.
Thinking Outside the Cultural Box
Working across cultures continues to present challenges, in spite of all the technology that allows us to connect to the rest of the world. Through widening our communication repertoire, adapting to various cultural rules, and thinking creatively, we can meet any challenge and enrich ourselves in the process.
1. “Improved Cross-cultural Communication Increases Global Sourcing Productivity (Accenture, 2006), http://accenture.tekgroup.com/article _display.cfm?article_id=4376.
2. The study was presented in January 2008 at the conference for the Society of Intercultural Education, Training, and Research. The study was conducted by Melanie Martinelli, the founder of Let’s Bridge IT.
3. Boehm, Christoph. “What Makes IT Offshore Different?” (TransCrit – Offshore IT, 2003), www. competence-site.de/offshore.nsf/ 7A15926FA7432764C1256E6200 2B10CD/$File/transcrit-offshore-intro.pdf.
Thank you to Vicki Flier Hudson for sharing this article with us.
For more info, please visit http://www.highroaders.com
TrueLanguage recently hosted its first 2013 Luncheon Series on the “Global Document Life Cycle – Growth through Global Expansion” on April 18 at The Georgian Club. Over 50 professionals gathered to hear featured guest and keynote speaker, C. Russell “Russ” Sumrall, Director, International Restaurant Support Services, a leader for the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brand internationally, present his thoughts on the topic of how companies can effectively grow through global expansion.
We would like to thank all of the attendees as well as Mr. Sumrall for their participation in another successful Luncheon Series. Having played an instrumental role in the success of one of the fastest growing and most stable global companies in the quick service industry, Mr. Sumrall was able to provide tremendous insight into what it takes to be successful when entering foreign markets.
This event was part of our Luncheon Series designed to provide attendees with information on the “glocalization’” process. Glocalization is a term used within the language services market to refer to the processes involved in preparing a global business to effectively and accurately communicate with persons living in a specific global market. It has proved extremely valuable to employees of global businesses with responsibilities associated with achieving success in new global markets.
Here are just a few of the comments we received from our audience:
“Please invite me again for the next complimentary workshop luncheon.”
“Very informative. I learned a lot today and heard things I never thought to be relevant.”
“I’m so glad I had a chance to ask questions concerning global strategies. This was very helpful for me to do a better job.”
“I will apply some of the ideas right away.”
Here is how Wikipedia defines the term: “Glocalization (a portmanteau of globalization and localization) is business jargon for the adaptation of a product or service specifically to each locality or culture in which it is sold. It is similar to internationalization.”
The term first appeared in the late 1980s in articles by Japanese economists in the Harvard Business Review. According to the sociologist Roland Robertson, who is credited with popularizing the term, glocalization describes the tempering effects of local conditions on global pressures. At a 1997 conference on “Globalization and Indigenous Culture,” Robertson said that glocalization “means the simultaneity — the co-presence — of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies.”
The increasing presence of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide is an example of globalization, while the fast food giant’s attempt to appeal to local palates by adapting its menu is an example of glocalization. An even better example of glocalization by McDonald’s was a recent decision to replace its familiar Ronald McDonald mascot with Asterix the Gaul, a popular French cartoon character, for promotions in France. For more on glocalization, follow the link to read the entire Wikipedia article.
With the outsourced language services market worth over $33 billion and growing at an annual rate of more than 12 percent, it is important for global businesses to obtain the knowledge necessary to maximize their investment on the “glocalization” of technical documents, marketing materials, software and more. Companies spend considerable dollars every year on establishing a presence in markets outside the U.S. and without detailed processes in place, they can spend significantly more than necessary to rework or edit inaccurate translations.
Sections of this publication are adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glocalization
This article is based on content found on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_Stone
The first known piece of translation is the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Originally displayed within a temple, the stone was probably moved during the early Christian or medieval period and eventually used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta. It was rediscovered there in 1799 by a soldier, Pierre-François Bouchard, of the French expedition to Egypt. As the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, the Rosetta Stone aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher this previously untranslated ancient language. Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating among European museums and scholars. Meanwhile, British troops defeated the French in Egypt in 1801, and the original stone came into British possession under the Capitulation of Alexandria. Transported to London, it has been on public display at the British Museum since 1802. It is the most-visited object in the British Museum.
Ever since its rediscovery, the stone has been the focus of nationalist rivalries, including its transfer from French to British possession during the Napoleonic Wars, a long-running dispute over the relative value of Young’s and Champollion’s contributions to the decipherment, and since 2003, demands for the stone’s return to Egypt.
Study of the decree was already under way as the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803. It was 20 years, however, before the transliteration of the Egyptian scripts was announced by Jean-François Champollion in Paris in 1822; it took longer still before scholars were able to read Ancient Egyptian inscriptions and literature confidently. Major advances in the decoding were: recognition that the stone offered three versions of the same text (1799); that the demotic text used phonetic characters to spell foreign names (1802); that the hieroglyphic text did so as well, and had pervasive similarities to the demotic (Thomas Young, 1814); and that, in addition to being used for foreign names, phonetic characters were also used to spell native Egyptian words (Champollion, 1822–1824).
Two other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered later, and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including two slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees (the Decree of Canopus in 238 BC, and the Memphis decree of Ptolemy IV, ca. 218 BC). The Rosetta Stone is therefore no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of Ancient Egyptian literature and civilization. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge.
Translating marketing material is quite different than translating technical content for a product manual; however, the translations must correlate. The first step to assure the translations are in synch is to check and use consistent terminology. [We have published material on terminology management and will not cover this here.]
Terminology is critical. For example, whatever your product or service has been named in your product description or service outline is how you should refer to it in all marketing documentation including, marketing collateral, web content, social media networks, etc. If possible, have your terminology signed off in the target markets. This will help the reader to clearly understand your message and can help avoid embarrassing and potentially damaging miscommunication as shown below.
Just because a marketing message works for one market does not mean it will work in other markets. Here are some examples of marketing messages gone wrong:
These examples where taken from the website: http://www.socialnomics.net/2011/03/29/13-marketing-translations-gone-wrong/ where you can read more funny marketing translations.
These examples are exactly why TrueLanguage has different translators for different content in the same language. While technical translations are very close and sometimes verbatim to the source text, the translations of marketing material often require a creative mind for the translation as the content has to be tweaked to deliver a good message.
The signs are all around us; we are quickly becoming a global community. Global travel is becoming more frequent, people are increasingly residing in places where the common language is not their first language and international businesses that strive to reach far away markets and target groups are growing at exponential rates. This is a very positive trend for global companies, but trying to deliver a clear message when you don’t speak the same language as your target market presents a special set of challenges. TrueLanguage thrives in helping you meet these challenges head-on. We ensure clear and accurate communication to any market you would like to reach.
Supporting our global customers with translation services is our core business, but we are more than a translation provider. We are a language service provider, which includes many other services, including consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. In addition to these traditional interpretation services, we are pleased to announce that, in response to market demand, we now also offer phone interpretation services.
Some of our clients, especially those in the medical and legal fields, need immediate interpretation service without notice. They may have a call with a patient or a business partner and need support during the conversation. In this type of situation, we proudly offer our clients the opportunity to setup a proprietary hotline that connects to one of our interpreters in mere seconds. We can connect you to a Spanish interpreter within 12 seconds and to other languages (183 languages in all) in less than 20 seconds. No need to schedule these calls – just keep your proprietary number on speed dial. If you prefer to schedule a call, we can accommodate that as well. Contact your project manager schedule the call with you. A minimum fee equal to 30 minutes applies to scheduled calls.
Please contact TrueLanguage for rates, languages and availability and let us support your global outreach efforts.
Most people prefer buying products and services that are presented in their own language. According to Common Sense Advisory, more than half (52.4%) of the participants in one of their research groups stated they buy only at websites where the information is presented in their language and more than 60 percent of consumers in France and Japan told Common Sense they buy only from such sites. When they factored in language competence, they found that people with no or low English skills were six times more likely not to buy from Anglophone sites than their countrymen who were proficient in English.
Click here to read the research paper about this very topic.
In addition to websites, more and more clients need localization and translation of apps for smartphones, iPads and other devices. In fact, one of our latest projects involved translation and localization of both a website and an iPhone app. The client: Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), located in Atlanta, GA.
Georgia Tech reached out to us after recognizing a need to translate their Admission website for undergraduate students into Spanish and Chinese. In 2012, 14 percent of the incoming freshman population was from outside of the U.S. Of these, more than 30 percent were Asian and nearly 8 percent Hispanic.
Georgia Tech was looking for a vendor to partner with their Web-Host to receive data directly from the Web-Content Management System and return it there. This is a ‘round-trip’ we often provide for our clients. For Georgia Tech, we managed the technical implementation and translation into both languages for the website and the iPhone app as shown below.
In addition, because we wanted our client to have high quality translation, we transcreated content where appropriate, which means we added comments or explanations for a better understanding by the reader. Georgia Tech was happy with the result – and so are we.
“This is so cool and awesome! The Chinese pages look great! They not only have the original translation but also added some explanation to certain statements, which is extremely helpful!,” said the Director of Communications at Georgia Tech.
Translation is not just about words. It has to do with what the words are about and subject matter expertise is not just important to translation – it is vital to the quality of the translation.
That is why the translators we work with at TrueLanguage are subject matter experts in addition to having a linguistic background and education. We can choose from a large network of experts in different languages and from a variety of expertise and educational backgrounds in each language. Our translators are specially selected after a thorough qualification review process.
Establishing a translator team for each client is a fine art. The project managers at TrueLanguage are very familiar with the diverse backgrounds of our translators. As such, they can determine which translator and proofreader will be suitable for a particular job with great efficiency. We have a very thorough database of resources from which we can select, considering language, education, expertise, experience and availability. Armed with this information, we build a team comprised of at least one translator and proofreader, who will do the translation, review and final LSO (linguistic sign-off) before we return the translation to the client.
In addition to the resources in our immediate network, TrueLanguage’s project managers are trained and experienced in combing the marketplace to hire resources that meet TrueLanguage’s exceptionally high criteria requirements. It is our goal to assign your project to not just any resource, but rather the best resource for the job.
Sometimes, specific issues arise that requires the in-company expertise of your subject matter expert. These changes aren’t always obvious in the pre-translation review process. In these scenarios, TrueLanguage’s project managers are trained in facilitating the flow of information between your team and ours. This way the experts can exchange valuable information and knowledge. We also evaluate the changes to make sure that the issues are properly addressed in every language across the project. This step guarantees not only a high-quality translation, but a clear, unified message in all languages. We wouldn’t be in business and grow our satisfied clients if we did it any other way.