Archive for the 'Translation' Category

Jan 31 2005

Automatic Translation of the Four Languages in the Spanish State

The Eleka Ingeniaritza Linguistikoa company is leading an R+D project in order to design and develop a system of automatic translation of texts and websites from Spanish to Basque and also to the other two official languages within the Spanish state: Catalan and Galician. The principal novelty lies in that the system will be an open code one and of free distribution, thus enabling the system to be modified with total freedom in order to update and optimise it for new users and applications Another important novelty is that, for the first time, a single system involving the four official languages is to be developed simultaneously by groups based in different geographical locations.

Although Catalan and Galician-Portuguese already have other systems of automatic translation, this technology is totally novel in the case of the Basque language. Eleka Ingeniaritza Linguistikoa will direct the design and development of the first system of automatic translation from Spanish to Basque, in collaboration with the IXA Group at the University of the Basque Country and the Elhuyar Foundation.

It is projected that the system of automatic translation will be ready and available on-line within one year, i.e. by the beginning of 2006…

Read more

Comments Off on Automatic Translation of the Four Languages in the Spanish State

Jan 31 2005

Lunch in Translation

Had your fill of pad Thai and the same ol’ spring rolls? Psst: Pass the “secret” menu

Looking to take a walk on the wild side? Several Thai eateries offer “secret” native-language menus with fare that isn’t on the regular menu. These include dishes with unfamiliar, exotic or unusual ingredients (Mudfish! Yum!), or kick up the heat to a level that would make some of us melt.

Internet food-chat site users have translated menus for these spots, so now non-natives can also delve into more adventurous dining if they request the secret menu. (Be patient, some of these eateries have a limited amount of translated menus on hand.)

Read more

Comments Off on Lunch in Translation

Jan 28 2005

Wegbreek Charts Its Getaway

Published by under Translation

New travel magazine Wegbreek will apply for leave to appeal against this week’s judgment in the Cape High Court that it must change its name, publisher Naomi Herselman says.

Wegbreek is published by New Media Publishing, a subsidiary of the Naspers group.

Herselman said yesterday that management was considering the judgment and would discuss the implications of changing Wegbreek’s name.

Ramsay Son & Parker, publishers of 16-year-old travel magazine Getaway, applied for an interdict to stop New Media Publishing and Media 24 from infringing Getaway’s trademark or passing it off as being associated with Getaway.

In granting an order, Judge Abe Motala ruled that although Wegbreek was not a direct translation of Getaway, the average South African would understand it as a close translation. The name implied the same concept as Getaway and people could be misled into believing it to be the Afrikaans version of the English magazine.

He also ordered Wegbreek not to continue its Moegoe van die Maand column which was “a blatant copy” of Getaway’s column called Mug of the Month, remove all reference to Wegbreek from printed matter and material and to pay legal costs.

Wegbreek, which launched last April as a bimonthly, will be published monthly as of April after making significant strides in circulation. According to the June to September Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures, Wegbreek is selling an average of 58890 copies an issue and Herselman said last month that it had 13118 subscribers. Getaway’s audited ABC circulation figure in the same period is 92334 copies an issue.

Read more

Comments Off on Wegbreek Charts Its Getaway

Jan 28 2005

End of the road for Wegbreek?

Published by under Translation

The battle between Getaway and Wegbreek appears to be drawing to a close, with the Cape Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that Media24/New Media Publishing desist from publishing Wegbreek in is current guise, and destroy all material bearing the mark ‘Wegbreek’.

According to Judge AM Motala, the Afrikaans leisure travel title infringes upon the English title’s trademark.

In his judgement, Motala commented that, “Wegbreek is virtually a translation of Getaway”.

“In my view, a substantial number of persons of average intelligence … will probably be deceived or confused into believing that Wegbreek is an Afrikaans version of Getaway,” he said.

“An examination of several issues of the two magazines reveals many similarities between them. Both are glossy colour publications of comparable size and weight. Both are aimed at the same readership. The contents of each, if translated, would quite appropriately fit into the other. They share many features. One feature in Wegbreek “Moegoe van die Maand” is a blatant copy of Getaway’s “Mug of the Month” – and is almost plagiaristic.

He concluded: “Apart from the title and the language used, there is nothing to distinguish Wegbreek from Getaway.”

Unhappily for New Media Publishing, this could signal the end of the road for Wegbreek as we know it – arguably one of the country’s most successful publication launches of late.

Launched last year April, it has already amassed a circulation of almost 60 000. And in December last year, it was announced that the title would be increasing its frequency from alternate monthly to monthly.

At the time of publishing, the only comment from Media24 was that the company “has noted the judge’s decision and taken cognisance of the ruling”.

Harold Eedes, managing director of Ramsay Son & Parker (which publishes Getaway) is naturally pleased with the outcome of the court case.

Read more

Comments Off on End of the road for Wegbreek?

Jan 27 2005

Wanted: Volunteers to Translate Linux Documentation

Published by under Translation

Open-source provider Linspire Inc. is looking for volunteers to translate Linux applications into 78 different languages. Its translation project–called the International Resource Management Application (IRMA)–has already begun work on 24 languages.

“Instead of using expensive translation firms, we’re turning to Linux supporters to help make Linux available to new segments of the population,” said Linspire CEO Michael Robertson in a statement Thursday. “Soon, a Linux-based operating system will be available to any user, regardless of [his or her] native language.”

Linspire, which provides a Linux-based operating system for desktop and laptop computers, said more than 200 volunteers have already signed on for translation work. Linspire is seeking translators fluent in English and a foreign language. The company said the IRMA project has been created to easily coordinate translation activities in different parts of the world.

The IRMA project is set up so lead translators–called “managers”–review the work of first-line translators. All translation work is carried out over a Web interface and no custom translation software is required. For languages in more widespread use, a double-blind system will be employed, in which translations from two different translators are checked against each other.

Read more

Comments Off on Wanted: Volunteers to Translate Linux Documentation

Jan 27 2005

TM Systems Intro’s New Language Localization Products at NAB 2005

Published by under Translation

TM Systems, the Emmy Award Winning developer of the industry’s first and only fully integrated, non-linear, “end to end” language translation, dubbing, subtitling and closed captioning system, has introduced two, new firsts and will be showcasing both, along with the entire TM Systems language localization solution, at the upcoming NAB Convention, in Las Vegas.

Together with the other TM Systems language modules or Stations, the QC Stationâ„¢ , or independent quality control module for individual desktop use, and the RenderStationâ„¢, a bitmap generation module that takes subtitling scripts in the form of Word documents created by the TM TranStationâ„¢ containing text, time code and vertical positioning for each subtitle, generating both a navigation file and a TIFF file per subtitle, specifically for DVD authoring, provides a complete solution that greatly increases the efficiency of the translation, subtitling and dubbing process, while minimizing the hardware and software investments required on the part of the studios, networks and their respective dubbing and subtitling vendors.

The QC Stationâ„¢ is a quality control software application that dramatically alters the traditional workflow of a dubbing and/or subtitling project. The QC Stationâ„¢ does away with the lengthy and time consuming process of laying back an audio track onto a videotape, making a dub of that tape and then shipping it to designated locations where it is reviewed by quality assurance personnel. Similarly, it enables the user to simulate subtitling text prior to compositing the text either electronically or physically. Before the QC Stationâ„¢ introduction, the process required going through typical long and costly shipping procedures before the soundtrack and subtitles could be checked for missing dialogues, casting or spelling errors, lip-synch, etc.

Read more

Comments Off on TM Systems Intro’s New Language Localization Products at NAB 2005

Jan 26 2005

Translation Software Cited in Washington State Web Site Blunders

Translation software has its limits, the Washington state secretary of state’s office is learning.

On the agency’s Web site, for example, a statement about Secretary of State Sam Reed proposing “statewide mandates to restore public trust” became “Swampy weed suggests whole state order recover open trust” in Chinese and “A plant reed proposes national mandate to recover public property trust” in Korean.

Both examples were cited by the Section 203 Voting Rights Coalition, which takes its name from a federal Voting Rights Act provision requiring equal access to election material. The agency includes the state Elections Division.

“A poor or inaccurate translation misinforms and frustrates voters and conveys the unintended message that the state does not equally value their participation in the political process,” the coalition said in a prepared statement.

“It’s critical that all the information that’s being offered is accessible to folks who want to know what’s going on, especially when it relates to election materials and voting,” coalition activist Debbie Hsu said. “It’s even more critical that they are offering correct information.”

A Chinese translation option was removed from the Web site on Jan. 12 and Korean got the heave-ho Tuesday without word on whether or when they would be restored.

“It’s not a perfect system. It does the best it can,” said Matthew Edwards, the agency’s webmaster. “We pulled it because of the complaints. If it’s totally confusing, it’s worthless.”

Systran S.A., based in Paris, receives about $6,000 a year to convert English on the Web site for viewing in Russian, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Italian, all of which remain available. Edwards said he would ask the company about improving the Chinese and Korean translations.

Read more

Comments Off on Translation Software Cited in Washington State Web Site Blunders

Jan 20 2005

Translation Errors in Polish EU Constitution to Delay Ratification

Published by under Translation

Translation mistakes in the Polish version of the EU Constitution could delay the whole ratification process well as indirectly influencing its outcome.

The Polish Foreign Ministry told journalists that it has identified over 40 mistakes which are expected to take a further three to four months to correct.

Opposition politicians have said the translation contains “flagrant errors” making it impossible to implement the treaty.

“These are not just simple linguistic mistakes, but passages containing (legal) dispositions that differ from other linguistic versions”, PAP news agency quoted Kazimierz Ujazdowski of the centre-right Law and Justice party as saying.

The government will apparently fail to submit the translated document to the parliamentarians in early February as planned, and so the date for a national vote on the Constitution is likely to be postponed too.

Read more

Comments Off on Translation Errors in Polish EU Constitution to Delay Ratification

Jan 17 2005

Linguistic Big Bang Creates Translation Headaches at European Union

The enlargement of the European Union from 15 to 25 member-states with nine new languages has created a kind of linguistic big bang in Brussels, with new headaches for intepreters.

“Integrating nine new official languages at one go when the newcomers joined last May was an unprecedented situation for the Commission,” said a member of the EU’s executive organ here.

Previously the EU had 11 languages shared between 15 members. Now it has 20 shared by 25.

Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish have now been joined by Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Slovak and Slovene.

The European Commission says it is more or less satisfied with the current state of affairs after the 10 joined — the 10th being Cyprus which shares a language with Greece.

But there were limits to the available capacity, admitted Manuel Barata, of the Commission’s translation directorate.

One of the biggest headaches has been the Maltese language. All the candidates for jobs as intepreters failed in November 2003, so all EU meetings — the council of ministers, European Commissioners, press conferences — have to be covered by outside interpreters.

Read more

Comments Off on Linguistic Big Bang Creates Translation Headaches at European Union

Jan 17 2005

Hmong Having Problems Finding Adequate Transportation

Finding adequate transportation has become one of the principal hurdles facing the most recent wave of Hmong refugees in central Wisconsin.

Mass transit can be confusing or nonexistent, finding volunteer drivers can be difficult, and the Hmong-language version of the Wisconsin driver’s manual can be tough to comprehend.

For 44-year-old Yong Yia Xiong… the permit test has proven difficult. Xiong, a new arrival to Stevens Point, failed four times, one shy of the state’s limit for taking the permit test.

He’s studied by using a Hmong-language version of the state’s driver’s manual, but the translation is confusing and ambiguous, he said.

Similar translation issues have plagued many refugees, Vang said, and the manual even contradicts itself in places. Hmong and English are very different languages to learn, Vang said, so the meaning of a statement or phrase could be altered or misunderstood in translation.

Also not all refugees read Hmong, said Chia Khang, a 1984 refugee who now works as a client services worker at North Central Community Action Program in Wisconsin Rapids. Some write Laotian or read Thai, and getting an interpreter to help with the English-language version of the manual can be tough.

“I used to ride the bus for two whole years, the first two years that I came,” Khang said. “Most of the problem, what I saw, is the reading and writing.”

Comments Off on Hmong Having Problems Finding Adequate Transportation

Jan 15 2005

EU Translation Costs to Surpass $1B Mark

Translation costs at the European Union are set to pass a billion dollars a year as the economic bloc struggles to accommodate 10 new members after its expansion into Eastern Europe and the Baltics, officials said.

Critics chafe at the sum, but to many its money well spent in keeping Europe’s quilt of cultures – and national egos – intact.

The 10 new members that joined in May expanded the EU to 25 and added nine new languages for a total of 20. Once the many cross-translation services this requires are at full speed, the overall costs will rise to $1.06 billion per year from about $720 million now, according to European Commission documents published Friday.

Interpretation costs may reach $312 million in 2007, up from $137 million last year.

Together, funding this unique system will take almost $2.62 out of the pocket of every EU citizen every year. Many EU citizens have balked at the cost and called for a drastic reduction in the number of languages used officially.

The United Nations, with far more member nations, uses only six official languages, critics note. But Europe’s Tower of Babel is essential, said Ian Andersen, a department head at the Directorate General for Interpretation.

“There is no way around it if you want to work in a community of law,” he told reporters. When EU laws are binding on its citizens, they should be able to consult them in their own language.

“It is the democratic right of everyone who participates in decision-making to make their point and to have access to information on an equal footing,” said Andersen, a Dane.

Read more

Comments Off on EU Translation Costs to Surpass $1B Mark

Jan 14 2005

Japan Backs Multilingual Devices

Japanese who command no foreign languages may soon converse with English-speaking guests over a phone connected to a translation system.

The system, being sponsored by the Japanese government, will offer audio-text translations in Japanese, Chinese, English and Korean, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday.

The project, likely to be completed during fiscal 2005, will enable multilingual communications through cell phones and personal digital assistants.

The system would have a database of 500,000 phrases, or 5 million words, in the four languages.

Current translation systems have much smaller vocabularies and limited voice-recognition ability, and can translate only the most commonly used greetings or phrases.

Read more

Comments Off on Japan Backs Multilingual Devices

Jan 13 2005

EU Faces Soaring Translation Bill

The European Union’s bill for translation will have to balloon by nearly 60 percent to over 1 billion euros a year to prevent the bloc from turning into a Tower of Babel after its eastward enlargement.

The European Commission said the annual cost of written translation was expected to grow to 807 million euros in the next few years from 549 million in 2003, when Brussels institutions already translated a staggering 1.3 million pages.

Expenditure for oral interpretation of 50-60 meetings held each day in Brussels is forecast to increase to 238 million euros a year from 105 million euros once the EU’s expansion to 25 from 15 members last May is fully digested.

The EU executive said the soaring bill was the price for ensuring a level playing field for all EU citizens, whose number grew to 453 million from 375 million.

The EU’s total budget is 105 billion euros this year, or about 1 percent of the bloc’s gross national income.

The number of official languages increased to 20 from 11 with the EU’s enlargement into mainly ex-communist eastern Europe. Bulgaria and Romania are set to join in 2007 or 2008, bringing two more languages into the club.

Read more

Comments Off on EU Faces Soaring Translation Bill

Jan 13 2005

Translation in the Comission: Where Do We Stand Eight Months After the Enlargement?

Published by under Translation

The European Union is entering its first full calendar year with 25 Member States and 20 official languages. The scale of its multilingual regime makes it unique in the world, and to some the extra work it creates for its institutions may seem at first sight to outweigh the advantages. But there are special reasons for it. The Union passes laws directly binding on its citizens and companies, and as a matter of simple natural justice they and their courts must have a version of the laws they have to comply with in a language they can understand. Everyone in the Union is also entitled and encouraged to play a part in building it, and must be able to do it in their own language.
Incorporating nine new official languages – Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Slovak and Slovene – into the system at one go in May 2004 was an unprecedented situation for the Commission, and its language services have had to adopt some innovative approaches to deal with the resulting challenges. Now that the initial dust has settled, the time is ripe for a review of the situation so far.

Read more

Comments Off on Translation in the Comission: Where Do We Stand Eight Months After the Enlargement?

Jan 11 2005

City’s Health Care Lost in Translation

New Yorkers who do not speak English face enormous problems communicating with medical professionals at the city’s private and public hospitals, a report released yesterday reveals.

Nearly 75% of the 51 hospitals surveyed by the city controller’s office failed to provide Spanish-language services to callers to one or more of the hospitals’ departments.

“Here in New York City, the world’s melting pot and home to over 2 million foreign-born residents, it is unconscionable that basic health care services remain out of reach for citizens who don’t speak English,” Controller Bill Thompson said.

According to the 2000 Census, nearly 40% of the city’s population is foreign-born, with 52% of those residents coming from Latin America.

“But while the face of New York is changing every day, our hospitals are trapped in an English-only time warp,” Thompson said.

Read more

Comments Off on City’s Health Care Lost in Translation

« Prev - Next »