Friday, July 14, 2017

Language facts: Flemish

Flemish, or Vlaams in Dutch, is the standard Dutch variant spoken in the Belgian region of Flanders by around 6.1 million speakers, sometimes also referred to as Southern DutchIt includes several dialects, all of which (depending on who you ask) are interrelated with the southwestern dialects of Dutch. 
Brussels, Belgium, where Flemish is also used
Source: AdobeStock.com

Differences between Flemish and Dutch

Flemish, or Vlaams, is actually highly similar to the Dutch language used in the Netherlands. The official language in Belgium's Flemish region is indeed Dutch, and along with German and French you then have the country's three official languages. In essence, the Dutch languages are the same, and the only main differences are in pronunciation and frequency of some words. Because certain expressions (around 3-4,000) are more frequent in Belgian Dutch, many people refer to the language as Flemish, however, the words are really part of standard Dutch. There are no spelling differences between Dutch in Belgium and Dutch in the Netherlands.

Dutch pride
However, in actual practice, many Dutch nationals often question Dutch text content when they find it 'suspicious' or slightly off. This is probably a natural reaction and similar to what Germans things of Austrian and Swiss German: it simply sounds wrong.

Loan words in Dutch
In case of loan words, interestingly, Flemish speakers tend to apply Dutch pronunciation, whereas speakers in Netherlands maintain the original foreign pronunciation. Compared to Dutch, Flemish has also adopted many more loan words from French. The main difference between the languages is exposed in informal usage though. The pronunciation, slang expressions, and also common phrases can be very different, so different that Dutch television programs are sometimes even subtitled in Belgium and vice versa.

Alphabet

The Flemish alphabet is identical to the Dutch alphabet. The most frequently used letter is "e". Also, notice the unique IJ character.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y IJ Z
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y ij z

Friday, July 7, 2017

What was it like at DMS Tokyo 2017

Staff from the idioma Tokyo office attended the 28th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo at the Tokyo Big Sight venue as one of the exhibitors for 3 days from June 21 through June 23rd.
In the three days, the total number of visitors reached 88,000 where 2,454 exhibitors participated concurrently with other exhibitions such as the Japan Manufacturing World. 
The weather was wonderful for the three days and there was a very inspirational and productive atmosphere at the site.

A busy atmosphere at DMS 2017 Tokyo

Exhibitors from different fields conducted hands-on demonstrations of products, held live presentations on the spot, and the venue was packed with visitors from all over Japan.


In this midst of this manufacturer-oriented atmosphere, idioma was right there to offer high quality technical translation services and its 37 years of expertise on multilingual technical documentation. 

DMS 2017 Tokyo – Technical translation booth of idioma Co., Ltd.



Many interested visitors stopped by at the idioma booth with an interest in effective overseas development. Quite a few admitted they had experienced difficulties in translation and localization. idioma representatives were happy to help potential buyers with our tailor-made solutions. 

DMS 2017 Tokyo – Technical translation services by idioma Co., Ltd.


All in all, idioma’s presence at DMS Tokyo 2017 was a big success, which motivated us to participate again next year, hopefully with new services and technologies to come.

For anyone who is interested in the Japanese market and its need for multilingual documentation, do not hesitate to contact us at sales@idioma.com.

DMS 2018 Tokyo – See you next year at idioma's booth




Monday, July 3, 2017

Translating Trump: Why is it so hard?

Since the boundaries-breaking presidential campaign in 2016, through the inauguration, up to the elephant-in-china-store-style international politics, President Trump has surely achieved one thing: the historically "unpresidented" media coverage of the U.S. commander-in-chief all over the globe. 
The reality show of Trump's presidency is a challenging experience for the entire planet, including translators, who struggle to translate Mr. Trump's rather originally structured language. It's a "thing" of such proportions that there are now about 570 thousand search results on "Translating Trump" on Google.


As each language has its specifics, translators from different cultures need to polish the president's message into many different shapes, not only to try to convey the content of the message but also to make it digestible to a local audience. Both of these tasks, however, sometimes prove close to impossible (especially for simultaneous interpreters). 


Why is Trump so hard to translate?

First of all, the president's language is incoherent even for English speakers. He uses a very limited elementary-level vocabulary full of synonyms to describe any sentiment (wonderful, beautiful, incredible / sad, bad, crooked, etc.) that makes the translation result fall flat. And it's no better when Trump chooses to enrich his vocabulary because he tends to fashion up new words, without apparent reason or meaning. Remember "covfefe"?

Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute (LTI) research that analysed Mr. Trump's campaign speeches concluded his lexical richness was at the 7th-grade level, being the lowest of all past U.S. presidents and rival candidates in the 2016 race. His grammatical level is a bit better – only the second worst after George W. Bush who hardly reached the 5th-grade level.

Translating Trump: Why is it so hard
Source: AdobeStock.com
Unless sticking to the scripts carefully prepared by others, Mr.Trump displays little attention to sentence structure or coherence, and he disregards grammar (or spelling for that matter). And when he slips off the script, he tends to use "street-origin" Americanism (nut job, showboat, tippy-top, etc.), which often are too culture-specific to be comprehensible without broader explanation, and/or are culturally incompatible due to its vulgar subtext. 

Trump cannot be translated literally in Japan

Speaking of cultural incompatibility, covering and translating Trump's speeches regarding firing the FBI director James Comey was a big test for Japanese translators. Being from a culture of extreme social politeness, where words are chosen carefully, Japanese translators simply couldn't cope with the president calling someone of such high standing as the former FBI director a "nut job" and broadcast the words in their original meaning. Instead of opting for the Japanese alternative for "stupid" (politely atama ga warui), the term eventually used was henjin – which describes someone odd or eccentric, so not really what the president said. An even harder cultural challenge was to translate the now-notorious Access Hollywood grabbing recordings into Japanese, as the very fact of having to translate such a phrase made the Japanese translators rather uncomfortable (although they eventually chose to go for a non-vulgar, safe description of the problematic term).

Japanese translators even joked that Trump is so overconfident and logically unconvincing that if he should be translated as he actually speaks, the translators would make themselves sound stupid. The Trumpian era actually brought an interesting dispute within Japanese translator circles as to whether it is proper to polish the president's language and neutralize it, or to translate it exactly as he expresses himself in English. 
The problem is that going with the latter produces results that hardly make any sense in translation.

Japanese language is generally very polite with few words that explicitly belittle the listener or others. Foul language is probably only found inside the Japanese mafia – the yakuza – while the very large majority of the Japanese population expect decent, respectful language in speech, writing and all other kinds of communication.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

idioma @ 28th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo

「第28回設計・製造ソリューション展に出展します」



2017621日から23日まで、東京ビッグサイトにて開催される第28回設計・製造ソリューション展に出展いたします。
同展は日本最大の製造業向けITソリューションの専門展として大変な注目を集めております。
前回では同時開催展を含め約2,300社の出展があり、今回はそれ以上の出展が見込まれております。

私どものブースでは、技術翻訳に関しての最新トレンドの紹介や、翻訳の国際規格DIN EN ISO 17100への規格遵守の取り組み、また独自クラウドを中心とした各種翻訳サービスを出展する予定です。

なお、当展示会のご来場には招待券が必要となります。
ご希望の方はsales@idioma.comまでお気軽にお問合せください。

ご多用中の折とは存じますが、皆様のご来場を心よりお待ちしております。

開催概要

日本ものづくりワールド2017
28回設計・製造ソリューション展
弊社ブース番号:東1ホール41-15
会期:2017621()623() 10:00~18:00(最終日のみ~17:00)
会場:東京ビッグサイト
http://www.dms-tokyo.jp/ja/
#東京ビッグサイト #展示会 #設計製造ソリューション展 #ものづくりワールド

________________________________________________________________________


idioma will exhibit at the 28th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo (DMS) in Tokyo from Wednesday June 21st to Friday June 23rd. 


DMS is Japan's largest exhibition gathering all kinds of IT solution providers and attracting professionals looking to buy IT solutions for their business. The number of exhibitors is expected to reach 2,400 in this year. 

As a hi-tech player, idioma plans to introduce the latest trends in top-quality technical translation (in accordance with the company's DIN EN ISO 17100 certification) and truly unique, in-house developed cloud services.

If you plan to visit this exciting event, please feel free to contact us in advance at sales@idioma.com to receive your entrance ticket.

Exhibition details

Held inside Manufacturing World Japan 2017
Our booth: E41-15
Dates: June 21st (Wed) – 23rd (Fri), 2017 10:00 - 18:00 (last day until 17:00)
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight


We are looking forward to seeing you!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Language facts: Portuguese and its spelling reform

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal and Brazil, a number of African nations, as well as an official EU language. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal. It is derived from the Latin language spoken by the Romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula around 2,000 years ago. The language spread worldwide in the 15th and 16th centuries as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire. It is one of the world's major languages, ranked 6th according to number of native speakers (approx 180 million). Together with Spanish, Portuguese is the fastest growing language in Europe. 


Lisbon, Portugal.
Source: AdobeStock.com


One language, two separate spellings

After the Portuguese Republic was established in 1911, a lot of efforts were put into standardisation of Portugal's orthography, for a very noble reason of increasing literacy of its people. It's rather interesting that unlike French and Spanish, Portuguese actually had no official spelling until 1911, and people literally wrote at will. After the new standard became official in Portugal, it was adopted also in the (then Portuguese) overseas territories of Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Moçambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, and Portuguese-controlled Indian territories.


However, the country with most Portuguese native speakers in the world, Brazil, was never consulted about the 1911 reform, and thus did not accept it. After decades-long negotiations, Brazil finally introduced its own orthography in 1938, based on an agreement with Portugal from 1931 that defined the general orthographic principles.

Nevertheless, it soon became apparent that the orthographies, albeit similar, were not identical. In some cases, there was different spelling between the two language variants due to differences between Brazilian and European Portuguese pronunciation.

In 1990 (sic!), after a series of failed negotiations, The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement was reached. Ratified in 2004 in Brazil and in 2008 in Portugal, the Agreement has been mandatory since January 1st, 2015 in all Portuguese-speaking nations in the world.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Source: AdobeStock.com


Stark reality, however, suggests the two countries have not managed to meet the goal of merging their languages. The peoples of Brazil and Portugal still use different words and expressions for the same ideas, concepts and things. Especially in technical translation, where idioma is very active, the expressions differ. Despite the good intent of the language reform mediators, it is indeed difficult to make two countries merge into a common language and apply it 100%. Brazil and Portugal are still not there, and all the other other Portuguese enclaves are probably even further afar, many of them, like Moçambique, taking in loanwords from neighboring countries.

Alphabet

Portuguese uses 23 letters of the Latin alphabet with five types of diacritics, as Portuguese also recognizes Á, Â, Ã, À, Ç, É, Ê, Í, Ó, Ô, Õ, Ú. These are not regarded as independent letters and do not have separate entries in dictionaries. 

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V X Z

a b c d e f g h i j l m n o p q r s t u v x z

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

idioma earns ISO 9001:2016 Certification by TÜV SÜD



On May 17th, 2017, our Prague office and production center, together with its office in Tokyo, was certified for its quality management system as being compliant with the extensive requirements in the ISO 9001:2016 standard. The certificate was awarded by the local Czech subsidiary of the TÜV SÜD accreditation body. This award affirms idioma’s high quality standing against this most recent ISO 9001 version of the standard with even stricter requirements. 

The approval process to obtain this certification has been ongoing since the beginning of the year. “While we have covered a wide range of topics related to our processes as an international language service provider, surprisingly we already had many measures in place that met and even went beyond the requirements on quality management,” says General Manager Jan Valenta. “Our offices are connected by an in-house developed intranet system that also manages job flows, receives orders placed online by clients and makes sure nothing fails in the translation processes. The auditors were actually surprised at some of the implemented quality measures in this system,” he adds. 

idioma has long been emphasizing quality as a key feature of its translation services. In its sales and development efforts, kaizen is an important principle whereby there is a continuous quest for improvement. “It is such a fundamental attitude that if something goes wrong once, you fix it, and even when you know something works well, you should still consider whether it can be done better and more efficiently. This is our general approach in everything we do and the reason why the translation and QA tools we have developed work so well. Becoming ISO 9001 certified affirms this policy.” says company spokesman John O'Connor. 

The company, however, has no plans to rest on its laurels. On the contrary it plans to step up its sales efforts, especially to potential clients where ISO 9001 certification is a mandatory requirement. In the past two years, the company was ranked among Asia’s Top 30 Language Service Providers by CSA Research. Marketing Manager Romana Olexova has new plans for growth: “The language industry is undergoing rapid change, but with ISO 9001 certification in our hands and backed up by our official registration for the DIN EN ISO 17100 translation standard, we stand much stronger with proven quality management. The certifications reaffirm our strong position on quality to our clients, who will appreciate our drive to only deliver the best in terms of professional translation by humans.”





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Language facts: Serbian

Serbian is a member of the South Slavic group of languages and is the official language of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are about 6.5 million speakers of the language in Serbia, and also 500,000 speakers in Montenegro plus 1.6 million speakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbian is also recognized as a minority language in Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czechia (partly due to immigration during the Balkan war in the 1990s). 

Beograd, the capital of Serbia.
Source: AdobeStock.com

War of languages

Serbian language actually shares it's base with Serbo-Croatian, the official language of former Yugoslavia, from which also Standard Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin were derived. During the existence of the socialist Yugoslavian federation, there was a fierce emphasis on the "One Language" policy pursued by the federal government. This language policy was in line with the general "Unification" policy of Yugoslavia, aiming for suppression of the historical division lines between the regions, as well as nationalistic tendencies in Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. In fact, the now-accepted stand-alone languages in the separate national states of the former Yugoslavian federation were considered merely regional variants of the same Serbo-Croatian language that simply served to "enrich" the constitutional version. 
After the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 90s and the ensuing war, the language differences became one of the subjects of the conflict between the former federal nations and one of the biggest symbols for individual national identities.


Alphabet

Serbian is the only European language that practically uses two different writing systems, and can be written in both the Serbian Cyrillic script and Serbian Latin. Both writing systems were promoted in Yugoslavia. The Cyrillic script has official status under the 2006 Constitution of Serbia, but the Latin script continues to gain ground as a result of its popularity among the business community and urban population. The basic principle of Serbian is “Write as you speak and read as it is written”. 


Cyrillic

А Б В Г Д Ђ Е Ж З И Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ О П Р С Т Ћ У Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш
а б в г д ђ е ж з и ј к л љ м н њ о п р с т ћ у ф х ц ч џ ш

Latin
A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š T U V Z Ž
a b c č ć d dž đ e f g h i j k l lj m n nj o p r s š t u v z ž