Thursday, December 10, 2015

Consistency in Multilingual Content: Using Style Guides

Just like a human being posesses personality and body language, every company has also developed its unique language and style of communication. But to spread a consistent message and the same "feeling" about your company in global terms, you also need to define your company language and transfer its details and nuances into a clear set of rules. 

What should your style guide cover

The rules, or Style Guides for translation, should describe the following:
  • Term use (incl. forbidden terms)
  • Locale issues (such as digit grouping and number formats in general, punctuation, tense, spelling, abbreviations, etc.), 
  • Authoring issues,
  • How to address the reader,
  • and others.
When we are receiving translation orders at idioma, we always encourage our clients to submit their Style Guides whenever available. Style Guides ensure that your company language gets preserved even though your content is translated by different translators all over the globe. You do not need to worry about problems with localization, inaccurate translation and cost spinaway.
In addition to a style guide, reference material for projects you order are also beneficial and will assure even greater adherence to how your company communicate with customers.

Don't have your own style guide?

Now you may wonder, what to do if you want to achieve consistent multilingual content, but you do not yet have your own translation style guide or the means to create one. Language services providers should be ready for such eventuality. For instance, idioma's TMS platform iQube is loaded with standard locale settings for the languages we work in, which are used as default style guides for accounts where we have not received any instructions or style guide from the client. Once used, style guides become an essential part of your translation process at virtually every stage of it. Our clients receive this Style Guide as a viewable PDF upon request. 
With this muster in your hand, you can indicate any changes and further adaptation of the style guide according to your company needs and thus achieve consistency in your global multilingual content for your brand. 

To learn more about style guides, please contact our project managers.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Language facts: Turkish

Turkish is predominantly used in Turkey and Cyprus. It has approximately 63 million speakers many of which can also be found in Greece, Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe. Modern Turkish language has been highly influenced by Ottoman Turkish and has expanded as the Ottoman Empire grew. Turkish is also spoken by several million immigrants in Western Europe, mainly Germany, where a major Turkish diaspora exists. 

Not so common language family

Turkish belongs to Turkic language family (as its most significant representative), namely to the group of Oghuz languages. Oghuz Turkic languages – such as Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Qashqai, or Gagauz – are characteristic with a high degree of mutual intelligibility.
Some features of Turkish language, such as lack of genders in grammar, no noun classes, vowel harmony, or agglutination (the process in which complex words are comprised of combining various morphemes in a string) are common throughout the entire Turkic language family. Turkish also features a considerable amount of loanwords from Arabic and Persian, due to the adoption of Islam by Ottoman ancestors, the Seljuq Turks. In fact, the Ottoman Turkish was a blend of Turkish, Arabic and Persian (not really compatible with today's Turkish).

"Republican" language reform

The establishment of Modern Turkish language in everyday use resulted from the foundation of the Republic of Turkey and was strongly supported by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (interesting fact: "Atatürk" is not a real surname of the first Turkish president, but an honorary title that directly means "father of all Turks". Turkish parliament even banned the name to be used in connection with any other person – by law). As the Ottoman language (that was used as administrative language of the empire) consisted of too many loanwords of Persian and Arabic origin, the aim of the language reform was to replace these terms with original Turkish expressions. It's quite funny though that Atatürk himself often used Ottoman terms in his speeches, which resulted in his 1927 speech to the new Parliament being repeatedly translated into Modern Turkish to make it comprehensible to younger generations.


In 1928, as a result of Atatürk's reform, the original Ottoman script was replaced with a phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet, but with some additions. 


a b c ç d e f g ğ h ı i j k l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z

Friday, November 27, 2015

25th JTF Translation festival: DTP files updates without translation memory

On November 26th, the 25th JTF Translation Festival in Tokyo took place – and we were of course there to present our new services, get inspired and attend panel discussions and presentations revealing new perspectives in the translation industry.
This year, the flagship of idioma was our revamped online estimator Stream that became a part of our new complex platform, idioma WORLD, and most importantly our brand-new NextDoc service.

John O'Connor – international sales manager of idioma – presenting the NextDoc service at JTF Festival 2015


Basically, if the DTP document you need to translate is an update of an old version, with NextDoc you do not need to translate and perform DTP work of everything all over again. The service differs from standard translation memory tools by only using final DTP documents instead of a Translation Memory (TM). 

NextDoc simply merges newly translated text segments into reused DTP text, and delivers a marked-up DTP version to you together with translated new text to complete your new, translated DTP document.

How NextDoc works and reuses already translated text.

This way, you keep full control over the translation resources, and you pay only for translation of the new text plus a modest fee for text reuse. Best of all, you have all the resources in your hands all the time for maximum control. 
As an added benefit, after a project is finished all newly translated text and changes can be saved separately, so you can add it to your existing translation memory, such as TMX, Xliff, or Trados TM.

The NextDoc solution is available online 24/7 so you can request free estimates as often as you want (even anonymously). Simply upload your updated and old DTP documents and we’ll give you a free estimate of how much text from the old version can be reused and how much of the new text needs translation. 

See for yourself at 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why to update files without translation memory

Lately, we introduced a little provocative thought that translation memory, in fact, is not the best or the most accurate means to use if you are about to update an old translated documents with new additions (such as catalogs, manuals, or guidelines - basically materials with a good share of repetitive and already translated text you have invested in before). 

Why you should not rely on TM only

There are in fact two serious reasons, why in some situations you should reconsider using translation memory, mainly with updates of multilingual DTP files (e.g. InDesign or FrameMaker):

1. With translation memory, there is a high risk of re-using outdated text. "How come, when I regularly invest into translation maintenance" you ask? The answer is because we are people and our workflow sometimes ignores consistency. A lot of last-minute corrections in the pre-publishing, or pre-print process are done only on the final DTP documents, as those are the ones that actually get published. So naturally, the latest DTP data are always the latest version of the document. And these corrections and amendments are often not inserted in the translation memories. 

2. With translation memory, you need to rely on expensive software products and all the maintenance of the text memories that comes with it. You cannot rely 100% that the text in your memories is identical with that in the actual documents and files you have in your hands. And that means you don't really have full control over your own translation resources.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? Reuse the DTP data only, as that ensures reusable text will stay untouched, thus saving you time and money on DTP adjustments and proofreading.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Language facts: Latin

Latin is the official language of the Vatican City. It derives from the Indo-European branch, from which Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian originate. Although it was spoken in the Mediterranean area, it also influenced the Germanic languages and is currently used in many abbreviations (“e.g.” was an example derived from the Latin “exempli gratia” and “i.e.” is short for “id est”). Latin terminology is widely used, amongst others, in philosophy, medicine, biology, law and for official purposes. Interestingly, Latin is spoken daily by only around 800 people.

Rise and fall of Latin

Originally, Latin was spoken in the area around the ancient city of Rome – Latium. In the course of the rise of Rome, Latin spread to other parts of the kingdom, later the Roman Republic, and subsequently became the "official" administrative language of the entire Roman Empire. This is also the reason why Latin strongly influenced vernacular languages in the Empire, such as French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and even English. In fact, so-called Romance languages are the direct successor of Vulgar Latin, the unwritten and non-standardized proto-language.
During the era of the Roman Republic, a standardized Classic Latin was introduced to replace the Old Latin and most of the written works used the standardized version.
Latin language survived also the fall of the Roman Empire and lived on in the form of Late Latin, later developed into Medieval Latin and Renaissance Latin. Until the 18th century, Modern Latin was the lingua franca of international communication and mainly science. Nowadays, Latin is preserved principally by the Catholic Church (while many clerics are still fluent in it) and science, as a vast number of scientific terminology in e.g. biology and medicine originate from Latin. Quod erat demonstrandum. :)


Compared to the English alphabet, the Latin language has 23 letters and lacks the letters J, U, and W, and it does not have a cursive script. 


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

Friday, November 6, 2015

Translation memory is old news!

Now that we have your attention, don't worry – your translation memories are valuable investments that definitely make your translation projects cheaper, faster and more accurate. But there are situations when translation memory can actually mess up a translation instead of making it easier – such as minor updates of  DTP files updates where most translated text can be reused and where last-minute changes only exist the DTP files and not in the TM. Translation Memory therefore, becomes outdated and you lose control over the process. How to deal with this issue?

Reuse your existing, translated DTP files

Imagine the situation. You have a new original of a document similar to an old one that was already translated in the past. The problem is you don’t know what has changed. And you need the changes inserted in many other different languages.

Old solution  would be a manual comparison of your new and old originals, marking deletions, changed text and new translation, then manual marking of all the other languages. Messy.
Or you could load the project in TM, e.g. Trados, with the risk that the translation memory is not up to date, and the drawback that all documents must be reformatted on DTP and rechecked. Risky.

New solution: Automatic comparison by idioma. You receive an estimate of preparing your other languages together with the amount of text changes and updates. If you approve, send us your old translated DTP files and we will reuse the text only from there – not from an outdated translation memory – for your new document, including placing markers where new and changed translated text must be inserted or text deleted. Smart.

You will find more updates on our website soon!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Language facts: Persian

Persian – also known as Farsi, although this term is considered as incorrect by many academics – is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian branch. Persian and its varieties have official-language status in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. And Farsi has been called Dari in Afghanistan, due to political reasons only. Historically Persian (as a direct descendant of Old Persian) is a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India. Significant populations of speakers can be found in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities in the USA. 

There are approximately 80 million native speakers of Persian in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and about the same number of people in other parts of the world speaks Persian, at least as a second language.
Yazd. The Desert city in Iran.

Persian vs Arabic

Persian language was continuously preserved and developed through centuries and its own evolution phases, from Old Persian via Middle Persian to New Persian (the modern version of Persian spoken today). The New Persian actually is the direct follower of Old Persian and Persian language is among the oldest ones with preserved original texts. Due to its script, it is commonly mistaken for Arabic, or considered a variation of Arabic language. This is far from truth, as the alphabet set is actually the only resemblance of the languages. Persian sounds much different, with its own grammar and syntax. Similar to comparing e.g. German and French, both share the alphabet set, but are not mutually interchangeable. In fact, Arabic and Persian do not even share the language family, as Persian originates from the Indo-European language tree, while Arabic belongs to Afro-Asiatic (or Semitic) family.


Interestingly, words in Farsi are written from right to left, but numbers are written from left to right. And all is written in cursive only. The modern Persian alphabet is based on Arabic script, but has 32 letters - 4 more than Arabic. One variety of Persian, the Tajiki (spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) is written in Cyrillic script.

ا، ب، پ، ت،5.ث، ج، چ، ح، خ، د، ذ، ر، ز، ژ، س، ش، ص، ض، ط، ظ، ع، غ، ف، ق، ک، گ، ل، م، ن، و، ه، ی

Friday, October 23, 2015

Autumn In Japan: The Season Of Sports

Autumn in Japan is a beautiful time with leaves on the trees changing color and a lot of crops ripe and ready for use in the famous seasonal Japanese cuisine. People enjoy going out during this time of the year to enjoy the cool, crisp weather and attractive vistas. The autumn weather is also perfect for outdoor sports, which is why sports events are held ritually during the season.

Mt. Fuji in autumn.

Everybody out!

Every year schools all over Japan have “Undokai” (sports festivals) and students from different schools, grades and classes compete against each other in various athletic activities. Students in schools traditionally divide into two main teams distinguished by team colors - red and white (based on Japanese nation branding). There are many activities in which students participate and compete – such as track and tug of war (which western cultures are also well familiar with). However, there are many other popular activities in Japan, which are not seen widely in western sports events. 

Battle of Samurais and Collect the Elderly

There are numerous typically Japanese competitions and activities during autumn.
Kibasen” – “Ki” is “samurai”, “ba” is “horse”, “sen” is “battle” – is a traditional activity where the teams consist of 3 people (two for the horse and a rider, the samurai), where the "samurai" tries to catch the hats from other student samurais. The team with the most hats wins. 
Kibasen - the "Samurai fight"

Karimono Kyoso” – “borrowing race” is another popular activity where students receive a note with something they have to find and “borrow” around them. It can be anything from a stick of deodorant to somebody who is over 70 years old.
Amekui Kyoso” – “candy eating race” is the messiest activity, but probably brings the biggest outbursts of laughter. Students race around a track with tables holding pans filled with flour and candy. The candy is white so you can't see it mixed in with the flour. The rule is you can’t use your hands, but you need to retrieve the candy from the pan with your mouth. So we have many floury faces racing down the track to the finish line :)

As you can see “Undokai” is not just a standard sports event with students simply competing against one another, but is an event to have fun, enjoy and bring unity within the student body. In the words of Michael Jordan “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Language facts: Ukrainian

Ukrainian is the state language of Ukraine, the national language of Ukrainians. It belongs to the Slavic languages (the Eastern-Slavic group), being a part of the Indo-European language family, and is currently emerging from a long period of decline. The total number of the Ukrainian speaking population is estimated to around 39 million people. Ukrainian language is also spoken in Russia, Poland, Canada, Slovakia, Byelorussia, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and Transdniestria (Moldova).

Kiev - Independence square (Maidan)

Language fighting for survival

Historically, Ukrainian originates from Old Russian language. Until the 20th century, the language was even called "Little Russian", or Rusyn language in Poland and Slovakia.* 
The vocabulary of the language is based on words with common Slavic origin, but it also contains a great number of words formed during the period of its own historical development. Ukrainian includes a number of borrowed words that originally come from German, Polish and other languages. This was mainly due to political reasons, as Ukraine has undergone various levels of influence from  Poland, Lithuania, Austro-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany and, of course, Russia.
The official approach to the use of Ukrainian in modern Ukraine has gone from complete neglect and even suppression and bans to popularization (mainly in the 19th and at the beginning of 20th century), and there has even been "ukrainization" (e.g. after the communist putsch in Russia, and now today once again) – seemingly as a result of current needs, trends, and development. 

Face of the nation

The complicated face and nature of the Ukrainian lands and nation are very strongly reflected in the complicated face and nature of Ukrainian language while the language itself has become one of the strongest symbols of Ukrainian statehood.
Since 1991, independent Ukraine has made Ukrainian the only official state language and implemented government policies to broaden the use of Ukrainian (often replacing Russian). Lately, this has been viewed as controversial, predominantly in the eastern parts of the country, where a strong enclave of Russians opposes the policy and demands equality of the Ukrainian and Russian languages.


The Ukrainian alphabet is based on the Cyrillic alphabet and has 33 letters. 
а б в г ґ д е є ж з и і ї й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ь ю я

*There are many disputes over the classification of Rusyn. While it has its own ISO code, is spoken by the minority of Rusyns in Eastern Europe (mainly Slovakia and Serbia), and is even one of the official languages of the Vojvodina autonomy, it is also considered only a dialect of Ukrainian – interestingly enough, by Ukraine itself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn at idioma: Czech Republic

People are different, but we share many customs, as we observe daily also in our multinational company. Localization obviously affects cultural customs worldwide, but one thing is in common – we all like to stop and celebrate on many occasions and for many reasons. One good reason, for example, has historically been the advent of autumn and harvest. 

Wine and the Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic usually enjoys a nice and mild mid-European autumn atmosphere featuring beer and mainly wine festivals as well as grape harvest feasts in the romantic fall settings with beautifully colored leaves... during this time, usually there are no inversions or freezing drizzle. There is a number of mainly regional and local events (often with traditions that are centuries old), featuring folklore arts and lots of food and, as is pretty common in the Czech Republic, plentiful to drink – mainly new young wine called "burčák" (tastes like sweet grape juice, but already contains a fair share of alcohol, so one should be careful to regulate the intake). 
Autumn is doubly significant to Czech people as the very first Czech nation state gained its independence from Austria in autumn 1918. October 28th, when the Czechoslovak Republic came into existence has since been celebrated as the most important national day of all. 

Lights on the ground

Another important event but, in this case, a religious feast that also has become a secular tradition – in the otherwise highly atheist Czech nation  is All Saints Day on November 1st. On this day (and usually the two weekends surrounding it), Czech people visit cemeteries and light little candles on the graves of their dead, as well as on memorials. Graveyards turn into nostalgic sites with dim, yet magnificent light shows, and the event is, although a little melancholic at its core, considered a social event and a time for family members to meet. 
Conveniently enough, the two autumn national feasts are close to each other in the calendar, therefore they are frequently used for holidays by quite a number of Czechs.

Piece of Japan in Prague

Even in the Czech Republic, there's also a Japanese community that shares the Japanese culture and traditions with locals at various feasts and events. On October 4th, the "Aki Matsuri" 2015 autumn festival took place in Prague, organized by the Czech-Japanese Association. The event, focused mainly on families with kids, offered a peak into Japanese martial arts and food, and it had even organized origami or kendamu workshops and Japanese games. With a beautiful weather and a temperature nudging close to 25°C, everyone could enjoy.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Translation tips: Opposite translation

Translation Memory products constitute an excellent aid for translators and help them to translate bigger volumes in less time. However, there are dangers with using such products also. Poor memories is one thing, but translator fatigues is another that can lead to serious issues and very unhappy clients, especially when working with fuzzy matches. 
Some of the more critical errors can be prevented with a so-called opposite translation check.

Opposite translation

What is Opposite Translation?

Opposite translation happens when a word gets translated with the opposite meaning, e.g. if Up gets translated as Down, In as Out or On top with Under. Suppose, for example, that a German translator gets tired and misses changing e.g Rechts (right) to Links (left) in a text segment, the outcome could very well be a serious mistake in the final document. The second language reviewer should detect this error, but human error is something that’s difficult to completely stamp out. To protect against this, translators and language reviewers should be warned whenever a suspicious opposite translation is detected.
At idioma we use our in-house developed translation platform, iQube, with support for numerous file formats and a built-in Quality Assurance checker, to alert translators in such cases. 

When the meaning becomes completely the opposite

Quality assurance.
This iQube semantic feature can detect opposite translation of the most common terms and supports around fifty different languages, in all imaginable combinations, and it includes warnings for wrong translation such as: - Under instead of Over - Before instead of After - Disassemble instead of Assemble – and many, many mores – and of course also in reverse. This feature of our iQube translation platform is unmatched by any other product in the market. One of its outstanding features involves advanced morphology to detect opposite translation of critical terms. The Opposite Translation check complements all the other 50+ Quality Assurance checks to further improve quality of translated text.

Unparalleled Quality Assurance

The Quality Assurance checks are part of a mandatory workflow process in all translation projects with 3-stage QA checking: by the translator, by the language reviewer, and finally by in-house QA staff. The checks have cut down significantly on unnecessary human errors, especially those that involve fuzzy matches taken over from translation memories. 
This allows us to focus on providing uncompromising high-quality translation, where a full TEP process (Translation – Editing – Proofreading fully complying with  the DIN EN 15038 standard) is mandatory for all the texts we handle – all this at very competitive rates.
To learn more about our services, please contact our project managers.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Language facts: Hebrew

Hebrew is a Semitic language and belongs to the Afroasiatic language family. Biblical Hebrew is closely related to Arabic and Aramaic, which are spoken around the territory where many of the biblical stories are focused – the Middle East. Hebrew is one of the two official languages of the State of Israel, along with Arabic. Modern Hebrew is spoken by some six million people inside Israel and one to two million people outside the country. Liturgical Hebrew is used by quite a few more people, in both Jewish and Christian religious settings.

Resuscitated after centuries

Liturgical Hebrew that was preserved in ancient religious heritage, but vanished from everyday use around 4th century, was actually revived. Modern Hebrew was invented as an adjunct to the Zionist movement in the 19th century. One of its first and most avid innovators was Eliezer Itzchak Perlman of Belarus, who created much of the modern vocabulary between 1885 and 1922. Mr. Perlman is renowned for raising the first “Hebrew-speaking” child – he forbade anyone to utter a word in any other language around his firstborn son, Ben Zion (who later changed his name to Itamar). 

Modern Hebrew is governed by an official committee – The Academy of the Hebrew Language. Decisions by the Academy are enshrined in law and frequently ignored by speakers of the language. It is interesting, though, that Hebrew is a native language of less than 49% of Israelis – other major native languages of Israel inhabitants are Russian, Arabic, English, French and Yiddish (though similar to Hebrew by using the same alphabet set as well as similar expressions, the two languages have very different origin and history. Yiddish is a fusion language originating in Liturgical Hebrew and Armaic, but mixes with High German and Slavic languages). 


Hebrew is read from right to left using a distinctive 22-letter alphabet. 

בּ ב ג גּ ג׳ ד דּ ד׳ ה ו וּ וֹ ו׳ ז ז׳ ח ט י ִי כּ ךּ ך כ ל

/ ם מ ן נ ס ע פּ ףּ פ ף ץ צ ץ׳ צ׳ ק ר שׁ שׂ תּ ת ת׳

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Translation Memory Creation: How It Works

In our previous blogs, we emphasized the advantages of having well-maintained translation resources, which reduce your translation costs, mainly in connection with continuous translation undertakings. We have also touched on the process of "cleaning" and maintaining your translation memories, but what if you don't have any? If that's the case, you should definitely create one if you publish documents with similar content. Here we explain how to go about this step by step.

5 Steps to creating a Translation Memory

The process begins with two similar files – one with source text, the other with corresponding target text in a different language. To create a TM for you, we first need to pool as many of your original files with the translated equivalents. The file format doesn't matter too much. The documents  can be in Word, Excel, FrameMaker, InDesign, Acrobat PDF, or whatever other format you may have. 

Then, we apply these 5 steps in order to create your  translation resources.

1. SEGMENT EXTRACTION. We extract all text segments (basically sentences) from the source and target  files to create a kind of  bilingual database with original text and the corresponding translated text. 

2. SEGMENT ALIGNMENT. We then confirm that all segments are correctly aligned using our unique, in-house developed  iSync solution. It pairs segments based on the placement markings and content. The process is highly automated and enables very fast processing, much faster than humans and with high precision. 

3. HUMAN EDITING. A human review of the result is necessary, though, in which native translators browse the paired  segments to ensure they match. 

4. TM CREATION. At the end of the process we delete redundant segments that have no matches in neither source nor target, and we then export the bilingual text segments to the universal .tmx format or any other format you may require.

5. TM QA AND EXPORT. The last step involves applying our QA tools on the final result to ensure segments are consistent, numbers, tags and symbols match and there is no text in the wrong language. 

TMs belong to you

Once a translation memory has been created and delivered to you, it becomes your legal property, and you can use it in all your internal processes or whenever you outsource translation projects. This is important to remember, and you can always ask your existing or previous suppliers to deliver TMs they have created in projects ordered by to – we then hope you will relocate your projects to idioma :) 

There's no time to waste when it comes to ensuring you have TMs and also keeping them up to date. 

Contact us TODAY to get your TM created!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

TM HEALTH CHECK™: 4 Steps to Updated Translation Memories:

If you have ever been involved in the content translation  process in your company, you are surely familiar with Translation Memories (TMs). And if you are not, you really should be, as TMs are your way to less stress, less overtime work, possibly even a promotion or other reward thanks to reducing your company's translation expenses.


Why you should keep your TMs up to date

As we have mentioned in a previous blog, it is very common that TMs get outdated and out of sync with your current published documents. Even if you have gone to the effort of creating a translation memory, it most likely does not include all the additions, changes, etc. that your published documents have undergone. 

What you risk with outdated TMs

If you fail to keep your TM up to date, you risk issues in the translation process, such as:

  1. Inconsistent resources and terminology that slow down translation, create context errors that compromise translation accuracy and cause confusion 
  2. Reuse of 100% identical text segments that contain errors, which are used and published again and again 
  3. Jack is not always a jack, nor a jack... A common TM issue is the existence of different translations of the same source segment, especially for short text segments. Such segments should be kept, but their actual usage checked.
  4. If selected  segments are updated in local projects, they risk becoming inconsistent with the existing segments in your TMs causing even more confusion – what should be used when and where?.
All these issues lead to inconsistent and inaccurate translation. Translation takes longer and becomes more expensive. These extra costs can be prevented by performing a regular health check on your TMs, and making sure they undergo regular maintenance.

What does the TM overhaul involve?

1. PROJECT LAUNCH - We pool all your TM resources, i.e. those you have and those we may have in our storage. We then determine priorities for maintenance if there are multiple TMs to check – e.g. emphasize a main TM that serves as the source for the greater part of your content, or cover content that is most visible in the company.

- To "clean" the TM and match every source segment with its target, we run a “Health check” analysis to detect possible errors, such as:
  • number mistakes and typos, URL mismatches, tag orders, usage of special characters and spaces or formatting based on language style sheets
  • untranslated text, which could signal missing target text 
  • text consistency such as inconsistent matches and duplicate TM entries, including word consistency
  • glossary usage / non-usage (use of forbidden terms, opposite terms, etc.)

3. TM MAINTENANCE – based on the TM HEALTH CHECK, our human TM specialists and editors implement a thorough maintenance and editing process, some that rely on  IT-based tools to clean the memory and repair detected issues. The process includes the following: 
  • Updating the segments one-to-one (source-to-target) for each TM (cleaning out duplicates, forbidden terms, etc.)
  • Verifying terminology consistency including correction by human reviewers 
  • Replacing your existing TMs with the updated bilingual text files to replace outdated  and faulty segments. 

4. TM IMPLEMENTATION – This step is chiefly a client-side issue. Your memory is now in good health. Going forward, to benefit from the entire process you need to ensure that the updated TMs are used at all company levels in the document flow and for all published content. And since TM maintenance and the health check should be a regular event, the company needs to decide on a policy on how to continue its involvement in its TM overhauls:

A) Manage content and update resources in-house, and only have the cleaning process covered by an external professional LSP. This is often preferred by big companies and requires a considerable organizational structure (defining the TM update process, appointing managers responsible for the TM resources and its updates, etc.), or

B) Focus on your core business and outsource TM maintenance to your LSP to
  • perform regular TM health checks of your resources
  • follow up on these checks with reporting on inconsistent text segments, unused glossary terminology, poor/incorrect source text, conditional glossary terms, or even inconsistent source segments. idioma offers a comprehensive reporting service that serves as a valuable foundation for maintenance and consistent translation quality in ongoing and future translation projects.

BENEFITS of up-to-date translation memories

Well, the benefits are straight forward and clear, and offer:

1. Reduced translation costs
2. Reduced translation time

3. Brand and content consistency on international markets across all languages

4. Improved SEO and online visibility

5. Error-free content that ensures less potential damage control in future communication with company clients (high-quality brochures and manuals, easily comprehensible content for end-users ensuring correct application)

There's no time to waste when it comes to maintenance of your company's valuable TM resources. 
Contact us TODAY to get your TMs  checked and updated!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Language facts: Arabic

Arabic belongs to the Afroasiatic language family and is a Semitic language of the Arabo-Canaanite subgroup – therefore closely related to Hebrew or Phoenician. 

Blue mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.

With approximately 290 million speakers (of Modern Standard Arabic), it ranks in sixth place among the world’s major languages. In today's form, Modern Standard Arabic happens to be an official language of 27 states. Only English and French score higher. As the Arabic world is very large, it is not surprising that a large number of Arabic dialects have developed – counting all these, the number of Arabic speakers rises to an estimated 420 million. Arabic is the language of the Holy Quran, poetry and literature as well as an official UN language. As a liturgical language of Islam, it is used by an astonishing 1.6 billion Muslims.

Complicated language of complicated society

Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Arabic is a so-called sociolinguistic language, which means that from a purely linguistic view it's actually a group of familiar languages. For cultural (e.g. religious) or socioeconomic reasons it is considered as one language, though, despite that there are branches of Arabic that are mutually unintelligible. Arabic can be sub-classified as follows: Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. Obviously there's also a large number of dialects.
Classical Arabic (or Quranic Arabic) is used as the language of prayer and recitation throughout the Islamic world. Modern Standard Arabic, a constituted version of the language, is, though intelligible, much distinct from the spoken variants of Arabic dialects (with no observable boundaries or rules). The official constituted form of Arabic actually co-exist in common usage with various Arabic dialects while covering different social situations.

The language of culture

Because of Muslim expansion in the past, Arabic has influenced a lot of the world's languages, including Indian languages such as Urdu (which is in fact a Muslim influenced version of Hindi – that was actually also previously influenced by Arabic), Punjabi or Bengali. Also Roman languages, mainly Spanish, Catalan or Portuguese, borrowed many expressions from Arabic in the middle ages, when the Muslim world represented the cultural and scientific drive in then decimated Europe.


The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight (28) letters. Arabic differs from Latin languages in that it is written right to left, but sequences of digits, such as telephone numbers, read from left to right.

أ ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Language facts: Hindi

Standard Hindi, also known as Modern Hindi, is mutually intelligible with Urdu, another Indian language. Hindi is the official language in India and has borrowed its vocabulary heavily from Sanskrit. Hindi has close to 500 million speakers including Hindi dialects (41% of the population in India) which makes it the 4th largest language of the world, after Chinese, Spanish, and English.

Taj Mahal, India.

Language as a political tool

Standard Hindi is based on Khariboli, a dialect of Delhi and surrounding regions. In the 17th century, this dialect acquired linguistic prestige and became generally known as Hindustani or Urdu. After India became independent, a language reform led to Standard Hindi with a modern grammar and orthographic standards. While many Hindi and Urdu speakers claim these are two different languages, this is largely due to religious nationalism and communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims. It is in a fact hard to tell the colloquial languages from each other. In the Indian constitution from 1950, Hindi was declared the principal national language of India, instead of Urdu. This "settled" the dispute politically (also with a contribution of Mahatma Gandhi who criticized the division), although certain resistance persists until today. 

One country, 22 languages

Mumbai, India.
It may be worthwhile to note that English is the secondary national language due to historical and cultural development of India. Fluency in English is considered a social advantage. English is India's lingua franca and is widely used in higher society, politics as well as in business. Apart from official Hindu and English, there is over 20 officially recognized languages in India, including Urdu, Assamese, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Nepali, Kannada, Gujarati and others.


The main script of Standard Hindi is Devanagari, it is also the most commonly used alphabet for writing Sanskrit.
अ ब भ क च छ ड/द ध/ढ़ इ फ ग घ ह ई ज क ख ल म न/ण ऑ प फ क्यू र स श ट/त ठ/थ उ व व क्ष य झ