Monthly Archives: September 2011

International Translation Day

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International Translation Day has been held each year on September 30 since the creation of the International Federation of Translators in 1953.  September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators.  Jerome translated the Hebrew and Greek Bibles into Latin for what would be known as the Vulgate.  The Vulgate remains the definitive Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church.

So it is for this reason thatSeptember 30 is considered International Translation Day.  Translation today is just as necessary now as it was in 384 when Jerome translated the Bible.  Happy Translation Day!

St. Jerome, the Patron Saint of Translators


Robots Invent a Language

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I thought this was rather interesting language related news.  A scientist in Australia has created two robots who communicate using a system of beeps, and have the ability to create new words to describe new places.  The video below shows it.  The two robots move to a new and unnamed location.  The one robot asks the other what the location is called and the robot replies with a new word (or set of beeps).  The robot appears to be responding to it’s environment and creating a symbol (word or beeps) to describe that environment.

What I find most interesting is that there may now be a language that machine translation software will be able to translate without results like these:

Ways to Spot a Poor Spanish Translations

By | Spanish Translations, Translations | No Comments

This week we’ll show you a few ways for non-Spanish speakers to spot a poor Spanish translation:

Tip #1

Check the headers and if they use verbs ending in “ando”, “endo” and “indo”, the translator is an amateur.

For example:

Optimizando resultados” should be written: “Optimizar resultados”

Subiendo metas” should be written:  “Subir metas”

Integrando procesos” should be written: “Integrar procesos”

Creando oportunidades” should be written: “Crear oportunidades”

In Spanish, gerunds are not used in headers. Gerunds in Spanish are the words ending in “ando”, “endo” and “indo”, which are equivalent to English words ending in “-ing.”  A sloppy translator will translate any headers containing gerunds directly from English into Spanish without accounting for the fact that, in Spanish, gerunds are not used in headers.

Tip #2

Make sure the capital letters are accentuated.

For example:




We need to use the proper accents when writing with capitals letters. In the past accents were not used on capital letters.  This was because typewriters did not have this.  However, the days of typewriters are long gone and so too are the translators who do not add the accents onto capital letters.

Tip #3

Do you know the correct form to write the title of a manual in the cover page?


The title of the book in the cover page of a manual can be all in capital letters. However, when there is a reference of the book or a quote about the book everything should be in lower case except the first letter and the proper names.

Translation and Justice

By | Interpretation, Translations | No Comments

David Bellos recently wrote an interesting op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal regarding the use of translators in the high profile Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case.  The article is definitely worth reading if you are at all interested in either the case or the nuances of the translation business.

Bellos highlights the need for the consumers of translation services to be aware of how translators work.  We’ve posted before about the importance and benefits of working with your translator in order to get the most out of them.  And of course when it comes to a matter of justice this is, as Bellos indicates, vitally important.

You can read the article “Does Justice Lose Something in Translation” online at: