Category Archives: Translations

Software Translation Tips!

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Did you know that when you translate a software program you should…?

  • First, translate the software screen images
  • Second, translate the user manual or help manual
  • Finally, translate the “strings” – the error, warning or help messages the software issues when users make mistakes

A good principle when translating these three components is keeping the translation memories (TM) as separate files.  You will be able to obtain leverage by having more than one TM open when translating, but, for example, for the translation of the “”strings” you should only use and save into the “strings” TM and so on.

Keeping these 3 things separate will help create consistency in the long run.

If you are looking to translate something and need some help, please contact us at or visit us at


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As a translator, interpreter and a project manager who has worked with over 70 mining companies, engineering firms and mining software companies, I have seen and lived through the mining industry’s ups and downs in my 24 years of experience; today I am seeing a broad industry downturn.

I have personally translated the complete feasibility study for one of the largest gold mine construction projects in the world today, and my multilingual team has translated many feasibility studies, environmental studies, corporate sustainability reports, tailings reports, pipelines assessments, web sites, contracts, policies, procedures, etc. for some of the largest mining companies around.

From the translation professional’s perspective, I see two issues / problems emerging:

  • Transfer of knowledge – during a downturn people leave a company, often with little notice, resulting in situations where nobody knows who was responsible for maintaining the translation memories and/or bilingual databases, or where these items are located, for all the company’s projects that are on hold/stand-by while the company waits for the commodity prices to go up.  When the projects do proceed, if there was no transfer of knowledge, then the company often has to pay for translations again which were already complete, or were only updated, causing extra costs to re-invent the wheel.  I have experienced this first hand because when one of the largest mining companies in Vancouver was acquired in 2003, I was asked by the acquiring company to translate a project’s feasibility study (which had undergone small updates), however, I had already completed over 70% of the translation this project for my original client who had been acquired!
  • Using unskilled staff or over qualified staff – during a downturn, companies try to keep their staff occupied and minimize external costs; this leads to an assumption that because the person in the reception is bilingual, for example, he or she can translate or edit documents.  However, as we say in Spanish “lo bonito, cuesta caro” (cheap things are expensive in the long run). That person in reception may be great as a receptionist, but likely has no idea about translating at a professional level (i.e. the choices in the use of the language, new grammar and punctuation updates) where life and death consequence may very well arise from the translation. On the other hand, using your lawyer to translate isn’t smart because his or her $300 to $500 per hour rate is better spent on doing what he was trained to do.  To round my point, neither of these two people will be using translation memory software and they will tend re-invent the wheel over and over again choosing words and phrases for which you may already have a corporate preference.

What do you think?

If you are looking to translate something and need some help, please contact us at or visit us at

Three Tech Trends in Translation in 2015

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After adding 4 new languages to learn in 2014, the online language teacher will continue to grow in users and is expected to add Turkish soon.  While Duolingo’s original focus was providing crowdsourced translations of the internet, it has begun to instead focus on teaching languages to people in the developing world.  Duolingo will begin offering certification and tests in more and more languages in 2015.

“Real Time” Machine Translation

The merger of Optical Character Recognition and Speech Recognition with Machine Translation tools like Google or Bing translation software seems obvious in retrospect.  In 2015 these kinds of tools will become more prevalent with Skype beta testing its English to Spanish interpretation using Bing and an upcoming Google translation app to offer live text translation.

Translation demand will grow with the Internet

Despite technological improvements to machine translation and crowdsourced translations at Facebook, Twitter or through Duolingo, demand for professional translation services will also grow.  As the world shrinks and different regions trade with each other demand for translation services will increase.  Despite the fact that Chinese has surpassed English as the major language of internet content, English remains the dominant language of eCommerce.  For most businesses online to tap into different language markets they require solid, professional translation.

Demand for Healthcare Translation Services on the Rise

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NPR recently reported on the growing role of interpreters and translators in the Health Care industry in the United States.  The article and accompanying radio report are definitely worth the read/listen.  Here are a few interesting facts from it:

  • A community hospital in Hillsboro, Ore., says that up to 20 percent of their patients require an interpreter.
  • Of 3,500 medical interpreters in Oregon, only about 100 have the right qualifications to act as interpreters in hospitals.
  • Oregon’s Office of Equity and Inclusion reports that it hopes to add 150 new interpreters over the next two years.

Demand for interpreters and translators in hospitals will only increase over the next 5 years.  Now is the time for health care providers to establish long term relationships with translation agencies.  The more you’ve worked with an agency the cheaper and smoother the translation or interpretation process can be.

Read the whole article here:

Sharing Translation Memories Leads to More Savings for Clients

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The benefits of a translation memory are clear.  These living databases help companies maintain quality, consistency and tone across languages while at the same time reducing costs (For a quick rundown on the translation memories, check out this previous blog.)  For these reasons, almost all large companies use translation memories, and almost all professional translators work with translation memories.

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