Lexi Blog


Back in 2004 I started to travel seriously in North Asia. It didn’t take me long to realise that if I was to do business there, then I was going to have to think about translating my company name into a number of local languages.
A back translation is a translation of a translated text, back into the language of the original text – made without reference to the original text. Back translation is not particularly common within the translation industry, due largely to the high cost of producing an accurate and reliable back translation. However, when used carefully, back translations can provide an effective way to check and verify the accuracy of the original translation provided one takes into account the following pitfalls.
Perfect pitch, or absolute pitch, is the ability to recognise or emulate the pitch of a musical note without any reference point. While perfect pitch is traditionally rare among European populations, where as few as 1 in 10,000 people have it, research has shown that this may have more to do with nurture than nature.
Clients may wish you to work on text that has been tagged in a ‘markup language’, such as HTML or XML. Rather than simply ignore – or, worse, remove these tags – freelance translators would benefit from familiarising themselves with the most common markup languages and learn how to recognise, navigate and use tags.
Translation is essentially a long series of linguistic decisions, some easy, others more difficult. This brief article will provide some examples of both categories.
While many companies trust NZTC International with translation of very important information, some of the most critical translations are for our clients in the medical equipment manufacturing sector. This is because there are documents contain instructions, that if carried out in correctly, could mean the difference between life and death.
An article from leading international consultancy firm Common Sense Advisory discusses in the April/May issue of MultiLingual magazine where global business has reached in terms of employing localisation to help sell products and services in different overseas markets. The importance of localisation is now well-recognised and accepted by exporting firms all around the world. However, this does not mean everyone is doing it as it should be done.
NZTC International hosted in September 2011 visitors from China as part of a cultural and learning exchange facilitated by Massey University. The visitors were training as translators and interpreters and were very appreciative of their experiences during the visit to NZTC. In return, they put together some cultural tips for people doing business in China, which we hope you might find useful!
If you are creating a document layout that will only be used in English, you can take a great deal of liberty in the methods you use to achieve this. However, when you are designing documents in InDesign or other design applications with the intent of translation and multilingual desktop publishing, how you set up the design template can have a big impact on how easy it will be to create different language versions.
We feel the touch of technology in our lives in an ever-increasing way. Automated processes are now common place, including email reminders, text alerts and voice activated service menus on phone systems. While technology is being used to enhance efficiency, inevitably it is often at the expense of the ‘human touch’. However, do we really need the human touch? For anyone who has been frustrated by a poorly designed voice-activated phone service menu, or caught out by a hilarious Google translation they probably would say yes, we do!