Language and Society, Russian

Demand for Russian Outside US-Russia Relations

I am sometimes asked how the interactions between Russia and the US will affect the demand for Russian translation and interpreting. The political climate certainly impacts language services by affecting trade and international cooperation. However, English and Russian are not the exclusive purview of Russia and the US. Here are some areas where Russian is needed independently of… Continue reading Demand for Russian Outside US-Russia Relations

Translation Technology

Machine Translation Unlikely Substitute For Human Decision-Making

Are we finally on the brink of machine translation catching up to human translators? Recent coverage of neural machine translation (NMT) seems to suggest so. Beyond the justified skepticism about what machine translation (MT) can achieve, this attitude overlooks the choices we make in translations.

Translation Industry, Translation Theory and Practice, Translator Training

Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators

Should translations be done exclusively by native speakers of the target ("into") language? This question has recently come up in several publications. The language industry and training programs in the US predominantly answer in the affirmative. I have speculated about some possible reasons for this attitude. A recent article in the American Translators Association (ATA)… Continue reading Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators

Language and Society, Translation Theory and Practice

Guilty By Association: When Idiomatic Translation Hurts Your Message

One of the benchmarks of a good translation is whether it sounds "natural" or "flows." An important exception to this rule is when the "natural," idiomatic expression has negative connotations in that language. Such cases may warrant a departure from the choices made in the original text.

Language and Society, Translation Theory and Practice

Are Your Corporate Materials Localization-Ready?

US-headquartered corporations will often want to expand their operations overseas. At the same time, few of them internationalize their corporate communications and training materials. In other words, the original content was authored with the US in mind, and when the company decides to publish this content abroad -- to localize it for other markets --… Continue reading Are Your Corporate Materials Localization-Ready?

Translation Technology

3 Checks For Your Automated Translation (If You Can’t Help Using It)

Bad automated translations have become infamous on the Internet. Business are advised against using "raw" machine translation. Finally, you might have read about an embarrassing mistranslation that made it onto the official site of a Spanish food festival. To grossly simplify the mechanism, machine translation is normally a combination of substitution rules and large corpora (collections)… Continue reading 3 Checks For Your Automated Translation (If You Can’t Help Using It)