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 […]Read More Demand for Russian Outside US-Russia Relations
By now, many people will have seen and enjoyed a Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One. One of the things that occurred to me after watching it was the challenge of translating the word “rogue.”Read More How Do You Say Rogue One in Russian?
This year I went to my second American Translators Association (ATA) conference as a full-time independent translator (there was also that time in 2011). Since my conference review from last year mentioned some things I could improve, I would like to use this post as a follow-up to hold myself accountable for my progress in […]Read More Live and Learn: Post-Mortem of #ATA57
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.Read More Machine Translation Unlikely Substitute For Human Decision-Making
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) […]Read More Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators
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.Read More Guilty By Association: When Idiomatic Translation Hurts Your Message
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 — […]Read More Are Your Corporate Materials Localization-Ready?
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) […]Read More 3 Checks For Your Automated Translation (If You Can’t Help Using It)
Russian is supposed to expand greatly and wreak havoc on your user interface. But does it really expand that much?Read More How Bad Is Translation Expansion in Russian (And How To Curb It)
This year I attended the American Translators Association (ATA) annual conference after a three-year gap. This post is a quasi-debriefing of what I thought went well this time and what I need to concentrate on in the following years. By its nature, the list will be specific to me and may not reflect everyone’s priorities and […]Read More Lessons Learned from ATA 56th Annual Conference