ISME foreign exchange (FX) scheme

The Association’s foreign exchange scheme, in association with Investec, is offering excellent value to member companies. ISME members will benefit from a minimal guaranteed foreign exchange margin of 0.5% on all foreign exchange transactions of amounts between €1,000 and €100,000. No charges or fees on foreign exchange transfers or statements will apply.The group schemes need the support of members.If you are either buying or selling foreign exchange please contact tel: 014210223 or visit www.isme.ie

Changes to VAT information for service companies

Changes to VAT information, Ireland

Companies involved in supply services have to register with VIMA.

With effect from 1st January 2010, Irish VAT registered suppliers must submit a VIES statement detailing all the VAT registered customers in other member states to whom he or she has supplied services, in respect of which that customer is liable for payment of the VAT due.

Companies can submit on a quarterly basis, or monthly as they prefer. All VIES statements should be e-filed through Revenue On-line Service.

For more details please visit the VIES section in VIMA or email vimahelp (at) revenue dot ie or LoCall 1890 251 010.

The STAR Team

Cilt: National Centre for Languages

On 26 September, schools across Europe will be celebrating the vast number of languages spoken around the world and recognising all the different ways in which learning another language can enhance people’s lives. CILT, the National Centre for Languages is encouraging schools across the UK to join in the festivities for the European Day of Languages.

The European Day of Languages was set up by the Council of Europe in 2001, and now has around 45 countries involved. It’s an opportunity for schools, colleges and the wider community to kick-start language learning, or to introduce some fun into the process by planning activities like singing contests, market days or competitions.

CILT has all sorts of ideas to help teachers and parents along the way. Resources, downloads and general advice can all be found on our EDL pages, along with the Council of Europe events calendar, which schools across the continent are encouraged to use to promote and share their own ideas for activities and events.

This year CILT has produced a new collection of resources aimed specifically at MFL teachers. The ‘Discover a World of Languages’ collection of posters, stickers, and class sets can be used across both primary and secondary and is perfect for getting pupils thinking about different cultures and picking up words that they could use on holiday.

CILT has also recently launched the Language and Film Talent Awards (LAFTAs), which is an ideal way to celebrate the day. 13 to 21 year olds are being encouraged to produce a two-minute film on why languages are important. Last year the competition received 165 entries and the teenagers walked away with some excellent prizes, including trips abroad.

To find out more about the LAFTAs, visit our Languages Work website. The website also has plenty of resources to help teachers do something a little different to celebrate the day, and to show young people how important languages can be when it comes to entering the world of work.

STAR wins the Innovationspreis award

Innovationspreis award ceremony, Switzerland

On 13th March, STAR and two other finalists accepted the innovation prize or Innovationspreis awarded by the Wirtschafts- und Industrievereinigung Schaffhausen (Schaffhausen association of business and industry).

GRIPS was singled out as a concept for the creation, management and publication of information in all languages and media, from one single data source.

Josef Zibung accepted the award on behalf of the GRIPS team. “This is a well-deserved accolade for the GRIPS team, represented by Stephan Finkler (Development) and Florian von Lepel (Information Engineering). Together with their colleagues they have managed to implement a concept which, thanks to innovation and sustainability, provides STAR customers with a guaranteed advantage over the competition,”said Zibung.

Zibung’s laudatory speech was read by Dr Erhard Meister.

Dr Meister highlighted the importance of innovation, particularly if a company is to be successful on the international stage.

The winning projects qualified from among 27 candidates. The jury judged the projects in terms of uniqueness, marketability and sustainability (environmental and corporate).

The STAR Team

Report on Languages Spoken in the UK

The latest development of the Annual Schools Census, Schools and Families (DCSF) in England gives us important data about languages spoken in the Uk.

Annual Schools Census :England

The annual School Census carried out by the DCSF collects information form maintained Nursery, Primary, Middle, Secondary and Special Schools, Direct Grant Nurseries, City Technology Colleges, Academies, Non maintained Special Schools and Service Children’s Education establishments in England.
The 2008 data records some 240 different languages for almost 79% of pupils whose first language is other than English.

Languages Data (England)
The top fifteen languages spoken by pupils whose first language is other than English are reported as per the table.

-Language- -Number- – %* –
Panjabi 102,570 1.6
Urdu 85,250 1.3
Bengali 70,320 1.1
Guajarati 40,880 0.6
Somali 32,030 0.5
Polish 26,840 0.4
Arabic 25,800 0.4
Portuguese 16,560 0.3
Turkish 16,460 0.3
Tamil 15,460 0.2
French 15,310 0.2
Yoruba 13,920 0.2
Chinese 13,380 0.2
Spanish 10,000 0.2
Persian/Farsi 8,510 0.1

*Percentage of total maintained-school pupil population in Engalnd

Other UK regions: Scotland

-There are over 28,000 bilingual primary and secondary school children in Scotland.
-The top five home languages are: Panjabi, Urdu, Polish, Cantonese and Arabic.
-A total of 138 languages are spoken in school children in Scotland.

Other UK regions: Northern Ireland
-There are over 3,809 out of a total of 166,639 primary pupils and 1,714 out of 147,942 post primary pupils whose first language is not English and who have significant difficulties with the English language.

Other UK regions: Wales
-The 16% of pupils from maintained secondary schools in Wales were taught Welsh as a first language.

Future developments
We will welcome the outcome of a research project led by the Institute of Education on Population, Language, Ethnicity and Socio-Economic Aspects of Education.
This will provide us with very useful case studies on the relationship between language, ethnicity and social position.

Community Languages National Show 2009

Languages National Show UK

  • When: Wednesday 15th July 2009
  • Where: Chilworth Manor, Southampton
  • Fees: £75 or £25 for complementary school teachers with travel subsidy

This annual conference and exhibition is aimed at colleagues involved in teaching community languages in the mainstream or complementary sectors: teachers, managers, local authority advisers, teacher trainers or policy-makers.

All delegates will receive ‘Our Languages’ toolkit on forging successful partnership between mainstream and complementary schools and CDs offering lesson plans, schemes of work and resources across a range of languages.

The STAR Team

Second international conference on multilingualism

Second international conference on multilingualism, London Met

From Friday to Saturday, 19th to 20th June 2009 – the London Metropolitan University will host a conference on multilingualism.

Fees at £220 (£120 for complementary school teachers).

With the theme of Making Multilingualism Meaningful: linking theory to practice, this conference includes Prof. Jim Cummins, University of Ontario, Canada and Prof. Luis C. Moll, University of Arizona, USA as principal speakers.

For more information, visit the London Metropolitan University.

The STAR Team

Our Languages Regional Disseminations Events

Our Languages Regional Events

  • Where: various locations around the UK
  • When: May to June 2009

These nine free events feature high-profile speakers who participate at schools on ‘Our Languages Project’. updates on the latest government thinking on community languages, advice on Asset Languages accreditation and guidance on obtaining QTS.

Visit Our Languages for more information.

The STAR Team

AGIS 2009 and the Rosetta Foundation support LRC XIV

AGIS 2009 and Rosetta Foundation support LRC

We are very happy to announce that the Action Week for Global Information Sharing 2009 (AGIS) and the Rosetta Foundation are supporting Localisation in the Cloud and have arranged that all students, NGOs and freelancers can avail of a special discounted registration fee of €100 for the full conference.

This rate offers exceptional value and should give an even greater number of people the opportunity to attend what will be one of the premier localization events taking place this year.

For more information on Localisation in the Cloud, please visit their website or email lrc (at) ul dot ie.

The Rosetta Foundation is a not-for-profit organization providing a technology platform for volunteer translators and their not-for-profit clients. The Rosetta Foundation was established in 2009 and will be launched at AGIS ’09 taking place in Limerick, Ireland on 21st to 25th of September.

AGIS, Action for Global Information Sharing, will provide an opportunity for volunteer translators, their clients and technology gurus providing support to come together to learn, network and celebrate their work.

Localisation in the Cloud

The 14th Internationalisation and Localisation Conference organized by the LRC will take place on 24th to 25th September 2009 at the Clarion Hotel in Limerick City, Ireland.

The theme of this year’s conference is Localisation in The Cloud and the conference aims to look at the application of cloud-based computing and software as a service concepts to the software localization industry.

Sessions will examine the tasks involved in making customized and configurable localization services and projects available over the Internet. They will look at existing industry web-based localization solutions and options; how the web can help with tools deployment and workflow management; and to what extent existing tools solutions can be integrated in in the cloud solutions.

The conference will also provide a forum for discussions on engaging customers, service providers, tools developers and the user community in the cloud.

Who should attend?

LRC conferences are aimed at researchers, teachers, trainers, managers, engineers, translators and internationalization specialists working in localization. They are also aimed at businesses, governments and international development agencies that would like to find out how internationalization and localization can help their endeavours.

The Localisation Research Centre (LRC)

The Localisation Research Centre (LRC) provides a comprehensive information service to the localization industry; conducts research and development in localization and related areas such as language engineering; produces a range of publications including Localisation Focus – the International Journal of Localisation and oversees a number of education and training programs.

The STAR Team

Reduce your translation costs in ten ways

piggy bank

In this white paper, we have outlined translation cost control techniques for our customers’ consideration.

In an ever demanding global market place managing your operations project scalability and cost base are paramount to success. We typically save our customers 40% on translation costs over repeat projects. The margin of the price per word for pure text localisation is low, approximately of 5-10%. Seeking to negotiate lower prices from localisation vendors is not feasible without an unacceptable loss in quality. Instead, the trend is for vendors to seek additional revenue from hourly billed activities for example, DTP or file management and other services such as globalization assessments and centralized project management.

In addition to cost pressures, you may be under mandate to reduce headcount or operate within the constraints of a ‘headcount freeze’. STAR Technology Director Paul Quigley relates that “working with a number of software publishers, we have seen a typical internal to outsourced cost split of 60/40%.

The outsourced 40% is split by the localisation vendor a further 30/70%, with 30% representing the management and engineering cost and 70% representing the cost of translation. So, of each $1 spent on localisation only twenty-eight cents is spent on translating the words.”

Through our expertise, you can lower costs of localisation and control headcount while increasing project scope, quality and decreasing time to market. The underlying tenet of the STAR approach is the use of automation and tools technology, combined with common sense. STAR is expert in the creation of automated localisation processes and implementation of these techniques. The bottom line is more localisation for less money!

We assume that the source language is English, however these techniques can be adopted for any source-target language combinations.

TREAT LOCALIZATION AS A BUSINESS PROCESS

Inform work colleagues to treat localisation as a business process, just like any other activity critical to the bottom line. Any strings in a file can be translated, but not through a scalable, automated and cost-effective localisation process.

Adopt basic acceptance criteria for localisation:

  1. Is the product internationalised?
  2. Can the source files or externalised strings be safely and easily localised by an off-the-shelf process?
  3. Can the existing localised strings and sizing coordinates be leveraged as the source files change between updates? That means no one-off, throwaway localisation projects anymore!
  4. If you are developing Asian projects are
    • All your software libraries both internal and 3rd party DBCS enabled?
    • Are all your translation vendors’ tools DBCS compatible?

We are experts in working with companies to define their process acceptance criteria and enforce automatic compliance standards that are easily maintained and cost-effective.

DEFINE YOUR DATA

Typically, documentation projects represent the biggest localisation spend because of the sheer number of words. Whether it is online help or documentation, the per word cost of localisation could represent as much as 80% of your localisation budget, presenting a prohibitive barrier to market entry.

Start by asking two related questions.

  • Should there be documentation written in the source language?
  • Should it be localised?
    • The answers to these questions are not the same. It is an expensive mistake to believe that everything written in English must be localised, for example.
      Once you are satisfied that documentation should be written (because the product’s user interface cannot be made more intuitive, for example), adopt a selective localisation approach

Structure the information in your documentations into discrete content “buckets” based on a small number of audience user types. For example, three categories of user might be considered:

  1. Deployment
    • Deployment information may not need to be localised if it deals with installation, implementation, consulting solutions or developer related content dealing with APIs, code samples, development tools and techniques, etc. In many cases, this is best left in English
  2. Maintenance and Self-service
    • Maintenance information deals with infrequently performed tasks such as changing how a business operates (such as adding employees to a database, reconfiguring servers, archiving data, etc.) and has a smaller audience. This can be localised if the revenue stream justifies it
    • Self-service information is typically task-related; describing procedures on how to perform the key functions for which the software is intended. This kind of information has a wide audience and should be localised

Using XML to define your data facilitates a selective approach and the decision-making on whether the costs for localising each type are justifiable. Such data definition is not only logical but flexible too. It can be varied according to market requirements and conditions.

We can help you to define your data using a DTD; allowing audience attributes to be applied to elements and an XSL transformation to select localisable elements and port them to an easily localisable medium such as the XML Localisation Interchange File Format (XLIFF).

SORTING

Alphabetically sorted files are painfully costly to produce once localised. This is because languages contain different characters and numbers of characters. Once localised, information needs to be resorted, extra characters added, redundant ones deleted and so on. Anyone who has tried to sort HTML alphabetically will testify to the cost and time involved.
Instead, eliminate alphabetically based sorting from the file system. Externalise alphabetically sorted content into a database and use the NLS collating sequence to automatically sort the file or use XML and an XSLT element with language attributes to dynamically perform the sorting. STAR offer automated techniques to get that sorting sorted!

REUSE

Automated reuse of previously localised content is central to cost reduction. Adopt development and authoring solutions based on the automatic generation of unique and persistent identifiers (or tokens) on localisable data. For example:


To save the file, press CTL+S.
To run the printing process, press CTL+P.
Press OK.

These identifiers are applied and maintained ideally from a database or the authoring environment (Adobe Frame+SGML, for example).
Using STAR techniques will allow you to reuse content internally and eliminate the cost of outsourcing updates of unchanged content — unless you want to explain to your CEO why you are paying for the update of the same unchanged words over and over with every update.
Ah, but can STAR provide a solution for both updating unchanged localised content without incurring a cost for a post-update reviews to make sure that the context has not changed? Yes! STAR has both the knowledge and the know-how to show you how identifiers and string matching techniques can work together to detect unchanged strings and to leverage existing localisations securely without loss of context.

BACK TO SCHOOL

Grammar check the source content before localisation starts. This sounds obvious, but documentation that has not even been spell checked is often sent to localisation. Using a simple technique like running the grammar checker in Microsoft Word will not only catch spelling errors but also detect grammatical constructs that are difficult to localise (for example, the use of the passive voice).
Using such a simple automation technique allows you to eliminate problems that could otherwise only be detected using very expensive controlled authoring techniques. Eliminating the need for editorial changes after localisation begins is key to updating only when it is needed.

GRAPHICS

Remember that the outsourcing of graphics creation is expensive. Instead, remove all localisable callout text from graphics and include it in the text of your documentations to be added to a translation memory for reuse.
Replace the callout text with numbered (not lettered) callouts arranged clockwise on graphics and cross-reference the numbers to the text into the main document. This allows the same graphics to be automatically re-used in all localised versions.
We will help you address these and other painfully costly graphics localisation issues so that your picture can really paint a thousand words in any language.

ACCESSIBILITY

If you have accessibility requirements (accessibility means that people with disabilities can successfully access your product’s information), handle it sensibly. An expensive rewrite of HTML documentation is not required. Instead, for HTML tables add summary attributes that say “this table is for formatting only” and for graphics the alternative text attribute can say, “this picture is described in the text that follows”. These simple phrases are easily localised once and then automatically inserted into the HTML syntax code without fear of loss of context or the need to write expensive descriptions for localisation. You can tender for government and US or European Union-based contracts and meet statutory accessibility requirements using these simple techniques.

OPEN STANDARDS

Use open, extensible industry standards so that your data can be easily processed by any commercially available localisation tool or vendor. XLIFF is an excellent medium for commoditization of the localisation process. It also allows easy customization and eliminates the need to develop proprietary tools and special processes.

 

Database manager
Feighlí feasa
Gocamán na ngiotán
Manager means administration tool – not a person

We have a proven background in data definition and XLIFF. With our expertise, your localisation process can become an easily commoditised task for all parties in the equation.

AUTOMATE – MORE FOR LESS

Redesign your localisation process so that automation is central to leveraging, internal compliance and quality assurance tasks. Use the power of technology to automatically do as much work as possible internally using existing or reduced headcount. Once a file is outsourced to a localisation vendor for any task, you will incur costs — even for tasks that those vendors themselves have automated (such as updating files).
Retain non-language critical tasks such as project management, leveraging and quality checking inside your own organization and use STAR designed solutions to perform these tasks automatically, 24 x 7, safely with minimum manual intervention while you save money.

TERMINOLOGY

Sign off on the glossary of terms that will be used in your localisation before the actual localisation progresses. Most terminology change requests are based on a matter of taste.
Take control of terminology. Extract key terms from the source files, localise them first and then require the client to sign-off that these are acceptable. Doing a market test with the terms on sample customers helps too.
Most major companies invest heavily in terminology. Even if a localisation style is not one hundred percent perfect, if the terminology is sound then the documentation will be highly usable and the UI perfectly navigable.
Get a proper perspective on terminology. Most documentation is read once. There are spelling errors on the front page of all major newspapers but no one complains about not getting the message.
STAR can help you with automated string extraction techniques that can improve localisation quality, improving consistency and usability that will give you that competitive edge. Product such as Webterm are invaluable in this process.

Introducing STAR Group

STAR is the fourth largest translation service and technology companies worldwide and the second largest translation technology company. Headquartered in Switzerland, STAR Group is the largest privately held Translation Company in Europe. The company has over 20 years experience in technical information services and employs over 750 employees, working in 35 offices on 4 continents.

The STAR Team