The translation category features all blog posts related to the world of translation. Read posts on multilingual translation and translation services. Subscribe to us.

STAR Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women's Day, the women of STAR Translation

The Women of STAR Translation, Dublin. Left to right: Serena, Ana, Fabienne, Lucie, Justyna, Imelda, Uriell & Elise

On the 8th of March, businesses and governments will celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s a day set in place to respect the contributions and achievements women workers have made in the past and in the modern world today.

Many countries celebrate and appreciate the various economic, political and social achievements all women have made to society.

The Women of STAR Translation

In honour of International Women’s Day, STAR Translation wants to promote the awareness of how important it is to have women in the workplace. The majority of our team of project managers are professional, skilled women. They work with our customers and translators to deliver quality translation services everyday. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #MakeItHappen. Show your support for Women and equality in the workplace!

The History

Although the day itself has many varying beginnings, the first ever recorded occurrence of a Women’s Day took place on the 28th of February 1909 in New York City. It was organised by the Socialist Party of America, and was primarily in remembrance to a similar strike a year earlier in 1908 by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. All other marches, protests, conferences and strikes that followed the precursor of 1909 were never held on the 8th of March.

On the lead up to 1914, not one Women’s Day celebration happened on the 8th of March. However, in 1914, International Women’s Day was held on the 8th of March, possibly because that day happened to be a Sunday.

All Western countries mark the 8th of March as International Women’s Day. The 1914 observance of the Day in Germany was dedicated to women’s right to vote, which the German women did not win until 1918. During the early 20th century, many women fought hard for their rights as equal citizens. At STAR, we want to show our support for women in the workforce.

Women’s Rights

The United Nations has a dedicated website on Women’s Rights, its history and what’s happening now. You can also get involved in Women’s Rights through the official International Women’s Day website.

Graham,
The STAR Team

For your Valentine: An Italian Love Song

Ti Amo, Italian love song

Ti Amo!

Sing-Along: Italian Love Song

Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, we’ve become very sentimental at STAR Translation today.

One of our Project Managers wanted to share a verse from a favourite Italian love song of hers to spread the message of love to all of you out there.

Give it a go; try to read the Italian…

Original, Italian Version

Io ti cercherò negli occhi delle donne
che nel mondo incontrero’
e dentro quegli sguardi mi ricordero’ di noi…
chissa’ se si chiamava amore…

English Translation

“I will look for you in all the women’s eyes
that I’ll meet in the world, and in their eyes I will remember us
Who knows if we could call that love.”

By Lorenzo Jovanotti, Io ti cercherò

Listen out for the lyrics (above) in Jovanotti’s song:

Do you have a favourite love song, poem or quote you’d like to share with us? Post it in the comments below. We’d love to hear it.

The STAR Team

Chinese New Year: Year of the Sheep

Chinese New Year, Year of the Sheep / Goat

Chinese New Year: Year of the Goat

Year of the Sheep or Goat

Preparations are taking place across Dublin and around the world for the Chinese New Year, which will kick off on the 19th of February. It’s one of the longest festival in the Chinese calendar running through to the 24th of February. Celebrations begin on Chinese New Year’s eve and last through to the end of the month in the Chinese calendar.

Sometimes referred to as the Spring Festival, a centuries old tradition that played a significant role in Chinese myths and legends. The holiday is ingrained in its people’s customs and is one of the most important festivals with annual celebrations taking place in chinatowns are the world.

This year marks the year of the sheep, or goat to some.

The Goat is the eighth sign of a twelve-year cycle of animals (mnemonics for the calendar system)  in the Chinese zodiac, which in turn is related to the Chinese calendar and other festival celebrations. But not only that; those born in the year of the goat are said to resemble the traits of the animal, or any other animal as part of the Chinese zodiac.

Years Of The Goat / Sheep | Chinese Calendar

Start Date End Date Heavenly Branch
13th February 1907 1st February 1908 Fire Goat
1st February 1931 5th February 1932 Earth Goat
17th February 1919 19th February 1392 Metal Goat
5th February 1943 24th January 1944 Water Goat
24th January 1955 11th February 1956 Wood Goat
9th February 1967 22th January 1968 Fire Goat
28th January 1979 15th February 1980 Earth Goat
15th February 1991 3rd February 1992 Metal Goat
1st February 2003 21th February 2004 Water Goat
19th February 2015 7th February 2016 Wood Goat
6th February 2027 25th January 2028 Fire Goat
24th January 2039 11th Feb 2040 Earth Goat
11th February 2051 31 January 2052 Metal Goat

What’s your animal in the Chinese zodiac? And do you refer to it as the year of the sheep or the year of the goat? Let us know in the comments below.

Download our Chinese New Year poster / infographic: Year of the Sheep / Goat.

Graham,
The STAR Team

How Nintendo’s Mario Became Wario

How Mario became Wario by Nintendo

Wario by Nintendo ©2007

Mario became Wario, how a little translation changed a game character

Game players around the world love Mario and his antagonist, Wario. Although Wario isn’t a bad guy; he’s just a baddish, tougher version of Mario!

How did Nintendo come up with the name Wario?

Actually there are a couple of interesting facts around this.

The first and simplest explanation, of course, is that they wanted Mario’s competitor to be the exact opposite to him: a “bad” Mario.  This is why the characters look alike. In coming up with the name, they considered using a similar name to Mario. How could you make the name Mario sound bad?

Second explanation: in Japanese (Mario was invented in Japan), the phrase “warui” (悪い) means “bad”. Simply changing M to W gives you “Wario”, which sounds similar to warui. A little translation and a play-on-words gives you a new name.

Thus, Bad Mario, or Wario, was born.

The STAR Team

Trivia: Wario first appeared in the 1992 title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy.

Google: Augmented Reality, Real-Time Translation

Machine Translation

New tech in machine translation, Real-Time Translation

Real-Time Translation Tool from Google

In January, Google released new features to its translate app.

Available on both iOS and Android platforms, the app can make on-the-spot translations using its Word Lens tool and text translations by inputting words or sentences manually. But this year, the app was updated with voice translation functions in 36 languages. Users can tap the mic button in the app and begin talking. It recognises multiple users and the language being spoken. Once the languages have been recognised, the app is ready is translate without the need to tap the mic button again. Impressive!

Word Lens

Word Lens tool from Google

Word Lens tool from Google

The Word Lens tool in the Google Translate app allowed user to take a photo of a piece of text, a road sign etc. and translate it accordingly. Now, all the user has to do it point the phone’s camera towards the object and see the translated text overlaid on their screen. This is referred to as augmented reality and Google acquired the technology in May last year when they bought the California-based tech firm, “Quest Visual“.

Prior to the augmented reality tech, the app required a data connection to fulfill a request to translate. But now, that’s not an issue. Word Lens can also translate from English to and from German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

Closer to the Future

These futuristic features take us closer to turning our phones into something like the universal translators out of a Star Trek movie. Closer to a new age where language is no longer a social barrier for communicating new ideas, and to one another.

Often the hardest part of travelling is navigating the local language“, states Google Translate’s product lead Barak Turovsky. “Now Google Translate can be your guide in new ways…

Are you using it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The STAR Team

Hidden Meanings in STAR Logo

Hidden Meanings in STAR Logo

Hidden Meanings in the STAR Logo

Discover Hidden Meanings in STAR

There is always more to a company logo than meets the eye.

Recently, we had a great time looking at the hidden messages in the logos of many of the world’s most popular brands.

What about the STAR Translation logo?

Designed over 30 years ago, it has a number of hidden meanings that still hold relevance today.

The STAR Logo represents three very different elements of our company.

  • The STAR name
  • The Delta symbol (or triangle) that we see for the ‘A’
  • The horizontal lines in the delta symbol
  1. The STAR name
  2. The name STAR signifies a shining light and leadership which most people see
  3. The letters S, T, A, R actually come from the services the company provides
    • “S” is for Software: We develop and sell translation technology
    • “T” is for Translation: We provide translation services
    • “A” is for Artwork: We provide technical drawings and artwork
    • “R” is for Recording: We provide audio translation and recording services

The name also has a second hidden meaning. STAR founded its headquarters in the Swiss town of STein Am Rhein. So 2 hidden messages in our name.

  1. The Delta symbol that we see for the ‘A’
    • The great delta symbol is the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet. In mathematical terms, it signifies variation between two variables. In translation terms, it represents the difference between two sentences. At the heart of STAR Transit, our editing system, a translator works and thus, must know the differences between sentences to accurately review the context they are translating
  2. The horizontal lines in the Delta symbol
    • These lines represent the many lines or sentences in a translation project. Combined with the delta principle, we see the entire translation in context. Every sentence or line must be viewed with the sentences around it to achieve this. For example, if I was talking about vessels, would this be vases, boats or test tubes? You would only know if you read the entire paragraph to be able to understand the context
    • Interestingly look at the width of the lines in the triangle. At the top, the first line is the smallest. You have 1 line and a small piece of information. The second line is wider as now with 2 lines you have more information. As you read a document and you read more lines your understanding improves as you read more in context. It is just like a triangle, the more lines you can see in translation the wider and better your understanding is. The better your understanding, the better the translation
  3. This is the delta principle

The STAR Team

Duolingo Free App Brings Classrooms Online

Language Learning

Duolingo Free App brings online learning to classrooms

Duolingo Free App for Schoolchildren, Teachers

A new app that has been on the market for over two years will help schoolchildren learn a new language, for free!

In developing countries like Malaysia, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, learning a new language such as English is seen as a ticket out of poverty. Well, at least a certain level of proficiency. The need for English language teachers is unquestionable. However, despite the demand, English teachers in these countries cannot speak English either.

For two developers, and co-founders of the popular app, Duolingo, Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, believe it could aid language learners where resources are limited.

Duolingo first appeared on the App Store over two and a half years ago and today is holds an estimated 60 million users worldwide. But it’s not just benefiting those where access to good education is a problem; von Ahn sees it as a language educational tool for classrooms the world over.

With this in mind, von Ahn and his colleague Hacker are launching a new platform, ‘Duolingo for Schools’: an app that will enable teachers to track students’ progress and activity, and subsequently tailor lectures and classroom exercises.

“It’s hard to know how many, but we think right now we have a few thousand teachers using Duolingo without this feature. I think this will multiply that by a factor of ten easily,” von Ahn states.

Duolingo’s success is down to an increase in the activity of online learning, and the fact that it’s perceived by many that you can get a quality education for free online; an idea that has gone mainstream as the online learning space swells with newer and better learning apps, and even learning games!

Making money for free!

How does a free app pay the bills? The co-founders developed a business model to help pay for the free service. After a student finishes a lesson in Duolingo, they can test how much they have acquired by translating a piece of text in a news article or the like. With companies like Buzzfeed and CNN who pay Duolingo for these crowdsourced translations, according to von Ahn, it is Duolingo’s millions of students who churn out several hundred articles a day.

With all these advantages, some language academics have cautioned the use of apps like Duolingo, saying it can never replace the teacher, or the textbook, particularly at the university level.

“You can review vocabulary and practice verb forms, but it’s not giving you any cultural context.”

“You can review vocabulary and practice verb forms, but it’s not giving you any cultural context,” says Elise Mueller who’s an academic technology consultant specializing in language teaching and technology at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Whether or not Duolingo was designed for the classroom, teachers started incorporating it into their curriculum and since the original app wasn’t designed for this, teachers have had to make some unconventional workarounds. But ‘Duolingo for Schools’ will change all that.

Do you use Duolingo? If not, would you consider learning a new language through it? Let us know in the comments below.

The STAR Team

Source: Wired

Medical Miscommunication

Medical Miscommunication in Translation

Medical Miscommunication

From Poor Handwriting to Google Translate, Medical Miscommunication

Doctors’ handwriting had always been considered a menace around medical wards and general practices until recently a new one surfaced: Google Translate.

Anyone who has ever resorted to using Google’s alternative machine translation tool, even for non-medical reasons, knows what confusion it can cause.And yet this hasn’t discouraged medical staff from using GT during treatments. Typically, medics have to make quick decisions about a patient’s condition where no interpreters are present. In rolls Google Translate. It’s quick and easy allowing medical staff to get the gist of what their foreign national patients were saying.

Lost in Translation

A survey was carried out for the purpose of understanding what GT would return after translating 10 common medical phrases. The auto-translated phrases were then back translated by native human speakers of those languages — the results revealed all sorts of horrors. In one particular case, the medical English word “fitting”, a past participle of “to have seizures” was used: a mistranslation by medical staff whereby the English read, “your child is fitting”, in Swahili, it became “your child is dead”.

Another slightly less terrifying one was the Polish translation of a suggestion offered to relatives of a patient who either deceased, or nearly — “your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs”. To Google Translate and this in turn becomes, “your husband can donate his tools”!

Many other phrases churned out almost poetic translations such as one into Marathi (an Indian language) which read, “your husband had a cardiac arrest”. GT came out with, “your husband had an imprisonment of the heart”. In Bengali, the phrase, “your wife needs to be ventilated” resulted in, “your wife wind movement needed”. Imagining doctors and nurses alike repeating these poetic phrases adds a little humour. Perhaps not so much for the patients and their families.

Google Translate cannot recognise the context of the sentence or phrase it is translating, which results in mistranslations. Anybody relying on GT for formal communication may well find themselves in trouble, despite the hilarity of some of its flaws.

Have you ever come across any embarrassing mistranslations? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

The STAR Team

Secret of Santa Claus, Track Santa Claus on His Journey

The Secret of Santa Claus, track Santa Claus this Christmas

The Secret of Santa Claus • Track Santa Claus / STAR Translation Imaging

How to Track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve

Christmas is almost upon us! And our thoughts are immediately drawn to the man himself: Santa. But who is he? Where did he come from? And how does he work so quickly?

Santa Claus is known by many names to children throughout the world: Saint Nick, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas (in the Netherlands) and Father Christmas. But how much do you really know about him? Aside from his incredibly long and virtually ever-growing list of boys’ and girls’ names, Mr Claus never seems to age at all.

Where did he come from?

There’s no substantial information on Santa’s origin, but historians claim that he is approximately 16 centuries old and that he was once referred to as Saint Nicholas, a 4th century Christian priest in the Middle East. Saint Nicholas was well-known for bestowing gifts to the less fortunate: sprinkling them down chimneys and hiding treats in stockings.

Magical Santa

But how does Santa deliver so many presents to all the children around the world in one night? We have always wondered how on earth Santa manages this feat. The guys at NORAD, who track Santa’s path on Christmas Eve every year, have speculated that “he does not work within time as we know!” “His whole trip may appear to us as taking only 24 hours, but to Santa it may last days, weeks or even months in standard time!”

Mindboggling, right? This might explain how he appears to move so fast in one night. While he’s working away and delivering his gifts as normal, to us he is travelling at speeds we can hardly imagine. NORAD came to the only logical conclusion, “that Santa functions within a different time-space continuum than the rest of us.” Despite our best efforts to unravel the enigma of Santa Claus, only he knows! Perhaps that’s what makes us adore him even more.

You can track Santa’s path on the 24th of December using NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

From all the team at STAR Translation, we wish you and yours a Happy Christmas!

The Migratory Language Welsh

Flag of Wales; migratory languages welsh

Flag of Wales

Migratory Language Welsh lands in Argentina

Over 150 years ago,  some 150 Welsh migrants took to the seas seeking a new way of life in the new world.

They gave themselves three places to choose from as their new home: Vancouver Island, Palestine or Argentina. Ultimately they chose Argentina to settle and establish a new colony as their home — a valley named Chubut in the region of Patagonia. The reason for their decision to settle in that part of South America was one of isolation. At the time, there were no other European settlements in the region, only indigenous tribes.

There was a lot of political radicalism in Wales during the 19th century and a growing sense of Welsh national consciousness engulfed many rural communities. They wanted to retain their national identity without the possibility of a passive English language invasion.

Politics and Religion

One man named Michael D. Jones, a radical, a religious man and nonconformist, was tired of the political and religious influences the English had over the Welsh population. Jones was a believer in the preservation of the Welsh language and traditions. It was he who became the leader of this like-minded community of travellers and partly his decision to travel to Argentina.

Jones had a single objective: to build a new Welsh colony overseas. One that is self-governing, democratic and nonconformist.

New Hope: Argentina

As all new beginnings bring hardships and struggle, the new Welsh colony had to overcome many difficult obstacles. When they arrived in 1865, they lived in caves along the coastline. But as the years went by, they experienced a golden age, a period of good fortune and prosperity: a time of economic and cultural growth swept through the settlement. They spoke only Welsh and preserved many national traditional such as the Eisteddfod (a traditional ceremony called “the chairing of the bard”).

Changing Times

Decades later, the Argentine government stepped in and enforced all community settlements in Argentina to learn and speak only Spanish. This meant that Spanish could only be taught at schools.  There wasn’t much the Welsh community could do but slowly adapt as the Spanish language took hold and Welsh eventually lost the battle. However, some families kept the language in the house. Old world Welsh traditions didn’t die out either and are still practiced to this day.

Centenary Celebrations & Revival

One hundred years on, 1965, there was a growth in interest in all things Welsh. Welsh culture and language began to reassert itself into the settlement. The small village in Chubut was finally connecting to Wales and there was a sense of appreciation among the villagers of the pioneering role the first settlers played.

Michael D. Jones migrated from Wales to save Welsh national identity and establish it elsewhere. But what he failed to realise was, that with immigration comes assimilation: the new country creates its own, new identity. However, the Welsh-Argentine community of Chubut will always remain proud of its roots.

The STAR Team

Source: BBC Magazine