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International Maritime Signal Flags

International maritime signal flags, STAR Translation Imaging

STAR in Maritime Signal Flags / STAR Translation Imaging

International Maritime Signal Flags Explained

Have you ever seen these flags?

Chances are you probably have seen them before. They are used to communicate in the days long before the Internet.

The International maritime signal flags were first drafted in 1855 and published in 1957 as an International and British communication system. This system was adopted as visual and radiographic volumes in English, German, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Italian languages for seafaring boats in 1932.

NATO uses the same flags today with a few unique symbols for warships.

The system is a way to communicate between boats at sea. They can be used to easily send important messages, but it’s important to know the process to use them well.

Each flag represents a letter of the alphabet, similar to braille, but each flag also represents a code, direction or a significant symbol. For example, A means ‘I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed’. It’s also possible to combine letters, first to write a word and secondly to send a different signal code. For example, NC means ‘I am in distress and require immediate assistance’.

Each flag and its significance is explained in the code book: International Code of Signals (ICS). NATO uses these flags, but also has different codes used in secrecy. Each boat will have to possess this book to decipher its messages.

Selection of international maritime signal flags

A selection of maritime signal flags / Stock photo

Wiki Sources: International Code of Signals and International Maritime Flags

The STAR Team

Meet STAR around the world, Calendar

Meet STAR this year


Meet STAR at several conferences taking place around the world.

MSC 2013: 7th – 11th, Brno, Czech Republic, International Machinery Trade Fair, STAR Czech S.R.O.

Exhibitions and presentation: Exhibition and presentations.


Tekom: 6th – 8th, Wiesbaden, Germany (annual conference), European information development Conference for technical communication.

STAR AG, STAR Deutschland GmbH, STAR Software, Translation, Artwork, Recording GmbH.

Exhibition and presentations: Tekom Deutschland” target=”_blank”>Tekom Deutschland

54rd Annual Conference of the American Translators Association

6th – 9th, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

ATA’s annual conference offers the world’s largest selection of educational opportunities specifically focused on translators.

STAR Group America, LCC.

Exhibition and presentations: Americn Translation Assocation.

The STAR Team

Christopher Zanella World Series Renault 3.5

Zanella at World Series Renault

Christopher Zanella and World Series Renault

Zanella’s F2 Renault

If you’re a fan of motor racing, then you may like to follow Christopher Zanella at the World Series Renault. The STAR Group sponsors the Swiss racing driver, Christopher Zanella who will participate in the upcoming tournament this summer.

Date Race
25th – 26th May Monaco
1st – 2nd June Spa-Francorchamps
22nd – 23rd June Moscow Raceway
20th-21st July Red Bull Ring
14th – 15th September Hungaroring
28th – 29th September Circuit Paul Ricard
19th – 20th October Circuit de Catalunya
World Series Renault 3.5 Race Calendar

Find out about Christopher Zanella on wikipedia.

The STAR Team

STAR On-Air!

STAR On -Air, Alex Gibson with Damian Scattergood at Dublin City FM

STAR On-Air with Dublin City FM

Last Friday, STAR Translation was on-air, radio channel 103.2FM, discussing translation with Alex Gibson of the Persuaders.

The Persuaders is Dublin’s only dedicated marketing show covering a diverse range of topics such as advertising, digital trends, sales promotion, sponsorship and direct marketing. Each week presenter Alex Gibson interviews top Irish and international guests and reports from major Irish conferences covering marketing topics.

Alex Gibson is also Head of Department and Marketing Professor in Dublin Institute of Technology. Damian Scattergood, Managing Director of STAR Dublin, was this week’s guest in the midday on-air show part of Dublin City FM’s broadcast. Damian and Alex discussed the growth of STAR in Dublin and shared anecdotes on translation projects like video translation and also advice on how to develop marketing strategies and businesses abroad.

The latest trends in international marketing are seeing a lot more richer content. With new technologies being released all the time this puts increasing demands on the translation service providers. Providers need to keep up to date with new content and new digital marketing techniques. STAR has added new services to its offices including ecommerce website translation, video translation and subtitling services. More and more websites are now multilingual and content is ever more demanding. Damian spoke about the growth of the Chinese economy. With over 800 million mobile devices in China, mobile computing, websites and translation is all important.

Marketing translation has become more and more important as companies reach out across the globe. The key point that Damian made encompassing this was that it is important to do some homework (with your translation provider) before you launch a product worldwide, well before translation. There are many examples of product names that mean unfavourable things in other languages. The classic example is the Chevy Nova, when translated into Mexican Spanish it means won’t go. Your translation company can help you check your brand name in other languages to ensure your product will appear well in your target market.

On the technical front, choosing technology for your website, or indeed your authoring tools, is also important. Some content management systems work well in translation — others not so much. The choice of CMS can hamper or aid your translation process later and impact its costs accordingly.

Adobe InDesign, for example, is becoming the de facto standard for brochures. It’s a little more expensive to buy than some of its competitors, but it is completely internationally enabled so you can translate InDesign files easily into any language. Translation is thus, easy and cost effective. It’s the best at what it does.

For more information and advice on translation services, contact Damian Scattergood at STAR on +353 (0)1 836 5614.

Alex Gibson runs The Persuaders Online.

You can follow the show and all things marketing by following Alex Gibson on Twitter.

Thanks Alex and Dublin City FM!

The STAR Team

Translating Movies: Titles, Subtitles and Dubbing

Translating movies: to dub or not to dub?

To dub or not to dub? / STAR Translation Imaging

Translating movies: to dub or not to dub?

In Europe and Latin America, movie dubbing is a fairly common practice. After the Second World War, countries like Spain, France and Italy had a strong demand for multicultural communication and an increased demand for content. Media in the form of music, film and television arrived from across the Atlantic and Great Britain.

Research showed that in Latin cultures, people didn’t like watching original English language programmes with or without subtitles.

A recent study showed that if a program was broadcast in its original format for television, the channel would lose up to 30pc of its audience.

Meanwhile, Scandinavian countries have a much stronger English language culture and greatly preferred the originals.

Dubbing seems to be snubbed today by the younger generations who are fond of American TV shows available for download. Oftentimes for free! However, dubbing is necessary for broadcasters because it offers comfort to them in terms of delivery and ease of production.

Viewers of dubbed programs are often sensitive to translation quality, especially as this can sometimes be of questionable quality. A dubber has to perfectly master the source language, typically their native one, and the target language. If there’s a mistake, it’s very rare that a new recording is made.

It’s an expensive process, so normally you only get one take on it.

Probable Errors

There are lots of expressions, idiomatic ones, that are language specific – often seen as colloquial. And it’s not an easy task to translate them accurately. The movie translation controversy doesn’t stop there. Sometimes you can find silly errors or inconsistencies in the title of films or TV shows.

Some titles will be translated directly, but their meaning is not exactly the same because of the mistranslation or slightly different translations given. For example, Home Alone was translated into French; its title in France read “Maman, j’ai raté l’avion !” or Mom, I missed the plane! Another one is Die Hard With A Vengeance, which was translated into Danish as Die Hard: Mega Hard”. Ha!

The purpose of translating movie titles into something more palatable for its target demographic is primarily to encourage maximum public viewing. Enabling the viewers, no matter where they are in the world, to better understand what it is they are watching.

Although differences in meaning can lead to funny titles that will always make us laugh; however, from an English speaker’s point of view.

The STAR Team

Congratulations to Paul Casey on winning The Irish Open

Irish Golf Open commences, congratulations to Paul Casey

Irish Open Golf – 174 Players – 24 Nationalities

At STAR, we work hard but we also take time to relax and enjoy other professionals in action.

Stephen McCormack, a member of our sales team spent a weekend at Carton House watching some of the players in action. It’s amazing how many golfers were there from all around the world.

Interesting facts Stephen pointed out to us

This year the Irish open has 174 registered players from 24 locations around the globe. We’ve listed them all below. Certainly great stats for a quiz-master in years to come.

Thanks to Stephen for the great photos.

Country Number of Players
ENG 37
ESP 10
FRA 12
IRL 18
RSA 12
SCO 13
SWE 14
Grand Total 174
17th hole at the Irish Golf Open

17th Hole of the Carton House Golf Course

How to test your website on iPhone and iPad

Test your website on iPhone and iPad

Test your website on iPhone and iPad

iPad testing

You’ve designed your beautiful new website, optimized its SEO, CSS, HTML and included amazing new imagery and copy. What’s next?

The key question

How does it look to your users? And how does it appear on smartphones, tablets and “phablets”? How to test your Website on iPhone and iPad?

Mobile computing is on the rise, so you need to check your site and apps on various platforms, particularly iPad and iPhone as they are the leaders in the mobile technology market.

We’ve come across a great online tool that allows you to view any website as if viewed on iPad or iPhone: iPad Peek. Just visit this site and enter your website’s details or even those of any other site.

You can view your site on multiple platforms and orientations.

If you enjoy using an iPad, you may also like to visit the official iPad developers’ site.

And other developer sites such as …

Another noteworthy tip is to enable your website to be mobile aware using HTML5 and CSS3. There are a few great tutorials on this subject on YouTube:

Happy Web development!

The STAR Team

Top 10 Language Service Providers 2013

Top 10 language service providers 2013

STAR Group ranks seventh biggest translation company in the world / STAR Translation Imaging

Language Service Providers 2013, released

This week the Common Sense Advisory released its report on the top 100 language service providers in the world.

The Common Sense Advisory is an independent market research company based in Massachusetts, that helps companies profitably grow their international businesses, and gain access to new markets and new customers.

STAR ranks as the 7th largest translation company in the world, 2013

The top 10 language service providers:

  1. Lionbridge Technologies
  2. HP ACG Common Sense Advisory
  3. TransPerfect /
  4. SDL
  5. Language Line Solutions
  6. Euroscript International S.A.
  7. STAR Group
  8. Welocalize, Inc.
  9. RWS Group
  10. Manpower Group Solution, language services

We are delighted to be in the Top 10 again this year. STAR has shown consistent growth over the last 25 years and more. With offices around the world, we are perfectly positioned to help our customers grow their international business.

The full report is available from the Common Sense Advisory.

Highlights of the report showed that some of the larger translation companies increased their workforce. STAR was amongst the six elite companies highlighted in this area.

The report also detailed some of the fastest growing areas of the international language business. Nearly 75% of respondents reported that translation was the fastest growing service, followed by website globalization, software localization, and on-site interpreting.  Other areas to note include voice-over, dubbing, narration and subtitling.

We provide our customers with a variety of professional services; our digital marketing team provides many voice and video services to help our customers deliver multilingual multimedia content.

The STAR Team

Medical Illustrations, from Unseen to Amazing

It’s all about medical illustration.

We cover English writing and translation issues a lot in our blog, but we frequently overlook the other side of technical documentation, the images and graphics.

Sometimes it’s a bit like how people refer to translators: we just change the words to other languages. In reality true translation and illustration is far more complicated than just words and images.

They say a picture tells a thousand words. Good illustration tells even more! They can describe unseen images, concepts and complicated processes. They form a key part of our understanding.

Look at any of our recent posts on smartphones, tablets etc. Having context is very important to understanding how to translate, and even use a product.

Medical translation is a perfect example of precision, meaning and process. It’s not always possible for doctors to see every part of the human anatomy during training. Although accurate and functional illustration is paramount to their success, and subsequently our lives. I have to thank Chuck Green of Ideabook for his synopsis of the medical illustration profession. If you need ideas and inspiration, his website is fantastic.

Here’s a great example of “unseeable biology” by Drew Berry …

Systems and Animations

For video animation, check the AXS Studios in Toronto who produce some amazing animations.

History of Medical Illustration

For those who would like to learn more, watch this video (appx. 45 minutes) about the history of medical illustration.

Benjamin Mandel, MD, discusses his work in the area over the last few years: amusing and informative.

Visit the Association of Medical Illustrators.

Designers! You should also check out The Medical Illustration Source Book.

The STAR Team

STAR Runner Wins IBN Trophy, Düsseldorf Marathon

Congratulations to Dominick Branigan a member our sales team who recently won the IBN Business Network Trophy in the Düsseldorf Marathon.

Dominick is a keen running enthusiast. This is his 5th marathon in 16 months.

His winning time was 2:49, a world class time by any standards.

Dominick took part in the Marathon as part of the Irish Business Network Exchange, an organization that promotes business between Ireland and Germany. The purpose and organization of this marathon are a little bit special; several companies were represented by teams of runners from Irish businesses.  In these teams, there was one part relay and the other was single marathon runners only.

Dominick is the first person from Ireland to win this trophy. He finished 69th out of 4,500 marathon runners in the Düsseldorf race. What motivated him to participate in this marathon was the willingness to improve his own timing and also the novelty of a new group of runners and running globally. He also took part in the Rotterdam marathon this year.

“It was an amazing experience, no stress or pressure as I was running with like-minded runners.  The last mile was a magical feeling full of emotion.”

Congratulations Dominick from STAR Translation!

Dominick Branigan being awarded his IBN trophy at the IBN marathon in DuesseldorfDominick being awarded the IBN Business Network Marathon trophy

You can follow Dominick and his passion for running in Ireland and abroad on his blog, Running with No Limits

The STAR Team