Dating is difficult enough, but dating a translator additionally complicates things. Many translators at Sinonim are in committed relationships and they selflessly shared the things their partners most often complain about. Surprise! It’s almost always related to the translator’s job.
First of all, even getting a date with a translator is hard. Translators usually barely have a social life as it is, so if you got yourself a date with one: congratulations! Now prepare yourself for the remainder of your relationship to be equally demanding.
As we said, translators don’t really have a social life. The reason being that we are always busy looking at our screen, typing away, thinking about whether it’s a Contract or an Agreement, working…
Which leads us to:
After spending our entire day constructing and creating sentences, our brains turn into mush after a day’s work. It’s extremely difficult to think of a response that doesn’t consist of monosyllabic words like “yes”, “no” or “scrounged” (It’s funny because scrounged is one of the longest monosyllabic words. We have fun around here.) We need to rest and shut our brains off for at least an hour or so after work, which is usually done by watching cat videos on YouTube.
Let’s get one thing straight. Translators who don’t drink coffee are like zombies: scary, but no one has ever seen one in real life.
Our translator friends need their caffeine, and if you deny them the satisfaction of drinking a cup of this delicious nectar of the gods, you might lose a limb. Or a partner. This is not a joke.
Translators are notorious for their ability to make anyone laugh. We have a collection of jokes in our minds for every occasion, such as:
Oh, sorry. Did I say make anyone laugh? I meant ourselves and… yeah, that’s about it.
Have you ever noticed that translators take ages to order? Well, we are actually just looking over the entire menu to see if there are any mistakes in the translation. (Hint: there always are.)
Context is everything. Whether we are translating or giving you advice, we need context. If you need our help, you better prepare the entire backstory beforehand. With photos, strings of yarn, the whole nine yards.
Do you ever just want to learn random language facts? Doesn’t matter. You’ll get them either way.
A group of polar bears is called an aurora, you say? Interesting…
Did you write “then” instead of “than”? Did you “drink you’re coffee”? No worries, a translator is there to correct your grammar and resent you a bit more every time you make another grammatical mistake. We will still love you, but from a faraway place where we don’t have to talk to you.
Oh wait, that’s me. I’m describing myself.
Well, it’s what I was doing this entire time either way.
There is a frequent statement directed towards translators by people who don’t understand how translating works and it goes something like this: “What’s the big deal, you just transfer every word into another language. Just use Google Translate and there you go!” Well, we could do that, if a client wants a poor-quality translation which does not sound natural or even make sense.
Speaking two languages is not the same as knowing how to translate. The process of translating is a lengthy one, with the translator really having to use their noggin. Join us through the journey of translating in order to reach the art of invisibility.
The thing is, regardless of the improvement of technology, high-quality translations are done by a person going through a text word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, trying to find the perfect equivalent. More often than not, there are phrases that simply do not have a counterpart in the target language. This mostly happens with idioms, which can be quite bizarre:
British English: Bob’s your uncle!
Meaning: and there it is/there you have it, typically used to say “everything is alright” or when a result is reached.
Croatian: Vidjet ćemo čija majka crnu vunu plete.
Translation: We will see whose mother is spinning black wool.
Meaning: We will see who will end up badly.
Spanish: Tirar la case por la ventana.
Translation: To throw the house out the window.
Meaning: To spare no expenses.
For each of these, the translator needs to spend a certain amount of time to find the expression suitable to replace it in the target language. They try to understand the meaning as a whole and create a sentence which will sound natural. Even some simple expressions, such as “je m’appelle Josh” in French, cannot be literally translated as “I call myself Josh”, but as “my name is Josh”. And it makes a big difference. At least if you want a coherent translation.
It’s impossible to translate the text correctly if you don’t understand the author’s perspective. Who are they addressing, in what way and what is the point of the text are only some of the questions in need of answering before starting the translation process. It’s the translator’s job to adjust and create a translation which captures the spirit of the original text.
There are, however, situations when the client has specific demands and requires a different approach to the translation. This may vary, from using specific tools to using certain words and phrases. It’s a translator’s job to respect their client’s wishes.
This entire process leads to the creation of a superior translation. After stopping at all the aforesaid stations throughout this journey, it would be a shame if the translator broke the illusion of it actually being a translation. Since it’s a known thing that the best translation is the one which is read as if it were an original, being the invisible translator is what one should aspire to be. The irony of it all is that nobody notices the invisible translator. If a translation is read like an original, nobody will acknowledge the person creating it in such a way. In other words, the better the translation, the less likely the translator is to be remembered. People tend to recollect the poor translations and huge (sometimes funny) errors, and with it the person who made it such.
And that is the reality of translators. Crazy deadlines with no appreciation.
It’s a good thing we love what we do.
Since this type of translation mostly regards legislation, and the fact remains that most translators are not legal experts, it’s important to familiarise oneself with the legal systems the translation project is concerned with. Acquiring knowledge on the way the European Union works, as well as on the Croatian legal system is highly recommended.
The translator should keep in mind that the source language texts are legally binding. That's why the translation should be of a very high standard, both from the linguistic and the legal perspective. It should be faithful to the source language, but not literal; the translator has a certain amount of freedom to create a translation in the spirit of the target language. Nevertheless, the format of the source language text must be respected and transferred to the target language. Standard linguistic formulations and terms set out in translation manuals must be used. Terminological consistency is obligatory. Naturally, it takes practice for the translator to be able to evaluate to what degree the translation can be free, i.e. to know what can be modified and what cannot.
Among the things to look out for when translating legislation in the Croatian-English combination is the use of shall and the use of negations. In English, shall is used to express a legal imperative and not the future. In Croatian, legal imperative is expressed in the present tense. Using the future tense to express legal imperatives in the Croatian language and omitting shall when translating the legal imperative from Croatian to English are common mistakes. Here are two examples:
Source text: Annuity payments shall be made monthly in advance.
Incorrect translation: Novčana renta plaćat će se mjesečno unaprijed.
Correct translation: Novčana renta plaća se mjesečno unaprijed.
Source text: Tko drugoga usmrti, kaznit će se kaznom zatvora najmanje pet godina.
Incorrect translation: A person who kills another will be sentenced to prison for at least five years.
Correct translation: A person who kills another shall be sentenced to prison for at least five years
Also, regarding negations, English language does not allow for more than one negation in a sentence. This results in an ambiguous sentence or alters its meaning; this is highly undesirable when dealing with legal texts. However, if the source text itself is ambiguous, an official interpretation should be requested from an institution that issued the source text. If that does not resolve the ambiguity, it should be transferred to the target language.
Source text: Osim ako se ne odbijaju od regulatornog kapitala, sljedeće stavke iskazuju se nadležnim tijelima zasebno kako bi se omogućila procjena potreba za stabilnim izvorima financiranja.
Incorrect translation: Unless not deducted from own funds, the following items shall be reported to competent authorities separately in order to allow an assessment of the needs for stable funding.
Correct translation: Unless deducted from own funds, the following items shall be reported to competent authorities separately in order to allow an assessment of the needs for stable funding.
Another thing to be noted are quotations. Where there is a quotation referring to another document within the legal text that is being translated, and the official translation of such document already exists or the legal text actually originates from the target language, the translator should find the respective document and use the official translation or source text, as opposed to doing it on their own. Many of these official translations or source documents can be found online. Using them in the translation makes the translators job much easier and ensures consistency in the translation of the respective text.
Finally, here are several resources that might come in handy when translating EU legislation:
Translation manuals (in Croatian) and glossaries
InterActive Terminology for Europe
Eur-Lex: Access to European Union Law
EUdict (European dictionary)
And of course, when everything else fails:
Keep in mind that terminology in these types of texts is extremely important. If uncertain, a term should be checked in several resources before use. Above all, the translation needs to make sense, i.e. the meaning needs to be translated from the source language to the target language and the translation needs to be clear and unambiguous.
Although it might seem like one and the same thing, localization and translation are two rather different processes. Translation is a process of translating a certain text into a target language, in order to make the information written in one language understandable to the speakers of some other language. Localization is the process of completely customizing the product or service to the target market while taking into account the culture of the target market and the functionality of a product or service in that particular market.
Video games are an interactive medium that is constantly growing. The skyrocketing popularity of video games has made localization an inevitable step in the process of video game production and placement on the global market.
Video games are usually sold all over the world, which means they need to be adapted to a great number of languages and need to take into account cultural differences, ways of speaking and thinking. Even in the countries in which the same language is spoken (for example, Spanish), it is not recommended to use the same localized version of a video game because there are some linguistic and cultural differences between those countries as well.
Video game localization also presupposes adjustment to the legal and regional requirements of a target language and country, as well as to various cultural nuances that are specific to each language, country, and even its regions. It implies translation of video game texts, transcripts of audio materials and other video game components, as well as adjustment of settings, such as design, advertisements, colors, dates, currencies, keyboard features, and the like. Localization also has to take into consideration all cultural, historical, religious, ethnic and geopolitical characteristics.
Transcript – Video game transcript implies a text in a video game visible to the player (dialogs, descriptions, controls, menus, options, and more), but also a computer code that "remains invisible" but often has to be taken into account in order for translated text to perfectly fit into the context of a game.
Translation – All materials are then translated into the target language. According to our experience, if a project is large, with a tight deadline, the source material needs to be distributed to multiple translators. It is necessary to then assign a project manager who will coordinate the translators, but who will also make sure that the terminology used by the translators is consistent.
Adjustment – It is not enough for the translator only to review the text, correct possible mistakes, and customize the used terms. The translated material should be revised by someone who is deeply immersed in the world of video games, familiar with the common terms used in gaming, and who will, in the end, make sure that all of pieces of the translated material blend together flawlessly.
Once a translation is imported into a game, an additional and very useful service can be provided, namely quality assurance, which means testing of the video game in the target language. It that way, any possible remaining mistakes or inconsistencies can be found and that is when new ideas on how to improve localization and further adapt the game to the targeted market culture often emerge.
Developers often use translation and localization services provided by people or agencies that are not experts in video game localization. Some of them localize their video games on their own, hiring freelancers or even using the Google translate tool.
It is understandable that they try to save money on localization, since it may appear non-essential, but the results show that a well-localized game sells better. Today's gamers are very demanding, as far as the gaming experience is concerned, and they want it to be as natural, as realistic and as accessible as possible. Since nowadays there are so many video games, people like to try out a lot of different ones and often do not spend too much time playing one game. The first impression and the very beginning of a game are crucial in deciding whether the gamer will continue to play and eventually buy the game.
Some of the games we've localized are SpeedRunners, Shopping Tycoon, Pipe Push Paradise i Starpoint Gemini Warlords. So far we have localized video games from English into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Russian.
We want to help you understand the advantages of business website translation. Of course, we refer to business websites that offer specific services or products.
The Internet has become a global market that brings together nearly four billion active users, more accurately 3,885,567,619*.
The vast majority of Internet users speak the following languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Russian and German. English is used by only 25% of total Internet users. So, the first step is certainly translation into English (for non-English speakers), but we suggest taking it a step further and translating your website into more languages.
Why not offer your services or products to so many of these users?
We can tell you from experience that it's actually very easy to do business with people and companies outside your own country. Why not give it a try?
After asking two questions, we offer these five answers ?:
This is the first and most obvious reason for translating your website. If you have the opportunity to offer your services internationally, you should do it without hesitation. However, in order for your new customers to familiarize themselves with your offer in the best possible way, they should be able to read it in their native language. That brings us to the second reason.
Some of the research also shows that people would rather pay for a service or product if they understood everything about it.
If they understand you, they will trust you. And if you establish trust, your sales will grow.
Most of your competitors probably have the option of changing the language on their website and therefore offer their services to speakers of other languages. That means they have a greater number of potential customers. It's wise to keep track of your competition, but it is even wiser being better than them. In order to outshine them, you can translate your online business into a lot more languages!
If your website is only in one language, it will only appear in your local Google domain, while other internet users will be denied the information about your services. Business website translation will bring you a much wider choice of keywords in search engine optimization (SEO). We guarantee that you will be very pleased with the results!
If you are translating your page into other languages, you can use a wider range of websites for advertising. Even the very fact that you've translated your website into, for example Chinese, can lead to news articles on certain websites. That will bring you more publicity and people will respect your brand.
Please note that it is not enough to merely translate – your website needs to be localized. What does that mean?
Localization is a complete adaptation of products or services for foreign language speakers and other cultures. When it comes to translating, cultural differences are often neglected. This results in your products or services appearing unnatural and unconvincing. The main task of localization is to adapt products or services so that they look like they originated in the country where they are sold and advertised.
Successfully communicating a complete message means that the translation conveys the "feel" as well as the meaning of your brand.
For example, we would like to point out a big mistake made by Pepsi. They wanted to translate their original slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life” into Mandarin. Unfortunately, the translation ended up meaning “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”. The lesson we can learn from their mistake is to avoid literal translation!
We can conclude that business website translation and localization is perhaps the fastest, most efficient and most convenient way of introducing your brand to the global market.
Now we must point out that we're the experts you're looking for!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org