What language is the hardest for translators?

No matter what language pair you choose, translating is hard. That’s why professional translators are in demand. But what justifies the higher rates we see for some language pairs? For the same word count, translating from English to Japanese is usually more expensive than translating from English to French. The reason may seem evident: it’s […]

How much do cheap translations cost? Millions.

When you’re operating on a budget, it might be tempting to choose the lowest quote for your translation project. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Everybody loves a bargain. However, you should not just compare prices, but the level and quality of service as well. Cheap translations, while attractive, can end up costing you big […]

Accurate translations could save you from… going to jail

If you ask a professional translator what he thinks of machine translations, he might say: “You might get accurate translations sometimes. But it won’t replace human translation anytime soon.” It’s a fact: algorithm-based translations are based on translation memories and focus on translating words. Human translators focus on meaning. They have a context, a frame of […]

Please, excuse-me, thank you, sorry. Why native speakers can save your translation.

Japanese is a tricky language to translate. Not only do native Japanese speakers use widely different levels of speech and register, they also master non-verbal communication and subtle vocabulary choices that would be unnoticed by non-native speakers (unless they trained really hard). It just so happens that one word illustrates this concept perfectly: “Sumimasen”. The […]

6 tips when submitting text for translation

Localizing a video game is hard work. Writers, developers, translators, and linguistic testers all have to work together to create the best outcome possible for the end-user, usually on a tight schedule. And they all cost you money. If a tester finds an issue in the LQA stage, they’ll have to make edits, enter bugs, […]

Proofreading and QA: Can a Translation Be Too Perfect?

Technically this question is a nonstarter. A translation being “too perfect” means something is wrong with it. That makes it imperfect. And a good proofreading will fix that. But that’s not what we’re really asking here. When proofreading a document, many times the proofreader will see something that is in all points perfect, but that’s, in some […]

Localization: more than fancy lingo for “translation”?

If you’ve ever looked into the translation services industry, then you’ve heard about “localization”. The two words are so linked they are often used interchangeably, so you’d be forgiven for thinking they meant the same thing. Intuitively though, you might be wondering if that’s really the case. After all, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines translating as […]

How to shorten a text when proofreading.

Working in a team of translators, you learn a thing or two about other languages. One of them: how to shorten your texts. German translations from English, just like French translations, Spanish translations, Italian translations, etc. are usually much longer than the English text. That’s just the way it is. Here are four ways translators […]

Website in English only? Hundreds of Companies in Hot Waters for Not Having French Website Translations.

Last November, Montreal citizens registered over 423 complaints for English-only websites to the OQLF. Complaints targeted companies in the Saint Laurent and Ahuntsic districts. The OQLF, or Office Québécois de la Langue Française, is in charge of supervising language policies in the Quebec province. They basically ensure French is the common language throughout the province. […]

Translation history is fascinating and this French museum has a full exhibition dedicated to it

Translation history is fascinating and full of interesting anectodes. From translation gaffes in the Bible to the challenges of translating ad campaigns creatively, there is no shortage of tales of success and failures in translation. And the MuCem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) in France is dedicating a whole exhibition to it. Until March 20, the […]

Three steps to making your documents translation-ready.

Instinctively, you know that some documents are harder to translate than others. Sometimes there’s not much you can do about it. Medical and legal translations require specific knowledge and research. But in most cases, there are steps you can take to make your documents translation-ready. Even for complex projects. If you follow this simple guide, […]