Whether you're thinking of hiring a translation provider or this isn't your first rodeo, we all have questions about the translation process. Palabra Solutions is here to help. Read through our handy FAQ to get some answers. Not finding what you're looking for? Shoot us an email!
Is there any difference between “translation” and “interpretation”?
A translator works with text, while an interpreter works with the spoken word. Interpreting refers to scenarios such as patient-provider consults, legal depositions, panels and speeches when the parties do not share a common language. Translation refers strictly to the rendering of print and digital text in one language into text in another language.
What is the difference between translation and localization?
While translation refers to the rendering of content into a foreign language, localization encompasses all the activities involved in producing a foreign-language website, app, video or software from an original source.
Localization may also refer to the process of adapting the translation to a particular market. For example, a Spanish translation project may be divided into translation for Spain, Latin America and even the U.S., since there are linguistic differences amongst all three localities. Localization involves not only purely linguistic aspects (such as regional terminology), but also changes in currency and units of measurement.
What does “transcreation” mean exactly?
The term “transcreation” was coined to refer to a special form of translation that functions more like an adaptation of the source text than a "traditional" translation. Transcreation is of special value in marketing and advertising, since these usually rely on turns of phrase, idioms and cultural references to make a compelling case for a product.
Adaptation may extend beyond purely linguistic aspects, and may involve choice of images, symbols and even colors. For example, while ethnic and cultural diversity is an important value in American culture that is often reflected in the choice of images, an ethnically diverse group of people may not resonate with Spanish-speakers, as they might not see their reality reflected therein. This is, of course, a generalization, and will vary greatly depending on content and scope.
How do I know if I need my text transcreated instead of translated?
It will really depend on your content. Palabra can help you determine what services you need, but a general rule of thumb is that if you work in marketing and other creative projects, chances are you will need transcreation.
What is a CAT tool?
The acronym CAT stands for “computer assisted translation”, and it refers to a tool that identifies repeating text within a document. These tools also have functionality that allows for the creation of a translation memory.
The tool divides the text into segments, usually with a sentence or heading per segment, and then automatically recognizes when a segment repeats throughout the text. The tool may automatically populate the repeating segments. The repetitions may be full matches, when the text is exactly the same. When the text is similar but not 100% the same, these segments are termed "fuzzy matches". Fuzzy matches are classified in percentages, depending on the degree of similarity with the original text. For example, the sentence The dog is jumping over the fence would be a 95% fuzzy match of the sentence The dog jumps over the fence.
Palabra uses various tools depending on the project needs. Mostly, we use a web-based service called Memsource.
What is machine translation (MT)?
Machine translation is the use of software specifically designed to perform an automatic, non-human translation. There are two ways of accomplishing this: by programing grammar and language rules into the software, effectively “teaching” it the language, or by flooding the tool with a vast amount of source texts with their accompanying translation (statistical MT), creating a vast repository that allows the tool to match each word or phrase to a previously translated word or phrase. This is exactly what Google Translate does: it has been fed thousands upon thousands of documents obtained from different sources, such as the UN and the European Union.
Do you use machine translation?
No. At Palabra, all your translations are handled by a human translator. While machine translation can be useful in certain circumstances with highly technical terminology and very repetitive text, most machine translation services and tools lack the in-context capabilities only available to the human brain.
Translation is not a mathematical one-to-one process of equivalence, because language is a dynamic, ever-changing system that also involves extralinguistic elements such as cultural values, metaphors and cultural and historical references. Machines thus far are incapable of this type of sophisticated reasoning.
Machine translation by way of vast translation feeds (such as Google Translate) also assumes that the translations that have been fed into the system are accurate and/or appropriate to the context.
Do you use a translation memory (TM)?
Yes. In fact, Palabra can help you build your own translation memory for your ever-growing document base.
Why is it important to build a client-specific TM? A translation memory allows you to maintain consistency throughout all translation projects and preserve your unique wording and terminology. If you anticipate a constant flow of translated content, ask Palabra about building a dedicated translation memory and glossary. Palabra utilizes Memsource to handle its translation projects, and is equipped to work with memoQ and Trados files.
What does DTP stand for?
It stands for “desktop publishing”. Adobe In-Design is an example of a desktop publishing tool. It allows the user to create colorful image-laden graphics with capabilities that extend far beyond the regular word processor’s. Much content, especially in advertising, is created using Adobe In-Design, which allows for designing beautiful and captivating materials. Handling these files for translation has traditionally been problematic, but many CAT tools allow for importing In-Design files in order to extract translatable content and then put it all back the way you envisioned it.
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