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Congratulations to Yukito Ayatsuji and Yen Press (Hachette) on the success of the novel "Another" and for it's upcoming release in hardcover! We received pre-sale copies as a thank you from Yen Press for our work translating the book into English from Japanese.
Another is a bit of a phenomenon in Japan having spawned a live action film in Japanese theatres, manga releases (Japanese Comics/Graphic Novels) and a 12 episode anime series.
Translation of novels, particularly fiction, can be very challenging because the subject matter springs from the imagination of the author. For a novel like Another to be a commercial success in a different language you need a skilled and creative translator who can capture the magic of the author's meaning and imagination and recreate (translate or trans-create) it in a such a way that it makes sense and is appealing to the buyers in the new market.
Translation By Design has worked with publishers for over 10 years and we have a great team of translators across most of the major languages including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French and German.
The success of Another proves that good translation is an excellent investment. The ebook proved popular enough to justify producing a much more expensive hardcover for the printed release in the U.S.
Translation By Design provided the book translation from Japanese in to English for Another, Volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1 is being released in hardcover on October 28th, 2014.
Knowledge is power. It saves lives, lifts people out of poverty, ensures better health and nutrition, and it creates and maintains economies. But what happens when the knowledge that can help a struggling community is locked away in a language they don’t understand?
Translators Without Borders (TWB) steps in to help. Lives are improved. Lives are saved.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needed to get communities that speak languages like Temne, Mende, Maninka and Krio information about the on-going Ebola epidemic in West Africa, who came to their aid?
Translators Without Borders
TWB creates and manages a community of NGOs who need professional translators to volunteer to help communities in crisis. Since their founding, TWB has coordinated the translation of more than 20 million words in the areas of health, nutrition, education and emergency response.
Language barriers hold back the progress of humanity in the areas that need progress the most.
Translation By Design is proud to be a Bronze Sponsor of TWB and to encourage our translators to volunteer for this very important work (http://translatorswithoutborders.org/Volunteers). From our team to yours, TWB, congratulations on crossing the 20 million word milestone. The positive impact you have had on humanity with those translated words, that knowledge cannot be measured.
Thank you for the work that you do.
- All of us at Translation By Design
When Translation by Design CEO, Sandra DeLay, closed the chapter on an enriching life of service at the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Northern California, where she contributed to the success of the acclaimed book Laurel’s Kitchen, a new chapter opened in the field of language and translation. She didn't know that 15 years later she would be running her own very successful company. What she did know, however -- was how to put the needs of others before her own.
What you’ll see next explains everything:
Our commitment to you is what drives Translation by Design. As the company Sandra founded now enters its 10th year that commitment to service and passion for language and translation, is stronger than ever. We’re adding new team members and new technology to ensure your translation projects are handled efficiently, delivered on time and on budget. We’re constantly expanding our network of interpreters so that no matter in what city or country the assignment is needed, we can get someone there who is professional and certified in the language and subject matter required.
Additionally, as our world gets smaller and business communications between cultures become even more important, Translation by Design continues to be one of the few translation companies to offer Cross-Cultural Awareness Training. This training is indispensable for companies seeking to grow and succeed in a very competitive global society. It is invaluable knowledge vital to any executive and team to fully understand the cultural nuances of those countries with whom they wish to do business.
“This business isn’t just about translating words, it’s about creating understanding and effective communication between people.” – Sandra DeLay, CEO Translation by Design
From the team at Translation by Design: “Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve.”
What if there was an app that supported learning a new language, used the best technology of our times, and wouldn’t cost you a dime? Wait, there’s more - while you practiced your linguistic skills, you would be working on real world projects, not generic text; you would be participating in the real world by actually providing a service. At the same time, the app would be designed to perform much like a game where you could earn points and move up levels. It sounds fun, doesn't it?
Now let’s say you’re a business with actual translation needs and possibly a low budget. You have heard of the perils of Google Translate and you don’t want to risk an awkward PR situation with a poor translation. What to do…..
Meet Duolingo – an award winning app that allows users to learn a language free of charge and free of ads. Duolingo’s business model is supported by having the customer with translation needs pay for the service – not the learner. It’s an idea for our time, of our times – using technology to break down language barriers.
Sounds good, right? But how good is it – can it compare to a professional translator? The following are a couple of issues that Victoria Livingstone notes in her article in Fairobserver.com, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/north_america/google-duolingo-problems-internet-translation-67312/:
Context and complexity
Duolingo provides level appropriate sentences to the users assuring that users aren’t asked to translate material well beyond their ability. However, because the user gets one sentence at a time they miss the value of seeing the sentence in context. Professional translators often spend considerable time and effort to understand the context and deeper meanings of what they are translating. They also access a wealth of resources to produce a quality translation. When translating out of context the possibility for errors and misunderstanding can arise, resulting in a poor translation.
Duolingo uses a crowdsourcing model where students evaluate and rate others translations. A problem with this is that the users are all students and not professional translators. Again, there is a risk of poor linguistic quality control.
At Translation by Design we believe that you get what you pay for. If you spent resources to create your source file, we believe you won’t want to lessen the value of that work with a weak translation. Translation by Design works closely with our clients to assure that we have the right subject matter experts and trained linguists to do the translation. We place a high value on quality translations.
As the rise of globalization increases, so too does the opportunity to expand our social and business networks. This is especially true between Chinese and Westerners.
An important take away from the post “3 Ideas for More Effective Networking with the Chinese”, written by US-China business and cross-cultural specialist Sean Upton McLaughlin, is that the more time one invests in understanding culture and in cultivating relationships, the more one gets back.
“Overcoming differences in culture, language, and communication styles might initially seem like a simple proposition, but in reality can present a greater challenge.”
The belief that we are all human and therefore have more in common than not can be misleading and limiting when networking with those from other cultures. Ignoring cultural nuances may prevent you from making meaningful connections and expanding your professional and personal networks.
It’s Important to Actually Approach the Chinese
- Fear is a common factor that strikes people from all over the world. No one wants to embarrass him or herself and this can lead to a lot of stress when breaking the ice with new people.
Try To Create an Emotional Connection
Following are some simple techniques McLaughlin suggests to help a Westerner immediately start to build a deep and personal relationship with their Chinese partner:
- Offer more compliments than usual
- Let your enthusiasm show through
- Defer to age and seniority
- Try out some Chinese
Know how the Chinese Think About Relationships
- Yuanfen – is the Chinese concept that relationships are predestined. For younger Chinese, Yuanfen factors more in romantic encounters. However, traditional and older Chinese consider Yuanfen essential for all their important relationships. Find out what you have in common with your potential partner and you will immediately enhance your connection with them.
McLaughlin aptly states, “Someone has to take the first step, and why not you?”
Thank you to everyone who attended our “China Ready” presentation at the Carmel Plaza last Friday. We wish to offer an extra special thank you to Thompson Lange at Homescapes Carmel and Martha Torres, Marketing Manager for the Carmel Plaza for encouraging us to bring the event to the Carmel Plaza. It was wonderful to see so many people interested in how their business can create more revenue opportunities by creating improved experiences for Chinese visitors that come to the Monterey area.
Because China presents the largest growth opportunity over the next 10 to 20 years.
Peter Fordos, MIIS Professor and Translation by Design’s (TBD) cross-cultural trainer, went over the economic opportunity and facts behind the growing Chinese tourism market:
China has 1.4 Billion people with the largest emerging middle class in the world. 300 million middle class Chinese now have money to spend and California is their #1 U.S. destination for travel, spending 2.2 billion in California alone in 2012.
Also during the presentation Darren Novak (TBD’s China Liaison) and Weihao Zhang explained the value Chinese visitors will find if you and your staff make even small gestures of cultural understanding such as using basic Chinese phrases and translating a brochure, product information, or signage. We’ve recorded some common greetings and encourage you to use and practice them with your staff. Click on the image below to listen to the recordings on soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/translation-by-design).
Our goal is to improve the overall experience of international travelers to California by approaching them through the lens of language and cultural understanding. By partnering with us, your business will attract the wealthy Chinese who desire to visit, shop and invest in California.
It only reinforced our belief about the wealthy Chinese investors when we read an article in the Thursday, April 3rd Monterey Herald called “From China, with Cash: Investments”. Frank Gallagher, MCAR Director told agents they need to be China Ready because the wealthy are investing. He said, "I think it is important for agents to walk in their clients' shoes and understand what some of these cultural differences are." And Allain Pinel reaffirmed by saying, “agents need to think globally by finding wealthy buyers in China and India.”
The Chinese were the top international real estate buyers in CA last year making up 32% of foreign sales.
Let’s keep in touch. There are exciting things on the horizon!
(In fact we can do more than just keep in touch…initial consultations of how Translation By Design can help your business address your intercultural communication needs are free... contact us or call 831.655.9588 anytime.)
If you or your kids are big Dr. Seuss fans, then you know The Lorax arrived in theaters last week. You may not know that Danny DeVito, one of the stars of the animated film, is also lending his voice to the Italian, Spanish, German and Russian versions.
Mr. DeVito doesn't speak these languages, so he worked with voiceover actors (the people who would normally be doing the recordings themselves) and other experts in the various languages to learn lines and practice pronunciation for each one.
This is an unorthodox approach to movie dubbing. As with interpreting, native speakers are considered the best bet when it comes to delivering voiceovers. Intonation, timing, pizzazz, and the myriad other components that make for a well-done acting job are infinitely easier to accomplish in a language you speak with total comfort. These factors are even more vital in an acting situation than an interpreting one, since entertainment, as well as information, are key.
While TBD hasn't had any famous movie stars in our office recently, we do know a thing or two about dubbing and subtitling. It has to be done just right to engage, not distract, the viewers. TBD recently completed a translation and recording of 36 scripts into Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish for the City of Monterey to enhance the experience of visitors from all over the world.
From your perspectives as translators, interpreters, or even moviegoers, what do you think about this approach to voiceovers? Would knowing that George Clooney was playing the lead character in another language make you more likely to see a film in Russian or Italian, for example? Will this prove to be a viable approach for movies to come? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this new method.
Valentine’s Day tends to bring out strong emotions: generally, you really like it or dislike it, for any of a whole range of reasons.
Nobody's even sure how Valentine's Day originated. Consequently, unlike most other holidays, nobody quite knows why we celebrate it. There are many theories, but few known facts. Other holidays may have strange traditions, like eating 3 days' worth of food in an hour on Thanksgiving, but at least we know what all the fuss is about.
We were pleased with Adam Wooten's recent article offering anecdotes and suggestions on holiday-related concerns, which can help anyone with international dealings to avoid potential cross-cultural pitfalls. After all, who wants to turn pink from embarrassment or have their colleagues go red in the face with vexation because their customs weren't taken into account?
Translation by Design (TBD) is well aware that knowing what holidays are observed (and how) in different parts of the world is important for anyone with associates, clients or contractors in other countries. TBD’s translation and cross cultural experts use resources such as these to ensure that all your international negotiations and business dealings have sweet outcomes - whether it's Valentine's Day or not.
Since we can't send you a cross-cultural expert to help navigate this tricky holiday, allow us to at least suggest that, since nobody knows why we commemorate it, who's to say how we should celebrate? We hope this broader interpretation of the holiday helps you turn it into your best Valentine’s Day yet!
Adam Wooten, a translation expert, wrote an article recently about many debunked marketing myths based on poor translations. For example, the "Nova" car name error that supposedly resulted in poor sales in Latin America never actually took place.
Even urban legends can serve as cautionary tales of what businesses must look out for when expanding into new markets to avoid becoming the brunt of jokes. Just because these particular gaffes didn't happen doesn't mean they couldn't have.
Many of the real life blunders that take place are blamed on the translators, but they're not the only ones responsible. What should companies do to ensure that their translated marketing materials accomplish their purposes? A few tips include:
- Simplify the original document, eliminating slang and idioms that could be misinterpreted or hard to match in the target language. Remember, different countries use different slang, so you're better off going with universally-understood language.
- Proofread! Errors may make potential customers doubt your professionalism as a business. An expert (if not several) should review the document to be sure it won't be misunderstood. Revisers should have native-level understanding of the language and culture. A good translation company will review its own translations before sending them to you. See September 16's blog for more on TBD's approach to translation quality control. Any time and resources you spend on double-checking before publishing or posting will be totally worth it.
- Think Teamwork: The translation team is part of your team. Be open with them about what you expect, and ready to answer their questions. Communication during translation ensures good communication in your marketing publications.
Learning from others' marketing debacles (real or imagined) can help you achieve the marketing success you seek.