Do bilingual people have a different perspective on the world?

Do bilingual people have a different perspective on the world?

Recent research by the university of Lancaster shows that bilingual people have a different view on the world than people who only speak one language (monolinguals). It is already known that bilinguals have all kinds of benefits, such as a cognitive boost, less chance of dementia (because of a larger white matter integrity in the brain) and a more flexible brain (as bilinguals switch between languages). According to the mentioned study, German-English bilinguals seem to analyze and process information differently than monolinguals. Researchers showed a video of a woman walking to her car to their test subjects. English subjects described the ‘’plot’’ as “a woman walking”, German subjects would describe it as “a woman getting” (walking) to her car. The English subjects seem to be more action-oriented while the German subjects would be more goal/objective-oriented. This difference in interpretation is caused by the difference in culture and language. Language and culture affects the way certain actions are analyzed and processed. The difference between the Germans and English subjects shows that they have a different perspective of the ‘’plot’’ in the video. The bilingual German-English subjects described both the action as well as the goal from the video; “the woman is walking to her car”. This shows that analyzing, processing and responding in multiple languages also affects their perspective on the world. This means that if someone is bilingual and familiar with multiple different cultures, you see the world differently compared to someone who only speaks one language and is familiar with only his or her own culture. Whether or not someone is bilingual, is subject to debate and depends...
Localization of the ‘World Wide Web’

Localization of the ‘World Wide Web’

Localization of the web is progressing at full speed. Online marketing and advertising, just like search results in general, are increasingly targeted to specific regions, both linguistic and geographic regions. I moved from The Netherlands to Boston three months ago, and the online experience is simply completely different – not just because the average internet speed is, interestingly enough, significantly slower in the US. When you are visiting another country you can get an idea of the differences, but when you change your country settings in all your accounts, the experience changes even more. Over the next few years more content and advertising will become local, even on the ‘world wide web’. We may be connected in a technological sense, through those mysterious cables on our ocean floors, but time zones, languages, cultural norms, geographic and environmental factors all influence human behavior. A sense of community is more important than ever for many people. Google’s Eric Schmidt wrote in his book ‘The New Digital Age‘ that the web could one day be like air space, where countries actively govern their own web and may get involved in international cyber wars and conflicts of interest. Of course, this is already the case to a large extent. In terms of marketing and customer service, however, this development can only mean that translation and localization will matter more than ever. It is the number one reason that translation is seeing the biggest job growth, according to Careerbuilder. Globalization and localization often go hand-in-hand, however contrary that may seem. Both large cooperations and small businesses need to explore ways to connect with their international...
Don’t hesitate to translate your marketing message

Don’t hesitate to translate your marketing message

It can be intimidating to deliver your marketing message to other languages and cultures. You’ve worked hard to create a consistent, authentic identity – how do you even begin to translate your marketing message? How do you keep it up-to-date? Are you going to have to completely change your company’s strategy abroad? Translation and localization is not the hard part. It’s finding your voice and putting yourself out there – you’ve already done that! There are no shortcuts to putting yourself out there. A Twitter user proudly announced today that it would ‘promote your book to 157.000+ followers’. It sounds great, however, it’s probably not very effective. Many people want to be heard, they want their product or service to stand out. Many people also don’t want to do the work it takes. If you’ve worked hard to establish not only a product or service but also a voice, identity and a story, then the translation and localization of your marketing will be smooth and simple. All you have to do is give your language service provider a sneak peak behind the scenes of your company. Textcase finds a way to preserve your company identity while translating and localizing your marketing for another culture and language. We take our time to understand your business goals, we give free advice and we follow up to make sure you succeed. Read more about translating your marketing message and taking your...
A New Office

A New Office

Textcase USA is now up and running in the city of Boston. Laura Pepitone manages the Boston office but she’s also still working on projects for European customers. If you are a translator, you’ll continue to hear from her on a regular basis – most likely in the middle of the night because of the time difference. In Utrecht, project manager Rachel Vermeulen is coordinating the other half of our projects and our team is supported by interns. We are expecting to hire a junior project manager this summer. In the early 1970s, Textcase started in Groningen, in the north part of The Netherlands. Language students at the University of Groningen became the foundation of the Textcase freelance network. When Koert van der Scheer became the owner of Textcase in 2003, he moved the company first to the media capital of The Netherlands: Hilversum. In 2008, Textcase moved to its current location at the lovely Begijnekade in Utrecht, in the historic city center. In Boston, Laura Pepitone joined a co-working community where hundreds of small companies and freelancers work in the same space. It’s a great environment for Textcase to get started on the American market. Our office is on Atlantic Avenue in Boston, in the financial district. See a photo gallery of our new office here. In the US, we have already acquired several customers, including a company that captions hundreds of hours of videos weekly in many different languages. Therefore, we are looking for people who are interested in captioning videos (for instance English language videos that need English captions) in a user-friendly online environment on a regular basis. Contact Laura Pepitone...
Translator Reviews

Translator Reviews

Translator reviews are important for any translation agency. The translation business can be a bit messy: anyone can start an agency and anyone can become a translator. Ratings and reviews on websites, therefore, are more important than ever. On the most popular translation community, www.proz.com, translators have rated Textcase over the years and we’re proud to have a 4.8 out of 5 score! See our rating here. The Proz Blueboard has long been the place to go for translators to share their experiences about the agencies they cooperate with. At Textcase, we are looking for close and longterm relationships with translators, editors, copy writers, online marketers and other international communication professionals, even though they may live in faraway countries. Our project managers are connecting everyday with people who are passionate about translation and localization. At Textcase we believe that personal connections are important. Some professionals have been working with our company for more than 15 years – that’s something we’re proud of and we appreciate the dedication of our freelance colleagues to both the translation profession and our...
First weeks in Boston

First weeks in Boston

Exactly two months ago I arrived in Boston to open up Textcase USA. One of the first things I learned after my arrival is how to accept that there are only so many hours in a day. There’s an incredible amount of fun and interesting things to do around Boston, so prioritizing is important. Yet by far the most important lesson for me these past weeks was getting to know the American way of doing business. The journey began, obviously, with a lot of basic administrative tasks: getting my personal immigrant paperwork in order (the famous green card), finding the right office, getting to know my way around, buying a bicycle (of course!), registering our new location with search engines, improving our .com website, setting up a bank account, finding out about legal entities, and much more. The most important thing during these first weeks, however, was learning how to speak the American language of business and social interaction. Harvard Business Review published an insightful article about this last week. Even though I’m married to an American and I lived in the United States as a student, I had never been to Boston and I hadn’t lived in the United States for more than five years. I’m making an effort to observe the ways in which people interact and communicate, and I’m trying to add my own style into the mix. As an existing company, Textcase has to change its ways a little bit in order to connect with American customers – especially in marketing, sales and customer service. Finding the right path isn’t easy, but it will become clearer as we...

Breaking the language barrier

New York City teenager Tim Doner speaks more than 20 languages. When he is invited by media outlets to discuss his impressive ability to learn languages, it becomes clear that most people are only interested in hearing Chinese tongue twisters and other ‘exotic’ sounds. Tim’s impressive talk, see below, shows that there are no shortcuts to getting to know other languages and cultures. He also explains that we can translate and carry little travel dictionaries around all we want, but that true meaning is a completely different layer that takes lots of time and effort to...

Textcase Boston opening March 1st

Translation Agency Textcase will officially open its Boston office on March 1st, 2015. Manager Laura Pepitone will work closely with the existing team in Utrecht, The Netherlands, to manage translation projects for the North American market. A short video pitch summarizes Textcase’s services: The Textcase office will be located on Atlantic Avenue 711 in Boston from March 23rd onwards. Textcase already creates translations for New York City based geomarketing company Yext. Having offices in The Netherlands and Boston will make communications with both translators and customers worldwide even smoother. On top of that, a growing US translation market forms a viable business opportunity. Read more about Laura’s experiences opening the Textcase Boston office or find out more about the translation and localization services that Textcase offers. REQUEST A...
Reading Translations

Reading Translations

Most of us in the translation and publishing industry have heard of Ann Morgan and her Reading the World project. In 2012, she read 196 books in translation, one from each independent country in the world: one book from Swaziland, one from Argentina, and so on. Her initiative received much praise and attention. Last week, she wrote an article for the Financial Times reporting that the amount of foreign literature translated into English is about 4.5% (slightly more than the often quoted 3%).  Morgan states that it’s still difficult to track the development of book translations, but that it’s a promising sign that a relatively high number of foreign authors such as Jo Nesbo (Norway) and Elena Ferrante (Italy) are bestsellers in Anglophone countries. We’ll continue to follow Ann Morgan’s work,  and if you’re interested in reading translations, here’s Ann’s top ten: Albania – Ismail Kadare Broken April Canada – Nicole Brossard Mauve Desert Czech Republic – Bohumil Hrabal Too Loud a Solitude Mongolia – Galsan Tschinag The Blue Sky Myanmar – Nu Nu Yi Smile as they Bow Pakistan – Jamil Ahmad The Wandering Falcon Serbia – Srdjan Valjarevic Lake Como (limited availability) Sierra Leone – Ismael Beah A Long Way Gone Tajikistan – Andrei Volos Hurramabad Togo – Tete-Michel Kpomassie An African in Greenland See more about Ann Morgan’s project here: In the U.S., Ann Morgan’s book The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe will be available in May...
The Most Important Languages

The Most Important Languages

Yesterday we published a blog about how AdWords can be a great way to test the market potential of foreign countries. One of the questions it didn’t answer was which languages are the most important. A few weeks ago, The Economist wrote about the most important languages. Scholars from various universities looked at the connections between languages and how many celebrities speak a certain language. They looked at Wikipedia editors, Twitter users and book translations. The results do not imply that these are the most important languages for business, but they do provide a unique insight into international communications. Russian connects languages from Asia to the Middle East, Chinese connects many Asian languages. Hindi and Arabic also played a big role. To find out which languages are most important from a commercial perspective, read our blog Which Languages Matter Most...
Internationalization with AdWords

Internationalization with AdWords

You can’t start internationalizing your business before you’ve tested the waters. Many companies invest in multilingual AdWords campaigns to assess the amount of interest in their services in a particular country and to connect with potential customers. They do so long before they start offering their service or product. Testing international markets with AdWords campaigns has proven to be an effective technique. The costs depend on your niche market and the competition in a certain region. What exactly do you need to get started? A successful existing AdWords campaign You’ll only need adjust it for internationalization. You can probably leave parts of your AdWords strategy out, focus solely on getting your name out there and connecting with potential customers. A Google Partner localization agency / translation agency Find a localization agency that thoroughly reviews your existing AdWords campaigns, that understands your goals and that thinks with you to make your AdWords effective in the target countries. Marketing and translation increasingly overlap: there is an urgent need for language professionals who understand online marketing and commercial communications. A few excellent landing pages Someone clicked on your German advertisement. Congratulations! Now you need to have a page that offers them what they are looking for: information, a way to sign up, a way to stay in touch, anything that suits your goals. These texts are obviously written in superb German and completely customized for your target customer. After some time, you can assess the level of interest and the potential the region has for your business. Internationalization with AdWords is probably one of the most controlled and affordable ways to make your first steps...
Find the Right Translator

Find the Right Translator

When you have a translation project, how do you select the right translator or language service provider? How do you make sure the quality matches your standard and how can you check the quality if you can’t read the language? Many marketing and communications professionals struggle with outsourcing translations. They often enlist the help of multilingual colleagues, either in their office or overseas, or they enter bits into Google Translate and see if there’s somewhat of a match in meaning. Materials like press releases, product descriptions for webshops, AdWords campaigns or SEO texts need to be top-notch. It is essential that the translator understands what you need, that he or she understands the culture of both the source and the target language and has excellent linguistic and communicative skills. Finding the right translator is easier said than done. Everyone can decide to start working as a translator tomorrow and the vague certifications in the industry provide few guarantees. On top of that, many scammers are pretending to be translators: they steal the identities of real translators and offer their services via fake e-mail addresses. Everyday I meet translators from all over the world, in almost any language combination. It is a wonderful part of my job as I get to talk to them about anything from their business to their newborns. We connect via LinkedIn, networking groups, translator communities, Skype, Gchat, our website, e-mail and face-to-face at events or at our office. I can distinguish professional applications from unprofessional ones and I have specific tests to assess linguistic knowledge. Also, I get to know everyone’s hobbies, interests and areas...
Translate this Book

Translate this Book

Book translations open up worlds, cultures, connections. They spread information across linguistic borders, which empowers people, they improve understanding and bring people together. The financial crisis and structural problems within the publishing industry have put a strain on book publishing in general and book translation specifically – partially because it can be relatively costly and time consuming. Only about three procent of books in the United States are translations (if you care about increasing this number, check out the 3% initiative from literary translation promoter and publisher Chad Post). An overview made by English PEN, a global literary network, shows a promising list of recent and upcoming translations in 2015. What does it take for us to translate more books? Mostly, it’s willing and daring publishers and self-publishers, government grants, non profit initiatives, technology platforms, international cooperations between publishers, marketing savvy authors, internationally-minded authors, professional translators, editors and project managers, and, of course, curious readers. Get excited about the power of translation and watch writer Chris Bliss’ TED Talk: Comedy is...
Internationalization as a Growth Strategy

Internationalization as a Growth Strategy

Could internationalization be the way for your business to grow? New markets are usually within reach and it doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. As a marketing-oriented translation agency, we work with many businesses – small and large – to offer their service or product in other countries. Our Project Managers roughly take the following steps in our localization and translation services: * Familiarize with the existing marketing strategy. * Discuss targets and time frames. * Consult with both marketers and linguists who live in the targeted countries. * Identify challenges or changes that need to be made to the marketing strategy. * Agree on which changes can be made. * Start translation and localization process. * Solve any unexpected challenges or act on new ideas and improvements. * Make sure the new marketing texts resonate with the target audience. * Monitor results. Textcase is practicing what it’s preaching: we are opening up our brand new Boston office March 1st 2015. It is our very first office in North America and because of this experience we understand the challenges that arise in offering a service or product in a foreign region. Whether you have a specific plan in place or you’re simply considering internationalization as a possible growth strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to sharing our experiences, solving problems, seeking out possibilities for multi-lingual customer service and much, much...

Creating Better Content

In the early 1990s the internet was a big empty space waiting for people to fill it. Today, there still is a need for new content but the need for better content seems to be growing faster. One of the challenges that online initiatives face is the contradiction between being a publisher and being a platform. A publisher works to gain trust through professional selecting and editing whereas a platform gives a voice to the crowd. This Harvard Business Review article explains this dilemma in detail. When I interned at Time Inc. in 2009, CEO Ann S. Moore proclaimed that the world would desperately need more editors to channel the stream of content. In a way, that has turned out to be true. At Textcase we work with both publishers and platforms and we’ve been observing the tension between them up-close. Publishers are experimenting with creating platforms as new business models while platforms often underestimate the costs and expertise of publishing tasks. In any type of selected content, online or in print, committed and professional editors prove their long-term value time and time again. Simultaneously, user-based platforms are admirable because they make information flows more democratic. Yet the selection and creation of high quality content demands professional attention. We believe that the care that goes into creating valuable content will become a higher priority and that the purpose of both publishers and platforms will crystallize during the next few...
Starting our Business in Boston

Starting our Business in Boston

One of my earliest memories is hearing kids speak foreign languages during summer vacations on the Dutch coast. Most of them spoke German. To me it seemed as if they were communicating in a secret language. Confusion made way for intense curiosity: I hád to decipher their code. Now, some 25 years later, I am setting up a translation office in Boston. Our company’s goal is to connect people worldwide through high quality translations. Technology has done an amazing job bringing people from different cultures together, making it more important than ever to invest in effective international communication. Seth Godin wrote a really great blog about this a few days ago. Every day our team delivers translations that make information available to a new group of people who speak a specific language. Whether it’s literary fiction or a major AdWords campaign, we apply our linguistic talents with the same vigor. Textcase has been around for more than 40 years – we used to be the biggest book translation agency in the Benelux in the 1970s, nowadays we are an allround translation partner to both companies and publishers. We know there is a big market waiting for us in North America. Just a few weeks ago we delivered fully translated, localized and optimized AdWords campaigns in multiple languages for Yext, a company based in New York City and number 20 on the Forbes most promising companies in 2014 list. As Textcase is now operational on both sides of the Atlantic, please keep an eye out for our updates via either our newsletter (sign up below, I promise we won’t spam you)...

The Challenge of Learning a New Language

On October 22nd, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of the social-networking website Facebook, posted a video of himself addressing an audience in Mandarin Chinese at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, much to their delight and absolute surprise. He even successfully conducted and completed a question-and-answer session in his new language.  Zuckerberg has been both praised and criticised for his decision to communicate in Mandarin Chinese. Critics found that his grasp of the grammar and pronunciation, among other things, left a lot to be desired. One major voice of dissent is Isaac Stone Fish, “China expert” and second language learner of Mandarin, who maintained in his reaction to the speech that Zuckerberg’s level of Mandarin Chinese was comparable to that of a seven-year-old Mandarin-speaking child. And yet, it can’t be denied Zuckerberg’s 30-minute speech is, to a certain degree, rather impressive. It’s a considerable accomplishment for someone whose first language is not Mandarin to address an audience for 30 minutes in Mandarin Chinese and Zuckerberg prepared extensively for the occasion by studying Mandarin Chinese every day for a year. It is entirely probable that the interview at Tsinghua University had been carefully rehearsed beforehand, but that does not detract from the admirable feat of clearly learning and absorbing the important aspects (basics) of the language. Mandarin Chinese is a complicated language for Westerners to learn. The difficulty lies in the structure and the fundamentals of the language, which strongly differ from those of Western languages. In Mandarin the pitch pattern of a word – tone and intonation – determine its meaning. A word articulated in a high level tone changes...
Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

Last Saturday, my colleague Koert van der Scheer and I visited the Frankfurt Book Fair – the biggest book fair in the world – in just one day (we caught an early train from Utrecht). We met with content distributers, content producers, people who are developing new content platforms, self-publishers and, of course, publishers. Many countries showed off their best books, from Macedonia to New Zealand and beyond. We loved the positive vibe, the cultural exchanges and we were impressed by the beautiful stands of, for example, Thailand: And this was Iran’s massive stand: There was a lot of activity at Russia’s stand: This year, in contrast to previous years, a bigger section of the Book Fair was reserved for self-publishers. Here are a four self-publishers sharing their experiences with a large, interested crowd: We were amazed by the amount of translation grants made available by national governments. At this moment, we are compiling a list of countries that showed great interest in promoting their authors abroad and supporting this with grant possibilities. It is our goal to actively help publishers and self-publishers finance quality translations. Translation is the best way to spread valuable cultural content and to connect people across linguistic...

Connotations of Brands and Product Names

‘Fellatio’, ‘pancake’ and ‘waxed mare’: it might be hard to believe, but this is what some product names actually mean in other languages. Many businesses don’t even consider the fact that something as simple as the pronunciation of a product name in a foreign language may conjure up strange and unwanted associations that are sure to raise eyebrows. Introducing product names unchecked and unmodified in another country may therefore lead to extremely painful translation mix-ups. An article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates just how important transliteration may be when translating business texts and product names. The article describes how IKEA in Thailand has its product names checked, and where necessary transliterated by a complete team of interpreters and translators. With good reason, apparently. Many businesses that spread their wings across their domestic borders make mistakes when it comes to product translations. For instance, IKEA learned that the name of one of its beds (Redalen) bears a striking resemblance to the Thai word for oral sex. The pronunciation of the plant pot ‘Jättekul’ also had sexual connotations in Thai. But IKEA is not by far the only company that had incorrectly translated its product names (or rather: not translated them at all). In China, Bing, the name of Microsoft’s search engine, was changed to ‘bi ying’. Depending on the pronunciation, ‘Bing’ in Chinese refers to pancakes and diseases. And as early as 1927, it became clear that rendering ‘Coca Cola’ phonetically in Chinese characters led to words that refer to a waxed mare. Coca Cola subsequently changed the Chinese spelling of its brand, in order to prevent any unwanted...
The Effects of Poor AdWords Translations

The Effects of Poor AdWords Translations

When developing an efficient, multilingual website, reaching the right target audience is paramount. To achieve this, advertising online with Google AdWords is always a sure way to add strength to your organic visibility. You probably already have an AdWords campaign and think that all you need to do is translate it when you go international. However, this is easier said than done. More often than not, a great deal of money is spent on irrelevant keywords and incorrect targeting, leaving you with no positive results whatsoever. In this blog I’ll explain the pitfalls when translating AdWords campaigns. Global Market Finder A good first step is finding out the potential of the product or service you want to advertise. A very interesting tool is the Global Market Finder, which enables you to enter very specific keywords to see which other search terms people fill in, for example in one of the other 56 languages. When you combine Global Market Finder with your own AdWords account, it displays estimates and recommended bid together with the competitive results for every keyword in your specific target market. This allows you to find out which search terms will find your products or services in the specific country. The right keywords In every language and in every country, different ways are used to search for products. That’s why it’s always a good idea to first perform a local keyword analysis. You can do this with the AdWords Keyword Planner. Here you can look for ideas for keywords and ad groups, gain access to historical statistics, view the potential performance of a list of keywords and...

Google Skipped Persian Classes

Sadly, our beloved US Market intern Shabnam is leaving Textcase. After 6 months of hard work, she’ll continue to finish her degree at university. Since she is originally from Iran, I wanted to say good bye in her mother language: Persian. However, instead of asking one of our own translators, I decided to take Google Translate for a spin. Even though Textcase is an official Google Partner thanks to our excellence in Google AdWords, we would never recommend any company to translate their website, documents or mobile application using Google Translate. To support this statement, let’s go back to my little conversion with Shabnam. As I said, I wanted to say good bye to Shabnam. The exact sentence I formulated was ‘see you later’. Since I didn’t want to be too hard on Google, I changed the expression to a full sentence. What I eventually fed into Google’s machine was ‘I will see you later’. It resulted into the following: من شما را بعدا مراجعه کنید Happy as a child that just learned his first word, I showed the above to Shabnam. As soon as she started to laugh I knew what happened. The Persian sentence provided by Google didn’t make any sense at all: “I you come back later” The ‘come back later’ part is even considered to be a formal way of dismissing someone who interrupts you while you’re on the phone. So Google has a hard time translating this basic and actually very common phrase. However, maybe I confused Google by providing a full sentence, while I should have stuck with the shorter expression: ‘see you’. Unsurprisingly,...

My Internship at Textcase: Time Flies

After long days at school and many hours spent huddled over my textbooks, it was finally time to put the knowledge I had acquired to the test and spend my eight-week internship at translation agency Textcase. From the very first time I spoke to Laura, project manager at Textcase, I had a good feeling about the company. Although you always have to wait and see whether your instincts are right, after my first day I was confident that my internship would turn out to be a valuable and positive experience. Premature? Certainly not. I now have only three weeks to go and I have to admit that my time here has flown by. Eight weeks isn’t long by any measure, but if an internship is disappointing, eight weeks can seem to crawl by. My internship with Textcase is the first internship that is directly correlated to my major. And so, I was quite nervous five weeks ago, anxious to see what my time there would bring and whether I would live up to their expectations. Thankfully, the people at Textcase had confidence in my abilities and I was soon entrusted with the responsibility for a number of great assignments. As a project management intern with Textcase, my responsibilities focused on translation quality. This entails approaching translators, having editors check the completed translation and making sure that the translation is delivered to the client in a proper and timely fashion. My college mentor asked me the fair question of whether it never becomes boring to do the same thing every day. I understand how someone who is not involved in...

Textcase in Dublin: LPMC-diploma, LocWorld and compliments from Google

Earlier this month I earned my Localization Project Management Certification (LPMC) in Dublin. It’s a relevant course, especially because of the importance of project management as a component of translation, optimisation and localization at Textcase. Following the intense two-day course, the city also hosted the Localization World conference. All in all, an inspiring week, brimming with new knowledge, new contacts and applicable ideas. The course was organised by the Localization Institute. The classroom workshop component was preceded by a number of weeks of online self-study. My fellow students were project managers both on the buyer side and colleagues from other translation agencies. We completed a number of case-based group assignments that covered topics such as project planning, agile methods, risk management and quality assurance. We were also treated to extremely interesting presentations by industry leaders, including Vincent Gadani, Localization Manager at Microsoft and Tony O’Dowd, CEO of KantanMT. Our team in Utrecht discussed a number of project management Best Practices, such as the Localization Maturity Model, Work Breakdown Structures and Risk Breakdown Structures. At our weekly Textcase meeting, which we refer to as a ‘huddle’, we share expertise and insights and set out plans to further improve our work. Google: AdWords translation During my stay in Dublin, I also visited the European Google head office to meet up with my former colleagues and exchange ideas. The people at Google were very impressed with Textcase’s Google Partner status (the only translation agency in The Netherlands to have been awarded this status) and our AdWords translation practices: unique in the globalising online marketing field! Read more on the complexities of AdWords...

The Benefits of Small Translation Agencies

Whether you’re looking to have a book or document translated, choosing the right language service provider is key. Many clients such as authors, publishers, and corporations believe that larger translation agencies will generally provide better translations than smaller firms. But is that really the case? Brian McConnell, a writer for the Globalization & Localization Association, wrote an impressive article in which he highlights the following: “I generally recommend that customers avoid the big three companies unless they are going to generate six to seven figure annual budgets. The reason isn’t that the big translation companies are bad, it’s just that their incentive is to focus on large accounts or accounts that might grow quickly. You’ll get more attention and better service from small and mid-sized companies, and as noted above, new tools make it straightforward to manage multiple providers, and to do much of the project management yourself.” At Textcase, we welcome Mr. McConnell’s conclusion and would like to illustrate the advantages of choosing a small translation agency. There are four elements that we would like to highlight here, elements that we believe benefit both private clients and companies. 1.    Customer service/more attention and higher service level The main advantage of choosing smaller translation agencies is the superior level of customer service they provide. In today’s market, clients place value not only the products and services they receive, but also look for more personal contact in terms of rapport, accommodating their needs, and offering solutions to any potential problems. Consequently, communication and interaction with our clients is a vital part of being a project manager at Textcase. Each client is...

10 SEO Tips for Website Translations

In a previous blog, I discussed domain name selection when creating a multi-lingual website. This time I will take a closer look at the SEO structure that is required for a successful international website. The ten most important SEO translation tips that should be taken into consideration when translating websites are given below. SEO translation tip 1: Define and translate your principal keywords As a website owner, you have become more than familiar with the importance of the right keywords by now. But what about other languages? Don’t translate your keywords literally, but instead, make sure you know what the most popular search terms are in the country where you are planning to launch your website. A helpful tool is the AdWords keyword planner; use it to check keywords in specific geographic areas and to see potentially interesting alternatives. SEO translation tip 2:  Optimize your keyword density A proper ‘keyword density’ is essential for all websites. Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on that page. First, define the keywords you want to lead to your site (tip 1) and then make sure that these keywords have a density of between 2% and 5%. No higher and no lower, because Google has penalty filters in place for sites that abuse this strategy. SEO translation tip 3: Translate meta and title tags Meta and title tags remain one of the principal factors for Google in terms of ranking. Make sure that your tags match the content of the page and the page URL. You will miss out...

From Translation To Localization

The advantages of localization today go beyond opening up national markets. Imagine you earn money by selling your product locally. You have a product description in place, a website, webshop, marketing materials and more. Your business is growing and you are thinking about expanding internationally BUT all your materials are in English. How would you take on this challenge? How do you translate your materials and adapt them to cultures you barely know? Localization is your solution. A few decades ago, “localization” started to become more widely known. In the late 1970s, independent translators joined forces and formed companies in order to offer more diverse language services such as editing, proofreading and typesetting. Recently, the translation industry started to embrace technologies like translation memory to improve services. As a result, localization took off. The Cambridge dictionary defines localization as “the process of making a product or service more suitable for a particular country, culture, or area”. In other words, idiomatic translation is just one of the services within localization. Adapting graphics to the target markets, customizing content, converting to local currencies, using proper formats for dates and time zones are other examples of localization. Many statistics illustrate the benefits of localization in every industry. A few examples: 1. Studies have shown that consumers are five times more likely to purchase goods and services when they are offered in their own language. More than 60 percent of the consumers in France and Japan declared that they purchase only from websites where the information is presented in their own language. 2. According to research conducted by Common Sense Advisory, companies that localize information...

Growing Business through Translation and Localization

Less than five years ago many businesses were skeptical about social media. Nowadays, the question What doors would a Twitter account open for my business? Seems awfully old-fashioned. We’ve learned a valuable lesson: It’s always a good idea to get somewhere before your customers do. Time to move on to the next question: What doors would translating content into other languages open for my business? You never know whether you’ve missed out on business because your content was only available in English. The first step is to determine which languages make sense for your business. There is no need to translate your website or marketing campaigns into Danish if there isn’t any link between your brand and Denmark. Read our blog about the most important online languages. Even if you end up translating into Spanish only, you’ve opened up your content to more than 400 million native speakers. Second, make sure that you get it right. There is nothing more humiliating than a terrible translation of the text that you took so much time and effort to create. Enlist a translation agency with marketing, advertising, social media and online content expertise. Choose an agency that translates to and from any language, so that it’s easier if you should decide to add more languages later. Pick a translation agency that knows how to make SEO-friendly translations. Read our tips about localizing your content. Finally, don’t worry about the consequences. Yes, people may assume that since your website is in German, you offer fulltime German-speaking customer service – although you don’t. But translating your content isn’t about that. It’s about trust and...

Why Transliteration?

In a globalizing digital market, transliteration is an upcoming service. As a company you can realize growth by providing online content, products or applications in multiple languages through the Internet. These translation and localization projects focused in our region mainly on Western European languages. There’s no transliteration needed in those language pairs. Organizations with specific geographical focus already translate to ‘exotic’ languages with different alphabets. However, I predict this will become more mainstream, also for companies without ties in these language regions. And why not go into these markets? Imagine, in China there are 568 million Internet users and in comparison – 254 million in the US. Website translations to, for example, Chinese, Korean, Russian or Arabic will be more common. The difference in alphabet, writing direction and larger cultural differences cause for more factors in translation work, such as transliteration. But what is transliteration? Here’s a common definition: “To write words or letters in the characters of another alphabet.” (Merriam-Webster) Our translators know the systems and methods that are created for transliteration, such as hanyu pinyin for Chinese. Also for Russian – using the Cyrillic alphabet – there’s a common system in place for Romanization, or the conversion to our Latin writing. The other way around can be trickier sometimes, especially with names. Your company name for example, or products, services, or even the names of certain people involved. These names do not exist in the writing of the target language and so you can choose to keep it in Latin writing or, if you really want to localize well, you can transliterate these names to the local...
Making or Breaking a Translation

Making or Breaking a Translation

Translating is a lot like walking a tightrope. When you finally find your balance, you can take a few steady steps in the right direction. Still, you always have to stay focused and make sure not to fall. You can either do really well or fail miserably. Our worldwide network of translators consists of linguists who have passed the ‘Textcase test’. This test consists of a short text that can be translated in an infinite amount of ways. It’s a creative text with multiple layers and pitfalls. I’ve read more than a hundred English-Dutch translations and every single one is unique. (Read this article in Dutch here and in German here) What makes for a good translation? In this article, I will go into the three main identifiable aspects, in order of importance: accuracy, readability and style. 1. A translation must be accurate. This means that the message needs to be conveyed fully, without any omissions or additions or changes to the meaning. In order to do so, a translator must have a profound understanding of the cultures of both the source language and the target language. Examples of challenges: – Cultural subtleties, such as slang, dialects, stereotypes and figurative speech. We use language as a means to manipulate and work with our environment and circumstances. Since both the environment and the people are different in every region, language has borders. Translator Antony Shugaar described this issue beautifully in The New York Times Opinionator last week: “People talk about untranslatable words, but in a way, there’s no such thing. It may take three words, or an entire sentence, or...

Domain Choices for International Websites

How do you set up a well-structured multilingual website? This is question pops up frequently, but it’s difficult to answer. The truth is that there really is no right or wrong. That said, I have nevertheless seen a lot of businesses make the wrong choices. An important decision is which URL structure and domain name to choose. I will investigate this subject further in this blog. SEO SEO (search engine optimization) depends on multiple factors. Although these factors change continuously, one of the principle determinants for achieving a high position in the search results is still the URL and path name (everything behind the slash). Exact matches between the URL and the search term will always lead to higher rankings. But how do you use this information for a multilingual website? Do you decide on one domain name with translation pages behind the slash or do you use a separate domain name for every individual country? Below I will describe the aspects to take in account. Determine your target region Setting geographic parameters is important. In which countries and in how many languages do you want your website or web shop to be found? Once these have been specified, first thing you need to do is determine what regions you are targeting. In how many countries and what languages do you want your website or web shop to be found?  Once you have decided, you can determine how large your website needs to be and assess how you will structure your  international website. URL structure Your next important decision concerns the URL structure. Will you use ‘geo-targeting’ and set up...
10 Book Translation Tips for Self-Publishers

10 Book Translation Tips for Self-Publishers

Self-publishing is exciting, and having your book translated can make it even more exciting. As a translation project manager, I work with major publishers and self-publishing authors. In this article I will point out how the translation process can be both effective and enjoyable. (Read this blog in Dutch here and in German here) 1. Consider language service providers that are specialized in book translations. They have a valuable international network of translators, writers, editors and publishers; they can easily find the right translator for you: someone who is excited about your book. Also, the agency can help you market your book at little or no extra cost.  2. Make sure your manuscript is definite and does not need updating. It is practically impossible and risky to change or even slightly modify the content once the translation process has started.  3. It is worth inquiring about royalty-based agreements. Sometimes it is possible to cover part of the translation costs this way. Another option is to consider crowdfunding – it has been done before. Our translation prices for 10.000+ words, for Western languages, range between $0.09-$0.12 per word, which includes editing rounds and project management. Lower prices could compromise quality and may be too good to be true. Agencies are not always more expensive than freelancers, as explained in point 7 of this article.  4. Before you give the job to anyone, ask the following question to the language service provider: what do you consider a good translation? It’s important that you are on the same page with the language service provider in order to prevent being disappointed. Our professional...
E-commerce and Webshops in Germany

E-commerce and Webshops in Germany

Germany is well within the trend with regard to the electronic distribution of products (E-commerce). This is confirmed by the numbers as well as the success that German providers such as Zalando are having abroad. While in 2012 about 112 billion EUR were implemented in Europe, the prediction for 2017 is up to 191 billion EUR. According to internetworld.de about one of 6 euro’s that German companies make is made online. The increasing use of smartphones, faster and more precise delivery times, as well as the transition from occasional online buyers to online regular customers could ensure that by 2023 every fourth euro is no longer spend in traditional stores, but in online stores. That would mean an increase of 250 percent. With Germany leading the way, Europe has surpassed the home country of mega retailer Amazon, the United States, in terms of its growth rate and market share of online retail to the total trade. The so-called “Internet Pure Players” like Amazon or Zalando are still gaining in market shares in contrast to the webshops of mail order companies such as Otto, Bauer or Neckermann. In Germany the companies Amazon, Otto, Notbooksbilliger, Zalando, Weltbild and Conrad electronics form the top 6 online retailers in the year 2013 as reported by  Wirtschaftswoche magazine. Without a doubt, it is in Germany’s best interest to maintain a strong growth in the online sector: it creates new jobs and opportunities for investment. The industry, however, is not an island and it is gradually changing the landscape of the entire retail trade. There is talk of empty shopping streets and malls and small...
Textcase Improves Translation Process with MemSource Cloud

Textcase Improves Translation Process with MemSource Cloud

At Textcase, the human factor is always an integral part of translating. Our translators are not only highly qualified, but are also experienced native speakers. Their linguistic expertise, knowledge and intelligence surpass every technological accomplishment in this sector of industry, including MemSource technologies. Nevertheless, the development of translation tools into support systems in the translation process is proving interesting to translation agencies. Translation tools are available in a number of varying versions. New disciplines such as post-editing are becoming mainstream concepts. Last summer, Textcase carried out extensive research into translation tools. There’s a great deal of information available on the internet, of course, but we were invited to spend some time at TAUS  and visited the SDL exhibition among others. We also participated in webinars and hosted a number of account managers. Through these various activities, we discovered that, for Textcase, MemSource provides the most attractive solution for the advancement of our quality and workflow. MemSource, the translation tool of choice for Textcase, offers the possibility of conducting the entire translation process in the cloud. Translators and editors are able to log in via personal accounts. Here, they receive an overview of their assigned tasks and have access to a local- and web-editor. Why MemSource benefits Textcase: • rapid analysis of the word count no matter the format. • clear-cut translation of web file formats without formatting codes. • suggestions from machine translation tool ‘Microsoft with feedback’ can be activated or deactivated. • rapid implementation of repeated terms and fragments. • simple to use for translators and project managers. Textcase has also implemented a translation memory that files by topic and client based on...
The Fine Art of Post-Editing

The Fine Art of Post-Editing

Everyone is familiar with it. Google Translate. A free translation software often used to determine the meaning of an unknown word in another natural language. Translating entire texts using a method as this will often cause consternation in most people: “That’s not possible with a machine! Machine translation is much too literal ”. This is true to some extent. A machine will simply translate the texts a word at a time without taking into consideration their context. This is where the fine art of post-editing comes into its own. What is post-editing? Post-editing is a term that’s, perhaps, unfamiliar to many. However, it merely refers to the revision (after it has been translated) of a text. The term ‘post-editing’ is usually applied when editing machine translated texts. This is in contrast to the term ‘editing,’ which is applied to the revision of texts that have been translated by an individual. Machine translation is increasingly being utilized as a tool to assist human translators. It introduces a whole new way of editing. Machine translated texts are often distorted whereby the original meaning of the text becomes lost. The post-editor is responsible for restoring the meaning lost in translation. The benefits of post-editing? Post-editing can be sub-divided into two distinctive forms. A text can be translated purely with the essence of the story in mind or it should be of a quality that doesn’t suggest the text is machine translated. The danger of post-editing is that an editor can become too focused on the translation and lose sight of the original context. An important question here is “why use machine translation?”...
Christmas Traditions Around the Globe

Christmas Traditions Around the Globe

In most of the countries that celebrate Christmas, it’s all about gathering with family, friends, and a festive dinner. This is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Although, the way people celebrate Christmas  is not the same everywhere. Differences may be small, but each country has its own customs and cultural traditions during the holiday season. In the Netherlands it’s not common to give many presents because the Dutch celebrate ‘Sinterklaas’ in early December. In the Netherlands and Belgium it’s a custom to draw lots to decide which family member buys a present for whom, also known as Secret Santa. Another tradition which is known in the Netherlands and a few English-speaking countries, is receiving the ‘kerstpakket,’ or Christmas Box.  This box consists of festive food, wine and Christmas gifts. Employees in England receive the Christmas Box on Boxing Day, which is the day after Christmas. The Christmas Box originates from ancient times when it was hard to collect food during the winter. Farmers, who often provided shelter to their staff, gave them a Christmas Box so they could prepare a nice Christmas dinner with their families. In the holiday season, you can visit the German Weihnachtsmärkte. Among the Dutch it is very popular to visit these jolly markets in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Oberhausen and Berlin. Here you can enjoy hot chestnuts, grilled sausages and glühwein while you stroll along the Christmas booths. You might be used to Santa bringing gifts to little children, but you’ll be surprised to see that this does not apply to all cultures. In Italy, the Christmas witch ‘La Befana’ distributes the presents. ...
AdWords Translation: Language and Location Settings

AdWords Translation: Language and Location Settings

‘AdWords translation’ does not simply refer to converting advertisements and keywords to a different language but also entails gearing the translation to the target location. Advertisement texts and keywords must be localized, which means that defining your exact target audience prior to getting started with the translation is essential. Once you have defined the target audience and translated the AdWords, the work is by no means completed. You still need to notify Google of who your new target audience is! How Google determines the user location and language In order to show your advertisements only to those people relevant to you, Google identifies the location and language of the users. Google employs four factors in determining the language appropriate a specific user. Domain extension Is the user on Google.nl, Google.fr or Google.pt? Interface language What default language has the user selected for the Google interface? Keyword What language is the keyword in? Ip address Google records the ip address of users and links this to a location. Set AdWords language & location Below is a step by step explanation of how to change the location and language settings of your translated campaigns in AdWords. Set language Log in to your AdWords account. Click on the ‘Campaigns’ tab Click the name of the campaign. Click on the ‘Settings’ tab. Click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Languages’. Select target language or languages. Click ‘Save’ Set location Log in to your AdWords account. Click on the ‘Campaigns’ tab Click the name of the campaign. Click on the ‘Settings’ tab. Click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Locations’. This allows you to target not only a country, but...
Language Codes and Politeness in Different Cultures

Language Codes and Politeness in Different Cultures

In general, language is a means for people to communicate. But even when we translate accurately from one language to another, the message can be misunderstood – Manisha Somai pointed this out in her recent blog, Glocalization; think global, act local. This time, I will explain it through the different cultural concepts of politeness. To give you an example: when we want to introduce ourselves to another person, we may give our business card and say: ‘here you go’. In the Western culture you can simply lay your business card on the table and slide it to the other person. In The Netherlands, we once were asked to throw our business card in the air and pick up a random card from the ground, and look for the owner to start a conversation. In Chinese culture, it’s very rude when you don’t hold your business card with two hands, look at the other person and give them your card. You express yourself by presenting your business card. So, the phrase: ‘here’s my business card’ could be misinterpreted through body language or attitude. Both languages contain culture ‘codes’ about the message. Another example: in The Netherlands, when we say to a guest: ‘please eat something’, you may answer: ‘sorry, I don’t eat fish’, and it is accepted, the host may even say: ‘sorry I didn’t know you don’t eat fish’. In Taiwan, it can be very rude not to eat what your host is offering. You have to be brave and eat something even though you don’t like the food. Therefore, your reply to ‘eat something’ can be the difference between being...
Glocalization; Think Global, Act Local

Glocalization; Think Global, Act Local

A concept that is becoming increasingly important is glocalization. Still, a lot of people don’t know what glocalization is. Businesses should think global, and act local. If you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. What works in one country might not work in another. Companies don’t have just one marketing concept that works globally. Glocalization means that a product or service is distributed worldwide, but tailored or adapted to local preferences. This might have to do with culture, religion, lifestyle or other reasons that might affect the efficiency of a product or service. For example, if you look at McDonald’s, you know that they have a strong global position, with more than 34,000 restaurants. Even McDonald’s needs to adapt its menus to local wishes and preferences. Their hamburgers and fries are very popular, although in some countries the menus look completely different. In Morocco and other Islamic countries, McDonald’s has localized their menu by serving halal burgers. Recently, a friend told me that when his dad came to visit from Indonesia, they went to McDonald’s in Amsterdam. He ordered a meal with rice; not knowing that in the Netherlands McDonald’s does not serve rice. At Textcase, we focus on internationalization and we localize texts, making them appropriate for readers in other countries. When translating, we think global, but we localize stories for readers in other countries. By localizing texts, a lot of misinterpretations are prevented. When a global leader in household appliances, Electrolux, used the slogan ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’, for their range of vacuum cleaners they probably haven’t thought about glocalization. Businesses must...
Modern Translation

Modern Translation

The translation sector has seen substantial growth for years, both in the Netherlands and on an international scope. Globalisation is expected to continue unaffected. Meanwhile, developments in the field of translation tools, apps and free translation services have had an enormous impact on the market. Nevertheless, demand for professional translations clearly remains. Unique, relevant and findable online content is invaluable – underlining the importance of SEO-friendly web texts. Furthermore, visitors to your website are only a click away from a page that may prove even more interesting! The purpose of every text is to attract attention, which means that it is essential that your text sets itself apart from the overwhelming amount of information available on the internet. Conveying unique content in another language has never been more challenging. Awareness of the importance of high quality content among (online) companies has grown and statistics show that they allocate a substantial budget for, and have increased their investments in, translations. As a company or organisation, you strive to get your message across as effectively as possible. But if you don’t get your communication right, you are bound to miss your mark. Engaging the readers of your website is essentially no different than retaining the attention of readers of novels. Another factor to consider is that the fastest growing economies are not necessarily English language markets. In turn, texts often require online localisation in order to be distinctive in that particular language and increase the connection with the reader. The translation sector is moving toward digitalisation and the need for a fully ‘translated’ communication strategy and identity will continue to grow....
Transcreation Makes Your Texts Work

Transcreation Makes Your Texts Work

Transcreation is a ‘hot item’ in the translation industry. The meaning of this concept is a combination of translation and content creation (copywriting). Usually, such buzzwords add little value to a field of practice, but in this case it’s different. Transcreation can really improve marketing texts and advertisements and thus optimize its purpose in the target language. Translating marketing content for international organizations is not an easy task if you want the text to be as effective as possible. At Google, marketing texts for their AdWords services are sent straight from the U.S. headquarters to The Netherlands. Examples or business cases they would give in those texts are about surf shops, grounded in a Californian context of surfing, typical American products and beach life. If one would translate this in a traditional way, the texts would not hit home with Dutch entrepreneurs. It would be too American, too blatant. To let your audience in Holland identify with the message you must use better examples, such as a bicycle shop rather than a surf shop. How to master transcreation? Transcreation means changes must be made in both language use and context. It’s about commercial and functional optimization, for example in SEO: what do people in a foreign country search in Google? This requires product knowledge, experience in (online) marketing and creativity, skills that are not always needed for ordinary translation jobs. At Textcase, we train translators to transcreate. The translator looks at the bigger picture and understands the full marketing strategy. He or she empathizes with the target audience, is aware of important keywords in that language and takes the freedom...
How Translation Memory Affects Translation

How Translation Memory Affects Translation

Whereas books traditionally comprised the bulk of translation work, the focus has since shifted to digital media. These ‘new’ media include websites, mobile applications and games. Not only is the content different, so is the approach taken with respect to translation. In the 19th century the typewriter drastically changed the rules of play, and today, software applications are causing a similar revolution. These translation tools use technology such as machine translation (MT), terminology base (TB) and translation memory (TM). What is translation memory? Essentially, translation memory is simply a database that stores text segments. A translation of a specific text can be added to the database per language. The translation tool detects the text segments by means of segmentation. Each segment consists of one or more words or even sentences. Should a text segment and its translation into the desired language be available in the database, this segment can be translated by means of TM. When a text segment appears multiple times in a text, the repetitions are translated all at once. The translation tool will recognise the segment throughout the text. Entering and confirming the translation of a text segment in the database for one instance will automatically translate the same segments in the entire text. Slight variations between a text segment and a segment from the memory will also be recognised. For instance, if a text segment is the same as that in the TM, except for a difference in the verb tense, the TM will still recognise the text. A segment with a lower similarity percentage will prompt the TM to offer the same translation suggestion,...
Textcase Official Google Partner

Textcase Official Google Partner

As of now, translation agency Textcase is an official Google AdWords certified partner. We earned this title after Textcase employees successfully completed a variety of Google AdWords exams. The translation agency also meets all the qualification conditions that Google requires of its partners. Read this blog and learn more about AdWords, its translation and the role Textcase plays as a Google Partner in this process. What is AdWords? Search Engine Advertising (SEA) is one of the most effective marketing tools currently available to promote your brand, products and services and to generate more online sales. Linking appealing advertising texts to the proper keywords allows you to reach your specific target group. When your company’s target group uses the search engine, an advertisement that corresponds to their query can be listed at the top of the results list or to the right of the results list. Google’s AdWords programme makes this possible. Why translate Adwords? A growing number of companies operate internationally. Findability on the internet for these new markets is crucial. Which is why a properly translated website or web store is no longer sufficient. Careful localisation of an AdWords campaign is indispensable. The relatively small investment in an AdWords translation will allow you to reach a large new specific target group. How Textcase translates AdWords Translating AdWords demands much more than simply converting advertisements and keywords into another language. When Textcase translates AdWords campaigns, cultural differences and particular terminology are taken into account. What keywords do people use in the target language? How should advertisement texts be phrased in order to appeal to customers? For AdWords translations Textcase...
New in the World of Translating

New in the World of Translating

Translation Agency? Come again? Sometimes you find yourself in a world that up to a few weeks before, you were completely oblivious of. The world of translating was like that for me. Of course, I knew that there were countless texts that need translation. Books, websites, business documentation…. The variety is endless. From cookbooks and manuals to schoolbooks and encyclopaedias, it’s clear that the scope of the translation sector is huge.    And yet, I never gave it much thought. How hard can it be to translate a book, right? Then I started my internship at Textcase. I found out how many translations there are, and how complex the translation process really is. Talented professionals who have spent years of studious dedication to become literary translators. Their enormous passion for language. The talent that is needed to capture the spirit of a text, maintain its original tone and feel. How a single word impacts the meaning of a sentence. All these things surprised and intrigued me. The projects are much larger than I thought. The Fifty Shades trilogy, translated by Textcase, consists of three books, each approximately 160,000 words. 160,000 words that needed to be translated while the page-turner appeal of the original was kept in tact. A project spanning three months, with a team of people committed to ensure that everything was right, down to the tiniest details. The raving reviews testify to the success of the project, “a better read than the original’ isn’t a classification that is given easily. Of course, this is the perfect example of huge translations that were successfully completed by a team...
International Translation Day

International Translation Day

What do you love about your language? On International Translation Day we celebrate foreign languages and the importance of people being able to communicate abroad. Our translators, of course, are well aware of this and they can tell you about the benefits of speaking another language. However, we thought it would be nice to devote today’s topic to mother tongues. We’ve asked our communication professionals to share their thoughts, love and appreciation for their mother tongue. Our questions: What is most unique about your language? What is your favorite expression? Why do you love your mother tongue? The love for their language is defined by the small peculiarities and often untranslatable expressions. It makes sense that appreciation for mother tongues is based on the littlest things that make it unique. We’ve gathered our translators’ favorite words, quotes and expressions and concluded that their love is found in the linguistic details. What is most unique… DUTCH: “In Dutch it is the way we are small and influenced by many languages, and still maintain our own identity.” ENGLISH: “For English it’s the way it is omnipresent. Every language in this world has expressions with origins either in English, or “transported” by the English language. The language is therefore richer than any other language and has the ability to reach out. It is not the most beautiful language… I am in love with French…” JAPANESE: “One of the most unique issue is that we use three kinds of letters every day; “Kanji” (Chinese characters) for many nouns, verbs and adjectives, “Hiragana” for particles and etc. and “Katakana” for foreign names and etc.” DUTCH:...

An Olympic Translation

International conflicts are sometimes surrounded by translation problems. The Winter Olympics in Sochi start in February 2014. At the moment, however, pressure on the IOC and Russia is increasing. The Russian government is being criticized for controversial anti-gay laws. It is not clear whether the anti-gay laws will be in effect during the Winter Olympics. IOC President Jacques Rogge first requested more clarity after reading an English translation of the Russian laws. In an attempt to reassure the IOC, The Russian goverment sent Rogge documents. Some parts of that text were too unclear for officials to form an opinion. “This is about a couple of paragraphs – we don’t understand all the details because of probably a difficulty in translation,” said Rogge. “We don’t think it is a fundamental issue, more of a translation issue.” The IOC is currently waiting for more information from the Russian government. “Too many things remain unclear in the text,” said Rogge. Sounds like a challenging job – an Olympic translation – for any translator...

Translating Without Borders

One of the few obstacles to spreading information across the globe is language. Companies target customers but their message stops at the border. Readers enjoy books but most often only if a translation is available in their language. Textcase supports international initiatives spreading literature across cultures and continents. It is our goal to make information available in different countries, addressing readers in their native tongue. Some initiatives in translating without borders: In the United States, we admire the work of Open Letter, literary translations from the University of Rochester. Books from all over the world become available in English. The Translation and Publication Grant Program of Turkey has been successful in promoting Turkish writers abroad. In Germany, the Goethe Institut provides support for non-German publishers to translate German books into other languages. Many countries have a growing number of grant programs and international cooperation is essential. As a professional translation agency we try to keep in touch with them to offer translation services. If we work together, we can bring more of our stories to the other side of the...
Textcase Speaks About AdWords Translation

Textcase Speaks About AdWords Translation

On June 27th the LT-Innovate Summit was held in Brussels. This was a conference funded by the European Union to promote and support language technology innovation. Textcase was asked to speak about its services and solutions under the theme ‘intelligent, interactive, multilingual’. During our Company Showcase presentation we talked about how we manage AdWords translations. We do this carefully according to our unique principles of teamwork, relevant interaction, transcreation and an efficient workflow by using several tools. Due to this innovative process successful campaigns are delivered to our clients ready to go. Even though Textcase wasn’t picked as the Award winner, the experience, exposure and the networking opportunity made for a successful trip to...
Chinese Translation

Chinese Translation

Bridging the gap between companies and people in Asia and Western-Europe, that is our goal. Textcase has a strong network of translators from and to Asian languages, with a special focus on Mandarin Chinese. We are constantly in close contact with translators in both continents, therefore we can find the right translator for the right job. Our team is continuously improving our network of international communication professionals. We are also working to create texts that are as smooth and clear as possible for the reader in the other language and culture. Company documents, marketing materials, websites, webshops, books, e-books and apps are our specialty. Contact us for any services you may need in Chinese...
Textcase Talks Translation

Textcase Talks Translation

Whether you translate Ulysses by James Joyce or Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, the essence of translation is the same. This was made clear last week to the students of the Editor master program at the University of Amsterdam, where Textcase participated in a panel discussion on the art of translation. Together with Dutch author Renate Dorrestein, translation duo Erik Bindervoet and Robbert-Jan Henkes and director of translations for the Dutch Foundation of Literature Maarten Valken, we spoke about the challenges of translation. Questions included: How close do you stay to the source text? What if you come across mistakes? All speakers agreed that translators face an almost impossible task: making a text accessible to a different language and culture. Small errors can be corrected, but the author’s style remains. Whether it takes 8,5 years for a book translation (Ulysses by Henkes and Bindervoet) or six weeks (Fifty Shades of Grey by...
Which Languages Matter Most Online?

Which Languages Matter Most Online?

While Europe and North America are still dealing with the financial crisis, almost everywhere else in the world the middle-class segment is growing. More middle-class households means more access to computers and mobile devices connected to the web. The more consumers of online information, the bigger the importance and value of translation and localization. Which languages are most present on the web right now? And which languages are most interesting for you to add to your company repertoire? In this month’s MultiLingual magazine we read that if you want to reach 80% of the world’s total online population, you need at least 12 languages. However, to address 90% of global online economic opportunity you need at least 13 languages. Please consult the table below to see which languages you should focus on. We at Textcase are eager to help out and are looking forward to receiving your inquiry.   Online population   Global online economic opportunity 1 Chinese 22.7% 1 English 36.3% 2 English 21.6% 2 Japanese 10.5% 3 Spanish 9% 3 German 8.4% 4 Japanese 4.5% 4 Spanish 7.8% 5 Portuguese 3.7% 5 French 6.2% 6 Arabic 3.6% 6 Chinese 6.1% 7 German 3.5% 7 Italian 3% 8 Russian 3.3% 8 Portuguese 2.5% 9 French 3.1% 9 Dutch 2.3% 10 Indonesian 1.9% 10 Korean 2.2% 11 Korean 1.8% 11 Arabic 2% 12 Italian 1.6% 12 Russian 2%   13 Swedish 1.2%...
Textcase Translation of Fifty Shades Sold 1 Million Copies

Textcase Translation of Fifty Shades Sold 1 Million Copies

Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant describes the fascinating world of book deals in one of their articles today. Publisher Prometheus, from Amsterdam, bought the Fifty Shades manuscript for $150.000 in March. When the manuscript landed on our desk for translation, nobody knew that the trilogy would become incredibly successful in Belgium and The Netherlands. The Dutch translation was made within weeks; before the summer and before readers would pick up the English books. With a tight schedule and enthusiastic translators and editors Textcase translated the manuscript in such a way that multiple media outlets in Belgium and The Netherlands say the translation is ‘better than the...
Social Media Localization

Social Media Localization

New marketing strategies to engage with customers have led many companies to be active on social media. In traditional push marketing, the marketeer aims to be in control of all the interaction. Pull marketing seeks to understand what messages and content will meet an audience’s needs. Content is placed where the audience is already engaged and seeking information. Localizing social media content requires the use of native language speakers with knowledge of the local culture, trends and use of colloquial words and terms. All localized websites should lead to local social media, which emphasizes the importance of cohesion in language. At Localization World Conference we attended a session with representatives of database software giant SAP. They had a few interesting facts: In 2012 among Facebook’s top languages, those that saw the greatest rate of growth were Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and French. Chinese is soon set to overtake English as the Internet’s most widely spoken language. In 2011, two-thirds (60%) of new Twitter accounts were registered outside the U.S. More than 50% of all the tweets per day were written in a language other than English. Large local social media platforms to keep an eye on: Orkut (Brazil), Nasza-Klaza (Poland), VKontakte and Odnoklassniki (Russia), Naver.com Café (South Korea), Baidu and QQ...
An Evolving Translation and Localization Industry

An Evolving Translation and Localization Industry

The need for content in multiple languages is rising in the business world. Shifts from print to online and mobile are accelerating and technological tools become more diverse and are growing in number. According to Common Sense Advisory the importance of quality content is high because we live in a world of heavy information consumption and sharing everything online. For a significant international organization, to reach your audience effectively, the norm is now shifting from 5 to 10 available languages towards 40 to 50 languages. Overall, good news for Textcase when we heard about many industry trends at the Localization World Conference in Paris earlier this week. To return to our pressing question of last week; this battle is still undecided. However, it seems like in the upcoming years all involved parties will have enough space to survive. The buyers of translation services are also fighting an internal battle. Some marketeers want to use more and more automated translation tools for speed. Engagement with the client, fast communication and acquiring an understanding of the market becomes more and more important. On the other hand, there are the strategic marketeers that are more hung up on the big picture, high quality and carrying out one consistent...
Who Gets Paid for Translation and Localization in 2020?

Who Gets Paid for Translation and Localization in 2020?

Next week, Textcase will be attending the Localization World Conference in Paris. This is a leading three day event focussing on new tools, methods and business practices in the areas of translation, localization and internationalization. The conference rooms, booths and network areas of Palais des congrès de Paris will be crowded with participants from the technology/online sector and our own competitors, the language service providers. The conference program this year is geared towards localization in the medical field, but also booming arenas such as video games and mobile apps. There are sessions discussing Twitter’s organic translation model and lots of attention towards developments in translation automation. At one of the seminars an interesting question is posed: Who gets paid for translation and localization in 2020? Translators. Not the translation companies. Machines. Those who develop the engines. Nobody. It’s free, but paid for through taxes. Google, Baidu, Microsoft, Yandex, Facebook. Paid for through advertising. Nothing changes. LSPs will see their business grow. Other ideas? At Textcase we are obviously hoping for answer five, however to think that nothing will change is unrealistic in our dynamic market. We are ready to adapt as well as pioneer. This upcoming week will be insightful; we will keep you up to...
App Translation

App Translation

Apps are an important part of everyday life. At Textcase, app translation all began with the popular PopUp Stories. Creative Sounds in Hilversum, The Netherlands, developed ‘Adam and Eve’ as their first app and after that came ‘The Story of Jesus’. We translated these apps from Dutch into English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. Nowadays we arrange app translations on a regular basis. We can deliver the texts in multiple formats, depending on the preferences of the app developers. Since we work closely with our colleague and app developer Roderick Brons, from Inspired Industries, we can both deliver the text and translations and think along with the graphic and technical aspects. At this moment we are offering app translation services to international companies. We translate them not only into European languages but also into Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese. For more information about our services, request a...
Translate iTunes U

Translate iTunes U

A few weeks ago, Apple launched an updated version of iTunes U (the ‘U’ stands for University). Hundreds of schools and organizations have since connected to the platform, among which Oxford University, Stanford University and National Geographic. iTunes U is part of the iTunes Store, just like iBooks, where all kinds of study materials – text, video, audio – are publicly accessible. You can get a subscription on a certain topic or course, an option to have each new article automatically downloaded. Today, iTunes U already contains an enormous wealth of high quality information and it’s spreading around the world quickly. Translation of study materials can be extremely relevant for teachers, professors and others who are looking to enrich their curriculum. Textcase is eager to support this trend by converting iTunes U into every thinkable...

Web Store Translation

Since 2010 Textcase has seen a considerable increase in the demand for web store translation, mostly into German, French and English. Product descriptions should be perfectly worded in order to inform, inspire and to convince the customer to buy the product. Web store texts are written with care and should, therefore, be translated with care. We have gained valuable experience in web store translation, whether the main product is a Mediterranean vacation home, trendy clothing, lightning or fun cooking utensils. Our translators understand that the product description is an important addition to the photo. The customer sees what the product looks like but wants to read about the material, how it would fit into their daily life and when and how it could be used. This has to be a vivid description. Most product descriptions in web stores are SEO friendly with short, clear sentences and excellent word choices. In other languages this has to come across just as well as in the source language. Our native speakers localize the texts in such a way that the products are elegantly described and presented in every language. Read more about our experience in web store translation. Are you thinking about outsourcing your web store translation project? Download our free white paper How to Outsource Translation and Localization Projects …Or contact us to request a free...

AdWords Translation

It is important that a website is just as easily found in Google in France as the U.S. AdWords campaigns abroad require a native speaker who lives in that specific country and who knows how to translate, convert and localize the current campaign. Textcase understands what is needed and creates a clear action plan. If necessary, we will create an AdWords-translation that is updated every few weeks or months for a fixed price. Our native speakers are knowledgable in the fields of AdWords translation, SEO and online content and work with you to get the best...
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