translation apps 2016

7 Powerful Translation Apps and Devices for Travellers in 2016

You’d love to see the world, but fear holds you back. You’re afraid of being isolated in a foreign country, unable to speak the language. How are you going to communicate? Charades? Well, stop worrying , and book those tickets! Here are 7 futuristic translation apps and devices for travellers in 2016 to help you get your point across.

Best Translation Apps: Google TranslateTranslation Apps 1

When it comes to translation apps, Google Translate is obviously the elephant in the room — and for good reason. It supports more languages than the competition, and its comprehensive feature set makes it especially well-suited for travellers.

Languages: Google Translate offers varying degrees of support for 103 languages:

  • Type to translate: 103 languages
  • Offline support: 53 languages
  • Instant camera translation: 29 languages
  • Speech-to-speech translation: 32 languages
  • Handwriting translation: 93 languages

See which features work with which languages here.

Cool Tricks: Translate signs, menus and other written content using your phone’s camera. Offline support for some language, plus excellent integration with the Android operating system for translating text messages and websites. Also, it’s free.

How to Get It: Download it from the App Store or from Google Play. Read more

Keep Calm and Regex - A presentation by Angela Madrid

Keep Calm and Regex

“Keep Calm and Regex” was presented by Angela Madrid at memoQ fest 2016 on 20th May. The main goal of the talk was to present regular expressions in a friendly way and encourage the audience to try their hand at using them.

The following slides include a brief introduction to the language, as well as practical cases on how to apply regex to different memoQ resources, including auto-translation, segmentation and document filtering. The original content of the slides has been expanded to make them easy to follow without a live explanation.

You can view and download the entire presentation in PDF format by clicking the image link below

Regex Presentation by Angela Madrid

10 Funny Euro-English Words We Might Hear More Often If The UK Leaves the EU

These days, it’s not just the UK and the US that are divided by a common language. Over the past few decades, English has become one of the most frequently used working languages of the EU.  However, most EU workers are not native English speakers. Enter “Euro-English,” an interesting dialect distinguished by common mispellings, mistranslations, false cognates and malapropisms.

These mistakes generally aren’t random. They are often influenced by the speaker’s native language. So, different people end up “misusing” the same words in the same ways over and over again, until the new meanings become commonly understood in the halls of the EU.

In 2013, a frustrated EU bureaucrat named Jeremy Stephen Gardner catalogued these “Euro-isms” in a delightfully curmudgeonly report called Misused English Words and Expressions in Publications. In the report, he explains  that

Over the years, the European institutions have developed a vocabulary that differs from that of any recognised form of English. It includes words that do not exist or are relatively unknown to native English speakers outside the EU institutions and often even to standard spellcheckers/grammar checkers (‘planification’, ‘to precise’ or ‘telematics’ for example) and words that are used with a meaning, often derived from other languages, that is not usually found in English dictionaries…

So, what happens if Brexit becomes a reality? That would leave the Republic of Ireland and tiny Malta as the only EU countries where English is an official language. Yet, EU workers and bureaucrats are unlikely to stop using it as a second language.

According to Quartz  and The Economist, that means “Euro-English” could diverge even further from the Queen’s English. And that means we could be hearing a lot more of these Euro-English words:


English Definition: Someone who performs in a TV show, play, film or other theatrical or broadcast performance. “Do you think Tom Cruise is a good actor?”

Euro-English Definition: Via Misused English Words, “The people and/or organisations involved in doing something”. It is also used for countries involved in EU activities and initiatives. Shakespeare may have said “All the world’s a stage,” but I don’t think this is quite what he had in mind. Read more

Obsolete English Words

14 Obsolete English Words that Deserve Another Chance 

Languages evolve, and English is no exception. Words come and go over time, and many eventually fall into obscurity. Sometimes, this sad fate befalls even perfectly good words…words that deserve another chance at life.  Enrich your vocabulary with thebeefwittedse 14 obsolete English words that deserve another chance.  Let’s bring them back!


Adjective. Slow-witted; stupid. According to the United Editors Encyclopedia and Dictionary, “beef-witted”
implies “a heavy, ox-like intellect.” Other sources say it’s because back in the day, people believed that eating too much beef would make you dumb. Either way, it’s an excellent insult.

He’s so beef-witted, he asked for a price check at the dollar store!


Noun. The act or condition of being a bore.

I had to skip history class today – the professor has a serious case of boreism. 


Verb. To bicker loudly about nothing.

I wish those two would stop brabbling and just break up already.  


Noun: A braggart, a person with an overly high opinion of himself.

I can’t believe that cockalorum is actually running for office!  Read more

Translation News Round Up: 9 Stories to Keep You In the Know

What’s been going on the translation industry lately? Here are 9 language and translation news stories to keep you in the know.

How To Instantly Identify Any Languagetranslation news alphabets

Raise your savoir faire quotient in minutes with this easy-to-learn party trick that makes you look like the smartest person in the room. Read this article to learn how to identify almost any written language, even if you can’t read a word of it.

Learning a New Language Can Boost Your Attention Span in Only One Week

Language learning has many benefits, including better problem solving skills and a more focused attention span. Now, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have demonstrated that students can get a brain boost from learning a new language after only a week of intensive study. The benefit persisted as long as the students continued practicing for at least five hours a week.

Lionsgate Leads Effort To Provide Local-Language Films Around the World

Lionsgate just announced a new venture: Globalgate Entertainment. Globalgate aims to remake and adapt successful films for different markets around the world. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Lionsgate points to a thriving world market for local-language films — a 90 percent share in India, 60 percent of China’s exhibition market, 55 percent in Japan and a 50 percent share in Korea — to explain its backing for Globalgate.”

Google Search Now Translates Automatically

Google Search will now translate any foreign words you search for automatically. No need to pull up Google Translate. No need to do anything except search for a word in a language that’s different to the one you’re browsing in. No need to give permission; Google would rather ask for forgiveness.  Or not.  Your feelings on this matter are irrelevant. Read more

Google Translate Facts

11 Google Translate Facts You Should Know

Google Translate turned 10 years old last week. With the power of the Google empire behind it, it’s the world’s most popular machine translation tool. At K International, we can’t help but see how Google Translate has helped people communicate when professional translation is unavailable. However, we are also familiar with the consequences of relying on it too heavily. To celebrate our decade-long love/hate relationship with this service, here are 10 Google Translate facts you should know.

1. More than 500 million people use Google Translate.

According to the Google Translate blog, the service has more than 500 million users. That’s close to the entire population of the European Union, which has 508 million inhabitants. When Google released Google Translate in 2006, the number of users was measured in the hundreds.

2. Google Translate translates more than 100 billion words per day.

That’s roughly equivalent to a stack of 128,000 Bibles, every single day.

3.  Google Translate now supports 103 languages.

When it was launched 10 years ago, it only supported two: English and Arabic. Read more

sign language translation

These Sign Language Translation Gloves Won a Prize, But Can They Really Translate?

2 US students just won a prize for inventing the SignAloud gloves,  a pair of gloves that translates American Sign Language to speech. But can these sign language translation gloves translate in the real world?

The idea of a wearable device that can translate sign language is certainly not new. Over the years, we’ve seen prototypes for everything from jewelry to gloves that promise to make it easier for deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with the hearing world.

Every so often, someone will announce an amazing new invention to make sign language translation easy, automatic and convenient. The press gives them great coverage. Then, the excitement dies down, and the products go nowhere.  So where are the sign language translator wearables? What are the obstacles that have kept them from mass production, and will these new sign language gloves make it out to the real world any time in the near future? Read more

Google Translate Sings

8 Hilarious “Google Translate Sings” Videos You Should Watch Now

Bored? Looking for an excuse to procrastinate? We’ve got you covered! These 8 brilliant “Google Translate Sings” music videos are guaranteed to brighten up your workday. Hopefully, they’ll also make you think twice about using Google Translate for your business needs.

For Princesses of All Ages — Google Translate Sings “Let It Go”

This is the first-ever “Google Translate Sings” video, the one that started it all. The most memorable song from Disney’s Frozen, mangled beyond recognition by machine translation. If you’re not familiar with how “Google Translate Sings” works, here’s a quick primer: Song lyrics are translated from English into multiple other languages using Google Translate. Then, the song is translated back to English, again using Google Translate, and Vassar student Malinda Kathleen Reese does her best to keep a straight face while singing the results.

In this case, Google Translate turns what should be an empowering song about embracing your own abilities into something more nihilistic: “Give up! Give Up!”

This one is perhaps best enjoyed after your little Disney princess is in bed, possibly with a glass or more of wine. Read more

facts about the english language

12 Fun Facts About the English Language for UN English Day

Today is UN English Language Day, a day set aside by UNESCO to  “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.”

Not coincidentally, it’s also William Shakespeare’s birthday. So, in honor of UN English Language Day and the Bard, here are 12 fun facts about the English language.

1) Need to buy a vowel?

The most common letter in the English language is “e.”

2)  Speaking of Shakespeare, he added a lot of words to the English language.

Some sources say 1,700. Other sources say not so much. But he did coin quite a few words and phrases that are still in use today. Some of his (probable) contributions include:

  • Gloomy
  • Lonely
  • Fashionable
  • Jaded
  • Watchdog

3) The oldest words in English are thousands of years old.

They include personal pronouns and numbers: I, We, Two, and Three.

4) The newest English words were added to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary just yesterday.

They include:

  • TMI- too much information
  • FOMO: Fear of missing out
  • Hella: “a lot of” something. They’re about 10 years late on this one.
  • Dox: to publicly identify or publish private information about [someone] especially as a form of punishment or revenge.

Read more

Study foreign languages

6 Reasons More Students Should Study Foreign Languages 

Why should students bother to study foreign languages? Doesn’t everyone speak English now anyway? And where are our universal translators? They should be coming along any day now, right?

The British Council’s 2016 Language Trends Survey is out, and the results are generating the usual (and justified) wringing of hands and clutching of pearls. Apparently, it’s become so unpopular to study foreign languages at A-Level that the subject has become “financially unviable” for some state schools to offer.

Meanwhile, STEM subjects like maths and science are all the rage. Foreign languages are seen as less important, less of a priority. Students don’t see the benefits and the exams are notoriously brutal.

What to do? As Vicky Gough, Schools Advisor for the British Council, wrote on The Huffington Post:

[W]e need to recognise that languages aren’t a waste of time – they are good for young people, good for business and good for life. Parents, schools and businesses can all play their part in this respect and while we may have a long journey ahead of us to get language learning back on track, it is an important journey to make.

So, in the spirit of doing our part, here are 6 reasons young adults should study languages:

Study Foreign Languages Because…The UK Economy Needs You

According to the report, the UK’s lack of foreign language expertise is already hurting the economy. It turns out English is not, in fact, the only language for business across the entire globe. In fact, as Mark Herbert, British Council schools programmes head, told City AM:

“The country’s current shortage of language skills is estimated to be costing the economy tens of billions in missed trade and business opportunities every year.”

That’s quite a chunk of change. Can you help fill in the gap?

Study Foreign Languages Because…Your Bank Account Will Thank You9677552435_f8ba203b7d_b

Want to make more money? Speaking another language can help. It depends on where you work and what field you’re in, of course. But the opportunity is certainly there. For example, according to one survey, 2/3 of all business executives speak more than one language. Meanwhile, studies have shown differences in pay rates for bilingual employees that range from 3.6 percent  to a whopping 20 percent more than employees who only speak one language.

Plus, you could always work in the translation industry. Demand is booming and wages are rising!  Read more