A selection of articles specifically written by our dedicated team of translators, project & account managers. Here you will get an insight into the folks at K International, with articles about their experiences and project work.

Difficulties of translating books

The Challenges of Translating Literature

Literary translation is the translation of creative and dramatic prose and poetry into other languages. This includes the translation of literature from ancient languages and the translation of modern fiction so that it can reach a wider audience.

Why is literary translation important?

Literary translation is of huge importance. It helps to shape our understanding of the world around us in many ways. Reading Homer and Sophocles as part of a classical education in school helps to build an understanding of history, politics, philosophy and so much more. Meanwhile, reading contemporary translations provides fascinating insights into life in other cultures and other countries. In a fast-paced world so rife with misunderstanding and confusion, such efforts to share knowledge and experiences across cultural boundaries should be applauded.

The history of literary translation

An entire history of literary translation is far too big for the scope of a single article. Indeed, The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English runs to five whole volumes, such is the depth and complexity of the subject. Suffice to say that literary translation has been taking place for thousands of years.

History has seen countless translators come and go. Many of their names we will never know, but some – King Alfred the Great and Geoffrey Chaucer, for example, who both translated Boethius from the original Latin – had the power and influence to ensure that their translation efforts were not lost to the sands of time. Read more

The history of Machine Translation

Machine Translation – A Potted History

The concept of machine translation has existed for centuries, but it was not until the early 1950s that it began to become a reality. Since then, machine translation has advanced hugely, though it still cannot yet compete with the skill and finesse that a human mind can apply to translating a document.

The birth of machine translation

In 1949, Warren Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation put together a set of proposals on how to turn the idea of machine translation into reality. He blended information theory, code breaking lessons learned during the Second World War and the principles of natural language to pave the way for machines to translate one language to another.

One of the earliest machine translation successes was the Georgetown-IBM experiment. In 1954, IBM demonstrated at its New York office a machine that could translate Russian sentences into English. Though the machine could only translate 250 words (into 49 sentences), the world was delighted by the idea. Interest in machine translation around the world saw money being poured into this new field of computer science. The Georgetown experiment researchers, bursting with the confidence of their initial success, predicted that machine translation would be mastered within three to five years. Read more

Food Packaging Translation - A Serious Business

Food Packaging Translation – A Serious Business Indeed

We place a vast amount of trust in the veracity of the information provided on food packaging. For those with food allergies, their lives can depend on the information that the packaging provides. For those who are dieting (whether for personal or medical reasons), ingredients and calorific values both have to be spot on. Then there are the cooking instructions – a mistake in the details of how to cook products such as pork or fish could have fatal consequences. That’s why there are so many rules and regulations around food labelling. It’s also why translating food packaging is such a serious business.

Food labelling – the legal context

Food labelling requirements differ from country to country. In the UK, the law requires that food and drink products must have labels that are permanent, easy to read and understand, easily visible and not misleading. The label has to include the name of the food, a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, quantity information and any necessary warnings.

These warnings include allergen information and a range of specific warnings relating to certain ingredients or preparation methods. For example, foods and drinks with more than 150 mg/l of caffeine must state that they are, “Not suitable for children, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine.” Meanwhile, raw milk must state that “This milk has not been heat-treated and may, therefore, contain organisms harmful to health.”

Where a food product has two or more ingredients, these must be listed on the label, with the main ingredient first and the others following in weight order. Common allergens must be highlighted as part of the list. Read more

Translating Culture

Cultural Considerations for Translation

International translation services are, without a doubt, invaluable when it comes to helping companies market their products and services overseas. However, translating business materials that are intended for presentation to foreign audiences involves a much more complex process than simply converting words from one language to another. A significant amount of time should be dedicated to elements of localization if the translation is to be truly successful. By doing so, companies can protect themselves against their message inadvertently causing either hilarity or offence overseas.

What is localization?

Localization complements professional translation. It can be summed up as a form of modification that draws knowledge of local culture and customs and applies that to translated copy, so as to ensure it is appropriate for a new audience.

For example, if a company has an advertising campaign focused on the products users relaxing, ‘Put your feet up’ might be an appropriate slogan for Western audiences. However, in the UAE and many parts of Asia, displaying the soles of the feet is considered impolite, at best. Thus it would be appropriate for the translator to localize the copy in order to take account of this, by finding an alternative phrase that conveys the same meaning. Read more

Translating Your Food Supplement Packaging

Translating Your Food Supplement Packaging: 3 Important Aspects to Consider

If you are a manufacturer of dietary supplements, functional drinks, or any other food with added health benefits, the whole world is now your potential marketplace.

Over the last few years, health-conscious consumers have fallen out of love with the idea of “dieting” and started to embrace an all over “healthy lifestyle”. The trend is set, and it’s already more than a fad: people want “real”, unprocessed food, possibly organic and sustainably farmed and they’re not afraid to take supplements to achieve optimum nutritional balance.

As a result, functional and fortified foods, dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are growing in popularity, and technology makes it easier than ever to export abroad.

Preparing your food supplement product packaging for a foreign market goes beyond translation. It’s also about making it fully compliant with local food regulations.

The first important distinction is whether the country you’re exporting to has a pre-market evaluation or not. In the US, for example, no approval is required to market food supplements. Manufacturers and distributors are responsible for their efficacy and safety. Canada, on the other hand, has a quite stringent pre-market approval process.

Whatever the case, translating your food supplement package correctly is something you’ll want to get right first time. Product recalls can happen anytime and for a variety of reasons: lack of ingredient compliance, misleading claims or incorrectly displayed labels.

Although regulations are always complicated for the uninitiated, here are three important aspects to consider when translating your packaging for a new market: Read more

The difference between Marketing translation and Transcreation

Marketing Translation Vs. Transcreation: What’s the Difference?

Many companies devote energy, time and money into developing their marketing collateral, but tend to do so purely with a domestic audience in mind. When it comes to presenting your brand to new markets overseas, the cultural and linguistic barriers can seem rather daunting but they are imperative considerations if your international campaign is to be a success. This is precisely why professional marketing translation and transcreation services exist.

What is transcreation?

Transcreation is best summed up as creative international advertising translation. The act of Transcreation itself refers to a message being presented in another language in a way that has been moulded to suit a new audience. Specifically used with a marketing focus, the idea is to elicit the same emotions, wants and needs in the new audience as were intended for the domestic audience of the original message. This can involve the creation of new imagery, branding and copy. These alterations remain true to the spirit of the original (though they may differ greatly in appearance) and produce the same end result (usually, making the audience want to buy the product in question).

A variety of other terms are used to refer to transcreation. These include creative translation, international copy adaptation, cultural adaptation and cross-market copywriting. Read more

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes

Export packaging: does yours tick all the boxes?

There’s no getting away from it: we live in a global marketplace. Despite some questioning the notion that globalisation is always for the common good, the vast majority of businesses will continue to look beyond their borders to grow revenues inline with their ambitions.

Once the preserve of big corporations, international trade is now so much more accessible, thanks to better communications, improved supply chains, faster payment infrastructures and, of course, the advent of e-commerce.

So it’s a particularly exciting time for SMES who, almost from the get-go, can start branching out and sell products overseas. However, increased opportunities like this usually come with increased challenges and risks. This is, perhaps, especially true for smaller companies which may not be as well prepared as their more established counterparts.

One such challenge is complying with the varied demands of food packaging regulations in all your target markets. Read more

K International customer satisfaction results infographic

Customer Satisfaction Infographic

At K International, we are dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer service in the language industry. To make sure we are performing in line with these standards, we’ve been asking our active clients to complete a short satisfaction survey. So far we’ve had 174 complete responses and we are very pleased to share these intial results in the infographic below. Of course, there is always room for improvement, so we won’t be resting on our laurels – customer satisfaction is a defining quality of our organisation. You can read even more about what our customers think of the services we provide over on our testimonial page. Read more

Graphic Design Around the World

How Graphic Design Differs Around the World 

Why would you need a multilingual design studio, anyway? As long as the words on your documents are translated correctly, shouldn’t that be good enough?

Well, no. Not always, especially for ads, marketing materials, and other visually intensive content. Earlier this week, we looked at some reasons why multilingual typesetting is harder than it seems. But getting the words to look right on the page is only part of the puzzle. You might think that good design is universal, but what makes a “good” graphic design in the UK won’t necessarily resonate with your audience in Japan.

With that in mind, let’s a took at some of the ways graphic design differs around the world:

Graphic Design in Japan and Asia

In the West, we tend to think of the Japanese as the original minimalists. However, graphic design in modern-day Japan is often anything but minimalist. Japanese consumers tend to favor designs with bright colors and bold brushstrokes.  Circles and flowers are common motifs, and cute mascots are a common way for businesses to make themselves more relatable to their customers.

Japanese design is also frequently “information dense.” This tendency is especially notable when it comes to websites. Japanese websites often seem cluttered and “dated” to Western eyes, but as Rich Mirocco explains on the Canva Design school blog,

“(In Japan), details are a welcome aspect of communication and therefore web design too, as a website conveys information and sells the company and its products in place of a live salesperson.”

Many of these traits are also considered desirable in China and South Korea. In China,  Website Magazine  notes that

Chinese sites tend to be divided into many independent spaces, while on western style sites the layout is arranged around a focal point on a page. This is dictated by cultural norms around displaying and consuming information, with China more used to browsing rather than focusing.

Read more

Audio Transcribers at MK Job Show

K International at the MK Job Show

We are recruiting and training a team of Audio Transcribers to join our busy transcription operation. You can come and talk to our team on stand 128 at the MK Job Show on Friday 27th and Saturday the 28th of January in thecentre:mk. We would love to meet interested candidates and we’ll have experts on hand to provide all the information you need about our free audio transcription training opportunities.  Read more

Blog Posts
Portfolio
Pages

Available Pages

Categories
Monthly