Richard Brooks Guest Speaker at T10+ 2014

K International at T10+

K International are proud to be part of one of the largest business shows in Europe, comprising of The Business Show 2014, Going Global and the T10+, for companies with a turnover of £10 million pounds or more. Hosted in the historic Olympia exhibition centre, the event is set to draw in thousands of visitors looking to accelerate growth and develop their businesses.

As an industry leader in the field of business translation, K International is perfectly placed to assist both SMEs and large corporations leverage language to drive international growth.  Being able to communicate effectively is a vital factor in building relationships with your audience, wherever they are, so talking their language must be a priority when developing a successful international enterprise. K International provides a broad spectrum of language services specifically geared towards assisting the business sector in this regard.

Our partners include Marks & Spencer, Tesco, eBay, Amazon, Topps Cards and numerous departments within UK Government, to name just a few. If you too appreciate the value of being able to communicate and engage with your customers on their terms, our team are on hand to provide just what you need to deploy a successful, business focused, language strategy.

For more information you can visit us at the T10+ exhibition on stand W204 where our team will be able to discuss your requirements and answer any questions you may have.

In addition, our CEO, Richard Brooks is presenting in the Strategy Seminar hall at 13:15 on Friday the 28th. He will cover a number of subjects including creating an effective global communication strategy to help maximise ROI.

“As your venture grows the likelihood will increase that you’ll do business in overseas regions. Understanding consumers in these areas and effective communication must be top of your list of objectives. Making your products world ready is a process which has profound implications for the entire content supply chain. I will take you through the process of creating an effective global communication strategy to help maximise ROI on a global scale.”



Thank you to everyone who attended the presentation. The Q&A session afterwards was outstanding. We hope it helped you to take your business to new heights and new places.

The slide deck is now available on slideshare. Have also embedded it below.


Facts About Toilets for World Toilet Day

Happy (belated) World Toilet Day, everyone!

Wait…what? That’s right, 19th November was World Toilet Day. Though it sounds like a joke, the holiday represents a serious effort by the World Toilet Organization to educate people about what they call the “silent sanitation crisis.”

With that in mind, here are 10 facts about toilets around the world:

1.    In 2013, 1000 children died every day due to diseases contracted from poor sanitation, including lack of sanitary toilet facilities. (

2. Around 2.5 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population, do not have toilets available to them.

3.  More people have access to cell phones than toilets.

4. The global cost from diseases spread by poor sanitation is around $260 billion per year. 

5.  On a more humorous note, the world’s fastest toilet is the “Bog Standard,” which is mounted on a motorcycle/sidecar combo and can reach a top speed of 68 kph.

6.  The world’s smallest toilet is a marvel of Japanese nanotechnology.

7.  The world’s largest toilet is also possibly Japanese: a 200 square meter women’s restroom in Ishihara. Unfortunately, the Guinness Book of World Records has declined to investigate their claim.

8. The world’s most expensive toilet costs $6,800.00 and comes with frills like mood lighting, a heated seat AND heated foot rests, “warm wash” and “air dry” features, stereo sound and smart phone compatibility.

9.  The first known flush toilet is actually Scottish: the ancient Neolithic village of Skara Brae had a primitive flush toilet system.  The village was occupied from  3180 BCE to 2500 BCE.

10. Assuming you live in a developed country, you’ll probably spend about 3 years of your life sitting on the toilet.

Toilets in Translation

Around the world, toilets range from Western-style tanks and bowls to simple squat toilets. Nature calls no matter where you are, so “Where is the toilet?” is one of the key phrases travelers should learn before visiting another country. Here are some translations:

Spanish: ¿Dónde están los sanitarios? or ¿Dónde están los servicios? or ¿Dónde esta el baño?

French: Où sont les toilettes ?

Italian: Dov’è la toilette?

Portuguese:  In Portugal: Onde está o WC? or Onde está a casa de banho?

In Brazil:  Onde é o sanitário? or Onde é o lavatório?

Polish:  Gdzie jest toaleta?

Russian:  Где находится туалет?

Japanese: 便所はどこですか (benjo wa doko desu ka?)

Mandarin: 廁所在哪裡? [厕所在哪里?] cèsuǒ zài nǎli?

Hindi: टॉयलेट कहाँ हैं (tāyalet kahāṁ haiṅ?)

You may have missed out on the chance to participate in the “Urgent Run” charity fundraiser for World Toilet Day, but you can still help out by donating to the World Toilet Organization. 

Photo Credit: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by infomatique

You Never Forget Your Mother Tongue

You never really forget the first language you hear when you’re a baby, even if you can’t consciously recall a single word. That’s the conclusion of a new Canadian study that looked at how international adoptees process language.

The study used brain scans to compare how 48 Canadian girls responded to different sounds and tones used in Mandarin Chinese. You don’t have to speak Chinese to hear the different tones, but if you do speak the language, hearing them will make the parts of your brain that process language “light up” on a scan.  If you don’t speak Chinese, the tones are perceived as ordinary sounds.

Researchers divided the children into three groups.  One group consisted of monolingual French speakers. The second group was raised in bilingual households speaking both Chinese and French. The third group consisted of Chinese children who had been adopted into monolingual French-speaking families at around a year old, too young to consciously remember how to speak Mandarin. Even though the third group of children couldn’t speak Chinese, their brains still processed Chinese tones in the same way as the bilingual childrens’ did.

Study author Dr. Denise Klein told Time Magazine that the study was designed to see how the brain responds to language in the first year or so of life:

We looked at language that was abruptly cut off, so we could see what happens developmentally in that early period. The sound of languages are acquired relatively early in life, usually within the first year. We’ve learned through a lot of seminal work that is out there that children start out as global citizens who turn their heads equally to all sounds and only later start to edit and become experts in the languages that they’re regularly exposed to.”

The researchers predict that children exposed to a language in infancy  will have an easier time learning the language later on in life, but more study is needed to see whether or not that’s true.

The study raises other interesting questions, as well.  For example, what type of language exposure is necessary to impact a baby’s brain like this? Will foreign language CDs do the trick, or is the baby honing in on the language of its primary caregivers?  What do you think?

Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by LisaW123

The Cornish Language: In Danger or Flourishing?

According to a new study, the Cornish language is in trouble. Big trouble. Researchers at University College have listed it as one of 33 languages “at risk of dying out,” along with Jersey French, Guernsey French, Manx and others.

However, in the Western Morning News, Cornwall councillor and Cornish Bard Bert Biscoe disputed that assessment. According to Biscoe:

“Knowledge and awareness of the language is growing really rapidly. There are several hundred fluent speakers and they are dedicated to teaching the language and passing it on. The numbers of people developing fluency in Cornish is increasing almost daily.”

So which is it? Is Cornish flourishing, or about to kick the bucket? Perhaps a little of both. The language began to decline after the 13th century. The number of Cornish speakers dropped rapidly after the failed Prayer Book Rebellion of the 15th century.  By the 18th or 19th century, it was considered extinct.

However, efforts to revive the language have been in progress since the late 19th century, and great strides have been made. It was officially recognized as a minority language by the UK government in 2002, and UNESCO changed its status from “extinct” to “critically endangered” in 2010. Bert Biscoe is correct that the number of Cornish speakers has been growing, and there were 2,000 fluent adults as of 2008.

Even University College professor Christopher Moseley believes that with enough effort, the language can be saved. What really matters is whether or not the language gets passed on to the next generation. So far, a small number of people have been brought up as native bilinguals of both English and Cornish. Will they do the same with their own children? Will children who study Cornish in school today teach it to their future children? The future of the language depends on it.

Meanwhile, travel planning company  GoEuro is promoting tourism to these areas as a way to save the languages on the list, according to Mashable. Do you think that’s a good language preservation strategy? We’d love to hear your take in the comments!

Photo credits: Attribution Some rights reserved by madnzany

“Origin of Species” Now a Chinese Kids’ Book

Since Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published in 1859, it has been translated into more than 35 languages, making it the most translated scientific text in history.  Now, a new Chinese translation, aimed at children, has been added to the mix.

The text was translated by Desui Miao, the collections manager of the Biodiversity Institute at Kansas University. He began the project at the request of a 10-year-old boy who attended one of his lectures in Beijing. The lecture was aimed at promoting Miao’s previous Chinese translation of the book, aimed at adults. Miao told the Kansas City Star that when asked for a children’s version, “I cavalierly said, ‘Sure.’ I didn’t know what this all entailed. But how can you say ‘no’ to a kid?”

It took Miao two years to complete the project, which is really two translations rolled into one: translating the original scientific work into Chinese, and translating adult scientific language into simplified language more appropriate for kids. Plus, since it was aimed at children, it needed to be fun!

The effort has paid off in spades, with the first two printings selling out completely. To date, Miao’s publisher has sold more than 20,000 copies since it was released in January. The book is popular not just among kids, but also among adults looking for a translation of Darwin that’s a little bit easier to grasp.

Miao told the Kansas City Star that both of his translations improve upon earlier versions of the book available in Chinese:

“My translation is easier to read and is overall a more accurate translation. I cannot say there are no mistakes, but I think there are fewer mistakes than in others…Taking complex ideas and making them simple was a great challenge. The children’s book is very fun, and the main concepts still remain.”

The Irish Government Uses Google Translate? 

How do you say “D’oh!” in Irish? The Irish government might well be asking itself that question, after an Irish-language website built to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising was found stuffed with error-laden Irish text straight from Google Translate.

Irish-language news site broke the story, calling excerpts including the Irish-language version of the 1916 Proclamation  on the website “nonsensical” and demonstrating that it matched up perfectly with the translation of the document from English as provided by Google Translate.

Apparently, the error was a result of sloppy proofreading, not an intentional use of Google Translate. The web design team who built the website used the Google-translated copy as a placeholder during the design process. Perhaps they should have stuck with lorem ipsum, because they forgot to replace it with the professionally translated version of the text before the site went live.

A spokesperson for the Irish Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht told the that the problem was fixed as soon as it was noticed, saying  “This matter has been addressed and the correct Irish language translation has gone live on the website.”

However, it goes without saying that not everyone is happy with that explanation-it should have been noticed prior to the site going live. Irish language organization Conradh na Gaeilge released a statement on Thursday which read, in part,

 “Without a doubt mistakes like these would not be accepted from the Government in English. The Irish language and Gaeltacht community should not have to accept them in Irish.”

Again, this should serve as a warning to any organization that thinks they can “just use Google Translate” to get by without professional translation services. No, in most cases, you can’t — not without scrambling your message and potentially confusing or angering your customers!

Finally, an Accurate Translation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

A new English translation of the original volume of fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm was just published… and it’s nothing like the wonderful world of Disney.

The first edition of Grimm’s “Children’s and Household Tales” was published in 1812. The brothers collected tales from a variety of sources, including stories by French writer Charles Perrault, folk tales told by Wilhem Grimm’s wife Dortchen and her family, and a variety of tales collected from friends, acquaintances and German peasants the brothers met during their travels.

The 1812 edition features the type of grim, nightmarish stories that Old Nan would tell Bran in “Games of Thrones,” including such child-friendly fare as “How the Children Played at Slaughtering” (in which baby brother plays the pig) and “The Children of Famine.” The brothers began to clean up the stories in subsequent editions, and there has has never been an English translation of the original edition. Until now, thanks to scholar and German professor of German literature Jack Zipes.

Zipes told the Guardian,

“Though the Grimms kept about 100 of the tales from the first edition, they changed them a good deal. So, the versions with which most English-speaking (and German-speaking) readers are familiar are quite different from the tales in the first edition.”

Aside from all the added blood and gore, the new translation reveals some other interesting differences between the tales we thought we knew and loved and their originals. First of all, that whole “wicked stepmother” thing? That was not in the original stories; it was added into later editions by the brothers. The original evil queen was Snow White’s biological mother. Zipe told the Guardian he believes they made the change both because they “put motherhood on a pedestal” and because they were

“reflecting sociologically a condition that existed during their lifetime – jealousy between a young stepmother and stepdaughter”, because “many women died from childbirth in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and there were numerous instances in which the father remarried a young woman, perhaps close in age to the father’s eldest daughter”.

Zipe wholeheartedly recommends reading the original stories to children, by the way. Use your own judgement here – I never thought I’d say this, but I think we might stick with Disney for a while!

Photo Credit: “Arthur Rackham Little Red Riding Hood+” by Arthur Rackham Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

London’s Languages, Mapped By Tube Stop

London’s linguistic diversity is no secret, but it’s not easy to visualize all the different languages spoken in the city. A new map from Oliver O’Brien makes it easier by  showing the top languages other than English spoken at each tube station.

O’Brien, a researcher at the University College London Department of Geography, used 2011 census data and Open Street Map to create an interactive map of all of London’s tube stops, showing the top language (other than English, which is still the most commonly spoken language at every stop) spoken in a 200-meter radius of each station.

Each language has its own color, and the larger the circle, the higher the percentage of area residents who speak that language. Click on the individual stations for more detailed data about all the languages commonly spoken in that location.

As O’Brien notes in his blog, the map data makes it possible to come to some interesting conclusions about the areas around the different stops. For example,

[T]he most linguistically diverse tube station to be Turnpike Lane on the Piccadilly Line in north-east London, which has 16 languages spoken by more than 1% of the population there, closely followed by Pudding Mill Lane with 15 (though this area has a low population so the confidence is lower). By contrast, almost 98% of people living near Theydon Bois, on the Central Line, speak English as their primary language. English is the most commonly spoken language at every tube station, although at five stations – Southall, Alperton, Wembley Central, Upton Park and East Ham – the proportion is below 50%.

More importantly, O’Brien told the Guardian, the map makes the data more easily understandable and relatable for the average person:

“Conventional maps of demographic data can be quite abstract to look at – they can be quite hard to relate to where people live,” explains O’Brien. “By combining statistical data from the census with the familiar lines of the London Underground network, the graphic becomes more relatable to a city where everyone knows their nearest tube station.

For full access to the interactive map, click here.

London’s Top 5 Languages (Other Than English)

London businesses can ensure they connect with all of their customers by translating marketing material, advertisements and information as necessary.  With that in mind, here are the top 5 languages, other than English, spoken in the city.

Polish– Almost 2 percent of Londoners speak Polish as their primary language, according to the 2011 census.  The top tube stations for Polish speakers include Perivale, Hanger Lane, Greenford, Hanwell and Park Royal.

Bengali- Bengali is native to Bangladesh and to West Bengal, Tripura and Southern Assam in India. It is also the native language for 1.5% of Londoners. According to the map, you’re most likely to hear it spoken at the following tube stops: Shadwell, Whitechapel, Cambridge Heath, Devon’s Road, Bromley-by-Bow, All Saints, Poplar, and Bow Road.

Gujarati: Gujarati hails from the West Indian region of Gujarat. About 1.3% of the city’s populations speaks it, and you’re most likely to hear it at the following stations: Alperton, Wembley Central, Kingsbury and Queensbury.

French: About 1.1% of the population claims French as their primary language. French speakers tend to cluster around South Kensington, Gloucester Road and Earl’s Court, with smaller clusters located around the Green Park, Tottenham Court Road, and

Urdu: Spoken in Pakistan and parts of India,  Urdu is most commonly heard in London around the following stops: Walthamstow Central and Walthamstow Queens Road, Ilford, Seven Kings and Barking.

In a city as diverse as London, knowing who speaks what language in your target market is a definite business advantage. K International  can help translate your business communications into all of the languages listed above, and more.

Translation at Explore Export

2014 marks the 7th ExploreExport event organised by the UK trade & Investment authority. It’s shaping up to be a grand exhibition, taking place between the 7th and 14th of November in cities around the country, including Newcastle, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburg and London. It is the largest event of its kind, with 130 UKTI Commercial Officers, British Chamber of Commerce representatives from 80 countries and hundreds of business delegates, all gathered together to discuss export matters.

This year’s theme is “Putting your business in touch with global opportunities” and “Recession is over, time to grow!”. With an increasing number of articles circulating in the business press detailing the positive returns for international export, from Forbes Ten Reasons To Invest In Sri Lanka, The Economic Times Japanese company Tama Home to build houses in India in JV and the Telegraph`s Marks & Spencer plans massive international expansion to name only a few, it is very easy to get inspired and excited about developing business in new markets. It seems like the time is perfect for businesses to start investing in new markets, before they saturate.

Professional translation is a crucial factor to building your brand abroad and helps you to engage with your new customers. K International not only helps businesses get their products on shelves in new regions, but also supports all their linguistic requirements along the way. Our processes simplify the creation of multilingual packaging and integrate closely with regulatory bodies to make sure everything is legally compliant for the target country.

Our goal is to help you understand your customers even better through detailed overseas market research.  We are regular attendees of major industry events from The World Retail Congress, UK Trade & Investment conferences, Britain Means Business to various business development exhibitions to ensure we keep up to date with the latest developments.  We are as passionate about E- Commerce, Bricks and Mortar and packaging as we are about delivering an excellent quality translation service.

With clients like Marks and Spencer, Tesco`s, Wizzair, Ebay, Amazon and the UK Government, we have bags of experience and can work with you to help you achieve international success.

I will be attending the ExploreExport 2014 in London on the 11th of November and will be more than happy to discuss your plans to expand and how we can help. Follow me on twitter, I’ll be happy to meet up.

Wherever you go, you must excel in communication to make an impact.

Meet Aga at Explore Export

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