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multilingual transcription helping fight climate change

Multilingual Transcription: Helping Fight Climate Change

It came out of the blue. A crack in the ice and then a surge of water rushing at 400m3 per second down the slopes of the high Andes towards the remote village of Keara in Bolivia. The sudden flood swept away crops, farm animals and pets, but spared the human population on the whole. The surge also destroyed the only road, leaving survivors cut off for several months. But what caused this unexpected disaster?

Helping to Prevent Disaster

Known as the Apolobamba glacial outburst flood of 2009, it was the direct result of climate change. As glaciers in the Bolivian Andes recede (they have shrunk by 43% since the 1980s), meltwater forms lakes on loose piles of sediment that can prove unstable. If a rock or ice avalanche disturbs the lake waters, deadly floods can kill those living in the valleys below. Perhaps surprisingly, multilingual transcription can be an effective tool in helping prevent such climate disasters. Read more

audiovisual heritage

How Transcription and Translation Preserves Our Audiovisual Heritage

Did you know that 27 October was the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage?  The goal of this observance is to “raise general awareness of the need to preserve and safeguard important audiovisual material for future generations.” “Audiovisual heritage” can include anything from movies to TV to radio broadcasts. UNESCO calls these “the primary records of the history of the 20th and 21st centuries.” However, these records are more fragile in some ways than the journals, letters and newspaper articles of years past. For example, UNESCO notes that “sound recordings and moving images can be deliberately destroyed or irretrievably lost as a result of neglect, decay and technological obsolescence.”

Around the world, digital archivists look for strategies to preserve these pieces of our shared history. Much of the work involved is technical- trying to find ways to keep original media intact and accessible or copying it into a digital format. However, translators and transcriptionists also have a crucial role to play in preserving these materials.

Transcribing Audio

Transcription is one way to preserve the content of an audiovisual resource.  Digital transcriptions also have the advantage of being easily searchable. However, transcriptions are no substitute for the original content. Nor is transcription a replacement for proper storage and digitisation. The magic of actually hearing voices and seeing images from the past is irreplaceable.

That said, transcription is still an essential part of the preservation process. For example, the US nonprofit organisation LYRASIS recommends that all recordings be transcribed and indexed, with multiple copies of the transcription saved in different formats.

Translating Content for Wider Distribution

Translation has always played a vital role in the preservation of knowledge. For example, Arabic translators helped preserve the work of ancient Greek philosophers when Europe was stuck in the Dark Ages. Likewise, translating audiovisual content can help ensure its survival. Even more important, translation makes the content understandable to a wider audience. As UNESCO notes in its publication on Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Principles, “preservation is never an end in itself: without the objective of access it has no point.”

UNESCO also notes that there’s an opportunity for translators to help make both audiovisual resources and media scholarship available worldwide:

[T]his wealth of knowledge is not equally available to all. To the extent that much of it is written in English, non-English-speaking professionals are at a disadvantage.

Clearly, translation has an important role to play in making this knowledge more accessible to everyone. Read more

How secure transcription will help post brexit

How Secure Transcription Will Help Shape Post-Brexit Britain

One of the biggest challenges for the British government and its departments in the months and years following the triggering of Article 50 will be the negotiation of an independent trade agreement.  The goal for this agreement will be to enable the UK to prosper and grow outside the EU. Whatever agreement is reached will shape the economic and political landscape of the UK for at least a generation. A clear negotiation strategy will be key to the success of any talks, which is where secure transcription comes in. Read more

How to choose a language services provider

How to Choose a Language Services Provider (LSP)

Whether your business goals include entering new markets overseas or reaching more people in your own backyard, it’s essential to choose the right language services provider.

Like any good partnership, your relationship with your LSP will only get better with time . . . as long as you’ve chosen the right provider. Choose poorly, however, and your relationship will soon disintegrate under the pressure of issues with translation quality, deadlines, and project management.

Much better, then, to choose wisely the first time. If you’re not sure how to choose a language services provider, our helpful checklist will walk you through the key factors involved.How to choose a language services provider

✅Does the LSP have the right people on staff to meet your business needs?

The strength of a business lies in its people, and LSPs are no exception. Before you select a language services provider, make sure they have the staff to handle your business needs.

More specifically, here are some questions to ask: Read more