Last week you may have heard, or even seen, that Twitter has been trialling automated translation of tweets from certain individuals in Egypt. Following the recent political upheaval, the former president Mohammed Morsi, opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei and Arab Spring activist Wael Ghonim have all had tweets made available to non-Arabic speaking readers.
Shockin’ly Spaiked O’er Smot Live
A screening of the 1974 R-rated film Flesh Gordon has upset David McNarry an Ulster Unionist Party member and other members of the Stormont Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee.
The BBC quoted David McNarry as saying:
“Porn is porn, is porn, is porn – and whether it is done Ulster-Scots-style, well, it really doesn’t come into it.”
The screening of the 70’s erotic spoof of Flash Gordon will be accompanied by a live translation in broad Ulster-Scots from three local comedians.
There are worries that events such as this damage the reputation of the festival and could effect funding in future.
Belfast should be proud to see Ulster-Scots being used (even if some think the event is inappropriate), especially with many languages becoming extinct.
Shockin’ly Spaiked O’er Smot (Badly Dubbed Porn) Live takes place at The Menagarie, University Street, Belfast, on Thursday 2 April at 9pm.
Remember the Universal Translator from Star Trek? The translator enabled members of the Star Trek crew to understand alien languages as they were spoken. According to Geek.com, there is currently an iPhone app in beta that is reminiscent of the science-fiction device.
The iPhone app from Sakhr Software and Dial Directions, which is being used by US diplomats and soldiers in Iraq, can translate from Arabic to English and back again.
To use it, all you have to do is press a button on the iPhone and speak the phrase that you need to have translated. The app does the rest, using voice recognition algorithms to decipher what you are saying and translate it.
When the translation is complete, the app speaks the phrase in the other language, as well as displaying the translated version on the screen. Unlike earlier pocket translation programs, you don’t have to type anything.
Unlike most computerized translation programs, this one is actually pretty accurate, and based on this video demonstration, can even translate relatively difficult and complicated sentences.
As cool as it would be to have this on your own iPhone, it’s not available to the general public yet. But just imagine how much easier it would be to travel to another country if you had one of these!
Of course, I can’t see this app completely replacing trained, fluent and human interpreters who understand the nuances of both languages and cultures. Also, even if devices like this become common, it would still be preferable to learn as much of the language of the country you are visiting as possible. After all, most people prefer it when you talk to them, not to a machine. However, I think a pocket translator like this could make learning another language easier if you tried to learn from it instead of using it as a crutch.
8 years after 9/11, the FBI is still behind when it comes to translating intelligence information.
According to a report issued by the US Justice Department’s inspector general, the FBI has lost approximately 3 percent of its linguists since 2005. Plus, they are taking longer than ever to hire new contract linguists.
There is a lot of work to be done. According to Reuters, between 2006 and 2008, the FBI collected 4.8 million foreign language documents and intercepts in terrorism and criminal cases and 46 million electronic files. To date, 31 percent of the electronic files have not been examined. Between 2003 and 2005, the FBI collected 4.8 million audio hours worth of material via surveillance campaigns-25% of that material hasn’t been reviewed, either.
Part of the problem seems to stem from the length of time it takes to do the necessary background checks and other reconnaissance on potential translators. Apparently, it takes 14 months to do the necessary reviews and investigations to make sure that the applicants aren’t terrorists themselves.
According to Reuters’ Front Row Washington blog, some of that un-translated material was pertinent to a case against two Chicago men who planned to attack a newspaper in Denmark. Affidavits in the case state that:
“While translators have attempted to transcribe the foreign language conversations accurately, to the extent that quotations from these communications are included, these are preliminary, not final translations.”
So, what would it take to get the FBI caught up? 100 linguists working 40 hours a week for seven years, according to the inspector general’s report.
So, if you’re looking for a recession-proof job and you think you can pass an extremely detailed background check, here is my suggestion: Start learning Arabic!
To help you to be extra romantic this Valentine’s Day we have posted numerous translations of I Love You below… Good Luck!
I love you in Bulgarian: Обичам те
I love you in Catalan: T’estimo
I love you in Chinese: Cantonese: 我愛你 – Mandarin: 我愛你; 我爱你
I love you in Croatian: Volim te
I love you in Czech: Miluji tě
I love you in Danish: Jeg elsker dig
I love you in Dutch: Ik hou van jou
I love you in Estonian: Ma armastan sind
I love you in French: Je t’aime
I love you in German: Ich liebe Dich
I love you in Greek: Σ’ αγαπώ
I love you in Hungarian: Szeretlek
I love you in Irish Gaelic: Tá grá agam ort
I love you in Italian: Ti amo
I love you in Japanese: 大好き
I love you in Latvian: Mīlu tevi
I love you in Polish: Kocham Cię
I love you in Portuguese: Amo-te
I love you in Romanian: Te iubesc
I love you in Russian: Я тебя люблю
I love you in Slovene: Ljubim te
I love you in Spanish: Te amo
I love you in Swedish: Jag älskar dig
I love you in Turkish: Seni seviyorum
I love you in Welsh: ‘Rwy’n dy garu di
and… (thanks to Mark Angel Brandt)
I love you in Norwegian: Jeg elsker deg
French is often considered the language of love, to make sure yours isn’t letting you down choose a trusted provider. Our French translation services are relied on by governments and businesses worldwide, contact us today to find out more
For companies looking to expand into Asia, one of the hardest steps is choosing the right name. Chinese in particular lends itself to plays on words, and it’s common for names to have multiple meanings that can either help a brand or damage it. The result is that a company name that seems simple and straightforward in English can have undesirable connotations when translated phonetically into Chinese.
For example, this story on CNN.com recounts the struggle that US-based law firm Kobre & Kim LLP went through to find a Chinese version of their name. While the Chinese character for “Kim” means “gold,” finding the right characters to approximate “Kobre” was harder. Eventually, the company decided on a combination of characters that means “Plentiful Knowledge and Victorious in Our Pursuit of Gold.” Read more
In 1896, students from Oxford University on backpacking trip stumbled upon a rubbish dump in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus. To modern archaeologists, the contents were about as far from rubbish as you can possibly get: thousands of pieces of Greek papyri, dating back to the period after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt.
The students collected the papyrus fragments and brought them back to Oxford, but due to the sheer number of fragments, translation has been slow going. As Dr. Chris Lintott of Oxford told the Daily Mail :
“after 100 years we’ve gone through about two per cent, so we thought it was time we called in some help.”
So, who are they calling in for the cavalry? A crack team of linguists? Actually, no- they’re crowdsourcing the translating, allowing everyday people like you and me to help analyse the papyri. Working with a company called Zooniverse, which previously crowdsourced the classification of up to 60 million galaxies, the university has set up a website where anybody with some spare time can help decode the ancient texts. Read more
Visitors to South Korea, take note. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has set a bounty on the awkward, low-quality translations known as “Engrish.” These malapropisms are a prime source of amusement for tourists abroad in Asian countries (see The Top 10 Asian English Translation Failures for examples), but locals are generally somewhat embarrassed by their existence. Plus, when you’re a tourist trying to navigate a foreign country, mistranslations don’t help.
It’s understandable, then, that the KTO would make it a priority to improve the quality of translations available to tourists. What’s interesting is the way in which they are going about it. As CNNGo reports, from now until December 14th, you can go to the Visit Korea website and submit pictures of translation mistakes from any tourist site in South Korea. When you do, you’ll be entered to win the Korean equivalent of a $45 gift card, accepted anywhere credit cards are taken. Read more
We know you wanted us to… so here’s the English translation for Gangnam Style.
Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style Read more
This article, written by Sam Brown, originally appears on the Comtec translation blog. Used with the author’s consent.
Foreign idioms are always a source of trouble, and sometimes hilarity, when trying to translate them. Every translator knows this but it was the post by Matt Lindley for Hotel Club that really got the team at Comtec thinking. After reading his piece we discussed the funniest foreign phrases we could think of and came up with the following 10 which we love. Read more
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Translating 250 languages by importing and exporting a wide variety of popular content formats, including Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, HTML, XLIFF, XML, JS, JSON, YAML, Drupal PO, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and others.
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