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Machine Translation and the Future of Translation

There is a saying that has been going around the translation industry for the past few decades: “Machine translation is between 5 and 50 years away from perfection”. Although this is clearly a bit sarcastic and cynical, it also makes very good sense. Compared with the machine translations of 10, 20, or 30 years ago, […]

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The Pro Translator’s Checklist, Part 2

This is the second part of the (grossly oversimplified) list of DO’s and DON’T’s that should always be followed by a professional translator when taking on a project, and through his or her day-to-day dealings. As previously stated, some of these may seem quite obvious –even for a beginner – but many translators seem to […]

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Rare Languages & Language Pairs

There are currently 6,069 known “living” languages in the world. Some languages, like English, are extremely common and can be heard anywhere on Earth. Some languages, on the other hand, are much rarer and virtually unknown outside their respective places of origin. Naturally, the more common a language is, the more translators you will be […]

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Literary translator: a sad profession

  The world of translation has changed more in the last 15 years than in the previous five centuries. When I had my first notions about what the profession of translation entailed, the first image that came to my mind was that of a writer working extremely carefully in a quiet room, striving to find […]

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Video Game Localization

Video game translation and localization – namely that of games originating in Japan – have come a long way since the days of Zero Wing*. Back in the 80’s, it was common to come across unnatural, incorrect, and sometimes just plain ridiculous translations in video games. Video game translation and – namely that of games […]

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Living in a Glass Cage of Emotion Or What the World Would be like Without Language !

Imagine a world without language. You wake up in the morning and glance at your clock, only it’s blank. The numbers are gone. The only thing you have to inform you of the time is the position of the sun in the sky. You fumble around in the dark (because electricity would no longer exist), […]

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Translation: Science or Art?

  Translation is the interpreting of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a “translation,” that communicates the same message in another language. The quote above was copied from Wikipedia, and I feel that it explains perfectly the meaning of what this so-called science is. I especially […]

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10 NOTABLE TRANSLATION MISTAKES IN MARKETING

One of the many problems that corporations face when expanding their business globally is not only the proper translation but the appropriate localization of their products’ names and slogans. Over the years, there have been many, many examples of directly translated product names, slogans, and catchphrases that have offended and/or confused consumers, and sometimes completely […]