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The manifold challenges of localising Disco Elysium

By: Andrea Capuselli

Testronic’s Manuel Jimenez Verdinelli details the hurdles of localising ZA/UM’s hit and its one million words

How do you translate a non-linear RPG that has been lauded by many as one of the best written games ever released, with over 100 hours of gameplay, over a million words, a wealth of Soviet-era cultural cues, and one of the most passionate fanbases online?

Amnesty International hiring MENA Language and Communications Coordinator

By: Andrea Capuselli

The MENA Language and Communications Coordinator oversees coordination and timely delivery of translations for Amnesty International’s MENA Regional Office. The role promotes the integration of Amnesty’s language strategy at regional level and acts as the single point of contact for all Arabic and MENA-related language requests for the whole of the International Secretariat.

As part of the Language Resource Centre you will coordinate the daily work of the Arabic Translation Team and prioritize items for translation in line with Amnesty International’s goals and the MENA communications strategy. You will also build, maintain and manage a network of freelance translators and editors.

As part of the MENA Communications team you will also provide strategic advice on Arabic language messaging for campaigns and communications projects and provide linguistic support for some Arabic social media outputs.

This is a fast-paced role and is an exciting opportunity to join a regional team working across several locations to deliver high quality translations in a smooth and efficient manner.

You can find out more about this opportunity here.

Creators of online content for translators to follow in 2021

By: Viktoriia Horiachko

This blog post features 5 creators of online content for translators across different social media platforms. These resources will be useful both for translators who are only starting their path in the language industry and already established professionals.

Legal consequences

By: Josephine Cassar

This is an article I found today and is of relevance to the translation industry:

A post in JurTrans shared an article by John Shea entitled A cautionary tale about machine translation: a recent Polish court ruling. As a longtime professional translator, I was pleased to see a legal bottom being laid in the rather deep hole of cheap translations, in both meanings of the word cheap. The case itself is rather extreme and involves a single language service provider (LSP), but is relevant to all parties in the translation chain: translators, agencies and end customers. The bottom line is that there is a financial price for ignoring quality to achieve a low price.

Wanted: Black women English to Dutch translators

By: philgoddard

Dutch poet declines assignment to translate Gorman’s works

A writer who was chosen to translate American poet Amanda Gorman’s work into Dutch has handed back the assignment following criticism that a white author was selected to translate the words of a Black woman who is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, who last year became the youngest writer to win the International Booker Prize with her novel “The Discomfort of Evening,” announced the decision in a Twitter post Friday.

One of the critics of the choice of Rijneveld was Janice Deul, an activist and journalist who wrote an opinion piece in the Netherlands’ national daily newspaper de Volkskrant about the topic. “Not to take anything away from Rijneveld’s qualities, but why not chose a writer who is — just like Gorman — spoken word artist, young, female and unapologetically Black.”

On Friday, Deul tweeted: “Thanks for this decision” and tagged Rijneveld and Meulenhoff.

English and Welsh teaching in Welsh schools

By: Dylan Edwards

The BOGOF approach to language teaching. I like it! With Wales building up to a target of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050, it’s interesting to see how they’re going about it.

Why a Welsh language education is about giving your child more choice – not taking it away

There are few issues as emotive in Welsh local government as changing a school from Welsh to English medium (or vice versa).

It combines understandably strong feelings that parents have about what is best for their children on one side and understandably strong feelings about the future of the Welsh language on the other.

The latest flashpoint is the decision to change two schools to Welsh-medium ones in Carmarthenshire.

Enclave de Ciencia language services platform is born

By: Joel Pina Diaz

Nace la plataforma de servicios lingüísticos Enclave de Ciencia

Enclave de Ciencia es una plataforma de servicios lingüísticos cuyo objetivo es facilitar el manejo y la comprensión del vocabulario científico-técnico. Nace de la colaboración entre la RAE y la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT), dependiente del Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

La herramienta busca dar soporte a la comunicación científica y educativa, al ofrecer recursos lingüísticos para fomentar la divulgación de la ciencia en lengua española. Para ello, pone a su disposición materiales de la RAE, la FECYT, la Real Academia de Ingeniería (RAI), la Universidad de Salamanca (USAL) y la Asociación Española de Terminología (AETER).

Enclave de Ciencia is a platform of linguistic services whose objective is to facilitate the management and understanding of scientific-technical vocabulary. It was born from the collaboration between the RAE and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

The tool seeks to support scientific and educational communication, by offering linguistic resources to promote dissemination of science in Spanish language. It makes available materials from the RAE,  FECYT, Royal Academy of Engineering (RAI), University of Salamanca (USAL) and the Spanish Association of Terminology (AETER).

At a loss for words…

By: Teresa Borges

Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, noted recently on the Language Log blog that English does not allow you to pair any old adjective with any old noun in a fixed expression. You may wish someone “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good night”, but not “good weekend”. You can say that phrase if you like, but your neighbour would look at you quizzically if you lob it over the fence on a Friday evening. In other languages it is perfectly conventional.

A comprehensive home office transformation prompted by COVID: successes and challenges

By: TrM Translations

By now it is a cliché: the coronavirus outbreak has fundamentally rearranged our lives. As an example, many companies had to switch to working from home office almost overnight. This was also the case for TrM Translations: suddenly, and without any experience, we had to start working from home.

We hope that our experience gained during this transition can help other businesses where, similarly to our translation agency, it had not been customary to work from home before the pandemic. Using our positive example, we would like to demonstrate that a successful switchover can happen without any previous routine even in the case of companies experiencing organisational resistance against home office.

We are presenting the changes we made to this end and the helpful tips we received from [email protected], our HR consultancy partner.

How did we work before the pandemic?

There was a duality in our work. We were in contact with our partners and customers remotely, online and over the phone, even before the virus – and our office did not experience significant walk-in customer traffic, either. However, our in-house team enjoyed working in the comfortable office, happy with each other’s company, the many potted plants and the noticeboard full of colourful postcards sent to us by business partners on their world travels. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, home office was rarely used. Neither colleagues nor management had a liking for it.

What drove the organisational resistance related to home office?

The most significant factor was the lack of companionship. There were fears that working from home would have a negative impact on team cohesion. We feared that communication would be slow, and onboarding and training new colleagues without meeting in person were outright unthinkable. We thought it was more difficult to give feedback this way.

However, our consultancy partner quickly dispelled our fears. They gave us a lot of useful advice and ideas on how to make communication smooth in such a situation, as well as how to provide effective feedback if not done personally.

What challenges did we encounter at the outbreak of the pandemic?

Even though our IT system would have allowed for home office through our NAS and VPN setup, our VOIP telephony, our cloud-based project management solution and cloud-based billing system and, of course, laptops, we resorted to this setup only occasionally, so we had no significant experience. This was the biggest challenge. Adding to the conundrum, at the beginning of the year the company saw personnel changes. We also had to reinvent our workflows that had almost exclusively relied on the office setting.

Our experiences

Fortunately, most of these fears were not confirmed. Not having to go to the office gave a sense of safety in the face of the deadly coronavirus. We also realised that most work processes can be handled remotely.

The transition at TrM Translations was much smoother than we had anticipated. The occasional increase in administrative workload and the slowdown in communication did not seriously hinder work. We realised that many processes involving hard copies can be solved by involving a courier service. Thanks to our increased online presence we could even attend professional events and courses from the safety of our homes.

Much as we had enjoyed the office camaraderie, the lack of each other’s company also turned out to be easier to bear. Work-related communication and the training of new staff were not a problem, either. We were even able to continue our internship programme under these unprecedented circumstances. We received a lot of help from [email protected] on these matters.

And what will the future bring?

Our initial experience already showed that actual personal presence is only necessary in a handful of cases. Thus, it became clear that smaller office space is sufficient. Therefore, atypical forms of employment will also come to the fore at our translation agency. At the same time, we wish to make our home office experience more conscious, formalised and even better organised, and in this we continue to rely on our partner.

Maintaining team cohesion and integrating new staff is still a challenge. [email protected] offers a new, related, service we would like to try. This is a twelve-week team rebuilding process supporting personal interactions through directed group discussions and games, taking only one hour each week.

TrM Translations

TrM Translations ( is a dynamic service provider of the translation market. Our clientele includes multinational companies as well as small and medium enterprises. The backbone of our success is our mission: providing foreign language services that our partners can fully rely on. Our work is carried out in accordance with the ISO 9001 quality assurance standard.

[email protected]

[email protected] ( specialises in consultancy and training services focused on flexible employment, offering comprehensive solutions to small, medium-sized and large businesses, ranging from the design of the implementation of flexible corporate cultures to extensive training services and effective operation of home office programmes. Our decades of leadership experience gained in home office settings and many years of training background focused on remote work distinguish us from other consultancy and training firms.

You Are Invited to Canada’s First Ever Language Advocacy Day! – February 4, 2021 at 9:00 AM.

By: Andrea Capuselli
Canadian Language Advocacy Day (LAD):

Inspired by over 40 years of continuous effort by the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL), the objective of Canadian Language Advocacy Day (LAD) is to build an informal coalition of language rights advocates, individuals and organizations who will participate in an informational, virtual advocacy day at Queen’s Park on February 4th, 2021. The long-term objective is to establish an ongoing language policy forum and explore the role of language within the context of social justice, education and economic recovery.

Join for an exciting day of virtual engagement exploring the power of language and the importance of language services to the well-being of all Canadians.

This virtual day includes:

  • In-depth panel conversations exploring the impact of language policies (the Canadian LANGUAGE RIGHTS CONFERENCE), including Reflections on the Indigenous Languages Act, Pandemic Communication and Language Gaps and Re-imagining Language Services Design
  • The OUR LANGUAGE RIGHTS Film FESTIVAL, a curated schedule of short and long National Film Board documentaries as well as videos and TedTalks exploring language inter-sectionality
  • Facilitated breakout rooms for those interested in networking and/or collaboration opportunities to meet and discuss language-related projects (VIDEO)

Join on February 4, 2021 at 9:00 AM.

Register soon because space is limited. Hope you’ll be able to make it!


Event Logo

When Apple Transcreates Headlines, and When it Doesn’t

By: babble-on

Transcreating Headlines is one of the most interesting parts of a translator’s job, especially when it will be seen around the world. This is especially true for headlines from large multinational companies like Apple Inc. This article walks through a fascinating example of a single headline introducing Apple Pay into more than a dozen languages. Where did Apple go right in transcreating it? Where did the team “punt” and do a more or less literal translation? Looking at examples from Spanish to Japanese, we see that even large companies with big budgets produce varied quality translations.

Full article:

For Meredith McKinney, translations must be ‘as natural as breathing’

By: Catharine Cellier-Smart

Interview with the Australian translator of classical Japanese literature Meredith McKinney

Indian translations are getting richer

By: Catharine Cellier-Smart

Indian publishers are exploring literature from under-represented languages

Amazon Echo’s new Alexa Live Translation feature: friend or foe to translators?

By: Loie Favre

With the advancement of translation and interpretation technology, how concerned do translators and interpreters actually need to be? Is the robot-controlled future upon us?? Here’s my take on Amazon Echo’s new Alexa Live Translation feature/skill, and how I believe we’re still in the green zone.

Why we should learn German, by John le Carré

By: philgoddard

“The most conscientious editors of my novels are not those for whom English is their first language, but the foreign translators who bring their relentless eye to the tautological phrase or factual inaccuracy – of which there are far too many. My German translator is particularly infuriating.”

This beautiful article is three years old, but it’s timely now, since Le Carré died a few days ago.

Why we should learn German | Languages | The Guardian

Essential localization tips for the thriving Canadian market

By: Loie Favre

In a latest article published by Alconost, tips and insights about localizing for Canadian audiences are discussed, such as:

  • how the Canadian market looks right now and where it’s heading; which industries are growing
  • Differences in English between the US and Canada
  • Canadian Slang
  • Differences in French between France and Canada
  • Localization advice

Check the article out here at Localization tips for the Canadian market

Freelance translator survey 2020 report published

By: Alina Cincan

At the beginning of the year, Inbox Translation embarked on an extensive research project on freelance translators. It was based on a survey (almost 70 questions, exploring various aspects of the profession – working with translation agencies and direct clients, rates, non-payment, continuing professional development, routes into the profession etc.), which received more than 1,500 responses. Many people got involved, including from professional translation associations such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute for Translation and Interpreting, The American Translators Association, the Association of Translation Companies etc.

9 months and 18,000 words later, the report is finally here:

The most used words of 2020: how translators and interpreters adapted this year

By: Loie Favre

What words marked 2020 and what were some things language professionals have to do to adapt to changing times and linguistic needs? How can translators be up to speed with the latest words and trends? Find out in the latest article:

How to market yourself as a freelancer: 9 self-promotion tips to get new clients

By: Loie Favre

Self-promotion as a freelancer is super important, so in my latest article, I talk about different ways that a freelancer, especially a translator or other language professional, can make themselves stand out, be relevant, meet industry peers and get noticed as an expert!

335 languages spoken in the US and one very polyglot President: American Language Stats

By: Loie Favre

The United States is far from being an English-only speaking country. It is in the top 10 countries with the most spoken languages! This just goes to show just how diverse the country is, which is one of the reasons why it’s so rich and interesting, despite what some Americans might say. Everyone could learn a thing or two from US President John Quincy Adams and take advantage of the language mecca that is America. Find out more about the languages spoken in the US here:

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