Technology has opened a whole new world of endless possibilities. That not only applies to the manufacturing industry, but modern developments show us that technology is shaping the future of the industry as well. Many translators have ambiguous feelings about these developments as they seem disruptive to a great extent. However, there are clear signs that the industries of translation and interpretation are not dead yet.
People learning to speak and write Dutch have a hard time in mastering their second or new native language. They not only find it difficult to learn specific Dutch expressions or to get to know Dutch habits, but the weak and strong verbs, in particular, are hard to master. Dutch publishing house Van Dale has introduced a step-by-step approach to grammar for learners of Dutch to help them.
ELSPEET, THE NETHERLANDS, AUGUST 10th 2017 – Pieter Beens, freelance translator and owner of Dutch translation company Vertaalt.nu, introduces xl8 review. This new review project focuses on products that will bring health and productivity improvements for translators. The project initially starts with a monthly review, but inventors and manufacturers are already eager to participate.
On April 19 Google announced the introduction of the new Google Translate algorithm for English to Dutch translations. Soon it was flooded with critics from industry professionals and media alike. There seems, however, to be one point that is often overlooked: Google Translate now understands the art of merging words better than many Dutch-speaking citizens.
The ever faster pace at which the world evolves seems to have its influence on every aspect of the translation business. Nowadays, clients seem to have translations within a shorter deadline everytime. But by calling each and every job ‘urgent’ they are undermining the real meaning of an urgent job. The aspects that make an job urgent are changing – and so is the workflow of translators.
If translations are a hammer, then language skills are the nails – indispensable to convey a message from one language in another. Of course translators should master a couple of languages in order to deliver the best possible translations. At the same time PMs should be the guardians of a translation’s quality. And that is where many project managers fail.
Since I have been in business as a translator I have had the honour to work as a translator for many different manufacturers of smart devices. In those eight years I have seen smartphone brands rising and falling, and witnessed the successes and failures of different marketing campaigns and products. If there is one lesson I have learned, it is that market share and translation quality* are more intertwined than I ever supposed.
Languages, including their histories, developments and mutual relationships, are often admired only by a handful of people. Although youngsters at school often show interest in unknown or exotic languages, they mostly do not love the ins and outs of spelling and grammar in their native language. However, all those detailed and advanced ‘rules of the game’ for languages, as well as lots of other linguistic tricks and trends, deserve attention. That is why the new Atlas van de Nederlandse Taal (‘Atlas of the Dutch Language’) is a welcome addition to the existing literature about the Dutch language.
The development of CAT tools is one of the most advantageous developments in the translation industry until now. Splitting long texts in sentences improves their readability and efficiency while translating, while the archive of translations in memories offers loads of options for future use and reference. But the mathematical formulas that determine the similarity between two sentences are used more and more as a tool to offer lower prices to clients. Companies focusing on improving their margins or attracting more customers by putting 100% matches beyond their scopes are acting irresponsibly however, and even putting their clients at risk.