Translation industry news

Tips for Arabic technical translators

By: Mohamed Ibrahim

Translating technical material from one language to another is one of the most difficult types of translation. Technical text translation from one language to another is a highly complex process.

I am a specialist translator of technical material, including manuals, leaflets, guidelines, from Arabic to English and vice versa, and I will share a few tips that could be very helpful for those interested or would like to go on a technical translation career.

Petition: Urge the UN to protect translators and interpreters worldwide

By: Vanessa Amessa

The world cannot function without translators and interpreters: We help the public stay informed by interpreting for journalists; we keep everyone safe by translating terrorism chatter pulled from the airwaves; we assist with delivering humanitarian aid to those in need; we act as language bridges for armed forces; we ensure due process and justice in courts and tribunals; we facilitate truth and reconciliation proceedings; we keep peace negotiations going in various international forums. And we transcend conflict by translating culture to reach people everywhere.

Please sign this petition and let the UN know that the time to protect translators and interpreters is now!

Day Translations Celebrates Translators Around The World with The Day Awards

By: daytranslations

The Day Translations Day Awards

It’s time to celebrate the individuals, projects, and tools that have taken the language industry by storm this year!

Day Awards 2019

Every year, we recognize and promote those who are leading and innovating in the language industry, and the members of our team who are helping us grow and thrive. Learn more about the Day Awards and about how you can participate in choosing this year’s winners.

Submit your nomination

The Ceremony

On September 30, International Day of the Translator, Day Translations will broadcast its yearly award ceremony. On this event, available on our Youtube channel, we’ll celebrate the teams, individuals and projects who have taken the language industry into the future.

Translation Tool Awards

Best Translation Management System – Nominee 2019

Best CAT Tool – Nominee 2019

Foreign Media Awards

Best Localized Game – Nominee 2019

Best Subtitles For A Non-English Film – Nominee 2019

Best Translated Book – Nominee 2019

Language Professional Awards

Best Day Translator of The Year

Best Day Interpreter of The Year

Our Guidelines and Eligibility Criteria

Nominations for the Day Awards will close on August 30th.

These are the rules of our 2019 Day Awards:
  • Our Committee for the Day Awards will be comprised of a Day Translations’ Translations Project Manager, an Interpreting Project Manager, a Localization Expert, an HR Representative, and a Presidency Representative.
  • Any individual, except for the members of the Committee, can fill out our nomination forms, regardless of whether they have worked for Day Translations, Inc. in the past, or not.
  • For the Language Professionals Nominations’ Section (Best Translator & Best Interpreter), all individuals nominated should be currently working or should have worked throughout the previous calendar year with Day Translations, Inc. If the Committee does not find any record of your nominee in our company files, he/she will not be considered.
  • All individuals must only nominate one person / tool / media asset on each form (i.e. You cannot nominate a CAT tool on Monday, and a different CAT tool on Wednesday). All those additional forms filled out by the same person twice will be disregarded.
For your Nominee(s) to be eligible, you must:
  • Fill out the chosen Nomination form(s) in its/their entirety. Forms without all the required elements will not be counted as valid.
  • For the Language Professional Award Section (Best Translator & Best Interpreter), you must provide the email of your Nominee with his/her permission. Day Translations, Inc. may or may not contact this person in order to find out more about their background and experience, and they must be fully aware that they’re being nominated.
  • Be detailed in open answers. This is your chance to fully explain why this person / media asset / tool should be selected as a possible winner of the Day Awards.
  • We will evaluate Translation Tools Candidates based on usability, cost-value, the developer company’s trajectory, design, and special comments included in the open answer section of the form.
  • We will evaluate Language Professional Candidates based on experience, languages translated, and special occasions explained in the open answer section of the form.
  • We will evaluate Foreign Media Candidates based on quality of translation, cultural awareness, localization, and special comments included in the open answer section of the form.

Survey for professional translators and interpreters, your input will be appreciated

By: Jared Tabor

Common Sense Advisory (CSA), in cooperation with Translators without Borders (TwB) and, is conducting a large-scale survey on translators and interpreters, to research challenges being faced and changes being made by today’s professionals. Please consider taking some time to respond to this survey– your input will be greatly appreciated. Results of this research will be made available to members.


See the survey and respond here »

Kazakhstan rewrites its alphabet to shed its Soviet past

By: Chris Foster

Deutsche Welle article 01.07.2019

Kazakhstan has given itself seven years to transition from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet, in a push to modernize the Central Asian country. But at a village school, not everyone is so sure about the mammoth change.

Watch video 02:51

Kasakhstan plans switch from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

Around 25 first grade school students are excitedly chanting the alphabet. Their gaze hardens as they concentrate on writing basic words in their lined notebooks, slowly tracing the curves of each letter. The pupils at the village school in Kainazar near the city of Almaty have been practicing the Cyrillic alphabet in their Kazakh language classes since the beginning of the year. But soon they will have to relearn everything from scratch.

In 2017, Kazakhstan’s then president and long-term leader Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree on the switch from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet. By 2025, everything in the country — from school textbooks and literature to street signs and official documents — will have to be quite literally rewritten. There is now a final Kazakh version of the Latin alphabet, with 32 letters — including nine letters that are uniquely Kazakh sounds.

The country’s new president Qassym-Jomart Tokaev called the gradual change an important stage of Kazakhstan’s “spiritual modernization,” pointing out that “90% of the information worldwide is published in the Latin alphabet.” According to state media, the government plans to spend around 218 billion tenge, around €505 million or $595 million, on the various stages of the transition. In April, the country’s National Bank issued new “rewritten” coins. Part of the plan is to use code to digitally convert things written in Cyrillic to the Latin script. From 2021 the alphabet will be officially introduced to the public.

Read more: Kazakhstan elects Tokayev as Nazarbayev successor as hundreds protest

Teachers will be retrained and will begin teaching the new alphabet next year, starting from the first grade and adding older year groups gradually. But in the Shokan Ualikhanov School in Kainazar, the change is already a worry for some of the staff.

First grade pupils learning to read and write in Kazakhstan (Photo: Grigory Kuzmishchev) Teachers at a local village school are concerned the transition to the Latin script will be tough on them

The weight of change

The first grade’s Kazakh teacher Mirash Alimzhanova says she isn’t too concerned about her pupils having to relearn their alphabet. “They learn everything quickly,” she laughs, adding that the fact that pupils here have English lessons starting from first grade will help them. “But we teachers will find it harder because we are already used to one alphabet,” she adds.

Aigul Ibrahimova, the deputy head of pastoral support at the school, explains that many of the teachers are concerned that the main weight of the change will land on their shoulders. “Parents wont be able to help with the transition to Latin alphabet because they haven’t learnt it themselves. So the children will only be able to learn in school. Parents won’t be able to help with homework anymore,” she explains, as some of the younger pupils crowd around her after their lunch break.

Read more: Nursultan, not Astana — Kazakhstan renames capital to honor Nazarbayev

Linguistic acrobatics are already part of every day life in Kazakhstan, including in Kainazar. The school is bilingual, like many of its students. Parents chose whether their children will attend classes in the Kazakh language or the Russian language. Both are official languages in Kazakhstan and both can be heard in this schoolyard.

First grade pupils learning to read and write in Kazakhstan (Photo: Grigory Kuzmishchev) Starting next year, first grade classes will learn to read and write in the new Latin alphabet

Shedding Soviet skin

This will be the third time Kazakhstan has changed alphabets in the last 100 years. In 1929, Kazakhs switched from the Arabic script to the Latin script, as the Soviet Union pushed to create a secular education system. In 1940, Kazakhstan switched to the Cyrillic alphabet. Nationalities in the Soviet Union had the right to education in their own language, but the change was still supposed to create overall unity and is seen as a move towards “Russification.”

Now Kazakhstan is trying to shed its Soviet past, albeit much later than many neighboring countries, where Turkic languages are also spoken. Azerbaijan switched from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet in 1991, just after the fall of the Soviet Union, while Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan made the change in 1993.

Kazakstan’s move can also be seen as a step to distance from neighboring Russia as well, however. Kazakh authorities have been at pains to emphasize that Russia remains an important ally for the Central Asian country. Russia is one of Kazakhstan’s top trade partners.

According to political scientist Aidos Sarym, concern over the way Russia would take the move could explain why Kazakhstan waited longer than its neighbors to switch alphabets. It was almost inevitable that Russia’s elites would take the step as a “personal blow, as a departure from [Russia's] sphere of media influence and political influence,” Sarym tells DW.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks with Kazakhstan's new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a meeting at the Kremlin (Getty Images/AFP/A. Zemlianichenko ) Upon taking office, Kazakhstan’s President Tokaev made his first official visit to Moscow

Tipping the balance

But Sarym says there is another reason that the change in Kazakhstan comes later than in neighboring countries. The Russian language is far more than an administrative overhang from the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan. Though ethnic Kazakhs make up the majority of the population, nearly everyone in the country speaks fluent Russian. The last census in 2009 shows that while 74 percent of people understand Kazakh, more than 94 percent understand Russian. But the Kazakh government has declared that it wants to switch that balance in the coming years.

Political scientist Aidos Sarym sees it as part of an attempt to create a country based more on “Kazakh values.”  He explains that the move away from Cyrillic also reflects a natural change in the country’s population, which is becoming increasingly ethnically Kazakh. “In the past few years a huge generation of people have grown up who speak Kazakh and who have demands and are articulating those demands,” Sarym explains. “The government has to react to these changes.”

Students at the village school in Kainazar chat on their mobile phones (Photo: Grigory Kuzmishchev) Young people in Kazakhstan say they already use Latin letters on the internet

A new generation

Back in Kainazar, the director of the village school is optimistic that in the long run, the change from Cyrillic to Latin script will be positive — despite the worries of some of his teaching staff. A metallic sign with his name — Tabyskhan Tatukhanovich — hangs outside the small office. It is already written in Latin letters.

“I think the change is the demand of our time — with IT-technology and the World Wide Web. I think it is a positive thing,” Tatukhanovich explains. He adds that he thinks knowing the Latin alphabet will help the pupils at the school learn English. “It will be easier for them to read scientific papers and literature that way,” he says.

Outside, in the courtyard several of the school’s eighth grade girls seem to agree. Though they usually aren’t allowed to use their phones on school premises, their teachers make an exception to allow them to show DW how they use the new alphabet. The girls say they’ve already taught it to themselves and now they use it to chat to their friends on social media. However it’s written, it seems the joys of teenage gossip endure.

ATA plans to open certification to non-members

Source: The ATA Chronicle
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The American Translators Association (ATA) has announced that as of 2020, ATA membership will no longer be a requirement to earn and retain ATA certification.

For people who currently have the ATA-certified translator (CT) designation, little will change. They will still be required to earn and periodically submit continuing education (CE) points. They will still be prominently identified as certified in ATA’s online Directory of Translators and Interpreters. And they will still have access to the official seal confirming their credential. One thing that will change is that they will not have to remain a member to retain the CT designation.

Nonmembers who gain certification beginning in 2020 will also be able to use the CT designation and seal, and they will also have to earn CE points. However, they will not be listed in ATA’s Directory of Translators and Interpreters, nor will they enjoy the many other benefits of membership. In addition, the exam registration fee for nonmembers will be significantly higher than for members.


Great interview with a senior sign language interpreter

By: Phil Hand

Alan Wendt gives a very clear and professional account of what interpreting is like.

Language Translation Services Market Size

By: Aminata Diabi

“Language Translation Services Market Size, Trends and Industry Analysis by 2026” recent intelligence study by MarketResearchReports.Biz.

The global “Language Translation Services Market”, which is extensively assessed in the report contemplates the best need development angles and how they could affect the market over the figure residency under thought.


Translation errors force Osaka metro websites offline

Story flagged by: Khalid Sabili

Translation errors force Osaka metro websites offline

Osaka’s metro network has shut down its foreign language sites after users noticed some odd translations.

Among the errors on its English page was the literal translation of Sakaisuji line as “Sakai muscle”.

Read the full article.

Nimdzi’s Top 100 Language Services Providers 2019

By: Sarper Aman

Nimdzi has recently published its language services industry analysis. It’s a good source to see where your current LSP you’re working with is going or who will be the prospecting players in language services industry in the coming years. Very useful information inside like market size and growth for 2019.

How translators and interpreters are assisting humanitarian responders in Bangladesh and Nigeria

Source: The Economist
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The Economist ran an article discussing health and humanitarian problems faced by people in Bangladesh and Nigeria, and the tricky work translators and interpreters have in bridging those in need with crisis responders. From the article:

The biggest practical issues concern health, says A.K. Rahim, a linguistics researcher working with Translators without Borders (TWB), a group that helps humanitarian agencies. In Chittagonian, health terms come from Bengali and English; scientific knowledge and vocabulary have trickled down from educated elites. But among the relatively few educated Rohingyas, health terms come from Burmese. Most—especially women, who tend to be cut off from the outside world and denied education—have not been touched by that learning. Instead they have developed their own lexicon. They avoid haiz (menstruation) and say gusol (shower). Diarrhoea, a common camp ailment, was routinely misdiagnosed in the first few months. Many Rohingyas reported, “My body is falling apart” (“Gaa-lamani biaram”), baffling health-care workers.


Re-vamped IATE EU terminology database released

Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

InterActive Terminology for Europe (IATE) has released an updated version of its terminology database. From :

IATE, the EU’s interinstitutional terminology database was developed in the early 2000s. Despite its continuous development and maintenance ever since, due to technological evolution and changes in institutional terminology work, the need for a new, upgraded IATE has become clear. The development of IATE 2 started in 2016 and a brand-new version of IATE has been launched on Monday 12 November 2018.


With 50 million queries per year, it is a highly popular tool for anyone looking for accurate terminology. It contains over 8 million terms in the 24 official EU languages and in a wide variety of subject areas.


Results of translation and interpreting market survey by Belgian Chamber of Translators and Interpreters

By: Jared Tabor

The Belgian Chamber of Translators and Interpreters (CBTI-BKVT) published a market survey report for 2018 on translation and interpreting in Belgium.

You can find the full report here.  It includes some interesting data on translator and interpreter clients, rates and income, specialization and diversification, tech used, and more.

If you are a translator or interpreter in Belgium, does the information in the report coincide with your own experience?

If you are not in Belgium, does anything in the report compare or contrast interestingly to the market in your area?

CBTI-BKVT Market Survey Report 2018 >> community choice awards 2018: winners in interpreting

By: Jared Tabor

There were some great candidates as well in the interpreting-related categories for this year’s community choice awards. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who participated!

View image on Twitter

Blog: Best overall blog related to interpreting.

A Word in Your Ear – Lourdes De Rioja

Blog post: For a single blog post, as opposed to the “blog” category, which is based on a blog as a whole.

Yes, conference interpreting is a thing – Liz Essary

Website: Best overall professional interpreter’s website. – Alessandra Vita

​Twitter: Best overall Twitter account.

@translationtalk – (An initiative by @adrechsel and @jeromobot)

Facebook page/group: Best overall Facebook page or group.

Interpreters & Translators Network

Podcast: Best podcast (series or single podcast).

Troublesome Terps – Alexander Drechsel, Alexander Gansmeier, Jonathan Downie

Conference speaker:

Judy Jenner

Read more community choice awards 2018: winners in translation

By: Jared Tabor

The results are in. Thank you to everyone who nominated candidates, and all who voted in this year’s Community choice awards. Here are the winners in the translation-related categories:

View image on Twitter

Blog: Best overall blog related to translation.

Thoughts on Translation – Corinne McKay

Website: Best overall professional translator’s website. – Patricia Mora

Twitter: Best overall Twitter account.

@erik_hansson – Erik Hansson

Facebook page/group: Best overall Facebook page or group.

Things Translators Never Say

Podcast: Best podcast (series or single podcast).

Marketing Tips for Translators

Trainer: Active trainer in in-person or online training.

Tess Whitty

Article: Best article published (online or in print form).

When the Unthinkable Happens and Giving Up Work Isn’t an Option – Nikki Graham

Book: Best book published (print or digital format). May include re-releases or new editions.

Finding and Marketing to Translation Agencies: A Practical Guide for Freelance Translators – Corinne McKay

Blog post: For a single blog post, as opposed to the “blog” category, which is based on a blog as a whole.

“Dealing with PDF files during a translation project” – Nancy Matis profile: Most professional/attractive profile.

Alexander Manaenkov – Games, Apps, Web |

Most helpful contributor: All-around contributions, be they in forums, in term help, on social media, etc.

Sheila Wilson

Read more

What is the best age to learn a language?

Source: BBC Future
Story flagged by: Teresa Borges

When it comes to learning a foreign language, we tend to think that children are the most adept. But that may not be the case – and there are added benefits to starting as an adult.

“Not everything goes downhill with age,” says Antonella Sorace, a professor of developmental linguistics and director of the Bilingualism Matters Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

She gives the example of what is known as ‘explicit learning’: studying a language in a classroom with a teacher explaining the rules. “Young children are very bad at explicit learning, because they don’t have the cognitive control and the attention and memory capabilities,” Sorace says. “Adults are much better at that. So that can be something that improves with age.”

A study by researchers in Israel found, for example, that adults were better at grasping an artificial language rule and applying it to new words in a lab setting. The scientists compared three separate groups: 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds, and young adults. The adults scored higher than both younger groups, and the 12-year-olds also did better than the younger children.

This chimed with the results of a long-term study of almost 2,000 Catalan-Spanish bilingual learners of English: the late starters acquired the new language faster than the younger starters.


Anthea Bell, deft translator of Asterix comics and literary classics, dies at 82

Source: The Washington Post
Story flagged by: Faruk Atabeyli

“I have two large panes of glass at the bottom of the window above the desk where I work, one has little distorting flaws in it, the other, probably a modern replacement, allows an undistorted view of the garden beyond. In presenting a foreign text in English, I would wish to be like that perfectly transparent pane of glass, but I’m well aware that the slightly distorting pane is probably the one I resemble.”

Image result for anthea bell


Singapore’s campaign against the creole Singlish

Source: Atlas Obscura
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Singapore is an immigrant country with four official languages: English, Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin. Officially, English is the most commonly spoken language in Singaporean homes, having recently and just barely edged out Mandarin. Unofficially? That’s completely wrong. Because what’s likely the actual most common language spoken does not appear on the census. That language is called Singlish.

Singlish is spoken across all ethnic groups in Singapore, even across economic strata. But the government hates it. Since the year 2000, the Singaporean government has been conducting a campaign called the “Speak Good English Movement,” which is specifically designed to discourage the use of Singlish and encourage the use of standard English.

Interestingly, the Singaporean government does not have a firm definition of what “standard English” means; they aren’t strictly teaching British Received Pronunciation or New England Prep School English or Australian English or anything else. By “standard,” they seem to simply mean “English that can be readily understood by English speakers outside Singapore.”

Here’s one of a series of video clips from this “Speak Good English Movement”: . Tell me if you wouldn’t love to go out to lunch with that guy.


Remembering Demetrio Túpac Yupanqui, who translated Don Quixote into Quechua

Source: Words without Borders
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

As we spoke, it soon became clear that Túpac Yupanqui’s mission was, if anything, even bolder and slightly more harebrained—dare I say quixotic?—than the one I had come to interview him about. His translation of Don Quixote was simply the best-known example of his decades-long effort to create a standardized literary Quechua and leave millions of Peruvian schoolchildren with an alternative to what he calls the “language of the invader.” That Spanish has been the definitive language of Peruvian law and literature since the mid-sixteenth century didn’t seem to strike him as a particularly onerous obstacle.

“No language spontaneously produces its own literature,” Túpac Yupanqui told me. “If you know how to read and write, it’s because someone taught you.”

Here’s a great write up about Túpac Yupanqui, who brought Don Quixote to the Quechua language, over on Words without Borders:

Judge rules Google translation is not consent for police searches

Source: Quartz
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Imagine you’re driving in a foreign country and a police officer stops you on the road. You don’t speak the cop’s language and they don’t speak yours, so a halting exchange ensues using a laptop and Google Translate. You’re not always sure what the officer is asking, and you end up agreeing to something you didn’t quite understand, and are arrested.

That’s what happened to Omar Cruz-Zamora, a Mexican native in the US on a legal visa, in Kansas last September. Based on a typed exchange using Google Translate, he agreed to let police search his car—he wasn’t legally required to—and was arrested for possession of 14 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamines. On June 4, a Kansas court granted Cruz-Zamora’s motion to suppress the evidence, finding Google Translate isn’t good enough for constitutional search purposes.


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