Friday, 28 August 2020

Belarusian Language

 



Belarusian language, Belarusian also spelled Belarusan, older spellings Belorussian and Byelorussian, formerly called White Ruthenian or White Russian (not to be confused with the “White” Russians who fought against the communists after the Russian Revolution of 1917), Belarusian Belaruskaya mova, East Slavic language that is historically the native language of most Belarusians. Many 20th-century governments of Belarus had policies favouring the Russian language, and, as a result, Russian is more widely used in education and public life than Belarusian. 
Belarusian forms a link between the Russian and Ukrainian languages, since its dialects shade gradually into Russian dialects and Ukrainian dialects on the respective borders. The central dialects, among several large dialect zones, form the basis for Standard Belarusian. The language contains many Polish loanwords and is written in a form of the Cyrillic alphabet. An older form of Belarusian was used as the official language of administration in the 14th to 16th centuries in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which included present-day Belarus as well as Lithuania and Ukraine.

Both Belarusian and Russian are official languages of Belarus. Belarusian, which is central to the concept of national identity, is an East Slavic language that is related to both Russian and Ukrainian, with dialects that are transitional to both. It is written in a Cyrillic alphabet and has loanwords from both Polish and Russian, which is reflective of the region’s history. 

According to a study carried out by the Belarusian government in 2009, 2.8 million (29.4%) out a population of 9.67 million could write, speak and read Belarusian in Belarus, and 5 million (52.5%) could read and speak it. However, only 1.15 million (11.9%) used Belarusian at home.
There were 316,000 Belarusian speakers in Russia based on the 2002 census, 55,000 in Ukraine per the 2001 census, and 40,000 in Poland per the 2002 census.

The Belarusian Wikipedia page shows a population of 6.34 million Belarusian speakers in Belarus, 30,000 in Lithuania and about 10,000 in Canada.

Based on these figures, the total number of speakers is between 6.79 and 8.25 million.

Belaruskaya mova, Beloruska language, Belorussian language, Byelorussian language, White Russian language, White Ruthenian language
Source: Britannica 


Thursday, 23 July 2020

How translation agencies assess industry knowledge and experience

Nordic-Baltic translation agency Baltic Media


Translators with all levels of experience have a place in this industry, though most vendors look for at least two years of proven work. Though the more years the better, translators with less experience aren’t in any less demand, as they generally work for slightly lower fees, making them desired commodities. Novice translators may be great at providing machine translation post-editing, while a veteran may be more apt for literary translations.

The bottom line for many agencies is that the translator should have at least 500,000 translated words during the course of their translation career.

A good translation background is only one side of the token. Vendors also look for valuable and hands-on industry experience in their field of specialization. This will ensure that delivered texts are more contextually appropriate and not written about in theory or only based on research. Those who lack that insider knowledge should make an effort to take part in webinars, read articles, master the jargon, and keep their knowledge up to speed.

A language service provider that focuses heavily on software, app and game localization may require the translator to play the game in question prior to translation. As a result, those who are not necessarily specialists are immersed in the product in order to provide the best texts. IT translators must be very knowledgeable about the topic to even qualify to do translations in this sector.

Vendors will also ask for examples of past translation work, references and a short CV with the most crucial information. They examine the translator’s portfolio carefully to ensure they fit the bill.

Computer skills: why linguistic affinity is not enough

In addition to translation and industry experience, technology plays a huge role. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, cloud platforms, tools for editing files in different encodings and machine translation software are a central part of the work. This is why translation companies usually ask for experience with more than one of these tools. In addition, the localization ofwebsites, software, apps and games often require advanced IT and developer knowledge by both the translator and the translation agency.

Educational background

Do translation agencies prefer a university degree and other types of certification?

Education is a big part of a translator’s success and having the right set of credentials is important to recruiters. Without vocational training, aspiring translators may find it hard to land jobs.

However, there are many cases where people have worked years within a specific industry, like in medicine or marketing, who transition to translation by learning the trade through various online translation courses. Next, they apply for a translator certification from a recognized association.

At many language service providers, both university-trained and industry specialists are accepted. Successful translation agencies tend to only work with native speakers who translate into their mother tongue. They must also be fluent in the source languages.

How do translation agencies test freelancers?

There are two parts of the testing process: the actual translation test itself and questions about methodology and technology used by the candidate. Translation agencies may will ask the translator to complete the test within a cloud platform such as Crowdin. The quality of the test determines the hiring (or not) of the candidate. The best practice is to use a translation quality assessment to grade tests.

The Translation Quality Index is a quality assessment model originally created by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), and it is based on quantitative assessment. Errors are divided into categories; each error is weighted. The weighted total number of errors is then subtracted from 100.

Usually translators are not interviewed, unless for an in-house position. The questions are therefore asked in the translation test. Some questions that a hiring or localization manager will ask are:

● How did you localize the content into your target language? What cultural and
situational elements did you consider?
● How long did it take to complete the translation?
● Which tools/dictionaries did they use to do the translation?
● Do they have any relevant comments regarding the texts or a section of the
text/word that they found difficult to translate?

How to test creativity and writing skills

In the case of transcreators or copywriters, and for certain types of translations, vendors also need to test the creative writing skills that a translator would have. They would need to take an original text and ensure that the target text they are creating is highly localized and readable for the target audience. Sometimes a lot of imagination goes into this type of work — like in order to convey humor.

Translation recruiting platforms

Many large translation agencies use platforms such as SmartCat to manage freelance talent. This slightly less personal approach is due to the fact that companies of large size simply cannot handle the sea of freelance applications.

There are small or medium-sized agencies that are able to apply a more personalized and human approach. They have added confidence in their translators, who in turn lend a hand in promoting optimal quality assurance. The translation agency can find and assign the right translators to the right tasks based on individual expertise.

Source: Multilingual 

Friday, 10 July 2020

Slator: Stripe Says Lack of Translation Most Common Error in European E-commerce


 

Online payment portal Stripe (which also powers Slator’s e-commerce store) found the lack of translation to be the most common error during customer checkout at the top 450 European e-commerce websites.

The San Francisco-based company, which made headlines in mid-April for being Silicon Valley’s most valuable startup as consumer purchases moved online amid the Covid-19 pandemic, released new research that uncovered three basic errors in the top e-commerce websites of the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Sweden.

The study, entitled The State of European Checkouts in 2020, showed that more than half (58%) of customer checkouts “had at least three basic errors, adding unnecessary friction for customers and complicating the checkout process.” The research went on to show that 9 in 10 lost sales in Europe came from failures on the checkout page.

The most common error: 74% of checkouts did not have local language translations when customers located elsewhere in Europe tried to make a purchase, and failed to offer the most relevant payment options for international customers.

(The other errors: 42% of Europe’s e-commerce sites did not auto-verify the card number as it was entered and 45% did not confirm the card type when the card number was entered.)

Among the 74% of checkouts that were not translated into local languages, “Spanish checkouts were the least likely to be localized for other European markets,” according to Stripe. In fact, none of the Spanish checkouts Stripe analyzed were translated into a local language at all during checkout.

“Not translating your checkout [into] the language of yourcustomers […] could cut off entire countries from your addressable market, leading to lost sales” — The State of European Checkouts in 2020 by Stripe


The most likely to be translated into other languages were checkouts in the Netherlands; although these lacked local payment options, the study said.

Highlighting the importance of localization in e-commerce websites, Stripe said, “Not translating your checkout [into] the language of your customers […] could cut off entire countries from your addressable market, leading to lost sales.”

To localize the checkout experience, Stripe recommends that, first, websites identify the top countries into which they want to sell, and then localize the experience by translating the checkout page. 

Other recommendations include changing the fields to capture the right information per country (e.g., dynamically adding a field for postal/zip code, depending on where the customer’s credit card originates) and dynamically surfacing the correct payment option during checkout based on where a customer is located.

Source: Slator 

 Translation of webpages and e-commerce sites


Monday, 29 June 2020

Languages of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - and How They Interact

Sociolinguist Peter Trudgill on the languages of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - and how they interact*
 



Latvian and Lithuanian ethnographic music groups on the Baltic sea beach Ziemupe, Latvia, 2015

The Baltic States are, from north to south along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We often refer to them by this collective name as if they formed some kind of unity - and in some ways, of course, they do.
They were all under Russian control for over a century until after the First World War, when they became separate independent countries. During the Second World War, all of them were invaded by the Germans and then swallowed up by the Soviet Union, becoming independent nations again in 1991.
They contain sizeable Russian-speaking minorities because of in-migration during the period of Soviet control. All three of them are quite small in terms of population, none comprising more than three million citizens. They also have a number of cultural affinities.




But there are two major factors which help to distinguish between these three nations. The first is religion. Historically, Estonia and Latvia were predominantly Protestant, like nearby Finland and Sweden, while Lithuania was mainly Catholic, like neighbouring Poland.
The second is language, which divides them in a different way. The Lithuanian and Latvian languages are historically related to one another, but not to Estonian.
Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language, very distantly related to Hungarian, and less distantly to the Sami or Lappish languages of northern Scandinavia.
More specifically, Estonian is a Balto-Finnic language, very closely related to Finnish. There is some degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages - Finnish yksi kaksi kolme, 'one two three', is üks kaks kolm in Estonian - and Estonians in particular became adept at understanding Finnish as a result of watching Finnish TV during the Soviet era.
Specialist academic conferences take place today involving the two countries at which each linguistic group speaks their own language; participants report that, with goodwill on both sides and the help of PowerPoint presentations, this works well enough.
In the south of Estonia a language variety called Voro is spoken which is regarded by its proponents as a language in its own right, related to but different from Estonian. Modern Standard Estonian is certainly based on dialects from the north of the country.
Another Finnic language of the Baltic States which was closely related to Estonian is Livonian. This was spoken in areas of northern Latvia not far from Estonia, but tragically the person who is thought to have been the last native speaker of this language died in 2013.
Place-name evidence shows that at one time Finnic was spoken over substantial areas of what is now Latvia.


Latvian and Lithuanian, on the other hand, are both Indo-European Baltic languages. They are the only two survivors of a bigger Baltic language family which was once spoken over a much larger geographical area, including what is now northeastern Poland.
The best known of the other now extinct Baltic languages wasPrussian, which often today goes by the name of Old Prussian to distinguish it from Prussian varieties of German: Old Prussian died out in the 1600s as speakers of different varieties of German invaded and colonised the area.
The Baltic languages are thought by some scholars to have a historical relationship with Slavic languages such as Polish, and they therefore talk of a Balto-Slavic language family.
Unlike Finnish and Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian are not mutually intelligible. 
It has been suggested that the degree relationship between the two might be rather like English and Dutch: English speakers are not surprised to learn that the Dutch word water means 'water', or that goed is 'good', or that een twee drie means 'one two three' - but we are still not able to understand what Dutch speakers are saying unless we have studied the language. 
Similarly, Lithuanian vienas du trys, 'one two three', is viens divi tris in Latvian, but that does not necessarily help either side very much with general comprehension of the other language.
*Source New European 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Nordic Translation: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter are Characteristic of Indo-European Languages



Gender categories refer here to the assignment of a gender to a noun which may be marked morphologically in several ways. It has nothing to do with expressing natural gender. 
Masculine, feminine, and neuter are characteristics of Indo-European languages. Many of them have lost the neuter like Romance languages (except Romanian and Asturian), Celtic languages, Baltic languages, and most Indo-Aryan languages. 
Some, like Dutch, Danish and Swedish have merged the masculine and the feminine into a common gender, making thus a distinction more similar to animate and inanimate. 
Genderless languages are the most common: Turkic, Tungusic, Sino-Tibetan, Mongolic, Koreanic, Japonic, Kartvelian, Pontic, Uralic, Austronesian, Austroasiatic, Tai-Kadai, Pama-Nyungan, and most Australian languages, Tupi-Gê-Carib, Arawan, Arawak, Na-Dene, Eskimo-Aleut, and many others in Papua and the Americas. English and Afrikaans lost all gender marking except in pronouns (he, she, it, for example). 
Several diverse classes occur in most Niger-Congo languages, some Caspian/Northeast Caucasian languages, some Khoisan languages, Jarawa and Ongan (from the Andaman Islands), and some aboriginal Australian languages. They may contain animal genders, vegetal genders, genders for rocks, and many other categories.
Animate and inanimate gender is common in some Amerindian families such as Algic, Uto-Aztecan, Quechuan, Aymara, Mapudungun, Iroquoian, Siouan.
Burushaski and Zande have four genders, masc., fem., animate and inanimate, and some like Polish, Czech, or the Dravidian Languages have a hierarchy of animacy and gender. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Market Size of the Global Language Services Industry 2009-2021



With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, the global language services market has seen rapid growth. In the last ten years, the market has doubled in size, reaching 46.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
The market size of the global language services industry 2009-2021


Global language services

Generally speaking, the language services market can be divided into three segments – instruction, translation, and localization. Translation differs from localization in that the former involves tasks where one language needs to be directly translated into another. This includes traditional activities such as document translation and interpreting services. Localization, on the other hand, refers to a broader process of cultural adaption, generally in more artistic areas such as creating voice-over for film and television. Depending on the context, either service may be required for digital platforms and online content.

Regional markets

As is perhaps not surprising given the region’s high level of development and linguistic diversity, Europe accounts for around half of the global language services marketGiven its diverse range of languages and high levels of economic development, it is perhaps not surprising that Europe is home to the largest language services market in the world, comprising almost half of the global market. The small size of the Latin American market may appear surprising though; given Spanish is the second-most spoken language globally. This, along with the large size of the North American market, maybe in part explained by the high level of demand for Spanish content within the United States.

Machine translation

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the language services industry. Machine translation, which is the process of using software to translate from one language to another, is a fast-growing field that is expected to more than triple in size from 2017 to 2024. Accordingly, the two largest providers in the global language services market – Transperfect and Lionbridge – are investing heavily in this area, offering software-based ‘artificial intelligence’ translation in conjunction with their more traditional translation services.

Source: Statista.com 


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Language Is a Virus: Dutch Swear Words

English insults often refer to sex; Dutch ones, to disease

In most languages, if someone said you had cancer, it would be a diagnosis. In Dutch, it is more likely to be an insult. Kankerlijer (“cancer-sufferer”) is one of a long list of Dutch profanities and expletives derived from diseases. An undesirable person might be told to “typhus off” (optyfussen) or “get consumption” (krijg de tering). If in (American) English you laugh your ass off, in Dutch you might “laugh yourself the pleurisy” (lachen je de pleuris). No one in England has been called a “poxy bitch” for centuries, but in the Netherlands you can still call someone a pokkenteef. A damned long way is a klereneind (“cholera-end”). And so on.

Because expletives are based on social taboos, in most cultures they are linked to sex, excrement or religion. Many Dutch swear words are as well, but they often feel weaker than the medical ones. Schijt is less like its English cognate and more like the gentler French merde. Mierenneuker(“ant-fucker”) is an anodyne expression for someone who fusses over details. “Whore” is an insult in Dutch too, but when the rapper Lil’ Kleine had beef with pop singer Anouk last autumn, he went with the harsher kankerhoer (“cancer-whore”).

Scholars are not sure why the Dutch swear with illnesses. One theory links it to Calvinism, the puritanical strain of Protestantism that caught on here in the 16th century, which holds that the virtue of those destined for heaven will show itself in worldly prosperity, health, and hygiene. “There was a shift in focus from the afterlife to this life, which, for example, diminished the strength of ‘God damn it’,” says Marten van der Meulen, a Dutch linguist and author of a book on swearing. In this theory, “a curse might be stronger if you used something in actual life, like a disease.”

However, there is also what linguists call the frequency hypothesis: the Dutch may curse with diseases simply because it caught on. Language, as Laurie Anderson said, is a virus. Perhaps someday Dutch kids will savage each other on the playground with cries of coronalijer.

 Source: The Economist 

 

 

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

The World's Most Spoken Languages


When it comes to the world's ten most spoken languages, numbers tend to vary considerably between sources. 

According to Ethnologue, Chinese (and all of its varieties such as Mandarin and Wu) is by far the most spoken language across the world with 1.31 billion speakers. 

That's approximately 16 percent of the world's population. Indeed, there are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of the Chinese language and Mandarin is the most spoken (898 million speakers).

Widely spoken in South America as well as Spain, Spanish is the planet's second most widely spoken language with a grand total of 460 million speakers according to Ethnologue.

English has 379 million speakers while Arabic has 319 million. The latter includes 19 different varities, of which Egyptian Arabic is the most spoken (64.5 million speakers), followed by Algerian Arabic (29.3 million speakers).


Source: Statista


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

How to Choose the Right Translation Agency?



Simona and Mārīte are the staff members of Nordic-Baltic  language service provider Baltic Media
Simona and Mārīte are the staff members of Nordic-Baltic
 language service provider Baltic Media 

Currently there is a very wide range of translation services available in the Nordic-Baltic market. How not to get lost in the wide offer and to evaluate that the translation agency you choose will provide you with quality and cost-effective translation services?

Experience

One of the key drivers of quality service delivery is the agency's translation experience. The long-term operation of the company indicates that the customer is trusted by the service provider, and over time the company has accumulated the necessary experience in managing large and complex projects. Baltic Media was founded inSweden in 1991 and has been operating in the Baltic market since 1994. It is one of the leading companies in the quality language services segment, with extensive language service experience in Northern Europe, including large-scale multilingual translation projects. In addition, the company has a long-standing relationship with the various institutions of the European Union, successfully meeting their high-quality requirements.

ISO certificate

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, which sets international quality standards in various sectors and areas. The quality translation service shall be indicated by the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system certificate and/or the translation and localization quality certificate ISO 17100:2015.
The ISO certificate is a definite quality assurance that demonstrates that quality assurance routines, work environments, levels of responsibility are developed at all levels in the company to ensure customer satisfaction, respect of requirements and continuous improvement of the quality management system. Baltic Media operates in accordance with the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system, which has enabled the company to streamline its project coordination and vendor selection procedures, as well as guaranteeing customer data security, storage and confidentiality.

Quality of translation

A financially advantageous offer often seems more attractive, but it is good to remember that the lowest price does not provide a high-quality result. Translation costs do not only include translation costs. Quality results are provided by translation and translation editing and/or proofreading by qualified and experienced linguists specializing in a particular field.
Baltic Media translators only translate into their mother tongue and live in a country wherethat language is either the official language or the dominant language of social life. The company has developed a system of supplier selection and verification. All translators and editors recruited by Baltic Media have a university degree in philology or some other area of their specialization (such as IT) and have at least 5 years’ experience in translation. Careful selection and testing of suppliers ensures that only professional translators and editors are used for orders.

CAT tools using

Translation can often take a considerable amount of time without the help of handy tools or Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools that help and facilitate the translation process. These tools include dictionaries and translation memories and help maintain consistent terminology and save you money on already translated sections of text. CAT tools are sometimes referred to as computer-assisted translation tools but remember that computer-assisted translation is not the same as machine translation because the document is fully translated and edited by a team of qualified linguists. Baltic Media provides translations with CAT tools like SDL Trados Studio, Memsource, MemoQ and others, which ensure consistency in terminology and speed up the translation process. In addition, clients create their own translation memory file that is used for othertranslations, reducing future translation costs.

Civil liability insurance for translation

Even if you entrust translation to a professional, there is a risk of unintentional or negligent translation errors that can cause damage. How to avoid this situation? Professional translation service providers provide their clients with civil liability insurance, which in such cases covers the client for any losses incurred. Baltic Media translation agency also provides its clients withprofessional civil liability insurance, which provides additional security.

Professional translation project staff

The translation project is planned from start to delivery by a dedicated project manager who selects the most appropriate executors who meet the company's quality requirements, sets realistic deadlines and is responsible for quality control. It is therefore essential that the staff entrusted with the management oftranslation projects, well-versed in translation, be educated, qualified andexperienced. Baltic Media is distinguished from other language services by the fact that not only translators, but also its staff and management have advanced linguistic education and scientific degrees in linguistics and communication.

There are a number of aspects that need to be addressed to make sure that the translation service provider you choose is trustworthy. If you make sure that the translation agency complies with all the above rules, you cannot worry that you will receive a quality translation for an adequate fee

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture 2020

 Latvian Language and more 2020

Travel to Riga, study Latvian language, meet new people, invest in your self-development, enjoy various cultural activities and spend 7 fabulous days in Latvia.

Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center  Latvian Language and more 2020 Credit: Baltic Media
Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center
Latvian Language and more 2020 Credit: Baltic Media

Rīga | August 10 – August 16, 2020

The leading Nordic-Baltic language service company Baltic Media offers an intensive Latvian language and culture program in the mesmerizing city of Riga.

Riga is a fantastic place to learn Latvian as it offers plenty in terms of sightseeing and entertainment. Many of the most beautiful and interesting sights are concentrated in the Old Town: https://www.riga-guide.com/   


This intensive Latvian language and culture program provides:

Price:

  • 350 EUR includes tuition, course materials, coffee and snacks, cultural activities, tours.
  • 149 EUR for person for those who want to participate only in the cultural activities (without tuition costs).
  • 300 EUR early bird special price if you enroll by May 30.
For more information, please e-mail us at courses@balticmedia.com

+371 67 224 395

 +371 29 44 68 45

Place:

Language courses will be held in the very center of Riga in the Art Nouveau Quarter, where our office is located 

Summer courses will be held in the very center of Riga in the Art Nouveau Quarter, where our office is located Elizabetes iela 11, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvija
Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center
Latvian Language and more 2020 Credit: Baltic Media

Seven Amazing Days

We encourage you to pack your travel bag, bring along your friends and spend 7 amazing days discovering the beauty of the Latvian language as well as the unique culture and nature of Latvia’s beautiful cities.
Accommodation and meals (except Latvian cuisine tasting) are not included in the rate. Please book your hotel, hostel or guest house yourself. Riga has a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets.

Hotels and Guest Houses in Riga


Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center  Latvian Language and more 2020
Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center
Latvian Language and more 2020 Credit: Baltic Media
Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center  Latvian Language and more
Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture  Baltic Media Language Training Center
Latvian Language and more 2020 Credit: Baltic Media



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