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ICD International Puzzler

E-mail your answer to The first correct entrant will win a $50 gift certificate! Good luck!

Esprit d'ICD

International Communication by Design, Inc.


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Which countries other than the U.S. do not use the metric systems? ANSWER

Liberia and Burma (also known as Myanmar)


John Cook of Marshall & Swift Boeckh. Congratulations, John!

Writing with the Intent of Translating


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• Avoid words that may inadvertently cause By following some basic guidelines, you can controversy or confusion. write content that can be more easily and effectively translated into the target languages. • Avoid the terms “foreign” and “domestic”, which are meaningless outside the U.S.


ICD on the Road

Promat 2007

Pittsburgh Conference of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy

Volume 6, Number 1

January 8 – 11, 2007 McCormick Place South Chicago, IL

February 25 – March 1, 2007 McCormick Place Chicago, IL

is published three times per year.

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WINTER 2007 V O L . 6 N O .1

• Use care when referring to geographical locations, references, holidays, celebrities, seasons, and humor.

In This Issue Writing with the Intent of Translating The Arabic Language Today


Dominant World Languages


• Do not refer to body parts, animals, or religious symbols. • Reword content to avoid use of the apostrophe to denote possessives. • Do not omit articles. • Eliminate colloquialisms, which may translate oddly or may confuse the non-English-language reader.

Features Country Profile: Australia




Catherine's Column


Employee Profile


International Puzzler


Translating Your Company into a Global Success

ICD Travel Tip Crocs Unleashed Crocodile watching is becoming popular as an ecotourism activity. Some destinations where you can observe crocodiles in their native habitat Paga in northern Ghana; Goa, India; and the Kainji National Park in Nigeria. Observe all safety precautions to enjoy a rewarding experience of this fascinating species.

1726 N. 1st Street Milwaukee, WI 53212


What does the gold circle in the African Union emblem represent?

General • Tailor your English text to the comprehension level of your target audience.

• Write in the active—not the passive—voice. • Represent information graphically where appropriate; use callouts on graphics, but do not include words within graphics. • Spell out the meaning of an acronym the first time the acronym is used. If your document contains many acronyms, include an acronym appendix. • Create English glossaries of acronyms or obscure industry-specific terms, and share them with your translation agency. • Prior to sending files for translation, delete text that refers to irrelevant market requirements or regulations. A reader in China does not care about California clean air regulations or European Union legal verbiage. • Reduce word count where possible by writing short, simple sentences, using easy words, and including only the most relevant information. Usage • Use terms consistently. Avoid use of the same word in multiple grammatical constructs, such as “File the file in the file folder”.

• Do not turn nouns into verbs or verbs into nouns. Format • Leave enough white space in your English documents. Romance language translations are usually about 20% longer than the English source text.

• Do not use narrow columns, which often cause excessive hyphenation. Hyphenation of text may not seem awkward in an English document, but once the text is translated, it could look unprofessional. Numbers • Use “billion” carefully. Billion means 1,000,000,000 in the U.S., but is understood as 1,000,000,000,000 in the U.K.

• Show telephone numbers in international formats. Toll free 800 numbers do not work outside of North America. • Include both English and metric measurements in documents, usually in the form “n cm (n inches)”, such as “46 cm (18 inches)”. Some of these suggestions may require a little additional time and effort on your part, but the payoff is an English document that can be translated into a clear, correct, and useful nonEnglish-language counterpart.


The Arabic Language Today A member of the Semitic family of languages, Arabic is spoken as a native language by “250 million people in the Arab world”, according to the National Middle East Language Resource Center. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that about 1.3 percent of the U.S. population speaks Arabic. The Arabic language originated in the Arabian Peninsula, where it was spoken by nomadic tribes in the northern and central regions of the peninsula. The language was adopted in other areas across the Middle East during the seventh and eighth centuries as the Muslim religion expanded throughout the region. As a result of this expansion, use of Arabic replaced other languages, such as Aramaic, Coptic, Berber, and Greek. The NMELRC divides the Arabic language into three general varieties. • The oldest variety, Classical Arabic, is the language in which the Qur’an is written. While Classical Arabic is still in current use, this variety of the language is found primarily in “religious and highly formal contexts”. • Modern Standard Arabic is a contemporary variety of Arabic that is used in journalism and other formal communication. MSA is primarily a written language. • The variety of Arabic known as Colloquial Arabic, or caammiyya, comprises various regional dialects that Arabic speakers use in everyday communication. The four major dialect groups of Colloquial Arabic, according to the NMELRC, are Maghrib, the Libyan and Egyptian dialects, Levant, and the Gulf Area dialect. Sources:;;;





Land area: 7,686,850 sq. km. (slightly

(July 2006 est.)


Languages: English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)

Export partners

Import partners

1. Japan .......... 20.3% 2. China ............11.5% 3. South Korea .... 7.9%

1. U.S. ............. 13.9% 2. China ........... 13.7% 3. Japan ...........11.0%

Dominant World Languages According to UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, “more than half of the world’s 6,000 languages are in danger of disappearing” and “one language disappears on average every two weeks”. But in the shifting linguistic environment, the use of several languages is rising. The language spoken by the largest number of people in the world is Mandarin Chinese. According to the National Virtual Translation Center, approximately 867 million people speak Mandarin as their native language; another 178 million speak it as a second language. Mandarin is also spoken in Southeast Asia, as well as in Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Given that China is a dominant player in global commerce, the number of second-language speakers of Mandarin continues to rise. Of the nearly 6.6 billion people on the earth today, roughly 1 billion speak English as a native or second language. Over 400 million people speak the language as their native tongue and 400 million speak it as a second language. The NVTC places English as the “third- or fourth-largest native language in the world”. With its global dispersion, English should continue to dominate in such areas as technology and politics. The number of native-language Spanish speakers is estimated to be 352 million, with another 60 million speaking Spanish 2

Catherine's Column

Translating Voting Information in the U.S.

Population: 20.3 million

Brisbane Sidney Canberra Melbourne


smaller than the US contiguous 48 states)

Australia Perth


Major industries: Mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, and steel Source: The CIA World Factbook

as a second language. Most nativeSpanish speakers (106 million) reside in Mexico, but large populations of nativeSpanish speakers are found in such widely disbursed countries as Colombia, Spain, and Argentina. The U.S. has also seen a significant increase in the use of Spanish, as it is now the home for approximately 28 million native-language Spanish speakers. Two other languages that enjoy widespread use are Arabic (see “The Arabic Language Today”) and French, which is an official language in at least 26 countries and is spoken in 53 nations. Estimates from Ethnologue place the number of nativeFrench speakers worldwide at 77 million, with another 50 million people speaking French as a second language. A changing geo-political environment makes projections of language use difficult, but given current trends, Mandarin Chinese and English should dominate the linguistic landscape for years to come. Based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates, China’s population will grow by 25 million by 2010, yielding a 2 percent growth in the number of native-Mandarin-Chinese speakers over the next three years alone. The populations of countries in which English is spoken as the native tongue—the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand—should increase by 10 million, resulting in a slightly higher increase in native-English-speakers of 2.3 percent during the same timeframe. Sources:;; Barber, Charles. The English Language;

The recent elections in the United States have brought the issue of voting accessibility to the forefront of American politics. The Voting CATHERINE Rights Act of 1965 requires that certain DESCHAMPS-POTTER jurisdictions in the U.S. translate VICE-PRESIDENT their election materials or provide SALES & MARKETING oral translations into the appropriate languages for certain populations within those jurisdictions. The U.S. government’s analysis of translation needs based on populations provides insight into the many languages that are spoken in the U.S. and where those populations reside.

The requirements for translation of voting materials in California reflect its diverse cultures, as officials must make voting materials available in Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Native American Wintun. In Texas, nearly 100 counties must translate voting information into Spanish, as must some Eastern seaboard states from Rhode Island to Florida.

For example, voting information in some Alaskan boroughs must be translated into Eskimo, Aleut, Athapascan, Tanaina, and Kuchin. In Arizona, 11 counties are required to translate voting information into Apache, Navajo, Zuni, Havasupai, Hopi, Pima, Yavapai, Spanish, Delta River Yuma, and Yuma languages.

These requirements are just some examples, but they represent the variety of non-English-language speakers living in the U.S. and the country’s rich cultural and language diversity.

In Louisiana, residents of Avoyelles Parish must receive voting information in French. Further west, both South and North Dakota are required to provide voting materials in the Dakota languages and in Oregon, voting materials are to be made available in the Native American Paiute language.


Suggested International Films


Joyeux Noël

(2005, France) Based on a true story, troops on the Western Front call an informal cease-fire to honor Christmas Eve, 1914.

Tatiana Batova works as a Project Manager at ICD. Tatiana is from the town of Tula, Russia, which is situated southeast of Moscow. Tatiana studied Education and Foreign Languages at Tula State Pedagogical University. After completing her degree, she continued her education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and graduated with an MA degree in Foreign Languages and Literature with a Concentration in Translation and a Certificate in German–English Translation.

The Edukators (2005, Germany) Rebellious friends protest against social problems connected to uneven distribution of wealth by breaking into the mansions of wealthy people and rearranging their prized possessions.

Until recently Tatiana taught Russian and German at UW–Milwaukee and UW–Green Bay. During her college career, she began working as a freelance translator, translating from German and English into Russian.

Spirited Away (2002, Japan) The 2003 Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro, a young girl who must save her parents after they have been punished for eating food meant for the gods.

Tatiana’s hobbies are swimming, spinning, running, cross-country skiing, and traveling. She is also fond of drawing and painting. Her other passion is cooking.


Interesting terms used by EU officials

Refers to such visionaries as Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman who, following World War II, conceived the idea to unite Europe “in lasting peace and friendship”. As their vision was put into practice, they became known as the founding fathers of the European Union. 3

ICD Newsletter - Winter 2007  

International Communication by Design's newsletter for Winter 2007.

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