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VOL.12 NO.2


Choosing the Best Translation Vendor I A NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY

International Communication by Design, Inc.

In This Issue Choosing the Best Translation Vendor��������������������} Real Time English-Chinese Interpretation Tool Reveled������������������������������} Languages in Demand Online������������������������� 2 Where to go in June������������������ 2 VW XL-1: 235 mpg��������������������� 2 Bizarre Buildings��������������������� 2 Expensive Translation Mistakes������������������������������������� 3 Yacht Sales Increase in Tight Economy���������������������� 3

Features Foods From Around the World: Balut����������������������� 2 Country Profile: Estonia���������������������������������������� 3 Suggested International Films����������������� 3 ICD On the Road������������������������ 4

f you are in a position where you are or will be procuring translation services, you may be thinking about requesting a proposal from potential suppliers. We’ve seen our fair share of these requests for proposals (RFPs) and would like to pass on some ideas we think will help you select the best vendor for your translation needs. TIME PERIOD Determine whether you will request vendor services for a single project or for an extended period of time. Reveal this information early on so a vendor can make an informed decision on whether or not to participate in the RFP process.

PRICING Avoid asking vendors to state pricing in unconventional ways i.e. hourly, per page or even fully loaded (all services included). Translation vendors typically charge based on per word pricing with discounts extended on repeated text. Discounts can only be assessed with source documents and/or provisioning of an existing translation memory (TM). If it is not possible to provide source documents or TMs, then ask them to simply state per word pricing for the needed language pairs. More accurate pricing can be obtained if you provide word count estimates for the project or length of engagement. Additional services like desktop publishing and software testing would be additional. Those rates are normally charged per page and per hour respectively.

Real Time English-Chinese Interpretation Tool Reveled

EXPERIENCE AND REFERENCES Ask companies for a brief statement about their technical capabilities and experience along with company history. There should be information regarding ownership, staff size and typical clientele. Obtaining client references regarding general work and/or similar projects is advisable. TECHNOLOGY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE Tools and process are essential when delivering high quality translations. It’s fair to ask that this information be divulged in detail. There should also be a clear process in place for error detection and remedial action. PROVIDE CLEAR EVALUATION CRITERIA There’s nothing more disheartening than putting many resources in the RFP process only to find that the vendor would not be considered because they don’t meet certain criteria. If there are nonnegotiable criteria like location, size or experience then provide that information upfront. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS The RFP should be as clear and to the point as possible. Complex, lengthy RFPs can deter good vendors from responding as they are already managing a sizeable workload.

Microsoft revealed a ground breaking interpretation/ translation software that converts spoken English to Chinese characters which are then relayed as spoken Chinese. The text to speech component preserves the cadence and intonation of the speaker while closely

reproducing their vocal quality. Rick Rashid, a research executive from Microsoft, recently spoke (in English) in Tiajin, China to a Chinese speaking audience demonstrating the software’s capabilities. Rashid admitted that while the software is not yet perfect, the technology still proves very useful. Source: TranslateMedia


Languages in Demand Online I

f you are considering localizing your website or other online resources, you may want to find out which languages are most in demand. According to language translation industry expert, Common Sense Advisory (CSA), to reach 90% of the world’s online economic opportunity (buyers), these languages should do the job:



Balut is a fertilized duck or chicken egg with a nearlydeveloped embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is very common in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam and usually sold by street vendors.

VW XL-1: 235 mpg

The Volkswagen XL1 is a streamlined coupe that is, supposedly, capable of averaging 235mpg in a mix of city and highway driving. That kind of economy is enough to make even a green-themed hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, look like a veritable fuel hog. Set to arrive next year, most likely as a 2014 model, the XL1 is delivering on VW’s decade-old promise to produce an ultra fuel-efficient vehicle. Source:

Bizarre Buildings

The Atomium, originally constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair is an iconic monument in Brussels, Belgium. It is said to represent a unique mixture of art and architecture along with ideals of peace and futurism. The structure stands 335 feet tall and has nine interconnected spheres (59 ft in diameter) representing the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The top sphere is accessible by elevator and provides a beautiful view of the city’s skyline. The building was designed by Belgium engineer, André Waterkeyn.

The good news is that as time goes on, you will actually need fewer languages to reach the same spending power. Why? There are a few trends to note. As people become increasingly multilingual, a few languages will reach more and more people. The web makes it easier to learn (or translate on the fly) languages that were previously understood only by the world’s elite and educated. Also, the rise in upward mobility of certain groups will reflect a rise in spending power. For example, as China’s middle class grows we will see the ROI on Chinese translation online grow proportionally. As you make your localization plans for 2013 and beyond, be sure to keep in mind these languages to tap into the world’s most lucrative online target markets.

• English • Japanese • German • Spanish • French • Chinese • Italian

• Portuguese • Dutch • Korean • Arabic • Russian • Swedish

Source: Common Sense Advisory

Where to go in June El Colacho (Baby-jumping Festival)– June 6 in Castrillo de

Murcia, Burgos, Spain As a part of the Corpus Christi celebration, men dressed in yellow and red suits jump over babies. It is believed that the men, who represent the devil, cleanse the babies of evil spirits as they jump. Although Corpus Christi is a rather common celebration in Spain, the Baby Jumping ceremony is unique to the town of Castrillo de Murcia.

Duanwu Jié (Dragon Boat Festival)

June 12 in Húnán province, China Commemorates Qu Yuan, celebrated poet, who threw himself into the river in 278 BC to protest against the Qin state’s invasion of his patch, Chu. The dismayed common people took to their fishing boats and tried to keep the fish and evil spirits from Qu by splashing their oars and beating drums.

Summer Solstice – June 21 in Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

This celebration marks the longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere. The summer solstice attracts an eclectic mixture of neo-druids, “revellers” and curious on-lookers. Also known as “midsummer”, the grounds feature music and access to the prehistoric monument, Stonehenge. Source: 2

Yacht Sales Increase in Tight Economy

Expensive Translation Suggested Mistakes International Films DO NOTHING I n an attempt to reach global audiences, HSBC bank launched a marketing campaign in several companies which should have corresponded to the English tagline “Assume Nothing.” However in many local languages, the phrase was rendered as “Do Nothing.” In 2009, HSBC bank had to launch a $10 million rebranding campaign to fix the mistranslation and subsequent damage to their brand.

MOSES HAD HORNS? If you’ve ever seen Michelangelo’s sculpture, Moses, you may notice that the Old Testament prophet actually has horns. That strange aspect of the image is probably due to the mistranslation of the Biblical Hebrew text directly to the Latin Vulgate. The resulting Latin version, contained a famous mistake. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai his face was “radiant” or, in Hebrew, “karan.” But Hebrew is written without the vowels, and St. Jerome had read “karan” as “keren,” or “horned.” From this error came centuries of paintings and sculptures of Moses with horns!

TREATY OF WAITANGI Representatives of the British Crown along with Maori Chiefs signed a treaty which should have settled issues of governance and land ownership in New Zealand. However, it has been said that the English document and the Maori translation are substantially different. The English version extended rights to the Maori as British subjects, while the Maori understood they were receiving protection

Amour (French 2012)

Oscar winner in the Best Foreign Film category, is a sobering, contemplative love story written and directed by Michael Haneke. The French language drama is about an elderly married couple whose lives are shattered when one has a stroke.

panoramic “state rooms” and bedrooms with hot tubs are some examples of these custom design options. “At the level we’re operating at, it doesn’t matter if China’s growth drops a few percent or the U.K. goes into a triple dip recession,” said Stewart McIntyre, managing director at Sunseeker, the U.K.-based luxury yachtmaker. “It doesn’t affect our client’s ability to spend.” Source: COUNTRY PROFILE


is a small and heavilyforested country, Estonia is the most northerly of the three former Soviet Baltic republics. Not much more than a decade after it regained its independence following the collapse of the USSR, the republic was welcomed as an EU member in May 2004. FINLAND

Baltic Sea



Well Digger’s Daughter (French 2011)

An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary. Source: IMDB

under the auspices of the British empire with tribal autonomy. Another article gave the Queen exclusive rights to purchase their land. The Maori thought they would have full access to a chieftainship over their lands. The translation is attributed to a British missionary who was not fully familiar with the Maori language. Until this day, there is still controversy regarding what was agreed upon by both parties because of the mistranslations. Source:


onia Tartu

In pre-World War II France, a father is torn between his sense of honor and his deep love for his saintly daughter when she gets in trouble with the wealthy son of a shopkeeper.

Headhunters (Norwegian 2011)



While sales for small boats, between 20 to 100 feet, have fallen 30% since 2008, sales for “megarich” clients have increased. Ultra wealthy individuals from China, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Egypt, Lebanon and the Middle East are driving the uptick in sales for these highly customized yachts. Much of the appeal is due to the high level of customization that can be attained. Boardrooms, karaoke booths, wine cellars,




$17.87 billion EXPORTS

$17.38 billion

LAND AREA: 45,227 sq km (17,462 sq miles) POPULATION: 1.3 million MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Machinery, textiles, wood products MAIN LANGUAGES:

Estonian, Russian

Sources: CIA FactBook; BBC

INTERESTING Words & Phrases Mytacism (English) – The incorrect or excessive use of the letter M.

Gowpen (English) – A double handful. Espirit d’escalier (French)- A French

term used in English that describes the predicament of thinking of the perfect comeback too late.

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ICD Newsletter - Spring 2013  

International Communication by Design's newsletter for Spring 2013.