Kwintessential UK http://www.kwintessential.co.uk A Complete Language Translation Agency Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:24:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 Does Language Really Make You Who You Are? http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/general-interest/does-language-make-you/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/general-interest/does-language-make-you/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:24:54 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39228 The theory of linguistic relativity is one of the most controversial in the history of language study. Its proponents argue that

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The theory of linguistic relativity is one of the most controversial in the history of language study. Its proponents argue that language is not just the means by which ideas are communicated – but language alters ideas themselves. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which introduced linguistic relativity, garnered support during the 1950s – but in subsequent decades, the ideas it discussed were torn down.

 

Could new evidence bring credibility to this once ridiculed linguistic theory?

 

Can Language Change How We Experience the World?

 

Of course, language has an impact on our minds. We learn by our senses. As small children, we experience the world with limited meaning, simply absorbing the information our senses present.

 

As an example, imagine a baby with a bright green sippy cup, full of water. The baby can see their bright green sippy cup, pick it up, drink from it and hear the sounds the sloshing water makes – but can’t give or associate any words for the colour, the temperature of the water, the sound it makes, or anything else to communicate ideas about the cup. The baby can experience the cup, interact with it and respond to the stimulus with base, fundamental human responses.

 

Sight, sound and smell – these were all experienced and absorbed by our new minds, but we didn’t attach words or ideas to them. They were stimuli and nothing more. With time, words are attached to those stimuli.

 

The greenness of the cup gains significance. So does the sound – even if baby gives the sound an onomatopoeic name like “shh shh shh” instead of “sloshing”. As language takes hold, not only does the child’s vocabulary build, but so does their understanding of time and space, to which new words are attached – allowing them to express these ideas and meanings.

 

Linguistic relativity claims that the language you learn not only gives you the tools to express those ideas and meanings, but actually shapes them. Your language alters you and your perception, your world view – and even the flow of time.

 

Language Makes Cultures

 

It’s a fascinating theory, but it was systematically picked apart by some of the greatest minds in linguistic history, including Noam Chomsky himself (whose arguments against the theory are rebutted here). The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is named after Benjamin Lee Whorf and his mentor, Edward Sapir.

 

Edward Sapir died in 1939, which was a huge blow to Whorf – himself ailing. Whorf began to write prolifically on the subject in his final years, dedicating much of his work to his mentor.

 

Perhaps it was the somewhat hurried nature of his work that drew criticism – after all, he was unable to develop his ideas or respond to critics. His ideas only took hold decades after his death in 1941.

 

In his paper titled Science and Linguistics, Whorf details differences in English and Hopi language, spending a significant portion of his efforts dismantling how time is recorded, communicated and experienced differently because of the language itself.

 

Due to the time-bending nature of language, he felt his theories were aligned with Einstein’s theory of relativity – giving rise to the name “linguistic relativity”.

 

But with only one example of a near-extinct language, Whorf’s links between language and the experience of time were seen as tenuous at best.

 

New Linguistic Evidence?

 

It would take 70 years for new evidence in support of Whorf’s claims to surface. In 2010, a study of Aboriginal language made a previously undocumented discovery. A remote community in Australia, the Pormpuraawans communicate the flow of time in a strikingly different manner to anywhere else in the world – demonstrating not only that the concept of time itself is different, but that it is experienced differently (and so communicated differently) from person to person.

 

In Pormpuraawan language, the flow of time is arranged by cardinal directions (north, south, east and west).

 

Specifically, time flows from left to right when one is facing south, from right to left when one is facing north, toward the body when one is facing east, and away from the body when one is facing west.

 

This relationship with time is personal to the one experiencing it. The linguistic concept of time is independent of the body, not an internal clock or construct of the mind.

 

It’s all quite amazing – and while Whorf’s ideas seem to have been ridiculed in the past, maybe it’s time his work was revisited.

 

Choose Kwintessential – the Language Experts

 

Looking for a professional translation agency? Contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Choosing Your Translation Agency This Year http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/choosing-translation-agency-year/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/choosing-translation-agency-year/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:37:10 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39213 Happy New Year! We can hardly believe it’s the year 2018 – but what a year 2017 was. Sometimes joyous and

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Happy New Year! We can hardly believe it’s the year 2018 – but what a year 2017 was. Sometimes joyous and sometimes tragic, 2017 was full of surprises. As we look forward to a brand new year, we wonder what surprises are in store – and hope to surprise you with our exceptional translations.

 

If you’re choosing a translation agency for your year ahead, we’ve got a few special attributes that set us apart; but what should you generally look for and avoid when deciding which translation agency to go with?

 

What Makes a Good Translation Agency?

 

Ultimately, the main benefit of using a translation agency is that it saves time. And as the old saying goes – time is money. A good translation agency is one that makes a return on your investment. We’re not just talking about cost though; when you pay a translation agency, you’re paying for their knowledge, customer service levels, turnaround times and the translated works themselves.

 

The cheapest translation agency or freelancer might look good on paper, but what if that initial money saved costs more time down the road? Even if the quality of translation is high, but turnaround times and customer service are poor – you could end up paying a higher price once your time is taken into consideration.

 

A good translation agency is one that returns on your investment. You’ll get good work, on time and on budget.

 

But a great translation agency gives much more. A great agency is trustworthy and effective to the point where you can let them work autonomously on your behalf – from source material and minimal prompting, you’ll get results you’ll be proud to put your name to.

 

A great agency becomes an extension of your team, building your trust, getting to know your needs inside out before a single word is written.

 

What to Look for in a Professional Translation Agency

 

We’ve already established that trustworthiness makes for an amazing translation agency. Look for references and client feedback – they’re good indicators of trustworthiness and can help sort the good from the bad.

 

At Kwintessential, we’re really proud of our amazing client feedback and 4.9 star rating.

 

Make sure the agency can work in your source and target languages – it might seem obvious, but it does get overlooked.

 

First impressions count! Make sure your initial contact is favourable. The best way to know what kind of operation you’re dealing with is to give them a call and talk about your needs. If they listen to your needs, outline a plan of action and make a good offer, chances are you’ve found yourself a good agency.

 

What to Be Cautious of When Choosing a Translation Agency

 

Look out for agencies that don’t have a structured process in place – like a contract or a schedule of work. You need to keep track of what’s being done, by when and how much it will cost. Without a clear record of work, you can only expect the unexpected!

 

Avoid using translation software and agencies that rely on it. Artificial intelligence might be coming on leaps and bounds, but it’s not here yet. Even the most advanced computer translators are unable to make sense of large bodies of text. Machines don’t grasp context, humour, tone of voice, metaphor or symbolism.

 

Generally, they can operate on one word or phrase at a time. Anyone who can remember translating their foreign languages homework one word at a time will also remember how painfully slow (and woefully nonsensical) it ended up being. Human language is one of the hardest things for machines to figure out, and a perfect AI translator may still be decades away.

 

Look out for “spinning” – it’s cheap, but usually extremely low quality text that has been made from similar material and modified slightly to seem original. Such text is almost always an impossible mess to understand, and some agencies will just hope you don’t know the language well enough to notice.

 

At Kwintessential, we don’t take part in any shady shenanigans and we don’t cut any corners. The work we do is trustworthy, accurate and on time – every time!

 

Make Kwintessential Your Translation Agency

 

Looking for a professional translation agency? Contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Tired of the Same Festive Stories? Alternative Christmas Tales http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/cultural-awareness/tired-of-the-same-old-festive-stories-try-these-alternative-christmas-tales/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/cultural-awareness/tired-of-the-same-old-festive-stories-try-these-alternative-christmas-tales/#respond Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:11:22 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39192   It’s the most wonderful time of the year! All over the world, people are gearing up to celebrate and pass

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! All over the world, people are gearing up to celebrate and pass around gifts. Winter holiday traditions date back to the dawn of civilisation – and the stories told go hand in hand with the celebrations.

 

If you’re looking for some alternative stories to tell your friends and family over the Christmas break, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of our favourite alternative festive tales from far away and closer to home.

 

The Krampus

 

The Krampus story originated in the home of Santa himself – the German-speaking regions of Europe. But the Krampus is everything Santa Claus isn’t. Where jolly old Saint Nicholas rewards good children with gifts, Krampus delivers punishment to those who are bad. And he’s utterly terrifying.

 

Krampus is depicted as a goat-like demon, with hoofed feet and horns, black fur, a long tongue and fangs. In older texts, the story goes that Santa Claus deals only with good children and Krampus with bad. In those old tales, Krampus would appear before the naughty children and take them away in a sack – sometimes to eat, sometimes to drag straight to hell…

 

See? Utterly terrifying! In modern times, the Krampus serves more as a beloved pantomime character, whose job is delivering coal to naughty children. Nowhere near as terrifying – just a gentle reminder to be good.

 

Jólakötturinn

 

This is quite a story – Jólakötturinn is a giant, demonic cat that stalks the snowy countryside plains of Iceland. Known internationally as the Yule Cat, legend has it that the beast skulks in the snow and the darkness, waiting to pounce.

 

But what is the giant cat’s prey? Well, Jólakötturinn eats anybody who hasn’t been gifted new clothes before Christmas Eve. So if you have any Icelandic friends, make sure they get a new garment before December 24th!

 

Like most Christmas folk stories, the Yule Cat serves as a motivator – in this instance, to encourage community giving. Nobody knows where the story originated, but it’s been traced back to the 19th century.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas

 

It might only have been around since 1993, but the Nightmare Before Christmas is the modern day poster child for alternative Christmas stories. It tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and patron saint of Halloween in his hometown – Halloween Town.

 

Growing weary of Halloween, Jack takes a walk through a wood and discovers a portal to a mystical new place: Christmas Town. There, he learns the magic of Christmas and becomes obsessed with making it his own, drowning out the humdrum that Halloween has become.

 

In the process, he almost ruins everything: Christmas, Halloween and himself. Can he turn it around in time and save Christmas? If you haven’t seen it already, it’s becoming something of a classic, and will make an excellent addition to your regular Christmas viewing.

 

The Little Girl and the Winter Whirlwinds

 

This beautiful tale from Bulgaria tells the story of the Winter Witch, a wicked and spiteful witch who seeks to turn every season into winter. The villagers need a saviour – and a little orphaned girl, full of spirit and love for her fellow villagers, takes up the quest.

 

The villagers give her all their warmest clothes and she sets off to face the Whirlwinds – children of the Winter Witch. With help from the animals of the forest, the little girl finds her way to father Christmas – the only one who can bring back the seasons. You can read the full story here.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Wishing you all a merry (Krampus-free!) Christmas and a happy new year, from everybody at Kwintessential!

 

Telling the World’s Story – Kwintessential

 

Looking for a professional translation agency? Contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Our transcreation service tells expressive, meaningful stories in your target language. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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How to Become a Great Translator or Interpreter http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/become-great-translator-interpreter/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/become-great-translator-interpreter/#respond Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:46:34 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39169   You’d think that translators and interpreters would owe much of their success to good fortune. It’s true that being born

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You’d think that translators and interpreters would owe much of their success to good fortune. It’s true that being born into the right environment or the right family can be all it takes for a great translator to blossom. Being raised in a diverse mix of culture and language can encourage bilingual or even multilingual development – and kick-start a command of language that will last a lifetime.

 

But it’s not exclusively multilingual children that grow up to become translators and interpreters. In fact, most will never even think of becoming translators. People from all walks can discover their love of language at any stage in their life, becoming great translators and interpreters and forging a new career. So how do translators become great at their craft?

 

Become a Great Writer First

 

Translators need to have total control of their own language. The best way to learn the limits and boundaries of any language is to use it creatively, exploring the fringe words and sayings – even making new ones up. Spinning a good yarn is an art, not a science, and honing that artistic skill takes practice.

 

Writing can come naturally to some, but anyone can work on their storytelling by using prompts, reading blogs and guides, and applying writing rules until their own internal voice matures.

 

Creativity is an important part of writing and translating, and it’s a skill that everyone has within them. Even those who claim to be completely uncreative actually are: they just need to unlock it.

 

Always Keep Learning

 

Excellent interpreters and brilliant translators put “learn something new” at the top of their daily tasks. Chances are, you’ll learn something new today without even trying (maybe even by reading this post!). Nobody can truly claim to know it all. Kwintessential is a translation agency with a collection of diverse minds, so all of us find new things, in one way or another, every day.

 

For budding translators, education and academia are brilliant places to start a love affair with language. After school, further education can help you master a foreign language and achieve qualifications that will give you an edge. But qualifications and certifications are just a part of your skillset, and one of the many ways you can grow as a translator. As with so many things in life, real-world experience is the key.

 

Gather Experience

 

Anyone who learned a foreign language at school will remember the difficulty of first picking up the phrases, structures and irregularities in a new language. It comes with time, with practice and with study.

 

There is another way to gain experience in new languages. It’s one of the many ways that people fall in love with translating and interpreting – total immersion in another language. Travel makes this linguistic immersion possible – and as a side effect, has the benefit of enriching your life with amazing experiences.

 

You don’t have to travel to far-flung corners of the earth to immerse yourself in another language. Making friends with someone whose dominant language is the one you’re studying can help both of you develop your skills. It’s not quite as effective, or fun – but it’s certainly closer to home!

 

Love Languages – Especially Your Own

 

The word “passionate” gets thrown around so often, so liberally and so loosely that you’d be forgiven for thinking it means “mildly interested”. Having a true passion for something is almost awkward to explain to others, even to other people with a craft or love for a hobby. They might be able to relate to someone else’s passion – but they’ll never truly understand what the draw is.

 

That immersion and constant fascination with the subject is what separates the great translators and interpreters from the good ones. Language isn’t just a job, it’s their life. It’s what they’d be studying and working with even if they weren’t getting paid for it. The best language to fall in love with is your own. Master as much of it as you can. Explore every corner of it, learn its origins and try to predict its future.

 

Once you find a love for language, you can never let go – translating, interpreting and enjoying the quirks of language will become your own entertainment, and spur your interest for the rest of your life.

 

Translations and Interpreting from Kwintessential

 

For a professional interpreting service and an expert translating service, contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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When to Use Telephone Interpreting http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/when-to-use-telephone-interpreting/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/interpreting/when-to-use-telephone-interpreting/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:45:26 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39161 Telephone interpreting has a history dating back to the 1970s and it’s still an essential service today – because of the

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Telephone interpreting has a history dating back to the 1970s and it’s still an essential service today – because of the distinct advantages it has over other methods of interpreting. At Kwintessential, our telephone interpreting service is one of the best in the industry. Here are our top picks for when to use telephone interpreting.

 

In Hospitals – Overseas and at Home

 

Interpreting in medical situations can be tricky, but an expert interpreter will effectively convey accurate information in the target language. Over the phone, the already tricky task of medical interpreting can be even trickier still – without body language and visual cues to help communicate, all emotion and importance is placed on tone of voice and delivery. This all comes naturally to an accomplished interpreter. They’ll have both languages completely under control, while also mastering their tone and delivery to match the situation.

 

But if the lack of visual cues makes telephone interpreting more difficult, why would you use it in the first place? For a start, it’s much cheaper than physically sending an interpreter to a location – and crucially, it’s much faster.

 

When Speed is Key

 

In emergencies or pressing situations, time is precious. In a life and death situation, effective and fast communication is essential to survival. A language barrier could prove to be fatal. Telephone interpreters are relied upon to ensure instant, smooth communication during emergencies. Excellent command of the source and target languages, coupled with a cool head and quick thinking – these qualities make a telephone interpreter an excellent ally in a crisis.

 

To Reduce Human Contact

 

It seems strange, but this is a real world need. A third party isn’t always a welcome addition to a stressful or tense situation – throwing an interpreter into the mix could just make things harder.

 

It’s also easy to get wrapped up in our own culture. In western culture, the presence of an interpreter might be unusual or a little unnerving at the worst. In other cultures, it could be most unwelcome and communication can come to a complete stop.

 

But a voice on the phone has some distance and can be effective without being intrusive or hindering the process. Confidentiality can be improved with specialist handsets, that make it possible to communicate one on one with each member of the conversation, without causing delay.

 

When Not to Use a Telephone Interpreter

 

Telephone interpreting is an excellent option for high speed, low cost interpreting – but like so many services, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

 

Interpreting for children is wildly different and can be much more challenging, requiring the presence of an experienced interpreter. Interpreting for vulnerable people brings similar communication challenges. Deaf people and the hard of hearing may require a sign interpreter.

 

Kwintessential is a professional interpreting company with access to the world’s top linguistic talent, available both over the phone and in person. We’re happy to advise the best interpreting services for your needs – just get in touch for details.

 

Interpreting from Kwintessential

 

For professional telephone interpreting services, contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced interpreters and translators are standing by. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Impossible Translations http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/impossible-translations/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/translation/impossible-translations/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:39:12 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39140 Language is amazing. We never really stop to think about how amazing it is – maybe because reading, writing and speaking

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Language is amazing. We never really stop to think about how amazing it is – maybe because reading, writing and speaking are instinctive to us. But with language, humankind has found a way to cheat death: to impart knowledge down centuries, millennia and aeons. The true power of language is its timelessness.

 

Language isn’t just an incredible tool that connects minds over the vast expanse of time – it’s amazing for its variety. Each language has evolved in its own way to fit and even shape the culture it’s born in. And in that birth and evolution, words form in such staggering variety and depth of meaning, that direct translations for some become impossible.

 

So, let’s explore that wondrous variety of words with no equivalent – and those poached from other languages to make up for having no native match.

 

Loanwords

 

Often, one language will borrow words from another language – either because there’s no alternative or because it’s had a cultural impact since being introduced. This happens quite frequently in modern languages, such as Japanese, where English words are “Japanised” to feed a growing demand for western cultural phenomena. Japanese, among several other foreign languages, becomes quite poetic when translating the impossible – which we’ll come to in the next section of this post.

 

Farsi, as another example, contains a huge amount of French words that are used in standard, everyday vocabulary – baffling, considering the enormous cultural and geographical chasm between the two languages.

 

Farsi bears grammatical and structural similarity to French and other European languages because they’re actually related, although very distantly. Even still, the vocabulary of modern French words seems quite curious.

 

The answer? In the 19th and 20th centuries, the French language was the de facto language in many consulates, widely spoken by all manner of foreign delegates. French was also the source language of science books and literature circulated in Iranian schools, and many words had no direct equivalent – making the borrowing of words inevitable.

 

Over time, the sporadic, academic use of French became quite a la mode, as it were. As a result, everyday objects and phrases came to be known by their French counterpart words, even if perfectly good Farsi words for them were in use. Fashion in this case, helped dictate the course of a language.

 

Words with No English Equivalent

 

By far, the most interesting area of study for most people are the words that English just can’t replicate. It’s because the results are often poetic, beautiful and romantic in some way – a way that makes you look at things differently. Here are some of the most wonderful words that English cannot match.
Koi no yokan (Japanese) – it means “the feeling upon meeting someone that falling in love with him or her is inevitable”. It’s beautifully romantic, with no direct counterpart.

 

Yūgen (Japanese) – it describes the feeling you get when contemplating the enormity of the universe, itself an indescribable feeling.

 

Schnapsidee (German) – a plan hatched under the influence of alcohol, usually something zany or impossible.

 

Waldeinsamkeit (German) – this word describes the feeling of connection to nature, while alone in the woods.

 

Pena ajena (Spanish) – feeling embarrassed on someone else’s behalf. Quite a universal emotion, with no direct English counterpart.

 

Hygge (Danish) – difficult to pin down, even with a sentence, hygge describes the act of becoming cosy with family and friends, of entering a relaxed but not solitary state of mind. “Cosiness” may be the closest word to it, but is still too broad.

 

English Words with No Direct Translation

 

The English language isn’t free of foibles and irregularities, it does throw out some unique and at times amusing terms; terms like slubberdegullion, kissingcrust and slapdash are rare phrases with no equivalents. Some may have fallen out of vogue, others may only be relevant to bakers and builders, but nevertheless, they have no analogue in any other language.

 

Some languages have no words for some of the most commonly used words in English – like in Polish, where “lunch” is an impossible translation. Traditionally, there’s no midday meal in Polish culture, so there’s no word for lunch.

 

And in most Chinese languages, “dying” has no equivalent. Dead, died and all other forms are present, but the act – the process – has no translation.

 

In Farsi, “windscreen wiper” translates extremely awkwardly, literally becoming “snow wipe-do”.

 

For Expert Translation and Linguistics, Contact Kwintessential

 

For professional translation services, contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced linguists and translators know the deepest meanings of every word – and know just where to apply an “impossible translation”. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Website Translation: Don’t Just Copy and Paste! http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/website-internationalization/website-translation/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/website-internationalization/website-translation/#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:38:55 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39039   So, you’ve built a website. It’s brilliant; it looks great, works perfectly and your copywriter has done a great job.

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So, you’ve built a website. It’s brilliant; it looks great, works perfectly and your copywriter has done a great job. The text is balanced and compelling, with each page sticking to its theme. The SEO is going well and your PPC ads are targeted, effective and pulling in lots of conversions.

 

Now you’ve proved the site works at home, it’s time to go international – and website translation becomes priority number one. While there are plenty of ways you can manage your international web presence, there’s one that you absolutely should not consider: copying and pasting into translation software.

 

How to Translate a Website the Wrong Way

 

Let’s say your business is moving into a Spanish-speaking market. The following is one of the worst, if not the worst thing you can do:

 

  • Clone your existing website
  • Make it accessible by a subdomain – spanish.yourwebsite.co.uk
  • Populate it with text that has been directly copied and pasted from your brilliantly written copy, into a web-based translator – with the resulting text pasted back in

 

It seems so perfect and easy – you can just rinse and repeat for every territory, with no extra hosting costs, no new domain registrations and zero-effort translation.

 

But this method is utterly riddled with problems.

 

First, your domain is a UK domain, with very little hope of being found in Spain, and next to no chance of appearing in all 26 Spanish-speaking countries. And “Spanish” isn’t how Spanish-speakers refer to their own language.

 

Secondly, your site uses the same old hosting it always has, which makes it great locally, but terrible internationally.

 

And thirdly, your translated website copy is a mess of indecipherable nonsense. As good as they may be for single words and phrases, automatic website translators are incapable of translating websites (or any large body of text) effectively.

 

There’s no way of sugarcoating it: the result is pretty awful. This website won’t perform how you’d hoped it would, and anyone that does manage to find it will be completely put off by the improper translation. Just because it looks okay, doesn’t mean it’s going to work.

 

So ideally, how should it be done?

 

A Better Way to Translate a Website

 

First, make a solid foundation. If you plan to expand further into other territories, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver your website internationally. Ideally, you should acquire a domain in each target country – yourwebsite.fr, yourwebsite.de, yourwebsite.es – and host each one in their respective country. That gives you the best platform from which to target a new audience. Your web advertising will be cheaper, your SEO will perform better and your user base will be thankful for the speedier load times.

 

Then, once you’ve built a solid starting point, use a professional website translation service. Give your brief and your brand guidelines, your must-haves and must-not-haves – and let a professional, native-speaker write your copy. Copy that’s balanced and compelling, with each page sticking to its own theme.

 

This way you’ll be ensuring that the text makes sense, and speaks to the local audience in the right way – communicating your brand values and ideals in a localised manner.

 

It’s the long way around, for sure – but there’s really no substitute.

 

It’s because each international website needs to be run with the same level of diligence as your first website, or it will fail. The only reason your first site has succeeded is the work that was put into it – so when you’re moving into new territory, be sure you’re going in with a knowledgeable, dedicated native-speaker as your linguistic guide.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

For professional website translation services, contact Kwintessential today. Our experienced and dedicated translators are ready to help. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Language of the Internet: Evolving English http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/culture/language-internet-evolving-english/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/culture/language-internet-evolving-english/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:25:36 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=39026   Old English, the Anglo-Saxon root of the modern English language, is virtually unrecognisable to today’s native English-speakers, with the long-separated

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Old English, the Anglo-Saxon root of the modern English language, is virtually unrecognisable to today’s native English-speakers, with the long-separated dialects sharing only about 15% of their words in common.

 

This shows just how much the English language has evolved over time. Languages develop naturally from generation to generation, but in the internet age, English has taken on some strange new forms – almost overnight.

 

From Blog to Doggo: The Story of Internet Language

 

Netspeak, or Internet Slang, predates the internet itself. When text messaging first took hold, character limits and awkward numeric keypads practically forced the English language to morph and distort.

 

Often, the acronyms and shorthand terms employed were indecipherable unless they’d permeated your social group – and this made them more appealing, like a set of codewords.

 

As the fledgling internet developed, chatrooms and instant messaging platforms took the “txtspk” model and expanded it. Number and letter homophones developed into a prominent feature and new acronyms appeared as active phrases, still in use today (LOL, for example).

 

But these phrases, acronyms and word/number hybrids were only the beginning of a shape-shifting new kind of written language, that would slowly make its way into spoken word.

 

As the next generation of mobile phones, chat and messaging services came into being, full touchscreen keyboards had become commonplace. Automatic spelling correction and unlimited character counts largely did away with the need for faster and more compact words. Among younger users, even those who’d grown up in the time of textspeak, the compact, chopped up language born of necessity had somewhat fallen out of vogue.

 

Ironic use of textspeak became fashionable for a time, perpetuated in memes (a topic for another day), but the shorthand, number-filled words of just a decade ago have been more or less phased out. Other language trends have taken hold since.

 

There was once a time of the acronym, the portmanteau and the suffix, when new words were created every day, and a surprising amount of them stuck. Some even made it into the dictionary (both LOL and OMG are Oxford English dictionary entries).

 

Doggo was already a word (an adverb meaning “still”), but now it has a new meaning. The cutesy new word for dog joins a raft of other words popularised by meme culture.

 

And this is how it tends to go now – a word already widely used takes on new meaning, with no creation, addition or cropping. “Salt” has come to mean displeasure. “Throwing shade”, a term borrowed from drag queen culture, is widely used on social media to describe the hurling of insults.

 

And it’s all still changing. These linguistic evolutions happen all over the world, and although it might seem that today’s technology is the driver of these changes, it’s really culture itself.

 

How This Happens to Languages

 

Language evolution is a fascinating avenue of study. Many consider the natural flow of language evolution to be a corruption – bastardisation – of proper, traditional language.

 

This notion is a little ridiculous, when you consider that language has barely sat still since we first opened our mouths to speak. It’s entirely natural for our communication to evolve, just as our bodies do. Without this constant change, we’d still be vocalising in the simplest forms.

 

It’s a linguist’s job to know how things are changing, and how to apply those changes to keep communication both proper and relevant. What’s proper depends on the audience – and what’s relevant depends on the daily changes in cultural weather.

 

Keeping your communications in line and knowing when the language of the internet applies to you can be tough. Translating Netspeak can be even harder.

 

What Internet Slang Means for Translation

 

That’s where professional language translation shines: intimate cultural knowledge. A certified translator knows the audience, what will and will not apply to them and even colloquial Netspeak terms.

 

The constant change and evolution of language isn’t just confined to English – the globally connected time in which we live might have homogenised culture somewhat, but language will always set cultures apart.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

For professional, web-aware translation services, contact Kwintessential today. Our qualified, experienced and dedicated translators are ready to help. Just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Foreign Language Copywriting: Choose an Expert http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/localisation/foreign-language-copywriting-choose-an-expert/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:51:32 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=38919 Copywriting is an art form and a science rolled into one. Copywriters tend to be skilled, flexible jacks of all trades:

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Copywriting is an art form and a science rolled into one. Copywriters tend to be skilled, flexible jacks of all trades: knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects, with a specialism in emotive and engaging writing. Copywriting has many guises and applications, with specialisms in each area: some are more science, some are more art.

 

For instance, advertising copy is science imitating art. It’s looking for a proven formula for results (the science) and a way of eliciting an emotional response (the art). Even if there’s a logical, justifiable reason behind the product or service being advertised, the end consumer has to want what’s being sold.

 

In a world of companies offering the same things to the same audience, marketing and advertising are often the only things separating a whole raft of businesses today.

 

Web copy has to juggle SEO and PPC relevance, emotion, value and readability all at once. It has to convince a user to convert, or to hit another page, or take an action – and you can’t do either of things if the page isn’t found in the first place.

 

Foreign language copywriting is made all the more difficult for these reasons. If you need the copy in another language, how can you be sure that it’s on brand, emotive, SEO and PPC ready – how can you be sure that the message is coming through? Does the core message even translate?

 

Native Speaking Copywriters

 

Choosing a native speaker to carry out foreign language copywriting duties isn’t just a wise move: it’s the only real option. You need somebody who is flexible and knowledgeable, adaptable, adept and able. Someone that can write web copy, brochures, press releases, ad copy, social media posts, emails, newsletters and articles.

 

A professional copywriter is a chameleon and a shape-shifter, regardless of the language they’re writing in. At Kwintessential, we know the value of a good writer, and what it means to have a command of language. All our copywriters have the skill, cultural knowledge, attitude and inquisitive nature that make an exceptional writer.

 

Our expert foreign language copywriters have all the attributes required for the creation of emotive, engaging and useful content. Our writers can take a brief, brand guidelines and tone of voice – and make them work for your new audience.

 

By weeding out the cultural faux pas and making your new copy a perfect fit for the target audience, you can be confident in a copywriter from Kwintessential.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

Use our expert translating services for your copywriting – contact Kwintessential today. Say hello to our friendly team: just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send your message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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Fireworks: How the World Celebrates http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/blog/culture/fireworks-world-celebrates/ Fri, 03 Nov 2017 09:16:36 +0000 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/?p=38873 From New Year’s Eve and big rock concerts, to weddings and of course Bonfire Night, fireworks are a staple feature of

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From New Year’s Eve and big rock concerts, to weddings and of course Bonfire Night, fireworks are a staple feature of the celebrations and events we love most.

 

But there’s a lot more in the calendar for fireworks than a few rock shows and our British wintertime traditions. All over the world, excited crowds of spectators are watching lights and colours explode in the sky – and all for different reasons.

 

Let’s find out more about how fireworks became so popular, and look at how different cultures around the planet enjoy the magic of fireworks.

 

From China to the Globe

 

Fireworks are an ancient Chinese invention, from the 7th century Tang Dynasty. Saltpeter, an important ingredient in gunpowder, had been known by ancient Chinese alchemists since at least the 1st century. It was used in medicinal concoctions long before it was weaponised or used for entertainment.

 

By the 10th century Song dynasty, fireworks displays were more than just a traditional pastime. Street vendors sold fireworks to members of the public and spectacular show-stopping displays were put on in honour of the Emperor. As the craft developed, displays became more elaborate and refined. Pyrotechnicians became respected and honourable members of society. Fireworks took to the sky – patterns and colours filled the air, like flowers suspended for a fleeting moment in the darkness of the night.

 

Word of these “Chinese flowers” began to spread to the other great cultures of the world – as did the application of gunpowder for rockets and explosives. Inevitably, the destructive nature of gunpowder was harnessed for weapons. Bombs and guns would spawn from experimenting with the explosive.

 

But fireworks continued to hold a unique position and use for explosives and chemistry: entertainment. Peaceful enjoyment. An art form that used science to make people happy.

 

Even with civilisations collapsing, borders shifting and wars fought over the centuries, fireworks have endured everything, and transcended cultural and political borders.

 

Let’s take a little trip around the world – from modern-day China to the USA, with a little stop off back home in time for Bonfire Night – to see the different cultural celebrations where fireworks are the main event.

 

China – New Year

 

chinese new year

 

The home of the firework puts on a spectacular light show for Chinese New Year celebrations – warding off bad spirits and bringing good luck to all, especially to the one who fires the first of the night!

 

Canada/International – Halloween

 

Halloween Pumpkin

 

Halloween is a beloved cultural export that’s observed in all corners of the world, and in Canada, the United States and Ireland (where the sale of fireworks is severely restricted), All Hallow’s Eve is topped off with plenty of fireworks. With spooky costumes, fun, games and sweet treats galore, fireworks make a good thing even better.

 

United States – Independence Day

 

4th July USA Independence Day

 

The 4th of July is marked with impressive fireworks celebrations across the USA, as the nation celebrates independence from British rule in 1784. Fireworks marked the inauguration ceremony of the first democratically elected president, George Washington when he took office in 1789. Even before the revolution and civil war had ended, the people had begun to celebrate their unofficial independence, using fireworks on the 4th of July.

 

France – Bastille Day

 

Bastille Day in Paris

 

The Bastille: a fortress and prison in Paris, it was seen as a symbol of tyranny and the rule of the elite Royalists. On July 14th in 1789, a mob of around 1,000 people, fighting against the ruling French monarchy, stormed the prison and seized it – the culmination of building dissent across France. The French Revolution gave the people their freedom, and so, each year, France celebrates with everything it’s famous for (and fireworks of course).

 

India/International – Diwali

 

Diwali Fireworks

 

The world-famous Festival of Lights is an autumnal Hindu celebration, celebrated across the planet, from India to Myanmar – to celebrate the victory of light over darkness. In India, Jain and Sikh festivals are celebrated on the same night – and the raucous joy melds together into quite a spectacle of fireworks, music, food and fun! Lights adorn everything in sight, turning the night into a glowing monument to the prevalence of good over evil.

 

United Kingdom – Bonfire Night

 

Bonfire Night

 

Possibly seen as an oddity to other nations, November the 5th sees the UK commemorate the attempted bombing of the House of Lords in 1605 – the infamous Gunpowder Plot. The plot was foiled and the royal target of assassination, the King himself, escaped. To celebrate the survival of the King, the people of London were encouraged to light bonfires on November the 5th – and to burn effigies of “the Guy”. Today, fireworks light the skies over England, with the effigies of public figures favoured for the fire (all in good jest of course!).

 

International – New Year’s Eve

 

New Year Fireworks

 

December 31st marks the end of the Gregorian calendar year, the most widely used calendar and dating system around the globe. And people of all the nations who’ve adopted the calendar love to see the year out with a bang! Fireworks on New Year’s might be light-years away from the first ancient Chinese displays, but the spirit has carried on, passed down the centuries into diverse cultures.

 

Contact Kwintessential

 

Understanding culture is what we do best. Our expert translating services are carried out by real, native-speaking folks who know the culture deeply. To find out more, contact Kwintessential today. Say hello to our friendly team: just call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send a message to us at info@kwintessential.co.uk.

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