Friday, May 04, 2007

Help at hand for tongue-tied tourists

Richard Wray
Tuesday May 1, 2007
Guardian Unlimited


British tourists who find themselves tongue-tied trying to communicate when on holiday overseas now have a new way to make themselves heard - their mobile phone.

Linguistically challenged British holidaymakers have traditionally resorted to badly remembered school-learned languages, hand gestures or, as a last resort, speaking very slowly and loudly in English when trying to make themselves understood abroad.

But a new service launching today allows them to download a phrase book onto their phone with a host of phrases which can be played to puzzled locals.

The phrasebooks - in six languages - have been produced by software group CoolGorilla for Lastminute.com and cost £3 to download.

The phrase books are being launched in French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian and Portuguese(...).

The phrasebooks contain over 250 sound files that cover everything from basic greetings and ordering food and drink, to getting around and dealing with emergencies.

When a phrase is chosen a translation pops up and a properly accented voice repeats the phrase through the mobile phone's speaker so it can be played directly to local people.

There is not, however, an option which reads out: "Help! My mobile phone has been stolen."


h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Help reading foreign websites

WordChamp, a language resource website, has launched a very clever tool to help you read foreign websites without a dictionary. First, you choose the website you want to read and then you get a pop-up window with definitions just by pointing at words. The tool also allows you to listen to the word's correct pronunciation. Several languages available. You can access it here.

hi-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.

Friday, March 23, 2007

SDL Trados - Educational Webinar presented by Gabriele Sauberer

On 03 April, SDL Trados is hosting a 60 minute webinar about the new European Standard for Translation Services (EN 15038:2006).

The online seminar is free of charge, all you need to do is register here:
http://www.sdl.com/company/seminars-list/seminars-landing.htm?id=18862

h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Over £100m of public money being spent on translation

According to the BBC the public money spent on translation and interpreting services in the UK is over 100 million pounds. Local authorities spend £25m, NHS trusts £55m and the courts £31m on interpreting languages.

The astronomic figure gave rise to a heated debate and we've learnt that quite a lot of people believe that spending that amount of money in translation services is detrimental to the government's effort to promote inclusion. An example of this being the testimony of a Bangladeshi woman who has been in this country for over 22 years and do not feel the need to learn English because there is always someone at hand to help with the language.

Isn't offering translation services to those who do not speak English actually a very effective way to promote integration? Helping them in their transition while not yet confident with the English language? The issue here is not the money spent on translation, but whether money is also being spent on helping the new-comers to develop their English skills.

You can read the full articles here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6174303.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6172805.stm

h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.

Friday, December 08, 2006

That means English is much better, right? - Continued

Back in April we published a post about the supposedly "richness" of the English language. This was then explained by its higher number of words and its apparent faster evolution in comparison to other languages. Geoffrey K Pullum of Language Log shares my opinion that the number of different words in a language should definitely not be used as measurement in this case. You can read his post here: "Vocabulary size and penis length"


h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 35 languages.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

European Master's in Translation

Today and tomorrow the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) is hosting in Brussels its first meeting with European universities offering translation courses. Representatives from universities from all EU Member States plus Bulgaria and Romania, as well as international organisations and professional associations have been invited to the conference "Towards a European Master’s in Translation (EMT)" to discuss the future of translator training in the EU. The main goal is to establish a standard curriculum for an European Master's degree in translation.
For more information click here

h?-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Translating the War on Terror

The US Army has recently declared its intention to award 5.2 billion dollars in translation contracts: 4.6 billion for Iraq-related translations into and from Arabic, Pashto and Persian; 703 million for Afghanistan; 66 million for Guantanamo Bay and 97 million for the Balkans. What you would do if offered some of this workload? Any moral issues or dilemas?

hي-fen translation solutions is a translation agency based in London providing high quality translation services into and from over 30 languages.