LinguaLinx at AHR 2015 Expo

“It was Chicago with its World’s Fair which vivified the national desire for civic beauty.”
– Daniel Burnham

Over a century ago, the world’s best and brightest converged in Chicago and brought their ideas and technology with them. Forty-six countries had pavilions at the fair, and historic firsts included the Ferris Wheel, plates for printing Braille books, a fully electrical kitchen with automatic dishwasher, and my personal favorite – Juicy Fruit gum!

Tough act to follow.

2015 AHR ExpoFrom January 26-28, Chicago will continue its tradition of attracting some of the world’s best ideas and technology at the 2015 AHR Expo held in McCormick Place. The world’s largest HVACR event has drawn 592 international companies and over 2,100 total exhibitors to introduce some of the newest and most exciting technology available.

As LinguaLinx exhibitor Caitlin Nicholson says, we’re very excited to exhibit at a show with such a rich international flavor. “I’ve read that the 2015 expo is already a record-breaking event, with more registrations and companies exhibiting than ever before. This is our first year, and Nicole and I are thrilled to be representing LinguaLinx at the world’s largest HVACR marketplace!”

Nicole Savage, who will be joining Caitlin, shares the same sentiment. “There will be a lot of companies in attendance that have an international presence, so the expo will be a great forum for us to network, meet potential clients, learn about their needs, and how we can support them with technical translations and other multilingual solutions.”

LinguaLinx brings translation capabilities in over 150 different languages wherever we go. Technology is also spoken here. Be sure to visit Caitlin and Nicole at LinguaLinx Booth #7457 in South Hall. We love to chat about communication needs and the unique challenges that technical material in other languages brings.

Great Tips for Graphics in Technical Communications

technical commIn technical communication, graphics and images play a crucial role. It is much easier to show how a complex, technical process or procedure works visually than explain it in paragraph form. Technical documentation is typically filled with screenshots, flowcharts, diagrams, drawings, etc. When it comes time to translate your materials, graphics need to be localized, too. As a language services provider with a multilingual desktop publishing (DTP) team, we wanted to provide you with a few tips on how to prepare and handle graphics localization.

1. Source Files

We always say to avoid embedding text in images, but in technical communication we see this quite frequently. To save our clients time and money, we prefer to have source files such as Photoshop or Illustrator files, rather than .gif, .jpg, or, .tif files as the text is not editable. Source files along with any fonts or style guidelines that you have for images are helpful. We understand source files get lost or are unavailable. If this is the case, we can recreate images or create text boxes to lay out translated text, but these steps add extra time and cost.

2. Screenshots

If screenshots are used in documents, we would need localized versions of the screenshots. It’s important that the text is translated correctly to match the various buttons and terms used in the software.

3. Linking Graphics

When you link, any change made to the image in Photoshop or another design program will automatically update wherever the picture is embedded. This helps when placing localized images back into the file and for future updates.

4. Text Expansion

Text can expand from 14-40%, depending on the language. This can create problems with layout, especially tables, charts, or other areas with spatial restrictions. These areas may need to be resized. If you allow for font size reduction, let us know what your guidelines are ahead of time. Or, you can use numbered callouts in your documents. Often, in the quoting process, the LinguaLinx team will point out potential areas where expansion may be a problem and will ask the client how you want this handled.

5. Listing Graphics

Providing a list of all graphics used in a document is extremely helpful. The list would include the names of the files, file types, if the image needs to be localized or left as-is, if the source file is available, page numbers, etc.

When working with an LSP on translation of technical materials, accuracy and timely delivery are of upmost importance. Graphics are an important part of this process, and any of these tips can be very helpful in saving time and money for you as the client.

Be Content with your Content Translation Process

contentAt LinguaLinx, we have our own processes in place for translation that we use to ensure quality and timely delivery of accurate translations. Our process is only a part of your process when it comes to translation of content. What do we mean by that? There are steps that you take as a client to create your content and get it ready for translation that start before meeting with a Language Services Provider (LSP) and happen after we deliver your files. All of this planning can help ensure a smoother process and a much more satisfying result!

Part 1: Meet Your LSP

Your LSP will be your partner for translating your content. Your content is important to you as it will be distributed to your target demographic and will broadcast your message, whatever that message may be. Identify and clarify your message before meeting with your LSP. Then, express this to us! A successful relationship between a client and a vendor involves great communication. What is the purpose of your content, and what are your goals and objectives with translation? What are your deadlines? What are you expecting for deliverables? The more we know, the better. It allows us to plan and also better meet your expectations.  We can also work with you to help advise and establish your objectives.

Part 2: Getting Ready to Translate

Sometimes, translation is thought of as an assembly line. Develop content, take that content and have it translated, deliver translations, process complete. However, more planning is important. What file types are you sending your LSP? Source files including text and images will greatly reduce cost and turnaround time. Do you have source files? If not, recreation might add onto the project.  Will you be sending all files for a project at once or in batches? Do you want all files delivered at once, or on a rolling basis? Another important question to ask: is the content final? Changes to the source content when the project has started will disrupt translation workflow.

Part 3: Content in Translation

This is our part. We have our own processes in place including translation, editing, and proofreading, post layout review, and internal quality assurance (QA). Your LSP may have questions during the process about clarifying items within the source content. Once completed, content is delivered.

Part 4: Let’s Review

Your files are back from your LSP. What’s next? Will your content be reviewed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)? In a previous post, we talked about reviewers and potential pros and cons. This is worth checking out. Whenever you have compiled feedback from your reviewers, send that feedback to your LSP who will take this into consideration in making revisions for final, approved content. If necessary, dialogue between reviewers and linguists can be facilitated to ensure a common language for future projects. After all, the content is yours, and you want to make sure content speaks your message, style, and tone, no matter what language.

Part 5: Distributing Your Content

Your content is back. It’s been reviewed. It’s (almost) perfect! Now, what do you do? There is a reason, or multiple reasons, why you had your content translated, and now it is time to put those into action. Will it be distributed to your employees via email, memo, or mail? Will marketing materials accompany a new product launch? In a way, this step goes hand in hand with pre-translation and your objectives. Why are you translating? Who are you trying to reach? How will you do it?  This is the action phase of your translation workflow process.

LinguaLinx Returns To CES in 2015!

CESMEME2015 (2)“Explaining CES to someone who hasn’t attended is like explaining particle physics to a house cat.”

This quote flashes on banner at the top of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) website. Indeed, it is very hard to explain CES in 25 words or less, but after our experience at the show last year, the decision to return was quite simple!

“Last year was our first time at CES. We didn’t know quite what to expect.. and our experience definitely met and exceeded our expectations,” said Jason Beach, a Business Development Specialist at LinguaLinx. “We were surrounded by many representatives from companies eager to demonstrate their new products, and participants were equally excited to view them. We made a lot of valuable connections who were looking for a global marketing, translation, and localization partner.”

On January 6th through the 9th the curtain opens on the “Global Stage for Innovation” in Las Vegas, Nevada. It may be dry in the desert, but CES is an oasis for creativity, technology, and inventive new products.  The show is a great fit for LinguaLinx as it draws professionals in the consumer electronics (CE) industry from around the globe who want to showcase their latest products and technology. It’s all about networking and developing new business partnerships with innovators that have a global presence or aspirations!

Colin Melanson, a fellow Business Development Specialist, will join Jason to represent LinguaLinx at Booth 73874 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. They will be meeting and speaking with professionals in the industry to talk about how our multilingual services can help them thrive in the global arena.

“The consumer electronics industry is one of the largest and fastest-changing in the world today. Think about it, people spent more money on consumer electronics this past holiday season than any other gifts,” said Colin. “It’s extremely competitive, and we want to be able to help companies gain an advantage by helping them target a global market.”

Indeed, a lot of localization needs to be done. There is actual localization of websites, devices and software (UI, help, and documentation) as well as the translation of all materials and collateral.  We’ve got all of this covered!

The buildup to the conference has been great, from the Twitter backchannel (#CES2015) to the countdown on CEA’s blog. Now, it’s time for the show to start! Keynotes by Presidents and CEOs of Samsung Electronics, Mercedes-Benz, Ford Motor Company, Intel Corporation, and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will set the tone for each day of the conference. Catch up with us after the show to hear about how everything went, or follow LinguaLinx on Twitter (@LinguaLinx) or Instagram (lingualinx) to see a play-by-play.

Reasons to Localize Your Mobile App

iphoneDid you know that cell phone ownership among adults in the United States has surpassed 90 percent? Let’s take it a step further. The Internet and American Life Survey by the Pew Research Center found that 56 percent of these adults have smartphones. By 2017, 60 percent of Internet users in North America will own tablets, according to a Forrester report. But these trends are global, too. According to eMarketer, 2 billion consumers worldwide will have smartphones by 2016!

What do all of these facts and figures mean for you? The mobile audience is growing, and so, too, is the demand for localized apps. Here are some quick tips to localize your apps for an international audience.

  • When creating content, begin with the end in mind. The demand for localized apps is there; anticipate that your apps will be localized eventually. Therefore, write interface text with this in mind.
  • Let’s stick to talking about content. Text expansion is important, especially when translating content for an app. For example, text expands by 25 percent when going from English into Spanish. With an app, the space on the screen is often small. As with any source layout, white space is your friend. It will help to account for text expansion later on.
  • Also, when creating your app, think about your choices in graphics and images. What is culturally acceptable in one culture may not work in others. Some factors to consider are sensitivities surrounding religion, politics, or government. Poor choices of colors, icons, gestures, or maps may offend international users.
  • How will you export your content for translation? Then, once text is translated, how will your import it? Make sure you include all content that is part of the app (error messages and other pop-ups).
  • Is your software internationalized? Meaning, can it support foreign language characters, vertical text, left-to-right text, right-to-left text, local dates, times, and currencies?
  • Support materials also need to be translated such as online help instructions, product documentation, terms of use, and support.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to advertise! This includes marketing materials as well as app descriptions. For marketing content, transcreation might be the best route to make sure nuances in creative content are not lost in translation! (Pun always intended.)

When localizing your app, look to LinguaLinx as a partner. We can work with you to make sure your content is culturally appropriate for your target market, whatever country or region of the world. We will make recommendations on any changes that need to be made and will also perform linguistic and localization testing to make sure that the app is functional and the user experience is more than satisfactory!

 

 

Arabic Website Localization Tips

arabicThe top five languages of the Internet are as follows – English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. There are over 135 million Arabic-speaking users. What makes this statistic extra significant is the growth rate; a 5,296.6% increase from 2000-2013! Yet, very few websites are directed toward the Arabic-speaking market. There are challenges associated with Arabic website localization, but with over 367 million users worldwide, you may want to accept the challenge.

Speak the Language

Like many other languages, Arabic has many dialects. Which one do you choose? Modern Standard Arabic, MSA for short, is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and is also taught in schools and used in printed matter. Twenty-seven countries list Arabic as their official language or co-official language. When looking at the linguistic component, translating your website into Modern Standard Arabic is probably the best way to go for reaching as many web users as possible. However, if you would like to reach specific regions, take it a step further and focus your marketing and advertising efforts using the colloquial Arabic spoken in that particular region.

Right to Left

Arabic is a right-to-left language which poses challenges in print layouts, and of course, in this case, web layouts, too. This affects the layout of the webpage and the user interface (UI) as well. Website text needs to flow in the proper direction, and elements of the web page need to be flipped. For example, navigation bars, headings, table columns, calls to action, and flow charts. It is important to make sure layout is fully localized. Arabic text also expands. Allow for this in your template so there is enough space in tables, buttons, and dropdown menus for functionality. An important step in this process is localization testing. After text is translated and the layout complete, have an Arabic linguist go through the site before it is live and test it for functionality and accuracy.

Image Selection

When localizing your website into any locale, it is important to take inventory of colors used, logos, and images to make sure they are culturally appropriate. There are several topics in Arabic cultural that are sensitive: religion, gender, sexuality, politics, and food. The Arabic world is very diverse, and some countries are more sensitive or conservative than others. Cultural consulting applies, as recommendations by native Arabic speakers can help decide what images to use or not use.

There are many components involved with successful Arabic website localization. We’ve only scratched the surface! It is important to find a localization partner who understands the culture, language, and technical components involved. Do you have questions or interest in Arabic localization? Contact LinguaLinx today.

What Do We Mean By Professional Studio Voice Over Narration?

Professional Voice Over“In a world…” When you think voiceover, a lot of times you think of that praise uttered by the late Don LaFontaine who recorded countless film and video games trailers, television advertisements, and network promotions. At LinguaLinx, voiceover narration in any language is a service that we offer for our clients for any industry. But what exactly goes into “Professional Studio Voiceover Narration”? Let us tell you.

 

  1. Pre-Production – It is important to be organized and plan right from the start. Each project needing voiceover recording is assigned a production team. All scripts from the client are reviewed to ensure all necessary materials are present. Important details are confirmed such as the appropriate voice talent (age, accent, gender, etc.), time estimates, deadlines, delivery format, and if integration is required. The client is given the option to select their own talent from a bank of resources. The talent selected by the client is contacted and scheduled.
  2. Production – We confirm that studio capabilities meet or exceed quality control standards, and then a recording session is set up by an Audio Engineer. The script is provided to the team that includes a Director, Engineer, and Voice Talent. All Voice Talent paperwork is handled here on our end. The Talent performs and records the script. During Production, we ensure that everything is recorded correctly and no content is overlooked.
  3. Post Production – Post-Production is a very critical stage in the process. This is where we smooth everything over. We isolate final takes and insert any pickups, and we also remove non-performance breaths to smooth out the audio track. We apply equalizer (EQ) to audio to ensure consistent tonal range and master audio using compression (-25dB RMS standard) to ensure consistent audio level. A final QA check is also performed to review audio quality, script adherence, etc.
  4. Integration – This phase is necessary should a client require. Sometimes, we are asked to integrate audio files into such media as Slideshow presentations, videos, Camtasia Studio, or other content aggregations. Quality checking is then performed on this integration to make sure the following variables are up to par: timing, volume, cadence, tone, and theme of the material.
  5. Delivery – File delivery is always according to client specification. We convert files to the specified format such as MP3 or MP4. If not specified, our standard is 48 kHz 24 bit WAV files. We deliver files through our secure FTP or any method that our clients choose.

That’s a wrap! (Pun intended, always.)

 

 

LinguaLinx and Northern Rivers Holiday Giving 2014

Banner_complete-1024x465“No one has ever become poor from giving,” said the late Maya Angelou.

This couldn’t be truer around the holiday season.  December 2nd is #GivingTuesday. At LinguaLinx, our home is New York’s Capital Region. We recognize the importance of giving to our local community, and this year, we are kicking off our holiday giving with Northern Rivers Family Services, a not-for profit organization that works with affiliate agencies, Northeast Parent & Child Society in Schenectady and Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany.

“Both organizations affiliated with Northern Rivers have a great history providing at-risk children and families throughout New York State with direct services to make positive changes in their lives,” said Katie Alois, a member of the LinguaLinx team who is organizing this year’s drive. “To do our part, the LinguaLinx team is hosting a Holiday Giving Donation Drive to collect new, unwrapped gifts, gift cards, and food cards to give to families throughout the Capital Region so that they can have a brighter holiday season.”

For a full list of items, take a look at their Holiday Wish List.

LinguaLinx hopes to work more with Northern Rivers in 2015, and the Holiday Giving campaign seemed like the perfect opportunity to start! After all, holidays are times where we create happy memories, and we hope to help do so for children and families throughout our community. The drive will run from December 1st – December 17th. Join us in donating!

Giving Thanks Around The World

ThanksgivingAs we approach Thanksgiving Day, LinguaLinx would like to take the time to thank all of our clients, team members, linguists, interpreters, vendors, and community partners. You are a huge part of our success! Later on this week, most of us in the United States will sit down and share a meal with one another in the spirit of giving thanks – a tradition that originated with the first successful harvest of the Pilgrims with the help of Native Americans in 1621. Did you know that there are other similar harvest festivals and holidays in other cultures around the world? Here are a few:

Chuseok (Korea)

As one of their most important holidays, Korea’s harvest festival is a three-day festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, typically in September or October. Koreans travel from all over to their home towns to gather with family for quality time and give thanks to their ancestors for the harvest. Customs include memorial services to ancestors Charye, (차례), visiting ancestors’ graves Seongmyo (성묘), and clearing of weeds from graves, Beolcho (벌초).

Homowo Festival (Ghana)

This festival is a tradition of the Ga people and celebrates their victory over hunger after a famine in their history. It is celebrated in May with the planting of crops before the rainy season. Homowo means to hoot or laugh at hunger in the Ga language.

Mid-Autumn Festival (China)

China’s harvest festival is always celebrated in the middle of their autumn season, on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, usually mid to late September to early October. Chinese people believe a full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion, and this day is when the moon is the brightest. People travel home to be with their families, share a meal, and  make and eat moon cakes.

Thai Pongal (Tamil)

The Tamil people celebrate their harvest festival at the end of their harvest season, typically in mid-January. Thai is the third month on the Tamil calendar and Pongal is the Tamil word for overflowing. The boiling over of milk in a clay pot is symbolic of abundance and prosperity.

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)

Our neighbors to the north celebrate their Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October. They also celebrate with a big meal, large gatherings, and giving thanks.

It is important to recognize and celebrate different cultures around the world to help bridge cultural and linguistic barriers. Also, let’s not forget, if you are doing business internationally, being aware of holidays is important for scheduling, timing, and connecting with people in these locales.

How LinguaLinx Makes Website Translation Easy!

internetAs a marketer, you are looking to expand into new locales. You are tasked with translating and localizing your content to reach overseas markets – this includes flyers, catalogs, and other collateral, and of course… your website! Your website is an important component because it is your virtual storefront, a gateway into a new market without having to establish a brick-and-mortar business.

With many tasks on your plate, you can come to us for a hassle-free, turn-key solution. LinguaLinx provides website localization and translation proxy services that allow us to serve as a man-in-the- middle; a real-time interpreter between the visitors and your server.

What does this mean exactly? Pretend you are shopping for a car. Are you looking to buy or lease? The proxy is a translation layer of your website. This is an alternative to localizing directly onto your content management system (CMS) on the server side. There are three major benefits:

  • Was your website designed by a 3rd party developer? If so, you can localize your site without having to heavily involve your IT resources
  • No back and forth having to extract content into files, and then integrate the translation back from files
  • You won’t have to give your language service provide (LSP) partner access to your CMS

How does it work? Simple. We have the ability to crawl your web content and handle translation without any intervention required from your side – you don’t need to extract the content! Translators will work right in your original layout to avoid any contextual or fitting mistakes.

Do you update your site frequently? Not a problem. We’ve got our eye on you! It’s up to you how often you want us to check for updates; weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. When new content is added, it will be translated immediately and will be available in every language version.

Along with this, we provide a worldwide content delivery network. Meaning, each language version will be hosted on servers near to the relevant market. This allows for shorter response time for visitors and is duly beneficial for multilingual SEO.

Are we forgetting anything? Just a few things.

  • PDFs, videos, and other non-Web components have to be sent separately. We can add those to the multilingual websites, too! Remember, we also offer multilingual DTP and subtitling solutions!
  • How do we charge? You will be charged the standard per word pricing with a tiered discount. See more about translation memory in a previous post. You will also be charged a monthly hosting fee.
  • If you decided you don’t want us to host anymore, no hard feelings! Your content is yours, in XLIFF format to take with you.

Any questions or interest in this service? Contact LinguaLinx today.