Category: Other


The 8 dimensions of localization quality metrics

According to the MQM and TAUS DFQ quality metrics in localization, error categories are divided into the following 8 branches or “dimensions”:

Accuracy: issues that arise from the relationship of the TT to the ST, such as omissions, additions, mistranslations, over-translation, under-translation etc.

Fluency: issues that arise from the internal rules of the TT structure, such as grammar, spelling, inconsistencies, etc.

Verity: issues that arise from relationship of the TT to the external world, such as culture-specific elements, suitability, completeness, etc.

Design: issues that relate to the physical presentation of the TT, such as hyphenation, truncation, formatting, etc.

Terminology: issues that relate to the use of specific terminology, such as consistency with termbases, etc.

Style: issues that are closely related to the fluency category and deal with the register of the text.

Internationalization: issues that relate to the preparation of the source content for subsequent translation or localization.

Locale convention: issues that relate to locale-specific conventions, such as address format, postal code, date and number format, etc.

For those of us who are familiar with the more general – and in my opinion more logical – error categories (accuracy/meaning, grammar/syntax, spelling, punctuation, terminology/vocabulary, register/style and readability/naturalness), we will definitely have a hard time identifying whether a “missing step of a technical procedure” should be categorized under “Accuracy”, since omission is one of its sub-categories or under “Verity”, since this dimension addresses issues of completeness.

More information: QT21 and MQM issue types


The 10 roles of a successful freelance translator

Becoming a successful freelance translator is far from easy. I have been a translator since 1998 and many things have changed in the profession since then. Nevertheless, what does remain unchanged is our actual role as professional freelancers. These are my two cents based on my experience. The lessons learnt have been invaluable to me and I felt that they should be communicated to other translators; experienced or not.

Read the article: What does it take to be a successful freelance translator?


Brexit & the English language

Brexit & the English language is a new topic that will keep many professionals awake at night for a little while. Will Brexit affect the use and application of the English language? Although, we are still unsure of the specific problems that Brexit will pose to translators and language professionals in general, it will come as no surprise that the use of English texts will probably be affected too. Here are some articles that paint a clearer picture.

Brexit, Clinical Trials and Medical Translators
Implications of Brexit for EU social workers
What Does ‘Brexit’ Mean for EU Use of English?
Will English Language Leave The EU?
After Brexit, French Politicians Want English Language Out Of EU Too
The Impact of a ‘Brexit’ on Language
English will not be an official EU language after Brexit
Should English remain the main language for EU business after Brexit?
English language could be dropped from EU after Brexit
Brexit Effects: EU To Try To Stop Using English, But It Doesn’t Work That Way
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Translation – a bridge for cultural equality

In this age of relentless globalisation, certain groups of people are routinely disenfranchised due to gender, ethnicity, nationality and social class. In this context, it’s helpful to consider the role translation plays in all of this, and whether it can ever help to empower the disenfranchised – or only serve to increase their vulnerability.

The controversial translation theorist Lawrence Venuti has argued insistently that fluent translations frequently perpetuate socio-political inequalities. In his view, translation is not an innocuous activity that facilitates communication – it can entrench inequality by bolstering the supremacy of dominant cultures.

Recent research has started to explore these complex issues. The translation scholar Israel Hephzibah focuses on English translations of Tamil literature produced by members of the so-called “untouchable” Dalit communities in India. These translations inevitably destabilise the traditional caste system by conferring literary credibility on the writings of a severely marginalised group. Such cases suggest that translation can become aligned with social justice.

Becoming extinct

But the fraught issue of endangered languages and cultures complicates the picture. UNESCO has estimated that 50-90% of the world’s languages will have become extinct by the year 2100.

It has been recognised for some time now that translations of indigenous texts (whether oral or written) can hasten language erosion in communities where there are few surviving native speakers. In contrast, translations into the endangered tongues can help to strengthen those languages.

On the whole, we seem to care less about vanishing languages than we do about endangered species – especially cuddly ones. When the last giant panda finally goes to the great bamboo grove in the sky, there will undoubtedly be prolonged global lamentation. But the Native American Klallam language expired on February 4 2014, when Hazel Sampson (its last speaker) died. Few news organisations felt its passing merited more than a cursory mention.

And even some translation theorists are sceptical. Emily Apter declared bluntly that she has “real reservations” about mingling translation studies and linguistic ecology – the study of how languages interact with their environment. Apter is concerned that the exoticising of expressions by native-speakers and other distinctive characteristics of a language risks imposing a fixed grammar where a natural variation should instead be allowed to prevail.

There are many different kinds of periphery in the modern world, and life close to them can be difficult, even precarious. But languages are spoken there too. They may not be the same languages as those uttered closer to the “centre” of things, but that does not invalidate them.

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