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The other danger interpreters face during the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — At the beginning of the year it looked like we were on our way to a great professional future. The booming economy, new technologies and new clients coming into the interpreter services market gave us a feeling of security. Then, it all collapsed. Our shiny future disappeared overnight. The rapid propagation of COVID-19 throughout the world brought the economy to an almost complete halt. Conferences were postponed or cancelled, courthouses closed their doors, hospitals regular routines were dramatically transformed by the overwhelming demand for beds and medical staff. The airlines did not fly anymore, and we were told (sometimes ordered) to stay home. To most independent interpreters this meant a total loss of income for the foreseeable future, coupled with uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. Many of us have seen our source of income disappear, our savings go down, and the money we had, and our retirement funds diminish or vanish in less than a week.

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A novel lexicon for the novel coronavirus

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — Yesterday, as my colleagues and I were gearing up for our first virtual faculty meeting to plan our online teaching for the remainder of the semester, someone mentioned “social distancing“.  Immediately, another faculty member said that he heard on television that an MIT professor had advised against that expression because, in fighting the coronavirus, we need to keep our social structures intact.  Instead, the MIT professor recommended “physical distancing“.

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Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — As governments around the world step up attempts to contain the coronavirus, the language industry, grappling with fallout from the pandemic, has been striving to react with a measured response. Read the full article here.

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Translation Services and the Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, and with around a third of the world’s population in varying forms of lockdown, the world waits with bated breath for the arrival of a vaccine for Covid-19.

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Cole Heinowitz’s Translation of Argentine Poet Alejandra Pizarnik’s Critical Essays Excerpted in Paris Review

By: Andrea Capuselli

Alejandra Pizarnik was a leading voice in 20th-century Latin American poetry—Octavio Paz described her writing as exuding “a luminous heat that could burn, smelt, or even vaporize its skeptics.” Six volumes of her poetry have been translated into English. The recently issued A Tradition in Rupture (Ugly Duckling Presse), translated by Bard’s Cole Heinowitz, presents Pizarnik’s critical writings in English for the first time.

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Chinese volunteer translator group lend a hand to outbreak in Iran

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — The minute Zhao Xingyu saw the message that Chen Binbin posted on WeChat calling for volunteers, she answered the call. The message, posted on Feb. 24, was meant for setting up a group of people to translate China’s knowledge and experience in combating the novel coronavirus into the Persian language for Iranians.

Read the full feature here.

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Linguistics: How people across the globe are discussing social distancing

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — Translators and lexicographers are working overtime as new virus-related words and phrases enter our daily vocabulary. One urgent problem: How to convey “social distancing” in a variety of languages, with all sorts of dizzying cultural contexts, so that everyone can understand how to save lives?

Read the full piece on Forward

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“This information is crucial”: Alberta’s ASL coronavirus translator refining the health message for deaf community

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — When Randy Dziwenka was first contacted to be the American Sign Language interpreter for the Government of Alberta’s coronavirus briefings, he didn’t realize at the time it would be every day. But, he said it’s “awesome” to be the interpreter.

“They contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in standing up and interpreting it, so people get the information – because this is an emergency,” Dziwenka told LiveWire Calgary.

Read the full interview on Livewire Calgary

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Freelance translator survey 2020

By: Alina Cincan

A survey dedicated to freelance translators (designed by translators and with contributions from translators, academics, and professional translation associations) is available at The findings will be made available for free at

Why should you take this survey?

  • You are contributing to important and valuable research that will help you reflect on the way you are working as a translator
  • For each complete response, we will donate £1 (up to £250) to a charity of your choice
  • You can suggest questions/topics for future research

Other details:

  • Personal data: Answers are 100% anonymous.
  • Completion time: ~20 minutes
  • Closing date: 5 April 2020

Some of the feedback we received:

“Thanks, that was an interesting opportunity to reflect on being a translator.”
“Great initiative, this should be conducted every year to get a true reflection of the industry from the freelancers’ perspective.”
“Very thorough and thought-provoking”

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Glendon takes second place at annual Translation Games

By: Andrea Capuselli

Glendon College’s translation team travelled to Quebec March 6 to 8 to compete in the 15th annual Translation Games, the largest inter-university translation competition in Canada, and came home with a second-place finish – Glendon’s best performance ever.

This year’s games were hosted by the Université de Sherbrooke and brought together teams from eight of the undergraduate translation programs in Canada.

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Pakistan: A translation emergency

By: Andrea Capuselli

Pakistan is a country where translation is not a profession. Informed by the country’s Islamic ideology and the national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s works, Pakistan’s mainstream literature memorialises the golden days of Arab history when libraries were considered powerhouses of wisdom. For the country’s institutions and individuals working in this framework, Baghdad’s Daar-ul-Hikmah [House of Wisdom] — where all the best books in Greek and many in Persian and Chinese were translated into Arabic — should have been a source of inspiration to realise the needs and dreams of translation. But today’s Pakistan is a country that has almost completely banished its translators from its academic and non-academic spaces, as here, translation earns one neither money nor any recognition.

Read the full essay on

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Translator and Interpreter Pay: CIOL Finds ‘Significant Degree of Dissatisfaction’

By: Andrea Capuselli

At its annual conference on March 6–7, 2020, a UK-based professional association, the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), published the results from the second of four industry surveys aimed at promoting public awareness about the value of language skills.

The first of the series of surveys, The Languages Professions 2019–2020, was published by the CIOL in October 2019.


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AI in the Translation Industry – The 5-10 Year Outlook

By: Andrea Capuselli

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a major and positive impact on a range of industries already, with the potential to give much more in the future. We sat down with Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes, to find out how the translation industry has changed as a result of advances in technology over the past 10 years and what the future might hold in store for it.

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Yiddish Book Center Receives Literary Translation Award from London Book Fair

By: Andrea Capuselli

The Yiddish Book Center has been named the recipient of the 2020 London Book Fair’s International Excellence Award for Literary Translation Initiative.

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How Hiring a Professional Translation Company can Boost Your Business Growth?

By: speakt

An apple a day keeps a doctor away they say. But what if you do need the help of a doctor? Is the apple really worth it?

Similarly, in the business world, you have to rule out every possibility in case a problem presents itself to you. However, in the digital world, you have the opportunity to find a solution to your problem. How? Translation has taken up by the swing as a strong rider, letting every business learn and adapt according to the quality of language.

Once when entering a foreign market was a taboo for many, an impossible domain is now not only accessible but also home to multi foreign organizations working collaboratively thanks to professional translation services. Throat cut competition is making every business entity to try credible means of empowering the competitor and therefore translation seems to be the possible way.

Translation is three times the actual effort!

Even back in the day, translation was dealt with, but it was few and far between. With the age of globalization, consumer demands have changed, businesses found the needle in haystack to be the translation services. A written text or an audio file in any language can be translated or localized by the right translation service provider.

Therefore, there are several ways, translation plays the role of Superman saving the day for global businesses.

The secret behind the global success story

Business is nothing without the paperwork. If you are about to enter a new geographical location, it demands; primary or secondary research, questionnaires, various analysis, and guidelines, etc. that is supposed to be written down.

So if you think you can handle your client without a solid contract or agreement? You need to think again. Hence the foremost drawback that a business can face is the language barrier due to the unfamiliar geographical terrain. With the help of professional translation services, you can entertain your clients with the ideas and business prospects in their native language. The same document available in source and target language will eventually save the day and you will have the deal at the end of the day.

Impact on the Ecommerce industry

Considering how much the world is evolving because of the internet, it is plausible to think online communities want a familiar, comfortable domain to buy the product or service. A comfort of language is more vital for selling point than initially imagined.

Several companies interacting in eCommerce, are now focusing on multilingual websites making the display of every product and service available in majority languages.

  • For instance, have a swipe at Alibaba, one of the largest eCommerce chains has built up customer domain obsoleting the language barrier for good.
  • Translation friendly apps better engage with the user at a personal level.
  • Export business boosted due to eCommerce popularity as demands for overseas items increased.

The constant pace with the international market

A trustworthy, reliable translation provider can be a game-changer for the business, helping a business become a global brand.

What makes translation boost your international presence is your product’s availability in the international market. The more available your product is the better sales it will have. Translating the product’s descriptions (even reviews) can increase the consumer reach. Translation requires proper strategy building in every industrial niche such as agriculture, arts, and entertainment, construction, media, and communication, etc. every business requires translation for promotion in a healthy way.

Selling B2B is has more unresolved issues than selling B2C especially in a non-English zone countries where the native language is more a comfort zone than anything else. For instance in Holland, despite a high level of English, more than half of the population does not speak English at all. In such conditions, dealing with translation is the only means of communicating.

Two-way communication

Customer care is often under the focal point of a revolver. Why? Lack of utter response is what makes a business lose their customer.

How a customer is supposed to respond if you provide your services only in Hungarian or Chinese? Remember the fact, your consumer is GLOBAL, and to reciprocate to the reach you need to reach out to the customer in their native language.

It sounds like you have to put a real effort into it, and that’s true. From the looks of it the reason why e-commerce brands like Amazon, OLX, eBay and similar retailers are popular because users can communicate with the customer representative at demand. However, translation does add extra cost to your expense but it’s ever useful.

Creates a global image

Branding is what makes a regular business and a business at a global level two different levels. Think from the consumer’s perspective; which hair straightening product are you likely to use more, those that are available in Dutch or French or the one that is available in English?

If you are on a budget constraint, you may choose the non-English product because it’s cheaper, the packaging won’t have that of an appealing effect if its price would have been higher. So is it right to say language is dominant in packaging? Absolutely.

English is a majority language, understood by many but spoken by some. Consider Netflix taking hold of the entertainment industry, by localizing according to regional reach, the user anticipation has only increased with time. It’s not easy to overlook language when creating a global brand is the main focal point. Marketers are not only the brilliant minds behind a successful strategy, a translator works at the backend with the team to let the rest of the team interpret the cultural aspects.

What are the so-called famous experts in translation?

A kid back in the ’90s must be well aware of the famous author R.L.Stine, famous for the Fear Street Saga series and Goosebumps series. The author was famous for the chilling narration of the horror teen stories and so on. Likewise, now businesses are familiar with the translators who are technically subject matter experts.

Like any good writer, translators require the knowledge and expertise to translate a document or any of the relevant information. You may think you can fluently speak Spanish so you can translate the strategy or any technical document easily. But you are wrong about it. A document that is meant to be handled by engineers or chemists (hypothetically speaking) cannot be translated blindly without having the consent of the detailed information.

Subject matter experts with the ideal background represent the specialized information in the required way. Such translators as Mars Translation are chosen based on their expertise in the relevant industry so that they can handle the information properly.

Let’s take a closer look at a personal experience:

For instance, once the company had to face a challenge with a mobile division company, IC Wireless. It was founded back in 2000, in Russia, and well-known game provider to Google Play, Amazon, Android and Windows (IOS) included. The major challenge they had to face was regarding the game interface translation into target languages, so that it could be accessible to the gamer community.

The main focus was to gain maximum downloads with the help of translation for its gaming interface, Mahjong Village.  With the help of Mars translators, the interface was successfully translated from English to German, Portuguese and Japanese. The best localization experts streamline the success of a game producer company by clear leap and bounds.

Is the translation culture competent?

Going out of your comfort zone is a potential risk for any business, but breaking that circle, and entering a foreign geographical domain is where the highest potential retains. At this moment now you are bound to the language noise and cultural glitch.

To overcome these two basic problems, translation itself becomes the lifeline for companies and accommodates them with cultural aspects and makes them culturally competent to fit into the new market. With the help of the right resource, a company can overcome the language and cultural obstacles and make a name for itself.

If oddity had a name it would be named as “an epic failure”

Customers are more prone to purchase products and services from companies that are well reversed in their native culture and language. But the question arises, how will a consumer know about it?

For instance, back in the day, even renowned companies had to face marketing campaign failures because of a lack of understanding from the cultural aspect of the strategies reached short of as per expectations. Pepsi had to face one odd position with its slogan “Pepsi Brings you Back to Life”. Now in China, the term was taken into “literally” sense, meaning Pepsi is guaranteeing to bring back ancestors’ souls to life. A huge blunder, but it was overcome once the localization process continued and the company realized their mistake.

Let’s sum it up

To put it into summary, yes, translation indeed is a life savior for many businesses. It will play a huge role for those businesses that are going to earn themselves badges in the future. Choose the translator for the right reasons, and enter the world of the global market with confidence. To thrive in the market and establish yourself as a combinatory brand this is the best way to achieve your goals i.e. side by side with a skilled translation company as a helping hand.

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Google Translate’s real-time translation feature is rolling out now

By: Andrea Capuselli

A few months ago, Google started work on a new feature in Translate called “Continuous Translation.” This feature was eventually shown off to the public in January earlier this year, but now it’s finally ready for primetime. The feature is now called “Transcribe” and it will be rolling out to Google Translate for Android in the next few days.

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El Gobierno de Aragón traduce a siete idiomas toda la información sobre el COVID-19

By: Andrea Capuselli
COVID pandemic coverage in Spanish — El Gobierno de Aragón ha traducido a siete idiomas -rumano, árabe, chino, francés, búlgaro, urdu e inglés- toda la información que se está ofreciendo a la ciudadanía para protegerse frente al coronavirus COVID-19, saber distinguir sus síntomas y actuar en caso de que se tenga alguna sospecha de padecerlo.

Esta información, que incluye los teléfonos donde se puede contactar, se presenta en forma de carteles de lectura fácil que van a estar presentes en todas las instituciones aragonesas, las entidades locales, las asociaciones, con especial mención a las de personas inmigrantes o a aquellas que trabajen con esta población, las entidades sociales, los agentes sociales (sindicatos y empresariado) y las ONG.

Seguir leyendo.

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A boom in translation is bringing podcast stories to a global audience

By: Andrea Capuselli

Language lessons [by Caroline Crampton]. A new true crime podcast caught my eye this week: The Nobody Zone, which is a co-production between Ireland’s RTÉ and Denmark’s Third Ear. It covers the alleged crimes of Irishman Kieran Patrick Kelly on the London Underground between 1953 and 1983. But it wasn’t the content of this six-part series that piqued my interest, but rather the fact that the show is being released simultaneously in five different languages: English, Danish, Spanish, German, and Irish.

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The English translation of the Estonian Constitution is to be overhauled

By: Andrea Capuselli

“The constitution has been translated and attempts have been made to improve this translation at various times. The current translation was also revised about seven years ago,” Jüri Heinla, head of Riigi Teataja, told ERR on Tuesday, adding that the translation has been criticized on several points in the past, with issues of technical terminology and dated terms being considered. In addition, the update is timely as the Estonian constitution celebrates its centennial in June.

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LatinxGR offers resource, encourages volunteer translation for non-English speakers amidst COVID-19

By: Andrea Capuselli

COVID pandemic coverage — In times like this, it is extremely important that systems, institutions, and municipalities be prepared to communicate to all communities they serve and to whom they are accountable. We hope and expect that they allocate necessary resources to ensure that all communities have access to the latest information about COVID-19, community precautions and resources available to them. This includes offering information in a variety of formats and languages.

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