Here’s What You Should Do To Get Quality Translations At A Good Price

download (42)A few months ago I needed to translate an official letter from English to German. I called a few friends, but no matter how good their intentions were, none of them had advanced knowledge of the German language. I had to look for a translation agency and I rushed the first centre I saw. They told me to leave the letter, that they’ll contact me, but there was no chance of getting the translation earlier than 5 days. I took my letter and left, determined to find an online translation company that would help me on time. And I did. That’s how I got the idea of giving you some tips to help you choose a good translation agency. Here are my suggestions, briefly:

1. Gather some information about the agency

Do not let your documents in the database of any translation company that you do not know about. It is preferable to use an experienced company with many employees and/or collaborators. An agency that works with a handful of people either will not be able to provide translations into lesser used languages or will be unable to fulfil your order in time. From this standpoint, you should ask yourself:

  • they have years of experience and work with thousands of translators in different countries?
  • they can cover any type of translation, in any language combination?
  • their translations are correct being done by specialists, many of whom are native speakers of the source or target languages?
  • your document will be translated in a very short period of time, as you will not have to wait for one of the ten employees to complete a stack of translations so they can get to yours?

2. Check the possibility of placing the order online

Why be on the road wasting time in traffic just to send and receive the documents from the translation office, when you can send them directly online? You only have to scan the files that require translating, attach them in an email and sent them in a matter of seconds. A serious agency, the type of which I mentioned earlier, receives the files, analyses the requirements and workload and comes with a price quote and an estimate of the project delivery. These are written in a form that becomes a sort of contract between the parties. And if the agency assumes the order and makes a commitment to finish the translation in three days, so shall it be!

3. Checks for a price simulator

Even if the exact price of a translation can’t be known until the documents and requirements are analysed, the translation agency should have a calculator on site to help you see the approximate costs of the work. The agency that I chose only required me to get online, choose the source and target languages, the number of pages and the type of translation and it showed me the estimated price. Obviously, the final price may vary if you want an emergency translation or if the text’s difficulty is increased.

4. Find out if the agency has specialized translators for your field

I only needed a simple translation of a letter but others may require literary translations, translations in the field of economics and banking or IT, legal, medical translations, etc. Those areas required specialized translators.

If you want a certified translation of a document, you should inquire in advance whether the agency does this kind of translation (as it must be done by a translator authorized by the Ministry of Justice).

You can’t let just anyone do the translation, even if you only need a simple translation of a CV or of a covering letter, in a language requested by the employer. The translator must have experience with this kind of translations. Rely on an agency where the translator’s work is overseen by a reviser. That is how you will know the translated document given to your partners will not have any mistakes in it.

This would be my advice. Take it into account and you won’t regret your choice. What I find very nice regarding the possibility of ordering a translation online is that anyone can have fast, quality translations at a good price. This used to be a problem, especially in the provinces, where good translation companies are very hard to find.


How to Learn the Tamil Language Easily

images (21)Tamil is one of the oldest languages in the world, and you will find many literary works in this language. It has been recognised as the classical language by the Government of India. In Tamil there are 247 alphabets – 12 vowels, 18 consonants and 216 compound letters.

Despite having so many alphabets, spoken Tamil is not that difficult to learn. What you need is a lot of practice. Practice by speaking the language to other Tamil speakers. Initially, you may find it difficult to understand. Practice whenever you can – on your way to work, at school, etc.

Tamil like any other language has many big words. You can learn these big words fast by dividing it into parts. For instance, ‘hello’ is ‘Vanakkam’ in Tamil. You will easily get the pronunciation right if you say the word as – ‘vanna-kkum’.

Tamil letters are pronounced hard by giving a lot of force to each word. So while practicing you too try to pronounce words hard. You must also curl your tongue to learn Tamil letters and words. Try to curl or bend the tongue according to the sound of hard letters.

There are no precisely same sounding letters in English for Tamil. But some letters in Tamil have related sounds. However, one will be soft and the other will be hard.

You can learn the language from a teacher to get the diction right. There are also several CDs and DVDs for learning Tamil.

Go online and learn it!

You can also learn Tamil online. There are online videos, pdf’s or worksheets and forums to help people learn the language. So if there is no Tamil tuition classes or Tamil speaking people in your locality then go online. If anybody is available, you can practice by talking to them in Tamil.

Virtual universities: If you already know how to speak Tamil and would like to learn writing in Tamil, you can learn online. There are many Tamil virtual universities that help you learn Tamil with English as the medium. There are also playlists to learn Tamil with French as the medium.

Websites: There are several websites dedicated to teaching the language. And most of these websites cover basics, and are excellent for starters. There are specific websites for grammar and vocabulary, too.

Video lectures: You will also find wonderful video lectures, downloadable software and even sites where you can practice whatever you have learned.

Books: There are also books to help you learn Tamil, which you can purchase from Amazon.

Online tutors: If you don’t mind paying for classes, you will find a number of online tutors.

Mobile apps and online forums: Now, there are also mobile apps to help you learn the language. A few online forums also teach Tamil.

It is difficult to learn any new language, but it is not an impossible feat. So don’t give up. Start slowly and progress slowly. Try to make it a practice to learn the language at least for 20 minutes a day. As days go by you can increase the time and start speaking Tamil like a pro.


Need for E-Learning Translation

images (22)It seems like a millisecond but the past two or three decades have done to humanity what even centuries could not manage. Suddenly and irreversibly many aspects of human life are now being run, governed, fueled and controlled by technology. So much has changed in a matter of few years and one does get boggled when one recalls how things, work, and life used to function just a few years back.

Everything was so different and so incredibly untouched by technology. Today, automation and speed virtually define every task and dimension of a daily life. Not only has technology penetrated deeply on usual activities of mankind but it has also started touching on many other complex and strategic levels.

One could never think of a virtual classroom in the age of our grandparents. The very idea was too bizarre given certain notions of education and learning that have been deeply entrenched in our sensitivities and mindsets. To think of teachers as non-physical beings was impossible and to conceive the model of a classroom where anyone can have access anytime was also too staggering.

Yet today we see how so many fields and categories of knowledge are being driven through technology. From Science to Arts, from vocational skills to abstract courses, from school-level curriculum to post-graduate degrees, from conceptual crash-courses to corporate skilling programs, from specific training to overall development; almost every area of education has tasted the flavor of technology and liked it.

Massive online courses, training software, tools and virtual academies have sprung up everywhere and brought in the power of knowledge on to every aspiring student’s doorstep, or rather click of the finger. The E-Learning revolution has started.

This makes the task of translation for technology-driven education all the more interesting and yet challenging. These courses may enable a big chunk of students to reap the advancements of technology by learning from anywhere, from anyone, and anytime; but it also means that the burden of the outcomes rests more on the shoulders of technology this time. Or to be precise, on the shoulders of translators: Because if small anomalies or discrepancies happen to pass right under a translator’s nose, the long-term outcome is far-reaching and almost irreversible in nature.
It becomes very crucial for translators to, first of all, understand the gist, the inclination, the core of a course, and the skeletal fundamentals before adding in the muscle of language there for spreading a given course across multiple language-speakers. A certain culture’s or a given region’s student may not just bring peculiar linguistic differences but may also call upon the significance of special learning curve, ways of imbibing information, conditioning of brain and assimilation processes.

This is where e-Learning translation services have to be tapped very wisely so as to ensure that courses retain the consistency and the essence that was originally intended.

This also necessitates that e-Learning translation is not done as a footnote for a given material or training project but is being tackled with a lifecycle approach and with a deep orientation for the learner and the language alike.

Professional e-Learning translation service providers have the experience to take many such factors into cognizance and make certain that technology propels learning in the right way and towards the future. They inject a different level of strategic approach, standards, tools, exercises, feedback mechanisms and educational nuances into a translation here as they are well aware that this genre of translation is not the same as a marketing document project.

Specifically speaking they provide the following,
Translate Courses and LMS in all languages
Video localization
Voiceover and subtitling
Course integration
Translate storyboards and online scripts
On-site / Off-site linguistic QA for localized courses
Audio-Video Sync and much more

It is always advisable to approach a professional global LSP with the right understanding of the e-learning market to help you in e-Learning translation.

How to Speak English Comfortably

download (41)Once you start speaking English (or any language, for that matter) comfortably, you become fluent gradually and automatically. Now, it is vital to understand the process of developing comfort.

In our mother tongues, be it Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu or Tamil, we speak different emotions such as love, anger, happiness and pain. However, when a non-native speaker speaks English, he/she forgets the emotions to be expressed and speaks monotonously. This is the first mistake non-native speakers make while speaking English.

The manner that you speak your mother tongue, you will feel at ease. Just sit alone and practice the following sentences loudly expressing the emotions mentioned in brackets:

1. I would like to meet you tomorrow to discuss my business plans. Is that convenient for you? (politely)
2. Can you help me to organize this party? (politely)
3. Can you represent the company in the upcoming international conference? (politely)

4. How dare you enter my cabin? (Speak aggressively)
5. You have spoiled this work. (aggressively)
6. This is a blunder. (Speak aggressively)

7. You are the best person to handle this assignment. (Speak confidently)
8. You can achieve any target you decide. (Speak confidently)
9. You are a champion! I know it. (Speak confidently)

Firstly, practice speaking the above sentences with appropriate emotions, and you will automatically develop a comfort level.

Secondly, practice tongue twisters to speak English fluently and clearly. Tongue twisters also help you to get rid of mother tongue influence, commonly known as MTI. You may download tongue twisters from the practice segment of our website.

Thirdly, in front of the mirror assuming you are speaking to small children or your best friends. You feel utterly comfortable with small children and your best friends because they never make fun of you and you love their presence too. So it will help you to get rid off your hesitation.

It is not sufficient to have command of tenses, modals and grammar to speak English confidently. We learned these concepts numerous times during our school days. If these concepts were sufficient, everybody would speak English without any hassle. In fact, we see many graduates who can write English well since they are conceptually strong and they cannot stand on their foot for two minutes when it comes to speaking. The above suggested practice is one of the solutions to speak smoothly.