I am a vegetarian! Multilingual phrase card

Our free phrase card for travelling vegetarians will help ensure a meat-free dinner by cutting through linguistic problems. And we have not forgotten vegans either!

International Translation Day 2012We are launching the card today in celebration of World Vegetarian Day. It translates a simple phrase for both vegetarians and vegans to use in restaurants or when staying in guesthouses or with a family. Simply show your host the card on your phone or tablet – or print it out and pack a copy.

Download the phrase card now

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Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival: mooncakes, lanterns and rabbits

In the Chinese calendar, today marks a significant date. As well as being International Translation Day, this year 30 September is the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. On this day Chinese and Vietnamese people traditionally celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (simplified Chinese: 中秋节; traditional Chinese: 中秋節), one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar.
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Website translation: choosing languages to go world-wide

Three quarters of internet users don’t speak English as their first language.

That’s the picture according to “best guess” statistics from Internet World Stats (see “Crunching the stats” below). This means a vast amount of potential traffic is being ignored by many site admins and developers.

But how do you get to grips with the “other” three quarters of the planet, and which languages should you choose?

Internet langauges worldwide

(click to enlarge)

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Don’t be erroneous: Google Translate’s geopolitical blooper

Google Translate has inadvertently strayed into the political choppy waters with an inaccurate translation.

Anyone who uses the site knows that Google translations can sometimes be imprecise or hard to understand. Senior figures at Google itself recognise this, as I have discussed before: Google: “Translations aren’t perfect”

But it is even worse when the translation is the complete opposite of the intended meaning.
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Chinese characters: an introduction to the world’s biggest language

An introductory tour of Chinese characters by WorldAccent translation project manager, Sally Ly

Chinese characters are also known as Han characters, named after the Han Dynasty when it evolved. Today, the Han script is the dominant script of the Chinese language, and still resonates in other traditional East Asian scripts such as the Japanese Kanji and the Korean Hanja.

Chinese characters Han Zi Continue reading “Chinese characters: an introduction to the world’s biggest language”

UK export advice: how to sell more abroad

Great news for both the UK economy and those of us who spend our days providing translation – or, more loftily, helping global communication. Britain’s trade gap with the rest of the world narrowed more than expected in July, driven by record exports to countries outside the European Union, reports the Telegraph (Good News Britain: UK trade deficit narrows in July)

In fact, July is the third month in a row that exports to countries outside the EU has been higher than exports to eurozone countries. Continue reading “UK export advice: how to sell more abroad”

Why flags founder for multilingual website navigation

Flag icons are a bad choice for language navigation within websites. We explain why, and look at some better options, in the first of our series on multilingual website design.

The internet has allowed an explosion in multilingual communication. Previously companies or organisations had to produce printed publications in a limited range of languages and physically get the right language version in the right place. Now a website can easily be translated into several languages, preferably by a professional translator of course.

But what is the best way to show site users how to switch between languages? Continue reading “Why flags founder for multilingual website navigation”

Great for Chinese tourists

“The Olympics should be for Britain what Usain Bolt is for athletics – something that grabs the attention of the whole world and refuses to let it go,”

So says the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announcing a Government push to attract tourists, particularly from mainland China.

Some £8m will be targeted at the Chinese market, with the aim of trebling the number of Chinese visitors to the UK. Currently France and Germany prove more attractive to the burgeoning ranks of the Chinese middle class.
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