What Happened This Week: Translation News
Which American dialect do you speak and where do you come from?
On December 21st the New York Times published a multiple-choice test that tells you where you’re from in the USA just by the way you speak English. Taking the test itself is interesting, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. After filling-in north of 20 questions, my results came in. According to the test, I’m from San Francisco. The problem is that it was my mother who was from San Francisco; I myself have never lived in California. Does this mean I speak my mother’s dialect? Would you like to take the test yourself? Follow this link to the NYT.
5 Steps to improve Machine Translation for everyday use
The blood pressure of many of translators, including my own, shoots off the charts every time we hear the words “machine translation.” It’s an understandable reaction, because we all tend to have an underlying fear of being substituted by a robot that will work cheaper and better and get us fired in the process. On the positive side, however, we can use machine translation to increase our productivity so that instead of having less work, we can handle a great deal more. Here is a useful infographic that sketches 5 easy steps you can take to improve your machine translation results.
I have to admit that the words machine translation and crowdsourcing are two of my least favorite words. Both are defining a new world in which I did not grow-up. This article in blog.transbunko.com draws conclusions from a large translation crowdsourcing case and analyzes the implications for professional translators. The bottom line is this (but I suggest you read the whole article):
The bad (for translators):
… The question is not a matter of if free translation services will erode freelance translation rates for non-specialists, but a matter of to wwhich extent.
The good (for translators):
…to prevent being impacted by the crowd-sourced movement that deals in generalist text, specialization is key. Highly technical/scientific/financial translations will always require specialists with a formal background or extensive experience in the field.
OTHER LINKS – GOOD FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Cultivate Empathy not Sympathy, it is Healthy
Although this is not strictly translation news I find it comforting to ponder and remind myself of my higher-self, especially in this end-of-year season. This wonderful 3 minute video is an invitation to bring the practice of empathy into our lives.
Leading Global Thinkers of 2013
It seems that every publishing and media organization in the world is publishing lists of the best and worst this time of the year. Most of these lists are predictable, but I found an exceptional one published in the Foreign Affairs Magazine, the Leading Global Thinkers of 2013. You may find many of the expected well-known faces and perhaps disagree with some of the choices, but the work and ideas of the people selected for this list makes for fascinating reading and unexpected surprises. Be sure to click on the person’s image to read the full-article!