Translating Technical Documentation Without Losing Quality

Now You're Talking

Now You’re Talking | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual January/February 2019

In Now You’re Talking, professor of acoustic engineering Trevor Cox weaves an engaging yarn for his readers. This is “the story of how speaking and listening evolved, how we each develop these remarkable talents during our childhood, and how human communication is being changed by technology…”

Talk on the Wild Side

Talk on the Wild Side | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual October 2018

“Language is a wild animal” is the metaphor upon which Talk on the Wild Side is based. Author Lane Greene asks his readers to consider a wide variety of examples proving this, starting with constructed, “logical” languages such as Loglan that nobody is quite capable of speaking. The book covers everything from the Great Vowel Shift to Vietnamese grammar to adult language acquisition — and this is just in one chapter….

Translation Matters

Translation Matters | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual April 2018

Industry veteran and Multilingual editorial board member Jost Zetzsche has collected 81 previously-published articles and essays for his latest book, Translation Matters. Their original publication dates range from 2003 to 2017 and they appeared everywhere from Christianity Today to his own Tool Box Journal. There’s even a Twitter exchange with a journalist, put into print format like its own story….

The General Theory of the Translation Company

The General Theory of the Translation Company | Sarah Pokorná
MultiLingual February/March 2018

I don’t think there’s any better way to sum up what this book is about than the title. Having worked my way through pretty much every job in the translation industry, I jumped on the opportunity to give it a read, to see if others see the industry like I do….

Think Outside the Country

Think Outside the Country | Nancy A. Locke
MultiLingual April/May 2017

Overall, Think Outside the Country is a primer for those starting out on their globalization journey and a useful refresher course for those who think they know it all. Crafted by a seasoned copywriter and industry insider, the book is a fun read while providing some serious food for thought….

Passwords to Paradise

Passwords to Paradise | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual June 2016

Several years ago, I intently tried to find someone who could accurately localize a specific Ancient Greek phrase found in the New Testament. The phrase, in traditional English, is “wives, be subject to your husbands.” However, I was trying to find out if a more accurate modern English version would be something like “wives, do not fall back when things get tough, because your husbands need you then.”…

Around Europe in Sixty Languages

Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual March 2016

Polyglot and language journalist Gaston Dorren has created an anecdotal crash course on European linguistics with his book Lingo. Covering the idiosyncrasies of 50-plus languages, from the spelling of Scots Gaelic to the counting conventions of Breton, Dorren weaves tales of conquest, social mores and isolating landscapes with remarkable ease….

Measured Translation Quality

The Definitive Guide to Measured Translation Quality | Nancy A. Locke
MultiLingual Jul/Aug 2015

In The Definitive Guide to Measured Translation Quality, Sonia Monahan and Jason Arnsparger at ForeignExchange Translations have drawn on their combined and extensive experience to shed some light on the topic. The result, at 92 pages: a slender but information-packed and highly readable little volume….

The Book of Standing Out

The Book of Standing Out: Travels through the Inner Life of Freelance Translation | Nancy A. Locke
MultiLingual March 2015

Thanks to social media platforms, self-publishing tools and, of course, traditional publishing, freelance translators have a wealth and wide range of resources to help them navigate the practical aspects of the brave, new world of translation. The Book of Standing Out: Travels through the Inner Life of Freelance Translation by Andrew Morris ably straddles professional reality both online and off.

Translation and Localisation in Video Games

Translation and Localisation in Video Games: Making Entertainment Software Global | Frank Dietz
MultiLingual March 2015

To me, the most interesting section of Translation and Localisation in Video Games was the chapter on training localization professionals. It offers not only an overview of existing programs at European universities, but also outlines the basic components that a module on game localization should include. The basic goal of Bernal-Merino, as he states at several points in his book, is to help bridge the gap that exists between academia on one side and the gaming and localization industries on the other….

Diversification in the Language Industry

Diversification in the Language Industry | Sébastien Adhikari
MultiLingual April/May 2014

When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859, he forever changed the view that the natural world was an ordered system that had existed as-is for countless years and would remain immutable until the end of time. “Survival of the fittest” became a basic axiom, not only in biology, but also in other spheres of human endeavor.

The business world in particular has embraced this principle, and its imperatives currently rule the vast majority of commercial ventures, from multinational corporations down to the small shops on Main Street…

Game Localization

Game Localization: Translating for the global digital entertainment industry | Frank Dietz
MultiLingual March 2014

Other sections on accessibility and localization, fan translation (“ROM hacking”) and crowdsourcing, as well as the use of machine translation in online games provide valuable insights. To me, however, the most interesting chapter was “Pedagogical issues in training game localizers.” The authors criticize the fact that despite the large demand for game localization and the existence of numerous translator training programs at universities worldwide, this subject has been largely ignored (though they do include an appendix on “Postgraduate courses in game localization in Spain”). Rather than simply decrying this state of affairs, they offer a detailed discussion of what such programs should consist of, including specific course descriptions . . .

Urban Dictionary

Macro/micro: Keeping tabs on your frenemies | Terena Bell
MultiLingual March 2014

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, UrbanDictionary.com has seven different definitions of the word frenemy. None of them are positive. Personally, I first heard of frenemies when the term popped up as a program title in season three of Sex and the City. In this episode, Miranda meets a guy at a wake and asks how he knew the deceased. He says, “Roommates in college. We were friends, but competitive. We were always fighting it out for everything. He even died first, just to beat me to the punch,” to which Miranda responds, “You were the classic frenemies.” In other words, they looked and acted like friends, but really, down at the core, there was still something adversarial going on. Friend + enemy. . .

Technical Translation

Translating Technical Documentation Without Losing Quality | Sébastien Adhikari
MultiLingual December 2013

Technical translation is a wide-ranging field, and most professional translators have had to deal with a technical document at some point in their careers, be it a set of instructions to install a piece of equipment, a long manual for a new procedure or a “simple” PowerPoint presentation scrutinizing some obscure aspect of a company.

MOX: Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation | Katie Botkin
MultiLingual October/November 2012

Taking a cue from Mox’s agony with his translation memory (TM), Newell’s essay lambasts most commercial TM tools, saying that “giving a translator a translation memory tool is like giving an artist a robotic arm: this makes it much easier to record how the artist produced the work, but the work itself is stilted, artificial and slow.”

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World | Elizabeth Colón
MultiLingual September 2012

For interpreters, translators, linguists and trainers, anyone contemplating becoming an interpreter or translator, and professionals in businesses intending to reach new markets, this book is a must read. There are stories from amazing people in different industries, providing their perspectives on interpreting and translation, sharing how their work has affected others or even themselves.

Objectif clients | Nancy A. Locke
MultiLingual July/August 2012

As old-fashioned as it seems by turns, however, overall Gauthier’s book succeeds as an authentic, “tried and true” account that functions as much as a welcome, if at times avuncular, pep talk as a reference. Decades working as a professional translator in both the public and private sectors and, finally, as a freelancer, have given Gauthier a clear understanding of translators and translation.

Amglish | Deborah Schaffer
MultiLingual June 2012

A good example is presented by the very first chapter. It opens with the Sarah Palin “refudiate” incident; ties it to “the new lingo that’s sweeping around the world” — that is, Amglish; and goes on to consider other recent neologistic or grammatical controversies, including Greta Van Susteren’s coinage of the term squirmish to characterize the United States’ role in the uprising in Libya.

Babel No More | Nataly Kelly
MultiLingual April/May 2012

There is a taboo around claiming that you “speak” a language unless you have mastered it to the degree that a translator or interpreter would. The pervading notion of quality revolves around the idea that only native speakers should produce translations into their language.

Capti | Thomas Banks
MultiLingual March 2012

In Capti (The Prisoners), Stephani Berard has written a novel that deserves more of an audience than it will conceivably find. There may be a few relevant reasons for this paucity of readership, but the obvious one is the author’s choice to write his tale of intrigue, farce and metaphysics in Latin — the first novel to be originally published in this language in over 250 years.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? | Nancy A. Locke
MultiLingual March 2012

Both fans of science fiction and translation buffs may quickly twig to the “fish” reference in the title of David Bellos’ recent book on translation, which has made it to the lists of both The New York Times Notable Books for 2011 and The Economist’s 2011 Books of the Year.