Tag: translation

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Google Translate Causes Vaccine Mishap

Language in Business, Language in the News, Localization Basics, Personalization and Design, Translation, Translation Technology, Uncategorized

Last week, MultiLingual reported on a Virginia Department of Health website translation error that incorrectly told Spanish speakers they don’t need coronavirus vaccines. New information from Richmond, Virginia newspaper The Virginian-Pilot now reveals how this error came to be.

“The Virginia Department of Health’s main sources for translating critical covid-19 and vaccine information are three marketing agencies that don’t list translation services on their websites and Google Translate,” Sabrina Moreno reports, pointing out that both translation reliability experts and Google itself caution medical providers not to use the free online tool for medical translations. Google translated “the vaccine is not required” as “the vaccine is not necessary” on the Department of Health’s frequently asked questions website.

In the United States, Hispanics have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus with higher death and hospitalization rates than white Americans. Ensuring this group has access to covid-19 vaccines is of particular importance in Virginia where — as of January 13th — Latinos only accounted for 9 percent of those receiving a dose despite making up 21 percent of the commonwealth’s covid-19 hospitalizations.

“Immigrant advocates and certified translators said the state’s failure to prioritize adequate translation showed Virginia’s lack of investment in populations already facing a trust gap in the health care system and language barriers that have historically limited access to medical care,” writes Moreno.

Luis Oyola, director of organizing for Legal Aid Justice Center in Richmond, says he’s been warning the state of what Moreno calls “the desperate need for translated and culturally competent materials” since March. “The government is reaping what they sowed,” Oyola told The Virginian-Pilot

The government, however, continues to stand beside its mistranslation. “Many Spanish speakers do read this form as it was intended — namely, to make clear the vaccine is not mandatory and therefore will not be forced on anyone,” director of communications Maria Reppas told local television station ABC 8News.

Nearly 1.4 million Virginians speak a language other than English at home. More than half of these people speak Spanish.

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Terena Bell is an independent journalist who writes for The Atlantic, Washington Post, Fast Company and others. She is former CEO of In Every Language.

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Macau Chinese-Portuguese Translation Exam Center

Translation

Part of an effort to preserve and celebrate the history of the Portuguese language in the city, officials in Macau have announced the creation of an examination center to qualify translators to translate Chinese into Portuguese.

If one were to walk through several neighborhoods Macau, it might appear that the city has been transported to the Iberian Peninsula, replete with narrow cobblestone streets and rooftop petiscos restaurants. Indeed, like the neighboring Hong Kong, Macau was a long-established trading post with Europe. There, the Portuguese controlled trade, and just as the UK leased Hong Kong, the Portuguese held a 100-year land lease in Macau until 1999, when the city was handed over to the People’s Republic of China under the “One country, two systems” policy.

Home to around 650,000, Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is made up mostly of Han-Chinese, who largely speak Cantonese, and the common written language is Traditional Chinese. While the Portuguese language is spoken by less than 2% of the city’s residents, the language still has an established presence, and not just in some of its cuisine and architecture.

Since the handover in 1999, Portuguese as a second language has more than doubled in primary and secondary schools, in an effort to preserve the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the city. Furthermore, the Las Vegas of China — as Macau has been deemed for its huge gambling industry, which is several times larger than Vegas — has also established a new translation examination center for translators who translate Chinese into Portuguese.

The center will be held at the Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM) and will be the first internationally recognized center in Macau and Hong Kong for examining candidates for qualifications to translate Chinese into Portuguese. Making the announcement to the Macau Legislative Assembly last week, Ao Ieong U, the city government’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, will promote the development of an alliance for the teaching of the Portuguese language in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

“We are establishing another internationally qualified examination center,” said Ao. “The IPM has already contacted the respective departments and in due course we will publish the results of these plans.”

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Weymouth Public School Meetings Now with CC Translation

Multimedia Translation

In response to demand for translation of the meetings, the school district will now work with the Weymouth Educational Telecommunications Corporation to bring multilingual closed-captioning to meeting recordings.

A school district in Massachusetts has launched a closed-captioning translation pilot program for school committee meeting recordings. This week, Weymouth School District’s School committee chair Lisa Belmarsh and superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple announced that Weymouth Public Schools struck a partnership with the Weymouth Educational Telecommunications Corporation (WETC) to implement the program for all future meetings.

The program comes in response to the pandemic, as well as in connection with the Return to School Racial Equity Subcommittee. As part of the program, School Committee meetings will provide closed captioning in English for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing, though the announcement did not mention use of any Sign Language like ASL. The meetings will also provide a translation of the meeting in Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic — the school district’s most common non-English languages — within 24 hours of the meeting, with the hope to expand access to community members so that students and parents can receive and understand information shared by the district.

“It’s essential that parents and guardians receive information from the district so that they can help their children get the right technology, support their child’s school work, have the ability to make informed choices and get the support they need for a successful school year,” said Belmarsh. “To accomplish this, the district identified an increased need to have the information translated so that parents and guardians who do not speak English can access the most current information being shared during our school committee meetings. WETC eagerly stepped up to the request and is an essential partner in this endeavor to make information available to more people within our community.”

WETC had previously offered closed captioning services on local municipal meetings that were recorded and posted onto its website throughout the past year, but has recently shifted also to include translation of captions into additional languages.

“Once the School Committee and Administration voiced the need for a more inclusive way to broadcast and share meetings, WETC wanted to assist in any way possible,” said WETC Director Jeff Cummings. “We are extremely excited to see the positive impact that this pilot program will have on ensuring everyone in the district receives the information they need to succeed.”

Translated meetings will only be available on WETC’s On Demand video player, not on TV broadcast nor as livestream during meetings. The meetings are expected to be viewable with multilingual closed captioning in under 24 hours.

To create closed captioning on the recordings, WETC uses its video server company, Telvue. The Telvue server processes the audio file and the computer then generates the text for the captioning in English. Once the captioning is created in English, the server then transcribes the English captions into the three additional languages. The Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic translations may be delayed as the English captions are processed first. Additionally, Telvue also offers an English transcript of the recording, which can be found in the lower, right hand corner of the video player.

“In the time of COVID-19, the process of disseminating information to the public in a timely and equitable fashion is as important as ever,” Superintendent Curtis-Whipple said. “To ensure that our students stay up-to-date with important information and understand our new safety protocols, we must be able to share these details with all of our demographics regardless of what language barrier they may have. Adding Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic translations allows us to be more inclusive for non-English speaking, deaf and hard of hearing communities.”

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Deaf Missions Completes First ASL Translation for Bible

Translation

The 38-year project from Deaf Missions will provide a valuable guide for other sign language translations of the Bible, as well as for translations of any text into the world’s 400-plus sign languages.

Deaf Missions has announced the completion of a 38-year translation project of the Bible from its original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into American Sign Language (ASL) using video. The organization had already completed the New Testament in 2004, but now the full text of both the Old and New Testaments will now be available to Deaf, ASL-communicating individuals through the Deaf Missions website or app.

“While Deaf Americans that are practicing Christians in particular have reason to celebrate, this really represents a broader win for all Deaf people and ASL communicators,” said Deaf Missions CEO, Chad Entinger. “This translation comes at a time in history when a lot is possible in terms of advancements for accommodating Deaf people. The explosion of digital technology and accessible video has allowed more Deaf people to share knowledge and communicate. Not unlike how the Bible was the first book printed on a modern printing press or the creation of the first Braille Bible in the 20th century, the availability of an ASL version of the Bible demonstrates a turning point in the culture toward normalizing sign languages.”

The pandemic has forced major limitations for the Deaf community when it comes to day-to-day routines and communications. Specifically, widespread mask wearing has created a major barrier for Deaf individuals, since facial expression is such a critical part of the language. Additionally, while video has become a primary tool in education since the pandemic hit, Deaf students have faced limitations in access, even with an interpreter present. Even in non-pandemic times, development of Sign Language translations will provide Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people much-needed access to both religious and academic texts.

“As a Deaf translator and a Christian, this work has been an important project for me,” states Renca Dunn, communication specialist and graduate of Gallaudet University. “What I wish more people understood is that for many Deaf people in the U.S., English is our second language. It can be a challenge for Deaf individuals to connect with printed text. It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that, for thousands of years, Deaf people have faced communication barriers and lack of access to fully understanding one of the oldest and most cherished texts of all time – the Bible. Now, translators have the framework to keep translating the Bible into other sign languages. It’s incredible, the amount of impact it may have.”

In the United States, the CDC estimates that about 1 million Americans are deaf, not including those that are very hard of hearing. At least 70% of Americans identify as Christians. Additional survey data from the American Bible Society shows that 77% of Americans live in a household that owns a Bible. However, for many Deaf individuals, their Bible was not printed in their first language.

“We will continue our work for the Deaf communities, and we hope what we do reverberates into the culture. I’d like to see an America where it’s normal to see a video created in ASL engage the Deaf Community. One where it is typical for churches to utilize videos in ASL to reach Deaf people. One where schools have equal respect for English and ASL. I would like to see a world where Deaf people truly have equal access to information and job opportunities,” said Entinger.

Deaf Missions began the translation project of the Bible from the source texts into a viewable (not printed) version in American Sign Language almost 40 years ago. Founder of Deaf Missions Duane King began the project in 1982. The completed ASLV was primarily translated by Deaf people for Deaf people, featuring 53 different translators. The ASLV will now be used as a resource text for other Bible translations into one of the 400-plus unique sign languages around the world.

Although the project was led by Deaf Missions, the efforts also received support from the American Bible Society, Deaf Bible Society, Deaf Harbor, DOOR International, Pioneer Bible Translators, The Seed Company, and Wycliffe USA.

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Russia Orders Translation of Vital Records

Translation

Any registry records in Russia dating back to 1926 will be included in the translation of vital records, particularly from Arabic, Tatar, and Old Mongolian languages.

Russia has plans for a project that will digitalize and translate all the Russian public’s vital records dating back to 1926. Investing around 1.7 billion rubles ($22 million) into the project, the team will translate documents from several languages, including Arabic, Tatar, and Old Mongolian languages, according to the draft of a decree by the Ministers Cabinet.

“In a number of Russian constituent entities, there are civil status records drawn up in languages other than Russian (national, foreign). In this regard, to convert these civil status records into an electronic document, their preliminary translation into Russian is required,” the statement said. “The draft order provides for the clarification of the volume of budgetary allocations allocated to the Russian Ministry of Finance from the reserve fund in 2020, taking into account its increase by 1.75 billion rubles,” the draft states.

According to the document, the registry office contains numerous documents that need translation, including those listed above. “The indicated civil status records can be translated by specialist translators with professional knowledge of the relevant foreign language,” it says.

The calculation of the required additional volume of funding is based on the average cost of translation services for one act entry, approved by the Russian Ministry of Justice. According to the draft decree, translators will work with any records “drawn up on paper and stored in the registry office since 1926.” Accounting for factors like the historical significance of the documents, the special regime, and the terms of document storage, the translator cost to the registry office is also included in the funding.

Earlier this year, the Deputy Head of the Federal Tax Service, Vitaly Kolesnikov, said that the Unified State Register of Civil Status Acts would be the basis of the federal register being created, containing information about the population of the country. One of the provisions of the acts is that a “unified state register is kept in Russian. In case of inclusion according to the Federal law ‘About Acts of Civil Status’ in certificates on state registration of acts of civil status of data in state language of the subject of the Russian Federation the specified data also join in the Unified state register.”

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Adaptive Globalization Releases Linguist Salary Report

Language in Business

A comprehensive guide released by recruitment company Adaptive Globalization provides detailed salary and job description information for the language service provider industry.

Adaptive Globalization has released the first comprehensive salary report for the language service provider (LSP) sector. The report details benchmark competitive salaries for an array of positions as a guide for employers seeking to attract and retain talent in the coming year. Moreover, it provides summaries of key roles in the industry, their progression paths, and their salary ranges across 18 locations globally.

Locations in the report include Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, the UK, and the United States.

The report states that the global language service and technology industry is worth $49.6 billion, and “Understandably, for such a large industry, there isn’t one ubiquitous compensation structure. Instead it is typically determined by several factors.”

According to the report, some of the factors affecting salaries range from company type (LSP vs. client-side), to market conditions, to cost of living. Though the report does not mention how these factors, or others like gender or the COVID-19 pandemic have made an impact, they likely also play a role, as signaled by some of the LSP market movement this year. The salaries for linguists ranged anywhere from €14,000 to over €100,000 per year, depending on management level and location. Switzerland and the US rank among the higher salaries, while Poland and Italy rank among the lowest among the selected countries.

Breaking down some different departments in LSPs, the report outlines roles in sales and operations. It covers a section for linguists, which covers positions like translation checker, proofreader, interpreter, translator, transcriptionists, senior translator, language lead, language quality specialist, language service manager, head of translation, and language department director.

“Linguists are the people working directly with languages,” the report states. “They are detail-oriented people, with academic degrees in the source language. Typically they come with excellent knowledge of the most common CAT tools.”

Along with the positions for linguists, the report also includes localization management and engineering positions. It defines requirements for internationalization engineers, for example, saying they “are usually Software Engineers that specialize in designing mobile apps and incorporating the adaptation of different languages to the design,” and noting that they “are usually very experienced… and know the different nuances of each language (technically speaking).”

Adaptive Globalization specializes in language industry recruitment. Working with both language service agencies and large companies, the company recruits people working in the translation and localization industry.

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Telehealth Firm Amwell to Adopt Google AI, Translation Tech

Technology

Promising advances to the telehealth services industry, Amwell will integrate Google Cloud AI capabilities for natural language processing and medical transcription services, among other new services.

Since the onset of the pandemic, telehealth services have skyrocketed. A Department of Health and Human Services statistical report found that in April, about 43% of primary care visits through Medicare were via telehealth. Before the pandemic, more than 99% of Medicare-funded visits were in-person appointments. From March through early July, the agency says, more than 10 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth services. With broad telehealth coverage more vital than ever, though, demands for language services have risen considerably as well.

Seeing the opportunity for growth, Google recently pledged to invest $100 million into Amwell, formerly known as American Well, a company that builds technology for virtual doctors’ visits. Launching in 2006, Amwell currently works with 55 health plans, which support over 36,000 employers and represent more than 80 million covered individuals, as well as 150 of the nation’s largest health systems. It has powered more than 5.6 million telehealth visits for its clients, including over 3 million since the shutdown began.

The partnership will leverage Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to create a comprehensive virtual care experience for patients and providers that goes beyond visits and includes services like self-triage or remote patient monitoring (RPM) capabilities. Google plans to work closely with Amwell to integrate its AI capabilities into Amwell’s virtual care platform, particularly in natural language processing and medical transcription services. This could have interesting implications for the language service industry, particularly the life sciences sector.

Additionally, Amwell will move parts of its business from Amazon Web Services to Google Cloud, recognizing Google Cloud as its “preferred global cloud partner.” Specifically, Amwell will move some video performance capabilities to Google Cloud. The two companies will also collaborate on technology and work to expand Amwell’s footprint in the sector.

“With this partnership, Google Cloud and Amwell see an opportunity to improve patient and clinician telehealth experiences through technologies that can automate waiting room and checkout; provide automated language translation services; advance population health by making it easier for more patients to receive care; and assist payers and providers in routine tasks, by intelligently triaging cases and reducing clinician burnout,” mentioned a Google Cloud blog post.

The post went on to describe how machine translation is being integrated into the system: “A conversational chatbot agent is immediately available to assist you, in your preferred language, by asking about your symptoms and the reason for your visit, and provides this information to your physician before she enters your virtual exam room. During your appointment, you continue to speak in your preferred language to your physician, while cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) provides live, translated captioning of the conversation.”

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Jonathan Pyner is a poet, freelance writer, and translator. He has worked as an educator for nearly a decade in the US and Taiwan, and he recently completed a master’s of fine arts in creative writing.

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Disney Partners with Translation in New Ad Campaign

Business News

With the aim of capturing greater multicultural representation, Disney Advertising Sales has officially announced its partnership with Translation for its newest ad campaign.

Earlier this year, Disney Advertising Sales and Translation LLC began negotiations on a partnership to develop advertisements with greater, more organic multicultural reach. Due to the onset of the pandemic, however, delays had prevented the two from finalizing the collaboration until just last week.

Operating for over 15 years, Translation has made its mark on several industries, working with cultural stars like Jay-Z, Lebron James, James Dolan, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett-Smith to create ad campaigns for the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, State Farm, Nike, and UnitedMasters. Translation even recruited music artist Pusha T to compose the iconic McDonald’s “Ba da ba ba ba, I’m lovin’ it,” jingle.

“As an African-American leader of a mainstream agency for the last 15 years, this was a watershed moment for me, as I’ve been fighting the headwinds of trying to get a seat at the table, to make work for major companies and not be segmented to just the African American audience,” says Translation CEO Steve Stoute. “Now, they’re leaning in, understanding that ethnic insights are the insights of popular culture. Diversity is a way to connect to youth.”

Disney Advertising Sales brands include ESPN, ABC, FreeForm, FX, National Geographic Channel, Disney Channel and the owned-and-operated ABC local TV stations. Translation’s ongoing commitment to multicultural representation paired with a creative behemoth like Disney signals a momentous shift in the movement toward greater inclusivity in popular culture.

“Ultimately, we were in a place where we knew creative storytelling mattered, but we also wanted to be able to scale it across audiences, and scale the expertise with people who had experience with brands on how to make culturally relevant creative stand out in the media business,” says President of Disney Advertising Sales Rita Ferro. “Disney has scale and brands that matter. We wanted to take that as a foundational platform, and use the best brand partnerships—like we did with Steve and Translation on State Farm, and what we did with CreativeWorks with Ford—to create moments that stand out and drive brands’ business.”

One of the first collaborations between Disney and Translation actually came earlier this year during the well-renowned Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls documentary The Last Dance. Airing on Disney-owned ESPN, the State Farm deep fake ad doctors a news anchor’s 1998 report on the Bulls to include popular 2020 slang terms. Although the advertisement was a hit, it also opened a discussion about the ethics of AI, especially in regards to deep fake technology.

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Moscow Translation Club Transforms to Russian Association of Translation Companies

Business News

The Moscow Translation Club has evolved into the Russian Association of Translation Companies — the localization industry’s newest association.

The Russian Association of Translation Companies (RATC) was officially registered with the Russian Federation government in July, and is on track to join the European Union of Associations of Translation Companies (EUATC).

Active member and co-founder of the Moscow Translation Club (MTC) Janus Worldwide announced the official registration of the RATC, an association that complies with Russian law and begins with 12 companies from across the Russian Federation. MTC members will become primary members of the association, and will be presented in the first RATC board. Margarita Yegorova of MegaText — a translation agency and board member of MTC — will serve as president, supervise activity, and represent the RATC in an official capacity.

Moreover, the three vice presidents — Serge Gladkoff of Logrus Global, Konstantin Josseliani of Janus Worldwide, and Alexey Shesterikov of Awatera — will take over the responsibilities of setting up international operations. Chair of the board Nikolay Kulikov of AKM Translations will manage the board and the association, and coordinate its governing bodies.

Founded in 2014 by leading Russian translation companies, the MTC arranges events to discuss issues in the translation and localization industry. Members of the MTC came up with the idea to obtain legal status for the RATC to protect the interests of the industry and promote its development with legal standing.

As founder of the MTC and president of the largest translation company in Russia, Josseliani hopes to apply his experience to the RATC to benefit the translation industry as a whole. He will manage cooperation with Russian legal entities and social organizations, procedural work, and any other responsibilities deemed necessary by RATC members.

Now that the registration has taken place, the association is slated to join the EUATC, which will enable exchange in and representation of the Russian translation industry. “We have been working with leading members of the Moscow Translation Club since last year providing them with our guidance on how to go about forming an association,” said Geoffrey Bowden, secretary of EUATC. “While there are some formalities to go through, we anticipate that the Russian Association will be admitted into membership of the EUATC at its next virtual General Meeting on September 18.”

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Smart Masks in Japan Translate between 8 Languages

Technology

Adapting its translation software to meet the needs of a mid-pandemic world, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has created smart masks to aid in translation needs.

As the number of people wearing masks grows during the pandemic, Donut Robotics has developed new smart masks that go well beyond PPE, and fall short as well. Connecting to an app through Bluetooth, “C-Face” transcribes dictation, amplifies the wearer’s voice, and translates speech into eight different languages.

Donut Robotics first developed the translation software for a robot project called Cinnamon, which was designed as part of a Haneda Robotics Lab initiative to create robots that would provide tourists at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport with relevant information for their travels. One of four translation robot prototypes selected in 2016, Cinnamon began providing services at the airport in 2017.

When COVID hit, however, and airports shut down globally, Donut Robotics sought a way to adapt their translation technology and progress the technology while the tourism industry struggles.

Although smart masks mostly covers the face, their silicone and plastic design is not a proper substitute for PPE, and the company suggests wearing them over a standard cloth face mask. Embedded with a microphone that connects to the user’s smartphone, smart masks may contribute to social distancing norms while simultaneously serving as a walkie-talkie, scribe, and translator.

Haneda Robotics Lab originally stated as one of its consideration for choosing Cinnamon was how well the software performed in noisy environments. That quality could bode well for Donut Robotics’ transition to mobile.

Despite the company’s exciting developments this year, however, questions remain about the scalability and language capacity of the smart mask. Donut Robotics hopes to release its first wave of distribution in Japan, making 5,000-10,000 smart masks available by December of this year, but does not expect to expand overseas until mid-2021.

Furthermore, while the translation capabilities of the smart mask include some of the world’s most common languages like English, Spanish, and Chinese (presumably Mandarin), Donut Robotics will have to expand considerably before it can compete with the likes of Google Translate or Microsoft Translator.

Still, company CEO Taisuke Ono believes the “the technology is better than Google API, or other popular technologies” for Japanese language users, because most competitor apps focus primarily on translating to and from English.

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