Atlanta, Georgia
Toll Free: 1-800-270-7674
Outside US: 678-367-3781

Recent Blog Posts

Translation Services: Human vs. Machine

Technology has led to innovative advances in the localization field like auto-translation apps and artificial intelligence. Auto-translation apps are constantly improving, and artificial intelligence can now create voices that sound perfectly human.

“There’s an app for that” rings true for almost anything, but apps cannot replace personalized customer service provided by humans. We take pride in our exceptional customer service and demonstrate this through:

  • Personal, hands-on management of projects from start to finish, ensuring the success of the final product
  • Providing regular, clear communication throughout the project

While technology allows you to handle translation and localization on your own, the outcome may not be grammatically correct and voice transcription is only as good as the pronunciation of the speaker. We have all noticed transcription errors from phone voice mails or have asked Siri or Alexa a question and received an incorrect response because of a pronunciation barrier.

Dealing with apps can be frustrating which is why we offer consistently excellent communication with a solution-centered result during every interaction. From start to finish, we pride ourselves on owning the success of a project. Personalized customer service and empathy cannot be found simply by downloading an app on your phone and, unlike artificial intelligence, we speak your language.

 

1,200 New Words Added to German Vocabulary During Pandemic

Germans love to stay current with the times by creating new words; on average, 200 new words are added each year to their vocabulary, but 2020 was no average year. During the pandemic alone, 1,200 new words were created in the German language! As you can imagine, most pertain directly to Covid and living life during a pandemic.

Coronaangst – describes the angst and frustration we feel while living in rather uncertain times.

Abstandsbier – describes a happy outing to enjoy beers with friends-at a safe distance.

Schnutenpulli – translates directly to “mouth sweater” and have you ever heard anything more accurate?

Impfneid – is the vaccination envy people feel while waiting their turn, towards those already vaccinated.

The Covid pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before, making it difficult at times to accurately express how we feel about it, or to put into words what, exactly, is going on. Many new words and phrases have become “the norm” out of a necessity to fill the vocabulary gaps. Words like ‘Covidiot’ to describe someone who does not adhere to restrictions or wear a mask, or ‘quarantini’ to describe the increased alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism while so many people were stuck at home during the lockdowns. And I think many of us can commiserate with being ‘overZoomed’ at this point.  Old words like ‘herd immunity’, ‘PPE’, and ‘Patient Zero’ have become buzz words, a part of our everyday speak.

Using humor as a coping mechanism during tough times is nothing new and though it may seem counterintuitive, it can actually be used as a way to feel connected with each other, even at a distance

For the Love of Translation

At World Translation Center, translation is our passion; we love connecting the world through language. Recently, we asked a few of our linguists to describe what it is they love about translating:

“I would say that like most translators, I love building a bridge across different languages and cultures and I feel I am doing something creative. I really enjoy that. I also like learning lots of knowledge from translating. Every time I translate something, I learn something new.”- J., France

“We translators make it possible for other people to exercise their human rights of having access to information in their own language. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that the freedom of expression goes hand in hand with the freedom to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, and we, the translators, contribute to make those frontiers (almost) invisible… So, how not to love something that takes so little from you, but gives you a lot in return?” – A., Guatemala

“Writing and translation gives me an immense opportunity to learn and explore different cultures, people & lifestyles. I am always passionate & fascinated to learn & interact with different languages, communities, ethnicities, people across the globe. Language has the power to bind everyone in one string, make unity in diversity. It bridges communication. I believe in one philosophy, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, (a Sanskrit phrase) – ‘The whole universe is one family.’ And language has the power to bring everyone under one roof and share love, harmony & prosperity.”  -N., India

What are you passionate about?

 

Chinese New Year 2021: The Year of the Ox

February 12 is the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, as some refer to it. It is the biggest holiday in China, celebrating the end of Winter and welcoming the beginning of Spring. Symbolically, it is the opportunity to usher in new beginnings and leave any negativity of the previous year in the past. After 2020, I think this is something we are all looking forward to in 2021!

On the eve of the new year, it is tradition to hold an annual family reunion, with family members gathering to enjoy a large meal together and celebrate. In the north of China, delicious dumplings are enjoyed and, in the south, a sticky new year’s cake is shared. After dining, some families go to the local temple to pray for a prosperous new year, though some choose to stay home and have a party, complete with firecrackers to scare off evil spirits. The Lantern Festival is held on the 15th and last day of the celebration, with families walking down the street with lighted lanterns.

To prepare for the new year, homes and religious altars will be thoroughly cleaned, sweeping out bad luck and leaving room for good fortune in the coming year. Some will repaint their homes with red paint and hang paper cutouts with popular Chinese sayings or couplets written on them around the house.

2021 is the Year of the Ox, suggesting the need to work hard and stay focused to succeed in the coming year. This may resonate even more strongly considering the challenging events of 2020 but should be considered a positive opportunity to welcome a new start with fresh beginnings.

With COVID-19 cases increasing, especially around Beijing, Chinese authorities are urging the millions of people who usually travel to stay home and quarantine. Regardless of how you plan to celebrate, World Translation Center would like to wish all our Chinese friends a prosperous New Year full of peace and productivity!

The Origins of the Burmese Script

Burmese is the official language of Burma and is spoken by approximately 40 million people across the globe. Adapted from a southern Indian script over one thousand years ago, the Burmese script has a notably round appearance and a fascinating origin.

The Burmese script is characterized by rounded letters with few sharp lines, lending a flowing appearance to the writing. Despite being aesthetically pleasing, the rounded script was born of necessity.

Because Burma has a rather damp, tropical climate, paper and leather deteriorates quickly and was not a viable option to use for writing. Instead, early scribes began using palm leaves to write on. It was common practice for Buddhist monks to plant trees specifically to have plenty of writing materials on hand. Once the trees reached maturity, the leaves would be boiled, dried, and flattened in preparation for the scribes to record their texts.

For ink, ashes would be mixed with a resin and sometimes fish gall to produce a sooty, black color. Sometimes the ink would be applied directly with a bamboo stylus, though it was also common to scratch the words onto the leaf and then rub the ink into the grooves.

The leaves were more delicate than paper, leather, or bark, so care had to be taken when transcribing texts. If pressed too hard, the stylus could go all the way through the leaf rather than merely piercing the fibers. Long, straight lines were too risky to use on the delicate leaves, so a rounded Burmese script was invented instead.

The lovely, rounded script can be seen here, in the official name for Burma, ပြည်ထောင်စုသမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်, or the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

Examples of palm leaf manuscripts can be found at https://www.brandeis.edu/library/archives/spotlights/special-collections/2016/burmese-texts.html.

Happy New Year

What a whirlwind 2020 has been!

It would be easy to focus on all the bad that happened this year, the tragedy, the inconveniences, the departure from “the norm,” but I think it is more important than ever to instead focus on all the good that can occur in 2021.

New Years is a time of renewal, of new beginnings. We symbolically wipe the slate clean. Going forward, we can decide to face the new year with optimism, forging ahead with a vision of prosperity, togetherness, and kindness.  We can face new challenges knowing that we have already overcome so much.

As a small business, our ability to endure 2020 would not have been possible without the continued support of our clients and vendors, and we are truly thankful for you all. From our team to yours, we wish you prosperity and growth in the new year!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.”- T.S. Eliot

Merry Chickmas?

While many people associate fried chicken with the southern United States, it also occupies a place of great cultural significance in Japan, especially around the holidays. How did the fried chicken make its way from Sunday church gatherings to the Christmas table in Japan? It may surprise you to know that the history of fried chicken goes back hundreds of years and spans continents.

The first recorded recipe for fried chicken was in a 1747 Scottish cookbook titled, “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.” Considering Scotland is well known for their love of deep-frying various foods like Oreo cookies and Mars candy bars, frying up chicken seems a natural starting point. Scores of Scots migrated to the southern United States during the 18th and 19th centuries, bringing their love for fried chicken with them and, it is thought, eventually passing it on to West African slaves who would have cooked it for their slave owners.

Because it was so labor intensive, fried chicken was considered a special occasion food, a dish served at a celebration, or social gathering; it was a dish that brought people together. In the 1950’s, American restaurant chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken, revolutionized the Gospel Bird by taking it mainstream, making it available to anyone at any time. Borrowing heavily from African American recipes, KFC began serving up fried chicken all over the world. This was met with great enthusiasm, especially in Asia.

The first KFC opened in Japan in 1970 and quickly gained popularity, in part because of a fascination with American culture. Capitalizing on this, KFC began offering a Christmas family meal in 1974, modeling it after the traditional American Christmas dinner, sans turkey. Today, the BBC estimates that a whopping 3.6 million families will sit down this year to enjoy their Christmas fried chicken. It is so popular, that you could spend hours waiting in line if you don’t reserve your meal in advance.

Fried chicken may be associated with the southern United States, but when it comes to Christmas dinner, it is a Japanese staple. Don’t forget to pick up your wine to go with your Kentucky Fried Chicken meal, while you’re at it.

Thanksgiving 2020

In the United States, many people are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, though it may look different than in previous years. Some may gather with family and friends, masks in tow, to feast on roast turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the other delicious accompaniments-while maintaining social distance. Others may choose to stay home, Skyping or Facetiming with their loved ones remotely.

At World Translation Center, we are thankful for your continuing support and patronage, and the ability to provide translation services even amidst a pandemic. Below are some of the ways our friends around the world say, “Thank you.”

• Croation- Hvala (HVAH-lah)
• Dutch- Dank u (dahnk-oo)
• Hawaiian- Mahalo (Ma-HA-lo)
• Tagalog- Salamat (Sa-LAH-mat)
• Latvian- Paldies (PUHL-dyens)
• Welsh- Diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
• Russian- Spasiba (Spuh-SEE-buh)

Polynesian Languages

Polynesia has a vast history of sea voyaging, traveling from island to island to explore and eventually inhabit. Originally from Taiwan, Polynesians used their incredible wayfinding skills to travel the sea, eventually settling in what is referred to as the Polynesian Triangle that stretches from Easter Island, Hawaii, to New Zealand. Polynesians were not confined only to this area, however, as carbon dating of sweet potatoes shows they were sailing as far as South America by 700AD.

Polynesian Triangle

Polynesian Triangle

With people dispersed throughout the network of islands, culture and language began to emerge independently, though still similar because of the continued sharing of ideas through trade and travel. Today, there are approximately 40 Polynesian languages with an estimated one million speakers worldwide. The Polynesian languages occupy the Oceanic branch of the much larger Austronesian language family.

 

sunset hawaii

There are two branches of the Polynesian languages, Nuclear Polynesian and Tongic. Tongic is comprised of Tongan and Niuean, with the rest falling into the Nuclear Polynesia branch. Because of the continuity of contact between islands, all the languages share similarities, especially with vocabulary and the heavy use of vowels. This homogeneity allows island hoppers the ability to understand the different island languages with some degree of success. Today, Western influence is visible in Polynesia, evidenced through dwindling numbers of native speakers. By learning and documenting the languages, we can help keep them alive for future generations. According to the UN:

“Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue.”

World Translation Center is proud to offer translation and voice over services in many Polynesian languages, including: Tahitian, Rarotongan, Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Wallisian, and Futunan.

sailing in a tropical lagoon

 

Bilingual Solutions for Contact Tracing

While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, contact tracers are working to reach out to those who have been infected, to isolate the risk of spreading the virus. Recently, a lawmaker in Virginia made news by calling on the governor to employ more bilingual contact tracers due to almost half of the COVID-19 cases in Virginia occurring in the Latino community.

According to a recent census, in the metro Atlanta area alone, there are an estimated 146 languages spoken, with 17% of the population over the age of five speaking a language other than English at home. In larger cities, it is not unusual to have concentrations of non-English speakers, nor is it unusual to see spikes in COVID-19 cases in more densely populated areas. It is necessary to utilize bilingual contact tracers to disseminate and gather accurate information, though this is probably easier said than done.

As an alternative, developing a bilingual script or creating flash cards for the contact tracers to use may be sufficient and more cost effective. With this option, the user can point to the text on the flash card and communicate with people who cannot speak or understand English.

Another option is creating a video with subtitles or voice over that the contact tracer can show from their cell phone.

World Translation Center can help with creating flash cards and bilingual scripts, as well as adding subtitles and voice over to video in many different languages! We offer translation services in over 150 languages, as well as in-person interpretation. We are happy to assist with your COVID-related projects.

 

Next Post
Languages
Acadian French | Accented English | Acholi | Afar | African French | Afrikaans | Akan | Albanian | Alutiiq | Amharic | Amish German | Angolan French | Angolan Portuguese | Algerian Arabic | Arabic Bahrain | Arabic | Egyptian Arabic | Jordanian Arabic | Arabic Kuwait | Arabic Lebanon | Arabic Modern | Moroccan Arabic | Arabic Oman | Palestinian Arabic | Arabic Qatar | Saudi Arabian Arabic | Syrian Arabic | Tunisian Arabic | Arabic (UAE) | Arabic Yemen | Armenian | Assamese | Awakatek | Azeri | Bambara | Basque | Belarusian | Bemba | Bengali | Berber | Bislama | Bodo | Bosnian | Bulgarian | Burmese | Burundi | Cajun French | Cambodian | Cantonese (Guangdong) | Cape Verdian | Carolinian | Catalan | Cebuano | Chamorro | Chechua | Chin | Cantonese (China) | Mandarin | Traditional Mandarin | Chinese (Singapore)... | Chinese (Taiwan) | Chuukese | Cree | Croatian | Czech | Dagbani | Danish | Dari | Dinka | Dutch | Dzongkha | English | African English | Australian English | British English | Canadian English | Indian English | Irish English | New Zealand English | Scottish English | South African English | American English | Estonian | Ewe | Fante | Farsi | Fijian | Finnish | Flemish | French Belgian | Canadian French | French Congo | French | Moroccan French | Swiss French | Tunisian French | Frisian | Fukienese | Fula | Futunan | Ga | Galician | Garo | Georgian | Austrian German | German | Swiss German | Greek | Greek Cyprus | Guarani | Gujarati | Haitian Creole | Hakka Chin | Hausa | Hawaiian | Hawaiian | Hazaragi | Hebrew | Hindi | Hmong | Hopi | Hungarian | Icelandic | Igbo | Ilocano | Indonesian | Inuit | Inuktitut | Italian | Swiss Italian | Ixil | Jamaican Creole | Japanese | Javanese | Kannada | Kaqchikel | Karen | Kashmiri | Kasmiri | Kazakh | Khasi | Khmer | Kiche | Kinyarwanda | Kiribatese | Kirundi | Konkani | Korean | Kosraean | Krio | Kurdish | Kyrgyz | Laotian | Latvian | Lebanese | Lingala Congo | Lithuanian | Luganda | Luxembourgish | Maasai | Macedonian | Malagasy | Malay | Malayalam | Maltese | Mam | Mandinka | Manipuri | Maori | Marathi | Marshallese | Mende | Mizo | Mohawk | Mongolian | Montenegrin | Nagamese | Navajo | Ndebele | Nepali | Nigerian Pidgin | Niuean | Norwegian | Nuer | Ojibway | Oriya | Oromo | Palauan | Papiamento | Papiamentu | Pashto | Pohnpeian | Pokot | Polish | Angolan Portuguese | Brazilian Portuguese | European Portuguese | Portuguese Mozambique | Punjabi | Quiche | Rapa Nui | Rarotongan | Rohingya | Romani | Romanian | Rundi | Russian | Samoan | Sanskrit | Scottish Gaelic | Sepedi | Serbian | Sesotho | Setswana | Shona | Sinhala | Siswati | Slovak | Slovenian | Soloman Islands Pidgin | Somali | Sotho | Spanish | Argentinian Spanish | Chilean Spanish | Colombian Spanish | Costa Rican Spanish | Cuban Spanish | Dominican Republic Spanish | Ecuadorian Spanish | Salvadorian Spanish | Guatemalan Spanish | Spanish Honduras | Mexican Spanish | Neutral Spanish | Panamanian Spanish | Paraguayan Spanish | Peruvian Spanish | Puerto Rican Spanish | Spanish (Spain) | Uruguayan Spanish | Venezuelan Spanish | Swahili | Swazi | Swedish | Tachaouit | Tagalog | Tahitian | Taiwanese | Tajik | Takbalit | Tamazight | Tamil | Tartarian | Tatar | Telugu | Temne | Thai | Tibetan | Tigrinya | Tok Pisan | Tongan | Tshivenda | Tsonga | Tswana | Tulu | Turkish | Turkish Cyprus | Tuvaluan | Twi | Tzutujil | Ukrainian | Urdu | Uzbek | Valencian | North Vietnamese | South Vietnamese | Wallisian | Welsh | Wolof | Xhosa | Yapese | Yiddish | Yoruba | Yupik | ZuluShow more [+]
Voice Talents
Acadian French Speakers | Accented English Speakers | African French Speakers | Afrikaans Speakers | Albanian Speakers | Amharic Speakers | Angolan Portuguese Speakers | Algerian Arabic Speakers | Arabic Bahrain Speakers | Arabic Speakers | Egyptian Arabic Speakers | Jordanian Arabic Speakers | Arabic Kuwait Speakers | Arabic Lebanon Speakers | Arabic Modern Speakers | Moroccan Arabic Speakers | Arabic Oman Speakers | Palestinian Arabic Speakers | Arabic Qatar Speakers | Saudi Arabian Arabic Speakers | Syrian Arabic Speakers | Tunisian Arabic Speakers | Arabic (UAE) Speakers | Arabic Yemen Speakers | Armenian Speakers | Assamese Speakers | Azeri Speakers | Bambara Speakers | Basque Speakers | Belarusian Speakers | Bemba Speakers | Bengali Speakers | Bislama Speakers | Bosnian Speakers | Bulgarian Speakers | Burmese Speakers | Cajun French Speakers | Cambodian Speakers | Cantonese (Guangdong) Speakers | Catalan Speakers... | Chin Speakers | Cantonese (China) Speakers | Mandarin Speakers | Traditional Mandarin Speakers | Chinese (Singapore) Speakers | Chinese (Taiwan) Speakers | Chuukese Speakers | Croatian Speakers | Czech Speakers | Dagbani Speakers | Danish Speakers | Dari Speakers | Dinka Speakers | Dutch Speakers | Dzongkha Speakers | African English Speakers | Australian English Speakers | British English Speakers | Canadian English Speakers | Indian English Speakers | Irish English Speakers | New Zealand English Speakers | Scottish English Speakers | South African English Speakers | American English Speakers | Estonian Speakers | Ewe Speakers | Farsi Speakers | Finnish Speakers | Flemish Speakers | French Belgian Speakers | Canadian French Speakers | French Congo Speakers | French Speakers | Moroccan French Speakers | Swiss French Speakers | Tunisian French Speakers | Ga Speakers | Galician Speakers | Georgian Speakers | Austrian German Speakers | German Speakers | Swiss German Speakers | Greek Speakers | Gujarati Speakers | Haitian Creole Speakers | Hausa Speakers | Hawaiian Speakers | Hazaragi Speakers | Hebrew Speakers | Hindi Speakers | Hmong Speakers | Hungarian Speakers | Icelandic Speakers | Igbo Speakers | Ilocano Speakers | Indonesian Speakers | Inuktitut Speakers | Italian Speakers | Swiss Italian Speakers | Jamaican Creole Speakers | Japanese Speakers | Kannada Speakers | Karen Speakers | Kashmiri Speakers | Kazakh Speakers | Khasi Speakers | Khmer Speakers | Kinyarwanda Speakers | Kirundi Speakers | Konkani Speakers | Korean Speakers | Krio Speakers | Kurdish Speakers | Kyrgyz Speakers | Laotian Speakers | Latvian Speakers | Lebanese Speakers | Lingala Congo Speakers | Lithuanian Speakers | Luganda Speakers | Luxembourgish Speakers | Macedonian Speakers | Malagasy Speakers | Malay Speakers | Malayalam Speakers | Maltese Speakers | Mandinka Speakers | Manipuri Speakers | Maori Speakers | Marathi Speakers | Marshallese Speakers | Mizo Speakers | Mongolian Speakers | Montenegrin Speakers | Nagamese Speakers | Navajo Speakers | Nepali Speakers | Nigerian Pidgin Speakers | Norwegian Speakers | Nuer Speakers | Oriya Speakers | Oromo Speakers | Papiamento Speakers | Pashto Speakers | Polish Speakers | Angolan Portuguese Speakers | Brazilian Portuguese Speakers | European Portuguese Speakers | Portuguese Mozambique Speakers | Punjabi Speakers | Rohingya Speakers | Romanian Speakers | Russian Speakers | Samoan Speakers | Serbian Speakers | Sesotho Speakers | Shona Speakers | Sinhala Speakers | Slovak Speakers | Slovenian Speakers | Somali Speakers | Sotho Speakers | Argentinian Spanish Speakers | Chilean Spanish Speakers | Colombian Spanish Speakers | Costa Rican Spanish Speakers | Cuban Spanish Speakers | Dominican Republic Spanish Speakers | Ecuadorian Spanish Speakers | Salvadorian Spanish Speakers | Guatemalan Spanish Speakers | Mexican Spanish Speakers | Neutral Spanish Speakers | Panamanian Spanish Speakers | Puerto Rican Spanish Speakers | Spanish (Spain) Speakers | Uruguayan Spanish Speakers | Venezuelan Spanish Speakers | Swahili Speakers | Swedish Speakers | Tagalog Speakers | Taiwanese Speakers | Tajik Speakers | Tamazight Speakers | Tamil Speakers | Tartarian Speakers | Telugu Speakers | Thai Speakers | Tibetan Speakers | Tigrinya Speakers | Tongan Speakers | Tswana Speakers | Turkish Speakers | Twi Speakers | Tzutujil Speakers | Ukrainian Speakers | Urdu Speakers | Uzbek Speakers | North Vietnamese Speakers | South Vietnamese Speakers | Welsh Speakers | Xhosa Speakers | Yoruba Speakers | Yupik Speakers | Zulu SpeakersShow more [+]