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Localization concepts and tools: what do translators know about them?. Magda Talaban Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain October 2006. The new language industry. The GILT Globalization (G10n) Internationalization (I18n) Localization (L10n) Translation. The GILT.

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localization concepts and tools what do translators know about them

Localization concepts and tools:what do translators know about them?

Magda Talaban

Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

October 2006

the new language industry
The new language industry
  • The GILT

Globalization (G10n)

Internationalization (I18n)

Localization (L10n)

Translation

the gilt
The GILT
  • Globalization (G10n)

Globalization addresses all of the enterprise issues associated with making a company truly global.

For the globalization of products and services this involves integrating all of the internal and external business functions with marketing, sales, and customer support in the world market. (LISA)

the gilt1
The GILT
  • Internationalization (I18n)

Internationalization is the process of generalizing a product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without the need for redesign.

Internationalization takes place at the level of program design and document development. (LISA)

the gilt2
The GILT
  • Localization (L10n)

… involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold. (LISA)… meansthe linguistic and cultural adaptation of digital content to the requirements of a foreign market (Schäler 2005)

… is the adaptation of products or services to the cultural, legal, linguistic, and technical requirements of a specific locale. (Lionbridge)

translation in the l10n discourse
Translation in the L10n discourse
  • “Translation is the process of converting written text or spoken words to another language.” (Esselink 2000)
  • “Translation is the core skill of converting text from one language to another, whether on hard copy or electronically.” (Sprung 2000)
  • Translation differs from L10n in scope.(LISA)
drawing it
Drawing it

(Source: Biau Gil 2005)

what s to localize
What’s to localize?
  • Digital products (cf. Schäler)

- software

- Web sites

- video-games

- DVDs

- courseware

- films

  • Print products

- advertising products

- tourist materials

the industry discourse
The industry discourse
  • Rather technical discourse (e.g. Esselink 2000)
  • Translation – just one of the steps in the process
  • Translators involved in large projects, managed by localizers
  • New set of technical skills required from translators (use of TMs and MT) + Preoccupation for cutting down translation costs
  • Cultural adaptation refers to items outside language (e.g. date, currency format)

- for Web sites: Web site design

localizing for emerging markets
Localizing for emerging markets
  • Most L10n processes (still) generate in the U.S.
  • Smaller / less developed markets = target markets for localized products

- need for local language specialists for L10n projects

- technical advances penetrate at a slower pace

- translator training curricula not yet updated

Discrepancy?

mini survey
Mini-Survey
  • Aim:

- to explore how familiar the respondents are with localization concepts and tools;

- to examine how translators describe Web site translation based on their own experience.

  • Method:

- online questionnaire posted on Proz.com forum

- in English

- multiple-choice + open questions

mini survey1
Mini-Survey
  • Respondents:

- 27 Romanian translators

- experience as a translator: 1 to 28 years

- 67% freelance; 33% in-house

  • Web site translation

- 60% occasionally

- 22% only once

- 3% on a regular basis

q what is the difference if any between localization and translation
Q: What is the difference (if any) between localization and translation?
  • L10n = Translation – 20%
  • L10n ≠ Translation – 50%
  • Don’t know – 30%
l10n translation
L10n ≠ Translation
  • Freelance, 28-year experience:

“Translation is not to be considered as being identical with localization. The last one implies an adequate, thorough knowledge of the culture, habits & the worldview of both the nations’ language from/into which one has to translate.”

  • Freelance, 10-year experience:

“Translation means the exchange of words and sentences from one language to another, whilst localization also implies an adaptation of the text to fit the reader profile.”

l10n translation1
L10n ≠ Translation
  • Freelance, 6-year experience:

“Localization is more than translation. The translator has to do more than just translate a text from a source language into one or more target languages. He/she has to adapt everything to the specific local conditions, that is, to localize.”

  • Freelance, one year experience:

“They are not the same thing. With localization, the text is adapted to the target group / country, and not just translated.”

l10n translation2
L10n ≠ Translation
  • Freelance,5-year experience:

“Localization involves designing and setting up content so that it is easily convertible into different languages. Translation is rendering certain content into another language.”

  • Freelance, 2-year experience:

“Not the same thing. Localization implies adapting the source to meet certain local requirements.”

q when translating web sites do you use any translation tools which one s
Q: When translating Web sites, do you use any translation tools? Which one(s)?
  • Never – 48%
  • Occasionally – 30%
  • Frequently – 12%
  • E.g. WordFast, Trados
q how did you become familiar with these translation tools
Q:How did you become familiar with these translation tools?
  • Took a specialize course in translation – 11%
  • Looked for tutorials on Internet – 28%
  • Someone who knows taught me – 24%
  • N/A (not familiar with translation tools for Web sites) – 42%
q when translating web sites what is the file format that you are required to work with
Q:When translating Web sites, what is the file format that you are required to work with?
  • Text file (.doc, .txt, .rtf) – 67%
  • HTML file – 22%
  • Other format – 11%
q how did you become familiar with html files
Q:How did you become familiar with HTML files?
  • Took a specialize course in translation – 11%
  • Looked for tutorials on Internet – 28%
  • Someone who knows taught me – 24%
  • N/A (not familiar with HTML files) – 42%
overall results
Overall results
  • Correlation between the translator’s familiarization with L10n tools/concepts and years of experience

Younger translators (1 or 2 year-experience)

- don’t know what L10n is

- don’t use any translation tools when translating Web sites.

More experienced translators (~5 years experience)

- consider that L10n ≠ translation

- use translation tools on a regular basis.

this could imply that
This could imply that…
  • In-house translators are less updated on the new technologies than freelancers. (due to less competition?)
  • Some translators consider that translation does not involve adaptation. (conflict with translation theory?)
  • Translator training curricula has not been adjusted yet to the new market requirements.
  • However, when out on the market, some seem to have learnt the rules of survival (i.e. update their technical skills)