Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Economic Barometer? PLG sees Continued Growth in Business Card Translations

Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. is a full-service translation agency, and one of the fastest growing segments is the Business Card Translations. In the first 5 months of 2011, PLG has translated over 500 business cards for varying clients across the globe. Some of these clients have ranged from business executives, engineers, entrepreneurs and teachers who will be volunteering abroad.

The growth in business card translations has been substantial, so it is interesting to take a look at the language leaders which represent this market. The top 4 languages for business card translations in the months of April and May are listed below:

1) Chinese: 48%
2) Korean: 11%
3) Arabic: 10%
4) A two way tie between Japanese and French, at 6%

A steady growth has also been seen for Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew.
Even more interesting is breaking down the factors which have impacted the heightened request rate for each of these languages. China has experienced an incredible amount of economic growth over the past decade, so it is no surprise that American companies would prepare themselves to enter the market with translated information. While significant increases have been seen for Chinese business cards, Japanese business cards have leveled off this year. Six months ago, Japanese would have been a strong contender for first or second, but it is believed that the recent natural disasters have played a role in the decrease of requests.

Businesses are continuing to prepare for continued international expansion. If the world economy continues to recover, PLG is expected to see a continued growth in requests for Business Cards in these languages.

PLG awarded a new Amazon Kindle to a lucky business card owner this month. Read more about this lucky winner: http://plgreader.plg-online.com/2011/05/amazon-kindle-winner-mark-from-debt.html

Amazon Kindle Winner: Mark from The Debt Exchange

From The Debt Exchange, Inc. (The Debt X)

In the month of April, Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. ran a sweepstakes to award a lucky business card translation customer with an all new Wi-Fi Amazon Kindle! This sweepstakes was a way to express our gratitude to our business card translation clients. We conducted a random drawing of all of our business card translations over the month of April, to see who the timely candidate would be. As seen in our “An Economic Barometer? PLG sees Continued Growth in Business Card Translations” article, business card translations have been on a steady rise. The international business climate has taken a turn for the better, and as a result, so have our business card translations.

The lucky winner of our sweepstakes is Mark, from the Debt Exchange, Inc. It has been a pleasure to fuel his international commerce, and an even greater joy to present him with this gift. In reference to winning the Amazon Kindle Sweepstakes, Mark said, “Thanks for the excellent translation -- great turnaround, flexibility and responsiveness at a fair price. Will definitely recommend PLG to friends.”

Well, you are very welcome, Mark! We look forward to providing continued multilingual support to all of our clients. Who knows who the next lucky winner will be, and even more enticing will be what the promotion will be!

Machine Translation May Help - When Implemented Properly

Machine Translation, also known as computer translation, has gone through a roller coaster of a popularity curve. It has been hailed as a breakthrough in the translation industry, all while acquiring a negative reputation for resulting in embarrassing mistakes. While Machine Translation has made significant progress in the past 10 years, most translators and translation agencies continue to shun the technology. Leading industry experts however, including those from the American Translator’s Association (ATA), have encouraged translation agencies to adopt machine translation as a tool that can be utilized for practical purposes.

A recent survey conducted by the ATA, found that 90% of American translators believe that machine translation has practical uses in business. Yet translators and agencies still have difficulty in convincing their customers that machine translation is a viable option that can save time and costs, and these concerns are certainly understandable. Machine translation is not perfect, and below are some pros and cons of the controversial technology:

Machine Translation is good for:
  • Translating casual interactions such as emails, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn. The U.S. government is also known to use Machine Translation to get a “gist” of important social issues being reported in Arabic-language media. This allows them to focus on certain issues so a professional translator can further focus on translating highly pertinent material.
  • When timing clearly overweighs accuracy: translation of large volumes of text or short phrases for spontaneous two-way communication 
  • Understanding highly specialized and highly repeated documents such as patent and scholarly research 
  • Very short life span materials such as news, review of a restaurant, and weather reports 
Yet the industry’s consensus is that machine translation is NOT capable in accurately translating:
  • Highly decorated language, such as romance copy for marketing materials
  • Frequently used documents such as operating manuals or maintenance instructions
  • Documents with a high liability: HR procedures, legal contracts, product packaging and labels
While weighing in the pros and cons, it is no doubt that Machine Translation can produce unexpected results when not used properly, which is why it is recommended that certain guidelines should be followed when utilizing Machine Translation. Machine translation should never be used by someone who is not fluent in the source and target language. Non-fluent speakers may not fully understand the nuances of the language that a fluent speaker will understand and could result in awkward to incorrect translation.

A translator however; is able to modify the machine translation and make it purposely useful. Colloquialisms for example, will often be translated incorrectly via machine translation. However; non-fluent speakers may find machine translation purposeful in non professional communication. Yet it is advisable that before the communication begins, it is understood that machine translation is being used so that the person you are communicating with will understand if they encounter language errors coming from you.

Ultimately, it is best to consult a translation professional when in doubt. While most translation agencies do not utilize Machine Translation, it is certainly appropriate to weigh in this option. Machine translation may very well indeed be beneficial to your business if used appropriately, particularly when used in every day communication.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Bridge to Brazil: Portuguese Translations

If your business model supports conducting business in Latin America, it is clear that Brazil is the place to be. In the beginning of April, Brazil moved past the United Kingdom and France to take the 5th spot on the list of the World’s Largest Economies. This is a major milestone for a country that has been fueled by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), equally strong trading partners and many other factors. The chart below (Source: CEIC Data) is an incredible graphic representation of Brazil’s trade relationship with China over the past decade.

China has been a model for growth and success, and it is apparent through their trading patterns that Brazil has been able to stay alongside China, while it climbs the World economic charts. Aside from being aided by its partnership with China, Brazil is a global leader in manufacturing and agriculture. Soybeans, crude oil and iron ore are among Brazil’s leading exports. Another major contributing factor to Brazil’s continued success is the awarding of the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Cup. These two major sporting events will bring along with them a plethora of renovation and development. Infrastructure and sporting facilities will continue to be overhauled to accommodate these monumental sporting events.

At this point, there is no pioneer advantage for venturing into Brazil. It is no easy task to develop business in Brazil, because the bureaucracy is complex, the infrastructure is continuing to develop, it is cramped and there are many foreign customs. Business ventures require strategy and planning. They require you to be as prepared as possible.

Brazil has the largest Portuguese speaking population in the world, and it is vital to be prepared to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese if you are attempting to penetrate the Brazilian market. The process of translating your company materials to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese can position you way ahead of your competitors, because your materials can then be absorbed and applied significantly faster when presented in market’s native language. Even in the instance that your partner has employees speaking perfect English, Portuguese documents can go many miles farther, exposure-wise. After all, you do not get a second chance at your first impression. At the very least, you want to leave a positive impression ahead of your competitors by delivering the most straightforward and readable messages.

2016 Olympic Games Represent Brazil's Emergence as a World Leader

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, making Brazil the first South American country to win the bid for the Olympic Games and the second in Latin America, after Mexico City in 1968. For Brazil, this represents an entrance into the international community as a true economic powerhouse. While Sao Paulo is Brazil’s main economic center, Rio de Janeiro represents the culture and beauty of what is Brazil. Rio is a beautiful city that affords its visitors magnificent landscapes and a nightlife that simply glows with energy and lights.

The Olympics are the World’s largest and arguably the most important sporting event. This event has led to Rio receiving a major facelift in anticipation of the millions of guests the city will receive. The city will receive about 10,800 athletes alone, so one could imagine the influx of people and business activity that the Games will attract.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games’ Logo was designed to represent harmonious diversity, contagious energy, passion and transformation, the Olympic spirit and exuberant nature. It is a symbol that displays the key characteristics that Rio de Janeiro represents. It exemplifies the rich culture, the status quo and the transformation that is occurring today in Rio and the rest of Brazilian society.

For more information on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, visit the official website at: http://www.rio2016.org/en/home

GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions Makes Headway in Brazil

The PLG Feature Article this month is on the growth and success of Brazil, as well as the importance of utilizing translated materials to penetrate the market. The April project highlight showcases GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions and their use of Portuguese translations to aid them in communicating to the Brazilian market.

Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. has worked hand in hand with GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions to enhance their ASK GPA marketing materials. More specifically, these ASK GPA materials were translated into Spanish and Portuguese. The significance of having Portuguese translations is highlighted in this month’s Feature Article, but its main focus is to penetrate the Brazilian market. Brazil is currently a global superpower fueled by industry and agriculture. This industrial powerhouse is continuing to grow day by day, and GPA is ensuring that their marketing materials are available in the country’s native language. This is just one aspect of GPA’s complex marketing strategy.

GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions is the largest independent specialty printable substrate provider in North America. With a rich history, dating back to 1940, GPA has experienced longstanding growth and success. It is only natural that GPA would experience global outreach. For more information on GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions, visit their website at http://www.askgpa.com/index.asp

For more information on Portuguese or other translation services offered by PLG, please visit www.plg-online.com/translation.html

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