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CATs who don’t meow: Software for Technical Translations

By |September 13th, 2010|

The acronym CAT is used quite often in the world of technical translations. Despite the way of writing and reading it, this is not related to our furry friends. CAT stands for “Computer Assisted Translation” and is a form of translation where a human being translates texts using computer software designed to support and facilitate the translation process. This is particularly helpful when it comes to technical translations, as the relevant documents often have a high percentage of repetitions.

Most of the CAT software programmes store previous translated source texts and their equivalent target text in a database (Translation Memory – […]

Pedro Almodóvar’s West End debut!

By |February 23rd, 2015|

A module on Spanish cinema during my first year as an undergraduate gave me my initial taste of ‘Almodóvar’, and it’s fair to say that after seeing the 1988 Oscar-nominated Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), I was hooked. We furthermore studied the 1999 masterpiece Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother) and Volver (2009), and I can remember being enthralled by his portrayal of such strong female characters, and relished analysing these films and fondly remember composing an essay on whether he could possibly be considered a misogynist.

Seven […]

Does sarcasm translate?

By |January 26th, 2015|

We’ve all made that sarcastic remark from time to time and in fact it is a very British characteristic which you don’t usually notice until you’re not around British people, as I have found out on a couple of occasions.

This time, I was texting someone from Germany and slotted in a remark, which actually wasn’t intended as sarcasm, however he misinterpreted it as such and said how he didn’t think it translated very well in a message.

It made me think – despite the amount of emoticons now available on messaging systems, how some messages just don’t translate. They are designed […]

Business etiquette in Arabic speaking countries

By |January 12th, 2015|

Arabic dress differs greatly in many parts of the Arab World. In Lebanon and Syria, Western-style clothing is commonplace. In Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, the ghutra (head cloth) and thobe (long, generally white, flowing robe) are the standard.

It is not necessary for Westerners to dress in traditional Arabic outfits. Few Arab business people would expect this or even desire it. It is, however, necessary to make sure that one’s own outfit is customarily modest. While levels of modesty vary from one part of the Arab World to the next.

Taking time to understand the religion, politics and social structure of the Arabic world […]

Christmas around the world: Celebrating Christmas in Russia

By |January 6th, 2015|

Seven interesting facts you may not know!

1:Christmas in Russia is normally celebrated on the 7th January in alignment with the Russian orthodox Julian Calender.

2: The Russian “advent” lasts for 40 days, starting on the 28th November and ending on the 6th January.

3: The official Christmas holidays in Russia are from the 31st of December until the 10th of January.

4: In Russian Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘s rah-zh-dee-st-VOHM’ (C рождеством!) or ‘s-schah-st-lee-vah-vah rah-zh dee-st-vah’ (Счастливого рождества!).

5: On Christmas Day, hymns and carols are sung. People gather in churches which have been decorated with the usual Christmas trees or Yelka, flowers and coloured lights.

6: Christmas […]

Christmas around the World: Celebrating Christmas in Japan

By |December 22nd, 2014|

You’d just Love celebrating Christmas in Japan
The major religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto and with less than 1% of the Japanese population being Christian, Christmas is more of a commercial event with the main celebrations revolving around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Although Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan with shops and companies opening as normal, the Japanese have adopted parts of this Western tradition into their December calender. Walking through Japan throughout the Christmas season,  you would be greeted with the usual Christmas music, decorations and seasonal foods that you would find in the West and […]

8 Reasons your business should be using the internet

By |November 6th, 2014|

Are you making the most of the new international economy the internet has created?
Here’s 8 Reasons why your business should be using the internet

You don’t have to be a massive company like Amazon or Ebay to build a profitable online business. Studies show small and medium size businesses will be the main growth force of e-commerce in the coming years.

With marketing and localisation you can create an appealing shop front that is open 24/7/365 to showcase your products and services to your prospective customer without the overheads of an actual shop.

Having a website shows your customers you are serious about […]

“The internet’s new billion”

By |November 6th, 2014|

According to e-marketer.com, e-commerce sales will increase by 20.1% in 2014 to reach $1.500 trillion. Growth will come primarily from the rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in e-commerce sales and advancing shipping, payment and language options, all pave the way to new international markets for your brand.

More than ever before we have the knowledge and capabilities to export our goods and services online to customers around the world. While the internet certainly gives us the ability to showcase our goods and services, 24/7, to billions of people worldwide, the competition for your potential customers […]

Interpreting services: which one is right for you?

By |October 27th, 2014|

Whether you are going to attend a conference abroad, to meet a foreign business partner overseas or need urgent linguistic support in a foreign land you might need the services of an interpreter. The question is: which one to use?

Conference interpreting is probably the most well-known kind of interpretation. As the name suggests, it is mainly carried out at conferences, in institutional contexts. In this case, the interpreters sitting in soundproof booths and using headsets, render a speech into their native language simultaneously.  This way, the audience, provided with a set of headphones, can listen to the talk at the […]

The official languages of the UN

By |October 24th, 2014|

Friday, 24th October is United Nations day! The UN was founded in 1945 after the Second World War and strives for international peace and security. United Nations day was first celebrated in 1948 and marks the anniversary of the founding of the UN.

The official languages of the UN are – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. These languages are either the mother tongue, or second language of approximately 2.8 billion people. This also covers the official languages in over half of the World’s states.

According to the official UN website, “A delegate may speak in any of the official languages, and […]

How can I work as an interpreter for the UN?

By |October 22nd, 2014|

Since 1945 the members of the Untied Nations have met with the  objective of maintaining world peace during turbulent times. With a total of 193 member states, and as many languages,  interpreters are relied upon to relay the correct information to ensure that language barriers do not interfere with UN objectives.

If you are studying towards a career in the language services industry and want to become a translator or interpreter for the UN, you need to pass Language Competitive Examinations (LCE), which take place every two or three years.

The UN website gathers all the information you need to apply for these […]

Legal document translation: Achieve your dreams, protect your interests

By |October 17th, 2014|

There are many times as we progress through life and in work where it is necessary to use legal services in order to obtain documents that prove liability. Proving  ownership, parenthood, marriage or even a testimony in court case,  these documents are signed by us in accordance with the law of the country and are evidence that we understand the terms and obligations of our undertaking. In work situations legal documents are drafted in the way of employment contracts, HR policies and health and safety requirements. Breaking such agreements will always result in legal action and can have very real […]

The Importance of Website Translation

By |October 17th, 2014|

Here at Veritas, we translate a variety of materials in a multitude of subject areas. One of the types of translation services we offer is Website Translation.

You may think that you are reaching all of your potential customers using English, but as reported in the 2011 Census, as much as 40 percent of people don’t speak English as their main language in some parts of the UK . Depending on your geographical location, having your website translated into Polish or Urdu for example, gives you the ability to communicate with previously unreachable customers in your local area.

But why stop locally? Marketing […]

Translation fails: Why content localisation is essential for your business

By |October 14th, 2014|

I am sure most of you will have heard about ‘translation fails’ in certain advertising campaigns.

What happened with Coca-Cola is fairly well-known – they exported their brand to China for the first time and realised the meaning of the labels they had been printing off for a while was “bite the wax tadpole” and “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect in which “Ke-ke-ken-la”, -Chinese for Coca-Cola- was pronounced.  It was also interesting to find out that the Spanish translation of “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” – the slogan adopted by Parker pen to […]

When would you need a specialised linguist?

By |October 8th, 2014|

Whether you are doing business abroad, buying property or getting married in a foreign country, you may need the services of linguist who specialises in the language you require.

A common misconception held by non-linguists is that if a person can speak and write in a foreign language, they have the ability to translate any kind of document. The reality is that translators train for years in their target language and subjects to master the art of translating complex legal, medical and technical documents.

Below is an example of a legal document. You can see that the sentences are very long and […]

Why Selling your Business Internationally Requires the Services of a Professional Translation Agency

By |October 6th, 2014|

Using a professional translation can help your business expand it’s operations abroad and connect with your customers.

When trying to sell your products and services internationally, it only makes sense to make your product or business available in the offical language of the target country. However, many businesses still cut corners and assume that the English versions will be understood. The cost of the business lost by this error would far outweigh the cost of translation. It is so important to make anything and everything available in the language of the country that you are aiming to do business in.

The notion […]

German Unity Day!

By |October 2nd, 2014|

Today, Friday 3rd October, is German Unity Day or Tag der Deutschen Einheit as it is known in Germany. This German national holiday is in commemoration of East and West Germany being officially reunified on 3rd October 1990 after 40 years of separation.

Germany was split into East Germany (or DDR – Deutsche Demokratische Republik / GDR – German Democratic Republic in English) and West Germany (or BRD – Bundesrepublik Deutschland / FRG – Federal Republic of Germany in English) in 1949. This was after Germany (and Berlin) had been split into 4 sections, with each section controlled by a member […]

7 useful Italian travel phrases

By |August 11th, 2014|

So you have booked your dream holiday in Italy. You can’t wait to stroll down intricate pebbled streets, eat delicious, fresh and carb-heavy food and soak up the sun. But there are a few things you may want to know before you leave – 7 useful Italian travel phrases and tips that will make your holiday truly perfect and blissful.

Conto: the bill. You have just had a delicious meal of creamy linguine with sun-drenched tomatoes, with fragrant olive oil and tangy parmesan, and now it’s time to ask for the bill. Il conto, per favore! Remember that you don’t have to […]

Let’s tweet all about it

By |August 5th, 2014|

Twitter first made its mark back in 2006 and quickly went from strength to strength allowing users to post messages in 140 characters. At first I remember there being a lot of jokes about how people used it to tell others about their daily lives, with tweets about breakfast choices, weather (of course!) as well as a way to spread news fast.

As a well-established tool for both businesses and personal use, Twitter lets everyone join in the conversation using hashtags, which allow posts to be grouped together. It is a good way for businesses to monitor what is being said […]

Congratulations? Not in Italian. The importance of website localisation.

By |July 28th, 2014|

“Congratulations! Your booking was successful” is the sort of message you expect to see after booking a train, a flight or a hotel. If you use English-language websites on a daily basis, you are probably used to pop-ups congratulating you for your booking or kindly thanking you for your visit.

However, if you decide to have your website translated into a different language, it is important to note that cultural factors influence language more heavily than you would think.

Let’s take the Italian market, for example; a translation of “Congratulations! Your booking was successful” does exist, but would never be used on […]

A fond farewell to Maria Amperlogou from Veritas

By |July 25th, 2014|

I was hoping that my first blog in ages would not be commonplace and would be stripped of ‘clichés’, however as it also happens to be the last one, I cannot help but to summarise my thoughts in a single phrase: It is hard to believe this experience is coming to an end!

It honestly seems like yesterday that the phone rang for my interview with Veritas, leaving me beyond excited, though slightly unsure about what Underground line to take to get to Swansea Marina (that excitement we were talking about?)

Here I am today, almost two years after, about to take […]

(Not So) Useless Information

By |July 7th, 2014|

Have you ever found yourself in a situation whereby you need to describe something to another person, but the other person doesn’t speak the same language as you?

I found myself in just this situation recently. Paris, April 2014. I needed to buy a gift for my daughter. She had specified something with a hedgehog on it.

Now, when I did GCSE French – or indeed, when I was ‘re-training my brain’ with my Veritas colleagues before I went, I didn’t think to ask or check what the French word for ‘Hedgehog’ was.

So, there I was, standing in the middle of a […]

Colombian culture – a nation of football and diversity

By |July 1st, 2014|

Colombia is a nation enriched by Native American, Hispanic and African culture. Football plays a pivotal role as the country’s most popular sport, and is bound up in Colombian culture.

All those who are familiar with the game could not forget the likes of Carlos Valderrama, who graced the turf at France 98’ with his iconic style of play, and who could forget that afro?

In many ways, Colombia’s passion for football is a testament to the Colombian people, who are equally as colourful and imaginative as their beloved game. Whether you’re from the capital, Bogota, or the more remote regions of […]

Changing Languages

By |June 27th, 2014|

Changing Languages

A spelling test my daughter recently had in school, prompted me to look into the English language and its’ “idiosyncrasies”, as I like to call them. I have in the past, been called “pedantic” and even on occasion, “obsessive” when it comes to spelling and Grammar – I blame my Form 3 Primary School teacher, Mrs Jones. Mrs Jones made us re-write each word fifty times, if we dared to mis-spell any in our weekly spelling tests!!!

I’ve noticed that, although many people can speak English as their second / third / subsequent language (far better than I can speak […]

So what is linguistics?

By |June 24th, 2014|

When I tell people I studied English Language and Linguistics at university (bit of a mouthful, I know), most of the time people follow it up by asking what linguistics is.

It’s hard to explain sometimes because I’m unsure whether someone is genuinely interested in hearing a five minute spiel about my course, or whether they’re just being polite and making conversation. I do try and adjust what I’m saying but usually the simplest way of explaining it is by saying that linguistics is the science of language.

People don’t often match science and language as they are seen as two separate […]

Experience Brazilian culture through football

By |June 17th, 2014|

So here we have it, the World Cup has finally kicked off, and we are set for a truly colourful and imaginative tournament.

The very essence of football is bound up in the identity of Brazilians, the world over, and the nation is set to be captivated by this year’s events.

Romero Britto, a Brazilian artist, who had been interviewed in June 2012 by Fifa.com once said of the impact that football has in Brazil: “Brazilians are connected through football. It brings joy and happiness to the people watching the game. So many kids, when they see their hero playing, they get […]