When ‘No’ doesn’t exactly Mean ‘No’

Our colleague Magnus, native Swedish speaker, sent us this picture from an automatic teller machine in Spain:

Translation error in automatic teller machine.

The quality is not very good, and we have removed sensitive data (and of course the name of the Bank), but some of you will spot the error easily.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Swedish grammar, here is the explanation:

We all know how to withdraw cash from these machines, don’t we? If we want to continue with the operation, we press Yes (Ja in Swedish). And if we do not want to continue with such operation, we press No, which should be Nej in Swedish. However, as you can see in the picture, it reads Inte, which means Not (the particle used to build negative sentences in Swedish).

This is a very common error in companies that prefer to take shortcuts in their international communication strategy. First impressions are very important, and this apparently tiny error can prevent this bank from getting a client. It does not prevent you from withdrawing money but, would you trust a bigger operation in a bank that does not give you accurate information in your language?

Oral, written and visual communication are extremely important for companies, no matter if they are an international bank or a small shop in a tourist area. The way you communicate things will define the way your clients and potentials will perceive the services you are offering them, and approaching them in their language will make them feel at ease and make a step in the so difficult world of getting and engaging clients.

If you want to know how we can help you to go global and break language barriers thanks to translation, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Translation and Business Opportunities between Norway and Spain

Recently, I attended a seminar about business opportunities between Norway and Spain, held at the Malaga Chamber of Commerce. The speakers were the Norwegian Ambassador in Spain, Johan Vibe, the President of the Spanish-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Carmen Sanz, and the Norwegian Trade and Tourism Councillor, Gaute Hagerup, who is also Director of Innovation Norway in Madrid.

These seminars are useful to learn about the many business opportunities that can arise between countries that, at first sight, look so different.

What can Spain offer Norway?

The Norwegian representatives were quite surprised to see the high number of high quality technological companies, many of them related to radio frequency technology, located at the Technological Park of Andalusia (PTA) in Malaga. But that was not all.

Malaga is a very appealing destination for Norwegian companies, for several reasons:

  • Quality of life. Excellent climate conditions, excellent food and excellent places to practise outdoor activities.
  • Air connections. Malaga has been a tourist destination for Norwegians for years (in 2014, 1.5 million Norwegians visited Spain, most of them went to Andalusia), so there are several direct flights connecting Malaga and different Norwegian cities, such as Oslo and Bergen. This is really an advantage compared to Madrid, which has less and much more expensive connections.
  • The Norwegian church in Fuengirola. This is a great place to get in contact with other Norwegians living in the area.
  • Norwegian schools. More and more popular in Spain, there is one in Arroyo de la Miel. This enables them to commute to Spain and maintaining the link to their country and culture.

As a result, more and more Norwegians are buying properties in Spain. There are around 60,000 Norwegians living in Spain, most of them in the Costa del Sol. Their acquisitions account for 5 % of the foreign purchases in the Real Estate industry in Spain.

What does Norway import from Spain? Spanish exporters, this is important for you!

  • Civil Engineering and Construction: despite being a small country, they have a big need to improve their transport network, including roads, railway and harbours.
  • Consumer goods: clothing, shoes, furniture, decoration, home linen.
  • Welfare services, mainly for elderly people: it goes beyond building residences for elderly people. In Norway, they consider the physical environment as part of the patient treatment. This, together with the good reputation of Spanish doctors, makes the Costa del Sol an excellent place for pre- and post-surgery treatments.
  • Wine: there are more and more Spanish wines being sold in Norway.
  • Health care: Norway is short of medical professionals (doctors, nurses) as well as medicines.
  • Nautical industry: industrial and tourism crafts and auxiliary services for the nautical industry.
  • Knowledge: related to all these industries, there are more and more engineers, doctors, nurses and Spanish teachers working in Norway.

All these imports from Spain contribute greatly to Norwegian exports. What does Norway export to the rest of the world?

  • Technology (nautical and telecommunications)
  • Renewable energies
  • Oil and gas
  • Nautical transportation services (transport, goods insurance)
  • Aquaculture
  • E-Health
  • Extreme cold weather clothing

In all these industries, translation plays an important role. As stated by the President of the Spanish-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Carmen Sanz; despite Norwegians having a high command of English, you will need to deliver documents in Norwegian, especially if you are participating in public tender offers. Therefore, you have to consider translation as part of your investment in Norway.

Even if the negotiation takes place in English, it is probable that the contracts signed between the companies are in Norwegian. Again, you will need a professional translator for this.

As explained in other occasions, for B2C companies it is essential to address their customers in their own language. It is good for the company’s branding and credibility in the new market, and it also helps to reach more customers. Even if people have a high command of a foreign language (let’s say English), when they search the Internet, they tend to do it in their native tongue. Therefore, for your SEO/SEM strategy, you will probably be more successful if you run a local SEO/SEM strategy in Norwegian.

At Jensen Localization we can help you in all this. We can help you to get in touch with companies offering internationalization services in Norway, they will let you know where to start. Once you know what you want to do in Norway, we can help you on your language needs, either English or Norwegian.

If you are a Norwegian company selling abroad, we can also help you! At Jensen Localization we work both ways, delivering high quality translations from and into the Norwegian languages (Bokmal and Nynorsk) to clients all over the world, in a variety of industries. Feel free to contact us for further information about how we can help you to go global.

Summary of 2014

For new visitors and for those who do not want to check our archives month by month, we are now offering you a selection of articles posted in 2014, so that you can get a quick update.

During 2014, our blog has been addressing issues so important to our clients such as how they can save money on translation.

On articles Misconceptions about Localization Costs for Companies I and II, we explain you in detail how you can easily save costs on your translation by applying easy procedures:

You may be interested in sharing theses posts with your content creators before starting your translation adventure.

We have also talked about procedures that may not be so known to our clients, but that are quite important in order to consider a translation job as finished. In October, we talked about the testing phase, which usually takes place after a website has been translated.

In a global world and a global crisis, all companies want to increase their sales. And in order to do it, they increase their marketing strategies. And as they want to sell abroad, marketing becomes international marketing. And, guess what? Translation is an extremely important tool in international marketing! For this reason, in March we published an interesting article about the relationship between Market Entry Strategies and Localization.

For translators, we published in November an interesting article about how to prepare your files for translation with SDL Trados Studio and make sure that you only translate what you need. Your clients will also appreciate it, since this also prevents charging for text that is not actually to be translated.

Finally, we also published an article about our new service, the Controlled TM+MT Environment, available for companies that do their translations in-house but do not have a system in place for keeping consistency and reusing translations.

We hope to continue writing about interesting topics in the translation, localization and interpreting industry. Is there any topic of interest for you that you would like us to research on and write about? Feel free to propose it in the comments section or contact us!

 

Meet our Team (VII). Isabel Guijarro, Project Manager

In this interview, we want to introduce you to Isabel Guijarro, one of our Project Managers in Spain, who got experience in other localization companies before joining our team.

IsabelWhat is your origin?

I am from a small village in Málaga, La Cala del Moral

What did you study?

I studied a “Degree in Translation and Interpretation ” at University of Malaga. I also did the first year of PhD in Malaga and then I moved to Madrid and studied a MBA in Software Localization in University of Paris, in Madrid.

Did you always want to become a PM or did it happen be coincidence?

Since very early during my studies I decided that I would prefer to coordinate better than to translate.

How long have you been working for Jensen Localization?

Almost 5 years

Did you start working for Jensen Localization right after finishing school or did you gain experience from other jobs?

I had other jobs. I worked in videogames localization in Dublin and then in Madrid for several years. Always in the videogames industry.

What are the pros and cons about being a PM?

For me, the pros are that you are daily in touch with many people, from all over the world, and that you can change of task every now and then. It is challenging to manage many projects at the same time and remember every detail from all of them. Specially at the beginning, it is a challenging job.

The cons can be exactly the same things when things are not doing good J. It is not easy to be in the middle of a Chinese PM and a Norwegian translator, for example. They both have their own way of working and you need to match both. Being in the middle of different cultures (and adding my own) is challenging.

What tasks do you usually do?

I receive requests from clients, cast resources (based on their experience, price and availability), organize schedules, tools and procedures for each project and control the process.  

What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

I like reading, writing, watching movies, practising sports, hiking, but most of all, being outdoors and travelling.

How many languages do you know?

I have studied English, French and Italian but I don’t practice French and Italian and I am not fluent anymore. I am now studying French again.

What is the most important element to you when working with new clients?

I think that the most important is to make them feel that you have everything under control and they can trust your work.

What advice would you give a new PM working in the same business as you?

I am not good in advices J

Being a PM how important is it to work in teams and communicate with other staff members?

It is very important to work as a team and constantly communicate with all members of the company since we wouldn’t be able to do our work without the support of each single department.

Do you communicate with the staff from the other JL departments?

We always try to be as communicative as possible, but it is true that we are not always perfectly communicated. We are all immerse in our routines and sometimes we don’t find the time to communicate with others.

Do you think machine translation will ever replace JL’s services?

Yes, I even think that, in a long future, machines will replace all kind of person’s jobs.

What types of projects do you prefer working with?

Multilingual big projects with many people involved and requiring a lot of planning and attention. Challenging projects.

We hope you keep coping with challenges at Jensen Localization, Isabel! In our next interview, you will feel we are repeating an interview, but you will meet a person we are sure you have not met before. Keep tuned!

The Neverending Story of Word Counts

 Do you remember Michael Ende’s book, The Neverending Story? Or, like me, do you remember more the them song by Limahl’s?

Whenever I have to make a quotation for a client and I ask them for the source files, I enter in the fantasy world of word counts, which is full of  fantastic creatures that can make your word count as big as Falkor, the luckdragon, if not prepared correctly.

Our last adventure in the fantasy world of word counts took place quite recently.

We got a quotation request for translation of a website, and we asked the client for the source files. The client exported the website into individual xml files, and we analyzed them to get a word count. We used Trados Studio for that, and we got a word count that was a very nice starting point, but which we knew that was not real: more than 60,000 words.

The file was not prepared correctly for translation, so we had to prepare it ourselves. We needed to create a configuration file that Trados would use to know what is translatable and what is not. If you are a translator, follow these steps to learn how to do it. If you are a client, just skip to the end of the article, and you will be happy to know what the word count will be after all these steps.

When you create the Project in Trados Studio, you will reach a point where you have to select the files to translate. Before doing that, go to the File Types option:

File types

When you click on File Types, you will see a list of all file types supported by Trados Studio. However, as I mentioned, we want to create our own file type, based on the files we are going to translate.

Just click on New and select the desired type. In our example, we are going to select XML.

Select Type

Follow the instructions of the wizard and select if you want to create an XML file based on default settings or based on settings from an existing settings file. In our example, we are going to select the second option, and we will browse to select one of the translation files:

Create File Type

The Parser Rules dialog box will now appear. Here is where we need to select what is translatable and what is not. Just go through the list of rules and double click on each of them in order to select the status from Translatable to Not Translatable.

Parser Rules

Once you are done, your file type will appear in the list of files types.

Project File Type Settings

And when you add the files to translate to the project, they will all appear under the file type you created.

New Project

By doing this, when you analyze the files, your word count will be much real, as it will only take into account those strings that need translation.

In our example, we moved from a word count of more than 60,000 words to around 19,000 words. It is a big difference in our income, but if we had not done it, the client would have not accepted our quotation or he might have paid much too much.

Also, translating segments full of xml code that is not to be touched can be really annoying, so the translators will end up spending more time than expected.

However, even if we have sorted out this problem and managed to provide clients with an accurate word count that matches with what they need to translate, we still need to face another issue: how can we convince clients that they should send the full source files for quotation? Have you managed to get them? Tell us your strategies in the comments!

Related articles:

Why do repetitions have to be included in a text to translate?

  • Don’t touch my source files!
  • When the file to translate is sent “as is”
  • The Localization Project. Part 3: Creating the Source