Unity Makes Strength

As most of us know, Unity makes strength. This motto was originally used by the Dutch Republic (it means Eendracht maakt macht in Dutch). It is derived from the Latin phrase concordia res parvae crescunt (small things flourish by concord).[1]

Netherlands gold ducat (1729) with the motto concordia res larvae crescent on the obverse, found in the Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipwreck 't Vliegend Hert. Source: Wikipedia

Netherlands gold ducat (1729) with the motto concordia res larvae crescent on the obverse, found in the Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipwreck ‘t Vliegend Hert. Source: Wikipedia.

Unity is a type of partnership, developed to face challenges, to share expenses, to overcome problems and to follow certain values. In this union, each part has a certain degree of independence and freedom, so nothing compared with the usual huge corporation’s structure.

According to the business dictionary, a partnership is a type of business organization in which two or more individuals pool money, skills, and other resources, and share profit and loss in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement. In the absence of such agreement, a partnership is assumed to exist where the participants in an enterprise agree to share the associated risks and rewards proportionately.[2]

We want to take this theory a step further and make it real, like other success models of cooperation. A good example of unity and success is how Berlitz revolutionized language instruction when it introduced the Berlitz Method® in 1878. Today, they are the leading brand in language training services. In fact, their name is as strong as many of the most trusted consumer brands in the world. Millions of people learn new languages following their methodology—at their language centers in more than 70 countries, at corporate sites and online.

This means that using cooperation humanity survives as well as evolves and progresses. Translation is a world that is looking for peaceful and harmonious cooperation for years to reach a next phase, to grow in a technology era where globalization is a must but regionalization is forgotten.

At Jensen Localization we would like to explore this new concept of partnership with you and reach this common objective of complete regionalization of global businesses all together.

We want to share with you our knowledge and the strategies that are required for survival in a fast pace changing society. Are you curious to learn more? Contact us, we are waiting for you to start this amazing journey. Remember, good opportunities may come only once in life.

[1] Read more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_makes_strength

[2] Read more at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/partnership.html


The Experts’ Opinion on Health Care Localization

Jensen Localization had the pleasure to meet Dr F.P. Wieringa at the latest Medical Devices Innovation Programme (MDIP) that took place in Munich this year.

IEC member Dr F.P. Wieringa chaired the October 14th MDIP session. He is involved in the NeoKidney Project of the Dutch Kidney Foundation to create a portable device for hemodialysis at home or when travelling.

Dr F.P. Wieringa talks about the importance of localization for medical devices

Dr F.P. Wieringa, Senior Scientist Medical Equipment
Member of CEN & IEC
TNO Science & Industry

We asked him to give his opinion about localization for our blog, as his concerns about the proper use of localization are commonly shared by us.

On the topic of localization he states the following:

“Localization is important. IEC 60601-1: 2005, which is the basic standard for all electro-medical equipment states in clause that instructions for use shall be in a language that is acceptable to the intended operator“.

As we know, from experience, if the translation of a medical device is poor or incorrect the user will not be able to operate it the expected way. A typical example is when nurses of many hospitals tend to add stickers on devices such as scans and x-ray machines to know how to use the most basic functions and avoid the problematic ones. This issue could be avoided with clear and easy to understand instructions in the user´s language. You can learn more about this and other examples of good communication on this article by Dr Wieringa and other authors. Just click on the link and search for “user instruction” to reach this section about stickers on equipment.

Localization becomes even more important if you are designing equipment for home care, where lay persons are the intended operators. Dr Wieringa pointed out that the dedicated collateral standard on home care equipment, IEC 60601-11: 2015, emphasises this by stating:

“As required by the general standard and its USABILITY collateral standard, IEC 60601-1-6:2010 and IEC 60601-1-6:2010/AMD1:2013, accompanying documents for use in the home healthcare environment should focus on the characteristics of the intended lay operator to make the accompanying documents most effective for them” (text from the rationale of clause 7.1 in Annex A.2).

During his opening lecture on the MDIP event, the book Evaluation Of New Technology in Health Care was discussed. We encourage you to get your free copy of this very interesting subject.

You can order a free printed copy of it (no shipping costs, they will be covered by KNAW, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) on this website.

Website visitors can also download a PDF Summary and a PDF version of the book.

Jensen Localization would like to thank Dr F.P. Wieringa for his time on helping us in producing this article and sharing his expertise on such a complex subject like home medical devices development.

At Jensen Localization we have long experience translating and localizing instruction manuals and making them acceptable for the intended operator of any medical device. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information and let us know how we can help you.


Meet our new Business Development Manager, Nicolás M. Fontana

Sell me this pen.

This question is one of the classical ones in many job interviews. It was used long ago, and it is still used because it can reveal very interesting information about the personality of the applicant.

At Jensen, we like doing things differently, and we do not follow that approach in our interviews, as we think that things can be simpler and we build our relationships on mutual trust.

So we use this type of questions just to know more about our new staff. And because we enjoy a bit of gossip from time to time. But just a bit.

Nicolás M. Fontana is our new Business Development Manager. He joined our team in October 2016 and has filled his department with lots of energy and motivation. He has a difficult job, but we think he is our man! Learn more about our new member in these questions:

  1. What is your origin and how did you join the translation industry?

I was born in Argentina in 1981, from a Spanish-Italian family. The roots of my family can be traced from my father side in Castile and León, in Spain, and from my mother side in Piedmont, Italy and Trieste (which nowadays is part of Italy but used to be a part of former Yugoslavia).  I joined the translation industry in Poland in 2011 as a member of a localization testing unit in a big localization company in Warsaw. After several roles there, I ended my career in the Language Lead position. As a Language Lead, I have to admit that I had the pleasure of working with the best team of people that I ever met in my life till now.

After that, I decided that it was high time to move back to Andalusia, where a piece of my heart, my brother, and my closest friends are located (they are like my second family).

Thanks to Jensen Localization I have the opportunity to be back in such a beautiful place, in an environment surrounded by very interesting people that I would like to make part of my life.

Nicolás M. Martín Fontana, passionate about languages and culture.

Nicolás M. Martín Fontana, passionate about languages and culture.

      1. Have you ever made a language or translation blunder so embarrassing that you would never tell anyone? If you have, now it’s time to talk about it!

Yes, although errare humanum est, I made quite a few language blunders in my first years in Poland, mainly because it is a difficult language to pronounce.

In Polish, there is a very tasty soup with a tricky name, “żurek”. If you mispronounce it as “siurek” the meaning changes to penis, so be careful if you are in a restaurant full of people, as it is indeed very embarrassing.

Another fun fact is that, in Spanish, you may find the sign “curvas peligrosas” on the road, that sounds like one of the most used swearing words in polish that is “kurwa”, and that means “prostitute” (to put it nicely). So it is quite funny for Polish people coming to Spain when someone is saying ‘cuidado, hay una curva peligrosa’ (whatch out, there is a dangerous turn there) as they may think on a “dangerous prostitute” waiting on the next turn.

      1. Do you have any unusual hobbies?

I believe that I don´t have any unusual hobby, one of them used to be collecting coins when I was a child. In Poland my wife and I used to collect magnets from all places we travelled for business or holidays, then the fridge turned to be too small, so we slowed down. Nowadays I am thinking of starting collecting pens after the amount that you can get on every marketing event.

I also enjoy a lot creating videos and documentaries.

      1. What are you known for?

At work, I like speed, motivation, and spread happiness among people I work with. I am mostly known because of my jokes that sometimes can be ironic and my social involvement in humanitarian causes and fight against racism and other prejudices. We are all flesh and bones, aren’t we?

      1. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

Well, most people tend to relate me to a bear due to my size. But if I could choose an animal I would like to be a sooty shearwaters bird, because it can travel an incredible distance each year, logging as much as 40,000 miles, in that way I would be able to visit all my friends and family that are spread around the world.

Nicolás sees himself as a sooty shearwaters bird, as he has travelled a lot.

Nicolás sees himself as a sooty shearwaters bird, as he has travelled a lot.

      1. Do you sing in the shower? What is your favourite song for that moment?

No, I do not sing in the shower, but I like a lot of different types of music, I am a music lover. I used to be part of a band in my youth together with my brother. I have to admit that nowadays music is on decay for my taste; I like more the oldies or 60´s to 90´s bands. The XXI century brought not much originality to music styles. However, there is always hope…

      1. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Ham, cheese, eggs, milk, sausages, pate, cherry tomatoes and that´s it. As we recently moved there is not much in it.

We hope this short interview will help you to know Nicolás better. We are very happy to have him on board, and we wish him the best of lucks at Jensen.

And if you meet Nicolás at any event, now you have lots of ice breakers to start a nice chat with him :-).

Web-based Casual Games: Easy to Play, Difficult to Translate

Creating new web-based casual games requires new ideas. New ideas need new markets to grow. And to reach new markets and succeed, we need motivation and localization.

Fred Di Giacomo and Otavio Cohen had more than enough motivation to succeed. These two brave entrepreneurs and their fantastic team created a very original game for the Brazilian science magazine Super Interessante (In English: Very Interesting) called Science Kombat.

The game illustrates the constant fight between religion and science in search of higher knowledge. It combines famous scientists in a Street Fighter/Mortal Combat fighting mode, plus one final boss that relates to the “metaphorical fight” in between Science and Religion.

The main idea of this game is that each character (a world-known scientist) has a special power, related to the scientific discovery this character has made in his/her real life. For example, Isaac Newton has special powers related to optics and gravity.

The final bosses of the game represent the deities of some of the major religions in the world.

Fans of classic games will like the design of this game, as it pays tribute to old arcade games.

What about localization? In order to succeed in other countries, these games have to pass some interesting translation and localization challenges:

  • Localization of character/heroes names

For example, the name “Charles Darwin”, in Brazilian Portuguese may remain as “Charles Darwin” as in English, but in some languages, it will require adapting. For example, in Latvian, it becomes “Čarlzas Robertas Darvinas”.

  • Localization of achievements and discoveries

They may translate differently in each country. For example, Natural Selection can be translated into Spanish as “Selección natural” while in German this can sometimes be reduced to “Selektion”.

  • UI (User Interface) issues

This is a common localization problem not only in web-based games but also in other web-based programs. UI behaviour can truncate and overlap translations, generating comprehension problems and cosmetic issues that affect end user usability.

These are just a few of the issues you may encounter. So this is why game developers should take localization into account from the planning phase, to avoid delays in the release of the source and target versions of the game. Counting on a reliable localization partner is, therefore, essential.

In the games industry, adapting names, discoveries and historical events is critical to capture the attention of the users and to keep them playing until reaching the Game Over screen. At Jensen Localization, we are very aware of this, and we know how to get the proper translation for each language variety.

Also, our skilled translators and dedicated project managers will help developers prevent localization issues. This teamwork between developers and localizers can help entrepreneurs to promote new ideas, as the more they learn about the specifics of each language and culture, the more additional features or special releases of a game for a particular market they can create. If budget allows for it, of course.

We have the knowledge and the tools to localize such games and to help their creators reach global success. Are you curious to know more? Do you like innovation? Contact us today!

If you would like to play it for free, visit Super Interessante.

A day to honour translators and interpreters all over the world

Today, 30 September, is an important day for translators and interpreters all over the world. Today, we celebrate International Translation Day.

Why on 30 September? Because it is the feast of St. Jerome, the first translator of the Bible. If you want to learn more curious facts about the translation history, click on this video.

Both professions have a common goal: enable communication.

There are lots of different situations where the task of translators and interpreters has been crucial to save lives, to decide if a person is guilty or not, and even to avoid business blunders. You can find a few on the book Found in Translation, which we talked about long ago in this blog.

We have asked our staff to let us know some words they like, either in their mother tongue or in any foreign language they speak, and we are surprised by all the different words they came up with.

Some are a reflection of their character and the things they like most. For example, Isabel, one of our PMs in Spain, chose the English term wanderlust and the French one dépaysée, two feelings shared among many travellers who, like her, love to feel out of this world when they are in a place completely new to them.


Wanderlust, a word many travellers share.

Our CEO, Brian Jensen, is a very practical person, and he always tries to follow this approach: KISS (Keep IT Short and Simple). Maybe this is why he chose two words: sinasaappelsap, a Dutch term for orange juice (is there anything simpler than an orange juice?) and hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliafobi, a Danish Word meaning phobia to long words.

orange juice in Dutch

Sinaasappelsap, Dutch term for orange juice. Sometimes, simple things are best.

If you follow our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus profiles, you will see more words chosen by our staff in so many different languages like Finnish, Papiamento or Zuid-Afrikaans.

Just before we finish, we want to talk about the Spanish Word “chícharo”, selected by our project manager in Spain Susana Villodres.

Chícharo is a word used in some regions in Spain and Latin America, and it is another word for guisante (pea in English). The story behind this name is kind of interesting.

Chícharo comes from Latin term cicer – ciceris, meaning chickpea. Romans used this name because chickpeas are rounded and have a small protuberance. As the Roman politician and philosopher Cicero had a bump on the tip of his nose, people started to call chickpeas cicer.

When Romans conquered Spain, the meaning of the word evolved to chícharo due to the Mozarabic dialect, but it lost the sense of chickpea and preserved the meaning of pea.


Chícharo, another term for pea in Spanish.

We hope you enjoyed this curiosity about etymology. We want to wish translators and interpreters all over the world a Happy International Translation Day and want to thank them for their hard work to enable communication between people and cultures.