Automatic translation: what it means and what it represents

Automatic translation: what it means and what it represents

What is automatic translation? “Automatic translation” means substitution of words from one language to another. It is software that translates a text in a very short time with little human effort.  How does it work? It is usually (and hopefully) based on corpora. Words are translated automatically because of other words nearby. However because a machine can’t think, it can’t give a perfect translation. It lacks context and meaning. For more on this, take a look at our blog post about Common Mistranslations.  What does automatic translation mean for “human” translators? There are two opinions on the subject: It means that a machine with no faculty of thought could takes the translator’s place. The machine works rapidly.  On the other side, using a machine could be useful when the topic is technical. Likewise, when one just wants to understand the general meaning of a text. This can help the translator in post-production. That is to say, the translator can edit and proofread the machine-translated text until it reads naturally. Does automatic translation represent a real threat?  The answer is: it depends. If a machine translation is trained in a specific field, the obtained technical translation could be useful. It represents a threat if the translator is afraid to be replaced. However, it could also be an opportunity for the translator to save time by working with the text post-production. On the other hand, if one wants to translate a literary text, the machine translation will fail. Why? Because in literary text you will find metaphors, allegories, hidden meanings and more. And a machine translation is not able to identify these...
Greta Thunberg and the environment: let’s opens our eyes to reality.

Greta Thunberg and the environment: let’s opens our eyes to reality.

How languages and Greta Thunberg are connected to the environment. News items about climate change, Greta Thunberg and the environment bombard us. Something is changing all over the world. But what’s really happening? And who is this girl speaking to our state representatives? Her name is Greta Thunberg. Who is Greta Thunberg? Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish girl. People consider her a young influencer for the environment. Last year she wanted to meet politicians. In fact, she started to spend her days in front of the Swedish parliament. She has organized strikes and founded a movement called Friday for Future. Greta took part in several debates about the environment. She was present at several conferences: firstly, the Katowice Climate Change Conference, which made her famous; secondly, the World Economic Forum in Switzerland; thirdly, the meeting at the European Parliament. She also went to the Senate of the Italian Republic (where she met Pope Francis); World Earth Day in London; and finally, to the United States Congress in Washington. She wants to share her message: “We have wasted too much time and risk having no future.” What is happening in our World? The effects of global climate change are clear. Glaciers are disappearing and the temperature of the globe is rising. In the long term, the seasons will no longer exist. Besides, precipitation will increase. There will be more aridity and stronger hurricanes. Species are becoming extinct. What we can do for the environment? As Greta Thunberg says, we should be activists for the environment. We should share awareness in every possible way: in English, Spanish, Chinese, using images,...
Freelance translator daily organization: establish it trusting LingoStar

Freelance translator daily organization: establish it trusting LingoStar

Freelance translators: are you organized? Those of you who work from home know that establishing good daily organization as a freelance translator is a challenge. Furthermore, there is no time for tiredness or boredom. You must manage your time wisely and can only count on yourself to complete your tasks. It’s a very common sensation for a freelance translator to feel overwhelmed by typical household duties such as driving your children to school, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, etc., and still finishing your work by the end of the day. It may seem too much for one person. Also you know that putting time aside for your wellness and hobbies is very important. We are ready to give you some advice on organizing your life and establishing good daily organization. How to establish your freelance translator daily organization: a balance between work and personal well-being Schedule your day. A freelance translator needs to have a daily plan. Try to get up every morning at the same time. Settle down a routine. Have a shower, drink some coffee, get dressed and then start your work. Don’t go to sleep too late because you need to sleep at least 7 hours per night. This allows you to be more productive during the day. Of course, if you need one or two hours more in the night to finish work, stay up (but be careful: do this only occasionally). Turn off your phone. Ask your client to contact you by email only. You will look more professional. In addition, ask your family not only to respect your time but let them understand that...
Public Speaking

Public Speaking

What is Public Speaking? Public Speaking in Vancouver or in any part of the world is the way by which we connect with a live audience. We are living in a world where we need to prove ourselves by our actions. Some people are really extroverted and some are introverted. Also, some people have good communication skills while others are nervous when speaking in public. Communication is the very first impression a person makes on another person. At the same time, public speaking plays an important role in the professional or business environment. All successful job interviews are based on the communication skills and confidence of the interviewee. Ways to Overcome a Fear of Public Speaking Know your topic and audience: Before going in for a presentation or speech, it is important for the individual to know well what they are speaking of and who they are speaking to. Knowing this will help the speaker to present with confidence. Good posture: To look confident, it is important to have good posture while speaking to a group of people. It shows that you have perfect knowledge of the topic and are comfortable with the audience. Relate with personal life: It is always beneficial when you relate the topic to your personal life. In that way, you can express your words or feelings in a convincing manner. Begin and end strong: Always make sure that your introduction and conclusion have a strong impact on the audience. As a result, the audience will understand the topic from the very beginning and leave with a good impression.Add visual aids: While doing public speaking, visual aids play...
Superstitions in India: the fear of the unknown

Superstitions in India: the fear of the unknown

What is a Superstition? A superstition is a belief that is considered supernatural or irrational. Over the years there have been many superstitions that have developed and some are still present. In every country there are superstitions but they may come in different forms. For example, they can be related to a number, day, colour, animal, etc. Superstitions in India: In India there are a lot of superstitions which are believed as supernatural. So here are some of the most interesting ones: Shaking of legs: If a person’s legs shake continuously, they will be left with less wealth. Washing hair on Thursday: Thursday is considered a bad day for washing your hair. The reason again is fear of losing wealth. If you see a garbage truck: If you see a truck full of garbage before leaving your home, it means that your day will pass very well. However, if you see a garbage truck that is empty before leaving your home, it is considered bad and unlucky. More superstitions in India: Colour (White and Black): The colours white and black are not considered lucky for a new bride. She cannot wear these colours for a few months because it is considered a threat on their new relationship. Whereas, in developed countries, it is tradition for the bride to dress in a white gown for the wedding. Sneeze: If you are about to leave from your home for work, and someone sneezes, it is thought to be fear of the unknown. Something will go wrong on the way or the task will not be completed. Perfumes and colognes (fancy and...
Study in Vancouver

Study in Vancouver

Study in Vancouver: A Great City for Students Many people dream of studying and living in Canada and often Vancouver is the city which comes to mind. Vancouver is a coastal seaport city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, also known as Beautiful British Columbia. What’s more, Vancouver offers a unique and extraordinary experience in terms of lifestyle and educational opportunities. Here are some reasons people want to live and study in Vancouver.   Benefits of studying and living in Vancouver Universities and Colleges: In Vancouver, there are a few universities and colleges which are ranked high in quality of education. For example, the University of British Columbia is in the top three universities in Canada. Other institutions include Langara College, Columbia College, Kwantlen Polytechnical University, and Simon Fraser University. Moreover, there are many programs available for different types of students. Climate in Vancouver: Apart from rest of the Canada, the weather in Vancouver is pleasant and soothing. You can feel the drizzling of the rain on your face in the month of September. Here in Metro-Vancouver, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy the beauty of nature like Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park, and Capilano Suspension Bridge.   Public Transportation and Lifestyle: Getting around in Vancouver is easy. All the credit goes to the government who manage a vast network of public transportation. Moreover, travelling by public transportation is cheap compared to having your own car. This means that you spend less on a monthly basis. Diversity: As people from different countries come here to study, it makes the city richer in diversity. People from Asia...
Culture shock: transform it into a positive experience

Culture shock: transform it into a positive experience

What is culture shock? As the phrase itself states, culture shock is the feeling you experience when facing a cultural situation that is new, different and unknown to you. Although the word “shock” seems rather unfriendly and negative, undergoing culture shock doesn’t necessarily have to be an unpleasant experience. Believe it or not, it can turn out to be a really enriching, positive and life learning one. But, how do you survive culture shock? Top 7 things that can cause it First of all, we need to understand that culture shock can be presented to us in both obvious and more subtle ways. We can experience culture shock when coming in contact with different: Languages – Especially when meeting somebody from a faraway country whose language is not only spoken differently but it is also written differently. For example, an English speaker being introduced to a Chinese speaker or a Korean speaker being introduced to a Portuguese speaker.Weather – This can be even harder for those used to extreme weather. For example, an Alaskan native used to very cold weather traveling to an island on the Caribbean.Landscapes – Imagine moving from a mountainous town full of lakes and forests like those in Switzerland to an arid landscape full of cacti like in Arizona, United States, or the other way around.   Food – Here we’re talking not only about tastes, colours and smells, but also about quantities, meal schedules and customs. For example, in Latin American countries as well as in some European countries, people tend to have a snack between lunch and dinner called “merienda”. And don’t even get...
Travel to South America : the things you should know

Travel to South America : the things you should know

Travel to South America, the fourth largest of the world’s continents Ready to travel to South America? Here are some things you should know about it. Firstly, South America is located in the Western Hemisphere and constitutes the southern part of the Americas. Secondly, it consists of 12 independent countries— Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela —, the overseas department of French Guiana and some outlying islands. Thirdly, South America is connected to the rest of America by the Isthmus of Panama and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Lastly, South America is also home to a wide variety of climates, breathtaking landscapes and rich cultures with its north-south extent of about 4,700 miles and its east-west extent of about 3,300 miles. Feel like home South American people are known to be kind and warm hearted. When greeting, they tend to go for a kiss on the cheek, even when you haven’t been formally introduced to the other person. They are used to being open with foreign people and are always willing to show their culture to the rest of the world by sharing a mate with you, teaching you some capoeira moves or making you a delicious ceviche. Language variations When traveling to South America, you must remember that the main spoken language in most countries is Latin American Spanish, but it is not the only language used in this southern continent. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and other languages such as English,...
“El mate”: a special bond created by yerba mate

“El mate”: a special bond created by yerba mate

More than a drink Just as British people religiously enjoy their 5 o’clock tea, some countries in the southern hemisphere share a very popular drink: “el mate.” This tea-like infusion (also known as chimarrão in Brazil) is made with yerba mate and is enjoyed by children and adults at any time of day. What’s more, it has been an integral part of the culture in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil for many years now. So, let’s learn a little more about this important drink. Origin of “el mate” and yerba mate Yerba mate was already being consumed long before the “new world” was discovered. Actually, it was the Guaraní people who inhabited parts of South America who introduced the plant to the European settlers. The settlers began to cultivate it and to make it well-known throughout the rest of the southern regions. Although the yerba mate cropping tradition almost disappeared when the Jesuits were expelled from the region, native people took over and transformed it into commercial harvesting. “El mate” is also related to the image of “el gaucho”, a popular cowboy-like figure from Argentina, Uruguay and the southern part of Brazil. El gaucho is commonly depicted as a horseman dressed in leather boots or espadrilles, a long-sleeved cotton shirt and baggy pants (bombacha), carrying a bola (best known as boleadora) or a long gaucho knife (facón). How to prepare “el mate” First of all, to start “el mate” we need the following things: Yerba mate –that is, the processed ground leaves of the yerba mate plant.A mate –that is, the receptacle where we’ll put the yerba mate....
Humour in Translation : How to translate a foreign joke ?

Humour in Translation : How to translate a foreign joke ?

To laugh or not to laugh ? That is the question We all love to hear a good joke and laugh every once in a while. It makes us feel good and helps us leave our troubles behind. You know what they say, “Laughter is the best medicine!”. But, even if laughter has no boundaries, humour in translation does. Different types of humour As we all know, humour has many faces. Ideally, some instances of humour are unrestricted in that they can easily be translated into another language system without major difficulties.  However, sometimes humour carries cultural, political and social references which can have an impact on the source audience but mean nothing in a different language. In addition, it can play with the meaning or sound of words, adding extra difficulty to the translation task as the translator may have to rack his or her brain to come up with a creative solution. In some cases, and to make matters worse during a translation, humour can be bound to a private or in-group joke, meaning that if you are an outsider to this group, you cannot understand what the joke implies. Or the translation of a humour instance cannot exceed a certain amount of characters and must forcibly be reformulated to fit the given space, as in the case of subtitles. So, bearing these situations in mind, how can a translator achieve the original intention of a humour instance? Different techniques for translating humour The challenges of translating humour are numerous. Translators must have a sound knowledge of the language and culture and, above all, a lot of...