by Francis Bao
I found an interesting blog post by Hui Zhu on “Top 7 Tips for Effective Chinese copywriting.” The author describes the structure of sentences, how to communicate with implied meaning, how idioms can affect content of the language, legal issues, trade name translation for foreign products, and current trends in Chinese language.
Chinese idioms and proverbs have existed for at least 2,000 years, and they play a very significant role in both Chinese culture and language. Idiomatic expressions have been used in all kinds of communications, such as daily life, marketing campaigns, and political activities. They significantly enhance the meaning of the language.
When translating into Chinese from English, we have to rewrite English idiomatic expressions. For example, the English idiom, “win-win situation” in Chinese might be translated as “parties are winning” or “all choices are good”. “Thinking outside of box” could be translated as ”thinking in a creative way”, and “Give 110% might be “making extra effort”, “tie for both parties”, “making your own invention”, and “working diligently beyond the limit”.
When writing for translation, keep in mind that if we translate idiomatic expressions in a word-for-word manner, they will not make any sense in either language.
Francis Bao is a senior member of the STC and the STC Chicago Chapter, as well as the STC-ITC. He is an award-winning technical writer and translator.
ITC SIG News
The Localization Institute is presenting The MarCom Translation Process — Challenges and Solutions on March 21. 2013 from 10:00-11:00am US Central Time
The program is intended for marketing and marketing communications professionals and localization project managers. The following topics are covered:
- Why do translations of marketing communications fail?
- Culture challenges
- Integration of marketing communication and translation processes
- Three major translation risks to mitigate during the development phase of marketing communications strategy: product brand names, product features, and in-country review
- Best practices
MultiLingual’s December edition is out, addressing issues of getting started in translation issues.
Being able to foresee what can go wrong in the translation project (because according to the Murphy’s law it will) and plan preventative action is a core requirement for the successful Project Manager. Being able to create a repeatable and sustainable risk mitigation process is a core responsibility of a Localization Manager.
In this webinar, the listeners will learn:
• Definition of Risk and Risk Management
• Risk Management methodology and tools
• A systemic way to mitigate translation risks
• Discuss a short case study
For more info: http://www.localizationinstitute.com/index.cfm?SEMINAR_CAT_ID=6
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This is a thesis for a Masters student, Kang Sun, from Bowling Green. The abstract reads, in part: “This thesis identifies Chinese university situations specific to the transfer of technical communication to China, especially the relationship between general socio-economic settings in China and the influences these general settings have on the university disciplinary structure changes. The objective of this research is to reveal openings in translation discipline as a shell for technical communciation to merge with. [clip]. It is concluded that the merger of technical communication with translation can both gain technical communication a pivotal status of being a discipline in Chinese universities and solve some problems of the translation field. More importantly, such a merger offers a future-oriented perspective of development for the merged discipline to ride more successfully the stablly growing Chinese economic growth.
Full text via PDF: http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/SUN%20KANG.pdf?bgsu1122304773
The challenges of selling stories for youth in many parts of the world and successsful techniques are the subject of an April 14, 2010 feature in Publishing Perspectives, “Selling Amanda Abroad.” This is a series of books and an interactive website.
Read about Lonie Goldsberry’s adventures in “Becoming a Successful Translation Manager,” a two-part article in Galaxy, the newsletter of GALA, in the fourth quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010 issues.
From early 1983 to November 1984, Don Philippi published a newsletter about translating Japanese to English. Take a look at how translation was thought about a quarter century ago.
An archive of these newsletters is available, as well as an article by Steve Vlasta about the newsletter and the man behind it. In Steve’s words, “Compared to the situation (in technical Japanese translaction) 25 years ago, some things have changed for better, some for worse, and some remain the same.’
The ITC SIG business meeting at the upcoming STC Summit is scheduled as follows.
Monday, May 3
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Meeting Room: Cumberland E
Contact: Traci Nathans-Kelly
The schedule is still being adjusted. If there is a change, it will be posted here.
Neil Perlin is bringing “Beyond the Bleeding Edge” back to the Summit this year in Dallas. This session presents summaries of technologies and methodologies that are too new or unusual to fit into traditional Summit sessions–and Neil is looking for presenters.
Is there a technology or methodology you’d like to discuss? Can you share experiences in using XML or machine translation technologies? Do you have unique approaches to assuring effective communication across cultures? Share your experiences! See the full description of Beyond the Bleeding Edge on STC’s Notebook at for details and instructions on how to submit a proposal.
The full preliminary program for the STC Summit to be held in Dallas May 2 – 5 is now online.
Visit the program page to see the available sessions. You can register online.
A Facebook site announces the forthcoming English-language translation competition held by the European Commission for EU nationals who translate into English. You must have a Facebook account to see this site. The purpose of the competition is to recruit English-language translators into the EU institutions.
Tech Comm News
GALA is offering webinars of interest, including one by SIG members Hans Fenstermacher and Aki Ito.
Setting up Localization Collaboration in a Global Market
Thursday, 4 March, 11:00 EST
Sneak preview for the GALA 2010 workshop by Jean-Luc Mazet (Hewlett-Packard)
Easy Translation Management with memoQ 4.0
Thursday, 11 March, 11:00 EST
Tool Demonstration by Istvan Lengyel (Kilgray Translation Technologies)
Managing Artwork Localization and Versioning of Language by Artwork
Thursday, 25 March, 11:00 EDT
Tool Demonstration by Luke Alexandre (StorePOINT International)
Prague Meeting Primer: Taking Stock of Your Business
Thursday, 8 April, 11:00 EDT
Primer for the GALA 2010 workshop,
“Not Your Same Old Differentiators: How LSPs Can REALLY Stand Out”
by Gordon Husbands (Wordbank), Hans Fenstermacher (TransPerfect / Translations.com) and Aki Ito (TOIN Corporation)
Effective Localization Workforce Management
Thursday, 22 April, 11:00 EDT
Presentation by John Watkins, ENLASO Corporation
Related organizations, Tech Comm News
Registration is open for the 2010 conference of the Globalization and Localization Association, GALA.
The Global Community: Capturing Customers Worldwide
10-12 May 2010
InterContintental Hotel, Prague
Related organizations, Tech Comm News
Optimizing the Source Using Translation Memory
Presented by Joseph Campo, manager of technical documentation at Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. in Concord, MA
Tuesday, 23 March
1:00-2:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)
Registration and details
About this webinar:
How many times have you written something and known that you wrote something similar, but can’t remember where it was or how it was written? So you write a new sentence. If you could only find that text and replicate it, you would save money and time for your translation team by reusing already-translated text strings and would produce more consistent documentation. This webinar describes a pilot project that tested a potential solution to this issue using translation memory to optimize the source documentation.