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How many languages!

How many languages exist in the world? Ask this question on the street and you will receive a range of answers. From my own experience the answers were in the hundreds, but the answer is actually in the thousands.

However, there is currently no exact count of the number of languages. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language states that estimates of total living languages in the world vary from 3,000 to 10,000.

Part of the problem is with the definition of a language as there are also many dialects and variations of the same language. Another problem is that parts of the world have not been explored in enough detail to ensure all languages have been counted.

May 25, 2011 | Language Translation | No Comments »

Language Translation and Health and Safety – Technical Manuals

Can the installer or the user really understand the technical manual? Can they understand the person providing the training? If not, expect trouble and this might be a health and safety issue that a translation service could avoid.

Incorrect use of equipment can create accidents, decreased life of an asset, void warranties, increase running costs and damage property. This can easily occur if the user does not know how to install/run/maintain the equipment.

On some occasions the manual may be available in other languages. Otherwise the translation of a user manual is best discussed before purchase as you may be able to insist that it is included in the sales price.

May 20, 2011 | Language Translation | 1 Comment »

Language Translation and Health and Safety – Insurance and Claims

Under English law a person is deemed to have read something if they have signed it. But surely we enter a grey area if the person can obviously not read in the language? Unfortunately not everybody is honest in this world and there are even situations where a person can deny they speak the required language shortly after an incident. This can alter the nature of a claim and we now live in a claims culture.

The only true way to protect your business is to consider translation of documents as part of the initial employment cost of migrant workers and as part of the health and safety audit. It can be considered part of your insurance cost as it is in fact another form of protection.

If you cannot be sure that your employee can read documents related to the health and safety parts of their job you will need to have a translation available in their language. If you would like to protect against their denial of language abilities you still need to translate the documents into their language.

At the very minimum, it is recommended that each migrant employee should be given a covering document to sign ‘before starting work’ that has been translated into their language. This should be presented with all the documents they should understand and include a confirmation that they have received the documents listed and that they can understand them, they can understand all the safety signage in the work place and that they possess the ability to speak the native language of a good level to be able to understand instructions given. This should also include a procedure for situations where they have reached a language barrier.

Insurance companies may not have asked you how you deal with language barriers in the work place or migrant workers, but it is only a matter of time. Remember, a translation service can protect your employees, your assets and keep your insurer happy.

May 19, 2011 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Language Translation and Health and Safety – Employees

Never before has the job market been so global and this means that more work places have employees working in a second language or a language in which they are not entirely proficient.

On this basis language translation can be important to ensure the employee understands the safety procures and how to perform their job in the safest manner. The person may be qualified and experienced, but might come a place where health and safety is less important.

For their safety and the safety of their co-workers, translation of key documents may be important.

May 15, 2011 | Language Translation | No Comments »

Best Airline: Alitalia or Air France

On a recent long haul trip I traveled with a different airline in each direction. I traveled out with the Italian company ‘Alitalia’ and returned with the French airline ‘Air France’ and my brief evaluation was as follows:

Service: The Italian airline was notably poor and the staff lacked care. They also spent the entire flight avoiding the passengers. It all seemed like they could not be bothered.

The French Airline did a fantastic job. The service was kind and proactive and it was certainly service with a smile.

The Aircraft: Air France had an unfair edge in that the aircraft was extremely new and had a great entertainment system. However, with all the problems Alitalia has published in the Italian press, it seems unlikely that they will be updating their fleet in the near future.

The Meals: I love Italian food and food is really part of Italian culture. On this basis I was expecting good things from Alitalia……….but I was to be disappointed.

On an airline you will receive a heated up ready meal and this is not an example of the real thing, but it was poor. The coffee was truly terrible and completely undrinkable. It was the worst excuse for coffee I have received in my entire life. This includes vending machines, airlines and coffee tried in 40 countries.

The food on Air France was very good by air travel standards.

Conclusion: So, based on a single trip, the French airline ‘Air France’ was a clear winner. Hopefully Alitalia will take note and start improving things…….especially the coffee!

Coming Soon: The next review will be the German Airline ‘Lufthansa’ against the American ‘United Airlines’.

May 12, 2011 | Business Translation | 1 Comment »

Benefits of working within the translation and interpreter industry – The Joy of Helping People

It is rewarding to be part of something good or something that makes a positive difference to someone’s life. Sometimes a career in translation or interpreting offers this opportunity.

A good example is medical translation. You may assist in spreading new knowledge, but often you know the name of the individual you are helping and have spoken with them. You may be providing translations so that the person can see a specialist in a new country and sometimes you can be a part of making a difference in that persons life.

You can also enjoy assisting people with business and legal circumstances. Perhaps you are an interpreter at a sales meeting and help the team clinch the deal. Maybe your legal translation assistance allows the legal team to obtain further knowledge that helps them win their case.

Where there is communication there can be the need for translation or an interpreter. Sometimes you receive an added bonus from the joy of helping people.

May 12, 2011 | Business Translation | 1 Comment »

Visiting Japan

Growing up I had 2 places that a dreamed of visiting most: Italy and Japan. My mother had always talked about her time working in Italy and how she loved the Italian lifestyle, so Italy was an obvious choice. However, Japan and the Japanese?

I am not sure where the desire to visit Japan first came from. I had studied Chinese and Thai martial arts, but never Japanese. Perhaps it was from the film ‘Blade Runner’ or watching ‘Monkey’ on TV as a young boy. Whatever the reason, I always wanted to visit Japan.

So……after all these years I finally planned my trip to Japan. I had 2 choices: Christmas/New Year 2010/2011 or April 2011. On the flip of a coin I went for Christmas, despite knowing that I would miss the cherry blossom season that is celebrated by the Japanese. Had I not visited at that time I doubt would not have travelled to Japan so soon after the tsunami and the ongoing problems. I am not sure when I could have visited and in life sometimes things you put-off end up as unachieved ambitions.

I loved my time in Japan and really enjoyed Japanese culture. I wish for a solution to all the problems facing the Japanese people and hope that I will be able to visit again soon.

May 5, 2011 | Website Translation | 1 Comment »

Benefits of working within the translation and interpreter industry – Endless Learning

A career as a translator or interpreter is a lifetime filled with continuous learning.

To be able to translate a document or provide interpretation services for a situation you must be able to understand the subject/document. This requires an understanding of the terminology in both languages. This knowledge may have been gained by working within that field, but as technology changes your knowledge must be refreshed. Luckily, as a linguist, you are often translating documents before they become general knowledge. You may be providing translations for research teams and learn about developments when they are very much cutting-edge.

You may also have the joy of learning about new subject areas and matters of general interest. For instance, you may have an interpreting assignment to assist with a tour of London. Before the assignment you will be presented a pack of information about the tour so you can prepare yourself and by the end of the assignment you should have learned more about the subject from these notes and the added comments of the guide.

Learning is enjoyable and is a great benefit to be obtained from a career as a translator or interpreter.

March 25, 2011 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Welcome to the Axis Translations Blog!

This will blog will discuss a wide range of issues which will include:

Axis Translations related information

The Language Industry – This will concern translation, interpreting and transcription related topics

Languages – Language learning and information about languages.

Random Posts – This could be any interesting topic that the Axis Translations team finds interesting.

I hope you will follow our blog and maybe offer your own contribution.

March 15, 2011 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Benefits of working within the translation and interpreter industry – Introduction

Most of us spend a great deal of our lives working and it is therefore ideal if we can enjoy our chosen career. In this series of blog posts we will write about some of the good things about a career in languages.

March 15, 2011 | Website Translation | No Comments »