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Latest news and updates from the Axis Translations team.

The British and Foreign Languages

A recent EU survey found that of British adults of working-age only 11.5 percent said they were proficient in a foreign language. The results are worse when we consider that these figures will include British nationals who had a foreign language at home.

However, are the results a sign of laziness or lack of the need to speak another language?

Laziness will always play a part. If learning languages was as easy as Keanu Reeves learned King Fu in the film ‘The Matrix’ we would all be adding new languages for every requirement. The struggle to overcome the difficulty in learning a new language has to be driven by either passion for languages or a necessity to use the language. Let’s consider ‘necessity’.

Borders – Great Britain is surrounded by the sea and this geological border is between us and speakers of other languages. In Europe a person will be only a car journey away from another language and that journey might be only a few minutes. Certainly those in border towns tend to speak both languages.

English is an International Language – When a British person goes on holiday he will normally find that people can easily assist him in English and English translations will exist for most of the things he needs, including an English translation for tour guides. Not all the translations the British tourist faces will have been made by a professional translation agency and so the quality of these translations will vary.

TV – Either a great film of TV series will be remade in English or it will automatically be dubbed or subtitles. The former is more normal.

Trade – English is a key business language and so trade normally offers an English option.

In summary, more British people would speak another language if it were necessary for them to do so.


September 5, 2018 | Language Translation | No Comments »

Growth of Foreign Languages on English Speaking TV

Traditionally, English speaking TV exists with the cast speaking English. The reverse cannot be said when we visit other countries and so many English language series are subtitled or dubbed for the foreign market. In fact, people have grown up associating a voice to a star which is not actually theirs.

In recent times this has changed and here are some recent examples:

NARCOS – This is an American TV production largely based in Colombia about such drug traffickers as Pablo Escobar. In this series Spanish, the language of Colombia, is spoken and given English subtitles. It is a great series that mixes fact with fiction that has been a huge success in the English speaking world.

Vikings – The name already explains the subject matter for this series. In this series the Vikings visit/raid a variety of places (I won’t name them to avoid spoilers) and subtitles are frequently used. The Vikings mainly speak in English, but there are many scenes where they are also subtitled so as to ensure the audience understands that not everyone in that scene understands what is being said.

Going further, the rise of TV-On-Demand provided by such companies as NetFlix is now increasing the volume of subtitled and dubbed English, but also goes further. A hit series in another country would often be translated and reproduced in English, but now an increasing number of non-English series are being subtitled or dubbed and provided directly to English speaking audiences. One example of this is the Spanish series ‘La Casa di Carta’ or ‘Money Heist’ concerning a robbery on the Spanish mint.

Will this trend continue or will there be a backlash followed by a return to full English translation? This depends on the audience and so far the audience does support the trend.


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August 23, 2018 | Business Translation | No Comments »

EU Languages and Brexit

some time ago an article was added about the languages of the EU and English is currently one of those languages. This involves teams of English translators being employed by the EU to cover a long list of combinations of languages. English can also be considered a common language in the EU as it is understood fluently by many there although it is not their native language.

However, will English remain in the EU post-Brexit? Strictly speaking, English will no longer be the language of any of the nations. However, English retains it’s value of being a common language within the EU and for international trade. The question is whether politics is more important than practical application. The English interpreters in the EU must be asking themselves this question.

June 29, 2018 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Google Adwords Translation Update

A new article has been added to the website about translation for Adwords campaigns. Please note that from 24th July Google Adwords will become known as Google Ads.

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June 29, 2018 | Business Translation, Website Translation | No Comments »

Google Adwords Translator

Adwords is basically paid for adverts that appear in the search results on Google. Similar products exist for almost all other search engines. The advertiser bids for selected keyword phrases like ‘London Russian Translator” with the aim that their advert will appear for a relevant searcher.

As many websites are multilingual and target a multilingual client base, the adverts also need to be translated. Seeing as it’s Google, you might think that the Google Online Translator is the solution, but you would be wrong. Firstly, that translation tool does not consider context and so can return some awful translations. The second biggest issues is that there are character restrictions for the adverts.
The character limits include spaces and are currently (2018) as follows:
Headline 1 – 30 characters
Headline 2 – 30 characters
Description – 80 characters
Each of the headlines will be separated by a dash ‘-’.

Taking the example from above of ‘London Russian Translator’ this could be a the advert:
London Russian Translator – Russian Translations In London (26 and 30 characters)
High quality Russian translations in London by professionals. All languages. (76 characters)

The problem is that most languages require more characters than English and Adwords does not offer a proportional increase. Let’s see what Google translate makes of the final sentence:
1) Italian Translation: “Traduzioni russe di alta qualità a Londra da parte di professionisti. Tutte le lingue.” That’s 86 characters and breaks the limit.
2) French Translation: “Traductions russes de haute qualité à Londres par des professionnels. Toutes les langues.” 89 characters and breaks the limit.
3) Portuguese Translations: “Traduções russas de alta qualidade em Londres por profissionais. Todas as línguas.” 82 characters and breaks the limit.

This is where professional translation practices come in to play. A high quality translation agency will ensure that your translations are completed by a selected team of their staff and this team will build up knowledge of your business through the translations they have completed and their research into your company. This knowledge will then apply to your adverts.

The translator will understand the character restrictions, but be better placed to consider the best words for SEO purposes for your target market. This means they will be in the best position to edit your advert to meet your objectives and Googles Character restrictions.

For assistance with translations for Pay-per-click and AdWords campaigns, SEO based translation services or even Russian translations in London, try Axis Translations. www.axistranslations.com

June 25, 2018 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Confidential Translation

What is the difference between a confidential translation and a non-confidential translation? All translations are confidential unless permission has been specifically granted to disclose information about the translation and/or client. The information that can be disclosed is then specific.

Unless given specific approval (preferable in writing) the following information should be kept confidential:
1) The source document and the translation.
2) Any reference material
3) The translators involvement with the clients translations.
4) The translators involvements with the translation agency that employs their services.
5) Any details found with the documents.
6) Any details discovered through the translators involvement with the client.

The role of a translator is similar to a doctor in that both offer those they assist confidentially without any agreement needing to be signed or the subject even discussed. This rule applies regardless of if the translator is in London or Lagos.

All translation is confidential – unless you have specifically requested and received permission for this not to be the case.

For confidential translation services from a UK based supplier, contact Axis Translations.

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June 18, 2018 | Business Translation | No Comments »

Translation is a Bitch!

Translation seems an easy topic to the outsider, but there are so many things to consider that require training, experience and further questions if the translator wishes to deliver an accurate translation. This is especially so as the language morphs over time.

Today’s example will be the word ‘Bitch’. Traditionally this meant the female gender of a dog, wolf, fox or otter. However, without listing them, this word can now mean many more things and so the context is extremely important. (Note: We do not approve of all of the uses of this term, but accurate translation requires maintaining the context of the source text).

To prove the point, let’s see how Google treats this word for an Italian translation. In this case it offers only ‘cagna’ and that is strictly a female dog.

Italian Translation Test No.2: Translating the title of the Motorhead song (to prove it’s not just rappers) ‘bye bye bitch bye bye’ Google translates this as ‘ciao ciao ciao ciao’, which loses the term ‘bitch’ and the context altogether.

Italian Translation Test No.3: Let’s take a Rod Stewart song for this test. The song is called ‘aint love a bitch’ and the Italian translation provided is ‘non amo una cagna’ or in English ‘I don’t love a female dog’!!!

So….if the word ‘bitch’ can create such confusion, then you have to imagine the vast array of terminology and context that a translator will face on a daily basis. They will not translate like a machine, but investigate and question until they have truly understood the context and intent of the text received. For that level of service you should really contact the team at Axis Translations. www.axistranslations.com email: info@axistranslations.com

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June 7, 2018 | Business Translation | No Comments »

An English Translation Device For…… Your Dog?

Have you ever wished your dog could speak to you in English or another language? Or perhaps you fear what they might say! Would your dog complain about the food or the length of the days walk?

Well, a report believes that might be possible within the next 10 years. At a Northern Arizona University professor Con Slobodchikoff is seeking to develop a translation device for dogs and cats. The professor has analysed calls made by prairie dogs and now believes the concept could be used to provide translations for household pets.

So one day Axis Translations might add Dog to English translation services to our repertoire. You never know.

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May 25, 2018 | Business Translation | 1 Comment »

Cantonese Language in London

With the UK’s large Chinese community you can expect many people who speak Cantonese or Mandarin. Although Mandarin is the most spoken language in mainland China, Cantonese is an official language in Hong Kong.

People may have many reasons to learn a language and choose Cantonese, but one of the most important points of this path is practice. For this reason it is great if you can meet other people who wish to practice their Cantonese and London offers such and option.

The London Cantonese Language Meetup Group meets every month (generally on the second Saturday or Sunday). This meet up gives the members the opportunity to practice their spoken Cantonese in a social environment.

June 28, 2013 | Language Translation | No Comments »

Russian Restaurants in London

Eating in London is like going on a world tour. Italian for lunch and Chinese for dinner! You can pretty much eat your way around the planet all within one city. However, it’s all to easy to stick within a limited number of countries.

London offers food choices from around the globe and so it is a waste not to look for new restaurants and food options. One of these option is Russian food and London has a large number of options.

Borshtch ‘n’ Tears in Knightsbridge fairs well amongst the reviewers on Tripadvisor. It is also known for live music and so you can experience some culture as well as food.

Another popular option in Knightsbridge is Mari Vanna, but it may be worth researching Russian restaurants further afield as Knightsbridge is known for being one of London’s more expensive areas.

June 15, 2013 | Language Translation | No Comments »