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Simultaneous Interpreter on Your Mobile Phone

Last year NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese mobile communications operator, developed an app to translate menus. They are now announcing they are testing a new phone whose main feature is to translate conversations in almost real-time using cloud technology.

At the moment, it only does translation between Japanese and English. Some 400 people are trying out the service, and DoCoMo is tweaking it to solve any problems that come up. Testing will end in March at which point hospitals, retailers and tourist-specific services are going to start using it.

Of course, this is nowhere near the ultimate translation system, even if it is a step in the right direction. The pause between speaking and hearing the translated version is only 2 seconds, and Japanese accuracy is around 90%, whereas English accuracy is slightly behind at 80%.

These are not bad results for a mobile phone, but if you want 100% quality and reliability you can only trust a trained interpreter. Ask SanTranslate.

By | February 27th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

European French vs Canadian French

The differences between European (also called Metropolitan) and Canadian Quebec French are greater than between American and British English, chiefly because the French spoken by the first immigrants was not the Parisian French that later became the norm.

First, there’s vocabulary.  Depending on the topic, differences in vocabulary could be an issue when translating into French.  European French tends to accept English words more easily.  For example:

  • Parking, which remains the same in Metropolitan French, becomes Stationnement in Quebec French;
  • E-mail in Quebec French is courriel, in France is e-mail or mél;
  • To chat is translated as clavarder in Canada and as chatter in France;
  • In France dîner means dinner, whereas in Quebec it means lunch! The Canadian dinner is souper and the French lunch is déjeuner.

Such differences may cause misunderstandings and jeopardises good communication! Moreover, the other big issue is how culture is reflected in the language. Canadians have the tendency to be more concise and to-the-point. If you watch a Canadian politician and a French politician, you will probably notice that the latter will take a long time to explain what the first would have said in fewer words and in a more direct way.

These considerations are of paramount importance when talking about translation and localisation. If you are targeting Quebec, make sure you ask for a translation in the right language variety. Ask SanTranslate.

By | February 26th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Urdu Language Translations

Based on the Khariboli dialect of Delhi, Urdu is derived from Sanskrit and has developed under the influence of Persian, Arabic and Turkic languages over the course of almost 900 years.

The Urdu written and spoken in India is archaic and has a lot of Hindi influence. There are two major schools in India namely “Dilli-wala” and “Lakhnavi.” These two areas are said to be the places where Urdu began and flourished giving rise to some excellent literature in Urdu.

In India, Urdu is one of the 22 Scheduled Languages recognised by the Indian Constitution, as well as being on the list of official languages in several Indian states. Since Pakistan became an independent country, it focussed all energies on promoting Urdu. In this country, Urdu is the national language, as well as being one of the official languages (along with English).

Urdu is written from right to left, and most of its letters connect to the letters preceding and following them. Letters often change shape depending on their placement within a word. Urdu is usually written using only consonants and long vowels, although there are small marks which can be used above or below letters to indicate short vowels.

By | February 24th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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