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London Olympics – Communication and Translation Importance

With 10,000 athletes coming from 205 countries to compete in 300 events, the London Olympic Games 2012 are the emblem of internationalism. Clearing the language hurdle is essential to make such a diverse audience communicate effectively. Accuracy in translation is of the upmost importance; the detailed precision will make the difference between smooth communication and embarrassing misunderstandings.

Seamless communication is the backbone of any international event. According to The National Centre for Languages (CILT) an estimated 70,000 volunteers, including language experts, are needed during the Games; languages are identified as one of the top 10 skills areas requiring volunteers. People with language skills are needed in all Games roles, not just interpreting and translating.

Translation mistakes by organisations creating Olympic promotional material have already been spotted by the public. For example, the London shopping centre Westfield Stratford, which is located next to the Olympic Park, has become famous on the web because of a translation slip. To welcome international visitors for the Olympics, this shopping centre printed huge banners and staff T-shirts saying “Welcome to London” in different languages.

The Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) said the words in the Arabic banner were back to front and not joined up as they should have been. The phrase that was meant to be "Welcome to London" was closer to "N O D N O L O T E M O C L E W".

Chris Doyle, the director of Caabu said the mistake was likely to have been made because  translation software was used, rather than an actual translation mistake by a qualified linguist.

A similar mistake has been made by the rail firm First Capital Connect, which sent posters to 13 stations printed in English and seven other languages. The Olympics security poster, intended to warn people not to leave items unattended, reads as "gibberish" in Arabic.

Mustafa Kadhum, the BBC's Arabic Online news editor, said: "Arabic words and sentences are written and read from right to left and Arabic words are always written with joined up letters, with some exceptions." A spokesman of First Capital Connect declared that the English message had been translated by a professional translator, but the printer substituted another font, so that the wrong alphabet was used for the Arabic message. The choice of the font might have been a matter of taste to a non-specialist, but it can be the most crucial factor!

The Olympics show the importance of language knowledge and good translation on a large scale, but any international meeting or event, where people speak different languages, requires attention and cultural awareness to carry out a successful communication.

By | August 7th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments


Fast and accurate translation of official documents

SanTranslate, a leading provider of language translation services, specialises not only in the translation of marketing, legal and technical texts, but is also UK accredited in the translation of certificates. “We have been offering certified translation services to major universities and corporations for overseas students and staff,” said James Chan, Global Sales Director of SanTranslate. He continued, “Receiving accreditation confirms SanTranslate’s leading role in certified translation services.”

Getting official documents translated and certified by a recognised translation company is a MUST for anyone coming to study or work in the UK. Foreigners must get official documents translated to the UK Border Agency standard or their application may be rejected.

The required documents involved can include the following: cross border transactions, student diplomas, visa and immigration applications, business registration, the documents to open a bank account or job applications. Handling and translating these documents accurately is crucial for those who need to enter the UK smoothly. SanTranslate certification is recognised and accepted by UK legislative bodies, including the UK Border Agency, the Home Office, universities or academic institutions, police agencies, court offices and many others.

SanTranslate’s customer testimonials show the level of commitment the company has to providing quality translations at a competitive price, and with fast delivery. It takes as little as 2 working days to deliver the final documents via email to the client for checking and sign-off.

Once this customer sign-off is completed, the document is delivered based on delivery option selected by the client. SanTranslate always supports their clients’ applications with the Home Office in case of queries or if any amendments to the document are required.

By | July 31st, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Insight into the Russian business culture

Two weeks ago the Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) voted to ratify WTO entry. Russia, after Brazil, India and China, will soon become the final BRIC country to join this global-trade club. This is an important step forward in the process of industrial modernisation for the country.

Russia has a population of over 140m people, and this population’s consumption is rapidly rising. Leading sectors of the Russian economy include aircraft, helicopters, engines, turbines, industrial gear such as pumps and compressors and military equipment. There are many Russian industries and businesses that are competitive, for example the Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) in Nizhny Novgorod. This company is taking advantage of its strong market position in commercial vehicles by producing profitable niche products such as ambulances, rescue vehicles, specialist lorries and buses. It is also assembling Skoda cars, Mercedes vans and other foreign-branded vehicles from imported kits.

Since 2009, around 600 state industrial firms with approximately 900,000 employees have been transferred to a restructuring agency, Russian Technologies (RT). The government seems to have decided that the best way to give a boost to industry is to encourage foreign investors to act freely.

Skolkovo, an attempt to create a Silicon Valley-style technology cluster outside Moscow, has attracted a lot of attention. Skolkovo is nearly 400 hectares, and it will boast a research university with 1,800 students, 40 corporate research and development (R&D) centres and a “Technopark” housing up to 1,000 start-ups. It will also be a special economic zone and companies based there will have large tax breaks and get special treatment for visas and imports.

In Russia there is a big difference between dealing with the government and dealing with private companies. Regulations to spend public money are strict and complicated, but at the same time Russians are keen to bypass rules: if you know the right people you can access public money quite easily. As for the private market, you cannot go there and sell independently; you need to find a local partner. Russians are sociable, they like knowing about your private life and spending time with you. If a Russian starts joking with you, it means that you are at a good level to start doing business. At the same time, Russians prefer oral agreements over written ones, so you have to be prepared to commit orally, which means you have to trust your commercial partner.

Having somebody who knows the language is very important, but at the same time it’s difficult to find Russians who speak good business English. The ones that do are very expensive. Russian is a Slavic language in the Indo-European family. The vocabulary (mainly abstract and literary words), principles of word formations, and, to some extent, inflections and the literary style of Russian have been also influenced by Church Slavonic. Over the course of centuries, the vocabulary and literary style of Russian have also been influenced by Western and Central European languages such as GreekLatin, PolishDutchGermanFrench, English and to a lesser extent the languages to the north and the east: Finno-UgricTurkicPersian and Arabic.

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