globeWeb Translation

To serve your customers in another country, you must speak their language. Translating your website to a different language might seem easy, but it takes so much more than a few years of language training to do it right.

Walking a fine line between faithfulness and fluency

First, a translator should find a balance between faithfulness and fluency, the two qualities that have been regarded as ideals to be striven for in translation but are often at odds. A translation lacking of faithfulness would be inaccurate, and a translation lacking of fluency would sounds non-native and strange, and might be incomprehensible to native speakers.

We have a few measures put into place to ensure the best balance of faithfulness and fluency:

At least two translators on each job: in stead of putting too much load on one translator, we always have two translators - one native in the source language, the other native in the target language - on each job. The native target language speaker does the initial translation, and the native source language speaker proofreads.
A clear communication channel maintained between the translator and the proofreader facilitates discussions on potential problems.
A third opinion can always be brought in to resolve debatable issues.

Language localization

Website translation involves more than just translation into a target language. It also involves tending to language variations in a specific geographical region.

Many languages, especially world languages with a large number of native speakers, have spread geographically and are nowadays used in many countries and regions. Thus, different national varieties of these languages have evolved. Linguistic differences include pronunciation, spelling conventions, lexicons, and grammatical patterns. It is important for companies to take such differences into account, for example, when creating websites for specific regional markets.

For example, the two largest countries (in population) where English is spoken natively are the United States and the United Kingdom. There are numerous differences between American English and British English—spelling conventions (colour, centre, programme, localisation vs color, center, program, localization), pronunciation, words with different meanings, vocabulary and slightly different grammar patterns particularly in the use of tenses. Localization in this context usually refers to creating country-specific websites or publishing different editions of a book.

The linguistic differences are more complicated for Chinese spoken and written in different regions of the world. Mainland China, Singapore and most international organizations uses simplified Chinese as standard written form, while Taiwan, Hong Kong, and some overseas Chinese community uses traditional Chinese. Lexical differences, especially translation of foreign terms (person/location/organization names, scientific and technical terms), are very common among different regions. For instance, software is translated as 软件 in mainland China, and 软体in Taiwan, laser is 激光 in mainland China and 镭射 in Taiwan, president Bush is 布什 in mainland China, 布希 in Taiwan, 布殊 in Hong Kong.

We are very aware of the linguistic differences of the same language spoken in different regions of the world, and we know very well how much a truly localized website means to a business or organization, that’s way we always make sure to put the right people on each project, and we always suggest our clients to provide customized web content to each specific regions that they are targeting, if money allows.