The Orient is a mixing pot of languages and cultures. One of which is famous for its history of Empirical rule during its expansion days, Turkey. Originally and during the entire Ottoman Empire’s expansion before World War One, the Turkish language, of Turkic origin, was transcribed using the Arabic script. The similarities Turkish had with Arabic were noticeable as the two languages have been mingling for over four centuries. However, after World War One, Turkey was in shambles, with literacy being approximately between 25-35% of the total population according to www.unesco.org. Under Turkey’s first President, Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), the plan to become more western included transcribing the Turkish language using the Latin script instead of Arabic. Literacy increased (94% of adults today) and the country would experience a comeback as wise secular leaders would keep the economy and country stable. With the current population of Turkey at nearly 80 million strong and the country applying to join the E.U., Turkey continues to commit to be westernized, while walking a fine line between its traditional Islamic and newer secular ways.
Official language to 26 countries in Asia and Africa, Arabic is also known as Modern Arabic. But while Modern Arabic is the official language, that does not mean that people in the streets are using it to converse with each other. Modern Arabic is usually encountered in prayers, literary documents, press and politics, although the latter is also rapidly changing. Each country has a different way of saying and pronouncing their modified Arabic words. Modern Arabic is more akin to Latin where it has been refashioned into different Romance Languages. In lieu of French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, in Arabic, we have Iraqi, Egyptian, Moroccan, Khaligy… If a Syrian man and an Egyptian man were to converse with one another, they will sound very different. An Iraqi person will unlikely be able to converse with a Tunisian person using their respective native dialects.
When asked to localize eLearning content, we need to note that there are three types of eLearning that differ from one another. Asynchronous, Synchronous, and Self-Paced eLearning are used to cover different ways of teaching. Asynchronous eLearning sites for example like Learn.com or Consensus use an interactive interface where online class lectures, research documents and homework are given out to the students as needed. These type of sites also allow for teacher online grading and review, offering online chat rooms for the students to ask questions regarding problems with understanding or using the site. The second type known as Synchronous eLearning allows the student or employee to participate live with the topic being seen through streamed videos or online group webinars that can use interactive and live tools like PowerPoint, graphics, video and polls. The last, but not least type of eLearning is the Self-Paced one. This allows the replication of a learning environment, teaching students how to design and create success through experience, at their own pace. There are no predefined schedules or required time-tables to meet.
Over the years, with the introduction of the internet and increased globalization, many organizations have expanded their operations to multiple countries worldwide. This move has presented many challenges to companies that have ventured into regions where people have a different culture and speak another language other than the one which is spoken in the company’s host country. In many countries, language barriers and cultural differences exist not only with potential customers, but also internally within the organization itself. For example in the U.S., there are many non-English speakers and the number continues to rise at a rapid pace. Many of them do not fully understand and comprehend English and their cultures are different. As a result, companies have realized that reaching out to more consumers both domestically and overseas requires effective communication. In order to tackle this issue, many firms have turned to professional translation and localization services, which have been proven to be beneficial time after time.
Over the years, an increasing number of companies have turned to multimedia as an effective strategy of conveying messages and information to stakeholders such as employees and consumers. The use of video has become integral and common in many organizations. Online videos are an important element of the marketing mix for multiple successful brands. A recent survey by ReelSEO, which was focused on determining the popularity of video marketing, supported that the use of online video is immensely popular and beneficial. The survey involved interviewing over 600 marketing professionals.
Video in healthcare has grown to become an integral part of how professionals in hospitals, medical schools, clinics, and other related offices in the healthcare industry teach, share information, and train. In some cases, medical professionals misunderstand text documents, and the problems become more pronounced when the administrative staff, physicians, assistants, and other professionals are required to share knowledge faster and with audiences that do not speak English as their first language. Video has emerged as a viable solution, which makes it possible to share more information quickly and in some instances in a better way than text. In addition, the information provided can be reviewed and shared easily at any time and place.
The video game industry has been steadily growing every year since the late 70’s with games such as Tennis, Tetris and Space Invaders, invading homes around the world! Research in 2015 estimated the current video games market at a whopping 91.5 billion dollars, roughly 3 times what the world spends on language services! Due to advances in computing technologies and video displays, more complicated plot lines and details can be incorporated into today’s games including graphical, video, music, text and audio components! Gone are the days where simple computer generated graphics are displayed and tunes played in loops. Players today enjoy a fully immersive experience with incredible visual and auditory stimuli. Developed by countless companies, with professional audio translation, transcreation and software localization, fully localized video games are enabling more gamers enjoy their intricate plots across the world. Their effect is nothing short of addictive!
Video has become a common platform which many industries outside the obvious film and motion picture industry, TV and Broadcasting, or Advertising, are adopting wholeheartedly. High tech companies, healthcare providers, schools and many others are turning to video for its effective way to communicate online with targeted audiences.
When it comes time for your business, website, joint venture or other projects to get into various Chinese-speaking markets, and begin (or continue) to work with Cantonese and Mandarin translation services as far as text-based, subtitle localization and voice over localization are concerned, it’s important that you understand some of the differences and nuances that exist in the Chinese language.
While voice over localization can simplify or amplify information, subtitle localization can ensure their accurate dissemination. The one compliments the other. You’ve seen it before. A man is shown walking into an office with employees, and the narrated voice over the video describes what he’s doing, saying, etc. Meanwhile, as the narration continues, text at the bottom of the screen pops up corresponding to the conversation of those the camera’s following…
“Voice” doesn’t just refer to the sound of someone speaking. You’ve heard a harsh voice, and you’ve heard a soft voice, you’ve heard passionate and cold, elated and sad… All could use the same words, but one would communicate an entirely different message than the other. The same logic applies when you consider voice over translation.
When translating videos, flash or eLearning content that include audio tracks, there are a number of techniques designed to deal with the multidimensional obstacles that will be encountered. Voice translation often involves voice over, dubbing as well as lip-syncing, all of which are distinct and require professional services. Even subtitles, which use some of the same techniques but have their own idiosyncrasies, require close attention to detail of the professional variety. All four of these techniques of audio translation and localization will be briefly explored.