…and The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 goes to…. tam dam! Olga Tokarczuk!

…and The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 goes to…. tam dam! Olga Tokarczuk!

Although our agency is based in the UK, we are proud of our Polish roots and today, we celebrate the fact that our compatriot, Olga Tokarczuk, receives The Nobel Prize for her fantastic books. Yes, Poland is a country of great writers! Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Reymont, Czesław Miłosz, and Wisława Szymborska are all Nobel laureates, and now Olga Tokarczuk joins the team!

Olga Tokarczuk will receive the Nobel Prize today from the hands of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony with this year’s other laureates. Tokarczuk, 57, has courted controversy for touching on dark areas of Poland’s past that contrast with the version of history promoted by the country’s ruling nationalist party – Law and Justice (PiS).

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“My spontaneous reaction was to dedicate this award to the democratic movement in Poland and I asked people to vote for democracy and against totalitarian tendencies and this speech of mine was quite warmly received and I think it might have had some influence on the elections,” Olga Tokarczuk said at the conference in Stockholm.

“I especially think that this prize gave the Poles some good energy because we are a very divided society and there are many things going on when it comes to hard hateful emotions and things like that and it might have given a feeling of more commonness,” said the Polish writer.

To listen to her amazing speech, click here.

The Nobel Prize, sponsored by the Nobel Foundation, is an annual international award in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, physiology or medicine, and economic sciences. The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. The most famous Polish to receive the Noble Prize is Maria Skłodowska Curie, a scientist who is is the only person to be granted this award twice. In 2018, Kendrick Lamar received the Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN, but he was not the first pop artist to be acknowledged with an academic award. In 2016, pop singer Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.

One Size Doesnt Fit All

One Size Doesnt Fit All

Why you need a Human Translator

In many ways, language is the most human technology of all, allowing us to share experiences, ideas and moments from person to person through the ages. Over the millennia, language has evolved in complexity and precision – and often those two properties seem at odds with one another. While computing and technological advances have brought a host of solutions to translating languages from one to the other – from rapidly cross-referencing dictionaries to scanning chunks of text to provide grammatically perfect renditions of entire paragraphs in different languages – the precise meaning of phrases and the nuances of tone can often be lost.

Particularly with more creative or subjective pieces of writing, tone and nuance can be where the real message of a text lies. From slogans to jokes, a deeper knowledge of the intricacies and references in a piece of writing is essential to conveying the true meaning behind the words. To accomplish an accurate translation, a human understanding of the text is the only real way to proceed. Robots famously lack a sense of humour and, in general, the only laughs AI-driven translations come up with are accidental. Beyond humour, having an understanding of the emotional, poetic or sensitivity needs of a particular phrase or message can be incredibly important. Consider the needs of passing on bad news, awkward medical discussions or even a creative brief – getting the tone right is too important to leave it to algorithms.

There are a large variety of solutions to getting your message across in different languages. A good approach is transcreation – constructing texts from the ground up with the consideration of translation in mind. For many technical texts, this can be the best approach – whether it’s instruction manuals, user guides, or any other format that requires a clear, concise and direct communication of specific information in a regular format. Transcreation requires good knowledge of language structure to maintain coherence and consistency across a variety of languages. For example, matching the same level of formality across translations often requires a more nuanced understanding of the languages involved than Google Translate can provide. Working with experienced experts will undoubtedly provide better results than automatic translation services and provides a level of trust and professionalism that will be appreciated by users and clients alike.

2 One Size Doesnt Fit All

In advertising and marketing, local knowledge is often the most important aspect of coming up with strong universal messages. Directly translated phrases can often lose all meaning and coherence and the most carefully thought-out campaigns can lose a lot of their impact without the expertise that experienced translators can provide. As much as anything else, translation is about knowing your audience; and so while the imagery and other non-verbal content can be universally applied, the tone is often set by the words that appear alongside it, making the use of human translators essential from the beginning of the campaign through to its delivery. For many basic day-to-day conversations, automatic translation is quick and easy, particularly when there is little time to fully explain exactly what you’re trying to get across, but when you need a complex explanation or creative concept shared precisely, human translation is still the only way to go.

New translation technologies

We talk.
We write.
We communicate.

It is easier nowadays than ever, as the barrier that was the variety of spoken and written languages has been thoroughly shattered. Technology is in bloom, and it has been harnessed to enable fluent and undisturbed communication among people born and bred in countries that share not even a single word.

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How is it possible?

The technological miracle that has happened during the last twenty years sipped through the hide of our every day lives deep through the core of our existence. We cannot live without our laptops, tablets, smartwatches or smartphones. The tiny devices we carry in our purses and pockets are smarter and faster than the computers that carried Apollo crafts towards the moon. They can talk. They can lead us. They open the doors.

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To improve our communication, to let us annihilate the language barrier, a variety of new technologies has been created, such as speech recognition, virtual translators (you know Google Translate, right? Toss the stone whoever hasn’t used it at least once!), or a net of simulatenous translation boots used at political meetings. All of those help, but at the same time make us a little lazy. One don’t have to study a language for years to communicate effectively anymore. But maybe it works otherwise: the angst of a mechanical factor replacing human empathy and emotion is still there, in every one of us. It may work as a boost, encourage us to develop, to infiltrate foreign languages and foreign cultures, to go deeper into that variety that makes us so interresting as a species. We can use all those tools to start our adventure of diving into a communication river. The satisfaction of using a foreign language efficiently enough to communicate with natives is incomparable.

As they say, it all happened with a word.

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New Markets – New Opportunities: Papua New Guinea.

As the world becomes a smaller place to do business, modern companies aren’t afraid to explore even further, seeking opportunities in new markets. The old measures of G7 versus emerging economies are becoming less relevant as investors seek either the comfort of country-specific fiscal responsibility or the excitement of niche opportunities. These new markets may include countries where traditional commercial opportunities seem limited, where the entrepreneur may consider only tourism, material-specific manufacturing or commodities as viable options, but there are many places where a wealth of business opportunities are available to those who are prepared to do the research into the local language, culture and markets.

1 papua nowa gwinea ciekawostki New Markets   New Opportunities: Papua New Guinea.

Globalisation means that we need to take a wider view and see the potential of new markets. For example, the UK has recently signed a new, post-Brexit trade deal with the Pacific Islands of Fiji and Papua New Guinea which will see the end of tariffs on goods imported into the UK and will gradually remove most tariffs on British exports to these countries. (Trade between them is currently estimated at around £369 million per annum and includes imported goods such as sugar and fish).

Papua New Guinea is also well known for commodity exports like wood, oil and gas, but recent political changes could mean that the new government will be encouraging new opportunities which they perceive as being fairer to their own economy as they pledge to be “friendly to the investor but also friendly to our country”. This could open up more diverse opportunities for businesses who are willing to immerse themselves more fully into the culture and society of the islands.

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Opportunities in tourism, for example, are set to increase, with the official Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority citing opportunities in four key areas; hospitality, transport, food and drink and tourist attractions. Tourism in Papua New Guinea currently covers business or business related travel, cultural and heritage sites, adventure travel, marine, diving and wildlife tourism.

Traditionally, one of the biggest barriers to more widespread commerce in this country has been the language. Papua New Guinea is the world’s most linguistically diverse country, having around 850 languages which may be spoken by anything from a few dozen to hundreds of thousands of people.

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The major languages are English, Hiri Motu and Tok Pisin. Tok Pisin is the most widely spoken, with over 5 million speakers and is based on English and German, having developed as a lingua franca for both trade and enhanced communication between tribespeople. Now, Tok Pisin is a commonly spoken language in urban districts, widely used among the police and defence forces and increasingly becoming the first language for many. Public and government information campaigns are generally conducted in Tok Pisin, as are many parliamentary debates.

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The majority of people will be only vaguely familiar with the peculiar intricacies of this language’s structure, mostly through with famous examples like the reporting of the royal visit where Prince Charles referred to himself as: “Nambawan pikinini bilong misis kwin” or “the number one child belonging to Mrs Queen”.

There is also the delightful apocryphal story of the translation of the word piano, as “bigpelabokishegotwhitepelateethhegotblackpelateethsapposyouhittimhimhecryout” or “big fellow box, he has white teeth, he has black teeth, suppose you hit him, he cries out”.

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To really immerse oneself in the island culture and to make real connections with local people, working knowledge of Tok Pisin is essential. For companies looking to work with the Islanders in businesses like tourism and travel, communicating in Tok Pisin can make all the difference and will be critical to earning the trust and respect of potential collaborators.

At From-To, we are passionate about translation, and our professional translation service embraces all languages – even this one. If you’re considering exploring the possibilities of Papua New Guinea, for trade, tourism or both, From-To can help. We will arrange business or informal translations using native speakers who understand the exact cultural nuances of the language.

Like all of our translations, your Tok Pisin translations will be expertly edited and double checked for quality, and all at an extremely competitive price. You probably won’t find another agency who can work with you in this language, so talk to us today about new opportunities in Tok Pisin.

Strategies for Intercultural Conflict Management in the Workplace

There are more than 80,000 multinational corporations operating in the world today.

obraz Strategies for Intercultural Conflict Management in the Workplace

With more cross-border interaction, different cultures are meeting in the workplace. When cultures with different approaches to doing business meet, intercultural conflict can occur.

For business leaders, knowing how to approach intercultural disagreement is important. A big part of conflict management is understanding where it comes from.

Keep reading to learn more about managing conflict in the workplace. 

What Is Intercultural Conflict?

Conflict is a dispute between two or more parties. It happens when values, goals, needs, interests, and opinions don’t meet.

Intercultural conflict happens between people from different cultures. It happens because people have their own beliefs about the right behaviour. When those beliefs about the right behaviour don’t meet, conflict occurs.

Understand Where Conflict Comes From

Different cultures have different languages, norms, values, and customs. These effect behaviour in the workplace.

For example, some cultures think personal relationships are important when doing business. They prefer to do business with people they get along well with. Other cultures don’t believe that those relationships are important for getting work done.

These ways of working can make it hard to overcome conflict. The first feels more comfortable talking about the conflict. The latter prefers an indirect approach. 

Why Is Intercultural Conflict Management Important?

Conflict is never good for business. Conflict causes disruptions, absenteeism, and termination. But it can also affect productivity and the success of projects.

Trust and support create a workplace where morale is high. When people from different backgrounds work together, the result is creativity. That means creative approaches and solutions to business objectives and better business overall.

How to Handle Intercultural Conflict

People from different cultures have different approaches to how to act. But they also have different beliefs about handling conflict. This is why conflict management has to come from leadership. 

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Know and understand the cultural background of employees.
  • Educate employees on multiculturalism and each other’s cultures.
  • Approach conflict from a multicultural frame of reference.
  • Never rank one cultural understanding over another.
  • Develop compassion, empathy, and self-awareness in management and employees.
  • Always aim to reconcile.

An important part of conflict management is education. Help your employees understand their differences. Do so with empathy and compassion.

Then, conflict is less likely to arise. And when it does, they will have tools for dealing with it.

Conflict From Language

As a leader, you need to understand what conflict is and where it comes from. That is the key to intercultural conflict management. Without this understanding, you can’t educate your team.

A lot of conflicts come from differences in value, beliefs, customs, and norms. But some conflicts arise as a result of differences in language. For that, we have the solution.

Contact us to learn more about our specialised translation services.

Translation becomes transcreation?

Translation becomes transcreation?

The concept of transcreation (creative translation) has been around for some time, but recently translations agencies have started to sit up and take more notice of it. Why? Because marketing techniques are becoming ever more intuitive and audience-specific, and digital marketing requirements are driving the need for a slant in approach towards content. Hence the uptake of transcreation, creative translation services that help brands to appeal uniquely to their target customer segments in different languages and across different cultures.

The key to successful transcreation is to move the customer emotionally – so that they identify with the brand. It then follows that there is much more to the task itself – the transcreation provider, who will probably have a background in digital marketing, an understanding of what drives consumer decision-making processes, and top quality language skills, will spend time getting to know the brand, carrying out research and liaising with the client as they hone the product. This is why transcreation is charged by the hour, rather than the word, like copywriting and proofreading. However, the advantages to the client are manifold: you get an intuitively targeted, added-value product that delivers better ROI than an every-day translation service.

TranscreationVenDiagram20153 Translation becomes transcreation?Many translators bring other skills to their work; transcreation experts tend to be thoroughly grounded in marketing and may have some experience in copywriting or creating content from scratch. A thorough understanding of marketing (and increasingly digital and social media marketing) is essential in transcreation because the translator will appreciate the importance of creating copy that works in today’s high-tech marketing environment.

Another factor that sets transcreation apart from straight translation is the need to get to know your business. A good transcreation provider should be able to get under the skin of your company and its products and services, become part of your team and understand the importance of writing not as themselves, but as you. This means not only getting to know your business and what you are offering your customers thoroughly, but also what is likely to drive your customers to buy from you!

To summarise, your chosen transcreation provider is something of an investment, on both sides. They invest their time in getting to know your business, your offerings, your brand, your tone of voice and style, and the right person will effectively become part of your team. They are rewarded not only by financial remuneration, but also by the quality of their interaction with your company, the trust established between you and training and feedback provided by your staff. You in turn invest in them financially, but also by providing training and education, sharing your business goals and requirements, giving feedback and working alongside your provider to grow your valuable relationship together!

Esperanto – the international language

Esperanto – the international language

On the 26th July1887, under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto (one who hopes), the Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist Ludwik Zamenhof published Unua Libra, a book about a new auxiliary language – Esperanto, which he hoped would become a widely-adopted means of international communication.

In this book, he outlined his three goals for Esperanto:

  1. To render the study of the language so easy as to make its acquisition mere play to the learner.
  2. To enable the learner to make direct use of his knowledge with persons of any nationality, whether the language be universally accepted or not; in other words, the language is to be directly a means of international communication.
  3. To find some means of overcoming the natural indifference of mankind, and disposing them, in the quickest manner possible, and en masse, to learn and use the proposed language as a living one, and not only in last extremities, and with the key at hand.

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Zamenhof’s aspirations for Esperanto were ambitious, but it is probably the most successful constructed language in the world. It is spoken by around 2 million people worldwide. Although it is a constructed or artificial language, some of these are native speakers, having learned it from birth. There are also a large number of organisations that support people interested in, involved with and learning Esperanto. The Universal Esperanto Association (http://www.uea.org) is probably the largest, with members in 120 countries. It has even been adopted by Google Translate. Facebook, always a good place to research trends, report 350,000 users declaring Esperanto as a spoken language.

And, despite the continuing popularity of English as a universal language, Esperanto is actively used, sought and studied to this day. The take-up of a recent Duolingo course (https://www.duolingo.com/course/eo/en/Learn-Esperanto-Online) highlights this – by November last year, over 600,000 users had signed up to study. Esperanto is clearly one to watch!

Meeting Room Echoes – ACME Company

Meeting Room Echoes – ACME Company

boss hd Meeting Room Echoes   ACME CompanyDirector: Good morning everyone. My name is Roger Haffnor; I am acting director for ACME.

This, as you know, is our last meeting of the year.  It is an all-department meeting as we wanted each department to share positive and negative experiences so that we can all learn from them.  It is also the perfect time to update our supplier lists.

It must be said that we set the bar a bit high this year, but are agreeably surprised with individual department results, which together add up to very positive results for ACME.

In a nutshell, we are growing, blooming and becoming more successful thanks to you and your great work.  We have entered markets we never dreamed of five years ago.  All I can say is thank you!

So, I am going to call on you department by department and ask you to quickly mention positive experiences and particularly helpful suppliers, as well as those suppliers with whom you have had negative experiences.  It is through sharing this type of information that our company can grow solidly and consistently.  Ok, let’s get started here…. who wants to go first?

Yes, Humphrey, go ahead.  Please tell us what department you work in and describe briefly your experience…

Humphrey: Yes, hi, I am Humphrey Briggs from Sales.  It has been a year of ups and downs for us.  Mostly we have tried to streamline product specs and make them appeal to target audiences.  We reached out to market experts and one particular supplier that helped us immensely was a translation agency called From-To.  They were the ones to encourage subtle changes in our product documentation so that it would have greater appeal to the target audience, and in particular, in this case, South America.

We are already seeing the results here, so I highly recommend this supplier.

Another supplier we used with great success was…

Director: Thanks, Humphrey.  Now who would like to go?  OK, go ahead, Dorothy.

Dorothy: Hi, thanks Mr. Haffnor; my name is Dorothy Jones and I am from the legal department.  We too have had much luck with the same translation company as Sales;  From-To.  They were really a great partner for this and more than just translating, were also able to advise us in legal-related business matters for the Arab countries, in particular.  They work with a team of native experts, which really came in handy.  Since they offer such a great mix of skills, I cannot recommend them enough.

Now we did have an issue in our department this past quarter and…

Director: Thank you, Dorothy for this invaluable information.  Who would like to go next?

OK, please state your name, yes, you.

Cindy: OK, hello everyone one, my name is Cindy Angler and I work in publications. Since we are in the process or redefining and simplifying company-wide product documentation and packaging, we also have been working with copywriters and translators to give more user-friendliness and attractiveness and cut out superfluous jargon for the Asian markets.  What is now being produced is highly aesthetic and pleasing as much as it is useful and succinct.

We worked with a couple of freelance translators whom we had already used in the past, but we too relied on the skills and expertise of the agency From-To as they were able to pick up bigger loads and were able to offer a greater reach than our typical stable of freelance translators.  I can’t recommend this agency enough.

Director: Thank you, Cindy.

Thank you for sharing all.  It sounds like From-To is definitely worth adding to your supplier lists.  Now, we shall reconvene after a quick lunch break.  See you back here at 2 o’clock.

Dreaming of a White Christmas – the gift of colour.

Dreaming of a White Christmas – the gift of colour.

amazing and colorful christmas ball ornaments Dreaming of a White Christmas   the gift of colour.

As the end of 2016 approaches, we are all busy making sure that the work on our desks is cleared and the projects of 2016 are wrapped up before the festive season is upon us. Parties have been planned, Christmas cards written (or sent digitally, it is 2016 after all) and we try to keep out the long, dark evenings with good food, good cheer and happy gatherings for colleagues, family and friends.

We can’t predict a white Christmas (well, not everywhere), but if we were translating colour, not words, certainly the white of snow-strewn landscapes, the red and green holly berries and the silver and gold of tinsel would spell out Christmas without a word spoken.

So, while we are confident of being able to translate most languages in 2017, we have decided instead to take a light-hearted look into the colour palette for 2017 for you: be prepared for a fashionable return to the office with the top colour trends for 2017: pinks, blues and leafy greens – which translate into spring and the great outdoors. It may not be the best news for suits, but you could always add a little colour to the office with a garden party tie or a pale blue dress.

Wishing all our From-To customers past, present and future a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the new, exciting year ahead.

 The heat is on. The rise of the overseas market.

 The heat is on. The rise of the overseas market.

WA 14101 U.S. Oil Carries More Weight  The heat is on. The rise of the overseas market.

In July this year the Telegraph printed an exciting report on the rise of UK exports as businesses delve into non-EU markets. It sourced its information from the ONS and described the successes as ‘world beating’. The British like to think of ourselves as taking an important role in the wider world economy and as a nation we have invented and delivered many exciting new ideas globally. It is a bit of a tradition for the British, a ‘maritime nation’, to continue to explore overseas.

Of course we are still busy within the EU – and although the press like to warn us about the uncertainty of our trading future, as politics and economics bring fresh news stories and debates, one thing is certain: there are big, fresh opportunities out there and the businesses that are quick and keen enough to take advantage of them are the ones that are going to go places. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them already.

Translations agencies and linguists are feeling the benefit of this rise in overseas trade too: your success is our success. We know that you will be seeking to get your message across in a clear and concise way, whether this is on a website, in a brochure or a detailed contract. It seems that the bigger a business grows, the more it needs to localise its content, and world-dominating companies such as as Microsoft are translating into very diverse languages to market their wares.

You may not be aiming to talk in Maya just yet, but if you have got your sights set on the growing markets in the Middle and Far East, for example, or you want to engage in trade in South America, you may want to talk to us first. After all, we share common interests and goals.