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FREME Services Power Vistatec Automated Content Enrichment
The digital universe grows by a massive amount of structured and unstructured content every day. This flood of data comes in a broad range of standardized and proprietary formats and languages for uncounted application needs around the planet. Much of this data never leaves the silo for which it was created, but business analysts and information scientists

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Who Owns a Language? Why Klingon Matters
Who owns a language? This question recently emerged when Paramount Pictures and CBS claimed copyright to the Klingon language. Klingon is an “artificial” or invented language, one of hundreds of such tongues dating back to at least the early medieval period. Linguist Marc Okrand invented it for the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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A Few Notes in ISO 17100 Could Mean Big Trouble for Industry Certification
When enterprises contract with language service providers for translation, they expect professional linguists with strong credentials to work on their project. Because the issue of who is a “qualified” translator has major implications for clients, LSPs, and vendors alike, industry stakeholders have long tried to standardize the procurement

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Every Day Is International Translation Day
Last week linguists celebrated International Translation Day, the birthday of St. Jerome, patron saint of translators. However, every day presents an occasion to thank those who make global communication possible. We clipped a few mainstream news articles from the past few weeks in which language played a role. Product manuals bedevil users whether

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Why Immigration Reform Is Good for Translation, Just Not for the Reasons You Think
The United States will soon face immigration reform, as President Obama highlighted in his inaugural address this week. Which parts of the language industry stand to benefit from comprehensive reform, and who will have an advantage? Common Sense Advisory conducted a large-scale study of federal government spending on translation and interpreting services

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Newly Proposed Quebec Language Law Presents Challenges and Opportunities
Last week, Canada’s Parti Québecois introduced Bill 14 to the National Assembly. This piece of legislation seeks to set new requirements regarding the use of the French language in Quebec, where 7 to 8 million speak French as a first or second language. In 1977, Bill 101, the “French language charter,”

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UMD Launches a Sorely-Needed Translation and Interpreting Program
As we look back at 2012, the year has given the language services industry plenty of reasons to celebrate – strong growth rates, a positive job outlook, spikes in volume, and good sales figures as most companies head into 2013. We have a piece of important news as we approach the year’s end – a brand-new graduate degree program at

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Google Takes a Stand for Endangered Languages
Back in 2008, we wrote about Language Death and Why It Matters, lamenting the loss of “repositories of information and understanding that took thousands of years to gather.” In 2009, Google began a project to collect and preserve audio, video, and other digital artifacts of at-risk languages before they disappear altogether. Famously, the

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ALS Experience Highlights Global Lack of Governmental Procurement Know-How
The language services industry reacted vocally and viscerally to the £300 million interpreting contract awarded last year to Applied Language Solutions (ALS). The negative response was largely due to the fact that the U.K. Ministry of Justice (MOJ) awarded the contract to a translation vendor with minimal experience in interpreting which subsequently

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India Contemplates a Billion Web Users
As the dream of universal access moved in the past two years from laptops to tablets, the Indian government awarded an ambitious contract to UK-based Datawind Ltd. in the hope of bringing web-enabled tablets to students for under US$50 per child. We wonder what languages these devices will support. With over 700 languages spoken among the target population

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Spanish vs. English: An Unnecessary Choice
Alejandrina Cabrera was disqualified from running for city council last month in the small, southwestern Arizona city of San Luis. The reason? She was found to have only “basic survival level” English that fell short of what was needed to conduct city business. Meanwhile, in Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, a man named Majid

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Using Crowdsourced Translation to Create a Multilingual Newsroom
As the online digital divide becomes smaller and smaller, language still remains one of the last true barriers to consuming content anywhere, anytime. The Global Voices Lingua Project has found a way to overcome this barrier, and at the same time, build a multilingual newsroom. We interviewed Paula Góes, Multilingual Editor at Global Voices,

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South-to-South Trade: Is the Translation Industry Ready to Support It?
International trade has been changing directions. While trade used to work primarily in a North-South direction, there has been an increase in trade happening within the Southern hemisphere for some time now. This has happened because of various reasons – for example, the Northern economies have shrunk, Southern economies have opened up and achieved

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What Adding an "S" to "BRIC" Means for Language Service Managers
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) officially added the "S" (South Africa) to their acronym in April this year during the third BRIC(S) Leaders Meeting in Sanya, Hainan (China). Not only were the 11 official languages of that nation added to the list of possible languages to be considered by translation managers, but so were the 2

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How Translation Can Help Eliminate Information Disparities in Africa
"Access to information is a basic human right," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, according to the World Bank Institute, at a conference on the subject last year in Accra, Ghana.   Information is also power, and more and more organizations are recognizing that it will play an essential role in Africa’s future. Having access to

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How Translation Brought a Language Back to Life
Why should we be grateful for translation? We often write about translation in the context of its business value – as a global revenue enabler, as a way to reach untapped markets, and as a way to improve relationships with existing customers.  We also write about the market for language services – how big it is, how diverse it is, and

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Sochi – How Language-Ready Is it?
For six weeks, from February 7 to March 16, 2014, Sochi, Russia, will play host to the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games. During this time, an unprecedented number of languages will be heard in the city of Sochi. How prepared is it to listen and speak in these languages? "Sochi 2014: Translation issues", a language forum to

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Interpreting for the European Parliament: 506 Language Combinations and Counting
A few weeks ago, Common Sense Advisory attended the International Federation of Translators (FIT) XIX World Congress in San Francisco. One of the highlights was the keynote address delivered by Olga Cosmidou, Director-General for Interpretation and Conferences (DG-INTE) at the European Parliament. The DG-INTE organizes interpretation for all Parliament

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ICANN Allows IDNs in Indian Languages
In 2009, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced its method for assigning internationalized domain names (IDNs) for non-Latin generic top level domains (gTLDs). Now ICANN has granted approval to India to administer gTLDs in Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu. The new “dotBharat” namespaces

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European Online Language Preferences Revealed in Flash Eurobarometer Report
The European Commission (E.C.) recently published a 125-page Flash Eurobarometer report (#313) based on a Gallup survey of language preferences among internet users in 23 European Union (E.U.) countries. The data stems from telephone interviews conducted at the request of any service of the E.C. at the end of January 2011.The report charts volumes of

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Sampark: Enabling Machine Translation for Indian Language Pairs
Automated translations directly between Indian language pairs without the English pivot are now a reality. Sampark Machine Translation Systems for Indian Languages, the product of the combined efforts of 11 institutions across India, aspires to become India’s Google Translate, though it can only translate up to 180 words at a time in its experimental

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What the E.C. Won’t See – Systran Introduces MT for European Commission Corpus
On December 16 last year, the General Court of the European Union determined that the European Commission (E.C.) had violated Systran’s intellectual property and awarded the company €12.01 million. The E.C. promptly shut down its Systran-powered machine translation (MT) portal, posting the following message: “We regret to inform you

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Common Sense Advisory Predictions for 2010: How Did We Do?
Since 2005, Common Sense Advisory has published predictions regarding what will happen to the language services industry throughout the coming year. However, we also hold ourselves accountable by revisiting our predictions and conducting a self-evaluation after the year is over. How many of our predictions for 2010 came true? 1. Big buyers of language

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Blowing the Whistle on Unqualified Military Interpreters
A former employee who screened interpreters for Afghan languages at Mission Essential Personnel has blown the whistle on his former employer, citing that the practice of sending interpreters into battle -- even though they did not speak the language(s) for which they were hired to interpret -- is widespread. The video footage from ABC news is damning

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U.S. Government Seeks English-to-English Translators
Yesterday, CNN and other news outlets reported that a U.S. federal agency sent memos to translation providers requesting their help in locating nine translators. The language pair needed: African-American English (AAE) into North American English. Is such a thing really necessary? And, how likely is it that the government will actually be able to locate

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