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The Importance of Emptiness. Book translations and Bloopers

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When companies design brochures or forms for translation, they often forget a critical element: white space. It’s very important to keep empty space on your original pages. That’s because most common languages require far more words than English to express the same concepts. In general, 20% more space is needed for translations into French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog and Vietnamese; 10% more is needed for translations into German, Russian and sometimes Japanese; and around 10% less is needed for translations into Chinese, Korean and Arabic. If your text is extremely tight in your file, where are these extra words to go? May we use additional pages? Not if you have a fixed one-page form, for example. May we shrink the font or point size? Not if you want your readers to read without needing special glasses or squinting. Should we cut out some (English) text so that the remaining expanded translation will fit on the fixed page? Sometimes that method is necessary for video subtitles. This language expansion also applies to BOOKS, a specialization in which we also excel. Book translations can be done in two ways: 1. AI only which usually still requires formatting to accommodate language expansion; or 2. AI with human professional editing: One or two translators who: · are native speakers and therefore know expressions, nuances, and cultural adaptation; · have Master’s level or equivalent degrees in translation or linguistics; · have over ten years’ ongoing experience (which means they are not amateurs or part-timers); and · specialize in your subject terminology in both the source and the desired language(s). The first choice is prone to mistakes while the second choice obviously guarantees our A+ accuracy. Using translators with expertise in children’s literature, novels, mysteries, business or sci-fi is the key to doing these book projects correctly. And we are glad to translate up to five test pages at no charge to ensure your satisfaction with the end result. If you are self-publishing, the expanded page count for the additional translated words generally won’t matter. But if you are using a traditional publisher, those extra pages add to the production cost which may reduce the author’s royalties. And finally, translations – whether for brochures, forms or books – are only as good as the original language (and punctuation) in which they are written. If you want your translations to be accurate, it is important NOT to rely on amateurs or non-native speakers to convey your message …. as these delightful signs demonstrate: 1. “Please do not put heavy item on the copy machine. Thank you for your copulation.” 2. “Caution Slow Kids on Road with No Shoulders Dead End.” 3. “Anal egg hunt. April 12th 10am. Free Family Event.” Instead, to get your brochures, forms, books, contracts, videos, websites or any other communication translated and formatted correctly in 120 languages based on 30+ years of expertise, please contact the professionals at Auerbach International for a free consultation. Philip Auerbach Founder, President & CEO Auerbach International Headquarters – 415-592-0042 x107 philip@auerbach-intl.com www.auerbach-intl.com translations@auerbach-intl.com “3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.” Share this entry

Auerbach 2024: Desvendando Novas Possibilidades

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Iniciando o ano de 2024, mantemos nosso compromisso de compartilhar informações valiosas diretamente com vocês, enriquecendo a compreensão do cenário global de traduções e oportunidades emergentes…

Caminando Juntos: Conexiones Renovadas

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Começamos 2024 cheios de gratidão por tê-lo conosco. Sua confiança impulsiona nossa dedicação em fornecer soluções linguísticas excepcionais…

New Year’s Gift: Wonderful signs and bloopers to brighten your day

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I have always been amazed that foreigners can learn English so well. Ours is a crazy language where compound words make no sense and where opposites are true. For example: An eggplant contains no egg and a hamburger contains no ham. Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square, and guinea pigs do not come from Guinea. People recite at a play and play at a recital, send shipments by car and send cargo by ship, and have noses that run and feet that smell. If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? Some corrected definitions for English learners Dust: Mud with the juice squeezed out. Chickens: The only animal you can eat before they are born and after they are dead. Beauty parlor: A place where women curl up and dye. Mosquito: An insect that makes you prefer flies. American wisdom from US taverns “Beer is now cheaper than gas. Drink. Don’t drive.” “The average human walks 900 miles per year and drinks 22 gallons of beer, which means that the average human gets 41 miles per gallon. Not bad!” I suppose in any culture, people don’t always think before they speak (or write) — Helpful signs “When this sign is under water, this road is impassable.” “Open seven days a week and weekends.” “Are you an adult who cannot read? If so, we can help.” “Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.” From a church newsletter: “For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.” “On Thursday there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All women wishing to become Little Mothers should see the minister in his private study.” Outside sign: “Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.” At a fundraising event: “I upped my pledge. Up yours!” Actual quotes from doctors’ dictated medical records  “The patient refused an autopsy.” “The patient left his white blood cells at another hospital.” “On the second day the knee was better. On the third day it had completely disappeared.” “He had no shaking chills but his wife states that he was very hot in bed last night.” We at Auerbach International look forward to serving you in 2024 to ensure that your translations into 120 languages have guaranteed accuracy, are done by specialists who think clearly and speak your industry terminology, and who do know correct nuances and word order to make you shine. Please contact us for your upcoming projects. With best wishes for a healthy and successful new year, Philip Auerbach Founder, President & CEO Auerbach International Headquarters – 415-592-0042 x107 philip@auerbach-intl.com www.auerbach-intl.com translations@auerbach-intl.com “3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.” Share this entry                

Garanta Excelência: Sua Revisão Exclusiva!

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Dando continuidade a um compromisso com a excelência na comunicação global, assegurando a você que cada palavra, frase e mensagem atendam à precisão, correção gramatical…

Untranslatable words and Humorous signs: A Thanksgiving gift

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Our newsletter last month illustrated how simple words such as “reuse” or “recycle” cannot be translated directly in some languages because translations depend on how the words are used in context.  This month we wanted to illustrate words in other languages that simply have no direct translations in English, regardless of context. If you try AI or translation software programs, you will get meanings that simply are wrong – which is another reason to rely on Auerbach International’s professionally-trained, human translators, each with over ten years’ continual experience, to capture your intent correctly. Sobremesa (Spanish: “over the table”): The time after a meal when the food is finished but the conversation, ideas and gossip are flowing. Lagom (Swedish: more or less, “Just right”): Not too much, not too little. Just the right balance. Hygge (Danish: cozy feeling): Genial, intimate feeling sitting around a winter fire with friends, having drinks and a meal. Fernweh (German): Longing for a distant place or wanting to go someplace you have never been to.  Depaysement (French): The feeling when you are abroad of not being in one’s home country, but that you don’t really belong. More intense than “homesick.” Ya’aburnee (Arabic): Hoping that a dearly loved person will live longer than you because of your unbearable feeling of not having that person in your life. Wabi-Sabi (Japanese): Unlike Westerners who strive for perfection, the finding of beauty in imperfections or flaws because each person and each art piece is unique. Even if the words are clear, their misuse can change the meaning  … as these wonderful foreign signs in English illustrate: In a Nairobi restaurant: “Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.” Hong Kong dentist’s office: “Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.” On a South African building: “Mental health prevention centre.” On a Korean air flight: “On arrival at the airport, please wear your clothes.” Paris dress shop: “Dresses for street walking.” Especially for client-facing marketing, when you need the correct word, correct context, or correctly acculturated meaning, Auerbach International’s 30+ years of experience will guarantee accuracy for any written file, video, website and more. Please call or contact us for a free quote. In gratitude for your ongoing projects and support and with best wishes for a joyous Thanksgiving,   Philip Auerbach Founder, President & CEO Auerbach International Headquarters – 415-592-0042 x107 philip@auerbach-intl.com www.auerbach-intl.com translations@auerbach-intl.com “3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.” Share this entry

Mundo em Palavras

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É com prazer que anunciamos a chegada da Auerbach South América ao Brasil! Como subsidiária de uma empresa renomada dos EUA, com 30 anos…

Drinking, Pigs, Water and the No-Fun Zone – It’s Friday Funnies

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November is here; the month of thanks and friendship and family gatherings. In many parts of the country, we rise to frosty mornings and sometimes a dusting of fresh snow. The days have gotten shorter and the evening darkness arrives sooner. The longer evenings provide the perfect setting to celebrate: King Tut DayClean Your Refrigerator DayAll Our Uncles are Monkeys Day. Though many of us celebrate Thanksgiving, others are equally committed to enjoying Absurdity Day, National Indian Pudding Day and Marooned Without a Compass Day! When inviting friends and family members to join in celebrating the holiday of your choice, make sure your invitations are clear and accurate. Confusing directions can strand your guests at a gas station 30 miles from your home much like a mistranslated business document may confuse global clients and embarrass your organization. Imagine if your online AI translation directs them to “remove your garments and shout” rather than the intended “exchanges will be rapidly replaced.” Fortunately, the following examples of mistranslations cause no harm to your organization and induce joyous chuckles. So, over the river and through the woods to Friday Funnies we go! Nothing says the start of the holiday season like habitual drinking! And this sign may have been authored by such a reveler! Maybe she could invite some people too? This invitation may need to be reconsidered. Harmless, mistranslated signs are examples of humorous incompetence. Mistranslations of your important organizational documents, training videos, website or marketing materials are never humorous. As we make the point every month, only professional linguists are properly trained to translate your messages correctly in both word and context. At Auerbach International, our professionals have been in the business for 10 years or longer and have a Master’s degree or equivalent in linguistics. We provide unrivaled service quality for over 120 languages, so we have your needs covered. This is the month of giving thanks for things large and small. Thanks for family and friends and peace and health… and correctly translated correspondences! Don’t let mistranslations ruin a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner or the associated food coma. You can relax and know that your language project is being handled by a firm with 3 decades of A+ service and expert performance. For a free quote, email or call us. Keep that turkey on your plate and not in your translated documents! A final thought from Clarence Darrow: “The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” Best ~ Chris HempelDirector of Client Successwww.auerbach-intl.comchris@auerbach-intl.comphone 415-592-0042 X125mobile 818-445-4451 “3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.” Share this entry

Bloopers, and why easy translations are not so easy

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In general, simple words are simple to translate. Except when they aren’t. And AI programs usually make no distinctions and cause errors. For example, consider the sentence, “I felt welcomed by the warmth of the happy people.” Is the “I” speaker a male or female? The word “welcomed” changes endings in many languages, depending on the speaker’s gender. Or consider various recycling terms for an immigrant brochure we recently translated: The word “Reuse” In Spanish, it’s best to say “Reuse me” and not just “Reuse,” especially in the context of water bottles. If you put “reuse” into Google Translate, the French becomes the translated noun “reutilization” which is not the same concept. But put in “reuse and “recycle” and you will get two verbs, which is more accurate. Translate the term into Filipino? First, the Philippines has 187 languages and dialects, the most common of which is Tagalog. And Tagalog has no word for “reuse” so it uses the English instead. Russian has various ways to say “reuse”: One is to use something more than once. Another means to recycle. Yet another term is used for refilling something such as a water bottle, while a fourth term means, “Don’t discard it.” And while “Reuse” seems to be a command such as Stop!, some languages can use both the command form OR the infinitive form (“to reuse”). The command form is more common when speaking to individuals while the infinitive form is more common when the instruction refers to everyone in general. Which to choose? Unless it’s clear, a translation project manager normally asks you which intention you want. In the same brochure, another sentence was, “You are part of the Plan.” In Russian, this could be translated as “We count on you” or as “The Plan starts with you.” In Spanish also, it’s better to say, “We count on you.” “Together our future is sustainable.” Japanese spells out the English “sustainable” in phonetic letters. Spanish can translate this literally or say “Let’s create a sustainable future together.” CONCLUSION As you can see, translating simple terms can depend on gender of the speaker; the context of the meaning; and cultural adaptation, presenting the sentence in the way that the language best expresses the concept. And as you might guess, Artificial Intelligence and Translation Software programs make assumptions that can be totally wrong. And this again is the reason, when accuracy and precision matter, that it is essential to use Auerbach International’s professional translators who speak expressions and your subject terminology in all languages. BLOOPERS Some of the funniest foreign signs in English are also due to AI or amateur translators’ misunderstanding the proper usage of key words … as in these delightful messages: In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: “Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.” In a Mexican hotel: “The manager has personally passed all the water served here.” In a Soviet hotel room: “If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.” To ensure that your signs, brochures, contracts, instructions, books, videos and websites do not make our Bloopers list – and assuming that you want your communications to reflect your organization’s professional image – please call or email Auerbach International for a free quote into over 120 languages and dialects. In gratitude, Philip Auerbach Founder, President & CEO Auerbach International Headquarters – 415-592-0042 x107 philip@auerbach-intl.com www.auerbach-intl.com translations@auerbach-intl.com “3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.” Share this entry                

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