Adam Haynes – Professionele Vertaaldiensten


27 november 2021 AdamWeave43

Case study: contractors from Belgium working in the UK temporarily after Brexit have package of immigration documents translated into English

A client working in immigration law recently contacted Weaving Words to discuss the possibility of having a package of immigration documents translated on behalf of a firm of contractors coming to the UK to carry out construction work in London. Before the UK left the European Union, EU citizens were able to work in the UK without excessive paperwork, but since 1 January 2021, new rules have applied. Weaving Words took the paperwork, which included company formation information, past invoices, contracts, e-mails and other correspondence, and translated it all from Dutch (Flemish) into English. The total amounted to some 60 documents covering five people employed by the contracting firm, and all documents were translated and delivered successfully to the client in under two weeks. The client reported back that all documents were gratefully received and that the five Belgian workers had successfully obtained their authorisation from the UK immigration authorities with the help of our translations. They are now busy working on their project.

If you need to have immigration documents translated into English, or think you might need to translation services in order to be compliant post-Brexit, please get in touch.



1 november 2021 AdamWeave43

Case study: horticultural supplier in the Netherlands has business website and product brochures translated into English for international market

A supplier of horticultural products based in the Netherlands recently turned to Weaving Words for the translation of its business website and product brochures from Dutch into English. The company sells mostly sundry items and specialist pest-control products (beneficials) to growers and cultivators in the Benelux and is looking to capture more of the international market, particularly the UK. The website, which is comprehensive, and includes product information sheets and instructions for all beneficials, took around ten days to complete and involved careful research of products, ingredients and specialist information, while the product brochures took around one week to translate. The client is looking forward to increased sales through its website and brochures thanks to high-quality translation from Weaving Words.

If you are considering translation of your business website, product information, product brochures or other customer information, please get in touch.



16 oktober 2021 AdamWeave43

We are frequently asked to translate documentation for agriculture service providers, farmers and key players involved in animal husbandry and food production. Let’s take a look at a new trend – smart farming.

There are two scenarios developing at the same time. On the one hand, the world’s population is increasing at an exponential rate. This puts a lot of pressure on the agricultural industry. Farmers and agronomists around the world are in a rush to find the most efficient ways to produce food for everyone

On the other hand, technology is expanding at an equally fast pace. The Internet of Things is rapidly spreading through our lives. A huge digital network connects the most unthinkable devices and objects together. Several industries are incorporating Artificial Intelligence to optimise their operations and processes.

Smart farming systems stand at the conjunction of these two scenarios. Environmental challenges are major obstacles to effective crop production and soil management. At this stage, technological advances might be the only way to reverse the damage. In this post, we will explain smart farming and its potential to change the world.

What is smart farming?

Smart farming is the application of technology in the management of farm activities. It implies using cutting-edge hardware and software solutions for the collection of data. New methodologies gather data from historical, geographical and instrumental sources. This is then organized, analysed and monitored by farmers and researchers. Access to data is available at any time, from anywhere in the world.

The proper use of digital tools can increase the quality and quantity of agricultural production. It can also optimise the use of resources such as water, land, fertilisers and even human labour. As technology progresses, the applications of e-farming diversify. Some of the most significant ones thus far are:

Precision farming

Farmers incorporate satellite imagery to monitor climate conditions and make remote site assessments. This is called precision agriculture, and it helps predict vital information about the soil, weather, pests, weeds, irrigation and drainage. High-tech tools make it possible to draw detailed, localised maps of the topography and temperature of the soil by square metre. The efficient use of this information enables the optimisation of farming practices to save costs, reduce the use of fertilisers and minimise the environmental impact. Smart farming techniques are also be implemented for livestock feeding, tracking and geofencing. Precision livestock farming allows farmers to access real-time information such as the location and health of each animal individually. This is called herd recording and can be used to control vaccinations, hormonal levels, reproductive cycles, weight gain and loss to supervise their performance, prevent diseases and adjust nutrition depending on each particular needs.

Agricultural drones

The use of ground-based and aerial drones to collect multispectral, thermal and visual imagery is very helpful for field analysis and statistical predictions. Both large and small farms can benefit from surveying the land by improving their operations according to the measured metrics. Drones can also perform tasks including but not limited to planting and spraying crops, and fighting pests and infections.

Automated farm equipment

Automated feeding systems, driverless tractors, computerised crop seeding and fertiliser applications; these are just some examples of IoT-powered farm equipment. Microchips to control engines and machine functions are already widely used.

Greenhouse automaton

Smart greenhouses connected to IoT make it possible to manipulate the environment to reduce waste and energy loss, and also minimize labour costs. Digital sensors provide accurate information on greenhouse conditions such as lighting, temperature, soil condition and humidity. Weather stations are able to automatically adjust the temperature and manage irrigation, spraying and lighting systems remotely.

Smart logistics and storage

Smart farming applied to logistics and warehousing has a positive impact in the cost effectiveness of agricultural production. There are systems in place for the monitoring of container conditions and food shipments. Farm software and other computer applications in agriculture facilitate record keeping and the estimation of revenue and productivity.

The benefits of smart farming

The agricultural industry is facing rapidly increasing challenges such as inclement weather, soil deterioration and poor water infiltration. Smart farming innovations are already optimising the use of natural resources, developing renewable energy sources and applying more sustainable methodologies. IoT for agriculture offers endless opportunities for farmers to improve the overall efficiency of their farming practices while lowering their environmental impact.

The collected data can be used to strategically adjust agricultural management systems and better control processes. Farmers can monitor the health of crops and cattle, improve equipment accuracy, and even improve working conditions. There are many examples of smart farming currently being used to preserve water and increase productivity. In addition, all the time saved thanks to the automatisation of processes can be invested in improving other areas, such as consumer experience and food security.

On the backend, IoT can help to optimise the supply chain by tracking inputs, equipment and products. This helps businesses to anticipate problems, monitor manufacturing cycle times, and forecast demand to reduce inventory and capital requirements.

The future of smart farming

Smart farming is the driving force of an expected Third Green Revolution, which follows the plant breeding and genetics revolutions. In this opportunity, information and communication technologies are combined to enhance productivity and sustainability. The future of agriculture might be a more precise, safe and resource-efficient industry.

Within this context emerges e-agriculture, a field that encompasses agricultural informatics, development, business and other related technological sectors. A lot of thinking is going into overcoming certain limitations such as the lack of network infrastructure, training and skills, and research priorities.

One of the main challenges that comes with investing in IoT for agriculture is the risk of leakage of sensitive information. Farmers are concerned with ownership, privacy and security issues arising in relation to the data stored in cloud-based services. Technological advances seem to develop faster than the information security standards. The future of smart farming includes the development of solutions to guarantee the safety of critical data.

If you’re looking for translation services relating to e-agriculture, smart farming or any other aspect of farming, please get in touch.



30 september 2021 AdamWeave43

What is MTPE? When considering MTPE and whether it’s really as good as people say it is, two recent examples come to mind. Both were Dutch phrases that a paid-for machine translation tool had translated into English. That’s not a free Google Translate-type tool, but a subscription-based tool used by a client. The first was a variant of the Dutch ‘handschoenen dragen’ or ‘wear gloves’, where the machine translation tool had read the word ‘dragen’, which means to wear, to bear or to carry as the latter and had read the word ‘handschoenen’, which means ‘gloves’, as ‘hand shoes’, which is quite literally, what it is – but not in English! So we had ‘remember to carry your hand shoes’ rather than ‘don’t forget to wear your gloves’!

The second example was the Dutch phrase ‘het mes snijdt aan twee kanten’, literally ‘the knife cuts on two sides’ – translated by the MT as ‘it’s a double-edged sword’, when really it should have said something along the lines of ‘the benefits are two-fold’ or ‘it has a two-pronged effect’. Not quite the meaning of a ‘double-edged sword’! Those idioms!

Many businesses and professionals have begun to turn to machine translation and MTPE or machine translation post editing to get their content translated into different languages. But is it worth it? Let us explain what MTPE means before looking at the human translator versus machine translation debate.

What is MTPE (machine translation post editing)?

Machine translation (MT) involves using machine technology or artificial intelligence to convert text from one language to another. This is always pretty instant. But since pure machine translation rarely produces accurate and contextual results, most language service providers opt to combine machine translation with post editing.

In this case, a human linguist goes through the output of machine-translated content to improve its accuracy, refine the text, and boost its quality. While the outcome after human editing is always top-notch, there are concerns about the tedious work involved, the time taken for the entire process, and the related costs.

Machine translation continues to advance, and the results are considerably better. And while it is here to stay, it is nearly impossible to rely on it singlehandedly. Thus, as businesses, individual translators, language service providers and translation agencies integrated it more and more into the processes, the value of human touch on every document remains challenging to ignore.

The various types of machine translation technology available include adaptive, rule-based, neural, and statistical. Notably, adaptive and neural machine learning technologies are more advanced, accurate and widely used. But while these technologies remarkably bridge the gap between humans and artificial intelligence, it is still impossible to wish away professional human translators.

Human translation versus machine translation with post editing

Do not get it twisted! This comparison is not to discredit MTPE or human translation. Instead, we aim to establish which is more appropriate for you based on costs, accuracy, quality and time. Can you combine machine translation with post editing? Or, is a pure human translation service more beneficial?

Let’s find out!

Accuracy and text quality

Of all the comparison parameters, we believe that accuracy and quality are the most vital factors to look out for if you are looking to choose between human translation services and machine translation with post editing. How reliable is machine translation vis a vis human translation?

The results for machine translation largely depend on the kind of translation tool you choose, the complexity of the original text, and the original and target languages. Google Translate, Bing Translate, DeepL Translate, Microsoft Translate and Yandex Translate are among the most common AI translation services you can use.

The chances are that you have encountered awkward, funny and completely inaccurate Google Translate results. Of course, this happens mostly with free machine translation tools. The inaccuracies can create more problems. On the other hand, human translations use pure brainpower, and depending on the translator or agency you choose, the outcome is always exemplary.

Time

If there is one aspect that is pretty debatable when it comes to human translation versus MTPE, it must be time. Many proponents of machine translation opine that it is faster. Indeed, using technology to translate a text is pretty instant and takes seconds or a few minutes. However, these documents can be ambiguous, less fluent or contain multiple mistranslations. So, it is still critical for a human translator to go through each word, sentence and paragraph and put the entire document into the proper context. Depending on the quality of the translation, the time taken to correct the mistakes made by AI can be consuming. The MT results are sometimes a mess, and some human translators often opt to translate the document afresh to avoid the nightmare of post editing the AI version.

The amount of time for MTPE will depend on the complexity of the document and the quality of the machine translation. While you will have a faster turnaround time for small, simple text documents when you opt for MTPE, the time could be longer if complex documents are involved.

Cost

How much does MTPE cost? The other talking point is the cost of professional translators versus the cost of MTPE. It’s a difficult one to call. MT is generally less labour intensive and considered less costly, but taking into account the time factor mentioned above, things can get a little more complicated if you have to use a professional translator to fine tune your content. If the machine translated document is too erroneous, a human translator would still charge you nearly the same amount they would have levied without an MT copy.

Should I use machine translation or human translation?

With current technological advancements, machine translation can produce favourable results. But, and it’s a big BUT, it is no use on its own. While it does come with a few advantages, the gamble is enormous, particularly when it comes to quality.

In addition, it is inappropriate to opt for machine translation for highly technical, professional documents or marketing content that requires the message to be changed or needs rewriting to make the content work for your new audience. You will still need that human touch through post editing, and this may become more costly and more time consuming than opting for pure human translation at the outset.

Most language experts will confide in you that 100% human translations produced by professional translators yield incredible results. Remember that it’s always important to opt for translators who have the right experience and expertise in your field. For a dedicated professional who can produce high-quality translations, get in touch for a discussion.



17 september 2021 AdamWeave43

Case study: British business owner in Belgium involved in legal case has legal documents translated from Dutch (Flemish) to English for British courts

A British business owner based in Belgium recently approached Weaving Words for the translation of legal documents relating to litigation that he was involved in. The case was being heard by a British court in London, although the issue concerned events that had taken place in Belgium. All witness testimony, statements and other documentation relating to the case were entirely in Dutch and needed careful translation into English to be considered by the British court system. The documents were lengthy and detailed, but Weaving Words managed to complete all documents on time and to the client’s full satisfaction.

Considering having legal documents translated? Weaving Words can take translate legal documents for you, please get in touch to talk about your requirements.



1 september 2021 AdamWeave43

A brief introduction to idioms

Who has never let the cat out of the bag, raise their hand? Many of you will laugh, some of you might be confused by this expression. Why? Maybe because you are not a native speaker and you never came across it. Idioms are tricky that way, especially for translators.

The Oxford Learners Dictionary defines ‘idiom’ as ‘a group of words whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words’, but the truth is that idioms go much deeper than that. As Larson (1984) gracefully put it, an idiom ‘carries certain emotive connotations not expressed in the other lexical item’; meaning that not only is the meaning of the expression completely different from that of the words that make it up, but it also carries an extraordinary baggage of culture that the translator is tasked with transposing.

The problem of translation

There are several issues when tackling the translation of idioms that might literally lead them to be ‘lost in translation’, the main being:

  • Understanding the implicit meaning of the idiom (i.e. let the cat out of the bag = to tell a secret by mistake)
  • Conveying that implicit meaning
  • Maintaining the tone that is culturally embedded in the idiom (joyful, of reproach, humorous, etc.)
  • The risk of completely changing the intended meaning, hence compromising part of the translated text

Multiple techniques have been attempted by many different experts for many different languages. They all work to an extent, but the truth is that there is no universal rule, because there are just too many factors at play.

What can a translator do then? I think that there is a philosophy, rather than an approach, that might benefit us in most situations.

Approaching an idiom for translation

Whenever I am presented with an idiom to translate, I adopt a simple six-step philosophy that helps me render it as faithfully as possible:

  1. Make sure that you understand every nuance of the expression and research its origins
  2. Check if there is a direct translation (sometimes there is, for example, some idioms taken from the bible, such as ‘I wash my hands of this’)
  3. If there is no direct translation, research a similar idiom (for example ‘kill two birds with one stone’ can be translated in Italian with ‘prendere due piccioni con una fava’, the words are different, but the idiom means the same thing)
  4. If there is no similar idiom, research an idiom that has the same shade of meaning. It is often hard to find, but there are cases when it’s possible
  5. If all else fail, paraphrase the meaning of the idiom, trying to capture the intended tone
  6. No matter what, never translate the idiom literally!

Final thoughts

Idioms are can be a big bump in the road of a good translation. On the other hand, they are what makes a language unique. The world of idioms is a wonderful way to explore and understand a culture. As translators, idioms are something that we should cherish and try to preserve as much as possible in our work.

If you want to dig deeper into the translation of idioms, there is a good paper by Amineh Adelnia and Hossein Vahid Dastjerdi that you can read here.

Whether your text is idiomatic in nature or not, Weaving Words can provide high-quality translation if you need it. Please get in touch.



20 augustus 2021 AdamWeave430

A conlang or constructed language is a language that hasn’t developed naturally over time. Instead, it – and all of its components like grammar, vocabulary, and phonology – has been invented or devised. Other names for these types of language are invented languages, artificial languages or planned languages.

Why do people create constructed languages?

Some people simply love language and decide to create one. After all, for language-lovers, it’s quite entertaining deciding what your ideal language would be like. Often, fiction writers create constructed languages to give their fantasy or historical story a more realistic feel. Sometimes, though, there is a real purpose behind constructing a language. Esperanto, for example, was created as an international auxiliary language – that is a language meant for communication between different nations without a common language.

J.R.R. Tolkien the philologist

Many people are familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien as an author but he is arguably the most famous philologist too. A philologist is a person who studies language history and the term itself is derived from the Greek philologia, which means a love of learning, discussion, and literature. Tolkien was fascinated by language and after WWI, he worked for the Oxford English Dictionary where he was tasked with words beginning with W.

Tolkien began writing languages in his teenage years but his most famous of languages were his Elvish languages that he began inventing around 1910. He worked on these languages his whole life until he died in 1973.

Tolkien didn’t just write one language; his Elvish languages were a group of related languages. There were at least fifteen different dialects and languages each with its own vocabulary and grammar. These were split into three time periods too: Early (1910-1930), Mid (1935-1955), and Late. The most famous of these Elvish languages are Quenya, an Early language and Sindarin, a Late language. Quenya is partly built on Finnish morphology while Sindarin has features of Welsh phonology. However, there were not many borrowed words in his languages.

Esperanto – the most famous conlang

Esperanto is the most recognisable and most widely spoken of all constructed languages and it is the only constructed language that actually has some native speakers. Though difficult to estimate, it is thought that there are around 100,000 Esperanto speakers worldwide. Thanks to the internet, learning Esperanto is more accessible than ever and it even appears on the language learning app Duolingo.

It was first created in 1887 by Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist L.L. Zamenhof. At the time, his hometown of Bialystok was a part of the Russian Empire but nowadays is in Poland. Before the language was created, it was illegal to speak Polish in public places in the town. Through his creation, Zamenhof wanted to create harmony among people from different nations.

Conlangs – a summary

There is so much to say about conlangs that it’s impossible to write in one post. For people who are really interested in the concept of constructed languages, Arika Orient’s In the Land of Invented Languages is a great resource. As well as being informative, it’s an entertaining and intelligent read for anyone who loves words and language.

If you need a translation from or to a more established language, please don’t be afraid to get in touch.