Tag Archives: Professional translation

Translation Error Fuels International Tensions

Although professional translation is an important and useful service, it is never more important than when the words being translated can ease or spur international tensions.  On August 30th, the president of Egypt, Muhammad Morsi, gave a speech which was translated into several languages.  Unfortunately, Farsi interpreters got part of their translation wrong, replacing the word “Syria” with “Bahrain.”  This seemingly minor mistake, made for an entirely different interpretation of what the president was saying, and now the Bahraini government is demanding an apology.

Was the Translation Error a Mistake or a Strategy?

To Bahrain, the mistaken translation included them in the list of Arab states dealing with revolution this past year.  They claim that their crackdown on Shi’ite protestors are not enough to be considered the same as dealing with an all-out revolution.  Iran and Syria though have criticized them for these crackdowns in the past and are fairly open about their stance on the matter.  This has led Bahrain’s state-run news agency to accuse the Iranian media of making the “mistake” on purpose.  They believe it was yet another strategy meant to interfere in their affairs and should be considered “a violation, fabrication, and unacceptable media behavior.”

Bahrain Demands Apology

If such a mistake were made in an important business translation or even a technical legal translation, there would most likely be avid apologies by the translation company for any harm the mistake might have caused.  Because the countries involved don’t agree on the issue of Shi’ite power in the Middle East though, an apology for this particular translation issue is yet to be made.  Bahrain has publicly demanded an apology from Iran’s media and the Iranian officials though, by formally filing a complaint with their government.  However, experts believe an apology is unlikely, especially with all of the tension surrounding Syria and Iran right now.

Even if you’re not using translation services at such a high level as these governments, it may be just as important.  One word could completely change the meaning of an entire conversation or document and could potentially put an end to important business relationships.  That’s why it’s so important to make sure any translation company involved has the experience and knowledge necessary to make accurate translations.

About The Translation Company

The Translation Company is committed to offer quality translation services for the best price possible. Our lean structure and fine-tuned processes make possible rates sometimes half of those rates offered by other competitors. More than 100 languages served to clients worldwide.  Contact The Translation Company today at 800-725-6498 or at translation@thetranslationcompany.com .

Translation Volunteers Make an Impact on Online Education

When Amara was founded in 2010, its intent was to provide free professional translation services in the form of subtitles to online videos in order to “break down political, social, and cultural barriers” around the world.  Since then, their translation volunteers have added subtitles to over 200,000 videos in 100 different languages.  Their success has allowed them to make more information available to more people.  They even donated their services to the famous KONY video, which hit the world by storm this year.  Now though, they are setting their sights on education, so that their subtitles can improve learning worldwide.

Amara Partners with Coursera and Khan Academy

In an effort to make online learning more accessible, organizations like Coursera and Khan Academy produce hundreds of thousands of educational videos and post them online for anyone to view.  Of course, with those videos being produced in English, they can’t reach a large part of global audiences.  Amara intends to solve this problem, by offering their free translation services and subtitling to those companies.  They have started the process of translating their videos, so you can already find some lectures in ten languages with more coming soon.

Amara Still Benefits by Offering Free Services

Although all of their translators are volunteers, Amara is by no means going broke.  With every video partner they make, they get shares in a booming industry.  In April alone, 181 million Americans viewed 37 billion videos online.  By adding their subtitles, they have a stake in the growth and profits of the companies creating those videos.  Their collaborations include PBS, TED, Netflix, and more, giants in the field of online video access and viewership.

Your YouTube Channel isn’t a Priority

Don’t get too excited about all those translator services though.  Amara won’t be hitting personal or commercial YouTube channels anytime soon, or likely ever for that matter.  They tend to stick with corporate video companies or globally-viewed educational programs meant to increase information access and awareness.  Luckily, with the interpretation industry hitting $33.5 billion dollars this year (an increase of $26 billion since 2009), there are plenty of translation companies out there willing to help you out.  Even though those services will most certainly not be free, for every language you add, your viewership and potential for money-making should increase tenfold.  Just make sure the message you’re conveying is one worth translating.