Patrick Donoghue

Patrick Donoghue

Contact Patrick Donoghue

The Many Flavors of Machine Translation

In today’s global business environment, consumers anticipate that companies will interact with them in their native language for everything from customer support to product information. If your business is looking to translate material into different languages, you must consider the amount of content that’s needed to meet consumer expectations and then multiply that by the number of languages you plan on providing. Your budget and timeframe will dictate how much content you’ll be able to translate. Luckily, automated translation is designed to make translation projects more reasonable when it comes to cost and turnaround time. There are several different types of automated translation, with machine translation (MT) being one of them. MT is the use of computer software and applications to translate text from one language to another. Usually, MT is used by language service providers (LSPs) as just one component of a whole translation process. To ensure the highest quality translation, the MT engine is customized by expert linguists who then post-edit the raw machine output to achieve the desired results. Continue reading »

The Vast Potential of Augmented Reality

Lately, augmented reality is stirring up quite a buzz in the world of technology, with the excitement growing around Google Glass and other technologies that are expected to change the way we live. Despite all the hype, it seems as though many people are still unsure about what exactly augmented reality is and how it works. Continue reading »

The Importance of Localization Engineering

The role of localization engineering and whether it is necessary is often misunderstood when it comes to translation and localization projects. Many are under the impression that localization engineering is unnecessary in the context of a software localization project. In addition, a common question is, “My product has already been engineered, so why do I also need localization engineering?” and it’s understandable to ask this. For others, the term “localization engineering” conjures expectations based on standard software engineering. With this blog, I want to paint a clear picture of what exactly localization engineering is and how it is used, for those who may be unsure of its purpose and role, and to help you receive the maximum benefit from it. Continue reading »

Decoding Encoding

When we look at a document, what do we see? Text – and it comes in a variety of forms, such as letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and other symbols. A computer, on the other hand, does not see text when it looks at a document because it’s not human and can’t actually read. Instead, it sees the text as a series of ones and zeros called binary data. As a result, the characters that comprise text must be represented as numbers so that computers can handle them. Encoding is the process of converting text into a coded format, which consists of numbers, so that a computer is able to read and understand it. More complex languages with a greater number of characters require more numbers to denote them. In the industry, the term for these numbers is “code points.” Determining which languages are more complicated depends on the number of “bytes” that it takes to represent its full alphabet. A byte is simply a unit used to measure quantities of computer information, and it’s equal to eight bits. Now that you know some of the basics, let’s take a look at which languages are easy to encode and which ones are a bit trickier. Continue reading »

The 12 Key Steps of Audio Localization

Can you hear me now? This phrase may sound familiar to many since it was the infamous tagline from a former Verizon Wireless campaign. Although the wireless retailer used the expression to showcase its superior cell phone reception, it has a much greater significance in the context of global business. Speech is crucial to the way businesses operate on a daily basis, and it’s a major part of our society and culture. Human voice recordings are heard everywhere, from online training modules and advertisements, to websites and message machines. As a result, international organizations must consider translating any and all spoken words when marketing and selling their products and services globally. This includes audio advertisements, products that involve speaking or spoken words, and vocal services, like over the phone customer service. Continue reading »

Rise of the Machines

In today’s fast-paced, high-tech business environment, translation project deadlines are shrinking. Companies expect more ROI from their global investments with a faster turnaround time than ever before. These growing demands have given rise to an increasing use of machines in the translation process. The language services industry has seen rapid growth of machine translation, and it is gaining exposure as a key translation tool. Machine translation (MT) is the use of computer software to translate a source language into another language. MT “engines” are the steering technology behind some of the website and browser conveniences we’re becoming accustomed to (think Google Translate, Bing Translator, Chrome’s Translate option bar, etc.). Improvements in the technology’s output quality have aided in its resurgence, for both general purposes and use by Language Service Providers (LSPs) who use it as a component in the translation process. So, let’s take a look at the different flavors of MT that exist today. Continue reading »

An In-Depth Look at Localization

Localization is something that has been referenced and briefly touched upon in many of my previous blogs, but I’ve never taken the time to really define the term and discuss it at length. So here it goes. Localization (also abbreviated as L10n) is the translation and adaptation of material for foreign-language markets that involves changing words from the source language into the target languages. In addition, localization requires analysis of the semantics in the new language, to make sure that the correct message is conveyed and to ensure that the product functions (both linguistically and in terms of usability) properly in the target culture. Remembering that the target market is different from the market for which the product was initially created is crucial to effective localization. Continue reading »

Glossaries – A Translator’s Best Friend

Translation is a critical component to the success of every global business, but understanding that translating content isn’t just a one-shot deal is just as important. It’s a process that must be performed continuously as an organization creates new material, making the ongoing investment in website translation and/or updating their existing content in other formats. With these considerations, companies should be ecstatic to discover existing translation tools that can save their business both time and money as they continue to translate more material for their target markets. One of these translation tools is called a glossary, and it serves the same purpose as every other glossary that you’ve ever come across. Continue reading »

Five Major Differences Between Interpretation and Translation

In order to thrive, your global business needs to communicate with international audiences, which requires both interpretation services and translations of your content. But, how do you know which process is the best option for certain situations? Understanding the core differences between interpretation and translation is critical to the success of your multinational organization. Continue reading »

In the Battle for Quality, Sample Translations are No Secret Weapon

The quality of your translated content is crucial. You need to be positive that the materials your business sends to consumers convey messaging that aligns with your brand. In today’s global marketplace, you also need to ensure that your content has been accurately and appropriately translated into your target languages, and localized to be relevant in your target markets. In short, you need high-quality translations. But, when your business is approaching a translation project, how do you measure the quality of translation that different Language Service Providers (LSPs) have to offer? Many companies ask potential LSPs for sample translations, which may seem like an appropriate solution to this dilemma, but it’s actually not the best idea. Continue reading »