Monday, January 19, 2009

Yin and Yang of 21st-Century Translation

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The fact that English is spreading around the globe seems to clash with the fact that many companies are translating their documents into a greater number and variety of languages. A current trend (especially in the production of software manuals, marketing materials, and web sites) is to localize the translation of a document.

The term localization means modifying a translation to fit a local culture's patterns of language usage. For example, a training manual being shipped to Argentina might be published in a special Argentinian Spanish edition. A localized manual is vernacular: It speaks to the audience in a familiar style, with local idioms.

In contrast, globalization (or "internationalization") refers to editing a document before translating it. This means making the original English text clearer so that it will be easier to translate into a wide variety of languages. Although the original document may seem clear to a native English speaker, it probably contains idioms that cannot be easily translated.

Mr. English 101 specializes in providing English-language services including the localization of your texts for a global market.

If you need translations into English from Spanish, French or Portuguese or other English-language services, please send an email to for a prompt evaluation.

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