Global Chatter – January: Social Media Translation

Hello! Zdravo! Kamusta! And a very Happy New Year to all of our readers, all over the world! Welcome back to Global Chatter, Comtec Translations’ online space for collecting and sharing the latest translation news, along with tips, ideas and information all about the interesting world of translation. Whether you’re a multinational business working across language barriers, or simply interested in language as a whole, you’ll find the best blogs of the month right here.

This month, find out why extra-terrestrial life forms could be translating our Earth-born languages as we speak, why children’s books are some of the hardest texts to translate and why social media localisation is becoming more and more popular.

Language in Outer Space

Witches Broom by Ken Crawford 5 fitler imageTo all but a few of us, working across different, unfamiliar languages can feel like trying to communicate with a completely new world. German, for example, is completely unrelated to Telugu. Filipino, meanwhile, is a whole different kettle of fish compared to Hungarian…

But imagine a language so completely different to our own that it made all of the tongues of Planet Earth look very similar to each other indeed. From telepathic communication, to a language which used frequency or even shape as communication, the forms which extra-terrestrial languages could take make for a very interesting thought experiment!

Whether or not there is life out there in the universe, there is one thing we know for sure – human language is being beamed at light speed out into the unknown via broadcasts beginning in the early 20th century. That means, by now, our languages have reached 100 light years (300,000 km/sec). What would a distant life form make of them? Well, that’s the topic of Alex’s blog posted on Trusted Translations this month. Interesting stuff!

Social Media Localisation is on the Rise

7910370882_e2d8bfd3b4_oIf you’re a digitally based business which sells all over the world, it’s likely that you have websites in a range of different languages. But do you have the social media profiles to match? Today many larger enterprises have a string of social media accounts for marketing in multiple countries and tongues. Handles like @Comtec_UK, @Comtec_FR or @Comtec_ES are not uncommon. But social media localisation is rarely as simple as document translation. A highly colloquial medium, what works in one language on social media, may fall completely flat in another. Filled with puns and wordplay, it’s important to transcreate social media posts rather than translate them, to ensure each message hits the perfect note and keeps abreast of things like cultural events and sensitivities. This new blog from Capita Translation examines social media translation in more detail.

Why Children’s Stories are Tricky to Translate

Sustained_Silent_Reading_in_Laos_2013You might imagine that incredibly technical scientific papers are amongst the hardest pieces of text to translate – but you’d be wrong. As this interesting article from One Hour Translation explains, children’s stories are one of the most trying translations you can undertake. Find out why on the blog!

Do you use social media to market your business in multiple languages? What do you think extra-terrestrials would make of human languages? Have your say below.

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