Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bilingual By Music

I discovered Bilingual By Music recently and love the idea. It’s a CD set with two CDs. Each CD has children’s songs on it, but sung in two languages, English and Swedish. It’s a great way for children (and adults) to learn or improve their language skills. I’ve been listening to the Swedish CD with my daughter a lot and we both love it. I believe Bilingual By Music also has a Danish version, and I hope they produce some other languages as well, because music is an excellent entry into a language.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Word Count Ratio Tool

We all know that 5000 words in, say, German does not equal 5000 words in Russian. That can make it hard to work out fees. This word count ratio tool might help with that.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Translation vs. Interpretation

As I’ve mentioned before, many people seem confused about the difference between translation and interpretation. So any articles that can help illuminate this for folks (especially clients) are welcome. Check this piece out.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Guide to Contacting Translation Agencies

Many translators work with translation agencies, but it can be difficult to know how to first make contact with them. Someone sent me this guide to contacting translation agencies.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

New Translation Statistics

Here are some fascinating new translation stats.

“How many translations are published in English and how accurate is the often quoted figure of 3%? Which are the most translated languages and which literatures are we missing out on? A new report from Literature Across Frontiers (LAF), Publishing translated literature in the United Kingdom and Ireland: 1990 – 2012, finally answers many questions surrounding translation statistics. The report, prepared by Alexandra Büchler and Giulia Trentacosti, is a welcome addition to the translation reports and surveys published on LAF’s website and will be launched in electronic format on Monday 13th April, on the occasion of the London International Book Fair 2015.

The key findings presented by the report are based on analysis of two distinct data sets: raw data extracted from the British National Bibliography for the period 1990 – 2012 and processed data for the period 2000 – 2012. The raw data make it possible to produce statistics comparable to those published by other book markets, while the manually processed data provide an annual list of literary translations comprising fiction, poetry, drama, children’s books and creative non-fiction, so far for the period 2000 - 2012. The processed data sets have been further analysed with respect to genre and source language.

LAF director Alexandra Büchler said: “The report brings us, for the first time, reliable data and statistics on the publishing of translations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Our analysis shows that the often quoted 3% estimate indeed corresponds to the established average of all translations recorded in the British National Bibliography over the past two decades. This is embarrassingly low, compared to the percentages recorded in other European countries, including large book markets with healthy domestic book production such as Germany, France, Italy or Poland. Literary translations represent a slightly higher share, consistently exceeding 4% with a peak of 5.23% in 2011. The statistics show a steady growth of literary translations over the past two decades in absolute numbers and this is very encouraging. General translations grew by 53% between 1990 and 2012 and literary translations by 66%. This is of course reflected in only marginal percentage growth due to the growth in the overall publishing output. Also encouraging is the diversity of source languages with small European languages like Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch among the top ten translated languages alongside two non-European languages, Arabic and Japanese. On the other hand, most Eastern European languages are seriously underrepresented and we are clearly missing out on entire swaths of literary landscapes in our immediate neighbourhood.”

The next step LAF plans to take will be to publish the long awaited database of literary translations for the period 2000 – 2012 and to conduct further analysis which will tell us more about the trends and patterns of publishing translations beyond the basic quantitative information brought by the present report. Another task will be to process the raw data for the earlier period and subject them to a similar analysis.”

Friday, May 01, 2015

More on Hyperpolyglots

In the last post, I discussed Michael Erard’s book Babel No More. In the book, he offers some resources for learning more about hyperpolyglots and about learning languages in general. I haven’t yet been able to get any of these books/websites, but I hope to. Here’s a selection:

Andrew Cohen: Strategies in Learning and Using a Second Language

Earl Stevick: Success with Foreign Languages

Carol Griffiths: Lessons from Good Language Learners

Erik Gunnemark: Art and Science of Learning Languages

Polyglot Project: http://www.polyglotproject.com/

He also recommends the ASSiMiL language courses.