Audio Video Translation: Round up the usual suspects

audio video translation - the usual suspects

(Unnecessary) Anglicisms in audio video translation

For translators working in audio video translation, the audio video industry makes it a challenge. Indeed, it is very prone to incorporating and extending terms from the English language. This is nothing new if we take into account how familiar terms such as video on demand, streaming, trailer, etc. sound to us.

Impacts on Audio Video Translation

With regard to the audio video industry – that is, the sector that is in charge of cinematographic, television, advertising productions and those related to Internet content, the influence of English on audio video translation is evident, especially because of the impact of the United States and United Kingdom in the industry.

Audio video translation: Fun or dismay?

Undoubtedly a little of both, not in the face of the routine invasion of English words in the French Audio Video Translation. Most of the time, it is so unnecessary, alas, particularly when there are equivalent terms in French with the same meaning. Yet, in the face of the invasion of English words, there are artificially francized words to make them more or less presentable or coherent with our grammar.

Not another word, PLEASE!

The other day, on the radio, a journalist abruptly interrupted a critic who developed the plot: “Not another word, please, you are not going to spoil it for me! “

This term has recently gained some popularity in French: “spoiler”, from the English to spoil, meaning to ruin, wreck, destroy, botch.

Indeed, the English verb “to spoil” echoes the French equivalent, to strip, or to the Latin of despoliare origin which can also take the meaning of stripping.

Strip someone of their clothes, right?

From there, it just takes a few easy steps to claim that we strip a film when we reveal its fall (only erotomaniac directors strip their actresses at the slightest pretext and, when it comes down to it, are first interested in their downfall, but they do not “spoil” their scripts in advance). But then, I digress.

Spoiler alert in audio video translation

The indispensable Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France (DGLFLF) has proposed an equivalent to “spoiler”: divulgâcher.

I applaud this initiative. But it seems very long to me, four syllables.

I hardly believe in its success. When it comes to languages, short is always better.

Some terms missing their audio video translation Yet

Something similar is the word streaming, which refers to either the transmission of live multimedia content, or the continuous reproduction of audio video content without having to complete its download.

The translations or equivalences of this term, therefore, vary depending on the meaning. If we translate it as a live broadcast, we would obviate the meaning of ‘continuous reproduction without the need to complete its download’.

Closely related to streaming, we find the expression video on demand – or its acronym VOD – which refers to content that can be viewed at any time or when the user requests it. As an alternative to this Anglicism, we can name other phrases such as on demand, on request or à la carte.

Anglicisms on television

Television also leaves us numerous English words: teaser (preview of the content of a series or program), share and rating, spin-off (series born from another series).

More established in use are terms such as show (and TV reality show, which refers to a program or show format that aims to reflect the “reality” of its participants), Prime time or PPV (acronym for Pay Per View).

Why it is difficult to use the audio video translation

In many cases, the translation or equivalence in French is less practical for various reasons; among them we could mention that audio video translation is not always a one by one thing – as it happens, for example, with streaming or spin-off – and the ideas of openness and prestige that the use of terms in English seems to confer.

We must also bear in mind that, although there are equivalents in French – the use is determined by the speakers themselves. For this reason, even though the DGLFLF might offer alternatives to English words, in the end it is the speakers who decide which words to use. spoiler and streaming are simplyliked more than their French counterparts. That is the way it is and this has consequences on audio video translation.

Language: the most democratic and participatory tool?

Language is, perhaps, the most democratic and participatory tool that we have at our fingertips, because with the use we make on a daily basis, we are exercising a commitment to it. For this reason, the linguistic recommendations – in this case, to avoid the use of unnecessary Anglicisms – do not always have the reception that one might expect. Hence, in the title, the word unnecessary in parentheses.

Search everything on the Net – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Search everything - the good, the bad and the ugly

Search everything – Let the Duel Begin

The Web is a double-edged swordgun: the same ease of access offered by millions of texts on the most varied subjects allows you to search everything : the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yet, it also allows the publication of all kinds of nonsense, whether intentional or not. Therefore, Internet searches should be done with the upmost care and confirmed at least once more in a relatively safe way. Discovering the missing information out there, replicating it and justifying it because it is “live on the Internet” is like saying, “a stranger on the street once told me”.

Zero reliability.

Techniques to search for the right terminology

Several blogs have made references to Translation and Web Searching by Vanessa Enríquez Raído, in which she gives tips for searching and confirming the translation of an expression on the Internet. In summary, the method consists of:

  1. Search for the original expression requesting results in the other language and/or restricting the search to governmental sites or that inspire confidence.
  2. Take note of the translations (usually more than one).
  3. Review the translations found and compare their number of occurrences.

Searching for the right expression

When searching for expressions with more than one word and between quotation marks, the number of occurrences is much smaller than searching for single words. Therefore, this type of search is more reliable than single words. If one of the words in the expression is wrong or is not the most common use, very few occurrences will be found. Few occurrences, to me, are in the tens and a few hundred. Even something rather obscure appears at a minimum in about 1,000 texts on Google.

In fact, two forms of “classic” research using the Internet corpus are expressions or “collocations” in biology/zoology, for example. The first occurs as explained above, looking for quoted expressions and comparing the number of results. The second is done in a very similar way to the above method:

  1. Research the animal or the plant in the original language and obtain the scientific name.
  2. Search everything by scientific name and get results in the target language.

The hypothesis of all these methods, of course, is that most texts are written by native speakers and are correct. Still, as with any corpus search, the results need to be properly interpreted.

Unfortunately, Google does not have a simultaneous search engine for different queries. The most practical way is to open two browser windows or tabs in Google Chrome or Firefox, one for each search.

Clint Eastwood, search everything and fight

Term1 vs. Term2 – Ready, set, fight!

There is an external mechanism, apparently developed for entertainment purposes, that makes this simultaneous search: Googlefight. Simply fill in the two search boxes and the program searches the two at the same time on Google. After a fight between two little figures, the number of occurrences of each search is displayed.

Two points against: first, the search is done in English. Results can be totally distorted if words are inserted in other languages, as there is no way to report this except adding site domains as filters (e.g. “site:. Fr”) in the search window. Second, only the number of occurrences is provided, without further information. That is, we cannot interpret the results.

Still, it’s an additional tool, which can complement the search on Google itself.

But since I found out about it recently, I would expect something similar offered by Google itself very soon – then yes, this should bring us an interesting gunfight!

A glossary – Just what the doctor ordered

A glossary about translation

101 essential terms You might Want to look at before ordering a translation

Automatic translation?
Computer-assisted translation? Localisation?

The Jargon used by the translation industry gives you a headache? Well, nothing that a good old glossary won’t cure.

Awarded by NAATI in Australia to translators and interpreters who can demonstrate a certain level of ability to translate and interpret as well as a comprehension of ethical and sociocultural issues.

Accredited translator
A translator having received accreditation from a recognise Institute such as the American ATA or the ITI from the UK.

Ad hoc interpreting
Translation in the spoken form between two languages between two or more people, but in an informal conversation.

Process that consists in changing a document to adapt it to different objective, different readers, countries or regions. The adaptation can be done, in translation, for example by copywriter, and editor or a translator.

The mother tongue of a translator or an interpreter.

Process that consists in defining correspondence in translation between source and target text. That process allows to convert sentences into a translation memory format so that the sentences can be used at a later stage in the translation memory software.

Alignment tool
Software that automatically matches segments of text in a table.

Situation in which a text is in the state of being unclear, doubtful, etc. so that the transla
tor cannot proceed with the translation process.

Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators – A completely independent association which aims to promote the highest standards in the translation and interpreting business.

Automatic translation
Translation process that is machine-based for which no human translator intervenes.

Language a translator and/or an interpreter is able to write and speak nearly as well as his/her mother tongue.

C language
Language that a translator is able to read and understand well enough to translate from, but is unable to write or speak well enough to translate

Computer-aided translation, machine-aided or machine-assisted translation using a computer software like a translation memory, a terminology management to increase consistency of terminology and style.

Certified translator
A translator who has received certification from the American Translators Association (ATA), for example, or by the SFT (Société Française des Traducteurs) in France.

Phase of written translation in which the draft of the translation is compared to the source text and all sorts of information is verified as having been accurately reproduced.

An interpreting technique when the interpreter appears close to your customer and simultaneously whispers (“chuchotage” meaning “whispering” in French) the interpretation.

Collaborative translation
Strategy to translation by which businesses utilize crowdsourcing in a controlled environment to translate.

Comprehension check
A test completed to ensure speakers understand the meaning of the translation.

Computer-assisted translation (CAT)
Whenever someone does the real translating, and they’re assisted by computer software.

Translators can choose words in the source segment and retrieve sentences that match the search criteria. This is particularly helpful when finding translations of terms when no terminology database is present.

Conference interpreter
Interpreter providing simultaneous interpretation from one language to another.

Measure how often a term or expression is delivered the same way into the target language.

Important information outside of the actual text that is essential for complete understanding.

Cultural adaptation
Adjustment of a translation to conform to the target culture.

Culturally sensitive translation
Translation that considers cultural variations.

Desktop publishing
Applications to create documentation for publication.

Acronym for do not translate i.e the list of terms the translator should leave as is.

Area of knowledge that is communicated within a text, translation.

DTP (desk top publishing)
Specific software to combine and rearrange text and images and producing digital files. Uses of DTP: Catalogues, Newspapers, E-newsletters, Technical Documentation, Web Pages.

Recording or substitution of voices commonly used in movies and videos for which the recorded voices do not belong to the initial actors or speakers and are in a different language.

Editing – Second level of review in the customary TEP process.

Exact match
When translating a sentence, means the same sentence has been translated before. Exact matches are called 100% matches.

False friends
False friends are words or phrases that look or sound similar, but have different meaning.

Free Translation
A translation that broadly follows the source text.

Freelance translator
Self-employed translator, working either for translation agencies and/or for end clients. Often specialised in one or more areas of expertise, such as legal, financial, commercial or technical.

Functional testing
Reviewing software applications and programs to make sure that the localisation process does not change the software or impair its functions or on-screen content display.

Fuzzy match
Indication that sentences or words are partly matched with some previous translations.

Acronym for globalisation, internationalisation, localisation, and translation.

GIM – Abbreviation for global information management.

Gist translation
Translation process – human or machine – used to create a rough translation of the text so as to understand the essence of the text.

Process by which a crude or outline translation of a text is given to provide an understanding into the subject and overall content of the source text.

Idiomatic translation
Where the significance of the original text is translated into forms which most accurately and naturally maintain the meaning of the original text.

Inbound text
Text intended for internal use, generally not seen by people outside the organisation.

In-country review
Assessment of a translated text by a particular individual who resides within the country where the target text will be used.

Interlinear translation
Interlinear translation is a form of translation where each line of a source text has a line placed directly beneath it which gives a word by word literal translation to a target language.

Action of the interpreter that translates verbally the sentences of a speaker into the language of a listener. Interpretation always pertains to oral communication.

Provides spoken translation of a speaker’s words from one language to another.

Often used as a measure of line or page length in determining the size of a translation job.

Language pair
Languages in which a translator or interpreter/translator can provide a service.

Language Services Provider (LSP)
An organisation which supplies language services – translation, localisation or interpretation. Commonly abbreviated LSP

Liaison interpreter
Interpreter who provides – usually consecutive – interpretation between two languages in both directions.

Localisation Industry Standards Association

A metric for the evaluation of translation quality put together by the Localisation Industry Standards Association.

Loan translation
Process of borrowing the meanings of a source word and straightly translating them to the target language, instead of using a native term from the target language.

Process of adjusting or replacing a product, service, or website for a given language, culture or region. Language localisation is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation (for specific countries, regions, or groups) to account for variations in distinct markets, a process known as internationalisation and localisation.

Localisation tool
Software that helps with the translation and adaptation required for localisation.

Machine translation (MT)
Machine translation is; a) a translation produced by an application; b) use of a translation program to translate text without human input in the actual translation process.

Machine translation plus translation memory
A workflow and technological process in which terms not found in translation memory are systematically sent to the machine translation software for translation.

Signal that words or sentences are matched – either to some extent or fully – to previous translations.

One of the ten important languages on the Web, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Mother tongue
Native language of an individual.

MT – Acronym for machine translation.

Multilingual workflow
Automation of business processes relevant to the development of multilingual products by managing multilingual content, usually through a translation management system, machine translation, and translation memory.

Procedure of expanding a corporation’s presence into multiple nations. Commonly abbreviated M18N.

The SDL Trados terminology tool.

Native language
First language that an individual learns.

Native speaker
An individual with native-speaker skill in a particular language.

Native-speaker competence
Oral and written command of a language equivalent to that of a person who not only learned the language as a child and has continued to utilise it as his/her language of habitual use, but who has also had some language training.

When networking throughout the translation it is possible to translate a text efficiently together with a group of translators. This way, the translations inserted by one translator are accessible to the others. Furthermore, if translation memories are shared before the final translation, there is a chance that mistakes made by one translator will be remedied by other team members.

Plain English
Method of writing English that utilises a clear and simple style, normally for the purpose of boosting readability. Among its attributes are using only active verbs (no passive voices) and making sure that each word has only one meaning.

PM – Abbreviation for project manager.

Process by which one or more humans review, edit, and increase the quality of machine translation output.

Acronym for price per word.

Phase of translation process in which documents are prepared for conversion into another language.

Project Manager
Individual who carries out management and co-ordination tasks for a given translation project. Frequently abbreviated PM.

Checking a text or a translation to ensure that there are no errors and that the text is fluent. It’s now a synonym for revising.

Process of faking translation of software or Web applications before starting to localise the product for real. It is used to verify that the user interface is capable of containing the translated strings (length) and to find possible internationalisation issues.

QA – Acronym for quality assurance.

Quality assurance
Procedure designed to ensure translation quality, in which specific processes are followed with the purpose of minimising errors.

Quality control
Process designed to ensure translation quality, in which the target text is analysed with the purpose of finding errors.

Abbreviation for rules-based machine translation.

Measure of formlessness of language dependent upon the tone, terminology, and grammar.

Process of reading a text to identify errors, inconsistencies, incorrect grammar and punctuation, poor or improper style, and conformance with the source text.

Sentence or phrase separated from the remainder of a text based on language construction guidelines such as punctuation.

Sight translation
Interpreting technique utilised to deliver material written in one language into another language. It is most often used when the gist of a note or document needs to be ascertained with urgency.

Simplified English (SE)
A collection of writing rules and a dictionary of controlled vocabulary directed at improving the readability of technical documentation. Put together by the Association of European Airlines (AEA), it is also used to write texts for translation using machine translation tools.

Acronym for Source Language, the language a translator translates from.

SMT – Acronym for statistical machine translation.

The language of the original text that is translated.

Source count
Quantity of words in a text to be translated.

Source Culture
Culture where the text you have to translate has been produced.

Source file
File that contains the source document, as opposed to a produced or the target file, and that needs to be translated.

Source language
The source language is the language from which the source text is to be translated.

Source text
Text that is to be translated.

Source text analysis
Review of the source text prior to translation that provides a better idea of the difficulty of the translation.

Specialised language competence
Familiarity with the relevant area of expertise and command of its special language conventions.

Standard Page
A measure of the size of a text, used in the publishing industry and in literary translation. The standard page length may vary from country to country and depending on the industry. Translation projects are every now and then priced on a per page basis, although – except in the case of literary translation – this practice is becoming less frequent, being replaced by the standard line.

Subtitles (also captioning)
Subtitles are textual variations of the dialogue in films and television programs, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Sworn translator
A translator who has taken an oath and can for that reason produce certified translations.

The language of the text, voice or information that is being interpreted or translated into.

Target Culture
Culture you have to translate a text for.

Target language
Language into which the source text is to be translated.

Target readership
The group of people for which a text is translated, for example subject authorities, novices, prospective customers. It is important to specify the target readership when ordering a translation so that the translator can pick an appropriate style and vocabulary.

Target text
Target text is the text message of the translated document.

abbreviation for Target Culture

Technical translation
Translation of technical texts, including user or maintenance manuals, catalogues and data sheets.

The level of formality, etc. between two people talking.

Word, phrases, symbols or formula that describes or designates a particular concept.

Term extraction tools
Tools to automatically extract terms from texts to create a termbase.

Database containing terminology and related information.

Set of terms

Terminology analysis
Process completed prior to translation in order to analyse the vocabulary within a text and its meaning within the given context, often for the purpose of creating specialised dictionaries within precise fields.

Terminology database
Electronic repository of terms and associated data.

Terminology extraction (TE)
The production of a corpus of monolingual or multilingual subject-specific terminology by extracting individual terms and phrases from a body of text.

Terminology Management
Quality translation relies on the correct use of specialised terms. It improves the reader’s understanding and decreases the time and costs associated with translation.

Terminology management tool
Application that facilitates terminology management.

Terminology software
Data processing tool that allows a translator to create, edit and consult text or electronic dictionaries

Text extraction
Process in which the text from a source file is inserted into a word-processing file for use by a translator

Text function
The function served by a text, e.g. to advertise a product, to provide instruction on the use of a product, to convey information about an event. It is important to point out the text function when ordering a translation to so that the translator can choose an appropriate style and vocabulary.

Text type
Class of text (abstract, news report, light fiction, comment) with distinct characteristics of style, sentence formation, terminology, etc.

abbreviation for Target language

abbreviation for Translation Memory (see below)

SDL Trados is a leading Translation Memory Editor used in translation.

Adaptation of a text into another language or culture. Hence, it is more than direct translation or localisation of the text, as transcreators focus on capturing the necessary persuasive or emotive effect of the original.

Process of converting verbal sentences into written form.

Translation agency
Provides translation and interpreting services, and acts as a middleman between clients and freelance translators.

Translation company
Provides translation services using mostly in-house translators. Often synonymous with translation agency.

Translation Environment Tool (TEnT)
An application, or a suite of programs, that provides functions to help human translators in their translation tasks.

Translation Kit (Also Localisation Kit)
A set of files and instructions given to a translation agency by a client, so as to provide a set of requirements such as the area of expertise, the target audience, files and format to translate, deadline, special requirement, etc.

Translation management system (also TMS)
Program that manages translation and localisation cycles, coordinates projects with source content management, and centralises translation databases, glossaries, and further information relevant to the translation process. Frequently abbreviated TMS.

Translation Manager
Individual in charge of managing a translation project. In large translation projects, the translation manager is responsible for liaising between customer and translators, managing the translation project.

Translation Memory (TM)
Database which retains portions of texts and corresponding translations. The application progressively saves each sentence and the corresponding translation. By doing this, it creates a database of translated phrases. Every time you encounter the same sentence, the tool will suggest to you the translation that you previously did and saved.

Translation Memory plus Machine Translation
A workflow and technological process in which terms not found in translation memory are instantly sent to the machine translation software for translation, with the results supplied back into the translation memory. Frequently abbreviated TMT.

Translation memory system
Computer-aided translation tool that provides translation suggestions from translation memory.

Translation portal
Web-based service that allows translation agencies, freelance translators and customers to contact one another and trade services.

Renders written text from one or more languages into another language, often into his/her mother tongue.

Unit Of Translation
The smallest linguistic component that carries meaning.

Updating TM
A TM is updated with a new translation when it has been accepted by the translator. When updating a database, there is the question what to do with the earlier contents of the database. A TM can be altered by changing or deleting entries in the TM. Some systems allow translators to save multiple translations of the same source segment.

Voice-over , Voiceover
Commentary in, e.g., a film, TV show, video, or advertisement spoken by an unseen narrator. Voice-over services are provided by some translators and translation agencies/companies.

Whispering OR whispered interpreting
Like simultaneous interpreting, whereby the interpreter sits with the client and whispers the translation.

Word count
Total number of words in a text, typically used to cost translation projects.

Word-for-word translation
This is a type of literal translation which seeks to match the specific words of the original as closely as possible to specific words of the target language.

Workflow management
Computer or Web-based applications utilised to direct translation and localisation work processes.