Portuguese: It’s More Than One Language

Portuguese Speaking CountriesApart from the mother country, Portuguese is usually associated with Brazil, but it is also the official language of Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe. Together, these countries comprise the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), an organization for friendship among Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations. The very term Lusophone is derived from the Ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered present-day Portugal.

Each of these Lusophone countries has its own dialect that greatly differs from the language spoken in Portugal. For example, Brazilian Portuguese differs from the European variant by an extensive set of grammatical rules, syntax and vocabulary. Voce and tu both mean you, but the latter is used frequently in some regions as a colloquial expression, while the former is the official variant of the term. Voce is not well received in Portugal nor used there. Many words have two variants; train: comboio (Portugal) and trem (Brazil); farm: quinta (Portugal) and fazenda (Brazil). Apelido means “last name” in Portugal and “nickname” in Brazilian Portuguese. But differences don’t end here: Brazilian Portuguese also differs greatly from Mozambican and other variants; at the same time, every variant has its own set of differences, adding to the linguistic mash.

In today’s world of global communication, there is a need for a “universal” Portuguese, a variant that will be accepted and spoken worldwide. Although there is still heated debate on the subject, many steps have been made to bridge the gaps between and among the multiple variants. In 1990, the Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement was established. Its purpose is the formation of a unified orthography for all the Portuguese-speaking countries. This agreement has facilitated communication and reduced spelling differences among countries of the Lusophone world.

Translation

With more than 250 million speakers, Portuguese ranks as the sixth most spoken language in the world and Portuguese translation is one of the most requested services from translation agencies. Brazil claims the biggest part of Lusophone population (201 million, more than 80%), so it would be logical to expect Brazilian Portuguese to become the standard variant, accepted by most Lusophones. Time will tell whether this variant will become the dominant one. Until then, Portuguese-speaking nations will continue to make their best effort to understand one another.

The Five Emerging National Economies–Are You Going To Include Them In Your Localization Strategy?

When it comes to website translation, it might be a good idea to look around and see which countries will be a good market for your products. BRICS is the acronym used for the five emerging economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. If you haven’t included any of these countries in your company’s localization plan, it is high time to do so because they are consumer economies and will be a good market for your products.

All these countries are fast growing economies with their standard of living going up every year. This means that majority of the population of BRICS constitutes of the ‘middle class’ which can afford to buy a little more than needed. These consumer economies are industrializing at a very fast pace and foreign investors consider these countries as a gold mine for investment. The interest of foreign investors in these fast growing economies has suddenly increased the demand for translation services. Certified Russian translation, Portuguese translation, Hindi translation and Chinese translation services are in high demand nowadays.

Foreign investors from the United States and other European countries are investing heavily in this region and this investment is going to increase by the year 2015. The political stability of all these five countries plays a major role in their economic development. If you have not localized your company’s website in Russian, Portuguese, Hindi, Chinese and Afrikaans, you must not wait any longer to do so. All these countries are highly technology centric with millions of mobile phone and internet users. An analyst from the Dallas Translation Services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company told us that international companies from these five countries are their most regular clients.

But website localization involves a lot of expertise and fixing any glitches or bugs at a later stage can cost a lot. Therefore, we will advise you to go to a translation service company with a good repute. Only experienced professional translators know how to take care of the problems which arise while localizing a website. Pseudo localization or localization testing is an effective method of avoiding any unforeseen problems that might cause trouble in the future. Translation agencies make use of this technology to know about the areas where the localization process can become tricky. This helps them to avoid bugs in the final localized version. Without pseudo localization, your translator might translate the whole website with no knowledge of the bugs that will be there once the localization is done.

Website localization is a major tool for reaching out to your foreign customers and expanding your business. These five emerging economies are a big market for international companies as majority of the people in these countries have a stable income.

Foreign Investors See Mozambique As A Land Of New Opportunities

mozambique-investment-opportunitiesMozambique is situated in South-eastern Africa sharing its boundaries with Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Over the past several years, the country has undergone major macroeconomic reforms that have helped stabilize the country’s economy. As a result, foreign investments are being made by companies all over the world and the demand for translation services here has risen steeply.

While the bulk of the workforce continues to be in the agricultural sector, large foreign investments like the Mozal aluminum smelter has helped increase the country’s foreign exchange and work diversity. A Portuguese translator working for an Austin translation services company told us about the translation projects they receive due to economic growth in Mozambique. Since Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, clients doing business with Mozambique typically require Portuguese to English translation or English to Portuguese translation of their documents.

Because of the natural gas reserves found in Mozambique, foreign investors are also concentrating on the exploration of new oil fields. According to foreign investors, there is a strong chance that Mozambique has large undiscovered oil wells.  As interest continues to build, translation services will be needed to help petroleum executives communicate with the local public and government officials.  Sometimes, it can be difficult for the investors to select the most suitable translation company for their unique needs. In cases like these, it’s advisable to consult an experienced The Marketing Analysts Translation Service or another highly experienced translation company.

Mozambique is a rising economic power in the African world. If the political and economic stability continue, economists predict that the country’s GDP will grow at an annual rate of 7.7%. Most recently, the economic sector of Mozambique has been heavily influenced with discoveries of natural resources like coal, salt, graphite, precious stones, marble, oil and especially the large reserves of natural gas. Foreign investors have been concentrating mainly on developing the industrial and energy sectors of Mozambique. Still the county’s infrastructure requires a significant investment. More roads, railway tracks and bridges need to be built to improve logistics.

The country has a lot to offer foreign investors. In a few years’ time, Mozambique will be one of the most economically strong countries in the African continent.

What a Bullish Construction Sector In the Middle East Means For Translation Workers

dubai-construction-skylineThe construction sector in the Middle East in 2012 has shown an obvious upward trend and the outlook for 2013-14 is more positive.  Increased investments in the field of IT, private and public sector construction projects and the rising demand for sustainable construction seem to be the key drivers of this growth. The rise of optimism in the number of executives surveyed in the worldwide construction industry has led to speculation that construction prospects in 2014 would be a lot better than what they were in 2012. In the global construction industry, more than half the people are positive about the revenue growth expectations over the next whole year compared to what they were a year back.

Executives in the global construction industry expect to see enhanced levels of consolidation and anticipate an increase in the number of mergers and acquisition tasks. With a slack recovery in the economy and a weak market scenario, there is a rising need for large construction houses to expand their global presence. One of the key drivers for various kinds of acquisitions and mergers is the the growing costs exerting an increased amount of pressure on small and medium construction companies.

As the promising emerging markets for 2014 are located in Saudi Arabia, UAE and India, China and Brazil, economists foresee a growing demand for Arabic, Hindi, French, Chinese and Portuguese translation workers. The translation workers would be engaged in translating and interpreting contracts and documents between the provider and the client. This will simplify transactions and lead to a flourishing real estate industry in the Middle East. Development in housing, roads, ports, aviation, power generation and infrastructure has been touted as some of the best pockets for prosperity. Translation workers can appropriately translate online data, analysis as well as extend advisory services for the financial and industrial sectors.

International FlagsThe fast pace of today’s business environment makes room for its rapid growth beyond national borders. This is why translation services are becoming more popular than ever before. This is a sort of specialty translation that is being used in a variety of situations such as international financial transactions, intra-office communications, compliance with local rules and regulations and record keeping purposes. Different types of documents might require the attention of trained financial and legal translators and these include shareholder information, annual reports, accounting information, marketing materials advertising financial services and financial market announcements. For this very reason, the demand for translators is on the rise.

As modern technology continues to develop, the quality of technical translations too, keeps on improving, which has led to a growing demand for translation workers and interpreters. Providing the highest quality of services, the documents they produce – or re-produce – are very important to the persons in question. This is because they comprise a permanent record of the business and give the people the data they need for carrying out sales, paying taxes and to succeed in their endeavors. When it is important to translate the financial documents into other languages, the translators make sure that all the information is transmitted carefully and precisely. This is why it is very important to entrust the task to responsible services in a bullish construction market.

Group Dynamics – 2. Phases of Group Development

On their way to becoming a cohesive team and reaching their objectives groups generally go through a number of stages such as orientation, conflict, brainstorming, emergence and reinforcement.

The first stage in becoming a cohesive team is the orientation (formation) stage. During this stage team members socialize, get to know each other, establish their roles and responsibilities and develop a sense of common purpose. Unfortunately, as the workers from a Portuguese translation service comment, teams cannot start working smoothly from the very beginning, so after this fairly short stage, they begin to discuss their positions, their roles and the function of leadership. This is known as the conflict (storming) stage. As team members share their ideas, disagreement and tension natural arise among members. In fact during this stage conflict has not been identified yet, it is rather a stage so it can be characterized as a phase of chaos and disorganization. The Chinese translators mentioned above underline that it is important to encourage open communication during this stage so that team members can speak up and fully discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various options to resolve conflict issues during the next, the brainstorming (norming) stage. It is at the end of this stage when team members establish their roles, take responsibility and formulate standards. Yan Linski, a German to English transation professional, adds that although group brainstorming is a highly popular activity, in some cases it may be more productive to have people brainstorm individually and then to discuss them at a group meeting.

Some teams never reach the emergence (performing) phase because they have not resolved their internal problems. However, if they do, they find a solution supported by all members (even if not all of them fully agree that it is the best one).

During the reinforcement stage, members receive their assignments and they take steps to perform them.

By Margarita Mihaylova

Tourism in the Post-Socialist Countries

One of the ways to classify tourism is in terms of its specifics, direction and quality of rendered services. In essence, tourism is the production of services by way of a specific combination of physical components required for the production of an intangible product. Here we may quote from what the workers at a French translation agency in Dallas, Texas say: “Tourism is a promise of the supply side to create a certain effect seen on the demand side as an expectation to meet specific physiological and spiritual needs. In this light we can say that tourism as a business depends largely on the aims it pursues and on the demands of its customers – the tourists it attracts. In this light, the translation services workers from the above agency also add that tourism can be classified as a business not only in terms of its quantity but to a large extent in terms of quality.

The reforms in the countries that passed through a period of transition to a market economy have undoubtedly left their stamp on tourism. The workers from a Houston Portuguese Translation Agency formulate the following areas, particularly affected by these reforms:

  • The impact of the structural reforms associated with the processes of privatization in the tourism business and change in ownership;
  • The changes in the legal environment for tourism;
  • The impact of structural reforms on the market characteristics of competition in tourism and its commercialization.

Although the structural reforms aimed to develop a natural market environment for tourism in these countries since they did not involve control as a natural part of their implementation, this led to accumulation of problems in the business environment. In many of the post-socialist countries the keywords that can characterize tourist business are: overbuilding and bad management approach, making benefits without regard to the overall effect of the functioning of tourism and its coordination with other sectors of the economy. This, naturally, have lowered the prices of holidays offered by these destinations. Of course, there are a lot of travel agencies in these countries that can claim to provide good results in line with the notion of attractive tourism products and we hope that their number will rapidly grow in the future.

Avoiding Specious Reasoning

Specious reasoning is misleading since it seems correct at first, but fails to standup to careful analysis.  Thoughts grounded on non-authoritative judgments and random guessing are often considered specious.  Inferences that were developed speciously flop when carefully scrutinized.

Assume, for example, you are Portuguese Translation Manager at a global manufacturing company.  The president of your company has directed you to evaluate the reliability of pre-employment evaluation testing of workers in Portugal and Brazil as a measure of intellect and as an indicator of future employee success. Going over the evidence that you gathered, you discover a strong positive correlation between below average pre-employment evaluation scores and low achievers. After doing so, you substantiate your findings by evaluating and analyzing a solid cross section of trustworthy information sources. Once you substantiate your findings, you determine that you are prepared to conclude that pre-employment evaluation tests are reliable measures of intelligence and predict future employee performance. Unfortunately, your analysis would be misleading unless you could show that:

  1. Only candidates for jobs having a high potential for promotion were given pre-employment tests
  2. Candidates in Portugal and Brazil had later been exposed to the exact same training curriculum at a similar pace.

It’s important for translation services workers to understand that even hard facts are sometimes used to support faulty reasoning.  The data that is gathered must be interpreted correctly, objectively, and within a context that accounts for unforeseen variables.

Interpreting Data, Making Valid Conclusions and Using Strong Reasoning

Fully Interpreted Data

Explain the significance of your data. Interpretation is the heart of the analytical report. You might, for example, interpret the training information data this way:

Our customer service staff in India frequently works with people with heavy Southeastern and New England accents, consequently they the customer service staff has a difficult time communicating with clients and clients have a challenging time deciphering what the customer service staff is expressing.  This means that training focused on becoming familiar with accents should be our first requirement in a training program. Despite its effectiveness in other companies, the training we are reviewing may not meet our needs.

By saying “This means … ” you engage in analysis- not simple information gathering. Simply listing your findings is not enough. Spell out the meaning.

Valid Conclusions and Recommendations

A useful conclusion may appeal secondarily to emotion (“You will love this translation company”), but it always appeals primarily to reason (“This translation company will best serve our needs”). When analyzing a controversial topic, try to remain impartial.

Say you work as a Certified Dallas Translation Service and have been asked to study this question: Is the Government of Peru likely to build or expand shipping ports near Lima? Do justice to this topic by making sure your data are complete, your interpretations are not biased by prior opinion, and your conclusions and recommendation are based on the facts.

When you do reach definite conclusions, state them with assurance and authority. Avoid noncommittal statements (“It would seem that . . . “or “It looks as if … “). Be direct (“Without improved and ongoing random testing of NYC translation services workers, risk for errors and poor translations is extremely high”). If, on the other hand, your analysis does not yield a definite conclusion, do not force a simplistic one on your material.

Clear and Careful Reasoning

Report writing is not simply a mechanical process of collecting and recording information. If it were, machines could be programmed for the job. Each step of your analysis requires decisions about what to record, what to exclude, and where to go next. Like a skilled Portuguese translator in Washington, D.C, you should evaluate your data (Is this reliable and important?), interpret your evidence (What does it mean?), and make recommendations based on your conclusions (What action is needed?), you might have to adjust your original plan. You cannot know what you will find until you have searched. Remain flexible enough to revise your plan in the light of new evidence.

How To Strengthen Your Translation and Communication Skills

It’s possible that the ideal way to launch into any improvement program is with a truthful evaluation of your position. All Chicago Translation workers have developed their communication expertise to a greater or lesser extent than others. Perhaps you happen to be an excellent listener, or perhaps interpreting is your best quality. During the following week, evaluate the way you manage the communication scenarios that come up. As it relates to your job in Portuguese Translation, attempt to determine what you’re strong and where you need to improve. Afterwards, in the months that follow, make an effort to concentrate on developing your abilities in areas where you seem to be weakest.

Create several realistic objectives for yourself. What do you expect to achieve? What role do you believe communication will take in your own professional aspirations? How can you best ready yourself?

It could be that the most effective means to strengthen your Professional Translation Services expertise is to practice. Individuals are not “born” translators, authors and presenters. People grow to be great at these activities by performing them.  An individual who has published twenty studies is normally superior at it than an individual who has published only one study. An individual learns from practice and experience, and many of the most significant lessons are discovered by failing. Understanding what not to do is every bit as critical as learning what to do.

Among the outstanding benefits of taking a training course in business communication is that you are given opportunities to practice in an atmosphere that offers sincere and helpful critiques. A program of this type also provides an individual with knowledge of acceptable strategies to ensure that you reduce the risk of making making costly mistakes on the job.

Writing The Descriptive Abstract

A summary reflects what the original contains, whereas a descriptive abstract reflects what the original is about.  This difference can be clarified by an analogy.  Imagine that in your role as a Washington D.C. French Translator that your are describing your recent summer travels with a friend.  You have two options: (1) You might simply mention the places you visited in chronological order.  This catalog of major areas would convey the basic nature of your trip.  (2) In In addition to describing your itinerary, you might describe the significant experiences you had in each place.  Option 1 is like a road map, an overview of the areas traveled.  This second option is analogous to a descriptive abstract, which gives the major facts from the original.

A descriptive abstract, as the Portuguese Translation Houston company explains, presents the broadest view and offers no facts from the original.  Whereas the summary contains the meat of the original, the descriptive abstract contains only its skeletal structure; a descriptive abstract is a kind of “summary of a summary,” as shown below:

Abstract of “Commerce Sponsors Plain English Forum”

On July 30, 2012, the Department of Commerce sponsored a forum on The Productivity of Plain English.  Participants from Seattle, Baltimore and San Jose Translation Services shared their views on Plain English programs, and discussed ways to publicize the existence of and the need for plain English programs and documents.

Because it merely previews the original, a descriptive abstract is always brief, usually no longer than a short paragraph.  One- or two-sentence abstracts often accompany article titles in journal and magazine tables of contents: they give readers a bird’s eye view.