Multilingual Connections Out in the Community

Multilingual Connections is committed to helping our clients create stronger connections with their multilingual audiences—but we’re also committed to rolling up our sleeves and connecting with our local community. As such, we share volunteer opportunities with our team and encourage them to spend some of their work time offsite volunteering.  Here’s a summary of some […]

The Sweet Sounds of Google Translate

Although we’ve always said that friends shouldn’t let friends use Google Translate, we would be the first to admit that it can still be an awful lot of fun! On a recent episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, backed by actress Anne Hathaway, performed novel renditions of several songs whose lyrics had been translated […]

Amazon in Spanish…so what else is new?

More than twenty years after Amazon.com’s launch, the company is rolling out content in Spanish.  Given its multilingual sites in Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands, why is this news? As companies focus on expanding their reach globally, multilingual sites in other countries are smart business, but they […]

A festival of color

Holi is a two-day Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring, the end of winter, and the spirit of friendship. One of the most notable customs of this ancient religious festival is the free-for-all that erupts among participants as they throw brightly colored powder (called gulal) on other celebrants and soak one another with […]

The battle of man and machine [translation]

Man versus machine—the contentious struggle has existed for many years and in the last several decades it has come to a head in the translation services industry. Machine translation, the automated process by which computer software is used to fully translate a source language into a target language, has been the subject of great interest […]

The translators behind the translation

In today’s technologically-advanced, interconnected era, it’s easy to look at a piece of writing – be it a translation or a transcript – and take for granted the option of reading it in a language you understand. At Multilingual Connections, we’re all about celebrating the translators and transcriptionists who make that possible: their success is […]

The human side of our translation business

Like so many industries, the translation business is changing. Computer-assisted translation, machine translation, increased automation—it’s all a part of where the industry is going. Will machine translation ever be good enough to replace humans? It’s a common question these days, especially in light of Google’s much-touted advances in neural machine translations. But the answer continues to […]

Pioneer of Pinyin writing system passes away

Last week, a pioneer in the linguistics world passed away. Zhou Youguang, the father of Pinyin, died on January 14 at the age of 111. In the 1950’s Zhou Youguang lead a  committee that developed a standardized system for romanizing Mandarin Chinese. Since its official adoption by the Chinese government in 1979, Pinyin, which literally […]

Friends don’t let friends use Google Translate – most of the time

We live in an increasingly-automated world. It’s important to see how automation—like machine translation—can make things better / easier / cheaper, but it’s also important to recognize where human input matters. I’ve written elsewhere that friends don’t let friends use Google Translate. Machine translation doesn’t understand nuance. Though increasingly sophisticated, it continues to produce awkward sentences, […]

Trump in translation

Translation is part art, part science. No matter the content, it’s always a fine balance, but this election season has pushed the demands of translation to new heights. Before addressing the translation issue, though, let’s take a look at some of the topics that have kept linguists busy lately. Some have been looking beyond what […]

Control your potty mouth around kids – or swear a blue streak?

Years ago, as my husband and I cradled our newborn baby boy in our arms, we didn’t realize that one of the most difficult challenges ahead of us would be controlling our potty mouths. Of course we didn’t censor ourselves initially, but once he started talking, we were much more careful about what we said. […]

Tesla autopilot translation: the devil is in the details

Cars for me have always been about getting myself and my passengers safely from Point A to Point B. When my young son fell in love with Teslas, I found myself agreeing to chaperone play-dates to the Tesla showroom at our local mall—and gradually falling in love with the car, myself. With the much more […]