Happy Holidays And A Wonderful New Year!

We hope you can all get some well-deserved rest over the end-of-the-year festive period, and can start 2022 with your batteries fully charged!

Our team will be taking a short break at the end of this month, so please note that our offices will be closed between 24th December 2021 and 3rd January 2022.

We will be back at our desks looking forward to working with you in the new year on 4th January.

We wish you a wonderful festive period and a happy, healthy, successful 2022!

The Team at First Edition Translations

Are you digging it?

I really give his pike, the pure fain, but the guy has been fluttering so much lately on Instan, he’s really printing himself. All right, now I’m stepping, pick axe!

No… we didn’t go mad, we just used machine translation for translating a couple of slang-laden sentences from Hungarian. Well, actually… If we did that, we really might have gone mad!

While machines can handle more straightforward texts and prepare them for a human translator for post-editing, there is really no point in using machine translation for more creative texts, including copy full of idioms, set phrases or, as we’ve seen here, slang.

Translating slang correctly is a more complicated matter and requires a huge amount of creativity machines simply lack.

First of all, there are different types of slang.

Slang is defined as “an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech” and while we often think of it as words used by teens, there are other slang types out there, like army slang, slang used by various occupational groups, argot (a kind of secret language used to exclude others), sports slang, text speech/internet slang (think LOL and l8r), etc.

Anyone attempting to translate slang needs a high level of linguistic and cultural awareness to decipher the source text. Slang is one of the fastest changing area of a language’s vocabulary, so the translator really needs to be in the know to be able to understand it. (Just think about it: do you always understand your teenage kids or professionals from another industry talking amongst themselves?)

The translator will also need to find matching expressions in the target language. Needless to say, there is no point in translating slang literally! They don’t only need to get the meaning of slang expressions, that’s only half the job. Translators working with these types of texts need to find equivalent words. Slang is (sub-)culture specific and sometimes it is a tough task even for an experienced translation veteran to produce a text in the target language that reads just as great – and also, just as easily understood by the target group! – as the source text.

What does this all mean for clients who wish to have their content translated?

Depending on the purpose of the text, it might be better to stay away from obscure slang words in copies that are written specifically for translation and it’s perhaps more advisable to use other expressions with a similar meaning. This way misunderstandings or the use of forced equivalencies can be minimised.

Another good tactic could be providing a small glossary of the lesser known slang expressions used in the text that could help translators get the right meaning. Once they understand the source text in its entirety, they can focus on finding the best translations for those tricky expressions.

We hope you found this short article informative but if you have any further questions about translating creative texts or slang expressions, do not hesitate to get in touch via translations@firstedit.co.uk, our team will be more than happy to help!

Oh, and before you go, would you like to know what the machine translated Hungarian text really says?

Here is the original: Nagyon adom a csukáját, az tiszta fain, de a pasi annyit flekszel mostanában az Instán, nagyon nyomatja magát. Na jól van, most lépek, csákány!
And here is what it really means: I’m really digging his kicks, they are on point but the dude’s flexing so much on Insta, he is plugging himself too much. Ok, leaving now, laters!

You are welcome.

Summer time is smoothie time!

Although we are not as spoiled for good weather here in the UK as some of us would prefer, we still get our fair share of summery weather, too. And when it’s boiling outside and we can hardly concentrate on our screen, there is nothing better than a cold, refreshing, fruit-packed smoothie.

You can put literally anything in a smoothie and make it sweet or tangy — options for personalisation are endless! However, sometimes it is difficult to make a decision when you are overwhelmed by choices, so some info from one of First Edition’s latest projects (which was part of a monthly magazine translation endeavour for Monsieur Cuisine via the German publisher NGV) might come in handy.

In this article, which we translated from German, you can find some great tips and tricks to make the most of your smoothie for a vitamin-filled drink. You can learn about the best ingredients to add to your morning or afternoon drink.

And if you are still not sold on the idea of trying a smoothie this summer, you might be convinced if you look at the benefits listed in the article:

  1. Smoothies are always quick to make: all it takes is a blender and some fresh fruit and veg. It’s ready in a matter of seconds. These days, you can also buy freshly made smoothies here, there and everywhere.
  2. You can have them anytime, anywhere: whether you’re on the train, at work, at a picnic or on the beach, a smoothie makes the perfect thing to take along with you.
  3. Good food: if you’re making your smoothies yourself, you always know exactly what’s in them. And that will mostly be unprocessed foods. A smoothie often makes a much healthier alternative to snacks or even meals.
  4. Less waste: You might have a banana with a few brown spots, a slightly limp lettuce or an overly ripe avocado, but they can all go into your smoothie without impairing the taste whatsoever. Smoothies are great for using up leftovers, so you don’t end up with masses of food waste.
  5. Simply healthy: with the right ingredients, a smoothie can be a true elixir of health. It can detoxify your body, replace whole meals and supply you with energy, vitamins and lots more nutrients.

Source: Monsieur Cuisine Magazine, translated from German by FE’s team

Now that we have finished this fun and informative translation at First Edition, we are certainly not sitting on the fence any more about the benefits of smoothies!

Our Project Manager, Melanie, who was looking after this project, enjoyed managing this fun German to English translation: “This was another nice little translation project for Monsieur Cuisine, which was especially delightful as I regularly enjoy a smoothie myself for my morning breakfast. I enjoyed reading the text and learning more about smoothies!”

Erika, NGV’s Editor responsible for the Monsieur Cuisine projects has been satisfied with the translations and project management First Edition offer, and not just for this particular article:

“Thank you, Melanie and team, for translating the magazine texts every month! It’s great to know that we can always count on you to keep the Monsieur Cuisine world alive with your translations.”

Erika B., Editor at NGV’s International Editing Department

Do you have any questions about smoothies? (After all, we are now semi-experts!) Or do you have another, translation-related enquiry?

Get in touch with us via email at translations@firstedit.co.uk, and our friendly project managers will be more than happy to help you!

Post-editing machine translation with a human touch

Nowadays machine translation is all the rage in the localisation industry. It has been for a while now; we actually first wrote about it back in 2011 – to warn people against its use! Then the subject matter has popped up from time to time on our blog, and as machines slowly started to produce more and more passable outputs, our views have gradually shifted from our initial rejection to acceptance.

Machine translation has come a long way since it first appeared in commercial settings: in many of the most popular language combinations the raw output of machine translation provides a good base that actually aids the work of human translators and helps them enhance their productivity and efficiency.

For this reason, First Edition Translations now offer PEMT, which is Translatorese for post-editing machine translation.

PEMT might be right choice for repetitive texts, medical and technical documentations where there is a huge body of text available to initially train the dedicated, subject-specific translation engine and the same or similar phrases and terms appear again and again across various documents. The more specific “training” the machine gets, the better the raw output. (For this reason alone we do not recommend using any free, generic machine translation services for your documents. And then we shouldn’t forget about all those pesky confidentiality issues with those either!)

Our job at First Edition starts with the raw text that we receive from our clients. We offer full PEMT which means that the final result reads no different from a human-translated text. Our translators and post-editing experts go through the whole text, compare it against the original, make sure it is accurate, they check for grammar and spelling issues and tidy up the style, too. It is similar to the work of a regular reviewer, however, as machines tend to make different mistakes than humans, our PEMT experts must be even more vigilant and they need to keep an eye out for any unusual errors. They need to make sure that the translation is accurate, it uses the approved industry-specific terminology and it is compliant with the latest templates and regulations, as compliance can make or break a medical or technical document. And naturally, our editors always ensure that it reads as if it was written by a living, breathing human.

Are you interested in requesting PEMT from First Edition Translations? Get in touch with us via translations@firstedit.co.uk and ask one of our team!