Rachel Varnergardner

Recent Posts

The Back-Translation Dilemma

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner February 09, 2015


What is Back-Translation?

Performing a back-translation into the language of the original text serves to reveal mistranslations, omissions or incorrect terminology in the translated text. The goal is to then compare the back-translation to the original text, in order to assess the accuracy of the translation. The medical and life sciences fields may require this process due to industry regulations, since precise accuracy takes precedence over fluidity and readability for the intended user. Independent review boards or ethics committees may require back-translations of their documents, especially in high-risk situations. Back-translations are primarily intended for extremely literal text, but not for content comprised of subtleties.

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Topics: Language, Translation

The Verdict: Translation Quality Matters

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner February 03, 2015

As you research how to proceed with your translation needs, three variables will likely shape your decision: cost, speed, and quality. If you place higher value on any one variable, it may be at the expense of the others. Producing a translation with an accelerated delivery time will often incur “rush fees” but can also jeopardize overall quality. Conversely, a translation completed within a standard turn-around time will probably cost less, and will likely produce higher-quality results.

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Topics: Localization, Translation

Machine Translation Post-Editing: The Ultimate Solution

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner January 30, 2015

Here’s the situation: you’ve got TONS of text that needs translation (tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of words) but there isn’t room in your budget for the higher cost of “standard” translation, and you’re faced with an expedited timeline. Most likely, under such circumstances, the traditional human translation process simply isn’t feasible.

Machine translation (MT) engines can translate large quantities of data in minutes or hours, and for a fraction of the cost. However, most of us have seen some comical examples of the sub-par translations produced by any of the free online MT solutions. Gibberish certainly isn't an acceptable form of communication!
Fortunately, the quality of customized, trained MT engines has come a long way, and for certain content, it’s the perfect option. When MT is supplemented with extensive industry-specific Translation Memories and Glossaries (e.g. Life Sciences, IT, Electronics, Medical Devices, Automotive), along with a human post-editing touch, your desired linguistic quality is within reach.

The most critical step to improving the quality of your MT results is through the post-editing process. To benefit from “the best of both worlds”, you would first run your content through MT software and then arrange for a professional translator to perform post-editing. This way, a human expert will enhance the quality by correcting grammar, terminology and punctuation, among other issues.

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Topics: Translation, Machine Translation, Translation Technology

Translation Memory 101: Achieve High Quality Results and Save at the Same Time

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner December 23, 2014

Translation memory is an essential tool for increasing consistency and efficiency, and can result in significant cost savings over time. Translation memory (TM) software is a valuable tool for translators and often a client’s best friend.

What is translation memory? In simple terms, a TM it is a database consisting of “segments” (phrases and sentences) that are stored as the original source language along with translated target language “segments” that correspond to the original content.

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Topics: Localization, Translation Technology

Benefits to Agile Localization

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner November 18, 2014

Embracing the Agile Model

Agile localization focuses on continuous collaboration and response to changes as they happen, instead of waiting to begin translation during the final stages of your content’s development. You may be developing or updating a website, software technology, or your company is expanding to new language markets.

Historically, the localization process has been a mere afterthought in that development process. Traditional localization processes (e.g. Waterfall model) have often compromised multilingual product quality with last-minute, risky changes. When localization is left until the very end, emergency fixes have proven to be expensive and time-consuming. This has caused many delays in the release of products, software, apps, and services to market.

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Topics: Website Localization, Localization, Agile, Software Localization

HiNative Language Learning App Connects you with Native Speakers

Posted by Rachel Varnergardner October 29, 2014

Language Learning Goes Mobile

One of the inevitable challenges of learning a new language or honing your language fluency skills is not having the “intuition” that comes naturally to native speakers. Most of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to find the meanings of words by plugging text into machine-translation services or searching in dictionaries, only to find terms that are either outdated or not used in casual conversation. We are often left with more questions than when we started! 

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Topics: Language Learning, Travel, Mobile Application