Latest blog entries - AllGraduates http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/latest.html Wed, 24 May 2017 12:21:00 +1000 Copycat en-gb Multilingual AFL Grand Final 2013 http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/multilingual-afl-grand-final-2013.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/multilingual-afl-grand-final-2013.html Multilingual guide to Australian Football

In the lead up to the Australian Rules Football Grand Final on Saturday 28 September, we've reflected on our contribution this year to the AFL's aim to ensure all Australians have access to learning more about this unique game.

Our project manager Claire Mullins, and her team of translators, delivered this complex multilingual project in time for the AFL Multicultural Round on 12 - 14 July 2013. Comprising of both established and emerging languages - including Indonesian, Greek and Vietnamese, Dinka, Hindi and Somali - the eBook is the how to guide to playing Australian football.

View the guide: Australian Football Explained - in 31 languages eBook.

Australian-football_explained_in_31_languages

More multilingual sporting initiatives

We've come across an initiative by AFL sponsor, National Australia Bank (NAB) that we wanted to share and applaud:  Footify. NAB have sourced through a national online competition, 20 commentators who will broadcast live commentary of the 2013 Toyota AFL Grand Final in 10 languages. Seven of these languages have been announced thus far; Croatian, French, German, Greek, Mandarin, Punjabi and Spanish.

Watch the fun of the FootifyFM Training Day video ...Grand Final commentary in 10 languages

NAB introduces the successful applicants here.

We are proud supporters of the AFL Multicultural Program.

Read more about about the AFL's cultural and diversity inclusion initiatives at www.afl.com.au/multicultural.
 
 
 
 
We celebrated our workplace's cultural diversity at the AFL Multicultural Round in July 2013. Visit our Facebook page to view the photos at the Collingwood versus Port Adelaide game. (Collingwood won!)
 

Media Release: Interpreters and Translators kicking goals for diversity at the AFL.

*Meaningful Exchange Translation Services is the translation division of All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Services

 

 

 


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admin@allgraduates.com.au (Super User) Translation Services Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:50:00 +1000
What is tyesetting? http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/what-is-tyesetting.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/what-is-tyesetting.html A professionally typeset marketing document in multiple languages provides a high-quality visual means of presenting your message to your target audience.

To complement our professional translation services, All Graduates provides multilingual typesetting services, also known as multilingual desktop publishing.

What is Typesetting?

Typesetting is the process whereby a piece of communication/text is formatted within a page-layout application, using font, colour, graphics and images to present the message with optimal impact.

Typically typeset items include:

•          brochures

•          fact sheets

•          booklets and pamphlets

•          forms

•          reports and manuals

The most commonly used application to create typeset materials is Adobe InDesign. After the typesetting process is completed, these materials are usually saved as PDF for commercial printing, for transfer via email, or download from the web.

Tamil Language Translation  - script
AFL Multicultural Program recently engaged our accredited translators to develop their 31-language eBook - Australian Football Explained in 31 Languages. Each page was typeset to ensure accuracy of language script.
Click image to view typesetting examples of all 31 languages.

Multilingual Typesetting

Put simply, multilingual typesetting is when the English text in a given item is replaced by the translated language, so that the final version looks exactly like the original English, except in another language.

Why use a Professional Multilingual Typesetter?

Although this may sound simple, multilingual typesetting requires specific expertise and know-how. For example, the multilingual typesetter faces some of the following challenges:

•          Many languages occupy more or less space than English; resizing fonts and reshaping space may be required to make the layout look professional and close to the English.

•          Typesetting in Semitic languages such as Arabic and Persian read right to left, not left to right; knowledge of Arabic font sets and how they behave is essential for a perfect result.

•          Asian languages have specific rules when it comes to punctuation and line breaks, posing their own challenges to the typesetter.

If the English typesetter is not familiar with the challenges of different languages and character sets, he or she will not recognise when errors arise. To guarantee that the message presented in your marketing document is conveyed effectively across all languages, it is critical to use a professional multilingual typesetter. All typeset materials are proofread by our translators after typesetting to guarantee full integrity in the target language, ready for printing or publishing.

Contact Us

Our Translation Project Managers would be delighted to quote on your upcoming project or to provide up-to-date language advice.

Contact us for more information or upload your document today for your FREE no-obligation quotation.


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Tue, 27 Aug 2013 09:47:00 +1000
The dangers of crowdsourced translation services http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/the-dangers-of-crowdsourced-translation-services.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/the-dangers-of-crowdsourced-translation-services.html Today, there are more than 7,105 languages being spoken around the world*. Any business that is transacting internationally will soon cross paths with one or more of those languages.  Finding a reliable source for interpreting and translating can sometimes be a challenge.  Finding people to accurately translate highly critical or sensitive information in often multiple languages can be both frustrating and expensive.  There are times when a company has to produce a high level of translation productivity that it is seemingly impossible to cover everything.  This is why so many companies have opted to use translation technologies to get the job done.

How can a business person be confident that the translation is accurate, conveying the meaning with clarity?

Are translation technologies practical?

How reliable is machine-generated translation technology?

Are there any other risks that may be involved in this type of translation?

Meaningful Exchange Translation Services

How reliable are machine translation services today?

It is true that this machine interpretation software is growing exponentially today. These types of open source translationtechnologies are popping up everywhere.  There is no doubt that they are fast and convenient and provide some level of terminology management. Still, when you are dealing with sensitive issues, one mistake can be extremely costly.

Machines by virtue of their mechanics are not equipped to apply human judgment, discretion, or reasoning.  The result is that they can often be inaccurate.  In cases where the translation produced is an incoherent group of words there is little danger of the product being used however, the larger risk is when the translation error is very subtle. The result can have an impact or your pricing, return on investment or even the overall quality of your message.  Using these inaccuracies can be extremely risky.  Lives, careers, and financial status could all be at stake.

Are there other risks involved?

There are also other issues that you may not have even thought of concerning machine translations.  Take the case of Google Translate, a very convenient and free online translation tool.  Google uses Localization maturity intelligenceThis is a method where they take information gained by using their products and use it to help other companies or markets. Also called crowdsourced translation, they take the information from one source and share it and the result with anyone that may be interested.

homeimage_languages

Many users of the service are not aware that every sentence sent to Google Translate then becomes the property of Google.  While in most cases this is not a serious issue, for legal, medical, or business issues the concern of confidentiality is foremost. The bottom line is that once Google has your content within their possession there is literally no possible means of you knowing how they will use it.

There is no question that in today’s technology driven world the use of machine translation services will increase.  However, in many cases they cannot become a substitute for human thinking, analysing and reasoning.  Human skills are needed to make sure that you have complete terminology management controlwhich requires more than structural word for word changes but creativity, cultural knowledge and flexibility in their thinking process.

Those who choose to use these automated crowdsourced translation services and rely on their online translation memoriesshould understand that there are clearly inherent risks involved in miscommunications and infringements on confidentialities.  Companies needing translation services should take all this into consideration before deciding to use one of these programs.  Live human translation is still the best choice when dealing with personal, sensitive issues where conveying the most accurate message is of critical importance.

* as referenced at www.ethnologue.com


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Thu, 16 May 2013 09:51:00 +1000
A long-term connection means work-ready translation graduates http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/a-long-term-connection-means-work-ready-translation-graduates.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/a-long-term-connection-means-work-ready-translation-graduates.html Our parent language service, All Graduates formalised their relationship of more than twenty years with RMIT University's Translating and Interpreting department, in 2012.

Through a formal partnership, RMIT’s Translating and Interpreting Discipline will bring its expertise in quality training delivery, research and experience to support All Graduates’ corporate goals and strategic direction to further strengthen All Graduates position as the leader in providing trained and qualified interpreters and translators,” - View the  media release.

Students in the RMIT University Translating and Interpreting program attend lectures and workshops to give them a better understanding of what awaits them in their translating careers - with direct input about the hands-on reality of a translating career from the Meaningful Exchange team.

Covering 'soft skills' such as project management, diary management, and translation career mapping, students obtain this all-important exposure from experienced professionals already in the industry to help them to gain additional insight so that when they have graduated they are in fact, truly work-ready!

 


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Tue, 05 Mar 2013 10:06:00 +1100
Key Points of the Newly Launched Code of Ethics? http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/key-points-of-the-newly-launched-code-of-ethics.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/key-points-of-the-newly-launched-code-of-ethics.html What are the Key Points of the Newly Launched Code of Ethics?

Recently a new Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct was released by the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT).  This revised document has taken more than two years of research by industry professionals and reflects changes in industry requirements for professional Interpreters and Translators.  With changing times and even more ethical issues on the horizon this revised Code of Ethics was created to handle certain issues that were not comprehensively addressed in the original Code.

The main points for professional conduct for Interpreters and Translators are outlined below:

Professional conduct.  This will include allowing time to prepare for assignments. Any assignments accepted must be completed to the predetermined deadline.
Confidentiality.  A professional will not disclose any information about the client in any way.  Practitioners will not look to use any of this information outside of their direct responsibility in completing their assignment.

Impartiality.  Professionals will maintain a complete level of neutrality in all situations.  If personal beliefs are an issue a professional will not accept such assignments or if concerns are learned later will offer to withdraw.

Accuracy.  Interpreters and Translators will provide accurate translations of all material without distortion or omission keeping the original content of the source material in tact.

Clarity of role boundaries. While on their assignment they will not take on the roles of other professionals by giving guidance or advice and will respect other professionals in their fields at all times.

Maintaining Professional Relationships.  Professionals will request background information and a briefing before they begin work.  They will secure the optimum physical environment to allow them to effectively communicate their services to the client.

Professional development.  Interpreting and Translating is an ongoing process and professionals will continue to enhance their skills throughout their careers.

Professional solidarity.  Professionals will resolve any disputes in a professional and constructive manner.  Unresolved disputes will be referred to the National Council where the final decision will be binding.

Competence.  A practitioner will not accept any assignment they are not qualified for.  Knowledge of the specific subject, terminology and various genres are a requirement before accepting any assignment

The final section of the Code is divided into two parts for Translators and Interpreters respectively and covers issues that are likely to only be addressed in specific fields.

Meaningful Exchange Translators are well versed in the original Code of Ethics and have been advised of the updated Code.


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translating and Interpreting Code of Ethics Wed, 20 Feb 2013 10:08:00 +1100
Translation's lost meaning http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/translation-s-lost-meaning.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/translation-s-lost-meaning.html
An unnamed Translator's work appeared in the headlines on the weekend. Unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons. In a recent Herald Sun article 'Chinese version of Julia Gillard's Australia in the Asian Century paper was poorly translated', a Simplified Chinese translation of the Prime Minister's 'Australia in the Asian Century' paper casts a shadow over professional and experienced translators.

The article outlines comments from viewers of the translated document, recently made public online ( at http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/white-paper/translations ).

The harsher amongst them conclude that it appeared to be a literal translation, perhaps generated by using Google Translate and that "Some English words were translated without preserving the original meaning, regarded as an amateur mistake."

The article reports that a Chinese national student responded emotionally upon reading the translation - " I was ready to cry when I read it."

A reviewer from the University of Western Australia explained that the translation  "In general, it is understandable. 'Simplified' refers to the version of Chinese characters versus traditional characters."  They recommend that there is room for improvement.

Although the journalist has not revealed the name of the translator, instead indicating that "the translation was done by a service accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters."  their use of the phrase 'a service accredited by' not 'a translator' or 'a translator provided by an agency' is interesting to note.

This article raises several questions. Included;

1. Was independent checking (a proofread by a second translator) engaged?

2. What was the time frame for completion of the translation?

3. Was a back-translation part of the translation process?

As Prime Minister "Gillard's office wants answers", and the promise of a review of the translation has been made, perhaps this won't be the only time this translation appears makes the news.

 

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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:11:00 +1100
Making health literacy for CALD communities a priority http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/making-health-literacy-for-cald-communities-a-priority.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/making-health-literacy-for-cald-communities-a-priority.html A policy paper recently published by Australian organisation, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, supports investments in language services to ensure health literacy is obtained.

Read the ECCV Policy Paper and media release

'An Investment and Not An Expense: Enhancing Health Literacy in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities'   defines 'health literacy' as the degree to which individuals can obtain, process and understand basic health information. The paper shares the true value of effective and accessible communication to Victorian culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Launched on 21 Aug 2012, it focuses on the impact that health literacy has on our CALD communities. By ensuring translation and interpreting services are available, professionals have a much greater chance of ensuring health literacy is achieved for their patients.

Listen to the full SBS podcast

"The authors [of the policy paper]...argue spending more to address the issue would reduce health care costs through the prevention of illness and chronic disease".

The paper also raises the point that policy makers are now seeing the costs associated with the removal of barriers to effective communication as an opportunity. The paper concludes that the investments in language services that are made to ensure effective communication yielded health benefits to the community that far outweighed the initial outlay.

Language services include services such as translation and onsite interpreting, telephone interpreting and video conference interpreting.

There are many organisations, including our clients in Australia, that have chosen to invest in foreign language translations, onsite interpreting, over the phone interpreting and interpreting by video and even destktop publishing and multilingual typesetting to ensure communication is effective for all members of the community.

We have, over the previous decades, provided translation and interpreting services to many health clients including Cancer Council Victoria, Department of Health Victoria, Asthma Foundation, St Vincents Private and United Aged Care.

For further information on translations for community and allied health care, contact our Project Managers on 1300 854 799 or request a call back.

 

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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Mon, 29 Oct 2012 10:14:00 +1100
Working with Interpreters at North West BreastScreen http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/working-with-interpreters-at-north-west-breastscreen.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/working-with-interpreters-at-north-west-breastscreen.html Radiography professional development workshop

12 March 2008

 

"Talk directly to client with the interpreter in the background"

"Allow time for possible translations"

 

All Graduates recently sent their Language Consultant to North West Breast Screen (NWBS) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, Melbourne to assist a team of radiographers and staff to enhance their skills in working with Interpreters.

BreastScreen Victoria is part of a national breast cancer screening program for women, which aims to reduce deaths from breast cancer through the early detection of the disease. Jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth governments, BreastScreen Victoria provides free screening mammograms to women who have not otherwise developed breast cancer symptoms or signs.

Dr Uldis Ozolins, an All Graduates Consultant and (Latvian) interpreter, highlighted that one of the challenges an interpreter faces in any medical environment, is the addition of an imposing piece of medical equipment like a large x-ray machine into the interpreting equation. In any interpreting environment communication techniques designed to facilitate accuracy are paramount. These include maintaining eye contact, using dialogue in the first person and speaking in shorter sentences to ensure understanding. Therefore the physical position of the interpreter to allow full eye contact must be negotiated with the equipment in mind.

The importance of the clients being able to express themselves is also important to successful interpreting. The majority of breast screens at the clinic show no adverse symptoms. A small percentage requires a return assessment for the patient which often causes considerable anxiety. Conveying these emotions and concern is necessary as part of the interpreting process.

To close the presentation, the team at NWBS were asked to provide the one key point they would share with a colleague who was new to working with interpreters,

"Talk directly to client with the interpreter in the background" and "[don’t forget to] allow time for possible translations"

For further information about Professional Development Workshops for your business :

Contact: Ismail Akinci, CEO
Phone:1300 854 799


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Onsite Interpreting Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:17:00 +1000
Government Translation http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/government-translation.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/government-translation.html Multilingual brochures for NAATI - a combination of consultancy on language need and translation for a government accrediting body

Client: The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters [NAATI]

Background

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters [NAATI] is the body that has set basic standards in the Translation & Interpreting field in Australia since 1977. It is owned by the State, Territory and Federal governments, and through a combination of setting tests, approving courses and assessing overseas qualifications it accredits practitioners at various levels according to Translation and Interpreting ability. The largest area of work for translators and interpreters in Australia is enabling various Australian institutions to communicate effectively with the sizeable immigrant population speaking languages other than English.

Although NAATI had done much to publicise the importance of using accredited translators and interpreters to Australian institutions (health, administration, legal areas, etc) it had done relatively little to communicate this message to the respective ethnic communities. Prompted by its Regional Advisory Committee in Victoria, NAATI decided to remedy this situation and produce material which could be used by ethnic media and distributed through the larger non-English speaking communities.

Tasks and challenges

While what eventuated was not a long or necessarily complex translation, two processes made this project more unpredictable.

First, the original text was pored over and changed by a series of committees, with input coming repeatedly when all had apparently been decided upon, as each arm of this very federal institution was moved to comment. This gave some false starts to our patient translators.

Second, the range of languages that should be covered was also discussed by committees. Given finite resources, it was decided originally to produce the brochures in the top 8 languages of need: while some languages can be readily identified as such (Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese) there can be much discussion over other candidate languages. We tried to contribute to these discussions by reference to language statistics (there are good census statistics on language in Australia, as well as other useful surveys) and also raised a number of other considerations, for example:

  • It is not possible to determine need simply by counting numbers of speakers of a language. There are more German speakers in Australia than speakers of Indonesian, and more Dutch speakers than Somali speakers, but the Dutch and Germans are overwhelmingly bilingual in English, other groups not so. Language spoken always needs to be calibrated against level of English ability.
  • Different domains will have different translation needs - for example, languages requested for interpreting in aged care are often different to those required to interpret in education. Recency of arrival and age are crucial factors.
  • Was there a need to target older, larger immigrant communities, many of whom had had long experience of working with interpreters, even if their level of English was low (Italian, Greek, Turkish), or was there more urgency to target newer groups who may be less familiar with the availability of language services?
  • At the same time, a number of suggestions to translate into some of the newest arrival languages (eg Dinka and Nuer, languages of the Sudan) could not be proceeded with because of the uncertainly over numbers of readers, linked to concerns about the literacy levels of people in these languages which were largely oral languages and had only recently begun to evolve writing systems and be standardised. Many speakers of these languages were in fact literate in other languages such as Arabic.
  • And finally, as this was to be a national brochure, the languages had to reflect Australia-wide needs, not those of the initiating Victorian committee alone.

Achievement

Through the processes of consultations and discussions, the number of languages for translation increased, and finally the list of 11 languages included a number of languages of more recent arrivals, as well as some of the largest languages of non-English speakers.

Translations were produced in the following combinations: English into Amharic (a language of Ethiopia), English into Arabic, English into Chinese, English into Dari (a language of Afghanistan), English into Indonesian, English into Khmer (Cambodian), English into Persian (or Farsi, the language of Iran), English into Russian, English into Somali, English into Spanish and English into Vietnamese.

Translations were also produced for covering letters to media and ethnic organisations, and began to be distributed, Meaningful Exchange also advising on the targeting of this material. Here, it was crucial that our agency has been represented on the NAATI Regional Advisory Committees and other advisory bodies, as we see the input that we can make to such bodies in terms of time and expertise will benefit not only ourselves as an agency but the broader field of Translating & Interpreting.

 

For further information about this project:

Contact: Ismail Akinci, CEO
Phone:1300 854 799
International Phone:+61 (3) 9605 3000


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Sat, 28 Feb 2009 10:23:00 +1100
Medical Translation and Back Translation http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/medical-translation-and-back-translation.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/medical-translation-and-back-translation.html Translating a sensitive orthopaedic diagnostic questionnaire and a health education questionnaire.

Client: The University of Melbourne, Centre for Rheumatic Diseases.

Background

An example of high quality translations is a series of questionnaires from a leading University of Melbourne medical team, developing critical diagnostic and evaluation tools. The University's Centre for Rheumatic Disease had authored the Multi-attribute Arthritis Prioritisation Tool [MAPT], a psychometrically nuanced questionnaire on degrees and consequences of hip and knee pain that allowed accurate prioritisation of patients for hip and knee replacement operations. The interest in this questionnaire has been international - it will be trialled in Japan and France - as well as being used locally, helping to reduce Victoria's Orthopaedic Waiting List. In the case of the French version, this was being undertaken by us when the University of Melbourne team also received a translation from their colleagues in France itself, adding a further loop in the methodology described below. For local consumption and potentially international use the Tool was translated from English into Arabic, English into Chinese, English into Croatian, English into Greek, English into Italian, English into Macedonian, English into Maltese, English into Polish, English into Russian, English into Spanish, English into Turkish and English into Vietnamese. These latter translations can be seen at www.oaservice.org.au

Tasks and challenges

The challenge of this translation was to juggle very precise medical diagnostic categories with a natural language questionnaire that could be understood by averagely educated patients in their language. The methodology included:

  • Commenting on the original text by language consultants to identify translation issues
  • Briefing of forward translators and checkers
  • Forward translation and checking by professionally accredited translators
  • Back translation by professionally accredited translators
  • Comments by the University of Melbourne team on the back-translation
  • Comments in turn by the forward and back translators on the University's comments
  • A teleconference to reconcile differences and approve a final version.

Achievement

The successful conclusion of the MAPT translations led to on an even more complex translation, the Health Education Impact Questionnaire [heiQ], which was designed for the evaluation of health education and self-management programs for people with chronic illnesses, providing a standard means of evaluating such program. The domains the questionnaire covers are quite diverse and include general demographic information about the subject, motivation to change risk factors, compliance with medical regimens, coping, general 'empowerment' and techniques for self-management. Affect questions intermingle with behavioural and attitudinal items, questions on positive and negative reactions to subject's health status come along with questions about the worth of the program they have undertaken. These translations were completed with the identical methodology to that outlined above for MAPT.

We have described some translations that are among the most challenging that translators can face. There is sometimes of a misconception that the most difficult translations must be those with the most complicated scientific and technical terminology. In fact, this is not always the case: highly specialised terminology - say, chemical formulae, machinery details or electrical schemas - will often have relatively straightforward equivalences in other languages and often have simple or minimal grammatical complexity; indeed, machine translation is sometimes used for such texts. By contrast, texts that contain psychological, personal or behavioural items need very careful and sympathetic translation; they cannot be done by machine translation, as even such basic issues as pain or mood or self-perceptions can vary widely among or within cultures. This is our specialty.

 

For further information about this project:

Contact: Ismail Akinci, CEO
Phone:1300 854 799
International Phone:+61 (3) 9605 3000


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Sat, 28 Feb 2009 10:20:00 +1100
Educational Translation http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/educational-translation.html http://allgraduates.com.au/about-us/our-blog/educational-translation.html First Language Assessment tasks - consulting, writing and translation.

Client: The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, formerly The Department of Education and Training - Victoria

Background

This education translation project came to All Graduates from the DEECD,  formerly Victorian Department of Education & Training [DE&T]. Some years previously, the Department had created an instrument, the First Language Assessment Task, for assessing the literacy level in the first language of school-age pupils who had recently arrived in Australia. Assessment consisted of a number of graded writing and reading tasks, from reading simple words to reading longer typical school texts; in writing again from copying simple words to writing longer narratives and answering precise questions on texts. Newly-arrived pupils complete these tasks with the aid of an interpreter, giving the school a measure of their level of prior literacy.

The Tasks had been produced for 4 languages: Arabic, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali and Vietnamese. Interestingly, there was no one standard English text from which the texts in the other languages had been created. Tasks were common (eg linking a word to a picture, repeating from memory a read story) but each language chose its own lexical stock, and its own longer texts and narratives appropriate to the background of the pupil.

DE&T commissioned All Graduates to add two languages, Chinese and Turkish, to the four earlier ones.

Tasks and challenges

The task was thus to produce not exactly translations, but rather a series of tasks in Chinese and Turkish that matched the other languages in style and level of difficulty. This was an unusual challenge, requiring educational research and writing skills as well as translation skills.

The processes that ensued included:

  • Consulting with DE&T and their multicultural school advisors on style of texts to be chosen, and using resources supplied by DE&T to do this
  • Selecting two of our contract translators who had a background in education and were confident in handling the tasks
  • Making appropriate linguistic changes in respective languages to the tasks: in particular, some of the lower level tasks were alphabet-based (replacing missing letters in words, alphabet sequences) that needed to be adjusted for the Chinese ideographic writing systems.
  • Selecting appropriate graphics - a number of graphics had been drawn for the original languages, but they had to be mixed and matched at appropriate places. In both Turkish and Chinese one original graphic was needed in each case to match a longer narrative. This was sourced from an educational publication in the case of Turkish, but a new graphic was commissioned for Chinese.
  • Part of each language kit was an introduction to salient features of the respective language, and the schooling system the pupils would have come from. These were written by the respective translators and checked by DE&T advisors.
  • Acknowledgements, logos, Departmental information and other incidental material were suitably updated.

Achievement

During the course of the project, DE&T also consulted us about formatting and in the end decided not to continue with a printed version with the new languages inserted, but to produce a CD with print-on-demand functions that would replace the print version. This also consolidated the material from the previous languages into one complete electronic version (there was no complete electronic version of the original Tasks). Thus a complete new second edition was produced, now more portable and more easily available to schools.

Material on the First Language Assessment Tasks can be found at www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/lem/esl/ecurri.htm

Translations were produced in the following combinations: English into Arabic, English into Chinese, English into Khmer (Cambodian), English into Somali, English into Turkish and English into Vietnamese.

The project thus combined a number of demands besides translation - consulting, adapting text linguistically and culturally, researching and writing, advising on formatting and style. This is the range of services we can provide to our clients.

For further information about this project:

Contact: Ismail Akinci, CEO
Phone:1300 854 799
International Phone:+61 (3) 9605 3000


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stephanie.mayne@allgraduates.com.au (Stephanie) Translation Services Thu, 28 Feb 2008 10:25:00 +1100