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    How Bilingualism Affects the Brain Profoundly

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    In the world we live in today, the brain sees, hears and interprets all kinds of information. Having the ability to speak more than one language is an advantage. However being a bilingual can have a toll on the brain. Recent studies were conducted in which both a bilingual and monolingual preschoolers were asked to solve a few puzzles. As the initial results were the same, the harder the puzzles became, the pace changed. As for the bilingual, the ability to finish the puzzle was faster than that of the monolingual. Reason being… the brain of a bilingual child tends to work harder since it is always interpreting information between two languages.

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    When it comes to learning a language, it is not only about being able to speak another language. A person’s whole mindset changes, and everything around them is interpreted in a new way. The shift increases the brains capacity to analyze its environment, while many monolinguals do not possess such heightened observation skills. The analytical abilities tend to increase, making the brain work harder and faster. While it may seem hardly noticeable, bilinguals, in general are far quicker in their response times. To the brain, both language systems are active at the same time, meaning that the brain functions are twice its capacity when it comes to language. – and since language is often what we use to view and interpret the world around us, it affects everything around us.

    Here at Professional Translations, we always love to educate others on the importance and the effects of knowing other languages. We are happy to say that our team translates to and from over 160 languages worldwide. Teaching, translating, interpreting….well, that’s just some of what we do. If you ever need our services, feel free to call us at anytime!

    Exploring with Dora!

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    Vámonos! Let’s go! Learning a new language can be a challenge, but what if you incorporated a fun way to learn it? Learning anything new never comes easy, but we can make it fun. That is why here at Professional translations, we have brought a special friend to come along our journey. Dora is the newest member on our team! She’s heading out to daycares, churches, and other small organizations helping our non- Spanish speaking friends to learn this fun and innovative language! She will be encouraging kids ages 2-5 to learn about this exciting language that surrounds us every day!

    ¡Hablemos Español! is our new motivational program that helps with that. In our first class, we introduced to the kids what Spanish actually is. They learned their “word of day”, “phrase of the day”, and the “animal of the day” which was “La Rana”, or in English terms, “the frog”. Our arts and craft project was centered around coloring the frog. When it was all said and done, the kids sang and danced all the fun and fabulous things that they learned with Dora the Explorer. It was absolutely amazing how quickly they learned, how easily they retained the information, and how much fun they had! They didn’t want to let Dora go!! We loved it!!

    If you’re interested in our ¡Hablemos Español! program, then no worries! Email or call us today to see how we can bring this fun and unique program to your neck of the woods. You won’t regret it! Let’s go amigos!!!!

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    Easter Throughout the Cultures

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    Although it is known as a very religious holiday, Easter in many parts of the world is secular. The word itself comes from “Eostre” a teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Also known as “moveable feast” because there is no set date for the holiday. Throughout world changes, the English language transformed the word into what we now know as ‘Easter’. Many countries worldwide have a unique way of celebrating this famous holiday.

    Brazil has some of the biggest carnivals in the world. Rio de Janeiro kicks off the celebration with Mardi Gras or “Shove Tuesday”. People who partake in the parade dress up in bright exotic clothing. Costumes are made in large wire structures so people wearing them look big, like butterflies or birds.

    Ethiopia starts Easter Day at 8:00pm Saturday until 3:00am Sunday morning. People attend church services and wear their best clothes called ‘Yabesha Libs’.
    French church bells do not ring on Good Friday or Easter Sunday; it is said that the bells are off to see the Pope. Boxwood branches are sometimes used instead of palm leaves over house doors for good luck.

    In Germany, on Palm Sunday, the priest is said to come out riding on a donkey. Every 10 years some places create special plays called “Passion Plays” as a thank you to God.

    In Greece (Orthodox Churches), a tomb is often set up at the front of the church on Good Friday, like going to a funeral. The priests give out candles which are lit until Midnight. Fireworks signify the start of Easter Day.

    Italy has another well-known tradition. The Pope has a large mass service in St. Peters Square at the Vatican City, which is televised and broadcasted nationwide.
    Mexico has a two-week celebration with two different festivals. “Semana Santa” or ‘holy week’ begins on Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. People buy elaborately woven palms. “Pascua” (Easter) starts Easter Sunday to the following Saturday. Many Catholics will go to church for the special Easter Day Mass.

    The United Kingdom starts off with Lent, and the celebrations begin. In the U.K people celebrate Mothers day and Easter. On the ‘Mothering Sunday’ which is always the Sunday in the middle of Lent, special church services take place thanking God for Mums (Moms). Some of their activities consist of having pancake races. Palm Sunday is celebrated at church and people often receive a small cross made of palm leaves blessed by the priest or ministers. One very famous tradition is having the queen give out “Maundy Money”; however centuries before, the King or Queen would wash the feet of a few poor people. Of course, things have changed over the years. Now the Queen carries a small pomander or bouquet of sweet herbs, gives little purses of money to a few chosen citizens. The coins are special little silver pennies and the purses are made of soft leather.

    To Hear Others You Don’t Always Need Ears

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    Ever thought how in depth sign language really is? Sign language is the fourth most well known and used language worldwide. Originally from France, around the 1500’s Pedro Ponce de Leon wanted to bypass the ‘vow of silence’.  There are plenty of sign languages in the world as there are spoken languages. Every culture has developed its own dialect making it easier for clarification. Throughout history, there have been plenty of well known people who are or know someone who is deaf. Alexander Graham Bell was an instructor/inventor to deaf children; his wife and mother were also deaf. He thought that by creating the telephone it would help his beloved wife and mother hear. Deaf or hard-of-hearing people who use sign language prefer the term ‘Deaf’. The term ‘hearing-impaired’ implies there is something impaired or broken; deaf people are not ‘broken’ they simply use different means to communicate.

     

    ASL- American (SL) is the most common used dialect. It requires ‘one-hand’ gestures and spelling.
    JSL- Japanese (SL) was introduced until the 20th century; they rely on mouthing the words.
    BSL- British (SL) is another very popular form of sign language. BSL uses ‘two-hand’ gestures; unlike ASL they have many dialects that vary throughout the region.
    Auslan or Australian Sign Language is complex in grammar and lexicon. It is not gestural, but some of the signs are iconic.
    Canada has regional differences. They have different dialects for the west and east regions of the country. The east side uses ASL with a little BSL added to the mix.
    LSM- Mexican (SL) is strongly influenced by the Spanish language, using more initialization and clarification.
    Sign language is becoming a norm in our every day life; take a second out of your day to learn a new gesture! It could go a long way.

    Funny Translation Mishaps!

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    In the translation world we realize that translations involve a deep understanding of the source language as well as the target language.  Without a deep understanding of the languages at hand, confusion can and almost always will occur.   Translation and localization are very critical and important for people involved in business.  As for the rest of the world, mistranslations flourish that either confuse, puzzle or cause people to just simply shake their heads in confusion!  Although this is something we frown upon in business, mistranslations can be a source of fun since they can bring laughter to people who delight in looking for them and sharing them with the rest of the world.  Here are just a few we came across that we found very funny!!  We hope that you enjoy them as well!

     

    When translated into Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off”

    In a Hong Kong supermarket: “For your convenience, we recommend courageous, efficient self-service”.

    Outside a Hong Kong tailor’s shop: “Ladies may have a fit upstairs”.

    In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: “Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists”.

    On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong: “Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life

    In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk

    Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking

    Instructions on a packet of convenience food from Italy: “Besmear a backing pan, previously buttered with a good tomato sauce, and, after, dispose the cannelloni, lightly distanced between them in a only couch.”

    In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

    The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem – Feeling Free,” got translated in the Japanese market into “When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty”.

    In a Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub

    An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired “I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed “I Saw the Potato”

    Denmark: in a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions

    Sweden: in the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin

    Switzerland: in a Swiss menu: “Our wines leave you nothing to hope for”

    Taiwan: the translation of the Pepsi slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”

    Thailand: In Bangkok dry-cleaners: Drop your trousers here for best results.

    A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer in Germany: Do not activate with wet hands.

    In a New Zealand restaurant: Open seven days a week, and weekends too.

    On a highway sign in Australia: Take notice: when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

    The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, ko-kou-ko-le, which can be loosely translated as “happiness in the mouth”

    Saying A Simple Gesture… Goes A Long Way!

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    How many different ways can you say hello?  The word hello is commonly used through all types of languages.  Saying hello to someone is ones way of acknowledging another person.  This is our way of expressing a gesture of greeting to someone, if it be face to face or over the telephone.   Have you ever thought of the many different ways you can say hello?  With all the different languages in the world today, their are numerous ways to express this word to one another.  Upon greeting someone it is always nice to greet them in their native language.  It adds a bit of warmth and shows that person that you went the extra mile to acknowledge their mother tongue!  Even if it’s just as simple as a “hello”!  Developing a great relationship between you and your client, you and your employee, or you and another company, is a great way to build business!  We always say what better way to grow than to build the relationships around you.  What do you do when you come across someone who might not speak your native language?  You can begin by learning just a few words from their language that might help bridge the language barrier between the two of you.  This will go a long way with the other person.  We recommend that you take a look at this video which goes over “hello” translated in 30 languages.  You will be able to acknowledge your friends, workers, or even business partners in their native language!  How cool is that!  In this video you will see that each salute is pronounced by someone who speaks that language, as each accent will be different and is perfectly rendered.  You will hear both men and women speaking, and you will also be able to see how the word is spelled in each of these languages!  So check it out now!  You will be glad you did!

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    Words Constantly Change… Can You Keep Up?

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    Did you know that one of the constant rules of any language is that words will always change their meaning over time?   E.B. White once stated “Language is perpetually in flux: it is a living stream, shifting, changing, receiving new strength from a thousand tributaries, losing old forms in the backwaters of time.”  This is one of the reasons we choose to work with the best translators in the industry.  Our translators are native subject matter experts who keep up with the constantly shifting features of their respective languages.  One of the reasons we use the quality process that we do is to cover words like these listed below.  These words once meant something totally different than they do today!  Check them out!

     

    1. Awful at one time meant “inspiring wonder” or “full of awe.” Now is used more as “extremely bad; unpleasant; ugly.”
    2. Cute was a reduced form of the word “acute”, meaning “keenly perceptive and shrewd.”
    3. Bully at one time meant a “good fellow or a darling” not “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgersand intimidates smaller or weaker people.”
    4. Naughty: Long ago, if you were said to be naughty, you had naught or nothing. Then it came to mean immoral or evil, and now you are just badly behaved.
    5. Nice: This word used to mean “silly, foolish, and simple.” Now the word is a well-known compliment!
    6. Fantastic used to mean “existing only in imagination,” now it means “wonderful, marvelous, or incredible.”
    7. Gay used to mean “light-hearted” or “joyous.”
    8. Decimate used to mean “to kill just one in ten,” not “totally destroy” Like it does today.
    9. Bad used to mean “poor in quality.” Today oddly enough it can also mean “good” or “great.”
    10. Stream at one time only meant “a body of water with a current.” Now it also means “a constantly flowing body of updates, photos, images” on a social networking site.
    11. Spam used to just mean a “compressed meat product made mainly from ham.” Now it also means “unsolicited messages sent via email.”
    12. Cell used to only refer to “a jail room” or the “smallest unit of an organism.” Today, it is also “a phone.”
    13. Heartburn used to mean “jealousy or hatred” not “an issue with your stomach or esophagus.”
    14. Inmate used to mean “a tenant or housemate” not “a prisoner.”
    15. Pretty used to mean “tricky, sly or cunning” far from its meaning today!

    It’s pretty neat to see different words change over time, but because this happens in all languages we make sure that we recruit the best of the best translators! Our hiring process might be a challenging one, but our main goal is to make sure we only produce quality work!  No matter the translation job, we want to ensure it is the best translation you will ever need.

    Ways To Say “I Love You”

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    Have you ever wondered what it sounded like to say “I love you” in another language?  In light of Valentine’s Day that just passed, we thought it would be neat to talk about the words “I love you”.  Wikipedia says that Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment.  It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.  It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals. Telling someone you love them can go a long way.  The words hold so much meaning when expressed in such a manner that truly shows another person how much you care.  How many different ways can you say “I love you”?  Here is a cute little video that shows the words “I love you” spoken in many different languages!  Take a moment and try to see how many different ways you can say I love you! Use what you learn to tell someone you love them in another language!!

     

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    THE SEVENTY-ONE-MILLION-DOLLAR WORD

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    In the world we live in today, translation can play a vital role in our everyday lives.  Our world is so diverse with all the different languages there are worldwide.   Here in America alone, we use over 300 languages!  14 million households in the United States do not have English as their primary language.  Translation services bridge the gap between communications, cutting down a lot of trouble when it comes to people speaking different languages!  Why is it so vital to use professional translation services?  As you may already know, there are numerous types of ways to get something translated.  You may try it yourself, which is usually only useful if you are fluent in both languages.  Or, like many of us like to do, you may try to run to a computer and see if it can translate it for you.  Another way would be to ask a friend who might know some of the language we need translated.  Often times, we try to run to the fastest most cheapest way to translate what we need done.  But the fastest and cheapest way could get you in a world of trouble.  Ever try and put something in Google translate just to see how it is translated?  More often than not, a computer doesn’t have the sense to correctly form what is translated into the way it should be in the other language.  When hiring a professional to do your translations, you eliminate problems that could arise when using other avenues.  Here at professional translations we make sure you receive the translation, editing, and proofing of your documents.   We only hire the best of the best translators to work with us.   We take pride in what we do and know how important it is to make sure our translations are done RIGHT!  Here is a short story that will give you an idea as to why we take the measures we do to make sure our work is done properly.  This story will also show you why it’s important to only work with professionals when trying to get any type of translations done!

     

    In 1980, an 18 year old named Willie Ramirez was admitted to a hospital in Florida.  He was in a comatose state.   When trying to describe his condition to the paramedics and doctors who were treating him, the family couldn’t due to the fact they only spoke Spanish.  In the midst of what was going on, the staff brought over a bilingual staff member to help them translate what the family as saying.  In translating for the family, she translated “intoxicado” as intoxicated.  A professional interpreter would have known that “intoxicado” is closer to “poisoned” and does not carry the same connotations of alcohol or drug use that “intoxicated” does.  The Ramirez’s family thought he was suffering from food poisoning, but he was actually suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage.  The doctors proceeded to treat him as if he was suffering from an intentional drug overdose, which can lead to some of the symptoms he displayed.  Due to the delay in treatment, Ramirez was left quadriplegic.  He received a malpractice settlement of $71 million.

     

    Stories like these are why we take the extra care in getting our translations right!  If you have any translation needs, please do not hesitate to contact us!  Let us bridge the gap in communication the RIGHT way!

    The Importance of TEP (Translation, Editing, Proofreading)

                   Translation has helped many companies cross boundaries of geographical confinements.  It is very important to speak the language of the people that a business is trying to reach.  Although the importance of translation is widely understood, the concept of proofreading and editing and its importance is ignored.  Badly edited and proofread content can completely twist the intended meaning depending on the language.    This can cast doom on a business particularly dependent on online sales.

                   Although much of translations are being automated now through software such as Google Translate, proofreading and editing is one area that human attention is required.  Automation is cheaper and has a faster turnaround time.  But, remember you get what you pay for.  They are not fool proof.  In general, a translator is a language professional that has studied his/her target language in order to learn the intricate details of their language.  If they do not know something, they will do the necessary research in order to deliver quality work.  At Professional Translations, we thoroughly test out translators on a regular basis to ensure that they are up to par with their language, and up to date with changes.

                   Transcription, particularly medical transcription, is one of the most popular areas that clients have seen the importance of outsourcing transcription services.  The importance of editing and proofreading these projects is literally a matter of life and death in some cases.  Inaccurate proofing and editing these documents can not only possibly alter the meaning of sensitive data, but can also increase the cost for editing at a later stage.

    Elements of proofreading and editing include ,but are not confined to, Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Formatting, Typos, Essence of Content As Per The Audience’s Culture, Language and Demographics, Visual Consistency, Abbreviations and Expansions, Testing Broken Website Links, Structuring of Sentences, Length of Text, Identifying Inappropriate Words and Phrases, and Capitalization and Usage of Tenses.

    So, why not let us handle some of the tedious things for you.  We have many years of experience in translating, transcribing, and editing over 160 languages just to bring your company the best quality of work possible. Connect with us today for your free quote.