Translation

For Creators, Patreon and Language Services Are Linked

For Creators, Patreon and Language Services Are Linked 6000 4000 Atomic Scribe

It’s no secret that the Internet is uncharted territory that holds possibilities we can’t even dream of. Look back 20 years ago and it would be hard to imagine how much of a hold YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and other streaming content providers have today on our everyday lives.

As these platforms become more and more entrenched in society, how we interact with creators too has changed. For example, Patreon is a website that allows fans of creators to give money to aid creativity. The platform has helped podcasters, artists, musicians, and more earn a wage from areas that used to be more difficult to get revenue from.

What this also means is that creators can also use this income to fund language services that may have been too costly before, such as transcription and translation.

Real-World Example

An example of this is Easy German, which was created to help people around the world learn German through YouTube videos (with almost half a million subscribers at the time of writing this article). These videos are available free online.

But to receive extra benefits, you can pay as little as $1 a month through their Patreon. These benefits include interactive worksheets, vocab lists, and best of all, transcripts. Transcripts are important for the Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or just for people who prefer seeing the words as they learn.

“It’s imperative to be able to reach as many people as you can with your business. So instead of waiting for a huge percentage of the population to learn English, isn’t it more efficient to translate your materials into popular languages?”

“It’s imperative to be able to reach as many people as you can with your business. So instead of waiting for a huge percentage of the population to learn English, isn’t it more efficient to translate your materials into popular languages?”

So, if you’re a creator, should you also transcribe your audio and video? We say, resoundingly, YES!

Doing so is a huge benefit to your supporters, and it also helps creators as well. Now you have a document of all that has been said, which is helpful for searching through text. The text can also be put on your web site to help more people find you through search engines. The same can also be said for translations, which opens up your content to millions more people around the world.

Best of all, Patreon can help fund transcripts and translations. If you’re interested, we recommend starting with our $1/audio minute automatic transcription service, which marries technology with human power to reach 100% accuracy. It is true that language services is an extra cost, but we guarantee that the reach they provide is well worth it.

3 Things Businesses Can Do To Grow Online

3 Things Businesses Can Do To Grow Online 3000 2000 Atomic Scribe

If you own or work for a business, you probably know that new problems are arising every day that past generations didn’t have to deal with. For example, due to the internet, many businesses now have to compete on a global scale and not just locally. But, thankfully, there are some easy ways to set your business apart.

1. Build a cohesive brand

This probably sounds daunting, but that’s why a design-focused company (such as us, Atomic Scribe) is a great partner to have. A business needs a brand to be recognizable, even on a small scale. There needs to be uniformity across a web site and social media so that customers and consumers know who you are and what you do.

In today’s world, you need to stand out. That doesn’t necessarily mean the boldest and biggest. It just means a brand that people know when, for example, you email them. An identity where they automatically think, “Oh, yes, my dentist,” and don’t have to search their mind for how they know you. This also puts you top-of-the-mind for the next time they need to work with someone in your field. So make sure that you have a cohesive brand, and that it hits all points (in person, online, social media).

2. Translate into other languages

As stated previously, the internet has really changed the game for most businesses, for better and worse. Today, your site and brand is capable of reaching people all over the world, which means your audience is no longer only English-speaking consumers.

Most people want to read web sites and buy in their own language. So what should you do to reach these people? Translate your web site. It’s a one-time cost, and you can keep the translation forever. The translation can also be used for social media, print, and more. Best of all, the text will help you show up in search engines all over the world in different languages.

However, be careful. A straight translation from Google Translate may be semi-accurate, but you need to have a human check the translation to make sure it reads like a person and not a robot. Don’t be like the Norway Winter Olympic team that accidentally ordered 15,000 eggs due to a Google Translate error.

“According to a study conducted by Common Sense Advisory, 75 percent of participating consumers stated they prefer to buy products in their native language, and 60 percent claimed they rarely or never bought from English-only web sites.”

“According to a study conducted by Common Sense Advisory, 75 percent of participating consumers stated they prefer to buy products in their native language, and 60 percent claimed they rarely or never bought from English-only web sites.”

3. Blog content

Visitors do not want to be on web sites that are stale. That’s why branding and web design is so important. But many businesses don’t realize that blog content is a big component to a consumer’s judgement of whether to trust a business or not.

For example, take a look at Patagonia’s official blog. They upload brand-related, unique content frequently, post the published articles to their social feeds, and the blog is easy to find via their homepage. This shows to consumers that they are a thriving business and that they are knowledgable about their industry and audience.

On the other side, imagine an outdated website that looks straight out of 1995. There is only a homepage and contact page, with no blog content to be found. Do you think visitors would believe this business is still operating? Or that, if they are, they are modern and forward-thinking? Is there any reason to deduce that the business is knowledgable about their sector? The answers to those questions are likely “no”.

Growth Potential

Image is important, but it needs to be part of a package that makes your business accessible to as many people as possible. You can do that by:

  • Honing a cohesive brand
  • Making your in-person presence, web site, and social media part of a singular narrative
  • Translating your content to reach people who don’t natively speak English
  • Using your expertise about your business to create blog content

At Atomic Scribe, we can help you with all of that. Contact us today to find out how we can be a perfect fit for your business needs.

How a Language App Elevated My Trip to Budapest

How a Language App Elevated My Trip to Budapest 5616 3744 Atomic Scribe

If you’re looking for a city that showcases the best of Europe without breaking the bank, I cannot recommend Budapest, Hungary enough. Located on the Danube, the city is split into Buda and Pest, and both sections offer different yet equally appealing options for sightseeing, food, and shopping. The history and beauty is staggering. Best of all, it’s a very affordable city to visit, especially compared to big European cities that lie to the west.

The only thing I was scared about before heading off to Budapest was the language barrier. Though I had read online that many people in the city could communicate somewhat in English, I was also cautioned that it was nowhere near as easy to get by without some knowledge of the home language than in places like Berlin or Paris.

So, how do you learn a complete language in a few weeks’ time? Well, apologies, but you likely can’t. But don’t despair! Here’s my story of how just 20 minutes a day of using the language-learning app Memrise got me through two weeks of Budapest and heightened my travel experience.

My trip to Budapest was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision, so I only had a few weeks to prepare. I did as much research as I could, which advised me that learning some basic Hungarian phrases would make a huge difference to my trip.

Using the app Memrise was a no-brainer for me because I was already using it to learn German. It’s not perfect, and I think it would be difficult to become fluent in a language using only the app. But it’s a great tool when needing to learn quickly, or by using it in addition to other resources.


To Do in Budapest

  • Visit a famous bath, like the Széchenyi Baths
  • The Castle District
  • A river cruise down the Danube
  • The Christmas markets around the holidays
  • Pub crawl through the Ruins bars
  • Visit the extraordinary parliament building
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • House of Terror Museum
  • Shoes on the Danube Holocaust memorial

Best Things To Do in Budapest:

  • Visit a famous bath, like the Széchenyi Baths
  • The Castle District
  • The Christmas markets around the holidays
  • A river cruise down the Danube
  • Pub crawl through the Ruins bars
  • Visit the extraordinary parliament building
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • House of Terror Museum
  • Shoes on the Danube Holocaust memorial

The app (or web site version) teaches you basic words and phrases through courses. Many language courses were created by Memrise staff, but currently Hungarian is only available through user-submitted courses. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for these. I strongly suggest trying a course with audio so that you can hear the pronunciations, which was a huge help for me.

I tried out a few different courses through Memrise and then settled on two. The first was “Hungarian w/ AUDIO: Level 1”, which taught me “yes”, “no”, the days of the week, “coffee”, “tea”, “thank you” and other useful words. The second was “Basic Hungarian Phrases”, and it is exactly as titled. In total, I spent about 20 minutes a day combined on both, and I took the courses for about three weeks. Was my pronunciation perfect? Absolutely not. But I had at least a small amount of knowledge, and that gave me confidence to test out what I had learned.

Finally, the trip arrived, and I was so excited to try out a new language. Here is the the thing: my Hungarian was far, far from perfect. I knew “thank you”, “please”, “hello”, “how much”, and some other basic phrases that I butchered with my pronunciation, but I in no way could carry on a conversation or, in my case, understand basic questions. Mostly I was pointing and then saying basic words in Hungarian. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

But what I found was that the locals appreciated that I was trying and that I took the time to learn. I feel like I gained an experience I wouldn’t have otherwise if I had just stuck to English the whole time and expected everyone to understand me (spoiler alert: they can’t!).

But thanks to my effort, I had a waitress who taught me a few less formal phrases to use. A women at a shop felt more comfortable trying out English on me since I was trying out my Hungarian on her. Everyone was so nice, and I’m grateful that I learned something new and put myself out there despite being afraid of being wrong. And all that from using an app for 20 minutes a day.

Good Translation Isn’t Free

Good Translation Isn’t Free 2500 1667 Atomic Scribe

There are so many different ways to translate things nowadays. You can hire a company who employs linguists, like Atomic Scribe. You can hire a freelancer you aren’t personally acquainted with off the Internet. But probably the most common method today is using free sites, such as Google Translate, to have a machine translate your text and bypass paying an actual human.

The truth is there are a lot of instances when not paying is the best option. Want an article headline translated without needing much accuracy? Google Translate is your best bet. But anything more than that can cause major problems.

In 2014, the Irish government was in hot water for translating a web site commemorating the 1916 Easter Rebellion using Google Translate. The results were “nonsensical,” readers claimed. Though the government said it was a mistake and the text was meant to be replaced by a real translation, the incident shows how far the gulf still is today between human and machine translation.

Why It’s Worth It

Even human translation is fallible. There are so many different ways to translate a single word—let alone a full text—that it can be difficult to figure out the best way to do it.

That’s why Atomic Scribe uses two linguists for every project. This extra step ensures every word is translated and proofed by two native speakers who have created the best translation possible. But they also look at the project as a whole so that context, tone and meaning are consistent with the client’s vision. That’s something machine translation can’t do, and it’s something lowly paid translators are not willing to do if they aren’t paid fairly or at all.

Communication is imperative in every situation in life. Whether you’re a business, an author, a journalist, or just one person, we all need to be able to connect and understand others and be understood in return. Paying for high-quality translation services ensures that happens, without looking foolish or being misunderstood.

The Rise of the Machines

The Rise of the Machines 2500 1667 Atomic Scribe

If you’re fond of ’80s movies, chances are you’ve seen what they envisioned the 2010s to look like: full of hovercrafts, futuristic cities, and murderous robot machines. For better or worse, none of those things have become commonplace yet, but we are making strides in the technology department. The self-driving car will soon be commercially available, and our lives are very much devoted to smartphones and the Internet.

Speech Recognition

But why are we so behind on speech recognition? This is a hugely debated topic in the transcription and translation industries, as many don’t want their jobs to become obsolete. Though while that is a worry, the ability for a machine to accurately transcribe or translate will provide cheap access to many who need language services, which would be a huge step forward.

The problem is that language is so, so difficult (especially English) in so many ways. It may seem like speech recognition should be easy to develop, but just think about an elderly person having a conversation with a pre-teen. Even if they’re both speaking English, it can sometimes feel like conversations between two different worlds due to how quickly language evolves, context, and speaking styles.

Machines have this same problem. While we are extremely close to machines being able to understand monotonous, clear English spoken by a single speaker, problems arise when you have recordings with groups of people (which is what we specialize in).

Where Machines Fail

Here’s an example: a market research company is holding a 10-person focus group with folks who do speak English but aren’t native speakers. The group is comprised of teenagers from the rural south. So that’s 10 people, many talking over each other at certain points, who don’t speak English well, use regional dialect, and also use many newly-created words. That’s hard enough for a human to transcribe. But for machines, at this time, it’s not possible to achieve anywhere near 100% accuracy.

In the future, this will likely be solved in some technical way that my non-scientific brain cannot fathom. When it does, Atomic Scribe will evolve, just as language does. For now, it’s best to use human-powered services if you’re looking for accuracy. The rise of the machines will have to wait just a little bit longer.

Language Services Make Sermons Soar

Language Services Make Sermons Soar 2500 1667 Atomic Scribe

In the olden days, churches operated very differently than their counterparts of today. It used to be many congregated on a Sunday morning to listen their pastor, and that was the only way to experience the teachings of their church.

But today, the Internet has revolutionized how information is disseminated. Now pastors can record and upload their sermons, turn their messages into podcasts and live streams, and they can interact with their members through social media and their web sites. While this may be daunting to some, it has a huge benefit: it ensures your message is spread near and far. So how can you make sure you’re reaching all those that you can?

Transcription

At Atomic Scribe, one of our favorite things to work on are sermon transcriptions, which we do frequently. Most of our religious clients transcribe their sermons so they can put the text on their web site, which is useful for Deaf followers and those who just prefer reading to listening (which is many).

Using the transcripts can also allow your sermons to be picked up by Google searches, and you can use the transcripts for books, newsletters, blog posts, and for keyword searches. It’s really a small price to pay to have your words indexed so that more people can find you and so that you can reach more people.

Translation

One of the U.S.’s greatest strengths is our diversity. And as we have no official national language, the need for translation services grows as the immigrant population does.

Many churches now have Spanish-speaking followers, among other languages. To make your sermons accessible to these followers as well, use translation services so they can follow along in their native language. It’s a great way to expand your congregation and to be more inclusive.

Spread the Word

In the end, it’s a church’s decision if they want to grow and to take advantage of the new routes the Internet provides to communicate with and reach more people. We promise you’ll find language services useful in spreading your word, and we would love to help. Get a quote today to get started.

Does Size Matter in a Translation Company?

Does Size Matter in a Translation Company? 2500 1667 Atomic Scribe

Here’s a question: how many times have you heard a company boast about their size? Can you recall, or is that number too high? It seems as though the biggest grocery store always claims to have the most food. The biggest sporting goods store must have the largest selection of tennis rackets in the world. And, without fail, the most well-known translation companies claim to have the highest number of translators, even numbering in the tens of thousands.

That sounds reassuring at first. With so many translators, surely your translation will be done in a timely fashion and of the highest quality, as there are so many workers to choose from. But is that really the case?

Personal and Professional

A large number of translators often means it’s impossible for an agency to know their translators one-on-one. The translators become a number, just one part of a mass e-mail blast that gets sent out when a project comes in. As such, that means the project manager can’t match up the perfect person for the job. If you don’t know where your translators’ strengths lie, how can you know if they are the best person for the project?

Although some may suggest otherwise, there is always someone more apt for one project than another person. It could be a technical translation that requires specialized knowledge, or it could be a certain dialect or industry. It could be a poetry project that needs someone familiar with literary translations, or a medical conference with difficult terminology.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and translators are no different. Because of this, knowing your translators personally and matching their strengths to certain projects should be a consideration for all companies. That’s why we suggest taking time to select a translation partner and to learn about who you will potentially be working with. It’s a little effort that will go a long way in helping you achieve the most accurate translation possible.

Why Businesses Should Translate Their Materials

Why Businesses Should Translate Their Materials 2500 1668 Atomic Scribe

Anyone who works with a business knows there are countless numbers of written materials they look over in the course of a day. There’s emails, web sites, reports, contracts, orders, marketing materials, social media, articles, and so much more.

But in the United States, these materials are usually exclusively in English, even though we’re living through a period of non-English language growth that will only increase in the future. That’s millions of consumers businesses might not be reaching.

Increased Reach

It’s imperative to be able to reach as many people as you can with your business. So instead of waiting for a huge percentage of the population to learn English, isn’t it more efficient to translate your materials into popular languages? And since many non-native speakers have difficulty even if they do become proficient in English (let’s face it, English is difficult!), most are more comfortable reading materials in their primary language anyway.

Studies show that 75% of consumers in non-English countries prefer purchasing from sites in their native language, and a whopping 60% say they never or rarely bought from English-only sites. Those are huge numbers.

Online Presence

So what should you translate? Well, your web site is a good start, as it’s usually the first impression a consumer will have of your business. Glaring mistakes from Google Translate or cheap agencies will also be noticed and can impact credibility, so make sure to use a high-quality service.

It may be beyond your budget to translate all your social media into other languages, but you could occasionally translate some of your tweets or Facebook posts. Likewise, blog posts in other languages will bring more people to your site and allow you to impart your business message to millions more. Remember that consumers don’t Google only in English.

One-Time Cost

Translation is just a one-time cost. You pay once, and then you can disseminate those materials to however many people you want for as long as you want. And by translating your materials into Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, German, and other popular business languages, you’re reaching more people, thereby increasing your sales and likely making back your translation investment quickly. Don’t delay and improve your reach today!

Building a Relationship With Our Clients

Building a Relationship With Our Clients 2500 1668 Atomic Scribe

Our slogan at Atomic Scribe is “Human-Powered. Professional. Personal.” Those are the three pillars of our business, and it speaks to our number one concern: building a relationship with our clients so that we can better suit their needs.

A lot of businesses these days are moving away from this model thanks to the internet, especially in the language services industry. It’s more efficient for a transcription company to put their order form online, send out the work to transcriptionists through email, and then send the work back to the client, all without speaking to the client or workers personally. This saves time so that the company can work more on increasing sales.

We don’t like to do that at Atomic Scribe, but we’re not antiquated either. We use an online client portal to accept orders, list invoices, send files, and more, but we also interact with our clients as soon as an order is submitted and throughout the duration of the project. This helps us figure out the client’s needs, see how they prefer things done and customize their project to what works best for them. It’s a mix of technology and personalization that ensures we provide the best service we can for each individual client.

Because as much as technology can be de-humanizing, each client is different from every other client, and a language services company needs to spend the time to notice that and deliver tailor-made work. Treating clients as people and not a number in a sea of orders is key to attaining maximum quality and creating a lasting understanding between partners.

The Seri Language: Recent Growth Against the Odds

The Seri Language: Recent Growth Against the Odds 2500 1667 Atomic Scribe

The Seri language is spoken by the Seri people in northwestern Mexico, in two small communities along the Gulf of California. It has no known related language, and a written alphabet was not published until the 1950s.

In contrast to most languages with few speakers, the Seri language has actually grown over the last century. While there were believed to be just 200 Seri people in the 1920s, as of 2015 it is estimated that there are between 600 and 1,000 native speakers.

No known language that exists still today is related to Seri, making it an isolated language. Some have theorized it is a part of the Hokan language family, though this has been rebuffed by scholars who see few links between the languages.

Language Complexity

The isolation has made Seri a fascinating language. It is comprised of 18 consonants and eight vowels, and it has a very large lexicon. Kinship, for example, has over 50 primary terms, making it one of the most extensive lexicons in any language in the world.

Another complexity is the use of plurals. Explained by Stephen A. Marlett in the Journal of the Southwest:

“Unlike languages that either do not have any indicator of number (some Zapotec languages in Oaxaca, for example), or just add the suffix –m to the noun (as some neighboring Uto-Aztecan languages in Sonora, such as Yaqui), or usually add –s (like English), Seri flourishes here. In fact, every noun and verb has to have its plural listed in the dictionary because one simply has to learn it.

In Seri, one could ask for a couple of dozen words at random and never see a common way for plurals to be formed. Verbs are similar in that they have different forms depending on whether the action was done by one person or more than one, and whether the action was repeated or not repeated (roughly speaking). And these forms display about the same kind of complexity as the nouns.”

Eclectic Serian Expressions

Seri also has some truly great expressions. From National Geographic, one such example is “Miixöni quih zó hant ano tiij?” which translates to “Where is your placenta buried?” The phrase is meant to ask where someone is from, as before hospital births the Seri people would bury the afterbirth in the ground and mark the burial spot, never forgetting where it lay.

Want to learn more about the Seri language? A good place to start is Marlett’s article, which looks at the phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon of the language.