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Archive for June 19th, 2008

FM on Turkey, Cyprus, US

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Wednesday that Turkey was a country that was seeking “ways out of the situation that has been created by the recent developments” in that country, noting that it was obvious that Turkey’s European prospect required a “new breath, which only Turkey itself can give through substantive decisions for continuation of its reform effort”. Speaking at a press conference on foreign affairs issues, Bakoyannis said in a reference to the Cyprus issue that “we are once again at a decisive turning point”, and noted the “more general messages and good atmosphere that characterises the contacts between the two communities, which justify some optimism”.

She added, however, that “the road to a solution, to a fair, viable and functional solution on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation will not be strewn with roses”.

As for the US, she said that country was only a few months away from Presidential elections “which, regardless of the outcome, will lead to a change of the present US Administration, with whatever that entails regarding the effect that may possibly have on American foreign policy”.

Turning to the Middle East, Bakoyannis said that “despite some timid signs of improvement, the political and diplomatic pendulum continues, unfortunately to swing between suspicion and tension”.

Bakoyannis further unveiled details of the foreign ministry’s draft law concerning its Translation Service, which she said needed to be upgraded due to “the big increase in the number of languages” for translation into, the more than doubling of the users, the immense volume of its translation work, which was increasing annually with the enargement of the EU, and the large number of economic immigrants, the wider use of “certified” official documents to and from other countries, and the development of new technologies, which she said had an adverse impact on the service’s translation work.

She explained that the draft law was based on a study of what was in force in the other EU countries and in the UN, and aimed at enhancing the work of the ministry’s translators by providing them with modern tools, quality control of the translations, full computerization of the branch and the supervisory mechanisms, decentralisation through the creation of translator positions in all the prefectures of the region, reduction of the cost to the public, reducing the delivery time, and providing translation services and knowhow to third countries.

Source: http://www.ana.gr

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In her interview with the Post, Tatyana Rydeshko said that the translation market is growing rapidly due the entrance of many foreign firms into Ukraine’s market, adding that the most difficult challenge facing the industry is finding professional specialists with the vocabularies necessary for highly specialized and technical translations.
© Courtesy photo
Tatyana Rydeshko, Gulfstream Translation general director, thinks that universities, in cooperation with translation agencies and businesses, should develop special programs to prepare translation students for the demands of the workplace.

Since 2005, Tatyana Rydeshko has been the General Director of Gulfstream Translation company. She began work with the agency as head of the company’s translation department.

She says that the translation market is growing rapidly due the entrance of many foreign firms into Ukraine’s market, adding that the most difficult challenge facing the industry is finding professional specialists with the vocabularies necessary for highly specialized and technical translations.

KP: Describe the most important trends currently being observed in the translation services market. Have requirements and approaches to translation changed?

TR: Lately has been a high demand for the translation of legal papers of those companies that are going to start their agencies, offices and affiliate branches in Ukraine.

The demand for the translation of bank papers has increased too.

Many organizations and firms contract for Ukrainian­Russian and Russian­Ukrainian translations of legal and financial papers. This is due to the Ukrainian state language policy which requires that all documents be submitted only in Ukrainian. So, the translation services market is growing with the economy.

KP: Is there a lack of qualified translators and interpreters? Is it difficult to find qualified translators now?

TR: The qualification of translators and interpreters is very important in our business, as the translation quality requirements of our clients are increasing year by year. Additionally, there are many orders for translation in highly­specialized disciplines and it is difficult to find translators capable of translating these documents.

And translators have different skills. A translator who is proficient translating financial papers may not have the same skill with insurance documents.

To organize translation services there are professional agencies which look for and test translators and interpreters, define the level of their professionalism (taking into account the experience in different areas) and only after checking completed translations send them to their clients.

We constantly test translators and interpreters with no less than 5 years of experience in translation and with positive recommendations from their previous employers.

KP: In your opinion, do Ukrainian universities provide qualified translators? If no, what are the reasons? What changes in university programs are needed?

TR: Ukraine’s universities graduate many translation specialists each year. But often, the graduates are not able to immediately start work at professional translation agencies. They usually lack work experience and have not built up their vocabulary in the specialized topics most in demand for translation.

The majority of graduates are ready to translate standard papers for private clients and easy texts for undemanding clients. I think starting from the first day universities, in cooperation with translation agencies and foreign companies, should provide special programs aimed at preparing translators for the demands of the work place.

There students can get good experience in the translation sphere and be ready to work more professionally after graduating from university. They could even get work before they graduate.

KP: What languages, besides English, are in the highest demand today?

TR: Besides English, Russian and German are in the most demand currently.

KP: Has the demand for translation services increased? If yes, will it continue to grow? Who are your best customers?

TR: The demand for document translation has grown greatly over the past year. There are so many new foreign offices in Ukraine and a lot of Ukrainian companies entering the world market. Due to this, there is a need to translate different things. Many agencies and companies contact us directly from abroad.

Thanks to information­age technologies – Internet, mobile phones, etc. – cooperation with foreign clients has become easy and mutually beneficial, as the price for our Ukrainian translations is higher abroad than in Ukraine. And the demand for Ukrainian translation services is not going to slacken. Our main corporate clients are banks, foreign offices, large manufacturers of goods and services, and insurance companies.

KP: How many translation agencies are now working in the market? Is the market saturated?

TR: There are hundreds of agencies in the Ukrainian translation market, but only a few dozen of them work professionally. They can provide their clients with all kinds of high­quality translation services. Our company provides an additional service – quality insurance for our services, i.e. insurance from a translation mistake. The translation market is quite busy yet not too many agencies can provide a broad range of services and translation from, and into, rarely used languages.

KP: What requirements should a translation agency have to compete successfully in the market?

TR: To compete successfully in the market a translation agency should have highly­qualified specialists who can give professional answers to all clients’ questions, in a complete and professional way. The quality of the services provided is the most important, as for us the best advertisement is recommendations from satisfied clients.

KP: Are the prices for translation services growing?

TR: The prices for translation services have been growing more rapidly than they did just two years ago. This is due first to the growth in demand, and second, to the rise in translators’ wages.

KP: Describe the main problems and challenges that exist in Ukraine’s translation industry?

TR: The main problem is personnel. In my mind, every agency has difficulties finding professional, experienced and qualified translators. A good specialist is the main asset a company needs to develop.

KP: What is your forecast for market development for the near future (the next three to four years)?

TR: Most probably agencies will get specialized and develop niches in highly technical spheres. The demand for translation from and into Ukrainian will grow. The number of contract orders in business spheres will also rise as more foreign companies enter Ukraine’s market.

Source: http://www.kyivpost.com

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Translation agencies thrive on demand

With rising volumes of foreign direct investment, the demand for translation services is rising faster than ever before, market professionals say. As Ukraine’s market economy develops, the demand for translation services is not likely to decline for many years to come, and as host of the Euro-2012 football championship, more foreigners with little to no Ukrainian language skills will be coming to the country as businessmen or tourists.

With rising volumes of foreign direct investment, the demand for translation services is rising faster than ever before, market professionals say.

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Galina Vyarvelskaya,director of 100 MOV (100 Languages)Translations Center, says that the industry is adapting to new requirements as clients now routinely “place orders for localization of Web-sites,and the translation and adaptation of marketing text

It is very difficult to estimate the number of translation agencies in Kyiv, let alone Ukraine. Agencies are now diversifying services for clients as the market rapidly develops. Market professionals agree that a client needs a wide range of services in one package – from translation to notary certification of written translations, to interpreters. So, most companies sign a multi-service agreement with a translation agency to ensure a complete range of services on demand. Clients’ requirements for the quality of translation services has been on the rise, Viktoriya Polishchuk, customer relations manager of First Kyiv Translation Agency, noted adding that the “requirements for quality translation services has always been high.” With development of the market for translation services, and more money circulating in the economy, many individuals have begun to provide translation services on a freelance basis, in their free time, or while in their current jobs, sometimes at the expense of their full time jobs, industry insiders said.

While Ukrainians’ knowledge of English has increased, market professionals say the popularity of other languages is on the rise, primarily due to the entrance of European companies into the market. Polishchuk estimates that 40 percent of her company’s translation volume is English, with another 40 percent devoted to German, French, Spanish and Italian, and 10 percent to Russian and Ukrainian. The remaining 10 percent is made up of more exotic languages.The breakdown of languages differs from agency to agency and depends on an agency’s niche and client base. For example, Galina Vyarvelskaya, director of 100 MOV (100 Languages) Translations center, over 70 percent of her business is English translation.

Competition has picked up in the translation market. Vyarvelskaya estimates that over the past five to seven years the number of translation companies in Kyiv has more than doubled. “Consequently, competition is increasing and it makes translation agencies find ways to optimize their work, occupy certain niches on the market and specialize in certain areas of translation.” She added that agencies also strive to offer their clients new ways of collaboration and cooperation, including outsourcing, “which is one of the current trends on the market.”

She notes that during the past few years, clients have gained a wider range of translation agencies to choose from, and they have got more opportunities to compare quality and prices from various providers. This allows them to pick and choose.

“Now clients are more demanding and often place their translation orders in more sophisticated ways, by running tenders between the agencies,” said Vyarvelskaya.

New services are being required of translation agencies. Vyarvelskaya said that recently it has become more popular for companies “to place orders for localization of websites, and translation and adaptation of marketing texts.”

Over the years, many international companies operating in Ukraine have settled on agencies with proven track records regardless of price.

“Now many clients prefer to work with a translation agency that has shown quality service, but which charges higher prices, rather than work with an agency that does not have such a proven reputation but offers lower prices,” said Vyarvelskaya.

With the rising popularity of foreign languages many Ukrainians are becoming freelance translators and professionalism is becoming an issue. Industry experts say many freelance translators have proper language skills but do not have the necessary translation and interpretation ability. Moreover, market professionals note that sometimes even graduates with higher education in linguistics or translation are not suitable for the job. Tatiana Potomskaya, commercial director of TRIS Translation Center, said that such “a young specialist, while looking for a job, finds out that he not only practically lacks translation skills, required on the market, but – what is a lot worse – does not have any idea about many specific peculiarities of the profession.”

Compounding the problem is the fact that the Ukrainian education system is not producing graduates with the skill and professionalism of their predecessors. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the Ukrainian education system is worsening. Second, many students want to start making money as soon as possible and often skip university classes to work.

Yet, it is an undeniable fact that having an extensive list of freelance translators is a great assistance in a translation agency’s day­to­day operations since full­time translators at an agency are simply not capable to handle all the volume of translations coming into a decent translation agency.

Overall, translation agencies are striving strive to occupy their own niche in the market and retain clientele. Nevertheless, though the competition is rising on the market every year, industry professionals are confident that any agency, whether large or small, is able to find clients and carve out their niche.

The agencies that fail do so for a lack of quality service not the lack of prospective clients. Potomskaya said that “many translation agencies cannot stand the competition either due to their lack of professionals of necessary level (in their staff) or lack of necessary resources for providing clients a package of services.”

Source: http://www.kyivpost.com

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Health Language Technology Translates Medical Terminology and Administrative Billing Codes into Consumer-Friendly Terms

New Tool Links Medical Terms and Billing Codes with Layperson Terminology to Improve Usability of Data by Consumers, Physicians and Health Plans

Health Language, Inc. (HLI), the worlds leading supplier of language engine technology, today announced a powerful, new content set that allows for translation of medical terminology and billing codes into easily-understood consumer terminology for streamlined communication of patient data to consumers, physicians and health plans.

Associating clinical terms and diagnosis codes with consumer-friendly terms enables consumers to read and understand their explanation of benefits statement (EOB), as well as search their health plan-provided personal health records (PHR) using layperson vocabulary for information about their diagnosed condition(s).

Because HLI can perform language transversal, patient-entered PHR information can be efficiently extracted and securely relayed to the health plan’s administrative system and to the provider’s electronic medical record (EMR) system. This ability to seamlessly exchange medical data, billing codes and consumer terms between physicians, health plans and members contributes to a higher level of understanding by all parties in the delivery of healthcare services, care management services and patient education.

Our ability to speak in the distinct language of each stakeholder will shift the information flow paradigm in healthcare, said George Schwend, chief executive officer and president for HLI. Consumers, physicians and health plans will benefit from a new level of transparency in clinical information and administrative processes, leading to increased clinician productivity, patient satisfaction and compliance with care management protocols.

Traditional medical and administrative terminology tends to confuse rather than educate the patient. For example, a 410.90 code, which represents a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, unspecified site, episode of care unspecified, is meaningless to most consumers. However, by translating the administrative code and medical term into the commonly understood acute heart attack diagnosis, patients are able to search for relevant information within the PHR using that common term.

Added Schwend, We know that having a greater understanding about medical care and associated costs can motivate patients to better manage their health conditions. The challenge is that many PHRs are partly based on claims data, including diagnosis and procedure codes, which makes the information difficult to decipher. Thus, by transforming the PHR into a consumer-friendly platform, we will positively impact patient wellness.

In another example of language transversal, if a patient enters information about a past heart attack into their PHR, this term will be translated into the appropriate code, which will then be relayed through the health plans administrative system into the claims and care management systems, resulting in enhanced clinical decision-making and patient outcomes.

The HLI content team, consisting of physicians, nurses, professional coders, and health terminology experts, converted the medical descriptions of the billable diagnosis codes used in the U.S. into consumer-friendly terms. HLIs experts used their well-proven content methods to ensure readability and comprehensibility of the final language.

About Health Language Inc.

Aurora, Colo.-based Health Language, Inc.® (HLI) develops and delivers state-of-the-art software solutions that automatically incorporate medical vocabulary and coding standards into healthcare information technology (HCIT) applications. HLIs Language Engine® (LE®) allows centralized access to medical terminology standards and generates mappings to create a common pool of standardized codes and concepts that enhance patient safety, facilitate clinical outcomes analysis and accelerate reimbursement. It also provides standards for modeling, storing, updating and distributing information consistently for interoperability between hospitals, regions and countries. For more information, visit www.healthlanguage.com or call 303.307.4400.

Tags

Health Language Technology, Translate, Medical Terminology, Administrative, Billing code, medical term, physician, health plan, AHIP Institute, Health Language, HLI, language engine, translation, patient data, clinical term, diagnosis code, explanation of benefits, EOB, personal health records, PHR, language transversal, electronic medical record, EMR, electronic health record, EHR, medical data, healthcare, care management, patient education, George Schwend, transparency, clinician, claims data, diagnosis, procedure code, nurses, professional coders, health terminology experts, billable diagnosis codes, software, healthcare information technology, HIT, LE, reimbursement, hospitals

Source: http://www.businesswire.com

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Prince Harry in Scotland to honour war dead

PRINCE Harry will be among 200 members of the armed forces who will march through Edinburgh today, to pay tribute to soldiers killed in Afghanistan.The parade to St Giles’ Cathedral, where there will be a service of remembrance, will involve approximately 200 sailors, soldiers, Royal Marines and airmen of 52 Infantry Brigade who recently served in Helmand. Earlier this week, the bodies of five members of 2 Para were returned to Britain from Afghanistan and Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he would be increasing Britain’s military presence there. In addition to marking the return of 52 Brigade and remembering fallen comrades, the parade hopes to reconnect the military with communities and promote wider public support.

Brigadier Andrew MacKay, 52 Brigade’s commanding officer, told The Scotsman this was the first time that 52 Brigade had been deployed in this form since the Second World War.  “We thought it was important to properly mark that fact and commemorate those who lost their lives,” he said. “There is no better place to do that than Edinburgh as the city where we are based. “It’s all the more important that we do this, given the events of this week.”

He added: “In my view, the wider British public, whatever their views of Afghanistan and Iraq, recognise the extraordinary job our soldiers are doing in very demanding circumstances and are very supportive. “But events like this are very important to connect with the public and society as a whole.” He also underlined that Prince Harry, who spent ten weeks with 52 Brigade in Afghanistan until his whereabouts were revealed in an American blog, will be just one of many soldiers who served with the brigade.

“Obviously, we are pleased to have him, but this is about 52 Brigade and all those who served in it on the recent tour of duty,” he said. “We lost 24 British, Danish, American and Czech soldiers and representatives of all the families will be there as well.” In total, 7,500 soldiers were deployed under 52 Brigade from October 2007, until handing over command to 16 Air Assault Brigade in April 2008. The Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles, a former army major, said that he was pleased to see the military carrying out more parades such as today’s. “When I was serving, we were instructed not to go out in our uniforms because of the IRA threat and the number of parades of this nature dropped,” he said.  “Overnight, uniforms disappeared from view and that put a great distance between the armed services and the ordinary member of the public. Events such as the one today are very important because they help put the military back in our communities and this hopefully means that they will receive a lot more support.”

Lest we forget …

THE parade will begin in Johnston Terrace in Edinburgh city centre at 10:30am.

The soldiers will then march to the Royal Mile and straight to St Giles’ Cathedral where they will take part in a private commemoration service at 11:15am.

The service will be attended by Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, and Soren Gade of the Danish ministry of defence.

The best viewpoint will be at the corner of the High Street on the Royal Mile and George IV Bridge.

There will be 200 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Royal Marines representing the units which came under the strategic command of 52 Brigade in Helmand Province.

While on deployment in Afghanistan, a total of 24 British, Danish, American and Czech soldiers lost their lives.

They will be remembered along with members of the Afghan National Army, police and civilians employed as interpreters who were also victims of the conflict.

Troops fire 2m bullets

BRITISH troops in Afghanistan have fired more than two million rounds of ammunition since December, figures revealed last night.

Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister, said 980,000 5.56mm bullets – the type used in the army’s SA80 rifles – had been fired.

A further 930,000 7.62mm rounds and 186,000 .50 calibre rounds used in machine guns were also fired. Figures include rounds used in training.

As troops began operations in Helmand Province in 2006, the then defence secretary John Reid said he would be happy for them to leave “without firing a shot”.

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The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, urged OSCE participating States today to ensure protection of the language rights of national minorities as a necessary precondition for peace and stability. “Linguistic rights are the quintessence of minority rights. The prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts goes hand in hand with the establishment of an adequate system of protection for linguistic rights,” the High Commissioner said.

Ambassador Vollebaek was speaking at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities. The Recommendations, developed in 1998 by independent experts at the request of the High Commissioner, build on international law to offer more precise provisions to guide language policy-making.

Addressing the challenges of linguistic management in the OSCE area, High Commissioner Vollebaek said efforts to promote one language at the expense of another were particularly harmful.

“Such thinking is harmful not just to minorities but also to majorities. When a majority demands mindless obedience and submission from a minority, this is usually regarded as subjugation and increases the chances of that majority not being respected,” the High Commissioner said.

The two-day conference, co-organized by the High Commissioner, the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings together policy-makers, academics and minority leaders from across the OSCE region to discuss how challenges relating to minority language rights can be tackled.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will address the conference on Thursday.

Source: http://www.osce.org

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Would you eat “red burned lion head” or does “braised pork balls in soy sauce” sound tastier — or at least like something you’ve heard of?

The debate is giving new meaning to the question “what’s in a name?”

A new book, “Chinese Menu in English Version,” jointly published by the Beijing Municipal Government’s Foreign Affairs Office and the Beijing Tourism Administration, recommends the latter for Beijing’s starred hotels.

But the latest attempt to help bridge the culture gap for foreign tourists in China during the Beijing Olympic Games has drawn mixed reactions. Some praise the book as an etiquette campaign; others say something got lost in translation.

The 170-page book, with more than 2,000 proposed names for dishes and drinks, was recommended to starred hotels across the capital to provide convenience for an estimated 500,000 foreigners coming to Beijing for the sports gala.

“It’s not compulsory. They can choose to use the translations or not for bilingual menus,” said Su Shan, a Beijing Tourism Administration official.

“About one third of the hotels in Beijing, including the 119 designated Olympic hotels, have received the pamphlet,” she added.

Visitors to China sometimes had to struggle to decipher bizarre English translations on menus, such as “chicken without sexual life” and “husband and wife’s lung slice.” The images they conjured up were not, one could say, appetizing. These dishes are now called “steamed pullet” and “beef and ox tripe in chili sauce” in the proposed translations.

“Thanks to the pamphlet, we do not have to struggle to come up with the English translations of dishes any more, which is usually time consuming,” said a senior manager surnamed Wang at the Guangzhou Hotel, a four-star downtown Beijing restaurant.

But some think a list of ingredients alone doesn’t convey the flavor of the dish.

“Although it can be useful to standardize the menu translations, it is very hard,” said Zheng Baoguo, who teaches at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

“Some dish names are deprived of their cultural background in these literal translations, which is a loss of the Chinese cuisine culture,” he added.

The translators, after conducting a study of Chinese restaurants in English-speaking countries, divided the dish names into four categories: ingredients, cooking method, taste and name of a person or a place.

For some traditional dishes, pinyin, the Chinese phonetic system, was used, such as mapo tofu (previously often literally translated as “bean curd made by a pock-marked woman”), baozi (steamed stuffed bun) and jiaozi (dumplings) to “reflect the Chinese cuisine culture,” the book said.

A handful of foreign residents in Beijing said that their chief concern was knowing what they were eating and how it was prepared, rather than the stories and history of the dishes.

Columnist Raymond Zhou wrote in the China Daily on Tuesday that “the process of standardizing a menu translation is a double-edged sword” that “removes the ambiguity and unintended humor” and in the same time “takes away the fun and the rich connotation.”

“It turns a menu into the equivalent of plain rice, which has the necessary nutrients but is devoid of flavor,” he said.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com

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