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What Is CART?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

cart CART is the acronym for Communication (also Computer) Assisted Real-time Translation. CART is an assistive technology that converts speech to text. It is additionally known as real-time stenography or even open captioning.

CART services were first used in 1996 to provide a hearing impaired student access to classroom lectures. Today CART services are being used by many universities and institutions of higher education to provide the same services to the hearing impaired.

Many groups are benefiting from this technology from students with hearing and visual impairments to students with various learning disabilities and even Attention Deficit disorders. Students are provided with transcripts which can be used as study notes and reference materials.

Trained captionists attend classes with the student that requires these services. A laptop placed in front of the student is connected to a stenograph machine and equipped with Real-Time software applications. As the professor speaks, the CART reporters use a phonetic language called Steno which is a combination of sounds, when keys are pressed together they present certain phonemes. The text is displayed on the laptop or monitor which is viewed as a word for word rendition of what the professor says.

Trusted Translations offers competitive rates for CART services which have been proven to be a valuable tool for students from elementary schools through higher institutions of learning. CART is gaining recognition as it promotes independent learning, full involvement and equal access.


The Rite of Mate

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


What do you get when you combine a hollowed-out gourd, a bombilla (or straw), a mix of leaves and twigs steeped in hot water and a couple of amigos? Well, the ultimate mate drinking experience, of course! For those of you who don’t already know, mate, also known as yerba mate, is a traditional drink consumed in South America, particularly Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and the southern states of Brazil, and to a smaller degree in the south of Chile and the Chaco region of Bolivia.  In these regions you can observe natives slurping the pungent tea-like concoction in practically any setting, whether it be during daily commutes, with friends at the park on a sunny day, or during break time with classmates and work colleagues.  Just about as ubiquitous as coffee—and packing just about as much caffeine—mate isn’t just a drink, it’s truly a cultural bastion in its own right, bringing people together to share in quality conversation and a satisfying communal beverage.

But where did the name mate come from? Nowadays people will colloquially use the word mate in both Portuguese and Spanish to refer to both the mate plant and beverage alike; however, the word doesn’t actually originate from either language. Mate is in fact a linguistic adaptation of the word mati, which comes from Quechua (the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Americas). In Quechua mati has several meanings that include: herb infusion, gourd, and container for a drink.  Interestingly enough though, mate was actually first cultivated and consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and Tupi people of Paraguay and southern Brazil, respectively. As such, mate was actually first known as ka’a, or “herb” in Guaraní, and kõ’gõi in Tupi which can be translated as, “what sustains the being.”

Somewhat bitter and pungent, for many, mate is an acquired taste that takes some getting used to. Despite its bold flavor, today the yerba mate can be prepared in a variety of ways to suit different tastes. The most popular of these preparation methods is either straight-up or with sugar/sweetener combined with scalding-hot water, which regardless of the temperature outside, many thermos-toting drinkers opt for year-round.  Other drinkers, however, especially during the warmer months, enjoy a more refreshing spin on the classic beverage, known as tereré (in Spanish) or tererê (in Portuguese). Tereré is consumed cold and usually with a twist of citrus juice (for any of you from the southeastern United States, think a fruit-flavored sweet tea of sorts!). In case you are now anxious to experience mate for yourself, try snagging some in the international aisle at your local organic or specialty grocer today!

And just as mate is a very regional beverage, Trusted Translations can help you with your regional language localization needs. Contact us today for a free quote!




Great Expectations Getting You Down?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

boundary-spanner-illustation2Have you ever felt let down because things just didn’t go your way? Maybe you didn’t get first place in the competition, failed to get that special guy or girl’s attention, didn’t get that promotion at work, or maybe you lost a client due to factors that were out of your control.  Well, welcome to the real world, a place where feelings of disappointment are all too familiar when reality falls short of our expectations.  Though it is undeniable that having high expectations can sometimes be a powerful motivator, sometimes when not kept in-check, these same high expectations can also set us up for great disappointment affecting our quality of life. So, what exactly is the relationship between reality, expectations and disappointment, anyway? Renowed entrepreneur and author, Chip Conley, boils down this abstract human emotion using a concrete, mathematical formula which can be expressed as, “Disappointment = Expectations – Reality.”  The math is simple and seems broadly applicable to practically any scenario—by tempering our expectations we reframe our outlook, effectively avoiding setting ourselves up for disappointment and consequently we end up being happier with the cards reality deals us.

In many ways, the Disappointment Formula directly contradicts the “bigger, better mentality” of the modern day society in which we live—a society that often pushes us to have unnaturally high expectations occasionally causing us to lose sight of what is important. This being said,consider for a moment how a basic understanding of this alternative mindset could help us all enjoy more fulfilling lives. We could strengthen client relationships, learn to better manage difficult situations and make better business decisions; all due to following this simple ideology that allows us to see the bigger picture and thus better prioritize.  Here are a few ways you can make strides toward embracing this way of thinking: (1) start trying to put everyday realities into perspective, for example, the next time something doesn’t go the way you planned ask yourself, Will this still be important 5 or 10 years from now?. Most of the time you will likely find that in the grand scheme of things it is not the end of the world; (2) Another way to help keep things in perspective is to start making a point of appreciating all the small things we so often take for granted; (3) Finally, in business some find it useful to adhere to the philosophy of “under-promise, over-deliver” in helping to better manage the expectations of clients, co-workers, vendors, etc.

Here at Trusted Translations we understand that no two translation projects are alike. For this reason, we always evaluate on a project-by-project basis, striving to always set the right expectations for our clients each and every time. Contact us today for a free quote!


Literary Advancement for Hearing Impaired Hispanic Children

Friday, October 25th, 2013

ASLHispanics are the largest minority in the United States and increasing rapidly. Currently about fifteen million Hispanics are of school age of which nearly ten thousand are deaf or hard of hearing according the United States Census.

Hispanic hard-of- hearing and deaf students are one of the fastest growing minorities among the deaf -community. There are many challenges encountered by Hispanic  Hearing-Impaired children. They have the responsibility of learning two languages at once. They must learn English but they must also learn American Sign Language.  They must also acclimate to the English, Deaf and Spanish culture. 

There is a social-cultural viewpoint on literary advancement that affects Hispanic deaf students that depends on many different social interactive roles in the child’s life such as caretakers, the child’s family, members of the deaf community, educators and members of our country’s culture.

The key point is that hard-of-hearing or deaf students must learn and practice American Sign Language in order to communicate, if the child’s parents do not speak English that becomes a large bridge to cross. In order to supplement the child with home learning the parents also must learn English.

Many Hispanics are not aware of the resources available to them for literary advancement. For example, there is a company that manufactures and distributes trilingual educational sign language videos.

They have created a curriculum that ties in the separate languages to include Spanish, English and American Sign Language. The child will be learning the three languages while the family will learn English at the same time as they learn sign language vocabulary.

It is a challenge to teach ASL to Non-English speaking individuals due to many factors including syntax, meaning and grammar.

There are many resources out there to assist Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Hispanic children and their families. Do your research and we can promote literary advancement and give these children the tools they need to succeed.


Time to go PINK!

Monday, October 7th, 2013


It is time to go Pink!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a campaign geared to promote awareness through education, early detection, treatment and ultimately the importance of finding a permanent cure.

This campaign has heightened the amount of women receiving mammograms and biopsies. Due to breast cancer awareness, these cancers are being detected at an advanced stage and making treatment much more successful and long-term survival rates are on the increase.

The pink ribbon is the most common symbol of breast cancer awareness which is recognized in most countries, the United States included. There are many fundraising events that you as an individual or company may take part in.

There are many ways to take part in the fundraising initiatives. During the month of October there are many walks or runs that you may sign up and participate in. If your schedule is packed and a run or walk isn’t a viable option you may host a bake sale to friends, family and co-workers where all your proceeds go to a charitable organization.

We know that our schedules are tight and finding time sometimes may be a task but there are other ways of contributing to a great cause that will not put a strain on your schedule. There are many large named companies including many cosmetic and beauty related companies that a large percentage of their proceeds are donated to charities advocating breast cancer awareness. If they have the pink ribbon on the product, you are contributing to the cause.

You can also organize a mobile mammography center to come out to your place of business or community to advocate testing.

Get involved and you may make a difference or even save a life.



The Great Bull Run

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

bullsThe Great Bull Run is an event that was created by two former attorneys that made a life decision that they didn’t want to shuffle paperwork any longer and decided to create a company that hosts large events.

This event is a sugar-coated version of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. It is a day-long festival including bands, games, food and tomato food fights. The first event took place in Richmond, Virginia to follow with events in Georgia, Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Many precautions have been made in order to minimize the risk for the thrill seekers that want to run with these bulls. The event takes place on a ¼ mile track that has slate fencing and nooks to assist the runners in escaping a large bull with a vengeance. The event is also staffed with on-site emergency personnel and professional bull handlers to run with the crowd in order to help if someone finds themselves in a tight spot.

The bulls chosen for these U.S. based events aren’t aggressive bulls such as the bulls that are used in Spain. The bulls run seven to eight times per day and the runs consist of 500 runners on the track vs. twelve bulls with the exception of the last run that consists of five hundred to six hundred runners on the track vs. twenty-four bulls.

This is an event tailored for the thrill seeking adrenaline junkies but other U.S.  groups do not share the same feeling towards these events.

Animal Activist Organization, PETA is very unhappy about this event. They feel that all the runners, spectators and participants have a choice in signing their waivers and putting their lives in danger of serious injury, in turn the bulls are just driven around the U.S. and forced to nervously run in a crowd of rowdy people with no regard to their safety and well-being.

The founders of these events have made statements that the animals are not hurt or injured in these runs and ask the spectators of the event if any abuse is observed to report it to the authorities.

There are definitely many varying viewpoints that have come to the surface with this event but nonetheless the show must go on.







The History of Piñatas

Friday, July 19th, 2013



Piñatas have been around for ages. Most people identify piñatas as being of Hispanic heritage. They actually originated in China, around the 16th century.

They were colored with bright and vibrant paper and decorated in many different ways. This was to greet the New Year in China. They would then knock the figures with colored sticks and seeds would spill everywhere. Thereafter the remains of the figures would be burnt and people would gather the ashes produced for good luck in the New Year.

These customs were passed on through Europe, particularly Italy, where it became a tradition during Lent. Italians would put goodies inside of pots and break them. These pots would resemble popular foods such as Pineapples. Inside these clay pots were candies, jewelry and often other trinkets. People would take turns striking the Piñata and when it would break, people would rush out to claim their winnings.

This activity grew popular and spread through Europe and it eventually spread to Spain. Originally the Piñata symbolized Satan, as it was made to be bright and beautiful to lure innocent people into touching it. The candies, fruits and nuts within represented the temptation of the Devil. The stick used to hit the Piñata represented the goodness to fight this evil and the blindfold represented blind faith. Once the Piñata broke and let out the goodies, the goodies represented a just reward. The message brought forth was that all was justified through faith in God.

The Spanish brought this custom to Mexico. The Aztecs willfully adopted this activity because it was oddly similar to a custom they already practiced. The Aztecs decorated clay pots of their own and filled them with treasures to celebrate the birthday of the god of war. The Aztecs would beat the clay pots which was strung in front of an image of the god of war and the treasures would fall to the feet of the image as an offering to him. Maya Indians also used piñatas but they used them as more of a game. The blindfolded each other to make it more of a sport as the Mayas were very sport-oriented.

As the custom evolved in Mexico, artists began to make the piñatas in their own ways, decorating them into objects of their own heritage and using cardboard and paper mache to do so.

Today, few people know the original meaning of the Piñata but are mostly used as a fun activity to celebrate birthdays and the Christmas season in Mexico.






Hispanic or Latino?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


Is there a difference between Latino and Hispanic? This question was first introduced in the 1970’s by the U.S. Census. Is this person of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

This question was asked of individuals living in the United States and their response was based upon self-identification. Additionally, the Census clarified the fact that race and ethnicity are separate and different concepts, and therefore two different questions were asked. To be Latino or Hispanic is a matter of ethnicity not race.

The Hispanic or Latino origin question is not a question about place of birth. For example, people of Mexican origin may be born in Mexico, the United States or other countries, and this is true for all of the distinct groups. This question also excludes people from Brazil and aims specifically at people’s origin from Spanish- speaking countries.

Even though the terms Latino and Hispanic are usually used interchangeably, many people have a stronger preference of one over the other. The term Hispanic may refer more to the heritage, nationality group or lineage. It can also refer to the person’s country of birth or that of the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. A person who identifies him or herself as Hispanic may be of any race.

Which term should we use, Hispanic or Latino? Since it is a matter of self-identification, it can be difficult to choose what term to use when referring to this population.

At the end of the day, don’t worry too much about these terms, as long as you come from a good place with good intentions, you will not offend someone by referring to them as Hispanic or Latino. We all know these terms are confusing. That being said, if you really feel conflicted about it the best advice I can offer is to ask the person what term he or she prefers, and then you’ll know.


What’s percolating in Latin America?

Friday, June 28th, 2013


How do you take your coffee? Whatever your “café” preferences are, I’ve done some homework to find out what’s percolating in our Latin American countries.

For households in Latin America, nothing is more important than food rituals. Coffee is one of their favorite beverages and it wakes them up every morning. The region is home to a large number of coffee planters, and also roasters who deliver the coffee to the doorstep of consumers around the world.

Most of North America sees coffee as an energy booster and find a way to get in as much caffeine in as short of a time as possible. People are rushing to their office holding a cup of coffee in one hand and the steering wheel of their car in the other hand, is a common scene in the United States.

But in Latin American countries, people do not want to be disturbed while drinking coffee. Coffee accompanies their breakfast of fresh fruit, hot grains, and toast. Coffee is consumed not only in the morning but even after lunch in many countries in the region.

Like so many other areas, Hispanics are leading the country in coffee consumption, according to a study by the National Coffee Association.

What the National Coffee Drinking Trends 2013 market study found was that of the Latinos who participated, 76 percent drank coffee the previous day – a 13 percent increase from the previous year.

In comparison, just 47 percent of African-Americans and 64 percent of Caucasians said they had consumed coffee the day before.

The latest market trends report follows similar findings done by the NCA earlier this year.

Almost three fourths of Latinos drink coffee on a daily basis compared to just 62 percent of the general population.

In addition, Hispanics appear to drink more premium coffee types than non-Hispanic-Americans. Forty-six percent said they drink gourmet coffee every day, compared to 29 percent of non-Hispanics and, for daily espresso consumption, 32 percent versus 11 percent.

As the Hispanic-American population grows, it’s essential for the coffee industry to meet their needs by understanding how they buy,  order and drink coffee.





Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

  5967282The Hispanic population is not only the largest immigrant group but accounts for 56% of the United States population growth in the past two decades. As a result, linguistic diversity is an increasing characteristic in today’s classrooms. Educators need to design instruction to match the demographics of today’s students.

As the Hispanic population continues to grow so will the number of students experiencing difficulties. With this knowledge educators are eager to determine how to bolster English language literacy among the Hispanic population.

If we take seriously the way in which literacy skills drive academic success, focusing on community involved programs makes good sense to help develop students’ literacy skills, but moreover to develop their advanced literacy skills.

Recent research has shifted our thinking: It’s not reading per se that impedes Hispanic students’ advanced literacy skill development; it’s actually the language of print—in the newspaper, the textbook, the magazine article—that proves difficult and demands instructional emphasis.

Our task, then, is to redesign our model for teaching literacy. We’ve gone about much literacy reform guided by the assumption that if we focus on the act of reading—putting the letters and sounds together to read words—then students will engage in deep comprehension. The flaws in this approach have proven particularly problematic for academically vulnerable populations, including many of our Hispanic students.

We must focus on involving ourselves in more community based programs that emphasize advanced literacy development as comprehension is the key to academic success. 


Low Literacy Rates among U.S. Hispanics Children

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Book lessons


Reading skills amongst children of Latino descent are at an all-time low.  Studies indicate that U.S. Hispanic children entering kindergarten are already six months behind their fellow classmates in school readiness.   Top educators believe U.S. Hispanics children would significantly benefit from programs that promote literacy readiness prior to entering into the school system.

Many U.S. Hispanic children face serious academic challenges outside of school due to various factors such as: dealing with two languages at home (Spanish and English), lower income levels and parents inability to help with school work due to language issues. 

The large number of Hispanic children heading into their school years with a delayed start on their educational path is a cause for concern. Strong reading and literacy skills are essential to compete in today’s workforce. One study concluded that low literacy levels from economically disadvantaged families significantly reduce the potential for upward mobility.   This is pronounced with Latino families that have a higher poverty rate in U.S. compared to national averages. 

The statistics are staggering, but there are stories of hope and success. U.S. Hispanic parents are highly motivated to help their children and are looking for ways to better educate and prepare them for the highly competitive U.S. job market.   First generation Hispanics are especially aware of the need for higher education and strong reading skills in English. They have every desire to support their children’s education and achieve a better lifestyle.  These families clearly recognize the ability to read and write as core foundational skills for almost any career. 

Hopefully, the school systems and our local communities will become more aware of this problem among Hispanic children and fund additional programs to correct this disturbing trend. 





The Many Advantages to Learning Spanish as a Second Language

Friday, April 5th, 2013




Spanish is currently the most widely taught non-English language in the U.S. Of more than 1.4 million university students enrolled in language courses, Spanish was the most widely taught language in U.S. colleges and universities with 53 percent of the total number of people enrolled.

There are many advantages to learning Spanish as a second language and many will enrich your life beyond your imagination.

First, especially in the U.S., learning Spanish can be a key differentiator in the work force.  Companies prefer employees / candidates with Spanish language capabilities.  In some cases, having Spanish languages skills is a job requirement.   Learning Spanish can make all the difference in a competitive job market especially as the number of Hispanics continues to grow in the U.S.

On a related note, given that Spanish is one of the most spoken languages worldwide with around 420 million native speakers and about 60 million second language speakers, learning Spanish can increase your social and work network significantly.  Spanish will not only allow you to communicate with individuals from 20 sovereign countries but can also facilitate communications with those that speak Spanish as a second language.   In today’s cyber social / work environment, this increased social and work network will certainly have a positive impact in your life no matter what line of work you may be in.

A second major advantage of learning Spanish relates more to opening new cultural doors and experiences.   The amount of literature, art, film and music projects in Spanish continues to grow and will provide you an endless source of enjoyment.  Whether you consume these cultural experiences online or in person, having a firm grasp of Spanish will likely heighten the enjoyment and understanding of the work and/or performance.

The third, and probably most significant advantage, is your ability to communicate and connect with other Spanish-speakers.  Whether you are in a foreign country or meeting new friends in your local community, your enhanced ability to connect with people from different cultures will enhance your life on many levels.  There are even studies to suggest that learning a second language has direct medical benefits including help protect against the effects of Alzheimer.

Whether you are looking for a new job, new life partner or just to appreciate a new song, learn Spanish and gain access to a new world of possibilities.





Mbaraka Ovama (I already moved the guitar)

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

If you were to mention the name “Barack Obama” to a Guarani, you would literally be telling them in their own Native Americanlanguage “I already moved the guitar” (Mbaraka Ovama). Despite this accidental fact, several English words actually have Guaraní roots, such as “tapioca”, “piranha,” “toucan” and “jaguar.”

Guarani refers to a group of indigenous peoples in South America, primarily in Paraguay, the Entre Rios and Corrientes provinces of Argentina, south Brazil, and some parts of Bolivia. Although their population has been significantly reduced because of European Colonization and mestizaje (ethnic cleansing process), there are important populations of Guarani throughout the continent, and guarani has become a written language recently. Guarani became an official language largely because the Jesuit missionaries from Spain chose it to preach Catholicism to the Indians; the Jesuits created missions to physically protect the Guarani peoples from European slave hunters, and many Guarani peoples are descendants from survivors of the Jesuit missions.

Today, Guarani is the second official language of Paraguay, where 90% of Paraguayans speak Guarani, other than Spanish, the first official language. In fact, teaching Guarani has become fundamentally important in Paraguayan public schools, with official translations of literary texts like “Don Quijote.” Despite the undeniable importance of the Guarani language in South America, the Guarani people still have to actively fight for recognition of their civil and human rights, so that they may preserve their cultural heritage as well as their community’s standing. The Guarani language actually borrows a large amount of words from Spanish, especially verbs, and so the preservation of the original language has become more difficult over time.

So, when thinking about the languages of the Americas, don’t underestimate the value of indigenous languages like Guarani, and consider the importance of including all linguistic groups and subgroups. If you have a text in or into Guarani or any other language, do not hesitate to contact us by requesting a free Trusted Translations quote.


How to get more business

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

It is extremely difficult these days to get recurrent or additional clients to buy more translations. In this blog I will mention a few methods that either the Account Manager or the Marketing/Sales Department can perform in order to receive more translation requests from recurrent clients or new prospects.

Obviously it is the responsibility of the Account Manager to fuel the relationship by keeping a fluid communication with a client either by e-mails or phone. In this regard, it is important to find out what your client actually prefers, whether it be phone call or e-mail, as some do not want to be called.

Besides following up on a regular basis (i.e. a planned Customer Service), it is also important to have your recurrent clients included in several e-mail campaigns that offer a certain discount. Make sure only to include recurrent clients that haven´t bought a translation project within at least the last quarter, as you do not want to offer a discount to a client that recently purchased one. These e-mail campaigns are typically executed by the Sales/Marketing and/or IT department. If the discount does not work as a trigger to buy, at least the campaign will help you feed your share-of-mind.

Another way of trying to recover customers, is to call them up directly and ask them if they have any translation needs in the near future. This method is a lot more personalized, however you might end up calling them several times, before actually getting in touch with them.

Online visibility nowadays has become a necessity and not only in one language, but your website should be available into several languages, in order to expand your market share. Obviously the website needs to have informative and competitive contents in order to get your leads to leave their information. However, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Adwords are a must when it comes to positioning your website correctly within the internet jungle. This are all tactics that need cooperation between the Marketing and IT Departments.

At the end of the day, it is important to stay positive and to never lose focus. Listen to your clients and make sure their needs are satisfied.



Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Subtitling is one option whenever the source language (original narration) is in a language other than the target audience’s language.

Clients typically choose subtitling for media distribution and for broadcasting.

In the US, many times subtitling is used for national broadcasting to reach a broader audience.

First off, when deciding whether or not subtitling is suitable for programming, you must understand your audience.

In this regard, keep in mind that many countries prefer subtitles over dubbing.

If your client is creating a media disc for distribution, and you are already planning on doing voice dubbing, it is recommendable to also include subtitles in the menu, as many viewers prefer this option, especially the deaf and hard of hearing.

Your provider should have the capability to accurately translate and subtitle your programming, delivering the service in various languages directly to DVD and Blu-ray authoring systems, and even to NLE systems. This will secure an accurate delivery of your message to any audience around the world.

Trusted Translations, Inc. uses only the best translators and subtitlers available, who are always not only native speakers of the target language but also perfectly fluent in the source language.

It takes a lot longer to read than to listen, therefore each translation is carefully edited, providing a comfortable reading speed for the viewer while maintaining the meaning and impact of the video. Proper names, technical jargon, and industry terms are researched to ensure proper spelling and undertone.

Trusted Translations, Inc. has the aptitude to take personalized approach to you and your product and deliver a satisfactory final project.



What is DTP in the Translation Industry?

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Have you ever contacted a Translation Agency to get a quote for a translation project and the Account Manager started mentioning DTP costs besides the cost per word? What does DTP stand for and when is this Service actually necessary?

DTP stands for Desktop Publishing and it refers to the creation of documents using page layout software. Typically, this includes the combining and rearranging of text and imagery (in case there are any images) through computer software, using Fonts and Graphics of your choice, to produce documents such as Newsletters, Brochures, Manuals, Slide shows, Books, etc.

In today´s business world there are many different types of documents used, such as in the following formats: Word, Excel, Power point, Pdf, Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Corel Ventura, QuarkXPress and many more.

When a prospect contacts a Translation Agency to receive a quote for a certain document, any Account Manager typically will ask for the source file, which is the document in which the text had originally been created in. This is important, so that the document does not have to be recreated, which can be very expensive sometimes, depending obviously on the format used.

In a specific example: the prospect has a Manual of Industrial Machinery and would like that Manual translated from English into Latin American Spanish, as the prospect would like to penetrate the Latin American Market. The Manual itself is in an Adobe InDesign format. In order to keep the DTP cost as low as possible, and to assure that the translated Manual looks as similar as possible to the original English Manual, the prospect would have to send the Account Manager the source InDesign file/s, all Fonts and Links to the Images that are contained within the Manual.


Multitasking is a bad habit and how to overcome it

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Being an Account Manager in the Translation Service Industry can be a very stressful job at times. It involves not only being involved in the entire Sales process, but also making sure that the Project Manager has sufficient information regarding the scope of the translation project, following up on clients by phone and e-mail, issuing Invoices, collecting Invoices and finding new clients.

There are certain peak times in our day, when our responses and follow-ups are very crucial and we have to process many quote requests at the same time, deliver translation projects (sometimes these need to be uploaded in the FTP Server, which can take quite some time), and resolve translation issues, where the client feels there might be some translation quality issues.

During these peak moments, it is very easy for an Account Manager to start multitasking and doing 3 or 4 tasks at the same time and before you know it, you made a mistake. The danger in this is that the human brain cannot focus well, when multitasking, and mistakes are an automatic result in the work output. In addition, people take longer to complete a task, as they are involved in several tasks at the same time. This is where Time Management plays a very important role of how to overcome multitasking.

Time Management as defined by the free encyclopedia is  “the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity”. This means that one´s skills, tools and techniques are used to manage time in order to reach an objective of a certain task or achieve one´s goal.

Before multitasking becomes a bad habit, it is very important to manage time by being able to incorporate the following activities in one´s daily work routine: planning, setting goals, prioritizing, organizing, scheduling, delegating, analyzing time spent, monitoring and allocating.

My experience as an Account Manager, is to learn how to prioritize and set certain goals, so that I am not forced to multitask and hence make mistakes, while I am trying to resolve all of my work issues at the same time.




Manage Your Time Wisely

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Not sure what your day in the office looks like, but a typical day at the office for me as an account manager at Spanish Translation US revolves around many different things that seem to need my attention all at once. From answering phone calls, to replying to clients’ emails, to completing my daily tasks… which believe me are many.  I constantly find myself going back and forth to each of these tasks and often find it challenging to complete one before I am interrupted by something else. With multitasking being such an important part of my daily experience I found the section on time management in Chet Holmes “The Ultimate Sales Machine” to be very helpful and interesting.

Chet’s six tips on Time Management are:

  • Touch It Once: If you touch it take action and handle that task.  Do not revisit the task.
  • Make Lists: Lists help you prioritize and stay focused on your daily tasks.
  • Plan How Much Time You Will Allocate to Each Task: This helps you manage your daily tasks and dedicate enough time to accomplish them.
  • Plan the Day: Give yourself a time frame on how much time you will dedicate to complete each of the things on your list.
  • Prioritize: Always start with your most important and difficult task. As the other guru Brian Tracy says in his book “Stop procrastinating!”. By completing the most difficult task first, you will feel a tremendous sense of control and accomplishment having checked the biggest thing off your list.
  • Ask Yourself, “Will it hurt me to throw this stuff away?”: Untidiness hurts your productivity. Studies show that 80% of all filed or stored information is never referred to again. So get rid of it!!

I do not have these 6 steps 100% into effect just yet, but I am really working on it. I’m sure that applying these six steps will assist me in completing my daily tasks efficiently. I know they are going to help me manage my time and be more productive on a daily basis. No doubt that I will also help me turn into a happier man!


Awkward: Showing up on time to a Puerto Rican party

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Following my last entry, I’m going to start off with some shocking and/or interesting statistics of the ever changing fabric of our American quilt.  While there are many demographics of immigrants and non-native English speakers in the US, this entry will focus primarily on the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the US.

  • Young people 24 and under represent 35% of all Hispanic online users.  (Emarketer)
  • The US Hispanic market that is online has grown from 15.7 million to 20.9 million in the last 5 years alone.  (Emarketer)
  • “The 47 million-plus Hispanic population in the U.S. accounts for 15% of the total U.S. population and have spending power of $850 billion. (University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth)
  • From 2000 to 2006, Hispanic purchasing power in the US climbed more than 63%, to $798 billion. (University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth)
  • Latinos and other minorities were responsible for 85% of US population in the last 10 years (Adage)

It’s clear to see that the Hispanic market in the US is nothing to ignore.  There is an ever growing percentage of Americans that are looking for your messages, your products, and your services: in Spanish.  Making this connection isn’t easy, but it’s not as hard as you might think; it’s a learning process.

However, if we’re learning anything at all, it’s that Google translate isn’t going to get us there.  A translation is not just a translation; reaching out to the Hispanic market takes more.  It means understanding cultural nuances, sensitivities, humor and colloquialisms. In addition, Spanish phrases and idiomatic expressions are not consistent among all Spanish speaking countries.

Esther Novak, CEO, VanguardComm hits the nail on the head here when she says “Those who are anxious to tap the market but inexperienced at reaching it must not make the easy mistake of “selling to the Hispanic bloc” — the assumption that a Cuban thinks like a Mexican thinks like a Puerto Rican. Each of the 22 Latino nationalities has its own cultural nuances, idioms and assimilation. Businesses need to understand these factors, which include a connection to home country; multi-generational households; mistrust of institutions; a belief in fate; respect for the elderly; the influence of community leaders; the role of faith; and the upholding of tradition, celebrations, humor and cultural icons.”

Here I have a couple examples of a good and bad way to approach the situation:

Here’s a failed attempt by AT&T.

The telecommunications giant AT&T created a series of marketing ads in Puerto Rico where a wife tells her husband to go downstairs and call Mary because they are running late.   Seems innocent enough, right? Oh no!  In Puerto Rico this behavior was seen as offensive, as many wives would never order their husbands in this way nor would they think it’s necessary to call regarding their late arrival.

This campaign proved to be ineffective and failed to resonate with the consumer on a personal and cultural level.   It did not draw on cultural experiences nor connect with the consumer.  Instead the poor translation became distracting and was merely an advertisement gone awry.

Here’s a successful approach by The Home Depot.

When I say successful, I mean excellent.  The Home Depot has successfully integrated a variety of ways to approach the Hispanic population.  They have shown a strong commitment by providing bilingual signage on all of their products, offering bilingual workshops and how-to-clinics, as well as tips and tools on Spanish directed Youtube site.  What’s more, they sponsor Major League Soccer as well as the Mexican National soccer club.  They clearly understand the cultural importance of soccer to their Hispanic clients and show their loyalty by supporting their teams.  By taking this multi-faceted approach The Home Depot is able to connect with their customers not only in Spanish but also to their cultural needs and wants.

Bottom line is this: It is important to address this rapidly growing and changing market in the correct way; not only in their own language but also within the context of their local culture.  Working with a translation agency is an excellent way to bring your message full circle by providing cultural understanding.  They can work with you directly to understand what you are trying to do and figuring out the best ways to approach your translation. Concisely expressing your message in the tone and voice of a native speaker is priceless.


Christmas Latino

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The traditional American Christmas is usually celebrated until December 25, which is the official day of celebration. Children wake up as early, even when the day before was a struggle to get out of bed, and run to the Christmas tree to see what gifts Santa brought them. Adults try to sleep a late, but it’s impossible. The day is followed by a late lunch or an early dinner and watching sports on television or playing games in the patio.

Many Latino-Americans continue these traditions as they assimilate the culture and get used to their new country. But Latinos closer to their roots tend to consider the 24th just as important as the 25th, or even more so for being the birthday of Jesus. Immigrants adapt these customs with their own, and each family mergers new traditions with those of the country of origin. Far from their home and missing their old ways, they do everything possible to incorporate them by introducing their foods and traditions any way they can, and to make it as close as possible to how it was before, at home, while trying to keep alive the memory of their homeland.

For many in the United States, Christmas is synonymous with gifts, parties and last minute visits to the malls. However, for Latinos this is the time of year where the holiday spirit and New Year atmosphere is what is most important. The majority of Latinos are Catholic, so family and sharing with others becomes very important especially during the holidays celebrations.

Celebrations usually start on December 1, or in some cases the day after Thanksgiving, lasting until January 6, the day of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day). It is a time for sharing,  when the family comes closer together, something very common among Latino families that are usually very big and who try not to separate, especially during the holidays. Thanks to this spirit of unity, many Latinos try to spread their traditions in the areas in which they live and to their neighbors, sometimes making a mixture of the traditions of many countries.

Merry Christmas to all Latinos in the world, especially for those living in the United States and trying to make this union produces something better for all people by spreading their customs and promote family unity.


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