Archive for March, 2011

March 30th, 2011

Cruciverbalist – Wacky Word Wednesday

Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world, is back to talk about the king of word puzzles.

The definition of today’s wacky word from TermWiki.com:

cru·ci·ver·bal·ist

[kroo-suh-vur-buh-list]

-noun

a designer, compiler or solver of crossword puzzles

A cartoon depiction of cruciverbalist, a designer, compiler or solver of crossword puzzles.

This word attaches the Latin crucis, meaning cross, to the word verbalist, which describes a person skilled at using words.

The first crossword puzzle was published in December of 1913 by a man named Arthur Wynne, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England. He can be considered the first official cruciverbalist. Wynne’s crossword appeared in the newspaper, New York World. The puzzle was originally identified as a “word-cross,” based off an old Pompeii game, and appeared in a diamond shape; crosswords would later evolve into the square form they take on today. The puzzle eventually made its way back across the Atlantic to England and throughout Europe. Less than a dozen years after the crossword’s first public appearance, Simon and Schuster published the first book of crossword puzzles.

March 28th, 2011

Monday Morning Quote – Rudyard Kipling on the Unforgiving Minute

Monday Morning Quote is back to motivate you with celebrated English poet and writer, Rudyard Kipling.

A photo of Rudyard Kipling, English poet and writer. Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run.

- Rudyard Kipling

Kipling was born in present-day Mumbai, India in 1865 and lived until 1936. During this lifespan, he produced many prolific written works, most famously, The Jungle Book. In 1871, he and his sister Alice were sent to Southsea, England for schooling, where they lived with Captain and Mrs. Holloway. This transition was not easy for Kipling. When he finally left in 1877, his lasting impressions of this time were quite miserable to say the least—in his autobiography, Kipling refers to the Southsea home as “The House of Desolation”. Every story has a silver lining, though: it was during this time that Kipling began turning to literature, absorbing the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Defoe, and Wilkie Collins, among others.

March 25th, 2011

Collaboration + Innovation = New Ideas

With developments in collaborative and cloud-based technologies, collaboration within the workplace has seen immense growth over the last decade. We at CSOFT are huge supporters of this concept, collaborating daily in production, for deliverables, and to generate new ideas on how to make life easier for our clients. TermWiki, the localization industry’s first online collaborative terminology management portal, and ReviewIT, a web-based platform for collaborative translation review and validation, attest to this.

We’re not the only ones who support collaborative practices. Last November, Google, with help from market research firm Future Foundation, produced the Google Decisive Decade Report, which explores reasons why this growth in collaboration will continue on in this next decade.

Over 3500 employees from France, Germany, Japan, UK and USA were surveyed and interviewed about how technology currently influences the way they interact and generate ideas, and how they believe this will change in the workplaces of 2020.

March 24th, 2011

Empathy is Key to Globalization Success: An Interview with John Yunker

John Yunker, co-founder of Byte Level Research and Web Globalization connoisseur.

John Yunker co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000. Over the years he has worked with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies and most recently worked as a senior program manager at Microsoft. He has also written a number of landmark reports, including The Web Globalization Report Card.

John recently launched Byte Level Books, a new press dedicated to publishing books on translation and globalization. Passionate about animal rights, John is also the author of The Tourist Trail. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter!

CSOFT was fortunate to recently sit down with John Yunker to get his perspective on web globalization. In our interview with John, he shares what he believes are some of the biggest challenges in web globalization, how social networking has played a supporting role in the crowdsourcing revolution, and some tips for succeeding in going global.

You were one of the first to study the web on a global level. How has this field of study developed over the years?

John: Seven years ago, I could count on one hand the number of web sites that supported 30 or more languages. Today, there are more than 70 web sites that support 30 or more languages. We’ve quickly moved away from a period in time when you needed to convince companies why they needed to make their web sites global. Now the focus is on how to go global most effectively.

March 23rd, 2011

Lily-livered – Wacky Word Wednesday

We’re back with another round of Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world!

Here’s the definition of today’s wacky word from TermWiki.com:

lil·ly·liv·ered

[lil-ee-liv-erd]

-adjective

weak or lacking in courage; cowardly

A cartoon depiction of lily-livered, an adjective which means weak, lacking in courage, or cowardly.

This word is derived from the old belief that the organs of the body represent different temperaments. The liver was said to be the seat of love and passion. If a healthy liver was reddish-brown, then a liver that was pale, or lily-colored, signified a lack of passion, or cowardliness.

This idea is connected to the medicinal beliefs of the ancient Greeks. From 5th century BCE and all the way throughout the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan period, it was believed that the body contained four main fluids. These four main fluids were identified as the four humors (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood); illnesses and ailments would result if the humors became imbalanced.

March 21st, 2011

Monday Morning Quote – Salvador Dali on Intolerable Ugliness

Today’s Monday Morning Quote is from one of the most famous Surrealist artists of all time, Salvador Dali. He was known as much for his paintings as for his eccentric and flamboyant personality (the mustache merely being a supporting feature).

A photo of Salvador Dali, renowned Catalan artist and Surrealist painter. I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it.

- Salvador Dali
Legendary artist and mustache groomer

Born on May 11, 1904 in a town called Figueres in the region of Catalonia, Spain, Dali’s talent for the arts was recognized early on. He received his first art lesson at the age of ten, and went on to attend the Special Painting, Sculpture and Engraving School (Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando) at the Royal Academy of Art in Madrid. There he befriended a number of students who would continue on to become renowned artists themselves, including Luis Bunuel, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Pepin Bello. Dali never finished his studies there, though, having been expelled for expressing his superiority over the professors, claiming he was more qualified than they were.

March 18th, 2011

TermWiki Cheat Sheet: Features Roundup

We understand that new technology might be intimidating at first. To ease any anxiety you might have and to help you maximize use and productivity, sit back, relax, and get ready to have your socks blown off! In an attempt to establish open lines of communication and to mitigate any confusion, today’s post will be a roundup of definitions regarding TermWiki features.

To first define the tool, TermWiki is:

  • a social learning network that supports multilingual terminology and definitions.
  • a web-based platform where users are able to collaboratively develop terms, definitions, and translations. TermWiki strives for the most perfect definitions and translations by way of its wiki-based nature.
  • organized by industry, product category, and language.
  • a space to search for and share existing terminology and definitions.

Need help identifying the difference between vaccines? Want to learn more about physical geography? Learning Japanese and are looking for a dictionary resource? Find what you need within seconds using TermWiki.

March 17th, 2011

Simplify Translation – Simplify Your Life

Matt ArneyWhy is translating stuff so complicated?

I mean, good translation isn’t easy, and managing it can be a pain in the butt. But it’s not as convoluted and impenetrable as most language service providers would have you believe.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, said in a Charlie Rose interview earlier this year: “It’s really complex to make something simple… My goal is to simplify complexity. I just want to build stuff that really simplifies our base human interaction.”

Why haven’t localization vendors been able to simplify things for their customers? As a whole, the industry seems to be fixated on creating as many acronyms, initialisms, and numeronyms as possible (TM, GMS, TBX, L10N, G11N, XLIFF, XML, etc.) and producing complex localization workflow tools (translation management systems, controlled authoring systems, quality metrics, ISO standards, translator certifications, and more), when what being a good LSP (there’s another one!) really comes down to is providing our clients with what they want most: good quality translations, on time and under budget.

Although most LSPs promote themselves as being technologically superior or leaders in technological development, a lot of all the fancy tools that are out there for business use are just plain junk. For example, several years ago one of our clients purchased a complex, must-have translation management system to help them control their growing translation assets. Slick sales guys did a great job of pitching them on the benefits of TM consolidation, content filtering and other ways to maximize translation reuse and improve translation quality. A million dollars in license fees later, we and their other preferred language service providers still use it as a glorified FTP client to send/receive translation memories through their servers.

(Had they called me first, I could have saved them $999,966 by pointing them towards the world’s best FTP client, Transmit! :) )

March 16th, 2011

Cachinnate – Wacky Word Wednesday

Are you in need of a roll-on-the-floor, knee-slapping, feel-in-in-your-abs laugh? No time like the present! Today’s Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world, will have you laughing your way through the day.

The wacky word definition from TermWiki.com:

cach·in·nate

[kak-uh-nayt]

-verb

to laugh loudly, immoderately, or maniacally

A cartoon depiction of cachinnate, to laugh loudly, immoderately or maniacally.

This word is derived from the Latin cachinnāre, which means to laugh aloud. This got us thinking: what makes us laugh or cachinnate in the first place? Think about it. You’re people-watching in the park. You see a group of friends. Their lips are moving, their arms gesturing this way and that. All of a sudden, everyone in the group suddenly throws their heads back, facial expressions immediately change, mouths open, and a powerful harmony of baritone and soprano laughter unabashedly emits. It is a funny phenomenon (in both senses of the word).

March 15th, 2011

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami – CSOFT’s Japan office and Ways to Help

Our thoughts are with Japan and all its residents right now as they continue to wage against the devastating effects from Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The anticipated losses of human life, homes, heat, water, electricity, order, and security alongside handling other unforeseen affairs—heavily damaged nuclear plants not the least of them—have been tremendous obstacles for the Japanese government and people to deal with. They are in an extraordinary situation, and our thoughts are with them all.

The hardest hit coastal city was Sendai, about 130 km (80 miles) west of the earthquake epicenter. Tokyo, in comparison, is about 373 km (231 miles) southwest of where the epicenter was. Tremors were felt and buildings shook in the capital city, but the damage was far more intense and widespread in northern Japan. Thousands have perished, with many more injured and displaced. The latest numbers from Japan’s Red Cross unit can be found here.

CSOFT’s Japan office is located in Osaka, about 400 km (250 miles) west of Tokyo. We have been in touch with our two head linguists there, Hiroshi-san and Yutaka-san, who are both safe. Hiroshi-san manages a translation team that works with medical content, supporting our MedL10N division. Yutaka-san’s team handles IT and engineering translations.