learn new language

Five reasons to learn a new language

Almost any modern person can more or less handle several languages (Thanks God to translation machines, right?). Have you ever thought you should learn additional language? This article will give you five good reasons how to motivate yourself and finally start learning.

Reason no1: meet new people

Knowledge of additional languages will give you an opportunity to communicate and meet new and interesting people. Yes, yes, it’s possible to communicate without words, but such approach will fail to ensure closer familiarization. You won’t be able to discuss neither hot topics nor each other’s interests and hobbies. You can never know what new contacts may land you. But it’s more than clear that without being able to connect with these people directly you will never be able to find it out. Don’t miss the chance!

Reason no2: opportunity to understand other cultures

If you have ever spent time in another country, then you definitely know how important it is to understand the language of the country in order to perceive the nature and culture of its people. Not knowing it, you won’t be able to read literature, watch TV or listen to songs. Regarding entrepreneurship, be aware that a local businessman will always prefer working with somebody who has at least some kind of a local vocabulary!

Reason no 3: chance to look at the world from different perspective

perspective changeThe more language you know, the more you will be able to understand people’s communication habits, how their culture and way of live shape the language. Moreover, if you’re philosophically minded type of person, you will be very surprised to see how people’s perception of the world and way of thinking changes depending on the communication language.

Reason no4: opportunity to deeper understand your native language

Researching and studying a new language most often will open an unprecedented view upon your own language; perhaps you will be able to learn much new of your own language. For example, many words are borrowings from other languages, but understanding the origin of this word and the original meaning, you can improve and expand your native language vocabulary.

Reason no5: the longer you wait, the harder it will be to start

kid promoting language learning to adultsAs we know, some tasks are becoming increasingly difficult to complete when growing older; it’s associated to the rapid brain development in the first half of the human life. If we apply this statement to language learning then it’s entirely correct. While language learning is appropriate at any given stage of life, misconception that it should be done later when you have more spare time may make the learning process significantly more extended and difficult.

These are just a few reasons to finally learn a new language, and the opportunities they provide. We recommend every reader to remember that each newly acquired language is an opportunity in life.

communication errors cover photo

Distinct communication errors you should be aware of

Famous George Bernard Shaw has once said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Find out most common communication error to master negotiation skill and get a better understanding of human nature.

Don’t let people die from boredom

Is the conversation really necessary? People now live much faster lives than ever before, mostly due to the technological advancements. They don’t have time for minor and meaningless information. First think what you want to say and why you want to do it. When you are ready, start addressing energetically and purposefully.

Don’t be shy of new technologies

If you follow the rule if it’s not broken, then don’t change, we have some really bad news for you. This will most likely make you fall behind the very fast growing and developing technology market. If your smartphone is more than three years old, 100% it does not support the newest communication applications. Only advice on this: live with the time!

Don’t send e-mails or text messages in hurry

Text messages and e-mails are practically eternal. Be careful and proof read everything you are about to send; otherwise you may have to regret it. Gmail has rolled out a new feature undo which postpones email sending for a few seconds so the user would have time to recall it, before it’s too late.

Be precise

Be in agreed place on agreed time; don’t postpone meetings without real need. Keep in mind that time is money. It explains it all.

Trash the fax machine

It’s the PDF era now. Neither you nor your partner needs additional phone line for that. Many choose to store documents in the e-mail or cloud storage rather than in printed form. You will do a small favor to the nature, in addition – locating the necessary document will be much faster and comfortable.

Don’t carry more than you can lift

First, think about what you are speaking to and what language you should use so he would understand you the best. Second, people who try to sound smarter than they actually are, most of the time don’t understand what they have answered in the end and no longer recall the question, too.

Choose an appropriate communication form

There are hundreds if not thousand different communication platforms available today. It often happens that people choose ones who can’t deliver the expected results. Email is great for long and official correspondence. Text messaging and chat rooms are great tools for short and urgent conversations. But phone call is still the best way to remotely discuss confidential or particularly sensitive information. We recommend that you learn these differences and use each of the above appropriately.

Let’s try to improve others by improving ourselves! And remember – important is not only the content of the information, but also the way it is presented.

speaker in front of an audience

Ten things that a good speaker will never say

Everyone knows how hard it is to overcome stress and capture audience’s attention with the first sentences of presentation. If you fail to do it within the first minutes, you will not be able to do it at all. To make sure you succeed, we suggest to stick to these 10 simple advice what to do or say (and what not) during your presentation.

I’m tired or sleepy

One of five presentations in any conference starts with words similar to: “Only yesterday I found out that I will need to deliver a speech on…” or “I’m really tired from the trip”, or any other excuse nobody actually wants to hear. The audience is there to see and hear the best you can deliver. If you are not feeling good and cannot give a presentation, then perhaps its better to cancel it at all. Or drink a cup of espresso and overcome the problems!

Do you hear me? Yes, we do!

A lot of people start their speeches or presentations by knocking to the microphone or shouting: “Can everybody hear me?”, followed by an awkward smile when realizing everyone hears well but simply do not react in any way.

It is not your obligation to check the equipment, there are usually people responsible for it. If not, do the check up before the audience has taken their seats. If you get a feeling that the microphone is not working properly during your speech or presentation, do not panic. Just relax, count to three and try again. If you think that the sound is still bad then quietly go off the stage and tell the event host to solve the problem. In general, the key is staying calm and positive, show others that you are in charge of what is happening.

I do not see you because the light is too bright

Yes, when you are on a stage, lights are bright and hot making harder to see the audience. But this does not mean they have to know it. Look in the dark, smile often and try to feel as if you would be at home. Conversely, if you want to see the audience in the vicinity then feel free to move around the room and enter the spectator area. Do not squint or close your eyes. Politely ask the staff to reduce the lightening if you need to see the raised hands in a Q&A session. In perfect case you should arrange all of this beforehand the presentation, not during it.

Can you read the text?

Rule of thumb is that presentation font size should be twice as much as the average age of the audience. For instance, if the average age of the conference members is 40 years, then the font of your presentation should be at least 80 pixels. If the font size is 80 pixels, you will not be able to write much text on each slide. Another benefit, as you will find out in the next point.

I will read the slide aloud

Never ever create slides with long texts that people should take the time to read. If there’s no other way, at least do not read them out loud. This is the single best way to lose the attention of your audience! What happens when the slide is more than a few words? People are starting to read it. What happens when they start to read? Immediately cease to listen to you. Use only short titles and descriptions (and of course, other visual materials like tables, graphs etc.), learn the rest of the text by heart.

Turn off your electronic devices

Days you could ask the audience to switch off their mobile devices are long gone. Today people tweet about interesting observations (which can be facts or conclusions from your presentation!!!), note key thoughts on their iPads, or just play solitaire, or check their Facebook news feed. You cannot control them, but you can deliver a presentation or speech so good and exciting that they will put the devices away themselves. Demanding the attentions is not effective approach. Earn it instead.

You do not need to take notes or pictures because the presentation will be available online

Of course, it is super handy that the presentation will be available on the Internet, but knowing that your presentation is not overfilled with text blocks, uploaded file will not be of great value without additional notes the listener should take himself. For many people writing is the easiest way to learn and remember new information. In addition, it gives freedom to the audience so that they can do whatever is best for them.

Let me answer on this question

Of course, it is a great thing you are capable of answering a question on the spot. But before doing that, you have one thing to remember. Often the speaker hears the question very well, but not the rest of the audience. So, as a presenter, you should first repeat the question and only after deliver the answer on it.

I will be brief and quick

Nobody cares about it. People who are there to listen to you have devoted their time to gain new knowledge, to be inspired or to get any other kind of benefit. You can give a time frame, but in such case you have to keep the promise.

Time is out? How can it be? I have 20 more slides to show

If you have not prepared for the presentation (meaning you need more time for it than you actually have), it is a complete failure. Cut slides or text to fit into the time allocated to you. Remember to leave approximately 5 minutes at the end of the presentation so the audience can address you questions regarding the information you have provided. If they do not have any questions, then invite them to join you at the coffee table, where you will be able to talk to some of them face to face. To sum it up, prepare for the presentation you are going to deliver. Be yourself, but in the same time a professional in your field of expertise. The audience will love you if the presentation will be direct, serious (of course, some jokes are acceptable) and useful.

phoenix dent repair

Dent Removal Phoenix translation project

Today we are going to tell you about our client Dent Removal Phoenix,llc and the project of introducing their service of paintless dent removal for repairing hail damage in a number of different locations. This project involved not only translating the technical material of the services description but also adapting it to the different culture of the different locations. Also we worked not only with the translation and adaptation of the text, but also designed the marketing materials for them. This is a highlighted example of the services that we here at RRD Translations offer.

First about our client. Dent Removal Phoenix is a business located in Phoenix, Arizona, and offers the innovative service of paintless removal of different dents, dings and hail damage. This service rids your car from all dents ranging from the smallest dents caused by hail to the largest dents caused by traffic accidents. For this service to be able to help you all that is required is that the original paint work of your car is not damaged. The originality of the factory paint will also be maintained through the repair process, and this is the first advantage of this innovative service. But a more important advantage to most of us that this service offers is the economy of time and money compared to the other well-known techniques for repairing dents. Their offered services can be both carried out in house at their repair shop located in Phoenix, Arizona or as a mobile paintless dent repair service at a location convenient to the client. The service makes use of a number of specially designed tools to first push out the dent from behind of the damaged panel, then an adhesive tool is used to pull the remaining ding out. All of the paintess dent removal process is done under a special fluorescent lightning that helps to highlight the damaged area and ensures that all of the damage is taken out and no trace is left of it.

Dent Removal Phoenix marketing material sample

Now about the project we did. Dent Removal Phoenix came to us with a project that required translating their material on repairing hail damage with paintless dent repair technique for a number of locations that they aim to expand their business in. These are areas where hail is a common occurrences, and so car owners are in need of the services offered. The project included not only working with a translation of a technical material filled with specific terms but also adapting the material so that it fits best the different culture for each location. This required us to know the local customs and life approach to be able to reach our clients target audience in a way that would ensure a transaction takes place. As their service boasts with a number of different advantages, it was our challenge to correctly highlight the top advantage for each location. In one area, people prefer the quality of the work carried out, in another the money saved by choosing this service is appreciated the most, in yet another place time saved is valued the highest. After translating and adopting Dent Removal Phoenix paintless dent repair service for hail damage offer, we also developed a number of different marketing materials for them to aid the market penetration process.

machine translations cover photo

Machine translated text. Go or no go?

Nowadays increasing number of people is ready to rely on various translation-machine solutions. This time we are not just talking about Google Translate that is not capable of flawlessly translating a longer and more complex text, but also a variety of other solutions whose ads claim to provide generally accurate output.

Literal translation

It should be understood that by translating any text with a help of any web tool or application, the software’s algorithm perceived each and every word literally and, hence, provides a literal translation. For this reason, the text becomes unsaturated with imaginative language expressions such as sayings, aphorisms and idioms, and, simply put, is too static. Any expression in English will never mean exactly the same in other languages, as well as different words may have different meanings usage of which depends on the context and logic. Translation-machines are not able to choose the most appropriate translation in any given situation.

The tenses for verbs differ

As we have already discussed in other posts of our website, languages are diverse not only in aspect of writing style, word meaning and other criteria, but also the tenses. To illustrate, there is a small Baltic country – Estonia. Its language has only four tenses – one present tense and three past tenses. Judge yourself, how would a text in English speaking of company’s future plans translated to Estonian look. Would software recognize this? You are right, it would not!

Failure to check the translation result

Obviously if someone is using a translation-machine, his abilities in the respective language are quite limited. But what should one do if he would want to check whether the result is correct? The solution for this is to show the text to someone who is familiar with the corresponding language. But perhaps it is a much wiser decision to entrust the job to a professional translator from the very beginning? We bet he fill do a better and more qualitative work and you will be able to avert potential misunderstandings and disagreements that may arise if a phrase, sentence or whole document is processed inaccurately.

All in all, translation-machines are quite handy when it’s necessary, let’s say, to translate simple texts that are necessary to communicate with familiar people like your family or friends. But, for different document or longer material translation which should be both stylistically and orthographically correct, machine offered solutions should be avoided. Professional interpreters will do the assigned work in outstanding quality with a 100% guarantee.

Good to be bad

Below is an amazing ad for Superbowl 2014 from Jaguar. One would expect this commercial to be boradcasted only in the US. It would be a logical guess because the rest of the world actually does not care about football… But the truth is.. It has been adapted to more than 50 countries speaking more than 70 different languages. One piece of art from an marketing company, but hundreds from us – translators!