What 2020 brought me

2020 was a year with a lot of challenges and changes, for everyone, both in our personal and in our professional lives. I`ve received many Happy New Year messages this year saying that hopefully 2021 will be happier than 2020. Yes, hopefully it will be.

A personal retrospective from Kristina Bitvai, Managing Director of Eurideas

2020 was a year with a lot of challenges and changes, for everyone, both in our personal and in our professional lives. I`ve received many Happy New Year messages this year saying that hopefully 2021 will be happier than 2020. Yes, hopefully it will be.

However, for me personally, 2020 was not that bad: it meant a lot of changes, which I tried to manage and see their positive sides.

Probably the biggest challenge was to switch the entire Budapest office staff (14 people) to home office. This was an especially difficult task, as I live in Germany and travelling was not allowed while we were organizing the move. Luckily, we already had a good infrastructure for remote working, since it had been possible for the colleagues to work from home from time to time even before the pandemic. With the lockdown, we have further developed the home office concept: we moved into smaller offices, allowing colleagues to work from home 40-100% of their time. This proved a great motivator for everyone, it seems, and their commitment and quality of work became even better than before. So I would say this was a change for the better.

Another positive development was that I started to spend more time in the fresh air. Since gym was out of the question, I had to find other sport options. There is scarcely any outdoor activity more enjoyable than cycling through the Rhein Valley at weekends, sometimes visiting a vineyard too (while they were still open).

Picnicking outside also became a part of my everyday life. Having lunch on a bench in downtown Frankfurt during the week became a rather popular activity for many of us.

When the weather was not so great for outdoor activities, I had time to organize our flat. This was really nice and relaxing, and I was able to finish many tasks that I had been postponing for a long time.

Even though I always tried to find a positive side to the situation, of course there were downsides, too: the travel ban, no social life and not being able to see my parents. But I cannot complain, as I spent 2 great weeks on a Greek island during the summer, and I visited several nearby cities at the weekends. However, I was only able to travel to Budapest 4 times (instead of the regular monthly trips) to see my family and colleagues, and only once to Brussels (we also have an office there). These are not big issues, I would say, considering that other people got sick, lost their jobs, or their businesses went bankrupt.

And the most important of all, I stayed healthy. Also, my parents and the people in my immediate environment stayed healthy. Most of my friends stayed healthy. All my colleagues stayed healthy. I hope it will remain this way in the future, too.

We were so lucky that our business was not affected that much (and hopefully it will remain so) and thanks to our great marketing, sales, project management, quality assurance and linguist teams, we had quite a successful year.

I wish everyone a happier, healthy and successful 2021.

Written by Kristina Bitvai, owner and Managing Director of Eurideas Language Experts

More than 1,000 decision-makers from the chemistry industry and its related industries expected

26 February 2019, 3rd European Chemistry Partnering

The European Chemistry Partnering is the leading industry Speed-Dating event for the chemistry industry and its user industries. On 26 February 2019 the ECP takes place for the third time, offering an exchange about innovation along the value chain in the chemistry industry. The classic chemical industry of basic, special and fine chemicals is represented as are the processing industry and manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods.

The focus will once again be on partnering discussions. Participants agree on these discussions in advance via Internet-based software. In addition, entrepreneurs can present their innovations in short presentations (Pitches). Workshops, an exhibition and extensive networking opportunities round off the day.

80 percent of ECP participants come from the industry. Investors and experts from service companies, management consultancies, associations and clusters complement the expert audience. The Start-up companies that take part in the ECP in large numbers and come from very different areas of chemistry with all its very different facets, as well as biotechnology and nanotechnology, engineering, digitization and software, and many more are very much in demand. This mixture clearly shows the need for interdisciplinary exchange in order to make innovation happen even faster.

Registration of participants, presentations, workshops and exhibition stands is now possible.

26 February 2019
3rd European Chemistry Partnering
Frankfurt am Main, Kap Europa
www.european-chemistry-partnering.com
www.ecp2019.com

Eurideas Language Experts is a supporter of this event.

Single-use plastic ban: Europe confirms its leadership in environment protection

The European Parliament has finally approved the ban against single-use plastic. The new regulation will impact certain products such as cutlery, cotton sticks, plates, straws, beverage mixers and balloons sticks , which make up 70% of marine waste. Now, as soon as EU ministers have established their common position, the Parliament will start negotiations with the Council on the matter.

Fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene and oxy-degradable plastic articles (such as bags or packaging) were also added to the list of prohibited plastics. Strasbourg also declares war on cigarette butts containing plastic, whose quantity in waste must be reduced by 50% by 2025 and by 80% by 2030. Tobacco producers will have to bear the costs of treatment and collection, including transport.

The single-use plastic ban has been welcomed by the majority of the population across Europe but (of course) not by all the stakeholders. This new regulation, in fact, is going to affect several producers that will have to adapt to it finding new solutions for their business. Although it is definitely too early to evaluate the ban, the definition of single-use is going to be one the most important points, since it may be easily manipulable to elude the rules. For sure, the EU Parliament has sent a very strong message to the rest of the world, reaffirming the European leadership in the environmental protection.

Written by Jesse Colzani

What is translation?

Translating does not consist only in pouring a content from one language to another one. It also means transmitting the effect that a content should produce in the reader and moreover in different worlds and cultures; here is where its great problem is hidden.

Languages are the vehicles of expression of real worlds, very different from each other and, for this reason, the search for equivalent terms between one language and another is particularly complex; some obstacles become more insurmountable when the two cultures are far from each other. In some cases the distance is such that the translator is obliged to intervene, with greater or lesser success, to obtain with his readers the same effect, or at least an equivalent effect, of that intended by the author.

In this sense, the translator is essentially a mediator between interlocutors who cannot establish direct contact between each other because of the barrier imposed by the language and he acts as a channel of communication between those who produced the original text and their readers in the target language, as a way that facilitates and encourages cultural transfer.

Written by Jesse Colzani

The new “fifth freedom” for non-personal data in Europe

EU Parliament approves “fifth freedom” and enables free flow of non-personal data in Europe.

Huge gains in efficiency for companies and public authorities are expected to result from the regulation.

The free movement of non-personal data in the EU has been approved on October 4th in Strasbourg, in order to develop the European digital economy and allow companies to compete more globally. The new rules were approved with 520 votes in favor, 81 against and six abstentions. Thanks to the new rules, that have to be adopted by the Council on 6 November, non-personal data – such as commercial, agricultural to monitor the use of pesticides or the ones for maintenance of industrial machineries – can be stored and used anywhere in the EU without unjustified restrictions.

“This regulation de facto establishes data as the fifth freedom on the EU Single Market”, said the Swedish EPP Member of the European Parliament Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, who led the negotiations with the Council on the regulation. “The new rules”, she added, “represent a turning point” with potential “huge gains in efficiency for companies and public authorities”. The only exception is now for the requirements of the geolocation of data in the field of public security. The competent authorities will also have access to data processed in another Member State for security reasons.

Written by Jesse Colzani

Speaking more than one language can boost economic growth

Multilingualism is good for the economy, researchers have found. Countries that actively nurture different languages reap a range of rewards, from more successful exports to a more innovative workforce.

“Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses,” says Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, a research fellow in Language Studies at the University of Bristol, citing data that links economic growth to linguistic diversity.

Switzerland, for example, attributes 10% of its GDP to its multilingual heritage. The country has four national languages: German, French, Italian and an ancient Latin-based language called Romansh.

Britain, on the other hand, is estimated to lose out on the equivalent of 3.5% of its GDP every year, because of its population’s relatively poor language skills.

This may be partly because languages can help build trade relations. A study of small and medium-size companies in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and France found that those which invested more in languages were able to export more goods. German companies that invested heavily in multilingual staff added 10 export countries to their market. Companies that invested less said they missed out on contracts.

Researchers have also long highlighted the individual benefits of speaking more than one language. For those who find languages difficult, the good news is that you do not have to be fluent to feel a positive impact.

Several studies show that languages boost earning power. In Florida, workers who speak both Spanish and English earn $7,000 per year more than those who only speak English. According to a Canadian study, bilingual men earn 3.6% and bilingual women earn 6.6% more than their English-only peers. The twist: this was true even if they didn’t use their second language for work.

“It seems you don’t have to actually speak a second language on the job to reap the financial rewards of being bilingual,” says economics professor Louis Christofides, one of the authors of the study. The authors speculated that this was because knowing a second language was seen a sign of cognitive power, perseverance and a good education.

Beyond these immediate economic rewards, languages can help a country’s workforce in more subtle, long-term ways. Multilingualism has for example been shown to be good for brain health, delaying the onset of dementia. It has also been associated with a better ability to concentrate and process information. The effects are strongest in people who were multilingual from a young age, but acquiring languages later still made a difference.

“Even a one-week intensive language course improved attention and this effect remained stable nine months later in those who practised five hours a week or more,” say Thomas Bak, reader in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Dina Mehmedbegovic, lecturer in Education at UCL, in a paper on the value of linguistic diversity.

So how can countries boost their linguistic capital? Bak and Mehmedbegovic use the term “healthy linguistic diet” to describe a positive approach to languages across a lifespan.

“As well as using every opportunity to say: ‘It’s good for you to eat fruit and vegetables every day’, schools should also say: ‘It’s good for you to speak, read and write in different languages’,” they suggest.

This is especially important since many countries already possess a vast, untapped linguistic resource in the form of migrant families. But while many monolingual parents push their children to take language classes, migrant parents may feel discouraged from passing on their own language for fear of discrimination, or because they think multilingualism is harmful. The result? “The size and richness of language at home is compromised,” says Viorica Marian, Professor of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University.

Given that linguistic diversity has such a powerful economic impact, it’s alarming that many languages face a serious risk of extinction. The most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in mountainous areas. The main drivers for their decline, according to the researchers’ data, are globalization and high economic growth.

Source: www.weforum.org

Translation of SPCs (Summaries of Product Characteristics)

As there is more and more demand from our partners in the chemical industry to help them with the translation of SPCs in the European Commission`s SPC Editor, we thought it would be useful to share our experience with our partners and provide them some guidelines in order to maximize the efficiency of these kinds of translations.

What is the preferred file format?

In case our partner would like to translate an SPC prepared in the SPC Editor, it can be exported from the platform in an .xml file. We can perfectly use this file format for the translation. What is more, the translatable part does not include the headings, so these do not need to be taken out manually.
The translated versions will be also in .xml format, so our partners only need to upload them in the SPC Editor.

File formats that are not so user friendly:

There are some file formats that might be better to avoid if the .xml format is available. These are pdf, word or excel. Although we can perfectly use these for translation, based on our experience, our partners need to spend quite a substantial time with creating these documents, and highlighting the non-translatable parts. As such, we also need to spend time to exclude the non-translatable parts (headings) when we prepare the file for translation.

Discounts on translating SPCs:

We are building translation memories for our partners, so in case they have several SPCs to be translated into the same languages, we can give discounts.

Languages:

We are able to translate SPCs in all requested languages, including Norwegian and Icelandic. Our translators are always native speakers of the target language, and they have chemical background. Usually we work with the same translators to translate the SPCs, so they have a great experience in this field.

Our expertise:

Our quality team is fully aware of how the SPC Editor works, so before delivering a translation, they check whether the translated file is in order.
In the past 3 years, we have translated more than 5 million words for the chemical industry – documents such as MSDSs, ESs, SPCs, labels, studies, sworn translations and others.

We are proud to have partners such CEFIC, Rio Tinto, Arkema, Everris, Glencore, Wintershall, Colorobbia, HELM, ESIG, UEIL, Tokyo Chemical Industry (TCI), JCDB (Japan Chemical Database Ltd.), Nissan Chemicals and many more…

9 of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn

For English speakers, it is especially difficult to learn languages like Japanese, Arabic, and Hungarian.

Learning a new language can be a rewarding experience, but as with any new skill it takes a lot of practice and hard work.

Naturally, some languages will take longer than others to learn. The Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State classifies the world’s most popular languages into five categories based on how long it takes for a typical English speaker to achieve proficiency.

We compiled a list of nine of the toughest major languages to learn, according to the Foreign Service Institute standards. If you’re going to tackle one of these, be prepared to invest at least 1,000 study hours and, in some cases, as many as 2,200 to become proficient.

These are nine of the hardest languages in the world to learn for English speakers:

Japanese

Native speakers: 128 million

Where it’s spoken: Japan

Why it’s hard: Japanese is difficult for English speakers because, among other reasons, it has more than one set of written characters, and readers need to memorize thousands of characters to achieve fluency.

Japanese is also a highly contextual language that requires different forms depending on the formality of the social situation. Even a pronoun like “you” could have more than 10 different translations depending on the person you’re talking to.

Arabic

Native speakers: 315 million

Where it’s spoken: Throughout the Middle East and northern and northeast Africa

Why it’s hard: Reading Arabic can be immensely difficult for English speakers: It’s written in a different alphabet, usually omits vowels, and has very few words in common with English.

Mandarin

Native speakers: 909 million

Where it’s spoken: Northern and southwestern China

Why it’s hard: Mandarin is a tonal language, meaning the intonation you put on a word can change its meaning. For example, the syllable “ba” could mean either “eight,” “pull out,” “hold,” or “dad” depending on which tone you use.

Mandarin also has a complex writing system with thousands of characters. For the world’s most spoken language, there’s a high barrier to entry to achieve competency.

Cantonese

Native speakers: 59 million

Where it’s spoken: South China, Hong Kong, Macau

Why it’s hard: Like Mandarin, Cantonese is also a tonal language. Except in Cantonese, there are eight different tones you can use to pronounce a word — double the amount in Mandarin.

Korean

Native speakers: 77 million

Where it’s spoken: South Korea, North Korea

Why it’s hard: One aspect of Korean that is difficult for English speakers is the pronunciation — double consonants are pronounced differently than single consonants, for example. On top of that, Korean has a complex grammar system that requires formal or informal markers, and a different word order that places verbs at the end of the sentence.

Hungarian

Native speakers: 13 million

Where it’s spoken: Hungary

Why it’s hard: Hungarian grammar is built around the case system — there are 18 noun cases that dictate how to certain words are combined and inflected. On top of that, the language has several vowels (á, é, í, ó, ö, ő, ú, ü, ű) and consonants (cs, gy, ly, ny, ty, sz, zs) that canprove tricky for English speakers to articulate.

Vietnamese

Native speakers: 68 million

Where it’s spoken: Vietnam

Why it’s hard: Vietnamese is a tonal language with six different tones that dictate the meaning of a word. The high number of vowel sounds also prove difficult for English speakers to nail down.

As for the grammar, Vietnamese has more pronouns than English and uses a system of “classifiers” — special words that modify nouns in certain contexts — that English speakers would not have exposure to. As the saying goes, “The hardships of struggling with a violent storm don’t compare to the hardships of mastering Vietnamese grammar.”

Xhosa

Native speakers: 8 million

Where it’s spoken: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho

Why it’s hard: Xhosa is one of many African languages that uses click consonants. It has 18 clicks that get articulated in three different places: the back of the teeth, the roof of the mouth, and the side of the mouth.

Additionally, Xhosa is a tonal language with two tones, high and low. Speakers must indicate one of 15 noun cases that must agree with the noun’s gender. And Xhosa is what linguists call an “agglutinative” language — it has tons of prefixes and suffixes that get attached to words in certain contexts.

Icelandic

Native speakers: 350,000

Where it’s spoken: Iceland

Why it’s hard: Like other languages on this list, Icelandic has a case system that assigns different word endings to express the grammatical role of a word. For example, according to Quora user Atli Geir Lárusson, “here is a horse,” “about a horse,” “from a horse,” and “to a horse” are translated as “hér er hestur,” “um hest,” “frá hesti,” and “til hests,” respectively.

Source: Business Insider

Photo credits:
Japanese: Getty Images
Arabic: By anirvan on Flickr
Mandarin: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
Cantonese: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Korean: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Hungarian: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Vietnamese: Thomson Reuters
Xhosa: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Icelandic: Clive Rose/Getty Images

English as a second language: who in Europe speaks it the best?

English as a second language is becoming more and more competitive. Due to the weight the language carries in the modern, professional world, speaking English is fast becoming less of a benefit and more of an essential, or even basic, requirement when looking for a job in Europe.

Approximately 2 billion people study English worldwide and some countries find it easier than others to pick it up. Throughout the emerging generations of many nationalities, proficiency is almost ubiquitous as people are becoming more and more serious about language learning.

Based on the percentage of English proficiency in the adult population, here’s the list!

10)  Belgium

The Belgian people have increased their overall English level since the 2015 figures and their hard work has bumped them up into the top 10 countries who speak English as a second language best! Welcome to the list Belgium.

9)  Poland 

With more and more Poles moving and working abroad their need to learn English has increased too. However, Polish as a language is on the rise in the UK, as Brits fall in love with Polish expats and look to learn their language.

8)  Germany 

The Germans, with their industrial efficiency, have always had a firm grip of the English language. The modern language of the business world is English and, as German businesses are dominating the European market, the pressure on professionals to speak English to a proficient level is higher than ever.

7)  Austria 

Just beating its geographical and linguistic neighbours to the number 7 spot, is Austria. Sharing its borders with a whopping eight countries, it’s little wonder that the people of Austria have an aptitude for languages.

6)  Luxembourg 

For the very same reasons as Austria, it is hardly a shock to see this tiny landlocked country so high on the list. With heavy influences from both East and West, the country has three official languagesFrenchGerman and Luxembourgish – and on top of that, well over half of the adult population having a proficient level of English!

5)  Finland  

We start to head more to the north of Europe as we near the top of the list. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70% of its adult population speak high-level English.

4)  Norway

Norway is far from a surprise entry in at number four. The Norse languages also have had a huge influence on the English language after the occupation of the Vikings over a thousand years ago.

3)  Sweden     

Sweden has been knocked off the top spot and slip into third place since the 2015 stats. However, their reputation for about as near-native English as you can get, remains strong and I´m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance.

2)  Denmark 

As approach the grand finale, the countries are becoming less and less surprising. Denmark, yet another Scandinavian country, comes in a number two. The language of the Danes is also growing in demand in Europe, but who could possibly have beaten them to the top spot in terms of English proficiency?!

1)  Netherlands   

Congratulations to the Dutch, not only on their ability to invent hilarious surnames, but also on their ability to speak the English language. Their linguistically gifted population has knocked the Swedes off the number one position…for now.

It is unsurprising to see the top four dominated by Nordic countries – and the Netherlands. They have an increasing knack for topping lists, having very high living standardspopulation satisfaction as well as cost of livingGermany may have been Europe`s most popular country but they are maybe lower than you would have expected considering their mechanical proficiency in most things.

Also – and I believe this to be key – in the Nordic countries they do not dub the television into their own languages. Whereas, in FranceSpain and even Germany, they translate the television into the country language, despite the majority of TV shows being American or English.

There is also a noticeable lack of southern European countries, with Austria being the southernmost point of the list.  But, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dutch reign supreme over the non-native English speaking world. In fact, I regularly meet Dutch and Scandinavian people and assume that they, like me, are English; that’s how flawless their accents are.

This article was originally shared on EuropeLanguageJobs.com

Do foreign jokes work in English?

What makes Generation Y laugh in Germany, Japan or Brazil? Here is a selection of jokes submitted by Guardian readers across the globe

Watch the video:

German (from Hans Mund, 30)
Treffen sich zwei Planeten, sagt der eine zum anderen: “Na wie geht’s?”
Sagt der andere: “Nicht so gut, ich hab Homo Sapiens.”
Darauf antwortet der erste: “Ja das kenn ich, mach dir nichts draus, das geht vorbei.”

Two planets meet. The first asks: “So, how are you?”
The second answers: “Well, I’m sick, I’ve got Homo Sapiens.”
The first replies: “Oh, I know that one. No worries, it’ll pass.”

Japanese (from NJ Hussain, 27)
パンダの餌は何 ? パンだ! / Panda no esa wa nani? Pan da!

What do pandas eat?
Bread!

Brazilian Portuguese (from Giulia Costa, 23)
Conhece a piada do não nem eu?
Não.
Nem eu.

Do you know the joke of “no me neither”?
No.
Me neither.

Norwegian (from Ole Goethe, 36)
Det var to hvaler som satt på en bar. Og så sa den ene: “Mmmwaamm!”
Den andre hvalen ser på den og bare sier: “Fy faen, du er drita full.”

Two whales are sitting at a bar. One of them suddenly says: “Mmmwaamm!”
The second whale looks over and and says: “Holy shit, you’re fucking drunk.”

Danish (by comedian Sofie Hagen, 25)
I England har jeg lært et nyt udtryk: Dellejæger. Som tyk person synes jeg, at det er mega-underligt. Prø’li’hør, der er aldrig som sådan behov for en jagt. Jeg løber ikke.

Here in England, I learned a new word: chubbychaser. As a fat person, I find that hilarious. Look, there’s never a need for a chase. I don’t run.

Swedish (by comedian Evelyn Mok, 26)
Jag har fått en stalker. Han är överallt, hela tiden. Och hans “grej” är att han skickar andra människor för att förklara sin kärlek för mig. Så jag kan gå en promenad och helt plötsligt så dyker det upp en kvinna som skriker: “JESUS ÄLSKAR DIG.”

I’ve recently got a stalker. He’s everywhere all the time. And his thing is that he sends other people to profess his love for me. So I can be walking down the street and all of a sudden a lady will appear screaming: “JESUS LOVES YOU.”

Finnish (from Antton R, 32)
Minkä liikennemerkin kohdalla Suomessa saa tehdä moottoritiellä U-käännöksen?
Lähestytte Venäjän rajaa.

Which traffic sign allows you to make a U-turn on a highway in Finland?
You are approaching the Russian border.

Hungarian (from Andras Szirko, 30)
Ki az: korán reggel kel, fehér köpenye van, kenyeret süt, de nem pék?
De, pék.

What do you call a man who wakes up early in the morning, wears a white apron, bakes bread, but is not a baker?
No, it is a baker!

Dutch (by comedian Rayen Panday, 30)
Ik woon nog thuis, mijn voorouders komen uit India, die zijn gehaald naar suriname en mijn ouders zijn verhuisd van Suriname naar Amsterdam. Daar ben ik geboren en ik heb niet echt een binding met Suriname of India, maar ik moet je zeggen. Ik vind het wel een beetje raar thuis met die twee buitenlanders.

I still live at home. My great-grandparents are from India, they moved to Surinam, and my parents moved from Surinam to Amsterdam. And I’m born and raised in Amsterdam, but I don’t really have a connection with Surinam and India, I feel Dutch. But I gotta say, it’s a little strange living at home with those two immigrants.

Spanish (from Fernando Acuña, 33)
Un hombre entra en una bodega y dice:
Me daría usted 15 litros de vino?
¿Trae el recipiente?
Está usted hablando con él.

A man enters a store and says: “15 litres of wine please.”
“Did you bring a container for this? ”
“You’re speaking to it.”

Mexican Spanish (from Erica Buist, 29)
Qué le dijo una uva verde a una uva morada?
Respira por Dios!

What did the green grape say to the purple grape?
Oh my God, breathe!

Estonian (by comedian Janika Maidle, 22)
Ma olen vallaline ja see on valik.
Nende valik, kes pole nõus minuga välja tulema.

I am single by choice.
A choice made by those reluctant to date me.

Russian (from Olga N, 30)

Пришел турист в тур-агенство.

Хочу туда не знаю куда.
Кипр, ол-инклюзив, самолетом!
Не безопасно. Самолеты падают.
Солнечная Греция. Пароходом!
Не безопасно. Пароходы тонут.
Автобусный в Европу! Специально и только для вас!
Да ну что вы! А какие аварии бывают на дорогах!
Тогда вот! Пешеходная экскурсия с ceкcуальным уклоном!
О, это мне подходит!
Идите на х%й!

A man walks into a travel agents.
Man: “I would like to go somewhere really special.”
Travel agent: “We have just the thing: an all-inclusive holiday in Cyprus, flying from Moscow.”
Man: “Nah, there have been so many plane crashes, I really wouldn’t feel safe.”
Travel agent: “OK, I can offer you a cruise around the Greek islands then?”
Man: “But there have been so many cruise-liner incidents …”
Travel agent: “In that case, I can offer you a coach tour of Europe?”
Man: “But the road accidents – they are worst of all!”
Travel agent: “Oh, I think I have just the ticket – a walking tour, but I must warn you: it has sexual overtones.”
Man: “That sounds perfect!”
Travel agent: “Go fuck yourself.”

Bosnian (from Sladjana Perkovic, 31)
Bosanac uhvati zlatnu ribicu i ona kaže pusti me ispuniću ti želju a bosanac kaže kakva želja nosim te zlataru zlato je zlato.

A Bosnian catches a goldfish. The goldfish says: “Let me go and I will grant you one wish.”
The Bosnian says: “No way, I’ll take you to the pawn shop – gold is gold.”

French (from Amandine Agic, 28)
C’est deux oeufs dans un frigo.
Un dit à l’autre: “Mais dis donc, t’es drôlement poilu pour un oeuf.”
L’autre répond: “Mais je suis un kiwi.”

There are two eggs in a fridge.
One says to the other: “Hey, you’re quite hairy for an egg.”
The other replies: “But I am a kiwi.”

Greek (from Elina M, 31)
Τρεις άντρες έχουν καταδικαστεί σε θάνατο σε μια μακρινή χώρα: ΄Ένας Άγγλος, ένας Γάλλος και ένας Κύπριος. Την ημέρα της εκτέλεσής τους, τους ζήτησαν να πουν την τελευταία τους ευχή. Ο Άγγλος ζήτησε ένα πούρο, ο Γάλλος ένα ποτήρι κρασί και ο Κύπριος ζήτησε μία τελευταία ευκαιρία να μιλήσει στους εκτελεστές για το Κυπριακό. Ακούγοντας αυτό, ο Άγγλος και ο Γάλλος ζήτησαν να αλλάξουν την τελευταία τους ευχή και ικέτευσαν να εκτελεστούν πριν ο Κύπριος αρχίσει να μιλάει.

Three men are sentenced to death in a faraway country: an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Cypriot. On execution day they are asked to name their last wish. The Englishman asks for a cigar. The Frenchman a glass of wine. The Cypriot asks to be granted a last opportunity to talk to the execution squad about the Cyprus problem. On hearing this, the Frenchman and Englishman change their last wishes and beg to be shot before the Cypriot starts talking.

Dutch (anon, 25)
Twee Belgische boeven besluiten om in de nacht een overal te gaan plegen op een bank. Ze hebben de overval goed voorbereid en besproken zodat ze op de bewuste nacht zonder enige problemen de bank binnen kunnen komen. Die nacht gaan ze inbreken en zonder dat ook maar één van de alarmsystemen afgaat komen ze in de kamer met alle kluizen. De eerste Belg krijgt één van de kluizen open, maar schrikt zich rot wanneer hij erachter komt dat er alleen één potje yoghurt staat. De twee Belgische boeven beginnen alle kluizen open te breken en één voor één vinden ze elke keer weer een potje yoghurt. De ene Belg zegt: “We zijn voor de gek gehouden! Laten we alle yoghurt opeten om hen terug te pakken” en direct beginnen de twee Belgen alle yoghurt op te eten. Wanneer alle yoghurt op is vertrekken de twee Belgen met een volle buik. De volgende dag staat er op de voorpagina van de krant: “Onbegrijpelijke inbraak in de spermabank.”

Two bandits decide to rob a bank at night. They have planned it carefully so that they will have no trouble entering. On the night of the robbery, not a single alarm goes off. When they enter the bank they come across a room filled with vaults. One of the bandits manages to open one of the vaults, only to discover there is nothing inside except a small bowl of yoghurt. The two bandits open up all the vaults, one by one, and each vault only contains a small bowl of yoghurt. “We have been cheated! Let’s eat all the yoghurt to get back at them!” The two bandits eat all the yoghurt and leave with their bellies full. The next day all the papers have the same headline: “Unexplained robbery at spermbank.”

Macedonian (from Mila Damyanoska, 22)
Само 20 проценти од Македонците живеат во стрес и револт. Другите 80 проценти живеат во Австралија, Америка, Канада, Германија, Шведска, Велика Британија …

Only 20% of Macedonians live in stress and revolt. The other 80% live in Australia, the US, Canada, Germany, Sweden, the UK …

Hebrew (from Rachel Goldberg, 26)
יהודיה פולניה קמה באמצע טיסה לארה”ב וצועקת: “יש כאן רופא??”. בחור נחמד ורציני ניגש אליה מהר ואומר לה: “כן מה הבעיה?”. היא עונה לו: “אתה רוצה אולי להכיר את הבת שלי?”.

A Polish Jewish woman gets up mid-flight to the US and shouts: “Is there a doctor here?” A nice, serious guy approaches her quickly and tells her: “I am. What is the problem?” She replies: “Do you want to meet my daughter?”

Source: www.theguardian.com

Doing business in Korea

South Korea skyline of Seoul

Recently I attended a workshop in Frankfurt organized by AHK Korea (the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry). It was led by Mr. Hoje Woo, the Deputy Secretary General of AHK Korea.

Since Eurideas has some partners in Korea, and we also have several partners who do business in Korea and they need translations from and into Korean, it was quite interesting to learn how this market works and what are the expectations of Korean customers.

The main topic, of course, was the trade relationship between Germany and South Korea. Not surprisingly, Korea’s biggest export is electronics (34%), the second is chemicals (12%), and the third is machinery (9%), while their biggest import from Germany is cars (31%). Korean customers tend to like everything that is ‘Made in Germany’, especially Mercedes, Audis, BMWs, Volkswagens. German brands/products are a status symbol in Korea. Therefore, there is a huge potential for German companies in Korea.

During the second part of the workshop, Mr. Woo explained the differences between the German and Korean business cultures. For me, this part was very interesting, especially as I learned that Korea is the Italy of Asia. So this means that Koreans are quite emotional, personal relationships are very important for them, they take risks, and they want everything immediately.

As in most Asian business cultures, hierarchy is very important. Therefore, a decision by a Korean business partner may take longer. Personal trust and personal relationships play a significant role in the business culture, these are more important than any written agreements.

And finally, here are two pieces of advice from Mr. Woo in order to gain and keep Korean customers:
1. Be fast. Koreans like fast reactions, an immediate response, short delivery deadlines.
2. Offer a great and free customer service. This means that the price of customer service should be calculated in the price of your product, as Koreans do not like to pay extra for an additional service.

By Kristina Bitvai, Managing Director of Eurideas Language Experts

How relay interpreting works in practice

Interpretation at the European Parliament

From September to November and from February to May it’s conference season in Brussels, which means that the need for interpreting services increases significantly.

In November 2017, we provided interpreting services for several meetings of MEPs in the European Parliament, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Greek Energy Forum, and Medtech Europe. We also organised Spanish interpreting services for the COP 23 climate change summit in Bonn.

Recently we organised interpreting services in the German, French and Italian languages for an agricultural meeting of MEPs in the European Parliament, and I was lucky enough to attend the event. As interpreters usually work in pairs, six interpreters went to the meeting to carry out language mediation. In such cases, our company is happy to provide an on-site coordinator from the project management team, who is responsible for acting as a first point of contact for the client and for the interpreters.

Nowadays, so-called relay interpreting is used at multilingual conferences. This means that the first interpreter listens to the speaker and interprets the message into a target language that is common to the other interpreters. This is called the pivot language, which is – most of the time – English. The second interpreter listens to the English interpreting and interprets it into a third language for those members of the meeting who speak neither the first nor the second languages.

Let’s see how it works in practice: at this meeting there were English, German, Italian and French speakers in the audience. The first speaker started his presentation in Italian, therefore the Italian booth interpreted his message into English. The interpreters in the French and German booths listened to the English interpreting and interpreted the message into their mother tongues, namely French and German. This is how we were able to provide simultaneous Italian-French and Italian-German interpreting without having interpreters in these language combinations.

Relay interpreting is extremely demanding as interpreters have to depend on the English relay for the whole meeting. Basically, the original message is translated twice before reaching the audience. This is why it is really essential to work with highly professional interpreters and proper technical equipment. Eurideas always works with highly skilled interpreters; most of them are accredited to the European institutions and have at least five years of experience.

By Dóra Rapcsák, Eurideas project management team


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Eurideas` expansion in Germany: our new office in Frankfurt

Eurideas` new location: Germany Frankfurt am Main

We are happy and proud to announce, that after Brussels and Budapest, we have recently opened the 3rd Eurideas Language Experts office in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

This new office is a part of our business strategy of expanding more in the German market and getting closer to our customers. Today, about 25% of our business partners are located in Germany, most of them are from the legal, chemical, technical and medical sectors.

Our presence in Frankfurt is a strategic step in order to be able to meet more customers personally, understand their translation needs and thus, being able to develop and offer more tailormade services.

Eurideas is not a simple translation agency, but we offer multilingual solutions for any language related problems our customers need to face. We learn and grow together with our partners, following the market trends. Our professional project managers and linguistic experts are ready to find the best, fastest and most cost efficient solutions for any need, while involving the highest technologies available today in the translation sector. Germany is a country of innovation and leading market trends; therefore our place is here, too.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help, we are happy to assist you.

The importance of terminology: why is it crucial to involve the client in terminology work?

Saving time and money, ensuring a high-quality product and customer satisfaction – these are just a few of the advantages for the client if they participate in terminology work.

The expressions and words that one comes across during translation can be divided into three groups: those which can be considered general vocabulary, i.e. general language; those which use technical terminology, i.e. specialised language for a particular subject field; and those which belong to so-called “intercompany terminology”, i.e. the language a particular company uses and understands. It is of the utmost importance for the various branches of an enterprise, for example marketing, finance, human resources, production, legal department, etc., that their members can communicate with each other easily and without misunderstandings in order for the company to operate successfully. This goal is only attainable if the terminology – the words and expressions used within a company – is coherent and understandable for everyone, both for the employees within the company and for customers.

Coherence, improved clarity and clear communication are the main goals of terminology work, including issues like the usage of British or US English, avoiding synonyms for one term, and taking any additional information into account. It means that, depending on various aspects (subject, definition, image or context), a term can be translated differently or example, when translating into in German “item” can be interpreted as “Artikel” in the field of manufacturing, “Element” for user interface contexts, or even “Teil” in discrete manufacturing. Unmanaged terminology can have serious consequences, ranging from delays, misunderstandings, unhappy customers, more customer support calls and even to frustration, content multiplication and even legal issues.

The involvement of the client into terminology work – which should be separated from the translation itself – is indispensable. Background documents, feedback, time, money and effort are needed to provide a quality service. However, terminology management can reduce costs, and shorten the time spent not only on communication within the different sectors, but also the time spent on translation and quality assurance, because the translator does not have to spend hours searching for technical terms (sometimes ending up finding a term which is not appropriate for a particular company). The cost of translation will also be reduced, since we can use the existing terminology for subsequent jobs as well.

By Zsuzsanna Javori, Quality Assurance Team at Eurideas

2 languages, 20 documents, 70,000 words – one extraordinary project

Recently, one of our valued clients contacted us with an unusual request: translating a large batch of documents examining Ukrainian-Russian relationships, military transactions, missile purchases, the personal backgrounds of businessmen, and so on. The files for translation couldn’t have been more diverse – these included transcripts of interviews, contracts, and letters, but also screenshots from Facebook and handwritten notes. On top of that, they were written partly in Ukrainian and partly in Russian, sometimes switching back and forth between the two languages.

In the case of large projects like that, it is crucial to assemble the right team of linguists. As always, we were looking for native speakers of the target language (which in this case was English) who are experienced in law and social affairs. This has proved to be a difficult task, since it’s not easy to select linguists in the Russian-English and Ukrainian-English language combinations.

However, after the team was ready, the project ran quite smoothly. The linguists were not only great professionals in the field but also kind and flexible, which made cooperation more of a pleasure than a burden. The translations were continually delivered to the client for almost a month, making this project the longest-lasting of all Euridea’s jobs in the summer of 2017.

The project was challenging, not only for the translators but also for me (the project manager), and for the QA team. Handling all the documents, making sure that all of them were translated perfectly and on time, required a lot of concentration – not to mention that every single step had to be administered correctly. As a new colleague at Eurideas, this was my first big translation project, and while it was very difficult to manage, I have now gained great experience.

Given the confidential nature of the documents, these translations are intended for internal use and will probably not be published on any platform; however, we hope that we could contribute to the success of our client and maintain this long-lasting and fruitful relationship.

By Kata Vas, Eurideas project management team