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Our outreach publication provides up-to-date information and resources about the translating and interpreting industry.

Legal Risks in Translations: Hanging On Every (Foreign) Word

By ATA Compass | October 5, 2016

Janel and her business partner Kevin go all in on their wearable-tech startup. They even get foreign patents translated into English to make sure there are no conflicts with their idea. Three years later, when their products are finally hitting the shelves, they receive a cease and desist letter. One of the Japanese patents that…

The High Cost of Cheap Translation

By ATA Compass | August 3, 2016

Why You Shouldn’t Skimp When Leaping the Language Barrier You pay for the best product development and manufacturing. Your legal and administrative people are top-notch. You choose your advertising and marketing partners with utmost care. And then you pick the lowest bidder for your translations. There’s a good chance you’ve just made a costly mistake.…

5 Tips for Taking Your Business Global

By ATA Compass | July 19, 2016

The Coca-Cola Company is the leading beverage maker in China’s $69 billion soft drink market, but the story might have been quite different if it weren’t for some smart and localized brand management at the very beginning of its foray into the country. Protecting the company’s valuable trademark was a high priority when Coca-Cola began…

Don’t Get Lost in Translation. Get It Right!

By ATA Compass | June 14, 2016

We’ve all seen them: eyebrow-raising “translations” that leave you either shaking your head or slapping your knee. Just ask Google and you’ll find countless examples, such as a no smoking sign in Israel that says “violators will be peralized” (yes, it’s even misspelled) or a bilingual road sign in Wales telling Welsh-speaking truck drivers: “I…

Automation Doesn’t Solve Everything

By ATA Compass | June 6, 2016

Six Things You Should Know About Machine Translation Taco Bell’s return to Japan in 2015 was widely anticipated, but the company’s launch of its Japanese-language website spawned a media frenzy—but not because of the food. With machine-translated menu items that turned “Cheesy Fries” into “Low Quality Fleece” and “Crunchwrap Supreme – Beef” into “Supreme Court…

Certified Translation vs. Certified Translator

By ATA Compass | May 25, 2016

What is a Certified Translation? In the United States a certified translation consists of the following three parts: The source-language (original) text The target-language (translated) text A statement signed by the translator or translation company representative, with his or her signature notarized by a Notary Public, attesting that the translator or translation company representative believes…

Hello, World! Quality Website Translation is Your Entry Pass to a Global Market

By ATA Compass | May 1, 2016

What stands between your business and world domination? Language, for one. Whatever your native language is, most of the world doesn’t understand it. So if you want to reach most of the world, you’re going to need a good translator who can make your corporate message resonate in foreign ears. A website is the number-one…

Transcreation: translating and recreating

By ATA Compass | April 20, 2016

Sometimes translating a text isn’t enough: you need more than just a copy of the original text in another language, you need a text that is specifically aimed at your target audience and takes into account their different cultural background. This is when you need to have your text “transcreated” (or “adapted”) rather than simply…

Five ways to increase translation quality while keeping costs under control

By ATA Compass | April 1, 2016

Many translation clients wonder how to obtain a high-quality translation within the constraints of a project’s budget. While it’s important to acknowledge that in any industry, quality work is never cheap, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your translation budget: Focus on the value that an excellent translation will…

Ten steps to make your technical translation projects a success

By ATA Compass | March 1, 2016

This article describes ten effective steps technical writers, publishers, or communications managers can take to ensure that translation projects go smoothly and to everyone’ s satisfaction. Steps to take before the actual translation 1. Plan ahead Investing a few hours of your time in the preparation of the translation project will pay off greatly. Resist…

What do Translation Buyers and Fourth Graders Have in Common?

By ATA Compass | February 20, 2016

Most translators and interpreters care deeply about the future of their professions and welcome the opportunity to talk to students of any age about their jobs. This was why I recently leapt at the chance to visit my daughter’s 4th grade class to talk about translation and interpretation. I hope the class came away from…

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

By ATA Compass | February 5, 2016

The American Translators Association represents both translators and interpreters; in fact, our tagline is “The voice of interpreters and translators.” Translators and interpreters work with languages, but in very different ways: the key difference is that translators work with written words and interpreters work with spoken words.  Let’s look at some other important differences between…

Looking for a professional to handle your translation or interpreting job?

By ATA Compass | January 20, 2016

The ATA’s online directory features the profiles of thousands of translators and interpreters. Each listing provides the individual’s language, geographic location, specialties, experience, and contact information. First, a few helpful hints: Translators usually work in one language direction (say English into Italian), normally translate into their native language only, and can be located anywhere around…

How to choose a translation vendor: 9 tips to a successful experience

By ATA Compass | January 5, 2016

The thought of purchasing a new product or service can seem overwhelming at times. If one doesn’t know much about languages, there can be a sense of uncertainty at first about what dialect of a language is needed or how much is a good price for a translation project, but if you follow the steps…

Creative translation solutions: Making the most of your translation budget

By ATA Compass | December 20, 2015

A US-based precious metals investment company was considering investing in a mine in West Africa. However, they were concerned that the mine’s environmental standards might not be acceptable to their largely American investors. The mine’s environmental documentation was easy enough to obtain, but filled hundreds of pages of text—in French. The investment company did not…

Translation as a Tool for Understanding

By ATA Compass | December 2, 2015

Legal firm saves on discovery costs by partnering with translation company We’ve all seen the images on the evening news: federal agents hauling computers and file boxes into the back of a big, white van, to be potentially used as evidence in a lawsuit. Anyone who has worked in a legal firm knows that there…

Healthcare Interpreters: Replacing Myth with Fact

By ATA Compass | November 25, 2015

If you had a bad experience with an incompetent doctor, would you give up on the entire medical profession? Of course not—but that’s the attitude many doctors have toward healthcare interpreters. It’s time to replace myth with fact. Myth: All interpreters are incompetent. Fact: You’ll get good results if you use a professional instead of…

Export or Die

By ATA Compass | November 1, 2015

“Export or die,” The Economist warned American businesses in an April 2010 special report on rebalancing the US economy. In a recent interview with The ATA Compass, Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams confirmed this imperative for US business. A polyglot who took the helm of the computer-based language-learning company in 2003 and has increased annual…