According to CoinSchedule, there have been 675 ICOs (initial coin offerings) so far in 2018. With the top fundraiser (EOS) taking in four billion dollars, the ICO is grabbing corporate interest around the world.
The term ICO refers to a planned release of a new cryptocurrency (think bitcoin, ethereum and ripple, for example) with similarities to an IPO (initial public offering) for stocks. Typically a whitepaper outlining the concepts of the coin, a website and various forms of marketing are combined with a buy-in period leading up to the coin release. During the buy-in period, interested parties purchase coins, generally by payment with a standard cryptocurrency such as bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) or litecoin (LTC).
After the buy-in period, investors receive their coins (sometimes weeks later). Cryptocurrencies do not have a physical form, so the coins are sent using digital means and stored in a wallet (software or hardware). More accurately, the private and public keys (codes) needed to access the coins on the blockchain are sent to the investors, who can then use various means to keep their coins safe.
Because government regulation has lagged behind progress in the cryptoworld, much confusion and concern surrounds ICOs. In the United States, for example, whether an ICO is categorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a security or not can have dire consequences, as securities fall under a plethora of regulations that do no apply to non-security ICOs.
One of the ways to avoid such potential problems is to execute the ICO in a foreign country. Smaller countries and territories, such as the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and Malta, for example, are finding their size to be an advantage, as they can more easily provide a regulatory framework than larger governments with sprawling bureaucracies and complex political processes.
Many such smaller countries and territories also have low-to-no corporate tax, making them even more attractive as ICO sites.
As reported by Deutsche Welle and many other press outlets, the British government has been roundly criticized for poor translations of a Brexit whitepaper. The German version in particular has been criticized for poor grammar, poor word choice and archaic expressions.
It is unfortunate that the British government failed to employ professional translators for such an important job, but even more unfortunate is what appears to be the root cause: an assumption that skilled language users are capable of translation. As Amy Booth writes for the Independent, the idea that “having an A-level somehow makes you fluent” leads to such “international embarrassment.”
Except in cases where there is a dearth of native speakers, the standard practice is that professional translators do not translate from their A (native) language into their B (second) language. Learning to write well in one’s native language takes years of practice, and it is extremely unusual for anyone not raised with a language to attain such a high capacity. Even if a fluent speaker is able to speak with flawless grammar, writing entails a different set of complex skills that can rarely be mastered by non-natives.
For a discussion on attitudes regarding translation directionality, see the monograph by Nataša Pavlović titled “Directionality in translation and interpreting practice. Report on a questionnaire survey in Croatia.”
Translation is an art that calls for a delicate balance between accuracy and flexibility. As by Jeff McGaw points out in a recent article, cultural norms vary widely, and cutting costs in translation may save money up front but result in lost opportunities or serious financial losses down the road.
The translation industry has boomed over the last few decades as global trade has spread. With that increase in translation has come a wide range of companies from those specializing in fast, low-quality translations at rock-bottom prices to boutique translation companies that ensure everything from your graphic images to the last idiom is conveyed in a culturally appropriate manner.
If your target audience speaks a different language, make sure someone on the team is in charge of translation quality control. This should include:
translation company selection
pre-translation review: look for idioms and jargon that has a high potential for mistranslation
translation evaluation: make sure the translation you get back is accurate, even if you need to pay for a second opinion
follow-up: after the translation is deployed, see how well it works
Make translation an important part of your business model to ensure your message is reaching your target audience in the way you intend.
It seems to be unknown how many people speak ASL (American Sign Language). According to a citation from almost 50 years ago, Wikipedia says between 250,000 and 500,000 people, primarily in the US and Canada. Sign languages in other countries, including Great Britain and Australia, are unrelated to ASL.
About 10 days ago, the Goshen News ran a feature on an ASL interpreter named Colleen Geier, who, despite growing up around a great-uncle, did not learn ASL because he was not allowed to sign.
Fortunately, attitudes have changed, and ASL is a thriving language used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people, as well as hearing people who can sign.
Check out the article and read about some of Geier’s adventures, including one with a Secret Service agent!
(Words such as “speak” and “talk” are applied to sign languages as well as spoken languages.)
Frank Wynne is an award-winning literary translator of Ireland. With the Twitter handle of Terribleman and a website with a matching URL, he has more than 20 literary translations to his name (see the Wikipedia article on him) from both French and Spanish to English.
In 2008, he won the Scott Moncrieff Prize, an award for French-English translations having literary merit, for his translations “Holiday in a Coma” (Vacances dans le coma) and “Love Lasts Three Years” (L’amour dure trois ans) by Frédéric Beigbeder. He repeated this feat by winning the prize again in 2015 for his translation of “Harraga” (meaning a North African who attempts to migrate illegally to Europe) by Boualem Sansal.
Even more amazing than this pair of awards is that, between winning those accomplishments, he won the Premio Valle-Inclán twice for translations from Spanish to English. The first time was for “Kamchatka” (title unchanged) by Marcelo Figueras and the second was for “The Blue Hour” (La hora azul) by Alonso Cueto.
He has also been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker International Prize, one from French and the other from Spanish.
As per The Irish Times, his translation of “Vernon Subutex 2” from the French by Virginie Despentes was released today. We wish him continued success in a glorious career.
The Tham Luang cave rescue to save a soccer team of twelve boys and their coach captured the world’s attention. Among the volunteers helping in the efforts was Benjawan Terlecky, a professional English-Lao-Thai interpreter working in such fields as court interpretation and voice talent.
As reported by CBS13, Terlecky was so concerned that miscommunication could have serious consequences that she donated her time and money to travel to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system, which is remotely located in northern Thailand.
As we now know, all of the boys and the coach were successfully rescued, but Saman Kunan, a professional diver, tragically died during the rescue efforts.
According to Wikipedia, there are 17 Aboriginal languages spoken in the state of Western Australia, and for many speakers of those languages, English is a second or third language. The inability to communicate in English results in poor medical care, and to address this issue, the government has signed an agreement with Aboriginal Interpreting WA to provide interpreters, as explained in an article by ABC.
It is hoped that these interpreting services will make healthcare a more pleasant experience while better addressing health issues, leading to better health among local residents.
Three days ago, the Orange Text blog reported that Inupiaq had been added as an interface language on Facebook. Yesterday, Global News issued an article saying that Facebook looking for Inuktut speakers to add that language to its repertoire as of today, which is Nunavut Day. Inupiaq and Inuktut are two varieties of Inuit, as shown by the following Wikipedia graphic:
Inuit is a group of closely related but different languages. What is shown as Qawiaraq and Inupiatun in the graphic, primarily in the Alaska part, are part of the Inupiaq grouping, and according to the Wikipedia article on Inuktitut, Inuktut (the language to be translated) is a collective term for Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun, which contradicts the Global News article.
The article also reports that the standard Inuktut writing system will not be used.
Graphic courtesy of Wikipedia. Required attribution: By Asybaris01 – File:Inuktitut_dialect_map.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12470872
With more than 43 million native speakers and many second-language speakers, Kannada is a major language of India that belongs to the Dravidian family of languages. It is spoken primarily in the southwest state of Karnataka, which neighbors the state of Goa, where many Kannada speakers also live.
Kannada has a history that can be understood as superficially corresponding to the history of English:
Both languages have a long-established literature as well, with the first poem in Old English considered to be “Cædmon’s Hymn” from around 675 and the earliest piece of Kannada literature being “Kavirajamarga (ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ)” from around the year 850. Other great works in Kannada can be found in the Wikipedia list of milestones.
Yesterday, The Hindu announced that translations of two Kannada novels would be released in English. The novels are:
The Other Face by Na Mogasale, a novel spanning several generations of a Havyaka Brahmin family and exploring caste and how society adapts to changing times.
The translation of fiction requires serious dedication to convey nuances in language and culture, and the efforts by translators N. Thirumaleshwara Bhat and D. A. Shankar will enrich English literature through Kannada culture.