It takes just a day of wandering in Tokyo as a non-Japanese speaker to understand why translation innovation starts in Japan, and much less so in other places of the world. Both visitor and host are totally helpless and hopeless when trying to talk to each other. That is much less the case in Europe and North America where English often becomes the ‘langue véhicule’ for tourists and business men.
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The TAUS Asia Conference in Beijing on March 22-23 is shaping up as exciting. Here’s a sneak preview from my own vantage point.
“Find two Latvians, they’ll form three political parties”, goes a saying about the Latvian tendency to oppose each other. Even if they share common values and goals, they’ll find something to disagree over and waste time in petty quarrelling while diverging from the issues that really matter. As a result, they end up with multiple, often contradicting solutions to the same problem and poor reputation among their neighbors.
People don’t want lawyers – they want justice! In the same way, businesses don’t want translators, they want their content out there in other languages. How can we best engage with these content providers - and the translators that work for them?