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Welcome to our articles page. Here we provide translation and language-related information for your interest and enjoyment.

Most of these articles are contributions from our professional linguists. Please note that all these articles are copyrighted and cannot be reprinted without prior written permission.

Is there a writer hiding inside you and do you want to write for BlueGlobe International? Read more..

Marketing Your Translation Services
Saturday, 20 June 2009 05:04

By Andrei Gerasimov - Russian Federation

From the moment my first translation was published in the popular Soviet literary magazine Znamya (The Banner), my desire to become a professional translator has dominated my life. The year was 1981 and I was a recent graduate from Moscow State University. However, due to Russia's ideological and economic climate, it was only in 1989, after having received my Ph.D., that I had a chance to become a full-time, freelance literary translator. And I did not miss this chance.

In nine years, I translated 56 books—works of Irwin Shaw, William Styron, John Irving, Jackie Collins, Jacqueline Susann and many others. The total print run, due to numerous reprints, exceeded 10 million copies. I enjoyed my work and creative freedom. The pay was also good—by Russian standards, of course. The notorious economic crisis of 1998 in Russia, provoked by Russian financial tycoons, put an end to this happy period. The book market suffered a dramatic decline. Even now, a book is considered successful in Russia if its print run exceeds 5000 copies. The best literary translators are paid a ridiculous rate of US$ 1.00 per page—at a time when there are more Mercedes 600s in Moscow than in any other capital of the world.But these low rates were not the main reason that made me flee the Russian literary/publishing scene. At the beginning of my translation career, I could choose the best American books for translation, and all the books I translated were commercially successful. However, by the late nineties, the Russian market became interested only in so-called "novels for maids"—pulp fiction of the lowest quality. I believe a literary translator should translate only works he admires and reject those he despises.

Read more... [Marketing Your Translation Services]
The Pitfalls and Underwater Reefs of Marketing Translation
Saturday, 20 June 2009 05:03

By Andrei Gerasimov, PhD - Russian Federation

Key points

  • A good translation, from the customer’s point of view, is one that uses familiar terminology.
  • Effective marketing translation is pitched in the language register of the target audience.
  • Self-respecting translators only translate into their mother tongue.
  • Quality translation, like quality advertising, is always created in cooperation with the customer.

The purpose of this article, which is based on many years of translating for the PR and marketing departments at the Russian offices of Ford Motor Company, Volvo Cars and Princess Yachts, as well as for European marketing communications (marcom) and translation agencies working for Lexus, Honda, Aston Martin and Bentley, is to improve the understanding and interaction between customers and providers of marketing translation services. It is extremely important that customers and providers of translation services interact correctly, as this not only determines how effective marketing communications are, but also their quality. Within the frame of this article, the term ‘marketing translation’ refers to the translation of any documents which communicate a brand to its target market. These include press releases, advertising materials, product brochures and catalogues, web-sites, training handbooks and even manuals.

Read more... [The Pitfalls and Underwater Reefs of Marketing Translation]
The Development and Use of Machine Translation Systems
Friday, 19 June 2009 07:36


This survey of the present demand and use of computer-based translation software concentrates on systems designed for the production of translations of publishable quality, including developments in controlled language systems, translator workstations, and localisation; but it covers also the developments of software for non-translators, in particular for use with Web pages and other Internet applications, and it looks at future needs and systems under development. The final section compares the types of translations that can be met most appropriately by human and by machine (and computer-aided) translation respectively.

Keywords: machine translation, computer-aided translation, translator workstations, multilingual systems

Read more... [The Development and Use of Machine Translation Systems]
Where do Translators Fit into Machine Translation?

A. Original Questions

Here are the original questions for this panel as submitted to the speakers:

1. At the last MT Summit, Martin Kay stated that there should be "greater attention to empirical studies of translation so that computational linguists will have a better idea of what really goes on in translation and develop tools that will be more useful for the end user." Does this mean that there has been insufficient input into MT processes by translators interested in MT? Does it mean that MT developers have failed to study what translating actually entails and how translators go about their task? If either of these is true, then to what extent and why? New answers and insights for the MT profession could arise from hearing what human translators with an interest in the development of MT have to say about these matters. It may well turn out that translators are the very people best qualified to determine what form their tools should take, since they are the end users.

Read more... [Where do Translators Fit into Machine Translation?]

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