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Let’s plan an exotic trip somewhere!

kwi 20

Are any of you opposed to vacations? Who doesn’t like to have some days off to explore some new terrain? I’ll take a wild guess and say that there’s only a select few that would argue against having more time to relax like this. As May is rapidly approaching and we can see summertime just beyond the horizon, my proposal for today is to transport somewhere together and maybe inspire you to plan some nice trips for the future. A toasty place that comes to mind is… Mexico. So, off we go. Although this is a country full of contrasts, a huge similarity can be found amongst the people. The people there are predominantly kind. I can confidently state this fact about their natives as I was able to learn about their culture last year. Yes, I was on my way to Mexico during the harsh Polish winter season a year ago. If I could change anything about my trip it would definitely be the flight duration; it was way too long. Instead of being able to explore the vast expanse of this huge country, I had to squirm in my seat aboard the place with barely contained excitement. However, it wasn’t quite as bad as I’m making it seem as flying can be quite relaxing. The second thing which could be modified is the duration of my stay there – 10 days is just not enough. But you, my dear readers, are what one would consider privileged. Thanks to your imagination you can stay there as long as your brain and free time allow.

fot. Klaudia Tarczoń

The very first image of Mexico that becomes engraved in your memory is the light. The light? Yes. Looking down from your little seat on a plane, you get an aerial view of what appears to be an illuminated sea of lights. The Mexican landscape is embellished by thousands of lights that seem to be eternally glowing. Although almost all significant cities in the world look similar from the air, there is something absolutely magical about Mexico. Picture this: we are landing in Mexico City. We start our adventure from the capital, a city that has almost 9 million inhabitants. That’s about one-quarter of Poland’s total population. Besides all the famous places you visit, the most recognisable monuments etc., please also note the people’s attitude, hospitality and behaviour as that is what makes the culture. It’s obvious that when natives notice someone who looks like a tourist, they try almost everything to get some money from him or her, and these people are no exception, since it’s no mystery that Mexico belongs to a group of poor countries. It’s even said that Mexicans will sell you everything just to make you pay for it. I must admit I have experienced that but, fortunately, it took place without any sort of harm – as in I personally wasn’t got mugged or drubbed. I only have really nice memories of the capital, but if you venture there please be cautious. Better safe than sorry.

That was a short sprint across the capital. Now it’s time to travel to the south-west of the country. Do you know what the destination of our journey is? I will prompt you. Maybe, once upon a time, you have sung along to a song written especially to extol the enchantments of its beaches and sunsets. Yes, that’s correct! I am talking about A-c-a-p-u-l-c-o – definitely a place to warm up and get some sun. Are you feeling toasty now? I myself am trying to imagine soaking up the rays on a sun lounger, watching the ocean’s waves, inhaling the smell of Mexican cuisine (by the way, that alone is a fantastic reason to drop in) and indulging in a cold mojito. Life couldn’t be any better.

Have you already made some travel plans? Maybe it was me who encouraged you to plan some trips in the near future; possibly one in particular to “the navel of the moon” (the ancient meaning of the word Mexico)? Did you like reading up about the country, its people and culture; or maybe something different caught your attention?

Share your opinion with us in the comments section below!

(KT)

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What do you (probably not) know about Latin America?

kwi 05

There is no doubt that Latin America is a very interesting region of the world. What’s more, every country has its own secrets – we would like to present you some of them.

Diego Maradona is not only one of the most important Argentinian footballers – in 1998 his fans founded his church (The Iglesia Maradoniana). According to its followers: Football is a religion and, like all religions, has a God. The God of football is an Argentine and his name is Diego Armando Maradona.


Bolivia was the first country to close all McDonald’s restaurants – Bolivians simply don’t trust food prepared in such a short time.

Columbia is known for its emeralds – it produces more than 60% of all the emeralds in the world.

Costa Rica means “rich coast”. This name comes from 800 miles of coastline between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Maybe this is the reason why Costa Rica has been ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world…

Ecuador was the first country to give constitutional rights to nature. Rights of Nature Articles say that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.

The Rain of Fish (Lluvia de Peces) is a phenomenon that occurs every year in May or June in Yoro, Honduras.

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world – it has more than 25 million habitants and its detailed map includes more than 200 pages.

In Peru live the Indian tribe, the Q’ero, whose members can live 110, 115 – or even more years, despite the fact that they eat almost only potatoes.

In the last three decades Venezuela has won more beauty titles than any other country. It is also a country that buys the most cosmetic products.

Have you heard of any other interesting facts? Please share them with us!

(BB)

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How does the translation agency work?

mar 23

In multicultural business environment it seems impossible not to, at some stage, use the services of a translation agency. It is a faster and cheaper way of finding a good translator that suits your text best. So, you send your content to the translation agency and they give it to the translator who happens to sit next to them… Right? Well, no, not really. Keep reading and you will find out how translation agencies really do work, based on the example of our office.

1. The Office and translators
First of all, you should know how our office looks. We are lucky enough to work with the best specialists in the market. We have editors, project managers, a sales team etc. What we don’t have in our lovely office is translators. We communicate with them via e-mail or phone. Why? Think about it: our translator database consists of specialists in almost every language you can imagine. Can you see the number of people yet? Now, add to it specialists in business language, technical, literature… That sounds like a lot of people! That’s why we don’t have them here. Also, many of the best translators live in different cities or countries, yet we want them to be able to work for you to provide you with the best translation. But don’t worry – our communication is faster than ever!

2. Perfect match
When you accept the project we are going to read it and match it with the translator who is specialized in that particular topic. A marketing text? We’ve got somebody for you. A medical text? No problem, we know exactly whom we should send it to. Our experience helps us every day with finding the best specialists in our industry. So don’t worry – we’ve got it covered.

3. We are not afraid of challenges
We understand that you received the document in this very moment and you need it yesterday or else your boss is going to smash you against a coffee machine. We can organize the translation that will be made in no time at all, but remember to accept it as soon as we have made our calculations. Then we will be able to do is ASAP.

4. Correction
Before we return the translation to you we will read it. Our staff do not speak every language but we do our best to make sure the editing is correct, and if something looks weird we will find a translator and consult with them to make sure you are going to get the best service.

We are not a team of magicians but we do have a hidden talents that make our service a lot easier, faster and cheaper. We are not just a translation agency; we are consultants, researchers, customer specialists, listeners and artists. We do not just prepare translations, we help to make your life easier. :)

(MW)

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Cheerful granny, colored powder and eggs – spring customs around the world

mar 09

With the current weather, spring still seems to be terribly far away. To sweeten a little bit our waiting for the first rays of the sun, let’s take a small trip around the world and see some different spring customs.

Spring has always been associated with the new life, as everything wakes up after a long winter sleep. Christians celebrate Easter as the new life to be praised. A strictly religious holiday, it’s connected with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Iran, on the other hand “Nowruz”, which is the Persian word for “The New Day”, is celebrated as a secular holiday. Nowruz is celebrated over 13 days of cleaning homes, buying new clothes and items and visiting friends and family members.

Another fun spring related holiday is the Bulgarian Baba Marta (Granny March) on the 1st March. Baba Marta is a women and her cheerful arrival announces the end of winter. In Bulgarian folk tales, the final snow of the season is Baba Marta shaking out her feather bed. In Poland, children are burning or “drowning” a colorful puppet called “Marzanna”. While doing so, they are letting winter go and greet the fresh, green spring.

One of the most popular spring celebrations is known as Holi, the Festival of Colours, celebrated mostly in India. This beautiful holiday is expressed by throwing colorful powders and water at each other. The Festival of Colours has become so popular lately that in different countries its variation is provided in order to entrain tourists during the summer time.

While most of the spring celebrations happen at the beginning of the spring (mostly in March) in Sweden, Walpurgis Night, also known as Valborg, is celebrated on the last day of April. Swedish people greet spring by igniting bonfires and singing songs. Walpurgis Night is also celebrated in Germany, Finland and the Czech Republic.

Which of this holidays would you like to celebrate the most? Would you prefer a religious or secular one? Share your opinion with us!

(MW)

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When to start outsourcing translations

mar 02

With cheap airlines, online gaming, social networks and music videos everywhere, practically everyone can communicate in international English now. Having free online translations and hover over phone translation apps makes us feel we can do it all in one click. Just like we can all make artistic pictures with our tiny phone cameras. Who would need a DSLR anymore? So when would be the situation that a smart company should outsource its translations?

All our staff speak foreign languages

Perfect, this was probably one of the hiring criteria but do you really pay for experienced professionals to proofread and translate large files? Even if your company could afford hiring a whole department of skilled translators, there are only few businesses that would actually need it and make smart use of their time. So, just as you rent a van to relocate the office or call a professional maintenance service to maintain your venues, you could use specialists to have your international website finally translated, your product descriptions localised and your contracts usable for foreign markets.

We use highly specialised vocabulary no-one else knows

Yes, you noticed how absurd this title itself sounds. Because there is no-one else on the market, except those couple of dozen competitors and hundreds of their suppliers. Unless you operate in some really innovative niche or in some dying industry, you are less special then you think and there are people that can help you. Open up and maybe learn something from the others because, if you really deliver superior customer value, no-one can really copy you.

We can have this done much cheaper

Sure you can. Just like with any other service where you provide suppliers handling, quality assurance and deadline control yourself. However, if you really want to cut costs you will be better off with a larger agency that makes a global profit even of small margins rather than a single specialist that would like to make as much as possible on the single client. Last but not least, you probably have serious documents to translate like contracts and confidential product materials – in the worst case scenario a professional business partner is always better to deal with than some my-friend’s-son-can-do-it supplier. Just like buying an insurance policy – the cheaper you go, the more you will pay later.

Are you ready yet?

Maybe you wanted to get your documents translated ages ago but never made time? That’s fine – choosing a right supplier is a work on its own. First, have your content ready and in order. This employee of yours that you thought could be translating things for you – make him/her rather put the stuff to translate up to date and in the right folders, do the internal consulting with all departments as to whether the website, product description and whatever you’re planning to translate is as you want it. When you feel you are ready, find someone who has a proven business record. Someone that not only claims the year they started or puts fancy customers’ logos on the website but can provide written references, hires the actual staff in a physical office and, most importantly, specialises in translation and not other areas like language teaching or business training. In short, you should feel as confident with your choice as with a car dealership or a restaurant for your family dinner.

(SW)

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