How to test new linguists for rare languages?

11 Oct 2019
12:00 - 12:45

How to test new linguists for rare languages?

– About rare languages
– Growing challenge on all fronts for the translation and localization industry
– Very few linguistic resources available
– To rely on an amateur vs. someone who claims to be the master of all languages and provides translation into 10 African languages
– The strict process of qualifying linguists
– Reliability and accuracy – to make sure the resources have the proper education, experience and acumen to translate into their target language
– While technology has helped make significant strides in obtaining a rough meaning of content in another language, it has not really helped rare languages. It is not possible to use of Machine Translation (MT) as there is less content in these languages to build a usable corpus.
– Emerging languages
– Unique challenges and benefits
– Responsibility

Step One: What language do we need?
Make an accurate determination of the language or dialect needed.
Find out
a) where the person was born
b) what the official language of the country is
c) whether the person was educated in the official
d) whether she speaks any other language(s)

Step Two: For what type of proceeding is the linguist needed?
Verify the exact nature of the proceeding so that you know what the linguist is needed for and the estimated duration (examples: a ten-minute phone call
to a family member, a three-hour court hearing, an outof-court meeting, witness testimony, attorney-client consultation, a two-week trial).

Step Three: What mode of interpreting will be required?
Find out
a) simultaneous or consecutive interpreting?
b) any need to translate documents on sight?
You will need to ask the interpreter if he or she has ever done this before.

Step Four: Finding a competent linguist
Competence is key, because an interpreter without the ability to follow court proceedings and interpret them accurately may hinder the process, convey
faulty information or cause a miscarriage of justice.

Written test – ask for the help of another native linguist

Closing thoughts