GM Voices Translation Newsletter

Summer 2014

GM Voices Becomes ATA Corporate Member

Our Translation Team Has Added a New and Reputable Membership to Their Résumé

ATA_logo_web_corpOur translation team has been hard at work establishing the processes and global translator network to deliver outstanding localization services. Now, we have yet another reason to be excited. GM Voices has recently joined the American Translators Association (ATA). This membership will provide us better access to an 11,000-strong translator audience that will help us to meet our customers’ needs better than ever before.

It isn’t easy for translators to obtain a certificate from ATA and to prove that, less than 20% pass the tests. This ensures only the skilled pass and this is comforting when it comes to helping our customers with their translation needs.

“ATA membership is a valuable resource for our in-house experts and global translator network as we double-down on our expansive localization expertise,” said Marcus Graham, Founder and CEO of GM Voices. “At the end of the day, our association with ATA will make us better and provide our customers peace of mind knowing that they’ve partnered with a provider dedicated to helping them tell their story anywhere in the world.”

Read the full press release here.
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Outlining the Basics: Creating an IVR Script in a Different Language

Learn How to Write an IVR Script That Works for Your Target Language Audience


It isn’t difficult to put an IVR script together, right? Actually, the process is more involved than you may think, especially when developing an application that will be used for more than one language. It’s imperative that your script and voice user interface (VUI) be localized for your calling audience. Here are few helpful pointers for making this process a smooth one.

Establish your purpose. Remember, your customers are calling you because they need information or assistance. IVRs are designed to help callers achieve a goal as soon as possible. Refrain from adding unnecessary verbiage or clauses—less is more in IVR (and less to be lost in translation)! A translation is only as good as its source text!

Context is crucial. Translators work on many projects, and while most of them work in areas specific to their education and experience, no one knows everything.

To learn more and see an example of what we’re talking about, click here.

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You What, Mate?

These Words Mean One Thing Stateside, But Something Else Across the Pond

Looking at the two images below, what would you call the image on the left? How about on the right? In America, we know the image on the right as a trolley, but believe it or not, that’s also what the image on the left is known as in Britain. Details like this are things our translators pay attention to, because using words in the wrong context can make a big difference! To see some more examples, take a look at the list we put together below.

trolley pic

Chemist Pharmacy
Zip Fastener Zipper
Windscreen Windshield
Inch Small Scottish Island
Grammar School High School
Fluid Ounce 0.9606 U.S. Fluid Ounces
Death Duty Inheritance Tax
Deposit Account Savings Account
Current Account Checking Account
Cupboard Closet
Anti-clockwise Counter-clockwise
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Eeny, Meeny, Miny or Moe, with Which Translator Shall Our Project Go?

GM Voices Helps Narrow Down Your Choices
When It Comes To Picking a Translator

We understand how time-consuming and exhausting it can be to choose an appropriate linguist for your project. That’s why GM Voices is committed to a process that provides you with peace of mind. Here’s how we eliminate the guesswork from translation projects:


  • Provide a pool of four equally accredited linguists for your project.
  • Offer a text test (less than 250 words) for each linguist.
  • Compare the results and choose the best linguists for the job!

It’s that simple. Once you’ve selected your team, GM Voices can connect you with your linguists so you’ll be able to:business team around computer

  • Set up conference calls and/or Webex sessions between linguists and your internal team to discuss potential issues before a project kick-off.
  • Skype with your linguist to answer language-specific questions about software during production.
  • Once production is near completion, linguists can test your product for local market credibility and provide feedback for overall user-experience.
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Business Blunders: False Friends

brain imageDon’t Get Fooled with a Similar Sound

You’ve probably found yourself in this situation—you overhear a conversation in another language and think you understand parts of what they’re saying because some of the words sound familiar. But don’t let your ears fool you! You may have been misled by “false friends.” These words sound alike in two languages, but mean something else. Here are some examples.

False Friend (Native Language) What It Sounds Like What It Really Means
noleggio (Italian) knowledge hire, rental
ostrica (Italian) ostrich oyster
scannare (Italian) scan to skin
Webseite (German) web site web page
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Cultural Corner: Beware the Number 13

Affecting Lives in More than One Way


Many cultures consider Friday the 13th a day of bad luck and there’s actually a word to describe those who are afraid of the number 13—triskaidekaphobia. Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons why a lot of buildings in the U.S. and around the globe don’t have a thirteenth floor (especially hospitals). Who would have thought these numerical considerations would even affect a building’s architecture?

And speaking of dangerous digits, other numbers have negative connotations in some cultures. For instance, in many Eastern Asian countries, the fourth floor is omitted for similar reasons. Tetraphobia is a similar phenomenon mostly found in Eastern Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, and Japan. It’s common to see floor 3A followed by floor 3B instead of having a fourth floor or fourth block of buildings. During times of celebration or mourning, such as birthdays and the last days of someone’s life and/or funeral, these numbers are carefully avoided.

GM Voices makes sure that your content is mindful of these unique cultural quirks. Don’t risk a major faux pas in your translated materials! Our team is here to help!

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