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February 2017
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Win & Winnow Makes it to the Top 5 of Latin American Language Service Providers!

We are proud to announce that Win & Winnow has hit the top five of the Latin American Language Service Providers ranking according to the Common Sense Advisory yearly market survey. This is the fourth consecutive year that Win & Winnow has been included in the top ten list of regional language service providers.

Common Sense Advisory (CSA), an independent market research firm, surveyed for their yearly report 860 language service providers to rank the top providers in the global language services market based on revenue and services to identify the top companies around the world.

“Our position as an industry top performer in the language service market of Latin America is the result of outstanding team effort and our global partners working relentlessly to outdo ourselves year after year”, said Cecilia Calonico, Win & Winnow’s founder and general manager. “We are looking forward to maintaining our growth pace in years to come and successfully delivering our expertise and innovation to our loyal customers”.

The Language Services Market 2015 report can be purchased at: For more information on Win & Winnow services, please visit:

Healthcare Insurance Updates: a Translation Challenge

As we are approaching summertime in the Northern Hemisphere we are sure that many translation companies like us, are getting ready to fulfill the translation needs of the Healthcare Insurance industry in the US.

During this time of the year Healthcare Insurance Companies in the US start prepping for translating their member’s plan documentation that has been updated and is in the process of being approved by CMS into different languages to be in compliance with the law requirements of each State. The target languages will vary depending on the State and its foreign population percentage.

These types of projects not only require talented linguists with subject matter expertise but also a high level of project management involvement with great knowledge of CAT tool management.

The main content usually covers the yearly updates for Handbooks, Summary of Benefits (SOB), Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) for each plan and State.

It is essential to follow processes that allow for proper leveraging using CAT tools and Terminology Management since the content is very repetitive among documents as well as previous translations. Using the right workflow will result in significant money and time savings, which are the two main concerns for every business nowadays.

Year after year, we translate very large amounts of content (over seven million words) for this industry with quick turnarounds and money savings due to proper leveraging and TM management, while also remaining flexible to include in our process the updates introduced to source documents during the different iterations based on CMS approvals. We deliver documents ready for publication with the help of our Desktop Publishing team. SDL Trados Studio and XBench have been key to achieving this, allowing us to perform extraction of new content, adhering to key terminology and providing consistency among documents.

If you are experiencing these needs, I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at I will gladly work with you on developing a strategy that best fit your needs taking into account all the factors that you are dealing with.

Mariana Btesh

Key Account Manager

Win & Winnow Communications

TAUS Review!

Translation Automation User Society

Being a member of TAUS has brought so much value to our company. It has always been essential for us to remain up to date with technology trends of the industry to be able to provide our clients with the solutions that best fit their needs; TAUS is definitely helping us make it possible.

TAUS recently came out with the TAUS Review magazine, which is quite awesome. We enjoyed the first two publications and are looking forward to see what the next ones will bring.

When reading the TAUS Review you are hearing voices from four different continents and their different approaches, needs and points of view which helps to open our minds, explore, think outside the box and take what we think will best work in our environment.

So far it seems that all the topics have been carefully selected as they definitely address the areas that we give utmost time and efforts to master. The last TAUS Review focus was on quality and it definitely left us thinking.

We invite you to take a look at it here. We are confident that you will find it interesting and enjoyable. At the end, no matter how we do it we are all contributing to facilitating communication worldwide and TAUS has some great tools to help us achieve it by mixing the human and technology factors.

Win & Winnow Communications Continues to Rise in the Rankings!

According to the Common Sense Advisory, an independent market research firm specialized in the translation and localization industry, Win & Winnow Communications has ascended four notches upwards from our previous ranking of being the 10th largest language services provider based in Latin America in 2012, into 6th place in 2013.

Our Achievements

We are highly pleased and thankful to our clients to have given us the opportunity to reach this significant milestone and attribute our continued growth to the sound business practices that we have implemented since our company was founded in 2004. We have never digressed from the basic concept of client empathy. The professionals that Win & Winnow employs have a strong commitment to every aspect of quality and continuously strive to provide a superior level of service.

Our Founder’s Thoughts

When asked about the company’s growth and increasingly prominent position in the region, María Cecilia Calónico stated the following: “Our continued investment in human resources and technology has allowed us to focus on what is truly important to our valued clients, and every initiative our company undertakes is done with the mindset of enhancing our product line and service levels.”, said Calónico.

Future Plans

For 2013 the translation services market has a projected revenue growth rate of 3.5 percent, according to Business News Daily and we closely follow industry trends to ensure that we tailor our offerings to meet the global demand for these services. This year we have increased our knowledge and resources in key industries with the highest growth patterns such as E-Learning, Multimedia and Medical Services.

We look forward to enduring success in the coming year. Keep your eye on us and watch for new and innovative offerings as Win & Winnow Communications continues to lead in the region.


Human Translation or Machine Translation?

As the saying goes…….To do a job well, you have to use the right tools.

As technology continues to advance, this subject is in constant debate. Let’s detach ourselves for a moment from the matter at hand – it’s a well-known fact that to achieve optimum results with any type of project it’s imperative to use the proper tools.  Decisions on whether to use machine translation or a professional human translator are based on several important factors – cost, timeliness, your target audience and subject matter to name just a few.

When deciding on whether or not machine translation will meet your needs and provide you with the desired result, take the following into account:

Measure the complexity of the source text

Is your translation project a highly complex text that includes paraphrasing or excerpts of a conversation between two or more people?  Does the source text include specialized terms, regional references or is any of the content of a critical nature? Will legal or medical decisions be made based on your translation?  Would you or your client feel entirely confident to submit a machine translated document to a government entity or to be used as evidence in a court of law?  You most certainly would not want to consider using machine translation for crucial evidence in a trial.  Just think, a misinterpretation could cause the scales of justice to tilt onto the wrong side of the law.

Be aware of admissibility issues

In certain cases there may be a requirement on the part of the receiver of the translated document that does not permit the use of machine translation. The party may require that there be at least a second review of the translation project by a human translator that is a native speaker of the target language. In the case of legal documents such as certificates, patents and court documents, where the certification of a sworn translator is needed, this is a step beyond the translation itself that requires the intervention of a certified professional translator.

Greater efficiency: A professional service

Knowing the steps that a professional translator takes to ensure a high quality result can provide you the insight needed to help you decide which of your projects may be suitable for machine translation and those which are better suited for human translation.  If turnaround time is an issue, consider that most translators use specially designed software which facilitate and automate many functions that were formerly done manually. Document parsing while performing a manual translation increases the speed, efficiency and accuracy of their craft.  If your project includes technical jargon, specific terminology or keywords supplying your translator with a glossary ensures that these terms will be consistently translated to your specification throughout the document.

Those free online translation tools

Online translation tools are some of the most widely accessed tools on the internet. Almost everybody has used them at one time or another to translate a word or phrase that they have found in an instruction manual, song, website, or other source.  Students, business people and others who work across continents use these tools on a daily basis to define words outside of their linguistic knowledge.  It’s easy enough to navigate to any of these websites and provide an adequate enough definition for personal use.  However these online tools are not practical for translating more than a few words, phrases or any job that requires even the lowest level of technical knowledge.  As well, these tools cannot manage formatting of documents as they require the text to be translated to be copied and pasted into the tool and back into the source document.

In closing, when it’s imperative to maintain the integrity of the source document for technical, legal or liability purposes in any industry, your best bet, is human translation second to none. While machine translation has its place in the world, and has made enormous technical advances, it hasn’t yet fully developed into a viable alternative for many types of translation jobs where quality is a non-negotiable attribute.

At Win & Winnow Communications we are available to assess your translation projects and advise you on which method of translation best suits your needs.  We have wide experience with both human translation and machine translation post-editing. Our professional team will find the optimum and most cost effective solution for any project.

SEO Translation as part of your website localization project

So your company has a growing international client base.  A nice problem to have.  It’s quite a challenge to make this happen and when it does finally take off, managing and nurturing this valuable asset of your company requires strategic planning.

Many companies that have been around since the before the dawn of the internet can attribute much of their growth during the past 2 decades to the proliferation of the web.  Even those that don’t sell products directly over the internet have connected with many of their current clients in cyberspace via a web search, banner ad, mass e-mail, or on-line business directory.

An initial website was useful and helped you gain visibility.  It was most likely basic, and geared towards your local audience and longtime customer base.  Now that customers are located worldwide, your plan of action has likely changed along with your new reality.  You have become a globalized entity.  It’s now time to put this project in the hands of an expert, maximize your website´s reach and increase your exposure via search engines.

Every business owner´s dream is for their business to appear at the top of the first page of every search engine query.   When a webpage is ranked highly in search results each time a potential client searches for a product or service, you get the advantage of that golden targeted traffic and customer leads with a few simple clicks – a perpetual source of clients 24/7 and 365 days per year.

An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy was most likely taken into account when your website was created in its original language.   Now that you’re in the international business arena, it’s crucial to engage SEO creatively for your translated and localized websites. Defined, SEO translation is localizing a site to make it as visible as possible in the target language and culture which in turn will generate higher rankings in search engine results.  Given that SEO technology works based on keywords, it is important to choose those correctly in each language that your website has been translated and localized to. The right keywords are not always literal translations from one language to another. It’s equally essential to implement technologies such as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). This in effect is a way of ranking a site’s relevance not just by keywords but by synonyms and words within the domain of those keywords.  Other gimmicks involved in SEO translation include: measurement of keyword density, including long-tail keywords, copywriting skills and adaptive in-market keyword research.

Localization specialists who have in depth understanding on how to drive your web traffic, and convert it by applying the correct methodologies should be who you use to make decisions for the on-line aspect of your business. At Win & Winnow Communications our localization specialists can help you maximize the potential of your international marketing strategies.  Contact us for a consultation with our team.

4 Handy Tips to Follow for your eLearning Translation and Localization project.......Motivate your audience, Increase effectiveness, Enhance interest in learning initiatives & Manage costs

Translation and localization of your eLearning platform can be a demanding task. The language dynamic and target audience are factors that need to be taken into consideration with careful detail as eLearning has become the standard in many markets and industries, while others are still in the beginning stages. We suggest you take the following into account when preparing to take your current eLearning platform multilingual:

1. Develop content that is translation friendly. Given that your eLearning content will be translated from its original language into one or several other languages requires proper assessment from a seasoned team of linguists. Avoid the use of idiomatic expressions, slang, hyperbole and run-on sentences. Maintain a general yet clear form of expression for each concept and subject.

2. Carefully select images that are closely related to the text that references them. Avoid the use of screenshots, select images that are culturally neutral, and avoid regional references such as $, €, £, abbreviations, or images of people using gestures which could be deemed offensive (such as finger pointing), depending on the country and culture of the audience.

3. Using graphics with embedded text. Text that is embedded in images cannot be easily extracted from the image and may require extensive engineering to recreate. If translated text is later superimposed over an existing image that has been previously edited, the overall quality of that image may be reduced. This may also increase costs due to the additional time required for development.

4. Compatible technologies when planning an eLearning localization project are an important consideration. Combining numerous technologies, development tools, and audio visual elements can be tricky. It’s best to try and use development tools that are proven compatible, or better yet an integrated development platform for the project from inception to completion. A crucial final step is extensive QA testing on the project modules to ensure functionality prior to moving forward with a localization project.

Implementing these best practices and consulting an experienced localization services provider will ensure high quality results. Managing the cultural and technical aspects, the overall project and timelines are best left to experts in the field.

At Win & Winnow Communications we have managed large scale eLearning translation and localization projects in all flavors of Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and Italian with great success. Please contact us to discuss your translation and localization projects. We welcome your questions on this subject.

Medical Devices and their development in major Latin American economies - Part I of a III part series

The Win & Winnow Communications team welcomes you to our III part series on the subject of medical device regulation within 3 major markets in Latin America.

Research and development of medical technology, a vital sector of this multi-billion industry is limited to just a few countries around the globe where adequate financial resources and industry professionals are available. Worldwide, both public and private sector medical care systems import these new technologies and given this dynamic, the medical industry must communicate highly complex information in hundreds of languages to a vastly diverse international audience. This specialized information must be communicated in a way that is consistent with the OEM manufacturer’s documentation but also customized to comply with the importing country’s regulations. Translation is a crucial part of the distribution chain.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) plays a highly participative role in setting medical regulatory standards around the world. Most recently an amendment to the agency’s policy on Human Subject Protection (21 CFR Parts 807, 812, and 81) specifically related to the acceptance of data from clinical studies performed outside of the United States for Medical Devices has been proposed.  Under the current law the FDA will accept studies begun on or after November 19, 1986, submitted in support of a pre-market approval conducted outside of the United States if the data is found to be valid and the study was performed and compliant with the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki or the local laws of the research entity’s host country.  Under this proposed new regulation the FDA will accept studies submitted in support of a pre-market approval only if the FDA is satisfied that the data presented are certified as scientifically valid and that the rights, safety and welfare of human subjects have not been violated. This regulation also encourages applicants to meet with FDA officials prior to the submission of an application that will be based solely on non-US clinical data.  As advanced clinical research is routinely conducted outside of the US and taking into account the complexity of complying with these regulations and the risks involved, this work must be done by a translator experienced in the field of medical devices who is supported by a project manager that is knowledgeable about the regulatory environment of the target market.

As technologies continue to evolve, regulation of medical devices is in a constant state of flux. As well, government regulatory requirements mandate that medical devices comply with strict quality standards but there is good news – the general trend is towards standardization. International standards for medical devices are covered by ISO standards ICS 11.100.20 and 11.040.01. Additionally the requirements of each country may vary slightly. This series will examine the specifics of 3 major markets in Latin America. We’ll begin with a closer look at the regulatory environment in the blue-chip market of Brazil.

Brazil is an economic powerhouse on the Latin American continent as well one of the world’s fastest growing economies. According to industry figures, the global medical devices market was worth $266 billion in 2011(cit.) with Latin America accounting for $14.1 billion of that figure, with Brazil representing 30% of that figure .Brazil alone is expected to reach $8.4 billion in 2015.

Brazil is also a regional leader in medical device research and development. Medical devices in Brazil are regulated by the Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) whose medical device classification schemes are similar to those found in the European MDD 93/42/EEC. However, they are not completely identical. Europe divides medical devices into Class I, IIa, IIb and III, whereas Brazil uses class I, II, III and IV. These classifications are based on risk to the human body, with the lowest number classifying the device as low risk and the higher numbers representing a greater risk. It is vitally important to know the correct classification of your medical device prior to starting the ANVISA registration process. The multi – phase process of approval for medical devices begins with the determination of the device’s class or category and in the case of an electrically powered device, the National Institute of Metrology Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO), Brazil’s electrical safety commission’s certification may be required.

Clinical trials in Brazil are well respected for their high ethical standards which are comparable to internationally recognized benchmarks. The overall process, however, is lengthy and requires several independent reviews for similar processes which are considerably redundant. Within the next 2 years the Ministry of Health has projected  that 1.5 Billion USD (cit.) will  be spent on clinical trials in Brazil. This figure is greater than the total investment made in the past 4 years combined. Regulatory entities are discussing changes in the approval process as outlined in Resolution 346“. This regulation references the process of multi-centered research and aims to streamline the process to allow summarized information to be submitted all at once by a single ethics committee. At this stage, all relevant information regarding the device’s functionality, related clinical research, case studies and a purpose statement must be presented for approval to ANVISA in the Portuguese language.  A local translation agency familiar with this process and the Brazilian market is a key element to ensure accurate information is presented, accepted and expeditiously approved. Depending on device classification Brazil may also require certification of general safety criteria according to Brazilian Good Manufacturing Practices (BGMP).  Required quality audits are performed which may reduce exposure to the risk of costly litigation in the case of manufacturing defects as well as ensure product safety and integrity. Currently, these audits are performed by ANVISA every 2 years and require a self-audit to be submitted each alternate year.  Proposed legislation that will likely pass in the near future will allow Good Manufacturing Practice audits performed outside of Brazil to be recognized and accepted by ANVISA.

Lastly, and of utmost importance, is the need to secure an experienced distributor that has the ability to promote and sell your product in the Brazilian marketplace. This critical link is imperative to ensure a high level of market penetration of the device. It is best to look for an experienced local distributor well-versed in marketing, logistics, distribution chain, local customs and language as well as the tributary procedures of Brazil’s government tax agency known as Receita Federal. To resolve these complex matters it’s essential that they are performed in Portuguese. An adept localization team can contribute to the overall level of success of your commercialization efforts. Win & Winnow Communications localization professionals are highly experienced in translation and localization for medical device regluation in Latin America.  Contact us for an assessment of your needs.

Understanding those mysterious “written accents” (technically known as “diacritical marks”).

A “diacritical mark“, more commonly known as a “written accent” added to a printed letter of the alphabet is mainly used to indicate either a change of pronunciation or indicate “stress” on the “marked” letter. The term originates from the Greek Orthodox language διακριτικός (diakritikós, or “distinguishing”). Certain diacritical marks, such as the acute  ´  and grave ` are often called accents. These marks may appear above or below a letter and in some languages within the letter itself.

Some examples of letters with diacritical marks:

Examples of letters with “acute” diacritical marks: á, é, í, ó, ú, ý

Generally indicates “stress” or “emphasis” on the marked letter. Also used to distinguish homophones. Used in the following languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Dutch, Lakota, Leonese, Modern Greek, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Welsh.

Examples of letters with “grave” diacritical marks: à, è, ì, ò, ù

Generally indicates “stress” or “emphasis” on the marked letter. Also used to distinguish homophones. Used in the following languages: Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Dutch, French, Greek (until 1982; see polytonic orthography), Italian, Macedonian, Mohawk, Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese, Ligurian, Scottish Gaelic, Vietnamese, Welsh, Norwegian and Yoruba.

Examples of letters with “circumflex” diacritical marks: â, ê, î, ô, û

Generally indicates a long vowel, stress, or vowel quality on the marked letter. Used in the following languages: Akkadian, French, Ligurian, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish, Welsh, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Breton, Bulgarian, Romanian, Slovak and Vietnamese.

Examples of letters with “tilde” diacritical marks: ã, ñ, õ

Generally indicates a nasal central tone on the marked letter.Used in the following languages: Portuguese, Aromanian, Guaraní, Kashubian and Vietnamese.

Examples of letters with “diaeresis” diacritical marks: ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ

Generally Indicates that two adjoining letters that would normally be pronounced as one are to be read as separate vowels in two syllables. Used in the following languages: Albanian, Kashubian, Aymara, Ligurian, Māori, Seneca, German, Vurës, and Dutch.

The “cedilla” diacritical mark: ç

Generally indicates  the soft sound “S” where a “C” would normally represent the “hard” sound “K”. Used in the following languages: Albanian, Azerbaijani, Ligurian, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish, Zazaki, Catalan, French, Friulian, Occitan, Portuguese, Crimean, Tatar, and Manx.

Languages that do not contain letter vowels

In most early Semitic (Hebrew, Arabic) alphabetic writing systems, the alphabets themselves don’t contain any actual vowels. However, scholars realized the need for a system to aid pronunciation and a system of external marks in the form of dots and dashed was developed for this very purpose. Fluent speakers of these languages do not require use of these marks to read and understand texts, and most writing is done in these languages are without them.

These dots and dashes are written above or below the letter, in ways that do not alter the spacing of the line. Text containing these markings is referred to as “pointed” text. Below are examples of pointed text.

Ex 1:אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי

Ex 2:  أَبْجَدِيَّة عَرَبِيَّة

At Win & Winnow Communications our expert level knowledge and years of industry experience are some of our most valuable assets. The effort we put forth to ensure the highest quality result is our trademark.

What’s on the horizon for the translation and localization industry in 2013?

Market research indicates that the Internet continues to advance at lightning speed in what are being called the “Triple A” markets (African, Asian and Arabic). In addition to the explosive economic expansion expected to continue in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, it’s been projected that the demand for translation and localization services will be stronger than ever in the next few years.

Given that traditionally strong economic markets everywhere are bearing the effects of an economic crisis, much of the African continent is in the midst of an personal income boom that began over 30 years ago. The average gross domestic product growth rate has increased nearly 5 per cent annually during the past decade. An astounding 75% of the world’s fastest-growing economies are African nations. Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia are all expecting an economic expansion of 6 per cent per year for at least the next 3 years.

This unprecedented growth has created an immense demand for translation into African languages. Numerous translation and localization service providers are looking at expanding into some of the more affluent nations like Angola and Mozambique. Nigeria, with English being it’s official language and where offices of multinational communications and pharmaceutical companies are located, are translating their marketing materials into at least one and in many cases several local languages taking into account the nature of the product, demographics of the target market, and the speakers’ purchasing power.  Other major industries such as financial services, insurance, tourism, local and national governments, engineering and the scientific community are also fields that will require translation services on a large scale.

Arab countries

The Arab language is widely used in countries that present substantial business opportunities for foreign investors. In the UAE, Dubai and Qatar trade and import/export liberalization have made these and other countries in the Middle East sought after investment opportunities. The result of these trends are an ever increasing demand for Arabic translators able to translate mainly into English however, other languages namely French and German are in demand as well.

Asian Countries

The executive staff of The Translation Association of China stated during its annual conference in May 2011 that the current industry lacks formal professional standards at this time. Currently only a select few of over one million translation service providers in China are professionally trained in their field of expertise.

Before the extensive demand for qualified Chinese translators and localization experts began, the government of China approved 40 training programs in 2009 for professional translators and interpreters in leading universities throughout the country. However, the fact of the matter is that globally, there are a very small number of qualified interpreters who are native English speakers who can translate between English (or other language) and Chinese.  A similar dilemma exists with other Asian languages, Japanese being one of them, and others such as Vietnamese, Khmer (Cambodia) and Bahasa (Indonesia). As these countries industrialize and enter the manufacturing arena, there will be an ever increasing demand for language related services.

Automated translation

While advanced technologies continue to enhance machine translation tools, professional translators are required to perform specialized functions alongside these tools at an ever increasing pace. Companies require industry professionals to maintain their brand image in their international markets. Automated translation may replace some of the very basic needs that arise from cross cultural and interlinguistic communication, however it is the same automation and technology itself and the ever increasing volume of information continuously being uploaded onto the internet that creates opportunities for industry professionals.

With ever increasing demand for new language combinations and tighter delivery deadlines expected, professional project and quality management have already become and will increasingly become more significant issues. Enhanced translation technologies will eventually shift the workspace from the translator’s desktop directly to their client’s CMS server. Translation agencies will develop and streamline project management functions, which are currently handled by many companies internally. These and other additional tasks which traditionally were not handled by the translator will likely become standard practice.

Institutions of higher learning that are working to increase the pool of qualified translation professionals of the future must commit themselves to make a concerted effort in order to adequately prepare them for this dynamic industry. Technology and localization methodologies should become core subjects at higher learning institutions. Business and project management subjects that prepare the younger generations just entering the workforce are invaluable skills that will prepare industry professionals of the future to deal with clients and agencies worldwide.

Win & Winnow Communications interprets the needs of its clients and translates them to an expert team of linguists and engineers to render all translation and localization efforts cost-effective and time-efficient. As global markets evolve more quickly than ever, we can advise you on how to develop your projects for optimum results.