Capstan: Linguistic Quality Control

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Do Trained Interviewers Follow Their Script? Reports from Zedland

Do Trained Interviewers Follow Their Script? Reports from Zedland

In multilingual surveys, numerous factors may contribute to—or compromise—data comparability across countries, across cultures and across languages. Upstream quality assurance work may include cognitive labs, piloting and a translatability assessment. A sophisticated team translation design can be used to minimize item bias due to language-driven meaning shifts and culture-driven perception ... Read more >

A day at cApStAn

A day at cApStAn

Watermael-Boitsfort is a verdant residential suburb of Brussels, bordering the Forêt de Soignes, or Sonian Wood. Famous Belgian surrealist painter Paul Delvaux has lived here; fauvist painter and sculptor Rik Wouters lived just around the corner; and the district is still known to be an artsy place, with its own ... Read more >

cApStAn at the E-ATP 2017 Conference in Noordwijk

cApStAn at the E-ATP 2017 Conference in Noordwijk

The venue for the 2017 edition of the European Chapter of the Association of Test Publishers was again a rather classy affair, a five-star hotel with a panoramic view of the North Sea, some 40 km out of Amsterdam. The weather conditions were whimsical and the sea was unruly, so the ... Read more >

Why it’s High Time to Prepare Skills Sets and Role Models for Man-Machine Translation (MMT)

Why it’s High Time to Prepare Skills Sets and Role Models for Man-Machine Translation (MMT)

Several competitions between the latest generation of machine translation (MT) systems and panels of experienced human translators have been staged and made it into the news. This may have some entertainment value and, for now, bring old school translators some respite but, in my view, it misses the point entirely. ... Read more >

LISBON, JULY 2017: cApStAn @ the 70th WAPOR Conference AND @ the 7th ESRA Conference

LISBON, JULY 2017: cApStAn @ the 70th WAPOR Conference AND @ the 7th ESRA Conference

The conferences were announced a year ago or more. There were calls for sessions, calls for papers, announcements, short courses, and we knew we just had to be part of these two major events. It was a great idea to organise the 70th Conference of the World Association for Public ... Read more >

Multidisciplinary Task Forces to Manage Complexity

Multidisciplinary Task Forces to Manage Complexity

Two weeks ago, a complete 18th century library was discovered in Bouillon. The books, all of them over 200 years old, are in pristine condition. A miracle for bibliophiles.

The 18th century was the last moment in history when it seemed possible for Encyclopedists to be well-informed about the latest developments ... Read more >

Less is more: cApStAn’s new website goes live today

Less is more: cApStAn’s new website goes live today

A few months back, a client said he had spent 20 minutes on our website and still wasn’t sure he understood what cApStAn does. I am genuinely grateful for this unsettling report: it gave us the right impulse to reflect on what we do, how we do it, why we do ... Read more >

Translation quality: entertaining anecdotes don’t give you the big picture

Translation quality: entertaining anecdotes don’t give you the big picture

Our history class on the Middle Ages was a revelation (I remain indebted to Herman Van Bostraeten at Sint-Barbaracollege): instead of just being taught the starting point and the end point of the Dark Ages, e.g. from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 till the invention of ... Read more >