Czech to English Translations Translator

  • native English speaker with more than 15 years of experience translating from Czech into English (also from Slovakian and French - studied the latter for 12 years in Canada)

  • during this time have built up an extensive database of more than 7,000 translators the world over, so any other language combination, including into Czech, is not a problem

  • with my extensive Czech contacts I can consult or commission their help (or my other Czech to English translators) to achieve the most varied of subjects, carefully supervising the management process to achieve optimum quality

  • with a selected team of translators I can handle large projects in short periods of time (such as some very large projects I have managed in the past)

  • have extensive experience with managing large projects in Transit Termstar, the best translation memory tool on the market. Required software for larger or ongoing projects in order to maintain terminology and consistency, especially if several translators are required.

  • check out a long list of satisfied customers below!

Below that you will find interesting information I have compiled about the Czech language, its history and development, and some interesting nuances between the Czech and English languages, and what problems that may incur in the translation process. Or to customers who may be dismayed by a looser translation which sounds better in the target language but which does not exactly reflect the original.

Education

Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

- Bachelors of Honours in Economics

Work Experience

  • for the past 15 years owned and operated a Translation Agency during which time I have translated (and proofread) for various customers and other translation agencies (details below)

Subjects of Translation

  • marketing (preferred), general

  • economics and finance

  • computers (hardware and software) and telecommunications

  • technical (I also studied engineering and understand technical matters)

  • pharmaceutical

Available Software

  • Word XP, WordPerfect

  • PDF Writer to edit PDF files

  • Corel, Adobe (PageMaker, FrameMaker, InDesign etc.)

  • Transit, Trados

  • FineReader OCR


Prekladatel dela preklady z cestiny do anglictiny

Karel Kosman
my life in Prague

kenax@kenax.cz
or contact form

 

Czech-Republic-coat-of-arms.png (146975 bytes)

Resources

Owning a translation agency gives me access to thousands of translators and the experience to handle larger projects and multiple translators, when required (including other language combinations). I have extensive experience with Transit (translation memory software) and farming out large projects to many translators, using the software to unify terminology and proofreaders to keep quality consistent. My largest project to date is 5 million words in 11 languages which needed to be translated within one month for Dupont.
I can also use my resources for help with terminology in areas I am not so familiar with, or to farm out such translations to these translators directly.

References

  • The European Union (January to July, 2009)
    A big project for the Czech ministry concerning the upgrading of sewage systems in Moravia and funded by the EU. Very strict terminological requirements, aided by translation memory software.
    Reference: www.thebesttranslation.cz - Lucie Kraglova

  • Joalis.cz (spring, 2008)
    Translated most of their pharmaceutical and marketing material, and in the process built up a large translation memory of confirmed and researched pharmaceutical terms.
    Reference: Ben Tallis - bctallis [AT] hotmail.com

  • During this interim period I managed many large multi-language projects and only had time to translate for some of my regular clients.

  • British Council (May 2002 to Dec. 2004)
    Monthly magazine publication in both Czech and English of cultural events in the Czech Republic.
    Reference: Radka Zoubelová - Národní 10, Prague 1

  • Prague Breweries a.s. (majority owned by Bass of Britain) - June 16, 1997 to 2001
    Translated about 2500 words per day of newspaper articles concerning the beer brewing industry. Reference: Diana Dobalova, press spokeswoman for Prague Breweries, tl. 5719 1602

  • Metal Consult a.s.
    Translated several 50,000 word documents and numerous smaller documents concerning the construction of metallurgical plants by NOVÁ HUT a.s. OSTRAVA for ICF Kaiser Netherlands B.V., an American based company.
    Reference: Mr. Kostálek, Mr. Saidl, tl. 2422 9010, 2421 2067

  • Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade
    25,000 word report describing the Czech economic situation, July 4, 1997.
    Reference: Mr. Plandor, tl. 2485 3157, 2485 3137

  • Czech Statistics Office
    20,000 page official statistical report of the Czech Republic economy.

Other companies for whom I have translated:

  • BMC a.s., export arm of TCEHCOMALT, Mrs. Kociánová, tl.: 440 16 103

  • McCann-Erickson, Ariane Synovitz, tl.: 37 08 73

  • AMI Communications

  • CKD Praha DIZ

  • WG&M

  • Hill & Knowlton

  • Coca Cola East Central Europe

  • and many translation agencies, in the most varied subjects

You may view my remaining skills through the
online CV resume of Karel Kosman

Experience from a Czech to English Translations Translator

The Czech Republic was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was notorious for its bureaucracy, argued as one reason why bureaucracy has become an intricate part of the Czech mentality. Small foreign business persons can find it extremely difficult to do business in the country, not understanding how or who to bribe or how to acquire the multitude of stamps required to accomplish anything there. Soon after I arrived in the Czech Republic, I circulated a joke that one has to fill out several pieces of paper before they can draw the last one with which they intend to wipe their own arse. When the regime switched to capitalism shortly after the fall of communism, it was common among translation agencies to demand the exact number of words in the target language as found the source document – otherwise there would be “big trouble”. Czech and English are quite different languages and have their own roots, so such a strict policy is inevitably ridiculous. Things have improved over the ten years I have translated there, but still the overall approach can be rather backwards. Several times I have lost translation customers who would complain how I could “dare” to so loosely translate their material. I found my greatest success was with foreign translation clients who knew what English should read like, and I’ve generally given up on servicing Czech customers because of how they perceive things. 15 years after the fall of communism I still read translations into English which hurt my eyes and professional integrity.

Many times I tried to convey my opinion by arguing that the English translations I read around town must be similar to how I write in Czech, Czech bureaucracythat being a second language for me, but this argument was discounted as impossible and I failed to win an audience. While translating, I understand the Czech, convert it to a mental concept, and then try to word it from scratch, erasing from my mind the original word and phrase order of the Czech sentence. When I proofread it later I polish it while completely forgetting about the original Czech. Czechs like to be highly perfectionist and bureaucratic in their literary expressions, as if the convoluted and roundabout nature of their sentences will wow the reader like a politician tries to wow the voter by speaking in a manner which no layman can understand. But English is more straightforward and to the point, and the style of the two languages, and the mentality of the two peoples, is quite different.

When the Czech authors, who might have a basic understanding of English, see how loosely I have translated their material, they worry that their hard earned wow factor has been unduly diluted and therefore lost its effect, for which reason they are not confident in my translations. I always say that a translation should serve its final audience and not the author. This is something that much of the Czech population fails to understand when translating their prospectus material into foreign languages. <link from somewhere to my Philosophy of Translations on the Translator’s page> 

Some Facts Regarding the Czech Language

The earliest preserved written Czech is from the 13th century, mostly in the form of hymns transcribed in Bohemia. The first books were printed in the 1470s, also in Bohemia.

Official Czech grammar was first formed in 1533 by Benes Optat, Petr Gzel and Vaclav Filomates, and the first systematic general grammar was formulated in 1603 by Vavrinec Benedikti of Nudozer.

The Czech language always pronounces its stress on the first syllable of every word.

Czech grammarThe Czech language has 4 genders (neuter, feminine and 2 masculine - animate, inanimate), 7 cases (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental, Locative, Vocative) and 2 numbers – whether the object of the word is “breathing” or “not breathing”. This creates more combinations and permutations than any other language, making it a very difficult language to master. Within a sentence the ending of almost every word changes depending on what it refers to (an adjective referring to a word having a certain case and gender would change according to the prescribed rules). Many Czechs find this level of exactness and detailed interconnections between words “beautiful”. One advantage is that it can make legal and legislative text more precise, requiring much less words than would the English language, for example. But it also requires an intelligent mind and someone who has sufficiently mastered the language to formulate the sentence properly.

99% of the Czech population is literate and they are very proud of their language. Its education is quite intensive and starts at an early age, and its bureaucratic and detailed nature may be partially attributable to the same nature of its population.

History of the Czech Language

The Czech language belongs to the western group of Slavic languages, along with Slovak, Polish, Pomeranian, high and low Sorbian, and Polabian (now extinct). It is also loosely related to the east and south Slavic language groups.

The Czech language diverged from the other Slavic languages between the tenth and sixteenth centuries through several major sound changes. Closer to the sixteenth century, the Czech language also lost the dual number and 2 Slavic past tenses, while the multitude of declensions and significance of the verbal aspect increased.

Czech dialectsThe Czech language is comprised of four major dialects - Bohemian, Central Moravian, Eastern Moravian, and Silesian. Standard written Czech is based on the Prague dialect, its colloquial form referred to as Common Czech, which has its origins in Central Bohemia. While the Bohemian dialects are more uniform due to the influence of Common Czech, the Silesian dialects are most diverse and approach in similarity to the Polish language. The eastern Moravian dialect is something between Czech and Slovak.

Overall, the Czech language has several core influences, the strongest of which are Old Church Slavonic, Latin and German.

The Written Language of Czech

Until the end of the 13th century, the Czech language was confined within the limitations of the Latin alphabet when describing the various sounds not found in Latin. One in particular is a tightly rolled r not present in any other language (not even Slovakian) and which Czechs get a great kick out of when listening to foreigners who try to pronounce it. They often proudly declare that it is the toughest consonant to pronounce in the world. As more complex texts appeared, a more complex writing system became evident and digraphs and trigraphs were introduced as a means to represent sounds not found in the Latin language. Around the fifteenth century Jan Hus, a religious reformer, introduced a diacritical writing system, adding certain symbols above selected characters (c, d, n, r, s, t, a, e, i, o, u, y) to depict the string of letters formed from the digraphs and trigraphs and to distinguish between the palatal and palatalized consonants and long vowels. The 16th century saw the addition of a long u. The only digraph to survive the reforms is ch, a high pitched sound one makes by blowing air between their tongue and the upper ceiling of their mouth.

The modern Czech alphabet looks as follows:

czech alphabet

Inevitably, all these new characters have posed a problem for webmasters and programmers, as the original founders of the internet did not anticipate or plan for its extensive use in all the world’s languages. Many of these Czech characters require 3 bytes to describe, as opposed to the customary 1 for the standard Latin character. There are also different code pages, which can often conflict with one another.

Development of the Czech Translation Industry

Under communism, the English language was shunned as part of the government’s propaganda machine against the “evil western capitalists”, but following the Prague Spring and the fall of communism, there was an explosion in demand for the English language, as Czech companies sought to establish new business relations and the general population, in particular the young, were willing to embrace the west as part of their desire to rid themselves of the shackles of the previous regime. Furthermore, as multinational companies moved in from the west while racing to parcel out the newly opened market east of the Berlin Wall, Czechs had to quickly learn English if they wanted to share in the lucrative positions offered by those global concerns.

Czech car industryOn the country’s entry into the EU there was a further explosion in demand in the form of legislation on both sides requiring translation.

Czechs are generally diligent, hardworking and technically minded, and the country’s close proximity to Germany and its position in the heart of Europe has attracted much in foreign investments, many automobile makers setting up shop there and which has resulted in many spin-off industries. This too has had an affect on increased demand for translations between Czech and English.


< try to pump in keywords translator and translations
< proofread top section as well

Interesting Czech Translation Links

http://seznam.cz/ - The dictionary I like to use the most for my translations. Press on Slovnik (meaning “dictionary”) and then either CJ > AJ (Czech to English) or AJ > CJ (English to Czech). It also has many other language dictionaries relating to Czech.

http://slovnik.cz/ - Another online dictionary similar to the one above but with English menus.

http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Czech&to=English - Translate text and web pages between Czech and English online for free! You can also translate web pages - just select the URL option and enter the address of the page to be translated.

http://www.ectaco.co.uk/English-Czech-Dictionary/ - A free online Czech to English dictionary and many other language dictionaries, or where you can buy many electronic pocket Czech dictionaries, or in other languages.

http://dictionaries.travlang.com/EnglishCzech/ - This travel related dictionary database is from the freeware multilingual program Travlang Online Ergane. It contains 1900 terms. Also see travlang's Czech to English Dictionary.

http://www.wordbook.cz/ - Has an keyboard for those without a Czech one installed on their computer. Several language combinations, including English to Czech.

http://www.stars21.com/dictionary/English-Czech_dictionary.html - A selection of dictionaries, including one from English into Czech and Czech to English (http://www.stars21.com/translator/czech_to_english.html).

http://www.lingvozone.com/LingvoSoft-Online-English-Czech-Dictionary - LingvoSoft Online English to Czech put the most advanced language management and communication solutions at the tips of your fingers. The modern and convenient way to manage your multilingual communication needs they provide both state of the art text-to speech capabilities and full English transcriptions so you will always know the correct pronunciation of any word. A powerful and sophisticated service, the Online Dictionaries provide millions of combined entries accessed via a smart, user-friendly interface that is second to none. Some highlights include a convenient auto complete function, word tips, an in-line Thesaurus and instant reverse-translation. And to make it even more convenient, it even remembers your preferred dictionary and translation history eliminating the need to select your preferred language pair and direction every time you use it. Able to pronounce words, its innovative Text-to-Speech feature is built on advanced human voice modeling. Now you no longer need to speak out transcriptions - simply select a word and, with a touch of the screen, have your device pronounce it for you.

http://www.wikiled.com/Czech-English-Default.aspx - Wikiled Free Online multilanguage Dictionary Translation from Czech to English for word.

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~tayl0010/transl.html - Links to some Czech literature translated into English.

http://www.freelang.net/dictionary/czech.html - Download our free dictionary (for Windows) and browse both the Czech-English and the English-Czech lists. Look up a word, add or modify an entry, and learn words at your own rhythm from a personal learning list. An online version is also available, so you can browse the dictionary without downloading it.

 

Background picture: a mosaic of an archway in the Prague castle.
Copyright © KENAX, by Karel Kosman - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Czech to English Translation Video