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The Translation Profession






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Technical translation tips
Having specialised in the translation of technical material - such as manuals, leaflets, guidelines etc – from Arabic to English and English to Arabic, I have a few thoughts…
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Le rôle du traducteur dans les projets de développement communautaire
Ce travail vise à faire ressortir le rôle joué par le traducteur/ interprète en tant qu’acteur à part entière dans les projets de développement communautaire, capable de contribuer à l’instauration d’une puissante dynamique de développement en adoptant l’approche participative de la communication…
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How to Create Clearer Translations and Save on Translation Costs Using Simplified Technical English
Simplified Technical English (STE) is generally considered as being of great importance for writing clear and unambiguous content, mainly for user instructions like maintenance manuals. However, many translators (and also many technical writers) experience specific problems when implementing STE…
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Софт для профессионального переводчика
Многие переводческие агентства специально предостерегают своих нештатных переводчиков, что "машинные переводы не принимаются и не оплачиваются". Понятно и справедливо. Их качество и достоверность оставляют желать, в подавляющем большинстве случаев…
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Rosetta Stone and Translation Rates
The conversation slowly and lazily drifted into the matter of rates. There was general agreement that we are underpaid. Different people said that Indian and Chinese agencies were spoiling the market, Latin-American agencies were no good and even some North-American and West-European agencies offered terrible rates far below what anybody would consider fair…
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Почему так мало хороших переводов и хороших переводчиков?
Молодые не знают русского литературного языка. Это неисправимо. Синдром Маугли. Если ребенок, воспитанный волками, до 5 лет не научился говорить, за всю оставшуюся жизнь он выучит не более 20 слов, без грамматики

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Translation - an Ageless Profession
It can be said that everyone smiles in the same language but we still need translators to make communication effective.
Translation is a creative profession, which requires an academic level of knowledge and critical thinking skills. It is about moving the soul of a text into a different body
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Translation Can Be Fun
I have adapted the title for this article from one of my favorite children’s books, Grammar Can Be Fun, by Munro Leaf, who is most famous as the author of Ferdinand the Bull. He also wrote similar helpful books for children on subjects like health, safety, and manners, but unlike grammar, I found little fun in those subjects. I have come to realize that my attitude throughout my whole life has just been to have fun and not work…
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"Found in Translation" book review
I was a bit skeptical when I first picked up this book. "What can I possibly learn about translation after having worked in the U.S. translation industry for 35 years and having been actively involved in the affairs of the American Translators Association for almost as long"? Boy, was I mistaken! Each page, from the very first to the last, surprised me with one fascinating fact after the other…
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Who’s Listening/Reading?
The first job I ever had in the language business was interpreting a meeting between an American businessman and the management team of a French company in the mid-1970s. Things kicked off in a rather unpromising manner. The American came across as surly and uncooperative as the French chitchatted about all sorts of topics. After an unrewarding first few minutes, the French CEO, who was obviously trying to break the ice, told me “let our dear guest know that we will be having lunch in an excellent restaurant.”…
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The Most Prized Possession of All
Here's a riddle for you: What's a possession that we each wield with different degrees of sophistication yet we all own completely? Something that we share with millions of others, yet it's completely up to us to do with whatever we like--and to change and mold in the process? As translators, it's a possession that we are more aware of than most, though everyone else also holds it, cherishes it, and is defined by it...
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Letter to a would-be translator
We keep a blog in Portuguese and often receive messages from would-be translators asking us basic questions about the profession. The following article is kind of an answer to their questions.
So, you want to be a translator! Congratulations, it is a wonderful profession. No, we did not say it is easy, we said it is wonderful. We do not think any profession is easy, but believe all of them are wonderful - provided you like them, of course
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The Value of Translation
It is hard to embark on a career in translation without guansi, or connections, in the Chinese society. The so-called guansi resembles a network of people, where referrals of translations can be directed. Student translators studying in the home country would benefit from this network well before they graduate with client referrals passed down from teachers who are too busy with other projects, whereas overseas student translators would have to start from scratch for a humble income that could barely keep them alive…
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Is every bilingual a translator?
All over the world, translation has become a universal activity. Bilingualism as a concept is based On the field of psycholinguistics with different scholars having divergent views about its role in the theory of translation. What is translation activity? What is bilingualism? Is there any peculiar relationship between these two concepts? What are the specific functions of bilingualism in the general theory of translation?..
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The Dark Side of Translation Revision
As a result of recent quality assurance standards in the translation industry, many providers of translation services require the systematic revision or editing of translations by a second translator and see this as necessarily beneficial to quality. Yet revision by another person can only assure quality if this person is truly competent and the translation/revision process is properly executed. Furthermore, the improvements to quality that revision may bring are not always worth the extra time, effort and cost…
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How to Make More $$ without Really Trying
Have you noticed how different businesses are constantly inventing new ways to nickel and dime their customers? Airlines have first stopped offering free in-flight meals; then introduced a fee for checked-in luggage; they reduced the leg space of their seats and are now charging for "special" (exit row and bulkhead) seats that leave you less cramped at the end of a two-hour flight…
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The Financial Crisis and Translator's Math
The recent surge in work flow prompted me, a free-lance translator, to calculate my productivity and compare today with the past. One of the few positive aspects of the financial crisis-related business slowdown is that plenty of time is available for calculations. When work is coming in, and the deadlines are pressing, there is no time for luxuries like statistics. Yet you are sure that money will come and the bills will be paid! Recently the work flow was not so pressing, so I found time to review my workload of the last few years...
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We are Still of Two Minds about It
We were flying down to Argentina to deliver our piece on Brazilian Tax Terminology at the 7th IMTT in Córdoba. It was a boring flight, as most flights are, and to keep the boredom away, we were talking shop, to the distraction of other passengers, who preferred to sleep...
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How to become a translator
We keep a blog in Portuguese called Tradutor Profissional (www.tradutorprofissional.com), where we write mainly about the reverse side of translating: taxes, how to behave as a professional, how to deal with clients, and so on. As a result, we receive lots of e-mail every week, with a great variety of questions. We try to answer all of them and help everybody, but there are limits to what we can do...
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Response to "We Want a Discount…"
You’re not getting a discount! A translator’s response. I’m not going to give you a discount...
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How do you Deal with Requests for Discounts?
Most translators - including us - don't like to be asked for discounts. We argue that people who don't bargain at the supermarket checkout counter or at a restaurant will readily and happily try to extract a discount from a translator, using a number of silly excuses, including the 79 listed in our previous article for the Translation Journal. Many translators feel that those requests for discounts reflect the low image our clients have of our profession...
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We Want a Discount…
You must give us a discount…
…because we are a new client.
…because we are an old client...
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Specialization in Translation - myths and realities
Despite widespread agreement within the translation industry that specialization is increasingly necessary, there is apparently much confusion about the meaning of this term and its derivatives 'specialized' and 'specialist.' Although the forces of technology and commerce are clearly making it necessary for language service providers to focus on specific subject areas, the extent to which they can become 'specialists,' as this term is normally understood, is questionable, given the inherent nature of translation and of the translation market...
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Spanish: The Living Language. When Spanglish goes mainstream
Just like any other language in the world, Spanish has been dealing for years with new words created as a result of new technologies. Those eventually become mainstreamed and the Real Academia Española accepts them into its dictionary, which is the governing body of the Spanish language...
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How to Drive Your Translators Crazy without Really Trying
The relationship between agencies and translators may range from thorny to stormy and the reputation of agencies in general tends to be low. So low that some agency owners go to extremes of sleight of tongue (legerdelangue?) to hide the fact that they act as intermediaries in the translation business. That is not the way it should be. Or has to be...
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The Translator and his Client: Factoring external determinations into the translational activity
According to Antar S. Abdellah(2002:1), translation is a vital social activity which "enables human beings to exchange ideas and thoughts regardless of the different tongues used." Though we cannot deny the value of this assertion, it nonetheless obscures the fact that, depending on whether we are talking about the translator's viewpoint or his client's/translation commissioner's, translation may well mean two different things...
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How to become a sworn translator in Spain
Without a doubt, sworn translation denotes a qualification that is respected by clients and the marketplace in general as well as a level of unquestionable ethical and professional commitment...
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Ethics 101 for Translators
We have a question: How should a Christian translator deal with wrong Biblical references in a work of fiction targeted at a Christian readership, since the Bible is The Word of God and target readers are likely to identify the mistakes? The question—or something like it—was posted by our friend and colleague Betty Spíndola to a translators' forum sometime ago and we will try to find an answer to it and a few related issues here...
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The state of the language within the state of the industry
To commemorate and celebrate its 50th birthday this year, the American Translators Association (ATA) has commissioned a history of the organization, and by extension – if you will – a contemporary history of translation in the United States...
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On Becoming a Translator
When Gabe Bokor asked me to write a translator profile because I could serve as a model for young colleagues, I felt flattered, confused, and a little bit offended for, even at 47, I count myself among the "young colleagues" who could use a little bit of advice from more experienced practitioners…
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Navigating in a New Era: Translators in the Age of Image and Speech
The ways in which translators work, particularly industrial translators (the term traditionally used for translators of commercial, legal, medical, scientific, technical, and general non-literary materials), have been undergoing dramatic change since the advent of the computer, the Internet, globalization, the growing use of machine translation and CAT tool programs…
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Love Your Work, Love Your Life: Make it Happen as a Freelance Translator
We decided to write this ebook in response to the many positive feedbacks we received from freelance translators. They told us we made their business so simple yet so different. They said that after implementing our methods, they started enjoying their working hours while doubling their output…
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Peanuts, Monkeys and Zookeepers
They tell us it’s a free market!
They tell us that if we don't take it, someone else will!
They tell us there are plenty of translators out there, just waiting to grab the job!…
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Working for Translation Agencies as a Freelancer: A Guide for Novice Translators
The translation profession has recently undergone three important changes: globalization, professionalization, and specialization. Not so long ago translators would mainly operate on local markets, delivering their translations in person. With the advent of the Internet and e-mail, the profession has gone global and geographical boundaries have disappeared…
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Why Sample Translations Break All the Rules
After more than thirteen years in the localization industry with three different language service providers, I continue to be amazed that we still receive RFPs with requests for sample translations…
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Ethical Implications of Translation Technologies
Technology has been reshaping the concept and practice of translation in many aspects. Until some time ago, translators were expected to be able to work solely on definite source texts with the exclusive aid of dictionaries. Specialists were called upon where research references failed or left holes, but, even in such cases, translators had the chance to develop familiarity with their source texts, becoming, in many cases, experts themselves in some fields…
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Proverbs and Translation
Proverbs are extracts of life experiences, and they can explain much of life. Below are some proverbs taken to explain some aspects of the translation process
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Educating the Customers, Redux: Time
Have you experienced the situation where you received a text from a customer and then were casually, or perhaps sheepishly, informed that it was needed back — perfectly translated and/or edited, of course—within just a few hours or days? And how often has such a text been especially long and/or complicated?
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Debunking a few myths about translating and translators
Shortly after I became a full-time translator, an acquaintance asked me what sort of work I do. I told her that I am a translator. Her reaction was, Aren’t you lucky that just living here and having learned the language, you now can translate and make money from it. I felt insulted because it implied that being a translator was not a real profession, that anyone who spoke more than one language could be a translator
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Clients to Fire
Yesterday a major French carmaker asked us to revise a text they'd had translated by an agency in Slovakia. My Slovakian being as rusty as my Slovenian, I turned down the offer.
"But the translation was from French into English, and it's terrible," they replied.
Here's the good part: "Please bill the Slovakians. After all, it's their fault. Oh, and don't bill them too much because they have extremely competitive rates"

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The Importance of Effective Communication in the Translation Business
Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can't miss." So said Lee Iacocca, American industrialist, most commonly known for his revival of the Chrysler brand in the 1980s when he was the company's CEO…
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Translator and Reporter: A Behind the Scenes Conversation
After months of collaborating on articles for Contratiempo without ever having met, when Chicago-based translator Susana Galilea and journalist Kari Lydersen ran into each other at a fundraiser, they began an ongoing conversation about the intricacies of and parallels between their work…
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The pros and cons of personnel in the translation business
Are you planning to set up a translation business? Then there are two or three fundamental questions you will need to consider if you want your business to be a success. One of these, and in fact the most obvious one, is how to attract clients. However, the marketing effort and insight needed to tackle the issue of client acquisition is the subject of another article…
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Translators' Attitude to Badly Written Texts:
Freedom and Limitations

It stands to reason that translators should be responsible for and faithful to source texts. Sometimes they face badly written texts containing grammatical mistakes such as wrong choice words, misspelled words and the like. Similarly, some other poor texts are crammed with swearwords, misstated facts or misleading overgeneralizations. In such situations, the translator should interfere to improve these texts by setting right what is wrong because it is his/her ethical and professional duty to convey correct information…
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How To Make The Translation Process Less Labour Intensive
Although in fact it ended only two decades ago, the era of handwritten or typewriter translations is one that most of us are not nostalgic about – if they remember it at all. To any modern-day translator, versed in – and addicted to – the cut-and-paste functionality of the latest word processing software, it is almost unimaginable there was ever a time in which translations were produced with a pencil and an eraser, or with a typewriter and correcting fluid…
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Educating the Customer
What, $35 to translate that? I heard there are computer programs that can do the same thing," a potential customer complained to me once. It wasn't the first time someone had said something along those lines. "My colleague was very pleased with your work," another person told me, "but I found someone who could do it much cheaper." While many customers don't seem to know much about the translation process, a surprising number of them do seem to have pretty firm ideas about who can translate and how much it should cost…
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Adding Value to Translation with DTP Partnership
A search in any translators' discussion forum will reveal that now and then some less-informed clients expect the 'translation' of a rather complex publication will be no less than an exact replica of the original in a different language. Some translators simply say 'no' and deliver plain text as usual. Others, having once stated that their clients rule, decide to face the challenge... and get frustrated at first, and desperate later, when the deadline comes nigh. Here are some ideas to emerge a winner from such situations…
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The Power of... "No"
In the localization business, missed deadlines, exploding budgets, and mediocre quality all belong in the same category as root canals and tax audits—you don’t wish such ills even on your worst enemy (either because you’re a nice, decent person or because you’ve learned that evil forces can easily turn against those who invoke them). So how is it possible that seasoned professionals regularly engage in localization projects that they know are bound to suffer from one or more of these ailments?…
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Céline’s 10 Tricky Situations Translators Might Find Themselves In and How To Get Out of Them
Being a freelance translator isn't just about having the ability to take language from one culture and turn it into another. As I allude to elsewhere in this blog, there are aspects of this career which require negotiation skills and business awareness. When you start off, for example, or have a new agency contact you promising a juicy contract, it can be tempting to bend over backwards to get the job…
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Buzzword or Bonanza? A Translator Reflects on Best Practice
There's no doubt that "best practice" is a hot topic today. The exact phrase brings nearly 40 million hits with Google, including 16 sponsored links related to sales and marketing, education, research, manufacturing, information science, health care, and more. Amazon.com lists over 2300 books with "best practice" as a keyword. To me it was pretty much just a buzzword. It sounded good, and I assumed it was an apt description of the way I ran my business…
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Globalizing Communication
Recently my career took a step in the right direction when I was hired by Ccaps Translation and Localization. With a degree in Mass Communication, and a specialization in International and Cross-Cultural Communication, it really was a fitting move. And I can honestly say that I love what I do…
English Portuguese

The Ball is Yours, Proofreader!
As a soccer fan and a Flamenguista who grew up watching Zico play, I can never forget a comment made by a colleague of mine: “proofreaders are like goal keepers: they are only noticed when they fail”. Indeed, if discussions on the translator’s visibility and the awareness of our interaction (and intervention) with the original text still generates controversy, imagine the state of proofreaders’ (in)visibility…
English Portuguese

An Invisible Traitor
A well-known Italian saying declares traduttore, traditore, ‘Translator, traitor,’ implying this sneaky species is congenitally incapable of remaining faithful to the original text. For most people, a good translation is one that looks nothing like a translation. In other words, the translator should be invisible, their work limited to conveying the original’s meaning in a fluent and natural style…
English Portuguese

Agencies are from Mars, Translators are from Venus II:
The Revenge of the Venusians

If there is anyone among us who has never committed any of the sins mentioned by our colleague Fabiano Cid, let they be the one to cast the first stone... In a market with growing demands, tighter deadlines, more complex tasks, and extremely delicate relations, it is not hard to fall into temptation…
English Portuguese

Freelance Translator: The Most Democratic Profession?
I’m old enough to remember life without the Internet and e-mail.
I actually began my writing and translation career typing on manual typewriters, literally cutting and pasting to rearrange sentences and paragraphs. And I had to physically deliver — in the form of paper, faxes or even teletype messages and telegrams — my work output, actually visiting the offices of my clients and correspondents, in many cases!…

English Portuguese

Agencies are from Mars, Translators are from Venus
"A Practical Guide to Improving Communication and Getting What you Want in Your Relationships" is the subtitle of John Gray’s acclaimed book. It could also be the title for the survival manual of any project manager I know. However, what do translation agencies want, and how much are translators willing to offer?…
English Portuguese

Walk The Dog, Round The World, Or Sleep?
Some people think that your run-of-the-mill business gurus provide a great insight on how to and how not to run a business. I will listen with interest to what these management prophets have to say. But I think that I can learn at least as much…
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Translator Prerequisites and the A-Z of becoming a Translator
Your standard of education must be very high; with very few exceptions, a degree is essential, though not necessarily in languages - it is a positive advantage to have qualifications or experience in another subject. Postgraduate training in translation is useful…
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Translation Of Personal Documents – A Window Into Our Strange World
This article is about translation of personal documents. Birth certificates, college transcripts, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates. They are called personal documents because they often have all kinds of personal things in them…
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Translation Myths
Translators often face an uphill battle from misinformed clients who have misconceptions about translators and the translation profession. Many times translators have to educate the clients about the industry in order to debunk the myths that seem to keep on circulating year after year…
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Who Is Responsible For A Translation?
I did an editing job for a customer that I have worked for a few times in 2004 and 2005. I delivered the job with some comments, questions and suggested changes (in MS Word/Track) for the translator. Below, please find an exchange of messages between the agency's Project Manager and myself…
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Hints for Translators
The translation market profited enormously from the globalisation, which took place over the past decades. How can you profit from this development?…
Click here to view English version…
Hier klicken für die Deutsche version…

How to become a successful freelance translator
After completing their translation training programmes at higher professional education or university level, many students can’t wait to set up as a freelance translator. However, gaining a foothold as a freelancer in a very competitive translation market may turn out to be a pretty complicated business. Translation agencies are not usually keen on contracting inexperienced translators, business clients are difficult to find without commercial tools, and the tax authorities won’t just accept anyone as a self-employed person…
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Seven Ways to Leave Your Translation Vendor
Time and time again I speak with global communication managers who tell me how they've endured poor linguistic quality and poor project management from their translation vendor for quite some time. I often hear how they've been bounced around from one project manager to another and how they've tolerated the silent treatment and reactive responses to questions instead of proactive communications…
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A Day in the Life of a Translator
My typical day begins with a walk through the woods to school. Besides being a very serene start to the day not least for the dog, and especially if I have been at my desk since 5 am it has the additional benefit of allowing me to contra off any chocolate consumed during a sedentary days translation and also to mull over any headlines or anything else requiring quiet contemplation. I often use this time to give translations or editing a final read-through manic multi-tasker that I am…
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Looking for answers within: an introspective look at professionalism of translators and interpreters
Why does society at large have such a hard time understanding? Don’t they know that translating and interpreting (T&I) is a profession? What is wrong with this picture? Can we do anything about it?
In case you are wondering, even though I strongly believe in the great need for client education, this article is not about the general lack of knowledge the public has regarding the T&I profession (and its members) as is evident by the article cited –only one of many similar articles that occupy the pages of mainstream newspapers on a daily basis …
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Bilingualism
Bilingualism is a sociolinguistic phenomenon that has received much scholarly attention, not only because of its importance in communications but also because of political and demographic considerations that have led many sociologists to brand some languages as major and others as minor in multiliguistic settings. This classification forces African languages into subordinate positions on the grounds that only a few of them have been codified, and fewer still are used in instruction …
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9 Tips For Increasing Translation Quality While Decreasing Translation Cost
In some cases, there's no win-win situation when you're looking to increase product quality while decreasing cost. Translation is the exception; measures that decrease word count and therefore cost often result in a more precise and accessible translation. Here are some "translator's eye view" tips gleaned from some of my recent projects …
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Getting Started As A Freelance Translator
After relocating to Colorado and having a child, I wanted to find a career that would allow me to use French and work from home, so I decided to try to make a go as a professional translator. Several years later, I'm certified by the American Translators Association and happily employed by a growing list of regular clients …
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The language of business – how fluent are you?
In an increasingly global marketplace, it's high time that UK exporters realised the importance of translating or localising their sales websites into foreign languages. Karen Elwis has found a quick test to ascertain readers' current level of expertise in European "commercial-speak" …
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"Mind your language... or pay the price in Rubels!"
In the past few years, there have been moves afoot in Russia to encourage citizens - young and old - to clean up their language. No mean task considering that Russian, in its daily spoken form, is estimated to contain 50% more swearing than English …
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"Waiter! There’s an insect of the order Diptera in my soup!"
The following genuine examples are an amusing reminder of what can happen when you don't use a professional translation company...
- On menu of Swiss restaurant: "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for" …
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"FIST" - First International Strike of Translators. Only A Fantasy?
This article is at least partly a fantasy. I know all the reasons why the events I am about to describe are unlikely to take place in the near future. I will even examine these reasons in some detail towards the end. But for now let us simply entertain the idea embodied in my title and see where it leads us …
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What Makes a Translator?
The "prison of language is only temporary…someday a merciful guard ? the perfect translator ? will come along with his keys and let us out," Wendy Lesser wrote in an article, "The Mysteries of Translation," in the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2002. The following questions remain, however: Who is this translator? What does he do? And what skills should he possess? …
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Translation Misconceptions
Translation is occassionally taken too lightly by some. However, translation is in fact a serious business that should be approched sensibly in order to avoid poor results. Before starting a project that invloves translation bear in mind the following misconceptions regarding translation …
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Major mistakes when responding to job offers
Wondering why you never got an answer to your e-mail? Sometimes potential clients do not have the time or simply do not need your services. Other times, it could very well be that your message is the real reason. Have a look at the following mistakes to see if any of them sound familiar and find out how to avoid these mistakes in the future…
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Is something wrong with our profession? Considerations on translators accreditation processes and standards
It is with an enormous sense of responsibility that I endeavor to discuss an issue I take to heart, namely the process of accreditation, and homologation of accreditations in the field of general and specialized translation…
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How many words per day?
One topic most freelance translators just starting up their business devote some thought and calculations to, is this: How many words am I supposed to translate per day?
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Source Language versus Target Language Bias
Aside from a few volunteer projects, my start in the translation profession was with a private school in Hiroshima where I was employed as a teacher. The English department had taken on responsibility for a visiting author who was writing a novel about the atomic bombing. She had amassed a series of transcripts taken from interviews in Japanese with atomic bomb victims, and she came to us looking for a clean English version. The project was to take 6 months. Although the department accepted the work, this was its first venture into translation and there was no one available to deal with the task on a full-time basis. Knowing of my interest in becoming a translator, I was given a portion of the responsibility, and eventually the better part of the material ended up on my desk.
..
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What Every Novice Translator Should Know
Translation is ultimately a human activity which enables human beings to exchange ideas and thoughts regardless of the different tongues used. Al Wassety (2001) views the phenomenon of translation as a legitimate offspring of the phenomenon of language, since originally, when humans spread over the earth, their languages differed and they needed a means through which people speaking a certain language (tongue) would interact with others who spoke a different language…
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Its a Small World
My wife likes to criticize a certain Polish girl just before 10 AM on most weekday mornings. We never met this particular Polish girl. Her name is Milena, she lives in Warsaw and works as a weather forecaster on a Polish station shown on the International Channel in our cable lineup (channel 224 in Chesapeake, VA). The thing is, Milena is on from about 9:55 to 10:00 AM and Japanese news starts at 10 AM. My wife always complains about Milena's poor taste in clothes, usually in her trademark mixture of English containing a fair amount of juicy Japanese words, in this case it is usually "ya da" (hate it), and "hidoi" (ugly)…
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The Business of Translating
Translation is a service business, not an industry or commerce. The basic difference between industry, commerce and services lies in inventories. Industrial establishments keep at least two kinds of inventory: raw materials and finished goods. Commercial establishments keep only finished goods inventories. Service establishments, however, keep no inventories…
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Sorry Guys, You Can't Win
Some time ago my e-mail included a message posted by a respected colleague discussing the qualities that made a good translator. The message read like her own CV. She believed she was a competent professional, attributed her competence to certain factors and concluded that those factors were indeed universally applicable requirements. In other words, she firmly believed there is only one road to becoming a good translator: the road she had trodden…
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What the Guys Said, the Way They Said It, As Best We Can
It was a PowerPoint presentation, written in English in the U.S. and translated into Portuguese in Brazil. The client had just called to say that the translation was unacceptable and they would not pay for the job. Too literal, the secretary had said…
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Five Excuses for Not Hiring a Translator
If a company has its translations done by just anyone in order to save money, it runs the risk of ending up with an unprofessional translation as well as wasting valuable time. Having the translation redone afterwards can only cost more money and take even longer. No wonder translation seems so expensive!
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How to Choose a Translator Wisely
Translation clients are often buying blind. They seldom know what they are paying for, especially when buying a translation into a language other than their own. Translations are definitely not all born equal, a fact to which anyone who has experienced the pain, amusement or confusion of reading a bad one will attest…
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A Typical Translator?
Every time the American Translators Associations Translation Services Directory Questionnaire asks me to list only five languages (plus one more in additional information), I have to persuade them that there really are those of us who translate ten or more languages, in particular Slavic language translators…

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