A-Z Translations | English
Previous
CLOSE
Next

English

All the posts.

The written exams are over! Yeah! Yes, I know, orals aren’t far off, but right now it’s time to celebrate getting through this part! So cheers to you! And please do take some time off and breathe and relax… Photo by Roger Kirby from FreeImages

If this were a normal year, the written exams for the state certification of my future translation colleagues would already be over. Due to the lockdowns and subsequent interruptions of regular schooling, they have been moved to the end of May. So in a little over a week, my students will be sitting their five exams – four translations and one essay -, and they are getting a bit …

READ MORE →
 

Don’t pile it – file itRecord-keeping is boring, and most of us will find excuses to avoid it. But staying on top of it reduces stress and frees up time for the more creative aspects of translation.How you keep your records is entirely up to you, but be systematic. Ideally update them after every job or payment, and at least once a week. Little and often really is less …

READ MORE →

I would guess that most of us are at least conscious of and trying to lead “greener” lives in general, but have you thought about how to be more environmentally-friendly while working? In the office, this could be somethings as simple as only turning on the light when it is absolutely necessary, or installing a thermostat on the heater that can either be programmed or remote-controlled to turn on …

READ MORE →
 

… call for unusual measures. Whatever your views on the current global situation and whatever the outcome will eventually be, one thing is certain: these are unusual times in the literal meaning. Nothing is or works the usual way anymore, it seems, and the effects on everyone, whether privately or professionally, are hard to ignore. For me, this week has been very busy with work, both translations and school …

READ MORE →
 

If you know the app, you won’t be surprised by the title of this blog post. If you don’t, you probably thought something along the lines of “Why is she talking about grocery shopping?” Well, this isn’t about groceries (although you can use it for that), but rather about not forgetting anything – including the milk, if you are using the app like that. Basically, it’s a digital pinboard, …

READ MORE →
 

Before there were languages in my life, there was music – which in itself is a language as well, as I’m well aware. So I guess taking the step from a universal language to specific ones was not such a big one after all. But I never forgot my first language, in fact, I never left it; I merely shifted priorities around regarding what is part of my professional …

READ MORE →

The new year has started and is actually already in its second week, but since I was on a well-earned vacation until Monday and then had to attend a meeting of the commission for the new syllabus for the Fachakademien für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen, I really only started getting back into the swing of things yesterday. I know that for some colleagues, there is no such things as a Christmas …

READ MORE →

That is probably the most pertinent question after the absolutely awesome BDÜ Conference 2019 in Bonn two weeks ago. The fact that I’m only now getting around to write about it shows you already how (positively) overwhelming that weekend was. I jokingly said to friends and colleagues that I needed about a month of vacation to digest and implement even half of the information I got, but really that was …

READ MORE →
 

It’s almost time… From Friday until Sunday, this year’s BDÜ Conference “Translating and Interpreting 4.0 – New Ways in the Digital Age” is happening in Bonn at the World Conference Center, the former Provisional Parliament House of the Federal Republic of Germany and seat of the German Bundestag and Bundesrat from 1949 until 1999.  I have never been there, so I’m excited about that aspect alone, not to speak of …

READ MORE →
 
 

I have recently posted about the rosy future for translators, despite the recent rise of no-longer-quite-as-terrible-gibberish-producing machine translation, and at the SDL Roadshow I attended this week in Munich, the statistics also confirmed that translation (and related fields) is a strongly growing industry and there will be plenty of work to go around in the future. I am by far not the only one writing and thinking about this topic, …

READ MORE →
 

I’m usually not out looking for employment as I really love being a freelancer (who’s also teaching, true, but that’s just a side-line), but I know that finding a position as a translator or interpreter in a company (and I mean not necessarily an agency) is increasingly becoming a viable option for new colleagues. So I was happy to find a place where these types of jobs are listed, with …

READ MORE →
 

I have mentioned MT (machine translation) a few times on this blog (e.g. here and here) already, and it will most likely continue to be a topic now and again, seeing as it is not going to disappear. Personally, I am not entirely sure whether it is a positive or a negative development, but regardless, sticking my head in the sand and trying to ignore it won’t help. MT has …

READ MORE →
 

I’m sure some of my colleagues will roll their eyes, saying “Really? You just now heard about this?”, but yeah, I just heard about this, and I love it, so I’m going to quote my English teacher from school: “Betta late san neva!” What am I talking about? The awesome site “Speaking of Translation” by Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay. They talk about all sorts of interesting topics, interview colleagues …

READ MORE →
 

(c) wordfinder.com

 

… and not because it is becoming very clear that summer has gone (although I hope it will make a reappearance before leaving for good) and fall is already here. It’s also not because the new school year has started and there are almost twenty (20?!) new students at the Fachakademie in Weiden. No, I am talking about a change in hardware. Seeing as my trusty notebook is becoming ever …

READ MORE →
 

“Reading a poem in translation,” wrote Bialek, “is like kissing a woman through a veil”; […] Translation is a kind of transubstantiation; one poem becomes another. You choose your philosophy of translation just as you choose how to live: the free adaptation that sacrifices detail to meaning, the strict crib that sacrifices meaning to exactitude. The poet moves from life to language, the translator moves from language to life; …

READ MORE →
 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who receives e-mail applications from other translators offering their services in hopes of work. I’m always amazed that they seem to think I am an agency, when clearly I am not – all they would have to do is take a look at my website to see that there is only me. But that’s a rant for another day… Today, I would …

READ MORE →
 

When I tell people that I am a freelance translator and interpreter, the reactions I get tell me that most of them have no idea what this profession entails – or that it even is an actual profession, for which you ideally have gone through some kind of schooling?! The folks at eazylang wrote a nice little post about the five most common misconceptions about translation, which I’d like to …

READ MORE →
 

Came across this in one of the mailing lists for translators and interpreters… Enjoy! Oh, btw: only one more week of school… 😉

 

It is finished! Today was the last day of examinations for this year’s crop of future translators and interpreters in Bavaria. The final result from our school here in Weiden: Of the 12 candidates, 11 passed the written examinations, all 11 of those passed the oral examinations, and of the three interpreting candidates, the two who took the exams (the third one was ill) both passed. Needless to say, we’re …

READ MORE →
 

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.” ― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society  As someone who loves language and words and even gets to make …

READ MORE →
 

… have their price. I know, there are not a few colleagues who have tooted in this horn many times before, yet it cannot be stressed often enough: Good translations are not cheap. And if they are cheap, you should seriously question whether they truly are good. And that’s not even factoring in the turnaround time factor.  (I’d like to point out, that “cheap” here does not mean “for peanuts”!) …

READ MORE →
 

… equals happy translator! Just wanted to share a very lovely reference (also in German) from one of my newer customers, Language Box. It really doesn’t happen often enough, I think, which is why I am all the happier when a customer not only gives me positive feedback, but also does so publicly! So, thank you again, ladies, I really appreciate it!

 

Next week is the week … the week of the written exams for the future state-certified translators in Bavaria. Twelve of my students are getting ready to take it in Weiden. The first two exams are on Tuesday, then another two on Wednesday, and the last one on Thursday. So, ladies: Don’t make yourselves all crazy over the weekend, get plenty of rest, have breakfast (!) and get to the …

READ MORE →
 

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope y’all get to relax and enjoy the holidays. (Here in Germany, we have four days in total! Yeah, us!) Here’s a wonderful quote on translation I found, and I would like to share it with you, hoping it’ll lift your spirits and give you a little extra boost for your work – the works of art you create every day for your clients! “The translation …

READ MORE →
 

After the elia together event in Berlin in February, my belief was once again confirmed that it is of great importance to meet not only (potential) customers face-to-face, but also network and just mingle with colleagues on a regular basis. So I was thrilled to discover that Pieter Beens over at Vertaalt has compiled a list of all the translation-related conferences taking place all over the world this year. Have …

READ MORE →
 

Last night I had to say goodbye to my long-time office buddy… She was already 15 years old, and had had a slipped disk for the second time, seemed to be doing better, though. But last night she had two seizures and I did the only humane thing… Farewell, my crazy, stubborn, loving Spec! I will miss you snoozing underneath my desk.

 

I had mentioned a few weeks ago that there would be some changes a-coming. Well, one has already come, albeit a somewhat temporary one – this is only an interim solution, as I am still not entirely sure about the final solution, but I needed something quick, so here it is: Click here… and here… and here… to see some new things! Did you see it? On the first page? …

READ MORE →
 

This week, I came across a post over on the blog of TM-Town about what a customer should ask himself or herself before hiring a professional translator. Just four simple questions: #1 What type of content do you want to translate? #2 Where is the audience of your content located? #3 What is the subject matter of your translation? #4 How do you intend to use the translation?   I …

READ MORE →
 

Yesterday, I attended a very interesting BDÜ workshop on marketing in Munich. And although I wasn’t too happy about the long day initially (since I have a ton of work), it turned out to have been a very good idea, indeed to go. It started out with us having to pick a picture and then introducing ourselves and using the picture to describe our current (professional) situation. Here’s the one …

READ MORE →
 

I just talked about term extraction in my terminology class, and during preparation,  I was also thinking about alignment. After all, if you have multilingual reference material, for example in order to prepare for an interpretation assignment, what do you do? Right, you place them next to each other and look for vocabulary etc., in effect aligning the corresponding documents (whether on paper or on screen is a matter of …

READ MORE →
 

The short vacation over the new year is almost over, but I wanted to share at least a small impression and hope all of you have had an equally great start into 2017! The view from the restaurant

 

(c) Funny Quotes

 

I’m sure some of you have seen this before, but it is just too good (and sad but true) to not look at it again (and again and again and again…). Courtesy of europelanguagecafe. The ‘mental block’ becomes your daily torture (in native and learned languages alike) Brain: Knows more than one language –> refuses to find the correct word for the language you are speaking in. You have to decide …

READ MORE →
 

Warning: The following is a rant and may provoke… I just received an inquiry with the following parameters: Volume: 6000 Words Rate: 0.05 USD per word Deadline: Monday, 28.11.2016, 02.00 PM CET The topic would be right down my alley, but that would be about the only positive thing about this. Were I to accept, I would have to work this weekend AND for a rate that would bring …

READ MORE →
 

If there was one topic it was impossible to get around this week, it was the presidential election in the US of A. And as seemingly everyone has had to have their say, I thought I’d share my two cents worth, as well. But don’t worry, it’s not going to be political in any way. Nope. The thing I would like to get off my chest, now that Donald Trump …

READ MORE →
 

As a language person, I love learning new words, particularly fun ones. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this page here (also check out the comments – brilliant new words there, too!) on Sad and Useless:

 

I recently decided to replace the netbook I had been using in the booth with a tablet computer. Actually, this was long overdue, as the netbook – not the fastest to begin with – had been getting slower and slower, taking somewhere around 5 minutes just to start up and deciding to freeze up at the most inopportune moments because its little RAM was simply not up to the task …

READ MORE →
 

As you know, school has started again here in Bavaria, meaning I get to tell future translators all about the tools of the trade they can and should use. And as I’m sure you also know, I am a great fan of memoQ (although I do use other tools occasionally, as well, mainly because certain customers require it). Recently, Szabolcs Kincse wrote a post in the Kilgray blog about what …

READ MORE →
 

Since I am back from vacation the first week, I though this was a very apt comic. Thanks to Tina and Mouse! (c) www.tina-and-mouse.com

 

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” — R. Kipling

 

One of the subjects I teach is sight translation. During their last year, translation students have two hours of this per week, one for each direction (German – English and English – German), mainly because it is also part of the oral exam, where they have to sight translate one general and one business text in both directions (which one goes in which direction is a surprise – ha!). But …

READ MORE →
 

With the next class of newly state-certified translators and interpreters ready to go out into the “real world” next week, I thought a little help on the way into setting up one’s business might be appreciated. I found these tips on how to get started over on business know-how and thought I’d share them here, even if they are not specifically for translators/interpreters: 32 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Business  Starting …

READ MORE →
 

Taking up last week’s post (in German) about making translators more visible and an interesting comment by Valerij Tomarenko, I decided to post the interview by Catherine Jan with Chris Durban she did in 2011 – and which is still applicable today! She makes some really good points, which made me rethink my opinion on signing even something as mundane as an operating manual. One of my favorites: “There’s no …

READ MORE →
 

Just this week I had to remind my interpreting students how important it is to address people correctly – and then this pops up on Facebook: This won’t be part of their exam in two weeks – but it would have been interesting to see how they deal with it… To be fair though, I wouldn’t have known all the correct translations, either… Would you have?

 

The news is not new in itself (the post is from February), but it was new to me – even though the content of it wasn’t. (Have I confused you yet?) What am I talking about? The fact that the interpreters of the European Parliament have asked its Members to speak slowly and use their mother tongue when saying something (read the article here). Anyone who has ever interpreted knows …

READ MORE →
 

Yes, I admit it, I’m a Douglas Adams fan, and I honor towel day (today!) every year! If you are, too, or have at least read or seen “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, then you know about the Babel fish – a small, yellow, leech-like fish, “probably the oddest thing in the universe. It feeds on brain wave energy, absorbing all unconscious frequencies and then excreting telepathically a matrix …

READ MORE →
 

An interesting post by Claire Cox on her blog regarding how translators – or really freelancers in general – allocate their eggs in their basket(s) got me thinking about what my customer base looks like. I feel like I have a good mixture of both agency and direct clients, with larger and smaller ones on both sides, as well as a variety of services on offer, with the odd client …

READ MORE →
 

An uproar went through the translating community last week, through all forums and mailing lists: if you haven’t heard, then either count yourself lucky, because you’re not affected, or get scrambling to see if perhaps maybe you are, after all. I got lucky, but I know of several colleagues here in Germany who weren’t! What’s the story? Slator, a new translation industry newspaper, has it covered: Scam and Talk About …

READ MORE →
 

Last week I was on an interpreting assignment with a colleague regarding finance matters for a German company. The clients were two Americans, the rest (about 20 people) were Germans. The interpretation into English was simultaneous through earphones, when the Americans spoke, consecutive out loud, with no microphones used by anyone. The acoustics were less than ideal, and the German speakers often forgot to make sure we could hear them, …

READ MORE →
 

In Germany, we enjoy a long weekend on Easter, because both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays here – which means no work! And I for one have been in need of some off time, let me tell you… But anyway, even if it is all play this weekend, here’s a little language lesson for you: Do you know where the word “Easter” comes from? In case you don’t, …

READ MORE →
 

Just love the guys at Mental Floss! Betcha didn’t know all of these: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); An array of hedgehogs! A parliament of owls! Here are 17 fantastic collective nouns for animals. Posted by mental_floss on Monday, March 7, 2016

 

So true… (c) PerceptionvsFact.com

 

Last week, I came across this very interesting essay in the Wall Street Journal about the future of translation and interpretation – via machines?! Anyone who knows anything about proper language use, knows how flawed machine translation a la Google or Bing is. Yes, it works (most of the time) to get the basic message across, but that’s about it. Being able to carry on a meaningful conversation using these …

READ MORE →
 

The principal of the school I teach at a couple of hours a week recently asked me about my opinion on video remote interpreting, since he had just learned of it and was extremely fascinated and utterly taken with it. While he saw only the positive sides and opportunities of it, my first thought was of a more sober nature: it’s harder to do (in my experience, consisting of having …

READ MORE →
 

I recently came across the youtube channel by Dana Newman of Wanted Adventure, an American living in Germany. She is very excited about living abroad and shares this enthusiasm in her many videos on all sorts of topics. I’d like to share the one in which she raves about her favorite German words she wishes could just be translated literally into English. Fun and educational – enjoy!

 

My colleague Corinne McKay published a very interesting post on her blog last week, the theme of which I would like to take up here, as well. It fits the end of the year and the usual review I do. She posed five questions, which I will try to answer. Here they are:  1: Are you happy with how much you earned, as compared with how much you worked?  …

READ MORE →
 

Courtesy of @tuitsdegabriel

 

I’m so glad I also interpret and teach, so I get to leave my lair on a regular basis… 😉 Thanks to Tina and Mouse!

 

Ever translated anything using one of those free online translation tools? I have, I admit it, but only to communicate with the French owners of the B&B we wanted to stay at during our vacation. I’m sure it wasn’t poetry in motion, but we understood each other enough to make it work. And for things like that, Google Translate, Bing Translator & Co. are perfectly fine. But what about important …

READ MORE →
 

Being a teacher now, and one who hasn’t gone through teacher training (I know?!), I am always on the lookout for new methods and approaches to making the learning process better, both for myself and for my students. I recently came across this very interesting article by Marc Prensky talking about the different “languages” the different generations speak. Although written in 2001(!), it is very topical, as I can actually …

READ MORE →
 

Having a person with the flue in the house usually means you, too, will catch it sooner or later. Last Monday night it was my turn. My throat had been starting to hurt Sunday, but I had hoped to stave off the worst somehow (tea, scarves, warm socks…). It didn’t quite work, though. Since I had an important meeting on Wednesday and really felt terrible Monday night (I think I …

READ MORE →
 

(C) flyingsolo.com.au

 

Anyone spending longer periods of time at the desk knows that a bad office chair inevitably leads to bad posture and all sorts of health problems in the long term. Things like backaches, headaches or stiff knees are a sure first sign you’re spending too much time in one (bad) position. I’ve always been a firm believer in a good office chair, and I knew I had a good …

READ MORE →
 

(c) http://www.contrabass.co.uk/tourtemute.htm I’m sure it has happened to the best of us: You’re in the middle of a heated discussion, or got your interpreting groove on, then suddenly there it is: an idiom pops into your head, you think, Perfect! I’ll use that! and use it…. incorrectly?! Christina DesMarais has made a list of the 20 idioms most commonly used incorrectly over at inc.com. Any of them sound familiar? …

READ MORE →
 

It’s been going through the translation world like the fires in the US – the news about Transperfect. The way they treat their providers aside, it seems things are not as perfect as they seemed… Once more, I am glad that I have never (and will never) work for them!

 
 

Sound familiar, anyone? Thanks to Tina and Mouse!

 

This week, my students are having to take their oral exams for the translator state certification. The first part took place yesterday, parts two and three will be on Friday. I will have to test them in at-sight-translation (part 2 of the oral exam), both from and into German and English, one general and one economic text. There are three groups of students, which means, I have to prepare six …

READ MORE →
 

I’m always trying to find enough time to read what others in the translations and interpreting business are thinking – and writing. Much of it is very useful, some, thought-provoking, and some, simply funny (laughing is important, too, people!). This post here by Céline Graciet on Naked Translations was one of the latter – and it reminded me that for most of us, coffee is one  (if not the single …

READ MORE →
 

We had an open day at school recently, and I got to demonstrate interpreting with my students for all those interested. I also had a few videos for them to watch, among them one from the University at Germersheim, a Friday conference on tools for interpreters. This then led me to look for tools online, and I came across a great collection at Dolmetscher wissen alles. So if you’re looking …

READ MORE →
 

Do you have 26 minutes? Then you should definitely listen to this podcast on market positioning for translators, an interview with Ralf Lemster conducted by Tess Whitty on the Marketing Tips for Translators website. Ralf really knows what he is talking about – I know this, because I know him personally through the BDÜ and have worked for him (because of my specialization in classical music!) -, so that half …

READ MORE →
 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I also teach interpreting, at-sight-translation and CAT-tools at the (still) new Fachakademie für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen in Weiden. This year, the first class has its final examinations to become “staatlich geprüfter Übersetzer (und Dolmetscher)” and things have been a bit hectic because it is new territory for all the teachers, as well. Today we received the schedule for …

READ MORE →
 

When was the last time you visited my website? Now is a good time to take a look again – there are new pictures! I finally got around to having new photos done… Have a look! Can you find them all?

 

You haven’t heard of the two acronyms in the title? If you are a language service provider of any kind, you should have, since they have been around for a while now. I just came across them again while preparing for my terminology and CAT class, so I thought I’ll spread the word a little more, in case there are still some who have not encountered the two concepts …

READ MORE →
 

For those of you who haven’t heard this yet: José Mourinho, the current manager of the English football (or soccer) club Chelsea, who happens to speak five languages, gave high praise to our profession, saying that calling him a translator is offensive to those that do the job professionally. You tell ’em, José! And thank you, thank you, thank you for understanding that there is so much more to translating …

READ MORE →
 

Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture. Anthony Burgess

 

Yesterday I had my first interpreting assignment at a press conference, doing a mixture of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting. It was at the organic trade fair “Biofach” in Nuremberg, and my colleague and I were told beforehand that we would be interpreting for two ladies from Mexico and the Philippines respectively. Since most of the press conference happened in German, we were to whisper into our charge’s ear simultaneously, and …

READ MORE →
 

A new year often also means a new job – or at least the hope to find one. Traditionally, this involves writing a resume. However, in the 21st century, is that really still the most effective and above all convincing way to apply for a new job? Mitch Joel from Twist Image has a different idea: Read here what he thinks the new resume is. What do you think? …

READ MORE →
 

As I am taking a few days off everything, my year-end thoughts will have to wait until next week. But I don’t want to leave you hanging without anything these last few days of 2014, so since I love to read and I love to translate, here’s a list of fifty books in translation from fifty presses: And Other Stories: Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, trans. Clarissa Botsford Antilever Press: …

READ MORE →
 

I was interviewed on the radio recently regarding interpreting. One of the questions was which English or Spanish dialect was hardest to understand. My answer was that it’s usually not the native speakers, but non-native speakers and their accents plus lacking grammar who make an interpreter’s life difficult.You know, the language spoken by most people in the world is poor English… However, after seeing this video, I’m inclined to change …

READ MORE →
 

I came across this funny (and true!) comic revealing how translators really think and didn’t want to keep it from you: Source: http://www.tina-and-mouse.com/2014/07/we-nuance-tm-53_21.html You can find more of these great comic strips over at Tina and Mouse.

 

Most likely everyone trying to master English has had problems with these before, so take a look at this great explanatory article over at espressoenglish to learn about the difference and correct use of close/shut, start/begin, end/finish, and listen/hear. I hope you find it helpful!

 

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of transcreation before, but don’t really know what it means exactly, especially compared – or opposed – to translation. Here’s an interesting post I found over at Trusted Translations about the topic that hopefully will shed some light on the two similar but different concepts. I personally think transcreation is a more extreme form of localization, but others may beg to differ. …

READ MORE →
 

Some of you may have heard and/or read about it, but there is currently a request for proposal making the rounds that is very interesting to me, since the subject matter is classical music. It doesn’t happen all that often that an opportunity like this comes around, so naturally, the project drew my attention. The list of requirements is quite long, and  – as unfortunately is so often the case …

READ MORE →
 

Interesting post over at Goethe does Atlanta: 10 reasons why you should learn German:  1. For Business 2. For Travel 3. For Family 4. For your Resumé 5. German is one of the Most Widely Spoken Languages 6. To Boost your Intelligence 7. Become More Open-Minded 8. To learn more about the History of Germany and it’s Culture 9. To Make New Connections 10. To Sharpen your Life Skills True, …

READ MORE →
 

Only a short notice, since this week has been extremely busy with teaching, interpreting and translating… If you understand German and are able to receive Bayern 1, tune in tomorrow (Friday, 26 September) morning between 7 and 9 am to hear an interview with yours truly about interpretation. I’m sorry I can’t give a more precise time, but I don’t have any more details, either. The interview was recorded earlier …

READ MORE →
 

Just in case you haven’t seen this or heard about this yet:  There is a new style out there for translators, and you can have it, too! Just go to the campaign page and order yours, it’s not too late, yet!

 

… and what a vacation it was?! 4400km on 2 wheels in 2 weeks, through the Southern French Alps, all the way to the Mediterranean, through the Provence (lavender harvest!) and back. The weather was mostly good, and it was great fun and the landscape just amazing! Being back in the office Monday morning was quite hard after that. The 10001 e-mails waiting for me didn’t really help, either… but …

READ MORE →
 

I’m sure everyone who has anything to do with language has seen the latest video by Weird Al Yankovic. If not, here it is: Although I like the music and laughed when I first saw it (I have to admit, there’s a little bit of a grammar-nazi in me, too), this article by Stan Carey over at Sentence first made me have second thoughts. What do you think? Is it …

READ MORE →
 

This year just seems to fly by, it’s already August, with summer vacation just around the corner, and I am so very much looking forward to it! My first year teaching is over, and I think it went pretty well, even if it was quite stressful at times. I got very positive feedback from my students, which not only was a nice boost to my ego, but also made me …

READ MORE →
 

Still too much to do, so today’ll be another link to an interesting post. I’ve had what we call an “ear worm” in German – a song that’s stuck in your head and won’t leave no matter how many other songs you listen to – so this post by Annie Murphy Paul published on Psychology Today is not only interesting, but also fitting at the moment. Enjoy!  Why We …

READ MORE →
 

My schedule is packed for the next few weeks until school is out, so please bear with me if I “only” share what others have written – but please believe me that if I share something, it really is worth it! Here is a post by Samar Owais I found over on copyblogger about the most common mistakes freelancers make, often without even realizing it! I hope you find yourself …

READ MORE →
 

I came across this little film here by smartling. Not what I expected, but good nevertheless. Enjoy!

 

This week I was interpreting for two days during the works council meeting of a large international company. On the first day, the works council met alone, discussing internal things and various issues they wanted to talk about with the management on the next day. There were only two English speaking members, none of them a native speaker, but they didn’t say much, so we mostly had to interpret into …

READ MORE →
 

Tomorrow, I’ll be holding a beginners seminar for memoQ in Munich, organized by the BDÜ . It’s been a while since the last one (two years?!), and quite a bit has changed since then – and for the better! While updating my script, I realized once again how diligently the people at Kilgray are working on constantly improving this great translation tool. And how well their support works: when a …

READ MORE →
 

I’m so thrilled! My new Moo mini business cards have finally arrived! Take a look – what do you think?

 

I know, I know…. once again I’ve not had enough time to do all the things I’ve been planning to do in this school-free time, which means that once again I have to fall back on another blogger’s creativity… So I give you The Stinging Nettle‘s post on the one and only Kevin Lossner who without a doubt rocks the industry of translation and whom I just happen to …

READ MORE →
 

I just recently saw the movie “Frozen”, loved the music, and then I came across this! Too funny! And proof yet again that I don’t have to worry about being replaced by a machine any time soon… 😉 I especially love her face, trying not to laugh while she’s singing – and doing an excellent job of it, too! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. …

READ MORE →
 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to go with the latest fashion in all things, be it clothes, hairstyle or electronic gadgets. I do believe in staying up-to-date when it comes to the tools I need to work well, though, and that includes both software and hardware. I try to stay updated with the important software such as my CAT tools, my accounting software etc. One …

READ MORE →
 

I came across an excellent article on prices and costs over at Ferris Translations this week, and I wanted to share it with you: Dumping costs? What?!? Posted on February 10, 2014 by Michael Ferris Within the language industry, like any industry, there are also translators and language service providers that offer dumping prices. What are dumping prices? These are prices that are considered “unfair” to the competition because …

READ MORE →
 

Continuing with last week’s topic, here’s another interesting article on the connection between language and music, more specifically, on how singing makes learning a foreign language easier: Singing in a Foreign Language Helps You Learn Better Than Just Speaking It There’s a new study by the University of Edinburgh Reid School of Music that shows singing in a foreign language is a better way to learn it than simply …

READ MORE →
 

As my workload has still not lightened very much yet, here’s an article by the fabulous Nataly Kelly published last summer by The Huffington Post.   The world of translation can be a confusing place, especially if you’re the one doing the buying on behalf of your company. Many purchasers of translation services feel like you might when you take your car to the mechanic. How do you really …

READ MORE →
 

Sorry, this post is a bit frustrated, but I just had to get this off my chest… If you live in Europe, you surely have heard of the Single Euro Payments Area, also known as SEPA. As treasurer of the BDÜ LV Bayern, I have the “honor” of collecting the membership fees twice a year. As an association, we are required to use the SEPA process to do this …

READ MORE →
 

The wonderful Marta Stelmaszak over at WantWords has recently blogged some excellent tips on how to protect your CV as a translator. I had written about this topic before, but a reminder/refresher never hurts, plus, she has some great points in her list I had not thought of before (e.g. Nos. 8 and 10). I’ll have to revamp my CV, too, now! So here it is, Marta’s excellent list …

READ MORE →
 

This year seems to have gone by in a flash – only four more days are left of it! It’s been quite turbulent for me, thankfully mostly good, with a few changes thrown in. The biggest change was my accepting a job as teacher for interpreting, at-sight translation and terminology and computer-assisted translation, plus the classes I am subbing (general translation and a prep course for the IHK translator …

READ MORE →
 

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the South African sign language interpreter who was on stage with and supposed to interpret among others the speech by President Obama during the memorial for Nelson Mandela this week. It even made the evening news here in Germany! (Here is one of many articles detailing what happened.) I don’t know sign language (except for “Thank you”), but even I could …

READ MORE →
 
 

There’s a lot going on in the translator community right now, many hot topics are being discussed quite passionately, and I will try to put my 2 cents in, as well, but not today. The last few weeks were quite grueling for me, having had to balance teaching 12 hours a week with a regular translating workload, i.e. working two jobs with having only the 24 hours each day …

READ MORE →
 

Those who know me know that I have a fable for dictionaries. Sometimes I actually need something specific and take a look at what else they have, but every once in a while, I just go on a sort of online shopping spree. In any case, I always look through the sale categories and see what I might have use for, even if only theoretically. (That’s how I got …

READ MORE →
 

Since I started teaching interpretation, I have had to think a lot about what it means to be an interpreter, what knowledge, skills and also talent are required, and how to teach this to or, in the case of the talent, how to find out if they have it and then coax it out of the students and help them develop it. I have found some books on techniques …

READ MORE →
 

It’s undeniable – the days are getting shorter, fall has definitely arrived and it’s getting to the point where I have to turn on the heater and the light when I get into my office in the mornings. (c) tuareq Some days, when the sun just doesn’t seem to want to come out at all, I have to leave the light on all day. So of course it is …

READ MORE →
 

In honor of having given my very first class lecture on terminology today, here’s a great glossary every translator should strive to learn by heart  (found over on the website of the Terminology Coordination Unit): Funny glossary of translating 20,000 words: The amount of words (some) clients think can be translated overnight. Back translation: (1) I can’t proofread and I don’t trust you. Send translation of your translation. (2) When …

READ MORE →
 

Scams are unfortunately no longer a rarity even in the translation business. That why I am glad colleague João Roque Dias has compiled a great website with all sorts of information and helpful links and examples on translator scams and identity theft, available here.  I also came across some excellent tips on the elanex website: For translators, some simple steps we advise are: Instead of publicly posting your resume …

READ MORE →
 

I have written a few times about pricing and discounts lately, and how the tendency is to go down with prices especially when times are tough, even if only temporarily. Now this article by Paul Sulzberger published on The translation business has been making the rounds in the translator community, proposing a completely different approach to falling prices – namely to raise them?! It is kind of long, but …

READ MORE →
 

It’s been too hot to think these days, so I figured some language-related fun is in order. Enjoy these tattoos…

 

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I had written down some thoughts on discounts earlier this year – and that I was not in favor of them. Now, in a mailing list the other day, a colleague (whom I do not know personally) offered discounts for Ramadan and called it “month of sharing”. The idea of offering a limited discount on the occasion of an important event …

READ MORE →
 

Gotta love this guy! If you don’t know him yet, enjoy your first taste of John Green from Mental Floss!

 

I was on an interpreting assignment yesterday afternoon, relieving a colleague who had been working the morning shift at a conference organized by the city of N. Having worked for them before under less-than-perfect conditions (that’ll be the topic of another post), I was curious what the setup would be like. When I got there, the booth sat in nice view of the stage and screen, the technician was …

READ MORE →
 

Have you ever wanted to scream because of fantastical spelling and toe-curling grammar in posts, comments, e-mails etc.? Well, here’s a funny and really well-made little video about a dream killed: Missmatch (“I Dreamed a Dream” Parody) – watch more funny videos

 

I came across this inspirational video the other day – and found it also very applicable to translators! Enjoy! 29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE from TO-FU on Vimeo.

 

I was just out of the office for over a week (longer than originally scheduled and planned), and now faced with the task of writing this week’s blog post, I dug up this post from Marqui CMS. Unfortunately, it’s a bit older (October 2010) and no longer online, but still applicable in my opinion. I feel it’s perfect for the occasion, since I set myself the goal to post …

READ MORE →
 

Als freiberuflicher Übersetzer passiert es einem immer wieder: die Anfrage nach einer kostenlosen Übersetzung. Wie man am besten darauf reagiert? Hier ist eine tolle und wirklich hilfreiche Graphik: Sollte ich kostenlos arbeiten? As a freelance translator it happens again and again: the request for a free translation. How to best react to it? Here’s a really helpful chart: Should I work for free?

 

After my confession a few weeks ago – and receiving some quite encouraging responses from you, thanks again so much! –, I have received one larger and a few small jobs, but still nothing steady, the way it used to be before “the slump”.  I also had the opportunity to speak with one of my agency clients about the slow start of my business year. It was quite enlightening …

READ MORE →
 

After looking at 5 ways not to use Twitter for freelancers, I came across another very interesting and helpful post on Chris Brogan‘s blog: 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business. Here are my favorite points: 4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.  13. When promoting a …

READ MORE →
 

I debated with myself whether to write this post or not. To ‘fess up or not to ‘fess up… Is it professional or not to talk about this? Will this hurt the way (potential) clients see me? Might it maybe even help? And finally: Don’t most freelancers have these times at some point in their careers? In the end I decided to do it: I confess. I confess that …

READ MORE →
 

As I had mentioned here, I dared to switch computers a few weeks ago. My by now 4-year-old desktop had begun to show certain signs of a slow, yet imminent  death, and since I had already had a hard drive crash the beginning of last year and needed to get a new notebook anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and kill two birds with one stone, so to …

READ MORE →
 

I was out of town the last two days, interpreting for that new customer from Switzerland who had asked me to make them offers including technology (I wrote about this here). Everything went really well, both the customer and the guests I interpreted for were full of praise and thanked me repeatedly for my excellent interpretation, and the setup with microphone and headphones, sitting behind a partition worked surprisingly …

READ MORE →
 

Since I’ve spent the last two days on the big computer project for this year, i.e. switching from desktop to laptop with all that entails (something I will blog about once it’s done), and will be involved with that for a little while longer, I’ll only share a great short article today I found over at the excellent FreelanceSwitch on how to use Twitter wisely for business purposes. It …

READ MORE →
 

Agencies – for many translators and interpreters, it almost seems to be a dirty word, probably because of the bad experiences they had with them. I know there are many different types of agencies out there, and so far I’ve had the great fortune to work with mostly those that are worth the name, not what I call “re-bagers” (“Umtüter” in German), meaning someone who simply passes a job …

READ MORE →
 

I have been in need of a new keyboard for a while now, since my old one had been leaving out letters at will and gotten louder and louder over time. After spending quite a bit of time in the keyboard isle of several electronics stores, I chose this one: the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750. Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 In addition to it being wireless – something …

READ MORE →
 

Seen here I know, I’m not the first one to write about this, but in my opinion we cannot stress it enough, especially to customers!  And hopefully, this will also help you sort the good from the bad, meaning: help you find the customers worth keeping, because they understand how quality, deadlines and price interact, and that good quality has its price and takes time. Have any of you …

READ MORE →
 

Christmas Gift Suggestions To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. Found at www.christmas-poem.info Wishing all my readers, visitors, friends, colleagues and customers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

The great BDÜ video comparing the translations of a real flesh-and-blood translator with the results by Google Translate I wrote about here is now also available in English:

 

Reading Nataly Kelly’s article “The Words We Use to Describe Ourselves” published in the October issue of the ATA Chronicle, I came across the neologism “interpretator“, a hybrid of the words translator and interpreter. I think it should become the new word for those of us who both translate and interpret.  I do, so from now on I will refer to myself as interpretator… Who’s with me? 😉 …

 

Here’s a good write-up on a situation most of us are familiar with, also called The Favor!  You’re sitting at home (or at work) slaving over a translation when out of the blue you receive a call/email/text message* (delete where appropriate) from a colleague/friend/acquaintance* (delete where appropriate) who you have not heard from for quite some time. The message usually begins in similar fashion regardless of whether it is …

READ MORE →
 

Since I am completely swamped with work, I thought I’d share Per N. Dohler’s very interesting translator profile from the Translation Journal (Volume 7, No. 1, January 2003). Have fun reading! How Not to Become a Translator by Per N. Dohler   hen Gabe asked me to “be” the Translator Profile for this issue of his wonderful Translation Journal, I felt opportunity knocking. A typical freelance translator, spending most …

READ MORE →
 

How to write a blog post about a conference? That’s the question I’m asking myself right now. Not an easy task, methinks, since although short, it was packed: Two and a half days filled with interesting lectures, lively panel discussions and instructive workshops, with meeting colleagues and friends, some again, others for the first time (yes, that would be you, my dear Twitteros), with drinking coffee and water (and …

READ MORE →
 

The topic of the connection between music and language, which I have already talked about here, keeps coming up for some reason…  Today, I came across this very interesting article in my Twitter time line: Music Underlies Language Acquisition, Theorists Propose. The article basically says that contrary to common belief, music is “not dependent on or derived from language”, but rather that “spoken language is a special type of …

READ MORE →
 

I apologize beforehand, but this is going to be a bit of a rant… Comments and differing views are of course welcome! 😉 Source: Wikipedia I was watching the movie “The 13th Warrior” the other day. Not wanting to evaluate the movie or the story, there are some things I just have to say, because it’s just so… impossible not to say anything about them as a language professional. …

READ MORE →
 

I read this article about natural translators and musicians a while ago, and it got me thinking. Being a musician myself and having started my musical education at the tender age of three, I wonder if my musical talent has anything to do with my linguistic ability – or if it maybe even helped it emerge. To be sure, I’ve met plenty of musicians, including professional ones, who have …

READ MORE →
 

Although I had been thinking about it off and on for quite a while now, I only recently decided to go ahead and purchase me  – a Dragon. One reason why  it took me so long (I first heard about him at the BDÜ Conference in Berlin 2009) was that I thought I had to purchase a license for every language I work with, i.e. one for German, one …

READ MORE →
 

Since I’m on a mini-vacation again this week, here’s an excerpt from an excellent post from the myGengo blog on how to judge the quality of a translation: Before submitting Prior to submitting your text to be translated, make sure you give the translator proper context. In addition to giving a brief summary detailing what the intentions for the translation are, also be sure to guide the translator on …

READ MORE →
 

Aside from being a member of my professional association, the BDÜ, and the treasurer of the Bavarian chapter, I am also part of the editorial team of “Bayern Info”, the members magazine published by the BDÜ LV Bayern three times a year. Right now, the second issue is about to be published and we are in the throes of proofreading everything, several times, in various stages. The fact that …

READ MORE →
 

Observant people may have noticed that something else changed regarding my desk other than the desk itself. Together with my new desk, I also introduced monitor stands. I had realized that it was not just the sitting that caused bad posture but also the angle at which I had to look at my monitors – they were too low. So I bought some Fellowes TFT stands (or monitor risers …

READ MORE →
 

I recently came across some really interesting sites with people promoting walking while you work?! Yes, you read that right. There are people (and by now also clever companies catering to their needs e.g. by building special desks) who very slowly walk on a treadmill while working at their desks. While the statement that our bodies are made for walking and movement, not sitting, is certainly true, I just …

READ MORE →
 

I received a large envelope in the mail today. I get them about every six to eight weeks. Inside are between ten and twelve letters which I am asked to translate. Sometimes from German into Spanish, sometimes from Spanish into German. I have two weeks to complete the translations, which I then send off in another large envelope enclosed in the original package for this purpose. If I don’t …

READ MORE →
 

Inspired by the recent Labor Day (May 1), I thought I’d share with you why I am a freelancer and why I do not want to be employed. Let me start with how I came to be self-employed in the first place. While I was studying to become a translator and interpreter, I was already working freelance on the side (although not very much), doing small jobs mostly subcontracting …

READ MORE →
 

… your shoulders won’t straighten anymore because you’ve been in a hunched-over position for so long … your jaw starts hurting because you yawn so much … your eyes start hurting because it’s gotten dark and you haven’t noticed, thus not turning on a light … you turn on the coffeemaker without placing a cup underneath/filling it with coffee/filling it with water … you start using the keyboard shortcuts …

READ MORE →
 

Last Saturday, the Nuremberg regional group of my professional association, of which I am the co-leader, organized a presentation of various CAT tools (Computer-Assisted or Computer-Aided Translation tools) in order to make the decision of which tool to choose easier. The Bavarian division of the association has a notebook with by now nine different tools for just this purpose, and my colleague Manfred Altmann, who is also the technology …

READ MORE →
 

My office is closed for a few days over Easter, so I’m taking the easy way out this week by sharing a great article by Debbie Swanson on the Freelance Switch blog. Having two dogs myself, I can really recommend it! Most freelancers are eager for tips and information, turning to forums, classes, and networking for ways to learn and improve. But did you ever consider looking to your …

READ MORE →
 

We hear it and read it frequently: staying fit is good, not only for the body, but also for the mind and soul.  Although I was fairly active in my youth (mainly as a swimmer), I pretty much stopped doing much of anything during my university years. When I started working, I barely had time for my social life, let alone sports of any kind. Even when I got …

READ MORE →
 

Here’s a good post from the Small Business Blog by BizLaunch on how to figure out what prices to quote customers. The original post can be found here. Small business owners should quote services using ‘good, fast or cheap’ matrix Afraid to stand up to that pushy customer and risk losing the job, many entrepreneurs agree to supply their wonderful services for an unrealistic mix of money, quality and …

READ MORE →
 

This is the summary of an excellent article by English to Swedish translator Tess Whitty she had written on the key advantages professional translators offer their clients. Tess is a member of the Swedish Association for Professional Translators and the American Translators Association, where she serves on the committee in charge of setting up the ATA certification program for English into Swedish translators. She also has a well-respected blog …

READ MORE →
 

As the regular readers of this blog know, my PC conked out between Christmas and New Year, and I had to work from my schlepptop for about two weeks. Since my CAT tool, memoQ, gives me two licenses, I had it installed there already, as well as an e-mail program (with the IMAP option set-up on my accounts) and my digital dictionaries, so I was in a good position …

READ MORE →
 

Last Saturday, I held my very first all-day seminar as part of the continued education program of the BDÜ. Interestingly, I was not nervous at all, but rather really worried about the technological aspect, since I was giving an introduction to the CAT-Tool memoQ by Kilgray, and the location did have it installed on all PCs but not worked with it before. To put it briefly, yes, there were …

READ MORE →
 

Beim Übersetzen muss man bis ans Unübersetzliche herangehen; alsdann wird man aber erst die fremde Nation und die fremde Sprache gewahr. When translating one must proceed up to the intranslatable; only then one becomes aware of the foreign nation and the foreign tongue. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Well, I wanted to use the first post of the year to review 2011 and write about what my plans are for 2012, but my pc decided to break down right after Christmas, and after I finally got it back from the repairman, with a new hard drive, it took me hours just to install the antivirus program, and then it refused to accept anything else, so I had …

READ MORE →
 

Auf dem Blog eines Bekannten habe ich vier kurze, knappe Ratschlägen für Führungskräfte gefunden, die sich auch sehr gut für Business aller Art eignen. Sie lauten: Sei nett Verbessere dich ständig Kommuniziere mehr als nötig wäre Halte mehr, als du versprichst Ich zumindest werde sie als Vorsätze für 2012 nehmen… ___________________________________________________________________________________ I found four great pieces of advice for leaders on a friend’s blog that are also applicable to business …

READ MORE →
 

I had to completely redo my PC from scratch after a virus incapacitated it last week. If you’ve never had to do this – count your blessings! If you’ve been there before (blue screen of death, anyone?), you know what I’m talking about. It’s not fun at all!  And it takes a long time to reinstall not only the “big”, obvious software like mail and word processing programs and …

READ MORE →
 

We finally got around to cleaning out the attic two weeks ago, and besides sorting through and throwing out a lot of stuff – or giving it to a charity -, I came across some cool, fascinating, funny, interesting and strange things.  One very interesting thing I found in a wooden trunk full of old books and LP records. I have no idea how it ended up in there, …

READ MORE →
 

When I tell people I work from home, they tend to think that I sleep late, walk around in my PJs and lay on the couch with my notebook, taking frequent naps. Well. Maybe that’s what other freelancers do. I don’t.  I get up early (usually between 6 am and 6:30 am) and get dressed (who knows when potential customers may find their way to my door?), and I …

READ MORE →
 

I am fairly tall for a woman. Not super-tall (the WNBA wouldn’t be very impressed), but tall enough to make buying a pair of pants somewhat of a nightmare undertaking for me… but that’s a different story, and one I won’t divulge here. So, although I am pretty tall, most of that height comes from my legs. When I sit down, I appear actually rather short. Not a huge problem, …

READ MORE →
 

Read to the end . . a new twist 1) The bandage was wound around the wound. 2) The farm was used to produce produce. 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out. 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 7) Since …

READ MORE →
 

Yes, I’m German. So using beer and work in the same sentence is therefore absolutely normal, you say? Well, it may be more common and less frowned upon to have an alcoholic beverage during lunch time over here, but honestly, I don’t drink (alcohol) while working!! (Just liters and liters of water, tea and coffee.) I still get to use beer and work together, though, because last week I got …

READ MORE →
 

Last week I was the interpreter at a German-Australian wedding “out in the country”. I had requested and received the mayor’s speech beforehand so I could translate it – anyone who has ever interpreted at a wedding knows how fond the officials are of quotes, poems, pithy sayings and clever plays of words, and how hard it is to translate those off the cuff?! The speech consisted of five pages …

READ MORE →
 

I was reading The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame – it’s a children’s story, I know, but it’s a classic, too, and I’ve never read it, so there – when I came across a paragraph that just left me speechless. It’s towards the end of the book, after Toad has escaped from prison and been rescued from the river by his friends, who tell him that his ancestral …

READ MORE →
 

  … because you are a new client, and I don’t know what to expect.   … because you are an old client and you know my rates.   … because this job is for a new client.   … because this job is for an old client.   … because last time I gave you a discount.   … because last time I didn’t give you a discount. …

READ MORE →
 

This is just too good to not share it! We’re drowning in email. And the many hours we spend on it are generating ever more work for our friends and colleagues. We can reverse this spiral only by mutual agreement. Hence this Charter… The Email Charter was created in response to widespread acknowledgement that email is getting out of hand for many people. It started life as a blog post …

READ MORE →
 

I know, opinions are split on this one, but I have been working with two monitors ever since I started working as a freelancer full-time, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  First I used an additional monitor to the one on my laptop, then, when I had my desktop PC custom-build, I bought a larger monitor (22″) as main one and kept the other, smaller one (17″) as …

READ MORE →
 

Dagmar and Judy Jenner from Translation Times suggested to spread the word about good language blogs by asking fellow bloggers to list their 10 favorite ones and giving the post the above title. So here is a list (with links) of 10 of the language blogs I read regularly, in no particular order, which I think are not only helpful and interesting, but also fun. 1. Thoughts on Translation: A …

READ MORE →
 

I’m swamped with work this week, so here’s a little funny (or is it?) video to lighten up my and your day. 🙂

 

I finally got around to purchasing one very important piece of office equipment, which I have been meaning to do for quite a while – a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). However, I didn’t want to just buy any old – dare I say “cheap”? – device, so I did some in-depth research on what would best suit me needs and purposes and still be affordable (although the price really should …

READ MORE →
 

A view of the world where the geographically largest countries also have the largest population. Wenn die geografisch größten Länder der Welt auch die mit den meisten Einwohner wären. Si los estados más grandes tendrían las poblaciones más largas. (c) http://i.imgur.com/c6Agr.jpg

 

At the interpreting assignment yesterday, my usual partner in crime was on vacation, so I had the pleasure of meeting a new colleague. She is just starting out, both as an interpreter and a translator, and of course was full of questions on how to find work and clients. As expected, she asked for my “secret” after hearing that I had started freelancing not so terribly long ago myself, yet …

READ MORE →
 

I came across this a while back and thought I’d share it, since I think it gives the basic and most important reason for charging what you’re worth. (Originally published here.) “The more I charge you, the more pressure I put on myself to perform for you. The client who grinds me on price is the least satisfied. He gets less attention from me and is most likely to be …

READ MORE →
 

(originally published by yndigo) I happened upon a New York Times blog post listing the 100 things restaurant staffers should never do — part one and two — and thought the idea good enough to steal (somehow, “no stealing” wasn’t high on our list). Despite the title, many of the don’ts apply more to agencies and their staff. Some to individual translators. And some to any service related job. …

READ MORE →
 

To do two things at once is to do neither. (Publius Syrus) We all know the saying that women can multi-task and men cannot. And we all know that this is not necessarily true and probably also know more than one example for the complete opposite. Personally, I am a bit torn about this. On the one hand, I have been multi-tasking since long before I ever heard of it …

READ MORE →
 

The faithful readers of my blog will remember how I broke up with  my long-time partner, SDL Trados, in December to welcome a new CAT tool into my heart: memoQ. And I must say, I have not looked back or regretted that step one single moment since.  Since I am one of those “click every button and see what happens” kind of persons and taking advantage of the many free …

READ MORE →
 

Billig ist, was zur Anschaffung wenig kostet. Preiswert ist, was den Preis wert ist. (Rough translation: Cheap is something that doesn’t cost much to get. Good value is something that is worth the money.)

 

I just finished a translation for an agency customer who also happens to be a colleague and member of the local BDÜ group. As usual, I proofread my translation before sending it in, and, also as usual, I did so on the screen. And this particular combination of circumstances reminded me of a discussion we had at one of our monthly meetings of said group where we talked among other …

READ MORE →
 
 

So I just finished my first interpreting job over several days for a direct business client. That’s two firsts in one go! And it went really well, which makes me very happy! 🙂 It was the first direct client for me that was not a private person needing some documents translated or someone to interpret at their wedding. How I found this client? Through a colleague who called me before …

READ MORE →
 

Finally! I got all the parts I needed to extend my desk to the right, creating an extra workspace for writing tasks directly in front of the window. Now I have two nicely separated areas and twice the space, so things are a lot more clearly arranged. It really is just a board and two bookshelves, but hey – makes on happy translator! 🙂

 

The people of Spain think Cervantes The equal of a half dozen Dantes; An opinion resented most bitterly By the people of Italy… (Source unknown)

 

Should you hire a freelance translator or a translation agency? by José Henrique Lamensdorf Assuming you are not in the translation business, just need such services, either as an individual or for your organization, here are some candid tips to help you in avoiding unpleasant outcomes. Of course they are not rules that apply always, nor they cover all possibilities. Common sense is advised to prevail, always! You probably don’t …

READ MORE →
 

Courtesy of the Freelance folder. Spooky Freelancing Habits Are you engaging in scary freelance practices? Check out the following list: Not researching your client. You’d better believe that your client researched you before they hired you. Why wouldn’t you do a little work and research them? Not asking for a payment up front. For a new client, you should ask for at least 50% of money for the project …

READ MORE →
 

Here’s an interesting little training video by Ed Gandia from the International Freelancers Academy, fitting this week’s topic very nicely. It’s called “How to Create a High Impact Elevator Speech – How to craft an elevator statement that sparks conversation“ and is part of a free new online training series for freelancers. Here is a short summary of what Ed talks about: An elevator speech is a statement that succinctly …

READ MORE →
 

Last weekend I was at the ProZ.com conference in Barcelona, which was not only a great opportunity for me to meet new people and practice my Spanish, but also to learn new things about how to promote my services better and use my time and resources more effectively. One session was all about getting customers to want to hire us (as opposed to other translators/interpreters/etc.), among other things by spiffying …

READ MORE →
 

Last night, I went out to dinner with a friend who is also a prospective business partner. Because of the mixture, our conversation went from private to business and back, sometimes even mingling both. I had a great time, and not only because we went to this really great Japanese restaurant, where they offered warm moist towels to clean our hands as we sat down, where they tied linen bibs …

READ MORE →
 

Sure, they want to sell something. Sure, it helps to be nice in order to do so. But still! I had to download the trial version of a flowchart editing program for one of my agency clients so I could translate a document they sent me. Since I was busy with a rather large proofreading job, I merely downloaded it from the software company’s website and installed it. I took …

READ MORE →
 

 Click here – Hier klicken

 

Being a freelance translator working from home, it’s important not to lose contact with the real world. This is true not only regarding your personal life, but also when it comes to communicating with clients and colleagues. So much is done virtually, via e-mail, Skype and social media such as Facebook or Twitter, it is easy to forget that there are real people involved on both ends. And it …

READ MORE →
 

An excellent post on “No Peanuts” concerning the job ad of an Italian publisher for a translator.

 

Is the document finalized?  Will there be any future edits? Making changes to the original language after translation has begun is likely to incur additional fees, even for small changes.  If you’re having the text laid out in a formatted document, you’re likely to incur additional charges for re-formatting the document as well.  Sending a translation before it’s been edited won’t save you much time, and it will definitely …

READ MORE →
 

This is not new, but still good: The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as ‘Euro-English’. In the first year, ‘s’ …

READ MORE →
 

This is really interesting – and true! RSA Animate-Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us from The RSA on Vimeo. Of course, I’m not saying we all need to start working for free (gotta make a living, too, you know), but there are professional-type things I do for fun, for free, for other people, for example: I am the co-leader of the local chapter of my professional association, the …

READ MORE →
 

Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.

 

Mark Twain’s remarks about the irregularities and irrationality of spelling in the English language.  ADDRESS AT THE DINNER GIVEN TO MR. CARNEGIE AT THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW YORK ENGINEERS’ CLUB, DECEMBER 9, 1907 Mr. Clemens was introduced by the president of the club, who, quoting from the Mark Twain autobiography, recalled the day when the distinguished writer came to New York with $3 in small change in his pockets …

READ MORE →
 

Yeah – I made it into a blog post by two wonderful colleagues! (In case you don’t know, I ride motorcycles.) Slowly but surely, I am becoming known… 😉

 

Dear fellow sworn translators and interpreters. Most of you have probably been in this situation before: a customer, a private person, wants to get married to someone from another country, so they need a ton of documents translated and certified for the civil registry. If one of the two has been married before, add to the usual birth certificate, visas or what have you the divorce decree, which can be …

READ MORE →
 

Translation3 virtual conferences | ProZ.com Check it out! I participated last year and it was really great. The virtual part is actually not strange at all, it’s almost like a real-life conference, except everything happens over the computer. And the best thing: it’s free!

 

How freelancers (and especially translators) are treated

 

Got this from another Blogger’s page, but it’s so great, I just had to share it, too.

 

A fellow blogger (LN Sabadosa) pointed this interesting little tool out, and of course I immediately tried it to see how I fared. Here’s the result: Congratulations. You are digitally distinct! This is the nirvana of online identity. A search of your name yields lots of results about you, and most, if not all, reinforce your unique personal brand. Keep up the good work, and remember that your Google results …

READ MORE →
 

Excellent article about one of the interpreters during the Nuremberg Trials

 

Hier möchte ich nicht unbedingt essen gehen…. I don’t think I’d want to eat here…. (Photo: Bernd Wagner)

 

A very handy little guide to remembering how to spell things correctly, especially those homophones. (by The Oatmeal) Warning: Not for the tender-hearted….

 

There are a ton of discussions going on about British English and American English, there are blogs to read and videos to watch, some funny, some actually educating, and the question often is which version of English is the correct one…. well, in my opinion, that is really the wrong question to ask, since both flavors (and keep in mind that there are numerous others, as well, such as Australian, …

READ MORE →
 

For all those wanting to travel the world on a small budget, here’s an idea: Thrifty travellers can trade English lessons for lodging  Organization signs up 5,000 families By Farah Master, Reuters SHANGHAI, China — Visitors seeking to see China on a budget would do well to brush up their English language skills to take advantage of a scheme that offers free lodging in Chinese homes in exchange for …

READ MORE →
 

The last 3 weeks have been grueling – I was inundated with work (which is a good thing) and had 3 business trips (among them the workshop I held on RSS Feeds) and 4 private events, in part also requiring travel, all vying for my attention, all needing time and preparation. I finally turned in the last project this morning after another late night, and already there are new jobs …

READ MORE →
 

Apostrophe sind schon eine tolle Sache – wenn man sie richtig zu setzen weiß! Wenn nicht, kommen manchmal recht seltsame, lustige und mitunter auch ganz falsche Ergebnisse dabei heraus. Aber es gibt eine gute Nachricht: Ines Balcik hat sich zu dem Thema Gedanken gemacht und ein wunderbar verständliches und einfach zu verwendendes Dokument erstellt, mit dem garantiert kein Apostroph mehr an der falschen Stelle landet, herunterzuladen hier. The thing about …

READ MORE →
 

Ian MacKenzie lets you take a look at what’s really going on in the home office… True, I do have two dogs, but I actually have to sit at the computer to work, so maybe not exactly like that… 😉

 
 

Caution! This joke contains some violence and strong language. A giant panda goes into one of those expensive and pretentious restaurants serving French/Asian fusion cuisine and takes a table for one. The surprised waiter for that table explains unctuously that his name is Marcel, he will be your server tonight, and we ‘ave a number of specials (he is French), etc., etc. The panda listens impassively to the list of …

READ MORE →
 

Just a little thought on language – the English one, in this case. Enjoy!

 

I have been swamped with work these last weeks, so my apologies for the long-ish silence… But as recompense, I offer you a link to a great website full of very helpful information (The Editorium) and a taste of one very useful one, namely  instructions for Advanced Find and Replace for Microsoft Word. This document contains a host of tips and tricks that turn the Search and Replace function in …

READ MORE →
 

As an English teacher, one of the things my students have asked me over and over is how to make small talk, for example before or after a business meeting or during a business lunch. What is so hard for them is not finding the right words or using correct grammar, rather they are worried about not knowing what to say to begin with. They are all German, and that …

READ MORE →
 

This is an interesting video about interpreting and a good brief explanation of how simultaneous interpretation works and what is required. To be sure, there are a variety of other ways and situations for interpreting, but this is one, if not the most demanding and exhausting form of interpretation. You can find more information on the different forms of interpretation here.