Why it’s not OK to say ‘a little bit OCD’

As wordsmiths, translators need to use language and terminology as correctly as they possibly can. And that’s why I believe we shouldn’t perpetuate the common misconception that it’s good to be ‘a little bit OCD’. Because it’s totally wrong to assume that being a super-organised person who pays attention to every detail and likes everything to be just so means you’re a bit OCD.

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Three Students Review Their MA in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies (MACITS) at the University of Leeds

This guest post has been written by three former MACITS students at the University of Leeds and it forms part of the ongoing MA review series on this blog. If you would like to write a review of your MA, you’ll find more information and a complete list of all past guest posts here. This list includes two other reviews of MAs at Leeds.

Eleanor Regin, Lara Fasoli and Miruna Georgescu met during their MA course in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies (MACITS) at the University of Leeds (2015–2016). Eleanor was enrolled on the ACC course (French and Italian into English), while Miruna and Lara were enrolled on the Bidirectional course (Italian-English). After graduating, we started freelancing and decided to start co-writing a blog (Apertis Verbis). Miruna is currently a translation trainee at the Council of the European Union, and both Eleanor and Lara are working as freelancers. The trio share their thoughts on the MA at the University of Leeds and discuss some of the main features of the course.

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What’s new on the updated ‘Useful Links’ page

First, I’d like to welcome all new followers to my blog. In case you haven’t come across the ‘Useful Links’ page before, it’s a list of links I originally put together for myself to make my working life easier. Over the years I’ve added many more links and divided them into over 40 categories so you can have information at your fingertips to help you work better and faster as well. I use this page every day when I’m translating and, with over 10,000 views so far, it’s also popular with colleagues.

You’ll find more details about the page in this post.

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MA in Specialised Translation: my experience at Roehampton University (2014/2015)

This MA course review has been written by Alejandra J. Garcia Romero and edited by Deepti Limaye.  For more information on MA courses and links to other reviews, see the European MA and the non-European MA pages on this blog.

Please get in touch if you completed your MA recently and would like to take part in this series. You’ll find more information about writing for this blog here. 

If you would like to help with me this MA review project, please read this post.

First of all, I would like to thank Nikki for inviting me to review the MA in Specialised Translation that I took at Roehampton in 2014/2015. As I don’t think anyone has reviewed this postgraduate course yet, I want to share my experience and impressions for anyone interested in taking it.

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When the unthinkable happens and giving up work isn’t an option

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and the unthinkable happens: a family member is struck with a long-term illness and you suddenly have to take on the role of carer. Caring for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining and as time-consuming as looking after a baby, but often with none of the happy milestones marking a transition from one phase to another. Not only does caring take huge bites out of your available work time, it often does not put you in the frame of mind to focus when you finally do manage to sit down at your desk.

Giving up work entirely is not always a financially viable option for the family. In my case, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on my hours and learn to work smarter. Although my earnings have dropped by about 20% in the past two years I’ve been a carer, I reckon the time I spend translating, on admin and other work-related matters is 50% less. I now very rarely work in the evenings or at weekends and I certainly don’t always work a full day either during the week. My aim is to get back to the same level of earnings without increasing the number of my working hours. In this post I’d like to share a few of the ways I’ve managed to ensure that the unthinkable didn’t turn into a financial disaster for my family.

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4 Reasons Why Every Translator Should Blog

Today’s guest post is by Hanna Sles who translates from English into Russian and Ukrainian.

You have heard the wisdom:

“To be visible online, a translator’s website should have a blog.”

 

“Blogging will drive more traffic to a translator’s website.”

 

“Why aren’t you blogging yet?”

Blogging is becoming more and more popular in the translation and localization industry.

Think about it:

Everyone knows that blogging has gained mainstream popularity among freelance translators. But if you wish to start your own blog, it can be difficult to grasp why you should.

And today’s post will convince you to start blogging in a heartbeat.

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Review of Advanced Subtitling Course at CenTraS

Back in February I managed to escape to London for the day to attend an advanced subtitling course given by Adriana Tortoriello at CenTraS (Centre for Translation Studies) at the UCL (University College London). Imagining I wouldn’t know anyone except Adriana, I was surprised to see that I’d sat down next to a fellow ITI Wessex member, Gina. We’d only met once before, but it was great to have someone to talk to, especially during the exercises that came later as some were none too easy.

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How my MA in Translation from Exeter University helped me launch my career

I graduated from the University of Exeter with an MA in Translation in 2011. After submitting my dissertation, I remember feeling daunted at the prospect of starting my career as a freelance translator – how on Earth was I going to snap up my first client? It wasn’t until I started working at Amazon with colleagues who had completed MA Translation programmes at other universities that I realised how my degree gave me an advantage.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 24: Quotation Marks or Italics

During my translation work I often come across words that the author has put in italics, quotations marks, or in italics within quotation marks. And often the way they use them throughout the text is inconsistent.

As translators, we have to take a step back from the usage in the original document and remember the rules of our own brand of English. Mirroring the source is not an option. And we also have to smooth out all the inconsistencies.

Whether you put words, terms, titles, etc., into italics, quotations or in roman type will depend on the style manual you have been told to follow. And if you haven’t been given any specific instructions, it’ll depend on whether you use a British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc., guide for your work. You’ll find a long list of style guides (over 40) towards the bottom of my ‘Useful Links’ page.

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How I Passed the DipTrans: Top Five Tips

Today’s guest post is by Lucy Williams and was originally published on her own blog. As it is currently not available on her site, Lucy has kindly given me permission to reproduce two of her posts on the DipTrans on My Words for a Change since they contain valuable information for anyone thinking of taking the exam.

The title of this blog post is a bit tongue in cheek. I don’t pretend to be an expert. I am, it must be said, hugely proud of my two merits and a pass this January, but I can only say what helped me get there. Everyone has their own path.

Here are my top five tips:

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