The Group Translation Chats Story

Once upon a time, there was a lonely translator in a pretty nondescript room in a rather untidy house. She was sitting down to work rather than walking on her treadmill in front of her stand-up desk as the repetitive movement had given her painful plantar fasciitis.

Besides that problem, she was trying extremely hard not to turn green with envy when reading the feeds of her colleagues during her social-media breaks. Because they all seemed to be jetting off to conferences, workshops and other get-togethers and generally enjoying themselves. Life isn’t always a barrel of laughs when the unthinkable happens, you become a carer and are stuck at home. So she hit upon the plan of asking her fellow translators whether anyone fancied a chat.

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Major Useful Links Update – April 2020

Now that I’m in lockdown due to the coronavirus and waiting for my next job to come in, I’ve had some time to make some long-planned major improvements to the Useful Links page. As a result, this page has now been divided into five separate sections with their own categories. These five sections are:

Section 1: General dictionaries and glossaries

Section 2: Subject-specific dictionaries and glossaries

Section 3: Writing-related resources

Section 4: Translation-related tools and links

Section 5: Other links of interest

It’s the last section that has changed the most with the addition of more categories and resources. The list starts off with the new Codes & Shortcuts category with links that I use a lot when I can’t remember how to type some characters.

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Results of the Translation Qualifications Survey – Part 1

Back in February last year, I asked you all to answer some questions about translation qualifications in a survey. I kept extending the deadline because I was hoping for more responses. And then when I should have being doing a write-up of the results, Brexit and the UK general election, family issues and the ever-present threat of the climate emergency filled my head and my spare time leaving me with no energy or enthusiasm for the blog.

Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, my work has all but come to a halt so at least I can finally get around to thanking everyone who took part in the survey and giving you the results. As there were only 59 respondents and I imagine this post might make some colleagues want to give their views, I have reopened the survey and will continue accepting responses until the end of July 2020.

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5 Tips for Working from Home

In this guest post, Desiree Villena, a writer with Reedsy, gives people that are suddenly finding themselves working from home because of the coronavirus a few tips on how to manage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into life’s well-oiled mechanisms in many different ways, and your work is probably one of them. Working from home before the spring of 2020 was often associated with freelancers who enjoyed hopping around the world, or relatively young startup companies. Now, it’s an inescapable reality for many businesses worldwide.

As a result, many people are having to adapt to this new worklife. Working from home can be such a disruption to your usual routine that you may be unsure if it can really be effective. Even those who have worked remotely for a while can still struggle to organize their days well! So how can you stay focused and productive in an environment that reminds you of entertainment and relaxation?

Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to help with this. Here are just five essential things you must know to set yourself up at your own home.

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MA in Translation at the University of Surrey – One of the longest-running courses worldwide

It’s not really like me at all. I’m generally a doer, rather than a talker. But when I graduated with my French Studies BA in July 2007, I applied to do a comparative literature masters at UCL the following year and then, when that came around, I deferred another year, then eventually pulled out completely. Then I signed up for the DipTrans preparation course at Westminster, went to a couple of classes, got scared out of my wits at how inexperienced I was, and gave up. Then I just talked about my longing to do a translation MA for years. The problem was, it was never “the right time”.

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Translation Qualifications Survey

It’s survey time again on My Words for a Change. Back in 2015 I ran my first survey on adverts on translation blogs (TLDR: don’t have any adverts on your blogs!). The following year I ran one on revisions (thus combining two of my favourite subjects). I spared you all my intrusive questions in 2017 and last year I ran a survey on whether blogging is dead (TLDR: no, it isn’t yet, but it really depends on the blog).

This year I want to quizz you about qualifications. As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, lots of guest posters have written about their experiences of MAs and MScs in translation for this blog, and the vast majority of them have been positive. But taking out a year or two to study a degree at university, even if it’s a distance-learning course, isn’t an option for all of us.

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‘Useful Links’ Page Update – February 2019

For readers that don’t know the ‘Useful Links’ page, it basically consists of four main sections that are each divided into several subsections. These are packed with links to help you translate your texts, run your business and even enjoy your leisure time. This post gives you a quick overview of what’s new since the last update in October.

The first main section lists general dictionaries and glossaries. The new subsection here is General Into & Out of Spanish, which I’ve added to make it easier to find resources that are primarily for looking up how to translate words from and into Spanish. As I work from ES to EN, there’s a heavy bias towards this language pair in the first couple of sections. New here is: Diccionario español – mallorquín. The other resources were previous listed under General Multilingual.

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