Review of the Financial Translation Course at CTI – Communication Trend Italia

One of the challenges many translators face is finding good professional development courses that suit their needs. This is even more challenging if you want to study them in a language other than English or the language spoken in the country where you live.

As an English and Dutch into Italian translator living in Amsterdam, I know the struggle.

Fortunately, the courses by the Italian company CTI – Communication Trend Italia came highly recommended by both fellow university students and renowned experienced translators. They are also recognized by the Italian translator’s association AITI.

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Blog

Back in June, Hanna Sles wrote a popular piece for My Words for a Change giving four reasons why every translator should blog. When I first started blogging four years ago, many colleagues, especially those focused on marketing our services, insisted that running a blog was a must. I almost felt guilty that I was still sitting in front of a blank screen, racking my brains for something—anything—to say to get started. And it wasn’t until I attended my first ever translation conference that I finally felt I’d hit on a topic worth writing about.

But is blogging everything it’s cut out to be? Judging by a recent clean-up of broken links on my site, several translators have deleted their blogs and I’m aware of many others that haven’t written anything for a while. So, is blogging worthwhile? I’m going to play devil’s advocate today and look at four reasons why it might not be.

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What I learned in October 2016

calendar-1712508_1280It’s nearly December now and here I am just getting around to writing about last month. Following weeks of working on one project after another, and being lucky enough for clients to agree to wait in the queue, I’m finally enjoying a bit of breathing space. Hopefully it won’t signal a famine period for me as I am only free because I couldn’t make the deadline for one largish project and didn’t fancy anything else I was offered.

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What I learned in March 2016

calendar-1174839_1280As I’m not the most tech-savvy of people, it usually takes me a while to pick up the basics, let alone the niceties, of any program. In March I finally learned a few more commands in DNS (Dragon NaturallySpeaking), specifically how to underline, put in italics and make bold. For example, in the previous sentence, if you want to put “specifically” in italics, you say “select specifically” followed by “italicise that”. If you want to underline it, you select it and then say “underline that” and (I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now) if you want it to be bold, you say “bold that”.

Made a mistake and want to reverse what you’ve done? Just select the word again and repeat the same commands. In other words, if specifically is already in italics and you say “select specifically, italicise that”, it will revert back to normal Roman type. I also tried this with “All caps that” (the command to capitalise a word or phrase you’ve previously selected), but unfortunately it didn’t work.

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5 Lessons I Learned While Writing A Book About Interpreting

5 lessons I learnedFor the past few months, I have been working on a draft of my first book, Being a Successful Interpreter: Adding Value and Delivering Excellence. It has been an amazing and sometimes nerve-wracking process that has taught me far more than just writing. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that I learned as much from the process of writing the book as I did from researching the content. Here are my top five lessons.

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Strawberries, cream and sparks of genius: Tennis parallels to help us be the best we can become

As I start to write this post, the second week of Wimbledon is underway. The initial 128 men and women playing in their respective championships have been whittled down to just 16. Inevitably, the majority were seeded anyway, but some non-seeded players usually get through the first week as well. They are often the ones that have had the toughest battles, knocking out players with much higher world rankings than themselves. At this stage in the competition, however, it seems highly likely that the trophies will be lifted by one of the top seeds, although it’s not unheard of for an outsider to storm through and surprise us all (Becker in 1985, for example).

I don’t follow a lot of sport, but Wimbledon happens to be one of my favourite events, so although I have little time to spare to watch matches live, I do try to catch up in the evenings at the very least. And while admiring some tennis greats, it strikes me that we could, if we were of a mind to do so, find a few parallels between their world and our own.

Bar a few exceptions every now and then, the top tennis players tend to dominate the Grand Slam circuit and win again and again. What makes them so much better than all the rest, those who, despite being good, hardworking professionals, might play out their entire career without ever winning even a minor competition? And why are there so-called “premium” translators at the pinnacle of our profession who similarly seem to walk away with the juiciest strawberries and luscious cream? It’s obviously not just the luck of the draw, feeling fit on the day or talent, although undoubtedly those do figure as main ingredients. You don’t get anywhere in tennis, in translation or indeed in life without determination, dedication and effort.

A certain self-assured confidence also marks out the best among us. They chase perfection from a solid foundation, secure in the knowledge that they have the skills to back them up. Often they are astute at business as well as amazing linguists and impressive writers. Being organised, efficient and great negotiators are other traits they might share. But none of them magically appeared out of nowhere without years of solid graft and a willingness to keep learning.

Unfortunately, there are some professional tennis players that will never make it to the second week of major tournaments. But that doesn’t mean they cannot dazzle us with sparks of genius or ever enjoy the satisfaction of beating a well-known opponent. Dustin Brown’s spectacular win over Rafa Nadal in the first week of Wimbledon was a joy to watch, yet he got knocked out the very next round. Not being outstanding is no reason to give up, especially if you love what you do.

However, even if we cannot achieve the success of some of our colleagues, we still need to strive to be the best we can become, to push ourselves to the limits of our capabilities. And one of the ways we can do this is by ensuring we continue to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and glean as much as we can from others about translation techniques, style and terminology. This website lists several courses, webinar providers and podcasts on the Links & Tips for New Translators pages that can help you in your endeavours.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

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An Overview of the Master’s in Translation (and Interpreting) at Westminster University (Part Two)

Deep End 2Welcome to the second half of our guest post on Nikki’s blog, My Words for a Change! For those of you who didn’t read last week, Nikki kindly invited the Deep End bloggers (Claire Harmer, Katharine Mears, Felicity Pearce, Paula Pitkethly and Sandra Young) to write a guest blog post on our experiences at Westminster University. Please read on to find out more, and take a look at last week’s post!

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An Overview of the Master’s in Translation (and Interpreting) at Westminster University (Part One)

Deep EndNikki kindly invited Claire Harmer, Katharine Mears, Felicity Pearce, Paula Pitkethly and Sandra Young to write a guest blog post on our experiences at Westminster University. Since we studied there in 2010-2011, in this post we have tried to indicate any major changes that have taken place on the course, but if you would like further information about the current programmes on offer, please visit the Westminster University website or contact Alexa Alfer, the university’s Translation Studies Programme Director (A.Alfer01@westminster.ac.uk).

Each of us have taken a specific aspect of the course to expand on, hoping to give anyone thinking about taking the plunge into the world of translation and interpreting an insight into the programme and the lecturers, to see if Westminster offers the right course for them.

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Help! Everyone’s at a conference except me (or how to still get a dose of CPD)

Don’t fret. While it might feel like that sometimes judging by your social media feeds, it’s far from the truth. And however tempting it might be to jet off to enjoy quality time with your colleagues, perhaps you could spend the considerable sum involved in attending a conference more wisely. Not only are there plenty of things you can be getting on with to ensure you get your dose of CPD (continuing professional development), they will probably also be better for you in the long-term and look far more impressive on your CV.

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