Teamwork: the pros and cons of being a lone wolf or a pack animal

From the outside looking in, most translators probably seem lone wolves, happily working at their desks all day with hardly any social contact. In fact, many freelancers highlight being their own boss and making all the decisions as one of the main reasons why they pursued a self-employed career.

But the reality can be quite different, even if you don’t work in an agency’s office. Because translators are increasingly realising the benefits of working together on projects and sharing their knowledge.

In the Group Translation Chats (GTC) session in January, hosted by Ellen Singer, we talked about the pros and cons of teamwork and how and when we can work better together.

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What should and what shouldn’t we change when revising a colleague’s translation?

This is the title I chose for the November hosted session of the Group Translation Chats (GTC). Besides two coffee-break chats per week, which are drop-in meetings anyone in the group can attend, we hold one moderated chat on a particular translation-related topic every month.

I’ve always been interested in editing and revisions. Not only do they account for a large chunk of my workload, I’m also now a member of a RevClub and an Edit Club, meeting with my colleagues on alternate weeks to discuss texts we’ve translated with the aim of improving them and learning from each other.

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10 things I wish I’d known when I first started translating

I was extraordinarily wet behind the ears when I first started translating professionally in Spain over 20 years ago.

Although I’d studied literature translation at university as part of my BA language degree course, it was not an appropriate preparation for a career as a translator.

Here’s a list of 10 things I wish I’d known when I first started translating that would have made my life much easier.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 28: Common Mistakes Part 5 – Numbers (3)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 5 – Numbers (3)

This is the third and final post on numbers (see below for links to the previous two posts).

Whether to write numbers as figures or words, put abbreviations before or after them, or leave spaces between symbols preceding or following them is all far more complicated than we might at first imagine.

It’s also easy to get confused as style-guide rules and recommendations can differ and many non-native speakers writing or translating into English simply copy usage in their own language, which is often not correct. As a translator and editor, I’ve written these posts on numbers to highlight errors I’ve come across in my work and also to clear my own confusion between source usage and UK and US English preferences.

As always, I’ve used The Chicago Manual of Style for US English and New Hart’s Rules (part of the New Oxford Style Manual) for UK English.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 27: Common Mistakes Part 4 – Numbers (2)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 4 – Numbers (2)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication is a series within the Bite-sized Tips series.

In the first and second instalments, I presented some common errors I find in the academic papers I revise or edit. Although they are generally made by non-native speakers of English in the texts I see, a lot of them can trip us up as well, especially as there are often differences between US and UK usage and everything can become quite muddled.

For the US English rules, I use The Chicago Manual of Style and for UK English New Hart’s Rules, which is part of the New Oxford Style Manual.

In the third instalment I looked at some issues with numbers. As it’s a vast, complicated area and lots of mistakes crop up, I’ve divided the focus on numbers into three parts. This is the second of those parts on dates and currencies.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 26: Common Mistakes Part 3 – Numbers (1)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 3 – Numbers (1)

I spend a lot of my work time improving academic texts. This can involve revising the translations that authors have produced of their own work or editing their non-native efforts at writing directly into English. Unfortunately, the results are never error-free and, as I mostly revise and edit articles and papers written by Spanish speakers, I repeatedly come across the same mistakes.

In the first instalment of this series within a series, I highlighted ten of these common mistakes including the use of etc. and et al.

In the second, I focused on whether to use data is or data are, some punctuation problems and issues with capitalisation.

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Purchase Orders Revisited

Way back in 2015, I asked my blog readers whether the purchase order I’d produced was merely a pipe dream or a document I could actually use with my clients. The general consensus was that my overly long PO would prove daunting for direct clients and unnecessary for agencies. After tweaking it a bit based on the many suggestions I received, I instead came up with a purchase order checklist. The idea was to fill it in ourselves using the information we gleaned in negotiations with clients and for it to be a handy reminder of what questions we should be asking.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 25: False Friends on Hotel Websites

A usual sight on British beaches, deckchairs are not found that often around hotel pools in Spain

A recent tourism editing job had me scouring through many translated websites of hotels (Spanish to English, my pair) and I was appalled to see the same mistakes made again and again.

Of course, this might be because the company used machine translation (MT) or non-native speakers for the job. Because a lot of people think tourism texts are so simple that MT will be good enough.

Unfortunately, that’s why many in the sector refuse to allocate a high enough budget to translating their marketing material. The less they are willing to spend, the more likely their translated text will fail.

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La révision : un sac de nœuds ?

Cette version française de mon article de blog Revision: a Can of Worms? a été traduite par Élisa Marcel dans le cadre de sa formation de Master TSM (Traduction Spécialisée Multilingue) à l’université de Lille. Cette traduction était publiée à l’origine sur le blog MasterTSM@Lille.

 

Quand est-ce qu’une révision va trop loin ?

Quand est-ce qu’une traduction n’en est pas une ?

La révision est un sujet très épineux, comme je l’ai déjà mentionné dans mon premier billet sur le sujet. Elle peut engendrer beaucoup de sentiments négatifs si vous pensez que les changements apportés à votre travail n’étaient pas utiles et si l’opinion du réviseur pourrait vous faire perdre un client.

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Méfiez-vous de Google Translate

Cette version française de mon article de blog Warning about Google Translate a été traduite par Emma Le Barazer dans le cadre de sa formation de Master TSM (Traduction Spécialisée Multilingue) à l’université de Lille. Cette traduction était publiée à l’origine sur le blog MasterTSM@Lille.

Je me retrouve souvent à réviser des textes rédigés en anglais par des locuteurs non natifs (le plus souvent par des Espagnols, car j’arrive à déchiffrer ce qu’ils essayaient de dire). La plupart du temps, j’apprécie cette activité car les sujets sont intéressants, la qualité de la langue n’est en général pas trop mauvaise, et cette tâche ne m’oblige pas trop à taper au clavier (et mes bras se reposent un peu, alors que je souffre depuis peu de troubles musculosquelettiques).

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