Does the translation only have to be good enough?

Attending online events I’d never manage to go to in person is one of the few advantages of the COVID-19 pandemic. So along with a handful of Group Translation Chat (GTC) members, I signed up for the CopyCon 2020 conference held by ProCopywriters.

Long before we got to the talk on perfectionism, some speakers floated the idea that copy doesn’t have to be perfect. Sandra Wu from Blinkist told us that perfectionists were wasting their time because people skim content and only read around 30% of what you write. Copy doesn’t need to be beautiful and engaging to convert and so rewriting text to make the language better doesn’t pay off.

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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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memoQ for the non-tech savvy – Part 3: Alignment in LiveDocs

In Part 1 of this mini-series on ‘memoQ for the non-tech savvy’, I gave a brief introduction to memoQ and reviewed this CAT tool after switching to using it from Wordfast Classic. That was over three years ago and I’m still getting to grips with all the many features.

If you’re as bewildered as I am by all the tabs and buttons, I hope these posts will help you find your way around memoQ so you can start translating your first document with a minimum of fuss asap (because time is money, right?).

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What’s the Difference between Translation and Transcription?

This is a guest post written by Danilo from Espresso Translations, a translation agency specialising in translation and transcription services. It was founded by two translators working in tandem and has grown to become a leading language services provider.

One question we’re often asked is whether translation and transcription are the same thing. Sure, they both sound similar, but it’s safe to say they’re actually quite different. Both services have amazing benefits and can help your business, but it’s important to know how they differ and which is the right approach for you.

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Conclusions of the Results of the Translation Qualifications Survey (Part 4)

After an overview of the initial results in part 1, in parts 2 and 3 we focused on comments made about the main survey questions.

Specifically in part 2 we examined whether the respondents were thinking of doing any of the four surveyed qualifications (MA/MSc, Diploma in Translation, ATA certification and ITI exam) and which of these four they thought was better.

In part 3 we looked at responses to three questions: Which of the four qualifications are more highly regarded by translators (1), by agencies (2) and by direct clients (3).

This fourth and final part of the results includes some general comments made at the end of the survey and also some insights given under the specific questions that I didn’t manage to fit into the previous three parts of the results as they are more wide-ranging.

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Results of the Translation Qualifications Survey (Part 3)

This is the third and penultimate part of the results of the translation qualifications survey, which focused on the DipTrans, MA/MSc, MITI exam and ATA certification.

In Part 1, we looked at the graphs and pie charts resulting from the survey. However, as I decided to reopen the survey to gain more responses, you’ll find all the definitive graphs and pie charts in Part 2 and in this post.

In Part 2, we examined the results of the first survey questions in more detail as well as some of the comments made to explain respondents’ choices.

In this Part 3, we’ll look at the comments for the last three questions: Which of the four qualifications surveyed are more highly regarded by translators (1), by agencies (2) and by direct clients (3).

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My 15 Favourite Useful Links Section by Section


Regular blog readers and site users will already know I recently divided the Useful Links page into five distinct sections. Today I’d like to share with you my three favourite links in each of those sections. They’re basically the ones I use the most.

Let’s start with the first section, General Dictionaries and Glossaries, currently divided into five categories.

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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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