Opinion

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Marketing advice for translators? Enough already!

As I’m sitting here at home admiring my minuscule Christmas tree and just relaxing after submitting a painfully long translation on this Tuesday afternoon, I suddenly remembered Christmas in 1999, which I’d spent in my laboratory, back in my science and engineering days: a Christmas I spent looking at an oscilloscope instead of looking at a Christmas tree, working late instead of being with my family. It is a Christmas I will never get back. I miss a lot of things from those days but spending endless hours in the laboratory is not one of them.

One thing I do miss is that in that field an expert was really an expert. For someone to get recognition and, most important, to become an instructor, he/she needed to have the necessary background: extensive research, publications in reviewed journals, acknowledgment by colleagues, contributions to the field. I don’t see this in translation. In translation I see a lot of “facebooking”, a lot of “tweeting” and retweeting of the same unoriginal idea or advice going around. This seems to be one’s extensive research here: find something interesting a colleague said—or copied—and repost it and get some Likes; the more Likes you get the better known you become. How many publications in reviewed journals do we read or—God forbid—write every year?

Read more at http://sciword.blogspot.com/2016/12/marketing-advice-for-translators-enough.html?spref=fb

 

Lack of status – are translators the authors of their own misfortune?

Occupational prestige

Work is a central component of an individual’s identity. “What do you do?” is usually the first thing we enquire about when meeting someone new. The work we do defines us throughout our adult life, even in retirement. How their work is perceived in society is therefore a central concern for most adults, given that to a large extent this perception influences not only our sense of accomplishment but also our ability to influence the world around us.

Sociologists refer to this perception as occupational prestige. The first study of occupational prestige was done by George S. Counts in 1925. Although extremely limited in scope, Counts’ study demonstrated that there was a clear, agreed upon ranking of the social status of occupations in society. Almost a century later, contemporary studies show that, while the spread between the highest ranked and the lowest ranked has narrowed considerably, a hierarchy of occupations still exists (Goyder 2009). Contemporary evaluations of occupational prestige take two broad factors into account: an economic factor comprised of the material rewards associated with an occupation, as demonstrated by the standard of living the occupation can support; and a sociocultural factor, which consists of the value of the contribution a given occupation makes to the good functioning of society (Ollivier 2000).

Read more at http://www.circuitmagazine.org/dossier-131/lack-of-status-are-translators-the-authors-of-their-own-misfortune#.WEXH33nQHNc.facebook

‘Th’ sound to vanish from English language by 2066 because of multiculturalism, say linguists

By 2066, linguists are predicting that the “th” sound will vanish completely in the capital because there are so many foreigners who struggle to pronounce interdental consonants – the term for a sound created by pushing the tongue against the upper teeth.

Already Estuary English – a hybrid of Cockney and received pronunciation (RP) which is prevalent in the South East – is being replaced by Multicultural London English (MLE) which is heavily influenced by Caribbean, West African and Asian Communities.

But within the next few decades immigration will have fundamentally altered the language, according to experts at the University of York.

Read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/28/th-sound-to-vanish-from-english-language-by-2066-because-of-mult/

LanguageLine’s New Owner Says Tech Will Not Replace Interpreters

Despite the numerous ventures looking to disrupt translation and interpretation via cloud, crowdsourcing, machine translation, and artificial intelligence models, Julien sees no threat to his USD 1.5bn bet on human-powered interpretation.

“A translation engine cannot do the job of an interpreter”— Daniel Julien, Executive Chairman, Teleperformance

Julien said the first question they asked themselves when they looked at LanguageLine was if Google Translate poses a risk to the business in the long-term. They came to the conclusion that it did not. As a big user of machine translation, Julien said MT is useful as a tool, but not as a replacement for human translation. “A translation engine cannot do the job of an interpreter,” he concluded.

Read more at: https://slator.com/ma-and-funding/languagelines-new-owner-says-tech-will-not-replace-interpreters/

Historical role of translation studied in new book ‘Translation’s Forgotten History’

What place did translation have in the making of modern literature? And how might our understanding of a nation’s literature change when approached through the lens of translation?

Heekyoung Cho, assistant professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Asian Languages and Literature, addresses such questions in her book, “Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature.”

Translation, Cho argues, was not supplementary but was essential to creating a national literature. That is “particularly visible” in East Asian literature from the late 19thand early 20th centuries, she said — a time when countries were “building a concept, canon, and language of national literature as part of establishing themselves as modern nations.”

Read more at http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/05/19/historical-role-of-translation-studied-in-new-book-translations-forgotten-history/.

New insights into terminology management?

Three international translation standards have been recently published: ASTM F2575-2014 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation, ISO 17100-2015 Translation serviceand ISO 11669-2012 Translation projects. As an expert in the fields of translation, localization and terminology, Uwe Muegge wrote the article Do translation standards encourage effective terminology management?

Thanks to this paper we can have an idea on how terminology management can be dealt with:

ASTM F2575-2014 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation. Since 1898, ASTM has been voluntarily working on the development of standards in the industrial context. As we learnt from the article, this guide includes some steps that have to be taken into account when dealing with a translation project. However, it does not mention terminology directly, but as one of the 21 key factors that translation suppliers should perform (e.g. a glossary should be presented either by the requester or the supplier of the project, however without specifying its particularities).

ISO 17100-2015 Translation service. According to this guide, suppliers of translation services should provide all the means, including terminology management, in order to produce a translation. This task can be achieved after an agreement between the requester and the supplier on which terms are going to be used in the text.

ISO 11669-2012 Translation projects. This guide also provides information about the desirable steps to follow during the completion of a translation project, focusing on the facilitation of the communication between requesters and suppliers, and the result of this interaction: the translation, as a product of quality. In order to achieve that, it recommends creating a terminology database, one of the more complex tasks to accomplish during such a project, but just in order to avoid inconsistency and misunderstandings.

In general, the author comments that the title of his article cannot receive a positive clear reply, even if according to a survey conducted by SDL, 92% out of 1500 linguists consider “terminology management as a ‘very important’ part of the translation process.” Also, the author thinks it would be interesting if those guides provided information about the steps to be followed to properly manage terminology and about terminology management tools.

We think that the fact that some of those standards (e.g. ISO) are not free, and can be read only in languages such as English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, and/or Chinese, cause some communities not to be able to access to these guidelines neither apply them. However, the existence of such guides may be very helpful for communication.

Read more at http://termcoord.eu/2016/05/new-insights-into-terminology-management/

2537.pngChanges in the translation industry: interview with Paul Sulzberger

How has the translation industry changed over the last few decades? What is the biggest challenge facing translators today? And what does the future look like for translators?

I was delighted to be able to ask industry veteran, Paul Sulzberger, these questions when we met recently in Wellington, New Zealand. Here are his thoughts on these topics.

Jayne: Thanks so much for meeting with me today, Paul! Can you tell me a bit about your background, and how you became a translator?

Paul: Well I was barely 21 when I got my first paid job as an interpreter at a big international trade fair at Sokolniki Park in Moscow in 1969. I’m afraid I wasn’t very good at it, and I very much relied on a more senior Soviet interpreter who got me out of many a scrape over the weeks I was employed at the exhibition.

It was more than 10 years later when I applied for a job as a translator with the New Zealand Government. I had to sit the most awful entrance exam—there was a snippet of French legislation, an excerpt from an Italian contract, a piece on bird lice in German and a complicated text on mechanical engineering in Russian.

I’ll never forget how difficult it was to track down the terminology in those pieces—it was 1980 and there was no access to the Internet in those days! The government needed linguists who could more or less turn their hand to anything. Somehow I got in, and arrived at work supremely confident in my abilities. However, my self-confidence was quickly shattered and I was swiftly cut down to size! I soon realised that I knew practically nothing about the art and practice of translation.

Over the next three years, as I finished each translation assignment, I would take my typescript into my boss’s office and sit beside him while he tore each sentence apart with his red pen and his sharp tongue. It was a humiliating experience to be shown to be such an idiot with such monotonous regularity! But as time went by, I got used to it and learned a lot. My “teacher” showed me how I could have better analysed the original text, how to undertake the sort of research that would have improved my work and how to build my skills on the basis of my mistakes.

Read more at http://foxdocs.biz/BetweenTranslations/changes-in-the-translation-industry-interview-with-paul-sulzberger/

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