Not quite…

This one is for all my (conference) interpretation colleagues out there.

We interpreters (translators who deliver spoken translations either simultaneously using interpretation equipment or consecutively, i.e. after the speaker has spoken) know, why ‘computer translation’ of speech doesn’t work properly and why.

Take a look at this video next time you need to remind someone why it pays to hire a professional interpreter.

The tech folks at an American news station tested a translation device with earbuds to be used instead of an interpreter a few days ago and this is what happened:

Trilingual chat with pixel buds goes awry

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Denglish

My colleagues and I often talk about the fact that speaking English has almost come to be expected from many European non-native speakers, especially from the Dutch and the Germans. Not sure why, though, since we don’t expect North Americans to speak fluent German, Dutch or Spanish. As a matter of fact, we don’t even count on every Canadian to speak French fluently, although French is one of two official languages in Canada (the other being English).

Coupled with the mistaken assumption that being (almost) fluent in two (or more) languages also means that you can translate (written) or interpret (spoken) from one language to the other, we regularly stumble across more or less awkward mistranslations.

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On the occasion of International Translation Day I just have to state the obvious: These minor and major errors could be avoided by hiring a qualified and experienced translator or (conference) interpreter. Professional language service providers are members of provincial/ state and/or national professional bodies. Each professional association has an online directory to easily find someone by language combination. In North America they usually have a designation like “Certified Translator” or “Certified Conference Interpreter.” They can help you communicate more effectively in the foreign language, because they “know their stuff.”

So to all my qualified colleagues out there: Happy translating and/or interpreting!

May all your clients value what you do!

 

Craftsmanship …

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Hello, friends, colleagues and fellow adventurers,

I hope you are also having an amazing start to your day! My almost new laptop is holding up well, as you can see, and proving very inspirational, too.  Recently the concept of craftsmanship has been on my mind, and not just because memories of glass on Murano in the summer …

Whether as a glass blower or as a translator, good craftsmanship provides a solid foundation for your work and allows you to build a good reputation. Taking pride in one’s craft implies looking beyond and thinking longterm. That doesn’t mean that the result should be the only or main factor, even if it is important. I work on maintaining a focus on process, with a view to longterm outcome and effects.

For example: A translation is likely to be of higher quality, if a qualified translator and a qualified translation editor work as a team to ensure a high standard. Although it means that the business (or the freelance translator) may earn less, since you have to remain competitive. However, longterm, this approach will lead to repeat clients, word-of-mouth recommendations and therefore to more contracts.

On that note, I better take a look at my inbox … I am waiting for my editor corrections of a patent translation…

Signing off for today,

Your Traveling Translator