Dear newbie translator

Dear newbie translator: I know. The first year (or two or three) as a freelancer is/are really hard, and it’s easy to get discouraged. So for those days when you feel really down, here are a few things I want to tell you.

  1. The first few years as a freelancer are like the first few years of raising a child (which I’ve also done) or maybe like military boot camp (which I haven’t): if you feel totally wrung out but at the same time you’re sure that this is what you’re meant to be doing, you’re on the right track.
  2. It may get better all at once. I distinctly remember that at some point during my third year of freelancing, all of a sudden I realized that the vast majority of the time, I had enough work. Just like that.
  3. Experienced translators stress out too. It’s not just you. If you asked 100 translators whether they panic when a week goes by with no work, I bet that 98 of them would admit that they do, and the other 2 are crossing their fingers behind their backs. But in the end, the tide of work always rises again.
  4. There is well-paying work out there if you actively seek it out. But most people don’t. They wait for the sweet projects to find them, and in the meantime they complain.
  5. You work a lot harder than I do. Seriously. My work flow mainly consists of triage: deciding which project offers I want to accept and which I want to decline, and how much I want to charge. Meanwhile, you’re actively looking for new clients and new projects almost all the time. Mostly, I get to translate interesting projects that pay well or even very well. So if you can do what you’re doing now, you can surely do what you’ll be doing in 10 years.
  6. You’re a lot braver than I am. Again, seriously. When I go to a conference, I usually know most of the people there. Sometimes I’m even the one coordinating the conference. I’m not sweating through the buffet line, wondering who I could sit with, or if I should just eat lunch in the bathroom. Meanwhile, you’re walking in to the opening reception of the ATA conference and wondering which of these 1,500 people would like to have a conversation with you. I give you a lot of credit for that courage.
  7. You’re hungry, and I’m a little lazy (or something like that). When a client who’s not one of my regulars calls on a Friday afternoon with a Monday deadline, or has an icky handwritten document that will make my eyes go bleary, or needs a list of 1,000 five-digit numbers proofread, I don’t care so much about the money. The annoyance and stress just aren’t worth it. I’d rather shut the computer down on Friday afternoon and go biking or kayaking with my family and stick with the work I enjoy. But you? You’re there, bailing the client out and winning huge kudos for it. And that’s why in the end, you’ll be OK.

Source : Corinne McKay,

Mobile commerce hits language barriers in Europe

Mobile commerce hits language barriers in Europe

“Mobile commerce has managed to make major progress in the U.S. and Japan, but in Europe, mobile commerce has met with significant challenges that extend well beyond issues concerning security and efficiency. Language and infrastructure have proven to be the most complicated problems faced by the mobile commerce sector in Europe. Both the U.S. and Japan enjoy universal e-commerce markets due to the fact that both countries have a predominant language. Europe, however, is filled with countries that have very different languages from one another, making it difficult to create a universal mobile commerce ecosystem.

Universal market in Europe has yet to take form

European countries tend to be homes to national markets that do not synergize well beyond the boundaries of the countries they take form in. Such markets are meant to appeal to those that live in particular countries, of course, but this tends to create some division when it comes to universal commerce. For instance, those from countries where English is not a prominent language could have trouble participating in mobile commerce in countries like the United Kingdom, where most commerce services are based on the English language.

Europe 500 aims to solve the language problem

In order to address this issue, Europe 500, a conglomeration comprised of many large European companies, has begun to leverage its various investments to provide better localization to e-commerce sites in various countries throughout the European Union. This is expected to help make it easier for consumers to participate in mobile commerce no matter where they are in Europe by providing them with services that are based on their native language.

Localization is a costly venture for some

Making mobile commerce universal is no small task. Europe 500 is comprised of many companies, some of which have heavily invested in mobile commerce in the past. Despite the apparent interests that these companies have in mobile commerce, localization and bolstering infrastructure is not an inexpensive task. Many companies may be inclined to continue supporting national markets in an effort to save money.”

Source : Mobile Commerce Press

Terminology Issues Unique to Medical Translation

“A translator who embarks on the seemingly steep path of medical translation has two main obstacles: medical knowledge, and medical terminology. Medical terminology presents problems which are different from other specialized domains.

One of the first criteria that a medical translator has to determine is their target audience. The target audience will determine whether the text is translated into layperson terms or medical terms (or both). For example, “Varicelle” (FR) would not be automatically translated into “Varicella” (EN), which is the medical term for “Chickenpox”, if the text is intended for a layperson (e.g. a patient).

Eponyms present a big problem in Medical translation because often they are synonyms for another term. For example, according to Dermatology Therapy: A-Z Essentials, “Infantile Scurvy” has the following synonyms: “Barlow’s disease”; “Möller-Barlow disease”; “Barlow’s syndrome”; “Cheadle-Möller-Barlow syndrome”; “Moeller’s disease”; “vitamin C deficiency syndrome”. Choosing between an eponym and another term would depend on which is more common in the target culture.

Often, a translator who lacks experience in translating medical texts would automatically translate a drug name into the target culture equivalent. This, however, would not be functional. Texts often refer to drug names as they are known in the source language, which is likely to be the brand name. When coming across a brand name like “Ventoline” (FR), it would help the end receiver (specialist or not) to not only have the English trade name “Ventolin”, but also its International Non-proprietary Name “Salbutamol”. An International Nonproperty Name (INN) is a unique name designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to a particular pharmaceutical substance. There are several good reasons for using an INN. Your target text may be read by native English speakers from different countries. Do you use the British Approved Name (BAN) or the United States Adopted Name (USAN)? Another reason is that one drug can be produced by several companies and so including a generic name would make it easier to decipher the chemical function of the drug.

Another criterion to determine from the outset is whether to translate into British or American English (or rather, whether to adopt British or American medical terms). This may be a minor point, and most doctors would still understand, but not knowing the difference will mean a compromise on term consistency when you start mixing up your “hematomas” (US) with “haematomas” (UK). Sometimes, the spelling may be the same but the meaning is different. “Surgery” is a place where you get cut open in the US, but also a doctor’s office or their opening hours in the UK.

Lastly, you may think that metaphors or euphemisms are only related to literary translation but they are also very relevant to medical translation. Doctors sometimes use euphemisms for unpleasant topics, such as “to expire” for “to die”, or “critically ill” for someone who is dying and with no hope of recovery. How can these be translated into different languages? Related to this are metaphors which are culture-bound (e.g. “Spanish Flu”, “German Measles”).

There are many other terminology-related problems in medical translation, such as hospital jargons (e.g. “inpatient/ outpatient”), and the fact that practitioners themselves do not agree on the terms. To solve these problems, adequate background knowledge and/or research skills are needed, and reliable websites and medical journals should be consulted. Nevertheless, being aware of these problems will go a long way in determining the right medical terminology. Any type of translation has their own difficulties; despite the obstacles, medical translation can be hugely rewarding.”

Source : Jiayi HUANG, TermCord

“Deloc” sau “de loc”?

O greşeală care apare în mod surprinzător şi la absolvenţii de Litere care nu ar trebui să aibă astfel de dubii este alegerea grafiei pentru “deloc” şi “de loc”. În primul caz, “deloc” este sinonim cu “defel”, “nicidecum”, ca în exemplul “Nu îmi place deloc să mă uit la televizor”, în timp ce “de loc” se referă la “originar din” sau califică o parte de vorbire sau de propoziţie / un tip de propoziţie (“de loc este din Piteşti” sau “adverbul de loc”, “complementul circumstanţial de loc”).
Pentru exersare, iată un link util:

Twelve Ways to Enhance Translation Quality

  1. Avoid Rework – Try to translate each phrase as if the translation were to be published on real time.
  2. Keep a List of Dangerous Words – Keep a list of your “favorite mistakes” and use the search command to see if and when you used them.
  3. Run the Spell and Grammar Checker – Always run the spell and grammar checker before editing a text. Before checking spelling and grammar, however, select the entire document, set the language to your target language and make sure the checker is fully active.
  4. Comply with Target-Language Typography and Punctuation Rules – Different languages have different typographical and punctuation conventions and your translation should comply with target language usage. Far too many of us forget this and impose source-language rules on our target-language text.
  5. Never use the “Replace All” Command – This is the most deadly and fatal of all commands. We know it can be undone. But we also know that, as a rule, you only notice you have done something horrible half an hour after applying it and introducing another 100 improvements in the text, and then it is too late for control-zeeing it.
  6. Don’t Let the Tug of War Spoil your Translation. And the Winner is: the Source Language! – A good way to determine whether a translation is natural is to read it aloud, but unfortunately we never have time for that. However, you should try to read a paragraph of each job aloud, just to make sure it flows well. You may be in for a surprise.
  7. Know your Cognates, False and Otherwise – If your language pair has cognates, you probably have already been warned against false cognates, otherwise called false friends, those misleading pairs of equal or very similar words that have different meanings, such as eventual, which means one thing in English and quite another thing in Portuguese, to the dismay of more than one wannabe translator.
  8. Be Precise – Precision is a great translatorial virtue, but we often look for precision in nouns and verbs, whereas as often as not, precision lies in adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives and adverbs are the “shading words” par excellence, the little words that fine-tune our thoughts.
  9. Don’t Fall into the Preposition Trap – Funny how many translators still fall into the preposition trap. Most prepositions do not have a life of their own: they are required by a verb or a noun.
  10. Check Headers, Footers, Graphs and Text boxes – We tend to go directly to the main text and forget about headers and footers, where more than one grave error lies in hiding. If the source text is an MS Word document, remember that some graphics will show only in print preview mode. And look for text boxes.
  11. Run the Spelling and Grammar Checker Once More – Before delivering the job, run the spelling and grammar checker once more, just for safety’s sake. We often introduce grammar and spelling errors while editing and this is the last chance to get rid of them.
  12. Have a Second Pair of Eyes Check your Work – Even if you are very good, a second pair of eyes will find the odd mistake and make the odd improvement that can make a great difference. But be prepared: no translator is a hero to his editor


Source : Danilo Nogueira & Kelli Semolini, Translation Journal

10 Translating Apps for Mobile Devices

“Whether taking a vacation or only going on a business trip, it’s important to know some phrases in the local language of the country you visit. By doing this, you will enrich your experience and the locals will appreciate your efforts in trying to make yourself understood.
A little dictionary or a book with the most common phrases may be in handy to ask where the bathroom is, read a menu or ask for directions on the street but unfortunately, they can be bulky and can take much time to search through. Luckily, most app stores contain several translating applications that range from simple dictionaries to voice recognition software that can even talk in your place.
A mobile translator is an application for smart devices that can instantly translate words or phrases in a great number of different languages. The simplicity and the ease recommend them as “a must have” when one visits another country. So, stuff your phone with online and offline applications that can help you break down the language barrier that separates people from other countries.”

    1. Google Translate
    2. Bing Translator
    3. Jibbigo
    4. iTranslate
    5. Voice Translate Pro
    6. Tourist language learn & speak
    7. Navita Translator
    8. SayHi Translate
    9. Lonely Planet Offline Translator
    10. Trippo Mondo Voice Translator
Source :

Eu bănuiesc că el copiază

Eu bănuiesc că el copiază …

Atenţie la verbele “a bănui” şi “a copia”. Formele corecte sunt “eu bănuiesc”, “tu bănuieşti”, “el/ea bănuieşte” etc., respectiv “eu copiez”, “tu copiezi”, “el/ea copiază”. Nimeni nu “bănuie” şi nu “copie”! Niciodată.

“bănuí vb., ind. prez. 1 sg. și 3 pl. bănuiésc, imperf. 3 sg. bănuiá; conj. prez. 3 sg. și pl. bănuiáscă
Sursa: Ortografic (2002)
copiá (a ~) (-pi-a) vb., ind. prez. 3 copiáză, 1 pl. copiém (-pi-em); conj. prez. 3 să copiéze; ger. copiínd (-pi-ind)
Sursa: DOOM 2 (2005)”
Vezi DOOM 2, dar poţi verifica şi pe