Happy New (Translation) Year 2013 - KeyCheck Translation

Goodbye 2012, hello 2013, or translator's New Year resolutions

Happy New (Translation) Year 2013 - KeyCheck Translation

Happy 2013!

The end of the year makes me think one thing: it’s time to look back at 2012, see what I achieved and plan what I could achieve in 2013. So let us not waste any time and crack on.

Translation literature

In between changing endless nappies and generally looking after a new baby, I managed to read several very good (and one not so good) books on language and translation. These are:

  1. The Prosperous Translator, compiled by C. Durban – fantastic read, even though I don’t agree with one particular point, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in working as a translator
  2. The Entrepreneurial Linguist, by J. and D. Jenner – again, a fantastic read (though I didn’t like the overly “friendly” style of writing, it makes me feel like the authors think I’m stupid – but that’s a very minor point)
  3. How to Become a Translator, by M. Daniels – a very basic read and I didn’t agree with quite a few points that he made, plus the style is appalling and very annoying – despite some good (again, basic) tips that he gave.
  4. The 5-Minute Linguist, ed. by E. M. Rickerson and B. Hilton – I haven’t finished it yet but what a fascinating read! It was one of my fabulous Christmas presents this year, which I requested following the Jenner twins’ recommendation. Well organised, very interesting bite-sized essays on language, including what the original language was, what happens to a bilingual’s brain when she switches languages and how many languages there are in the world – and many more!

Translation projects

In 2012 (or the several months, when I actually worked) I completed some fantastic projects. Unexpectedly I ventured into translation for subtitles, translation of academic historical texts and translation of semi-legal transcripts.

One of my favourites was subtitling a classic Polish film into English, “Nights and days” (dir. by J. Antczak, 1975, based on a novel by M. Dąbrowska, 1934). It was quite challenging, as there were many linguistic hoops to jump through and very limited space. I should think some of these challenges deserve a blog post in their own right, which is one thing I could do in 2013 (hopefully sooner than later).

KeyCheck Translation’s New Year’s resolutions

Let’s keep it short and sweet. 10 points:

  1. Read Is That a Fish in Your Ear by D. Bellos and Mouse or Rat by U. Eco, finish The 5-Minute Linguist and whatever else on the subject that might come my way.
  2. Keep up this blog, tweeting (follow me @keycheck_t9n) and posting on LinkedIn.
  3. Network more by making use of the local Chamber of Commerce events, and perhaps organise a pow-wow through ProZ.
  4. Join the ITI (the application just needs to be put together, now I have my references in place!) and make the most of the membership – I am told it has a lot to offer, let’s hope it lives up to my expectations.
  5. Keep atop both Polish and British news stories.
  6. Refresh this website and learn more about WordPress, which has so many features that I fail so miserably to make the most of.
  7. Develop a stay-fit routine – I may be thin but boy, am I stiff!
  8. Specialise further by doing an evening course or perhaps a diploma in marketing? If money, time and family allow.
  9. Stay atop all my receipts and books, so it is the least painful and time-consuming to file them come the end of the tax year.
  10. Not to get discouraged by lean times and not to lose my head when there appears to be more on my plate than I think I can handle!

Wishing you a great night on New Year’s eve and have a fantastic, prosperous 2013.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? What do you feel the most proud of? What mistakes would you like to avoid in the future? Please share in comments below!

Comments 4

  1. Pingback: Goodbye 2012, hello 2013, or translator’s New Year resolutions | Metaglossia

  2. Just curious—I also loved The Prosperous Translator. It really helped me think about translation as a professional, rather than a hobbyist (quite a switch!). Which point didn’t you agree with?

    1. Post

      Hi Carolyn,
      I think it’s a fantastic resource for translators and there are lots of very valuable points covered in the book.
      There is one quite significant point, though, and that is about translators who work into their second language. I know several very successful translators, who do so, and I’d like to consider myself one of them. But because I acknowledge the fact that I am not an English native speaker, I only translate into English in cooperation with an English native proofreader, who corrects my use of English. Very frequently it’s 1 minor error every other page or so but that’s enough for me to use his services.

      Interestingly enough, I discussed this issue with my former lecturer and later boss, who wrote a book on it (to be released next month, I can’t wait!). Her name is Dr Joanna Drugan, she’s a very experienced translator and a brilliant academic, teacher and a lovely person. Her book is entitled “Quality in Professional Translation: Assessment and Improvement”. She told me that the latest research showed nothing in terms of quality differences between qualified, experienced translators translating in their chosen speciality into their first vs second language. But when I told her I knew of a translator who claimed to be a native speaker of English (which she isn’t and I thought it was quite noticeable), Jo’s opinion was that it was wrong and misleading, even if her English was (and indeed is) very good.

      If I thought I would do a bad job of it, I’d never offer translation services into English. But I’ve had some very satisfied repeat customers, plus I would only do it if my translation was checked by a qualified English native speaker. According to the Worker Bee and the Fire Ant, anyone translating into their second language is doomed. I beg to disagree.

      What are your thoughts, Carolyn?

      Best wishes,

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