Language of the Month – January is ITALIAN!

In our new series this year, Language of the Month, we are looking at twelve of the world’s nearly 6000 fascinating languages, one in each month. Join us on this trip around the globe and discover facts, trivia and insider information about some awesome languages!

Language of the Month - January Continue reading Language of the Month – January is ITALIAN!

A year in the life of First Edition

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year certainly has not been any less busy than the previous one: we’ve handled over a 1,000 memorable translation projects, including museum guides, cookery books, children’s books, pharmaceutical translations, technical websites and tourist brochures.

Besides the usual hustle and bustle of a translation company, there have been some special moments, some highlights for the year. In January, we welcomed a new member to our team: Ben Ablett, our Head of Sales and Marketing who has been helping us to further develop the business. In March there was another joyful arrival, Frieda, the new baby of Melanie from the Editorial Team. In March we also attended the prestigious London Book Fair which always provides a good opportunity to catch up with our valued clients and translators. May was a month for innovation as we learnt about the latest developments in the world of translation software at the SDL Trados Road Show in London. In October, we ventured a bit further afield and travelled to Frankfurt in Germany for the world-famous book fair to meet some of our lovely clients and translators in person. The end of the year also had some adventures in store: Ana, our Commercial Translations Manager visited Prague for a conference on Project Management, organised by Elia, the European Language Industry Association.

And there we go – with all this excitement the year is already at an end. We cannot wait to find out what interesting projects the new year will bring.

We would like to thank you for being such great clients and translators throughout this remarkable year. We are looking forward to working together with you again on new, exciting projects in 2018!

Mindfulness at Work

This time last year, I attended ND Focus, the first ever conference for Project Management organised by Elia, the European Language Industry Association. That first conference took place in sunny, warm Barcelona and it was a great way of meeting colleagues across the industry and to develop further skills as a Project Manager. Needless to say, when Elia announced a sophomore conference in (less sunny, colder but gorgeous) Prague, I was more than happy to attend again.

Elia conference

Although there were different tracks and exercises this year, overall the content still focused on the importance of PMs within the industry, highlighting several aspects of how better to serve our clients and provide the type of good service they expect and need. Two of the best ways of doing that are: being efficient with your time and keeping cool under stress/working under pressure by using Mindfulness. I talked about the former in my recap last year but the latter was more or less new to me – especially in a work environment. Guest speaker Joanne O’Malley was excellent in sharing her expertise and experience and I know I am not the only one who found her track to be extremely useful.

So just like last year, I brought back tips to share with my co-workers and with you – translators and clients alike – because I know how we all find ourselves at times working under stressful circumstances. What should we do to cope better?

  • Awareness: be aware of what you are doing at all times, paying attention to your body and mind. Sometimes we get so busy it is easy to lose track of time, to find ourselves in less than ideal situations where we suddenly feel overwhelmed. Stress and overwork doesn’t happen without warning, however – they are a build-up of situations. Be aware of what is happening so the build-up doesn’t hit you like a truck.
  • Learning to be with the experience: you have a huge workload and a lot to do. Excellent, you are aware of it – now, learn to ride that wave. Engage with it, run with it, act rather than trying to react to it.
  • Making wise choices: how do you act at times of stress and overwork then? Stop and take mindful breaths multiple times per day. Be aware of the curve – when you know you are about to feel overwhelmed, take a step back, breath in and out for a couple of minutes, and step back into the fold with a clearer mind because you took a break to create a space in which you can see different options to act skilfully rather than in a knee-jerk way. Take longer breaks if needed, manage your technology well so you are not interrupted when you need to concentrate, cull your to-do list when possible.

These tips work really well with the tips from last year too with regards to time management: to organise better, learning to prioritise and schedule your tasks.

And remember to always: breathe, drink plenty of water and do go out at lunch time.

 

(post by Ana Grilo, Commercial Translations Manager)

Apostrophe Hell – Part 3: Is it all Greek?

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

Apostrophe Hell
Dumichka was nearly finished for the day when the phone rang. It was DC Dash from the local police station.

“I was wondering if you can help us with this one, it’s not a straightforward request” started DC Dash, and Dumichka braced herself for another late finish.

Providing translation and interpreting services for the police was an exciting and challenging job, and even though she knew she won’t get to leave work on time today, she couldn’t wait to hear what the request was – to her it was like taking part in one of those detective stories that she liked reading. Besides, if she was late enough, she might just miss all the trick-or-treaters at home…

“What it is, we’ve had two shops vandalised tonight”, DC Dash started explaining. “Both done by what looks like people wearing costumes. Very different costumes – one dressed like a banana, and the other one – like some kind of two-headed monster. What is similar is that in both places, they’ve left the same note, kind of like a graffiti sprayed on the wall. It looks like a word but we can’t make anything out of it, looks like another language, so I was wondering if you can take a look at it for us and see if you can work out what language it is, and what it means.”

“Sure, can you send us a picture of it?”

“Yup, just give me 5 minutes”.

Dumichka waited with growing curiosity for the email to arrive. A few minutes later it flashed in her inbox, and she opened the attachment to have a look at the word.

ἀπόστροφος

She could tell immediately that it was Greek, and was beginning to guess what it means, but had to check with one of the qualified translators first.

***

Apostrophe”, she told DC Dash on the phone a few minutes later, “It’s the Greek word for Apostrophe”.

***

Later that evening, Dumichka watched the news with a sense of achievement as the reported talked about the swift arrest made after two shops were vandalised this evening. The perpetrators were a group of grammar vigilantes who explained that they couldn’t stand it when they saw the sign “Banana’s 20p each”, with an apostrophe in it.

“Bananas are not in possession in 20p each! They are just plural!!!

“And then that department store with their ‘Womens clothing’ – ‘women’ is already in plural, you can’t make it even more plural!!!”

They had then decided to give the shop owners a grammar lesson they will never forget…

Apostrophe Hell – Part 2: Plurality

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

Apostrophe Hell - Part 2

Jenna’s first week at the new job was going better than expected. So much so that her manager had today trusted her with the revamp of the women’s clothing department.

She waited until the shop was closed and all customers gone, and set out to reorganise everything according to the plan she had sketched the day before.

Now everything was ready, it was time to put the final touches. She had managed to convince her manager that a new sign was needed at the top of the escalator where the women’s department started, and, being keen and efficient, she’d had the sign designed and printed it herself:

WOMENS CLOTHING

When the sign was stuck to the glass pane, she stood back and looked proudly at her work. Her manager would be impressed, no doubt.

Then she heard the noise.

It was coming from the front door, and she walked over to see what it was, thinking that one of the other shop assistants had probably forgotten their phone or something and was now back to retrieve it. As she was walking towards the door, she could see the shadow, but there was something weird about it, as if they were holding a balloon or something. Birthday? She smiled, preparing to greet them, but her smile soon froze and she let out a terrified shriek.

At the entrance of the shop stood several grotesque figures – they were two headed women! She couldn’t tell how many of them were there as the multiple heads, arms and bodies could barely be separated into individual beings… What she could tell without any doubt was that they were not happy at all…

TO BE CONTINUED…

(story by Svetlana from our sister company, Cintra)

(photo by Carsten Frentzl)

Apostrophe Hell – Part 1: Possessed

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

Apostrophe Hell - Part 1Hugh was shutting his shop down for the day at 6 o’clock as usual. It had been a good day. He was really pleased with the sales – putting the sign on the shop window about the promotion on the bananas

BANANA’S 20p EACH

had helped to shift almost all he had in stock and now the cash register was full.

Hugh locked the shop door, pulled down the blind and went through the door at the back of the shop which led, via a narrow staircase, to his apartment above.

He showered quickly, put the frozen pizza into the oven, and soon settled in front of the TV with his pizza and a bottle of beer.

A reporter on the news was covering the events of the day which included another round of negotiations in Brussels, the biggest supermarket chain running out of Halloween consumes, and an orangutan running away from the zoo.

Then he heard it.

At first he paid no attention to the noise. The street was often noisy with the eclectic mix of residents and their matching lifestyles and sleeping patters.

Then he suddenly realised it was coming from the shop below. He jumped on his feet and run downstairs to check. Had he left a window open? Had that flipping cat made its way in again, pushing the kiwis from the shelf? Or could it be a burglar?

Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw when he opened the door to the shop…

A large, yellow and menacing banana was breaking its way into the cash register. Annoyed not to have found what it was looking for, it started walking towards him, a terrifying expression on its smooth yellow face.

“Where is it?” shouted the banana.
“What…” murmured Hugh in disbelief.
“Where’s my 20p???”

TO BE CONTINUED…

(story by Svetlana from our sister company, Cintra)

Sense for sense vs. word for word – St Jerome on translation

St JeromeThis Saturday, 30 September is International Translation Day, which is celebrated every year on St Jerome’s feast day. St Jerome might be one of the most famous historical translators, due to his influential Bible translations in the 4th century.

He was commissioned by Pope Damasus to translate the Bible into Latin; this version later became known as the Vulgate. It was declared the official Bible translation in the 16th century and was in use until the second half of the 20th century.

In addition to his Bible translation and religious notes, St Jerome is also well known for his commentaries on translation. One of the motifs that often comes up in his letters and treatises is the question of verbatim, word-for-word translations. As an answer to his critics who accused him of deviating from the source text, he stated that when translating, he “render[ed] sense for sense and not word for word”. He argues that if he translates “word for word, the result will sound uncouth, and if compelled by necessity [he alters] anything in the order or wording, [he] shall seem to have departed from the function of a translator”.

This is a dilemma that translators still face more than 1500 years later. It is a fine line translators must walk and their decisions are influenced by many factors such as the purpose of the translation, the subject matter or the client’s specific instructions.

There are certain cases when they have to opt for more creative solutions, for example when translating idioms or slang. Also, when working on advertising slogans or children’s books, translators might also need to put snappy solutions above accuracy. In these situations, however, any changes to the source text are discussed in detail with the client to avoid any misunderstandings.

Literal translations are often necessary, for example for medical or legal translations where even the slightest change to the source can have undesirable results.

If you have any questions about a translation project or how we and our translators work, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing enquiries@firstedit.co.uk or by calling 01223 356 733.

 

Source of St Jerome’s quotations: http://www.bible-researcher.com/jerome.pammachius.html

“Celebrating linguistic diversity, plurilingualism, lifelong language learning” – European Day of Languages

European Day of LanguagesOn 26 September the European Day of Languages is held for the seventeenth time: its origins go back to 2001 when the first ever European Day of Languages concluded a yearlong celebration of “linguistic diversity, plurilingualism and lifelong language learning”.

We couldn’t agree more with the event’s official statement, which says that “[e]verybody deserves the chance to benefit from the cultural and economic advantages language skills can bring. Learning languages also helps to develop tolerance and understanding between people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.”

No matter where you are based in Europe, there are several interesting programmes you can choose from if you’d like to join the celebrations. You can browse the events near you on the European Day of Languages website here.

Let’s celebrate ‘Women in Translation’ month!

August is ‘Women in Translation’ month. Join in and celebrate with us all the awesome female authors whose works are available to English readers through the means of translation.

Did you know that only one third of books translated into English come from female authors? Considering how many great books are out there in the world written by women writers, this is a rather sad figure. Started in 2014 by a blogger, Meytal Radzinski, the aim of ‘Women in Translation’ month is to ‘increase the dialogue and discussion about women writers in translation’, and, simply, to ‘read more books by women in translation’.

If you’d like to take part in ‘Women in Translation’ month, just grab a book and get started! If you need any inspiration, there are some recommendations by the First Edition Team below. Continue reading Let’s celebrate ‘Women in Translation’ month!