Today is International Women’s Day and as French is the Language of the Month here at First Edition, we thought we’d bring you the famous female French translator, Émilie du Châtelet as a way of celebrating both!
Burns Night is upon us, with an abundance of haggis, the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race” and whisky and poetry! Many poetry lovers come together every year on 25 January, the birthday of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet and celebrate him by consuming typical Scottish food and drinks. This is a tradition that has been kept since 1801, when his friends gathered together five years after Burns’s death to commemorate his life and work.
While informal gatherings of friends might just enjoy a bit of haggis and (a bit more) spirits, formal Burns suppers actually have a set standard order, starting with a piper greeting guests, welcoming speeches, then several courses of delicious Scottish food with toasts and poetry recitals. Even the haggis is addressed by the host before it is ceremoniously cut. The feast is then closed by everyone joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne, one of Burns’s most famous poems.
Traditionally haggis is made of offal, oatmeal and various spices but vegetarians and vegans should not despair as there are several non-meaty options available, too. Haggis is often served with “neeps and tatties” which is Scottish for mashed swede and potato. Oh, and don’t forget a wee dram, either!
Source of image: Wikimedia Commons
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!
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.
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…
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:
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)
Hugh 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)
This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01223 356 733.
Source of St Jerome’s quotations: http://www.bible-researcher.com/jerome.pammachius.html
On 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.