Until this year, I’d been to lots of translation workshops but never to a big conference. I’ve always been uncertain whether the investment of time and money would be worthwhile. I was particularly sceptical about the Elia Together conference, whose stated aim is to bring together freelance translators and translation agency project managers, since I am more interested in acquiring more direct clients than in expanding my work with agencies. However, friends who had been to the previous edition of Elia Together in Barcelona were enthusiastic, and so when I was invited to speak on a panel at the 2017 conference in Berlin I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what the fuss was about.
Last year, I wrote about my experience of the ITI German Network’s mentoring programme, where I was mentored on the topic of legal/contract translation. I found it a very useful experience and decided to complete a further course of mentoring, this time in one of my areas of specialisation: academic translation. My reasoning was that in many ways it would be even more useful to have some input with regard to an area that I do more work in.
Dr Michael Loughridge, an academic and translator who has even written a book on the topic of translating from German, very kindly agreed to act as mentor. In a procedure modelled on the German Network mentoring scheme (although it was not officially part of that scheme), Michael provided three short texts that he had previously translated himself and gave comments on my own translations of these texts. Below, I discuss some of the things I learned from the experience.
In February, I attended the Elia Together conference in Berlin to speak on a panel about the working relationship between freelance translators and translation agencies (or "independent language professionals" and "language service companies", if you prefer). I'll be writing a full report on the event as a whole for the next ITI Bulletin, but in the meantime my fellow panel members have put together a summary of the main themes from our presentation.
In the autumn of last year, I completed the course Proofreading 1: Introduction offered by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I blogged about the course here. I’ve now also completed (and passed) the SfEP’s second online proofreading course, Proofreading 2: Progress. In this post, I briefly describe the experience and what I learned.
As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take stock of the past 12 months. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a steady stream of work, including some very interesting projects and new clients, and have enjoyed regular networking events with fellow translators. At the same time, it’s also been a rather exhausting period, as I’ve regularly found myself working long hours and grappling with difficult translation problems in seemingly almost every text I encounter, so I’m more than ready for some time off to rejuvenate my energy and regroup for the coming year.
This time last year, I wrote a list of “resolutions” for 2016. In this post, I’ll look at how much progress I made with those goals, and take a brief look ahead to 2017.
Around a year ago, I wrote a post about my “personal app wishlist”. I still haven’t managed to find technical solutions to the first two items on my list, better email auto-reply management and automatic email attachment/folder word counts (though I now think the former would be possible with programs like Outlook, and I’ve realised a simple workaround for the latter is simply to ask clients to state the character count of attached files in their emails). But I’ve tried and tested quite a few different solutions to the third item on my list: advanced quality control and search tools. Below are brief reviews and thoughts on some of the things I’ve tried.
Earlier this year, I finally joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). Although I have worked as both a translator and proofreader ever since my initial in-house training at a German translation agency, proofreading has often played second fiddle to translation in terms of professional development, so I wanted to focus some more of my attention on this aspect of my work. This month, I completed my first online training course with SfEP – Proofreading 1: Introduction. This post shares some reflections on my experience of the course for anyone else who is considering taking it.
It's been exactly a year since I moved to Cardiff from Southampton. As I'd hoped, Cardiff has proved to be a great city to live and work in. I feel so at home now I'm even thinking of starting Welsh lessons. But Welsh wasn't the only language besides English I've spotted in Cardiff. I've also been surprised at how often I've seen another European language while wandering around the city: namely, German. So I thought it would be fun to mark the occasion with a special blog post celebrating the traces of the German language to be found in Cardiff.
This week, I attended my first event organised by the ITI Media, Arts & Tourism Network: a workshop in Birmingham on the topic of “Music and Translation in Opera, Music Theatre and Popular Music”. This isn’t an area I work in directly or even expect to in future, but it does fall within the broader field of creative and cultural translation that I do work in, so I was hoping it would still be of some interest and relevance.
Way back in late 2014, I applied for the ITI German Network’s mentoring scheme. Specifically, I was interested in learning more about legal translation. Although this isn’t an area I do very much work in, I do occasionally translate bits of legalese (contracts, legal declarations or notices, etc.) for clients/accounts that I primarily translate marketing or creative texts for. By contrast with the latter types of texts (which I specialise in, and which were the focus of my in-house translation training), when it comes to legal texts I didn’t feel entirely confident about what I was doing. At the same time, I nonetheless felt happier working on legal texts than on, say, technical or financial ones, and was wondering whether this might be a prudent area to develop a secondary specialisation in.
Dr Andrew Godfrey, MITI