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Thread poster: Marina M. Steinbach
My ProZ Website – Feedback Wanted!

Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
Aug 29, 2011

Hello Colleagues!

Ali just recently made his website public and encouraged me to do the same.

So, here it is (with the tools I had available from ProZ):

http://www.steinbach.my.proz.com

Sincerely,

Marina


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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 17:22
Japanese to English
Just a few touch-ups... Aug 29, 2011

Hi Marina,

I would suggest just a little touch-up of your "About Me" page:

I love translating, especially if the subject is interesting!

Although I am a U.S. citizen by birth, I can also speak German like a native. My mother is German, and my deceased father was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and a veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War.

After becoming a State-Certified Secretary in Foreign Languages at a commercial college in Hamburg, I gained more than twenty years of international experience as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a mid-sized manufacturing company in the field of smoke exhaustion, fire prevention, and exclusive air diffusion in Germany. In this position, I have translated general correspondence, technical documentation, and the CEN, DIN, and ISO standards.

In December 2010, I moved from Germany to the United States and started working as a freelance translator.

For twenty-four years, I have had my husband on my team. He has a technical degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and is a computer programmer and always helpful.


The version above just irons out some spots that were a little odd-sounding, a few places where you capitalized words that should not be capitalized, and a couple places where you omitted the serial comma(the final comma in a series, i.e. "red, white and blue" instead of "red, white, and blue").

Otherwise, it looks good!

Best regards,
MGrant


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
English to German
Good start Aug 29, 2011

Hi Marina, I think your website looks fine. Any client can navigate easily through the different pages and see what you are about.

Some ideas for improvement:

1.) Use the same font size throughout a single page (if not all of them).
2.) "I love translating, especially if the subject is interesting!" - Sounds like you are picky about your jobs: you only take the ones that are interesting.
3.) This is my personal thing (from my background in creative writing and teaching): any sentence longer than 2,5 lines has to be revised. Check your "about me" page and see, if you can change anything there.
4.) Why do you only offer your CV as a download? As a client, I wouldn't necessarily want to spend time with downloading your CV. Just put it on the website, keep it downloadable for anyone who wants to save it, but make it easy for your prospective clients.
5.) So you have over 20 years of experience. That's pretty good and might be a real benefit for your clients. Do you have testimonials or sample translations? You should include these on your website.
6.) Your text doesn't click, doesn't turn me on (yeah, not what you think...). "Are you looking for somebody you can trust, who supports you with your language projects, gives helpful advice and is always there for you? Then I can help you personally." This sounds more like a commercial for a psychologist than a translator.
7.) I would change the part about your parents. Simply write that your mother is German and your father American and that you grew up bilingual. As tough as it sounds: I don't really think that prospective clients care if your father is alive or dead. They have a job to be done, professionally, quick and cheap. The don't care about the rest.

What you have on your side: 20 years of experience, native speaker skills in both English and German, a partner who seems to be a part of your company (or does he just fix your computer when it breaks down?). Your website tells us a lot about yourself, but you don't make the benefits a customer gets from working with you clear enough.


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 10:22
Member (2007)
French to English
Hello Marina! Aug 29, 2011

Some quick corrections on your "About me" page:

"In December 2010, I moved..." instead of "I have moved"

"For twenty-four years" instead of "Since twenty-four years" (and the most English-sounding turn of phrase would be to move this towards the end of the sentence)

"...and is always helpful" instead of "...and always helpful"

Best of luck!

[Edited at 2011-08-29 08:04 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:22
Member (2011)
Hebrew to English
Serial comma is optional Aug 29, 2011


Michael Grant wrote:

The version above just irons out some spots that were a little odd-sounding, a few places where you capitalized words that should not be capitalized, and a couple places where you omitted the serial comma(the final comma in a series, i.e. "red, white and blue" instead of "red, white, and blue").


MGrant


Although it should be noted that whilst the serial comma is more typical of US usage, it is perfectly acceptable (and the norm) the omit this comma in UK English. So your use of "red, white and blue" is not necessarily an error, but a decision of style (and audience).


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:22
English to Arabic
Contact Me Page Aug 29, 2011

The contact form is somewhat wierd. There are three spaces, but which one
is for first name, which is for last name, and which is for email?

Nothing is said about that. There should be some words written to clarify this.

Also, for me, the picture in "about me" page does not show up. I do not know if
this is only me or it is a general problem.


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
English to German
More suggestions Aug 29, 2011

Hey Marina,

change the photo you have got on the website. Take the one from your CV, I think that one makes you look much nicer. And there is sth. bothering me about your CV, but I just don't know what. Have you had a look at other CVs?



[Edited at 2011-08-29 15:01 GMT]


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 10:22
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Comma debate Aug 29, 2011


Michael Grant wrote:


The version above just irons out some spots that were a little odd-sounding, a few places where you capitalized words that should not be capitalized, and a couple places where you omitted the serial comma(the final comma in a series, i.e. "red, white and blue" instead of "red, white, and blue").

Otherwise, it looks good!

Best regards,
MGrant


"The "serial comma" is a phenomenon peculiar to some strands of US English and still highly debatable. I know that many UK native English speakers (myself included) would take issue with the suggestion that "red, white and blue" is somehow "incorrect" or non-standard. Maybe MG should look it up in his Funk & Wagnalls ...


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 29, 2011

Dear Michael,

Thank you for ironing out the spots.

Sincerely,

Marina


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 29, 2011

Dear verslanglais,

Thank you very much for your corrections.

Sincerely,

Marina


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 29, 2011


Ty Kendall wrote:

Although it should be noted that whilst the serial comma is more typical of US usage, it is perfectly acceptable (and the norm) the omit this comma in UK English. So your use of "red, white and blue" is not necessarily an error, but a decision of style (and audience).


Dear Ty,

Thank you very much for your explanation.
As I am now living in the US, I think I'll start using the serial comma.

Sinerely,

Marina


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 29, 2011


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

The contact form is somewhat wierd. There are three spaces, but which one
is for first name, which is for last name, and which is for email?

Nothing is said about that. There should be some words written to clarify this.

Also, for me, the picture in "about me" page does not show up. I do not know if
this is only me or it is a general problem.


Dear Ali,

Thank you very much for pointing this out to me. Unfortunately, the software that is used to create such a ProZ website does not allow me to make changes. I have therefore inserted a blank page and simply entered my contact information.

Sincerely,

Marina


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 29, 2011


Jürgen Werner wrote:

Some ideas for improvement:

1.) Use the same font size throughout a single page (if not all of them).


The ProZ software does not allow this to be done.


2.) "I love translating, especially if the subject is interesting!" - Sounds like you are picky about your jobs: you only take the ones that are interesting.


It now reads: “I love translating, no matter how short or long the text is!”


3.) This is my personal thing (from my background in creative writing and teaching): any sentence longer than 2,5 lines has to be revised. Check your "about me" page and see, if you can change anything there.


I deleted the part referring to the time I went to college. The sentence is now shorter.


4.) Why do you only offer your CV as a download?


This was the default of the ProZ software. I'll try to change this, but first have to figure out how.


5.) So you have over 20 years of experience. That's pretty good and might be a real benefit for your clients. Do you have testimonials or sample translations? You should include these on your website.


In have included two letters of recommendation. Is this what you meant?


6.) Your text doesn't click, doesn't turn me on (yeah, not what you think...).


I changed the text. Is this better?


7.) I would change the part about your parents. Simply write that your mother is German and your father American and that you grew up bilingual. As tough as it sounds: I don't really think that prospective clients care if your father is alive or dead. They have a job to be done, professionally, quick and cheap. The don't care about the rest.


I have changed this accordingly.

Thank you very much for your time and ideas, Jürgen.

Sincerely,

Marina


[Edited at 2011-08-29 20:47 GMT]


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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 17:22
Japanese to English
In the US: expected/standard, in the UK: optional/non-standard Aug 30, 2011


neilmac wrote:
The "serial comma" is a phenomenon peculiar to some strands of US English and still highly debatable. I know that many UK native English speakers (myself included) would take issue with the suggestion that "red, white and blue" is somehow "incorrect" or non-standard. Maybe MG should look it up in his Funk & Wagnalls ...


It may be debatable, but it is hardly peculiar. And, seeing as how Funk & Wagnalls has been out of print since 1997(maybe you should update your dictionary), I think I will pass on your advice...

The serial comma should be used for the sake of clarity, as recommended by the ATA, the Guardian and guardian.co.uk style guide, and the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators(istc.org.uk).

Without it, for example:

I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

you could really raise some eyebrows!!

The only sources I have seen that explicitly discourage its mandatory usage are in the area of journalism( the AP, the BBC, the Times, the New York Times, etc.). However, even those agree that it should be used to avoid ambiguity....hence, my suggestion...

MGrant


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:22
English to Arabic
CV Aug 30, 2011

I can see that you have put it as an image. Why ?

Why not just copy and paste it as a Text, not Image ??


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