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Mee Memorial Hospital agrees to provide indigenous language services

Source: Monterey Herald
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Mee Memorial Hospital officials have reached an agreement with the federal government to provide language assistance to speakers with limited English abilities, including speakers of indigenous Mexican languages.

The agreement resolves three separate complaints filed in 2012 on behalf of three Triqui speakers, who claimed in their complaints they had been discriminated against by the hospital because they were not provided with adequate access to translation services.

The agreement is not an admission of wrongdoing, but it stops the investigation by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lawyers with California Rural Legal Assistance filed a complaint on behalf of Agustina Montesino, who was a patient at Mee Memorial’s clinics for more than 10 years but had never been provided an interpreter in her language. More.

See: Monterey Herald

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Translators Without Borders helping to translate Ebola prevention messages

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Taking Precautions

Getting information to Nigeria’s more than 250 ethnic groups who speak more than 500 languages is also a challenge, Lori Thicke, co-founder of Danbury, Connecticut-based Translators Without Borders, said by phone. Only 70 percent of the population can be reached using the four main languages of English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, she said. The organization is helping to translate some of the Ebola prevention messages.

Ebola is “a disease of ignorance in a way because there are many precautions and people aren’t taking them,” Thicke said in a phone interview from Paris.

Seyi Taylor, the 34-year-old co-founder of Big Cabal Media, set up website on July 28 three days after the first person died of the disease in Lagos. Since then it has received 1.5 million hits and his company is now printing fliers. The English-language site will be translated into French, Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and Nigerian Pidgin. More.

See: Bloomberg Businessweek

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What happens when 911 callers don’t speak English?

Source: NW News Network
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

In an emergency, the last thing you want to hear is, “I can’t understand you.” The reality is emergency dispatchers in the Northwest generally speak one language, English. But in our increasingly polyglot society, some people in distress inevitably can’t communicate in English.

So what happens then?

An emergency call in a foreign language is an almost daily occurrence in the region’s urban counties. Every 911 center in Northwest has a contract with an emergency translation service to deal with this.

But it takes extra time. The caller might even hear hold hold music, as if it were a catalogue company rather than an emergency call.

Veteran call taker and training manager Andrea Tobin admitted that the wait for an interpreter to join the call can be excruciating, although you can’t hear it in the dispatcher’s voice.

“We get pretty tense, especially if we know it is a medical call – or this person that is in obvious distress,” she said. “When it is Spanish it is pretty quick and easy for us to (recognize). When it is a different dialect, it becomes more complicated for us because we don’t recognize them all. And then they put us on hold while they get an interpreter for the language that we need. That can sometimes be very quick. Sometimes it is 30 seconds or a minute.” More.

See: NW News Network

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New Speaking of Translation podcast

Source: Thoughts On Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

I’m back from vacation, and slowly easing back in to real life after a month-long break spent bicycling around the Dolomites in northern Italy (more to come about that!). Meanwhile,  my hardworking colleague Eve Bodeux recorded a great new episode of Speaking of Translation, in which she interviewed French to English technical translator Stephanie Strobel, on the topic “Exploiting your subject matter expertise.” Stephanie is a highly specialized translator who works primarily with engineering documents, drawing on her experience as a mechanical engineer. Eve and Stephanie met up in Paris for this interview, so that adds an extra element of intrigue! Here it is, and happy listening!

See: Thoughts On Translation

See also: Exploiting Your Subject Matter Expertise (podcast)

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Lesson 101: Best business advice blogs for freelancers I found around

Source: WantWords
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

I know that it takes up a lot of time to stay up to date with all blogs and articles written by fellow translators and interpreters. Very often it’s hard enough to cover all of them, not to mention reaching out and reading other useful blogs. This is why I decided to share my collection of resources on business advice – you don’t have to swift through endless websites and portals to find something tailored to a freelance business.

Before I share some of my favourite blogs, I wanted to tell you how I manage to keep up. For me, the key to managing all resources is to access them from one place, a good RSS reader. I’ve given up on email subscriptions and moved entirely to Feedly (Google Reader, you’re still missed!), where I keep separate categories for resources on translation, language, copywriting, business and marketing. It’s very easy to set up and helps me navigate through sources much better. I’ve also set up a few Google Alerts for topics such as translation, bilingualism and Polish economy. By managing sources this way, I find it much more convenient to browse through news and updates and decide what I want to read in detail or share with others.

When comes to business advice, the real problem is that the majority of sources pertain to big companies, SMEs or crazy ninja entrepreneurs on their way to create a 4D printer. I found it quite hard to track information applicable to businesses like yours or mine. So, here it is, my business advice reading list.

  • EnMast – started following recently, I like it for a strong focus on an individual and the importance of leadership in business
  • Freelancer Blog – a large collection of strategies, tips and tutorials
  • The Freelancer, By Contently – slightly more on the tech and design side, good tips for online marketing and social media
  • The Freelancery – written by a real freelancer, very good pieces of advice
  • Work Awesome – useful and quick “5 ways to” articles you can scan in 30 seconds
  • Copyblogger – a useful copywriting tip a day, always something new to tweak your sales letter
  • Freelance Advisor – UK-based portal with freelance advice, including tax and legal issues
  • Freelance Switch – a collection of tips, some of it more technical
    Freelancing Matters – well-researched articles, often offering deeper insight than just tips and tricks (now migrated to tuts+)
  • Guerrilla Freelancing – no-nonsense articles, often about payments, expenses and money
  • Freelancers’ Union – interesting and quick articles, many polls regarding how freelancers work
  • Read the full post in WantWords here:

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    Specializing: a ticket to the high end of the profession?

    Source: The Pillar Box - ITI
    Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

    Part One: defining our terms

    I recently took part in a one-day symposium called “Future-proofing the translation profession” that was co-sponsored by the ITI, the European Commission and the Chartered Institute of Linguists. If you’d like to see what the speakers and panelists had to say, click here.

    The overarching theme that day was the state of the profession, and particularly its future. This will surprise no one in an environment marked by technological changes that are seen as threatening, coupled with bleak surveys[i] of the current state of the field that bring to mind nothing so much as Daniel Defoe’s Grub Street. Another recurring theme was the “high end” of the profession: Does it exist? How do you get into that segment? Is it, too, threatened?

    There seemed to be broad agreement among the speakers and panelists on a couple of fundamental points. First, there is indeed a “premium market” within our profession, where people are working at an extremely high level, have ensconced themselves as “trusted providers” to their clients or employers, and are well paid.[ii] Second, this premium market does not appear to be threatened. On the contrary, demand for finely tuned, highly specialized, 100%-on-message multilingual content —and the people who can provide it— appears to be growing. Companies are looking for new differentiators in a globalized, homogeneous, practically-arbitrage-proof landscape where products and prices increasingly look the same between Avis and Hertz, Nestle and Dannon, RBS and RBC. “Spot-on” communications across all of a company’s languages can be one such differentiator. More.

    See: The Pillar Box – ITI

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    An interview on the CTA website

    Source: About Translation
    Story flagged by:

    Marion Rhodes, CTA Social Media Coordinator, interviewed me for the Colorado Translators Association website… and now the interview has been published:

    Imagine translating without the help of the Internet – or the computer for that matter. The tools that have become indispensable to today’s translators haven’t been around all that long. Today, we talk to a translator who has witnessed the changes in our industry over the past three decades: Riccardo Schiaffino, an ATA-certified English into Italian technical translator and president of Aliquantum, Inc., in Denver.

    You can read the interview by following this link.

    See: About Translation

    See also: Meet Our Colorado Translators: Riccardo Schiaffino

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    The story of the man who brought Proust to the English-speaking world (book review)

    Source: The Economist
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator. By Jean Findlay. Chatto & Windus; 368 pages

    “Chasing Lost Time” is the first comprehensive biography of Scott Moncrieff. Written by his great-great-niece, Jean Findlay, it sheds light on an “elusive, swift-minded and faun-like” man. In doing so it also describes the genesis of one of the definitive translations of the 20th century. More.

    See: The Economist

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    5 great resources for medical translation research

    Source: EAP medical translations
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    There are hundreds of great resources for medical translators online for different language pairs and different areas of specialization; I have compiled a few of those under my posts Glossaries and Dictionaries. In this post Karen Sexton shares 5 resources that are useful for medical translators when researching. These links will help you understand what the terms and conditions that you are translating about mean and from there you can make decisions about how to translate them using your glossaries and dictionaries.

    See: EAP medical translations

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    The National Endowment for the Arts names translation fellows

    Source: Publishers Weekly
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    The National Endowment for the Arts announced the latest round of recipients of its Literature Translation Fellowships, grants given to support the translation of literature into English. The announcement is timed with the NEA’s release of The Art of Empathy: Celebrating Literature in Translation, a collection that explores works in translation.

    The 20 translators of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from 12 different languages will together receive $300,000 in recommended grants.

    Click here for more information, and for a list of the NEA Literature Translation Fellowship recipients.

    See: Publishers Weekly

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    Working at the European Parliament – Terminology Coordination Unit

    Source: Gala Gil Amat
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    Would you like to know what is like to work at the EU? During a week, Gala Gil Amat worked as a study visitor in the Terminology Coordination Unit within the DG TRAD in the European Parliament in Luxembourg and in this video, she shares her experience there.

    Watch the video here.

    See: Gala Gil Amat

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    Pricing strategies for translation

    Source: Dana Translation
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    “How do I charge for my services?” This is perhaps the most important concern for all translators. There are certain pricing strategies that can be used to determine how to set rates and how much to charge for translation services. The strategy used will depend on the clients, country, sector, or industry you work for. You must always comply with your client’s expectations and requirements. The way to calculate rates is to multiply the flat rate per unit by the number of items.

    Below are some of the most common units that translators use to charge for their services:

    • Charging by the word
    • Charging by the page
    • Charging by the document
    • Charging by the Line
    • Charging by the project or job
    • Charging by the hour:
    • Charging by the standard rate
    • Charging by offering a flat fee rate
    • Charging by the day
    • Charging by other means More

    See: Dana Translation

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    Audiovisual translation

    Source: Carol's adventures in translation
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    What Audiovisual Translation is

    Audiovisual Translation (AVT) is the translation of any audio, visual or audiovisual material to facilitate its distribution in a different market. When we talk about AVT we usually refer to dubbing, subtitling, localisation, and media accessibility (audio description, subtitling for the hearing-impaired).

    Most of my workload deals with subtitling and dubbing, so I will focus more on these two subjects and my experience with them.


    Subtitles help the audience understand the ‘spoken part’ of a movie while listening to the original dialogues. The widespread practice of fan-subbing made people think that subtitling is an easy job. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is not! As any other translation specialisation, the translator needs proper training, and the existence of degree courses on this subject should be a clear hint! More.

    See: Carol’s adventures in translation

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    The listeners (radio programme)

    Source: BBC
    Story flagged by: (Claryssa) Suci Puspa Dewi

    Listening is about more than hearing as we discover from people who ‘listen for a living’. In the first of three fascinating programmes we meet four individuals who all listen to languages and words. Mark Turin is an anthropologist whose work includes the documentation of oral languages. “It’s very hard to make sense of a language which you’ve never heard before if you don’t see it written down and don’t know where the word breaks are.” explains Mark. More.

    See: BBC

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    Distinguishing translation from interpretation

    Source: From Words to Deeds
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    In a trilingual TEDx talk organized at the Monterey Institute, Laura Burian, Barry Olsen, and Miguel Garcia demonstrate the power of human cognition as they explain the subtle but important differences between professional translators and interpreters with assistance from Weihao Zhang (Chinese) and Beatriz Rodriguez (Spanish). More.

    See: From Words to Deeds

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    Does learning a second language lead to a new identity?

    Source: Oxford Dictionaries
    Story flagged by: RominaZ


    Taking on a new identity

    Grimes also considers the effects that writing in a second language has on the authors themselves. Some writers find that as time passes in the host country they begin to take on a new persona, a new identity. Their native land grows more and more distant in time and they begin to feel less like the person they were when they initially immigrated. Ms. Marciano feels that English allows her to explore parts of her that she did not know existed. Others feel liberated by the voice they discover in another language.

    The literary phenomenon that writers describe is one that has been discussed at length by Robert Schrauf of Penn State University as a form of state-dependent learning. In one classic study of state-dependent learning, a group of participants was asked to learn a set of words below or above water and then tested either above or below water. Interestingly, memory was better when the location of the learning matched the testing, even when that was underwater, a particularly uncomfortable situation relative to above water. Similar explanations can be used to describe how emotional states can lead to retrieval of memories that are seemingly unrelated. For example, anger at a driver who cuts you off might lead to memories of the last time you had a fight with a loved one. More.

    See: Oxford Dictionaries

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    Twitter quietly nixes Bing Translate feature

    Source: GeekWire
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    Twitter has quietly stopped offering users the ability to instantly translate tweets using Bing’s machine translation feature, slightly more than a year after the company started using Microsoft’s technology.

    Users began noticing the feature’s absence earlier this week, though Twitter hasn’t said exactly when it stopped offering the service, or why. But one thing is clear: people who want to get tweets translated from a foreign language will have to copy and paste them into a translation service of choice, rather than clicking a button on Twitter’s website. More.

    See: GeekWire

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    Rogeting: why ’sinister buttocks’ are creeping into students’ essays

    Source: The Guardian
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    In an attempt to get away with plagiarising their work, unscrupulous students are using a thesaurus app to ring the changes on essays copy-and-pasted from the internet. The results are often hilariously inept

    Name: Rogeting.

    Age: A modern twist on an age-old practice.

    Appearance: Baffling, perplexing, mystifying, strange, confusing, puzzling.

    Explain, please. You mean clarify? Elucidate? Illuminate? Expound? Explicate?

    Any one of those, yes. OK. Very well. As you wish. It is the practice ofstudents replacing words and phrases in essays they have copied from the internet with supposedly synonymous alternatives in order to disguise their plagiarism.

    How so? Chris Sadler, the lecturer who coined the neologism did so after coming across a number of phrases in his business students’ work that did not make sense. More

    See: The Guardian

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    The interpreter’s accent

    Source: Unprofessional Translation
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    In the case of Natural Interpreters, the matter can be dealt with summarily. Natural interpreters speak with their natural accent, that is to say their normal conversational accent. For one thing, they are probably unaware that it’s an issue. And for another, they work in ad hoc circumstances where they wouldn’t have the time or the ability to change it.

    For Expert Interpreters, however, it may have far more impact.

    Some years ago, when Queen Elizabeth of England, who’s also head of state of Canada, visited Montreal, she tried to please her French Canadian subjects by making a short speech in their language. It was broadcast nationally. So it was accompanied by simultaneous interpretation because only a minority of English Canadians understand French. The broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, took care to engage a female interpreter with a mature voice. Nevertheless, they overlooked something else. Hardly had the broadcast started when the CBC began to receive phone calls of complaint – this was before the internet – from listeners who objected to hearing Her Majesty ’speak’ English with an unmistakably Canadian accent. Let’s call this effect of incompatible accents accent shock, by analogy with culture shock. More.

    See: Unprofessional Translation

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    Linguist’s concern at heritage language report

    Source: Scoop
    Story flagged by: RominaZ

    Linguist’s concern at heritage language report

    New migrants should be supported to speak their own language to ensure their children develop a strong cultural identity, says a Massey University linguist critical of a government report on the subject.

    Dr Arianna Berardi-Wiltshire says a recent Internal Affairs report, Language and Integration in New Zealand, gives the wrong message by emphasising a negative correlation between maintaining a heritage language [mother tongue] and gaining proficiency in English.

    The report’s focus on the importance of English language skills for employment is valid, but it overlooks the intrinsic value of heritage language for family relationships, she says. “We have over 160 languages spoken in New Zealand. It’s time we had a national languages policy —, a key document that formally recognizes the linguistic diversity of our population, and provides orientation and clear guidelines on their place and value in our society.”

    The 26-page report acknowledges that “proficiency in English and heritage language maintenance is important” for positive integration. It also refers to “a negative correlation between conditions that are favourable to English language acquisition and those that promote heritage language maintenance.” More.

    See: Scoop

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