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LinkedIn gave us a pleasant surprise a few days ago: I was suddenly getting personal messages and comments on our profile because LinkedIn had posted that it had been exactly 10 years since Bluebird was born. And it has indeed been 10 years since I first registered the business at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, after two years working as an in-house translator in the Netherlands.

Since then our team has grown along with our experience, and so has our portfolio. All this growth has also allowed us to fulfill our dream of sharing our beautiful office space in Amsterdam city center and transforming it into a hub for local translators working in various languages.

Thanks for all the anniversary wishes and for your trust in our daily work.

10 years

This is the Christmas card that we've sent this year to our clients, collaborators, family, and friends. The original design, based on our (UNESCO-protected) office building, was done in aquarelle by Rotterdam-based artist Marrit van Natten. You can check out her beautiful artwork at her website.

 

Our best and most sincere wishes from the heart of the Jordaan, Amsterdam, where Bluebird keeps growing along with the community of professional translators with whom we share our work space.

 

Actually, in 2017 we'll have to celebrate our 5th anniversary since Bluebird Translations moved to this office. Stay tuned to this blog for more info on the best summer BBQ in town :)

 

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this coming 2017 

A few months back, I interviewed Josep Condal from ApSIC on the new commercial version of Xbench for the ITI Bulletin, As a follow-up to that, I recently had the opportunity to exchange some words with Michael Farrell, the translator behind IntelliWebSearch. We talked about the origins of his beloved tool and the innovative features of the new version 5.

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Asetrad (Spanish Association of Translators, Copy-editors, and Interpreters) has asked JC Gil to organize a webminar on Xbench that will be hold on the 3rd of December, Tuesday, at 18:00 (Amsterdam - Madrid time: UTC/GMT+1). The webminar will be delivered in Spanish and will last 90 minutes approx.

You can register here.

More info here.

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Introducción a Xbench

Sinopsis del webinario

En este webinario, los alumnos adquirirán conocimientos suficientes para implementar Xbench en sus procesos actuales de traducción/revisión mediante glosarios y demás referencias bilingües con los que ya cuente el traductor, o bien para poder seguir las instrucciones de un cliente que requiera el uso de Xbench en un proyecto. Se hará hincapié en sus cualidades como gestor multifuente de términos/segmentos y como herramienta personalizable de control de calidad para documentos traducidos. Todo ello se hará desde un enfoque eminentemente práctico en el que crearemos desde cero un proyecto Xbench al que se añadirán diferentes fuentes de referencia en el contexto de una traducción real que, a posteriori, será asimismo analizada con la función de QA. También comentaremos las diferencias entre la versión gratuita, que ha sido la única disponible hasta hace unos meses, y la nueva versión de pago.

Profesor

José Carlos Gil es un traductor y asesor de recursos tecnológicos aplicados a la traducción afincado en Ámsterdam. Desde su oficina en el corazón del barrio del Jordaan, dirige Bluebird Translations, un equipo de traductores especializado en traducción jurídico-financiera, documentación técnica de electrónica de consumo y traducción creativa de marketing. Comparte su pasión por la traducción escribiendo artículos tecnológicos tanto en el blog de Bluebird Translations como en La Linterna del Traductor de Asetrad o el ITI Bulletin. Su pericia en Xbench le ha convertido en un consultor recomendado por ApSIC para implementar el programa de forma personalizada en flujos de trabajo ya existentes y para impartir cursos a traductores que quieran conocer lo mucho que esta herramienta les puede ayudar a mejorar la calidad de sus traducciones.

Combinación de idiomas; conocimientos previos

El webinario se impartirá en español y para los ejemplos se utilizará la combinación inglés-español. Está dirigido a traductores profesionales que no conozcan Xbench, por lo que no son necesarios conocimientos previos sobre la herramienta, aunque el webminario también será útil para aquellos que ya tengan ciertos conocimientos y quieran descubrir funciones más avanzadas. Asimismo, se incluirán en los materiales del curso los codiciados glosarios oficiales de Mac y Microsoft, y se explicará cómo cargarlos en un proyecto de Xbench.

Por cortesía de ApSIC, Asetrad realizará el sorteo de una licencia de pago entre todos los asistentes y, además, ofrecerá a los asistentes la posibilidad de adquirir dos años de licencia por el precio de uno.

 "We don't create words, we create worlds"

Brilliant quote by Jost Zetzsche that could perfectly sum up the positive and friendly vibe that we, ITI members, have experienced in London after three amazing days at this year's conference.

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My conference kick-off couldn't have started better thanks to two interesting Master Classes on translation technologies. Even though I am a regular reader of Jost's articles, books, and newsletters, his master class and keynote speech were inspiring and already worth the trip to the UK. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to join him and Michael Farrell (IWS) in Friday evening for some beers and an enthusiastic brainstorming for a social project I would like to start up soon on pre-Hispanic languages in Mexico and danger of their extinction (more updates on this soon on this blog).

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Among other highlights of the program, I found Andrew Leigh's "Being contract smart" really useful, and Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza's "The quest for the perfect translation workflow – a collaborative approach", as well as the tips to be taken into account when translating patents depending on the client, which were offered by Eline Van de Wiele.

 

For the off-ITI-Conf programme, the line dancing and that "Stand By Me" were a nice release. Also, as if my first day as a member of the Spanish network couldn't get any better, I won the draw for the sequel book of our acclaimed Mox.

 

Like last year, our blog is once again proud to present a guest post on the Mediterranean Editors and Translators Annual Meeting, which is actually a summary of the article published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin by Laura Bennett (@culturetrans). She is a freelance translator based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK, that I was lucky enough to meet in Venice. She translates from Italian and French into English, specialising in Art History, Travel & Tourism and Food & Drink. You can also see my presentation at METM12 here.

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The Mediterranean Editors and Translators association is a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English. With 190 members, it hosts a conference every year in a Mediterranean country with the aim of promoting opportunities for peer sharing of knowledge and expertise. The title of METM12 was Craft & Critical Vision: Diving Beneath the Surface of Discourse and it took place at the Don Orione Artigianelli Cultural Centre in Venice on 9 and 10 November, 2012.
The conference began for me on the Friday morning with a workshop entitled Translation Revision: how, why and how much. Led by Barcelona-based freelance translator Ailish Maher and in-house translator and editor Luci Vázquez, the workshop was fully-booked and included translators and editors with a range of languages, specialisations and experience. Ailish and Luci's intention was to provide a systematic overview of revision, including assessments to make and procedures to adopt when approaching a revision project in our working lives, rather than getting into the grammatical nitty-gritty of specific examples.


Stressing the importance of determining fitness for purpose of a text when revising, Luci began with the following quality scale: 0 - unacceptable, 1 - intelligible, 2 - accurate, 3 - well-written, 4 - very well-written, with only texts in the last two categories generally considered suitable for publication. With reference to Brian Mossop's Revising and Editing for Translators, we discussed the importance of revision elements falling into one of the four categories of Transfer, Language & Style, Presentation and Content. Ailish urged us to carry out a risk assessment when revising a text, in order to work out which of the four categories requires the greatest attention. Knowing when to exercise restraint was also stressed as being essential in a good reviser; over-revision being just as damaging to a text as under-revision.


Friday afternoon was destined for a distinctly literary flavour with a first session entitled Editing and Translating Literature for the Sea of Words International Short Story Contest. A group of Barcelona-based translators and editors discussed their involvement in MET’s project organised to provide publication-ready versions of four winning stories in this short story contest run by the Anna Lindh Foundation.


Next up was a ground-breaking MET event. Chaired by Sarah Griffin-Mason, the bulk of the presentation was given by Sarah Ardizzone via a live link with London. Introducing us to the Translation Nation project, Sarah gave an overview of the initiative's aim of engaging second language English- and native English-speaking primary school pupils in translation in a way that promotes literacy, confidence and understanding among children and benefits communities as a whole.
Saturday morning began with another round of panel discussions and presentations and for me these began with a session focusing on practical tips for translators. The panel's first speaker was freelance translator Timothy Barton. He amazed the audience with a number of automated hotkey processes set up to streamline his own invoicing processes, searches and file maintenance.


MET Treasurer Helen Casas spoke next and chose to recommend a number of smartphone apps, ones that sync with PCs and laptops in particular. An avid smartphone user myself, I found this particularly enlightening.
The final speaker of the session was Bluebird Translation’s José Carlos Gil who began his presentation by recommending two pieces of software: ApSic Xbench, an integrated QA reference tool, and the free LF Aligner for aligning previously translated or bilingual files, with which José Carlos reported great results. Co-working spaces, something I find a particularly interesting proposition for combating freelancer isolation, was the next topic before José Carlos finished with a discussion of Gmail Labs tools; the “undo send” feature for emails found a particularly appreciative audience. The session drew to a close with plenty of audience participation providing queries and positive feedback.
The next presentation was given by Ailish Maher and was entitled Quotations: lost in translation? Focusing on a topic that regularly comes up in my own work, Ailish was inspired to investigate this field on realising that there seems to be a lack of consensus among translators as to how best to tackle this issue.


METM12 concluded with a delicious closing dinner at a traditional restaurant near San Marco, giving us all a great opportunity to see the city one last time and to consolidate connections made earlier in the weekend. For me it had been an extremely positive event. One of the organisers made mention of a conscious effort to ensure that a variety of specialisations and interests had been catered for during this year’s event, and, as a non-medical or scientific translator, that was certainly my experience. I would encourage other arts translators to attend future events on that basis.


Laura's full report on METM12 has been published in the January/February 2013 issue of the ITI Bulletin. For more information about MET and METM13 please see www.metmeetings.org

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The theme of METM12 has evoked the elements of craft and critical vision (in writing, translating and editing) that make discourse effective.

 

JC

Sharing the panel with Helen Casas and Timothy Barton.

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Beautiful sunny autumn days and...

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... Acqua-alta as a farewell.

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Background This is the third edition of a popular panel designed to build on the philosophy of MET, which is to help one another improve as professionals through the exchange of ideas and practices and so improve the service we provide to our clients as well as our job satisfaction. We have recruited three new presenters this year to provide a brief overview of tools and tricks that help them get the most from their working environment.

Purpose To present functional, easy-to-implement ideas that will make a difference to the practical aspects of your work and to exchange ideas on how to be more productive, faster, and more efficient.

Session content We will present take-home ideas designed to make your working life easier, help to improve productivity, and ultimately enhance job satisfaction. We will briefly look at the advantages and disadvantages of each and tell you how to start using them, and what they cost, if anything. Each panelist will present three or four ideas and there will be an “openˮ 30-minute session afterwards for questions and further sharing of ideas. Input from participants is strongly encouraged, so if you have a trick or tool that you simply could not live without, we will be happy to hear about it.

Anne Murray is a freelance translator and authors’ editor based in Girona, Spain. She has been a member of MET since it was founded in 2005 and is a firm believer in MET’s underlying philosophy of sharing knowledge among peers.

Helen Casas, an engineering graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freelance translator based in Barcelona who specializes in pharmaceutical and medical translation and editing. She has 20 years’ experience working for a variety of clients including translation agencies in Spain and abroad, as well as direct clients in business and academia.

José Carlos Gil is a freelance translator based in the Netherlands. He specializes in technical and legal translation, as well as marketing transcreation. He is an avid blogger and collaborates with the translation journal, La Linterna del Traductor. For more information: www.bluebirdtranslations.com.

Timothy Barton (Anglo Premier Translations) is a freelance translator based in Sant Quirze del Vallès in Catalonia. After completing degrees in French Studies, Translation, and Translation and New Technologies, he now specializes in higher education, economics, and sport. He translates from French, Spanish, and Catalan into English.

I have posted a couple of entries (presentation of the program and new version; all in Spanish) on my other blog about LF Aligner, an open-source freeware that allows you to automatically align documents. Highly recommendable!

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Bluebird Translations has participated in the campaign run by the Dutch red cross to help Japan after the terrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit its coast. As well as Spain, the Netherlands has been one of the European countries that has supported Japan most urgently and most efficiently since this natural disaster ocurred.

Being that I am on a daily communication with Japan, this grim news was a devastating emotional shock for me. I wish Japan, this country whose history and culture has always fascinated me, the best for the difficult months ahead.

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