metm12

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.

Join now and vote/propose example questions in order to ensure that this community becomes reality!

 

area 51

 

There are a growing number of Q&A communities in which the posed questions are directed to experts who share their knowledge and answer to the best of their abilities, but most of these sites do not focus on a general specialization or a specified content, nor are their users sufficiently qualified, thereby resulting in platforms lacking in efficiency and credibility.

In order to ensure the quality of the specialized topic in question and to move away from the obvious wiki or generic forum, some of these sites have decided to solely accept specialized subject matters which, after being proposed by a considerable number of users, will generate a large following of experts along with a substantial community of users who also happen to share in the same specialization or interest of said subject matter.

Among these sites is the renown StackExchange which, at present time, has a recently-proposed platform on the promising subject of Q&A on translation tools located in their Area 51 (i.e., the platform will be created if enough interest is proved to StackExchange during its first stages by the increase of an active community).

 

Ok! I am interested in cutting-edge technologies applied to translation and it would be great if a site of such calibre would be created. What would then be necessary in order to ensure the advancement of that first stage?

 

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Enter the following website: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/40567.
  2. Click on “Follow” and type in your e-mail address.
  3. As suggested in the displayed message, inform your colleagues/friends so that the site may gain more followers.
  4. Read the example-questions which have been offered by other users and vote on the five you deem most interesting (keeping in mind that you are meant to rate, nor answer those questions as of yet), or add your own related question(s).
  5. After this, and if we can demonstrate its relevance and ongoing future, this platform will undergo various phases, of which you will respectively be informed through e-mail, until it is successfully established and officially created.

 

In case the platform does not reach rapid popularity, it may not meet with the standards of StackExchange. Therefore, the more users interested in translation and its technologies that are made aware, the better, because, as far as I am concerned, this venture has the potential of becoming an exceptional project in which we all will collectively profit.

 

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!

aligner 3.0

Because children in Nepal have been left alone long enough and they deserve and want a proper education, Bluebird Translations continues supporting Amsterdam-based NGO Namasté and its wonderful projects aimed to help those dipreved children in Pokhara.

 

namaste brick

Last October, at the METM11 conference in Barcelona, I was lucky enough to meet Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza in person. She is an experienced and resourceful translator based in Spain and the UK whom I got to know through her interesting and insightful articles in the ITI Bulletin. Since then we’ve been in touch, and being that we both took a positive impression from the meeting, we arranged this featuring entry with her review, which is a summary of the article published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin.

met

Back in May 2011, an ITI colleague recommended the Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) association to me. MET is a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English and believe in peer-generated continuing professional development. In my opinion, CPD is vital in our profession, so I soon became a member of MET and registered for their annual meeting (METM).

METM11 took place at the European Institute of the Mediterranean in Barcelona (Spain) on 21st and 22nd October 2011, with 1.5 days of pre-meeting workshops before. This 7th meeting of MET bore the title “Quality in English translation and editing — from research to practice and back” and offered a rich programme of keynote speeches, discussion panels and parallel sessions.

On Thursday 20th, there were four afternoon workshops on offer, which dealt with translating research articles, medical translation, financial translation and improving text flow respectively. On Friday morning, five workshops run in parallel; two were related to medicine, one to scholarly writing and another one to readability. I opted for one entitled “Translation revision: why, how and how much”, conducted by Ailish Maher and Luci Vázquez. In this session, the figure of the reviser was defined and practical tips for revision and self-revision were discussed. With its hands-on exercises, this was a very informative and in-depth workshop.

The MET meeting itself started on Friday afternoon with a panel discussion on “Establishing a dialogue between research and practice”, with Iain Patten, Theresa Lillis, Valerie Matarese and Mary Ellen Kerans. After coffee, there were parallel presentations divided into two threads – promising practices and research –, which was meant to give the audience the chance to attend diverse sessions. Out of these, the highlight was Oliver Shaw’s on “Twitter for language professionals”, which was a huge success, not only for the topicality of the subject but also for the superb presentation skills demonstrated. The programme for the day ended with a plenary talk on machine translation (MT). Dorothy Kenny confidently presented this controversial topic, presenting us with challenging questions, giving us practical advice and even managing to convince part of the audience to give MT a try. The reception that topped off the first day of the meeting gave attendees plenty of opportunities to network and enjoy an exquisite and innovative catering service.

On Saturday morning, I chose a panel discussion in which three presenters (Anne Murray, Ann King and Jason Willis-Lee) described tools that save you time and make your working environment easier. Among the tools showcased were desktop-haring software, storage services, PDF annotators, fences, mind-mapping software and smartphones. After that, I attended a presentation by Helen Casas, which dealt with peer revision and mentoring and presented the benefits of cooperation over competition. “Translating audio guides for art exhibitions”, ably presented by Joanna Martinez, was a very practical and interesting talk on the whole audio guide production process. Ros Schwartz was in charge of Saturday’s plenary talk “Making silk purses”, where she presented the translator as a writer, who needs both ability and attitude to prepare a text that is fit for purpose and meets the client’s unarticulated requirements. In her view, we must ditch the humble-servant approach to our work, take the reins and submit translations of superior quality. This will give us job satisfaction and a good reason to increase our rates. After lunch, I attended a panel discussion on CAT tools, with David Cullen, Kelly Dickeson, Sarah Griffin-Mason and Rob Lunn.

This year’s METM also included the so-called "town hall meetings” on a variety of subjects, from presentation skills to literature in translation; “off-METM networking get-togethers”; the MET General Assembly; and a closing supper. This packed programme of events seemed to cater for all tastes; the speakers were fabulous; and it was a great opportunity to meet old and new colleagues.

If you would like any further information, my full report of this event has been published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin, and you can check the association’s website (www.metmeetings.org) for further details. I’m sure you’ll want to become a member too!

Bluebird whishes Merry Christmas to its friends and clients with these tasty Belgian pralines... Feliz Navidad!

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