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MITI is a valuable mark of professional recognition in the translation industry worldwide –especially in Europe and the UK.

While I was travelling in Russia during my summer holidays in July, I received some good news from the prestigious UK-based Institute of Translation and Interpretation: I've become a Qualified Member of the Institute.

I was an ITI associate member for the last 6 years, during which I actively participated in ITI events, such as the last bi-annual conference in London, and writing for the bi-monthly ITI Bulletin. Although I already met the MITI professional requirements (related to qualifications, experience, and professional references) long before I actually did it, I decided to send my application late last year. In May, I sat the exam for one of my main fields of specialization (Business) and as of this summer I'm officially a Qualified Member of the Association. Now these two titles are proudly hanging next to our Translation & Interpreting MA Degree Diplomas on the walls of our beloved Jordaan office.

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Two years after the Belgian pralines and one after the well-liked handcrafted recycled blocs, our clients, friends and collaborators have recently received this succulent Christmas gift: Jamón Ibérico from the town Jabugo, which is the most popular Protected Designation of Origin in Spain.

As we explained in the card included in each parcel, at Bluebird Translations we’ve been lucky enough to have a new neighbour at walking distance from our office in Amsterdam: Ibericus, a delicatessen concept store specialising in Spanish jamón serrano produced solely from the Iberian breed (pata negra). As I've been doing since it opened, it’s possible to buy full legs and request one of the specialist jamoneros to cut it all "a cuchillo" (with a slicing knife).

By the way, we do know that some of our collaborators are veggies, but I'm quite sure that they have found someone special to delight at Christmas time with our selected Ibérico ;)

 

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Selecting the best legs...

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Jamonero in action.

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Ready to be enjoyed all over the world!

We have just received this beautiful picture of the child we are sponsoring through Namasté, Hilde Bleijswijk's NGO, our co-worker at The Hub Amsterdam. It seems that a western volunteer teacher with a background in translation told them that yesterday was Saint Jerome’s Day, the patron saint of translators, and Sahil remembered Bluebird Translators and decided to paint a brick for the artistic wall they are creating at their school with references to all the Dutch donators and sponsors of this project that is changing the life of a lot of Nepalese kids.

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This image has definitely made our day :)

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Hilde Bleijswijk

La Linterna del Traductor is the specialized translation journal of Asetrad (Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes):

PDF version

ePUB version

MOBI version

Online version of the article

Online version of the interview with Josep Condal

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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.

 

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.

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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!

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I'm heading to Barcelona this evening to participate in the Mediterranean Editors and Translators Conference. This is the program. It's the first meeting I'm attending since being member of the association so it'll be exciting to meet professionals that I've dealt with online. Among the conference highlights I'm most looking forward to workshop Readability: 10 strategies for improving flow in translated or non-English speakers’ texts and the new focuses of the industry for machine translation, by Dorothy Kenny.

I will try to publish a summary of the meeting once I'm back in Amsterdam.

 

Como ya he comentado alguna vez, utilizo TagEditor mucho más de lo que me gustaría, ya que algunos de mis clientes prefieren mantener este sistema, un tanto antiguo pero que sigue siendo más o menos estable, antes que migrar datos a otra herramienta más actual con todos los dolores de cabeza que eso supondría.

Aunque TagEditor tiene un complemento que permite utilizar el Spell Check de Word en su propia interfaz, no llega a dar los mismo resultados que si pasáramos este mismo texto por el mismo Word. En Trados, el Spell Check de Word no detecta, por ejemplo, una palabra repetida por error, una falta de concordancia de género entre nombre y adjetivo, o de número entre sujeto y verbo. Por eso, en todos los ttx que traduzco, así como en las revisiones de otros traductores (que realmente me supone la mitad de mi quehacer diario) sigo la siguiente técnica de mi cosecha para poder pasar un Spell Check bien completito:

- Una vez acabada la traducción en TagEditor, pulso la banderita española de Ver/View.

- Copio todo el texto resultante (Ctrl+A) y lo pego en Word 2003 (también tengo 2007 pero no he logrado situar los colorcitos ni la opción de "Leer" que explico en los pasos siguientes).

- En Word 2003 doy a "buscar y reemplazar" - "formato" - "fuente" - "color de la fuente". Selecciono primero el Gris 50% y doy a que busque el texto en este gris para se reemplace por nada (dejando el cuadro de reemplazar vacío). Luego hago lo propio con el Rojo. De este modo eliminamos todas las etiquetas que no tienen nada de texto real que revisar.

- Una vez que hemos quitado los tags en gris y rojo, seleccionamos todo el texto y nos aseguramos de que Word reconozca el documento entero según el idioma que nos interesa (doble clic en la barra inferior del idioma) y lo único que nos queda es ocultar el texto de la lengua de origen y que solo quede el idioma al que hemos traducido. Para ello, damos a Ver/View y ya tendremos únicamente nuestro idioma en pantalla.

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