What does translation mean to you?

“What does translation mean to you_” (1)

Image created by Erick Tonin

September 30 is International Translation Day. According to the UN, which recognized the date two years ago, “International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.”

Most of us love what we do (well, I know I do!), so I decided to ask ten translators from different areas what translation means to them.

Below you’ll find, in alphabetic order, Alison Entrekin, Brazilian Portuguese into English literary translator; Anna Ligia Pozzetti, Japanese-English-Brazilian Portuguese interpreter; Carolina Ventura, English-Brazilian Portuguese sworn translator; Judy Jenner, court-certified English-Spanish interpreter; Laila Rezende Compan, Spanish-Brazilian Portuguese subtitler; Paloma Bueno, Brazilian sign language interpreter; Paula G. de Brito, Brazilian translation student; Paulo Noriega, English-Brazilian Portuguese dubbing translator; Sherif Abuzid, English into Arabic translator; and Thiago Araújo, Brazilian game translator.

 

1. Alison Entrekin

A translator:

  • scrutinizes her friends’ turns of phrase for future usefulness;
  • shouts “PAUSE!” mid-film and races off to take note of whatever the main character just said because it’s exactly what she needed two months ago;
  • fiddles with texts after she has delivered them;
  • carefully curates lists of novel swear words, slang and saddle parts because, well, you never know when they might come in handy;
  • stalks truant words in dreams with a gold-panning dish and a butterfly net;
  • knows that “thesaurus” comes from the Greek word for treasure;
  • suspects that other translators have better and rarer words than she does.

 A few facts about words:

  • The best words come in shampoo bottles and appear mid-lather, when your hands are too wet to do anything with them;
  • There are more words in my shampoo bottle than butterflies in Peru.

AlisonEntrekin5cropped

 

Alison is an Australia literary translator who translates from the Portuguese.

 

 


2. Anna Ligia Pozzetti

For me, translation means connecting cultures. When it comes to Japanese and Portuguese, besides the close relationship that both countries have, since the largest Japanese community outside Japan is located in Brazil, the cultural and language gap is significant. To be able to translate those languages, it is crucial to deeply understand what differentiates those cultures to be able to transfer the specifics in a way the other part can understand. It is an amazing journey of searching and studying, choosing carefully the right word, even for a small project. There are so many things that both countries can learn from each other in order to evolve and improve that, for me, it is an honor to enable communication and be part of this experience. It is the best job ever!

AnnaLigiaPozzetti_044

 


Anna 
is a Japanese into Brazilian Portuguese translator and interpreter with more than 7 years of experience managing Komorebi Translations.

 


3. Carolina Ventura

As I am a certified public translator (aka sworn translator) who translates mainly school and personal documents, to me, translation means enabling my clients to fulfil their dreams of studying, working and living abroad. While many of my colleagues think that academic transcripts, diplomas, certificates or police records are dull documents and that translating them is boring, in each one I see a dream waiting to come true, and I’m always happy and honored to be part of the process. I also translate texts in the free, non-sworn modality, like scientific papers originally written in Portuguese for Brazilian journals that also publish them in English. In this case, I think that translation is the means to disseminate the findings of Brazilian scientists in other countries, something I’m very proud to do.

Foto Carolina Ventura


Carolina 
has been working as a certified public translator in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, since 2000, and as a freelance translator since 1996.

 

 


4. Judy Jenner

Translation means the world – and that’s not hyperbole. As translators, we have the power to enable global trade and communication at any level, in any field or sector. We help make the world work. Being part of that is incredibly powerful, and I am grateful that I get to do this for a living.

Judy Jenner_profile_small - Copy


Judy 
is a German and Spanish translator and federally court-certified Spanish interpreter in Las Vegas, Nevada. She serves as an ATA spokesperson and runs her boutique T&I business with her twin sister, Dagmar.

 

 


5. Laila Rezende Compan

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about translation, but this is the first time someone asks me what translation means to me. I thought about this question and how I could put my feeling into words for days, and here it is:

Translation means to me a bridge that can take us to learn something new – a new song, a new dish, a new culture. Thanks to translation, we are able to talk to people from other places and learn new knowledge. However, deep down, I don’t think I can actually define what translation means. It’s a simple word with an extremely complex meaning when I analyze the greatness it carries.

FotoLailaCompan

 

Laila is a dubbing and subtitling translator, speaker, subtitling teacher, and creator of the blog Tradutor Iniciante.

 

 


6. Paloma Bueno

Translating is like building bridges. To me, videos, texts, and even sign language videos are translation, because all of them involve research and review.

Paloma_Bueno_linkedin

 

Paloma is a Brazilian Sign Language translator and interpreter | Audiovisual Accessibility.

 


7. Paula G. de Brito

Explaining what translation means to me can get a little sappy, if I’m honest. Before I decided to study it, I was preparing to enter Medical school and, since it wasn’t what I wanted to do in life, I was pretty unhappy and hopeless. Then, I found myself translating a couple of short stories and games, in an attempt to relax, trying to feel better. So, when I think about the meaning of translation, I immediately think “life-savior.” In many moments, translating kept me going. And I know that it is bigger than me and my life dramas. Translation affects so many different people in so many ways. It’s so powerful that I can’t help but love it. Translation to me, among other things, means the world.

20190314_110437_189

 

Paula is Brazilian and is an undergraduate student in Translation at Universidade Paulista, Brazil.

 

 


8. Paulo Noriega

To me, translation is an attempt to transfer the same emotions, feelings, and experiences of the source language into the target language, regardless of the media, using the available linguistic tools. It’s like trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together using different pieces but trying to recreate it as close as possible. It’s knowing how to win but also learning how to lose, because there are inherent losses in the process. Despite the linguistic adversities, tight deadlines, and client interventions, translators have the duty to make all possible efforts to transfer the original message to its target-audience in the best way possible.

paulo-profissional-blog-carolinePaulo is an English into Brazilian Portuguese translator specialized in dubbing translation. He has translated more than 300 hours of audiovisual productions and is the author of the blog Traduzindo a Dublagem, one of the first Brazilian blogs dedicated to dubbing translation.

 


9. Sherif Abuzid

Translation is a window to other worlds. Being a translator since 2004, I read and translate in different fields and work with people from different cultures. This has helped me understand the world better and made me a better person. Translation taught me diversity is inevitable and I have to embrace the other. My job as a translator enabled me to read stories from people all over the world and learn new skills and consume a huge amount of knowledge.

Headshot

Sherif is an English to Arabic translator and blogger with about 15 years’ experience in translation and localization.

 

 


10. Thiago Araújo

Translation is my profession, my call, my way of supporting myself, but it goes deeper. Translation is my way of expressing my creativity through someone else’s words. Particularly in game localization, one can often be extra inventive, let their imagination run wild. Translation keeps me motivated. With so many challenging wordplays, precise researches, rich poems, tricky puns, humor, cultural adaptation… There’s not a single moment of boredom. I truly feel like I’m reading a book, or rather like I’m the writer myself — except that I tell a different story every month, even every day, and I love it.

_Atual


Thiago 
is a fan of games since childhood. He has been living his dream localizing games (currently almost 90 titles) for the past 7 years, also coordinating small teams of Brazilian translators.

 

 

What about you? What does translation mean to you?

Brazilian women writers translated into English

August is Women in Translation month.

The project was created back in 2014 by Meytal Radzinski to raise awareness of women writers translated into English.

Inspired by her and her project, I decided to create our own “Brazilian women writers translated into English” list to raise awareness of Brazilian literature written by women translated into English.

Here’s the list of 44 authors (in alphabetical order) and (some of) their translated books kindly suggested by people on social media:

1. Adriana Lisboa
Translated books and their translators: Crow Blue, Alison Entrekin; Hut of Fallen Persimmons, Sarah Green; Symphony in White, Sarah Green.

Read Alison Entrekin’s interview in my Greatest Women in Translation series here.

2. Alice Brant
Translated book and its translator: The Diary of “Helena Morley,” Elizabeth Bishop.
Interesting fact: This was the only book written by Alice under the pen name Helena Morley. It’s a diary she started writing when she was 13. Her book is considered one of the best Brazilian literary works of the 19th century.

3. Alice Sant’Anna
Translated book of poems and its translator: Tail of the Whale, Tiffany Higgins.

4. Ana Cristina Cesar
Translated book and its translators: At Your Feet, Brenda Hillman, Helen Hillman & Sebastião Edson.

5. Ana Maria Machado
Translated books and their translators: The History Mistery, Luisa Baeta; Me in the Middle, David Unger; From Another World, Luisa Baeta.
Interesting fact: Ana is also a translator and has translated Alice in Wonderland into Brazilian Portuguese.

6. Ana Miranda
Translated book and its translator: Bay of All Saints and Every Conceivable Sin, Giovanni Pontiero.

7. Ana Paula Maia
Translated book and its translator: Saga of Brutes, Alexandra Joy Forman.

8. Angélica Freitas
Translated book and its translator: Rilke Shake, Hilary Kaplan.

9. Beatriz Bracher
Translated book and its translator: I Didn’t Talk, Adam Morris.

10. Camila Fernandes
Translated short stories and their translator: The Other Bank of the River, Christopher Kastensmidt; The Best of the Three, Christopher Kastensmidt.

11. Carol Bensimon
Translated book and its translator: We All Loved Cowboys, Beth Fowler.

12. Carola Saavedra
Translated book and its translator: Blue Flowers, Daniel Hahn (coming on January 2020).

Read Daniel Hahn’s guest post about the TA First Translation Prize here.

13. Carolina Maria de Jesus
Translated book and its translator: Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus, David St. Clair.

14. Cecília Meireles
Interesting fact: Cecília was also a translator.
P.S.: I couldn’t find any formal translation of her works. Feel free to comment below if you know any.

15. Clarice Lispector
Translated books and their translators: The Besieged City, Giovanni Pontiero; The Chandelier, Benjamin Moser & Magdalena Edwards (read this!); Near to the Wild Heart, Alison Entrekin; A Breath of Life, Johnny Lorenz; The Passion According to G.H., Ronald W. Souza; Complete Stories, Katrina Dodson; The Apple in the Dark, Gregory Rabassa; An Apprenticeship, or, The Book of Delights, Richard A. Mazzare; Discovering the World, Giovanni Pontiero; The Hour of the Star, Giovanni Pontiero; The Stream of Life, Elizabeth Lowe & Earl Fitz.
Interesting fact: Clarice “was one of the first Brazilian women to graduate from law school and to become a journalist.” “Being famous for her striking beauty did not make her popular, which mattered to a woman whose talent was proportional to her sensitivity.” She’s the most widely translated and the best known woman writer in Brazil.

16. Dinah Silveira de Queiroz
Translated books and their translators: Christ’s Memorial, Isabel do Prado; The Women of Brazil, Roberta King.

17. Edla van Steen
Translated book and its translator: Village of the Ghost Bells, David George.

18. Eliane Brum
Translated books and their translators: The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil Everyday, Diane Grosklaus Whitty; One Two, Lucy Greaves.

Read Diane Grosklaus Whitty’s interview in my Greatest Women in Translation series here.

19. Fernanda Torres
Translated books and their translators: Glory and Its Litany of Horrors, Eric M. B. Becker; The End, Alison Entrekin.

20. Helena Parente Cunha
Translated book and its translator: Woman Between Mirrors, Fred P. Ellison & Naomi Lindstrom.

21. Hilda Hilst
Translated books and their translators: With My Dog Eyes, Adam Morris; The Obscene Madame D., Nathanaël & Rachel Gontijo Araujo; Letters from a Seducer, John Keene.

22. Lya Luft
Translated books and their translators: The Island of the Dead, Carmen Chaves McClendon & Betty Jean Craige; The Red House, Giovanni Pontiero.

23. Lygia Fagundes Telles
Translated books and their translator: The Girl in the Photograph, Margaret A. Neves; The Marble Dance, Margaret A. Neves.

24. Lygia Nunes
Translated books and their translators: The Companions, Ellen Watson; My Friend the Painter, Giovanni Pontiero.

25. Maria Esther Maciel
Translated stories and their translator: The Meanings of Yellow, Daniel Hahn; The Voice of Silence, Daniel Hahn.

26. Marilene Felinto
Translated book and its translator: The Women of Tijucopapo, Irene Matthews.

27. Marília Garcia
Translated poems and their translator: It’s a Love Story and It’s About an Accident, Hilary Kaplan; Love Story, A-Z, Hilary Kaplan.

28. Martha Batalha
Translated book and its translator: The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, Eric M. B. Becker.

29. Maurinete Lima
Translated poems and their translators: Fear and Its Trajectory, Flávia Rocha & Eric M. B. Becker; Sinhá Rosa; Flávia Rocha.

30. Nélida Piñón
Translated books and their translator: The Republic of Dreams: A Novel, Helen Lane; Caetana’s Sweet Song, Helen Lane.
Interesting fact: Nélida was the first woman president of Academia Brasileira de Letras.

31. Nikelen Witter
Translated work and its translator: Mary G., Christopher Karstensmith.

32. Nina Rizzi
Translated poem and its translator: Mermaid in the Glass of Water, Rafaela Miranda.

33. Noemi Jaffe
Translated book and its translator: What are the Blind Men Dreaming?, Julia Sanches & Ellen Elias-Bursac.

Read Julia Sanches’ interview in my Greatest Women in Translation series here.

34. Patrícia Galvão
Translated book and its translator: Industrial Park: A Proletarian Novel, Elizabeth Jackson & Kenneth David Jackson.

35. Patrícia Mello
Translated books and their translator: The Body Snatcher, Clifford E. Landers; Black Waltz, Clifford E. Landers.

36. Paula Parisot
Translated book and its translator: The Lady of Solitude, Elizabeth Lowe & Clifford E. Landers.

37. Raquel de Queiroz
Translated books and their translators: The Three Marias, Fred P. Ellison; Dora, Doralina, Dorothy Scott Loos; The Three Marias, Fred P. Ellison.
Interesting fact: Raquel was also a translator.

38. Regina Rheda
Translated book and its translator: First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix, Adria Frizzi.

39. Socorro Acioli
Translated book and its translator: The Head of the Saint, Daniel Hahn. (I read it in Portuguese and loved it! It’s a nice reading.)

40. Stella Car Ribeiro
Translated book and its translator: Sambaqui: A Novel of Pre-History, Claudia Van der Heuvel.

41. Tatiana Salem Levy
Translated book and its translator: The House in Smyrna, Alison Entrekin.

42. Veronica Stigger
Translated book and its translator: Opisanie Swiata, Zoë Perry.

43. Zulmira Ribeiro Tavares
Translated book and its translator: Family Heirlooms, Daniel Hahn.

 

Hope you like it. If you read any of them because you saw this post, feel free to come and tell us know what you thought of it.

Do you know any other Brazilian women authors with books translated into English? Let us know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list above.

And make sure to keep an eye out on the hashtag #WiTmonth on Twitter and on Meytal’s list of #100BestWIT, with women authors from all over the world translated into English.

 

Suggested reading:
Latin American Women Writers: A Resource Guide to Titles in English, by Kathy S. Leonard
One Hundred Years After Tomorrow: Brazilian Women’s Fiction in the 20th Century, edited and translated by Darlene J. Sadlier
Fourteen Female Voices from Brazil, interviews and works selected and edited by Elzbieta Szoka
Wikipedia’s List of Brazilian Women Writers
Benjamin Moser and the Smallest Women in the World, by Magdalena Edwards, Clarice Lispector’s translator, on men taking credit for women’s work

Summary of the ITI Conference 2019

ITI Conference 2019, Sheffield

Credit: ITI

Last May, during my European vacation, I attended two conferences for the first time. Last month I wrote about my experience at the BP19 Conference. In this month’s post, I write about my experience as a newbie at the ITI Conference, which was held in Sheffield, UK, at the amazing Cutlers’ Hall, on May 10-11.

To begin with, Paul Appleyard, ITI’s Chair, welcomed us by beautifully saying we should be concerned with the changes of the world of our work and be prepared. I agree with him. And a great way of leaving our bubble and keeping updated on what is happening and changing in our profession is to attend different conferences and events. As Paul Wilson, ITI’s CEO, later said, networking is one of the most powerful tools we have, so we should make the most out of it.

Here’s a brief overview of the sessions I attended at the conference. The post ended up being longer than usual, but I hope you find my account of the presentations helpful.

First day

Defining and improving quality in specialized multilingual services, by Angela Sigee

Angela, German lawyer and translator, specifically talked about legal translation. She stressed it is important to bear in mind that lawyers work with words just like translators, but in different ways. She said the main issue in legal translation is that legal systems are different, creating conceptual gaps. There are degrees of accuracy, so it is important to hear, and render, the overtones. Therefore, knowing the source language is not enough. Legal translators must have a great command of their target language.

According to Sigee, future-proof legal translators should understand the big picture and be detail-oriented. She said practice is essential (just like in any other translation area, right?). She recommends partnering with a colleague to review your work and finding a mentor.

Professional organizations are also a great place to look for help in improving your knowledge, since they offer training courses, mentoring, policies. You can also learn with language service providers when they offer proofreading practices, for example. I totally agree! I learn a lot with feedback from editors/proofreaders. Being open to feedback and carefully analyzing them help us learn with our mistakes and the client’s preferences and style, avoiding repeat mistakes.

Angela suggests the following book for legal translators: New Approach to Legal Translation, by Susan Sarcevic.

The other side of the mirror: an inside look at a “translator-driven” corporate communications campaign, by David Jemielity

David is Head of Translations at Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) and talked about how BCV’s in-house translations team managed to position itself at the center of the bank’s communications decision-making.

According to David, we should position ourselves as high value-added service providers. If you can position yourself as someone who can deeply understand and translate the company’s overall brand voice, you’re doing something different and not commonplace.

Jemielity said that, when not properly aware of a company’s brand voice, a translator can change it by unwillingly deverbalizing the message. Quality means effective communication in the target language. Ask yourself: “Is this effective as communication?” rather than “Is this a good translation?” Regardless of how good your translation is, it won’t matter if it doesn’t meet your client’s expectations.

The source text should not be used as an excuse! Difficult in practice, but totally true. If we used this as “excuse,” we wouldn’t translate anything at the best of our abilities, since practically everything is badly written nowadays.

On creating or translating a brand identity, according to David, numbers are abstract. They don’t answer the essential question: What’s in it for me? You should shift perceptions and talk like the people you are talking to. Good copies are factual, simple, impact-oriented, familiar, authentic, specific, and written in a conversational style that speaks to the audience

David sums up his presentation by telling us the lessons learned from BCV’s translation-driven corporate communications campaign:

  • Really specialize.
  • It’s not about whether it is a good translation. It’s about whether it’s effective communication.
  • Don’t forget about (or shy away from) managing perceived quality as well as actual quality.
  • Be ambitious and play the long game.

Embracing the flexible future, by Lizzie Penny and Alex Hirst, from The Hoxby Collective

“I was praising my success on the number of hours I worked,” said Alex, who was on fire at his marketing career, but eventually burned out. The catalyst for Lizzie, in turn, was becoming a mom. “You should be judged by your output, rather than by when/where you work,” she said. Together, they created the flexible working community The Hoxby Collective, which promotes the workstyle movement to ensure more people can spend their time in the way that most inspires them.

According to them, work should fit around life, not the opposite! You should work however/whenever/wherever you choose, being free to choose your own workstyle. “For us, passion carries much more importance than experience.”

Translators as communicators: diversifying your career, by Adam Fuss

According to Adam, the increased quality of machine technology is forcing translators to reevaluate the services they offer and how they market themselves.

Fuss mentions the following additional areas of practice for diversification: academic copywriting, copywriting and transcreation, and communication consulting.

You need to know yourself really well in order to know how to diversity. For example, are you an introvert or extrovert? Find your ideal balance when diversifying activities.

How to diversify your services in communications consulting: be prepared to work for free (in marketing yourself); get involved; read, share, repeat; look for opportunities in your current work; focus on data.

The Collaborative Edge: mutual revision as a way to improve translations – and translators, by Victoria Patience, Simon Berrill, and Tim Gutteridge (not present)

The trio decided to try a different approach and set up a mutual revision and critiquing arrangement, the RevClub. They review each other’s translations weekly and give feedback on it. RevClub is comprised of three weeks of revision (one for each member) and one week of translation slam.

According to them, it is refreshing to hear constructive criticism and genuine praise of each other’s work. Collaborative work can also lead to confident referrals, since you know each other’s way of work and translation quality.

Establishing a collaborative peer-review system with trusted colleagues keeps you at the top of your game, offers a fresh perspective on linguistic choices, and fosters positive industry relationships.

Making the leap, by Chris Durban

Chris starts with the following question: Do you want to stop surviving and start thriving? So you should change your mindset from “Yes, but…” to “Yes, and…” I totally agree!

Being a really good translator takes a lot of work. And being worried is a good thing. It makes us not settle and aim for better. The premium market involves higher risks, but higher risks equal higher rewards.

“I don’t care about how good or bad the source text is,” she said. We should aim to create translations that work as communication. This point was also made by David Jemielity earlier on, stressing its importance.

Chris also showed us examples of similarity of input provided by machine translation and poor translators. Machine translation will replace translators, but only those who work like one.

Durban gave us some great tips:

  • Be aware of the comfort zone.
  • Specialize.
  • Get granular (technical, financial, legal is not detailed enough).
  • Embrace risk.
  • Eschew PEMT.
  • Limit your time on social media.
  • Invest in yourself (10-15% of your income).
  • Don’t believe everything you read or people say.
  • Find a mentor.

“Get a grip guys!” she said. Technology is good and everything, but it’s the easy part in our job as translators.

Listen to how potential clients and your customers talk. Understand what their issues are. This will make you connect with them and move into their world. Talk about them (clients)! And smoothly and naturally move into the commercial talk.

Second day

Crunching the numbers: how to grow your translation business, by Anja Jones

According to Anja, from Anja Jones Translations (AJT), there is always someone who will do it cheaper! We usually compare ourselves with our customers and competitors (other linguists, LSPs, MT, etc.). However, the market is so fragmented that we need to focus on ourselves rather than on what our competitors are doing. “Start with yourself,” she said. “It should be all about yourself.”

Profit/Loss = income – expenses (direct – gross profit/loss; or operating – net profit/loss)

How to calculate your minimum word price? Start with your business expenses and go to your living expenses. Be specific and detailed on your expenses. Add your monthly translation capacity and you will have the minimum you need to charge per word. Don’t forget to consider savings for rainy days and for taxes when calculating your expenses and minimum rate.

Be confident when negotiating prices and communicating your minimum rates to clients. Articulate why you’re worth what you’re worth.

Translation isn’t a commodity! There is no such a thing as bulk discounts. Don’t drop your trousers just because someone asked you to. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” If you give a discount, communicate very clearly why you’re doing so, make sure the client knows it’s a one-off time, and ask for something in return, e.g. a testimonial.

Also think about how you can negotiate. If the client doesn’t have enough budget, suggest important things you can translate, instead of translating the entire content, e.g. in websites.

Increase your earning potential by using technology, specializing, considering proofreading/editing (not everybody is willing to do that), offering services at an hourly rate or on a retainer basis. Think of ways to make your day more efficient. Your time is valuable so spend it wisely! Every little minute saved adds up to maximize your efficiency.

If you want to expand, consider building a team, e.g. translation coordinator, freelance collective, employer, two-people team.

When increasing prices, be honest and explain where the increase in price came from. Inform clients in advance and offer them the chance to order services before prices go up.

Talking all over the world: a look at the perception of translators and interpreters across cultures, by Jeanette Brickner

According to Jeanette, some things about culture are easy to see, but others not so much. They’re not so obvious. There’s a lot we can accidentally overlook or simplify. Approaches to health and medicine, dress codes, family matters, humor, etc. are examples of cultural specifics.

Privilege isn’t just a buzzword, especially in the language industry, e.g. English-speaking people have particular advantages on a global scale, geography plays a huge role (what if you live somewhere distant?). Even though the EU has 24 official languages and approximately 60 minority and/or indigenous languages, English and French are more relied upon.

According to Jeanette, we should foster a community that reinforces a positive outlook on the profession. She recommends, “Share your knowledge.” The market is big enough for everyone. Talk to your friends and family about what you do (positively, not negatively). Be culturally sensitive.

Asterix and linguistix: the science of the translated world, Oliver Kamm

The keynote speaker, Oliver Kamm, is Anthea Bell’s son. Anthea Bell was an English translator of works such as Asterix and passed away last October. Oliver is leader writer and columnist of The Times.

Did you know the first English translation of Asterix was only published in 1969 (the original French was published in 1959)?

“Telling what it says in the book is what you [translators] do. Not every language in the world is English. There’s a whole world out there. Language is a universal human faculty,” said Oliver. Language is a universal human attribute. You learn and follow grammar rules naturally in life.

Sign language is the most recent language (40 years old). It’s a very complex system. It was invented by children in Nicaragua.

In these dark times of ethno-nationalism and xenophobia, the window into other cultures that literature in other languages gives us is absolutely crucial.

Training new literary translators: teaching through practice, by Daniel Hahn

“Translating is like writing someone else’s book, but backwards and on high heels,” beautifully said British literary translator from Portuguese, Spanish, and French, Daniel.

According to him, “learning is in the process. Almost all my workshops are learning by doing. Teaching by doing means I also get to learn it myself. You learn by being forced to articulate choices that come instinctively to you.”

Translation bloopers are dead! Long live abundant new ways of showcasing yourself and our profession, by Karen McMillan Tkaczyk

According to Karen, there are other more positive ideas we can use to promote our profession than bloopers. And I couldn’t agree more with her! Recommending the people you love working with (nor just behind the scenes, e.g. LinkedIn recommendations, when you can’t do the job) is a great way to promote our profession. Credit revisors/editors when you know your translation has been revised/edited. If you don’t know who they are, add a general note. Another way to promote value in what we do is asking for referrals to current clients. You have to add value to your client so that they can feel you’re worth the referral.

Consider writing letters to the editor on magazines/newspapers on your area of specialization.

When creating a portfolio, focus on your “About” page. We like reading translations, but not everybody does, so the “About” page is important.

Karen concludes her talk and the conference by playing on the conference’s theme: “We can all do our bit in promoting (and forging) the future of our profession.”

 

That’s it! I hope you liked my brief summary of the conference. If I got you into considering attending the next one, the ITI Conference is biennial, so the next one will be held only in 2021.

Summary of the BP19 Translation Conference

This year I attended the BP Translation Conference for the first time. It was held in Bologna, Italy, on May 1-3.

It was a fantastic experience! I especially liked the app where attendees were able to engage and create activities for everyone to join. It was a great way to get to know people before the conference. When we arrived at the conference, it was as if we were all long-time friends! It’s great not only for newbies and shy and introvert people, but also for everybody who likes networking and meeting new people.

Here is a brief overview on the sessions I attended. The post is longer than usual, but only because there were so many great presentations and insights.

May 1: Workshops

Multilingual SEO for translators, by David García Ruiz

Fresh content is king. Our website’s content should be useful, valuable, relevant (describing what we do and what our clients look for using keywords), competitive (the more specific, the better). Each page should have from 600 to 2,000 words. If your website is in more than on language, you should include language meta tags (hreflang); otherwise, Google will not recognize it as multilingual.

According to a research mentioned by David, “75% [of web visitors] prefer to buy products in their native language. In addition, 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites.” Therefore, it is important to have a website translated into your working languages.

May 2: Long sessions

Hectic lives + happy clients: four tendencies to rule them all, by Anne-Sophie De Clerq

We develop habits to be able to deal with constraints and expectations, both useful and bad ones.

The big question we should make ourselves is: Who are you? How do you respond to internal and external expectations?

Anne-Sophie’s presentation was based on Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies framework, which helps getting people to do what you want by identifying what type of tendency they have:

  • Obligers: Respond well to external expectations and like being of assistance.
  • Questioners: Respond well to internal expectations and love knowledge.
  • Upholders: Respond well to both internal and external expectations; their motto is “In discipline we trust.”
  • Rebels: Do not respond well to neither and love freedom.

Listen to what clients have to say to understand who they are and identify their tendency in order to facilitate your selling your services to them.

Suggestions of things you can do according to their tendency:

  • Upholders: Send your portfolio and let them judge, do not pressure them, and ask just the essential questions.
  • Obligers: Show how much you can help them; go for the human touch.
  • Questioners: Describe your process and your strengths; answer any questions thoroughly.
  • Rebels: Display your identity and your passion; offer them choices.

Bottom line is: We are all different, so flexibility is paramount.

What legal clients want – As told by a former client, by Paige Dygert

According to Paige, who is a lawyer herself, most lawyers are horrible procrastinators. However, they are loyal clients. They will hang on to you. And they have the budget, so do not be afraid to charge what you are worth. You can charge for being good, and fast!

When communicating with law clients, be polished (reflect what you want from them; it is not about what you like and enjoy or not), precise (detail-oriented), concise (appreciate their time, be straightforward), and complete.

When working with them, just be the translator, know your role. When asking questions, group them, offer solutions, and know when to ask. Be succinct, reliable, and responsive. Provide excellent translations.

Law journals are the best source of reference material and the highest quality one! Their content is, most of the time, perfectly written.

Get a lawyer mentor to help you. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to find lawyers. If you reach out to them, respect their time!

A killer marketing strategy to win your dream clients, by Sarah Silva

Persistence is key when trying to find dream clients. Be prepared to stand out and be different. Have a long-term strategy (not a one-time sales promotion).

You can use direct client marketing to keep existing clients, contact old clients, or find new ones. Examples: physical post (lumpy mail, letter, postcard), email and digital marketing, and real conversations (phone, video call, in person). Lumpy mail is comprised of a surprise and delight package in order to make a great first impression. Follow-up with a postcard, email, call, etc. People respond better to handwritten messages.

Do not be afraid to dream big. Dream as big as you like and see what happens. Start with whom you want to work with. Ask for referrals from your good existing clients. Get to know your market (better) and have fun!

Keep that in mind this question when prospecting: “So what?” What do your prospects care about? Grab their attention, talk about their problems, and how you can be the solution.

Let your dream clients know that you exist and care, and that they can trust you.

GDPR and translators: easy steps to protect your and your clients’ data, by Irene Koukia

Backup options: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive. Backup every day! What to backup: TMs, CAT folders, etc.

Boxcryptor: Data security across smartphones, tablets, and desktops. You can choose what to encrypt and what not.

Whisply: secure and easy file transfer.

A VPN secures your private network. Ideal if you work on the go or use a shared Wi-Fi (almost all of us, right?).

Learn what is what about terminology extraction tools, by Andriy Yasharov

Terminology extraction is like data mining, where terms are subtracted from a text. It can be helpful for creating glossaries, thesaurus, and dictionaries; extracting terminology for TMs, etc. It is important because it also extracts the context of a term. Terminology extraction tools: SDL Multiterm Extract, memoQ TE module, SynchroTerm, Sketch Engine, PlusTools for MS Word, FiveFilters, WebCorp, AntConc, Rainbow.

May 3: Short talks

The very first of the day was mine. I will try to write about it in another future post.

Strategies to get more translation clients in a non-spammy way, Olga Jeczmyk Nowak

How to increase clients and keep them coming? Study the market. Contact prospects with a personalized email. Offer them something they are looking for. Reply to them as soon as possible. Don’t spam! Avoid being spammy by personalizing your emails and writing enough professional content (spam filters dislike short emails!). Be honest. Find your identity and make some noise online.

Be online and be active: If you’re not on Google, you don’t exist. Choose the best platform(s) for you.

How to distinguish yourself? Create a brand and keep improving it. Offer something different and more elaborate. Adapt your service according to each client. Keep reinventing yourself!

How to raise your rates (and still keep your clients), by Susanne Präsent-Winkler

Start raising your rates with new clients, especially when you are busy. Then do it with your current clients. Base your raise on your country’s inflation rate. Set your limit as to how low you can go on the rate to still make a living and stick to it. Don’t work for peanuts, for the sake of the entire industry!

Add all relevant steps of your translation process in the quote, so that the client knows what is included in the price.

Dealing with difficult customers – conflict management for translators, by Peter Oehmen

After a negative client experience, 67% of the customers buy somewhere else, only 33% of them stay. One unhappy client tells 15 other people about their negative experience. One happy client, on the other hand, tells six other people about their positive experience.

Conflicts are based on differences of perspective, so we need to understand others’ perspectives and be able to explain our own. Be clear and factual in your communication. Go for consensus and compromise.

The power of soft skills in a digital age, Jaquelina Guardamagna

We need to get better at being human. That is why soft skills have become essential nowadays. They are personal traits that enable individuals to interact effectively. They can help us win clients, when combined with hard skills.

Essential soft skills in the digital age: Empathy, decision making (decisions are part of human nature), flexibility, creativity (it’s what keep us dreaming), collaboration, self-management. If we use them effectively, we will never be replaced! Soft skills will be the difference between those who get replaced by machines, and those who succeed in a digital age.

Bucking the trend of self-promotion (and still obtain the results you want), by Magda Phili

Self-focused narratives: As translators, if we don’t talk about ourselves, who will, right? However, improve your narrative to avoid being perceived as arrogant: Rephrase it and involve other people.

Magda said that her experience showed her that translators working together and promoting each other see their business grow. Solidarity and collaboration boosts confidence, improves quality and efficiency, and helps you gain perspective.

Humility brings collaboration, collaboration brings more work and excellence, while perseverance brings results.

Are you really a professional?, by Vasiliki Prestidge

According to Vasiliki, prices don’t say anything about you and your services. We’re more than just a number!

“Every package is the golden package,” she said. Therefore, we should treat everybody with the same level of professionalism. In a hyperconnected world, one contact can change our life. Be professional in all aspects of your work. You never know who will be impressed by you and request your services. “You look like a business, you behave like a business, you get the business.”

Productivity hacks for translators, by Sherif Abuzid

Sherif talked about Can Newport’s concept of deep work, which is mastering how to focus on a single task in order to boost productivity and maximize your energy expenditure.

If your laptop battery would last for only one hour and you had to choose one app to use, which one would you choose? Your answer will show your priority. We have a limited amount of energy, like batteries. We need to make the best use if it, setting priorities.

Deep work means working in a distraction-free environment, fully focused. If you totally focus at one task at a time, you are more productive. “Focus is the new IQ.” Focused professionals stand out from others. Start with the most important tasks and keep your main goals in mind.

It’s not only about business. We can apply deep work to our personal life as well. Keep your phone away during family time!

How to follow the deep work principle: Plan for tomorrow; focus on goals, not tasks (do what makes you move forward); and set tight deadlines for all activities

Do you diversify your business?, by Francesca Manicardi

Diversification is for creative minds who can easily switch from an activity to another and who can properly manage their time.

Pros of diversifying your business: More stable source of income; creativity boost; change of perspective; and increased visibility.

Effective time management for translators, by Iwona Piatkowska

The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot.

The first step to greater productivity is to create a distraction-free environment, and that is something only you can do, e.g. mute your phone, close the door, have a dedicated office, switch off push/desktop notifications, etc.

Work in chunks and take cycled breaks, e.g. Pomodoro Technique. Take into account that our attention span is of 45-50 minutes. Make your breaks effective: Change constantly, go away from the computer (walk the dog, do the dishes), energize your body, etc.

Track your progress, especially in long projects. It boosts your confidence and keeps you motivated. Do 50-60% of the project as soon as possible. Be a (wo)man of action!

A balanced and healthy lifestyle is the foundation of productivity on a daily basis. Exercise frequently, eat nutritious meals, and sleep well.

Clean your desk every evening, plan your day ahead, set a timer for tasks, and invoice projects immediately.

Running a translation business as a restaurant: tips for a balanced menu, by Carlos la Orden Tovar

According to Carlos, there are four types of restaurant: 1. Just another takeaway: Unbelievably average; rat race. 2. The franchise: Generic, but familiar; safe money; average service = average clients. 3. Luxury restaurant: High-end clients, elaborate services, based on a thorough experience. 4. Classic revisited: Pick classic stuff; add a new, unique touch; charge double; focused on clients who value quality and innovation.

Make a list of your skills, things you are good at. Make a list of what is trending in the market. Score them and craft the perfect menu of your service offers.

Stretch your services by offering, for example, DTP, QA, testing, glossary & TM services, etc. But don’t stretch it too much. Focus on your strengths.

Study your ideal client, engage and find out, list your needs, plan buffer time, and consider investing in proper training.

 

That’s it! I hope you like my brief summary of the conference. As you can see, it was totally worth it. So if I got you into considering attending it next year, it will be held in Nürnberg, Germany, on April 24-25, 2020! Save the date and stay tuned for more information.

If you were interested in any talk in particular or in all of them, their recording are available to be purchased on demand here.

You can also find reviews by other attendees here.

Learning from customer experience

rawpixel-760030-unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

As translators/interpreters, we are service providers. All companies/brands that sell services/products also provide an experience to their customers, and this experience starts from the very beginning, even before prospects contact us, when they try to find us or someone who can provide what they need. And it ends way after the product/service is delivered, but it doesn’t necessarily need to, that’s also the point.

As a customer, I love great experiences! I easily become loyal to brands that go beyond and provide me the best service possible. Likewise, I easily let go of brands who let me down somehow. And when there is reasonable competition, even the smallest detail can make a difference. As customers, we have a lot to learn also as entrepreneurs. After all, learning from mistakes (and successes) of others is better than making our own, right?

When we need something, a service or a product, we are vulnerable (or at least control freaks like me are). Leaving our comfort zones is not easy. We have to look for someone who can provide us something we need with quality, a reasonable price, reliability, and, most of the times, we do not have a clue as to what this means. If the service provider makes us feel at ease, comfortable and happy with their service, then we can easily trust them. If, on the other hand, they make our lives even more difficult than they already are, the entire experience becomes a nightmare.

Here are three real-life scenarios that I’ve been through and from which I learned a lot!

Scenario 1: Post office

Important fact: here in Brazil, mailmen usually don’t work on Sundays.

Another important fact: as you might all be aware, Brazil is not exactly a safe country. And I live by myself at a house, as opposed to an apartment, that is usually safer.

At 9 a.m. on a Sunday, the doorbell rings. I was still sleeping, because I had gone out the night before and arrived really late. I answer the intercom. A man on the other side identifies himself as the mailman. Still sleepy, I think, “The mailman, on a Sunday?” I ask him whom the package is for (something I always do, to check the person is indeed the mailman and the package is indeed intended for me, since other people have lived in my house before and their mail still keep coming). He confirms my name, in a rather impatient voice, probably noticing I’m reluctant. I think, “Ok, that is information people can easily get ahold of. This is still weird.” I tell him I find that strange, “I’m sorry, sir, but what guarantee do I have you are indeed the mailman, on a Sunday morning?” He becomes quite mad, goes away and leaves me speaking to myself over the intercom.

Later on, I find out they had been working on Sundays because they were late on deliveries. But I learned this from someone else, because the mailman himself didn’t even care to try to explain that to me.

I tried to track the package and see where it had been taken to, with no success. I got yelled at over the phone and hung up on a couple of times, so I just gave up.

Of course mailmen know they don’t usually work on Sundays. The guy was probably so pissed he had to work on a Sunday morning that he simply didn’t care. No empathy at all, no trying to understand my position, no respect, just plain rudeness.

Takeaway: We often complain that clients say “translator,” when they mean “interpreter,” or that they want everything for yesterday, and so on. And many of us are even rude or have no patience at all with people that are not from our area and that have misleading ideas about it. How would they know? It’s our role to be patient and try to explain, in a way they understand, how things work. Whining, complaining and having lack of patience with people are not the solution.

Scenario 2: Landline technical support

My landline was silent. I had no signal to make calls, but I ran some quick and simple tests and found out it was probably the device itself, not the connection. I took it to a place specialized in technical phone support. The girl ran not one, but several tests, in different power supplies, using different wires, until she found what the problem was.

This is it, plain and simple, right? You are probably thinking, “C’mon, that’s her job.” Yes, it is, I agree. However, unfortunately, people simply don’t do their jobs anymore. They simply don’t care. What I expected: her trying once or twice, at the most, and giving up, saying it was broken and that I needed to buy a new device. Instead, I was really impressed at how much she cared and tried to find what the problem was.

Takeaway: Are we doing our jobs? My clients are frequently ecstatic with me for just doing my job: delivering on time, sometimes, if possible, even earlier, doing a good job, etc. Basic things we are expected to do, but that, apparently, most translators don’t. Is the competition fierce? Are there a lot of translators out there? Yes and yes. However, what’s the quality of the service they provide? Delivering on time is Translation 101, Lesson 1. If, apart from that, you go a bit beyond and try to deliver earlier whenever you can, believe me, you win the client. Go the extra mile. Be the solution your client needs and, if you can’t solve their problem yourself, be proactive and try to find someone who can. Clients usually don’t have a clue about the translation world. We do.

Scenario 3: Nike store

I love Nike products. In my opinion, they are high-quality and worth every penny. I still wear clothes that are more than five years old and that are still in good shape. Ok, so I am already a fan of the brand, fine.

They have a cool store in São Paulo (I live in a town about two hours from the big city). The last time I went there I was amazed! As I was taking a look at the store and choosing what I would try on, the salesperson was preparing the dressing room with other suggestions of things I could like based on my choices. When I arrived in the dressing room, they had even written my name one the door! Maybe you wouldn’t care less about it, but I do. Who doesn’t like to feel special?

Takeaway: Each client is special in their own way and should be treated accordingly. We should make our clients feel they are unique, because they are. Pamper them whenever and however you can. I send personalized handwritten Christmas cards with a branded little something every end of the year to all my clients. I also send branded handwritten Thank You notes to clients and partners or whomever I feel like thanking. Whatever you do, make sure all your clients feel that you care about each of them and that they are special to you. This simple attitude may be what differentiates you from other equally great translators and what makes your clients not even think twice before requesting your services.

A key aspect to a successful customer experience (and to everything in life, let’s face it) is empathy. Wearing our customers’ shoes is essential to understanding their needs and providing the best service possible. It’s like that old saying by Confucius goes, “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.” And vice-versa. It’s as simple as that. No need to overcomplicate or overthink things. No secret formula. No million-dollar strategy.

What have you learned from your own customer experiences?

Living and learning, as always

nordwood-themes-1066398-unsplash

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Happy New Year, dearest followers!

I know I’m late to the party, but I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to.

After more than a half year later (seven months, to be more precise), here I am, writing on my own blog. We did have guest posts and the Greatest Women in Translation interviews (though not with the normal frequency either), but I, myself, haven’t written on the blog since June last year. Time flies, huh?

Although I didn’t feel inspired to write an end-of-the-year post with a review of the past year and resolutions to the year to come (hello, 2019!), I gave it a lot of thought.

Professionally, 2018 was a great year!

  • I earned a dream direct client.
  • I received some amazing and rewarding feedback on my work (as a translator, as a blogger and as a conference speaker).
  • I let go of tasks and clients that were not doing me good.
  • I increased my workflow with a dear overseas translation agency I work for.
  • I worked closely with a dear colleague and friend on two joint projects.
  • I was invited and presented a webinar for the members of PEM (Panhellenic Association of Translators).
  • I curated the TranslationTalk rotation curation Twitter account.

However, as I always say, our work is not everything in life. And even though I am a strong advocate of a work-life balance, even I learned a few things this past year.

  • I need two vacations a year; one is not enough. Apart from taking a month-long vacation in April/May (European trip, attending the BP and the ITI conferences), I will spend a week at the beach with my family next month and plan on taking some time off in the second semester as well.
  • Working from home being single and living by myself silently took its toll this year and I learned that living a balanced life is not enough; we also need to go an extra mile and care for our mental health. Working and living alone is great, but socializing is necessary. Anyone up for a chat or a coffee? For those who live in Europe, I’ll be in the UK, Bologna and Stockolm in April/May. Let’s meet!
  • We should never wait for Monday or a new year to start something. I finally started yoga in December and will start taking Italian classes again next month.
  • We need to reduce our online time. Scrolling social media is not a way of relaxing; on the contrary, it is not doing us any good. I’m trying very hard to avoid scrolling social media for no reason and I keep on turning my mobile off to read a book every night in bed.
  • No matter what people say we should or should not do, either personally or professionally, essentially, we have to be true to ourselves first and foremost. We are the only ones who truly know what works and doesn’t work for us, and we should respect that.
  • Even when we think we have a perfect life, there is always room for improvement.

Since I am still trying to truly get to know myself and identify what can be improved and what needs to be changed, I do not have any resolutions this year. I am going with the flow and changing as I go.

I still believe the New Year is great to revitalize, but even more importantly is constantly living and learning and changing as we go, truly getting to know and deeply understanding ourselves and identifying what is good and bad for us. As a one-man/woman business, we owe it to our professional life, but most importantly to ourselves.

What have you learned in 2018? What would you like to change in 2019?

On speaking the client’s language (not the opposite)

alexandra-633017-unsplash

Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

I changed my bank accounts – moved to another bank. There I was, at my new bank, signing the endless sheets of contract papers while the manager was explaining how they worked using banking jargon. Besides feeling extremely mad I was losing precious working hours because the manager did not have everything ready, as she said she would, I felt lost a couple of times because I did not understand the specific terms she used. And I felt embarrassed for having to ask her what they meant. When I finally understood, I started asking myself why she wouldn’t use another term, a more commonly-used one with exactly the same meaning.

I struggle to understand financial and banking operations. Whenever I have to deal with related matters, I postpone it to the last possible minute. And when I finally have to take the bulls by the horn, I feel bored and petrified I might do something wrong I may regret later. So why make my life easier and use lay terms if they can show off their banking expertise, right?

I use every single experience as a customer to learn how to deal with my own clients. If I like something, I try to adapt it to my translation business. If not, I reflect to see if I do the same with my clients and, if so, I immediately try to change it.

Do I want my client to feel the way I feel when I have to deal with things I don’t understand?

We should always keep in mind that if a client is coming to us it means they want their problem solved. It doesn’t matter how we do it and the terms we use to describe it. In order to win the client, we need to be as straightforward and clear as possible, and make them feel relieved their problem will be solved according to their needs, so they can go on and worry about other things. We should try to make their lives as easier as possible.

On this note, is it really that important that the client knows the difference between a translation and an interpreting service? Will it really change your entire life to “teach” the client that you are an interpreter, not a translator, for Pete’s sake? In Portuguese, we have different terms for translation into our mother tongue and into our B language (the latter is called versão). Do my Brazilian clients need to know this difference?

Let’s leave our ego aside for a moment and take the focus off us and make it on the client.

First and foremost, we are the language experts – the main reason we should be the ones to speak our client’s language, not the opposite. Secondly, we will be the ones to handle their (written/spoken) words – another reason we should be the ones to speak their language, not the opposite. Thirdly, don’t you just love when, as a client, the service provider truly understands you and doesn’t vomit jargons you don’t understand?

Listen to your client, instead of focusing on “educating” them or “teaching” them. Try to truly understand their needs and talk to them in a language they understand. Do your homework and research more information about them to get to know them even further and understand their language and their world. Always remember the client is king/queen.

 

Tradução e interpretação: inclusão de palavra em palavra – Parte 1

Nesse último fim de semana, de 15 a 17 de junho, foi realizado o 9º Congresso Internacional de Tradução e Interpretação da Abrates (Associação Brasileira de Tradutores e Intérpretes), no Rio de Janeiro. A localização não poderia ser melhor: Rio Othon Palace, hotel em frente à praia de Copacabana, cuja beleza nem o tempo ruim foi capaz de diminuir.

Eu e minha grande amiga Carolina Ventura, supercompanheira de aventuras e de profissão, chegamos já na quinta-feira, pois queríamos aproveitar para descansar um pouco antes do congresso e aproveitar a cidade. O tempo, como eu já disse, não ajudou muito, mas conseguimos pelos menos ir à Confeitaria Colombo comer torrada Petrópolis e nos encantar com sua beleza.

Na sexta-feira, aproveitei a tarde para gravar alguns episódios para o podcast TradTalk que, aliás, voltará com a segunda temporada no mês de julho. Aguardem! Conversei com a Ana Julia Perrotti-Garcia; a Liz e a Pati, da Ideal Translation; e o Fabiano Cid, da Ccaps. Todos bate-papos deliciosos! Mal posso esperar para vocês ouvirem/assistirem.

Com o tema “Tradução e interpretação: inclusão de palavra em palavra”, os keynotes de abertura, Petê Rissatti e Rane Souza, mostraram que o tema da inclusão e da diversidade seria o foco do congresso. Como disse Roney Belhassof no Twitter, “É emocionante estar em um congresso com dois keynote speakers negros. Um homem e uma mulher.” Não deveria nos causar estranheza (boa, nesse caso), mas como disse o próprio Petê, embora estejamos em pleno 2018, infelizmente, ainda é necessário discutir alguns tópicos. Petê é negro, gay e candomblecista e fala com conhecimento de causa. Segundo ele, não temos o direito de dar nossa opinião sobre o lugar de fala alheio, mas podemos, sim, falar segundo o nosso ponto de vista, de forma empática. Concordo com ele quando diz que traduzir e interpretar são atos de empatia. Consequentemente, todo tradutor/intérprete precisa ser empático e entender o outro. E, para sermos empáticos, precisamos nos livrar dos preconceitos. Petê, tradutor literário, encerra sua emocionante fala exigindo respeito: “Não dá pra continuar do jeito que está. Nós temos pressa!”

image1

Petê Rissatti

Tanto no encerramento da fala do Petê quanto no início da fala de Rane Souza, também tradutora, Marielle Franco é mencionada. Rane, por sua vez, nos mostrou números e fatos da história negra no Brasil. Embora seja falado em minoria, 56% da população brasileira é negra/parda. Infelizmente, não há dados específicos sobre o mercado da tradução, mas no Jogo do Privilégio, proposto por ela, pudemos ver que não há representatividade. Entre os cerca de dez voluntários, apenas dois eram negros. O propósito do jogo, criado pelo Instituto Identidade do Brasil, é mostrar como a desigualdade racial afeta todos os aspectos da vida dos negros. A princípio, muita gente, inclusive eu, acreditou que o jogo não funcionaria; afinal de contas, quem estava lá, querendo ou não, teve uma realidade de vida diversa. No entanto, o jogo foi chocante e emocionou a nós todos. Uma coisa é ouvirmos falar sobre desigualdade racial; outra coisa é vermos ou sermos expostos, de alguma forma, às consequências dela. Por fim Rane nos disse: “Sou perseguida por policiais TODOS os dias em lojas e estabelecimentos comerciais!”

Assim como na hora, agora fiquei novamente sem ação (e com lágrimas nos olhos) após relembrar essa frase impactante. Eu, em toda a minha brancura, jamais saberei na pele o que é isso. No entanto, fico feliz em sentir, com ela, com o Petê, com a tragédia da Marielle Franco, com meus amigos. Ao chorar ouvindo relatos desse tipo, dou-me conta de que sou humana, que sinto as dores dos meus iguais, que respeito o lugar de fala alheio e só posso tentar entender, embora saiba que jamais serei capaz de saber de fato como é. Isso é um sinal de que estou no caminho certo e que é meu dever como ser humano ajudar meus iguais.

image2

Rane Souza

Fazendo uma ponte com a fala de abertura do William Cassemiro, presidente anterior da Abrates, Rane encerra ressaltando que precisamos estimular a profissionalização do nosso mercado em todos os sentidos, inclusive para os negros. O que podemos fazer? Observar nossas próprias práticas e aumentar a representatividade. O negro se sente mais à vontade sendo traduzido/interpretado por outro negro.

Após toda essa carga emocional e inclusiva da abertura, o primeiro dia de palestras começou, para mim, também com chave de ouro com a apresentação da Aline Tomasuolo, com o título “O método Starbucks aplicado ao mundo da tradução”. A Aline foi mentorada do Programa de Mentoria da Abrates, na época em que eu ainda era coordenadora, e me deixou impressionada com sua evolução profissional. Apresentação visualmente impecável, conteúdo extremamente relevante, detalhes que fizeram a diferença. Ela aplicou em sua apresentação e comprovou, com isso, que também aplica sua fala na prática: padronização de qualidade e personalização do atendimento. Aline disse que, segundo a Adobe, no futuro, as pessoas não comprarão mais produtos, mas experiências. Eu acredito que isso já seja verdade. Pense nos serviços que você usa, nos produtos que consome. A padronização e a personalização aumentam a valorização do mercado de tradução. Um cliente encantado resulta em fidelização e divulgação. Como tradutores, precisamos assumir nossa identidade. As palavras têm poder. Não “fazemos” tradução, somos tradutores! Além disso, devemos manter um canal de comunicação aberto e claro com os clientes, informando sobre disponibilidades/indisponibilidades, e descobrir a preferência de cada um deles. Com isso, nossa própria humanidade acaba sendo um diferencial nos serviços que prestamos no atual mundo tecnológico.

A segunda palestra à qual assisti foi “O método Harvard de negociação para tradutores e intérpretes”, por Claudio Pereira. Uma das principais dicas do Claudio foi que, em uma negociação, devemos focar no problema, não nas pessoas. Segundo ele, devemos ter critérios objetivos e diferentes opções. Precisamos entender o cliente, nos preparar e vender o serviço antes de informar o preço: mostrando os valores que serão agregados com ele. Devemos nos comunicar com segurança e passar segurança para o cliente, descobrir pontos em comum/conflitantes: o que o cliente sabe sobre nós e vice-versa é relevante em uma negociação. Devemos ser criativos e pensar em diferentes formas de satisfação mútua.

Como vocês podem ver, não cheguei nem na hora do almoço do primeiro dia ainda e já teve muita coisa legal! Como ainda tenho muita coisa interessante para passar para vocês, deixarei para uma segunda publicação, em breve, não se preocupem. Fiquem ligados!

IT translation reference material

rawpixel-com-604745-unsplash

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Information Technology (IT) translators, like myself, are used to strictly following different reference material. Even when the client has its own glossary and style guide, not always are they totally comprehensive so we have to turn to third-party resources. Luckily, there are some recognized and trusted sources we can follow to base our linguistic decisions on, and not simply throw in anything we like. Personal preference should be our last option.

The most widely used and trusted reference source is Microsoft. Other large IT brands even mention it in their own style guides, instructing the linguist to use it as reference if something is not included in their material. Microsoft has recently (late last year) updated their Writing Style Guide (you can download the PDF for free in the link). It contains topics related to capitalization, punctuation, numbers, URLs and web addresses, everything one expects from an IT style guide. This guide applies to the English language, but you can also find one for your language here (including Brazilian Portuguese, last updated on June 2017). The language-specific style guides are only downloadable (also free of charge); they are not available online.

Microsoft also has an online Language Portal where you can search for terms in different languages, including Brazilian Portuguese. It shows results in its Terminology Collection and in localized Microsoft products in three columns: English, Translation and Definition/Product. This is a fantastic resource! It’s bookmarked in my browser so I can easily access it whenever I need, which is every day.

Apple, another trusted source, also provides its style guide online (in English).

If you know of any other publicly available IT style guide and/or glossary, please feel free to share it in the comments.

Women, unite, go out and kick ass

This weekend I watched Mary Magdalene in the movies. I wasn’t expecting much of it, but it really touched me. It may be due to the current scenario. You may have heard of the Brazilian council woman Marielle Franco’s assassination here in Brazil last week (if not, here’s an article about it, and a quick search on Google will provide you with more information about this brutal murder). Besides, if you are a woman, you know the struggles we all go through, some more than others. If not, you may at least have an idea or have heard of what it’s like.

I thought the movie is really touching, but this line by a woman particularly stroke me:

We’re women. Our lives are not our own.

It suddenly occurred to me that we go through the same problems since forever. Our current reality is not that different from the reality at that time. When I start thinking the only difference is that we are more open to speaking up, Marielle’s tragic story reminds me we are not.

So are our hands tied? Isn’t there anything we can do? Should we simply conform? NO! We will not be silenced.

We do have more success stories, inspiring movies (have you watched Black Panther?), amazing role models out there to help us get inspired, not give up and keep on fighting. Together, we are stronger.

Besides doing my part setting the example and speaking up when I can, I host an interview series, Greatest Women in Translation. This is my teeny tiny contribution to making ourselves seen and valued, as translators. Now, I came up with another idea for women in general. What we need is inspiration and being valued for what we are and do, not for our looks. Every single one of us is important, but sometimes we lack recognition, support, love. Something simple we can do to strengthen our bond and empower other women is recognize them.

Therefore, I suggest you, whoever you are regardless of gender, leave a comment below telling us who the woman you admire the most are, whoever they are, and why. Which women inspire you, always teach you something or make the difference in your life or even in the world? Go even beyond that and let them know somehow.

I’ll start by naming mine:

  • My mom. I know it’s tacky, but it’s the truth. She’s a strong and determined woman who worked a lot to raise three girls and provide them with what she wasn’t able to have: education. She worked with my dad, but she was the one behind everything. She traveled a lot, spent sleepless nights, never fretted and imposed herself. Most of what I am today I owe to her.
  • My dear friend Carolina Ventura. She’s married and a mom of two lovely girls. Being single and having no kids, I always admire those who run a business having a family. And I think she is the perfect example of it. She’s an admirable professional who exemplary juggles business with family and a quality personal life. A great translator, mom, wife, daughter and friend.
  • Emma Watson. She had everything to take a different path: a beautiful face in Hollywood amidst smashing fame with the Harry Potter movies. Instead, she chose the path to do good and make a difference in the world, including empowering women.

I’m inspired by many other amazing women, from my family (I have an aunt who defied my grandparents and pursued her studies anyway – the only woman to do so in her house; later moved to another country due to lack of recognition in her own, and now lives with her husband, daughter and son far from her entire family), friends, and famous people (e.g. Michele Obama), but I just wanted to give an example in each of those groups.

The world will only change as we change. I will not be silent. I will be heard.
Mary Magdalene, in the movie

Now it’s your turn. Empower someone who you admire by recognizing her in the comments below.

In need to feel inspired? Here are some inspiring quotes by inspiring women.