Mittwoch, 23. November 2011

Historic dictionary

We finally got around to cleaning out the attic two weeks ago, and besides sorting through and throwing out a lot of stuff - or giving it to a charity -, I came across some cool, fascinating, funny, interesting and strange things. 
One very interesting thing I found in a wooden trunk full of old books and LP records. I have no idea how it ended up in there, especially since no-one in my husband's family has or had any affinity for foreign languages, plus the name in the cover is not a relative. But however it found its way onto this attic in the wilderness of the Franconian Switzerland, I am very excited that it did!

Printed in 1946 by Sebaldus-Verlag Nürnberg, number of copies printed unknown, although there are some to be had via Amazon and antiquarian bookshops, and not very expensive at that.

The preface explains what it is and why it was published:

This book, “printed as manuscript”, contains a collection (about 25,000 key words) of personal notes jotted down by an interpreter and translator in the course of his everyday practice. It was not originally intended for publication, but, as it will be some time before any of the well-known dictionaries can be re-issued, I decided to give way to the numerous requests for having this book printed as it stands.
The expressions given in this book cover principally administration, legal practice, food and agriculture, trade and industries, and the engineering, botanical, chemical, anatomical and pharmaceutical professions, as well as the names of drugs, etc. To some key-words, such as for instance, “Aräometer”, “Calorien”, “Hormone”, “Penicillin”, “Streptomycin”, “Vitamine”, explanations have been added, which far exceed the usual practice in dictionaries, giving this book more the character of an encyclopedia. Furthermore, a number of charts and conversion tables for weights, measures, etc., have been included. So as not to disturb the clear arrangement and alphabetical order of the book, such explanations of key-words are separately boxed.
Something quite new is the collection of abbreviations coined during the Nazi-regime, such as “Reichsschrifttumskammer”, “NS-Hago”, etc., which, as far as is known, have not been included before in any dictionary and which are often difficult to translate into the Anglo-American language.
I wish to express my appreciation to the American officers and officials, especially to Major Krotcher, Capt. Kinard, 1st Lt. Thacker and Tec.Sgt. Much, who sacrificed their time in clearing up some expressions, also to Mr. Speier of the MAN, Nürnberg, who contributed a long list of technical expressions, as well as to the publishers and the C.H. Beck’sche Buchdruckerei at Nördlingen, who co-operated splendidly to ensure a very nice make-up of the book, in spite of the untold difficulties that had to be overcome in obtaining materials, etc., and, finally, to Mr. R. Küger, lecturer at Nördlingen, who devoted his costly time in giving expert advice to improve the book. I take this opportunity to thank very sincerely also the many unnamed contributors to this dictionary.
Suggestions regarding improvements or additions will be gratefully accepted. I hope the book may be of help, if only in a small way, to American officers, officials and the new German authorities.
Nürnberg, August 1945
E. Hinnerichs
I find it remarkable that this project was tackled already in the summer of 1945, just a few months after WWII had officially ended!

I have no idea how and in what context this might come in handy, but I will certainly treasure it, if only for historical reasons!

Dienstag, 15. November 2011

Kompatibles Einsteck

Da ich diese Woche nicht nur jeden Tag beim Dolmetschen bin, sondern nebenbei auch noch ein monatliches Großprojekt abwickeln darf, heute mal wieder was zum Schmunzeln.

Dieses Fundstück wurde mir von meiner Kollegin Johanna Hief zugespielt, und ich teile es, sowie auch ihren Kommentar, gerne:


AliveGlow ist ein Photoshop kompatibles Einsteck. AliveGlow ist für Adobe Photoshop, Corel FOTO-PAINT ein Einsteck, die Pro Jasc Lackiererei und andere Grafik-Software, die Steckverbindungen stützt. Das Einsteck verursacht natürliche Glüheneffekte, die Grafikfachleuten erlauben, die erforderlichen Teile des Bildes zu betonen und Sichteffekte zu addieren. Für Ihre Bequemlichkeit hat das Programm einige gebrauchsfertige Glühenversionen (Voreinstellungen) die in ihrer Anfangsversion verwendet werden können oder geändert werden können. Geben Sie 10 Tage Probe frei.


Hoch lebe die Maschinenübersetzung, die nicht nur für unfreiwillige Komik sorgt, sondern auch dafür, dass unser Beruf allen Unkenrufen zum Trotz wohl so schnell nicht aussterben wird!

Donnerstag, 10. November 2011

O Muttersprache, Mutterlaut

Am Wochenende kamen wir endlich mal dazu den Dachboden auszuräumen und zu -misten. Unglaublich, was sich dort alles versteckt hatte?! Vieles haben wie aussortiert, aber ein paar Sachen, die sich in den verstaubten Kisten und Boxen fanden, waren doch mehr als interessant, u.a. diese Schallplatte:
Nürnberger "Gwärch"
Lieder, Tänze und Mundart aus der Noris erschienen im Dürerjahr 1971
Ein Mundartgedicht hat es mir besonders angetan, und das wollte ich euch nicht vorenthalten, nämlich:
"O Muttersprache, Mutterlaut" von Hans Mehl, gesprochen vom Dichter selbst
Ein herrliches Beispiel des Nürnberger Dialekts, und erstaunlich relevant, finde ich zumindest.

Viel Spaß beim Zuhören!

(Eventuell die Lautstärke hoch drehen, ich musste es mit Mikrofon vom Lautsprecher aufnehmen...)

Dienstag, 1. November 2011

Now I lay me down to sleep...

When I tell people I work from home, they tend to think that I sleep late, walk around in my PJs and lay on the couch with my notebook, taking frequent naps. Well. Maybe that's what other freelancers do. I don't. 
I get up early (usually between 6 am and 6:30 am) and get dressed (who knows when potential customers may find their way to my door?), and I have an actual desk with a real PC, where I spent most of my working hours when I am not interpreting. I do have a notebook, but I only use it when I'm on the road. And there also is a couch in the living room, but I have never worked on it, other than maybe reading some professional magazines or other business-related books etc.

So, how about them naps, then? After all, being self-employed and working from home should have some advantages, shouldn't it? Believe me, it does, and I would not trade it for an in-house position, regardless of how much you pay me! And, yes, one of these advantages is the fact that I can schedule my working hours fairly flexibly most of the time, including breaks and, well, naps. 

I don't do this regularly at all (unless I don't feel well, of course), but every now and then, maybe because I worked late the night before, or because I slept poorly because the one dog woke me up three times to be taken out and the other one joined in for company, or because it's just one of those days where the sun doesn't seem to want to break through the cloud cover, and work is slow anyway and a walk in the fresh air is not feasible for whatever reason - every now and then I actually do lay down on the couch in the middle of the day and take a nap. Not a long one, 45 minutes tops, and I do set an alarm. But that's usually enough to get me through that low point, past that slump in productivity, and then I am ready to roll again with a clear(er) mind.
The funny thing is that I usually don't even really sleep during that time. But something about just laying there, letting my thoughts drift (preferably not on anything work-related) and listening to my dogs snore gently on their pillow next to me is so relaxing that my batteries get recharged anyway.

How about you? Do you take "power naps" during the day? If so, how long and how frequently? If not, why not?