Mittwoch, 28. November 2012

I am ...

Reading Nataly Kelly's article "The Words We Use to Describe Ourselves" published in the October issue of the ATA Chronicle, I came across the neologism "interpretator", a hybrid of the words translator and interpreter.

I think it should become the new word for those of us who both translate and interpret. 

I do, so from now on I will refer to myself as interpretator... Who's with me? ;)

Donnerstag, 22. November 2012

Und der Preis für korrektes Deutsch geht an...

Neulich war ich mit einer Freundin beim Türken als gerade Schule aus war und eine Horde Jugendliche schnell noch etwas zu essen mitnehmen wollte. Dabei wurde ich Zeugin folgenden Gesprächs:

Photo (c) exael via stock.exchng


Deutsche Schülerin
     "Ein Döner mit Alles, bitte."
Türkischer Restaurantbesitzer
     "Jawohl, einen Döner mit Allem."

Was soll man dazu noch sagen?

Mittwoch, 14. November 2012

Translators disrespected


You’re sitting at home (or at work) slaving over a translation when out of the blue you receive a call/email/text message* (delete where appropriate) from a colleague/friend/acquaintance* (delete where appropriate) who you have not heard from for quite some time. The message usually begins in similar fashion regardless of whether it is a phone call, email or text message and whatever the nature of your relationship with the interlocutor – a polite yet brief query as to how you have been these past few weeks/months/years in order to momentarily detract from the main point of the message. Your suspicions are raised immediately – this is not the first such message you have received from ‘friends’ – yet you remain quietly heartened by the fact that this person has decided to contact you after such a long time.
However, you listen/read on and within several seconds your fears are confirmed. Your mind is awash with a range of emotions – anger, frustration and disappointment. Once again, another of your so-called ‘friends’ has demonstrated their complete lack of respect for your profession, not to mention an utter lack of respect for yourself. This ‘friend’ has done the unthinkable – he has asked you for ‘help’ in order to translate a phrase/sentence/text. The plea is usually innocent and nine times out of ten the task is ridiculously simple but what especially irks is the justification this person uses to ask you in the first place. Perfunctory explanations like, “I know it won’t take you a great deal of time…” or syrupy statements like, “For someone like you, this should be really easy…” or to really add insult to injury, “This should take you five minutes at most…”
Who are these people to determine the period of time a translation task should take? And then demand that we perform the task? What is more, the very fact that it would take, for example, only five minutes is surely testament to the fact that we are good at our job. Specialists, as we all know, are usually richly rewarded for their specialist services. Why is it that people who are not translators believe translation should be undertaken for free? Do architects receive calls from friends to ‘do a quick sketch’ of a proposed design of a room? Do copywriters get text messages from colleagues to ‘come up with a short slogan’ for a product? Do accountants receive emails from clients asking them to ‘undertake a brief audit’ of an investment?
Translators, language specialists and editors need to show people unfamiliar with our work that the services we offer are akin to those services provided by other professions. Not only do we have similar time constraints and financial requirements but we also have the need to gain satisfaction from our work. Respect for the work we do is key to achieving this satisfaction. In today’s society, the one tangible way in which measure for our work can be achieved is through remuneration. This is, after all, what we do for a living…

Originally published on

Freitag, 9. November 2012

Mobiles Büro

Mein Leben ist zur Zeit etwas im Aufruhr, was dazu geführt hat, dass ich nun schon im dritten Büro in drei Wochen sitze. Hier kommen mir natürlich auch meine Selbständigkeit und mein Beruf zugute, die es mir erlauben eigentlich überall arbeiten zu können, wo es Strom und Internet gibt.
Obwohl ich im Moment ohne Notebook auskommen muss, ist es trotzdem erstaunlich unkompliziert mein Büro umzuziehen: Das Notwendigste (u.a. Wörterbücher, Unterlagen, Büromaterial, usw.) passt in vier kleine Kisten, PC-Turm, Monitore, Maus, Tastatur, USV und Drucker sind auch schnell verstaut und passen problemlos in den Kofferraum eines normalen Autos, und der Auf- und Abbau sind so schnell, dass ich innerhalb von 30 Minuten nach Ankunft mein Büro schon wieder öffnen kann.
Wenn ich alles grenzüberschreitend verlagern müsste, wäre es ohne Auto natürlich nicht ganz so einfach, aber mit ein bisschen Planung wäre auch das möglich, denke ich.

Wie sieht es denn bei meinen Kolleginnen und Kollegen aus? Seid ihr schon mal zeitweise mit Büro umgezogen? Was habt ihr alles mitgenommen? Und wie habt ihr es organisiert?