Create. Make a difference.

 When you feel down and incomplete,

just take your pen, pencil, guitar, mic, trainers, ballet shoes, 

and

CREATE.

Regardless of what you love,
everything you do, can make a difference.

express
Foundations of being a translator.

 

everyday
Every day is the perfect day to start and learn something new. Every day you can make a difference in your life.

#translatorsgonnatranslate
#perlediunatraduttrice
#keepgoing

[Repost] What is language? 8 myths about language and linguistics (by AllThingsLinguistic)

What is language?
8 myths about language and linguistics

 

What is language?

Language is an arbitrary, conventionalized association between a symbol and a meaning: there’s no necessary connection between the meaning of a word and how it’s represented in language (spoken, signed, or written). This idea comes from Saussure.

If there was a necessary connection between symbol and meaning, we would expect there to be only one possible language. Even for domains where there’s a closer link, such as onomatopoeia and the first words that a baby speaks (often mama, baba, papa, dada since these are easy to articulate), there are still differences cross-linguistically. And for other words, such as dog, chien, perro, languages differ even more.

The conventionalization criterion distinguishes language from other, non-linguistic forms of communication, such as body language and gesture. Two monolingual speakers of English are equally likely to produce similar or dissimilar gestures in describing a given situation (such as a ball rolling down a hill) as a monolingual speaker of English and a monolingual speaker of another spoken language, but two speakers of ASL will produce signs to describe that situation in a way that are systematically similar to each other and different from another sign language such as BSL.

What is grammar?

In linguistics terms, your mental grammar is the system of unconscious rules and patterns behind how you speak. It’s what tells you that “the cat sat on the mat” sounds natural in English but not “cat the mat the on sat” (although the equivalent could be fine in another language), or that “blick” could be an English word but no “bnick” or “tlick”. You aren’t formally taught a mental grammar, and it’s not just a list of all the words and sentences you’ve heard, because you can also understand words and sentences that you’ve never heard before:

“Last week a former Royal Marine who is the boyfriend of the model Kelly Brooks crashed into a bus stop while driving a van carrying a load of dead badgers.” (via Language Log)

anti-paper, anti-anti-paper, anti-anti-anti-paper “people who are against people who are against using paper” (etc)

What is a language?

A language like English, French, Japanese, etc. is an accumulation of all the unconscious rules in the brains of all the speakers who can understand each other. Mutual intelligibility is generally how linguists distinguish languages from dialects, although in practice there are also social factors at play. (Hence the quote: “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”). For example, although Swedish and Norwegian are mutually intelligible, they’re spoken in different countries so people often call them languages, while Mandarin and Cantonese are not mutually intelligible at all but are sometimes both referred to as Chinese.

Even with the mutual intelligibility test, there are inevitably going to be some inconsistencies between the mental grammars (idiolects) of various speakers, but there are enough general similarities that we can all understand each other and can thus be said to speak the same language. And although a language exists in the minds of speakers, as a speaker if you just up and decide some day that you’re going to call a pen a “frindle” that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is part of the language, because no one will know what you mean, but maybe if you do it long enough it might eventually spread more broadly. Linguists often study language in just a few individuals because any individual is a representation of how the human mind works with respect to language, even though there is also variation between individuals.

What is linguistics?

Linguistics is the study of human language, as we actually speak it, both in terms of an individual language spoken by an individual person and what that tells us about language in general. Linguists seek to answer questions like: what are the unconscious rules that we use when we speak? And, since no one ever actually taught us these rules, how did we come to learn them?

Myths about language

Myth #1: Children learn to speak through explicit teaching or memorization

Children learn language long before they enter a classroom, just from exposure to it, and they produce language that they couldn’t have ever heard before based on figuring out linguistic patterns. A classic example showing that children figure out patterns in language that they can generalize to unfamiliar data is the wug test, but another source of evidence comes from children’s overgeneralizations of irregular forms. For example, children may produce goed, eated, foots despite the fact that they’ve only ever heard went, ate, feet.

In fact, children may even resist explicit teaching of language, as this example shows:

Child: Want other one spoon, Daddy.
Father: You mean, you want THE OTHER SPOON.
Child: Yes, I want other one spoon, please, Daddy.
Father: Can you say “the other spoon”?
Child: Other … one … spoon.
Father: Say … “other.”
Child: Other.
Father: “Spoon.”
Child: Spoon.
Father: “Other … Spoon.”
Child: Other … spoon. Now give me other one spoon?

Myth #2: Animals have language just like humans

Animals can communicate with each other, but human language is unique for several reasons. Firstly, human language is recursive: sentences can be infinitely long (or as long as your breath/memory will hold out) by embedding one phrase or sentence into another. Some examples from children’s songs: “the branch on the tree and the tree in the hole and the hole in the ground…”, “…she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, and I don’t know why she swallowed the fly…”, “…who lived in the house that Jack built”.

Human language is also creative and productive: you can make sentences and even words that no one has ever heard before (e.g. snowpocalypse, I’m all cookied-out). Finally, human language is more abstract than animal communication: we can talk about past and future and even hypothetical events and entities. Although bee dances can communicate information about food and distances, and dogs can recognize names of toys and even whether you’re happy or angry, neither of them can tell you about how their weekend was or what they’d do if they had a million dollars.

Myth #3: Reading and writing are an essential part of language

Not all languages are written, and language has been around at least a hundred thousand years before any writing. Spoken and sign languages (at least for young children) are acquired naturally and without conscious effort, whereas reading and writing can take years of formal instruction and effort that results in varying levels of proficiency. Writing is also idiosyncratic and doesn’t reflect everything about spoken language (and is often even less accurate for sign languages). Spelling doesn’t change as quickly as speech and is more standardized.

English spelling is also complicated and inconsistent. For example, the sound /i/ can be spelled at least 8 different ways, as in meet, eat, Pete, funny, key, quay, machine, and ceiling. And the symbol “e” can represent at least 4 different sounds, as in pen, game, redo, and the. Even in languages with more logical spelling systems, like Spanish, the spelling doesn’t reflect the whole language because it misses important aspects like prosody (the intonational pattern of a sentence or phrase).

Linguistics looks at the sounds of language and analyzes the words based on their sounds, not their spelling, although “non-standard” spellings can often give clues as to how words were pronounced when we don’t have recordings of speakers.

Myth #4: Some languages/dialects are more complex or better than others

Children learn whichever language they are exposed to at a similar rate (although children exposed to multiple languages may learn each language slightly slower, they will catch up and often exceed their monolingual peers within a few years). What seems “simple” or “complicated” to you as an adult depends on what you already know: for example, if you speak a language that already has tone or case marking or definite/indefinite articles or a tense/lax vowel distinction, these concepts will seem easy to you, but if you haven’t been exposed to them early, these concepts will seem hard.

Languages that are straightforward in one area are often complicated in another area. For example, a language with a rigid system of word order and many prepositions may lack case marking, while a language with many cases may have freer word order and/or fewer prepositions. Another example is that a language with fewer sounds overall is likely to have longer words than a language with many sounds (the number of possible words of length CV is the number of consonants C in the language times the number of vowels V in the language), and languages with less complicated syllable structure tend to be spoken faster.

There’s some evidence that languages that have been learned by a lot of speakers in adulthood are likely to be more isolating, while languages that have predominantly been learned by speakers in childhood are more likely to be more agglutinative/polysynthetic, suggesting that these might be factors in relative ease or difficulty, but children are still equally capable of learning any language and even if we end up finding some differences, this is not evidence for one language being superior. (There are definitely easier and harder writing systems though: English-speaking children, for example, take longer to learn to read andare diagnosed with dyslexia at higher rates than Spanish-speaking children, because the English orthography is far more irregular than the Spanish one.)

Languages or dialects that people think of as “better” reflect a social (and often racist) judgement about who has power or who is considered more important, not anything intrinsic about the language itself (here’s one example).

Myth #5: Languages deteriorate over time

It’s common to think that “kids these days” aren’t talking as well as previous generations, but all living languages change over time and it is not a sign of inferiority: any language at any stage still consists of complex subconscious patterns. Borrowing words also doesn’t make a language inferior or corrupt: all languages borrow, and borrowed words get adapted into the sound system and grammar of the borrowing language.

Myths about linguistics:  

Myth #1: Linguists speak all the languages

Linguists aren’t necessarily polyglots, and a linguistics course will definitely not teach you how to speak all the languages (if only it were that easy!), although an awareness of the diverse features of language may make it somewhat easier to learn languages in the future. Although some organizations such as the military use “linguist” to refer to people who speak multiple languages, this is not the same as an academic/theoretical linguist. For more, see Why linguists hate being asked how many languages they speak.

Myth #2: Linguists correct/criticize how people talk

Linguists analyze language how it exists, not how some people wish it exists: for a linguist to tell someone that they’re speaking wrong is like a biologist telling a bird that it’s singing wrong. You may be thinking of grammar mavens, editors, and/or lexicographers, although many editors and pretty much all lexicographers are actually quite tolerant about this kind of thing and only give feedback when asked. For more on the interplay between prescriptivism and copyediting, see this post.

Myth #3: Linguistic/grammar rules include things like don’t split infinitives, don’t use ain’t

Linguists analyze the part of grammar that is automatic and generally subconscious. Grammar rules that you have to be taught in English class or a style guide are:

a) Often about spelling/punctuation, not the structure of the language, and we’ve already established that writing doesn’t reflect the full language anyway

b) Often based on the misapplication of Latin grammar to English by 18th or 19th century grammarians (for example, the confusion about “you and me” vs “you and I”)

c) Often modelled on the speech of people who have historically had power (rich old white men).

None of these are particularly relevant to answering the question of how language in both its diversity and commonality came to exist in the human mind: linguists analyze what people actually do when they’re speaking, not what they or someone else thinks they should do.

 

Cf. original: http://allthingslinguistic.com/post/82231926822/what-is-language-8-myths-about-language-and

Affirmation.

Today, I want to share with you one of my favourite songs, back to 1999.
I draw inspiration from the lyrics.  Who else remembers this song? 🙂

 

 Music by Savage Garden

 

 Lyrics by Daniel JonesDarren Hayes

“Affirmation”

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye 
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
[repeat ]

 

 

[Repost] A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction (by James Clear)

A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop I found, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life.

Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. In fact not being able to say no, is one of the most biggest downfalls that successful entrepreneurs claim as their own key mistakes.

But how do we actually get past the urgencies of everyday life and avoid distraction, so that we can focus the things that are really important to us?

It seems like a big task, I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, research is starting to show that even small changes can make a significant impact for a better way of saying no. In fact, here’s one change you can make right now that will make it easier for you to say no, resist temptation and improve your productivity and your health:

How to Say No: Research Reveals the Best Way

In a research study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 120 students were split into two different groups.

The difference between these two groups was saying “I can’t” compared to “I don’t.”

One group was told that each time they were faced with a temptation, they would tell themselves “I can’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I can’t eat ice cream.”

When the second group was faced with a temptation, they were told to say “I don’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I don’t eat ice cream.”

After repeating these phrases, each student answered a set of questions unrelated to the study. Once they finished answering their questions, the students went to hand in their answer sheet, thinking that the study was over. In reality, it was just beginning.

As each student walked out of the room and handed in their answer sheet, they were offered a complimentary treat. The student could choose between a chocolate candy bar or a granola health bar. As the student walked away, the researcher would mark their snack choice on the answer sheet.

Here’s what happened:

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Makes sense right? Now the findings didn’t stop there, here is what happened next:

How the “Right Words” Make It Easier to Say No

The same researchers were also interested in how the words “can’t” and “don’t” affect our willingness to say no when faced with repeated temptations and distractions. After all, most of us can turn down a candy bar once, but eventually we slip up. Similarly, you might be able to focus on your work when you’re pressed for time, but what about avoiding unproductive behaviors on a daily basis?

In other words, is there a way to say no that makes it more likely that we’ll stick to good habits and avoid bad ones? You bet!

The researchers designed a new study by asking 30 working women to sign up for a “health and wellness seminar.” All of the women were told to think of a long–term health and wellness goal that was important to them. Then, the researchers split the women into three groups of 10.

Group 1 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals they should “just say no.”This group was the control group because they were given no specific strategy.

Group 2 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “can’t” strategy. For example, “I can’t miss my workout today.”

Group 3 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “don’t” strategy. For example, “I don’t miss workouts.”

For the next 10 days, each woman received an email asking to report her progress. They were specifically told, “During the 10–day window you will receive emails to remind you to use the strategy and to report instances in which it worked or did not work. If the strategy is not working for you, just drop us a line and say so and you can stop responding to the emails.”

Here’s what the results looked like 10 days later…

  • Group 1 (the “just say no” group) had 3 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 2 (the “can’t” group) had 1 out of 10 members who persisted with her goal for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 3 (the “don’t” group) had an incredible 8 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.

The words that you use not only help you to make better choices on an individual basis, but also make it easier to stay on track with your long–term goals.

Why “I Don’t” Works Better Than “I Can’t”

Your words help to frame your sense of empowerment and control. Furthermore, the words that you use create a feedback loop in your brain that impacts your future behaviors.

For example, every time you tell yourself “I can’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that is a reminder of your limitations. This terminology indicates that you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do.

In comparison, when you tell yourself “I don’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that reminds you of your control and power over the situation. It’s a phrase that can propel you towards breaking your bad habits and following your good ones.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is the director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University. Here’s how she explains the difference between saying “I don’t” compared to “I can’t”:

“I don’t” is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. It’s an affirmation of your determination and willpower. “I can’t” isn’t a choice. It’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking “I can’t” undermines your sense of power and personal agency.

In other words, the phrase “I don’t” is a psychologically empowering way to say no, while the phrase “I can’t” is a psychologically draining way to say no.

How You Can Apply This To Your Life

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.
—Leonardo Da Vinci

There are situations everyday when you need to say no to something. For example, the waiter who offers you a dessert menu… or the urge to skip a workout and stay home… or the distracting call of texts, tweets, and updates when you should be focusing on something important.

Individually, our responses to these little choices seem insignificant, which is why we don’t make a big deal about telling ourselves that we “can’t” do something. But imagine the cumulative effect ofchoosing more empowering words on a consistent basis.

“I can’t” and “I don’t” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions. They aren’t just words and phrases. They are affirmations of what you believe, reasons for why you do what you do, and reminders of where you want to go.

The ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also for your daily productivity and mental health.

To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. Which one would you prefer?

About the Author: James Clear is an entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 18 countries. He writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses proven research and real-world experiences to share practical ideas for living a healthy life. You can get new strategies for sticking to healthy habits, losing weight, gaining muscle, and more by joining his free newsletter.

About the Author

James Clear

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses behavior science to help you master your habits and improve your health. For useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, join his free newsletter. Or, download his free guide: Transform Your Habits.

[Repost] If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker (by Lana Winter Hébert)

If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker

LEISURE LIFESTYLE OCTOBER 9 BY 

 Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often:

1. A Chip on Your Shoulder

No, this doesn’t mean that you’ve dropped part of your snack. To have a chip on one’s shoulder implies that the person is carrying around some grudge or bad feelings about something that happened in the past… like having walked through the wreckage of a building, and ended up with a chip of that building stuck to them for years afterward.

2. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Like taking a HUGE bite of a sandwich that will fill your mouth up so much that you can’t move your jaw, this idiom implies that you’ve taken on more than you can handle successfully. An example would be agreeing to build ten websites in a week when normally you can only handle five.

3. You Can’t Take It With You

You can’t take anything with you when you die, so don’t bother hoarding your stuff or not using it except for “special occasions”. Live now, because all your stuff is going to be around long after you’re gone.

4. Everything But the Kitchen Sink

This implies that nearly everything has been packed/taken/removed. For instance, if someone said: “The thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink!” it meant that they took everything they could carry; it’s damned hard to remove a sink and carry it around.

5. “Over My Dead Body”

When the only way you’ll allow something to happen is if you’re no longer alive to stop it.

6. Tie the Knot

To get married. This is left over from the old tradition of handfasting, wherein the hands of the bride and groom would be tied together with a length of ribbon to symbolize that their lives were fastened together permanently.

7. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Things aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance, so it’s a good idea to give something a chance, even if its outward appearance isn’t immediately attractive.

*The exception to this might be actual books that have hideous covers: those tend to be terrible all around, and in cases such as these, it’s best to contact the author or publisher and recommend a good graphic designer.

8. When Pigs Fly

This means “never”. Pigs aren’t about to sprout wings and take flight anytime soon, so if someone says to their kid that they can get a forehead tattoo when pigs fly, it’s not gonna happen.

9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots

Basically: you are who you are. Just like a leopard can’t concentrate really hard and change the pattern on its skin, people can’t change who they really are at heart.

10. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

To freely show and express all of your emotions, as though your heart were on the outside of your body.

11. Bite Your Tongue!

Stick your tongue between your teeth (gently), and then try to speak. You can’t say a word, can you? To bite one’s tongue means to stay quiet: literally to hold the tongue still so it can’t make a sound. This goes along with:

12. Put a Sock In It

The idea behind this is that if you stuffed a sock in your mouth, you’d be quiet… so if you tell someone to “put a sock in it”, you’re telling them to shut up.

13. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If a couple of dogs had been fighting and are now sleeping peacefully, it’s best to just leave them alone. The idea behind this one is to avoid bringing up old arguments so they’ll just be argued about again.

14. Foam at the Mouth

To hiss and snarl in anger like a rabid dog (whose mouth would be foamy as he jumps around like crazy and tries to bite people).

15. A Slap on the Wrist

A very, very mild punishment. To be slapped on the wrist doesn’t hurt much, and isn’t a deterrent from misbehaving again.

16. You Are What You Eat

This is the idea that everything you eat influences your health and well-being. If you eat nothing but junk food, you’ll end up unhealthy and malnourished, so be sure to eat a well-balanced diet.

17. “It’s a Piece of Cake!”

…meaning that it’s incredibly easy. No-one has a difficult time eating a piece of cake, do they?

18. It Takes Two to Tango

A person can’t dance the tango alone, nor can they fight by themselves either. If an argument has occurred, there were two people involved, so two were responsible.

19. Head Over Heels

To be incredibly excited and joyful, particularly with regard to being in love. Imagine someone so happy that they do cartwheels down the street: like that.

20. An Arm and a Leg

When something is so ridiculously expensive that you might have to sell your own body parts in order to afford it, it’s said to cost “an arm and a leg”.

Featured photo credit: Opened book with letters flying out of it on bright background via Shutterstock

I love my job, but… [Repost] How to Succeed in Business Without Becoming a Workaholic (by Jennifer Winter)

Lately, I have been feeling really tired. I am working a lot, trying to achieve some aims I scheduled (it is a very urgent agenda). I am caught between being a good linguist (as a translator and researcher – studying and practicing language, and yet discovering the world of social media) and a woman (attending zumba dance classes, going shopping, singing, baking and so on).
My daily routine is corrupted. Trust me, I barely find the courage to collect all my energies (or maybe the remainder of them) to stand up from my chair and go eat something.
But, I DO love my job. I love what I do for a living, and I want to survive this.
I am still trying to find inspiration surfing the Net.
I found a very useful article, and I want to share it with you.

Enjoy!

#translatorsgonnatranslate
#keepgoing

 

How to Succeed in Business Without Becoming a Workaholic

Work_surrender
IMAGE: MASHABLE COMPOSITE. ISTOCK, THEWET
Square_logo_full_name
I watched Wolf of Wall Street recently, which inspired several flashbacks to my days in finance, working in the pit for a large bank. Seeing those crowded trading desks and excited sales traders reminded me how hard most of those people worked to try to get ahead.Probably too hard.

While I’m sure many firms dealing on Wall Street did their fair share of after-hours partying, I never saw it. Mostly because it seemed that hardly anyone ever left the office long enough to get up to much mischief. The first people in the office were almost always among the last to leave, and I remember witnessing more than a few contrite phone calls to spouses and loved ones, as my co-workers canceled on yet another dinner, birthday party, or family vacation. Sure, there was probably a lot of money on the table, but was working 18-hour days really the way to success?

Fortunately, I have also worked with a few successful people throughout my career who managed to keep climbing the corporate ladder without stomping all over their personal lives in the process. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from them over the years on how to achieve success at work—without selling your soul.

Lesson #1: Gain a loyal following

Having co-workers, employees, or team members you can turn to at work is great for a lot of reasons—but it’s also an ideal strategy for helping you accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Take one of my old bosses, for example. She had worked for the firm for over a decade and knew everyone’s job inside and out. She was a great mentor and easy to work with, and she always came to bat for us when we needed her.

As a result, the team was fiercely loyal to her. If one of us saw her staying late, we’d ask her how we could help, so she could go home. If she had to give a presentation or leave town for a conference, a handful of us would jump to help her prepare or cover her workload while she was out. The team was so loyal to her that she rarely had to ask us to do anything—we almost always offered first. As a result, we were one of the most efficient, successful teams in our division, and no one had any doubt it was due, in large part, to our fearless leader.

Having loyal employees who will go above and beyond to help you is something you couldn’t achieve on your own, no matter how many nights and weekends you worked. Yes, you’ll have to put in some extra hours and effort up front, but once you’ve proven yourself to your team, their loyalty will already begin to pay dividends.

Lesson #2: Outsource

This concept is nothing new, but for those of us with specific ideas on how a job should be approached, it’s a difficult one to put into practice. But, ignore the benefit of outsourcing (or delegating) and you’ll quickly find yourself burning the midnight oil.

Take my boss, a few years back, as a cautionary example. He was a perfectionist and had high standards for the work our team produced. Those high standards naturally rubbed off on the rest of the team, and before long, we were fully capable of performing all our duties to the highest standard. Unfortunately, our boss had a difficult time letting go and would often micromanage us so severely that he eventually just took over our projects himself. By the time he was finished, he was behind on his own work.

Thankfully, my boss eventually realized he had to start letting go. He started out by delegating the tasks he knew he couldn’t finish, and before long, he was comfortable outsourcing larger projects. Once the work was more evenly distributed, he was happier at work—and finally had the time to actually manage the team.

If you’re starting feel like your work is taking over your entire life, it’s probably time to start thinking about outsourcing some of your responsibilities. Start with smaller tasks, and gradually add more responsibility as you become comfortable with the results. Just make sure you don’t micromanage the process, and before you know it, you’ll have more time to focus on your professional growth—and, you’ll be a lot happier at work.

Lesson #3: Make a “to-do” and a “done” list

I’ve always been a big fan of lists, and they’re an especially important ingredient for attaining workplace success while minimizing your workload.

Not only do lists help you keep track of what you need to accomplish, but they’re also a great historical record of what you’ve achieved. I’ll never forget a conversation I was having with a boss years ago, when he admitted he didn’t really know what I did on a daily basis. I politely excused myself and ran to my desk and grabbed my trusty notebook. When I returned, we sat down, and I flipped through over a year’s worth of daily lists, detailing everything from large, long-term projects to daily deadlines. He was impressed with how much more I was doing, and when our year-end comp discussion rolled around a few months later, I had no objections to the raise I had asked for.

Lists will keep you organized and on track when you’re overloaded with work, but more importantly, they’ll serve as a historical record of how awesome you are. And when you can point to a list that shows exactly what you’ve accomplished—well, then you’ll have to worry less about making sure your boss knows you’re clocking 12 hours each day.

Lesson #4: Redefine “success”

One of the saddest sights I’ve seen in my career is of an executive holed up in her office late at night on a Friday before a long weekend. There was no doubt she’d become a massive success at work—but, well, that was about it. She worked tirelessly and never allowed herself any time for fun or relaxation. As a result, she was perpetually tired, and as far as the rest of the team could tell, she no longer loved the job she’d sacrificed so much for.

On the flip side, there was her colleague we’ll call Betty. Betty was just as successful, however, she made a point to create and uphold strict work-life boundaries. During working hours, Betty was a machine. But, when quitting time rolled around, she was out the door and never looked back. Management respected her efficiency, her team loved working for her, and her family still recognized her face.

In my book? Betty got it right. You probably can’t enjoy your job if you’re overworked and exhausted—and the more you enjoy your work, the better you’ll be at your job. If you set boundaries, have a life outside of work, and take time to recharge whenever you can, you’ll likely find you’re much more productive—and successful—from 9 to 5.

Success comes at a price, there’s no doubt about it. But, how you pay that price is up to you. Follow these tips, and you’ll find success is well within your reach, and you’ll still have the health and energy to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

 

This article originally published at The Daily Muse here

The Daily Muse

The Daily Muse is a Mashable publishing partner that offers career advice for the digital world. This article is reprinted with the publisher’s permission.

[Repost] Social Media Terminology for Any Social Media Plan (by Yasheaka Oakley)

Social Media Terminology for Any Social Media Plan

For your convenience, this list of social media terms used in reporting and measurement will be updated when new standards are released from credible resources that specialize in research, measurement standardization, and training for public relations and marketing professionals, such as (but not limited to) the Coalition for Public Relations Research, the Institute for Public Relations, and other industry leaders.

You may be familiar with some of these terms if you use social media channels, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ or LinkedIn for business purposes. Using these terms or similar terms can help small businesses or nonprofit organizations gain a basic understanding of social media reporting, and it is suggested that professionals interested in public relations, social media, and marketing become familiar with them, and empower their clients to understand the importance of metrics other than “Likes” and “followers,” so please feel free to bookmark this page and revisit this list often as updates become available.

Items
An item of content is a post, micro-post, Tweet, article, or other instance appearing for the first time in a digital medium.

Total Count
Used to identify instances where data is based on the total / aggregated amount of occurrences.

Unique Users
Used to identify instances where data is based on an individual user, visitor, or recipient of an item or specific content.

Mention
A mention refers to a specific reference in an item of a brand, organization, campaign, or other entity that is being measured or analyzed.

Target Audience
A specific group of consumers from your target market that is being targeted during a specific campaign. The target audience can be the same as a brand’s target market, but a target audience can be more defined to include demographics and segmentation criteria, such as: age, location, gender, income level, education level, ethnic background, lifestyle, etc.

Engagement
This term addresses the questions of how many individuals were exposed to an item and then took some additional action. Engagement is defined as some action beyond exposure and typically occurs in response to an item published on an owned channel. This metric could be related to clicks, likes, comments, shares, votes, +1s, retweets, video views, content embeds, etc.

Reach
This term addresses the number of individuals that might have been able to see, read, or hear a communications item. It represents the total number of unique users who had an opportunity to see an item or a valid reproduction of that item across digital media. Includes the number of people who visited your page, or saw your page, or one of its posts in news feed or ticker. These can be people who have liked your Page and people who haven’t. (Unique Users)

Impressions
The number of people who might have had the opportunity to be exposed to a story that has appeared in the media. Impressions are also known as an “opportunity to see” (OTS) and do not equal awareness since it relates to the number of times and item was displayed or the number of individuals who may have viewed or been exposed to an item and isn’t based on an action taken by the message recipient. Includes the number of times your posts were seen in news feeds or ticker or on visits to your page. These impressions can be by people who have liked your page and people who haven’t. (Total Count)

Page Stories
The number of stories created about your Facebook page. (Total Count)

Total Likes
The total number of people who have liked your Facebook page. (Unique Users)

Suggested Reading

  • PRSA | Social Media and Digital Media Measurement Standardization
  • HubSpot | The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained

Image via

Cf. original: http://yoakleypr.com/wp/social-media/social-media-terminology/#.U0uTcPl_s-E

Yasheaka Oakley

With years of experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, Yasheaka Oakley is the owner of YOakleyPR, a woman-owned small business that provides public relations, social media, and online marketing support services to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware.

More Posts – Website

[Repost] Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation (by Nataly Kelly)

Nataly Kelly

Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation

Posted: 06/13/2012 11:06 am

 

1. Translation is a small, niche market. The global market for outsourced language services is worth more than US$33 billion in 2012. The largest segment of the market is written translation, followed by on-site interpreting and software localization. The vast majority of these translation services are provided by small agencies — there are more than 26,000 of them throughout the world. These companies coordinate translation projects in multiple languages simultaneously, often involving many different file types, processes, and technology tools. The words themselves are translated and interpreted by the hundreds of thousands of language professionals scattered all across the globe. Many translators and interpreters also have direct clients, but most are freelancers whose work comes from agencies.

2. The need for translation is fading away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsestimates that there will be 83,000 jobs for interpreters and translators by 2020 in the United States alone. This job market is expected to grow by 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, significantly higher than the average of 14 percent for all professions. Data from Common Sense Advisory shows that globally, the market has a compound annual growth rate of 12.17 percent.

3. Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations. Literary translation and conference interpreting are two of the most visible specializations, but they actually represent very tiny segments of the market at large. Who are the biggest translation spenders? Military and defense agencies spend the most on translation, with the United States routinely spending billions on language services for defense and intelligence initiatives. On the commercial side, some of the largest segments of the translation market are manufacturing, software, health care, legal, and financial services. As a result, freelancers often work in these specialty areas — as financial translators, medical interpreters, legal translators, and court interpreters.

4. Any bilingual can be a translator or an interpreter. The ability to write in English does not make a person a professional writer. The ability to speak English does not make a person a professional speaker. Likewise, the ability to write or speak two languages does not mean that a person can translate or interpret. Plenty of people who are perfectly fluent in two languages fail professional exams for translation and interpreting. Why? Being bilingual does not guarantee that a person will be able to transport meaning from one language and culture to another without inflicting harm in the process. Most translators and interpreters are highly educated, with advanced degrees and training in either translation, linguistics, or a specialty field. Also, while not mandatory, professional certifications are widely recognized and strongly encouraged. In the U.S., translators are certified by the American Translators Association, and a variety of certifications exist for interpreters.

5. Interpreters and translators do the same thing. The all-encompassing term that the general public uses to refer to language professionals is “translators,” but the reality is that translators and interpreters have very different job skills. Translation refers to written language, while interpreting refers to spoken language. Translators must have great writing skills and training in translation, but they must also be adept at using computer-assisted translation tools and terminology databases. Interpreters, on the other hand, have to develop their short-term memory retention and note-taking skills as well as memorizing specialized terminology for instant recall.

6. Translators and interpreters work in more than two languages. One of the most common questions translators and interpreters are asked is, “How many languages do you speak?” In reality, many translators work in only one direction — from one language into another, but not in the reverse. For translators and interpreters, it is better to have in-depth knowledge of just two languages than to have surface-level knowledge of several. Why? Of approximately one million words in English, the average person uses only 4,000 to 5,000 words on a regular basis. People who are “educated” know between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The professions with the widest vocabulary, such as doctors and lawyers, use about 23,000 words. Interpreters and translators who work for these specialized professions often use this kind of advanced technical vocabulary in two languages. Some translators and interpreters do work in more than one language combination — for example, conference interpreters often have several “passive” languages that they can understand. However, translators and interpreters are not usually hyperpolyglots.

7. Translation only matters to “language people.” The need for translation crosses both the public and private sectors. In the business world, executives at companies of all sizes are beginning to recognize that translation is a pathway to enabling more revenue and entering new markets. A recent study found that Fortune 500 companies that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue. Also, government bodies are increasingly taking an interest in translation. Indeed, even those involved in development and non-profit work need to pay attention to translation. A report on translation in Africa conducted for Translators without Borders in May 2012 showed that greater access to translated information would improve political inclusion, health care, human rights, and even save lives of citizens of African countries.

8. Crowdsourcing puts professional translators out of work. As online communities have become more popular, so has something called “crowdsourced translation.” This phenomenon typically emerges when online community members get excited about a product and want to use it in their native languages. Sometimes, these customers and fans even begin creating their own translations and posting them in user forums. Instead of leaving their customers to pontificate on the best translations amongst themselves, smart companies are giving these communities the ability to easily suggest their translations. Are companies harnessing the work of these volunteers to obtain free labor? Actually, as the research shows, saving money is not a primary motivation — setting up these kinds of platforms can cost companies more time and money than just paying for traditional human translation. They typically pay human translators and translation companies to edit the group-translated content anyway, but they believe the collective approach gives power directly to customers and users, enabling them to have a say in which translations they like best.


9. Machine translation is crushing the demand for human translation. 
The opposite is true. Machine translation is actually expanding the demand for human translation and fueling the market at large. How? Machine translation — especially the free online kind — serves as an awareness campaign, putting translation squarely in front of the average person. Translating large volumes of information is never free — it comes at a cost, even with machine translation. Machine translation technology and related services make up a tiny percentage of the total translation market. Of course, machine translation can achieve some feats that humans cannot, such as quickly scanning large bodies of text and provide summaries of the information contained within them. However, as with most technologies, humans are needed to use machine translation intelligently. As Ray Kurzweil points out, technologies typically don’t replace whole fields — rather, they more often help fields to evolve.

10. All translation will someday be free. The translation and interpreting industry adds tens of thousands of new jobs to the global economy each year and there is no slowdown in sight. Translators and interpreters are extremely important members of this industry — in fact, they are the very heart of it. However, much like other professional service industries, the translation industry also relies on countless other professionals: project managers, account managers, vendor managers, production managers, schedulers, trainers, quality assurance teams, proofreaders, desktop publishing professionals, engineers, product managers, salespeople, marketers, technicians, and even people who work in procurement, human resources, billing, and IT. Research from Common Sense Advisory shows thatdemand for translation is outpacing supply — so if anything, human translators are becoming even more important. However, they are part of a much larger ecosystem, one that keeps global business churning and international communication flowing.

Follow Nataly Kelly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/natalykelly

[Repost] Six Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Translator (by Dana Shannak)

Six Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Translator

Freelance translators work hard, but sometimes feel that their productivity is slipping for one reason or another. These are routines that I find help me to be more productive:

  1. Sufficient sleep. People need different amounts of sleep to function at their best. I find that if I am tired, I don’t work as quickly and efficiently as I do when I’m fully rested. Listen to your body, and make sure that you’re getting the correct amount of sleep. Remember that exercise helps your body to sleep, so spend a certain amount of time each day doing your favorite workout. One way to make sure that your brain is ready to rest is to feel that you’re in control of your work situation. Deciding at the end of the day what you’re going to do the next day helps. Which brings us to the next productivity tip.
  2. To-do lists. Setting goals is an extremely important part of freelance translation work. These goals may be how much money you need to earn per day/week/month or how many words you want to translate per hour/day. Once you know your goals, draw up your to-do list, breaking it into manageable sections. For example, before I tackle a job, I will do any research required—my to-do list entries state “research” and “translate.” Obviously, all translators have different goals and to-do lists, but the general idea is the same.
  3. Prioritization. Deadlines rule the lives of freelance translators. Usually, you’ll have jobs due at different times, so it’s important to work on them according to due date, rather than starting with the tasks that you prefer doing. I adore translating press releases, but I also do other types of translation work, so I have to be disciplined and make sure I don’t favor one over the other.
  4. Sprint short distances. Take breaks during the day when you start to tire. The human mind can only absorb so much information at a time and the body needs fuel to keep it going. Fifteen minute breaks for some fresh air, a beverage and snack, or to move away from your work station does wonders, and you’ll be able to work faster and increase your productivity when you return to the task in hand.
  5. Learn to say “No.” Discernment about jobs comes with experience. If a job offer raises red flags such as the amount of time allowed or the rate of pay being too low, then don’t take on that work. It’s all right to refuse work—if it’s for a regular client, it’s likely that they will be prepared to negotiate timing and fees.
  6. Rewards. It’s sometimes a good motivator to give yourself rewards when you’re working. Things like checking out social media and personal emails can be a good reward. Or, you may prefer rewards such as playtime with your pet or a walk in the park. Once you’ve finished a large job, taking time out to watch a movie or spending a morning with friends is great. In other words, pick a reward that will motivate you and aim to get there!

Some tips from other translators:

I wake up very early in the morning because it’s the quietest time of day. I can focus better and nobody is emailing me constantly. I enabled the pop-up feature of Gmail and it annoys me more than anything else because it breaks my concentration, although sometimes it’s handy for urgent matters.

Mar Saumell from MS Translation & Localization 

Creating and updating my glossaries (French, English, Spanish, Italian). Listening to the news in French, English, Spanish, and Italian. Reading a little bit (subjects/areas of interest, and articles in my field/industry-translation and consecutive interpreting), networking online and off-line.

 Nellie Anne Kafui Adaba

 

I’d love to hear your ideas about how you increase your productivity as freelance translators, so feel free to add your comments below.

Read more: http://www.danatranslation.com/index.php/dana-translation-blog/98-six-ways-to-increase-your-productivity-as-a-translator#ixzz2yqQgGXSB
Follow us: @DanaTranslation on Twitter

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