[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

[Repost] If you could learn any EU language, which would you learn, and why?

If you could learn any EU language, which would you learn, and why?

Why_learn_a_language

As someone who decided to study Japanese, French and Irish (not the most typical of language combinations), I have always been fascinated by the reasons why people choose to learn certain languages. Because they enjoy the food and culture of the country where the language is spoken? Because their family or friends speak the language? Because speaking the language will get them a better job?

I got the opportunity to formally examine the reasons why people learn languages, language learner motivation, while writing my MA thesis last year. I studied an MA in Conference Interpreting at NUI Galway and throughout the year-long course we were regularly visited by staff interpreters of the EU institutions who came as pedagogical assistants to give us advice and feedback. I was always fascinated by the different language combinations these experienced interpreters had and frankly, envious that the EU institutions encouraged them to learn more languages by providing language classes and leave for study abroad for priority languages. I started to wonder, did staff interpreters learn languages that they were really interested in, or did they learn languages that were in demand and therefore beneficial to their interpreting career?

In order to investigate this question, I drew on research in the field of second language acquisition and, in particular, learner motivation. According to Noels’ self-determination theory, learner motivation ranges from extrinsic orientations of motivation to intrinsic orientations of motivation. According to self-determination theory, there are two general types of motivation, one based on intrinsic interest in the activity per se and the other based on rewards extrinsic to the activity itself (Noels et al 2000, p. 38).

On the extrinsic end of the scale, learners are under external pressure to learn the language; because it is a compulsory subject, they need it for their job, they need to learn it to avoid some negative outcome, etc. On the intrinsic end of the scale, learners want to learn the language out a sense of personal interest and enjoyment. Various orientations of motivation are at work in the case of each individual language learner. However, according to research by Noels, successful learners are more likely to be those who display more intrinsic orientations of motivation.

A person who is intrinsically motivated to perform an activity does so because it is inherently enjoyable and satisfying. In the context of second language acquisition, the learner may be interested in the language and culture, enjoy the sounds and rhythm of the language or simply enjoy acquiring new knowledge and mastering a difficult task. This form of motivation is associated with greater success in second language acquisition (Noels 2001, p. 45).

I set out to test this theory, taking staff conference interpreters who have added another working language as models of successful language learners – after all, knowing a language well enough to interpret it is an example of highly successful language acquisition! I used a self-report questionnaire, which I distributed via email and social media, to gather information about staff interpreters at the European Commission’s DG SCIC who had added another language to their combination since started to work there, and asked them to rank and rate the factors that had influenced their decision to learn the language in question.

61 interpreters responded to the survey. The results of the online questionnaire show that a wide range of languages were added by the participants; 18 out of 24 official EU languages were added by the survey sample; Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Swedish, Polish, Russian, Danish, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Croatian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Maltese and Romanian. Languages added range from very widely spoken languages such as Spanish and English, to minority languages such as Maltese and Irish.

In 87% of responses, interest in the language and associated culture were identified as being either a very important or important factor in the participant’s choice to learn a particular language.

4.6

When asked to rank various factors in order of importance, personal interest was ranked most important in 59% of cases:

4.7.

In 68% of cases, respondents agreed or strongly agreed that enjoying visiting the country/countries where a language is spoken was an important factor in their choice to learn the language in question, and in 68% of cases, respondents agreed or strongly agreed that enjoying the culture of the country/countries where a language is spoken was an important factor.

The survey data showed evidence that the main factor affecting the participants’ decisions to add a working language was intrinsic motivation. However, this was not the only factor at play. Respondents displayed a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, with more motivation from the intrinsic end of the scale playing an important role in the decision to add a working language. Some respondents had an interest in the language they learned but also cited the benefit to their career of another language as a motivating factor. Some respondents chose to learn certain languages not only because they had an interest in the associated culture, but also because of similarities between that language and a language they already knew. High levels of externally regulated orientations of motivation were also identified among some respondents, and some reported feeling pressure to learn another language, but these respondents were a minority. The high level of intrinsically oriented motivation displayed by these successful language learners supports Noels’ theory that intrinsic orientations of motivation are more likely to result in successful language acquisition.

So what can we conclude from this? Well, if you are thinking of learning a language, learn one you are genuinely interested in! You’ll learn Chinese far quicker if you have passion for Chinese culture and an interest in the country, than if you are purely learning it for the career benefits. If you have lots of Croatian friends and you want to be able to speak their language, go for it! If you love travel and want to backpack around South America meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, why not learn Spanish? If you are genuinely interested and intrinsically motivated, learning a language is that little bit easier.

Interpreting Studies and Second Language Acquisition Terms

active language: language into which an interpreter is capable of interpreting (Jones 1998, p. 131).

A language: ‘The interpreter’s mother tongue (or its strict equivalent) into which they work from all their other working languages in both consecutive and simultaneous interpretation’ (AIIC, 2012).

B language: ‘language in which the interpreter is perfectly fluent, but is not a mother tongue. An interpreter can work into this language from one or several of their other working languages, but may prefer to do so in only one mode of interpretation, either consecutive or simultaneous’ (AIIC, 2012c).

C language: language ‘which the interpreter understands perfectly but into which they do not work. They will interpret from this (these) language(s) into their active languages’ (AIIC, 2012).

conference interpreting: interpreting in multilateral communication, for example in international conferences, using either consecutive and/or simultaneous modes of interpreting (Pöckhacker 2004, p. 16).

consecutive interpreting: the interpreter listens to the totality of the speaker’s comments, or at least a significant passage, and then reconstitutes the speech in another language with the help of notes taken during the original (Jones 1998, p. 5).

DG SCIC: Directorate General for Interpretation, also known as DG SCIC. the European Commission’s interpreting service and conference organiser (European Commission, 2013).

interpreting: immediate oral translation of an utterance from one language into another (Pöckhacker 2004, p. 11). 1.

L1 (Also referred to as ‘mother tongue’ or ‘first language’): language or languages that a child learns from parents, siblings and caretakers during the critical years of development, from the womb up to about four years of age (Ortega 2009, p. 5).

L2 (Also referred to as ‘additional language’ or ‘second language’): any language learned after the mother tongue (Ortega 2009, p. 5).

language combination (also referred to as ‘linguistic combination‘): ‘sum of an interpreter’s active and passive languages’ (Jones 1998, p. 133).

passive language: language out of which an interpreter is capable of interpreting (Jones 1998, p. 132).

simultaneous interpreting: the interpreter begins interpreting while the speaker is still speaking. The interpreter is speaking simultaneously to the original, hence the name (Jones 1998, p. 5).

working language: language which an interpreter can interpret into, or out of, or both (Jones 1998, p. 133).

References

AIIC (2012) Working languages (Online). Available at: http://aiic.net/node/6/working-languages/lang/1 (Accessed 07 July 2013).

Deci, L. et al (1991) ‘Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective’, in Educational Psychologist, 26(3 & 4), pp. 325-346 (Online). Available from: http://selfdeterminationtheory.org/SDT/documents/1991_DeciVallerandPelletierRyan_EP.pdf (Accessed 24 July 2013).

Dörnyei, Z. (2001) ‘New themes and approaches in second language motivation research’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, pp. 43-59 (Online). Available from: http://journals.cambridge.org.libgate.library.nuigalway.ie/action/displayAbstract?fromfrom=online&aid=100729 (Accessed 4 July 2013).

European Commission (2013) About DG Interpretation. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/scic/about-dg-interpretation/index_en.htm (Accessed: 03 June 2013).

Jones, R. (1998) Conference interpreting explained. Manchester: St Jerome publishing.

Ortega, L. (2009) Understanding second language acquisition. London : Hodder Education.

Pöchhacker, F. (2004) Introducing interpreting studies. London: Routledge.

Noels, K. (2001) ‘New orientations in language learning motivation: Towards a model of intrinsic, extrinsic and integrative orientations and motivation’, in Dörnyei, Z. & Schmidt, R. (eds) Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, pp. 43-68.

Noels, K. et al. (2003) ‘Why are you learning a second language? Motivational orientations and self-determination theory’, Language Learning, 53 (1), pp. 33-63 (Online). Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libgate.library

Article written by Sarah O’Farrell, translator and terminologist at the Terminology Coordination Unit.

 

Cf. http://termcoord.eu/2014/03/learn-eu-language-learn/

[Repost] A Word, Please: Superstitions of the grammatical kind (by June Casagrande)

A Word, Please: Superstitions of the grammatical kind

By June CasagrandeMarch 4, 2014 | 10:55 a.m.

How time flies.

It seems like just yesterday I was writing a column debunking the myth that it’s wrong to start a sentence with a conjunction.

And it seems like just the day before yesterday that I wrote the same thing. And the day before that, the same thing, going back about 12 years to when I started writing this column, bright-eyed and hopeful that I could make a difference by debunking grammar myths.

Foolish child. Grammar superstitions are a heck of a lot more powerful than I’ll ever be, as evidenced by an email I got recently from a reader named Paul in Venice, Calif. After some introductory matter of an ad hominem nature (“You’re an embarrassment” and the like), Paul proceeded to outline a number of grammar atrocities I committed in a recent column.

I do make mistakes in this column. When I get an e-mail with a subject line like “You’re very disappointing,” I cringe in anticipation of learning that I made an actual, you know, error. Happily, this was not such an instance.

All the mistakes Paul found in my column were his, rooted in a slew of common grammar superstitions. Paul’s biggest beef, judging by the amount of time he dedicated to it, was that I started four sentences with conjunctions.

A conjunction is a joining word that comes in several varieties. The best known are the coordinating conjunctions, the most common of which are “and,” “but,” “or” and “so.” These words coordinate — join — words, phrases or even whole clauses.

A much larger group, subordinating conjunctions, introduce clauses that are subordinate to some other clause in the sentence. For example, “if” is a subordinating conjunction in “If you want me, I’ll be in my room.” The word “if” renders the first clause subordinate, meaning it can’t stand on its own as a complete sentence.

There are other types of conjunctions too. But coordinators are the ones to note because, not only are they the most common, they’re also the subject of a widespread grammar superstition.

Some folks are taught that it’s wrong to start a sentence with one. So the sentence before last, which started with “but,” would be considered an error. So would this one. And this one would too.

Unfortunately for would-be critics too eager to play the “gotcha” game, that’s superstition. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

“There is a widespread belief — one with no historical or grammatical foundation — that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and,’ ‘but’ or ‘so,'” writes the Chicago Manual of Style.

“‘and,’ A. Beginning sentences with. It is a rank superstition that this coordinating conjunction cannot properly begin a sentence,” notes Garner’s Modern American Usage.

“‘but.’ A. Beginning sentences with. It is a gross canard that beginning a sentence with ‘but’ is stylistically slipshod. In fact, doing so is highly desirable in any number of contexts, as many stylebooks have said,” Garner’s adds.

“There is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with ‘and,’ but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial ‘and’ is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues,” notes Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

I wrote Paul back to thank him, explaining that it’s a treat to open an email about mistakes I made and learn that I made none. I even threw in a little free advice for Paul — advice of the “Maybe do your homework before you fire off emails of the ‘You are an embarrassment’ variety.”

But Paul didn’t write back. And I don’t expect him to anytime soon.

JUNE CASAGRANDE is the author of “It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences.” She can be reached at JuneTCN@aol.com.

[Reposted from Veronica] Cf. original piece: “http://bit.ly/1hLEZlf

Machine Translation(s)

The only MACHINE TRANSLATION I accept. ;D

Go Indie!

amnesia

additional musicians:
guy freer – keyboards
katheryn brownhill – violins, backing vocals
jonathan nix – backing vocals
ania freer – backing vocals
marianthe loucataris – drum samples

choose your taker, lips and purse
oh jees you picked one worse
amnesia, here’s your curse

for every new thing that you find
you’re gonna leave something behind

at ease you’re a skipping stone
knock knees you till you’ve grown
amnesia, pick up the phone

for every new thing that you find
you’re gonna leave something behind

and you can dance me round again
till it feels like everything
is getting smaller
and closer up

the same again tomorrow…

amnesia, the wild bore
that’s the cheese you ate before
amnesia, please get out more

for every new thing that you find
you’re gonna leave something behind

and you can dance me round again
till it feels like everything
is getting smaller
and closer up

the same again tomorrow…

goodnight

#perlediunatraduttrice
#translatorsgonnatranslate
#getinspired

Frozen: Sing-along (multilingual session)

Watch “Let It Go” From Disney’s ‘Frozen’

Performed In 25 Different Languages

JAN. 22, 2014

How they managed to get the tones so similar and so lovely is pretty impressive (it almost sounds like they’re all performed by the same girl) — which one is your favorite singer? TC mark

Cf. http://thoughtcatalog.com/sophie-martin/2014/01/watch-let-it-go-from-disneys-frozen-performed-in-25-different-languages/

Errori di adattamento, traduzione e doppiaggio (I)

Il post di oggi è un po’ più leggero rispetto a quelli dei giorni scorsi. [ ndr: ma estremamente più lungo AHAHAHAHAH -.- ]
Nel titolo ho addirittura messo tra parentesi un “I” per darmi un tono. (O tirarmi un po’ su di morale…! Onestamente non ne ho idea!) 😀 😀 😀
Non so se farò altri interventi del genere, ma mi piace pensare che avrò tempo e modo di scrivere anche post divertenti e inserire altre chicche del mondo del cinema, dei telefilm o della letteratura straniera.

[NB: uno l’ho già pronto, forse lo lascerò nelle bozze ancora per un po’…]

Non tutti sanno che sono particolarmente fissata con la saga “Pirati dei Caraibi“. Infatti, ai tempi dell’Università (*sigh* come passa il tempo…) volevo inserire la trilogia (nel frattempo mutata in tetralogia) nel comparto scientifico che avrei utilizzato per l’analisi della mia tesi di laurea triennale sugli errori di traduzione ed adattamento degli script originali nel cinema e nelle serie tv. Purtroppo, l’argomento era troppo vasto e riguardava una materia non curriculare (ndt: “traduzione audiovisiva” era una materia della specialistica e quindi non era attinente al mio piano di studi della triennale), perciò la Professoressa dirottò il mio diabolico piano su altro.

Savvy?
Comprendi?

Infatti, qualche anno dopo, ho “ripiegato” su una tematica diversa. {però questo ve lo racconto un’altra volta…}

Nonostante ciò, non mi sono arresa e ho continuato imperterrita a seguire le mirabolanti peripezie di Captain Jack Sparrow e di quei poveri adattatori che non hanno saputo proprio rendere giustizia alla saga.

La cosa che maggiormente mi ha perplessa e sconcertata – presumibilmente prima sconcertata e poi perplessa – è stata la scelta dei titoli dei vari film che, fin dal primo (datato 2003), ha puntualmente lasciato intendere che NESSUNO si fosse preso il gusto di visionare la pellicola prima di fare l’adattamento.
Ma andiamo con ordine.
Ora, capisco che il genere possa non piacere a tutti e che magari Johnny Depp o Orlando Bloom non siano il prototipo del vostro uomo ideale, così come Keira (biondina e segaligna) non lo sia della vostra “immortale amatissima”; posso anche passare sopra al fatto che, non sapendo dell’avvento del “2” e del “3” (e poi anche del “4” a cui, si vocifera, dovrebbe fare seguito un “5”), per il primo film sia stato omesso il riferimento alla serie “Pirati dei Caraibi”, MA (c’è sempre un ‘ma’) non si può tradurre “[Pirates of the Caribbean:] The Curse of the Black Pearl” (chiarissimo!) con un raffazzonato “La maledizione della prima luna“. Cosa c’era di difficile nel tradurre con un semplice “La maledizione della Perla Nera“? Perla Nera sapeva troppo di soap opera? Lo so, non era abbastanza EPICO. Just for the record: è il nome della nave.
Qui, si potrebbe aprire una parentesi di una 20ina d’anni in cui riprendere concetti trattati e stratrattati sul perché e per come si debba scegliere di tradurre letteralmente un testo oppure cercare di mantenere il senso di ciò che si intendeva nella lingua di partenza, portando il messaggio sullo stesso livello cognitivo dell’audience della lingua di arrivo con scelte linguistiche parzialmente o completamente differenti da quelle di partenza.
Io, personalmente, il film l’ho visto almeno 200 volte e di quella “prima luna” non c’è traccia. Barbossa dice “La luce della luna ci rivela per ciò che siamo in realtà. Siamo uomini maledetti: non possiamo morire, per cui non siamo morti, ma non siamo nemmeno vivi“. Eh. La ‘luna’ c’è (e non ci piove). E la ‘prima’? Mistero!

Crozza_Kazzenger
Kazzenger!

Nel 2006, la storia si ripete. Qui un po’ mi ha pianto il cuore, lo ammetto. Il titolo originale è struggente e al tempo stesso epico nella sua semplicità (once again). Il secondo capitolo della saga, infatti, si intitola “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s chest“. L’adattamento italiano non è riuscito nuovamente a rendere giustizia all’originale. Il film da noi è uscito con il titolo “Pirati dei Caraibi: la maledizione del forziere fantasma“.
Ovvio.
Perché cercare di riprendersi un minimo dal precedente scivolone? Giammai! Meglio continuare con ‘sta storia della ‘maledizione’ che ci piace assai! 😀 E va bene… Dietro a quel “chest” c’è un bellissimo gioco di parole volutamente scelto in inglese per collegare il fantomatico “uomo morto” al “forziere” (e/o al suo “petto”). Nonostante l’adattamento non mi piaccia tantissimo, devo ammettere che il senso della storyline è mantenuto. Il forziere c’è, non è proprio ‘fantasma’, ma Jack Sparrow è alla sua ricerca, perciò lui non sa dove sia e questo è grosso modo il plot del secondo film.

Una chicca estratta da questo capitolo è un errore di adattamento (e doppiaggio). Da quando l’ho individuato, lo posto ovunque.

Errori di (traduzione e) doppiaggio:

[eng/orig. version] Hammer-head shark Pirate: Five men still alive, the rest have moved on.

[trad/doppiaggio] Pirata Squalo Martello: 15 rimasti vivi, il resto è trapassato.

La domanda sorge spontanea: se sullo schermo ci sono 5 attori pronti per essere giustiziati, un dubbio non ti viene?

No, evidentemente no. 😀

large

Devo dire che della [vera] trilogia questo è il capitolo che mi è piaciuto meno, forse perché lascia lo spettatore con moltissimi buchi temporali nella storia, molti interrogativi, qualche intuizione abbozzata a causa dei nuovi personaggi introdotti e, in più, non ha una vera e propria conclusione. [ndr: doveva essere un film “ponte”; un collegamento tra il primo film, di cui non ci si aspettava un così grande successo, e il successivo, la conclusione della saga, su cui c’erano altissime aspettative. Effettivamente è così ‘ponte’ che quando appaiono i titoli di coda non riesci ad alzarti in piedi perché pensi ci sia ancora altro da vedere.]
Veniam perciò al III capitolo uscito nel 2007. L’unico che EFFETTIVAMENTE non ha subito grossi sconvolgimenti a livello di adattamento. Voci che erano trapelate prima della sua uscita avevano dato, come probabili, due titoli differenti, cioè “At World’s End” e “At Worlds End“. Non proprio lievissima la differenza tra le due opzioni. La prima si presta ad un più sottile gioco di parole, mentre la seconda lascia solamente intendere che il capitolo finale vede la fine dei “mondi” [ndr: quali mondi?]. La scelta è poi ricaduta sul primo titolo, che gioca sulla fine del mondo intesa come atto finale di un’Opera, quindi una sorta di resa dei conti, ma anche come luogo ben preciso dove REALMENTE i protagonisti si recano durante il film. [WARNING: major spoiler!!!]

not the best time
Non mi pare il momento migliore! (Elizabeth Swan)

La traduzione in italiano è abbastanza fedele ed infatti il film esce in Italia con il titolo “Pirati dei Caraibi: Ai confini del mondo” che riesce a mantenere parzialmente intatto il messaggio voluto con il titolo inglese. Potrei stare a parlare per dieci ore solo di questo film. E’ in assoluto il mio preferito. 🙂

[*FANGIRLING TIME*]

Keep a weather eye on the horizon...
Tieni gli occhi piantati sull’orizzonte… (Will Turner)

A distanza di 4 anni (è il 2011), esce nelle sale italiane, poi in quelle americane, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides“. Il film è liberamente tratto dall’omonimo romanzo di Tim Powers noto in Italia con il titolo “Mari stregati“. Un lettore/Uno spettatore attento a questo punto ha già fatto 2+2, vero? Il titolo italiano è quindi “Pirati dei Caraibi: Mari stregati“.

HAHAHA... NO.

Questa volta il titolo è stato tradotto con “Pirati dei Caraibi: Oltre i confini del mare“. Evidentemente, un più letterale “[PdC:] Verso acque straniere” o “Su maree sconosciute” avrebbe interrotto la continuità delle scelte linguistiche già applicate alla traduzione ed utilizzare lo stesso titolo del libro avrebbe implicato l’infrazione di qualche diritto d’autore (?). Dunque, la mossa più appropriata è stata – di nuovo – seguire la scia del capitolo precedente. Nasce perciò un collegamento con gli ex “confini del mondo”, con l'”Aqua de vida” segnata sulla mappa,  che porterà Jack Sparrow a navigare su acque straniere, più lontane. Ok. La domanda resta: PERCHé?

WHY?!

Per la mia gioia – e per quella di chi come me si è appassionato alla saga non solo per gli attori e i personaggi, ma anche per le vicende linguistiche che le gravitano attorno – è in preparazione il V capitolo della serie, il cui titolo sarà “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales“. Letteralmente possiamo tradurlo con “[PdC:] Gli uomini morti non raccontano storie” oppure, parafrasando un po’, con “[PdC:] I morti non mentono“. In verità “dead men tell no tales” è un modo di dire anglosassone che significa “dead people will not betray any secrets” e che in italiano suona più o meno come “I morti non tradiscono alcun segreto“.
Sono veramente curiosa di vedere che cosa tireranno fuori dal loro cappello gli adattatori . 😉 L’uscita è prevista per luglio 2015, manca solamente un annetto.

Vi lascio con un video STUPENDO in chiave ironica in cui vengono evidenziati, scena per scena, tutti gli errori in “POTC: The Curse of the Black Pearl“. Io sto ancora ridendo…

P.S.: grazie Wendy per avermi fatto capire che le .gif possono essere estremamente utili! 🙂

Repost: Tips for setting your translation rates, for professional translators.

Tips for setting your translation rates, for professional translators.*

PEEMPIP January 21, 2014 Articles in English, Επάγγελμα: μεταφραστής

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by Popie Matsouka

One of the first difficulties that a professional translator has to face is deciding their rates. Personally, I started researching what the current market rates were before I even finished my studies, and I still believe it is the best strategy. I used to contact other colleagues, my professors, research any available agency website at the time, and ask around, trying to compile a list of what other translators out there were charging for their services. This has proven to be very effective, and it is the strategy I would suggest to you today. Not to mention, I’m still doing it, 10+ years later, just to have a general feeling of the market, and be able to expect client’s reactions.

Nowadays, with the extensive use of the Internet, the use of social media and the massive networks of professionals, it is much easier to do such a thing, and here are a few tips for new professionals who wish to understand better how we charge, and what we charge.

First of all, you have to think of yourself as a small business. Not only will you be charging for your professional services, but what you earn should also cover all your expenses, including living costs, taxes, accounting fees, subscriptions to professional associations, promotion and advertising of your business, computer software and hardware, etc. At the end of each month, you should be able to have something that could be considered a salary, which will cover all your needs. Find out which hourly rate would help you achieve that. Yes, it is not a steady income, being a freelance professional involves that risk unfortunately, but it is an income nevertheless, and only treating it as one will help you evolve.

Most new professionals think that offering lower rates will bring them more clients, which may be true, but what they fail to see is that offering lower rates also diminishes the value of their time and efforts. Furthermore, constantly working with a handful of clients with low rates might prevent you from finding other clients with higher rates. Not to mention that always working with lower rates will most probably make it hard for you to make ends meet. Always keep an eye in the future, and evaluate your relations with your clients based on the long-run. Is booking all your time worth what you might be losing from trying for new clients with higher rates? Are you going to burn out yourself whilst working for low rates, when you could have been working less hours and earning more money? Think about that beforehand.

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In addition, do not be afraid to negotiate. Negotiating is generally expected in all types of business, and negotiating does not make you look unprofessional. Rather the opposite. You should charge what you think you are worth. Not too high to drive yourself out of the market, but not too low either. You can leave a margin, for example to be competitive, but you do not want to look cheap either. Because, let’s face it, some professionals who charge too low make most clients suspect that they do so just because their services are not good enough to justify a higher rate. Or, that they will finish the project they are assigned very quickly and sloppily, just to get more work, because their rates are so low. On the opposite side, charging too high might make your potential client think that you are over-reaching, and unless you are one hundred percent sure of your abilities, they will find some flaw in your work that will make them question you and your professionalism. Discuss with your client the rates you would like to receive and you will see that with dialogue you might earn more than you initially thought to ask for.

One more thing you can do is develop rates for each client individually. Not all clients can offer the same, and not all clients demand the same, so adjust your rates based on who your client is and how much you think they can pay. Offering discounts for steady workflows or large volumes is a good strategy too; negotiate with your client and ask them to send work exclusively to you for a lower rate, but remember that your quality must remain as high as it would be for a higher rate, otherwise you will appear unprofessional and they will not want to work with you again. Also, in that effort, try not to harm your colleagues by offering an extremely low rate, thus “breaking” the market. Even half a cent is a decent offer; think about the general conditions of the market before making your bid.

Also, remember to always ask for the details of a project. Learn before you start working on a project what it involves, try to determine the amount of effort that will be required on your part, the time you will have to spend on it, the difficulties it might present, and then you can set your rate according to what you think is fair. You can even ask for a sample, if there is one available. Remember that, most clients have a background in this industry and are well aware of how much your services will probably cost them, so do not try to be sneaky, just be honest. And, of course, negotiate!

Keep in mind that you do not have to have a set pricelist. You can increase or decrease your rates depending on the client, the project, the type of work you are required to do. But always be honest, it is the best policy. Telling a client that you can lower your rates if they send you more work is not something to be embarrassed of. It’s just good business tactics. Lowering your rates because you are simply afraid is not. Do not ask for a rate change in the middle of a project, it is unprofessional, even if you found out that the project is more difficult than expected. You can mention it to your PM, but simply asking for a higher rate is not polite. And on the flip side, do not be afraid to ask for more, from before beginning the project, if you see that it requires more than what your usual rate covers.

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Finally, know that you can either charge by the hour, or the word, per source or target word, or per 16 pages or any way you want. The parameters vary, the methods vary, and the negotiations between you and your client can influence your decisions. Do some research, decide what you want, ask colleagues and professional associations (like www.peempip.gr, for example, the Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators Graduates of the Ionian University, or any other professional association in your country) about their methods, and you will find what you need.

In general, rates vary significantly. Lately I heard of agencies in Greece offering to freelancers as low as €0.015/source word to translators, which is simply ludicrous and, I dare say, unprofessional. €0.035 is a good place to start, if you are a student and need the experience. From there, you can go as high as you can convince your client to give you, based on your quality, professionalism and experience. A good translator will not easily lower their rates just for the sake of working, because they have put a lot of time and effort in becoming what they are: Good translators. In Greece and in the current market (unfortunately), €0.04 is a decent rate to start and work your way up. Anything lower than that is just a waste of time if you are a professional who values their time, and in my opinion, it only puts a crack in the foundations of what we all want and strive for: fair rates for our good work.

Some examples of methods of charging that I have seen in this industry are listed below. Note that this list is not exhaustive, nor can it be considered a standard, the volumes can vary significantly:

  • Simple Translation -> Per source word, or per page (1 page ≈ 250-300 words).
  • Technical Translation -> Per source word
  • Technical Translation, Software strings -> Per source word or per hour
  • Literary Translation -> Per 16 standard book pages
  • Glossary translation -> 30-35 terms per hour (medium difficulty terminology)
  • Editing (or “Review”) -> Mostly per source word (on the total of words), but sometimes per hour, at a rate of approx. 1000 source words/hour
  • Proofreading -> Per hour, at a rate of approx. 2000 source words/hour
  • QA checks, engineering -> Per hour

LSO (Linguistic sign-off), LQA (Linguistic Quality Assurance), FQA (Formatting Quality Assurance), etc -> Per hour, at a rate of approx. 2500 source words/hour (or 15 pages/hour)

*This is only an informative article. The writer assumes no responsibility for any misunderstandings

Popie Matsouka is currently the Senior Project Manager and Lead Medical Translator and Editor of Technografia. She also holds the position of Quality Assurance Specialist, having specialized in translation and localization QA software technology. She is the resident tech/IT expert, and after having worked as a localization tools trainer, she recently also became a beta tester for SDL Trados Studio. Her education includes being an Apple trained Support Professional, plus a PC/MAC and LAN technician, apart from being a CAT tools expert. She also volunteers for the Red Cross, and is a firm believer that if we all work together we can make a great difference in this world, combining our professional and our personal strengths.

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