[Repost] Word histories: conscious uncoupling (by Simon Thomas)

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Word histories: conscious uncoupling

 

 Simon Thomas blogs at Stuck-in-a-Book.co.uk

Published4 April 2014

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Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (better known as an Oscar-winning actress and the Grammy-winning lead singer of Coldplay respectively) recently announced that they would be separating. While the news of any separation is sad, we can’t deny that the report also carried some linguistic interest. In the announcement, on Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop, the pair described the end of their marriage as a ‘conscious uncoupling’. So… what does that mean?

The phrase was picked up by journalists, commentators, and tweeters around the world. Some called it pretentious, some thought it wise, others simply didn’t know what was going on. Let’s have a look into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and see what we can learn about these words.

Conscious is perhaps the less controversial word of the pair. A look through the Oxford Thesaurus of English brings up adjectives like awaredeliberate,intentional, and considered. But did you know that the earliest recorded use ofconscious related only to misdeeds? The OED currently dates the word to 1573, with the definition ‘having awareness of one’s own wrongdoing, affected by a feeling of guilt’. This sense is now confined to literary contexts, but it was only a few decades before the general sense ‘having knowledge or awareness; able to perceive or experience something’ became common. The idea of it being used as an adjective referring to a deliberate action came later, in 1726, according to the OED’s current research.

The verb uncouple has an intriguing history. The current earliest evidence in the OED dates to the early fourteenth century, where it means ‘to release (dogs) from being fastened together in couples; to set free for the chase’. Interestingly, this is found earlier than its opposite (‘to tie or fasten (dogs) together in pairs’), currently dated to c.1400 in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In c.1386, in the hands of Chaucer and ‘The Monk’s Tale’, uncouple is given a figurative use: ‘He maked hym so konnyng and so sowple / That longe tyme it was er tirannye / Or any vice dorste on hym vncowple.’ The wider meaning ‘to unfasten, disconnect, detach’ arrives in the early sixteenth century, and that is where things rested for some centuries.

The twentieth century saw another couple of uncouples – one of which is applicable to the Paltrow-Martins, and one of which refers to a very different field. In 1948, a biochemical use is first recorded – which the OED defines ‘to separate the processes of (phosphorylation) from those of oxidation’. But six years earlier, an American Thesaurus of Slang includes the word as a synonym for ‘to divorce’, and this forms the earliest example found in theOED sense defined as ‘to separate at the end of a relationship’. Other instances of uncouple meaning ‘to split up’ can be found in a 1977Washington Post article and one from the Boston Globe in 1989.

So, despite all the attention given to the term ‘conscious uncoupling’, people have been uncoupling in exactly the same way as Gwyneth and Chris – and using the same word – since at least 1942. So perhaps not quite as controversial as some commentators suggested.

 

Cf. original: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/04/word-histories-conscious-uncoupling/

[Repost] The Importance of Glossaries (by Omni Tech Trans)

Excerpted from the original post. Cf. : http://blog.omnitechtrans.com/2014/03/27/the-importance-of-glossaries/#

The Importance of Glossaries

By  | March 27, 2014


When you are ready to start the translation process with your chosen LSP (Language Service Provider), make sure that you and your LSP know about the importance of glossaries. Glossaries are different from dictionaries or translation memory. Read on to learn more.

Glossary Related Pitfalls to avoid:

1.        All of sudden, you have giant project with a tight deadline. What you need is a team of translators that can work around the clock, while staying consistent with their translations. With a glossary available, this scenario doesn’t become an “OH NO!” moment. Instead, you’re relaxed knowing that all the important terms that have been added to your glossary will remain consistent throughout the project, despite various translators working on the same project in different time zones.

2.       Months later, your project has several updates but the original translators are no longer available. You’re not worried because with your well-maintained glossary it’s a smooth transition. Terminology and quality are consistent and your chosen LSP is ready to tackle these and any future changes to your materials.

3.       You have document that is littered with acronyms, some of which are even mysteries to you.Acronyms like Acute Pulmonary Edema (APE) make life simpler, but if you have a document that is littered with acronyms it can be a headache to keep track of what each means and their equivalent in 12 other languages without a glossary. A glossary of terms for all the acronyms can save you and your translator’s time.

4.       You have materials that are going to different groups within the company, each with their own terminology for what are essentially the same things. The solution is simple. Glossaries can be made to use across several projects or just one, making them both flexible and accurate for your specific needs.

 

[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] 11 Confusing Words and Common Errors

11 Confusing Words and Common Errors

in Confusing WordsVocabulary

Confusing Vocabulary Words in English

Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

#6 – Meet / Know

Don’t say: “I knew him last year.”

Say: “I met him last year.”

Meet has two meanings:

  • When you have first contact with a person
    “I met him last year”
  • When you will encounter someone you already know. In this case, we often use “meet with” or “meet up with”
    “I’m meeting up with some friends at the bar after work.”

Know has two different meanings/uses:

  • With knowledge and skills in general
    “He knows everything about computers.”
  • With knowing people in general
    “Do you know Janet? She’s in the advanced English class.”
    “No, I don’t think I know her.”

#28 – Wait / Hope / Expect

Don’t say: “I’m waiting my friend to call.”

Say: “I’m waiting for my friend to call.”

Wait = Pass the time until something happens

  • It’s 6:45. I’m waiting for the 7:00 bus.
  • We waited in line for three hours to get tickets to the concert.
  • You need to wait for the computer to finish updating.

Don’t confuse “wait” with hope and expect:

Hope = Want something to happen

  • hope I’ll get a promotion this year!
  • I’m sorry to hear you’re sick. I hope you get better soon!
  • The traffic is very bad today. I hope I won’t be late.

Expect = Believe that something probably will happen.

  • We’re expecting a visit from some clients – they said they would come at 4:30.
  • My boss expects me to arrive on time every day.

#40 – Before / Ago / Back

Don’t say: “I sent the letter two months before.”

Say: “I sent the letter two months ago.”

Or: “I sent the letter two months back.” (informal)

Ago and back are used for past times from the present moment. Before is used for past times from another time in the past. Here are some examples of before:

  • Yesterday I missed my train. I got to the train station at 7:10, but the train had left ten minutes before.
  • I was very happy when I got this job last year, because I had lost my previous job six months before.

#92 – Raise / rise / arise

Don’t say: “The government is going to rise taxes.”

Say: “The government is going to raise taxes.”

Rise means “to go up” or “to increase” – by itself. There is only a subject; there is no object.

  • The sun rises at 6:00 AM.
  • Energy consumption rose 20% this year.

Raise means “to move something to a higher position” or “to increase something,” so there are two entities, the subject (which performs the action) and the object (the thing that is moved or increased):

  • raised my hand to answer the teacher’s question.
    (subject = I; object = my hand)
  • The state is raising the minimum age to get a driver’s license – from 16 to 18.
    (subject = the state; object = the minimum age to get a driver’s license)

Raise can also be used in a more metaphorical sense:

  • He raised some objections to the project proposal.
    (= he expressed the objections)
  • Our baseball team raised money for a local orphanage.
    (= collected money from donations)
  • My parents raised their voices during the argument.
    (= spoke louder)
  • The college is raising the bar for new applicants.
    (= increasing the standards)

Arise is similar to rise, but is more formal and abstract. It can also be used to mean “appear” or “result from”:

  • Several important questions arose during the meeting.
  • I’d like to work in Japan, if the opportunity arises.
  • A new spirit of hope has arisen among the country’s people.
  • Sorry, I’ll need to cancel our appointment. A few problems have arisen.

 

– See more at: http://espressoeng.staging.wpengine.com/english-vocabulary-11-confusing-words-and-common-errors/#sthash.gNZXyAfa.IFJ9UiSr.dpuf

[Repost] Lesson 27: Taking care of a translating brain (by Marta Stelmaszak)

Most of the time I work on shorter and easier to digest projects. I like this mode of work: it’s more dynamic, less boring and equally rewarding. I can translate for some time and spend the rest of it perfecting my work, polishing the surface and rounding up the edges. But larger projects do come in, and keep me engaged for days and days of the same text.

It just happened about 2 weeks ago. I got trapped with the same text for 7 hours a day from Monday to Friday (almost 9 to 5!), and I noticed that my brain starts to slip. It doesn’t happen that often if texts are different, or if you can be more flexible and move your activities around. But how to deal with block translating?

1. Breaks

It was very tempting for me to spend the first couple of hours translating all the time, thinking: the more I manage to translate now, the sooner I’ll finish. Not a great idea. It is much better to take a break every hour and to let your brain breathe for a while. I translated for 55 minutes, and then took a 5 minutes’ long break, closing my eyes and listening to my favourite, soul-brightening Norwegian music. Thinking about green slopes, calm fiords and white sheep… Anything but policies, regulations and penalties for infringement.

2. Water

I used to think that a quick coffee in a morning is a must to start me off. Well, one cup sounds fine. But in my own experience, problems start when you’re trying to stay awake after 2-3 hours of translating slurping yet another large black. Coffee worked against me, leaving my brain fed up and my translating self bored and dumb. Water works much better, with a slice of lemon. Keeping my body hydrated allowed me to keep my hourly turnover steady.

3. Food

I avoid large and heavy on a stomach food anyway, but you may want to try eating light while you work. I usually eat fruit and nuts to get more sugar and energy, instead of eating bread and dairy products. Oh, and… chocolate really helps.

4. Planning

For large projects, I always have a daily planned turnover and I know I have to keep up to translate according to it. Make sure that it is reasonable, and that you’re not left with too much time on your hands. At first, I estimated I’ll translate much slower and I ended up cheating: if I can do it in 5 hours, not 7, I can spend these 2 hours killing time… Wrong. I’m sure that a habit like that would impact my overall capacity and after some time I’d end up translating a half or a third of what I can do now. My best tactics: plan to translate enough to rush a bit. If you have time to check your e-mail or Facebook, that means not enough work. (By the way: checking e-mail during small breaks is a NO GO. Before you realise, you’ll end up wasting away at least half an hour).

5. Exercise

Don’t laugh at me, but I couldn’t work without that. A quick series of stand-ups, or energetic dance (to the very same Norwegian music), or a healthy stretch can do wonders with your levels of concentration. I also try to go to the gym every other day, and I find it really beneficial for my translation work.

6. Diversity

Long projects taking days are mind-bogging. I was getting mad in front of my computer, so I used crime stories and thrillers to exercise my mind. Don’t let your mind get too engrossed in one topic, or you’ll end up completely exhausted and brain dead by the end of the project.

7. Gratification

We’re all only human and we’d do everything for a treat. If you’re struggling with a project and you wish you studied accountancy or law, think of a nice motivational bonus. Sometimes little things work, and sometimes we need massive gratification. I made an official promise that if I manage to keep up with my plan till the end of June, I’m going for my great Scandinavian trip: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Turku, Oslo, and Bergen. Playing Norwegian music in the background reminds me of my bonus. But again, chocolate works almost equally great!

I appreciate this certain stability that long projects provide us with, but I may suffer from a sort of professional over activeness, and I can’t imagine myself translating the same texts for longer than 2 weeks. It becomes too mechanical, taking away my most favourite part. But well, no-one can be too picky nowadays.

How do you take care of your brain? How do you deal with large and heavy projects? Do you have any secrets that keep you carry on for ages?

Cf. original piece: http://wantwords.co.uk/school/lesson-27-translation-brain/

Start your day with a coffee

Around the world in 31 Coffees

 

Coffees - Around the World
Coffees – Around the World

 

There’s always a booming industry everywhere, and the booming, most latest alternative that probably Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber and all your favorite popular stars today are doing right now is: travelling just by coffee. Coffee-hopping! Tasting all the world’s coffee in the comfort of your home! Genius. Here’s its infographic.
Okay, fine. It’s different to actually travel the world. But maybe there’s also something to boast about the fact that you haven’t travelled. Perhaps we are in the age where we understand that the marketing gimmicks no longer work, especially those about how travel changes people, makes them cultured, informs them and makes them ideal citizens. But look at the worst criminals of the world. How many really of them can you say are regular home-buddies? Not much. They’re all travellers. Maybe it’s time to reconsider travelling. Maybe there’s beauty in the awareness that this room right now, this setting, this book you have, with a lady you love, perhaps this is the limit. And there’s comfort in that.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/around-world-31-coffees-0824819#I8llKbXEUJJ18x8z.99
Cf. original: http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/news/around-world-31-coffees/

 

Bedtime Story.

bed
bed

 

bed

I do like the way this word is spelt.
B+E+D: headBoard, mattrEss and footboarD.

#translatorsgonnatranslate
#perlediunatraduttrice

T.G.I.M. (Inspired by Nora Torres – Translartisan)

We are the lucky ones.

T.G.I.M. by Translartisan
T.G.I.M. by Translartisan

Sometimes we forget about the treasure we hold in our hands. It’s easier to complain rather than thank for what we can do everyday. I know, it’s a habit and it’s useless to say, but maybe even harder to accept. I’m sure that anybody is in denial, but it’s a true fact. I usually create ecards about Mondays. So, we complain for our bad Mondays when there are people outside without a job, looking for inspiration, and trying to find their way. Yes, we are freelancers and we face hard times as well; our happiness is closely related to our attitude towards clients, in order to get an assignment.
Eventually, we work. We have a job, something we put a lot of effort in. We are a proud group of people from all over the world; we do what we love; we share our thoughts and fears; we try to help each other (until it’s possible – because I know “we are not alone”, and we live on this planet together with bad creatures, who try to bring us down in many different ways).
Yet, we are a big family living in the social media world. We reply to posts and tweets to feel like we are co-working, all together, in a digital open plan office.
As far as I’m concerned, I feel very lucky, because I’m surrounded by precious ladies and men I can talk to, while I am completing those assignments and managing schedules and agendas.

We are the lucky ones. I want to thank God for my dreadful, but very lucky Mondays.