[Repost] The Backstabbing Translator (by Konstantinos Stardelis)

Previously shared on twitter by Valentina Ambrogio (Rockstar Translations)

The Backstabbing Translator

Dream a Little Dream of Me (as a fish)

I recently had a dream that really freaked me out.

I was a fish, swimming in a stream running through a cavern. It was dark and the water felt strange to me. I couldn’t quite place it, but I didn’t feel comfortable being there. I knew that I entered the stream to get someplace, but I remember having a feeling of being stuck in it for a long time; longer than what I had believed when I got there.

Looking around me, I saw countless other fish squirming about, their movements screaming a lack of direction and purpose, their eyes filled with confusion and hostility. I could make out some of them sharing colours and patterns in their appearance, as if within the thousands that surrounded me, there were groups that belonged to the same kind. They were certainly not together, however, as each fish snapped at whichever one got close to it.
After hours and hours of swimming in the seemingly endless, dark stream, we reached an opening where we could move more freely; and up ahead, I could see a single point of light shining through the water. I instantly knew that it was the way out, but, apparently, so did the rest of them. We all swarmed to the exit, seconds away from escaping the illusory freedom of the never-resting body of water. Just as I reached the threshold and saw a wondrous, vast ocean stretching across the opening, promising a wonderful, joyous life without worries, I felt something pushing me aside and hundreds of tiny little teeth having a go at my scaly flesh.

Instead of working together to escape the stream, the fish began attacking and pushing each other out of the way, trying to get out first. The opening was not going anywhere and we certainly could all get through, if everyone remained calm and realized that there were no enemies amongst us. We were all after the same thing, and we could all get it!

I gasped my way out of the dream, sitting up on the bed, and left with the lingering, suffocating sensation of being stuck inches from my goal and unable to comprehend the aggressive nature of my fellow swimmers.

 The Backstabbing Translator

Okay, you get my point with the metaphor, so I won’t bother with explaining the specifics.

In the past five years, quite a few times, I’ve had to deal with fellow translators acting like I’m out to pillage their home, rape their wife and mangle their sweet Persian cat.

I was recently contacted by a translation agency, dealing mostly with medical/pharmaceutical translations. They agreed to a pretty good rate (upwards of 12 eurocents) and requested a couple of samples from previous translators I’d performed.

I sent them two samples; a part of a clinical trial protocol I had recently translated, and a part of a SPC I had translated (AND performed the final QC), quite some time ago. Keep in mind that the SPC has been published by the EMA and is currently running wild in the market!

I heard back from them a couple of days later, and to my surprise, the vendor manager informed me that the SPC sample had been found wanting. She sent me the evaluation copy with the proofreader’s comments (one of their long-term freelance translators in my language pair) included.

I was nine parts mad and one part amused, as I opened the file and immediately had to cover my eyes to avoid (permanent) blindness, from the sheer amount of bright pink tracked changes in the file. Apparently, the person responsible for evaluating my sample changed pretty much every single word that could be expressed in a different way. Even standard QRD terms and formatting instructions specific for that template version couldn’t escape his/her mighty, pink, digital marker.

Having the aforementioned analogy completely reversed in my head, I wished the agency good luck and didn’t break a sweat.

In the past, when a similar event occurred, I chewed down on the proofreader so hard that the vendor manager apologized to me and ensured me that they would never use their services again. I guess I’m way cooler and more mature nowadays! Okay, maybe not.

Plenty of Fish in the Pond

Okay, we all know that translators pop out left and right every day. Portals that welcome translator profiles are filled with thousands of linguists actively looking to obtain new clients. Certainly, the supply must have outweighed the demand in the LSP market by now, right? Not even close.

There is, and will be for the foreseeable future, enough demand to feed every single translator out there. Actually, we need an influx of new linguists if we’re to avoid all those big companies not being able to deliver their products in a worldwide fashion. [link to article]

So, why all the hostility between one another? Why must we, under the pretense of being best buddies in social media networks, stab each other behind the back when it comes to sharing work? Work that’s more than enough to cover everyone’s needs!

Apart from the ridiculous notion that we need to drive prices down to receive any work at all – because, let’s face it, you know that when the supply doesn’t match the demand, the supplier can pretty much sell his services at a higher price than black market organs sell for these days -, there is absolutely no reason to bother getting in the way of another translator, as long as they cannot be held professionally or ethically accountable. If they’re bad at their job, feel free to rip them apart; if they’re doing a good job, give them a pat in the back and welcome them to your team.

As with many of the problems translators face nowadays, the whole issue has its roots deep within the linguist’s psyche.

Instead of adding obstacles in every step we take, how about we have a look around and try to benefit from the given advantages of our profession?

By Konstantinos Stardelis

Cf. original: “http://greek-translator.com/blog/the-backstabbing-translator/

[Repost] The Curious Case of the American Accent

The Curious Case of the American Accent

(Image credit: DrRandomFactor)

Hey youz! Whah do ‘Mericans have all different aks-ay-ents? It’s, like, totally confusing and somewhat bizzah, dontcha know.

TALK THIS WAY

An accent is “a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.” That’s not to be confused with dialect, which is a specific form of a language that has its own unique lexicon (words), grammatical structures, and phonology (a fancy word for accent). So an accent can be a part of a dialect, but not vice versa. Because dialects can be traced to geographical regions, they give linguists important clues to the origin of accents. And discovering where accents came from can explain why an American says “ta-may-to” and a Brit says “ta-mah-toe,” or why Bostonians say “park the cah” and a Nebraskan says “park the car.”

BRITISH INVASIONS

The United States began as colonies of Great Britain, but the settlers didn’t trickle across the Atlantic at random. According to Brandeis University Professor David Hackett Fischer in his bookAlbion’s Seed, there are four primary American accents, which derive from the major migrations from England to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries.

1. East Anglia to Massachusetts (1620-40). Puritans who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution were, by and large, from the eastern counties of England. To this day, in remote parts of East Anglia, there are rural folk who speak in what is sometimes referred to as the “Norfolk whine.” When they came to New England, that accent came along with them. You may recall the TV commercials where an old fellow says “Pepperidge Fahm remembers…” That’s the Norfolk whine.

2. South and West of England to Virginia (1642-75). Immigrants who settled in the colony of Virginia tended to be wealthy Cavaliers (that is, loyal to the King) who came to the New World to become planters. Many elements of their accent can still be heard in rural Virginia, such as their penchant for elongated vowels -stretching “you” into “yeew,” and shortened consonants- “ax” for ask, and “dis” and “dat” for this and that.

3. North Midlands to Pennsylvania and Delaware (1675-1725). In another flight to escape religious persecution, Quakers, largely from the middle and northern parts of England, also settled in the New World. Their speech patterns, characterized by shorter vowel sounds -a short “a” for dance, not the Yankee and East Anglican “dahnce,” or the South England and Virginia “day-ence”- formed the basis for the flat Midwestern American accent we hear today, which has since been adopted as the standard American “non-regional” accent spoken by most newscasters.

4. Borderlands to the Backcountry (1715-75). The so-called “Scotch-Irish” fled their poverty-stricken homeland of northern England and southern Scotland, first to northern Ireland and then to America’s mid-Atlantic coast. These new arrivals were considered uncultured and unruly and didn’t mix well with the established settlers, so most kept going to settle in the backcountry of the Appalachian Mountains. Their distinctive accent can still be heard in many Southern regions: “far” for fire, and “winder” for window. The Borderlands accent gave rise to the twangy “country” accent heard in the poorer parts of the South -as opposed to the more south-of-England “Southern gentleman” drawl heard in more affluent regions. Thank you Yosemite Sam for the former and Foghorn Leghorn for the latter.

THE HUDDLED MASSES

After achieving independence, the United States expanded westward and fresh waves of immigrants arrived in New York, New Orleans, and other port cities. The Northeast kept closer ties with Britain, which explains why Bostonians caught onto the English trend of broadening the “a” in bath, while the flatter pronunciation was used in most of the rest of the country.

WORLD TOUR

Just as it was with the English, immigrants from other countries tended to stick together when they got to America. Here’s a look at where they came from, where they ended up, and how the way they spoke then still affects the way people in the United States speak today.

* Germany. After England, Germany produced the largest wave of U.S. immigrants between the 1680s and the 1760s. Arriving first in Pennsylvania, the newcomers adopted the nasal tones of their Quaker neighbors who had come from England, then added their own clipped German speech patterns. The biggest German influence is the hard “r” found at the end of words -“river” vs. “rivah”- and is the feature that most distinguishes American speech from British. The trend spread as settlers moved into the Midwest and beyond.

*The Netherlands. When settlers from New England moved south to New York, there was already a sizable Dutch population. The mixture of the two groups formed the famous Brooklyn accent (think of Bugs Bunny), in which bird is often pronounced “boid,” these and those, “deez” and “doze,” and coffee, “caw-fee.” Unlike most other immigrant languages, which were abandoned for English within a generation or two, the Dutch language lingered in New York for three centuries. (Theodore Roosevelt grew up hearing his grandparents speak it at the dinner table as late as the 1860s.) While other immigrant groups have influenced the classic New York accent, it come primarily from original Dutch settlers.

* Russia and Poland. Arriving in New York in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Yiddish-speaking Jews from eastern Europe added many new words and humorous turns of phrase to English, including “I should live so long,” “I need it like I need a hole in the head!” and “What’s up?” Interestingly, although “New Yawk tawk” has become strongly associated with Jewish immigrants, Yiddish seems to have had little affect on the accent itself, which was adopted by the Irish, Italians, Chinese, and dozens of other ethnicities who live in New York. Actual spoken Yiddish -which is very clipped and Germanic- sounds very little like the New York accent.

* Scandinavia. Immigrants from northern Europe settled in the upper Midwest, and many aspects of their Old World accents persist to this day. Referred to as both the Minnesota accent and the Great Lakes accent, it is most notable for the overpronunciation of vowels, especially the long “o” sound, as in “dontcha know.” If you’ve seen the 1996 dark comedyFargo, that’s a good example of the Minnesota accent (although most native speakers claim that it’s a bit exaggerated in the film).

* France. Much of the French influence on the American accent ended up in Louisiana. Cajuns were originally French settlers who had moved down from Acadia in the eastern part of Canada. In 1765 the British took over, and loyal Acadians fled and resettled in New Orleans, still French territory. Cajun French is very old, dating from the 1600s. It might be understood by someone in Paris today, but only with some effort. The Cajun accent (like the food) has a very distinctive flavor -“un-Yon,” “ve-HIC-le,” and “gay-Ron-tee,” and “LOO-ziana.”

* Africa. The speech of slaves brought over from West Africa had a strong effect on American English. However, its exact origin is hard to trace. There are a number of West African languages, and slaves were intentionally separated from members of their own groups to make it difficult for them to conspire. That led to what are called pidgins -simple languages with few rules that were cobbled together from two or more languages. According to some theories, this was the origin of what is now called African American Vernacular English (AAVE). It has been called ebonics, but use of that term is controversial. Many linguists now believe that West African languages had little if any influence on AAVE, and that its origin can be traced to early Southern dialects brought over from England. Nevertheless, some of the cadence and lilt of the Southern accent -spoken by both blacks and whites- probably comes from African slaves. Some linguists believe this could be because black women served as nannies to white children, and those relationships helped blend the two speaking styles.

BARN IN THE USA

Not all accents were brought over from other countries. A few are as American as apple pie.

* In a small section of southern Utah, there is an accent in which “ar” sounds are transposed with “or” sounds. It’s uncertain how this way of speaking came about, but people who live in this region don’t say “born in a barn,” rather “barn in a born.”

* A relatively young accent, Valley Girl, or “Valspeak,” began in the 1980s. The most defining characteristic: Raising the intonation at the end of a sentence as if it were a question. Originating in the San Fernando Valley of southern California, Valspeak may be one of the most uniquely American accents. Some linguists speculate its roots may be traced to refugees from the Ozarks who moved to California during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

HOMOGENIZATION

U.S. regional accents are in danger of being lost. Because of TV, movies, video games, and YouTube, kids learn less about speaking from their parents and their grandparents than they do from the likes of the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Pixar. Result: A young boy in Boston might pretend to “park the car,” and a teenage girl in Georgia might roll her eyes when her mother says “Y’all.” If this trends continues, then perhaps one day there will be just one American accent.

Cf. original: http://www.neatorama.com/2014/02/24/The-Curious-Case-of-the-American-Accent/#!yjsR7

If you love something… (Time for a little fun!)

Post per gli umoristi della traduzione, per chi ha qualche minuto da dedicare al mio blog e per chi è casualmente passato di qua ed ha voglia di farsi due risate.
Nei momenti di pura follia, che accompagnano una giornata-tipo del traduttore, c’è anche la ricerca di risposte a domande che oserei definire “esistenziali”.
Ogni traduttore ha le proprie, più o meno profonde che siano, e si racchiudono in grandi macrogruppi (diversi anch’essi da traduttore a traduttore).
Quella che vi propongo oggi fa parte dei miei “DUBBI da ANNI”.
Tutto inizia nel 1999 con la canzone di questo video
What a Girl Wants (Christina Aguilera) [1999]
in cui al minuto 1.55 Xtina canta “They say, if you love somethin’, let it go / If it comes back, it’s yours and that’s how you know / It’s for keeps, yeah, it’s for sure“.
Mi sono sempre domandata il senso di questa frase, che è poi diventata un tormentone assoluto e vittima di stalking da parte di molte adolescenti-blogger-tumbleraddicted etc (come mostrato nella foto qui sotto).
EmilysQuotes.Com-love-free-inspirational-letting-go-loneliness-moving-on
Per quale assurdo motivo se ami qualcosa (qualcuno), dovresti lasciarla andare per avere la certezza che sia tua per sempre nel momento in cui ritorna?
E poi… Perché è stato aggiunto – a mo’ di corollario – che se non torna, non era destino che andasse diversamente?
Ma che cosa? Di cosa stiamo parlando?
Carissimo tu che hai inventato per primo questo concetto assurdo, *imho* hai detto una delle più grandi cavolate mai sentite.
1. Se ami veramente qualcosa, non dovresti MAI, e ripeto MAI, abbandonarla. Un amico, un animale, un sogno, un lavoro, una qualsiasicosavivengainmente;
2. Se ti lascio andare, un motivo ci sarà e, probabilmente, non spero assolutamente di rivedere mai più quella cosa/persona sulla mia strada;
3. Se non era destino andasse così… CI MANCHEREBBE PURE! Perché mai sognare di veder tornare un qualcosa che mi sono “amabilmente” lasciata alle spalle?!
Per questo, ad oggi, in mio aiuto arrivano altre immagini dalla rete.
1655990_10152311571062952_622094009_n
Per esempio questa recita: “Se ami qualcosa, non puoi lasciarla andare mai, nemmeno per un secondo, altrimenti è persa per sempre”.
Si avvicina abbastanza alla mia idea di ‘cavolata’, però mi sembra un pochino (tantissimo) estremista. Non esaspererei la cosa al punto da lanciare un’anatema o ergermi sul malcapitato in stile Gandalf.
"You shall not pass" -Gandalf  [from The Lord of the Rings]
“You shall not pass” -Gandalf [from The Lord of the Rings]
Personalmente, preferisco una più modesta regola di un gentiluomo. In questo caso la n. 163:they-say-if-you-love-someone
In tempi recenti lo stesso tema è stato trattato anche nelle stupende E-cards.
A. Una versione “autocelebrativa”
MjAxMi03OWYxZDNhODllOGRkMzI5
B. Una versione “restrittiva”
14a3a28d427f5dd0c61ae32d7aa6e81e0e
C. Una versione “vendicativa”
Rottenecards_91992698_js8j55cscq
D. Una versione “punitiva” (con tanto di caccia!)rottenecard_4133967_tys8v4dj69
E. Una versione “definitiva” (ndt: non ha neanche bisogno di inseguire la ‘cosa’!)rottenecard_9538964_gbmgd5xmzr
Un po’ di Damon Salvatore ci sta sempre bene.
[Ian Somerhalder]
3-7-kill-dead
#perlediunatraduttrice
#translatorsgonnatranslate
Per chi volesse lanciarsi in qualche riflessione filosofica, consiglio questo link sull’argomento: http://philosiblog.com/2011/08/16/if-you-love-something-let-it-go-if-it-comes-back-to-you-its-yours-forever-if-it-dosent-then-it-was-never-meant-to-be/
Per chi invece “sa di amare la sua donna solo quando la lascia andare”, propongo un po’ di Passenger e la sua Let her go.
Well, You only need the light when it’s burning low,
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow,
Only know you love her when you let her go.
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home.
Only know you love her when you let her go,
And you let her go.
Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you’ll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies
But you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
‘Cause Love comes slow and it goes so fast
Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
Cause you loved her too much and you dived too deep
Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go ooooh ooooh oh no
And you let her go
ooooh ooooh oh no
Well you let her go
ooooh ooooh oh no
Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

London Grammar

La playlist in modalità shuffle mentre stai lavorando crea il giusto sottofondo musicale. Infatti, per rimanere in tema, non potevano mancare i London Grammar.
Enjoy the song!

Strong

Excuse me for a while
While I’m wide-eyed
And I’m so down caught in the middle
I’ve excused you for a while
While I’m wide-eyed
And I’m so down caught in the middle

And a lion, a lion roars would you not listen?
If a child, a child cries would you not forgive them?

Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong
Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong

Excuse me for a while,
Turn a blind eye
With a stare caught right in the middle
Have you wondered for a while
I have a feeling deep down
You’re caught in the middle?

If a lion, a lion roars would you not listen?
If a child, a child cries would you not forgive them?

Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong
Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong

Excuse me for a while
While I’m wide-eyed
And I’m so down caught in the middle
Have you wondered for a while
I have a feeling deep down?
You’re caught in the middle

Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong
Yeah, I might seem so strong
Yeah, I might speak so long
I’ve never been so wrong

#perlediunatraduttrice

 

Busy week.

#translatorsgonnatranslate

Friday always comes TOO late.
Fridays always come TOO late.
Thank you MELTTraduzioni per la dritta sulla bravissima artista Gemma Correll. 😉