The benefits of being multilingual have long been proven. Studies have shown that aside from looking great on your CV, bilingualism boosts your cognitive and problem-solving skills, improves your memory, and even staves off Alzheimer’s.
Last month, a friend of mine wanted a translation from English into Spanish, Italian and German, and while I recommended some of my trusted colleagues to her, she had mentioned that someone in her office had suggested they use Fiverr.
I shared my horror with my colleague and friend, Hannah Keet, and we bemoaned the fact that people seem to expect quality professional work, but are only willing to pay peanuts – but for peanuts, the quality will surely not be great. That’s when Hannah had the idea: why don’t we test this theory for ourselves through a “mystery shopping” exercise?
A friend of mine, Sarah, works for a media company that recently needed some transcribing and translation services, and it fell to her to locate some translators and take care of the project. Although this was her first time working with translators, her experience a) ends happily and b) might help others who may need a translator one day.
Google Translate, and other machine translation (MT) programs, have come along in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Not only can we download apps where we can just type in words and instantly get a result in another language, but you can take photos of signs and get a translation straight away, and even instantly translate voice and video calls with the likes of Skype Translator. With the magic of deep learning technology, computers are able to “learn” more and in theory, improve the quality of their output the more it is used.
Today marks 151 years since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published, so I thought I’d share with you a shortened (ish) version of what I wrote about during my Masters degree in Translation Studies, where I researched how on earth you would go about translating a fantasy, nonsense story, like Alice, into French.
Going ‘back to school’ in September is a bigger deal in France than in the UK. They call it la rentrée, and not only does it mark a new year of school for children, but it is also a perfect opportunity for adults to start new projects, make plans, and basically treat it like a second ‘New Year.’
When I tell people that I work from home, the general reaction is “lucky you! I wish I could!” After all, what’s not to like? No horrible commute at the crack of dawn, no awkward water-cooler chat with acquaintances about how everyone’s weekend was, and you can make important business decisions without anyone but you knowing that you are, secretly, still in your pyjamas.
Even though we’re only about 21 miles apart at the shortest point of the English Channel, France can sometimes feel like a world apart from the UK. Stereotyping both parties is almost too easy – The French think that the British drop everything to drink tea at 5 pm, while the Brits think that the French drop everything to go on strike…well, whenever they please! Continue reading
Working with businesses in translation is great, because you get to build up a personal relationship and sometimes even see the direct result of your work. However, when someone who is unfamiliar with foreign languages needs the services of a translator, more time is required to explain the process and ensure that they know what to expect.