Tag Archives: Legal translators Paris

Finely Tuned Words

SJC ParisOver the last decade I have probably made the biggest life-changing decisions of my life – and boy have they brought about change!

The first was to completely uproot myself, move country, and leave what I knew behind in order to discover a whole new direction to my life.

Of course this brought about a professional change; I didn’t want to leave everything that I once knew behind but of course if the skills I had honed in the UK were going to have any credibility they would have to be adapted to my new life in France.

What better way to adapt them than to make them relevant to the universal language industry! I have to admit that at this time I was definitely not ready to go it alone and so I initially employed my skills to the benefit of some “shark”!

50 hour working weeks and long tedious journeys soon kicked the entrepreneurial part of my brain into touch & so the next life-changing decision came about, but not without the valuable help of my friends & associates – vital at times like these. And so, SJ Consulting was born – a language solutions company combining all of the essential ingredients for a language lover, with the added benefit of having the most wonderful network of associates to work with!

The mixture of teaching, translating, coaching, proofreading and of course not forgetting blogging really does keep me on my toes; being able to share this work with associates keeps it interesting and alive. I know that many people tend to choose to stay “very much” on their own, like to keep the work they find to themselves, even when they find that they can’t manage everything they receive. On the contrary I have found that I am actually far more productive sharing what I have! continue reading

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Filed under English Language Training, languages, linguists, Proofreading, translation company, Translations, translations french to english, Translators

The Machine, the Human & the Translator

Freedom of speech, being in charge of expression, hopefully knowing when it’s best to keep your mouth shut – if this in some way describes you then I guess you’re in the right place!

The Language Brigade

Yes it’s wonderful to be au fait with all the latest news on language & translation tools – well let’s face it the list is pretty endless …..

First let’s take a look at  language tools designed to assist in grammar and spelling: 1) After the Deadline to fix your writing 2) the text expanding PhraseExpress & of course we have to go on to mention something to do with Crowdsourcing (it’s everywhere after all) 3) that wonderful tool Phras.in which really helps you to “make your mind up”!

Forget Me Not

Now if you’re having a little memory lapse; let’s face it we all have them now and again don’t we? To the rescue we have: Tip of my tongue (my god that is so annoying & apparently gets worse with age) & Wolfram Alpha (doesn’t that sound a little like something out of an X Men film) & of course if you happen to have an annoying 6-year-old kid you could always ask him to jog that ailing memory! continue reading….

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Le Gueuloir du Vendredi

 ~Not Just a Game of Monopoly!

I am very sorry to have to mention this sad story again but I was pretty much shocked when I bought two left-wing French newspapers last Tuesday.

I was first astounded by the fact that the manager of the IMF and former candidate for the French presidency had been arrested after allegedly raping a maid in a luxury hotel in New-York and then completely baffled by the obscene display of pictures of an old man, unshaven, handcuffed and visibly exhausted accused of a crime which has not even been judged yet.

Although our national media keep trying to exploit this unexpected manna by telling us that such proceedings are perfectly normal in America I strongly disagree with the fact that the French press should behave in the same way. But sadly what sells more than dirty stories on sex power and money? They do sell much better anyway than propositions for a fairer society, bonuses regulation and ways to regulate global finance.

What I find the most unbelievable is that our principle of “présomption d’innocence “which does not translate into American English is joyfully flouted by such images and also by a large amount of opinion polls and declarations from former “friends “ of Mr Strauss-Khan, not to mention those of his opponents. This is all perfectly illegal under French law (see article below) and very handy that under the circumstances the applicable law should be that of the United-States of America… continue reading ==>

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Vantards! Le Gueuloir du Vendredi

‘I am fluent in English’, ‘I am a businessman, a marketing manager, a doctor, a teacher, a professor, a researcher, a lawyer, an editor, an artist and, although neither my mother nor my father is English, I feel perfectly comfortable speaking English and understanding it and I even go as far as to say humbly that I am bilingual’.

I have often, too often met people who were convinced of their ability to master this beautiful and yet endangered language and was also insulted by some who believed their knowledge of English was vastly superior to mine; the best example I have in mind is probably the day when, as I entered a lift in an international law firm, my two companions of travel who happened to be French lawyers decided to carry on their conversation in English for obvious reasons of confidentiality. Strangely their tactic worked for I found it suddenly quite difficult to understand the gromky goloss that bellowed out of them, O my brothers.
read on!

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Watch out for the fat cats!

Getting satisfaction from ones job is a must when one considers how much time is devoted to making money. For freelancers the very question of money & satisfaction is one that circulates around the head every time a new job offer pops up in the hub of their business world – the very hive of activity (if you’ve done your sums right) – the email in (with the offers) box.

That satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with many other factors too: Am I respected as a professional? Am I given the due respect I am worth? Actually the nitty gritty of it is- am I being told the truth?

Am I being told the truth? What do I mean?

I participated in the “Take our poll: should new clients test your skills or hire you on trust?” I answered honestly that I thought it only fair to carry out a small translation test of around 250 words. Fair because let’s face it you wouldn’t hire a person you had never met nor interviewed  before would you? Agree as I may I do have something to add to this & whilst I’m at it lets also get back to the original question of “Am I being told the truth?”

On submitting your “test” translation you are doing so in good faith, just as if you were getting suited and booted for that all important job interview. You wouldn’t expect to arrive, be asked to make coffee & then find out that you needn’t have bothered blowing the moth balls off the old whistle because the job never really existed in the first place. Or worst still it was given over to a machine long ago! Confused? Don’t be, I can easily explain ….. read on!

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Filed under english translator, french translator, languages, linguists, professional translators, Translations, Translators

Is it time to QUIT?

Dear readers, followers & last but definitely not least professional translators,

After a hectic start to the week, I have finally found time to write about a subject close to my professional heart. Yes, QUIT – the largely written about subject regarding fair pay in return for quality translations.

The question often arises as to why translators are unwilling to add their support to campaigns in order to get this precious work regulated. It seems, after much discussion with other professional translators, that many are scared of putting their name to campaigns because they believe they risk being “struck off” translation agency lists.

My argument is this; If this should be the case, then obviously the agency was never paying enough in the first place!

Don’t get me wrong, translation agencies provide a valuable service but does their cut really need to be so large?

As I am not in a position to “take this to the streets”  I decided I to have a little dig around the search engines to find out whether anybody else thinks it’s time to QUIT.

Here a couple of extracts from bloggers ranting (quite rightly so) about quality in translation:
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Annual Plan 2011 | About TAUS | TAUS – Enabling better translation

To supports of the campaign to improve conditions for translators,

As you will be aware from previous posts my associates and I are putting our voice to the campaign to regulate the translation industry and providing better “Quality in Translation”.

Whilst trying to find similar supporters I came across this very interesting article written by a man “with a face and a name”.

I hope that you will take the time to read his mail and also a few minutes to watch one of his conference speeches in Portland USA.

Annual Plan 2011 | About TAUS | TAUS – Enabling better translation.

Dear Colleagues,

Twenty years ago I called for the first LISA meeting in the Sonesta Hotel in Amsterdam. I funded the first year of industry roundtable meetings (then known as INK Roundtables) before we created the independent LISA organization. Two weeks ago LISA informed their members that the organization would cease operations.

LISA is gone, but its mission is not completed. Unlike industries such as travel, telecommunications, banking and transportation, the translation industry has still not found a common ground on which to build truly efficient operations. The lack of interoperability costs the translation industry a fortune – 40% of respondents to a recent TAUS survey say it costs them more than 10% of their budgets. That is a giant bite out of our margins.

I am sending this urgent call for action to everyone with an interest in the global translation industry: translation buyers, agencies, tool developers, translators, institutions. Please forward this email to your peers, customers and suppliers. We’d like to reach everyone. We want standards to work and unwanted friction to be removed from our processes.

TAUS is stepping forward as an industry watchdog for interoperability. It is a natural extension of our role as an industry innovation think tank. We don’t want to own the standards or create new standards. LISA delivered good interchange format standards, that may require some fine-tuning and extension. Our focus is really to channel the demands for interoperability and standards requirements, and to unify the buyers in making interoperability compliance a purchase criterion.

We will represent our members in working with the relevant standards bodies. We will set up an online interoperability dashboard and ensure that the market embraces standards and puts them to use in their everyday operations. If you think that this standards discussion does not affect your business, listen to this from one of the respondents to the survey: “I had no problems with standards at all until we decided to change our vendor. We lost 40% of our leverage and an awful lot of time and resources fixing things.”

If you are like us and you want to help enable better translation, help the industry to grow and prosper, we ask you to download the extended Annual Plan for 2011 and complete a short survey thereafter to provde your feedback.

Please also let other others know that you take interoperability seriously by using the badges found on the rightside of the screen.

Thank you,

Jaap van der Meer


To read more from Jaap van der Meer visit his site http://www.translationautomation.com/

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