Only Human Translators

A question of balance

A question of balance

Every translation requires it: the essential balance between the two basic impulses governing our profession, and probably many other lines of work. On one hand there is the urge to do the best possible job – the perfectionist desire to check everything and make...
Counting the hours

Counting the hours

I’m sure I’m not alone among translators in hating invoicing. And what I hate even more than invoicing is that day after I send all my bills out, because it’s then that the queries start. “The total’s not right in this one.”...
Not being an arse

Not being an arse

A few weeks ago, there was a post in a translators’ Facebook group that appalled me. A woman translator described how she was telephoned by a supposed colleague with what was apparently a job offer only for the conversation to deteriorate into him making...
Translating pictures

Translating pictures

Many types of translation can be automated nowadays, with varying degrees of success. But there are still areas where the machines will always have their work cut out to compete with human beings. I was reminded of this in a job I was doing last week that also made me...
Getting into print

Getting into print

One of the few positive things that’s happened to me in this truly appalling year of 2020 is that I’ve become a published author for the first time. So apologies to those of you who don’t like to hear the sound of someone blowing their own trumpet,...
Perception is the key

Perception is the key

There is nothing like the COVID-19 crisis to teach us how important perception is. Of any group of people in the same place, at the same time, governed by the same rules, you will find some who are ultra cautious, going out as little as possible, always wearing a face...
Real connections

Real connections

All over the world, like other conferences and congresses, translation events have fallen victim to the coronavirus. The question I want to answer in this post is what they are going to look like in the future. And can online events ever provide a real replacement? In...
Life after lockdown

Life after lockdown

In my last post I talked about coping with the coronavirus lockdown we’ve almost all been living with in one form or another for several weeks. This time, although the confinement seems to be continually extended, I want to look forward. What’s our...
The spring that never was

The spring that never was

Three weeks ago we were just beginning to get an idea that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary spring. Since then, the world has fallen in very quickly and, as I write this, it’s not at all clear how or when we’re going to come out of the coronavirus...
A language love affair

A language love affair

Last week, I was invited to a language awards ceremony by a good client of mine. As I’d never met any of the many people I deal with at the organisation, I thought it might be a good idea to go along and get to know them a little. So it was that I found myself...