Language Show Live 2015

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Dear readers and followers,

It is Sunday night already, and the Language Show Live has just closed its doors, but the worst thing is that my beloved MPR went back to Bristol. In order to keep the mood high and not think too much of that, let‘s try and take stock of this edition, which actually corresponds to a milestone in my personal and professional life.

As some of you may know, this event has a deep personal significance for me; for those who don’t, I will say that five years ago, when I first moved to the UK, I actually changed my original plan of coming in November in order to attend to the Language Show. Since then, I only missed one edition, the one in 2012. This years has been my fifth show, but I can easily say that there has not been an edition similar to the other. As a matter of fact, also my approach to the show and my expectancies from it have been totally different from one year to the other.

For those who don’t know about the Language Show, it is one of the main language events in London and also in Europe. Hosted in Olympia since some years now, it has two main components: The exhibitors and the learning section. In my opinion, the exhibitors’ part is extensively focused on language learning and teaching, while the classes and the seminars are evenly shared between the different activities related to languages, including many interesting events dedicated to translation and interpreting.

This year I have had the chance to attend to the whole show and to make the most of the seminars. If you have been following our tweets on #LSLive, you know what I am talking about, but if you haven’t, here is a little sum up of the tweets, a summary that is not a best of and could not be so, because the information was so much and of such a good quality that it would be almost impossible to rank it that way.

Tweets from Language Show Live 2015

I want to take the chance to also thank the speakers for very useful presentations, but also to applaud the audience for three days of interaction that made each talk even more productive. It was  great catching up with friends and meeting new colleagues, save the date for next year:

Fine

Also, don’t forget to keep being naughty, Knotty surely will!!!

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IAPTI in Bordeaux: Been there, done all that!

Dear readers and followers,

Knotty is back from holidays and has not abandoned you! As you surely know, because Twitter has been overloaded with it, IAPTI’s international conference was celebrated in Bordeaux two weeks ago, and we have been there, and so have many of you. For those who were not there, and could manage escaping our constant tweets from the talks and pictures of the food, here is a short sum up of what has happened and what caught our attention.

Even if it was my first time at IAPTI, it has been a chance to meet old and new friends and to catch up with them, but also to make new connections. Apart from that, the talks have been very interesting and have given us some new ideas to organise ourselves and make the most of our time and our resources. Many talks were very useful, and it would feel incomplete to quote some rather than others. We have talked about branding and promoting our company and our services, about how to maximise our results and reducing our use of resources, how to set our fees and not to surrender to the request of the market for low fees and excessive work, what new technologies can do for us, what new apps and devices can make our work easier and give us choices, etc.

I could write pages and pages about any of the talks I attended to, or I could simply say that if you did not attend you missed a chance, but I prefer to make something more eye‑catching and entertaining by adding here some of the tweets from those days, so you can catch up with them without having to scroll down dozens of profiles again. At the end, you will also have some shots from the event to feel a little jealous. All that together, I hope, will make you reconsider the fact that you should apply for IAPTI’s membership if you have not done that yet and will give you a little desire of joining us next time!

Tweets

download

IAPTI’s official video

My slideshow of random pictures with friends but also from the meals and the talks

Don’t forget to keep being naughty, Knotty surely will!!!

MacroLenguando, que también es gerundio

Compañeros lenguantes y lectores de este blog:

Me tomé unos días antes de publicar esta entrada, pero no han sido para descansar. Hace ya más de una semana desde que empezó el Foro Internacional del Español en el IFEMA, ya ahí ha estado Knotty. Lo que os voy a contar, más que un análisis de las actividades, va a ser un relato personal de mi estancia y una manera para agradecerles a los amigos y a los organizadores todo lo que han hecho.

En realidad, para mí el evento era Macrolenguando más que el FIE en general. Ha sido algo diferente de los otros encuentros lenguantes, tanto por los la actividades organizadas como por el sitio elegido y la duración; los dos días que suele durar Lenguando han sido cuatro esta vez, con talleres y charlas, pero también con actividades más atípicas.

Por razones de viaje y trabajo, no pude asistir a los talleres del jueves, el primer día, pero he oído opiniones maravillosas sobre el de Fernando Navarro, al que quisiera haber asistido si hubiera tenido tiempo. Para uan descripción más específica, aquí le pido oficialmente a mi amiga Mercedes, de MPR Medical Translator, que escriba su propio artículo si quiere, porque sería interesante.

El viernes fue desde luego un día mucho más lleno de actividades para mí, empezando por el taller de interpretación telefónica de Gabriel Cabrera a las 10 de la mañana. Poco hay que contar sobre Gabriel y su manera divertida de presentarse, pero para mí era la primera vez que asistía a uno de sus talleres y tengo que admitir que no solo merecía la pena, sino que también el tiempo voló y ni nos dimos cuenta de haber estado ahí durante cuatro horas. La parte más interesante en mi opinión fue el hecho de poder ver la manera en la que trabaja él y lo que les requiere a sus intérpretes; yo he sido incluída también en el listado de intérpretes de una agencia que se dedica a este tipo de servicios, pero aún no he tenido la ocasión de trabajar con ellos, y este taller ha sido una manera para comparar estilos y requerimientos. Tanto a nivel técnico como de protocolo, el estilo es muy diferente, y considero muy positivo el hecho de haber podido comparar ambos y aprender también las diferentes maneras de enfrentarse a la tarea y al cliente entre España y otros países. Para concluír, la fase práctica en la que improvisamos unas interpretaciones entre los asistentes ha sido una buena ocasión para ponernos a prueba, siempre pasándolo bien.

Casi sin tener el tiempo de respirar, nos fuimos a la charla de mi querida Valeria Aliperta y su Freelance Box on tour. Echamos de menos a Marta, pero la tarde fue muy interesante de todas formas. Unos consejos eran nuevos, y unos más bien la repetición de las clases del January Business Camp de Marta misma, pero fue útil refrescar las nociones al mismo tiempo que añadíamos algunas nuevas y sacábamos unas ideas nuevas para promocionarnos de manera más efectiva y para tener claros y perseguir nuestros objetivos profesionales. La charla se alargó casi una hora más de lo previsto pero, una vez más, no nos dimos cuenta del tiempo.

El sábado fue un día particular. Sentí mucho que nos alargáramos en el viaje y no nos diera tiempo llegar a IFEMA para el taller de monólogos, pero sí llegamos para el desfile de cerebros que transformó la Pasarela Cibeles en Pasarela Cervantes. Entre una broma y una prueba, nos preparamos para desfilar y presentarnos como profesionales de la lengua. Entre bloques, las intervenciones de Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega y Francisco de Quevedo fueron defendiendo las letras y la lengua castellana. La tarde prosiguió con la entrevista a Mario Vargas Llosa y la presentación de los monólogos que ganaron el taller, momentos que, así como la pasarela, pueden ser vistos en YouTube. La entrevista fue una charla amistosa que dio mucho que pensar sobre el papel de los medios de comunicación y de las nuevas tecnologías tanto en la información como en la defensa de la lengua española.

Después de un día tan largo, estuvo el evento con el nombre mejor de todos: Lenguante hasta que el cuerpo aguante, lo que significa pasar unas hora en buena compañía en la sede de coLenguando, que es incluso más bonita que lo que se imaginaba desde las fotos. Señores, una vez más os habéis superado en organizar un evento genial, y siempre es un placer coincidir con vosotros. Tengo celos de todos los que irán a Valenguando, pero lo seguiré en el Twitter. Mientras tanto, aquí van los enlaces de la pasarela (servidora en el minuto 49:30):

de la entrevista a Vargas Llosa:

y de los monólogos:

Para acabar, este es mi vídeo personal de una estancia maravillosa, gracias a todos por haberme hecho pasar unos días tan bonitos y, si no queréis vuestras fotos por ahí, solo tenéis que decirmelo y se arregla:

Don’t forget to keep being naughty, Knotty surely will!!!

Multimedia resources to train your language skills

Dear readers and followers,

I am terribly sorry about the lessons on Italian vocabulary, I will definitely publish one tomorrow, and I am thinking on moving the day, any preferences? Anyway, I am here with this post about resources for practising interpreting or, simply, improving your ear in a foreign language.

I am very happy to start with a great news: Speech Repository is now free, meaning that you do not need an account provided by your University and so on to access their material. If you know it, and most of you certainly do, it is the data base of the SCIC for speeches. What are the pros and cons, and why using that and not YouTube? Well, the repository is thought as an educational tool for those who study interpretation, hence you are able to select not only the language of your speech, but also to filter your search according to several parameters, such as the use (simul or consec,) the difficulty, the domain, and the type of speech. That allows you to decide if you prefer a speech prepared by the same interpreters as teaching material, if you prefer a real speech pronounced at one of the institutions, and so on. Another pro is the fact that there is always a transcription available to check your mistakes, and a list of terminology that can be useful to prepare the speech. A definite drawback is the level of difficulty, which may sometimes not respond to what we expect. Some speeches may be classified as advanced because the vocabulary is quite complicated, but then the speed is not that fast and we may find it quite easy, while another may be defined as easy but hard to cope with due to a crazy speed, and so on depending on what parameter they consider every time.

The websites of the Presidencies of the countries are normally quite useful for that purpose, because the speeches usually are clear from a quality and pronunciation point of view, at least for the official speeches and press conferences; the difficulty and the speed, though, are a guess. I very much like the Elysée, which provides different kind of resources: it is also possible to choose the kind of speech, and there is some extra material about the speeches and press conferences, and it is possible to listen to those textes. The White House also offers the choice for the type of video, but no transcription apparently; you can although find them on the Briefing Room – Speeches and Remarks section. Moreover, both .mp3 and .mp4 versions are available to download. The Spanish Monarchy has a similar website, but without clear buttons to download the videos, and we no visible transcriptions at all. The British Monarchy has on its website a link to its YouTube channel, but the videos there are messier and often celebratory, which may mean they are not real speeches; regular YouTube transcriptions are although available. The Italian Republic has a website with the President’s videos, and from the search table it would seem possible to filter for those speeches that include subtitles; unfortunately, I tried for the speeches of the last year, and none of them seem to include subtitles.

Apart from that, there is plenty of material, and this page of the University of Geneva seems to me quite useful because it divides the links according to categories, and has a wide choice of languages, those which are offered as working languages in the cursus studiorum.

Of course, this is just an introduction to give you some tools to practice, but there are plenty more available, please share your favourite with us.

Until next and… keep being naughty, Knotty surely will!!!

Career milestones

Why do I love Mondays? Cold almost gone, LSP got in touch, & I have been accepted by IAPTI and ITI. Need to say more? Knotty is an overjoyed baby right now!!!

Memberships

Naughty Hottie has become Knotty!

http://youtu.be/HMRkdE4TUKA
Dear readers, and followers from every platform, Une belle infidèle! is back. She went through a tough time, but the mental refurbishment has done her good, and now she is grown up, she has become a naughty… oops, kn-hottie, damn, again! I meant a Knotty Translator.

This branding process has taken some time, three months between the moment the idea first entered my mind, and today. Of course, there have been phases, with clear points in time when a new step was taken, and several people who I have to thank for their inspiration, their support, their help, knowingly or not, and I hope to make justice to all of them through these anecdotes.

The first person to thank, or to blame, or both, is Valeria Aliperta, the famous Rainy London or, as I often define her, “the branding guru.” Vale, I already told you that your speech at Lenguanding left a mark on me, also because I didn’t win the mug, but mainly because I walked out from the capilla with an idea mixed with a urge: I needed a brand.

I had no idea where to start from, but I already had a certain image, a character, and I wanted to build my brand in that direction. I was Une belle infidèle! but I didn’t want to keep that name: too complicated; not too used, but still not new; but the main reason was that I saw that, to a speaker of non-Roman languages, the word “infidèle” is immediately related to religion, and I didn’t want that connotation to be associated with me. I couldn’t kill Une belle infidèle! but I had to help her grow up. Here is where my second inspiration comes in, surely not that consciously, but still very strongly, and I would like to thank Scheherezade Suriá, the Scheherezade of Las 1001 traducciones. Scheherezade, your puns and jokes, often naughty… knotty… both, have convinced me about the path to follow. Also, your pin-up girls, with their witty messages, have inspired the knotty translator that is now going to accompany my brand.

Why this name? Because translating is never easy, the texts are knotty, they keep the translators awake for many notti, and these poor daysleepers can never be completely faithful to the original, the best thing to do will always be to be naughty!

But if Valeria’s speech is the point in time that I associate with the beginning of this adventure, some other moments have pushed me towards what is happening today. The first one may sound silly, and it actually is so by itself, but it changes completely when inserted into context. In one of my TV series overdoses, I went back to watch 2 broke girls, and episode 4 of season 2 is, what a coincidence, dedicated to branding, brand image, and do’s and dont’s of the promotional phase. Watching it, I felt the final push to go forward with my idea.

The second moment is, no surprise there, my second attendance to Lenguando. I took that plane with the clear idea of presenting KT before Christmas, and of doing it by re-opening Une belle infidèle! That is when I put the refurbishing sign on. The first afternoon in Logroño just cancels every possible shadow of doubt still standing on my way. The lunch at Tondeluna has happened with a perfect timing; if I had planned it, I couldn’t have done anything better. For that reason, I want to thank my final inspirations: Molino de ideas (that is Eduardo Basterrechea, Elena Álvarez, and Elena del Olmo,) and Santiago García Clairac. It is funny that, Eduardo, you said to me: “Apologies for us talking a lot without letting you saying anything!” My serious face was not showing boredom, on the contrary. I was silently taking everything in, and the clear message of “You need a brand!” was echoing in my head. Elena must know that because, on our way back to the halls of residence, I could not be quiet anymore, and we talked about my ideas for KT.

A final thanks must go to the people who materially helped me creating the image; incredibly enough, they are, at the same time, my consultants, and some of the people I love the most in my life, Claudia Musio and Alberto Becciu.

Claudia is my best friend, my soul sister, a great engineer, a wonderful novelist, and an incredible artist. She worked out the logo and the image for me, following all my ideas and improving them, all in a very short time span. Moreover, she has supported me in this project from the first moment, as she has always done with every single crazy decision I took in my life. I love you, sister!

Alberto is my brother, my financial advisor, and the person who is always there when I need a hug. Also, the only one who still calls me Emmixedha; no one else is allowed, and neither is he, but I am getting used to it. I hardly take a big decision without consulting him before the rest of the world is informed, and I trust his judgment. I love you, brother!

This one is for you:

http://youtu.be/k3nVFAyfpeY

To conclude, thanks to Joseph for the linguistic support when I was choosing the name. A lot of what is in this blog has been created with your help or your inspiration, and I am grateful for that.

I know, I have been too romantic until now but the truth is that “I watch romantic movies because I am not romantic myself, and I need to see it on the screen.” No, seriously, I once said that, incredibly enough. Anyway, enough sugary, honey-coated paragraphs, it is time for this hottie to be naughty knotty!

You all know some of my profiles: my Twitter stays one for all, @emmabecciu; my Facebook is private (perfect example of oxymoron,) but I have now created a Facebook page that you can also like and promote; my contacts are all the same, Skype at emma_becciu, phone numbers still working, O2 in the UK and Vodofono in Italy (I can’t say Vodafone anymore, and I couldn’t avoid quoting Gino!) Big change: my preferred email is still emmabecciu@gmail.com, with the associated Google+ profile, but I now have a dedicated business email, knottytranslations@gmail.com also with Google+ profile, of course, and a Google+ page. Please, feel free to browse everything, to share, and comment. You can also check some of my translations at L’Indro, an online newspaper with which I have the pleasure to collaborate.

About Une belle infidèle!, the old posts and pages will stay, and some new ones are going to be published soon, because this belle infidèle may have been quiet, but certainly she didn’t stop being knotty. Sneak peek of some upcoming subjects: Italian presidency of the Council of the EU, sectorial languages, and Italian language in recent history. Also, don’t be afraid of suggesting subjects you would like me to talk about, or you would like to discuss.

And now, let’s be naughty. If any problems, tell Santa I said that!!!

Trick or treat, my Halloween post

I know, you have been missing this Belle infidèle, but it hasn’t been laziness or lack of inspiration what forced me to take a break on the blogging activity. As many of you may have seen from my profiles, I have been busy, and also forced to move houses just during my long waited holidays. You can imagine how hard that can be for a vampire translator, to have to leave the beloved cave, to pack the cute Snoopy pijamas and to go out in broad daylight to find a new den. But here I am, now, after a nice, summery holiday in Sardinia, the best in quite a long time, and in my new flat, thanks to the help of some fellow translators. It is Halloween, and I will soon get ready to celebrate, because I still think that when in Rome… and I don’t see why, on the false pretence that it is disrespectful to my roots, I should lose a chance to have fun and demystify death. Anyway, this is another subject, already treated in previous posts, and I won’t waste more time on it.

As I said, it is 31/10, and what I want to do is to have a look back at my working October, and to try and draw some conclusions out of it. In everyone’s life, there are things for which one waits the whole year, or a great part of it. That said, everyone knows that October means Language Show. For those who don’t know the event, here you have some information about it. I will just say one thing, quoting Capital Translations: “The Language Show Live is the biggest and frankly the best exhibition in Britain for linguists.”

I normally just dedicate one day to it, and try to make the most of it, in terms of networking, new connections and useful information. This year, I had a different plan, because I was aware of the fact that, actually I never had nearly as much as I could out of the show. That is why I was glad when an old friend from USAL and fellow translator wrote me and asked me to join. That was my excuse to try to find as much time as I could to spend at the show.

Despite the rest of engagements I had to respect, we managed to assist to most of the three days, so no complaining. The main difference this year has been the absence of the booths that were normally part of the EU’s stand. They have been missed, but that has helped making those stands more quiet and easy to reach. The venue itself looked less crowded this year, maybe also because there were some stands less, and the space looked bigger that way. Objectively, the organisation seemed a lot better this year, with more information available, starting from the lift.

About the conferences, I had more time to dedicate to them, and I am quite satisfied about the ones I followed. The one Mr Johansson offered about translating for the European Union was just refreshing what we already knew, both the numbers of the EU, and the selection process, but still nice. Ms Campbell, owner of the bilingual quote at the beginning of this blog, gave an interesting and funny speech about interpretation both in the EU and in the formation side; moreover, it was nice to chat with her again, and it made us feel home (that is, in Salamanca) again for a while. Rainy London’s presentation about apps was incredibly interesting and I suggest everyone who is going to Lenguando a la Riojana to take the chance to attend to it, because she is repeating it there.

Of all the speeches I attended to, though, I preferred the one about etymology, maybe because I am one of those crazy people who enjoy investigating the origin of a word, and the related terms. The presentation was fun, and interesting, and it gave some perspective to an Italian/Sardinian native speaker who, in an incredibly self-centred way, always starts this kind of reflections from the “one of my native languages is the closest language to Latin” point of view. Well, it is not that easy, and there is a lot more than that about etymology.

Talking about networking, apart from the Language Show, we had a great early dinner with the TweetUp group, and thanks once again to Valeria for organising it. Anyone who is interested in talking about translation, meet interesting people, and share experiences, please feel free to join, there is one meeting a month.

As I said, I had many questions to ask at the event, and some have been answered, so I hope to have more news about those steps soon. For now, I will leave you celebrating Halloween, and to scare you, I will say that I am working on my business details, and that I still have to talk about the other great event to which I attended this month: The SDL Roadshow, so I will be back soon with more. Is that a trick or a treat?

Lenguanding, que es gerundio

2014-09-13 10.02.51
Nostálgica como pocos después de este fin de semana pasado en una pequeña isla española en Londres, me he puesto a escribir este post mientras escucho a Sabina. Para quien no se enteró, acaba de celebrarse el primer Lenguando en Londres; ahora sí, para no enterarse con tantos #Lenguanding llenando el Instagram, el Twitter, el Facebook, el Google+ y todo lo demás, hay que ser un pelín despistados.

Septiembre es el mes de la traducción, y esta ha sido una gran manera de celebrarlo, pero aún quedan más citas. Todo ha empezado, de manera extraoficial, el viernes por la noche, cuando el grupo, más o menos establecido, del LDNTweetUp se ha juntado con los lenguantes que ya estaban en Londres para una cena en Le Pain Quotidien, donde se han juntado cara conocidas, caras que hemos visto tan a menudo en las redes sociales que ya es como si nos conociéramos de verdad, y otras nuevas que, después de tres días lenguando y comiendo, ya son caras de amigos.

Las charlas se han repartido entre el día del sábado y la mañana del domingo, y han sido una mezcla de traducción e interpretación, siempre desde un punto de vista muy práctico y útil. Lo mejor sin duda ha sido la parte virtual, que ha permitido que todos fuéramos unos y trinos, asistiendo a una presentación y siguiendo las otras dos a la vez en Twitter. Voy a hablar de las charlas que seguí yo, pero le agradecería a cualquiera que quisiera si pudiera ampliar este resumen sobre lo que yo tuve que perder. El sábado, hemos empezado con una presentación general sobre la OMI, para luego pasar a las charlas simultáneas. Por el hecho de estar empezando ahora como autónoma, me he centrado más en las presentaciones sobre los aspectos prácticos de la creación del perfil profesional y de su promoción.

El taller de Isabel Santiago sobre el miedo a hablar en público ha sido una manera muy relajada de reflexionar sobre lo que nos bloquea a la hora de enfrentarnos a una audiencia. Durante mis estudios en Salamanca, ya tuve la ocasión de participar en un taller sobre un tema parecido, pero más centrado en las técnicas para conseguir más resultados (proyección y cuidado de la voz, dos and don’ts en el vestir y en la postura, y cosas por el estilo). Esta vez, por otra parte, ha sido más bien un análisis del aspecto psicológico del hablar en público, de las dificultades que podemos encontrar, y de los resultados en nosotros mismos en el caso de que nos enfrentemos a nuestros miedos o de que los evitemos. En realidad, es algo que es útil para cualquier persona que tenga que hablar frente a una audiencia, pero ha sido una serie de reflexiones, y de consejos, muy útiles para quien quiere trabajar como intérprete o profesor, porque el hablar en público es una componente imprescindible de estas profesiones.

Después de la pausa café, hemos vuelto con los secretos de Google+. Tengo que admitir que durante mucho tiempo he tenido el perfil de Google+, así como las demás plataformas de Google, porque vienen con el correo electrónico. Solo hace poco, para dar más espacio a mi blog, y para escribir de pelis, series de televisión y libros incluso cuando no están relacionados con los idiomas (y por eso no tienen cabida en este blog) he empezado a publicar en Google+ también. La verdad es que no lo uso mucho, ni conocía todas las posibilidades que ofrece, y lo que se debe hacer o evitar para que el perfil tenga éxito. Por esta razón, el taller de Alessio Demartis, aunque haya sido muy rápido, y haya intentado abarcar cuanto más en tan poco tiempo, ha sido una buena ocasión para entender cómo sacarle más provecho a una herramienta que puede ofrecer lo mismo que muchas otras plataformas, pero que a lo mejor no conocemos tan bien. Con las pistas que anoté de esta charla, ya tengo deberes para estos días para ir mejorando mi presentación.

Después, Valeria Aliperta nos ha hablado de cómo crear nuestra propia marca, una empresa con un nombre que destaque. De hecho, al descolgar el teléfono en las oficinas del HMRC, una de las primeras preguntas que oímos cuando nos apuntamos como autónomos en el Reino Unido es “¿Cómo quiere llamar su empresa?”, y yo me encontré con que no tenía pensado un nombre, y que no podía improvisar uno ahí mismo, uno que diera juego y me gustara. Considerando que me llevó tres días encontrar un título que fuera tan bonito como ambiguo para este blog, decidí quedarme con mi nombre nada más, hasta encontrar algo que considerara perfecto para mi actividad como traductora e intérprete.El de no precipitarse en la elección fue justo uno de los consejos de Valeria, porque el nombre elegido es algo que nos va a identificar, y a acompañar durante mucho tiempo. Su ejemplo es sin duda uno de los mejores en cuanto a éxito y visibilidad, y sus sugerencias, junto con las de María Ortegón el domingo, han sido muy interesantes para muchos aspectos, incluso para la creación de una página web, que será sin duda el próximo paso para mí.

La pausa para la comida ha sido un momento más para conocernos mejor entre todos mientras comíamos los platos riquísimos preparados por Casa Galicia y disfrutábamos del clima aún templado de Londres. Entre una empanada y una croqueta, hemos estado dándole espacio al networking, al twitting, al facebooking, al fotocalling y a los demás –ings.

La tarde, he querido dedicarla a mi pasión original, la interpretación, con las charlas de Tony Rosado sobre cómo defendernos como intérpretes, el taller de Trinidad Clares sobre interpretación judicial policial y la presentación de María Abad sobre consecutiva. El primero se ha centrado más en lo que puede ser útil en EEUU, pero que se puede aplicar sin dificultades al Reino Unido también, con ejemplos claros y divertidos de experiencias personales. Trini nos ha explicado un poco su trabajo de intérprete en las comisarías, y nos ha presentado un juego de rol para que pudiéramos entender las dificultades, lingüísticas y humanas, a las que se enfrenta quien trabaja en este sector. María, para concluir, nos ha llevado a una de las más temidas, y fascinantes, técnicas de interpretación, la consecutiva; con una breve introducción, y unos ejemplos muy claros, ha recordado a quien, como yo, ya lleva mucho sin trabajar con esta técnica, cuáles son las dificultades mayores, y las trampas más comunes, de este tipo de interpretación.

La cena en Byron ha sido más de lo mismo: buena comida, fotos, charlas e intercambio de experiencias, y mucho cansancio después de un día a tope. El segundo día, si se me permite parafrasear al Gran Wyoming, más pero no mejor, porque era imposible. La presentación de María Ortegón, como ya he dicho, ha dado unas pistas para cómo moverse en el mundo digital, y más consejos sobre lo que está bien hacer, y lo que hay que evitar, a la hora de promocionarse. A esta charla, le ha seguido la de Javi Mallo sobre Quality Assurance, un campo del que conozco muy poco, y al que he querido acercarme para aprender. A veces un poco opaca para una como yo que no conoce bien el tema, la discusión se ha hecho mucho más amena cuando de las descripciones hemos pasado a los ejemplos.

La pausa café en el patio ha traído más sol y más fotos, y ha sido un buen descanso con doble dosis de té para estar lista para la última parte, con la presentación de Antonio Martín sobre cómo crear macros en Word, una charla muy práctica e interesante que puede hacernos ahorrar mucho tiempo, y evitar lanzar el ordenador contra la pared, tentación que, de nada sirve negarlo, tenemos todos, y es superada solo por el deseo de hacer lo mismo con el móvil. A Xosé Castro le ha tocado cerrar Lenguanding con una charla sobre los errores y los calcos en las traducciones desde el inglés, y nos hemos echado unas buenas risas con los ejemplos y las anécdotas.

Besos y despedidas, e intercambio de tarjetas de visita con quienes se iban, y rumbo al The Castle para los que nos hemos apuntado a todo, comida de despedida incluida. Entre un “esto no sé qué es, pero lo voy a probar”, y un “a ver si queda más de esto otro que estaba bueno”, también se ha acabado esta experiencia maravillosa, y todos seguimos compartiendo ideas y fotos, esperando poder repetir muy pronto. ¿Cuántos tienen pensado ir al de La Rioja? Una servidora ya va moviendo hilos e intentando sobornar a los compañeros de trabajo para que le den días libres: fingers crossed! Mientras tanto, aquí dejo unos enlaces, que ya he compartido en Twitter, y donde se pueden encontrar fotos, tweets y opiniones sobre Lenguanding. Solo quiero añadir una cosa: mis agradecimientos a los organizadores y oradores para habernos facilitado estos dos días de diversión y aprendizaje.

Fotos en:

https://www.facebook.com/xosecastro/media_set?set=a.10152516542551492&type=1

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23lenguanding&mode=photos

Tweets en:

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23lenguanding

Más posts y otras informaciones en:

http://blog.lenguando.com/category/talleres/

http://www.tiposervicioseditoriales.es/2014/09/lenguanding-y-contacting-londres/

http://atranslations.com/lenguando-por-londres/

Cheap is not chic: Translators and interpreters do it better, hire them instead!

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I am so mad today, that I cannot avoid writing a nasty post. I don’t know how bad mood works, but apparently makes you find angry complaining articles by chance when scrolling down updates on your profiles. Today, two articles inspired me: the first one is about bigotry in interpretation, and the second one is about clients’ requests to lower our tariffs. Now, here are some of my experiences.

I have told some stories already in my posts, but I want now to talk about the disturbing responses that I received to my tariffs or to my offers of service. I have to admit, even if it is something hardly to brag about, that I have a relevant number of bad experiences compared to the actual working experience.

My last interpretation was, quoting myself, “a lot of fun, but an awful experience interpreting-wise.” The fact that I was expecting something of that kind didn’t make it any easier, because the whole managed to exceed my expectations. I hoped for one of the parties to be used to interpreters, but I did a pre-session anyway, explaining to both that I was the interpreter, and that I was going to translate verbally what they were saying, and that they had to talk as if I were not there. Considering the fact that my client was in fact a group of Italian speaking people, and the English speaker only one, I opted for chuchotage in English, and short consecutive in Italian. I also explained that clearly to them. It was not working, the Italian party kept stopping in Italian even if I had no need for that, and the English one was not letting me finish interpreting into Italian what he said, correcting what I was expressing, and rephrasing, even if he had no idea of Italian whatsoever. Exasperated by that, I opted for the short consecutive in both directions, trying to forget that they could not shut up at all at any point.

Not happy with that, my client started being sarcastic and saying to me: “But you don’t need to translate this!” I was starting being really upset. Then, we all found out that the whole meeting was based in a huge misunderstanding caused by a third part, and they started trying to fix that before the deal was over. The problem was that no one was listening: both parties were talking incessantly without listening to each other. After being completely stuck for a whole afternoon, they started asking me: “Do you understand what is happening? Can you explain him/them?” Are you kidding me? Of course I do understand, and you would also, if you would listen; and no, I don’t explain, I translate. Either you say what you want to be understood, or it is not going to come out from my mouth! I was so mad after an afternoon like that; I was exhausted, and that is not what happens during the interpretation, not when the adrenaline is flowing. I had to step out from my role, and I still hate myself for that, and say: “If I may, and this is not my role, but I am stepping in because we are stuck, I want to say that this is what is happening, and that there is a misunderstanding that is not being solved. This is the question.”

For three days, I had to repeat that I was not part of the company, that I had no interest in the deal, and that I was not going to be following the subsequent steps. That was of no concern for the English part, who kept including me in the deal, and giving me tasks, that I had to promptly refuse, repeating myself over and over. For my personal interest, I offered to redact in English a short text that was to be added to the conclusive work. Maybe that was my mistake, or maybe no one cared about what I kept saying, but I kept receiving emails about the agreements when I went back to London. Exasperated by that, and simply ballistic because of the latest email asking what was going on with the communications, and if I was translating all the emails for the company, I sent an email saying that, once again, I wanted to make clear that I was not, in any way, part of the company, that I had been hired for three days, and that I had no further commitment with them, apart from the text that I offered to write. Meanwhile, of course, my invoice reached the client, who forgot that he was able to save the deal thanks to my presence, and who looked upset and said that for the next meeting he would have possibly used an acquaintance who was able to speak English because she was working in a resort!

Of course, I am not surprised, I had other similar experiences before. I keep telling the story of the cousin, a story that I will now share with you. I had just finished my studies, and I was back to Sardinia with my fresh degree. Actually, we were two, because the guy I was dating back then was also an interpreter, and we had both been called for what seemed to be a huge project. The client’s exact words were: “It is a huge project that can bring us millions of Euros, and we don’t want to mess up!” That sounded amazing, until he added: “Of course, my niece has been 3 months in Barcelona with an Erasmus grant, and I could ask her, but I don’t want to look less than the Spanish guys, they are going to bring an interpreter!” We should have just stood up and left, but we were young and we wanted to know more. We started listening in details to what the project was going to involve for us. It was about the construction of a huge installation of solar panels, and the client said that he was going to need one person to stay in the office to do the paperwork, answer the emails, and translate the contracts (of course that was going to be me, the woman!) Then, the second person had to be in the field, with the engineers, to interpret, and that was going to be my boyfriend, because they were not going to send a woman in the countryside with all those men. I was already offended by that misogynistic vision of the world and the profession, also because they had no way to know that the Spanish engineers were not going to be women. In fact, I know first‑hand that two great experts on solar power in Sardinia are women, so that was a simplistic and retrograde vision of the working world.

To this offensive presentation, the person also added that, of course, we could receive text messages and emails at any time of the day and the night that we had to translate immediately. Keeping all that in mind, he wanted us to give him a forfeit. We were astonished, we had no idea for how long that could be, one, two, or three month, he said, and it was supposed to be 24/7, with car and fuel to travel to the different sites paid by us, and he wanted a forfeit! Fair enough, I contacted my professors to know what to do; after considering everything, we sent him a detailed budget with different options, for hours or days, for weeks, and for months, depending on what the agreement was going to be. The response we received was: “Dear X and Y, We cannot afford your rates.” I thought it was a project for millions of Euros… You can imagine my amusement when, a month later, talking to the person who introduced me to this possible client, I found out that he didn’t obtain the job in the first place; I guess he and the cousin were cheap enough to mess up!

What could I add to this? A quick quote from the email I received from a translation agency: “Dear Emma, we are interested in your CV, but your rates are higher than those we usually pay. Could you kindly lower them and fill the form again?” This, of course, is what I would have loved to answer: “Dear whomever you are, I am not interested in your shit, could you please raise your fees and pay translators a decent price for their work?” Instead, I expressed my rage in an angry tweet and just kept going my way.

I had a lot of training, and I have finished my studies some years ago now, but I keep struggling finding translating and interpreting jobs. Partly it is my fault, but a huge part is also because of the market. Colleagues are a breath of fresh air, always ready to help and share tips; to find private clients is difficult; and agencies are a mixed bag, and there is a lot to skim before we find our good ones.

My rage is not all gone today, but I feel a lot better now that this is published! This post is dedicated to Cristina and Deividas, thank you both for what you said about my blog in these days. Also, I would like to thank Scheherezade Surià, who was so kind to allow me to use one of her delightful pin-ups to add the icing on the cake of this post, and who always share something funny and punny.

All I wanted was to be invisible!

I am just mad, I need to shout these few things before I take my glossary and my notebook, and I meet my clients once again tomorrow:

–          I am an interpreter; I am no one’s sister or anything of the sort in this case.

–          I have done a brief pre-session, so everyone should know that I AM THE INTERPRETER!

–          I have no economic interest in the agreement, just a personal interest because the client is an acquaintance. Why am I there then? Because I am THE INTERPRETER!

–          I have never intervened in my whole career as much as I did only today, and that just drives me mad, INTERPRETER = INVISIBLE!

–           Don’t ask me and don’t look at me, I am not, in any way, taking part to the negotiations, if not as AN INTERPRETER!

–          I have practiced transparency as never before, constantly abandoning my role, and I am not proud of it.

–          Give me a booth, I hate liaison interpreting!

That said, tomorrow more because, after all, we are professionals!