Split the American Translators Association in Two – an Update for 2015


Very good post!

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

Eleven years ago I received a letter from a fellow translator who lives in Florida. I checked on Google, he still lives there, although I’m not sure whether he is still a translator.

Many readers of my silly blog may not remember it, but before the invention of Twitter, the greatest invention since slice bread (… wait, that would be Facebook … let’s make it the second greatest invention since slice bread), people used to write whole letters to each other, usually on several pages that were covered with whole sentences, without a single emoticon!

All they had in those ancient, backward times was bolding, italics, CAPS and exclamation points!

I kept the letter, which contained at least eight pages, though I have only seven of them; it looks like I lost the last page. The letter, that was sent to me along with a number of other America Translators…

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The Pyramid of Translation Rates and Your Place in It

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

Some people think that Egyptian pyramids were built by aliens from faraway planets. But I think it is more likely that an ancient architect came up with the concept of the structure of a tomb worthy of a pharaoh because it reflected so perfectly the structure of the society at the time.

Pyramid of classes in Egypt

In my scholarly analysis today, I will try to address the issue of different rates that are paid to translators for their work by likening the pyramid of the different types of translation rates in “the translation industry” to the social pyramid based on the roles and functions of different people and professions that existed already some 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt.

At the bottom of the pyramid in ancient Egypt were slaves who had to perform the most arduous tasks while working basically for food. They were also the ones who had to build the pyramid…

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I Don’t Sell Hot Dogs – So Why Are You Calling Me “A Vendor”?


Selling hot-dogs LOL

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

I received the following e-mail from an agency in Europe. I translated a few Japanese patents for them a few years ago, but I have not heard from them in quite a while.
This is what the e-mail said:

Dear translator,

I would like to inform you that we are now working with a new Management System for our translation jobs.

This new system allows the interaction with you through our Vendor Portal.
The Vendor Portal is a tool designed for fast and easy cooperation with our Project Management Portal. With it you can:

• Update your personal data
• Receive and accept job offers
• Download and upload files
• Notify about your vacations (days off)
• And much more!

You will receive an email within the next few minutes with your login and password to enter the Portal. Please check you spam folder if you do not receive…

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Robotization of Translation – A Reflection of a World Gone Mad

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

The word “robot” was created by the Czech writer and playwright Karel Čapek in 1921, almost a hundred years ago, for one of his science-fiction plays called R.U.R., which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots. It is likely that the word was suggested to him by his brother, Joseph Čapek, after Karel Čapek attempted to coin a new word for his new play from the English word “labor” (or “labour”, probably).

It is interesting to me that the following three words that have been borrowed from Czech, or from what is now called Czech Republic, became English words: pistol (from píšt’ala, which now means “flute” or “whistle” in Czech), dollar (via German from a place in Bohemia called in German Joachimsthall, the origin of silver coins that were called “tolars” in Czech, very popular in Europe about four hundred years ago), and the word “robot”…

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7 Tips for Growing Up as a Professional Translator


Deep and insightful as anything by Paula Arturo usually is …

Originally posted on :

crying baby

I don’t usually publish two posts on the same week, especially not just one day apart, but there is a rich debate going on in one of the many online forums I check out from time to time and the Professor in me simply cannot help commenting on it while it’s still a hot topic from which we can learn a thing or two.

These are the facts as I know them. A translator with a degree in translation applied to an agency specializing in technical translation, apparently in two very specific subject areas. The agency allegedly reviewed the translator’s application and –very politely in my opinion– thanked her for applying and explained that the nature of their work requires professionals with degrees in these two subject areas. They added that, although they don’t often receive much work that fits her profile, they will keep her on record in case…

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Know more than one language? How your bilingual brain could pay dividends


What do you say to this, fellow translators and/or interpreters?

Originally posted on Quartz:

Speaking more than one language may confer significant benefits on the developing brain. Research has now shown that bilingual young adults not only fare better in the job market, but are also more likely to demonstrate empathy and problem-solving skills.

The fact is that American adults are largely monolingual English speakers, even those who began life speaking more than one language. Based on the latest research, it might be time to rethink the emphasis on monolingualism in the US.

Speaking two languages has advantages

Over the past decade, my research has focused on the academic, social, and civic development of immigrant youth, specifically the ways in which schools shape how these students experience learningfriendships, and their communities.

As a former elementary bilingual teacher, I saw how full proficiency in both languages offered students significant academic and social advantages.

What was missing…

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Making the Switch from Agency Clients to Direct Clients


A very interesting post you can learn a lot from.

Originally posted on Patenttranslator's Blog:

Most translators and would-be translators have no clue how to find new clients. The best evidence of this is the fact that they keep buying useless lists of translation agencies from peddlers of useless lists of translation agencies and then fire off hundreds or thousands of e-mails with a generic cover letter to these agencies.

Many of these translators are so dumb that they even include the same idiotic cover letter that the peddlers of useless lists of translation agencies also helpfully include in their offering for a mere 150 Euros or so.

Imagine how a translation agency coordinator or an owner of a small translation agency must feel about having to delete these e-mails, every day, day after day. Although I am not really an agency, I receive these e-mails as well, usually in duplicate because I am listed under two different names in several of those useless lists…

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