Of Bluebells and Translators

Every spring, my local group of translators (the ITI WRG) organises a bluebell walk in the Forest of Dean. By association, whenever I look at the bluebells that have found their way into my garden at the foot of the rowan tree, I always think of my wonderful colleagues.

Of course, this year, given the pandemic situation, the walk and our other social and professional activities have had to be cancelled. Translators are used to Continue reading

Interview

As a member of a local group of translators (ITI WRG), I have recently taken part in our “Ask a Member” activity. Here is the interview. Read on to see what I’m up to outside of my box-standard duties!

Our ASK A MEMBER series continues! Every Monday we publish a new WRG member profile, in order to showcase our colleagues’ skills, talents and passions. Read on!
This week, we hear from 𝑲𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑳𝒆𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒙.
You can contact Karine at www.linguistic-alchemy.co.uk

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When Work and Fun Come Together

As a translator specialising in visual arts, pictures on my website are a must. The issue is that translation does not quite lend itself to pictures, hence the plethora of translation websites displaying either photos of shelves loaded with language books and dictionaries or images of foreign countries. While both themes are perfectly relevant and can look really good, the first can Continue reading

Happy 2019!

Sending ‘Happy New Year’ messages to my clients of the past year is a chance for me to reflect on the exciting projects I have been part of and the wonderful people I have had the pleasure to work with through the year in an effort to share inspiring art and interesting events celebrating our shared human culture. Among them: Continue reading

Milestone: 100 Followers!

Launched in June 2013, Linguistic Alchemy’s blog has recently reached the milestone of 100 followers! Thank you to all my loyal readers. It makes the time and effort to write these posts all the more worthwhile. As work and life seem to have accelerated for me in the past year, the blog has gone fairly quiet, but I still hope to add to it on occasion, so do stay tuned!

Translating Chinese Whispers

We all know the hackneyed expression “lost in translation”. Yet, some seem to expect translation to work like an exact science.

I was recently working on an exhibition catalogue and one of the texts, written by a German artist, had been translated into English for me to translate into French. Not having been offered to see the German text, and my German being limited anyway, I had to Continue reading

Translation May Not Be What You Need

Just like being able to speak English is not enough to be the next Oscar Wilde, not every job that involves a foreign language can be allocated to a translator. There are times when a translator is the wrong person for the job.

To come up with a snappy slogan or a memorable acronym, you have probably delegated the task to a skilled person within your marketing department or even hired a professional copywriter. Many translators can Continue reading

Trust Me, I’m a Linguist

Each language has its own logic, sets of rules and exquisite weirdnesses. If something looks strange to you in the translation, it may be due to such idiosyncrasies rather than a translator’s mistake.

For example, in French there is a hard space in front of certain items of punctuation such as question and exclamation marks, colons and semicolons, and quotation marks. Also note that the latter Continue reading

Teaming up for Clients

Here is an article I have written, published this month in The Linguist, the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ magazine. When looking for translators working in other language pairs on behalf of clients, the response to my search for a suitable candidate can be of mixed quality and standards. This article gives fellow linguists tips on how best to respond when contacted by a colleague. Continue reading

Give the Cream to Those who Want it Most

Out of the blue, a Toronto-based artist contacted me, asking whether my MA dissertation (on J. M. W. Turner and the Industrial Revolution) was available for purchase. Who would have thought! The artist is currently doing some research on Turner and found my details in the Association of Art Historians’ member directory.

While my translation services are irrelevant in this case, this anecdote illustrates that translators are everywhere, even where you might Continue reading