Degree in translation required?

I've seen that some translation agencies, mostly in Europe, require all their translators to hold degrees in translation. Here's a telling excerpt from an agency sales pitch: The first phase consists of the translation of a document by highly-qualified translators holding university degrees in translation and with previous experience with that type of document. Notice […]

The ebook experience: Packt versus Manning

Last Friday, I bought two new programming books: Expert Python Programming from Packt Publishing, and IronPython in Action from Manning. Although I bought the PDF version of IronPython in Action, I bought the dead-tree version of Expert Python Programming. The reason is because Packt's DRM measures make the PDF version a lot less convenient. Here's […]

Ministry of Kitchen Sinks

A lot of Japanese government agencies have English names that are more … descriptive … than the Japanese. Probably the worst offender is the 文部科学省, which has the quite unwieldy official translation of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This is a real pain when you're constrained for space, such as when translating […]

If this house of the crystal to extinguish itself of rock.

Which, of course, is the multibabel-ized version of "Those in glass houses should not throw stones." Hat tip to blogging translator for mentioning the site. Incidentally, leaving out Japanese, Chinese, and Korean from our language chain, we get the much more understandable (!?): In the houses of the crystal the rocks would not have that […]

Doing volunteer translation

Corrine over at Thoughts on Translation has a good post on volunteering your translation services. I definitely recommend pro bono/volunteer translation, both for experienced translators and people starting out. When I first started volunteering, the head of the NPO told me that it doesn't matter if you have selfish motives to volunteer — in fact […]

Globalizing phone numbers

When translating a Japanese company's contact information, the phone number will usually be written using the Japanese convention, and intended for dialing from within Japan. For example, my phone number would be written like this: 098-958-1297 (Note to stalkers: Call during office hours, Mon-Fri only, please ) The leading zero is needed when dialing from […]

Translating “gamen” into English

Japanese uses the word 画面 (gamen) in a software context in many different ways. It might refer to a window, a dialog box, a (web) page, or the computer's physical screen. The Fifth Edition of the Green Goddess gives the following translation for 画面 in a computer context: 【電算】 〔コンピューターや携帯電話などの表示面〕 a (display) screen. This, unfortunately, […]

The Daily WTF as the optimum way to improve programming ability?

I was listening to a fascinating piece on NPR's Science Friday called The Science of Getting a 'Yes'. The guest speaker, Robert Cialdini, noted that when training firefighters, giving case studies of past mistakes by firefighters was more effective than giving case studies of correct decisions. The point was that negative information is more effective […]

Virus scam targeting translators

A number of translators have been receiving scam emails containing a virus attachment, disguised as a file to be translated. Here's the text of the email I received: Subject: High Quality Translation I haven't seen you for weeks I need this document translated, and the translation is to be of high quality. The attorney asked […]

Article on patent translation

Intellectual Property Today has an interesting article on patent translation. Here's a choice quote: To understand translation risk, it must be remembered that there is no such thing as a perfect translation. A word or a phrase in one language rarely corresponds exactly to a single word or phrase in another language. For example, the […]