Translation blogging

I think this year I will probably ignore this blog’s birthday (early April, 15?). When I started there were a few translation blogs, although probably no other legal translation blogs. I thought that after I stopped teaching legal translation, I still had a lot of things to say about it. But nowadays I am more likely to post interesting links to Twitter. Goodness knows how many I am missing.

A websearch brings up a lot of posts on ‘Best translation blogs’. I am fond of this description of mine:

  • Transblawg is dedicated to German-English legal translation. The posts, written by Werner Patels, are full of humor and entertainment, which makes his blog fun and quite useful at the same time. It offers help and information to translators on a variety of topics and specializations.

This should teach me not to be so full of myself.

Here’s a new legal translation blog: Language with a Pinch of Law.

Like many, it’s the offshoot of a legal translation firm. It’s run by Paula Arturo and its languages are US English and Spanish (Argentina) and Portuguese (Brazil). There is an active Twitter feed too. It goes into US legal usage quite a lot (often quoting  Ken Adams or Bryan Garner (Black’s Law Dictionary)). There is also apparently a Facebook group called Legal Writing and Translation, (‘For those who passionately pursue linguistic excellence’), but I haven’t investigated it. The main emphasis of the blog is probably translating US contracts (common law) into Spanish (civil law).

Nikki Graham in her Tranix blog (My words for a change) started a translation and interpreting BLOG survey in January of this year, and she has now published a first post on the results: Blogging is not dead.

She had 190 responses. One finding was that over 84% of those replying do read blogs (but then why would they fill in a survey about blogging if they didn’t?). The next question: is blogging good for your business? The majority did not think so.

I had a problem with that question because I did not create this blog directly to be good for my business, although it might appeal to other translators, and if legal translation is not their special field they might recommend me to their clients. But then again I seem to have enough work.

There are a lot of quotes from survey answers. There is to be a second part:

In part 2 of the survey results, we’ll look at the reasons why people do and don’t blog.

I will be interested in that. When I started this blog, the world of advertising yourself as a translator was very different.

From another blog: Martin Crellin, in false friends, good and bad translation, posts on becoming a German. He writes in German, despite the English title. I was amused to read that one of the places he had to apply to asked for a handwritten c.v. – although he found out later he could have done it on the computer. I remember handwritten cvs!

Jurtrans blog

In connection with the Words to Deeds Conference 2017 I discovered a legal translation blog by John O’Shea, who does Greek to English translation. The latest post lists upcoming legal translation conferences, of which there are a few:
Round-up of forthcoming legal translation events
There are interesting links on the site too.

Also a fuller report on the conference by Jennifer Whitely on her blog Lakesidelinguist’s Blog. This probably does not refer to our local Lakeside Thurrock though:
Reflections on theWords to Deed Conference #W2D2017

LAWnLinguistics blog on corpus linguistics

I have already given a link to Neil Goldfarb’s weblog LAWnLinguistics – Not about the linguistics of lawns, but that was only in passing. My post then was about Goldfarb’s use of corpus linguistics in an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The latest post, dated today, is Words, Meanings, Corpora: A Lawyer’s Introduction to Meaning in the Framework of Corpus Linguistics. He writes:

On Friday I will be presenting a paper at a conference at Brigham Young University Law School on law and corpus linguistics. Here is the description from the conference website:
‘Building on the 2016 inaugural Law and Corpus Linguistics Conference, the 2017 BYU Law Review Symposium, “Law & Corpus Linguistics” brings together legal scholars from across various substantive areas of scholarship, prominent corpus linguistics scholars, and judges who have employed corpus linguistics analysis in their decisions.’

That’s quite a coincidence because on the same date there is a talk at IALS A Practical Workshop on using Corpus Linguistics for Law by Dr Gianluca Pontrandolfo.

Goldfarb wants to show lawyers how to judge the meaning of words, and Pontrandolfo’s workshop is said to be of interest not only to legal translators but to those analysing legal language for other purposes.

Anyway, the weblog has a great number of interesting links. It was pretty new when I first linked to it.

With thanks to Stan Carey on Twitter.

Germany in the late summer of 1938

These are two posts from the blog of Sir Henry Brooke, a retired Court of Appeal judge – highly recommended not only for these posts on his father’s visit to Germany in 1938. These are original reports which appeared anonymously in The Times in autumn 1938.

Of course, first days in any foreign country bring home all sorts of outward differences. Why does almost everybody in a German train spend the journey standing up and looking out of the window? Why have the countless level crossings over railway lines and the ubiquitous single-decker trams been endured on the roads so long? Why are commercial lorries pulling enormous trailers so abundant, long-distance motor-coaches so rare? Why is Germany so far behind us in the development of the flower garden, so far ahead in the use of window-boxes? Why are English standards of forestry so deplorable in comparison? Why is the German town so much noisier through the night? Why is German bedding so apparently unsuited for comfortable sleep, and why are Germans so curious as to make the same criticism of English bedding?

There is more, of course. I find it worrying to think back to that time when Hitler’s view of the Jews tallied with that of the nation, and many people believed that he was their only protection against the problems of the Versailles Treaty.

Germany in the late summer of 1938 (1)
Germany in the late summer of 1938 (2)

Mass mailing

Did anyone else get one of these?

Hi,
I really loved your blog!

My name is XXX and I am a partner at YYY. We are looking to solve the pains and frustrations of the translation industry through training, consultancy and our flagship TMS software solution.

Currently, we are looking to deliver amazing content and insights from thought leaders to our growing customer platform. And once we saw your amazing blog we couldn’t stop thinking about getting in touch with you to see if there are potential ways to collaborate.

It would be great to set up a short chat with you to explore synergies! Just let me know when it would be a good time for you if you are up for it.

Would love to hear back from you.
Take care,

I think it’s usually etiquette not to reply to emails, for instance job offers, which are not addressed personally to oneself, although actually I did reply to XXX (in the negative) here.

ITI problems

The ITI retirement issue story is set out at The ongoing ITI retirement/resignation saga on Lisa Simpson’s blog – many thanks to Lisa for hosting this matter.

The post contains a letter which ITI members including myself sent to the ITI Bulletin but which was not permitted to be published.

My problem with this is not that I want to retire yet myself, but the way others are being treated if they do, and the fact that the letter was not published. The retired category does not permit any paid translation work at all, in this age where people expect to work after retirement. As for those who leave, who include founding members (the ITI was founded 30 years ago), they are asked to return their certificates.

See also the post at Herbert Eppel’s blog.

Don’t love your translator

I agree with Alain Rosenmund (his blog is Effizient Übersetzen (Lassen): don’t love your translator.

Davon abgesehen, dass sich die Aktion an die falschen Adressaten richtet, kommen die Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer als Bittsteller daher, statt als Partner, denen man auf Augenhöhe begegnet. Diese Aktion schwächt mit anderen Worten die Position der Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer. Genauer: Die Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer, die bei dieser Aktion mitmachen, schwächen ihre eigene Position.

Rosenmund goes on to give advice on how translators should really establish a serious professional relationship.

Fortunately, it sounds as if the stickers can be removed easily:

Our stickers can be removed easily and do not leave marks. The act of sticking them to street lamps and the like will therefore not be considered vandalism in most countries. However, we know that countries like Switzerland and Singapore are very strict and we ask you to consider your country’s law and use common sense when you go out tagging.

Our stickers are vegan, made of biodegradable plastics, and don’t have any negative environmental effects.