To praise, or not to praise, that is the question

Hi there dear readers!

Today I would like to share with you what happened to me when I was moving my first steps into the translation world.

Hamlet with a skull because he does not know what to doTo keep a long story short, I was asked to translate a short booklet of recipes for an organic fruit exporter who wanted to raise awareness about the versatility of his products. It was one of my first projects, so I was pretty scared because the booklet was going to be printed, even if in only a few hundred copies. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get my name ‘out there’ in the big world, so I asked to be mentioned as ‘the translator’ somewhere in the booklet.

The answer?
No way.

I was very sad, but that was something that could happen, so I (slowly, I admit it) got over it and completed the translation.

At last the printed copies of the booklet arrived and the exporter showed me with pride that my name was actually there! I was so happy!

And then I turned the page of one of the booklets. There was a two-page introduction I had never seen before that was translated so poorly it was a pain to read it, and that was not my work! I asked what had happened and was told that the introduction was added at the very last minute, so an obscure relative of someone working at the printing company had kindly (…) volunteered to do the translation. What a pity the introduction would be the first thing people would see when opening the booklet.

Now I can laugh about this episode – and truly hope all booklets have turned into some beautiful notebook made of recycled paper – but at the time I felt it was unfair and disappointing and I am sure you understand why.

Have you ever dealt with public praise and, if so, would you like to share both negative and positive experiences?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Posted in Fun, Translation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Case study about paying peanuts: a sustainability report

Hi there dear readers!

Have you ever burnt a cake, tried to adjust it somehow and then discover it still tasted horrible? I have, and the best solution in this case is actually baking a new one.

Something similar happened with the translation of a sustainability report I read as a reviewer.
This (sad) story begins with quotes from different translation agencies. Unfortunately the quote chosen was the cheapest and – guess what – the translation was terrible. When I received the text, I realised it could not be used for something so important such as a sustainability report, a document showcasing your achievements to your most important stakeholders.

When I reported this, I was told to fix everything because I was the one reviewing it. But as you know, sometimes you burn a cake beyond repair and the sad truth is that you need to put back all the ingredients on the table if you don’t want your guests (aka readers) to taste something they’ll definitely remember for a long time, and not in a positive way.

Now I would like to say there was a happy ending to this story with a wonderful re-translation done professionally, but this was not possible due to already expired deadlines, budget, etc.

So, remember to act wisely both when baking as well as when choosing quotes! 🙂

Do you have similar stories to share dear readers, maybe with a happy ending?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Posted in Translation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TradInFo yearly meeting in Forlì, Italy

Hi there dear readers!

Forlì's hidden beautiesOn Saturday 30th November I had the pleasure to attend the yearly TradInFo meeting in Forlì, Italy. TradInFo – an acronym standing for Translators in Forlì – is a translators’ and interpreters’ association aimed at promoting our professions, organising professional development events and raise awareness among members about the do’s and don’ts of our jobs.

Our day was kicked off by a wonderful presentation about welfare rights for freelancers by ACTA member Samanta Boni. ACTA is an association for all kinds freelancers and has been strongly campaigning for their rights.
Samanta Boni talked about sick leave, maternity leave, and child and family benefits raising awareness about freelancers’ rights. It was a great session as all attendees were really interested and literally ‘bombarded’ Samanta with a lot of questions! This was also an occasion to share people’s experience as freelancers and to enjoy a boost of optimism and positive attitude which is essential not only in our profession, but in life in general.

After a great lunch with some regional specialties prepared by TradInFo members, the afternoon went on with the presentation of new members – one of them was me! – and updates about the association by the committee.

To sum up, it was a great day packed with useful information, the chance to meet in person some lovely colleagues and to leave re-energised and filled with a positive attitude. I am already looking forward to the next meeting!

And what do you like most if you attend these kind of meetings?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Posted in Professional associations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment