Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

The Perfectionist Speaks…

January 4, 2008

The New Year is a good opportunity for a new start, the easiest way being to make a few tweaks and adjustments. And as I said in a previous post, there’s a perfectionist somewhere nudging me, telling me that my blog is not exactly as I want it to be.

Don’t mistake my words. I’m also very thankful: more than 900 hits in just about 6 weeks, for a first blog on an obscure topic (obscure for all the internet marketers out there, and those who are quite happy to use any technological tool that has ‘trans’ in it, not for us in the know *wink*), is NOT BAD. But I want to learn more, and to improve. The hit figures, by the way, are purely there to keep me happy, because this blog is not for monetizing.

So some overhaul is going to happen here.

1. I’m planning to move this blog to my own domain. I’ve had a domain for 2 years now, but as I said earlier, it’s been hacked because I was too indecisive about it, and I now have to recover it. I recently acquired another one, also in my name, and I’m shifting the blog to that one. Sometime…

This is taking time, for a good reason. When you are not a master of a given technique, you have to rely on others to do it for you, or you do it on your own, and that’s painful. By the way, that’s a good lesson for those out there who think they can translate, but haven’t realized the full implications. I ran a enlightening search on Twitter the other day, on ‘translate’ and ‘translation’. As always: leave it to the professionals.

2. I’m not happy with the blogroll, so I’m going to reshuffle things, maybe reorganize it completely. I suppose that could be termed ‘growing pains’. I keep adding to it as I find new interesting links, but it’s become a mixed bag of things.

I want the sidebar and the blogroll in particular, to be the most useful part of this blog. My views of the profession are interesting, no doubt. I have enough anecdotes on clients, colleagues, etc. for at least one year of posting, but that’s not the point. I consider myself more a messenger, a link between those who don’t know our work very well, be them clients or young translators/interpreters, and useful sources, documents, interesting people IN the profession, and sources of inspiration OUTSIDE the profession. So in the coming months, I am going to work on that. I asked a question on LinkedIn the other day, and received a dozen very interesting answers. I’m still leaving the question open for a few days, then I’ll close it and analyze the responses.

3. So if I can achieve those 2 objectives in the next 3 months for Objective 1, and 6 months for Objective 2, I suppose I’ll be reasonably happy with myself.

So watch this space…


Wanted: a Translator with Ironing Skills

November 27, 2007

The weird heading is my translation of the title of a post from this French book review blog, ‘La République des Lettres’. An ad was posted by ANPE, the French Employment Agency: someone was offering a live-in position to a translator who would translate (and type) a novel from French into Arabic, while doing the usual tasks required of an au pair: shopping, cooking, cleaning and ironing. The successful applicant would receive the same hourly wage as a cleaning lady, and all expenses (meals, accommodation and laundry) would be taken from the salary.

A large number of variously ironical or inspired or funny comments was posted, and it wasn’t until the chairman of ATLF, the French Literary Translators’ Association, had written officially to ANPE, arguing that the ad was debasing for literary translators, that it was withdrawn.

The comments were strangely diverse, ranging from accusations of slavery to jokes, short comments, long flowery speeches. One especially caught my attention. The commenter was asking ATLF to advocate higher fees for literary translators. Literary translation is notoriously underpaid, given the requirements in terms of talent and time.

I can’t help wondering, why would someone post this kind of ad? Translating any literary genre into Arabic must be quite difficult, and it was the fact that an intellectual occupation should be paid the same (minimum) rate as cleaning and ironing, that generated the outcry, but also a strange feeling. Was it sheer naiveté, or as one of the commenter suggested, slavery? Or someone trying to get cheap labor by taking advantage of someone in difficult circumstances? In any case, it didn’t look good.

English vs. French

November 14, 2007

A good friend of mine was asking me the other day:

Friend: ‘You’re French, why would you want to communicate on the ‘net in English?’

Me: ‘Well, most of my clients are in the English-speaking world nowadays’

Friend: ‘…’

Me: ‘Most of my income comes from foreign companies or entities’

Friend: ‘…’

Me: ‘I have to talk to my real clients, what else can I do? Anyway, I mostly translate into French, so English-speaking people are the ones who need me most, if they want to communicate to their French clients!’

Friend: ‘Well, I suppose so…’

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I did it!

November 13, 2007

I can’t believe I did it! Up until now, I’ve been reading other people’s blogs. Now I have my own.

In the past few months, I read a couple of articles about Facebook, MySpace, and Web 2.0 in general. But I didn’t really have the time, or even the courage, to look into that. A couple of weeks ago however, after reading about the use and the impact of Facebook and other social networks for small businesses, I decided to go for it. I created my Facebook profile, I have now created this weblog, and I am developing my year-old domain that has been waiting for my attention. It’s a work in progress, but it will be done.