Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Facebook and Professionals

December 9, 2007

I’ve just had the good fortune of being featured in Marci Alboher’s blog.

I’ve been reading Marci’s column in the New York Times for some time now. I like her approach to Small Business (that’s why the link to her column is in my blogroll on the right, under, appropriately, Small Business).

I am a member of the Slash “/” Careers Facebook group she has set up on Facebook and that is where the material for the feature comes from.

I hear a lot of fierce criticism in France from quite a few people (mostly older ones, but not just them) about the dangers of Facebook. Because they are scared of it, they won’t even take a look. Others are curious, despite legitimate concerns regarding privacy. I don’t look up the France network any more, although I am a member of it geographically, because I don’t share most of their interests (too old for that), but Facebook has enabled me to get in touch with a number of professionals worldwide, and this is a new way of looking at it.

Understandably, no single social network can replace good old face-to-face meetings (more on that tomorrow), but the professionals who have embraced it are prepared to go the extra mile to meet and connect with people they might otherwise have never had the opportunity to meet.

Variation is the spice of life. And we professionals shouldn’t stick to only one way of communicating with the rest of the world.


The One-Million-Dollar/Euro Question

November 17, 2007

‘Tell me: Your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles say that you are a Translator & Conference Interpreter. Is there a difference?’

The answer is ‘Yes, there is’.

Let’s put it simply: these two job descriptions have about one thing in common (apart from adrenalin production). They deal with languages. Translation is the process whereby a statement in one language is converted into a statement having -hopefully and ideally- the same meaning in another language. That may sound boring as a definition, but some brilliant colleagues are authoring real PhD’s on the subject.

Human beings have more than one way of communicating. The two that are involved in ‘translation’ are the written word and the spoken word. Written words are translated, spoken words are interpreted. It’s as simple (apparently) as that. We navigate between two languages, but for each job, we use different mental patterns, different techniques, and we are submitted to different time constraints.

Imagine a translator with a 30,000-word manual needed next week. She may be typing away at her keyboard, feeding the text to a machine translation system, dictating it, whatever. If she is tired or bored, she can get up and get herself a cup of coffee.

Now imagine an interpreter faced with a PowerPoint presentation on the private life of some newly-found microcellular organism, delivered at Eurostar speed, in front of a 500-strong audience. See the difference? I don’t mean that the translator is working at a leisurely pace. She has a deadline to meet, so she can’t afford to waste any time, but the type of pressure is different.

Now, the one-million-dollar question: can you really be both?

My answer is Yes. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to develop these very different skills. I love trying to catch up with the Eurostar, and I love working from the comfort of my home office.

View Nadine Touzet's profile on LinkedIn