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Italian Language Division newsletter

I am pleased to have been on the editorial board and wrote an article for the relaunched newsletter for the Italian Language Division of the American Translators Association. Read the whole newsletter here: Tradurre, Italian Language Division newsletter. Here’s my article. Faraway, so close – Drawing on our virtual community  By and large, we translators […]

Bursting out on Girl in Florence

I was delighted to be a guest blogger on one of Florence’s top blogs: Girl in Florence. I wrote about my experience in Florence, especially with meeting new people, and about Speakeasy Multilingual Happy Hours, language exchange events I organize in Florence. Read my post here: Bursting out of our social bubbles Speakeasy Multilingual Firenze […]

How would you say that? Frankly, we wouldn’t.

Language and culture are ingredients baked into the bread of communication — an inconvenient fact but one that sure keeps translation ever-challenging. A few examples from totally disparate worlds: Food Though the old saw about Eskimos having 500 words for snow is actually just a myth, I can assure you that Italians do have many […]

Happy International Translation Day

September 30th is International Translation Day, celebrated since 1953 on the Feast of St. Jerome, the Bible-translating saint and, hence, the patron saint of translation. Last year the UN even officially declared it such, recognizing “the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development.” Recognition is nice but I think […]

Seek and Ye Might Find—Research tips for translators

Information abounds. In translation, as in lay life, the immense volume of it means that the trick is to find accurate information quickly without sinking into the morass of its excess. Back in the day, dictionaries and libraries were a translator’s best friends. Now our best (though often treacherous) friend is Google. To put it […]

The Joy of Learning — Derrieres, loafers, and flaneurs

I often have cause to think of the paradox that this Danish study explored in depth: Though translators complain long and loud about many aspects of our profession, particularly about our effort being underappreciated, we generally rate very high on job satisfaction. I don’t know if the satisfaction expressed in the Danish study applies cross-culturally […]

Translating for the Language Mavens

For 20 years, my friend Jun and I have disagreed about language. A one-time copyeditor, she rigorously responds to “How are you?” with “I’m well” and not “Good.” I think she’s never met a split infinitive she liked. I, on the other hand, am a follower of Steven Pinker, who says of Jun (or William Safire, […]

Customer always right?

English is a sensitive issue for many Italians. Until recently, it was infamously poorly taught in schools. Knowing English well is associated with career success, travel and worldliness. Many Italians I know who have a solid intermediate level of English will claim to know none. However, the paradoxical flip side of the coin of insecurity […]

Review of 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know

Pithy yet potentially daunting, 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know sums up in 101 short entries what one might learn in a lifetime translation career. It underscores the vast variety of the translation landscape and the multiplicity of skills needed. Someone reading it at the beginning of her career or considering a career in translation might exclaim, “Holy […]

Ode to Mailing Lists

Early in my career, around the turn of the millennium, I was at a dinner in Washington D.C. and met a retired translator who had worked for governmental agencies translating from several languages, including Italian, into English. Though I was showing the wetness behind my ears, I couldn’t help but gasp at imagining the task […]