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Showing posts from 2017

Saint Petersburg, Russia. Where to go and what to see if your time is limited

Hi everybody! How've you been? Has 2017 been good to you so far? My 2017 has been very busy, although I have been working on getting back to the balanced lifestyle. The more busy I am, the more I realize how important it is to give myself enough rest, physical activity, and pleasant emotions. And the best thing that unites all three of the aforementioned aspects is of course travelling.

A few days ago I took a short break and went to Saint Petersburg with my daughter and my nephew. Saint Petersburg is more than just a city. It's a historic legend, UNESCO World Heritage sight, and definitely one of the must-see places in the world. My break was short, but it was so good that I decided to share our itinerary with you just in case some of my readers find themselves in the situation when they have just 3 days to spend in Saint Petersburg and they can't decide where to go and what to see. Especially if you are travelling with teenagers (my co-travellers are 12 and 18 years old,…

Is it possible to learn a language without absorbing its culture?

When we approach learning a language, thoughts of grammatical correctness and learning lists of words by rote are often uppermost in our minds. However, there are many elements of language learning that creep up on us unawares. Some of these are inextricably linked with the culture from which that language developed. This is something that those in professional translation embrace as part of learning a new language, but is it possible to learn a language without absorbing its culture as well?

Take the Portuguese word saudades, for example. It doesn’t have a direct translation in English. Google Translate provides ‘miss you’ as the translation, but this is a long way from the mark. Saudades is a deep-rooted sense of longing or yearning for someone or something – a melancholy that touches the heart and the soul. It’s not a word to be used lightly!

The very existence of such a word offers a hint into the Portuguese character and culture. It expresses something that we have no direct equi…

Translation Forum Russia 2017: my report

A few days ago I came back from Translation Forum Russia which took place in Ufa, Bashkortostan. My daughter Delia went with me because she never visited Ufa before (neither have I) and because of the trip to the Southern Ural mountains we planned to take after the conference with a small group of colleagues. Ufa is not considered one of the primary tourist attractions of Russia, though I am convinced now that it definitely should be.

Some pictures of the city (not all of the pictures are mine, some were made by the official photographer of the conference Elena Ekaterininskaya, our company CEO Fedor Kondratovich and some other colleagues):


The bee is a symbol of the region as Bashkortostan produces the best honey in Russia. We saw installations shown below in different parts of the city. There were still covered because of the cold weather, but they will be full of blooming flowers as soon as the warm weather comes. It's already something like a tradition to start the TFR with a …

How to Reply To a Negative Feedback About Your Translation

We are humans and we screw up many times!

And receiving a negative feedback about your translation work if one of them.

As translation professionals, we work daily with people from different cultures and backgrounds. So, it is quite important to keep a level of etiquette while we do our business communication.

Whatever your years of experience or your educational background, there are times when daily life affects our business badly. It is how we react to these situations what makes a big difference between professional translation service providers and those who are not.

I was lucky enough when I started my translation career back in 2004 to read about the “A Complaint Is a Gift” business book and receive my training by a true professional Arabic translator.

My colleague taught me the tactics of a professional’s reply to a negative feedback and the book mentions the bright side of receiving a complaint about your work. If the client does not like your work, he can just move to anothe…

Insider Insights from the German Translation Market

It seems from current trends that the German translation market is becoming more and more important as time goes on. Due to an apparent increase in demand, the German Book Office in New York recently arranged a workshop for new and current German English translators. It’s keen to support the growing army of German to English translators, particularly those that are involved in literary translations.
Is Literary Translation More Challenging Than Any Other Translation Task?

The freelance translator's quick and easy guide to creating a marketing plan

If you’re a freelancer providing a professional translation service and you don’t have a marketing plan, it’s time to write one. Now.
A marketing plan is an essential tool in defining what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it. It can help you to think through how you approach getting clients, ways in which you could be more effective and how to earn more money. Sounds good? Then let’s get started!
Marketing plan overview

Guest post: Where is Marketing Translation Heading in 2017

2016 was some year! It was a year when the breakneck speed of globalisation got a bloody nose, first from the Brexit vote in Britain and then the U.S. Presidential election shock result. In many parts of the world it felt that the trend towards greater communication and business expansion worldwide might slow down, even contract as communities in many countries signalled their discontent with being left behind. Could this affect the translation industry in 2017? It seems unlikely at this stage. 2016 saw a big spurt in the need for translators and there seems no signs of this slowing down in 2017. So what are the trends on the horizon, especially for marketing translation in 2017?
More demand for video translators Marketing is using the power of video more than ever. As consumers demand ever increasing amounts of data access and are using their mobile devices to make choices over buying preferences, video marketing has an ability to sell products in a more lifelike way than still imag…