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John Oliver on military translators and interpreters October 20, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Translation.
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From last night’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Translators who have aided the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and Iraq are in great danger in their home countries, but red tape is making it impossible for many of them to leave. John Oliver interviews Mohammad, one translator who made it out.

In the process he made millions of Americans aware of a problem many of us in the industry have known about for years. Thanks, Mr. Oliver! And thanks for sharing this, Rose!

Also, Afghan interpreter Mohammed started a petition on Change.org to help save his family’s lives http://t.co/l7Gc1UoXW7 Please sign and share.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 15, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
1 comment so far

youre

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 8, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
1 comment so far

enema

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 1, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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perhaps

List of Nuremberg interpreters? October 1, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Uncategorized.
8 comments

I had an interesting comment today on a post from 2009 entitled Wishing translators and interpreters a Happy International Translation Day. The gentleman heard a BBC Radio 4 broadcast about International Translation Day, googled it, and must have stumbled on my blog. He states that his former father-in-law served as a translator/interpreter at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, but since he refused to talk about his experiences the family is not sure. He asked if a list existed of the Nuremberg interpreters and translators. A bit of googling led me to discover there were six interpreters, twelve translators, nine stenographers for each of the four languages, totaling 108 people. However, I wonder if a list exists. It is definitely an interesting question. If anyone knows of a resource please let me know. Thanks. And I hope you all had a good International Translation Day. I enjoyed a 90-minute massage this afternoon and processed a bushel of Roma tomatoes. I had the day off since the job I am working on this month needs to be re-DTPed. I just love it when umlauts aren’t recognized and “l”s are output as “i”s, don’t you?

Even Microsoft gets it wrong (“Skype Translator”) September 29, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Uncategorized.
4 comments

From the latest ATA News Briefs:

New Translation Technology No Threat to Professional Translators

After 15 years of research, Microsoft has unveiled Skype Translator, a voice translator that will convert speech from one language to another in almost real time. The service—dubbed by the media as the “Star Trek Translator”—will be available for Windows 8 by the end of this year. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella describes the system as a neural network that “learns” from data, much like the human brain. “It’s not,” Nadella says, “just about daisy-chaining speech recognition, machine translation, and speech synthesis.” But according to Andy Way, associate professor of computing at Dublin City University, the hype promises more than can be delivered. Way says, “You’re more likely to have everything else in Star Trek before you ever get a universal translator.” Philipp Koehn, chair of the Machine Translation School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, agrees with Way. “Automatic spoken translation is a particular problem because you’re working with two imperfect technologies tied together—speech recognition and translation,” he says. Despite their imperfections, industry analysts say Skype Translator and other automated translation programs are here to stay. They believe globalization has driven the demand for translation beyond the availability of translators. European Commission Language Officer Angelique Petrits says that her organization translates two-million pages into 24 different languages every year. “The organization wouldn’t be able to fulfill its mission without up-to-date translation technology.” Petrits does not view machine translation as a replacement for human translators. “Technology is a tool that helps dealing with the scarce resources of translators by speeding up their work and allowing them to concentrate on the essentials. It also contributes to the consistency of terminology, crucial in EU texts,” Petrits says. Way, Koehn, and Petrits all insist that technology is not about to replace translators. As Way observes, “There is just so much translation to be done—people have estimated that only around five percent of what needs to be translated actually is—that good translators will never be out of a job.”

From “Tech Is Removing Language Barriers—but Will Jobs Be Lost in Translation?”
Guardian (United Kingdom) (09/19/14) Williams, Martin

Well, considering they keep talking about “spoken translation” I don’t think we have anything to worry about. Come on, engineers, if you are programming it you should AT LEAST know the difference between interpreting and translation. Wow.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 24, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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granite

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 17, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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flinch

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 10, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
5 comments

catcomma

Goodbye to you September 8, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
1 comment so far

IMAG1155I just received an email from Freek at Intrans Book Service. After twenty five years of supplying translators with specialized dictionaries he has made the difficult decision to shut down his business as of December 31 2014. He has already stopped importing new books and will be selling off his stock at http://www.intransbooks.com.

IMAG1154I have bought many of my dictionaries from Freek over the years – both at the conference and through the website. He was also the only exhibitor willing to attend the Mid-Year Conference of the ATA Medical Division I organized. I made it a goal every year when I started doing business in the U.S. to buy at least one dictionary a year from Intrans. However, at some point I had bought all the important dictionaries and no longer needed them. I have been relying on electronic dictionaries and the Internet for a while now. I guess this is just a sign of the times. In light of the Internet both in terms of terminology research and the low-bid world of online suppliers it no longer made good business sense, and I completely understand his decision even though we will miss him. I take comfort in knowing I will have my library for years to come and will think of him every time I reach for my Dietl/Lorentz or Langenscheidt Medizin.

Thanks for all the wonderful years of service, Freek. We will miss your smiling face and your sister’s cookies at the Annual Conference this year. I wish you nothing but the best.

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