#ata53: Common German Terms That Make Native English Speakers Want to Bang Their Heads Against the Wall November 26, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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In this workshop-style session a panel of experts discussed some of their favorite “thorny enemies,” that is, German terms that are difficult to pin down and frequently mistranslated. Participants were invited to contribute their own “thorny enemies,” and everybody threw out suggestions for the best translations for these. This session had a lot of potential, with a stellar panel of German to English and English to German translators, but I was somewhat disappointed with the final result. The “contributions from the audience” part kind of made it a free-for-all, with people shouting out suggestions. And all of the suggestions were right depending on the context. Some examples included: Absatz/absetzen, abwickeln, Bereich, betrieblich, Es ist zu + verb, Fach- + anything, grundsätzlich, im Rahmen der/des, kompetent, maßgeblich/maßgebend, plausibel, qualifiziert, Sachverhalt, Wahrnehmung/wahrnehmen and wobei.
The session was amusing, but I don’t feel I learned anything new. Then again, that wasn’t the point of the session. This kind of session would be a difficult one to conceive and implement, and I appreciate that the presenters banded together to come up with it.
#ata53: Orientation Session for First-Time Conference Attendees November 15, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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Since I was the presenter and not an attendee I don’t have much to say about this session at the ATA conference – other to say that you can watch it on the ATA webinar page (for FREE!) and prepare yourself for next year’s conference. Sarah Dillon told me she is a huge fan, having listened to the webinar a whopping 7 times before the conference, and numerous other attendees came up to me thanking me for presenting the session. If you are nervous about attending the conference, this webinar is a great way to prepare for it mentally as well as physically (I include tips on how to write a resume, what your business cards should have on them, how to dress, networking tips, etc.).
As the abstract for the session states:
Is this your first time attending ATA’s Annual Conference? Do not be shy-we would love to meet you! The speakers will provide tips to help you get the most out of the conference and answer your questions. This will be a great opportunity to network with other first-time attendees from around the country and around the world!
We always start off the session at the conference with a five minute “introduce yourself to someone you don’t know” so that everyone knows at least one new person by the time they leave. So be sure to watch the webinar and prepare yourself for next year’s conference in San Antonio. We look forward to seeing you!
I checked into the Hilton Bayside in San Diego on the Tuesday before the annual ATA conference to attend the above-named preconference seminar by Fabio Said (@fidusinterpres) on Wednesday morning. I like attending preconference seminars, because they allow you to really delve into the material in three hour increments. The conference sessions are usually around one hour and don’t allow that much detail. The preconference seminars went up in price this year, so I only attended one. That said, I was glad I chose Fabio’s presentation, because I can see how it will really benefit me in everyday practice.
To quote the abstract, “This hands-on seminar [showed us] how to use UniLex, a professional (and free) terminology management tool, to keep all your existing and future bilingual glossaries in a single application.” I was probably one of the only people in the room who had actually worked with the tool; however, I had never known that it could be use to manage my own glossaries. Having trained under terminologist extraordinaire Sue Ellen Wright at Kent State, after graduation I worked as a terminologist for six months at a translation agency in Germany and then off and on for them as needed for another six months. I am quite familiar with the process of creating glossaries for clients and for your own use.
Acolada’s UniLex is a German tool that allows you to look up terms and translations in a number of dictionaries within seconds. I have been using the professional version for years when I purchased German-English dictionaries such as the Collins/PONS German-English dictionary, Wahrig Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, Brinkmann/Blaha: Data Systems and Communications Dictionary, Ernst: Dictionary of Engineering and Technology, Dietl/Lorenz: Dictionary of Legal, Commercial and Political Terms, Kucera: Dictionary of Chemistry, der Große Eichborn, and several specialized Langenscheidt dictionaries, which are all available on UniLex Pro. It is a stand-alone tool, which does not allow you to copy a term in Word and look it up in the interface, but this makes it an ideal tool to manage your own glossaries as well. Both tools are free, but Fabio stressed several times that we should download and use the regular version, because the regular version allows you to edit the data.
Fabio discussed what the tool can and cannot do. Like I said, it does not integrate with Word or CAT tools. However, if you are a word geek you can really customize it to meet your needs, with spaces for part of speech, context and other details. You can import existing glossaries, add new entries to existing glossaries, and export the data into nice-looking RTF Word files. Not bad for a free tool…
I wrote about using electronic dictionaries back in 2008 and am using the screenshot of the UniLex interface from that post. Since I haven’t had a chance to install it on my new Windows 7 system it may or may not look a little different than in the screenshot below, which was taken from an XP system.
He then walked us through how to create a dictionary in UniLex and import a bilingual glossary (as an Excel file). One thing to remember is that “Key” is the source term and “Equivalents” is/are the target term(s). He also shared a sample Excel table to use for the process, which was organized in 8 columns. The Excel table should then be copied into Notepad or another text editor to ensure no hidden formatting is copied with the data into UniLex. The text file should then be saved using ANSI encoding to ensure any special characters are maintained; however, some systems may do better with UTF-8 encoding. You should test your system before importing large glossaries and editing existing dictionaries. The last step is to close UniLex and reopen it to view the contents of your dictionary.
I have downloaded the tool, but haven’t gotten around to playing with it on my own yet. I’ve been pretty busy dealing with the insurance company, running errands, and following up with the people I met at the conference. Oh yes, and translating. Can’t forget the day (and night) job. I do, however, look forward to playing with it once my life calms down (maybe after the holidays?). In summary, I am very happy I attended Fabio’s preconference seminar and look forward to becoming an amateur terminologist again. I’m curious to see if my old dictionaries and the glossaries I create from my Excel glossaries will be able to happily and smoothly co-exist.
ATA conference round-up November 2, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
It’s been a wild few days. I stayed an extra two days in San Diego and am so lucky I did, because I missed the massive storm that was Hurricane Sandy. I didn’t think I would be able to leave on Tuesday, but luckily my flights weren’t canceled. I can’t say the same for colleagues from New York and New Jersey, who found themselves stuck in San Diego and had to find alternative housing. I know several French translators bunked with Marianne Reiner. That must have been a fun time – a grown-up sleepover, if you will. It’s a good thing most translators have stayed in youth hostels at some point in our past, because sleeping on the floor isn’t that much of a hardship.
Yes, Sandy even had implications all the way up in Ohio. Some of my friends near Lake Erie just had their power restored last night, and we lost two trees on the street. Phone service was spotty to non-existent in my home, so I have a feeling one of my local cell phone towers was damaged in the storm. The result is that it has taken me longer than usual to dig myself out of my suitcase and catch up with post-conference To Do items (this post being one of them).
I will post about the sessions I attended in subsequent posts. I just wanted to note that – unlike in years past – this year I came home with only eight business cards. One of them is an agency owner in Brussels whose company has a lot of German to English medical work. I met her at the Medical Division reception. I will be following up with a personal e-mail today and attach my resume. It’s the quality, not the quantity.
Tips for First Time Attendees PowerPoint presentation October 27, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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It’s taken me a little longer than I planned to post my PowerPoint presentation. I apologize. Things at the conference are always a whirlwind.
Click here to view the PowerPoint.
ATA conference mobile app – Part 2 (working with it) September 26, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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I downloaded the new mobile app to my smartphone yesterday afternoon and have been playing with it a bit since then. I thought I’d share my experience and first impressions.
The mobile app is easy to download and navigate. There are 3 easy steps to get started:
#1: Select your device and follow the instructions to install or view the app at the following:
- iPhone/iPad: Search the App Store for “ATA 2012″
- Android/Tablet: Search the Play Store “ATA 2012″
- Blackberry: Enter http://www.tripbuilder.com/bberry/ata2012 into your browser
- Mobile Web: Enter http://www.tripbuilder.mobi/ata2012 into your browser
- Computer/Laptop: Visit http://www.tripbuilder.com/ata2012apps
STEP #2: Log in using the username and password ATA sends you. My username and password were included in the announcement e-mail. If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, you will be assigned a username and password when you register.
STEP #3: Set up your “MyProfile” to take part in the Attendee Network and Matchmaking* features:
- Click “MyProfile” on the main menu
- Click “Edit Profile” to enter your information
- Click “Save Profile” so you will appear in the Attendee Network and can be matched with other attendees
After I set up MyProfile I e-mailed my resume to email@example.com (to be uploaded onto the app) and browsed through the sessions to compile my preliminary schedule. It easily interfaced with my Google Calendar app, so I have two ways to check where I need to be during the conference. I was able to schedule two or three sessions for the same time slot to allow some flexibility in case one of them is cancelled or disappoints.
The next step was assembling MyContacts. Only about 15 people had downloaded the app at that point, but I was able to select a couple folks I knew. I was also able to select MyContacts from the list of speakers. Since I tend to hang out with a bunch of overachieving speakers this took the most time
I also checked out the links to Facebook and Twitter. This may also be the push I need to see what LinkedIn is all about. I have a profile there, but I don’t utilize it as much as some other colleagues I know.
I’m really excited about the mobile app. It looks super easy to use, will eliminate lots of paper notes and will hopefully do a better job of organizing lunches, dinners and drinking sessions (both coffee and alcohol) with my friends and colleagues. And I had everything set up rather quickly instead of my usual habit of going through the final program in the hotel room before the Welcome Reception. Whoever came up with this idea definitely deserves lots of praise!
ATA conference mobile app September 25, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
I talked about this in some detail during my webinar on September 11th, but it’s now officially out. The ATA 53rd Annual Conference Mobile App is now available for download from the various app stores. The mobile app is free and will allow attendees of the 53rd ATA Conference to upload their resumes, schedule your sessions, interact with fellow attendees, stay connected through social media during the conference, and much much more.
As ATA states:
Make the most of this year’s ATA Annual Conference! Get the free mobile app that puts the entire conference at your fingertips: browse the program, create a personal schedule, view handouts, receive program updates, contact colleagues, use an interactive Exhibit Hall map, view company websites, set up meetings, find places to eat, and SO much more.
Learn More by clicking: http://www.atanet.org/conf/2012/mobile.htm
I had to click on the arrow to view more selections (it was hit 3 out of 6 for ATA 2012), but I was able to download it from the Droid Play Store. Attendees will be sent a user name and password in the next few days. The app is only available to registered attendees of the ATA Conference next month in San Diego. I can’t wait to start using it.
Call for ATA Annual Conference Presentation Proposals February 17, 2012Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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Better late than never. I had a computer virus that has had me out of commission for the last week. I am finally able to check my mailing list e-mails and am catching up… Once again I am at a loss on an interesting topic to present, so if anyone has a suggestion I am all ears.
The American Translators Association is now accepting presentation proposals for ATA’s 53rd Annual Conference in San Diego, California (October 24-27, 2012).
More than 1,800 translators, interpreters, educators, language services companies, and project managers are expected to attend this year’s Conference. Making a presentation to such a diverse audience is an excellent strategy to gain widespread recognition as a leader and expert in your field.
Speaking at an ATA Annual Conference is also a challenging and rewarding opportunity. A competitive peer-review process,with an emphasis on relevant topics in the translation and interpreting communities, is used to select presentations. The prestige of being accepted–as well as a discount on conference registration fees–is an unbeatable benefit of presenting.
Submissions are invited from all areas of translation and interpreting, including finance, law, medicine, literature, media, science and technology, terminology, independent contracting, business management, and training/pedagogy. Sessions may be language specific or general.
Click https://www.atanet.org/conferencesandseminars/proposal.php to learn more about the proposal process and to access the proposal form.
The deadline for submitting a presentation proposal is March 12, 2012.
Theft at conferences November 10, 2011Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Business practices, Random musings.
This post deals with several recent experiences I learned about that occurred at the latest ATA conference, but it can apply to conferences in general. When people are at a conference they tend to act as if they are in a bubble and nothing bad can happen. This is not the case. One should behave at a conference in the same way as one would in a foreign country or even at home – with some caution.
One member of the Business Practices listserv was furious when her computer bag was stolen out of the room where the listserv was holding a happy hour. She had placed it on the floor next to the bartender station. After reporting the theft to hotel security, they found it 15 minutes later “on the 3rd floor, in an empty closed room, with all the zippers opened, conference materials left alone but [the] laptop was gone.” She was then upset with the way the hotel handled the situation because they would not give her the incident report because it was “confidential Marriott property,” claimed they did not have security cameras (although they initially told her they would check the cameras) and did not reported the incident to the police. She felt the Marriott was covering the incident up and asked people to contact her if they saw any suspicious activity.
OK, first of all, shame on her for leaving her bag unattended. I always remind the first-time conference attendees to be aware of their valuables and to look back when they leave their seat, room, etc. to make sure they have not left anything behind. I never let my laptop or purse out of my sight – or in fact out of my hands or off my shoulder. I would never in a million years leave it unattended next to a bartender station or anywhere else. The fact is that hotels in general are public locations, and anyone can come in off the street and blend into the crowd. Hotels warn theirs guests to protect valuables from hotel thieves by using the room safe and hiding expensive clothes under casual clothes. Why wouldn’t one think that an open room in a hotel bar would be fair game to thieves? Secondly, the hotel has a right to be skeptical of claims of theft, no matter how indignant the guest is. According to an online article entitled Protecting Valuables From Hotel Thieves, “[i]tems reported stolen from hotel rooms frequently turn up in the guest’s possession. And there is the not-uncommon possibility that the guest’s claim may be fraudulent.” I’m sure this was not the case here, but it helps to put yourself in the hotel’s shoes.
And may I remind my fellow conference attendees once again not to wear their conference name badges outside the hotel?!?! I can’t tell you how many people I saw walking outside or in the adjacent shopping malls wearing their conference name badges. Luckily the neighborhood was safe (unlike the neighborhood in Atlanta in 2002). If you are wearing your conference badge outside the hotel you might as well be carrying a sign saying “Hey, I’m a tourist. Please feel free to rob me.”
Finally, I was very upset to hear that one of our members had all her resumes, business cards and the plastic stand deliberately stolen/removed from the German table in the Job Marketplace. She went to get a copy of her resume for a potential client on Friday late afternoon or early evening, and it was nowhere to be found. How could someone do such a thing to a colleague? No matter how you feel about a person, you don’t do something like this and mess with their ability to work. I find this behavior childish and unprofessional. Whoever did this, shame on you!
I would like to conclude by saying that the ATA staff does a great job organizing these conferences for us, but one should never expect them to police the attendees’ behavior. It is up to us to act professional and be mindful of our surroundings.
ATA Conference Overview October 31, 2011Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
I am back home after a very successful ATA conference – a little worn out but full of ideas. It was a little dicey for a while, since Boston was hit with a Nor’easter on Saturday night, and many flights were delayed and/or cancelled. Luckily my flight was Sunday evening, so apart from the plane being full my return home was uneventful. Some of my colleagues were not as lucky.
The American Translators Association met this year in Boston for its 52nd annual conference. This year they unveiled a new tagline – The Voice of Interpreters and Translators. Interpreters have been complaining for years that they didn’t have a voice in the ATA, which I don’t think was necessarily true but what do I know since I’m not an interpreter. I hope the addition of this tagline changes that, and this is the last we hear of it.
I found it to be a very fulfilling conference. Everyone was very pleased with the GLD’s Distinguished Speakers. Craig Morris (a regular reader of this blog and a blogger in his own right (Always Greener – Notes from the other side)) held two sessions on renewable energy, and Jan-Philipp Sendker offered sessions on editing and a bilingual reading and discussion of his work. The photo to the right is of Craig during his entertaining and interesting preconference seminar. I thought the best session was Corinne McKay, Judy Jenner and Chris Durban’s Smart Business Panel. They had a lot of good advice, and the ballroom was packed with attendees to hear that advice (no small feat for the last session on the last day of the conference, which is traditionally less attended since most people have already started heading home). The best advice I heard and one that I hope everyone can take to heart is to stop complaining about low rates/bad clients, etc. and just focus on improving your own bottom line by ignoring the bad and focusing on the good.
I spent more time than I usually do in the Exhibit Hall and really enjoyed myself – getting a free chair massage every day, visiting clients, checking out the various tools and reconnecting with the FBI. I may or may not decide to work with them again, but my old boss has done a good job of convincing me to think about it.
I attended several Tools Tutorials this year too, and Eve Bodeux and I have made a pact to finally install Fluency (we both bought it last year and haven’t gotten around to using it). Every time I see it being used I am impressed. Let’s see how it fares in real life use…
I also intend to help the Language Technology Division reach out to its less technically-savvy members by writing some blog posts about how to effectively use some tools and republishing them in the LTD newsletter or website (or even the ATA Chronicle). There are a lot of people who aren’t as technically curious as I am, so I hope to help them even if just a little bit. My first planned post is how to format effectively in Word.
And of course I enjoyed many lovely meals and get-togethers with my friends and colleagues. The Welcome Reception did not have enough seating options, so several of us sat on the floor in a corner of the ballroom to enjoy the lovely turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing that was served. I also wasn’t too pleased with the Division Reception format (but again, this was because the hotel lacked the facilities). It also seemed too rushed this year. An hour simply isn’t enough time, and the tables did not offer an intimate setting among colleagues. I preferred last year’s format of separate rooms much more. It was easier to talk and hear each other. Also, unfortunately for many of us, the Business Practices Happy Hour was held at the same time as the German Language Division Reception, so I had to choose one. Hey, it happens . The GLD was invited to the Goethe Institute, and it was nice to enjoy a glass or two of (free) wine with colleagues. Over the course of the week I was able to enjoy many nice meals – including two lobster dinners and one lobster roll, and for that I am truly thankful.