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Goodbye to you September 8, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
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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.

Ramping up for the ATA Conference November 5, 2013

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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I am flying out to San Antonio tomorrow for the 54th Annual ATA Conference. After a bit of a snafu with my cat sitters (they just got a cat, and the two cats instantly disliked each other, necessitating an emergency trip back to my house tonight), Plan B is lined up to pick up my house keys tomorrow early enough to ensure I am up and get out to vote before I have to head out to the airport.

I’ve booked an airport shuttle (GoShuttle.com) to transport me between the airport and hotel and the boarding passes are printed out. My flight details are stored, my updated resume and profile are uploaded to my profile on the conference mobile app, and my presentation is printed out. Trados Studio is now installed on my laptop so that I can finish a translation for a client. My clothes are stacked and ready to be thrown into the suitcase tomorrow morning (the dog gets bent out of shape if I take the suitcase out the night before). Why is it that I try to do a ton of things the day before I leave for a trip? Human nature I guess.

I am bummed that all of my divisions (3!) are holding their division dinners from 7-9 on Thursday night. I chose to go with the German Language Division, but hope the Medical Division and Language Technology Divisions have successful dinners as well.

I have some meals planned with my newbie as well as with some fellow translators, so that is something to look forwards to. I look forward to seeing many of you there. If you see me in the hallway in San Antonio please say hi!

ATA and Pinterest September 5, 2013

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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I still haven’t been able to generate much interest in Pinterest, but some of you may enjoy learning about this. Be sure to check out the ATA 54th Annual Conference’s Pinterest board when planning your trip (As Mary David said on the ATA newbies listserv, “don’t forget to schedule in some time to go sightseeing!”). I have my hotel room reserved and have a roommate lined up. Now I just need to book a flight. See y’all in San Anton!

Newbies and buddies at the ATA Conference in San Antonio August 14, 2013

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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Today I learned about a fun program for people attending the ATA Annual Conference for the very first time. I have been presenting the Tips for First-Time Attendees session since 2006 in New Orleans. It is always the first session of the conference (on Thursday). Knowing how overwhelming and intimidating the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night can be for newcomers I’ve always felt bad that my session wasn’t able to give them tips on how to navigate it. Last year’s webinar allowed me to finally address this, but Helen Eby and Jamie Hartz came up with a brilliant idea to fill that niche. The “Buddies Welcome Newbies” event will pair up first-time attendees (“newbies”) with seasoned attendees (“buddies”) to give them a friendly face at the conference. The event is planned for Wednesday night from 5:15 to 6:00 – just before the Welcome Reception! The event will focus on pairing people up and teaching them valuable networking skills they can use during the conference. More information will be sent out soon. I plan on volunteering as a buddy, and I hope my fellow seasoned attendees will join me.

#ata53: Common German Terms That Make Native English Speakers Want to Bang Their Heads Against the Wall November 26, 2012

Posted 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, 2012

Posted 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!

#ata53: Managing, Importing, and Exporting Bilingual Glossaries with UniLex November 8, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Tech tips, Tools.
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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, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
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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, 2012

Posted 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, 2012

Posted 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 resume@atanet.org (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!

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