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TGIF: In honor of the first major snowfall of the year November 21, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.

Since we are supposed to get up to a foot of snow here in Cleveland overnight I am posting one of my favorite snow-related videos. I hope this doesn’t happen to you this winter. Is it Christmas yet? It sure feels like it somehow…

TGIF: Adventure at the laundromat November 21, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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I can always count on the Berlitz ads to bring the funny. Here’s another Berlitz ad for your enjoyment.

Keeping your Internet profile clean November 20, 2008

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

As a professional it is so important to keep your online profile clean. A careless comment in a blog, a website publicizing an illegal or questionable pastime, or a racy photo on MySpace can really hurt your chances of landing a good client or job – not to mention generating lots of gossip among those who know you. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t think about this.

I attended my twentieth high school reunion last year, and everyone was talking about how one of the guys was a “pervert” because he had posted a picture of his johnson on MySpace. This was just recently impressed on me again when one of my clients asked if I knew a certain translator who had applied for an in-house job because they became wary after viewing his MySpace page.

According to May 2008 article in the Washington Post, Keeping Your Profile Clean, “a recent survey by ExecuNet, a networking organization for business leaders, found that 83 percent of executives and corporate recruiters research job candidates online, and 43 percent have eliminated a candidate based on search results. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, it’s a good idea to clean the skeletons out of your digital closet.”

The author suggests doing a Google search “to pinpoint any negative hits you’d like to remove.” She also talks about setting up a Google Alert on your name to keep tabs on your reputation and mentions several other services one could use to improve one’s online reputation. This seems like a lot of work to me. I simply suggest not doing anything to generate those negative hits in the first place.

If you are going to participate in social networking sites like MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal or Facebook, I suggest thinking before you post. Think of these sites as an extension to your résumé. Ask yourself, “Would I put this information in my résumé or a job application?” A picture of you drunk at a party – or worse – is clearly not a good way to promote yourself. It is also important to make sure that your friends do not post inappropriate pictures or information about you on their sites.

Of the social sites I mentioned, Facebook is a little better, because you can control who has access to your information. You have to “friend” (i.e., approve) someone before the person can have access to your page. However, it is important to remember that many institutions may hire students or have sites themselves and they could request access to your site. And you certainly should not befriend a client on Facebook if you don’t want the client to know mundane details about your life or the fact that you are hung over from the big party last night – especially if you have a big translation due at the end of business. They and everyone else who is linked to you might then be asking themselves what you are doing partying if you have a big job due in the first place. But that’s a whole other can of worms…

The unclever blogger November 17, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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Pearls Before Swine isn’t necessarily my favorite comic strip, but every once in a while there is a good one that makes me chuckle. This one was in Sunday’s newspaper. I should have used Pig’s lines at the ATA conference. It certainly would have sparked some good conversation 🙂


A stellar job opportunity November 17, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation Sites.

I just received the following job inquiry and couldn’t resist sharing it with you all.

Looking for an interpreter/Translator that can translate from english to any foreign language or vis-visa.I have a project at hand that demands some vital language learnings. This book has been written to help parent know thier duties and obligation to kids from age of 2 to 12 years. I will like to know your area of specialization? and also what language suit your knowledge.As this book will be publish and distributed around the world.The book contain 25 pages,words counts is 9,000 thousand to 11 thousands..written in english.I will like to know the cost to translate this to your specialization for my usage.I will need your contact information.Once your payment is okay by me,I will update you with the copy of the book through fax or mailing it to you.You can also contact me through my email.If i am unable to pick my call, you can email me back,I will like to have an agreement with you before sending you copy of the book. Note that there will be no editing as regards translating it…I will await your cost to do this with your name and address so that i can send your payment to seal our agreement after which i will send you copy to proceed with your job.I hope you will be able to finish this within 1 month? to aviod mistake.The book is title (WHAT TEENAGERS NEED FROM THIER PARENT). I will await your response asap. Thanks.

Wow, I’m going to jump right at the chance to translate this guy’s no doubt stellarly written English into “any foreign language and vis-visa”… NOT! A book that contains just 25 pages and 9-11,000 words? Sounds like a brochure to me… I love the fact that he is asking what my field of specialization is despite the fact that he states the book is “to help parent know thier [sic] duties and obligation to kids.” Sorry, I don’t specialize in child rearing. I’ll resist my rant about modern day parenting and simply delete this dude’s e-mail. If you received it I suggest you do the same.

Funny how this inquiry differed dramatically with another inquiry I received this morning. It was only one line, but I have no doubt it is on the up and up and I responded with a proper quote:

Dear Jill

Can you please send me a quote on translating the attached document from German into English.

Kind Regards

What a difference proper English and attaching the actual document makes. He’s also going to have to pay upfront for the translation, but I have no doubt that I will actually be paid for the latter job.

TGIF: Font conference November 14, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.

Thanks to Metrolingua for posting this video. It cracked me up! The video is an excellent personification of the fonts we know and love. I just want to know why Rage Italic is German…

TGIF: The Matrix runs on Windows November 14, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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If you are a Matrix fan and use a computer you will love this video from collegehumor.com.

Take the red pill. Get the blue screen. 🙂


Take the red pill. Get the blue screen

Favorite tools: CompanionLink November 13, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Uncategorized.

I have been searching for a tool to sync my Google Calendar with my PalmPilot. I had been trying to get GooSync to work for several months, but eventually gave up. In my preparation for the ATA conference I did a Google search for a good tool and discovered CompanionLink. It couldn’t have been easier to use.

CompanionLink is a great software application that is painless to install and configure for syncing a Google Calendar with calendars from applications like Outlook, Blackberry, Groupwise, Lotus Notes, Palm Desktop, Treo 700 via Hotsync. In just a few minutes I had synced my Google Calendar with my PalmPilot Desktop and then synced my PalmPilot Desktop with my Palm. I had to tweak the settings to not sync my contacts since I don’t use that feature in Gmail, but that was easy enough to do and now everything is working absolutely perfectly.

If you are looking for an easy solution to sync your Google Calendar with your handheld device or with PIM or CRM software like Microsoft Outlook, you should check it out. I still have two days left on my evaluation and am intending on buying it then. It’s only $29.95, which I think will be money well-spent!

IHOP streusel commercial November 13, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.

OK, I just saw the IHOP streusel coffee cake pancakes commercial on TV, and I just want to go on record as saying I find it pretty insulting. My ears start bleeding every time he says “Danke schön” in his horrible fake accent. It isn’t worthy of a TGIF. But judge it for yourself… Although I have to say, the pancakes look pretty darn yummy.

Sharing PowerPoint presentations on LinkedIn November 12, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Marketing ideas, Tools.
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One of my goals from the ATA conference is to learn more about social networking tools. Corinne McKay’s post this morning, New and Noteworthy, about a sundry of topics, including feeding your WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile, was a revelation and sparked a flurry of investigative work on my part. Luckily I only have about 800 words to translate today. So I’ve now finally updated my web site this morning (another one of my goals) in addition to playing around in LinkedIn, which I have woefully neglected for a while now.

Feeding the WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile based on freelance journalist Michelle Rafter’s instructions was a breeze, but I also discovered you can upload PowerPoint presentations as well. All you have to do is click on Applications, choose either Google Presentation or SlideShare Presentations, and upload your PowerPoint presentations (be sure to fill out a brief explanation and choose some tags). I chose SlideShare Presentations, but Google Presentation looks like it would work similarly.

I have had my PowerPoint presentations on my web site for years, but this is a great way to bundle all your PowerPoint presentations in one spot and free up some web space on your domain. Plus they were pretty hidden on the site. I now have four of my PowerPoint presentations online, and they have already had some hits. It’s a great way to show potential clients and fellow translators what you can do.

LinkedIn also has some other cool applications like Huddle, which gives you private, secure online workspaces packed with simple yet powerful project, collaboration and sharing tools for working with your connections. I could see this being very valuable when working together with other translators on large translation projects.