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Scam alert: Parkstone Press / Sirrocco Publishing September 30, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.

One of my former students was just scammed by Parkstone Press / Sirrocco Publishing. She thought they were legit because they sent her a contract. After not receiving timely payment and having her e-mails ignored, she attempted to contact them by phone. Unfortunately she then learned that the New York and U.K. office phone numbers listed in the contract were fake. Upon further research on Payment Practices and Proz.com, she found out that they have done the same thing to countless translators in the past. All 3 company listings on Payment Practices (searching for “Parkstone”) have a PP Reliability Score (PPR Score™) of 0 and a Translator Approval (TA Score™) (would you work for them again?) of 1, which are as bad as it gets. I cannot stress this enough. You should always research potential new clients on the various payment practice groups that are available to translators or at a minimum do a Google search before agreeing to accept a translation job. Hopefully this post will serve as a warning to potential translators in the future.


Wishing translators and interpreters a Happy International Translation Day September 29, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.

Translators and interpreters celebrate September 30th as their day, since it is the Feast Day of the patron saint of librarians, scripture scholars, students, and of course, translators and interpreters. St. Jerome is one of the greatest biblical scholars of all time, having translated the Bible from Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin (the Vulgate) in the early 5th century. For more on St. Jerome, check out my September 30, 2008 post.

The Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators (FIT-IFT) came up with the celebration back in 1991 to raise awareness of the profession. This year’s theme for International Translation Day is “Working Together.” As it says in the linked press release, FIT-IFT “invites translators around the world to take a fresh look at why and how it pays to join forces. The days of the fiercely solitary translator working in splendid isolation are numbered, say many industry observers.”

I plan to celebrate International Translation Day by grabbing my laptop, dressing up in my translator gear and heading to the local Starbucks to work for an hour – just to be visible. Would anyone local care to join me?

What are you planning on doing for International Translation Day?

I want to be a plumber September 25, 2009

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

Martin at False Friends, Good and Bad Translation, Denglisch, Tipps für Übersetzer just posted the best blog post I’ve read in a while. If you understand German, you should run right over there and check it out. In the meantime, I have written him to see if I can translate it and post it here for all you non-German speakers. He basically tells the story of a plumber who has to work over the weekend and then has a DIY client mess it up along the motto of “Ich kann’s besser/I can do it better.” It’s priceless!

TGIF: What if? September 25, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, TGIF.

Twatif? As many of you know, Twitter limits its messages to 140 characters. That isn’t a problem online, but what if it happened in the real world? This video from FromBogotaWithLove shows what might happen if the conversation cut off in the middle of a word and led to some awkward misunderstandings.

Warning: contains some really funny sexual connotations.

Registration deadline for ATA conference is fast approaching September 23, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.

I just wanted to remind you that if you are planning on attending the ATA conference it is time to get your registration in before the Early Bird deadline this Friday. The registration fee is $325 until Friday, when it rockets to $390. Still a bargain compared to most other professional development and conference fees for other professions, but all the same why spend more when you can save some cash by being on the ball… I just registered this morning, after spending the last few weeks hemming and hawing about when I wanted to arrive and whether I wanted to attend a preconference seminar. I decided to bite the bullet and just arrive early for the preconference seminar on SAP. One of my specializations is computers and IT, and since SAP is a language unto itself I decided to take the plunge.

My hotel room has been booked to accommodate the preconference seminar for several months now. If you haven’t booked a room yet, the conference hotel has long been booked out, but there might be a cancellation. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask. Also, be sure to check out the other hotels that ATA has negotiated lower group rates. The Paramount Hotel is across the street and has rooms starting at $239. The Westin is three blocks from the conference hotel and has rooms starting at $259. And the Muse Hotel is a block from the conference hotel and has rooms for $239. Plus New York does have lots of bargain hotels and hostels as well. If you are looking to save money, I highly recommend rooming with a fellow conference attendee. You can find a suitable roommate using ATA’s Roommate Referral blog. I hope to see some of you there!

Working from home has its advantages September 22, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.

I finished my big project yesterday on schedule and am looking forward to things calming down a bit for about a week or so until the next big job starts up. I’ve really been enjoying the comments on the last post on whether you work with distractions. It seems as if, like me, most people prefer to work in silence or have quiet music in the background. And no one takes naps. That said, working from home does have its advantages. I have a small translation to work on, but I am planning a big cleaning day today. A fall cleaning if you will. Hope you all are having a great week!


Do you work with distractions? September 17, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.

One of my friends tweeted a link to this “work chair.” I put it in quotes because it is a couch. OK, it’s a couch that has an integrated multimedia PC and an LCD in the arm rest, but it’s a couch all the same. He starts his post by saying, “Anyone that is working from home has the TV on and probably curls up for a nap every day.” Not me, buddy. I have a separate office on the other side of my apartment from my TV. I work best with no distractions. I occasionally listen to music, but when I need to concentrate I need total silence around me. I certainly don’t have the TV on when I’m working. That said, I know everyone is different. So how do you prefer to work? Do you have the TV on in the background and would love a “work couch”? Inquiring minds want to know.

Being bilingual has its advantages September 16, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.

Friend and fellow translator, Kimme, posted this news article on Facebook this morning. Apparently the pilots on a recent Aer Lingus flight broadcast the wrong announcement in French warning to prepare for an emergency landing, causing the French passengers on board to panic. The English version simply asked passengers to return to their seats because of turbulence. Oops! I would imagine those passengers who were bilingual were extremely confused.

Words every client should hear September 16, 2009

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

RT: @sarahdillon: A good translator isn’t expensive – just see how much a bad one really costs you & you’ll agree…

Thanks, Sarah, I could not agree more!

Interesting gig for a Spanish speaker in LA September 14, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Marketing ideas, Translation.
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One of my favorite guilty pleasures, Crazy Days and Nights (my favorite celebrity gossip site), is looking for a Spanish speaking volunteer for the red carpet of the MTV Latin Awards on October 15th in Los Angeles. If I spoke Spanish I would do it in a heartbeat. Don’t expect pay, but I can only imagine all the folks you could interview for CDAN… Some things are totally worth going pro bono…

Here is the necessary info:

Out [I think he means out] intrepid red carpet reporter Gustavo Arellano has a speaking engagement on October 15th so I need a volunteer to cover the MTV Latin Awards on October 15th here in Los Angeles. You may bring someone with you. If you speak Spanish it would be a bonus. By speaking Spanish, I mean more than, Esta noche estás muy bueno. ¿Qué dice usted después de todo esto es más que la cabeza de nuevo a mi sótano, tomar unas copas y ver Sábado Gigante mientras cocino un poco de tocino. Actually, if you could say that, then that would be pretty good.

Send me an e-mail if you are interested. entlawyer90210@yahoo.com

Oh, and if any of you are going to be in Irvine on the 15th of October, go listen to Gustavo speak at UC-Irvine. I’m sure it will be great.