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TGIF: German coffeemaker commercial January 29, 2010

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

If you are anything like me you have a deep appreciation for a fine cup of coffee. You don’t need to understand German to appreciate this commercial. Enjoy and have a great weekend! I promise to actually post a real blog post next week. I’ve been busy with life in the meantime…


Johnny Depp is not dead January 25, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Translation.
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Rumors were flying today that Johnny Depp had died, and it turns out it is all due to a Dutch mistranslation. An article in Dutch reported how much Depp hated the paparazzi and the media, and the article was mistranslated, leading the media to believe that the very much alive actor was dead. With the Interwebs being as it is (every day it seems like there is a mistaken report of a celebrity death… Jeff Goldblum, Jon Heder, Eminem, Britney Spearks, etc.), some anonymous “source” also apparently dug up an old article from 2004 that reported he had been in a car crash in France, and the media went into a frenzy. No, Johnny Depp is not dead. He was just voted the Sexiest Man Alive. There’s a BIG difference.

You hear these stupid celebrity death rumors all the time, but this time it is because of a mistranslation and that makes it worthy to talk about here on my blog 🙂

TGIF: Israeli take on American airport security January 22, 2010

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

This clip made me laugh so hard that I wanted to share it with you all. Thanks so much to Rina Ne’eman for tweeting it the other day! Enjoy!

NAJIT Seeking Volunteer Interpreters and Translators for the Haiti Relief Effort January 20, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.
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From a NAJIT press release:

Volunteer Interpreters and Translators needed for the Haiti Relief Effort

By now we are all painfully aware of the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake last week. The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the American Red Cross are seeking Haitian Creole and French interpreters and translators to assist in this time of great need.

Interpreters are needed for two types of assignments ­ either at the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington DC (immediate need) or on the hospital ship USNS Comfort off the coast of Haiti (anticipated future need).

Immediate Need

The American Red Cross wishes to identify and recruit a Haitian Creole and French interpreter and translator to work at its National Headquarters Office in Washington for periods of between one to three weeks. The volunteer will support the International Services Department (ISD) in response to the earthquake in Haiti by sharing information with Haitian Creole speakers in the United States, translating documents from various ISD offices and/or American Red Cross chapters around the country, may be called upon to record messages in Haitian Creole or respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers by telephone or in writing. The qualifications for this assignment are below:


International Services Department/ International Humanitarian Law and Chapter Support

Location: 2025 E Street NW; 3rd Floor; Washington, DC 20006

Position Title: Haitian Creole Translator/Interpreter

Purpose: Support International Services Department (ISD) in response to the earthquake in Haiti by sharing information with Haitian Creole speakers in the United States. The writer will translate documents from various ISD offices and/or American Red Cross chapters across the country. May be called upon to record messages in Haitian Creole or to respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers by telephone or in writing.

Key Responsibilities:

* Willingness to support Red Cross Mission
* Translate written information into Haitian Creole
* Respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers


* At least three (3) years of demonstrated experience as a professional translator and/or interpreter
* Excellent writing, good interpersonal and some cross-cultural communication skills and experience.
* Advanced use of Microsoft Office for word processing.

* Orientation to American Red Cross

Reports to or Partners with:

* ISD/ International Communications Department

Length of Appointment

* Open

Time Commitment:

* 20 – 40 hours a week — flexible

Anticipated Future Need

Last week a request was sent out for the recruitment for interpreters for the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship that is scheduled to arrive in Haiti Tuesday night January 20 and will remain docked off the coast. Thanks to the American Red Cross chapter network, that need was filled quickly. NAJIT and the American Red Cross anticipate there will be a continued need for interpreters for the USNS Comfort over the weeks and months to come. Currently, the projection is that USNS Comfort will be deployed on this mission for 6-12 months.

At this time, in an effort to anticipate the ongoing and future need for interpreters, NAJIT and the American Red Cross are standing ready by identifying available volunteers for the next possible 30 day rotations. Volunteers will remain on the ship throughout the duration of the assignment and will not deploy to the mainland of Haiti.

Both assignments are on a volunteer basis and the American Red Cross will cover all travel expenses.

Because of the special American Red Cross and NAJIT partnership and our joint collaboration in recent years during major disaster response operations, NAJIT has been asked to coordinate the recruitment of interpreters for the Red Cross Haiti Relief Effort. NAJIT continues to serve as the direct link between interpreters and the Red Cross emergency response. In order to participate in the Haiti Relief Effort, interpreters must either be members of NAJIT or members of one of NAJIT’s organizational or institutional members.

We know that many interpreters and translators want to help in this time of great need, either by volunteering or making donations. Please be as generous with your time and resources as you can be. Thank you.

Please send all responses to christina@najit.org or phone 202-293-0342 for further information.

Déjà Vu drops its prices January 20, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Tools, Translation.
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One of my colleagues sent the following e-mail to the GLD list this morning. I thought it interesting enough to share it with you all. Since so many people have been unhappy with the latest version of SDL Trados I think it is smart that other translation environment tool manufacturers are reaching out to attract new customers. I myself am thinking about WordFast, but this is definitely a tempting offer…

Atril has announced a significant decrease in price for two versions of DVX:

Déjà Vu Standard: EUR 250 (down ca. 50%)
Déjà Vu Professional EUR 660 (down ca. 30%)

Fully functional evaluation version available for 30 day test period @ http://www.atril.com

Haiti relief efforts could use help of interpreters and translators January 14, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.

Please note: I am just a freelance German-English translator with a blog. I am not looking for volunteers or organizing a team of volunteers!! The organizations specified below are. Please contact them directly.

From Haitivolunteer.org:
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD: The Red Cross looking for Kreyol-English translators to volunteer for 1 month. Must be able to get to Miami no later than Monday (tomorrow). Will be traveling and living on Navy medical ship. Contact jumaanedwilliams@gmail.com IMMEDIATELY!!! They want US citizens or Green Card holders.
Area of Expertise:
Skill Needed:
Kreyol-English translator

Update: Doctors without Borders no longer needs any translation services. This blog is not set up to facilitate connections between my readers and relief groups. I am merely posting information. My language is German, so this is outside my field of expertise. Feel free to contact any of the groups listed below and post any other groups you may know about in the comments.

Numerous calls for aid are spreading around the world after Haiti’s devastating earthquake. They could use translators and interpreters to aid in the relief efforts. Many ATA members are stepping up and offering to help. Giovanna Lester sent the following e-mail to the ATA Medical Division today:

*IMIA Haiti Relief Efforts*

As many of you know, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti yesterday after 5 p.m. The news coming from Haiti is that this is a very serious earthquake and has wreaked havoc and devastation on the region. We know that millions of people in the region will be affected.

Many IMIA members and their patients have family in Haiti. Our thoughts are with them, the Haitian community and the people of Haiti. If you or your patients need information on relatives in Haiti, the US government has set up a hotline at 1-888-407-4747.

The IMIA Provider Outreach Committee is reaching out to international relief organizations to determine if there is an appropriate way or ways in which we can be most helpful as a trade association resource to the people of Haiti in their hour of greatest need. As we learn more, we will share the information on our web site. In the meantime, some of you have asked what else you can do. Please consider assisting one of the relief organizations below who are working now in Haiti. All these organizations are in dire need of medical interpreters and many of them offer lodging and a travel stipend for professionals willing to do field work. Please inquire and let us know if you are interested in doing immediate field work in Haiti.

They are not just in need of Haitian interpreters, but also primarily in need of Mandarin and Cantonese, Portuguese and French, among others, as these are primary the languages of the relief service providers.

– International Medical Corps:
– Direct Relief International:
– World Vision:
– International Relief Teams:  http://www.irteams.org/index.htm
– Yéle Haiti:  http://www.yele.org/
– American Red Cross:  http://www.redcross.org/
– Operation USA:  http://www.opusa.org/
– CARE:  http://www.care.org/
– Catholic Relief Services:  http://crs.org/
– World Food Programme:  http://www.wfp.org/
– World Concern:  http://www.worldconcern.org/disasters/haiti-flooding.htm
– Save the Children:  http://www.savethechildren.org/?WT.mc_id=1109_hp_logo
– UNICEF USA:  http://www.unicefusa.org/
– Mercy Corps:  http://www.mercycorps.org/
– Operation Blessing International:
– Shelterbox:  https://alliance14.challiance.org/
– Americares:  http://www.americares.org/whatwedo/emergency/
– Operation USA:  http://www.opusa.org/
– Doctors Without Borders:  http://doctorswithoutborders.org/

McDonald’s coming soon to Checkpoint Charlie January 13, 2010

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

Expatica is reporting today that McDonald’s is planning on building a restaurant in Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie, “completing the landmark’s 20-year transformation from Cold War front line to money-making tourist hotspot.” Checkpoint Charlie was the main border crossing for foreigners between West and East Berlin. I myself had the privilege of crossing through it, although my very first border crossing was at Friedrichstraße. For the love of all that is holy and good, I think building a McDonald’s at the historic location is a TERRIBLE idea. McDonald’s symbolizes capitalism, and I understand what they are trying to do, but Checkpoint Charlie is more than just a tribute to capitalism. I would be interested to hear what some of you Berlin residents think about this idea.

As Expatica explains:

The 120-seater restaurant will be opposite the Mauermuseum dedicated to the Berlin Wall that used to divide the city, and hopes to be selling its burgers, fries and other products from mid-2010, a spokeswoman said.

The 600-square-metre (6,500-square-feet) restaurant, on the site of where Soviet and US tanks famously faced off in 1961, is a “top location,” the Bild daily cited the American fast food giant as saying.

My memories of Checkpoint Charlie have absolutely nothing to do with McDonald’s. I hope the German authorities deny the request!

How not to flirt in German January 11, 2010

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

ALTA Translation’s blog has a fun blog post this morning on How NOT to flirt in German. Although to be perfectly honest the lines don’t work in English either. If someone used them on me I would groan and roll my eyes and excuse myself. 🙂 But it’s a fun read for an otherwise blah Monday morning.

SNL Japanese game show January 9, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, TGIF.
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My friend and I were watching Saturday Night Live’s The Best of Chris Farley the other night, and I saw this skit for the very first time in which a man from America goes to Japan and ends up on a game show that he didn’t he plan to be on. I had to share it with all of you as well. It is hilarious. Probably not at all linguistically accurate, but you don’t need the language skills to appreciate it.

For those of you who don’t know him, Chris Farley was a comedian and actor who died at age 33 (way too soon if you ask me). Farley was a member of Chicago’s Second City improv group and a cast member of the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He also starred some successful movies in the 1990s like Tommy Boy and Beverly Hills Ninja. He never failed to make me laugh.

Interesting Chinese menu January 4, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.
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One of my friends on Facebook (a non-linguist, I might add…) shared a very amusing menu filled with mistranslations that they discovered at Flumesday.com entitled “The Rabbit Fucks the Pot.” This is a photo of a menu from a Chinese restaurant at Chongqing’s Jiangbei Airport. This may be old news, since the post is from February 2007, but I wanted to share it with you all just in case you (like me) hadn’t seen it yet. The blogger’s commentary is almost as entertaining as the actual (mis)translations, with my favorite being:

What’s interesting is that the price to “fuck a fish head” is 10 yuan more expensive then to “fuck a spring chicken.” One would think fucking a spring chicken would cost more.