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ATA Conference Overview October 31, 2011

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

The attendees came from all over

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.

Corinne, Judy, Chris (with Jost Zetzsche keeping things lively as the moderator)

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…

The Fluency Tutorial

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.


Full-Time Language Specialist job at Netflix (FR, TK, RU, DE, DA) October 24, 2011

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.

Wow, I wish I were a native speaker of German. This job sounds awesome!


Join the team responsible for localization at Netflix. We are looking for experienced linguists with the ability to translate and customize marketing, UI and content materials for the target market.

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with the right mix of technical, organizational and communication skills to provide localization for the Netflix experience in the following languages:

French, Turkish, Russian, German, Danish

Native fluency, localization experience and creative writing in one or more of the above languages is essential. Knowledge or prior experience in the film/entertainment industry is definitely a plus.

Specific responsibilities will include:

-Ownership of linguistic quality
-Creating and maintaining glossaries and style guides
-Working with CAT tools, approving translations and maintaining memories
-Working with external vendors
-Representing linguistic and cultural nuances in cross-functional meetings
-Hands-on translation and editing tasks
-Planning and executing linguistic QA tasks on multiple devices and platforms
-Originating, monitoring and resolving linguistic bugs as necessary

Required Experience/Skills:
-Degree in Applied Linguistics, Translation and/or equivalent experience
-Native fluency in one of the languages mentioned above
-Knowledge of the movie/entertainment industry in the specific locale
-Mac and PC proficient
-Experience with translation & terminology tools
-Basic knowledge of Content Management Systems and web localization tools

To apply, email your resume to linguists@netflix.com.

Update on Dear Client: October 24, 2011

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

Long time no hear! I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post. I have been so overwhelmed with work that I haven’t done anything but work. I haven’t even gone out very much since I’ve gotten back.

I hadn’t even left Germany yet and had a large project lined up for when I returned – 78 pages of legal documents. Then I was in the airport in Newark on my layover and had two additional job requests from my favorite client – one I accepted and one I turned down. And the next day I had one of my other clients start bombarding me with medical reports. I’ve translated 26,982 words in the last two weeks and have about 1600 to go before leaving for the ATA conference tomorrow. I haven’t even had my resumes printed out or gone over my first-time attendees presentation with Ted Wozniak yet. So you’ll hopefully understand why I haven’t written a blog post or decided not to organize a blogger’s lunch this time around.

One thing I have managed to do is keep track of my finances. The invoice to my Dear Client: is now 6 months overdue. It really is ridiculous that this company can’t manage to squeeze out a measly $60 in 6 months… Anyway, here is the response to the scathing e-mail I wrote the accounting department promising to mention them and the non-payment to everyone I spoke with at the ATA Conference. I thought you all might get a kick out of the response. There may be a global crisis around the world, but none of my other clients seem to be feeling the effects. And they are paying much larger invoices!

Dear Jill,

Please, accept our apologies for the delay.

As you know, there is a global crisis around the world, and we are not out of it.

Besides that, this company has been restructured, and I´m the new person in charge of the accounting department.I´m taking care of your issue, and I´m trying to get a payment authorization for Friday November 4th. Payments are going out on Fridays, and there are scheduled from one week to another. So, I´ll do my best to include yours by next payment series.

Our major customers are also delaying payments.

Nevertheless, we are working hard in order to distribute our resources among all our collaborators with maximum priority.

We understand this situation is difficult for you as well, but we are sharing what we have.

I hope you can understand the situation and we´ll try to resolve this soon and amicably.

[Name edited upon request since she no longer works there]
Accounting Department