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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 31, 2012

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

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 24, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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Greetings from San Diego! October 22, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.
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I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything substantial, but my life has been one disaster after another for the past few months. I was lucky I cancelled my trip to the BDÜ conference in Germany in September, because I had an emergency appendectomy right around the time I would have been flying out. I would have had to cancel my trip, my co-presenters would have had to scramble to find someone to fill in for me, and I would have been out the money for a plane ticket and hotel. While I was at home recovering from surgery (I stopped taking the pain pills after two days) my dog started limping badly, so once I was allowed to drive again I took her to the vet for x-rays. She needed hip surgery on both hips, so she went under the knife herself two days later. They operated on her right hip, which was hurting her the most, and will be operating on her left hip in 8 weeks. She is hopping around on 3 legs right now, but it’s been 12 days and she only has one pain pill left. She’s starting running around and playing a bit. She’s doing great now and is in good hands with my parents while I’m gone. Then if that wasn’t enough, I ran out to the pet store last Wednesday because I was out of cat food –  and some kid ran into the back of my car going 40 mph as I was stopped with my blinker on to turn into the alley to get to my street. There were no skid marks, and my car was pushed probably 10-15 feet. It was a nineteen year old who had just been cited for speeding and failure to yield three days before by the same police officer who was first on the scene of my crash. The bumper crumpled into the trunk and the radiator exploded, with steam coming out of the hood. My car is a total loss. I am really looking forward to a few days of rest & relaxation here in San Diego. I will be car sitting for a friend who can’t drive due to a broken left hip and broken right ankle when I return, so that takes some of the pressure off me to get a new car. But at this point the only luck I’ve been having is bad luck. I’m looking forward to the conference to renew me and give me some energy and new clients.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 17, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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TGIF: Found in Translation October 12, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, TGIF.
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If you have not had a chance to look at the video that Jost Zetzsche and Nataly Kelly produced to promote their book, Found in Translation, and celebrate translators and interpreters around the world, take a quick break and watch it. It’ll be 90 seconds that will make you smile.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 10, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
4 comments

Sorry about the duplicate cartoon. I guess I must have REALLY liked it. Here’s another one to make up for it… Don’t you wish you could say this to some of the authors of the texts we translate?

How a listserv works October 4, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.
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I was called a snot and a know-it-all on the ATA LTD listserv the other day. Some woman had asked about a PDF conversion program. This is a subject I know quite a bit about, having presented on the subject at ATA two separate times, so the attack was completely unwarranted. I had replied earlier that week that what she wanted the program to do was not within the program’s ability (as I understood it she wanted to be able to paste the English text next to the German in the OCRed file). She then proceeded to try to e-mail a file as an attachment over the listserv to one of the members to OCR for her. When the suggestion was made that the listserv allow attachments I simply replied that I voted no because I didn’t want my e-mail inbox cluttered with attachments from a listserv. The woman’s overreaction to my replies in this discussion and subsequent responses to other people’s replies defending me from her unwarranted attack (calling them scammers and spammers when they were in fact simply replying to the listserv) clued me in that the woman had absolutely no idea how a listserv worked. I’m sure most of you do, but in case you don’t, here is a quick explanation.

The term ‘listserv’ has been used to refer to a few early electronic mailing list software applications, allowing a sender to send one email to the list and then transparently sending it on to the addresses of the subscribers to the list. Incoming messages sent to the reflector address (in this case ataLTD@yahoogroups.com, but it could just as easily be ata_business_practices@yahoogroups.com, WPPF@yahoogroups.com or pt_@yahoogroups.com) are processed by the software and are
distributed to all email addresses subscribed to the mailing list. This means that every e-mail that is sent to ataLTD@yahoogroups.com gets sent to all 210 members of the listserv. Once you subscribe to the listserv you will receive all the e-mails that are sent to the list. You can’t pick and choose (although you *can* filter individual e-mail addresses into your e-mail program’s Trash, which I hope she has done with my e-mail address because I never want to hear from her again).

In the meantime, she looks like a total idiot who overreacted ‘in front of’ 209 professional translators, and, believe me, behavior on listservs plays a huge part in how people perceive you as a professional. Meltdowns such as hers last week or a few other notable instances in the past on various other listservs truly reflect poorly on the translator and influence whether someone will recommend you to their client if they are too busy to accept a job. Bad behavior on a listserv such as the ATA Business Practices listserv is even worse, because many agency owners subscribe to the listserv. So think before you write to a listserv.

RIP Michael Henry Heim October 3, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.
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The translation industry lost another great recently. Michael Henry Heim was a well regarded scholar of Slavic languages at UCLA known for his translations of works by Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann and Anton Chekhov. He was 69 and died of cancer on September 29th. Fluent in six languages (Czech, French, German, Italian, Russian and Serbian/Croatian) and possessing a reading knowledge of six more, Heim had taught at UCLA since 1972 and served as chairman of the Slavic languages department from 1999 to 2003. Among his best-known translations are Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting” from the Czech original, Grass’ “My Century” and “Peeling the Onion” from German, a 2004 translation of Mann’s “Death in Venice” from German and a 1975 collection of Chekhov’s letters from Russian. I’ve been meaning to read “Peeling the Onion.” This might just be the prompting I need.

A lot of my friends and colleagues are posting their memories of him on the various listservs. I can’t say I’ve ever met him, but I’ve certainly heard of him. One of my colleagues posted this quote on one of the lsitservs. Andrei Codrescu, NPR Commentator and author of So Recently Rent a World: Selected Poems, 1968-2012/* wrote a really nice tribute for him:

I look at my bookshelves and I see Checkov, Kundera, Hrabal, Axyonov, Capek, Esterhazy, Brecht, Ugresic, all of them profound markers and cornerstones of my education, thinking, life, and work, and I feel an awesome gratitude to Michael Henry Heim for bringing them to me. The light that surrounds these books and the power that emanates from them is Michael’s work. Beyond my bookshelves, it is impossible to imagine intelligent American life from the 20^th century’s spectacular end until now without his translations. Michael Henry Heim brought us worlds that are now a permanent, natural feature of how we conceive our creative, philosophical, and ethical landscape. There are other great translators, but Michael is a brilliant star among the best of the best. I personally feel that his marvelous American English made my own work feel at home in America. He “naturalized” me in a way that the official ceremony never could. He’s taken a great many readers, students, and statesmen,
not just writers, along on voyages of discovery that he made both less alien and necessary without compromising their “otherness.” His body of work has the integrity of any great humanist’s endeavour — it has a permanent living presence, a lasting authority.”

Most of my (and probably your) work will never be immortalized (except maybe this blog), so what a nice tribute to the man. He will live on in his works. RIP, Michael Henry Heim.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 3, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
1 comment so far