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Two rights make a wrong October 29, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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A linguistics professor was lecturing his class.
“In English,” he explained, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative.”
“However,” the professor continued, “there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”
A voice from the back of the room piped up. “Yeah, right.”


TGIF: 7 Movie Jokes You Missed If You Only Speak English October 14, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, TGIF.
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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 12, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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Tips for the upcoming ATA conference October 7, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.
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It’s now less than a month until the ATA Annual Conference in San Francisco. I just wanted to share some administrative tips for those of you who may not be active on the listservs and might have missed it.

  • Be sure to download the conference app and if nothing else please use it to submit session and conference evaluations. This will save ATA money and will ensure that the conference fee, which is now designed to break-even instead of lose money, will remain as low as it can possibly be.
  • Bring your own tote or messenger bag to the conference. ATA decided last year to do away with them, since most people threw them out and, most recently, recycled them at the end of the conference. There will be an ATA messenger bag to purchase at the ATAWare table, but they sold out very quickly last year. So either bring your own bag or buy the messenger bag as soon as you check in.
  • If you are planning on attending the Job Fair this year be sure to bring some printed resumes with you to hand to the companies there. The companies will have signs indicating exactly what they are looking for, so you won’t need 30. Maybe print out 10 just in case. Better to have too many than too few.
  • Be sure to order and bring your business cards. I’ve been buying mine from Vista Print, but there are lots of affordable options. Just be sure to splurge a little and get one that doesn’t have an ad for the printing company.
  • We will be in the Financial District again. This is close to the Embarcadero Center and the Ferry Building with its many restaurants and artisan food market as well as within walking distance of Chinatown and my favorite restaurant, The Tadich Grill (I highly recommend the cioppino). If you want to eat at the Slanted Door, which is also fairly close (1 Ferry Building #3), I recommend getting a reservation.
  • For those of you who will still be there on Sunday, Jose, Joe and I are getting a group together for dim sum. Please let me know ahead of time if you’d like to join us so I can make the reservation. Dim sum is best enjoyed with a group.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday October 5, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.


Clients From Hell post October 1, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Fun stuff.
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This post was posted on clientsfromhell.net on September 23, 2016. It’s too good not to share.

I am a translator who specializes in translating from from English to Croatian and Slovenian. One day I received this message:

Client: Hello, I am in a rush to have my website translated to both Slovenian and Croatian. The site has about 20.000 words; how much you charge for that? Please give me a quote without writing too much.

Me: Hello! I charge between $0.05 to $0.08 per word translated. That would be $1000 for one translation, and $1800 for both languages.

Client: I said you need to quote just your price. And why would I hire you if you haven’t told me how much experience you have?

Me: (trying to be as nice as possible) Ok, let’s make this clear. I have years of experience, and as you can see, a 100% positive feedback from previous clients. As for the price, I told you all about it as concisely as I could.

Client: Gosh you just don’t understand me? Do you understand English at all? TELL ME YOUR PRICE FOR THIS TRANSLATION IN BOTH LANGUAGES.

At this point, I started to wonder if the client was drunk, but tried to remain as polite as possible.

Me: I am so sorry, but you are so confusing. I said that the final price for this project would be $1800 for both translations.

Client: And why didn’t you tell me that at the beginning? The price sounds fair to me.

Me: I am glad that we agree on that. When is the due date for this project?

Client: The deadline is tomorrow.

Me: Tomorrow? You think that is possible to translate 20.000 words in 2 languages in one day? That is just impossible.

Client: Don’t be difficult. I need it by tomorrow at 5 PM.

Me: You know what? I’m going to pass on this one.

The client didn’t respond, except that he wrote me again a week later.

Client: Hello, are you available for that translation we talked about?

Me: Oh sorry, I thought the due date was last week? Did that change?

Client: I was just testing you. You passed! I want to work with you, but on one condition. Your price is way too high for me. Can you do it for $200?

Me: (laughing) Are you for real? $200? Would you accept that pay for that much work?

Client: I know I won’t do it for $200 but that’s me and I want you to do it for $200. If not, I will find someone cheap who will do it and you will lose your money.

Me: Feel free to search for somebody else, because I will not work on that project for $200. I am just warning you, that there are many people willing to work for low price, but in the end, quality matches price. If that happens to you, please don’t ask me to fix their mess.

Client: You wasted my time, goodbye.

A month later:

Client: Hello again. I am so sorry that I need to speak with you again, but I have no other options. It happened exactly like you said it would. I handed this project to a guy from Vietnam and my website was “Google translated. Can you please fix it? I will pay as much as you want.

Me: I think I’m going to have to take a hard pass. You’ve been exceptionally rude to me and I’m not interested in working with you. Sorry.

Client: Why you! How dare you! This is ridiculous, I’ve never met someone so unprofessional! Take this job or I will sue you and make your life a living hell!

Me: Feel free to sue me if you think you have a shot. Have a great day.

He never spoke with me again. And guess what? He never sued me either.