31 October 2013

Pricing translations

Excellent piece on pricing translations here. Very well reasoned.

Step 9 of Netherlands-based Dutch-to-English translator Grayson Morris's pricing method reads:
I figure out the minimum I am willing to do this project for. I think this is an important step. Some projects make me go “ugh” and droop my shoulders when I see them. What price would perk me up enough to be glad to do that job? Other projects make me drool in anticipation. How unhappy would I be if that job didn’t go through because of price? I adjust the number I got in step 8 to reflect this. Now, if the client for Unfun Project A says, “Great! You’ve got it,” I’ll be glad. And if the client for Awesome Project B says, “Sorry, that’s just too much for us,” I won’t be sad. Well, not very.

04 October 2013

Johnson on untranslatably

'Johnson', the Economist columnist on linguistics and related matters has an excellent article on untranslatably entitled Is fairness untranslatably English?.

Quotable quote:
Lists of “untranslatable words” bounce around the internet constantly. They’re good fun. But almost nothing is truly untranslatable. And that anyone would choose “fair” as a case in point is almost exactly backwards.

01 October 2013

Email to Lucy Kellaway

Following FT columnist Lucy Kellaway's article, published on 22 September, entitled Do we hug? Kiss? Shake hands? Bow? We need to be told, I wrote her the following email:
Lucy,

Thanks for another excellent article in the form of 'Do we hug? Kiss? Shake hands? Bow? We need to be told'.

I suspect that there is little prospect for widely acceptable change, but, in exploring that avenue, it might be a good idea to explore the hygiene aspect. Cheek kisses (if that's a suitable name) and hand-shaking are significant hygiene hazards. I occasionally daydream -- especially when coughs and colds are abroad -- of a world where everyone suddenly adopted the bright idea of a polite bow of some sort along the lines of what Thai people do. We could even agree to call it the GGP bow!
Today, Lucy replied:
Belated thanks for your suggestion - a more hygienic alternative!
Lucy's article also resulted in a letter from FT reader Christopher Robbins in Binissalem, Spain, that was published under the subheading Greetings (almost) lost in translation. Mr Robbins remind us that when addressing Sikhs a sat sri akaal is more appropriate than an almost pan-Indian namaste.

Translation and disruption #5

If the translation industry is indeed on the brink of disruptive innovation some of the things that may happen could include: change will ...