Lessons Learned from ATA 56th Annual Conference

This year I attended the American Translators Association (ATA) annual conference after a three-year gap. This post is a quasi-debriefing of what I thought went well this time and what I need to concentrate on in the following years. By its nature, the list will be specific to me and may not reflect everyone's priorities and … Continue reading Lessons Learned from ATA 56th Annual Conference

Does My Russian Text Look Right? A Guide For Non-Speakers

Perhaps you have to deal with Russian text in your work. Project managers at translation companies, software developers, technical writers, engineers, designers, printers and countless other professionals may need to process or deliver content in Russian -- but they may not be able to read it. How can you tell if what you are looking … Continue reading Does My Russian Text Look Right? A Guide For Non-Speakers

Three Things Media Gets Wrong About Interpreting

There is rarely a political drama, sci-fi story, or fantasy saga that does not involve communication across languages. It is, therefore, fair to say the general public is aware of interpreting as a profession. However, these fictional tales are often written by people not intimately familiar with language industry; nor is interpreting usually central to the story. … Continue reading Three Things Media Gets Wrong About Interpreting

Three False Assumpions About Loanwords in Russian

We know that languages borrow words for new technology or occupations. We know that a lot of these words come from English. It is easy to assume, then, that all cutting-edge technology must have originated in the English-speaking world and was exported everywhere else, along with its nomenclature. While it is partly true in the … Continue reading Three False Assumpions About Loanwords in Russian

Common US Tropes That Won’t Work For a Russian Audience

Operative writing (think calls to action) is full of metaphors and imagery meant to spur the audience into action. Authors writing for a US audience will naturally use tropes familiar to people in the US. However, this may become problematic if the product ends up being translated and used somewhere else. I would like to … Continue reading Common US Tropes That Won’t Work For a Russian Audience

Unquestioned Assumptions About Translation

Encountering translation both professionally and casually, as a consumer, I can't help noticing certain assumptions on which people operate when ordering, evaluating, and sometimes even performing translation. I will list some of them here in the order of apparent complexity. In other words, while each subsequent attitude may look like a solution to the previous … Continue reading Unquestioned Assumptions About Translation

Culture-relative priorities in healthcare

It has become commonplace to point out that translators and interpreters not only re-code the message in a different language, but also negotiate cultures. However, concrete examples may demonstrate that this is far from a pretty turn of phrase, even in such seemingly objective and evidence-based disciplines as life sciences. Medical translators and interpreters have … Continue reading Culture-relative priorities in healthcare

Origins of the Native-Speaker Translator Preference

An idea you hear repeated by translator training programs, translation companies and clients alike is that a translator should only work into their native language; that is, that any translation should be produced by a native speaker of the language into which it is done. I would like to examine the reasons behind this notion, … Continue reading Origins of the Native-Speaker Translator Preference