Friday, November 30, 2007

Lost in Translation: I have received my first Christmas card, and with it, a copy of the very wonderful book entitled "Lost in Translation", by Charlie Croker. It has a subtitle of "Misadventures in English Abroad", and it contains many gems where people have got soooo close to saying what they really meant to say. So close and yet, so far. There is the splendid sign in Denmark urging people to "Take care of burglars", the splendid sign in a Swiss hotel stating that "It is defended to promenade the corridors in the boots of the mountain in front of six hours", an Italian ready meal that instructs us to "Besmear a backing pan" in order to start cooking it, and the lovely sign in Nairobi that warns us that there should be "No trespassing without permission". And one of my colleagues was particularly impressed by a Greek menu which managed to make some form of beef dish sound singularly unappetising: "Chopped cow with a wire through it and bowels in sauce".

People often ask me what makes a good translation, or a bad translation. And one of the golden rules in professional translation is that you only translate into your native tongue. Into a language that you have full, total command of, where you understand every subtle nuance of what you are writing. This book shows why. Merci, Marie.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our website redevelopment continues, and we have received many kind comments about our new company website. We are fortunate to have the services of an excellent graphic designer, Neil Rigby, who we have worked closely with for several years on a range of projects. And it set me to thinking that there are a lot of similarities between the translation profession, and that of a graphic designer. In both cases, you can do a certain amount yourself. But in both cases, there comes a point where the work of a trained, qualified, skilled professional will stand out as being precisely that. Which is a long-winded way of saying Thank you Neil!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

French website translation: We have launched the French translation of our company website. Please feel free to take a look around.