The Voice of Love: Interpreting Compassion

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The Voice of Love, led by highly respected industry veteran Marjory Bancroft, is the only non-profit that we know of that offers interpreting training specifically for linguists who wish to work in social services environments to help survivors of extremely challenging life situations. The rules of court or conference interpreting, or even medical interpreting, simply don't apply here, and interpreters need very specific skills to deal with these delicate interpreting situations. We haven't had any training in how to handle these situations, and neither have most of our colleagues, which is why this training (Voices of Love) is so important. Many well-known interpreting experts from around the country have contributed to the training material that this course is based on, among them our dear colleague Nataly Kelly (co-author of Found in Translation). 

This year's weeklong training session will be held Columbia, Maryland, from May 4 through May 8. We wish it would be closer to the West Coast so we can attend, but our travel schedule is already quite packed this year. However, we hope to attend another time. We have heard great things about this training session and wanted to share the information with you here. Please have a look at the flyer, the Voices of Love website or their informative blog

5 Things We Love About Our Subcontractors

We've had the pleasure of working with a small group of highly trusted contractors for many years, and our success depends on the quality of their work -- and their work is always stellar. For today's post, we wanted to list the top five things we love about them (you know who you are!). We are not talking about translation quality here, but about things that go beyond the actual high quality of their work. Unfortunately, we are not accepting résumés -- if we want to work with you, we know where to find you!

1.) Easy and efficient communication. We both get a lot of e-mails and a lot of phone calls every day, so we value the fact that our contractors are quick and precise, and that they answer all our questions the first time. We are very unlikely to work with someone who takes five e-mails and much back-and-forth to answer our questions. Our group of superstar translators is just as busy as we are, and we try to keep our e-mails short and to the point as well.

2.) Quick invoicing. We are quite known for paying invoices very fast, and sometimes do so within minutes if we can pay a contractor via PayPal or Chase QuickPay. We also appreciate getting less e-mail rather than more (see point above), so we like receiving the invoice in the same e-mail as the translated document. It does us know good if the invoice materializes months after the fact. It just messes up our accounting and makes our CPAs unhappy. 

3.) Good questions for the client *before* the deadline. It's rare that a project requires no questions of the client. We are quick to ask them of the client once the contractor sends them to us (preferably several questions compiled in one e-mail rather than one e-mail per question), and we need to receive them before the delivery deadline. All our contractors do that, and we love it.

4.) Answering requests quickly. We don't expect anyone to work around the clock, but we do appreciate quick answers to requests for proposals and availability, as it helps us plan. We love the fact that our contractors are always quick to respond when we ping them about an upcoming project.

5.) Formatting skills. Some of our projects require advanced formatting skills, which we are more than happy to pay extra for. We love contractors who go the extra mile to solve tricky formatting skills rather than just saying they couldn't figure it out and leaving it to us at the last minute (that obviously doesn't work). We also appreciate contractors who thoroughly review the project before they accept it so we can talk about whether extra charges for formatting shall apply. We also like honest evaluations. SOme lovely contractors tell us that a particular project is not for them because they don't have the skills to recreate complicated workflow graphics. That's just fine -- honesty is always the best policy!

So that was it, dear readers -- five things that make us, the oftentimes client, happy. Of course there are more, and these are in no particular order of importance. Do you have others to add? We'd love to hear from you. þþ

Linguee: New Functionalities

Most of our dear colleagues have used Linguee for years, and it's a great tool. We always make sure to emphasize to our lovely students that Linguee is not  to be used as a substitute for high-level dictionaries, but rather a complementary tool.  There are some very powerful web tools that make translators' lives better, and Linguee is one of them (and one of the best, too, the other being the terminology databank IATE). 

If you are not yet familiar with Linguee, it's essentially a web tool that searches published translations for the term that you are looking for. There's no guarantee that what you find has been translated correctly and there is no review of the results, but you get to see the terms translated by others, complete with a link and a source, and you  see the term(s) in context, which is highly useful. It's an invaluable research tool, and oftentimes, the results are from very high-level sites, such as publications from the European Union and the United Nations. Linguee is available in many languages. It's particularly useful for partial phrases. To test it, try it with something like "court is now adjourned."

Image courtesy of Linguee.
A few days ago, we heard from our friends at Linguee who told us about their most recent launch, which took place on February 9th and which featured some upgrades to make it even better. Here's what they had to say:

Linguee is a multilingual online dictionary and search engine for translations, available in more than 200 language combinations. Our search engine offers access to over one billion translated texts and has answered more than 4 billion queries so far, helping 25 million different people in November 2014 alone.

The upcoming launch will take place on the Monday 9th February and will debut Linguee's groundbreaking autocompletion and autocorrection technology (not the ordinary run-of-the-mill autocompletion - Linguee doesn't just show the word you're looking for before you finish typing but also the translations). Thanks to this new technology users are now provided with the requested translation after typing in just the first few letters of the word. 

Other significant developments include drastically improved content, an enhanced audio pronunciation feature and a brand new dynamic mobile version. During the last year, Linguee collaborated with over 400 professional translators, lexicographers and linguists in order to provide users with the best possible content available on the web. 
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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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