I have just been admitted to the Translators’ Association group of the Society of Authors, on the strengthe of several book-length translations from Spanish into English in the fields of bioethics, European affairs, development and human rights.
On 8/10/16, I attended the ITI Scottish Network autumn event. Titled “Copywriting and transcreation: a marriage made in hell?”, it was delivered by Bill Maslen of The WordGym, and provided an interesting insight into the creative end of the translation industry. The points Bill made about understanding clients’ needs, the intended audience, and the purpose of the text are, in my opinion, applicable to all texts.
My resolution for this year was to get back in touch with my creative side, so I’ve been exploring opportunities for literary translation. As part of this effort, I’ve just joined the Emerging Translators Network, “a forum and support network for early-career literary translators working into English”.
This year I’ve added some literary translation to my Spanish translation workshop for the M.Sc. students at Heriot Watt. In the process, I’ve been hunting around for relevant resources, so I thought I’d gather some of them together here:
There’s a strong trend towards validated continuing professional development (CPD) in the translation profession. While I think this is generally a good thing – who would argue against keeping your skills and knowledge up to date? – I sometimes wonder whether the emphasis on official courses, certified seminars and the rest is altogether healthy. If I’m honest, this kind of thing makes up a tiny proportion of the skills development required to keep translators up to speed (and improving) in the modern world.
So here is a little list of my “under the radar” financial training for this year (no certificates or courses, just a list of bloody good finance books and blogs that I’ve read during 2015):
- Monevator – probably the UK’s best investment blog: an informal, one-stop investment studies university
- The Incredible Shrinking Alpha, Swedroe, L.
- Irrational Exuberance, Shiller, R.
- Stocks for the Long Run, Siegel, J.
- Sterling Bonds and Fixed Income for the Private Investor, Glowrey, M.
- All About Asset Allocation, Ferri, R.
- Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Adults, Bernstein, W.
- Smarter Investing, Hale, T.
- The FT Guide to Exchange Traded Funds, Stevenson, D.
- D-I-Y Pensions, Hulton, J.
- Investing Demystified, Kroijer, L.
There’s two ways to think about my slightly chaotic financial self-education. If you’re into things being validated and rubber-stamped, you might worry that my curriculum has some missing elements. But if you care about motivation and passion – and these, surely, are the key ingredients to any effective education – then my list has one really big plus: these are all books that I have read because I wanted to.
If I’m honest, continuing professional development wasn’t upmost in my mind when we organised a house exchange and booked our flights to spend the second half of August 50 metres from a beach a few miles along the coast from Cadiz. However, having spent a good chunk of the time catching up with friends and family, I realise that one of the beneficial side effects of a holiday like this is that it helps to keep my Spanish fluent and rust-free.
In June I completed a short online course in investment management, delivered by the Open University through the FutureLearn platform. Course content included investment products, tax and pension legislation, asset allocation and portfolio management.
I’m finding that a daily podcast is a great way of improving my Italian and keeping abreast of Italian current affairs. Rai3 produces the excellent Prima Pagina, in which a guest journalist summarises the main stories in the day’s newspapers. Over the last 12 months I have followed the demise (but for how long?) of Silvio Berlusconi, the rise (but for how long?) of Matteo Renzi, and the ongoing trials and tribulations of the Italian economy, the Italian political system, and the Italian legal system.
Most frequently heard phrase: “In un paese normale…” [“In a normal country…”].
Word of the year: “rottamatore” [Literally, “scrapper” – Renzi’s nickname, for his promises to bring radical change to Italy’s ageing system.]
I am currently learning how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.0 voice recognition software. I expect the benefits to include improved quality of translation for some jobs, and increased productivity.