As a new year begins, many of us take time to reflect on the old year and set goals for the new one. On a personal level, I defined 2011 as a year of disappointments and hope, and 2012 as the year of perseverance and faith. Just the other day, I found a short note that I wrote exactly a year ago, that I could define as a short poem, but also a prayer and a statement of a wish I wanted to come true. I don’t know if the fact that I wrote it down engraved this prayer in my heart and increased my belief, but that prayer came true a few months later. Lire la suite
I find that when my workday of interpreting stressful (yet fulfilling) phone calls, translating tricky terminology, billing projects and bidding on new ones is over… I am ready to let my brain rest and to get my body working!
I could assimilate all the knowledge and wisdom in the world (if only I had a brain large enough to memorize every bit of information that matters!), but it would not lead anywhere if meanwhile, my body was deprived of any challenge or care. Sure, I could go to the gym and run around in circles like a lab rat (or worse, at a standstill!), or go to my man’s basement and try myself at bodybuilding (and I have before!)…
Not quite, but it seems that AT&T is getting pretty close with a new feature they have been offering to their cell-phone users since June 18, 2012 called “AT&T On Demand Interpreter powered by Language Line Services”. By pressing *4, US-based AT&T cell-phone users can have access to a live interpreter, 24/7 in 170 languages… in seconds Lire la suite
After 5 weeks in Europe, I am finally back in my home office and slowly settling back into a “routine” (in quotation marks because there is honestly nothing repetitive or regular about interpreting and translating… that’s what keeps things interesting!). I cannot believe I did not get a chance to create a single post while in France! I must say that if I ever was at the computer, it was to work on a translation project with a deadline or quickly manage e-mails and prevent an overflow of messages. Lire la suite
As you can tell from the decreasing frequency of my posts, this interpreter/ translator/ blogger/ student is busy… and right now, feeling quite overwhelmed (in French: Je suis un peu dépassée par les évènements !). It is not just the work; it is the research and decision-making involved in moving. It seems to completely clog up my mind and stifle creativity. The anxiety of finding the right home, a good mover at a good price, packing & organizing, and then transferring all our bills, all that while we are already preparing for an extended stay overseas … it is all a bit much for me!
Since I am already researching and relearning financial terms related to the stock market for my class, I thought I would firstly share our mot du bonjour, and then cover some definitions. Lire la suite
Faux-amis are so much fun… Since I interpret for health insurance companies, state health insurance plans, welfare programs in several countries, human resources departments for large companies, the word “benefits” comes up dozens of times a day (or as we like to say in French: 36 fois par jour). And in some contexts, the homonym works, in others not… Lire la suite
Continued education, additional training, or “professional development”, is so important in pretty much any line of work today. Whether mandatory or optional, it helps us to keep up our skills, acquire new ones and adapt our skills to new technology, market conditions, or industry advancements.
I had an opportunity to attend an event organized by the South Carolina BAR Association, called “Law School for Interpreters” last Saturday in Columbia, and it was quite enriching. Finally, the State judicial system explained… The naturalization process certainly helped me understand how the government works at the Federal level, but less so at the local State level. And every State is different, so it gets confusing, especially when you interpret…
Deadlines, rush jobs and tighter deadlines… The life of a translator! In fact, deadlines are part of our daily lives, whether we deliver services or products, draw up reports or write up articles, or pay any type of bills. Personally, I like to give myself a limit date before the deadline, to leave myself time for proofreading if it has not been done yet, and for unexpected issues. I use my Outlook or Google calendar, to set my projects up with their respective timeframes and priority levels. How do you manage your deadlines, any tips?
Today’s word, as you can tell, is also a “faux-ami” (false cognate); beware not to mix-up with “delay” (retard). You don’t want to run into any delays for your délai…
// délai // masculine noun: deadline, timeframe
Synonyms: la date limite, la date butoir, (due date=) une échéance
Dans le milieu de la traduction, les délais sont très serrés (or « justes ») ! // In the field of translation, deadlines are very tight!
Il est primordial de respecter les délais, tout autant que de fournir un travail de qualité. // It is of upmost important to meet deadlines, as much as providing quality work.
Les candidatures doivent être déposées avant le 29 février si on veut postuler pour cette mission. // The deadline to drop off applications is February 29, if you want to apply for this project.
Je suis vraiment navré de vous apprendre que je ne vais pas pouvoir rendre le rapport dans les délais convenus. // I am so sorry to have to tell you that I will not be able to return the report by the agreed deadline.
Good luck in meeting your deadlines; bonne chance pour respecter vos délais !
Don’t forget to comment below if you have any time management tips (des “tuyaux”) to share with us… Have a great week!
Are you ever in a situation on the phone, in which you have a French-speaking caller on the line and you can’t understand each other at all? Or you are calling a place of business in Canada or Morocco, and you did not expect that the person on the other line would not speak a word of English?
This is a situation that my clients deal with all the time, and that is when they call an interpreter at Language Line to help overcome the language barrier… But here is a very important expression to use in that situation:
// Ne quittez pas ! // Please hold!
I have even learned to say this in Spanish, because so often when I introduce myself as the French interpreter, I hear: "No francés… I need e-spanish!!". I learned to say: "No cuelgue por favor!" (Please hold)… "Buscamos un intérprete de español. ¡Un momento, Señora!" (We are looking for a Spanish interpreter. One moment madam!)…
You can also use:
Restez en ligne s’il vous plaît Monsieur/ Madame! // Please stay on the line/ hold the line, Sir/ Ma’am!
Un instant, je dois mettre l’appel en attente! // One moment, I need to put the call on hold!
Ne quittez pas s’il vous plaît, je cherche quelqu’un qui parle (le) français! // Please hold the line, I am looking for someone who speaks French!
Attendez! // Wait!
Un moment! // One moment!
I hope that helps and in a crunch, try and speak slowly and clearly to find out what the person needs before you can put them in touch with the right person/ language…