Why tea is strong, not sturdy: Collocations and their crucial role in language and translation

Why tea is strong, not sturdy: Collocations and their crucial role in language and translation   What are collocations and why are they important?   If you ask the average citizen what collocations are, they may not know what you’re talking about, although they will surely use them. Well everybody uses them, but most of

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Finding positives in the negative: How to deal with translation feedback

This month, we launched our own internal Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) process, which involves reviewing the work of a number of translators each week. Even though we already have a tight handle on translation quality by employing in-house translators, and also project managers who are native speakers of the languages they manage, we still felt

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Top 5 features we love about the new Smartling CAT tool

We are getting excited! Over the coming days and weeks, Smartling will be releasing their new and improved translation interface, which promises to increase translator productivity (so you can translate faster), improve translation quality (using comprehensive QA checks) and add some serious flexibility (by allowing you to customise shortcuts to your liking). Here are five of

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The challenges of translating poetry

To quote Robin Williams’ brilliant character John Keating in Dead Poets Society, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race […] poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Besides being what keeps us going as a species,

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What to expect from a translation internship at AJT

When it comes to internships, one can’t help but think of “important” tasks such as making photocopies, brewing coffee or doing the grocery shopping for your manager’s in-laws (speaking from experience there…). Unfortunately this stereotype is true for some internships – but luckily it’s far from the truth for a translation internship at AJT! Here’s

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Creative writing exercise for translators: tone of voice

Tone of voice is a big part of our translation work. In order to accurately convey our client’s message in another language, we need to understand who they are themselves, who their potential customers are and how they want to come across to those potential customers. When working with bigger brands, we often receive a very well-defined style guide

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ELIA Together: About growth, values and challenges in the translation industry

Last week, my colleague Sarah and I attended the ELIA Together conference in Barcelona, Spain. ELIA is the premier European language industry association and the main aim of the event was to provide a space for translation companies and freelancers to network, exchange ideas and discuss industry-specific challenges. From freelancers to large translation companies to translation

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Translating calls to action: 3 tips for English to German marketing translation

English is such a wonderfully ‘bendy’ language that allows for all sorts of sentence structures, repurposes words for new meanings and turns adjectives into nouns at the drop of a hat (‘I had 3 new likes on Facebook today!’). Unfortunately, German isn’t quite so flexible, owing to its more complex grammatical structure. So when we

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What makes an excellent freelance translator? 5 traits that translation agencies look for

Starting out as a freelance translator can be tough. It’s hard enough trying to land your first translation job without much experience (everyone wants experienced translators but how can you get experience in the first place?). And once you HAVE got that first translation project, how do you retain that customer so they turn into

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