Category: Language

March 17, 2008

Tips for finding translation answers yourself

Filed under: — Natasha @ 1:35 pm

Here are some tips in Dutch on how to quickly find translations for folks not in the translation business, published on the site of Women on the Web.

The websites mentioned are in English. The IATE database works in all 27 EU languages and some Latin.

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January 10, 2008

Speaking to Québec translation students

Filed under: — Natasha @ 1:15 pm

A PhD friend of mine in Montréal teaches translation to university students at the Université de Montréal, where ironically, I didn’t study because I couldn’t do it in Russian. Instead, I went on to McGill University to keep studying Russian which I get to use three times a year if I’m lucky.

I have been asked to talk to them via Skype on February 6 about what it is like to do translation work in Europe with countries like Belgium. Both the Flemish and French ask for English translations, but certain choices need to be made, for example, when to write the names of streets in Brussels in French, Flemish or both. I also translate French texts into English which will be read by the Flemish, so the names of cities need to be in Flemish rather than French. I learnt all this the hard way and it’s great to be able to share that with fellow French Canadians who really wouldn’t know these things unless they’ve worked in Europe.

Like in many other institutions, students at the Université de Montréal are oblivious to the way translation is done on the job market, either at a company or as freelancers. According to my friend who has worked in both companies and for himself, his students are focused on explaining away their choices and busy satisficing rather than doing assignments the way they would be done in the real world. Some of them still can’t look up things in Google. The biggest problem is that they have a serious lack of independent thought.

Let’s see if I can knock some sense into them before the job market does in a less caring manner.

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December 18, 2007

Lifehacking and guest blogging

Filed under: — Natasha @ 5:43 pm


The second edition of Lifehacking Academy in Arnhem was again successful and had some good vibes floating around. After giving my podcasting workshop to a small group of very curious people, I attended an unconference led by Microsoft employee Peter de Haas. It is nice that Microsoft lets him take part in these things without having to plug anything. That was very refreshing.

On a literally other note, I can’t help by share my enthusiasm for the latest Phonoboy album, “Pas de Temps”, an indie pop/rock band from Munich that sings in French. Besides a very tight sound, their French lyrics are very functional and to the point, something Francophones don’t generally do.

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December 3, 2007

I tell time on the radio

Filed under: — Natasha @ 9:23 pm


A French friend of mine, Laurent Chambon, politician and musician here in Amsterdam, got me to record the hours of the day in French for Radio Akasanoma, better known as Radio Francophone. Radio Francophone is a French-language FM radio station in Amsterdam Zuidoost that was started by Africans, but now caters to an increasingly broader audience of francophones, which are French-speaking people from any country. Since I have an unmistakable French Canadian accent straight out of Montréal, Laurent asked me to record the hours of the day. Just tonight, having finally made the time to listen to a cultural programme on the radio through the Internet, I heard myself say “Il est 21h” (It is 9 o’ clock), which was cool. I will be interviewed on Radio Francophone sometime in January about French music and culture in Amsterdam, but let’s get through the holidays first.

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