Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Moving out/déménagement/trasloco

This blog has found a new home sweet home. From now on, you can read it at Thank you.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Internet slang

A useful glossary of Internet slang, acronyms and abbreviations.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Wikipedia for you

Given that Wikipedia relies on its readers to spot and fix inaccuracies, errors are inevitable; entries may also have deliberate biases or inaccuracies introduced into them for political, personal or commercial motives. There have been several hoaxes. Britain’s exam watchdog, Ofqual, warned in 2009 that Wikipedia was not “authoritative or accurate” and entries “may be completely untrue”. Studies suggest that Wikipedia may not be as accurate as specialist information sources, but compares well with the accuracy of books, newspapers and magazines. If you look up a subject you know about on Wikipedia, you will find that it mostly gets things right. Even Ofqual conceded that Wikipedia “can be an excellent starting point for research”.

The Economist, Wiki Birthday to You

Nowadays I can't but shrug at comments haughtily dismissing such sources altogether out of mere prejudice. Wikipedia may not be your only reference, but as the above linked article suggests, it is certainly a good starting point, provided you know how to do your research. Obviously then, those who pooh-pooh it really ought to learn some basics of searching. The first of which being "trust your own common sense and act accordingly".

Monday, 10 January 2011

Enough for today, thank you

Most of the times translating means doing terminological research. And whether you are going to use specific texts, encyclopedias or the Net, it involves dealing with words... and pictures. Which is ok when you're translating about cats, puppies or muffins, but becomes a weeny bit destabilising when having to look at not-so-pleasant things. Having had to look into a variety of moths and one of spiders, I think for today I've been fully contributing to translation and look forward to a refreshing cup of tea.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

List of military abbreviations

Here's a useful list of military abbreviations in Italian. Just because it's nice to start the year with a little help. Happy 2011!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

And now comics!

Some Q&A time with an Italian manga translator casts a light on this interesting branch of translation.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Italian spirits

"The Italians must drink with food, which is why you can find an entire culture of lighter aperitivi, with multiple variations containing splashes of Campari, Aperol, prosecco, white wine or soda, served along with free food at most bars during happy hour. Some of these spreads, with meat, cheese, vegetables, bruschetta and sandwiches, could serve as meals in themselves."

Jason Wilson, Translating 'Cocktail' into Italian

Read the rest of this flavoursome overview on Italians' drinking habits here.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Faster, cheaper, more effective

Faster, cheaper, more effective... that's basically the outcome industry has always been trying to reach. In several cases it did reach such outcome. Why then assume that the language industry makes an exception? Problems such as those highlighted in this article may certainly be still rather far from being solved, but it would definitely be unwise to expect they will never be, as a certain attitude in translation practice and research seems to imply. Translating has come a long way and as far as I can see, it's catching up speed. Pretending to ignore this seems to me as unsafe as standing on a treadmill without keeping up with the pace set by its motor. You end up flat on the floor, expelled by the same machine you were trying to control.