Translation Blog

News worthy of a blog post

Yep, I’ve dusted off the cobwebs and cat fur festooning this blog to bring you some amazing news.

Several years ago I thought it might be a good idea to do the Institute of Linguists’ Level 7 Diploma in Translation. This is a Master’s level qualification, so quite a big deal, although really I  just wanted a nice piece of paper to wave at people if they asked about my translation credentials. I even took a preparation course. It was bad timing, though – it was the year I got married, and what with the planning and the endless parties I didn’t really have time to concentrate on the course or book the exam. And so I put it off, and put it off, and put it off again.

But the thought stayed with me, and about a year ago I thought, why not finally do this thing. So I did another preparation course, actually booked the exam and, without telling anyone (husband and close friends excepted), I took it in January.

And yesterday I got the results.

Paper 1 (the general paper, and normally a stinker): Merit. Paper 2 (semi-specialised, technology): Distinction. Paper 3 (semi-specialised, science): Merit.

In congratulating me, the owner of the company through which I did my preparation course wrote: “Passing all three units in a single session is a remarkable achievement, and your grades are really outstanding!”

Oh, yeah. I AM the man.


Merry festival of conspicuous consumption and overeating

Just popping in to say I’m still here, busily translating away for you all. My silence (prompting one recent prospective client to wonder if I were still in business) is merely due to a lack of things to say, unless I wanted to turn this into a half-hearted music blog. Tempting, but I think not.

So Merry Christmas, everyone. Raise a glass for me.


HRH again

My husband wrote this little poem in memory of Widgy:

With your tail high and proud
you reigned, majestic,
over homes throughout Europe
but it was when you were
belly-up and
lovesome
that you melted our hearts

translation: Colm Ryan


HRH Prince Widget

HRH Prince Widget (Widgy) has died after a sudden flare-up of a chronic illness. In his honour, we recount a brief summary of his life.

Kittenhood
The looks of a chocolate box kitten belied the cheeky bundle of mischief lurking beneath the floof. Despite the early misfortune of a gender misidentification (resolved only at the age of 6 months), the young Widgy delighted in tormenting his peers, Sam and Holly; pouncing on their tails, launching himself onto them from the sofa, even on one memorable occasion biffing a freshly caught mouse out of Holly’s mouth and claiming the kill as his own. Although generally proud and aloof from his human serfs, he would nonetheless have sudden attacks of affection for them, demonstrated through a short bout of intense armpit kneading and headbutting before his need for independence reasserted itself and he returned to his habitual disdain of such foolish emotions.

The behind-the-sofa years
A brutal accident dramatically changed Widgy’s relationship with the world. Details of the event remain obscure; what is known is that he returned one day with a severely broken rear leg, which required pinning and a month’s convalescence in restricted quarters. He was never the same thereafter. From bold and fearless he became reserved and withdrawn, retreating behind the sofa at the sound of the doorbell and normally only venturing out when the uninvited visitor had left, although an occasional exception was made for privileged female humans. Nevertheless, it was in this period that his regal nature came to the fore, and he was quickly awarded the title “His Royal Highness”.

A change of air
At the age of 4 Widgy moved to Rome, Italy. Despite the indignity of his arrival with a consignment of frozen swordfish, he settled in well, quickly adapting to the heat and to his new peer, Tindaro; although never friends, they grew to tolerate one another in a reasonably amicable fashion. The new environment progressively boosted Widgy’s affection for his female serf. He was to remain very diffident towards his new male serf, however, for many years.

Middle age
Widgy was 11 when he was diagnosed with the disease which would ultimately kill him, hyperthyroidism. The constant blood tests this engendered delayed his planned sojourn in Luxembourg, although the royal court was eventually able to make the transfer. This was a welcome respite from the summer heat of Rome although the lack of an independent ingress in his new abode was a constant frustration. Winter snow provided many an amusement, as did facing down (with the assistance of Tindaro) a local fox that had ventured out of the woods in search of food.

The twilight years
Back in Rome once more, Widgy finally showed signs of mellowing towards his male serf, who was now permitted to stand in the royal presence and even stroke the royal belly. By this time, he was also imperiously demanding daily cuddles and almost constant attention from his female serf, a trait which was to intensify as he grew older. Although increasingly plagued with arthritis, he remained cheerful and interested in life to his last days. On leaving this world, he gently squeezed his paw around the finger of his female serf, before being allowed to slip away with the dignity which so became him.

He is deeply mourned and will be greatly missed by his female and male serfs, friends, and a whole crowd of internet wrongmos who never met him but whose lives were nonetheless enriched by the chronicles of his exploits.

His Royal Highness Prince Widget

22/02/1995 – 19/03/2013


Wikipedia Blackout

While I would, of course, never advocate Wikipedia as a sole source of information on any matter, I find it invaluable as a quick way of finding out possible equivalents for doubtful terms, which I can then go on to confirm with further research. So I was not at all pleased to try to access Wiki today, only to find this message:

Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.

Find out more here – and add your voice to the chorus defending freedom of information.


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