Hispanics in USA

Hispanics in the United States – Stats and Facts

56.6 million

According to U.S Census Bureau, on July 1 2015, Hispanics constituted 17.6 percent of the US nation’s total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation´s largest ethnic or race minority. The Hispanic population grew by 2.2% percent, rising 1.2 million between July 1 2014 and July 1 2015. This increase accounts for almost half of the growth in the total population of the United States, which stood at 2.5 million for the same period.

By 2060, the US Census Bureau estimates that the Hispanic population in the US will stand at 119 million and constitute 28.6 percent of the total US nation’s population.

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Language Preference

In 2014, 58 percent of Spanish speakers and 57 percent of Hispanic Spanish speakers in the US were reported to speak English ‘very well’. As the Hispanic population has increased, so has the number of US residents who speak Spanish within the home, with an increase 126.3 percent in comparison to 1990.

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Hispanic Origins: 2014
Mexican 63.9
Guatemalan 2.4
Salvadoran 3.8
Cuban 3.7
Dominican 3.2
Puerto Rican 9.5
South American, Central American and other Hispanic or Latino origin – the remainder

Hispanic population in the US foreign-born 35 percent

Notes:
1) The “Central American” group includes people who reported “Costa Rican,” “Honduran,” “Nicaraguan,” “Panamanian,” Central American Indian groups, and “Canal Zone.”
2)  The “South American” group includes people who reported “Argentinean,” “Bolivian,” “Chilean,” “Colombian,” “Ecuadorian,” “Paraguayan,” “Peruvian,” “Uruguayan,” “Venezuelan,” South American Indian groups, and “South American.”
3) The “Other Hispanic” group includes people who reported “Spaniard,” as well as “Hispanic” or “Latino” and other general terms.
Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Hispanic Population Figures in States and Counties: 2015

  • 1 million+: the number of Hispanic residents in the states of California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado.
  • 2 million: California was home to the largest Hispanic population out of all the states.
  • 5 percent: the number of US residents of Hispanic origin in the US living in California, Texas and Florida.
  • 9 million: the largest population of Hispanics in any county was found in Los Angeles County.
  • 49,000: the increase of Hispanics in Harris County in Texas between 2014 and 2015; the largest increase in any state

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html


Jobs and Median Household Income

67.1 percent of Hispanics aged 16 or over were employed in the civilian labor force in 2014, of which 20.4 percent held business, science, management, and arts occupations.

Median incomes:

United States $53,657
Hispanic/Latino $42,491

Source http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Education

In 2014, 16.4 percent of undergraduate or graduate students students were of Hispanic origin, and 24.0 percent of elementary and high school students. 65.3 percent of Hispanics aged 25+ had completed their high-school education and 14.4 percent had obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Families and Children

In the year 2015, there were 16.2 million Hispanic households in the US.

Hispanic (percent) US (percent)
Married-couple Households (2015) 47.7 48.2
Married-couple households with children younger than 18 at home (2015) 57.6 64.3
Families including two parents (2015) 66.8 69.5
Married couples with children under 18 with both parents working (2014) 46.0 59.7

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Hispanic/Latino Business

Between 2007 and 2012 there was a 46.3 percent increase in the estimated number of Hispanic-owned firms within the whole of the US, from 2.3 million to 3.3 million. 91.3% of these 3.3 million firms had no employees, compared to 80.4 percent of US firms.

Hispanic-owned companies reported sales totaling $437.8 million, $78.7 million of which was from firms owned by Hispanic women.

Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.html

Spanish in the World

  • Some countries or areas with significant Spanish-speaking populations include Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, the United States and Venezuela.
  • Over 472 million people in the world speak Spanish as their first language. If we include the number of people who are fluent in Spanish as a second language, the total number of Spanish speakers in the world is well over 570 million people.
  • Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  • Spanish is the second world language as a vehicle of international communication and the third as an international language of politics, economics and culture.
Castilian and Latin American Spanish

The Differences between Castilian Spanish and Latin American Spanish

Castilian Spanish – so named for its roots in the region of Castile – emerged from Spain’s many regional languages and dialects to become the primary language of the nation. Castilian Spanish was later brought to the New World through the colonization efforts of the Spanish, where the language enjoyed widespread adoption throughout the Americas. Over time, Latin American Spanish has evolved in its own right to contain various features that distinguish it from European Spanish.

The use of the term “castellano” as opposed to “español” when referring to the Spanish language may be interpreted in a number of ways. Since there are several official languages in Spain including Catalan, Basque, and Galician, the word “castellano” is often used to differentiate the Spanish language from these regional languages. Castellano may also be used to refer to regional dialects of the Spanish language spoken in Castile, for example, Andalusian. Many times – particularly outside of Spain – castellano and español are utilized interchangeably and simply refer to the Spanish language as a whole.

The terms Castilian Spanish or castellano are often used to draw a distinction between the Spanish spoken in Spain (Peninsular Spanish) and Latin American Spanish; however, this usage is somewhat misleading since Spanish speakers in Latin America also speak what are essentially dialects of Castilian Spanish as opposed to a distinct language, as is often implied.

Many Spanish speakers in Latin America customarily refer to their language as castellano as opposed to español. For example, Southern Cone countries such as Argentina and Uruguay have a tendency to refer to Spanish as castellano, while other parts of South America alternate between the use of the terms español and castellano. In the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Spanish is almost exclusively referred to as español.

While there is no generic form of Latin American Spanish, many countries share several features of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar that set apart Latin American Spanish from Castilian Spanish.

Phonological (Pronunciation) Differences

Distinción, seseo, and ceceo

Distinción, one of the standard phonological characteristics of Peninsular Spanish, results in the pronunciation of the letter c (when it appears before an e or an i) and the letter z as th, the sound [θ] that occurs in English as the th in thing. In addition, the sound [s] is pronounced as the s in see. Generally speaking, distinción is characteristic of speakers in northern and central Spain.

In other dialects, the phonemes c, z and s have merged together, producing seseo where they have been neutralized to [s] and the much rarer phenomenon ceceo where they have become [θ]. Seseo can be heard in virtually all of Latin America, as well as the Canary Islands and portions of southern Spain. Ceceo is largely confined to particular areas of southern Spain.

Lexical (Vocabulary) Differences

Another significant difference between Castilian Spanish and Latin American Spanish is that different words may be used to describe the same object or action, or the same word may have one meaning in Spain but a completely different meaning in Latin America.

Here are some examples of differences in vocabulary between Spain and Latin America:

English Castilian Spanish (Spain) Latin American Spanish
peach melocotón durazno
computer ordenador computadora
potato patata papa
match cerilla fósforo
to miss echar de menos extrañar

Latin American Spanish has been greatly influenced by contact with indigenous Americans and their native languages, with Taíno, Nahuatl and Quechua having the greatest impact. Latin American speakers are also more receptive to incorporating direct loanwords from English and other foreign languages than Spanish speakers in Spain.

Grammar Differences

Use of vosotros

Most speakers of Castilian Spanish use the familiar second-person plural form vosotros when addressing a group of family or friends. The use of vosotros is completely absent in Latin America, with New World speakers opting to use the third-person plural form of ustedes in situations where Peninsular Spanish speakers would use vosotros.

Voseo

The second-person singular pronoun vos is employed by some Latin Americans, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Central America, and portions of Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. In some countries such as Argentina, vos is used as a replacement for the pronoun tú, while in other countries it is employed alongside tú in specific social situations.

Verb tenses

Peninsular Spanish and Latin American Spanish often make different uses of certain verb tenses. Castilian Spanish employs the present perfect tense in cases where only the simple past is used in Latin America. The construction ir + a + infinitive is preferred in Latin America, while Spanish speakers in Spain tend to use the future tense more often.

Despite the differences that have been outlined between Castilian Spanish and the dialects of Spanish spoken in Latin America, the beauty of Spanish is that regardless of the dialect that one speaks, Spanish speakers can communicate throughout the Spanish-speaking world with minimal difficulties.

British English versus American English

American English is the form of English used in the United States.

British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom and the rest of the British Isles. It includes all English dialects used within the British Isles.

American English in its written form is standardized across the U.S. (and in schools abroad specializing in American English). Though not devoid of regional variations, particularly in pronunciation and vernacular vocabulary, American speech is somewhat uniform throughout the country, largely due to the influence of mass communication and geographical and social mobility in the United States. After the American Civil War, the settlement of the western territories by migrants from the Eastern U.S. led to dialect mixing and leveling, so that regional dialects are most strongly differentiated along the Eastern seaboard. The General American accent and dialect (sometimes called ‘Standard Midwestern’), often used by newscasters, is traditionally regarded as the unofficial standard for American English.

British English has a reasonable degree of uniformity in its formal written form, which, as taught in schools, is largely the same as in the rest of the English-speaking world (except North America). On the other hand, the forms of spoken English – dialects, accents and vocabulary – used across the British Isles vary considerably more than in most other English-speaking areas of the world, even more so than in the United States, due to a much longer history of dialect development in the English speaking areas of Great Britain and Ireland. Dialects and accents vary, not only between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (which constitute the United Kingdom), plus the Republic of Ireland, but also within these individual countries. There are also differences in the English spoken by different socio-economic groups in any particular region. Received Pronunciation (RP) (also referred to as BBC English or Queen’s English) has traditionally been regarded as ‘proper English’ – ‘the educated spoken English of south-east England’. The BBC and other broadcasters now intentionally use a mix of presenters with a variety of British accents and dialects, and the concept of ‘proper English’ is now far less prevalent.

British and American English are the reference norms for English as spoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world; for instance, the English-speaking members of the Commonwealth of Nations often (if not usually) closely follow British orthography, and many new Americanisms quickly become familiar outside of the United States. Although the dialects of English used in the former British Empire are often, to various extents, fairly close to standard British English, most of the countries concerned have developed their own unique dialects, particularly with respect to pronunciation, idioms, and vocabulary; chief among them are, at least for number of speakers, Australian English and Canadian English.

Idioms

A number of English idioms that have essentially the same meaning show lexical differences between the British and the American version; for instance:

British – American
not touch something with a bargepole – not touch something with a ten-foot pole
sweep under the carpet – sweep under the rug
touch wood – knock on wood
throw a spanner -throw a (monkey) wrench
tuppence worth also two pennies’ worth, two pence worth or two pennyworth) – two cents’ worth
skeleton in the cupboard – skeleton in the closet
a home from home -a home away from home
blow one’s trumpet – blow (or toot) one’s horn
storm in a teacup – tempest in a teapot
a drop in the ocean – a drop in the bucket
flogging a dead horse – beating a dead horse
In some cases the “American” variant is also used in British English, or vice versa.

Vocabulary

British – American
autumn – fall
aerial – antenna
bank note – bill
barrister – lawyer
bill (restaurant) -check
biscuit – cookie
bonnet (car) – hood
boot (car) – truck
chips – French fries
cooker – stove
crossroad – intersection
curtains – drapes
dustbin – garbage can
engine – motor
film -movie
flat – apartment
football – soccer
garden – yard
handbag – purse
holiday – vacation
jumper – sweater
lift – elevator
to let – to rent
lorry – truck
metro, underground, tube – subway
nappy – diaper
pavement – sidewalk
petrol – gas, gasoline
post – mail
postcode – zip code
queue – line
railway – railroad
solicitor – attorney
tap – faucet
taxi – cab
trousers – pants
wardrobe – closet
windscreen – windshield

Spelling

British – American
colour – color
favourite – favorite
honour – honor
analyse – analyze
criticise – criticize
memorise – memorize
enrolment – enrollment
fulfil – fulfill
skilful – skillful
centre – center
metre – meter
theatre – theater
analogue – analog
catalogue – catalog
dialogue – dialog
jewellery – jewelry
draught – draft
pyjamas – pajamas
plough – plow
programme – program
tyre – tire
cheque – check
mediaeval – medieval
defence – defense
licence – license

Implications for Translators

If you translate into Spanish from English, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to work from a document in either American or British English regardless of your country of origin.  However, some clients request that a document be translated from Spanish into either British or American English.  Because of the very subtle grammatical differences, it wouldn’t be wise to translate into an English dialect that you are not intimately familiar with.

If you are a client who needs to have your document translated into a specific dialect of English, make sure that your translator is a native of the country which you will target with your translation.  If this isn’t possible, then make sure that the translator you entrust with your document is either currently living in the country (i.e. an American translator residing in England) or has lived in the country for a substantial amount of time (i.e. a Brit who went to college and worked in the U.S. for several years).

Spanish Language

Spanish Language Characteristics. Spanish in the World.

Spanish is the most widely spoken of the Romance languages, both in terms of number of speakers and the number of countries in which it is the dominant language. Besides being spoken in Spain, it is the official language of all the South American countries except Brazil and Guyana, of the six republics of Central America, as well as of Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, it is spoken in parts of Morocco and the west coast of Africa, and also in Equatorial Guinea. In the United States it is widely spoken in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (in New Mexico it is co-official with English), in New York City by the large Puerto Rican population, and more recently in southern Florida by people who have arrived from Cuba. A variety of Spanish known as Ladino is spoken in Turkey and Israel by descendants of Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. All told there are about 350 million speakers of Spanish.

Pronunciation and usage of Spanish naturally vary between countries, but regional differences are not so great as to make the language unintelligible to speakers from different areas. The purest form of Spanish is known as Castilian, originally one of the dialects that developed from Latin after the Roman conquest of Hispania in the 3rd century A.D. After the disintegration of the Roman Empire, Spain was overrun by the Visigoths, and in the 8th century the Arabic-speaking Moors conquered all but the northernmost part of the peninsula. In the Christian reconquest, Castile, an independent kingdom, took the initiative and by the time of the unification of Spain in the 15th century, Castilian had become the dominant dialect. In the years that followed, Castilian, now Spanish, became the language of a vast empire in the New World.

Spanish vocabulary is basically of Latin origin, though many of the words differ markedly from their counterparts in French and Italian. Many words beginning with f in other Romance languages begin with h in Spanish (e.g., hijo-son, hilo-thread). The Moorish influence is seen in the many words beginning with al- (algodón-cotton, alfombra-rug, almohada-pillow, alfiler-pin). As in British and American English, there are differences in vocabulary on the two sides of the ocean (also in mainland Spain).

Spanish is spoken/used in the following countries: Argentina, Aruba (Dutch), Belize (British Honduras), Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Gibraltar (U.K.), Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (U.S.), Spain, St. Kitts (& Nevis) Independent, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (U.S.).

Language Family
Family: Indo-European
Subgroup: Romance

Question and exclamation marks: In Spanish there are opening question and exclamation marks, ¿ and ¡, which can appear right at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence.

Measurements: Metric are the only official measurements. Imperial measurements must be converted into metric. However, there are some instances of the use of inches, such as in screen sizes.

Time: Spain uses the 24-hour clock, i.e. 10.00 / 15.00.

Date: The format is 25/08/99 or 25-08-99. Spanish uses a decimal comma (3,7%), and a dot after 999 (16.000).

Gender: Spanish has masculine and feminine genders. The gender affects nouns, adjectives, demonstratives, possessives and articles, but not verbs, e.g. Está cansada (She’s tired), Está cansado (He’s tired).

Plurals: Generally speaking, the plural is formed by adding ‘s’ to words ending in a vowel and by adding ‘-os’ or ‘-es’ to words ending in a consonant. This is however, governed by a set of rules.

One letter words: One letter words include: a, e (replaces ‘y’ (= and) before a word beginning with ‘i’), o, u (replaces ‘o’ (= or) before a word beginning with an ‘o’).

Capitalization: Occurs at the beginning of sentences and for proper names. Unlike English, days of the week/months of the year/languages/nationalities/managerial posts like gerente general, do not take a capital letter.

Double consonants: The only groups of two equal consonants are the following: cc, ll, nn, rr.

End-of-line hyphenation: With regard to end-of-line hyphenation, it is best to leave words whole in normal text and leave hyphenation for restricted text boxes, columns, etc. However, if absolutely necessary, a single consonant between two vowels joins the second. Hyphenation between two consonants applies. Examples: in-novador, ten-síon, ac-ceso. However, there are exceptions in the case of the following groups: pr, pl, br, bl, fr, fl, tr, dr, cr, cl, gr, rr, ll, ch (e.g., ca-ble, ma-cro, I-rracional). Between three consonants, the first two will go with the preceding vowel and the third with the following vowel (e.g., trans-por-te), except in the case of the aforementioned consonant groups, in which the first one will go with the preceding vowel and the third with the following vowel (e.g., im-presora, des-truir).

Avoid hyphenation: Between two vowels. When the result will appear rude (e.g., dis -puta, tor-pedo). It is advised that the last line in a paragraph contains more than four characters (punctuation marks included).

Tú and Usted: The familiar form of you is tú and verbs used with tú are conjugated in the 2nd person. The formal form of you is usted and verbs used with usted are conjugated in the 3rd person. The familiar form is used with friends or with people who are younger than you. The formal form is used when you speak Spanish with elders or people you don’t know.

Ser vs Estar: Two verbs in Spanish express “to be”: ser, and estar. In general, “ser” expresses permanent states, such as Soy alto (I am tall) or Somos de Argentina (We are from Argentina). Estar expresses temporary conditions, such as Estoy cansado (I am tired) or La calle está mojada (The street is wet).

Calendar of translation events – June 2016

2
Being a Successful Interpreter. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Panel on Natural Language Processing (NLP). Women in Localization, San Jose, California USA.

3

Symposium on Corpus Analysis in Legal Research and Legal Translation Studies.Transius,
Geneva, Switzerland

3-5

ABRATES VII. Brazilian Association of Translators (ABRATES), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3-9

2nd annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. Middlebury College. Ripton, Vermont USA

8-10

LocWorld Dublin. Localization World, Ltd. Dublin, Ireland

9

When Translation Meets Technologies. University of Portsmouth & Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Portsmouth, UK

9-10

4th International Conference on Game Translation and Accessibility. TransMedia Catalonia Research Group, Barcelona, Spain

10

10th Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics. Network of Jurilinguistics Centres, Montreal, Canada

10-12

Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference. InText Translation Company, Orlivshchyna, Ukraine

15-17

Audiovisual translation: dubbing and subtitling in the central European context. Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovakia

16

Localization for the eBay Global Marketplace. The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG),
San Jose, California USA

17-18

Eighth Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum. TAC, FIT, XISU, Xi’an, China

18-19

IJET-27- Japan Association of Translators, Sendai, Japan

PAPTRAD’s 1st International Translation and Interpreting Conference. Portuguese Translators & Interpreters Association (APTRAD). Porto, Portugal

20

SDL Translation Technology Insights. The future of technology within the translation industry. Online event.

23-24

Localization unconference. Localization unconference Team, Heidelberg, Germany

23-25

MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities. Modern Language Association,
Düsseldorf, Germany

29-July 1

Critical Link 8. Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland

Questions to consider before becoming a freelance translator

You are working as an in-house translator and you are tired of fixed hours, bosses and travelling to your job

during rush hour. You might struggle with your schedule or not being able to choose what you translate. Is it
time to become an independent translator? Answer the following questions before you take the big
step:

1.  Are you going to make enough to meet your needs?

Most clients hire freelancers on a project-to-project basis. So you have to be proactive about budgeting.
Many freelance translators have permanent jobs elsewhere. So consider, would this role be fiscally
beneficial? Before committing, understand the hours you will spend on a project and if they will accurately
reflect the hourly payment you will receive.

2.   Are you willing to work alone?

If you are a person that works best in teams, freelance translation might not be for you. At times translation
can be a lonely job so it is important to reflect on the environment that you thrive in. If your ideal work space
is a company culture with direct colleague collaboration an organization with more co-workers would be a
better fit.

3.   Can you meet deadlines?

Freelance translators must be timely and detail-oriented. At times there will be an overload of projects so it is
important to be organized and plan ahead. If you are thinking of freelancing while keeping your current job,
beware that most companies will require you to be available during normal business hours which limits your
attention and time to other jobs you might have. You’ll need to be able to not only meet deadlines but
simultaneously insure those deadlines don’t interfere with other commitments.

4.   Can you be flexible and multitask?

This is the most important question to ask yourself. The key to freelance work regardless of the field, is
adaptability. However, multi-tasking does not mean overworking as this can lead to lack of quality. It means being able to work productively and independently because you won’t typically have a supervisor checking in with you on a regular basis.

5.  Do you have enough time to market yourself?

As a freelance translator, you will constantly be networking and searching for different opportunities.
Consequently, this outreach time adds up; especially when you are constantly educating yourself about new
markets, sending your CV to agencies or developing a marketing strategy. It is a good idea to to create your own
personal website and partner with other translators to better reach potential clients.

6.  Do you have samples of previous translations or references?

It is important that you are able to position yourself as a desirable candidate. In the translation industry,
a portfolio is a much better indicator of your abilities than a resume. Although some documents you translate
might be confidential, you can provide samples without mentioning your client’s name and include those
parts that will not reveal confidential information. Furthermore, you can use any translation you did during
your translation studies as a sample. Of course, past experience is not necessarily a requirement but it will
give you better chances.

Calendar of translation events – April 2016

3-7

International Conference on Interpretation National Association for Interpretation. Wellington, New Zealand.

12

Translating from the Margins: The Challenges, Opportunities and Responsibilities of Working with ‘Under-Represented’ Languages. The London Book Fair. London, UK.

13-15

LocWorld Tokyo. Localization World, Ltd. Tokyo, Japan.

15-16

bp16. Csaba Bán. Prague, Czech Republic.

19-20

TAUS Industry Leader’s Forum. TAUS. Tokyo, Japan.

21

Serge: Open Source Localization Platform from Evernote. The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG). Mountain View, California, USA.

21-22

ND Focus – Elia’s networking days for Executives. Elia (European Language Industry Association). Mallorca, Spain.

11th EUATC International Conference. European Union of Associations of Translation Companies. Budapest, Hungary.

21-24

6th Latin American Translation and Interpreting Congress. Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (CTPCBA). Buenos Aires, Argentina.

22-24

AILIA Annual Conference. AILIA Language Industry Association. Montreal, Canada.

28-30

Wordfast Forward 2016. Wordfast. Nice, France.

29-May 1

2016 International Medical Interpreters Conference. International Medical Interpreters Association Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

30

Практический семинар ProZ.com для начинающих переводчиков. Kharkov, UKR.

30-May 1

4th Durham Postgraduate Colloquium in Translation Studies. Durham University. Durham, UK.

What’s the difference between proofreading and editing?

You’ve thought up a spectacular story, your words flow with ease, you’ve finished your body of work, yet the process has just begun. Many people will argue that a written project has many layers. Dominick Dunne, an American writer and investigative journalist, once stated “even if you write it wrong, write and finish your first draft. Only then, when you have a flawed whole, do you know what you have to fix.”

proofreading and editing: differences

The process of fixing a draft is known as editing or proofreading. Although similar, these two terms are not the same. According to the Merriam-Webster, editing is “to prepare something written, filmed or recorded to be published or to make changes, corrections to mistakes, etc.” Whereas proofreading is “to read and correct mistakes in a written or printed piece of writing”.

From the dictionary definition, it is hard to differentiate the two; but there is a key difference.

Editing is going through and making grammatical changes such as grammatical errors and punctuation. Through this process, you are actually making changes physically to adjust the content. Editing takes a deeper look at how info is presented and can happen multiple times throughout the project.

Proofreading, on the other hand, happens towards the end of the process. Proofreading, in regards to the nature of the term, is reading for proof and credibility of the final product. Finding credible and cohesive content at large instead of commenting on minors errors in structure or grammar.

Although these terms are similar, they are not interchangeable. They are both equally crucial in the writing process. Without editing an author runs the risk of publishing a piece of work with errors in structure, tense, tone and grammar. And without proofreading it is possible to miss surface mistakes that were overlooked in the editing process. So make sure you’ve accomplished both steps of the process before your project is truly complete.

 

Is the comma on its way out?

comma use

It’s probably one of the most difficult forms of punctuation to get to grips with and, for some, it’s starting to be more and more unnecessary. The question is, will the comma will eventually die out completely in the future? Let’s take a look at the arguments…

Linguist and Columbia University professor John McWhorter is certainly in favor of putting commas to rest forever. His analysis of the subject falls into two broad categories. Firstly, according to McWhorter, it seems pretty fair to say that there’s no list of definitive rules that explain exactly when and why one should place a comma in a sentence.

William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style is one of the most popular texts for comma use, still in use today. One of the rules laid down in this 100-year-old publication is that commas should “enclose parenthetic expressions” and come “before and or but” when introducing an independent clause.

Even so, as McWhorter quite rightly points out, Strunk was wandering around in a pair of spats when he wrote The Elements of Style and so little of what’s written in the publication needs to have very much to do with how we communicate today in our modern and highly technological society. With that in mind we can move on to the second category of analysis as laid out by McWhorter, that of the use of text messages, tweets and other kinds of conversational-style communications.

There’s simply no need for commas (indeed they take up valuable character space) in tweets. Even top-notch journalists who write for national and international publications choose to tweet without commas. It seems that there isn’t a need for the comma, because the essence of what one’s trying to communicate in 140 characters is conveyed with or without them.

For example, a couple of years back Gmail went down – shocking! – and the entire world began tweeting sarcastic comments about the issue. Many of the snarling remarks came from professional journalists and few of them felt the need to use a comma. They were all more interested in getting their tweet out there into cyberspace for all to read.

An editor at BuzzFeed tweeted “whoa whoa guys I can’t respond to all zero gmails at once.” Writer and biographer Rachel Syme published a joking jibe that read: “I rubbed my genie lamp and wished for one of those Freedom programs that keeps you from email but I wished TOO BIG sorry guys sorry.” And writer Jen Doll brought the entire Gmail nightmare to and end with: “I guess all those losers outside skiing or like at the movies or whatever missed out on this exciting adventure we just had.”

Did you see any commas? Did you need them to understand what you read? No!

This is exactly the point that McWhorter is trying to make when referring to the outdated nature of the comma in our super advanced technological world.

Having said all that, there are obviously a band of comma fanatics out there that continue to worry about what might happen when people start writing sentences like, “Let’s eat grandma” and not, “Let’s eat, grandma”, which are clearly two different things. But unless we all happen to be living in a version of Little Red Riding Hood, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll confuse the first sentence with the second anyway.

Comma fanatics are also worried that we won’t be able to distinguish the difference between style; that we won’t be able to produce content suitable for formal essays and articles as well as tweets and texting. The concern is that we’ll end up having to read articles in the New York Times without commas, but maybe the future’s not going to include long, formal articles in the NYT anyway. Let’s face it, tweets, texts and other digital publications have already started to turn print journalism into a thing of the past.

What do you think? Should the comma stay or should it go?

Translation events – March 2016

translation events webinars workshopsImage courtesy of bluebay at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3

Continuous Globalization from Startups to Enterprises. Lingoport, Inc. webinar

3-5

Languaging Diversity 2016. University of Macerata. Macerata, Italy.

12

Northern California Translators Association (NCTA). Workshop: Trados Studio for Intermediate UsersSan Francisco, CA USA

11-12

The Translation and Localization Conference 2016. Localize.pl, TexteM. Warsaw, Poland

CHIA 16th Annual Education Conference. California Healthcare Interpreting Association
Long Beach, California USA

Interpreter and Translators Congress. Joint initiative. Hilversum, Netherlands

13

Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events. Global Game Jam, Inc. Berkeley, California USA

14-18

11th Medical English Seminar (SAM). Société francaise des traducteurs (SFT).  Lyon, France

14-27

LocJAM. GLOC, IGDA Loc Sig. worldwide

15

TAUS Roundtable. TAUS. Vienna, Austria

17

Unicode workshop. The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG). San Jose, California USA

19

NOTIS Workshop. Mexican Civil Procedure & “Hilando muy fino con el lenguaje jurídico”. Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS). Seattle, WA USA

20

Memsource User Meetup. Memsource. New York, New York USA

NOTIS Workshop. Dissecting French Contracts. Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS). Seattle, WA

NOTIS Workshop. Dissecting French Contracts. Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS). Seattle, WA

20-23

GALA 2016. Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). New York, New York USA

think! Interpreting. Globalization and Localization Association, InterpretAmerica. New York, New York USA

28-29

International Translation Conference. Translation and Interpreting Institute. Doha, Qatar

31-April 2

ATISA VIII. American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association. Monterey, California USA