Lunfardo: what do “garpar” and “garpe” mean?

One of the most interesting features of Lunfardo – an Argentine dialect of Spanish that arose in the late 19th century among petty criminals living with immigrants and native Argentines in the sheet metal tenements of lower-class Buenos Aires neighborhoods – is its great capacity for metathesis, the re-arrangement of sounds or syllables in a word. This local form of syllabic metathesis is known as “vesre” which is, in itself, a metathesis of “revés.” This phenomenon occurs not only with nouns – “feca” for “café”, for example – but also with verbs…and the verbs are then conjugated based on the vesre infinitive.

garpar

So, “pagar” (“to pay”) becomes “garpa”, from which – because it sounds like a third-person singular present conjugation – speakers intuitively form the infinitive “garpar”, in analogy with other -ar verbs, resulting in the infinitive “garpar”.

But it doesn’t stop there: the verb “garpar” has, in turn, given us “garpe”, a noun used in the expressions “dejar (a alguien) de garpe” or “ser dejado de garpe (por alguien)” meaning “to stand someone up” and that originates in the idea of leaving someone holding the bill after a meal shared among several people.

Here are a few examples:

Decile al quía que tiene que garpar. Tell the guy he has to pay.

No tenía para garpar la entrada y lo encaró al chancho. He didn´t have any money to pay for the ticket, and he confronted the ticket inspector.

Le garpé 5 mangos. I paid him five bucks.

La dejaron de garpe y se calentó. She was stood up and she got mad.

Staying motivated as a Freelance Translator

There are pros and cons to working as a freelance translator, and one of them (both a pro and a con) is organizing the way we use our time.

Distractions in our working environment can include everything from the TV to the cookie jar, and our computer – the very tool we use for our work – all too often offers the most distractions of all: social media, together with our favorite pages, the latest news, sports…name your interest, and there’s probably a way to be distracted by it.

For those who are used to working in a corporate atmosphere, with set working hours, a company dress code and regular performance reviews, the freedom to determine your own working hours, wear pajamas and never have anyone analyze one’s performance may sound like a dream come true. The fact is, though, with these motivators absent, freelancers sometimes find themselves rudderless in a storm, with indulgences becoming habits, habits that are not only detrimental to their productivity (and, thus, their business), but that also become increasingly hard to break. Not only can this negatively impact productivity, it can have the same deleterious effect on quality…and that is the road to professional perdition. By putting off getting started on the translation project we have on our agenda, we are reducing the time we have to cope with and solve unexpected challenges (like the translation of a particularly obscure term or even a computer crash) affecting the project, and we also waste time that could be used for another project, or even marketing our services to win more and better clients. What’s more, the negative impact is not only professional; it’s personal, as well. If we don’t schedule our work time, we haven’t scheduled our leisure time either and just as this lack of definition can mean that we become less effective in our professional lives, it can mean the same in our personal lives.

freelance translator motivation

So, how can we motivate ourselves to get back on the track to professional productivity while ensuring time for personal pursuits?

Here are eight tips for upping your motivation and ensuring both productivity and personal time.

  1. Get up early. Yes, one can work in the afternoon or at night – millions do the world over. But you want to get started with your work, not put it off (remember, we’re talking about motivation here), so don’t listen to that voice in your head that tells you to roll over and catch another 30 winks. While you’re sleeping in, the world is moving forward. Use this time to enjoy an unrushed breakfast (so hunger won’t distract you) and plan your day (a packed agenda means less opportunity to lose focus). If you can manage to get up just a half-hour earlier every day of the year, you’ll gain a full week of time. Just imagine what you can do with that week (and the money you’ll earn)…so get up and get started, already!
  2. Get dressed. Yes, that means changing your pajamas for something you wouldn’t mind wearing to the supermarket (and we hope that’s not your pajamas!). Jeans, a sweatshirt or tee…something comfortable, but actual clothing. It’s pretty much accepted by psychologists that what we wear affects the way we act, so – while “professional work attire” may not be required – put on something that makes you feel like a professional who’s focused on work.
  3. Speaking of sleep…if wearing pajamas undermines your motivation to work, working in bed will KO it entirely. Even working in the same room you sleep in can affect motivation, so if you have the space, find another place to work. If you don’t, try to find some way to keep the bed out of sight while you’re seated at your desk, like orienting your desk in another direction, or placing a screen between the two.
  4. Make a work schedule and stick to it. This means that you set your office hours, and those are the hours that you work. Organize your work for the day – whether a translation project, glossary maintenance, invoicing or promoting your service – in an agenda or diary, get started (now!) and just do it. Again, don’t listen to that voice telling you to take a break…if you don’t get started, you won’t finish, will you?
  5. Reward yourself. All work and no play makes a translator sad and unmotivated professional, so find a reward that motivates you – and indulge yourself with it. Like to watch Game of Thrones? Write it in your agenda for 8 pm and then work towards the goal of finishing up your job-related work so you can sit back and enjoy it guilt- and pressure-free. Whatever a favorite activity might be, use it as a reward and schedule it for the end of your workday.
  6. Restrict social media, both professional and personal. Schedule a few minutes a day in your agenda for taking care of your professional social media accounts, if any, and then spend not one minute more. Relegate your personal accounts to your personal time, where they belong.
  7. Go for a walk. This is the one tip that actually takes you away from your desk. Besides reducing stress, studies show that a walk outside can boost both creativity and concentration…two important factors in getting the job done. So, get yourself a breath of fresh air, and then get right back to work.
  8. Finally, reach out. You are not alone! Suffering from a lack of motivation is something that many freelancers have experienced at one point or another in their careers. There are even apps that will help you conquer distractions, eliminate procrastination, increase productivity and reduce the chance of burn-out: Tomighty, YAPA and ActionAlly are just a few.

Do you have a tip or trick that fires up your motivation?

Share it with us!

 

 

What you need to know about certified translations

certified translation

Translators are often asked to translate official documents, including identity documents, immigration documents, birth or death certificates, wedding licenses, wills, diplomas, transcripts and so on.

They are two key issues to consider before beginning a certificate translation: Translating the information on the certificate itself correctly and what certification process (if any) is to be applied.

In terms of the translation itself, it is important for the translation to match the original to the greatest extent possible, not only in terms of content, but also in terms of form. This is especially important for certified translations, as the person doing the certification must check each item of the translation against the same item on the original document, including (but not limited to) the fax information on the bottom of the page, the initials written in the margins of all the pages, stamps, seals and handwritten notes. A client may request that the translator leave out certain information found on the original. Doing so will make it impossible for the certifier to certify the document which will render it invalid for legal or official use.

The “matching” issue doesn’t stop with ensuring that everything on the original also appears on the translation; it is equally important – no matter how persuasive the client may be – to never add anything to a certificate translation, regardless of how obvious an omission may seem.

So, no skipping anything, no adding anything…and no changing anything, either. You are the translator, and you must translate the words as you understand them, regardless of how insistent your client is that the word “técnico” on his diploma really means “engineer”.

The certification process itself – which grants the legal status of the original to the copy – it varies from country to country. In the U.S., a certified translation is simply a translation accompanied by the source text and a straightforward signed statement (Certificate of Accuracy) in which the translator attests to her ability to translate the material and the accuracy of the document. For extra legal protection, clients will sometimes ask the translator to have a notary public sign and seal the document in witness of the translator’s signature in his presence.

Some countries outside the U.S. have stringent requirements about who may certify a translation; check the laws of the destination country to determine what is required in order for the translation to be accepted as certified.

 

Translation events – September 2015

calendar- september 15

3

ATA Continuing Education Webinar. Effective Marketing to Translation Companies

5-6

06, 2015 IAPTI 2015 International Conference International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters. Bordeaux, France

12

Conferencia regional de ProZ.com en Córdoba, Argentina

12-13

2015 TAPIT Conference. Enhancing the Professional Skills of Interpreters and Translators in the 21st Century. Tennessee Association of Prof Interpreters & Translators (TAPIT). Nashville, TN, USA.

17

What Recruiters Want & Applicants Need to Succeed in Localization Careers. The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG). San Jose, California, USA

17-21

Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
EMNLP. Lisbon, Portugal

23

Localizing Multimedia. The Voice Company. Burbank, California USA

24-25

ATC Annual Conference. Association of Translation Companies.
Manchester, UK

25

Nida Translation Studies Research Symposium
Nida School of Translation Studies, NYU School of Professional Studies. New York, New York USA

25-26

DRONGO Language Festival. DRONGO. Utrecht, Netherlands

26

MATI 12th Annual Conference. Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (MATI). Merrillville, IN, USA.

26

European Day of Languages. Council of Europe, European Union
multiple

28-Nov 22

Course: Community Interpreting as a Profession
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
online

29-30

International Translation Day conference. Proz.

29-Oct 1

Brand2Global. The Localization Institute. London, UK

Financial Risk Management for Translators

Translators generally work in the field because they enjoy translating and, at the same time, can earn a living at it. Translation – like many other liberal professions – is a purpose-driven activity that demands constant decision making on a daily basis, with the concomitant risk that a wrong decision can have a negative impact on the translator in terms of economics and reputation.

Freelance translators are especially vulnerable to financial risks because they are often one-person businesses in which one slow-paying or non-paying client can cause cash flow problems, wreaking tremendous havoc on their business and personal finances.

While there’s no way (other than asking for full payment in advance) to be 100% sure that a potential client will be a reliable payer or not, there are a number of steps you can take that will minimize your financial risk when considering a project from a client.

Translation Risk Management

1. Know the client. You want all the details you can find: full company name, address, telephone number, email and Tax ID. Emails from sites like Gmail, Yahoo, hotmail and so on are a warning flag: legitimate businesses have their own websites and their own email addresses. You can use Google Maps to get a look at their address, which should appear appropriate for a business. You’ll also want to check this information against the purchase order (more than that below).

2. Explore the client’s payment history. There are several sites that have information about translation agencies’ payment reliability. One of the most popular is ProZ’s Blue Board, which is available at www.proz.com/blueboard/. On the Blue Board, ProZ members rate the client from 1-5 and may leave a short comment about their experience with the agency. Another excellent option is Payment Practices at www.paymentpractices.net. The annual subscription fee is $19.99/€19.99, but you can check out the service with its seven-day free trial. Subscribers can check the PP database of more than 11,000 translation agencies for responses and comments, and use its PP Reliability Score and Translator Approval Scores, along with translator feedback, to decide whether to work for a particular client. Translation Ethics, at translationethics.blogspot.com.es publishes a blacklist of agencies, scammers, non-payers and low-payers. For a list of email addresses related to suspected scammers (payment issues are not addressed), see www.translator-scammers.com, which lists over 3,800 suspected scammers and warns translators about the latest trends in scamming. Finally, Black Sheep, at www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=4871593, has an active internet community that shares information on agencies with payment issues.

3. Look at the files provided for translation. Examine them thoroughly and identify the steps you will need to take in order to deliver a quality translation to your client on time. These steps include: making an accurate word count (again, to be checked against the PO), estimating any significant research to be done before the translation, format conversions (if required) and any page formatting to be taken care of after the translation itself is finished. If extensive pre- or post-translation work is needed, note this for inclusion in the quote.

4. Agree on a delivery time with your client. Remember, the translator is doing the actual work, and is the best person to estimate how long it will take to do the translation and any formatting to the professional standard required. Experienced translators know what volume they can produce on a given day, and they should not allow clients to push them into making an unrealistic time commitment, no matter how “urgent” the project is. Because translation has become a globalized industry, it is essential to specify the time zone…and to take it into account when calculating the time the translator will need to complete the project.

5. Agree on a rate for the project. Do not assume that the rate proposed by the agency is to be paid for all words; many agencies expect discounts on words or phrases that repeat within a document or set of documents, or are already in a translation memory supplied by the client to the translator. Rates vary widely across languages, times zones and geographical locations. Don’t forget to establish when and how the job is to be paid: upon delivery, or 30, 45 or 60 days after reception of the invoice via check, bank transfer, PayPal, etc. Some agencies will accept invoices only on the last day of the month and calculate payment from that date, so this should be clarified before accepting the project.

6. Get a purchase order BEFORE beginning work. This is highly advisable with all clients, but absolutely essential when working with a new client. A purchase order must include all the information listed in the preceding points – client’s full business name, address, telephone/fax number, tax ID and email, job description (ID number, file number, project name, etc.), documents to be translated, source and destination languages, services to be provided (translation, editing, formatting, transcription, etc.), delivery format and deadline (date and time, with time zone specified), rate agreed on – including any discounts for matches/fuzzies if using a CAT tool) – and exact payment terms.

A legitimate client will have no problem providing you with all of the above; after all, it’s in both the client’s and the translator’s interest to have the project’s responsibilities and obligations spelled out so that everyone knows his job and what is required.

Bad clients, scammers and non-payers will often give you the runaround when you ask for a PO, change the project conditions (rate or deadline) after you’ve begun translating, or offer to issue one after the project is delivered. There is no logical reason for a translator to accept this behavior, as it simply increases risk and reduces guarantees for the translator while doing the exact opposite for the client, who is seeking to protect himself at the translator’s expense.

Freelance translators need to work, but this need must not blind them to another, greater need: to be able to collect, as agreed on, the money earned.

Translating Adult Content

You may have never thought about it, but adult films, websites, magazines, literature, games, comics and packaging for toys and other products don’t translate themselves; someone translates them, and that’s where the adult content translation specialist comes in.

porno-translation

And adult content is a big and potentially profitable niche market to specialize in: according to Forbes, together with internet-related businesses such as websites and pay-per-view movies, traditional porn-related businesses like adult magazines, video sales and rentals and toys and products move billions – some say as much as $14 billion – a year.

Logically, there are translators willing and eager to provide services to such a large potential market; however, those that take that step often run into a problem common to many translators, but that is somewhat more challenging in this field than many others: the lack of terminology resources.

Until just a few years ago, translators had no reliable resource for erotic terminology, a serious issue when you consider that, like slang, erotic terms vary widely from one country to another, and even from one generation to another. What’s more, the lack of information on the correct term can lead to the use of barbarisms, or foreign terms, and the concomitant impoverishment of the source language.

This was the driving force behind the creation of ETEP (Estudios de Traducción en el Erotismo y la Pornografía) in 2011. The collective’s three goals are to get academia to take an interest in sex due to its great importance, broaden studies to include other cultural media (e.g., comics and videogames) and, finally, to get students interested in a market niche of millions of consumers with tremendous financial potential.

And this market is no longer limited to the typical low-budget porn shorts. There is a growing number of adult film directors – both male and female – for whom the plot, and even a message (sometimes ideological), are also important. Erika Lust, for example, casts her actors carefully, imposes high production standards and believes that pornography can be an educational tool as well as pleasurable. Lucie Blush defines herself as a feminist porn director who wants to respect actors, characters and audience, and Antonio Da Silva makes art porn films featuring poetry and narration.

Translating films that are meant to be more than simple eroticism is as demanding as translating literature, and it’s not something usually covered in standard translation studies programs. Translating other adult content has its challenges, too, which is why ETEP has designed a course on translating adult content literature that covers everything from types of adult literature, sex toys, creativity, humor, comics, fetishes, author’s rights, BDSM, the current market and research.

Is translating porn for you?

Would you put it on your résumé, if you did?

Let us know what you think!

Translation Events – August 2015

translation conference

2-7

Summer Interpreting and Translation Research Institute
Gallaudet University, University of Maryland, Washington, D.C. USA

3-Sept 21

Localization Project Management Certification. The Localization Institute. Online, Santa Clara, California USA

7-9

Website Translation and Localization Course. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey online/ Monterey, California USA.

11-14

Computer-Assisted Translation Course. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Monterey, California USA.

12

Using Metrics to Master the Art & Science of Translation Management. The Content Wrangler, Kinetic the Technology Agency
online

Perfecting Your Web Content Localization Strategy to Reach Foreign Audiences. Ingeniux Corporation, Venga Global online

22

Seminario regional de ProZ.com en CABA, Argentina

25

Localizing Digital Marketing Round Table. Rockant Localization Training & Consulting, The Localization Institute. Washington, D.C. USA.

31-Sept 1

Integrating Multimodality in the Study of Dialogue Interpreting
Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Surrey
Surrey, UK

New Spanish Certification Test Created

Students of most major foreign languages can demonstrate their skill level via a variety of internationally-recognized tests, including the TOEFL and IELTS for English, the DALF for French and the Goethe-Zertifikat for German.

 

Spanish Certification

 

Until just a couple of months ago, however, Spanish had no international exam for certifying proficiency.

This unfortunate situation has now been remedied with the creation of the SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española) exam, developed jointly by Spain’s Cervantes Institute and the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico and University of Salamanca, the two largest and oldest centers of higher learning in the Spanish-speaking world, respectively.

Presented by Spain’s King Felipe – who said “We were missing a flexible, highly respected certificate of proficiency in Spanish as a foreign language along the lines of those offered for the English language” in his speech delivered in Mexico City this past July 2 – this new exam has a pan-Hispanic approach, specifically including Spanish’s different linguistic varieties and different geographic variations. It is hoped that this will allow it to become a globally recognized language certificate.

The SIELE will be available at the start of the next academic year in three countries: Brazil, with 120 test centers, the U.S. with 100 test centers, and China, with 61. The forecasts are for some 300,000 candidates the first year alone, with that figure predicted to rise to 750,000 within the first five years. The cost for all four parts of the exam is expected to be about $100, though this may vary from country to country.

Thoroughly modern, this exam – which tests the four core communication skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening – will be taken on-line and can be administered practically anywhere in the world. Not a level-based pass/fail exam, the SIELE is an adaptable placement test that picks the exercises test-takers complete based on their previous responses, returning a proficiency score ranging from 0 to 1,000. Candidates may choose to take any or all of the sections.

The reading and listening portions will be evaluated immediately, while the writing and speaking tests (this latter is recorded in case the grade is contested) will be evaluated by qualified experts using grading scales and will be available within three weeks. Disputes will be settled by a second evaluator. Those taking all four sections will receive a certificate, while those taking one to three sections will receive the graded exams. Results will be valid for two years. The scores given will correspond to the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, with the award of an A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 or C2 certificate, depending on the level of mastery achieved, for those taking the entire exam.

The U.S. – Number One in Spanish Speakers by 2050

Español en USA

Today, more than 548 million people – or 6.7% of the world’s population – speak Spanish, and for 470 million of these, Spanish is their native or dominant language, according to the “El Español: Una Lengua Viva” report issued by Instituto Cervantes.

Mexico tops the list with almost 121 million Spanish speakers, followed by Colombia and Spain, with 48 million and 46 million, respectively. In the US, there are 41 million people with Spanish as their native or dominant language, but if you include the 11.6 million second- and third-generation “limited competence” speakers, the total surpasses the number of Spanish speakers in Mexico, Colombia and Spain. The highest concentrations of Spanish speakers can be found in the country’s south and south-west, where 47% of New Mexico residents, 38% of California and Texas residents, and 30% of Arizona residents are Spanish speakers. In the east, 18% of New Yorkers are Spanish speakers. Surprisingly, 6% of Alaska residents also speak Spanish.

For demographic reasons, the growth of Spanish is outstripping that of English and Chinese (the overall percentages of speakers of these languages are decreasing) globally, while some 21 million people are studying Spanish worldwide (7.8 million in the US); Spanish is also the third-most used language used on the Internet. According to this report, by 2030, 7.5% of the world’s population will speak Spanish, and it is predicted that this figure will reach 10% within two or three generations.

In the US, the number of Spanish speakers (native speakers, limited competence speakers and students of Spanish) is expected to reach 138 million, or about 30% of the population by 2050.

Translation events – July 2015

translation events2

The Internationalization Readiness Checklist. Globalization and Localization Association. Webinar

7-10

5th IATIS Conference. International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies. Belo Horizonte, Brazil

13-17

International Network for Terminology (TermNet). International Terminology Summer School 2015. Cologne, Germany

15-19

The Local App: Language and Culture in a Flat World
Middlebury Language Schools. Middlebury, Vermont / MIlls College, California, USA

16

Alolita Sharma on internationalizatio­n and localization at Twitter
The International Multilingual User Group (IMUG), California, USA

16-18

Supreme Courts of Arkansas & Louisiana Admin Office of Courts’ Court Interpreter Programs of Mississippi & Tennessee 2015 Legal Interpreting Seminar. Little Rock, A. USA

20-24

13th International Linguistics Olympiad. IOL. Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria