Say What?


on audiovisual and literary translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

Translation? And film? Who’d a thunk it?

A new film by an Israeli-born French cinematographer and documentarian will be released tomorrow called Traduire, part of a trilogy on Hebrew translation throughout the world.  I look forward to seeing it, based on the review in Le Monde, and hope it comes to the States soon.


Filed under: French film industry, French translation, translation,

Going forward

Resolutions burn off like snow under the summer sun, though the new year inspires inventories of all kinds, not the least of which are tax-related.  Last year, especially this past quarter, was disappointing for my business.  This prompted consideration of what translation means to me, and I then queried my fellow bloggers, getting some terrific responses.  As follows is a summary of what I learned, and what I’d like to do with it in the coming year.

A propserous and abundant translator life is possible through networking, promotion, and pluck. I will revisit my business plan and examine how I’m targeting my ideal clients and niche market. Ultimately, making one’s livelihood as a translator is about balancing productivity and one’s life. I’d like to really invest myself into my TM tools (Trados and Wordfast), and organize the vocabularies I’ve developed through my output. Translation is both a profession and a trade, but it’s really what one makes of it. I’m going to work on becoming a “CT” (ATA-certified professional translator) in my language pair. Good promotion and quality are virtues, but while the former can slacken the latter can only be augmented and supplant the other with a solid reputation. I’m revising my website, and would like to blog more this year, especially about what I love about my current and planned language pairs.

Special thanks to Corinne McKay, Jill Sommer, Eve Bodeux and Judy Jenner for their responses!.  Here are the questions below which I posed:

– is translation strictly a dual-income profession (where the other partner/husband/wife has a more stable, lucrative job)?
– is it a vocation or a profession, eg a trade or specialized job?
– is it purely about how you “sell” yourself (vs. what you can actually offer)?
– would everyone be better served if translation generally were more automated, eg MT in some combo with human editing/revision?

Filed under: translation, ,

American TV and multilingualism

Cable TV is all about niche, which inevitably comes with linguisitic specializations.  But given that all those slices are based on eyeballs and advertisers (with content garnering more, or specific demongraphics, of the former attracting more or specific kinds of the latter), it can all seem like a hodgepodge buffet, where consumers pick and choose as they pay.

Just prior to the end of last year, the US Spanish network Univision demonstrated the increasing power of foreign language markets, and their continuing influence stateside.  While the story concerns ratings and profits, presumably there will be a content impact soon enough.  And though the closest US TV had was Ugly Betty, which alas didn’t make it to the magic five seasons (and concomitant rebroadcast rights), surely someone else will go digging for ratings gold nearby.

Filed under: translation, US film industry, , , ,