Sunday, April 30, 2006

ATIO Annual General Meeting - Toronto

Attended the yearly Annual General Meeting of my professional association and enjoyed seeing old-time colleagues. There were former co-workers, employees, and suppliers.The meetings venue alternates between Ottawa and Toronto. Professional training seminars were also available - in particularly enjoyed the one on Copyright and translation. This is an emerging field and ought to be watched as the globalization of business blurs national borderlines and jurisdictions.

Some of the topics covered were the expansion of the role of the translator, professional qualification and criteria and entry exam requirements. Professional conduct and defense of the customer have always been my top priorities. Education of the public at large and translation customers in particular will help bridge the gap between the practionner and the users.

The some 1400-strong member provincial association site is at

Friday, April 28, 2006

Spring vs. Springtime explanation

An English speaking colleague has asked me to explain the problem with the Spring translation. The word spring has several meanings in English: the noun can mean a place where a river is born, or the river itself, a season of the year, or, in the technical world, a helical device that changes shape (like the springs in your mattress).

While I do not know what the translator actually understood, he/she obviously chose the wrong equivalent. This most likely happened because of his lack of knowledge of English.

This has consequences not only for the translator but for the supplier of the water and Air Canada, who chose to purchase mislabeled merchandise. A French speaking customer may deduce that the airline's committment to bilingualism is not genuine and decide, next time, take another airline.

As they say, "Get it right the first time".

News for slave-drivers (Globe & Mail 28 Apr 06)

The article on page A24, says:
"Recent Windows and Mac computers ...can operate with multiple monitors, writes Ivan Berger in the New York Times. Once I saw how it improved my productivity, I was an instant convert....Survey after survey shows that ... adding an extra monitor will give your output a considerable booster - 20 to 30 per cent, according to a survey by Jon Peddie Research."

I have used two monitors for about 6 months now and can attest to this. In my case, I can display a dictionary on one monitor while my translation is shown on the other, or I can do Internet research on it. Also, because my new monitor is larger (17 in vs 14), I do not have to strain so much to see the text.

Another benefit is that while I use the main monitor for work, like when I write this blog, the second monitor shows my screen saver, in this particular case a view of the Marina Yatch Club in San Francisco, taken during my trip there in 2004.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Origin of water served on Air Canada

A colleague of mine sent me this picture taken on a plane coming back from China. I suppose the bilingual requirements were met but somehow the meaning escaped. Has anyone seen it?

P.S. In case the type is too small, the product name says Eau de printemps canadienne naturelle/Natural Canadian Spring Water.