“Leveling Up” Presentation PDF

Thank you to all the attendees who came to my “Leveling Up” presentation at IJET-27! You were a great audience, and I loved hearing your comments afterward. As promised, here is the PDF of my PowerPoint slides.

If you attended and you have suggestions for how I could improve the session, please feel free to comment or drop me a line.

If you weren’t able to make it to this weekend’s IJET in Sendai, you can catch the Level 2 version of this presentation at ATA57 in San Francisco. The specific examples will still be in Japanese, but I’ll be presenting in English, and about 80% of the content will apply to practitioners in all language pairs. The ATA version be 15 minutes shorter, but I promise I’ll try not to talk any faster. ^_~

ATA56: Getting the Most out of Miami

This year’s American Translators Association conference starts tomorrow!

If you’re going, I hope to see you there. I’ll be recruiting translators working to and/or from Japanese, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and more. So if you work in one of these languages, please do say hi!

Here are some last-minute tips for how you can get the most out of your conference experience:

  • Check out ATA President-Elect David Rumsey’s Top 5 Tips for Preparing for ATA’s Annual Conference. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t done #1 yet–perhaps you can do it on the airplane! And even if not, the tips about being brave and reaching out are great.
  • Be respectful at the Resume Exchange. This will be my third year recruiting there, and I’m still longing for that magical year when all freelancers are respectful of the recruiters. Each year, there are a few freelancers who almost assault me with their resumes, or who try to monopolize my time even after we’ve established that they don’t have the qualifications I’m looking for at the moment. This actually reduces my chances of hiring them, because I perceive them as not respecting my needs. Keep your pitch brief if you think you may not be a match! Please understand that your recruiters are stressed out, because they need to speak with as many translators as possible in a very short amount of time, and if you try to monopolize their time when you don’t have what they’re looking for, they’ll remember you for the wrong reasons. If you keep it brief, though, and say “Well, I don’t have the experience your looking for, but may I give you my resume in case you have different needs in the future?” then I am happy to accept, and you may very well get a call from me if I do have those needs. See ATA Conference Notes from a Buyer’s Perspective for more information.
  • Don’t be afraid to skip a session if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I usually end up skipping one or two of the session time slots over the course of the weekend. There are sessions I planned to attend, but end up skipping just because I’m tired and need a change of pace. That’s okay! Maybe you need a nap, or a quiet sit somewhere, or want to chat with someone. Don’t worry about it. Recharge so that you’ll be alert for the next session.
  • Kick back and have fun! You’ll meet some very interesting people this week, so don’t let yourself get stressed out by your to-do list. Enjoy!

“Pictures and Sound” Presentation Slides

As many of you know, last month, I gave a presentation at the 55th annual American Translators Association conference called “Pictures and Sound: Translating Television and Other Audiovisual Media.”

After the presentation, a few attendees asked me for copies of the slides. At the time I replied that I had no plans to release them, due to the fact that they contained video clips which I had copyright concerns about distributing.

However, I’ve now decided to release a PDF version of the slides, so that no video will be distributed but you can still see some of my notes, including parts of the presentation that I did not have time to get to. Just click here: ATA55prezi.

This is my work, so please do not distribute this PDF, but feel free to give anyone who might be interested the link to this blog post.

Thank you to all who attended the session, and especially to those who’ve reached out to me since then to share your thoughts about it! When I heard from two people that it was their favorite presentation of the conference, it made my year. :)

Pictures and Sound: Audiovisual Terminology

Click to learn more about the ATA Annual Conference!

Tomorrow November 8th, I’ll be presenting my first-ever American Translators Association conference session. If you’ve ever wondered what translating audiovisual content is all about, come join me for session T-10: “Pictures and Sound: Translating Television and Other Audiovisual Media” from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

So that attendees don’t have to give themselves hand cramps scribbling down new vocab or carry around yet another sheet of paper, I want to make a short list of the medium-specific terminology I use here. Please enjoy!

  • Dubbing/ADR吹き替え – Recording over a source for which audio has already been recorded, but is unusable or in another language.
  • Recording – アフレコ – Though the Japanese comes from “after recording,” this is recording voices for the first time to a video source (think cartoons in their original language).
  • Lip flaps (or “flaps” for short) – 口パク – The movements of the characters’ mouths onscreen. This term is mainly for animated video.
  • Subtitles – 字幕 (**Caution: サブタイトル in Japanese often refers to an episode title in a TV series or the secondary title/”sub-title” of a work.)
  • Script/screenplay – 台本/脚本 – We’ll be talking lots more about this in the presentation!
  • Dialogue/lines – 台詞
  • Licensor – English term for the rights holder of the TV or film. Licensors license distribution rights to other companies.
  • Licensee/distributor – The entity to which the licensor grants rights to distribute the film.

I look forward to meeting many of you. And if you translate from Japanese, Korean, or Chinese into any other language, don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Guest Post: What Exactly Is Literary Translation? by Lisa Carter

At the ATA‘s 54th Annual Conference in San Antonio last fall, I had a chance to chat with Lisa Carter of Intralingo, one of my favorite blogs on literary translation. One thing led to another, and we got to thinking about how everyone probably defines “literary translation” differently. Lisa tackles the question of “What is literary translation?” in her online course First Steps in Literary Translation, and I tackle it whenever people wander into my office asking “What do you do in here, anyway?”

So hey–why not each have a go at it and let our readers share their thoughts, too? And lo, a guest post exchange was born. Please welcome acclaimed Spanish>English translator Lisa Carter as she gives us her take! (You can see mine on her blog at http://intralingo.com/what-is-literary-translation/.)


What exactly is literary translation?

By Lisa Carter


Have you ever asked yourself this question? I have. And I’ve asked it of others, too. Quite often. The answer to this one simple question is never as straightforward as it would seem it should be. You see, the answer changes, depending on who you talk to and when you talk to them.

Continue Reading →

2013 in Review, Part 1 – Filthy Lucre

Learning from the past is good for us! Which is surely part of why one of the popular topics each January is the “Year in Review” post, like those I recently read by fellow translators. Two favorites: Corinne McKay uses some questions to take stock—”what went right in 2013, what needs to go better in 2014, and where do you want to be a year from now?” and Carolyn Yohn looks back at the goals she set for 2013 and evaluates where she is now in relation to them.

These list-format posts are popular for some very good reasons, and it’s not just that we human beings love lists (though we do). It’s because:

  1. We humans love lists!
  2. Actively summarizing things helps us understand them. Just like a recap at the end of an essay helps the reader understand it, the very act of summarizing events in your own life helps you, the writer, to understand them better.
  3. Learning from our past = good. Hopefully we’ll do more of the things that had good results and remember not to do some of the things that had bad results. And we can tell ourselves it’s for the readers, too: maybe they can avoid some of our mistakes or repeat some of our successes!
  4. Knowing where we are in the present = crucial. It’s pretty hard to honestly confront where we are in life, which is why it can be painful to get on the scale at the doctor’s office or terrifying to see a financial planner. But if you don’t know where you are, you’re less likely to get where you want to go.

So, okay! I will follow my colleagues’ example and figure out where I am. What the heck did I do in 2013, anyway?!

Read on for Part 1, the money side of things, or stay tuned for Part 2, the professional development side. Continue Reading →

ATA Conference Notes from a Buyer’s Perspective

I saw and learned so much last week at my first American Translators Association conference that it will definitely take some time to process it all! But I had the unusual experience of attending for the first time both as a translation vendor and as a translation buyer, and there were definitely some things I noticed from a buyer perspective that I found fascinating.

So, all you freelance translators out there: here are four things that make you leave a good or bad impression on a potential client.

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