Archive for the 'Life and work and everything else' Category

Yesterday’s guest post, Language, music, and me, by Elisa Bonora, was about listening to music while you work. It sparked quite a discussion on Twitter, between those, like Elisa, who find music an inspiration and those, like me, who (sadly) find it a distraction. What about you? Take our poll and let us know. And […]

Do you listen to music while you’re working? I’d love to be able to, but sadly I can’t – my brain just doesn’t work that way. When I’m reading or writing – even just a simple email – the music distracts me and I just can’t focus. I know that  lots of people do manage to […]

Today is Burns Day, when Scots (here in Scotland and just about everywhere else in the world) celebrate the life and work of Robert (Rabbie) Burns. The celebrations often take the form of a Burns Supper at which the haggis takes pride of place, along with poetry and, of course, whisky. Here’s a wee round-up […]

One of my first ever posts, “Translators’ time-warp“, was about the confusion that arises when you work with clients in different time zones and with different public holidays from your own. Well, it’s happening again today. It’s bad enough getting back into work mode after the Christmas and New Year period (although to be honest […]

Do you ever get annoyed with your clients’ manners? I often do, for example when they don’t acknowledge, far less thank me for, a translation I’ve delivered by email. If I were to walk into the client’s office and hand over the translation in paper format, I’m sure they’d say “Thanks”. So what happens to their […]

Small-business owners and freelancers talk, and worry, a lot about pricing: how to charge a decent rate without frightening potential clients away. Price is certainly  important, but it’s not the only factor motivating clients. I had confirmation of this recently from a new client. An Italian company had contacted me  for an urgent translation of documents […]

One of the problems bilingual families face when choosing their babies’ names is finding something that’s easy to pronounce in both parents’ countries and languages and for both sets of relatives. We didn’t follow that rule when our first child, a boy, was born. We were living in Rome at the time but for me […]

Wee Prince George is one week old today. I dug out my baby-name bible, “Choose Your Baby’s Name” by Rosalind Fergusson, first published in 1987 but which I bought in 1992 (no prizes for guessing why). Here’s what the royal names mean. George: from the Greek georgos, “tiller of the soil” or “farmer”. Also, of course, the […]

Saints Alive, a new exhibition at the National Gallery in London, features “large-scale kinetic sculptures by Michael Landy that bring a contemporary twist to the lives of the saints”. The saints on display include St. Jerome, renowned for his translation of the Bible and the patron saint of translators. St. Jerome (borrowed from a painting by Cosimo Tura from 1470) is shown […]

I’ll soon be moving into a new office. The current occupants offered to sell me their nearly-new IKEA office furniture (the Galant range, which is attractive, good quality and reasonably priced). Their quote listed installation and labour fees at £50 an hour. Now, that included some computer cabling. But mainly, I think, assembling IKEA flat-pack […]