Italian journalist and author Beppe Severgnini has come up with a rule for good writing. It’s the PORCO rule: Pensa, Organizza, Rigurgita, Correggi, Ometti (Ponder, Organise, Regurgitate, Correct, Omit). I’m not mad about the PORCO rule because: a) “Porco” is Italian for pig. Not the cute kind of pig you see in a film like Babe (for which the […]

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 […]

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address, delivered by Abraham Lincoln on 19 November 1863. Cordelia (aka Dilly or Dill) Ditton, a Glasgow-based actress, director and communication coach, wrote an interesting blog post about the Address back in February, entitled “Abraham Lincoln, the power of sound and maybe the greatest speech ever written“. […]

In my last post, I gave some tips on “How to Be a Good Translator”. Good translators (editors, web designers, accountants, insert profession of your choice) tend to be even better when they’re working with good clients. The tips listed below (from my website article How to Be a Good Client) were written with translation […]

It seems Birmingham isn’t the only city having bother with place name apostrophes, as shown by the Londonist website’s post on Should King’s Cross Have An Apostrophe?. Unlike Birmingham City Council, however, the various London authorities haven’t reached a unanimous decision. The simple truth is that there is no ‘official’ stance on the name. Or, […]

UK local authorities seem to have a fraught relationship with punctuation and spelling. Birmingham City Council decided in January 2009 to remove the possessive apostrophe from its place names — presumably the issue was too contentious to resolve otherwise. St Paul’s Square, King’s Norton and Druid’s Heath have thus become St. Pauls Square, Kings Norton and […]

I wrote on 21 July about quote-marks — how to decide whether you should be using curly (smart) or straight quotes and, once you’ve decided, how to type them using keyboard shortcuts where necessary. Translators, however, need to decide not just which quote marks to use but whether or not to “translate” them. For example, […]

Keyboard shortcuts are a great timesaver when you’re spending hours typing away on your computer. I’ve just learned a couple of new ones, for inserting smart (curly) quotes in text where autoformat functions, such as Word’s, don’t work, and for doing the opposite: inserting straight quotes when you’re working in AutoFormat mode. I discovered these tips […]

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve had a speech-flavoured working week. Translating a speech is a good opportunity for translators to provide added value for their clients. Not only should our translated text read fluently and naturally, it should also be easy for non-native-speaking clients to read aloud (and for their audience to […]

If you haven’t got round to making any business resolutions yet for 2011, or are stuck or ideas, here are some belated suggestions. Resolution 1 Raise your fees, if you haven’t already, especially if you live in the UK. See my own Resolution no. 1. If you’re a translator, check out Kevin Lossner’s post on the […]