Translators’ time-warp


istock-pink-clocksI work from Glasgow, mainly for Italian clients. My computer’s set to Italian time, because that’s where the deadlines are. My watch is set 5 minutes fast, for punctuality’s sake (doesn’t always work…). I have a radio alarm set 15 minutes fast. It comes on at 6.45am.  My alarm clock (again set 5 mins fast) goes off half-an-hour later as back-up (and I still go back to sleep). But I always know what time it is. More or less.

Public holidays are another matter. Take May Day. It was celebrated in Italy last Friday, 1 May, as Labour Day. In the UK it’s today, 4 May –the nearest Monday to 1 May? If I take the Italian public holiday, I’m out of kilter here. And today I’m in UK holiday mode but am on duty. To top it all, I spent the holiday weekend (for both countries) on translation stand-by for an urgent speech revision.

Confused? Yes.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. Hi Marian,

    your blog is fantastic! I’m so jealous!
    Anyway, thanks for hosting my blog on your page.
    I’m so sorry for your week-end. Italy is always causing troubles! 🙂

    1. Thanks Claudia. It’s a pleasure to list your blog – I think it’s beautiful.

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