The Linguist

The Linguist 53,4

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 27 of 35

Diversification in the Language Industry Nicole Y Adams 28 The Linguist AUGUST/SEPTEMBER REVIEWS 'Diversification: Choice or necessity?', Anne Diamantidis says translators should not feel under pressure to diversify. Yet the same chapter includes an essay, sternly entitled 'Diversification: Not optional but imperative'. In my experience, the most frequently asked questions on the subject concern how to gain experience in a new field and how to market new services, and several contributors offer very focused advice. Diana Brändle's essay includes a cogent argument for the translator as the ideal provider of terminology services. As such, it is a lesson in presenting a business case to clients. A successful provider of online marketing services, Olga Arakelyan exhorts translators to conquer their fear, declaring: 'I am probably the worst coward in the world and I was still able to do it'. Another theme is the tension between diversification and specialisation. Several contributors emphasise the importance of focusing on a few subjects and offering related services. 'Do not diversify subject matter. I cannot stress this enough,' says Jane Freeman. An expert has considerably more credibility than a jack of all trades. Some of the views expressed in this book are controversial. While few would argue with the importance of embracing technology, eyebrows might be raised by Anne-Marie Colliander Lind's assertion that an individual translator can now generate 'outputs of 5,000 to 10,000 words per day'. I foresee similar dissent at Oleg Rudavin's view that 'Quality matters only for a small proportion of translated documents'. Two further potential polemics are post-editing of machine translation and editing 'non-native texts', with convincing cases made for each. There is an entire chapter on 'External diversification' – i.e, the 'increasing number of freelance translators' who offer 'services targeted specifically at their peers'. Do we need such services and who can offer them? Contributor Konstantin Kisin opines that 'people who don't know how to make money in this industry have no business teaching or mentoring others'. This book is a gold mine of good ideas, which will be worked most profitably by translators who are confident in their abilities, have a clear view of what they want to achieve, and are willing to seek out and exploit new opportunities. Michelle Homden MCIL NYA Communications, Australia, 2013, pp.334. ISBN 978-0- 9874-7772-9, Paperback £26.95 Is the translation industry doomed? Must freelance translators adapt or die? Apparently not, according to Nicole Adams' new book. Diversification in the Language Industry: Success beyond translation presents a range of opportunities available to those with translation skills. These do not include interpreting, however, which is identified as a separate profession. Adams herself supported a family of four via freelance translation and editing alone, which she calls 'a very viable business model'. Why, then, a book on diversification for translators? While she acknowledges that diversification is sometimes perceived to be for those 'not good enough' to make translation profitable, Adams says it can be a very effective risk management strategy in a changing world. Furthermore, as many of the book's 48 contributors attest, varying professional activities can be hugely satisfying. Five areas of diversification are identified: expanding services around translation; developing new business strategies and client bases; creating products; selling services to fellow translators; and creating a niche within the industry. Examples are provided via essays, case-studies and interviews with successful practitioners. At times, reading so many opinions can feel like attending a conference with a very packed programme. Each section has a brief introduction but there is little overall analysis. Certain common themes emerge but there are contradictions too. In her essay Courses Rosetta Stone Hindi and Arabic courses 12-month online subscription £240 Software (download or CD-Rom) £299 I've been learning Arabic and Hindi for some time at evening class, but progress is slow, so I decided to try Rosetta Stone, opting for a year's online subscription. This offers additional features, such as chat and games, but also sets a time limit. Although you can extend your subscription for a monthly fee, completing the course within a year is a realistic target: there are 12 units, each with four lessons. There are several things I like about Rosetta: • The content is presented in manageable chunks with appropriate amounts of repetition. There's a core lesson, which takes about 30 minutes, then 5-10 minute tasks covering pronunciation, vocabulary, aural comprehension, grammar, etc. • The studio sessions let you practise with a native speaker. Sessions are linked to a lesson, which you must complete first. Success depends partly on how well you have prepared, but also on the teacher. In one session, the sound kept breaking up, and the teacher just ploughed on. What doesn't work quite so well are the writing exercises, where you are expected to write whole sentences in Arabic perfectly, for example. But perhaps this is a problem particular to languages with other alphabets. Another issue relates to the course content: I found that the Hindi and Arabic courses were almost identical. If you learn the word for 'horse' in Arabic lesson 1, you'll do the same in Hindi. This results in some content that is not relevant, so in lesson 1 of the Hindi course, we learnt ब् रे ड ('bread') and सैं डविच ('sandwich'), which are just transcriptions from the English. Despite minor reservations, I'm glad I decided to use Rosetta Stone. I'm making good progress with both languages and expect to have reached a good intermediate level by the time I've finished. Rowan Shaw MCIL

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