Something unexpected happened after I published this post. It sparked quite a debate, especially on Facebook. Some people agreed with me about there being surprisingly small numbers of women at the top of our profession, others disagreed. But the comments I found most interesting – and unexpected – were those made by men pointing out that society puts pressure on the stronger sex, too. Never having been a man, I’m afraid I hadn’t thought much about this before. in the debate that followed my blog post, male (more…)
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A couple of weeks ago, thanks to a colleague, I came across an excellent article on the AIIC’s website. I’ve found it very hard to précis here because what I really want to do is highlight and repeat every single word of it – this, of course, would be both pointless and illegal. So here’s my attempt to summarise it by excerpting the author’s most important points:
“Translating into one’s dominant language is not a sufficient condition for holding oneself out as a professional, but it is a necessary one.”
“translators in no other language would tolerate what passive translators are doing to English”
“What specifically troubles me…is the increase in non-native written translations from major European languages into English—a situation in which no lack of native-English-speaking translators exists”
“a shocking willingness to engage in unfair business practices in highly competitive markets”
“objective testing (more…)
I first noticed this at ITI conferences: while attendees in general are overwhelmingly female, those who hold top posts in ITI tend to be male. Not all of them, by any means, but I’d say a good half of them – in a profession famous for being female-dominated and a subject area (languages) in which women are often thought to outperform men. When I started to think about it I realised I’d noticed the same phenomenon in other places, too: only a quarter of MET members are male, according to its own statistics, but among top speakers at METMs (MET’s annual conferences) the proportion of men is much higher. Coming back to ITI, from my own observations it seems that many women in their 40s are still considering taking the qualified membership exam for the first time, while men of a similar age often already hold high posts within ITI.
This piece is not, absolutely not, anti-male, and neither am I. In fact, I’m a bit of a masculinist and (more…)
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A couple of weeks ago I came across an article on a site called Raptitude. I can see it was actually published a couple of years ago, but I didn’t find it until last month (if you interact with me on Facebook this may not surprise you). The author had just returned home after a few months travelling and started working full-time again. He’d noticed he was spending more money now than during his travels, but his quality of life seemed to be lower. He (more…)
We all know the argument: if you want to learn a foreign language, you have to live in a country where it’s spoken. Formal study is an artificial way of learning a language, whereas living somewhere the language is spoken guarantees proficiency. You’ll be immersed in the language, you’ll live and breathe it, you’ll assimilate it and think in it without even trying.
Well, I think that a lot of the technology we’ve come to use every day over the last few years is making this view obsolete. I simply don’t agree that living in a country automatically provides (more…)