Yoga at your desk

“Sitting is the new smoking”. Most of us have heard this by now, but many of us are still condemned to working at a desk, sitting in a chair. This short workshop will allow participants to do some simple yoga exercises to counteract the destructive effects of sitting, from their seats, or more accurately getting out of their seats in a “pretend” office environment. It will not require special clothing or equipment, but on the contrary is geared to an office setting where people may be wearing non-optimal clothing and have limited space and nosy colleagues. In addition, we will use objects like the chair and desk as aids. 

Why yoga? 

1. It involves the breath, which helps reduce/avoid stress. 

2. It aids circulation to cut-off areas

3. It strengthens muscles weakened by sitting and other bad habits, and stretches tight ones.

Participants will be taken through a number of poses that help shoulders, neck, back, hips, “core” (abdomen and sides) and legs.

About the facilitator

American-born Anne Hodgkinson has been a translator/editor since about 1998. She discovered the physical and mental benefits of yoga about fifteen years ago, and got a yoga teaching certificate in 2012. Somewhat high-strung by nature, she finds the physicality and social interaction of yoga teaching the perfect antidote to working alone at a desk.

 

Building your business through your network

While it doesn’t come naturally to all, it really is worthwhile: I have recently discovered that most of my work comes in from word of mouth, both from my personal and professional networks. During a recent meeting of the Eastern Special Interest Group (SIG), I discussed this with 3 other SIG members. We tried to assess the degree to which our work comes in through word of mouth and to put a name to those mouths.  In other words, which categories of our professional and personal networks work best in bringing our services to our clients’ attention?

To take this a step further I will be asking SENSE freelancers to complete a short survey about how their work comes in. The results of this survey will be presented during my short conference session.

 

About the facilitator

Sally Hill is a British biologist and edits scientific manuscripts and teaches scientific writing. She also translates from Dutch into English and does the odd bit of writing.

Sally started off her career in science. After completing her masters and spending 5 years in a molecular genetics lab, she realised she didn’t want to be a researcher after all and turned her hand to teaching: she taught biology at secondary schools in both Dutch and English. But after 10 years, she decided that teaching wasn’t for her either and took the plunge to give up the day job and start out as a freelance translator and editor in 2008. She hasn't looked back since!

 

Keeping your clients happy

Finding new clients is always a challenge. Keeping existing clients is just as important. The simplest way is to keep them happy and give them what they want, without compromising your standards - or your rates. This presentation - though related specifically to the translation business – is just as applicable to other language service providers because let’s face it, a client is a client…

Running a translation business in 24 languages my company has many different types of client, each needing a different approach.  ‘One size fits all’ is not an option, but it’s surprising how easy it is, with a little imagination,  to ensure that your clients won’t dream of going anywhere else. Based on personal experience, an open mind and a sleeve big enough to hide a few tricks up, I will try to give some tips so that when you finally get that new client, you won’t lose them after the first assignment.

A little bit of software goes a long way and I will explain how we use a very simple system to make it so easy for the client to keep sending us work. You can even have a free version to try it out for yourself.

 

About the facilitator

 Nigel Saych is the owner and director of Interlex Language Services, a translation company he started 11 years ago with just one client and one language pair. Although the company has grown to an organisation using almost 100 freelance translators, he still has that original client and still spends most of his time translating, not managing offices. He has given presentations at many conferences throughout Europe, delights in being a maverick and firmly believes that creativity is more effective than entrepreneurship. 

Building your business through your network

While it doesn’t come naturally to all, it really is worthwhile: I have recently discovered that most of my work comes in from word of mouth, both from my personal and professional networks. During a recent meeting of the Eastern Special Interest Group (SIG), I discussed this with 3 other SIG members. We tried to assess the degree to which our work comes in through word of mouth and to put a name to those mouths.  In other words, which categories of our professional and personal networks work best in bringing our services to our clients’ attention?

To take this a step further I will be asking SENSE freelancers to complete a short survey about how their work comes in. The results of this survey will be presented during my short conference session.

About the facilitator

I am a British biologist and I edit scientific manuscripts and teach scientific writing. I also translate from Dutch into English and do the odd bit of writing.

I started off my career in science: back in 1990 I started a Biochemistry & Physiology degree at Sheffield University. However, during my year off before university I’d met a Dutchman and only a few months into my degree, I left Sheffield and moved to the Netherlands.

I then started a biology degree at Nijmegen University. I have been here ever since (apart from a 5-year stint in Athens, Greece, but that’s another story…) and now live in Zwolle, with my husband and 2 children.

I followed a somewhat meandering career before finding my true calling though. After completing my masters and spending 5 years in a molecular genetics lab, I realised I didn’t want to be a researcher after all and turned my hand to teaching: I taught biology at secondary schools in both Dutch and English. But after 10 years, I decided that teaching wasn’t for me either and took the plunge to give up the day job and start out as a freelance translator and editor in 2008. 

General and specific corpora with online concordance tools

Manuscript editors and translators have long relied on bespoke text collections (termed corpora) to gain insight into phrasing in different disciplines or genres. Relatively few, however, can take the time to set their corpora up as artifact-free text files for analysis with a desktop concordancer – a simple tool that makes phrasing patterns easier to interpret. Recently, several online corpora have become available on websites with built-in concordancing software. These corpora give us an easier way to enjoy the benefits of a quality-control approach known as corpus-guided editing and translating. The approach helps with various doubt-generating problems we face: language attrition (or more likely, skewed acquisition over a lifetime), differences of opinion between colleagues or between an editor and a client, and adjusting our ear when we move among different fields. 

This talk and discussion will focus on two goals: 1) to understand the types of language queries corpus analysis can answer quickly, and 2) to look at some of the new online corpora available and how they can be filtered to provide more specialized guidance. 

About the facilitator

Mary Ellen Kerans is a freelance authors’ editor and translator based in Barcelona, Spain. She is active in the association Mediterranean Editors and Translators. Her background is in English language instruction, including the teaching of academic writing and English for specific purposes in the health sciences. 

The Running Rectum Trial and other stories: a wry look at the challenges of medical editing

Using genuine examples from nearly 20 years of practice (anonymized and sometimes slightly altered to prevent identification of the author), this Power Point presentation takes a wry look at the work of a medical editor. It starts and ends with sometimes baffling, and sometimes frankly funny, examples of medical writing, but the middle section will take the form of a mini-workshop looking at ambiguity and the misunderstandings that may result from this. I will give the participants a little bit of background information and then ask them “How would you interpret this?”and “What do you think the author is referring to here?” It will be medical enough to justify its title but should be accessible to someone with an average knowledge of medical matters.  

From the start I emphasize that I am not poking fun at the authors. They are primarily medical doctors not writers. However, they appreciate honest, structured feedback and learn very quickly from the editor’s suggestions and changes and are often the first to laugh at themselves. I gave a similar presentation at a meeting of Dutch cardiologists and they enjoyed the interactive  session very much. 

About the facilitator

Daphne Lees hails from Manchester, England, and after completing nursing training arrived in the Netherlands in 1978 on a year’s contract to work as an operating theatre nurse. Within 3 weeks she met her future husband and is still here 37 years on. She rolled into translating and editing quite by accident when a vascular surgeon asked for her help with his ‘proefschrift’. One thing led to another and in 1997 armed with a diploma in translation studies she started her company ‘Meditrans’. Daphne continues to combine language activities with operating department nursing at the AMC, Amsterdam.

 

Talking the walk: helping non-native speakers to present scientific posters successfully

Posters are intended to get people’s attention. To present a short, simple message, they combine a strong image (such as a moustachioed officer pointing straight at the viewer) with a short text (“Your Country Needs You”). In principle, scientific poster sessions borrow from this tradition, aiming to present the essence of a complex idea quickly and accessibly. In practice, many posters fail, and all too few are read, a fact conference organisers now seem to recognise. To improve communication – and possibly to increase networking – many sessions now include a poster walk, in which successive scientists present their poster in a three-minute talk. But if you’re a junior scientist working in your second or third language in a setting without native-speaking inputs, how easy is it to give such a talk? You certainly won’t get the guidelines you need from a conventional poster, which is too cumbersome: wordy and poorly designed. And there’s no way you can make an overloaded scientific-sounding sentence trip off the tongue! In recent work with PhD students at Erasmus University Medical Centre, I have developed a set of style and design guidelines that seems to work surprisingly well. I will outline it briefly, providing a handout. One of my students has kindly agreed to demonstrate how she puts these guidelines into practice. Time allowing, we will also summarise the responses of PhD supervisors to this approach.  

About the facilitators

David Alexander has been living in the Netherlands for nearly 41 years, where he has worked in various commercial and academic settings as a translator, language editor and language-skills trainer. This presentation reflects 14 years of experience as teacher and co-ordinator of the course in English Biomedical Writing and Communication at Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. 

Hannah Dekker graduated from VU university in medical sciences in 2008. After graduation she worked as a resident in general surgery for 3 years.  In 2011 she started studying dentistry at ACTA combined with a position as a PhD candidate for the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery and oral pathology. In 2014 she graduated from ACTA. In January 2015 she started as a resident at the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the VU university medical center. She expects to finish her PhD project in 2016 and her residency in 2019.

 

So you think you can edit? - Test yourself  

We all know that editing is more than the checking of grammar and spelling. But what, exactly, does it entail? What distinguishes the professional editor from the amateur? What principles motivate the changes that professional editors make? 

Test your editing knowledge by taking the quick Elements of Editing Self-Test. Developed for beginning editors from all fields, this self-test may also give experienced editors pause for reflection: Have I been keeping up? Should I perhaps be doing some things differently? 

You will be asked to jot down your reactions to just 10 items. We will then review the items to determine if you have successfully identified the core problems and related principles or not. We will briefly consider additional items to make sure that things are clear. And then you, yourself, will decide if you qualify as an amateur or professional editor. 

Drawing on the work of Yagoda (How to Not Write Bad, 2013) and my own work (The Elements of English Editing, 2013), the self-test was developed to stimulate reflection, discussion, and professional development. The 10 items highlight just how many of the corrections and comments made on the writing of native but also non-native speakers of English today (or much of what editors revise for a living) concern a very small number of core writing problems. Awareness of these problems and the best ways to avoid them are part of the professional editor’s job, and raising awareness of the relevant principles is the aim of today’s presentation. 

About the facilitator

Lee Ann Weeks is a bilingual American, a long-standing member of SENSE, a former member of the SENSE Executive Committee, and an active contributor to the field of language professionals in the Netherlands. She recently co-authored The Elements of English Editing: A Guideline to Clear Writing – a handy reference book packed with practical information for the editor, translator, and writer. Drawing on her background in psychology and psycholinguistics, she edits, translates, and presents workshops on editing and clear writing. She also teaches and lectures on scientific writing using the Hourglass Template, the topic of her next book. 

 

 

Mentoring in practice

The work of many SENSE members is, by its nature, solitary: one person working with words. We may interact with clients before and after the bulk of job is done, but the work itself occurs in our own heads. What happens when we have to share our work in order to pass on skills and knowledge to a new generation of editors?

       For the past two years we have been working together in a Mentor/Mentee capacity to ensure that the quality of editorial work in the Genetics Department of University Medical Center Groningen remains consistently high as one of us looks toward retirement and the other moves into fuller employment. This mentoring covers not only harmonization of editorial style but also sharing information about working conditions, departmental expectations, yearly cycles of work, expected future changes in the skills required to do the job, and editorial resources. In our shared talk we will demonstrate how we work together successfully as well as discussing how to improve the process.

       While our positions as substantive scientific editors at the UMCG are unique, many of our experiences would be useful and applicable to all SENSE members. The jubilee conference is the perfect forum for this presentation because, after 25 years, some members may now be looking to retire or reduce their working hours. Those with freelance businesses may not have considered passing their work on to a new generation, but doing so can provide continuity to long-term clients as well as fostering a new generation of SENSE members. The future of SENSE will be ensured by the mentoring of this new generation.

About the facilitators

Jackie Senior works as an editor and webmaster for an ambitious research department (Dept of Genetics, University of Groningen/UMCG, the Netherlands). Nowadays she works mostly on biomedical texts but she started as a geologist (in the oil and gas boom), worked in investment banking (during the internet bubble), and moved to the genetics group in the 1990s (human genome era). She has been editing and translating for more than 40 years but, with the Dutch retirement age becoming a moveable feast, is exploring options for later. She was a founder member of SENSE and served twice on its executive committee.

Kate Mc Intyre works as the assistant editor for the Department of Genetics at the University of Groningen/UMCG. Kate has a BA from Columbia University and a PhD in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. After spending five years working as a postdoctoral researcher, she came to the Netherlands with her partner. Like many editors, Kate first started editing and translating informally at the request of friends, then went on to start a freelance business. She is also the author of one children's book, De knikkelares.

Still trying to cook without recipes?

When our textbook of translation, Handboek voor de vertaler Nederlands-Engels, was first published 20 years ago now, we decided that cookery books provided a neat metaphor for the difference between our own approach and the traditional textbook approach to translation. We tried to illustrate this difference with the aid of a cake-baking sketch: surrounded by a huge range of ingredients, a vast array of utensils and mouth-watering pictures of the delicious cakes that were to form our end products, we set about mixing, beating, adding, whizzing, turning, blending and folding in some of our ingredients. Without a recipe, it was bound to end in disaster. And it did. It was a huge mess. Every time.

The sketch was intended to introduce an analysis of a number of textbooks for Dutch-English translation, all of which were tantamount to cookery books without recipes. After all, most of them contained texts (i.e. ingredients) with or without model translations (i.e. cakes). Some also contained basic grammars (i.e. utensils). We used various examples to show that this approach simply did not work, the problem being that it failed to provide student translators with the tools and techniques (i.e. the recipes) they need in order to negotiate the structural differences between two languages. Our thesis was that we can simplify the process of learning how to translate by offering students clear, systematic translation strategies based on an analysis of common translation problems.

So have things changed in the meantime? Do translation textbooks still consist almost solely of great wads of text, generally taken from newspapers and magazines? Is the notion that you can learn how to translate simply by practising over and over again still the conventional wisdom? Time for an update.

 

 

About the facilitators

Tony Parr and Marcel Lemmens are professional translators and translator trainers. Both have extensive experience as translators (freelance and in-house) and as teachers of translation, principally at the National College of Translation in Maastricht. They are the authors of Handboek voor de Vertaler Nederlands-Engels and, operating under the name of Teamwork [http://www.teamwork-vertaalworkshops.nl], have been organising short courses, workshops and conferences for language professionals in the Netherlands since 1993. 

Marcel is also an English-Dutch translator and editor of English textbooks for a leading Dutch publisher of teaching methods for secondary schools, while Tony is also a Dutch-English translator and English language editor.

So you think you can edit?

We all know that editing is more than the checking of grammar and spelling. But what, exactly, does it entail? What distinguishes the professional editor from the amateur? What principles motivate the changes that professional editors make?

Test your editing knowledge by taking the quick Elements of Editing Self-Test. Developed for beginning editors from all fields, this self-test may also give experienced editors pause for reflection: Have I been keeping up? Should I perhaps be doing some things differently?

You will be asked to jot down your reactions to just 10 items. We will then review the items to determine if you have successfully identified the core problems and related principles or not. We will briefly consider additional items to make sure that things are clear. And then you, yourself, will decide if you qualify as an amateur or professional editor.

Drawing on the work of Yagoda (How to Not Write Bad, 2013) and my own work (The Elements of English Editing, 2013), the self-test was developed to stimulate reflection, discussion, and professional development. The 10 items highlight just how many of the corrections and comments made on the writing of native but also non-native speakers of English today (or much of what editors revise for a living) concern a very small number of core writing problems. Awareness of these problems and the best ways to avoid them are part of the professional editor’s job, and raising awareness of the relevant principles is the aim of today’s presentation

The power of social media

Susan once said that Twitter would blow over. That was 5 years, 75,000 tweets and more than 3,000 followers ago. Not to mention the 20,000 people that follow her on Google Plus. It took one single tweet and Smulpaapje was born. Three years later it is a hugely successful platform with its own cookbook. How does one tweet lead to all this? During our conference you will be able to attend Susan’s talk about the power of social media. How did she use social media to make Smulpaapje the success it is today. How do you build a solid social network and how do you get it to work for you. Susan will talk you through the various social media channels and how they each can be used to your own advantage. But above all, being the social media enthusiast she is, she will inspire you to make the most out of them and will show you it’s fun to use them!

 

About the facilitator

Susan Aretz is the founder of the online platform for parents with kids, www.smulpaapje.nl The website focusses on eating with kids, out and at home. On the website you’ll find restaurants that offer more than the standard kids menu. But it also has a huge recipe data base, as Susan is under the opinion that food (and taste!) education starts at home. In 2015 Susan published her first cookbook, called ‘Wat eten we vandaag?’ (What’s for dinner?) in which 16 week menus are given, to help busy parents with their day to day struggle to think of what to make for dinner.

Besides working on Smulpaapje Susan is foodblogger for Vrouw.nl and works as a community manager in Utrecht. Susan is married, lives in Leiden and has a 5-year-old daughter.

They’re out there, they know all about you and they're selling your life! The truth about data privacy and security

Following his successful presentation for SENSE in December 2014, Freek will put forward an accessible and possibly controversial view on the current state of data privacy and data security and what this means for you and your clients. He will explain that some apps do a lot more than you think (and not necessarily to your benefit) and how you may be compromising your privacy (and possibly more) for a degree of convenience. Freek will tell the story of how the data industry and governments are using exponential technologies to find out all they can about you and influence everything you do.

Data privacy: What the data industry is learning about your life and how it is using and selling this information.

Data security: We know they are out there. What can we do?

Future developments: Exponential technologies and the software-driven world mean that we will all have to be alert to potential pitfalls.

 

About the facilitator

Technologist, futurist and serial entrepreneur, Freek Wallaart is owner of Sophios Exponential Technologies, Mindcraft Engineering and iVault Data Services. 

He got his master’s degree in aerospace engineering or ‘rocket science’ at Delft University then decided that space technology was progressing too slowly for him and moved into computing and software development.

Some years ago, he realised that we are entering an era where exponential growth of fast and cheap computing power drives ever faster development and convergence of  disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, networked sensors, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic biology, neuro sciences and nano materials sciences, all leading to a future where everything will be networked and programmable, where "software is eating the world" as we know it and where opportunities are virtually boundless, be it for good or bad.

His current (and past) favourite occupation is to make sense of, and contribute to, the unimaginable technology driven future that awaits us, and, in the process, hopefully, help others do the same.

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