Presentations conf 2018

Conference presentations for the SENSE 2018 conference

Saturday, 9 June

16:00–16:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 2

16:00–16:30

Susannah Goss & Ailish Maher Editing documents produced in LaTeX (laptops required; session continues after tea break)

Editing

There is an increasing trend for authors of technical and scientific documents, especially those containing mathematical equations, to use LaTeX rather than MS Word. LaTeX is free, open-source software that separates form and content. It is essentially a markup language rather like HTML. Here’s an example of some LaTeX source text and output:

Major disadvantages for editors, apart from having to deal with source code, are that LaTeX softwares often lack the comfortable – and oh so familiar! – comment/annotation and edit-tracking features offered by Word. You can, of course, edit LaTeX documents in Word, or even annotate the PDF if the English is good and the text is reasonably short. However, for longer and more complex texts, other approaches are required.

In this presentation, we will give you a beginners’ introduction to editing texts in LaTeX. We will present the online editing environments Overleaf and ShareLaTeX (which are now in the process of joining forces) and also briefly describe an offline option (in case of confidentiality requirements). We will summarize the advantages and drawbacks of each approach, including complexity and cost, explain how we have used them with clients, and demonstrate some workarounds to overcome certain challenges of LaTeX that editors used to working in Word find especially tricky.

Our aim is to remove the fear factor from editing in LaTeX by equipping attendees with the confidence to work in this kind of environment – likely to be a source of new work opportunities. We will provide attendees interested in exploring LaTeX further with access to a set of learning resources.

 


About the presenters

Susannah GossSusannah Goss is a Scientific Editor at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. She has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a European Master’s Degree in Linguistics. Having been thrown into the LaTeX deep end a few years ago (and almost sinking), she is motivated to offer other language professionals a gentler introduction to LaTeX.

 

 

Ailish MaherAilish Maher is a freelance translator and editor who has the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a Master’s Degree in Translation from Dublin City University. Like Susannah Goss, she had to figure out editing in LaTeX for herself and is pleased to report that things have become much easier since the advent of online applications.

 

Saturday, 9 June

16:00–16:30, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 2

16:00–16:30

Lloyd Bingham, Dealing with Dunglish – and other source-language interference

English

Dunglish, Denglish, Franglais, Spanglish … they can all be deceptive. Especially when you find out that your friend’s new ‘beamer’ is not quite the BMW you imagined, but a projector!

While it might be cool to drop English words into other languages, the meaning is often corrupted, leaving us translators scratching our heads.

Taking source-language terms borrowed from English at face value is a rookie mistake. The consequences might well be hilarious, but they can often be catastrophic too – a sign that the translator doesn’t fully understand the source text.

This presentation will first look specifically at the accelerating trend of other languages – with an emphasis on Dutch – giving English words new meanings that you won’t find in the dictionary, and at how translators can translate them accurately and idiomatically. The audience will be invited to venture examples they have come across, and how they translated them. Then we will look more generally at ways to avoid source-language interference from a stylistic point of view and how to opt for more idiomatic formulations.

Real-life examples that I have come across in my own practice will be taken from Dutch and German, so English translation professionals will not only come away with greater awareness of the issue, but will also be able to take away ideas on how to avoid ‘steenkolenengels’ in their translations and how to make both the terminology and the style of their texts sound more natural.

 


About the presenter

Lloyd BinghamLloyd Bingham runs Capital Translations in Cardiff, the United Kingdom. A former in-house translator, he works from Dutch, German, French and Spanish into English, specialising in business, marketing and education. Lloyd is a qualified member of the UK’s Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL). He is also a tutor on ITI’s Starting Up as a Freelance Translator course. In addition to a linguistic curiosity about English interference in other languages, Lloyd takes a keen interest in online presence-building and professional conduct for translation professionals.

 

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

15:25–15:50

Valerie Matarese, Bad textual mentors: How awkwardly written research articles complicate the work of an authors’ editor

Editing/Writing

The term ‘textual mentor’ indicates an exemplary piece of writing that novice writers can emulate so as to produce text that meets readers’ expectations. In scientific research, novice writers often model their writing on articles published in their target journals, because these reports were judged favourably during peer review. Yet many of these research articles are badly written, with deficits in English usage, argumentation, structure, or scientific reporting.

In my experience as an authors’ editor in the biomedical sciences (and occasional instructor of scientific writing) in Italy, these ‘bad textual mentors’ seem to be conditioning the language of research more than English usage guides and scientific style manuals do. When editing, I apply standard written English, but I am aware that my clients – and their reviewers – may be more familiar with the non-standard usage that is gaining ground in their discipline; I therefore proactively justify my edits in the margin. And when teaching, I am aware that some of my recommended practices may be hard to find applied in the biomedical research literature.

Questions I will pose during this presentation include:

  • If standard written English is no longer the benchmark for publishability, should we insist on it while editing and teaching?
  • How should we handle our clients’ choice of textual mentors?

In this presentation, I will show examples of how bad textual mentors have complicated my work, and I will present the differing views on this problem from the worlds of applied linguistics, academia, and industry. I invite conference attendees to join me in a discussion on where we should draw the line between tolerance of non-standard English and clear scientific communication.


About the presenter

Valerie MatareseValerie Matarese is an authors’ editor based in Italy. Born in New York, she trained in biochemistry and molecular biology at US universities and worked in research in the United States and Italy prior to launching a sole proprietorship offering editing in the biomedical sciences, writing, and training in research-article writing. She has recently published a book on the profession of author editing, entitled Editing Research: The author editing approach to providing effective support to writers of research papers. (Information Today, 2016).

Valerie will also moderate a panel discussion with Anne Murray, Marije de Jager and Emma Goldsmith entitled Invasive species: Language versus subject specialists in biomedical editing and translation.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

15:25–15:50

Martine Croll, Scribe or Shrink? Improving client relationships and winning more clients the easy way - by getting into their heads!

General

We spend most of our time weighing and polishing words for our clients. Whether as an editor, translator, transcreator, teacher or copywriter. Sometimes so much, that we forget the client behind those words.

This session in NOT about perfecting your skills as a language expert. It’s about using your skills to improve your relationship with your clients. It’s also about winning more clients by getting into their heads.

Based on my many years of experience working for agencies and direct clients, my talk will focus on the lessons learnt writing for and dealing with clients. What is your client really looking for? What are their needs? What are the most essential questions that you should be asking? And how do you deliver more than just perfect words?

I’ll be showing you that awareness of a client’s needs doesn’t mean you have to provide all the answers. It’s up to you in how far you take on the ‘challenge’! Based on real examples, we’ll discuss when can you say ‘yes!’ (even though it might feel scary to do so) and when should you be saying ‘this is not for me!’.

Session takeaways:

  • Know what problem you can help your clients with.
  • Know your value for a client.
  • Know what adds value to both your client and yourself.
  • Feel confident in communicating about what you do.
  • Feel confident and find new clients.

About the presenter

Martine CrollMartine Croll is a freelance copywriter, storyteller and communications consultant. Born in the Netherlands, but travelled the world living in Jamaica, Indonesia, Zimbabwe and the UK. Because she is a native speaker of both English and Dutch, she writes in both languages. She studied English Language and Literature at Leiden University here in the Netherlands.

Since setting up her business she’s been lucky enough to work for a vast array of people and companies. She’s written articles for magazines, blog posts, annual and strategic reports, corporate books and many, many websites.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

14:50–15:20

Ellen Singer, Linguists and Laymen (Or: Fit for purpose)

General

Linguists tend to be so immersed in language that they are prone to forgetting that others are not swimming in the same waters. Language evolves through time. Texts do not all have to be works of art; sometimes fit-for-purpose is enough!

On the other hand, we practitioners need to make laymen understand that correct grammar, punctuation, etc is important.

This talk focuses on the discussions we have with laymen to indicate why our expertise trumps their expectations and why their priorities sometimes trump our preferences.

The idea is to present a few ideas and examples and then briefly discuss the issue with the room. We need to be conscious of the different sides of the coin to be able to discuss issues with customers properly.

This session is suitable for any person working with English texts.

 


About the presenter

Ellen SingerEllen Singer is a freelance translator with more than twenty years of experience as a full-time translator and project manager. She owns a small technical translation agency with her husband that focuses on quality. Ellen has been working with CAT tools since the 1990s. She loves challenges and knowledge and enjoys cooperating with others. A speaker of English, Spanish and Dutch, Ellen has been presenting at conferences since 2013. She has covered a wide range of topics, from technical translation to Donald Duck, from file conversion to QA, and even Why translate? She enjoys conferences and meeting other translators.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

14:50–15:20

Charles Frink, Disrupting the inheritance of poor writing habits: An alternative approach to editing and teaching writing (in the health-related sciences)

Editing/Writing

In the health-related-sciences, about 500,000 manuscripts are published each year. Unfortunately, the authors of many of these manuscripts, and many more that were rejected for publication, tend to use language to impress their peers rather than to communicate to an increasingly multidisciplinary readership. This problem has been acknowledged for decades, but journal editors continue to complain that many submissions are so poorly written that the point of the manuscript is unclear. According to Amin Bredan, scientist and journal editor, this tendency to write ‘complex, exaggerated and often pompous prose’ is transmitted by senior scientists to junior ones, leading to the inheritance of poor writing habits.

Disrupting this inheritance obviously requires attention to the linguistic aspects of clear writing, which has indeed been the emphasis of most editors and teachers of scientific writing. Despite the standard plea of journal editors for editing by a native speaker, however, the overall quality of writing in the health-related sciences remains below par.

Here I present an alternative approach that focuses first on the underlying structure of a manuscript. These are the core components of research manuscripts in the health-related sciences, such as the problem definition, hypothesis, study design, results and discussion. By presenting these components clearly – and explicitly – and linking them logically, peer reviewers can focus on the actual scientific content of a manuscript instead of struggling to find the point. This approach not only ensures that manuscripts have the ‘flow’ that journal editors want; it often makes the linguistic editing more efficient.



About the presenter

Charles FrinkCharles Frink is the owner of Frink Communications and has worked as an editor and translator for more than 30 years. He has been associated in this capacity with Wageningen UR (and its precursors) since 1992. He currently focuses on editing and teaching scientific writing in the life sciences.

Saturday, 9 June

14:50–15:50, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 1

14:50–15:50

Iris Schrijver, Translation quality (assessment): Insights from Translation Studies in the quest for the holy grail?

Translation

Translation quality is an important issue for practitioners, clients, trainers and scholars alike. It is a source of both fascination and despair, since it raises a number of thorny questions. These include: What is translation quality? Can we even define it? Is there a ‘gold standard’ or something like ‘acceptable quality’ and, if so, what are they? Can we measure translation quality and, if so, how do we assess it?

In this talk, I will report on how translation quality and translation quality assessment are approached in Translation Studies. I will start by providing a brief overview of how translation scholars have defined translation quality in the past and how it is defined currently. I will then report on the latest research on translation quality assessment by discussing various methods (e.g. error-based or analytic assessment, holistic assessment and assessment that focuses on ‘rich points’). I will reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of these methods as well as on how valid and reliable they are considered to be. Last but not least, I will present a number of tools that are currently used in academia to carry out translation quality assessments.

The aim of this talk is to update delegates on the academic debate about translation quality and its assessment. I also invite you to join me in a discussion of the most pressing questions that practitioners have regarding translation quality and translation quality assessment which merit further scientific exploration.

 


About the presenter

Iris Schrijver photoDr Iris Schrijver is a tenure track assistant professor at the Department of Translators and Interpreters at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Antwerp, where she teaches an introductory course in Translation Studies as well as several courses on translation from Spanish into Dutch. She holds an MA in Translation and a PhD in Translation Studies. In 2016 she was awarded the Young Scholar Prize 2016 from the European Society for Translation Studies for her doctoral dissertation entitled ‘The translator as a text producer: The effects of writing training on transediting and translation performance.’ Her main research interests are the acquisition of translation competence, cognitive translation processes and translation quality assessment.

 

Saturday, 9 June

14:20–14:35, SOCIETY NEWS

Kenneth Quek, Introducing NEaT

General

This presentation will introduce NEaT, Nordic Editors and Translators. NEaT is a professional association for language professionals working in English for the Nordic region. It is currently active mainly in Finland but is seeking to increase its regional reach. NEaT is a sister organization of MET, Mediterranean Editors and Translators.

This will be a 15-minute talk about who we are and what we do, what we offer our members and how we are seeking to develop the professional standards and standing of our field. It will not only be of interest to language professionals from the Nordic region but also further afield, as we offer instructional materials and webinars that are accessible to those outside the region as well.

Apart from these offerings, we also seek to form partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations. We believe that our professional field is truly transnational and that we can learn and benefit from colleagues all over the world.

This is particularly important in view of the many challenges facing language professionals today, including a general lack of understanding of and appreciation for the field and the threats and opportunities posed by machine translation and editing. As a body, we need to develop ways to maintain our relevance and viability, and NEaT seeks to be in the forefront of this development.

With this in mind, we hope to reach out to a broader community at the SENSE conference and help to build a strong international network that will be an advocate for its members and the field as a whole.

 


About the presenter

Kenneth QuekKenneth Quek is a Singaporean who resides in Helsinki. He is fully bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese and works both as a freelance academic revisor for the University of Helsinki Language Centre and as a freelance editor and copywriter in the corporate sector. He has previous experience in private teaching, translation and journalism.

Kenneth will also be giving a conference presentation entitled Chinglish as she is writ: On the uses and abuses of English by native Chinese speakers.

Saturday, 9 June

13:30–14:20, PLENARY TALK

Jeremy Gardner, EU English. Past, present and conditional

English

The position of English in the EU is about to change. Just how, nobody knows. Before looking at possible Brexit scenarios, Jeremy Gardner looks at the EU’s multilingualism policy and the current status of its 24 official and working languages. Although these languages theoretically enjoy parity, for around four decades most interactions took place in French and most publications were originally drafted in French. This means that much of the older English material, including some fundamental legislation, was heavily influenced by the translation process. However, starting in the 1990s, English has gradually taken over, both in spoken and written communication, to the extent that, currently, around 81% of documents received by the Commission’s DG Translation were originally drafted in English, as compared to only 5% in French. Few of the people drafting these documents are native speakers of English, and their English drafting skills vary considerably. Furthermore, there are no systematic procedures for guaranteeing the quality of the texts and ensuring that errors are eliminated prior to publication.

Against this background, the EU has developed a form of English that is only partially mutually comprehensible with other forms of the language. In particular, this affects not only vocabulary but grammar and syntax. Common EU words include ‘planification’ and ‘comitology’, which do not exist, and others that are rare and lie outside the vocabulary of the intended readership (‘informatics’, for example, or the names of the various beasts of the field). In a further group, normal English words suffer one sort of grammatical change or another, so ‘precise’ becomes a verb, meaning ‘to specify’, ‘expertise’ becomes a countable noun meaning an appraisal by an expert, and, in yet another group, perfectly normal words are used outside their normal semantic fields or collocations. Grammatical issues are more complex, but they include an unstable use of tenses, problems with modal verbs and an impoverished use of prepositions.

This light-hearted presentation looks at how English is used in the context of EU publications, in the hope that a recognition of this phenomenon will enable participants to improve their understanding of documents relating to the EU’s activities and make reasoned choices in their translation and editing work.

 


About the presenter

Jeremy GardnerAfter receiving his first degree (modern languages), Jeremy Gardner taught English for 15 years at the universities of Perugia, Cagliari, Cosenza and Ancona. He then moved to Luxembourg, to work as a translator at the European Union. His tasks there include editing original English texts and working as an interpreter/auditor during official visits to the Member States, Italy, in particular. He is also a member of the EU’s inter-institutional style guide committee and played a significant role in drafting the current version.

In 2012, Jeremy published a tongue-in-cheek guide to misused words in EU publications, which attracted considerable attention in the media, both in Europe and beyond and has since written articles on other aspects of the English used at the EU institutions.

He is also involved in training activities aimed at improving the level of drafting within the EU, delivering presentations and workshops both in the EU institutions and beyond.

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