Displaying items by tag: SENSE conference

Word skills for editors and translators

Jenny Zonneveld, the Netherlands

MS Word is one of the essential tools of our trade and mastering it will give you more time to focus on and enjoy creating beautiful language. But in order to deliver ready-to-use documents, editors and translators often have to tidy up the client’s draft first. Tackling this can be a quick-and-easy way to impress, but many language professionals lack the finer points of MS Word, so they pass up this opportunity.

Besides picking up many productivity tips, you’ll learn and practise how to tidy up a document by:

  • defining and applying styles to create a consistent layout;
  • controlling numbering and bullets;
  • applying headings to generate the perfect table of contents;
  • dealing with headers and footers in large documents with multiple sections.

If you want to focus on your clients’ message rather than on what MS Word does when you’re not looking, then this one’s for you! Focusing as it does on the practical aspects of tidying up a document rather than on the individual word features, this workshop is ideal for any language professional who wants to use MS Word more efficiently and effectively. Participants should bring their own laptop to the workshop.

About the presenter

John Linnegar

Jenny Zonneveld has a business background. Before she became a freelance translator, copywriter, and editor over 20 years ago, she spent more than 15 years at a firm of management consultants and worked in the UK, USA, Belgium, and the Netherlands. At the start of her freelance career Jenny compiled and prepared a series of reports stretching to hundreds of pages and including many tables and images, all in MS Word. In 2002 she developed a two-day hands-on MS Word workshop for SENSE, which was presented several times. From 2004 to 2006 it was offered to translation students as part of the Editing Minor run by SENSE and the ITV School of Interpreters & Translators.

Getting to grips with connectors in English texts

John Linnegar, Belgium

An increasing number of authors are having to write in English as their SL or FL. This places the onus on copy-editors and revisors to improve authors' writing so as to render it accessible to readers. Sometimes, in order to do so optimally, grammar skills need to be honed further. The incorrect or inappropriate use of connectors (either verbal connectors or punctuation marks) is a particularly troublesome aspect of much writing that requires editorial intervention.

This workshop will focus on the devices that can be used in written texts to ensure a smooth flow and logical connections between the parts of sentences, and even between sentences themselves. Skilled use of the appropriate connectors ultimately leads to texts that convey an author’s intended meaning most effectively. Such texts are also more accessible to readers.

We will be investigating ways of using (and ‘abusing’) both verbal connectors – conjunctions, relative pronouns, sentence adverbials – and punctuation marks – in particular the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the dash, parentheses – not only correctly but also to achieve the author's intended effect or meaning.

The participants will ‘learn by doing’ by engaging with a selection of substandard texts and considering ways of making them flow more smoothly and logically, using any or all of these devices. What will emerge from this workshop is a better grasp of how to use each of these connective devices to best effect.

About the presenter

John Linnegar

An author and a passionate copy-editor with some 40+ years’ of manuscript improvement behind him, John Linnegar is a former teacher of English at secondary school and undergraduate levels. His specialty as an editor is law. In 2009 he published a book on common errors committed by writers in English in South Africa (NB Publishers, reprinted 2013); in 2012 he co-authored Text Editing: A Handbook for Students and Practitioners (UA Press) and in 2019, together with Ken McGillivray, wrote and published grammar, punctuation and all that jazz … (MLA Publishers). He contributes regular articles on the usage and abusage of the English language to professional bodies.

Getting language right in 2020: between correctness, warmth and innovation

Lane Greene, United Kingdom

Ask most non-professionals what ‘good’ language looks like and they will say something about grammar or correctness. Avoiding mistakes, though, is only one part of writing, and not even the most important one. You must also have something to say and, even more importantly, say it the right way for your audience. This is where understanding what your readers know and don’t know comes into play; you want your prose to be approachable. But on the third hand, good writing should also be innovating and interesting, using fresh or even arresting language (such as ‘on the third hand’) to keep attention. Balancing correctness, human warmth and innovativeness is not easy. Correctness calls for conservatism, warmth calls for familiarity, and innovation calls for stretching rules and breaking formulas. This talk will discuss how to think about getting this balance right.

 

About the presenter

Lane Greene

Lane Greene is the language columnist and an editor at The Economist, based in London. Previous assignments have included culture, European business, law, energy, the environment, and American politics. He is based in London, after living in Berlin and New York.

Greene is the author of two books, Talk on the Wild Side (2018) and You Are What you Speak (2011), and won the journalism award from the Linguistic Society of America in 2017. He is a former adjunct assistant professor in Global Affairs at New York University, and is a consultant to Freedom House, a non-governmental organization. He received an M.Phil. from Oxford in European politics, and a B.A. with honors from Tulane in international relations and history, and speaks nine languages. Greene was born in Johnson City, Tennessee and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. He lives in London with his wife and sons.

How much time does quality require?

Brian Mossop, Canada

Translators and editors face a conflict between business pressures to produce quickly and professional pressures to achieve adequate quality. There is no easy way to resolve this conflict, but I will present some food for thought on the matter, giving special attention to two factors: attitude to the job and the difficult concept, ‘quality’. My presentation will be punctuated at intervals with opportunities to make comments or ask questions.

 

About the presenter

Brian Mossop

Brian Mossop was a French-to-English translator, reviser and trainer at the Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau from 1974 to 2014. He continues to lead workshops and webinars on revision in Canada and abroad. Since 1980, he has also been a part-time instructor at the York University School of Translation in Toronto, teaching revision, scientific translation, translation theory and translation into the second language. For more, visit www.yorku.ca/brmossop.

When editors compare notes

Sally Hill & Daphne Visser-Lees, both from the Netherlands

When freelancers edit their clients’ manuscripts and grant proposals to improve both the message and the language, they usually work in isolation. While getting repeat work is usually an indication that we are doing something right as authors’ editors, we rarely compare notes with colleagues. So how do we really know if other editors are making the same kind of changes? This session will offer a brief insight into the editing processes of two experienced freelance medical editors. Before the session, the presenters will edit the same short text. During this head to head, they will compare their edits and comments, defending their decisions and noting differences in editing styles. Attendees will also be invited to share their thoughts on whether or not they agree with the changes.

The presenters will also share their views on client communication. Having known each other for some time and passed on clients to one another, the presenters are well aware that they do not always change the same things. But they are also aware that clear communication is essential so that the client knows what to expect in terms of the level of editing provided.

This session is likely to be of interest to both experienced and novice language editors, mainly those working for clients in academia. The text will be medical but not too technical, and accessible to anyone working with English. You can attend the session to compare your own skills with those of others with experience in your field, or simply to find out more about what being an authors’ editor involves.

 

About the presenters

Sally Hill

Sally Hill studied biology at the universities of Sheffield and Nijmegen. A former research scientist, she works as a freelance medical writer, editor and trainer in scientific writing at Dutch universities. She finds her experience in education sometimes slows down her editing work, though using the comments function to educate her non-student clients about good writing is not necessarily a bad thing. She is a keen networker and helps organise meetings for other Netherlands-based science and medical writers. She’s also a contributor to and editor of the SENSE blog.

Daphne Viseer-Lees

Daphne Visser-Lees has more than 40 years’ experience as a nurse and operating assistant, in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Being able to decipher physicians’ handwriting and abbreviations turned out to come in handy when she also set up as a Dutch-to-English medical translator. She is also an authors’ editor and trainer in scientific writing. Daphne volunteers for SENSE in her role as secretary on the executive committee

Maintaining productivity as your family grows

Ashley Cowles et al, Netherlands & United Kingdom

Parenthood not only turns your private life upside down; it can also greatly affect your business. Whether you work from home or in an office, you’ll find yourself facing a number of different challenges: dealing with sleep deprivation, restructuring your workflow, dividing your attention between your clients and your family, safeguarding your productivity, minimising distractions, etc.

So how do you get your business (and your sanity) back on track after such a momentous life change? And how do you make sure your already established business stays on track as your family grows? By asking your fellow SENSE members for tips and tricks, of course! Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, or are expecting your first addition to the family, there’s plenty of helpful, hands-on advice to go around.

During this panel discussion, SENSE members with children of various ages will share their own experiences and offer some practical advice on how to balance effectively freelance work and the different aspects of family life. Naturally, audience members will also have the opportunity to ask questions and contribute their own stories.

 

About the presenters

Simon Adams

Simon Adams is a translator, editor and content writer. He lives in Utrecht with his wife and their infant daughter.

 

Claire Bacon

Claire Bacon is a former research scientist with professional qualifications in copy editing and medical editing. She edits research papers for non-native English-speaking scientists and is the copy editor for the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. She publishes a monthly blog to help her clients with their research writing and is a member of the SENSE content team. 

 

 

Curtis Barrett

Curtis Barrett is is a part-time university lecturer and full-time editor living in Bunnik with his wife, three children of ten, 13 and 15, and a high-energy Labrador retriever.

 

 

Lloyd Bingham

Lloyd Bingham is Lloyd is a Dutch–English translator based in Cardiff, Wales. He and his wife have a one-year-old daughter and a newly born son.

  

 

Ashley Cowles

Ashley Cowles is a copywriter and editor who works mainly in marketing for tech and innovation. She lives in Utrecht with her husband and their two children, aged two and four.

 

Cathy Scott

Cathy Scott is a copywriter, editor and translator living in Maarssen, north-west of Utrecht. She works for advertising agencies and direct clients. Married to a Cloggie, she has two horse-mad daughters, aged 11 and nine.

Terms and conditions for freelancers – you know you need them!

Sue Leschen, United Kingdom

By putting in place a set of terms and conditions, language professionals can add an essential skill to their toolkit. Most of us don't come from a business background, but linguistic skills alone are not enough in today's challenging marketplace.

With this in mind, during my workshop we’ll explore how to approach and resolve the current imbalance in the marketplace, where, typically, the client's terms and conditions have always dominated.

The workshop will focus on the art of negotiating terms and conditions – the do's and the don'ts – how to negotiate to our best advantage, to give something but also to get something in return.

The session will teach freelancers how to build a set of terms either from scratch or by adapting those of our professional organisations which freelancers can use over and over again and adapt as necessary to all sorts of jobs.

The workshop will be as interactive as possible, with participants bringing their own experience and queries to our session.

About the presenter

Claire Bacon

Sue Leschen is a lawyer-linguist based in Manchester, the United Kingdom, and is the director of niche market company, Avocate – Legal and Commercial French Services. She sits on CIOL’s Council and also on CIOL’s Interpreting Division Committee and Equality and Diversity Committee. She regularly presents both face to face and by webinar on legal terminology and professional interest issues. She is also a mentor and business guru for new and existing freelancers, and actively supports the use of properly qualified, insured and security-vetted language professionals.

Reducing revision time

Brian Mossop, Canada

The workshop will look at revisers' various tasks from the point of view of time constraints. We will consider time-saving with both individual texts and overall workloads. The format will comprise brief theoretical presentations followed by text-based or scenario exercises focused on the quickest way to carry out a given revising or editing task.

The English exercise texts selected for this workshop will be of various types: human-generated translations without source texts, machine translation outputs, Translation Memory outputs, and wordings produced by non-native speakers.

About the presenter

Brian Mossop

Brian Mossop was a French-to-English translator, reviser and trainer at the Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau from 1974 to 2014. He continues to lead workshops and webinars on revision in Canada and abroad. Since 1980, he has also been a part-time instructor at the York University School of Translation in Toronto, teaching revision, scientific translation, translation theory and translation into the second language. For more, visit www.yorku.ca/brmossop.

Using reporting guidelines for biomedical research

Jennifer de Beyer, United Kingdom

This interactive introductory workshop aims to support language professionals working with biomedical researchers to use and recommend reporting guidelines for manuscript preparation.

Reporting guidelines aid research article preparation by providing the minimum information needed for a particular study type. Many journals, particularly in biomedical research, require reporting guideline use and the submission of a completed checklist alongside a manuscript. However,researchers are often unsure how to find and apply the right reporting guideline. Writers, editors, and translators can help to ensure the research articles they work on are compliant.

The workshop will combine short presentations, discussion, and practical exercises, and will be accompanied by a handout. We will focus on reporting guidelines for research involving humans or animals, such as health research, psychology, and veterinary medicine.

Workshop outline:

  • What reporting guidelines are, why they are needed, and how and when they can help.
  • Using reporting guidelines to analyse manuscripts and flow diagrams.
  • Identifying biomedical study designs (exploratory vs confirmatory, descriptive vs analytic, observational vs experimental, qualitative vs quantitative, longitudinal vs cross-sectional).
  • Choosing an appropriate reporting guideline.
  • Translations of reporting guidelines and opportunities to contribute to future translations.
  • Fitting reporting guidelines into the workflow as writers, author editors, journals, and peer reviewers.
  • Dealing with realities: common objections to reporting guidelines and problems encountered by participants.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Understand what reporting guidelines are and how to use them.
  2. Be comfortable identifying a manuscript’s study design, recommending an appropriate reporting guideline, and highlighting missing information to guide the author.

About the presenter

Jennifer de Beyer

After training in laboratory research and working in academic editing, Jennifer de Beyer joined the EQUATOR Network’s UK Centre at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), University of Oxford. Here she develops online and in-person training in academic writing and using reporting guidelines for clear, transparent research reporting. She also provides editing and writing support for CSM’s team of medical statisticians and methodologists.

The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative dedicated to improving the quality and transparency of health research. It focuses on research reporting, so that future research is based on a sound body of evidence. Through its four centres in the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia, EQUATOR raises awareness of reporting guidelines, provides online resources, develops education and training, and conducts research into research quality and transparency.

Ever thought of running a course on scientific writing?

Ann Bless, Switzerland

Young researchers often lack writing skills. Their supervisors or professors tell them ‘you learn by doing’ and this results in their struggling alone. They would profit from a course on scientific writing.

Attendees will come away with a basic lesson plan and guidance on how to approach teaching researchers/PhD students to write a clear and well-structured article or thesis. We will discuss how to write a catchy title, a well-structured and clear abstract and a convincing conclusion. I have chosen these elements because I hear that most scientists first read these sections of the article before deciding whether to read the rest. If required, we could also talk about the introduction and discussion sections.

This will be an interactive workshop. Attendees will be able to ask questions and I shall share with them my years of experience, my mistakes, the scientists' problems I have tried to solve. Their professors are very often too busy or away travelling so they come to me. Some researchers, from non-European cultures, do not dare ask their professors for advice for fear of losing face; they come to me for advice instead. I do not solve all their problems but at least they have a listening ear.

About the presenter

Claire Bacon

For more than 30 years Ann Bless has been running courses on scientific writing and giving workshops at various universities in Europe. She has written a book, Reader friendly scientific articles. Be clear, be readable and has co-authored with Lee Ann Weeks The elements of English editing. A guideline to clear writing.

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