Week 30, 29 July 2021, 15:00–17:00
During this webinar, Angelika will be posing and providing answers to the following questions:
• What is a term (the view of the terminologist versus real life)?
• How are term bases structured, i.e. what kind of information can you save with your terms?
• How do you go about collecting terminology in your translation tool?
• Importing/Exporting term lists (how to structure the import list for easy import).
• How do translation tools recognize terms from the term base in the documents (settings)?
• How do translation tools check whether (forbidden) terms have been used in the translation?
• Extracting terms from text (with and without a term extraction tool).
After her studies at the University of Bonn, Germany (translation degree in Chinese, Japanese and Computational Linguistics), Angelika Zerfass worked for the Japanese Embassy in Bonn and then for Trados (1997-2000) as a training and support specialist in Japan, Ireland and the US. In 2000, Angelika started her own business for training, consultancy and technical support. Since then, she has been working as an independent consultant and trainer for translation tools and technologies, located in Germany. She is also a frequent speaker at conferences all over the world.
Week 31, 7 August 2021, 10:00–13:00
PLAIN (the international association of plain-language professionals) has drafted this definition:
‘A written communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended readers can easily find what they need, understand it, and use it.”
This requires authors to make informed judgments about whether the text (”wording”) is clear enough. It also means using good organisation (“structure”) and layout (“design”) to help them navigate.’
During this webinar, the aim will be to help practitioners learn how to harness Plain Language (or plain English) principles to improve the flow, accessibility and easy comprehension of authors’ texts. The aim is to introduce participants to a suite of handy Plain Language techniques with which to turn verbose, high-register texts into those that the identified readers will find accessible and understandable at first reading.
‘The message is important, not the fancy language wrapped around it.’
It’s astonishing how many writers feel they need to ‘dress up’ their writing to the extent that they lose their natural (aka plain) voice completely! Their reasons are no doubt many: from wanting to impress to needing to sound important or authoritative – and sometimes even because their boss or professor ‘writes like that, so it must be good’! But in this day and age we should rather be ‘dressing down’ writing to make it more accessible and flow better. Where writers themselves are incapable of doing so, the task usually falls to us wordsmiths to dress (not dumb!) writing down.
We need to make authors’ words clear and straightforward, using only as many words as are necessary. Plain Language helps us to do so by dispensing with the ‘fancy language wrapped around [their words]’: obscurity, inflated vocabulary and convoluted sentence constructions. Applying Plain Language principles systematically, our aim is to render the authors’ messages readily understood at first reading.
By the end of this online workshop you will be able, with confidence, to:
● convert long, complex sentences into shorter compound or simple ones;
● replace, where possible, passive voice (O-V-S) constructions with active ones (S-V-O);
● remove embedded clauses from complex sentences;
● replace ‘difficult’ polysyllabic words and jargon with more everyday, accessible synonyms (eg ‘remuneration’ with ‘pay’ or ‘wage’);
● make impenetrable noun strings accessible by inserting prepositions and articles into them;
● supplant nounisms (nominalisations) with healthier vigorous verb equivalents (eg ‘invitation’ with ‘invite’);
● dispense with archaisms such as ‘aforesaid’, ‘herein’, ‘thereby’, ‘whereafter’;
● find ways to introduce useful visual elements (eg lists). Fundamentally, we wordsmiths will be asking – and answering – the questions ‘Who is the audience?’ and ‘What are their needs?’ In so doing, we’ll be using the reader-centric approach authors should have adopted.
John Linnegar began his career as a teacher of English, History and Mathematics. His passion for working with words was ignited by his high school teachers of English, Latin and German. Those strong grammatical foundations combined with a love of his mother tongue led him towards authorship and, as a direct result, towards improving authors’ texts for publication. He has been an avid ‘improver of authors’ words’ for four decades now, and remains dedicated to making their texts read as clearly as possible (and in the process saving a reputation or two!).
John is author of several texts dealing with matters grammatical and stylistic, including contributions to the Oxford English grammar: The advanced guide (OUP, 2015) and, most recently, with Ken McGillivray, grammar, punctuation and all that jazz . . . (MLA Publishers, 2019). He currently offers a personalised ‘online’ Grammar for Editors course aimed at those who need to brush up their English grammar and an online training course on Plain Language.
Week 28, 13 July 2021, 14:00–17:00
When a client approaches you about a new editing job, wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool to help you:
● quote a fair rate and accurate timeframe for the project;
● track whether you get paid on time;
● compare your estimated hourly rate and editing speed with your actual rate and speed; and
● analyse how valuable this client is for your business?
Wouldn’t it be greater if this tool was already on your computer, included in your Microsoft Office suite? And wouldn’t it be even greater if this tool didn’t intimidate and baffle you?
Whether you’re already spreadsheet savvy or you’ve never used Excel before, this workshop will show you how you can harness Excel’s functionality to manage your freelance editorial business confidently and professionally.
In this workshop, I will show you how to manage your income, expenses, and project data in Excel and take the guesswork out of running your business. It will cover:
● An introduction to Excel basics and terminology.
● Using Excel to track project income, editing speed, average rates and more.
● Your business data at a glance, with summaries and charts.
● Excel troubleshooting tips.
Maya Berger launched The Editor’s Affairs (TEA) in May 2020 with the aim of helping fellow freelance editors keep their business affairs in order. She is a CIEP Advanced Professional Member, and she gave seminars at the 2020 CIEP annual conference and the 2018 and 2019 SfEP annual conferences. She has also appeared as a guest on The Editing Podcast. Maya specialises in copy-editing and proofreading speculative fiction, erotica and academic texts in the humanities and social sciences.
After spending 13 years in the UK, Maya returned to her native Canada in October 2017 with her cat and editorial assistant, Idris. She currently lives and works in Toronto.
Week 26, 28 June 2021, 14:00–17:30
During this webinar, participants will be introduced to Word styles as a useful tool for saving formatting time and ensuring formatting consistency. They will learn how to set up and apply a new paragraph or heading style and how to modify it later, and how to insert an automatic table of contents once heading styles have been applied.
The main focus of this webinar will be on the most prominent aspects of setting up and applying a style, such as using the Styles pane and the Modify dialogue. It will also be an opportunity to answer participants’ questions relating to Word styles.
Since heading styles are so useful for inserting a table of contents, Monica will also show participants how to insert one at an elementary level. However, the workshop will not deal with the complexities of tables of contents.
People who register for this workshop will receive pre-webinar exercises to complete in advance of 28 June. The exercises will guide them around the Word workspace as it relates to styles so that they will already know their way around when we start and can follow the demonstration more easily. It will also prepare them for a short poll to be taken at the start of the webinar.
The workshop will entail a practical demonstration and some participants may want to follow along on their own version of Word for PC. For this purpose, there will be a technical introduction to help them split their screens or toggle between Zoom and Word. Those who want to follow along in this way should please open the pre-webinar exercise in Word before they sign in to the meeting – it will be used as the demo document.
Monica Bosman studied languages, general linguistics and teaching at university. She began her working life as an English teacher and later became a linguistics lecturer at university level. In 2008, she ventured out on her own as a language practitioner, completing copy-editing and proofreading courses to prepare the way. Since then, she has been a member of the Professional Editors’ Guild.
Being interested in visual design, she also tries her hand at layout, typesetting and graphic design whenever the occasion arises. This is ultimately what led to her interest in mastering the Word Styles functionality, modification and application to document design and layout – and to using Styles as efficiently as possible.
Her other interests include gardening, herbal remedies and aromatherapy. Two fiery redheads and a feisty budgerigar share her space.
Week 27, Friday, 9 July 2021
Morning session: 11:00–13:00
Afternoon session: 13:45–15:00
During the past year, I’ve been working with a team of editors, with the aim of setting up a website to present the macros, and providing training materials to help people learn to use macros in editing.
The project is ongoing and the website isn’t yet available, but by working with editors/trainers who have only been using macros for a relatively short time, I have developed a get-you-started technique called “Macros by the tourist route” (MTR), that is, not too steep, so that the less technically minded editor can make it up the macro slope!
The training session will start with MTR in its two incarnations: PC and Mac. We will go on to give some pointers as to where to go next. Rome (and macro-enabled editing) wasn’t built in a day, but we can at least lay some firm foundations, and give you a blueprint for your future professional development.
Macros by the tourist route is a self-directed workshop (download it here for Windows or here for Mac), so if you were to have a go with it before the session then you’d get even more out of the day itself. (Compared to last year’s online workshop, this will start more slowly, but take you further along the same general direction. If you did last year’s training but are still not using macros regularly, then you should find this session helpful.)
Paul Beverley has been creating macros for use by editors and proofreaders for over 15 years. The macros (more than 800 of them) are freely available via his website and are used in over 50 countries. In his ‘spare time’, he edits technical books on a professional basis because, despite having pension income, he enjoys editing far too much to stop altogether. He has also recorded over 150 videos, so that you can see the macros in action.
He lives in Norwich, UK, with his lovely wife, Sue, has two sons – one a programmer(!) and the other an international educational consultant – who have given him two lovely daughters-in-law and five adorable grandchildren. He considers himself well blessed indeed!
Week 23, Thursday, 10 June 2021, 14:00–17:00
In the first part of the workshop, David will explain the mandatory things translators need to know about SEO. Then he will lead the participants through a variety of different activities where attendees will practise their skills to learn how to do keyword research, SEO translation and content optimisation, among other tasks. This webinar may well be of interest to non-translators who nevertheless want to learn more about taking SEO into consideration when creating text for the web environment.
Born and raised in Spain and now resident in the UK, David Garcia Ruiz has provided multilingual SEO services since 2015. He has presented at several events for groups of professionals wanting to learn more about optimising their website content for global markets. He holds an MA in Translation from Swansea University and is a Qualified Member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), as well as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL).
After a brief recap on features of language interference, we’ll explore different forms of language interference in a variety of text extracts from a range of genres and discover and discuss ways of dealing with them. All the texts considered will be in English, but the ‘interfering’ language won’t always be Dutch: we’ll also look at English influenced by other languages and their writing conventions. So, expect to have to venture beyond your gezellig linguistic comfort zone but also to find that identifying and dealing with the often subtle linguistic influences and writing conventions from other languages that crop up in written English is intellectually satisfying and fun.
This 2½-hour workshop is limited to 16 participants. All will be sent a short homework assignment beforehand, which we will discuss during the workshop.
Joy Burrough-Boenisch (MITI) is a founder member and past chair of SENSE with a long career as a freelance authors’ editor and translator for Dutch academics and scientists. She has taught scientific English to graduate students and has presented webinars. She has given workshops for language professionals on editing non-native English in various European countries and for the European Commission. Her conference presentations include two in 2018 as an invited speaker at ATA’s New Orleans conference. Originally a geographer, she learnt to edit in Borneo and Australia before moving to the Netherlands, where her interest in second language interference and non-native English resulted in a PhD thesis on Dutch scientific English. As well as being the author of Righting English that’s gone Dutch (3rd ed 2013), she has various scholarly and professional publications on editing and non-native English to her name.
Write a blog post about the new EU payment service directive and make it entertaining, said my client. Before I could even think about the entertaining bit, I spent hours trawling through articles that all said such different things about the directive that I ended up reading the bloomin’ thing itself, or at least parts of it. If only I’d attended Stephen Johnston’s workshop ‘The impossible blog: how to write a readable blog from unreadable material’ beforehand. It was held in Den Bosch on 8 June, the day before the SENSE 2018 conference.
So how do you write a readable blog about a less than thrilling topic? Well, said Stephen, it’s about the tone. That's what makes a blog a blog. Write as though you’re talking to someone, but without the ums and ers. Avoid jargon, and if you must use it, explain it. Make the complicated sound simple. Avoid words you wouldn’t use in regular speech.
It’s also important, said Stephen, to know who your reader is and why you’re writing for them. What do you (or your client) want the reader to do when they have read the blog? Buy your product? Find out more about your company? Contact you? Keep this in mind while researching and writing the blog.
This brought us on to the structure. Stephen had brought along some materials about a new product, ranging from a very technical proof of concept document to marketing slides. Our job was to scan the material and find three main messages, without forgetting the reader and aim of the blog. He explained that once you have these three messages you can present these together followed by the supporting material. Or you can present them as: main message, supporting material, main message, supporting material and so on.
We also looked at what to say in the introduction, which is where you explain why you’re writing the blog. Then Stephen talked about ending with a ‘call to action’. This is what you want the reader to do when they finish the blog. Stephen also talked about using headings to make the post easier to scan.
A blog about writing blogs. How meta! So – I began the piece by explaining what it’s about, am writing as I talk, have made the subject matter sound simple and have three main messages followed by supporting material. All that's left now is the call to action. What do I want you the reader to do? Why not improve your blog writing skills by writing for the SENSE blog? We're always looking for new input and it's a great way to spread the word about your business. Contact me if you're interested. For upcoming workshops see the SENSE events page.
Marianne Orchard is on the SENSE Executive Committee and an editor and writer for the SENSE blog and newsletter. She is a freelance translator (Dutch to English), editor and writer who specializes in creative texts.