FLD Continuing Education Series – Episode 11: Translations That Pop

Welcome to the 11th episode of the French Language Division’s Continuing Education Series. In today’s episode, long-time host Angela Benoit welcomes Andie Ho as co-host for the first ever “Translations that Pop” episode. Listen to brilliant translations by our members and friends and hear Angela and Andie’s thoughts on each piece of text.

 The co-hosts wish to thank those who contributed their work to this episode:

 Mary Lou Bradley

Website: www.mlbtranslation.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mlbtranslation/

Twitter: @mlbtranslation

Dominique Jonckers

Website: www.jonkersandpartners.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonkersandpartners/

Natalie Pavey

Website: www.nptranslations.com

Twitter: @nptranslations

Theresa Shepherd

LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-shepherd-6914b62/

Angela Benoit

Website: www.angelabenoit.com

Twitter: @angelacbenoit

SOUNDCLOUD: You may access Episode 11 and other podcast episodes on SoundCloud here. On SoundCloud, you can listen to the episode in your browser or download a copy of this episode directly to your computer.

ITUNES: This episode and the entire podcast series are also available on iTunes. On iTunes, you can subscribe or stream the podcast.

 

Quatorze ans d’industrie pharmaceutique plus tard, ou de l’anglais au créole

by Priscilla Tuernal-Vatran

Titulaire d’une Maîtrise de Langues Étrangères Appliquées (Anglais-Espagnol) obtenue à l’Université Paris Sorbonne (1982), complétée par un Master 2 LEA Management International des Assurances de l’Université Paris Nord obtenu en septembre 2015, j’ai longtemps été salariée. Il y a quatre ans, j’ai décidé de quitter la région parisienne pour me réinstaller dans mon île natale, la Martinique.

Nouveau virage professionnel : je quittais le confortable statut de salariée pour endosser l’habit de traductrice indépendante.

Le 1er février 2017, j’ai fêté mes trois ans d’entrepreneuriat. Je fais de cette expérience un bilan tout à fait positif.

Je traduis essentiellement de l’anglais vers le français, mais également de l’espagnol vers le français.

L’anglais a été le fil conducteur de ma carrière, je l’ai utilisé à tous les postes que j’ai occupés. J’ajoute que l’anglais me passionne depuis mon tout premier cours de 6ème, à l’âge de 10 ans.

J’ai connu plusieurs tournants dans ma carrière professionnelle. À 40 ans, je me suis retrouvée intérimaire pendant 8 mois dans une entité publique qui gérait sa fermeture. Une collègue proche de la retraite m’a conseillé de considérer l’industrie pharmaceutique et m’a surtout expliqué l’intérêt de cette industrie. J’ai suivi ses recommandations et c’est toujours en qualité d’intérimaire que j’ai accepté une mission dans ce secteur d’activité, pour le compte d’un laboratoire pharmaceutique. J’étais recrutée en tant qu’assistante pour seconder un chef de projet clinique dans la préparation d’un audit de la Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sur un centre en France, dans le cadre d’une étude clinique internationale multicentrique. Ce chef de projet a pris le temps de m’expliquer l’étude, et surtout de répondre patiemment à toutes mes questions, sur les essais cliniques en particulier, et sur la recherche clinique d’une manière générale. De mon côté, j’ai lu nombre d’articles sur ces sujets. Je découvrais un domaine d’activité que je ne soupçonnais absolument pas.

Au bout de trois mois, j’ai eu une proposition en CDI, en tant qu’assistante. J’avais un peu l’impression de recommencer ma carrière à zéro, mais j’ai joué le jeu. Je suis restée 10 ans dans ce laboratoire pharmaceutique, au département médical.

À la suite d’un plan social, je suis brièvement retournée à l’enseignement dans une structure associative, puis je suis revenue à l’industrie pharmaceutique, outsourcée au service Marketing d’un autre laboratoire, où j’ai passé un an.

En août 2010, j’ai été contactée par un cabinet de recrutement pour un poste à pourvoir dans une CRO (Contract Research Organisation, société sous-traitante de laboratoires pharmaceutiques pour la conduite d’essais cliniques). J’y ai passé 3 ans.

Lorsque j’ai quitté la région parisienne pour me réinstaller à la Martinique, mon projet professionnel était clair : être traductrice indépendante.

Dans le cadre de mon plan marketing pour la recherche de clients, j’étais inscrite sur le site de plusieurs agences de traduction, sans succès jusqu’au jour où un gestionnaire de prestataires situé à Barcelone m’a contactée. Il recherchait un traducteur d’anglais … en créole … connaissant la recherche clinique … J’ai été contactée par le biais de mon profil LinkedIn.

Le contexte de formation

Pratiquement toutes les études sur lesquelles j’ai travaillé étaient des études internationales. Dans un premier temps, j’ai démarré sur une étude portant sur la Maladie d’Alzheimer (MA). J’étais rattachée au Groupe Thérapeutique Système Nerveux Central. Ceci m’a permis de découvrir des pathologies telles que l’Accident Vasculaire Cérébral (AVC) ou le traumatisme crânien. Par la suite, je suis passée au Groupe Thérapeutique Métabolisme, Hémophilie et Diabète. Enfin, j’ai rejoint le Groupe Thérapeutique Anti-Infectieux et Maladies Tropicales, Dysfonction Érectile, Oncologie et HIV.

En tant qu’Assistante de Groupe Thérapeutique, j’étais chargée de la préparation des dossiers de soumission au Comité de Protection des Personnes (ou Comité d’Éthique). Ces dossiers regroupent les documents de démarrage d’une étude, à savoir Protocole, Résumé de l’Étude, Brochure de l’Investigateur, Formulaire d’Information et de Consentement Éclairé (FCE), Cahier d’Observation (dossier de suivi médical du patient tout au long de l’étude). Pour les études internationales, tous ces documents étaient rédigés en anglais et l’un de mes rôles consistait à faire la liaison avec les agences de traduction pour la traduction en français.

Une fois l’avis favorable du Comité de Protection des Personnes obtenu, il convenait de préparer 2 réunions de lancement de l’étude.

La 1ère, la Réunion Investigateurs, regroupait tous les investigateurs nationaux et internationaux ainsi que les infirmiers d’étude, toutes ces personnes étant chargées de la bonne conduite de l’étude dans les centres.

La 2nde réunion se déroulait avec le personnel interne au laboratoire et rassemblait l’équipe projet dédiée à une étude spécifique. Elle était animée par le Chef de Projet Clinique, responsable en interne de la conduite de l’essai.

Les documents de l’étude étaient soigneusement présentés au cours des deux réunions.

Ma formation

Tous les documents administratifs d’une étude me passaient entre les mains. Étant curieuse de nature, je prenais le temps de les étudier en version anglaise et française et c’est ainsi que, petit à petit, j’ai constitué mon glossaire de recherche clinique. Le poste d’Assistante de Chef de Projet Clinique m’a permis de maîtriser tous les documents de la recherche clinique, jusqu’au rapport de fin d’étude et aux publications et présentations de résultats, en passant par les déclarations d’événements indésirable graves (effets secondaires graves).

J’ai travaillé en particulier sur le Formulaire d’Information et de Consentement Éclairé. Ce document est fondamental pour le patient qui participe à un essai clinique. En effet, le médecin investigateur l’utilise pour expliquer au patient potentiel l’objet de l’étude et l’intérêt qu’elle peut présenter pour lui, tant sur le plan médical que pratique. Une fois le patient convaincu de l’utilité de l’étude pour lui-même, il signe le document et donne ainsi son consentement écrit pour rentrer dans l’étude.

La traduction de ce document est donc cruciale, même si elle l’est pour tout document à traduire. Il convient de fournir des informations précises au patient qui souffre d’une pathologie particulière. On doit lui indiquer combien de temps il sera traité, par quel type de produit expérimental, à quelle fréquence, à quels examens il sera soumis, quel est le rapport bénéfice-risque, quels effets indésirables il peut potentiellement développer, quelles précautions particulières il doit prendre.

De plus, la formulation doit s’adapter au public visé, en particulier pour les études portant sur des sujets enfants. Selon le cas, on tient compte de la maîtrise de la langue d’un enfant de moins de sept ans, d’un pré-adolescent ou d’un adolescent presque majeur.

Le 2ème type de document sur lequel j’ai longuement travaillé est le Contrat de Recherche Clinique. Je devais rédiger les contrats pour les prestations des intervenants, à savoir établissements de santé, médecins investigateurs, membres des comités scientifiques des études, et tous les contrats annexes avec associations de recherche médicale, et prestations spécifiques (laboratoires d’analyses biologiques, médecins spécialistes comme par ex. radiologues, anatomopathologistes, etc.). J’ai exercé cette fonction pendant 3 ans au sein du laboratoire puis encore 3 ans dans une CRO. C’est dans la CRO que le pont entre le contrat, la maîtrise de l’anglais et la traduction française a pris tout son sens. Tout d’abord, comme je travaillais pour la filiale française d’une société irlandaise, tous les contrats étaient bilingues, mon contrat de travail stipulait d’ailleurs que je devais fournir des tâches de traduction. Et très vite mon supérieur hiérarchique s’est appuyé sur moi pour la révision des contrats types.

Ce poste impliquait la maîtrise de plusieurs paramètres. D’abord la nécessité de tirer parti du Résumé de l’étude pour établir le contrat. En effet, ce document contient non seulement les obligations des parties selon le déroulé de l’étude, mais également l’annexe financière qui regroupe toutes les procédures et examens médicaux que subiront les patients.

Dans la CRO, je faisais partie d’une équipe dédiée pour un laboratoire américain. J’étais donc l’interface entre la cellule financière aux États-Unis et les établissements de santé. Plus d’une fois, j’ai dû décrocher le téléphone, négocier le dépassement de budget demandé par un établissement de santé et justifier les coûts poste par poste. Il fallait donc maîtriser le vocabulaire concerné car pas question de bégayer !

Les autres sources de formation, le réseau

Outre la formation acquise par mon expérience professionnelle, je dois souligner le rôle incontestable que joue internet avec, d’une part les dictionnaires en ligne, d’autre part toute la littérature médicale, les revues spécialisées, les registres d’essais cliniques français et étrangers, les sites internet des laboratoires, des associations médicales ou de patients pour se documenter sur des études similaires à celles pour lesquelles on traduit, les pathologies, les stratégies de traitement.

Ainsi, récemment j’ai été confrontée à la traduction de documents concernant l’allogreffe et les chimères homme-animal. Voilà deux sujets dont je n’avais jamais entendu parler. Mais à force de taper des mots-clés dans les moteurs de recherche, j’ai pu me renseigner sur le sujet et remettre une traduction aboutie.

En outre, les liens d’amitié que j’ai conservés avec plusieurs anciens collègues me permettent de contacter quelqu’un lorsque je ne suis plus sûre du terme consacré dans telle ou telle situation. Il suffit d’un courriel ou d’une interrogation sur Messenger pour avoir rapidement la réponse.

Enfin, mes amis et les membres de ma famille médecins et pharmaciens sont également de précieuses aides.

Le bilan

J’ai donc travaillé 14 ans en recherche clinique et depuis 2 ans maintenant, je suis prestataire d’une agence de traduction. Je traduis essentiellement 2 types de documents, les formulaires d’information et de consentement éclairé et les contrats de recherche clinique. Il m’arrive aussi de traduire des caractéristiques de produit, parfois des résumés de protocole pour certaines pathologies que je connais bien, ou de la documentation portant sur des dispositifs médicaux, lorsque je m’en sens capable. En revanche, je ne m’aventurerais pas à traiter une Brochure Investigateur ou un Protocole !

Je tire un bilan très satisfaisant de cette collaboration. En effet, je peux utiliser une compétence que je maîtrise. Traduire pour l’industrie pharmaceutique est en quelque sorte l’aboutissement de mes 14 années d’expérience professionnelle dans ce secteur d’activité. Cette collaboration m’apporte des demandes de prestation tous les jours, mais je ne suis pas tenue de répondre favorablement à toutes les demandes. Elle me permet aussi de réaliser 40% de mon chiffre d’affaires à l’international, hors de mes petites frontières locales. Pour diverses raisons, je limite mon chiffre d’affaires avec cette société et je n’ai pas accepté le contrat d’exclusivité qui m’a été proposé lors de la signature de mon contrat de prestation.

Ainsi, l’on peut traduire pour le domaine médical sans être médecin de formation. En revanche, je suis persuadée que l’expérience acquise en recherche clinique a été déterminante dans le fait que je traduis pour l’industrie pharmaceutique car, sans cette expérience, je n’aurais pas été contactée et de mon côté, je n’aurais sans doute pas pensé à cette niche.

Priscilla Tuernal-Vatran’s passion for the English language first, and then for other languages, has guided her career and helped her form unforgettable friendships. She can be found at http://www.traducteur-vatran-martinique.fr and https://www.linkedin.com/in/priscilla-tuernal-vatran-643439a.

Wait for Your Pitch—Growing Your Translation Business by Turning Down Work

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by Stephanie Strobel

At the 2017 ATA conference, I attended a great session on specialization and expanding into technical markets. Thank you Lebzy González, Nick Hartman, Karen Tkaczyk and Matthew Schlecht. The panelists pointed out that there is more than one way to become a technical translator. Perhaps you studied language and translation and landed a position with a technical company, or you trained yourself in technical language by reading lots of journals or, maybe, you had a technical background and you decided to trade in your calculator and apply your linguistic muscles to technical translation as a second career.

After you obtained your technical expertise by whatever appropriate means, the next step in becoming a specialist is to just do it. Just specialize. How do you decide what you want to translate? As recommended in the book Simple Abundance, one way to figure out what you want, is to make a list of what you don’t want. I have such a list—while I will accept work that may have some legal, some financial, some chemical, or some life sciences in it, I won’t agree to translate a hand-written medical record, a pharmaceutical patent or—god forbid—a financial report. That still leaves me with a wide array of subjects I am willing to translate: aerospace materials, aeronautics, cement making, aluminum smelting, automotive, medical devices, the list goes on. In fact, I’m still working on narrowing my specialization even more.

Back to the title of this article, yes, actually, turning down work helps you grow your business. There’s more than enough work to go around—billions of dollars annually. So wait for your pitch. Here, watch me: a client contacts me about a heavily chemical project. Will I spend my time killing myself, doing tremendous research on a tight deadline when I know that Karen Tkaczyk can certainly translate it better and faster without a hair out of place? Nope. I tell my client, “This isn’t within my area of expertise, but I can recommend a great translator for the job. Please keep me in mind for the next project.” With great thanks, the client rushes off to hire Karen. Of course, Karen nails it. And I get high marks from my client for being honest and resourceful. Plus, I’ve done Karen a favor which she may return in kind. The client does contact me later with a project that’s right in my sweet spot, and Karen does indeed refer a great client to me. Repeat the process with her and others and I get more work in my specialty—true story.

This brings me to the ATA divisions. What better place to find people to refer work to? As I mentioned, I don’t translate every technical subject. Furthermore, I translate only French into English. Not Italian, not Spanish, not Japanese and not German. This is where the connections made in ATA’s divisions are useful. I keep an eye on the questions and answers that come up on the email groups for the ATA SciTech division and for FLD and on the FLD and SciTech Facebook pages. That’s one way I get an idea of what people do and who is helpful. That information is useful when I need to make a referral outside my language pair or my expertise or for English to French inquiries.

Attending sessions at the ATA conference also increases my confidence in my division colleagues. Over the years, I’ve referred an Italian to English patent translation, a German to English environmental translation, a French to English financial translation, even an English to Portuguese software translation to professionals I’ve met at ATA conferences or through the email lists. That doesn’t even count the French to English technical translation work I’ve referred to others I met the same way.

By all means, feel free to take on a stretch project now and then. But just like in baseball, there’s a sweet spot in the strike zone; wait for your pitch and you’ll get a great hit.

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Stephanie Delozier Strobel is a Pennsylvania-based Mechanical Engineer turned French translator who studied French along with Engineering at Drexel University.

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Winner of the S. Edmund Berger announced

At the 58th ATA Conference held last month in Washington, D.C., Dr. Bruce Popp (pictured below) was awarded the S. Edmund Berger Prize for his translation of Henri Poincaré’s classic work Sur le problème des trois corps et les équations de dynamique, thus achieving one of his goals of making Poincaré’s classic accessible. Bruce himself gave us a glimpse into his process in a previous À Propos article here.

We are proud to have one of our very own FLD members receive the prestigious award and would like to congratulate Bruce on his hard work and success!


Photo by Lebzy Gonzalez

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The French Historical Present Tense

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by Bruce Popp

As professional French-into-English translators, we commonly encounter the French historical present tense in meeting minutes and reports of clinical cases written by doctors. In these documents, the writers use the present tense (and thereby avoid repeated use of the passé composé and imparfait) to describe events that occurred sometime earlier. To my mind this can seem like some kind of historical reenactment. “We are standing next to the village green in Lexington. On one side Capt. Parker is steadying his company of colonial militia and on the other the vanguard of the King’s Own 10th Regiment of Foot is marching into sight.”

We deal with the French historical present tense by translating it into a past tense in English. This reflects how the corresponding documents would be written in English by a US native speaker. “The patient, a 58-year-old female, was seen in the emergency department.” “The meeting was called to order and the minutes from the previous meeting approved.”

I recently encountered a couple examples where the people preparing the translations failed to recognize and correctly handle the French historical present. Let me start by explaining the context in which I encountered these errors and then showing them to you.

After translating one book by Poincaré and signing a publishing contract, I wanted to continue my relationship with Poincaré so I started to look at what to translate next. I decided to look at an article he wrote in 1905. An enormous amount has been written about this article comparing it to one published in the same year by Albert Einstein that became the recognized foundation for the theory of special relativity. (I’ve looked at some of these comparisons; they read like a description of a tennis match: Einstein said there’s no ether and Poincaré said the ether is undetectable, but the two statements amount to the same thing? 15-15.)

There are in fact three published translations of this article by Poincaré from 1905. So far I’ve only looked at two; I’ve been too cheap to pay for a copy of the third article. I quickly realized the both translations had a mistake in their translation of the first sentence.

The first sentence in Poincaré’s article is, “Il semble au premier abord que la lumière et les phénomènes optiques et électrique qui s’y rattachent vont nous fournir un moyen de déterminer le mouvement absolu de la Terre, ou plutôt son mouvement, non par rapport aux autres astres, mais par rapport à l’éther.”

In the translation by SW, this sentence reads “It seems at first that the aberration of light and related optical and electrical phenomena will provide us with a means of determining the absolute motion of the Earth, or rather its motion with respect to the ether, as opposed to its motion with respect to other celestial bodies.”

In the translation that appears in a book by CWK, the sentence reads “It would seem at first sight that the aberration of light and the optical and electrical effects related thereto should afford a means of determining the absolute motion of the earth, or rather its motion relative to the ether instead of relative to the other celestial bodies.”

The next two sentences (still written by Poincaré in the same tense) refer to two experiments respectively by Fresnel in the 1870s and Michelson in 1887 that tried to use “un moyen de déterminer” and produced conclusive, negative results. Therefore, historically Poincaré while writing in 1905 was describing an idea that might have been held in the late 1860s, but was no contradicted by experiment.

Despite this historical clue, the people providing these two translations failed to realize that Poincaré was using the historical present tense. I translated the sentence as, “On first consideration it seemed that the aberration of light and the optical phenomenon associated with it were going to provide us a means for determining the absolute movement of the Earth or more accurately its movement, not with respect to other stars, but with respect to the ether.”

Bruce D. Popp, Ph.D. is a French into English scientific and technical translator.

Review: Translate in…/On Traduit à Québec

by Jenn Mercer

This year’s Translate in Québec/On traduit à Québec was the 8th in a traveling series of FR<>EN translation workshops focused on craft. This series, which began as a small workshop in the Catskills, has since been held in such varied locations as Cambridge (U.K.) and Chantilly (France). This is only the second one I have been able to attend and, mostly coincidentally, both have been in Québec.

Before I get in to the benefits of attending the Translate In/On Traduit À workshop itself, I must confess that visiting Québec is one of my guilty pleasures. I love going to France, and the joys and advantages of full immersion are irreplaceable, but… there’s something to be said for the convenience and vocabulary-building exercise of having bilingual versions of everything everywhere.

Can you believe the hotel actually apologized for the construction? My fellow translators and I were delighted by all of the detailed architectural terminology—value added! Photo credit: Jenn Mercer

However, even for those who are not language geeks, Québec is lovely and Vieux Québec was well worth the many hikes I took down and then back up to the hotel. To put the altitude changes in perspective, there is a funicular at one point and many of the staircases are named to reflect their history, but also the fact that they are a durable part of the landscape.

Nevertheless, the point of the translation workshop was to learn more about the craft of translation and it did not disappoint. Each day started with bilingual sessions featuring quick tips: Allô Docteur Termino/The Word Doctor were led by pairs of translators including Ros Schwarz, Marc Lambert, François Lavallée, Lillian Clementi, David Warriner, and Marie-Christine Gingras. These sessions were brief, but packed in so many tips, it would be impossible to summarize them here. Even the reverse sessions provided valuable tips and I quickly stopped worrying about the translation direction.

For the first two of the three days, this was then followed by a Traduel/Translation Slam with the texts provided to attendees in advance. On the first day, this was in English to French and then the second day was French to English. Again, I found myself so caught up in the myriad of choices involved in meaning and expression that I feel I got as much out of the EN>FR as I did from the FR>EN slam. If I were to offer any criticism it would be that in most real-world situations, a client would be expecting a text that stayed closer to the source. However, the looser approach taken by the duelers made for an excellent conversation starter.

After these appetizers, we got into the main course of the workshop—the single direction translation sessions. If you have attended other sessions led by Grant Hamilton or Chris Durban at ATA or another conference, you will have an idea of their style, but all of these sessions were entirely new and well worth the journey.

Grant Hamilton presented on “The Writerly Translator,” in which we got to roll up our sleeves to improve our writing skills. This was a great cross-training exercise and fit well into a theme I noticed in the workshop overall. Many of the sessions were not so much about coming up with a list of terminology, but reshaping our brains in a similar way to how higher level math allows you to “see” equations.

Chris Durban’s presentations on “Reporters in the Crosshairs” and “Helping French Companies Control The(ir) Story” used different approaches to present the responsibilities of a translator and to get a better view into the expectations of some very different target markets. The presentation on French Companies in particular was an interesting example of how the different expectations in French and English business culture call for not just translation or even transcreation, but the creation of documents that may not have even existed in the source language.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one of Ros Schwarz’s two sessions, but it is hard to complain about having too many options. The session I did attend, “The Sound of Music,” concentrated on writing well—regardless of how mundane the subject may be. Schwarz encouraged us to both concentrate on the basics of grammar and to free our minds and let our innate creativity take hold.

Although I cannot report specifically on Ros Schwarz’s literary translation session with François Lavallée, I did attend a session with this same pair during a previous “Translate In/On Traduit À” event and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of having an experienced literary translator translating under the eyes of the author himself—no pressure! In fact, Lavallée was very easy to work with and provided valuable insight into his text, and the group work generated great discussion material.

This was the first time I had attended a session by David Warriner and I enjoyed the two sessions he presented and his contributions to the French>English Translation Slam. His first session was on “Premium Tips for Translating Insurance.” Warriner included both a structural overview of the translation market in Québec and the rest of Canada, as well as its repercussions on the terminology used. I found this fascinating, as I worked for years at a U.S. insurance company where everything is regulated per state. He provided a treasure trove of resources and did his very best to make insurance entertaining.

His second session, “Sailing Close to the Wind: Creativity Under Pressure,” used his experience with a very fast-paced racing event to show techniques for maintaining quality on a tight deadline. Rather than go into the minutiae of boating terminology, he emphasized the importance of knowing a field inside out before entering a premium market. His focus was on writing well when you do not have the luxury of sleeping on it or going through a thousand drafts. For a presentation based on knowing a lot about a niche industry, his tips were generally applicable and very useful to any translator.

Next, I decided to attend Lillian Clementi’s session on “Connective Tissue: Crafting More Readable Translations.” This is the one session where FR>EN translators had to make a decision on which session to attend. It is a testimony to how well-targeted these session are that this was incredibly difficult. Nonetheless, I enjoyed Clementi’s session, and translators I spoke to were happy with their choice regardless of whether they chose this or the literary translation session with Schwarz and Lavallée. Her session was on those little connecting words and the difference between how French and English use these words. It was a refreshing approach and I can see myself using the list of helpful words we developed quite often.

The last day of the workshop was structured a bit differently with a longer joint session instead of the quick tips and slam/traduel pattern. The best way to describe this might be to start with the names of the sessions in French and English:

  • FR: À contre-courant, pour des traductions encore plus idiomatiques
  • EN: Switch Hitting for More Idiomatic Solutions

Which of these titles is the original? Does it affect how you would approach their translation? In this session, Grant Hamilton and François Lavallée led us in tackling translations of difficult and highly idiomatic texts with one simple twist—our “source” text was actually a translation. After we wracked our brains, they would show us the actual source. I think we hit upon the actual phrase only once, which shows how many “correct” answers a translation dilemma can have. In all, it was the perfect grand finale to an inspiring workshop.

The theme running through all of these sessions was that of becoming a better translator, by seeing both of our languages in a new way, understanding our clients, and writing well in any language. This workshop is very different from the ATA conference. Because of this, I would hesitate to say whether one was better than the other, but I would say that every FR<>EN translator should try this at least once. You may very well get hooked.

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FLD Continuing Education Series – Episode 10: State of the FLD Fall 2017

Eve, Jenn, Angela - L to R
Eve, Jenn, Angela – L to R

Welcome to the tenth episode of the French Language Division’s Continuing Education Series podcast.

The main focus of this podcast is the craft of translation (English > French and French > English). It also provides a forum for the Division Administrator and Assistant Administrator to give a State of the FLD address. The purpose of this episode is to let members know what is happening with the FLD.

In today’s episode, FLD Administrator Eve Bodeux and FLD Assistant Administrator Jenn Mercer join Angela Benoit for the third State of the Division episode (episode 10 of the entire series). Get the latest on all things FLD, including a sneak preview of what your Division is planning for the upcoming the 58th American Translators Association Conference to be held in Washington, DC in October 2017.

List of links mentioned in this episode:

SOUNDCLOUD: You may access Episode 10 and other podcast episodes on SoundCloud here. On SoundCloud, you can listen to the episode in your browser or download a copy of this episode directly to your computer.

ITUNES: This episode and the entire podcast series are also available on iTunes here. On iTunes, you can subscribe or listen online.

 

FLD Meet-Up at the 58th ATA Conference Being Held in Washington, DC in October 2017

French Language Division Mixer/Meet-Up

When: Thursday, October 26, 2017 – from 6 to 7 pm

Washington, DC – The Sidecar Bar (at the conference hotel, the Washington Hilton)

In addition to the official FLD dinner, the French Language Division will also be holding an informal mixer/meet-up at the Sidecar bar at the conference hotel, on the Thursday evening of the conference. This informal event does not require reservations and the only cost is what you order at the bar.

Take advantage of this opportunity to meet your fellow FLD members in a relaxed environment, check in with old friends and make new connections. Feel free to drop in to this casual event for a few minutes or stay for the entire hour. This will also be a great place to organize your own dinner with FLD colleagues if you are unable to attend the official dinner.*

*This year’s official FLD dinner will be on Friday, October 27, 2017, at 7 pm and must be reserved and paid for in advance. See the FLD website for more details: http://www.ata-divisions.org/FLD/index.php/2017/08/15/fld-dinner-ata58/. Please be aware that we do expect the official dinner to sell out.

FLD Dinner in Washington, DC for ATA’s 58th Annual Conference – Sign Up Now!

FRENCH LANGUAGE DIVISION DINNER AT ATA’S 58TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The French Language Division’s dinner at the Washington, DC conference will be held at La Tomate Italian Bistro. We hope to see you there!

We expect this event to sell out. 

WHEN
Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE
La Tomate Italian Bistro
1701 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202)-667-5505
https://www.latomatebistro.com/

MENU

~ SALAD – you will choose one of the following: Mozzarella over Vegetable Caponata – OR-  House Salad

~ ENTRÉE – you will choose one of the following: Fusilli – OR – Pork – OR – Salmon

~ DESSERT – Tiramisu

Note: Drinks are not included.

PAYMENT AND RESERVATIONS

Price: $56.00 per person and this includes three-course dinner, tax, and gratuity.

NOTE: All non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages will be the diner’s responsibility and are *not* included.

Payment for the dinner must be made in advance by PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/us/home) to andie.n.ho@gmail.com and received, on or before Friday, October 9, or before the event sells out.

Please select the “send money to friends and family” option so that the FLD is not charged additional PayPal fees.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not provide refunds. You may sell or give your ticket to another conference attendee to attend in your place. If you do so, please notify us of the update, but the FLD does not provide refunds once a spot for the dinner has been purchased.

TRANSPORTATION

From the conference hotel, the Washington Hilton, La Tomate Italian Bistro is a 10-minute walk, one mile
along Connecticut Ave NW. For those who’d like to walk as a group, we’ll meet up in the conference hotel lobby at around 6:45 p.m.

QUESTIONS?

Contact us at divisionfld@atanet.org.

Review of Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary

ata-fld-newsletter-logo

Review of Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary
French-German-English
German-French-English
Thomas L. West III, JD

Review by Anne Goff

Mr. West’s new dictionary is the first trilingual dictionary focused solely on Swiss legal terms. This dictionary includes Swiss civil law, criminal law, constitutional law, debt collection, bankruptcy, and corporate law. It is divided into two parts:

  • Swiss French – Swiss German –American English translations, followed by a list of 108 French abbreviations commonly found in Swiss legal texts,
  • Swiss German – Swiss French – American English translations, followed by a list of 144 German abbreviations commonly found in Swiss legal texts.

Both lists of abbreviations include many one- and two-letter abbreviations. What frustrated translator has not learned to loathe these abbreviations after multiple fruitless Internet searches?

The approximately 5,750 entries in each section are laid out in columns with all three languages side by side as pictured below.

Where terms differ from their non-Swiss French or German counterparts, the corresponding term is noted after the Swiss term. For example:

  • actions liées (F : actions à cessibilité restreinte) / restricted shares, shares with restricted transferability
  • boiler (F : chauffe-eau) / hot water heater
  • case postale (F : boîte postale) / post office box
  • corps de chauffe (F : radiateur) / radiator
  • décharge (F : quitus) / “discharge” of the board of directors
  • droit dispositif (F : droit supplétif) / non-mandatory legal rule (one that can be contracted out of)
  • écolage (F : frais de scolarité) / tuition fees
  • place de travail (F : emploi) / job
  • servitude foncière (art. 730-744 CC) ( F : servitude prédiale) / easement that runs with the land
  • soustraction d’impôts (F : évasion fiscale) / tax evasion

As exemplified in the entries above, this dictionary includes quite a few non-legal terms that often appear in legal texts.

Trickier terms include a brief note of explanation. For example:

  • postulat / parliamentary motion asking the government to legislate (as opposed to a motion requiring the government to legislate, cf. motion)
  • poursuite / debt collection (legal action to enforce payment in cash or the provision of cash coverage by a debtor who fails to meet his payment obligations)
  • préfet / Chancellor of State (representative of the Cantonal Government responsible for the administration of the district)

I particularly appreciate that many terms include the precise section number of the relevant Swiss Code or Act in which they can be found. Context is key, and in legal texts, having the appropriate context is extremely important. For example:

  • prélèvement sur les biens de l’enfant (art. 320 CC)
  • présentation d’une lettre de change (art. 1011 CO)
  • divorce (art. 111 CC)
  • divorce pour rupture du lien conjugal (art. 115 CC)
  • comptabilité commerciale (art. 957 CO)
  • concentraction d’entreprises (art. 4 LCart)
  • circonstances personnelles (art. 27 CP)

The Swiss government has published unofficial English translations of major Swiss codes. Some of these translations may differ from those in this Swiss law dictionary. The unofficial Swiss government translation uses British legal language instead of American. Those translating into British English should be aware of this difference, but those translating into American English will appreciate this detail as it is often difficult to find non-EU resources for European language source texts. Some differences include:

  • court of appeals (instead of court of appeal)
  • railroad (instead of railway)
  • plaintiff (instead of claimant)
  • disability (instead of invalidity)
  • labor (instead of labour)

This focus on American English is not surprising since Mr. West earned a BA in French and English from the University of Mississippi summa cum laude and an MA in German from Vanderbilt University. After earning his JD at the University of Virginia School of Law, he was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1990. Having practiced law for five years, he began his own translation firm, Intermark Language Services Corporation, specializing in legal and financial translation. This background is important in a field so full of potential pitfalls.

According to Mr. West, much of the terminology in TERMDAT appears to come from a French-to-German legal dictionary published in 1950 and compiled in the 1940s, and is thus very outdated. Mr. West’s law dictionary includes language from the new uniform civil and criminal procedure codes that took effect in 2011.

This is particularly significant since prior to 2011, there was no uniform legal code for Switzerland as a whole, and terminology varied greatly between cantons. It is important to note that the old terminology is not included in this dictionary. In the wake of the 2011 linguistic uniformization, Mr. West has published a translation dictionary that applies to contemporary legal language across all of Switzerland.

I believe this Swiss law dictionary will be a beneficial resource for translators working with French-language legal texts.

PURCHASING INFORMATION:

Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary
French-German-English
German-French-English

By Thomas L. West III, JD
Intermark Language Publications

ISBN: 9781929570034
© 2017

Available at: https://www.createspace.com/7087174

$59.90

510 pages

≈5,725 entries

6 x 1.2 x 9 inches

1.9 lbs.

Reviewed by Anne Goff

Anne Goff is a French-to-English translator and professor at California State University Sacramento.