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About Mark

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  1. Mohamed, This is somewhat off-topic, but I encounter a similar quandary every few days when translating Japanese expressions referring to two parties or researchers or company departments who/that are working very tightly together on something. The work together is too intense for them to be "cooperators", but "collaborators" has in English a double sense similar to your word "ameel". As recently as 20 years ago it was a terrible thing in English to call someone a "collaborator", and that still persists to some degree in the US, but in Romance languages the cognate term is used so often that "collaborator" has begun to be used again, without any prejudicial meaning, in UK English, especially in scientific/medical circles. I cringe every time I use the term, but the fact is that people now are forgetting the older, negative meaning.
  2. I agree with Simon in that I have worked for a couple of agencies that went out of their way to make their clients believe that translation is _univocal_, i.e., that there is only one way to translate any given document from language A to language B. In other words, they want clients to get accustomed to receiving back translations that contain no doubts, options, or questions; if the translator indicates to the agency that what the client wrote is inherently ambiguous, then the agency staff will simply pick one of the options by chance and send it on to the client without letting him/her know that potential readers might well misunderstand what the client intended to convey. That is certainly the case with agencies that just started up to make money, but is less true for agencies that got their start dealing with languages (such as perhaps ABBYY). I sometimes muse that the slogans of one or more of the agencies that I have worked with should be changed to something like... PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE FOR TEXTS THAT DON'T MATTER
  3. There is no distinction made in Japanese, with the possible exception that instead of お客さん or 顧客, some will use クライアント (kuraianto, from English "client"). And, as Faustina pointed out, there is really only one term in Italian (see attached images). In English I prefer to use "client", as that is the term that serious firms use (e.g., in accounting, management consulting, and engineering) for those they have a relationship with. Hence "customer data management" (CDM) is a term used in reference to pricey software applications for dealing with large numbers of customers: there are large numbers of them because they are typically retail customers, and they need to be "managed" precisely because they have an annoying tendency to come once (buy once) and then vanish. That said, I do a lot of work for a large online agency that only uses "customer". That seems fine to me when you are talking about a college student submitting for translation a letter of recommendation for grad school, but it doesn't seem adequate in the case of an industrial manufacturer on five continents for whom you have done thousands of dollars of work over several years. When writing to the agency's support desk with questions, I often find myself inadvertently writing "the client" and then having to go back and change it to "the customer".
  4. Vova, that is a problem that I face almost daily, with every translation task that I get. In a webinar yesterday, Una said that translating is "intellectual work". That is true. The problem is that while translating is intellectual work, it usually is not intellectually _stimulating_ work. It is often no more stimulating than adding up columns of figures, and much less stimulating than crossword puzzles or games like Freecell. In other words, translation uses my mind, but only a part of it. And if I do not succeed in finding some question or issue (not related to translation) to revolve in the back of my mind, then the translation becomes tedious within 5 minutes, and within 15 minutes I am drowzy. I have tried desperately to push myself to keep going, but in most cases it is impossible for me to continuously translate for more than 15 minutes at a time unless I am kept awake and worried by a rapidly approaching deadline that is absolutely inflexible. Games and puzzles make a break in the tediousness, but they do not put anything into the mind, so as soon as I turn back to translating the clock is running again on how long I can go before I get bored, then drowsy, and then have to take a break again. I imagine that one way to fend off the boredom might be something like a live chat room for translators that one could drop into at any time, not to talk about how best to translate X in language A into language B, but to talk about translation in general, clients, billing, life, travel, anything but actually translating X into language B. I have only worked for agencies and have never had any contact with other translators, and what I had seen on ProZ and personal websites gave me the impression that translators are always striving to impress people and to put down or humiliate other translators (especially those who do excellent translations but lack formal translation studies/credentials or aren't expert on translation software). But in the introductory webinar for SmartCAT that you, Vova, hosted on January 12, I discovered that other translators (at least around SmartCAT) are rather normal people who are not trying to elevate themselves and tear down others. So a 24-hour chat room with such people might be a decent way to relieve the boredom, especially when translating at night (as I have to begin doing again a few minutes from now, for a job that needs to be submitted online by 5:10 A.M. and not one minute later).