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I've been wanting to cover online courses for some time now and I have some ideas held up in my sleeve, and today I'll bring a small mention that will be of interest to some of you. Online courses often make their money from people who pay for a certification, special access, tests, or further content. But a majority of them have a free access option that allows you to explore and absorb the general knowledge. That's the case with this one. There's this free online course on Future Learn called Working with Translation: Theory and Practice and it's basically a resume of what translation is all about. A lot of you are long-time translators already and have no need (or no interest) of such definitions, but some of you are just starting out and need some guidance, a proper understanding of the translation culture and industry, and want to know whether you really are a fit for this or not. The next session, as of the date of this post, is March 19 - 2018. Future Learn is an online courses platform such as Coursera and edX. They seem to have a nice variety of courses there. Maybe I'll talk about them in the future. Here are the topics the course is meant to cover: Definitions and metaphors of translation Varieties of translation, for example: phonetic, interlingual and cultural translation Translators in history The role of translators Professional ethics and codes of conduct Where translation takes place Writing a successful translation commission The nature of quality in translation So if you want to know what an online course is like, if you are starting out or if you want to decide whether or not you want to become a translator, this course might be for you. And if not, browse a bit their linguistic courses, they have some interesting ones popping up, such as Irish 101, Writing Better Emails, Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching, and Global Citizenship. And make sure to come back here and tell us what you thought of it after you take the course.
All Things Linguistics published an article promoting Madly Ambiguous, a linguistic game about tricking a computer's understanding of phrases through ambiguity. While nothing particular fancy, it can teach you a thing or two about ambiguity and also about how computers identify phrase structures (it does have a "tell me how you do it" section). Link to the game: http://madlyambiguous.osu.edu:1035/ What did you think of it? Learned anything of interest?
I was reading another post by Brian Oaster from Day Translations, one about how culture is important for you to understand language. Here are some snippets: That last phrase made me think again about how much that's true... I grew up with English surrounding me, and this have had a great effect on my behaviour and thinking. Not only so, whenever I swap from English to Portuguese, people get a different vibe from me. And knowing a lot of translators, I know I get different vibes from them as well whenever they switch their language spoken. Vova himself wrote about this in his post Demystifying the Russian Soul. In Brazil we have sweat pizza, with milk candy, brigadier, sugar, and fruits. Learning about where words came from I continue to have quite thrilling Aha moments. A great example is the word engine. Engine, as in motor, came from Portuguese. In Brazil, specifically, we had the engenhos, which were slave tillages in which they kept turning a large wheel to crunch and triturate the crops. The word was later on adopted and evolved into becoming a motor, very similar in principle. and even shape, back then. The military in Brazil (and likely everywhere else, as well) have very specific idioms and ways of speaking. It largely shapes how the people there thinks, and even goes as far as changing their personalities (when coupled with everything else). I'd say this bolded statement is the bottom line. Is it absolutely necessary to, beyond knowing the words, understand another culture in order to be a good translator? That's one of the discussions to be had on this. How do you believe that your language shapes your personality? And more, do you let this be transparent in your work output? @Virginia Monti, I believe you'll enjoy this share quite a lot.