Friday, June 3, 2016
My first presentation, which is currently scheduled for Friday, November 4th, 2016 at 3:30 pm, is on understanding language service provider contracts and the importance of having your own terms of service. Below is an abstract of my presentation:
Contracts: Friends or Foes?
I love this topic for several reasons. One, teaching colleagues how to decipher LSP / Vendor agreements helps freelance translators enter into more equitable business partnerships and creates a more balanced marketplace. Two, when freelance translators are more comfortable discussing and negotiating service agreement clauses and creating their own terms of service, it advances the profession as a whole, and I am a staunch advocate of industry professionalization. Lastly, I enjoy helping my fellow translators develop their business. Believe it or not, translation companies LOVE professional translators who treat each project like a business transaction, because that's what they are - business transactions. When a translator exudes professionalism from the outset, it makes project managers feel more comfortable about the translator's ability to deliver quality product in a timely manner, and they will come back for repeat business (as long as the translator really does deliver quality product in a timely and professional manner).
My second presentation, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 pm, is on international trade:
International Trade: A High Growth Market for Translators
International trade is a vital component of the global economy and a massive untapped market for
I have a particular fondness for this topic because it's a lovely confluence of my past and present. I learned an enormous amount about international trade in my former career as a trade compliance manager, and I love to share my nerdy love for international logistics with anyone who will listen. In all seriousness though, this sector truly has the potential to be a huge market segment for professional translators, but to achieve this, we all need to rally together and make the international trade community understand that they're doing themselves a disservice by choosing bilingual employees to translate their documentation rather than professional translators - because make no mistake - that's what many of them are doing. I know this from personal experience.
So come get nerdy with me in San Francisco at ATA's 57th Annual Conference! I hope to see you at one or both of my presentations!
For more info about the ATA 57th Annual Conference, visit http://www.atanet.org/conf/2016/
Posted by The Adorkable Translator at 1:01 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Sunday, January 31, 2016
As professional translators, we need to keep abreast of the latest information relating to not only our profession, but to our area(s) of expertise as well. There are many ways you can do this – being actively involved in translators associations is one way; attending conferences, workshops, seminars, etc. is also a vital component in honing your skills. However, you can also keep yourself au courant on a day-to-day basis using social media. A mere 10 years ago, Twitter was just a weird platform where teenagers wrote 140-character sentences to each other and no one really knew why, but now Twitter is a major source of information where an almost infinite amount of content is blasted out constantly, and where virtually every industry has a presence. What’s nice about this is that it is now very easy to stay informed of the latest news in both the world of translation and within your specialist area.
1. IFRS Foundation
The IFRS Foundation/IASB tweets about changes to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and publishes presentations and videos explaining new standards or amendments. This is a great resource if you translate the Annual Reports of companies that use IFRS.#IFRS Did you miss our live web presentation on the new Leases Standard #IFRS16 last week? It's still available here https://t.co/VPTSQLyl0T— IFRS Foundation (@IFRSFoundation) January 20, 2016
2. IFRS Demystified
— IFRS Demystified (@Ifrsdemystified) January 21, 2016IFRS Demystified posts about changes to IFRS regulations and the impacts that those regulations have on businesses around the globe.
3. Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
This is the official Twitter account of the the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. They post news and information about French financial markets. This is a great resource for FR<>EN financial translators.[Etude]Placements atypiques, trading en ligne, arnaques: découvrez l'étude de @institutCSA > https://t.co/KYbhovUWcq pic.twitter.com/37kVSKHmDq— AMF (@AMF_actu) January 27, 2016
4. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) tweets about international auditing, audit reporting, financial reporting, new accounting standards, etc.MT @BakerTillyInt IAASB publishes final amendments for auditor reporting standards on financial statements https://t.co/Yuhpdg4vbE— IAASB (@IAASB_News) January 23, 2016
5. Francesca Airaghi
Francesca Airaghi is an English to Italian financial translator who tweets about financial translation, accounting/finance/global markets, freelancing and general topics for freelancers. She's the only individual I have on this list, but her Twitter activity is practically tailor-made for financial translators and is definitely worth a follow.Financial Times Lexicon - The definitive dictionary of economic, financial and business terms https://t.co/5hJCAZymSl— Francesca Airaghi (@FranAiraghi) December 23, 2015
6. The Federation of European Accountants (FEE)
The Federation of European Accountants is an active organization that issues opinions on new European accounting standards. This is a good account to follow if you want to know how experts in the field are reacting to new and/or amended accounting standards and practices.FEE issues new briefing paper on the impact of Europe's audit #reform on #audit committees https://t.co/qIVASQhqFb pic.twitter.com/pRQ80QuIlI— FEE (@FEE_Brussels) January 19, 2016
7. The International Federation of Accountants
The International Federation of Accountants tweets about audit standards, ethics, the integrated reporting movement and other accounting topics.#Integratedreporting continues to grow momentum. Read what experts are discussing on the Global Knowledge Gateway https://t.co/ARGOHKdzVD— IFAC (@IFAC_Update) February 1, 2016
8. Accountancy Live
Accountancy live tweets news about taxes, accounting and audit for mostly the EU, but posts some US news as well. This Twitter account is a good source for industry news.IAS 7 amend to improve disclosure #financing liabilities - raises costs for preparers #accounting https://t.co/6sO85LD3vm @accountancylive— accountancy live (@accountancylive) January 29, 2016
9. World Economics
10. The FAF, FASB and GASB
The FAF (Financial Accounting Foundation), the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) and the GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) tweet under one handle (@FAFNorwalk). This is the go-to place for information regarding GAAP, as these organizations set financial reporting standards and accounting standards for organizations that use GAAP for their accounting.#FASB issues proposed improvements to financial reporting of #pensions and other postretirement benefit plans #opeb https://t.co/e5ZqtrSM5y— FAF, FASB, and GASB (@FAFNorwalk) January 26, 2016
11. Accountancy Age
Accountancy Age tweets about accounting news and analysis for mostly the UK, but they also post some articles about the rest of Europe and the US as well.FRC: Extended auditor reporting welcomed by investors: https://t.co/aSkvivyUZH pic.twitter.com/jl9J687LCJ— Accountancy Age (@AccountancyAge) January 29, 2016
I'm sure every financial translator who translates into or out of English has looked up a term on Investopedia at least once, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it is included in this list. Investopedia posts news articles about the economic/financial situation of countries and companies across the globe.
13. Compliance Week
14. Funded News
Funded News is pretty self-explanatory. They tweet about start-ups that have just acquired funding. If you want to do some digging and research to hunt for direct clients, this could be a good resource, as it can help you figure out which start-ups are ready for international expansion (and thusThis NYC Startup Just Raised $9.5M To Do This For Hotels: ALICE, has just raised a $9.5M, wi... https://t.co/Kc44eSWWmv #funded #startups— Funded News (@FundedNews) January 21, 2016
15. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Last, but certainly not least, is the International Monetary Fund. This Twitter account is a great go-to source of information on the global economies and information on efforts being made by the IMF to promote sustainable economic growth around the world.Historic IMF quota and governance reforms go into effect: https://t.co/dhvjn7pSKp— IMF (@IMFNews) January 27, 2016
This is not an exhaustive list - just some of my favorites that are very active on Twitter. If you would like to see all of the accounting/finance Twitter accounts that I follow, I keep them in a separate list here. Do you have any favorites that are not on this list? If so, let me know!
Posted by The Adorkable Translator at 11:49 PM
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Over the past six years, I have translated (and/or edited) hundreds of Annual Reports of publicly traded French companies that do business in industries ranging from telecommunications, the energy sector, logistics, food manufacturing, postal services, banking, advertising, television and film production, real estate, nursing homes – you name it and I’ve probably translated an Annual Report on it. While many might cringe at the thought of even reading a 600-page document that talks about a given company’s operations and financial results, much less translating it, I really enjoy it. I love learning about various companies’ operating models, how they motivate employees, CEO and Board of Directors compensation (my favorite part), what they consider to be risks to their business, internal control procedures, efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, etc. Over the years, while being neck-deep in talk of operating profit, BU synergies and Corporate Social Responsibility, I have noticed that cultural differences run deep, even in corporate communications. I could write an annual report-sized essay on this topic alone, but I don’t have time to do that (it is financial season, you know), so I am going to focus on what I consider the largest most glaringly obvious difference – how companies from France and the United States refer to themselves in Annual Reports. One thing they have in common is that buzzwords abound in both American and French Annual Reports, but how companies in both countries refer to themselves in writing differs quite a bit.
Let’s take a look at the US Social Media Giant, Facebook’s Annual Report. In the first four sentences of Part I, they say “Our mission is…”, “Our business focuses on…”, “How We Create Value…” and “Our top priority is…” The overwhelming trend in the United States is to make a company sound like a person. Endear people to the company. Engage with customers so closely that you feel like that company is a family member. When a company makes a mistake in the US, Americans react very emotionally to the situation– as if they were personally affronted.
In France, on the other hand, corporate management generally tries to separate the people from the company as much as possible. Rarely do I see a French Annual Report use the first person in their corporate communications and reporting. It’s always “The Group”, “its financial statements”, “its operations”, or the name of the company.
Six years ago, I attended my first financial translation-specific conference presentation, and the presenter, David Jemielity, a renowned translator in the field, implored us fellow financial translators to start translating French Annual Reports with “our” and “we” in English as opposed to “its”, so that financial translations would start sounding more natural to English-speaking audiences. His suggestion made perfect sense to me, so from that day forth, I set out on a noble quest to start convincing clients to let me have more liberty when translating pronouns in Annual Reports.
The result: almost every time I suggested that the client let me change “its” to “we” or “our”, their reaction was swift and forceful. THEY HATED IT. Almost all of them have responded immediately with a resounding and firm NO WAY. So my question is, why? What’s the big deal with a “we” and an “our”? What makes American corporate culture so different from that of France?
Coincidentally enough, just this afternoon, while browsing Twitter, a headline caught my eye. It said “Elon Musk says there’s ‘no such thing’ as a business”. I immediately had two simultaneous thoughts: 1) ‘Huh, cool, Elon Musk, let me read this real quick, this super genius always intrigues me’, and 2) ‘You know what, I bet this article directly pertains to the blog post I’m developing’; and sure enough, I was not disappointed. When being interviewed by Tim Urban of Wait But Why, Elon Musk said:
"I don't know what a business is." All a company is is a bunch of people together to create a product or service. There's no such thing as a business, just pursuit of a goal — a group of people pursuing a goal."
Combine the above attitude with actions such as the historic January 21, 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court Ruling, which upheld a corporation’s status as a person, thereby protecting Citizens United’s rights to free speech, and it’s no wonder American companies have no issue referring to themselves as a “we”.
The French, however, have a particularly impersonal attitude towards work, and they make sure that their personal lives are very distinct and separate from their professional lives. Additionally, their business etiquette has maintained a high level of formality that has been disappearing in the US. In France, you have to be very careful how you approach and talk to your superiors, you have to dress meticulously, and you have to maintain their formal and rather rigid salutations and writing style in any business communication. Perhaps these reasons at least partially explain French companies’ hesitation to embrace the exceedingly personal tone of American corporate communications.
I have seen a few pioneer French companies buck this trend, but they are still few and far between -at least in my experience. Maybe the recent boom in French start-ups and young French entrepreneurs will bring a breath of fresh and informal air to French business communications. I personally prefer American companies’ corporate writing style, so in the meantime, I will continue to fight the good fight and try to convince French companies to let me say “we”.
What say you on this topic, fellow financial translators? To those who translate into and/or out of different language pairs: do you experience these types of cultural differences in financial or business translation as well? How do you handle them?
"Shared Publication." Facebook 2014 Annual Report. 2015. Accessed January 16, 2016. https://materials.proxyvote.com/Approved/30303M/20150413/AR_245461/#/6/.
Dickerson, Kelly. "Elon Musk Says There's 'no Such Thing' as a Business." Tech Insider. September 3, 2015. Accessed January 16, 2016. http://www.techinsider.io/elon-musk-says-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-business-2015-9?utm_content=buffere8ef5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.
"Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n 558 U.S. ___ (2010)." Justia Law. January 21, 2010. Accessed January 16, 2016.
Posted by The Adorkable Translator at 12:06 PM