The home stretch

I am very excited to have reached the dissertation part of the MA. I have decided to do an extended translation with commentary, as my dream job is to translate novels, and I have no desire to do a PhD. After January when the MA is finished I am torn between never studying again and learning a new language. I would love to learn Arabic and Mandarin, and also need to refresh my French and possibly German too as I only have that to AS level. I would also love to do a BA in environmental science. So many choices, so little time.

I have found a potential text and am waiting to receive a copy of it. I have already purchased the only other book by the same author that is currently available to purchase in the UK and will read that to learn something about his style. The results for the last course are due next month so, all being well, I should have a Diploma in Translation soon.


Subtitling – all kinds

I am now in part 2 of my Masters, and we are learning about subtitling. I have previously translated some subtitles for a TEDX talk, but had not really done any in-depth reading about it.  Well, after quite a bit of in-depth reading, today I got to attend an online tutorial with none other than the rockstar of audiovisual translation, Professor Jorge Diaz-Cintas. It was extremely interesting, and I was happy to hear that there is an area where the requirement for good translators and subtitlers is on the rise. I was also intrigued to learn that there is such a thing as “live subtitling”, which sounds like a great challenge, and am extremely happy to be learning a new and exciting skill.cropped-member-logo-mcil.png

AI Language?

Another Sunday spent studying – learning about research into translation studies, with the aim of understanding how to answer my EMA question – which is the exam marked assignment, indicating the end of my 1st part, which needs to be submitted by September 7th.   I cannot believe that I am so near to the end of my 1st part. 2 more to go after that, and then NO MORE STUDYING (maybe….I said that after my BA).

I learned how to do mind mapping today, very cool. I think I spent longer making that look pretty than reading – hope it works!! It is specifically aimed at answering the EMA, so at the very least it will be useful for referring to when it comes to writing it.  I also had an idea for one that will be personally interesting to me – I’m not going to share that with you until I have done the research – which may well not be until I have finished the MA – or may even form part of it.

I came across an article about AI learning its own language and was horrified that FaceBook shut it down! It’s fascinating that they veered from English because there was no reward for sticking to it. What do you think, should they have shut it down? Or let it learn and learn from it?

I read another article, in which it says “There’s another challenge: Machine learning makes sense of the world based on the information fed into it. That adheres to one of the fundamental rules of computing: garbage in, garbage out.” and thought “no different to people really, then”.

That reading adventure led me to another article which explains about another kind of language, and one that I don’t yet really understand – maybe my next area of in-depth learning after I finish this one!

Holiday in Seville.

I had a lovely week in Seville the week before last.  It is situated on the Guadalquivir river, or Wad Al Quivir, as I discovered whilst visiting the Roman ruins under the metropol parasol, or Las Setas, designed by a German architect, Jürgen Mayer, and claiming to be the world’s largest wooden structure. It is very impressive, and slightly surreal amongst the old streets of Seville.

I went with a vegan friend, and it was quite difficult to find a variety of things that she could eat.  She survived mainly on gazpacho, chips and salad. We found 3 places that had a little more variety, slightly different to the usual – one was Toc Toc Tapas, another was El Enano Verde, and the other was Puro & Bio which was our favourite as not only did they do rice milk ice cream (rice cream), they made great mojitos too.

El Alcázar de Sevilla is amazing, and a must. I can´t say the same for the horse and cart rides around the city.  I felt so sorry for the horses being plagued by flies and hanging around in the 48-degree heat for hours on end.

We really enjoyed the river cruise and the hop on hop off bus. A tip we were given by DJ who was selling the tickets, you can use it for 24 hours, so if you buy it at 4pm one day you can use it until 4pm the next day – and we were allowed to use it until 10pm the following day.

We went over to Triana one evening for some drinks and tapas with friends and had a lovely evening. That was when I spoke the most Spanish, and I really enjoyed it. So much so that we went back the following evening.

We went to a flamenco show (how touristy of us) at La Casa de La Guitarra which was excellent, with Pepe León El Ecijano, singing, Carmelo Picón on guitar (amazing) and a dancer. That and the evening in Triana were the best parts for me.

CAT tools

I have just finished my assignment on CAT tools and had to use MateCat as part of it.  I really didn’t expect to like translation technology.  I thought that they may make a translator redundant. However, I love technology in general, so it’s no surprise that I can see that I will also love translation technology in time and as I become better acquainted with it.

It does take a different set of skills though than human translation, as it is more like editing the machine output that actually translating the source text. I can see that it won’t be suitable for all types of texts either, as it won’t be able to cope with poetry or more literary texts. It’s quite difficult at first to get used to seeing the text in segments, and I noticed that my usual habit of reading the source text completely and then again as I am working through it, and pondering on what it means in context, how to approach it etc. didn’t happen when using the CAT tool, it was simply editing the English output compared to a very short segment of original text. It felt a bit like working on a production line. It will be useful for projects for marketing, and for clients who use specialist vocabulary though, as the translation memory will remember things so I don’t have to. Is that a bonus? Will it make me lazy?

How NOT to study

I have spent all day today (Sunday) playing catch up – as I have done absolutely no studying for ages. I have an assignment to be in by Thursday, so it has to be submitted on Wednesday as I am going to holiday to Seville on Thursday. Luckily I have taken all of next week off work, so I will have time to finish everything (just), but I remember doing the same thing last year to finish my BA – taking PTO in order to study and finish assignments.

It’s not a great way to do things. You feel as if you are constantly working (probably because you are), and all the times that you spent messing around and not studying when you knew you should feel like a waste, as you are giving up precious PTO to make up for it. I guess it takes as many hours as it takes, no matter when they are, spare time after work/weekends, or PTO. However, come Thursday I WON’T CARE about any of it for around 10 days as I am off to Sevilla!

¡Cuantas ganas tengo! ¡Qué emoción! Which reminds me of a song – for me it is about Spain (well, not all of it) 😉

Vieras cuantas ganas tengo