Category Archives: Rambling & Smartassing

Some random thoughts from an overworked translator/interpreter/PM

Too much hygiene is not good for you. Keep your brain unwashed.


I’m in favour of using gender-neutral language wherever it makes sense. When I’m feeling particularly brave I’ll even use singular they. Yeah, I do that.


I happen to know what a language register is. And most of the time I know which one fits best. But I reserve the right to have some fun with them when an opportunity arises. I’m a professional translator and I need to do this from time to preserve my sanity.


I’m more brave than polite and I’ve been doing my best to reverse that order since I was a teen. So please bear with me; I’m getting there. Slowly.


Sticks and stones. Holds true for me. Though I try not to presume other people feel the same.


Still, I do think people are becoming way too sensitive. It’s funny in a way. Apparently we can ignore the worst kind of things going on in the world.

(And the flat next door – not that I’m particularly in favour of spying on one’s neighbours, but come on! They beat their kid to death and nobody heard or knew anything?!)

But when we hear or read something that even slightly offends our sensibilities we’re suddenly in our battle mode. C’mom. Save your fighting spirit for things that actually do matter.


The best way to unwind after a day of being surrounded by folks too darn sensitive for your taste is to call some of your most politically incorrect (and probably quite intelligent) friends over and enjoy a session of gallows humour.


Follow your own advice. Or at least consider abstaining from giving it to others oh-so-willingly. Unless you really enjoy people laughing behind your back.


A wise thought I found in one of those e-mail forwards, “If something I said can be interpreted in two ways, and one of them offends you, I meant the other one.” Adapted for interpreters it would read, “If something your client said can be interpreted in two ways, and one of them might offend the other party, please do choose to convey the other one.”

The people you’re interpreting for will have enough opportunities to get into a fight if they want to; they don’t need your help with this.


If you think a language is not pretty, you might consider firing your translator.


A CAT tool is like a smart person who occasionally does something incredibly dumb. When you least expect them too. The problem is their blunders are much more likely to fly under your radar than those made by not-so-bright individuals (as perceived by you).


A word of advice to fellow translators: find someone to check your translation if you’re just learning to use a new CAT tool.


CAT tools are pretty much like high heels. They keep you on your toes for reasons already mentioned. With them you may seem more attractive to passers-by.  But only those who’ve tried wearing them will understand what a nuisance they can be.


A word to end buyers. Be nice to your language project managers and send them some flowers sometimes. You have no idea, and I mean no idea what they have to go through to get you your perfect translation (more or less) on time.


Pa še ena domaca: Boljš prav cajt zajebat kot pa prepozn prav nardit.