Upcoming workshop: How to Improve Interpreting Skills for Health Care Interpreters [3 hrs.]

Instructor: Judit Marin, California Certified Medical Interpreter [bio]
Date: Thursday, September 11th, 2013 Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Fee: $65.00 per person
This course is pending ertification by the Judicial Council of California to claim CIMCE credits. Certification number CIMCE # TBA

1. Memory skills

2. Note taking

3. Sight translation

4. Asking for clarification

5. Cultural clarification

6. Role-Plays:

  • Diabetes
  • E.R
  • Pre-natal care
  • Psychiatry

Sign up now on our registration page to guarantee your seat in this course.
Enrollment is limited!

Upcoming workshop: Medical Terminology (English < > Spanish) [3 hrs.]

Instructor: Judit Marin, California Certified Medical Interpreter [bio]
Date: Saturday, October 26th, 2013 Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Fee: $75.00 per person
This course is pending ertification by the Judicial Council of California to claim CIMCE credits. Certification number CIMCE # TBA             

Description coming soon.
Sign up now on our registration page to guarantee your seat in this course.
Enrollment is limited!

Upcoming workshop: The Business Side of Translation and Interpreting [4 hrs.]

Instructor: Francine Kuipers, Director of The Berkeley Language Institute [bio]
Date: Saturday, October 26th, 2013 Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Fee: $55.00 per person
This course is certified by the Judicial Council of California to claim CIMCE credits. Certification number CIMCE # L2756

Our 4 hour workshop is an introduction to the business world of translators and interpreters. It covers the following topics:

  • Terminology: translator, transcriber, consecutive and simultaneous interpreter, voice talent, etc.
  • Certifications
  • How to market yourself and network
  • Trade associations
  • Employee vs ‘Outside’ Contractor
  • Continuing education
  • Cost and turnaround estimates
  • Contracts
  • Protocols
  • Code of ethics

This seminar, conducted in English, applies to anyone interested in becoming a professional translator and/or interpreter.
Sign up now on our registration page to guarantee your seat in this course.
Enrollment is limited!

The Guardian article: Between the pear and the cheese, combing the giraffe is a monkey sandwich story

Here is an interesting article by Gary Nunn for the Guardian.

It was my French flatmate who alerted me to the clunkiness of British idioms. She taught me tenir la chandelle the eloquently captured French idiom for the third wheel on a date. The image of a third person holding up a candle while two lovebirds enjoy a dimly lit dinner is perfectly rational. You can imagine Miranda Hart doing it for Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The English equivalent – playing gooseberry – is frumpy and seemingly obscure. The etymology is less allegorical here: the “gooseberry” is the unwanted guest; it was once synonymous with the devil, or a bored chaperone idly picking bitter fruit while two lovers sneak off to expose a daring bit of ankle to one another in a nook of the orchard.

Guardian article

Said French roomie fell victim to my idiomatic mischief making. She was still learning metaphorical phrases when The Inbetweeners was on TV. After some drinks, I told her the outrageously crude phrase used by the randy teenage boys in the series – “frothing at the gash” – meant you were starving. I came unstuck weeks later when, in front of mutual friends waiting for dinner to be served, she remarked: “I am so ‘ungry, I am – ‘ow you say? – frothing at my gash!”

No wonder, then, that in a recent book exploring the quirky world of international idioms the French ones are the best. Idiomantics, by Philip Gooden and Peter Lewis, lists each peculiar idiom by thematic category alongside its host country. They range from bonkers to richly evocative. A fine example of the latter is avoir un coeur d’artichaut – to have the heart of an artichoke. It means to be fickle in love – as the artichoke heart has several layers.

Read the whole article by Gary Nunn on the Guardian’s website:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2013/jan/04/mind-your-language-idioms

How cultural differences impact our communication and the way we do business with foreigners

Culture is one of the factors that determine the way people think, act and interact; and it is composed of many layers. Some of them are obvious, such as customs, arts, food and celebrations. Others, such as social status, body language, social interaction, sense of humor, concept of time, or even the definition of insanity, aren’t as noticeable.

The iceberg is often used as a metaphor to define culture: the external part directly visible above the “waterline”, with the much larger part hidden under the surface. Doing business with foreigners is about understanding this hidden part of their underlying culture.

cultural iceberg

Every country has a specific inherent culture, which can vary from one region to another. Anthropologist Edward T. Hall introduced the concept of high and low-context culture, as well as the use of personal space by individuals within a culture.

High-context cultures, which include many Asian, South American and African countries, value society and collectivity. Group harmony and intuition are important concepts. Context is more valuable than words themselves, and much of the meaning of speech is implied. Body language, eye behavior and even the use of silence are valued means of communication. In low-context cultures, however, facts, descriptions and precision of words are considered a lot more important than context. Logic is also given more credit than intuition and society tends to be individualistic. It is customary to speak out and explain one’s point of view in detail.

As culture influences behavior and one’s reaction to a given situation, it is a primary element of communication in general and even more so in a business environment. Doing business with foreigners is particularly delicate: It can differ from one culture to another and what is customary in one country could be considered extremely rude in another one needs to be aware of the other person’s culture when a transaction is at stake.

Business etiquette, negotiations and even contracts (the latter of which, in some countries, are a sign of distrust), are just a few of the numerous business practices that are influenced by culture.

In the high-context Chinese culture formality is very important and hierarchy is a big part of the culture. It is therefore especially important to take these cultural aspects into consideration when doing business with China. Part of the business etiquette is to hand out or receive a business card with both hands, and it is considered rude not to look at it carefully before putting it away. In some countries, negotiations cannot take place before socializing, drinking tea or coffee or having a meal.

 Business in China

It is essential to get acquainted with all these practices before a business trip or a meeting with foreigners.

Hiring a language company for your business translations or interpretations will facilitate your professional interactions. It can prevent deal-breaking faux pas and other mistakes, and ensure a strong, successful long-term business relationship with your foreign collaborators.

Trained bilingual and bicultural experts will help you with the translation of important documents and interpretation at conferences or meetings. Accent on Languages works with the best language professionals and can be a valuable partner for all your linguistic and cultural needs.