2015, a great and varied year for a young translator-copywriter

2015 was the year of truth for `PassaParola’. My first full year as a full-time, self-employed worker. Exciting times! And it was a very pleasing and varied year. Curious about the projects that passed through the office last year? Well, I’ll go into that in the annual report below. 2015 meant … A varied customer base One question came up frequently whenever I introduced myself: “Who are your biggest clients?” Well, most of my clients are active in the financial sector or in IT. So, a familiar and a new, emergent sector, respectively.…continue reading →

Maternity leave 14/9 – 18/10

Around 26th September 2015 I’m expecting my second child. As a consequence, I’ll be on maternity leave from 14th September 2015 till 18th October 2015 and from 9th November 2015 till 15th November 2015. Except during these periods, you can, as always, count on me for your translation and copywriting assignments.continue reading →

How to make sure you get a quality translation

Finding the right translation service provider for your documents can be a difficult job, especially when you don't master one of the languages concerned. Almost everyone will promise you a high quality translation. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? International standards for translation Big translation companies will refer to their conformity to an international standard. Most often it will be ISO 9001, EN 15038 or more recently ISO 17100. Few of them actually explain what these standards stand for. As for ISO 9001, it's an international standard regarding quality…continue reading →

Translation English to Dutch: Visit the Vatican

Discover one of the most beautiful and storied sites in the world with skip-the-line access to the Vatican. On this fantastic 3-hour tour you will see the Vatican Museums, the exquisite Sistine Chapel and the dramatic St. Peter's Basilica. Highlights: Skip the long lines to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, avoiding the long queues that can take up to 2 hours Tour in a small group that never exceeds 25 people Get expert commentary with complimentary headsets that can easily be heard even in busy and loud environments Count…continue reading →

Translation English to Dutch: South Sudan, one year later

As South Sudan celebrates its first Independence Day, citizens slowly reconstruct their towns and homes.For years, the South Sudanese village of Kanajak was deserted. Like so many other communities, it was caught in the crossfire of one of Africa’s longest running wars and its population fled north.When peace arrived in 2005, millions of displaced southerners began to return home. One of them is Adut Got, a 28-year-old mother of six who late last year decided to come back after living for 15 years as a refugee in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. “Everything was…continue reading →

Translation Animo’s women report, Dutch to English

Animo vrouwenrapportMaart is de maand van Equal Pay Day en internationale vrouwendag. Je kunt je dus verwachten aan heel wat columns of opiniestukken over gender en feminisme, al dan niet in de politiek. In 1991 waren alle 28 verkozenen van de toenmalige SP (nu sp.a) mannen. Je leest het goed: 1991. Vast staat dat vrouwen prominenter in de politiek aanwezig dan toen, of pakweg 50 jaar geleden. Vrouwelijke ministers nu zijn ook in ons land geen uitzondering meer. Freya Van Den Bossche, Ingrid Lieten of Laurette Onkelinx zijn hier maar enkele voorbeelden van.…continue reading →

Translation ‘Hands to be proud of’, Dutch to English

Handen om trots op te zijn Weet je wat me het meest intrigeert bij mensen? Hun handen. Handen vertellen het hele levensverhaal van hun bezitter. De mooiste zijn niet de gave, gemanicuurde handen die reclame naar voor schuift, maar werkhanden. De grote, eeltige handen die in een fabriek werken of de ruwe, droge die schoonmaken of zorgen. Ik lijk daarmee een buitenbeentje te zijn. Onze maatschappij verkiest de gave handen boven deze werkhanden. Om economisch te overleven gaan we voor een kenniseconomie die zich in België vooral concentreert op diensten. Als kind worden…continue reading →

Translation ‘Trafficking of Human Beings’ Dutch to English

Mensenhandel de wereld uit? Mensenhandel haalde de afgelopen maanden meermaals het nieuws. Wat is er aan de hand en wat wordt er tegen gedaan? De Verenigde Naties zette in 2000 een belangrijke stap in de bestrijding van mensenhandel door een internationaal geldende definitie voor mensenhandel op te stellen. Het Protocol ter Preventie, Bestrijding en Bestraffing van Mensenhandel omschrijft mensenhandel als “de werving, het vervoer, de overbrenging, de huisvesting of opvang van mensen, door middel van bedreiging of het gebruik van geweld of andere vormen van dwang, ontvoering, bedrog, misleiding, misbruik van macht of…continue reading →

Why you better stay away from cheap translators

I sometimes participate in discussion groups on translations to exchange views and experiences with colleagues. There are even specific groups on how to translate a word or phrase, when one can’t really find the right translation. Mostly, these groups concern technical or other very specific texts. Last week, however, someone asked how to translate “Renew X subscription.” This is a quite simple sentence, so people quickly responded. Surprisingly, the first person asks: “Should I write ‘hernie uw’ or ‘hernieuw’?” Clearly, she wasn’t a Dutch native speaker nor did she have a good knowledge…continue reading →

Stop gender violence!

Article published the PES Women & ECOSY Feminist Network Newsletter of 25th November 2010. Nowadays, in Belgium –and in other countries- it has become bon ton to speak about the end stage of feminism and of a new sense of femininity. One then often refers to the self-confident women in series like Sex and the City who serve as new role models for millions of women. When I think about it, it gives me the shivers. It’s not that I don’t like shopping or hanging out with friends. It’s more like: yes, we…continue reading →