Move the World with Words Podcast
In early 2019, Smartling set out on a mission to move the world with words and shed light on the hidden figures behind global commerce: translators. We flew a photographer around the world to capture translators in their element and wrote a book to highlight their journey to, and throughout, the localization industry.
Now, we’re going even further - collaborating with localization professionals from all walks of life to chat about their view of our global industry. The Move the World with Words Podcast features translators from around the world, localization industry experts, Smartling leaders, and more. The first 30 episodes were recorded at ATA60 in Palm Springs. Follow along to hear their stories come to light.
Season One Recap
We’ve come to the end of season 1 of the Move the World with Words podcast. We’ve talked to dozens of translators, interpreters, and transcreators from all over the world, and all over the industry. And it's been an awesome ride.
Table Tennis & The Beatles w/ Ella Wexler
It can be really easy to paint a particular group of people with a broad brush. All engineers have a hard time with people. All artists are cerebral and in their own heads all the time. And while there may be a shred of truth to some of those assumptions, for the most part one can’t label an entire group of people in any certain way.
Translating in a Black Box w/ Eugenia Tietz-Sojolskaya
What do you do when you have to translate with no context? When you have a job to do, but perhaps you’re working with an agency, and you don’t know how your translation is going to be used. Or where it’s going to be used. Or who is going to be accessing it. Unfortunately, it’s part of the job, but that doesn’t mean that it ever gets easier.
A New Kind of Birth: From Midwife to Translator w/ Julie Burns
If you’re a parent, you know there are few things more beautiful than watching a child come into the world. One minute, they’re not here. And the next, the new reality is one that includes them. It’s this respect and awe of the miracle of birth that actually led Julie Burns into the world of translating & interpreting.
Dreaming in French: Falling in Love with Language w/ Meghan Konkol
Do you dream in a different language? Most of us don’t even think twice about the language we dream in, but on a recent episode of the Move the World with Words podcast, we talked with Meghan Konkol about just that.
From Children’s Books to Patents
What makes a high school student pursue a career in translation? For Jennifer An, it was a move with her mother. Jennifer says, “We were watching a Korean drama, and the English subtitles were so terrible. I looked at my mom and said, ‘I could do better than that.’”
The Difference Between Translation & Transcreation
We’ve all read them. Translations that are dry, lifeless, and to be honest, kind of boring. Maybe it’s the fault of the original text. After all, medical or legal translation can only be so creative. But every now and then, someone like Delfina Morganti Hernández comes along and breathes fresh air into the industry.
Interpreting for the Vulnerable
The doctor’s office is a vulnerable place. It’s like going to the car mechanic. Nobody goes to the doctor because they enjoy going to the doctor. Typically, they go because something is wrong. Now imagine you’ve got to go to the doctor and you don’t speak the language.
3 Key Things to Know if You Want a Career in Translation
We’ve talked a lot on the podcast about how the translation industry has changed. Over the course of the last 35 years, it’s evolved in ways that we never would’ve thought possible. But one thing that never changes is the need for translators.
Location, Location, Location
What are the two most important pieces of a quality translation? More than anything else, these 2 pieces will take your translations from blah to brilliant. From flat to phenomenal.
Defeating Imposter Syndrome as a Translator
Let’s talk about qualifications. As a translator, specifically one that’s ATA certified, you’re incredibly qualified. You’ve got to go through a lot to get that certification. But what do you do when you start to doubt those qualifications?
A Translator’s First True Love: Poetry
Poetry is the language of love. There are so many things that are hard to say, and so they are said with poetry. And so many writers and poets will tell you that they don’t know what they think or what they are trying to say until they write it down.
Why Technology Should be Embraced, Not Feared
What technology are you resisting? 30 years ago, translators were using typewriters, and hesitant to make the jump to computers. 10 years ago, those same people were hesitant to utilize CAT tools. Now, what are translators hesitant about today?
The Invisible Translator
Translators should be invisible. Not in a “Harry Potter cloak” sort of way (though that would certainly be handy at times.) But in an ideal world, the translator’s work should fade into the background, and it should appear as if there was never a translator at all.
Translation & Pilates: A Match Made in Heaven
As translators, we spend a lot of time sitting.
At our desks, at coffee shops, at conferences, in the car, or on airplanes. Most of our job is sitting. So it should come as no surprise that a lot of us would end up with posture problems. Chronic pain in our backs, necks, shoulders, and joints.
It all Started with a Pen: The Love of Language
It all started with a pen. Do you still use a pen to write? Not a cheap, dollar-store pen, but a proper pen. There is a weight to the words when you use a proper pen, like a Mont Blanc, to write words on a sheet of paper. They mean a little more than they normally would.
A Student’s Perspective on Translation
We’ve talked to a lot of professional translators on the Move the World with Words podcast. One demographic we haven’t spoken with, at least not yet, is a student.
Is there anything Machines Can’t Do?
Machines can do all sorts of incredible things. They can turn on your lights, set your heat, or give you directions in the car. But can you rely on them to translate?
Working for Free: A Translator’s Passion
What’s that old saying? Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life? Most people will tell you that that quote is misleading. Of course you can love what you do, but it’s still work, right?
Context is King
Context is king. But so often, particularly in the world of translation, translators are asked to translate without any context.
Transcreation: What Is It?
Transcreation. Wait, what? Are we just inventing new words now? Not exactly...
Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few.
When you’ve been in the translation business for nearly two decades like Dagmar Jenner, mistakes are bound to happen. Because translation isn’t an exact science. It’s an art form.
A Teacher’s Take on The Translation Industry
Alan Campbell might spend his time these days teaching and training the next generation of translators, but his background proves that he has a wealth of experience.
Machine Translation: It’s Not the Enemy
Are you sharing what you’re learning? And if not, what’s holding you back? We sat down with Dr. Hadeer Aboelnagah and she discussed why sharing your learning is the most crucial element to translation.
The Bright Side of Working with a Translation Agency
We talk a lot on the Move the World with Words podcast about freelancing. An awful lot of translators have made a very respectable career out of freelance translating. But it’s not without its headaches.
Why You Need to Master Both Speaking and Writing
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” The prolific author Joan Didion said that, and nowhere is that more true than in the world of interpretation and translation.
Making the Connection: Cultural Clarity in the Nordic Languages
We talk a lot on the Move the World with Words podcast about translation. Obviously. But what happens when you’re a translator for a part of the world where a LOT of English words and phrases just simply don’t translate?
A Coat is Never Just a Coat
Those that can’t cook pastries, translate. That’s not how the saying goes, but in Liza Tripp's case, that was exactly what happened. She left after chocolate, but before wedding cakes. It wasn’t until graduate school that she found Denise Jacobs, and began a partnership that would take them both places they never dreamed.
A Past ATA President Gets Free Time
Wake up. Put on your fuzzy slippers, and walk down the hall to your home office. Fire up the laptop, pour the coffee, and settle in for the day. Sounds like the ideal work situation, right? Not for everybody.
The Human Side of Translators
What do you do when you encounter a word that you need translated? Odds are, you open the Google Translate app on your phone and get your answer, right? It’s quick, easy, and will get the job done. But no matter how good machine translation gets, there’s one thing it lacks. One thing that it will never have. Humanity.
Interpreters: The Unsung Heroes
When was the last time you thought about an interpreter? Odds are, unless you’ve been arrested in a foreign country and needed a good court interpreter, it’s probably been a minute. Right? But Judy Jenner is out to change that.
The Life of a Professional Interpreter
When was the last time you cursed in front of a judge? If you’re Pency Tsai, and your job is to be a full-time language interpreter, it probably happened more recently than one might think.
Staying Connected to the Language
Portland, Oregon is a predominantly English-speaking city. In fact, most of the Pacific Northwest is anchored pretty solidly in English. So how does a freelance Spanish-to-English translator stay connected to the language? In a part of the country where it would be very easy to get by with English, how do you stay sharp?
How Two Translators Are Taking Brands’ Messages to Latin America
We know very little about the farmer who grows our coffee beans. We’re probably not entirely sure how our clothes are knit together. We may not know the engineer who designed our smartphones. But here at Smartling, we’re on a mission to uncover the lives of at least one contributor to global commerce — translators.
Why You Should Listen to Move the World with Words
Translators have a tough job. When you spend your life and career helping other people tell their stories, you often don't get the chance to tell your own. To let the world know that you’ve got things to say as well. That’s where the Move the World with Words podcast comes in.