All posts by LocalConcept

How can we thrive as leaders and human beings during the COVID-19 pandemic?

By | news, Uncategorized | No Comments

We all have gone through a crisis before, but nothing like the coronavirus pandemic. This one differs in many ways from other crisis – it is a global crisis, with long-term and multifaceted repercussions. The pandemic has already disrupted financial markets, brought to a halt the movement of people and goods around the world, canceled sports seasons and restricted international flights. It is dominating both private discourse and public policy, and the virus still continues to spread with no solution in sight. The COVID-19 is definitely a unique type of crisis. So, how can we thrive as leaders and human beings during these times?

Managing uncertainty in COVID times


  • Consider the situation from all perspectives

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of business operations. Leaders have the responsibility to help their teams understand how factors changed so that the company can respond more efficiently. Part of this responsibility is to review the company’s processes with self-criticism and exemption. Adapting to the new corporate management guidelines involves change of plans, modernization and often, digitalization of the means to access and share information.

  • Communicate constantly

During COVID-19, communications should be frequent to keep a clear and effective channel in the entire organization. This allows for collaboration and flexibility as events unfold, making sure people have access to relevant and respectable information sources. A constant flow of communication in your organization helps establishing protocols on who communicates what and by what channels, and also with balancing the need for transparency with the prevention of litigation risks.

  • Meet each group of stakeholders

In crisis, employees need to feel secure about their jobs. Customers want to be sure about the safety of goods and services. Suppliers want to know if they will be paid and the prospect of future orders. Investors want to follow financial trends and patterns closely. With the uncertainty and the situation rapidly changing, companies must monitor how stakeholder sentiment is evolving. Consider how the communication is going and adapt the message if needed. Among tactics and stakeholders, is it essential to communicate in a way that shows empathy and leadership.

  • Act quickly, effectively and empathetically

In such a critical and complex situation as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to feel challenged to determine the right path to follow.A crisis response plan may already be in place for a cyber breach, natural disaster or accident at work, so leaders may be more ready than they think. As the pandemic continues to occur, the most important thing is to keep the situation at the forefront and lead in a timely, thoughtful and empathetic manner. In the words of Betsy Atkins: “What people will remember is how you behave in a crisis”.


By Patricia Sobue

San Diego, I miss you!

By | blogpost, Culture | No Comments

San Diego, you are America’s finest city. Your weather continues to be at a perfect shorts-and-t-shirt temperature. Your 70 miles of beaches spread out uninterruptedly. You are an integral part of thousands of surfers’ lives, who now dream about you, as they are only allowed to enjoy you from afar. The never-ending dispute between the local La Jollans about human rights and the rights of the seals is a moot issue. Funny, though, the seals keep peeking over to get a glimpse of any human activity on the beach. I miss the runners, the bikers, the hikers, and the kayakers. I miss the traffic. Yes, the traffic. It proves that we are all enjoying San Diego. The Naval aircrafts are receiving no attention. Downtown at night, a normally bustling fun and happy-go-lucky place sits empty with the ghostly sound of silence. Our skyline lights up an empty bay. Oh, how much I want all of this to end; I will cherish you more than ever then.

If you’re thinking about moving to San Diego, all of the above is a fat Lie. Cost of living is second to none, and you need to spend a minimum of $100 per year on sunscreen.


Confronting the Coronavirus from a Cultural Perspective

By | Culture | No Comments

The coronavirus is affecting people on a global level. However, the way each country has been treating it says a lot about their culture.

Let’s start with China, where, as we know, COVID-19 got its start. Chinese government both controls and censors the media. In 1975, Typhoon Nina claimed the lives of close to a quartermillion people. There was no mention anywhere in the press about this tragedy. It was as though nothing had happened. The government silencing anything that may destabilize the community has happened again, but this time, at the center of it is the coronavirus.

It took Beijing weeks to acknowledge this virus even existed. Once the Chinese masses realized that, in fact, a virus existed, officials had to decide what to say. They could admit to the government mismanagement and blame their superiors, or they could stay silent. The decision is obvious: choosing political loyalty over people’s safety. After all, Chinese culture is all about saving face.

The second major country to be affected by the coronavirus was South Korea. In contrast to most other cultures, South Koreans did not rush to the store to stock up on essentials, including toilet paper. They remained calm. Travel was only restricted to people coming from the epicenter of the virus in China, the Hubei region.

The South Korean government had a well-planned strategy for fighting this invisible virus: testing, closely monitoring the affected, and daily press conferences from the disease control and prevention agency. Citizens avoided crowds, closed businesses, and postponed unnecessary meetings without needing the government to force it upon them. Plus, masks are already part of daily life for many South Koreans.

So, what does this say about South Korean culture? It reinforces the idea that its citizens are prepared for sacrifice and self-discipline without government intervention.

And then there’s Italy. What cultural uniqueness can we find about the Italians that has made them more vulnerable? According to the University of Oxford, Italy has the second oldest population in the world, and the young tend to be close to the elderly, like their grandparents. It is not uncommon for younger generations to live with their parents, grandparents, or both.

The qualities that make Italians stand out from many other cultures is the love for affection, kissing on the cheeks, touching, the desire to be in close proximity to each other, and the desire to always be out socializing. These cultural traits have helped the virus cross-contaminate more than it has, for example, in China, or the US.

In Spain, the prime minister’s wife tested positive for coronavirus. Anyone would expect both he and his wife would not leave their house during a self-quarantine, right? Pues no. He went to congress as if no virus existed at all.

The Spanish culture is similar to that of Italy. Both tend to maintain closer distances with whomever they are talking with. They also tend to include the elder in their daily lives as well. While in the US your home is your castle, Spaniards love to be out and about for most of the day.

If you walk through most Spanish cities just before lunch or dinner, you have to navigate through thousands of people marching as they had a purpose, somewhere to be, when in reality, they are just enjoying walking. No wonder Spain had to enforce a government imposed lockdown so the coronavirus would not infect Spaniards on the streets.

Originally, Spaniards were not prepared to change their ways for the greater good. Why? Because cultures like the Italian and Spanish base their identity collectively. They identify by being part of a group. Spaniards are also obsessed with their finances. Even before the coronavirus, Spain’s unemployment numbers were one of the highest in Europe.

What is in the mindsets of Spaniards now? The number of unemployed in Spain rose to 3.5 million in March. This figure does not include temporary layoffs or laid off workers who have not yet filed for unemployment. A study conducted by Funcas between March 16 and March 20 shows a 9.1 point importance out of 10 regarding concern about the economy, compared to an 8.9 rating regarding concern of having been infected by the virus.

Finally, let’s praise Americans for following social distancing protocols. Compared to Italians and Spaniards, Americans were following social distancing before this phrase even existed. The other day I saw a lady carrying a yard stick just to make sure no one got within 6 feet of her.

However, while China, Italy, and Spain proved they were dealing with a pandemic, the US first dismissed coronavirus. Days later, the US decided an extreme situation called for extreme measures. Flights to and from Europe were to be halted. Lockdown has now been mandated for almost every city. For sure, high density cities like New York and San Francisco would benefit from this action. Others where people live far from each other and no one walks or comes into regular contact with others may not benefit as much from this measure.

Americans are entrepreneurial by nature. They maintain an individualistic and have an “I’ll do it my own way” kind of attitude. Americans don’t look at a group to make a decision. Every American makes his or her own choices. Culturally, this was reflected in how Americans reacted to the virus.

They protected themselves. They rushed to the store for basic needs. They are not about to look at a social-centered strategy, but at what is best for them individually. Individual rights are paramount. For example, gun stores refuse to close their doors taunting a constitutional right to bear arms.

I always say that culture plays a role in everything we do, and culture is playing a role in the coronavirus scenario. I do wish governments talked about the cultural aspects before passing down rules or laws.

Writen by: Michael Cárdenas, President

Local Concept

Six Traditional Chinese Words that don’t have an English Translation

By | Culture, Translation | No Comments

Unlike alphabetical languages such as Spanish and French, the Chinese language is a writing system that is composed of over 50,000 characters. This logographic writing system gives access to visual representations of objects and concepts. This makes the language both difficult to translate, and less precise than its counterparts. Here we present six examples of Chinese words that are hard to translate.

撒嬌 (sā jiāo)

Little girl holding flower

Leo Rivas via Unsplash

Whiny, to seek attention in a childish but lovely way.
This is an act particularly practiced by a grown-up female to her partner. It is considered as a way to show the side of her feminine character.

面子 (miàn zi)

Woman holding rose

Giulia Bertelli via Unsplash

Surface (literally), referring to dignity or self-esteem.
For example, I was just pretending to understand the conversation in French in order to save face (保全面子, bǎo quán miàn zi).

風水 (fēng shuǐ)


ROOM via Unsplash

Feng shui, known as Chinese geomancy.
The term literally translates as “wind-water”. By orienting buildings and furniture, it’s practiced bolster the harmony between individuals and their surrounding environment.

緣分 (yuán fèn)

Many hands together

Tim Marshall via Unsplash

Fateful coincidence, an interactive concept that describes good and bad chances and potential relationships.

Sometimes, it’s simply translated as “destiny”, “fate” or “luck” with a focus on the relationship two people or objects share.

幸福 (xìng fú)

Yellow book named happy

Josh Felise via Unsplash

A state of being satisfied and content with life especially when with families and significant others.

It can be simply translated as “happiness” depending on the context.

孝順 (xiào shùn)

Two elderly people sitting in their chairs

Elien Dumon via Unsplash

Filial piety, a virtue of respect for one’s parents that is commonly praised in the Chinese community.

It includes but is not limited to being a loving, dutiful and caring child, as well as being responsible for the well-being of one’s parents.

Written by: Yijen Lu, Project Coordinator at Local Concept. 

Pain-Free Client Reviews

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Pain-Free Client Reviews

By Michael R. Cárdenas

I lied when I created this title. Client reviews just like any other type of reviews are never easy but here are some strategies that can ease the pain.

Set Expectations

What kind of quality are you looking for? Did I hear you say you always expect perfection? That’s fine. However, some clients might have different quality standards. For instance, a high visibility project, such as a marketing or advertising campaign, needs to be just right. I would also strongly suggest instructions on how to launch a parachute be correct.

Some other types of projects like creating a service manual for a washing machine may have more flexible quality requirements. I would first agree on general quality terms such as “perfect,” “good,” “unacceptable” and “acceptable.”

Now comes the tricky part: How do you match these quality definitions with the actual translations? For a large part of my career, I’ve tried to come up with a formula to define these quality standards. I could write a book on this topic and let you read it, but I’d have to charge you.

I would suggest that you define errors as either objective or subjective. For example, a subjective preferential bias towards one way of translating when there are two equally correct ways to translate is subjective. Whereas, a mistranslation is objectively an error, no matter which translators you consult with.

Errors also should be weighed depending on the nature of the mistake. For instance, at Local Concept, we look at several determining factors:

  1. Accuracy of translation: Does the translation convey the intended message?
  2. Grammar and spelling mistakes
  3. Local differences: Are local requirements being taken into account? (i.e. local telephone numbers)
  4. Consistency: Is the glossary used throughout the translation?

Once you have identified all of the types of errors, you can provide a different penalty to each one.

I would also suggest a holistic approach to client reviews. By holistic, I mean each of the stakeholders in the project – the client, the client reviewer, and the agency – need to share a goal to work toward together to create the best translation possible. This is the most challenging part of client reviews.

Let me speak to each stakeholder and provide areas where each one tends to make things challenging and ways to ease the pain.

Understand the Basics

The job of a client reviewer is an important one. Most of the time clients look to anyone in their company who speaks a second language to handle this task. If such a candidate does not exist, some clients ask anyone who has visited the country, where they speak the language, or a restaurant from that same country.

Here are some basic requirements for a good reviewer. They must have:

  • excellent grammar skills;
  • subject matter expertise;
  • a working knowledge of translation memory, and lastly;
  • time to perform their work.

Clients need to understand that translations are not an exact science. Through a collaborative effort, clients will be able to create the proper tone, terminology, and branding no matter what locale or language.

Errors will undoubtedly be made. When issues arise, everyone should take note, and have a plan in place to make sure these same errors don’t resurface. The focus for the team, when difference of opinions or errors in a translation comes up, is not to place blame, but to look to executing the best strategy going forward.

Once this has been achieved, you can better recognize which process changes need to be improved upon, based on the root cause of the problem. Clients should be somewhat patient while the review process is being finely tuned. Once this has occurred, then clients need to be less forgiving to errors.

Before making a change to a translation, make sure it’s necessary. Since this change will have to be made in the entire database, (no, you can’t just do a simple search and replace) you need to review each sentence that contains that word.

Finally, client reviewers should be tested in a timed environment. This is not common practice in our industry, but you can only make sure your reviewer is good if they pass a test. The test should include three different skills. 1) Knowledge of the subject matter; 2) A marketing piece that tests creativity even though creativity may not be required. You want out-of- the-box thinkers and a marketing or advertising piece will pick up on this skill.; 3) Lastly, they should edit someone’s work so you can see whether they perform a rewrite.

Identify Client Reviewer Stereotypes

Now it’s time to go over the most popular reviewer stereotypes out there.

The “I need to earn my pay” reviewer

This reviewer feels he/she needs to make as many changes as they can in order to substantiate their role. Even when asked to focus on the errors, they end up delivering a rewrite. They’re more concerned with having their changes all over the document, than making only what’s required. These reviewers can’t usually be coached and end up costing clients time and money.

The “It’s my way or the highway” reviewer

This reviewer doesn’t want to hear anyone’s opinion. They have an ego that barely fits through a door. When challenged, they don’t bark, they bite. In translations, often times, there is no right or wrong strategy. For instance, for an eLearning course for Hispanics working at a fast food chain, where they’re taught food handling techniques, one can argue that the formal tone should be used out of respect. The opposite, informal approach can be just as likely to be used (since it levels itself to a more collaborative working environment). Client reviewers need to be flexible and allow ideas to be bounced back, instead of pushing their own agenda.

Client reviewers need to be flexible and open-minded about language and translation. When I first started out as a translator, I would try to reason with such authoritative types. What did this approach get me? A lost client.

Now, I document our translation choices and allow for the inevitable to happen for this type of reviewer; making a mistake that causes him/her a job. Our industry requires collaboration; without it, no one wins.

The “I know it all” reviewer (but knows nothing)

These reviewers are quick to criticize and make generalizations without proper foundation. When their grammar or translation is questioned, they get offended. From an agency’s perspective, these reviewers can cost you your client.

White gloves with these reviewers are strongly recommended. My strategy is to go through each client reviewer change and prepare an explanation detailing whether you are in agreement or not. Then, I would have a call between the client reviewer and the agency linguist to go over the changes. This is an opportunity for the agency to determine your standing with the client reviewer, the knowledge of the reviewer, and his/her impression about your quality.

If your client’s reviewer is making the wrong translation choices and you feel they’re not competent, you have two choices. First, diplomatically tell the client the truth. Before you do so, find out a little bit about the reviewer (i.e. Is he employed by your client? What is his role in the company?) You must assume your comments may get back to the reviewer and he/she might decide to change translation houses.

A second option is to explain to the client that you’re willing to make all of the changes the reviewer has suggested, even though you’re not in an agreement, but will keep a document that stores this information.

Then, there are times the error is so egregious you have no choice but to escalate the matter to higher authorities. I had a client reviewer who I agreed to make her changes, although most were wrong. It was a cosmetic company and they were coming up with a cream to be applied on the buttocks of women who wanted to lose weight. Unfortunately, the client reviewer changed the application to mean “please insert the cream” …you get the point. We sent a letter to the president of the company informing him of the nature of the translation. We got a new reviewer.

The “perfect” reviewer

I left the best for last. He/she:

  • has excellent command of both the source and target language;
  • is a subject matter expert for the material being translated;
  • makes only the necessary changes and is open to difference of opinions; and
  • works with translation memory.

Heck, I’m on a roll here, how about he/she tells your client to pay you more. I would say 20% of our reviewers fit this personality. Treat them well, send them Christmas cards, chocolates, and vote for them to be President.

All client edits need to be reviewed by the agency, to make sure nothing has been lost in translation. A question often asked is if clients need to perform a full review or just a spot check. My philosophy is: start reviewing everything and once the quality is good, perform random reviews.

Continue with What Works (and Leave Behind What Doesn’t)

When choosing a linguist, agencies should look for the same attributes as we mentioned when discussing the client reviewer. I would add one more requirement here; they must leave their ego/emotions at the door. We all understand how seriously linguists take language and culture. We need to not take it personally when we receive client feedback.

You might have noticed me alluding to the fact that often times we need to work with a difficult reviewer, clients, or agencies. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with difficult colleagues.

First, choose your battles wisely. Stand your ground when the term or the translation will have some serious consequences when it goes out on the market. Remember the Spanish translation for “Got Milk?” It ended up asking consumers if they were lactating.

Second, state your position with the necessary backup. Google is a pool of information, but it is not always reliable. Dictionaries are helpful, but not always spot on. Use subject matter experts who ultimately should be the decision makers on the subject being translated. Also, stay positive during your communications. Try to resolve differences gracefully. Oh boy, I sound like a counselor.

A caveat I would like to share with you is to not make any assumptions. During editing, I find many translators prefer to translate without asking for clarification. This can only lead to errors. At a translation conference in Seville, where I presented on the topic of creating quality translations, I put what looks like a traveling bag on the top of the table where I was presenting. After speaking for 90 minutes, I asked the translators in the audience what was in the bag. They answered a computer, papers, clothing, and traveling items. I opened the bag, and took out my dog, “Toro,” who had been quietly sleeping.

Case in point: don’t make assumptions. With a closer look at the bag, they would have noticed there was a mesh net for an animal to breathe and would have identified it as a pet carrying bag.

I leave you with two last thoughts. Increase your tolerance to frustrations, which are inevitable and part of the review process. Secondly, translators who know their translations are being reviewed by the client will perform better than if no review is done.


Entrega del Premio Cervantes en Alcalá de Henares

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Como cada 23 de abril, Alcalá de Henares y su Universidad Cisneriana se visten de gala para la entrega de uno de los premios culturales más importantes de España: el Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes.

¿Qué es el Premio Cervantes?

Tal y como explica la página del sitio web del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (MECD) dedicada a este galardón, el Premio Cervantes «es el máximo reconocimiento a la labor creadora de escritores españoles e hispanoamericanos cuya obra haya contribuido a enriquecer de forma notable el patrimonio literario en lengua española».

Toma su nombre del célebre autor complutense Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, escritor de la bien conocida obra El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, que se considera una de las obras más importantes no solo de la literatura en castellano sino de la literatura universal.

El Premio Cervantes se convoca desde 1975 y entre sus galardonados podemos encontrar grandes nombres de la literatura en español como Dámaso Alonso (1978), Jorge Luis Borges (1979), Rafael Alberti (1983), Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (1985), María Zambrano (1988), Mario Vargas Llosas (1994) o Camilo José Cela (1995), entre muchos otros.

En su historia, hasta el momento, solamente cuatro mujeres han recibido el galardón (la última en hacerlo fue Elena Poniatowska en 2013).

La dotación económica del premio son 125.000 euros.

¿Quién puede ser candidato y quién conforma el jurado?

Según el MECD, a este premio puede optar «cualquier escritor cuya obra literaria esté escrita, totalmente o en su parte esencial» en español. También señala que tanto las Academias de la Lengua Española como los autores premiados en anteriores convocatorias o las instituciones que estén vinculadas a la literatura en lengua castellana y los miembros del jurado del premio pueden presentar candidatos a recibir el galardón.

El jurado, desde 2008, lo conforman:

  • Los dos últimos galardonados con el Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes.
  • Un miembro de la Real Academia Española.
  • Un miembro de una de las Academias Iberoamericanas de la lengua española.
  • Cuatro personalidades del mundo académico, universitario y literario, de reconocido prestigio, propuestos, respectivamente, por la Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas, la Unión de Universidades de América Latina, el Director del Instituto Cervantes y el Ministro de Cultura.
  • Dos miembros elegidos entre representantes de suplementos culturales de diarios, propuestos, respectivamente, por la Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de España y una asociación de periodistas mayoritaria en Latinoamérica.
  • Uno a propuesta de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas, de nacionalidad no española ni iberoamericana.

La cuna de Cervantes, lugar de entrega para su premio

Tal y como señala el MECD, el Premio Cervantes se falla a finales de año y se entrega el 23 de abril, Día Internacional del Libro.

Dos datos curiosos sobre esta fecha: a pesar de que se dice que es el día del fallecimiento de Miguel de Cervantes, en realidad se trata de la fecha de su entierro porque el autor falleció el 22 de abril, tal y como se indica en el sitio web del 400 aniversario de la muerte del autor, que se celebró en 2016. Como segunda anécdota sobre esta fecha, cabe destacar que se ha dicho en numerosas ocasiones que Miguel de Cervantes comparte la fecha de su muerte con otro gran escritor de la literatura universal, William Shakespeare. Sin embargo, este artículo de la revista Muy Historia explica que las defunciones no sucedieron el mismo día porque existía por aquel entonces un desfase entre el calendario que se usaba en España y el que se usaba en Inglaterra.

El lugar elegido para la entrega del Premio de Cervantes no podía ser otro que la ciudad que lo vio nacer: Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).

Cada 23 de abril, en el Paraninfo de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, SS. MM. los Reyes de España entregan el galardón.

El Paraninfo de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (originalmente Universidad Complutense en referencia al nombre romano de la ciudad, Complutum) es la sala más emblemática del Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso. Fue edificado por Pedro de la Cotera y su construcción se inició en 1516. El Paraninfo tiene una larga historia como lugar de acogida para la celebración de actos ilustres, tal y como señala el sitio web de la actual Universidad de Alcalá en su página dedicada a esta sala. El Paraninfo puede visitarte en visitas guiadas (y explicadas) a la Universidad de Alcalá, a través de las que se puede conocer un poco más de su historia.

Otro dato curioso para terminar: en una de las paredes dentro del recinto de la Universidad Cisneriana, antes de llegar al Paraninfo, los visitantes podrán observar retratos de cada uno de los ganadores del Premio Cervantes hasta la fecha (con el año en el que lo ganaron). Sin embargo, no están colocados en orden cronológico. En la visita explican por qué… tendréis que hacerla para descubrirlo.

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竟然沒聽過 DTP?翻譯專案幕後大功臣

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DTP是什麼?DTP 的全名叫Desktop Publishing,是透過如Adobe Indesign、Framemaker等軟體,或Office相關文書程式,針對圖片和文章加以編排。經驗老道的DTP人員可獨立作業處理多國語言及數種不同格式的檔案,不僅能找出字裡行間的小錯誤,辨識內文中不應該出現的字句或亂碼,更能及時發現內容出現的常見錯誤包含漏譯、錯字、缺圖缺段落。所以DTP不僅對翻譯本身需要有深入了解,還須具備出版相關知識,才能完美呈現翻譯專案,畫龍點睛。也鑒於翻譯專案的多元性和複雜性,DTP在現今的外語本土化產業中已經是不可或缺一道關卡了。


你一定也會想,什麼樣的人能做 DTP。如果你無法忍受任何微小的錯誤,看到的可能會是翻譯錯誤,或是圖形不正常的翻轉變形,或是字型忽大忽小,或是在一段文字裡出現不同語言別的文字,又或是因為版面編排的問題讓一些小地方被壓到看不見,不管發生哪一種,當下會克制不住衝動想幫他修正,DTP 的工作非你莫屬。


曾經在一個國外的活動會場看到一個短期刺青 (7 days Tattoo) 看板,就放在店門口,現場人來人往的,當下很壞心的告訴了朋友,卻沒有給店家建議,於是,看到好多來自世界各地的人在手臂上刺了讓人啼笑皆非的文字,這也算是一種文化衝擊吧。下列圖中您能發現幾項錯誤呢?




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Hablar en público

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Siempre me ha resultado curioso el hecho de que una cultura tan abierta como la española haya tenido tantas dificultades al hablar un idioma en público. ¿Nunca te has parado a pensar por qué alguien que solo conoce 3 palabras de francés se desenvuelve como pez en el agua, mientras que tú tardas 3 minutos para poder pronunciar una única frase? ¿Por qué culturas tan similares a la nuestra como la italiana parecen más sueltas con el inglés? ¿Por qué en España alguien que fracasa queda marcado para el resto de su vida? ¿Es lógica esta visión del fracaso? Lo que en nuestro país parece lógico, en otros sitios no lo es. A priori, podemos pensar que son factores meramente personales los que influyen en este tipo de actitudes, pero también es cierto que se esconden otros tantos factores culturales. Veamos algunos de ellos.

  1. Miedo al fracaso

Por fracaso hacemos referencia a la segunda acepción de la definición dada por la Real Academia de la Lengua: 2. Suceso lastimoso, inopinado y funesto.

Como norma general, en España tenemos miedo a fracasar, en su más amplio sentido. Por ello, el simple hecho de imaginarnos que alguien nos pueda hablar en un idioma distinto al materno y que no lo entendamos supondría un suceso más que funesto, en alusión al calificativo de la RAE. En palabras algo más recientes y de estos últimos años: todo un drama del siglo XXI.

públicoEn un ámbito empresarial, el miedo al fracaso paraliza a la sociedad española en infinidad de ocasiones, ya que se asocia a la pérdida de oportunidades y se ve desde un punto de vista trágico. Incluso me atrevería a decir que esta acepción del término fracaso se puede hacer extensible a muchos países europeos. Sin embargo, en otras culturas, como la estadounidense, el fracaso se asocia a la apertura de nuevas oportunidades y se considera un motivo para generar cambios e innovar.

De este modo, el mismo fracaso en Nueva York o en Madrid nos supondría un impulso o un freno, según el modelo cultural en el que hayamos crecido. Es obvio que este freno –en el caso de España– afecta tanto a la faceta profesional como a la personal; y, por desgracia, la situación en el futuro no presagia nada positivo, ya que, según diversos estudios, ocho de cada diez mileniales tiene miedo al fracaso profesional.

  1. Educación

Es este un factor meramente nacional, y no europeo. Más allá de las modificaciones en legislación educativa que España viene sufriendo desde hace más de una década, la educación en nuestro país está basada en un modelo escrito, y no oral; un modelo más pasivo que activo.

[Aún recuerdo el shock de la primera clase de Filosofía en el instituto cuando tuvimos que debatir por grupos. Con el tiempo descubrí que no fue un drama personal, sino más bien generacional.]

Con un modelo educativo que se basa en pruebas y exámenes escritos, las destrezas orales no se desarrollan al ritmo que deberían, teniendo que recuperar el «tiempo perdido» a marchas forzadas en entidades de educación superior como la universidad. Por seguir con el parangón con Italia que ya usé anteriormente, en el país transalpino gran parte de los exámenes se realiza de forma oral. Sin duda alguna, esto les aporta a sus estudiantes unas destrezas a la hora de desenvolverse no solo en su idioma materno, sino también en otros.

  1. Factores personalespúblico

Inseguridad, falta de confianza o vergüenza son otros de las factores que nos aplastan mentalmente a la hora de hablar un idioma. Con el paso del tiempo, y en función de las necesidades de cada individuo, estas se irán paliando con más o menos rapidez. Aún recuerdo las palabras de un profesor de secundaria que me dijo: «Sabemos hablar inglés, aunque aún no lo sepamos. O en otras palabras, aún no hemos tenido la necesidad de hablarlo.»

A pesar de que nuestras destrezas orales no sean del todo excelentes, a nivel europeo somos reconocidos por nuestro amplio y detallado conocimiento de los aspectos gramaticales, por ejemplo. Así que, si formas parte de ese grupo que tiene miedo al fracaso, no esperes más y empieza a chapurrear todo lo que sabes. Al fin y al cabo, algún día tendremos que acabar con este miedo, ¿verdad?

*Fuente imagen:


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Celebración de St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day (Día de San Patricio) se celebra cada año el 17 de marzo. Tradicionalmente, se conoce por ser la fiesta del patrón de Irlanda pero la celebración de St. Patrick’s Day es popular en muchos otros lugares, principalmente aquellos donde ha habido un volumen de inmigración irlandesa importante.

¿Cuál es el origen de St. Patrick’s Day?

La celebración tiene origen religioso y conmemora la muerte de San Patricio (el 17 de marzo del año 461 D.C.) y la llegada del cristianismo a Irlanda. Patrick introdujo esta religión en Irlanda, convirtiendo a miles de «paganos» que creían en los cultos de los druidas.Irish_clover

Sin embargo, con el tiempo se ha convertido en una celebración de toda la cultura y herencia de Irlanda. Tradicionalmente, en las celebraciones de St.Patrick’s Day se realizan desfiles en las calles y las personas que lo celebran suelen vestirse de verde en este día por influencia directa de otro de los símbolos más conocidos en torno a la celebración de St. Patrick’s Day: el trébol de tres hojas o shamrock.  Según la leyenda, Patrick empleaba los tréboles para explicar el misterio de la Santísima Trinidad a los «paganos» irlandeses.

Celebraciones de St. Patrick’s Day por el mundo

En Irlanda, es fiesta nacional y se considera el día nacional de manera similar a lo que podría ser el 12 de octubre en España y otros países de América Latina. Es un festival que dura varios días (actualmente, de 4 a 5 días) con diferentes actividades, entre las que destaca el desfile (St. Patrick’s Parade). Este año se celebra entre los días 16 y 19 de marzo (más información al hacer clic aquí).

En Reino Unido, es un día que también goza de gran popularidad, a pesar de no ser festivo nacional (solamente es festivo en Irlanda del Norte). Por ejemplo, Liverpool, ciudad que tradicionalmente ha recibido mucha inmigración irlandesa, tiene bien establecida la celebración de St. Patrick’s Day con actividades como música en directo o el desfile. Por otro lado, Birmingham organiza cada año un desfile con motivo de este día que es el tercero más grande del mundo, por detrás del de Dublín y el de Nueva York. También la capital británica celebra desde el año 2002 un desfile para celebrar este día.

St. Patrick’s DayEn los Estados Unidos, que recibieron mucha inmigración irlandesa en el pasado, es también una celebración muy popular. El desfile que se organiza en Nueva York con motivo de este día es actualmente el más grande del mundo.

En Argentina, otro país que acogió muchos inmigrantes irlandeses, también se celebran fiestas en las calles de ciudades como Buenos Aires, Rosario o Córdoba.

En la ciudad canadiense de Montreal se celebra también cada año uno de los desfiles del Día de San Patricio más grandes de América del Norte.

Algunas curiosidades sobre St.Patrick’s Day

  • San Patricio no era irlandés: en realidad, San Patricio pertenecía a una familia romano-británica y llegó a Irlanda con dieciséis años, secuestrado por invasores irlandeses.St_Patrick's _Day
  • Patricio no era su nombre: el nombre original del santo era en realidad Maewyn Succat. Cambió de nombre al convertirse en sacerdote a Patricius, que en latín significa «figura paterna».
  • El trébol de tres hojas (shamrock): según la leyenda, San Patricio utilizaba el trébol de tres hojas para explicar el misterio de la Santísima Trinidad a los «paganos» irlandeses.
  • Festivo nacional desde 1903: a pesar de que como festividad religiosa se celebraba desde mucho antes, hasta ese año no pasó a ser un festi
    vo nacional. El miembro del parlamento de origen irlandés, James O’Mara, promovió el Acto del Parlamento Británico que otorgó esa categoría a la celebración.
  • San Patricio echó de Irlanda a todas las serpientes: la leyenda en torno al santo dice que se encargó de desterrar de la isla a estos reptiles. Sin embargo, se cree que nunca hubo serpientes en Irlanda debido a las temperaturas demasiado frías para estos animales.
  • Excepción a la cuaresma: si la celebración de Patrick’s Day coincidía con la cuaresma, para el día, la restricción de beber alcohol se levantaba.
  • Primera celebración en EE.UU.: en la actualidad, el desfile de Nueva York es el más popular de los Estados Unidos pero la primera celebración que se realizó en el país para conmemorar este día tuvo lugar en Boston (Massachussets) en 1737.
  • Chicago tiñe el río de verde: cada año, la ciudad estadounidense tiñe de verde el río Kelly con motivo de las celebraciones por Patrick’s Day. Solamente dura unas cinco horas este color en el agua.

Chicago River Green

  • Más irlandeses en EE.UU. que en Irlanda: hay unos 34 millones de estadounidenses que descienden de irlandeses mientras que la población total de Irlanda está en torno a los 4 millones.
  • Doble de Guinness en un solo día: el consumo de la popular cerveza negra irlandesa, Guinness, supera los 13 millones de pintas en este día, cuando en un día normal se consumen en torno a 5, 5 millones de Guinness.

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Firma Nuria

Cinq conseils de productivité pour les traducteurs

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Dans un secteur où l’offre est supérieure à la demande, il est crucial d’être productif afin de pouvoir répondre aux demandes exigeantes de nos clients et de continuer à être compétitif face à nos concurrents. Voici donc quelques conseils qui peuvent vous aider à travailler de manière plus productive et, par conséquent, à être plus rentable en moins de temps et avec moins d’effort.

  1. Améliorez vos aptitudes en termes d’outils TAO

productivitéBien que les outils de traduction assistée par ordinateur (TAO) parviennent parfois à ce que nous nous arrachons les cheveux, ils sont nos grands alliés lorsqu’il s’agit d’améliorer la productivité. Savoir utiliser de manière optimale nos outils de travail est essentiel si nous souhaitons nous convertir en des professionnels compétents. En plus d’améliorer votre mécanographie, avez-vous participé à un cours avancé de SDL Trados Studio, MemoQ ou Déjà Vu ? Vous pouvez également configurer des touches de raccourci pour les commandes que vous utilisez fréquemment. Et pourquoi ne pas profiter d’une matinée tranquille pour créer une macro de Microsoft Word pour de futurs projets ?

  1. Spécialisez-vous pour améliorer votre productivité

La maîtrise s’acquiert par la pratique et cela est d’autant plus vrai si nous parlons des spécialisations dans le monde de la traduction. Quel que soit le type de document, juridique, médical ou audiovisuel, il est fort possible que vous ayez remarqué que vous traduisez mieux et plus rapidement lorsque vous connaissez le thème ou le format du texte sur lequel vous travaillez. Demandez-vous quels types de traduction vous semblent plus aisés et dans quel domaine avez-vous plus d’expérience. Connaître vos compétences et vous centrer sur un domaine de spécialisation vous permet de rendre vos processus de travail automatiques et de terminer plus rapidement et sans effort les tâches qui représentaient auparavant un défi.

  1. Investissez dans un nouvel équipement de travail


Si vous avez le temps de prendre votre petit-déjeuner, de vous doucher et de lire le journal avant que votre ordinateur ne se décide à démarrer, c’est le signe qu’il est temps d’en acheter un nouveau. Bien que le concept de dépenser de l’argent pour travailler soit parfois difficile à mettre en pratique, le fait de pouvoir compter sur un équipement de travail plus récent permet de gagner énormément de temps et de travailler plus confortablement. Qu’il s’agisse d’un écran plus grand, d’une souris disposant de fonctions supplémentaires ou d’une chaise ergonomique qui vous permet de rester concentré pendant des heures, identifiez les matériels/équipements obsolètes et remplacez-les afin d’améliorer votre productivité. Je suis sûre que vous ne le regretterez pas !

  1. Établissez des routines personnalisées

Si vous n’êtes pas du matin, il est inutile de vous imposer de vous réveiller à 7:30 pour commencer à travailler à 8:00. Si vous commencez à avoir faim à 13:30, ne vous arrêtez pas pour déjeuner à 12:00 juste parce que c’est l’heure établie pour déjeuner. Le fait de bien vous connaître permet de traiter les tâches selon votre état physique et anémique et ainsi d’être plus productifs. Identifiez vos rythmes biologiques et établissez des routines adaptées à ceux-ci afin de travailler de manière plus cohérente et d’atteindre vos objectifs plus facilement.

  1. Établissez des objectifs (réalistes)

Si vous vous fixez un objectif impossible, il est très probable que vous terminiez la journée exténué et avec la sensation de ne pas avoir réalisé tout ce que vous vous étiez proposé. Cependant, si vous prenez le temps de segmenter le travail en identifiant les priorités et en réservant du temps pour faire des pauses, vous profiterez pleinement des heures de travail et vous découvrirez qu’il est possible d’en faire plus en moins de temps. Il est important que vous connaissiez vos limites et que vous soyez conscient de la vitesse à laquelle vous travaillez. Grâce à certains indicateurs de productivité cohérents, vous découvrirez que vous êtes plus productif que vous ne le pensiez et vous pourrez mieux organiser votre charge de travail.



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