ProZ.com Blog

Translation Postcards: Dachiny Ewekengha Okana in Brazzaville, Congo

November 30, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Kombo na nga Dachiny, naza mwana ya Congo pe napesi bino banso mbote bisika bozali!
 Of course you recognised immediately, didn’t you, that this is Lingala, one of the languages of the Congo Republic, and that it means “My name is Dachiny, I'm Congolese and I'm greeting you, wherever you are!” ?

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Translation Postcards: Sayda de Pineda in Las Vegas, USA

November 23, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Welcome to the city of lights, dancing, and fun. Glitzy Las Vegas is only 115 years old but is fabled around the world for its glamour and casinos. Founded as a stopover on the railroad between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, the desert city was originally a settlement for farmers, mostly from Utah, But they soon became aware of the pulling power of gambling, and in a mere century of existence, Vegas has attracted hundreds of millions of visitors and trillions of dollars to Southern Nevada. The city is now not just a centre for nightlife but also for business, conventions, and hospitality.

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Translation Postcards: Elisenda Palau in Brussels, Belgium

November 16, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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It wasn t an easy beginning. When Elisenda Palau set out from her native Barcelona for Brussels in March 2019, the first things she noticed were the aggressive driving,    the grey sky and the rain splashing against the slate-coloured pavements – a far cry from the early Mediterranean spring she d left behind.


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Translation Postcards: Perry Zamek in Adam, Israel

November 9, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Imagine living within 2 minutes’ walk of everything that you need. Such is life in the small Israeli community of Adam, or Geva Binyamin, just a few kilometres to the east of Jerusalem. Depending on your perspective, the region is known as “Judea and Samaria” or the “West Bank”. This is a region that has been in Israeli hands since 1967. Apparently, the larger Israeli translator community, which covers the entire political spectrum, has wisely opted never to discuss political issues when they meet. It seems a prudent move for the Translation Postcards to adopt the same stance. 

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Translation Postcards: Cmilja Milosevic in Bratunac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

November 2, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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It can be quite a culture shock to move from a cosmopolitan city to a small town a tenth of its size at the best of times. But these were not the best of times. The city was Sarajevo, in the wake of the bitter three-year civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which ended in 1995 with the Dayton Peace Accords. A war which left its mark everywhere. Everyone lost someone. Cmilja Milosevic lost her own brother, killed by the family’s neighbours. He was 24 at the time. 

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Translation Postcards: Dr Édith Koumtoudji in Johannesburg, South Africa

October 26, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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“Beautiful” is not perhaps the first adjective most people would reach for when describing a road network, but even after ten years in Johannesburg – the economic capital of South Africa – Cameroon-born Dr Édith Koumtoudji still lists the infrastructure among the things she’s most impressed by. Next on the list are the abundant trees, the sprawling university campuses, the bristling skyscrapers, and the massive shopping malls, one of which has space for 65,000 cars, she’s at pains to point out.

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Translation Postcards: Natalya Danilova in St Petersburg, Russia

October 19, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Walking down Nevsky Prospekt, the main street in St Petersburg, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Western Europe. That was precisely the intention of Peter the Great, when he founded the city in 1703. He set out to make his imperial capital a “window on Europe”, complete with Amsterdam-style canals and grand theatres, opera houses and museums. It remains the country’s cultural centre to this day.

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Translation Postcards: Alda Lima in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

October 12, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Life as a translator can be tough when you live in one of the world’s most iconic cities. Just imagine having to look at the fabled Sugar Loaf mountain or the immense statue of Christ the Redeemer every time you leave your home in Rio’s South Zone. Or having nowhere to jog but the famous wavy black and white sidewalk on Copacabana Beach. Nothing to see but the beautiful tanned people hanging out on Ipanema, listening to the ocean surf crashing onto the shore. And on top of that, all that music, all that sun, in a climate where winter lasts a massive 5 days on average.

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Translation Postcards: Dalih Sembiring in Sewon, Indonesia

September 28, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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The facts are enough to make your mind boggle. Indonesia is a vast archipelago in Southeast Asia, made up of no fewer than 17,000 islands. Some of the names will be familiar, such as: Sumatra, Bali, Papua, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Java. The country won independence in 1945 after centuries of colonial history, beginning with Portuguese and British traders, but mostly under Dutch rule, when the country was known as the Dutch East Indies – at least to Europeans. It’s the fourth most populous country in the world, (after China, India and the US) with 267 million citizens, and the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

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Translation Postcards: Joao Correia in Coimbra, Portugal

September 21, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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To the Romans it was known as Aeminium, while the Moors called it Qulumriyah, but today we know it as Coimbra, a city with a history that dates back over 2,300 years. Beyond its varied names, the city is home to some fascinating secrets. Officially, it’s still the Portuguese capital, although most Portuguese are unaware of this – and was the birthplace of the country’s first six kings. And slightly closer to home, the traditional garb worn by its university undergraduates inspired the dress of students at J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts.

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Translation Postcards: Joseph Kuria in Nairobi, Kenya

September 14, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Close your eyes and think of Kenya. Chances are the first things that come to mind are majestic wildlife and famed long-distance runners. But there’s a lot more to the country than these easy clichés, and where better than Nairobi to start finding out…

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Translation Postcards: Sara Arilla in Zaragoza, Spain

July 27, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Let’s begin with a fun fact: “Zaragoza” is actually a Hispanicisation of “Caesaraugusta”, the city’s Roman name. The city, capital of Aragon in Spain’s north-eastern region, boasts a rich history that stretches back to pre-Roman times, and fascinating sights from the Roman, Moorish and Christian periods, from amphitheatre to the Aljafería Palace to an impressive cathedral and of course the “El Pilar” basilica (see cover picture), which dominates the central square.

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Translation Postcards: Ady Namaran Coulibaly in Accra, Ghana

July 20, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Akwaaba! That’s how you say “Welcome” in Twi, the most widely spoken local language in Ghana. Although indigenous to the Ga Tribe, massive urban migration has led to the majority of people using Twi for day-to-day activities. Akwaaba is therefore likely to be the first word you hear on landing at Kotaka International Airport in Accra. Welcome, in fact to the country popularly known as the Gateway to Africa – a hospitable, culturally diverse nation with a fast-growing economy.

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Translation Postcards: Clair Pickworth in Rémalard-en-Perche, France

July 13, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Ever thought of slowing things right down? You wouldn’t be the first. Slow food is all the rage in the world’s foodie community, but why restrict yourself to the dining table? There are places where life itself proceeds at a gentle pace, enabling you to smell the coffee, the roses, and sundry other countryside aromas besides!

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Translation Postcards: Lovenah Panray in Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius

July 6, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Shall we begin with a little geography and history lesson? Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 km off the south-east coast of Africa (see map on following page). First identified by Arab sailors in 975, it was named “Dina Arobi”. The Dutch took possession of the territory for over a century in 1598, then abandoned it in 1710. The French took control in 1715 and named it Isle de France, but then officially ceded it to Great Britain in 1814, who held it until Independence in 1968.

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