ProZ.com Blog

Translation Postcards: Ezliana Zainal Abidin in Mallorca, Spain

February 15, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Long before it became a package-holiday destination, or the darling of the low-cost weekend-break generation, the island of Mallorca was known as a favourite summer getaway for royalty, as well as a splendid refuge for artists, writers and musicians in search of inspiration. Golden and turquoise coastlines, magnificent mountain views and rolling hills dotted with vineyards, almond, olive and citrus groves. Away from the glamour of the beaches, the rural backwaters are full of orange trees and donkeys, small villages and traditional ways of life, folk traditions and religious feast days, bonfires and dancing demons, all under clear Mediterranean skies…

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Translation Postcards: Natalia Slipenko in Kyiv, Ukraine

February 8, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Let’s start with a pronunciation lesson: it’s Kyiv (rhymes with peeve), not Kee-eff. Got it? At least that’s what your modern internationalist in the know says. Problem is, not many people are in the know when it comes to Ukraine. From the media we might glean snippets about wars, orange-coloured revolutions, and political turmoil, not to mention the infamy of Chernobyl. And yes, there’s a territorial war with Russia going on as we speak in the East of the country. But that’s a long way from Kyiv, a vibrant city with a great deal to offer, and where everyone’s in a hurry, whether in bright summer sunshine or crunching over a thick layer of snow.

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Translation Postcards: Retno Damajanti in Bali, Indonesia

February 1, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in translator, translation, translation postcards

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The air is heady with incense. Wherever you look there are colourful offerings – in the middle of a busy street, on the pavement, in little shrines in front of houses, in paddy fields, on the beach and of course at the feet of statues. Dressed in traditional lace tops, multi-coloured sashes and sarongs, women bear these offerings on trays – sometimes even riding a motorbike at the same time. Amid these timeless scenes, the sound of Hindu chanting alternates with the Muslim call to prayer floating in the air.

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Translation Postcards: Kristina Wolf in Canberra, Australia

January 25, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Not many translators wake up every morning to the sound of cockatoos. Or find possums in their back yard. Or set out for a picnic, only to be joined by kangaroos, wombats or spiny anteaters. And don’t forget those sturdy shoes when out hiking in snake season. But then again, not many translators live in Canberra in Australia.

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Translation Postcards: Kelvin Zifla in Tirana, Albania

January 18, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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These days, the most oft-cited example of an isolated country ploughing its own furrow, cut off from the rest of the world, is North Korea, but there were long decades in the aftermath of World War II when Albania was a strong contender for the title…


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Translation Postcards: Thomas Chahweta in Harare, Zimbabwe

January 11, 2021 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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It was a humble beginning. One of eleven children, nine of whom are still alive, Thomas Chahweta grew up in a rural village in Zimbabwe. As in many countries in the South, children were seen by the previous generation as an investment. His parents were subsistence farmers and he and his siblings worked hard in the fields growing crops, selling the excess harvest to pay for school fees.

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Traveling the world from my home office, the translation postcards of 2020

December 29, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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In March 2020, perhaps inspired by the fact that travel was fast becoming a thing of the past amid a global lockdown, I came up with the idea of a series of Translation Postcards for ProZ.com, featuring colleagues from all around the world — a chance to share an insight into their localities, lives, professional ups and downs, and even habits and diets.

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Translation Postcards: Nagehan Carroll in Plymouth, England

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

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When you’ve spent many years of your life in two world cities: London and Istanbul, then a move to Devon certainly represents a change. But on those occasions when you miss the brightly lit skyscapes, the cosmopolitan hubbub and the busy shops and cafés, the bucolic countryside, spectacular coastlines and quaint streets of Devonian market towns and villages offer plenty of consolation.

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Translation Postcards: Lan Hoang Bao in Hue, Vietnam

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

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There are some places in the world where life just seems slower… Far from the frenzied bustle of Ho Chi Minh City (which locals still refer to as Saigon) – the economic powerhouse in the South – or Hanoi, the political capital in the North, Hue in Central Vietnam is a city of peace and quiet, palaces and pagodas, tombs and churches. The strains of gentle melodies waft around as you sample the spicy cuisine at cosy restaurants, or while away the time at coffee shops that once served as classrooms for the princes of the long-since deposed royal family. 

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Translation Postcards: Parastoo Khoshpasand in Karaj, Iran

December 7, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Iran is one of those countries that get a bad press internationally – we’re bombarded with images of fundamentalist mullahs, or women covered from head to toe, and dire warnings about nuclear programs… To such an extent that we tend to forget how multilingual and cosmopolitan its people are, not to mention the historic contributions of Persian culture to art, poetry, and civilisation.

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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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