Thoughts

I’ve just been looking through some random stats on my blog. It seems my most used tag is “boyfriend” with a total of 43 times. Second is work with 22 uses and in third place comes books, 21 uses. I’m pretty sure that says something about me. I don’t know what but I’m pretty sure it’s misleading. How have I managed to mention work more often than books? Must do something about that.

I need to do a translation for uni. It was actually supposed to be handed in on Monday. Oops. Not even a month into the year and I’m behind already. Luckily it’s only a practice piece so I won’t lose any marks for handing it in late or anything. It would probably be a good idea to get on and do it though.

How is it Wednesday already? I’m sure it was only just Friday. I always thought putting the clocks back was meant to give us another hour. Instead I seem to have lost about 72.

Time going fast does have its advantages though. It’s pay day on Friday. And I get extra money starting this month. I’ve already had my wage slip and seen how much I’ll be earning from now. I’m going to be rich. Rich I tell you! (Actually I’m still going to be poor, but rich compared to what I was before. And at least I’ll be able to afford a few decent Christmas presents this year).

And oh my gosh, I’ve just realised my internship is half over already. Three more months to go. And after that? We’ll see… it depends whether the boss decides to give me a proper job.

OK, enough procrastinating. Time to get on with the translation.

Chicken pox is sooo yesterday

I had to translate a text about breathing apparatus today. The kind you use on people having asthma attacks rather than the diver’s kind. Not being a major expert on such matters I clearly  had no choice but to consult a medical dictionary for help. So I was flicking through it looking for some random word to do with lungs when something at the top of a page caught my eye.
Mauspox. English translation… mousepox. I wonder what the symptoms of that are? Can humans get it do you think? Maybe it causes people to take on mouse-like features.

It’s a real education this translation lark.

Now it really is Friday…

I’ve been very busy today. This is a good thing – I hate being at work and having nothing to do. And I really like translating. So being busy is good. Even when i spent part of the afternoon translating a text about cervical cancer it was good, in a depressing kind of way. It was a text about a new test though, so not too bad. A hopeful kind of depressing rather than a “the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train” kind of depressing.

So that was my Friday. It’s the weekend now I guess. Friday evening is the weekend right?
I’m going over to the boyfriend’s place later, as soon as he decides to finish work for the day. Could be a while actually…
I hope his flatmate isn’t there. It’s so much better when we have the flat to ourselves. Actually if I had my way the flatmate would never be there, but y’know. That’s just me.

OK, so you’ve probably figured out by now that I really have nothing to write about today. I seem to have completely run out of inspiration. So I think I should go away now before I cause all my readers to fall asleep…

… what do you mean “too late”?

666. Demon spawn.

I’ve made it. I’m officially the spawn of Satan!
I went to Karstadt on the way home from work to buy some food, a) for tonioght’s tea and b) for lunch tomorrow. Arriving at the counter to pay, I discovered that my purchases came to a total of 6 euros and 66 cents. 6.66. Demon spawn. How cool am I?

So this morning the boss called me into his office. Cue total and utter panic and “oh my God, what have I done?” type thoughts. Turns out he just wanted to ask me how things are going since I’ve now been there a month. And he wanted to explain why Kristi, the new girl, has got a real job while I only got an internship. He didn’t want me sitting there wondering or resenting her for it. Not that I was wondering, I’d already figured out that it was probably because she’s already finished her studies. An assumption that the boss then confirmed. He then said that, although I probably have more actual translation experience than her, she has more general work experience. Fair enough.
He then started talking about my work. They are, for the most part, satisified he told me. Just one little issue. To do with something that I proofread yesterday. I finished it…. too fast. Now there’s a complaint I never thought I’d hear from a boss! So basically I need to take more care over things I’m editing. Read them twice if necessary. Make sure I find all the mistakes. It’s a fair point. Proofreading is something I find quite difficult, especially when I’m tired. The words all start blurring together and my eyes read words that are spelled wrong as what they’re really meant to be. The longer and boringer (is that word?) the texts are, the worse it is. Sooo pay more attention when proofreading. Otherwise it’s all good. Such a relief.

I got soaked on the way home and I’m now freezing. Time for a nice warm cup of tea methinks.

Legal texts versus humour

Oh dear. I seem to have been very unfair to my boyfriend in my last post. In this one here too come to think of it. So I’d just like to state for the record that he’s not as selfish as I make him out to be. Really not. This the wonderful guy who came over to my place at stupid o’clock at night to look after me when I had sunstroke. (See this post). See. Not selfish or mean. It’s just that he’s really not the kind of person that thinks about the future very often. Coe to think of it, he doesn’t really think about the past either. I’ve never known anyone remember so little of their childhood. He’s very much a live in the moment type of guy. So when he started looking for a flat he was acting according to how he felt at that very moment. And he never thought about what he might want in the future. Which is why we’re now in a situation where he has a flat he wants to stay in for the next four years and I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to live for those four years since it can’t be with my boyfriend. I don’t resent him for it. Not at all. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he loves me, and for now that’s all that matters. But it does get frustrating at times, and then I have to write about it otherewise I’ll scream, which probably won’t make me feel any better and will only result in a horrible sore throat.

Anyway…
Is it really Tuesday already? It feels like it should be at least Thursday the amount of work I’ve done already this week. I could do with a nice long lie in. A glass of wine would be nice too.

I have to fill in my university forms today. Jan should be bringing them with him when he comes round. I had to send them to him  to print because, while he was kind enough to leave me his computer, he took the printer away with him. I’m not sure what he thought he was going to do with a printer and no computer, but that’s men for you. They never did make any sense! Anyway, I sent him the forms for him to print and work and hopefully they will be arriving at my place sometime this evening. Then I’ll have to fill the bloody things in. I hate filling in forms! There’s about 3 pages or financial form to fill in, then a registration form and finally the module choice form. I wanted to do two modules this year. German translation in a social context, otherwise known as GETS, and Translation of humour. Turns out they’re not doing the humour one this year, so unless I want to wait a whole extra year to get my masters I have to do Text linguistics. According to the UWE website, the main topics that will be covered in the module are:  *Stylistic variation *Language in the media *Professional registers of the language (the linguistic characteristics of legal text will be examined in detail). *Textual cohesion. Linguistic features? Legal text? Examine? In detail? Oh my god, I’m officially doomed!

Cleaning showers and not forgetting my German

I’ve been meaning to blog about my interview for the last two days, but somehow never managed to get round to it. On Thursday evening we had our “Etagenputz” (translation: floor clean), so I spent 2 hours scrubbing showers and trying to get cobwebs down from the ceiling. Then Jan turned up and dinner had to be cooked. And yesterday I had work then went shopping on the way back. Once I got home there was shopping to be put away and laundry to be done (I finally got an appointment). Jan came round just in time to help me hang up the washing then we had dinner and spent the rest of the evening reading (we like to read aloud to each other). We finally finished the book we’ve been reading together for ages today – Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men. The first of the Tiffany Aching books, and the first of his children’s books that I’ve read. It was very good, as Pratchett’s books usually are. But I’m getting off topic now. I meant to talk about job interviews.

I think it went ok. At least I managed to answer all the questions and didn’t forget my German (although I did make one or two stupid mistakes, which I noticed the second they were out of my mouth. Der Stadt instead of die Stadt… oh dear!) First we had the proper interview part, then they put me in a little office and asked me to do two practice translations for them. The texts weren’t tooo difficult. Afterwards I briefly spoke to the two interviewers again then left, arriving back at the train station just in time to catch an S-Bahn back to Karlsruhe. They said they’re stil at the beginning of the interviewing process and will be making a decision in about 3 weeks time. Then yesterday I got a phone call from the company in Ettlingen who I did a practice translation/proofread for last week. They want me to come in for an interview next Thursday at 2pm. It seems Thursday is the day for interviews. Things seem to be moving forward so hopefully I will have a job soon…

Next week I have to cook a meal for my floor. I’ve decided to do cottage pie – let them try something English. For the non-meat eaters I want to do a vegetarian version, so today I went into the Asia shop and managed to find dried soya mince. Now I just have to figure out what I’m meant to do with the stuff. Anyone have any idea how to go about cooking dried soya mince? If so, please leave a comment below…

Practising

I’ve done the practice translation and the trial proofreads. They’ve been sent back and I’ve had confirmation that they’ve been received. Now it’s time to try and calm myself down. Time to breathe. Time to get over being a nervous wreck.

The work itself wasn’t too bad. The translation was quite nice, about a bar in Berlin. The proofreads were a little more technical but short and well translated. I’ve had worse proofreads during my internship and done harder translations for my Master’s.

I finished the translation half an hour before I needed to, then spent another 20 minutes checking it over and over, making sure there were no silly mistakes, checking Google to see whether those words really can be placed together in that order. I finally sent it back 10 minutes before they had asked for it.

I was then sent two texts to proofread. I had about an hour and 40 minutes to do them. 45 minutes before I was supposed to send them back I had read through both of them, listed all the mistakes and was starting to wonder what I’d missed. Did they really expect it to take that long or were they just making sure I had plenty of time? And if they really did expect it to take all that time I was sure I must have missed something. Some huge, glaringly obvious mistake perhaps. Or maybe I’d managed to overlook a page, somehow thought the texts were shorter than they actually were. I forced myself to move away from the computer, get a drink of water and take some deep breaths. I came back to find that the text really were that long and there really weren’t any more mistakes. I sent it back 20 minutes before they had asked for it.

So that’s it. All done. I guess I’m one step further on the road to finding a job. Now I suppose I just wait and see what happens next.

Everyone must have a talent…

They say everyone has a talent. An inborn ability. Something we are naturally good at. Growing up, I always wondered what mine was. I don’t have any of the obvious ones. I can’t draw or paint. I’m about as musical as a dead fish. I’m no good at sport. At school my grades were pretty good, but never excellent. For years I wanted to be a writer. As a child I would write stories. They were always ridiculously detailed with millions of characters but at the time I thought they were brilliant. Reading them now makes me laugh. It’s the same with my poetry. I’ve written maybe 3 poems in my life that I still think are good. But now, after almost 25 years of searching, I’ve finally found something I can do. Translation! I’m good at it, I know I am, and so far my grades seem to be confirming it. The only question now is does translation count as a talent? Oh who cares, I think it does and in my world that’s all that matters 🙂