How far is too far?

Yesterday I was asked to do a practice translation for one of the companies I applied for a job at. It was a hard translation, but I think I did ok. Then, after I’d sent it off, I decided to find out where exactly this company is up to now all I’ve had is the vague knowledge that it’s “near Stuttgart” and Stuttgart is “only about an hour away so I suppose this other place can’t be that far.”

So… a two hour* commute to work. That would be manageable, right?

* Actually, the train journey is anywhere between 1 hour 35 minutes and 2 hours 9 minutes depending on which speed train is running and how many times you have to change… worst case scenario being 3 times!! At least the company appears to be close to the train station there – only 15 minutes walk according to Google maps.

Answering the world’s questions

I’ve had a headache and a sore throat all day today and I’m very, very tired, so I can’t be bothered to think of anything to blog about. Instead I’m going to get my friendly neighbourhood search engine users to do the thinking for me. Yes, it’s that time again. Time to answers the questions that google springs upon me. Those of you who don’t know what I’m on about about can go and read the introduction to my previous questions and answers session. The rest of you may carry on reading.
Here come the questions…

1. Questions to ask to prove people are drunk
I wouldn’t have thought you’d need to ask them anything. Surely the staggering around bouncing off walls thing gives it away. If you really can’t tell try asking them their phone number. I know I can never remember mine when I’m drunk. Mind you, I probably couldn’t tell you it when I’m sober either so it’s not exactly a foolproof test.

2. Why am I still tired when I wake up?
Possibly because you spent half the night on the computer asking Google stupid questions. Either that or you were forced to share a room with someone who snores. Or it’s Wednesday. Nobody can fail to wake up tired on a Wednesday. Fact.

3. How to practice translation
Find something to translate. Translate it. Show your translated version to a native speaker of that language. Find out your translation is crap. Translate the text again. Continue until either a) you get bored or b) your brain turns to mush from trying to think in two different languages at once. If you can keep this up every day for a month you’re ready to become a translator.

4. How to tell difference between black & navy socks
You can’t, it’s impossible. I suggest you throw out all the boring black and navy socks and go get yourself some interesting ones.

5. Why do I dream of serial killers
Three possibilities.
1) You’re a psycho
2) There actually is a serial killer out to get you
3) You’ve been watching too many horror films.
You choose which one you think applies to you.

OK, that’s all for today. My stats have been rather slow on the questions front lately and I really don’t feel like answering 12 different variations on the “I am bored” theme. If you enjoeyed this pop on over to Katy’s place for more question time. Meanwhile I’m off to suck on a strepsil and drink enough tea to fill a small bath.

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.

Babies, babies everywhere

Yes, I am aware that I blogged just a few hours ago. I’m also aware that my life isn’t so exciting that people will want to read about it several times a day. But I’ve just come back from work 5 hours early. I’ve taken the afternoon of to do a practice translation for a company who I’m hoping will offer me a job. I have an hour and a half to wait before they send me the text to translate and I’m very nervous. I have to blog if only to keep me sane!

Jan got an email yesterday. Some friends of ours (who used to live in the student residence) had a baby girl on Sunday. Emily Lara. Cute name 🙂
This is the fifth baby to be born to someone I know this year. Three people I know are still pregnant and due this year. That will be 8 babies. Eight! Just four more and there would be one for every month of the year! Between my relatives, people I went to school with and friends from Germany this is starting to feel like the year of babies.
I just hope there are still some good names left by the time I get round to having kids, otherwise I’ll have to call mine things like Winifred and Pineapple…

But it can’t be morning, I’m still tired!

I’m incredibly tired this morning, not really surprising after getting to bed late and waking up early. So far today I have:

  1. Put my trousers on inside out, then took a few minutes to realise why my zip was the wrong way round
  2. Tried to put my shoes on before realising that only one of my feet had a sock on it

And it’s not even 8 o’clock yet. I dread to think what my translations are going to look like this morning! I just hope I’ve woken up a bit and managed to switch my brain on by the time I have to do the practice translation this afternoon!

Getting somewhere on the job hunting front.

The woman from Ettlingen called today – at 9:30 this morning. They were drilling in the rooms abover our office again (it’s been going on for almost a week now!) which made it slightly difficult to hear her, but I think I managed to get everything. Goodness knows what she thought of me though!They’re going to send me a practice text to translate and then 2 translations to do trial proofreads. I’ve taken Thursday afternoon off, so they’re going to send the texts then and I have a certain amount of time to finish them (an hour for the translation, longer for the proofreads). So things are progressing. If I do a good job the next step will presumably be an invitation to come for an interview. It’s all very exciting… in a horribly nerve racking kind of way!
Today has been hot, which is nice when you have access to a swimming pool and unlimited cold drinks. Not quite so nice when you’re stuck in an office with 3 printers, a fax machine, a photocopier and 5 computers (4 of which were switched on). I shouldn’t complain too much though – Mother Nature might hear me and cause it to rain non-stop for the rest of the summer. I prefer roasting to death in the office than drowning trying to get there thank you very much!

On the way home I decided I’d pop into Aldi and get myself something for tea. Jan isn’t coming over tonight so I wanted something quick, easy and suitable for one person. Of course, me being me “something quick and easy for tea” ended up being 10 euros spent on crap which I then had to carry home. It’s Asia week at Aldi Süd this week, which means they have loads of Chinese and Indian stuff in that they usually don’t sell. This meant I just had to buy a bag of prawn crackers for no reason othet than that they were there and it’s been ages since I had any. Then I spotted the 5 spice. Oh yes, never know when you might need some of that. And oh look, coconut milk. Always useful to have around… I just can’t go food shopping without buying rubbish.
I’m now hot and tired after carrying all that stuff home so I’m off to get an icecream. Yes, before dinner. That’s the advantage of being a) over 21 and b) in a different country to your parents…