Georgios Zoumpoulidis

Georgios Zoumpoulidis

Freelance translator and QA/MT specialist. Core specialisation: localisation, law, business & finance. PhD student (Translation Studies) at Cardiff University, teaching at undergrad level.

Location Cardiff


  • @JudeDawson As a freelance translator myself, I can attest to the fact that we get paid a lot less than we deserve. Especially for newcomers in the field, fees may actually be very low indeed. Things do get better as you get more experience and credentials, though, so there is always hope, I guess :)

  • If the setting allows, yes, and in fact they should. But there are cases where you simply can not...

  • "How can I help you" is a very colourful example indeed in several languages. It may be the case that the first time it was/is translated (wrongly of course) literally, and then this bit of foreignness gains currency and is incorporated in the target language...

  • Very true. As the saying goes, although all translators/interpreters are (at least) bilingual, the reverse is not necessarily true :)

  • @ElizabethLudwig-Simkin It's a mouthful, isn't it ? :-)

  • @AmyJordi I really liked your comment, so I'll offer one question that will probably make you a bit mad at me: How certain are you that the heart I'm referring to is not the same as the one you talk of? :-)

    A cybernetic/AI kind of heart (the heart of a general AI), so to speak, will probably be different than human heart. An AI's despair will be different...

  • @KatalinEgriKu-Mesu In Piller's book, I particularly enjoyed "The Subordination of Linguistic Diversity" (Chapter 3).

  • Thank you very much for your kind words - do keep reading, lots of interesting stuff ahead as well!

  • Business and Finance are 2 distinct specialisms, as Dorota correctly pointed out. For Finance, you'd probably need some financial credentials as well. In your case (USA), you wouldn't necessarily need to pass something like the Series 7 exam, but the closer you get to it the better, obviously :)

    Having more languages is always an advantage, but you would...

  • There are some quite funny "horror" stories regarding post-editing (editing of machine translation by human proofreaders) so that it becomes publishable. In some cases, companies basically had to write off MT as unusable and request retranslation by humans, but usually it is a mix of minor and major corrections (by humans). MT systems are still always liable...

  • @HowardHarris Here is the thing though: the more variables you correctly identify, the easier it becomes to actually develop neural systems that replicate them. In fact, if we could only isolate all variables involved, we could just program the relevant systems and problem solved. Said variables may be complex, but if they are identifiable and quantifiable...

  • @ElenaKalinina I am not familiar with the translation in Russian, so I can say that in this case the translation seems to be a certain reading of the source. From a hermeneutical point of view, this can be either questionable or highly commendable. From a normative point of view, it would be norms and conventions of the receiving culture that decide what the...

  • The fact that MT is not ripe enough is due to our own inability to construct algorithms and systems that do so - we are getting better at it, though we are quite there yet. As someone who has worked for Google in the past, I can say that I am almost confident that we will get to the point where you will be able to use MT reliably in many, but probably not all,...

  • Never is such a strong word - better not go there. I think I'd stick with "at this time", "presently", etc. on both fronts. At a certain level of analysis, even "heart" can be reduced to chemicals, engineering, electronics and neurology. You could also add a discursive element as well in the mix, if you want to go for 100% :)

  • Do not count out machine translation. It is an essential building block of translation work both now and in the future. It still is a relatively new tool, and wrinkles are still being ironed out. Using it can be funny at times though, as you correctly point out :)

  • @KatalinEgriKu-Mesu I would agree in principle, although in the case in question things are quite complicated, and I think there are many forces at play...

  • That might also account for the fact that many of us feel at home when watching Star Trek and maybe speaking Klingon as well :)

  • @VeraVinokurova If you happen to have some time to kill ;) then you might want to check out Chapter 4, Politeness and Translation, by Juliane House, in The Pragmatics of Translation (ed. Leo Hickey).

  • @AmberEdwards Same experience for me regarding Greece - using *please* and especially *sorry* the British way in most of Club Med(iterranean) countries is always very interesting :)

  • @EduardoMórlan Great stuff, wish I could 3D print it right now :)
    Or, alternatively, Star Trek transporter option also accepted :)

  • @EduardoMórlan Thank you very much - could you sent over some Annona, please? :)

  • If I may offer some advice, get back to reading Kipling - there are no elves there, if memory serves, but his text is at times magical as well...

  • The answer lies in your third sentence, I think ("It is difficult for me to imagine a world in which people don't know what ricotta is"). One's paradise is another's hell - speakers of a language are divided in many ways, and what Group A takes for granted, Group B might have never heard of. From a practical point of view, it is a numbers game, after a fashion...

  • "Schadenfreude", deriving pleasure from the suffering of others, is often quoted as a word with no equivalent in English, but this is where knowing a bit of Ancient Greek helps - the rarely used word "epicaricacy", derived from the Ancient Greek ἐπιχαιρεκακία (same meaning as Schadenfreude), is the translation you are looking for :)

    Having said that,...

  • In Junker's defence (though I'm not really familiar with the incident), might I add that in central European "speak" *nebulous* usually does not necessarily mean anything inherently "bad", it basically means not clear-cut, but in a more abstract/political way. You need other words nearby/other context for it to have a negative meaning. It was probably his...

  • Thank you very much for this - your description brings back fond memories! One quick question - by "persuasion skills" do you mean that they persuade the tourists that they can understand the language(s) involved, or something entirely different ;)

  • @StépiphanieReikcnor This represents a valiant prescriptive definition attempt - although I'm quite certain that within some other framework it would be considered descriptive instead :)

    The issue is extremely wide-ranging and fascinating, both historically and from a philosophical point of view. Theory of meaning (within translation studies), philosophy...

  • Could I ask what your language is? "Transferring liquid from one container to another" sounds quite intriguing! Does "interpreting" mean something equally exotic in your language as well?

  • Well done - always ask if not sure :)
    The example I gave is a valid starting point, but if interested in more recent cases like this one, try the debate around recently naming a very distant binary object "Ultima Thule", an ancient legend/name that was appropriated by a certain much more recent infamous party. What the idea of "Ultima Thule" means for each...

  • @LyesAllalou Your definition of a monster is quite enjoyable. Also, translation may indeed be much more than delivering a message. We'll talk about what that may be in the next weeks, stay tuned :)

  • If you define them as synonyms for the purposes of this discussion, I'll happily go along with it (I believe that's the case). If you mean that they are equivalent, then I would just make a very cheap point (instead of a long and probably quite boring philosophical argument): ideas can have meaning that is totally disassociated to them. For instance, a red...

  • Wish I could give you a few million likes for "becoming language", but the system only allows one :)

    I think this idea is connected to Walter Benjamin's "pure language". You may want to check out "The Task of the Translator" and "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", if you are interested in some "light" reading :)

  • I think that at times translation can be about all the things you both correctly mention: sometimes register may be critical, sometimes meaning, sometimes ideas, sometimes several other things as well. Sometimes you are led by the text to certain conclusion, for example, but sometimes it might be the other way round. You as a translator may decide to go...

  • Google translate and other machine translation software/sites/etc should be used, I think, as they are probably your only tool into a language you don't know, for instance, or for churning out translations on demand rapidly. Using them, however, should come with an understanding of the inherent limitations (some of which you correctly mention!)

  • Fully agree!
    Re your last sentence, I would even go as far as to say that that the reverse also holds true; at times it's so easy for translation to get lost in ideas :)

  • I quite agree - although, does it really have to be monster? :)

  • A similar example can be found in Missandei's interpretation efforts in Game of Thrones, S3E3, where Daenerys negotiates to swap a dragon for the Unsullied:

  • From a psychoanalytical point of view, at times you may even have trouble translating what "you" want to say in "your" language.

  • Well, Google translate (as well as other machine translation software) is a good place to start. On a corporate level, when MT is used, post-editing by humans is usually the next logical step, though.

    Also, there is something positively seductive and quite addictive about entering text, pressing a "Translate now" button and having a translation of sorts :)

  • We'd need a bit of context - are you referring to this?

  • After you've "found your voice in English" (or any language), so to speak, I think the question then becomes - is it the same language that you started out with, or have you become someone else in the meantime, catering to the needs of the Other? :)

  • Terribly sorry - hope all is well now :)

  • I can't really say I know very much about what has been happening in Syria the last few years, but I'm pretty sure yours is one of the most important professions, given the circumstances... Hang in there!