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sctroyenne
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739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 1041 of 1317
17 June 2014 at 4:17am | IP Logged 
Bonne chance, ou bien, je te dis merde !

I've interviewed a few times in French and it was quite a bit intimidating but I had good results. The key is o
prepare some talking points ahead of time and do your best to remain calm. Have fun - it's really exhilerating
when your language skills can serve for things other than vanity or general enrichment. If your French
business ventures ever bring you to the Left Coast, let me know!
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emk
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 1042 of 1317
18 June 2014 at 12:39am | IP Logged 
Thank you for the moral support, Patrick and sctroyenne!

Preparation for the conference continues apace. I've translated some of my sales copy and a short version of my CV, and posted them to a French freelancing site. I've finished the first-draft translation of one of my most popular blog posts. And I've hired a French journalist/proofreader to pick over my translations carefully, because there's no excuse for even small errors on a CV.

Next up: Translate a longer version of my CV, and prepare a two-sided, English/French business card on good stock.

Oh, and it's clear that my French is definitely adequate for written professional communications when I'm a paying customer. But I knew that already; it's a pretty low standard. :-)
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emk
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 Message 1043 of 1317
18 June 2014 at 1:39pm | IP Logged 
Oh wow. I just received the corrected & rewritten version of my freelancing profile, and it's great. I told the writer who corrected it that my goal was to attract clients, and she did a very professional overhaul and rewrite. Now my French sales copy is actually better than what I've been using in English. I'll post a link to it here once it goes up.

But that's the nice thing about hiring advertising copywriters: you can basically pick whoever sounds the most impressive, because after all, they wrote their own advertisements, too. :-) It's sort of like the old xkcd cartoon about marketing interviews.

I still have my CV and business cards to translate, and maybe a few paragraphs of additional sales copy. This is a somewhat time-consuming project, but it's super-helpful: The only way that I learn stuff in French is to throw myself in over my head and try to stay afloat. By translating a lot of professional stuff, I'm filling in weird little vocabulary holes.

This is, I think, one of the major limits of "natural" methods: You can't really get good at something unless you can create situations where you need those skills. And then you need to fall on your face a bit.
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James29
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1265 posts - 2113 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
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 Message 1044 of 1317
18 June 2014 at 2:04pm | IP Logged 
You are definitely right about needing to fall on your face a bit... it is quite frustrating because there are just not ways to learn what you need to know. you just need to do it.

I am just staring the process of "falling on my face" with my Spanish at work. It is frustrating, but it simply needs to be done. Luckily, I find Spanish speakers quite forgiving about my problems/mistakes with Spanish.


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emk
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 Message 1045 of 1317
19 June 2014 at 8:38pm | IP Logged 
James29 wrote:
You are definitely right about needing to fall on your face a bit... it is quite frustrating because there are just not ways to learn what you need to know. you just need to do it.

Ain't it the truth. :-)

Well, all my translation is done, and I'm waiting for corrections from my proofreader & copywriter. Some random thoughts on translation:

1. I've usually disliked translating as a language-learning exercise, because too many linguistic details "leak" through, even if I translate from French to English. Normally I try to keep my languages fairly isolated from each other.

2. But my mental model of French is now robust enough that I can often look at something I've translated and say, "Nope, whatever the heck that is, it sure isn't idiomatic French." So it's starting to be useful for me to try and translate tricky bits of formal writing, because it forces me to look up and practice lots of little turns of phrase.

3. As always, writing about a subject in French is great preparation for speaking about it.

4. "Business" English is relatively easy to translate into French, because the various translation databases like Linguee have incredible depth in this area, and if I get stuck, I can get an answer in seconds. Sales copy is easy to translate, too, but it's better to hand it over to a professional in any case.

5. Technical English is a pain in the neck. And the more technical it gets, the worse the pain. Translating a technical blog post was bad, but translating the technical sections of my resume just about broke my brain. And Linguee is of little help here.

It's actually pretty interesting to realize how much I rely on text that I've written in the past, canned explanations of various subjects, and so. It's almost as if I use Boris Shekhtman's pre-rehearsed "islands" technique in my native language, too. Part of learning to operate in a second language is recreating these islands, apparently.

Now, back to work on bilingual business card layout. At the moment, this amuses me far more than deciding whether I ought to take a DALF exam at some point. :-)
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sctroyenne
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739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 1046 of 1317
20 June 2014 at 7:22am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
1. I've usually disliked translating as a language-learning exercise, because too many linguistic details "leak" through, even if I translate from French to English. Normally I try to keep my languages fairly isolated from each other.

2. But my mental model of French is now robust enough that I can often look at something I've translated and say, "Nope, whatever the heck that is, it sure isn't idiomatic French." So it's starting to be useful for me to try and translate tricky bits of formal writing, because it forces me to look up and practice lots of little turns of phrase.


I feel like I've been able to keep languages pretty well-separated - when I'm speaking in French I'm thinking in French until I come across something I really can't express. My thought process seems to naturally conform to what I know how to say in French. Which is a good thing - but also a bad thing since I'm missing out on the expressiveness I have in my native language without even noticing it. That's what makes translation a good exercise since you can't use circumlocution.

When I was translating articles for the consulate and for other people, I found that initially I would have a hard time expressing things naturally (in both directions). My initial attempts at translation tended to be very much Franglais. But I found that coming back to it after I let it rest a bit that I had a much easier time. It just takes time for the brain to switch between the two modes.

And it's very true about creating islands - that's essentially what we do all the time in our native languages without paying attention to the linguistic mechanics of it. Whenever we rehearse a pitch, a job interview, a pickup line, an anecdote, a joke, etc we're using an island-like technique to make our speech more polished and to appear wittier or more intelligent. Think of snappy movie/TV dialogue versus how people speak in real life. We're just worse at improvising in our TLs, that's all.
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emk
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Joined 3639 days ago

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 Message 1047 of 1317
20 June 2014 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
I feel like I've been able to keep languages pretty well-separated - when I'm speaking in French I'm thinking in French until I come across something I really can't express.

Ironically, I get a similar effect in the other direction: I'll be thinking in English until I come across something which I can express quite nicely in French, but which sounds awkward in English. This happens less when I'm using English heavily with monolingual speakers, though—my brain will eventually suppress my French.

Egyptian. Beeminder really is just the perfect tool for this project. It keeps me from slacking off and forgetting my weekly lesson:



I've just finished clearing a big backlog of new cards that built up when I was sick, and the lessons are definitely getting interesting. As I mentioned earlier, it's pretty much all native materials from lesson 50 onwards, and Assimil is currently devoting quite a bit of time to the Egyptian subjunctive.

I've just arranged to have two weeks of margin "above the road" in Beeminder, so that I can focus on other stuff for a bit. I have 46 new cards queued up in Anki, and a backlog of 45 reviews (today and about two days of overdue cards). In other words, nothing too strenuous.
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emk
Diglot
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United States
Joined 3639 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
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 Message 1048 of 1317
23 June 2014 at 1:51pm | IP Logged 
La conférence pour des startups françaises aura lieu bientôt ! D'ici là, je vais m'immerger dans le français presque à temps plein. Je viens de commencer avec un weekend à Montréal, et je vais continuer avec plusieurs sessions sur iTalki et beaucoup de temps avec VoilaTV.

Et la traduction d'un article sur mon blog, dont je parle depuis quelques semaines ? La voici :

Quote:
13 perspectives sur les symboles de Ruby

Les nouveaux développeurs Ruby demandent souvent : « Les symboles, c'est quoi, exactement ? Et quelle est la différence entre String et Symbol ? » Malheureusement, il n'y a aucune explication qui va aider tout le monde, alors — avec mes excuses au poète américain Wallace Stevens — je vous présente 13 perspectives sur les symboles de Ruby.

Un symbole de Ruby est :

...le nom de quelque chose, et pas seulement un morceau de texte
...une constante dans une énumération informelle
...un nom constant et unique
...une chaîne de caractères « internée »
...un objet qui peut être comparé en temps O(1)
...un identificateur Lisp
...un identificateur Ruby
...le mot-clé d'un paramètre mot-clé
...un bon choix pour une clé de hachage
...comme un OSType sur le Mac
...une fuite de mémoire
...une façon astucieuse de ne garder en mémoire qu'un seul exemplaire d'une chaîne
...un typedef C appelé ID

Lire la suite…


Vos corrections sont les bienvenues ! Vous pouvez lire la version originale aussi, si vous voulez, et vous pouvez trouver plus d'articles en français sur mon blog. Là, j'ai un peu le syndrome d'imposteur.

J'ai aussi traduit mon site professionnel ainsi que mon profil LinkedIn. Mais pour les choses de ce genre, je préfère un peu d'aide professionnelle, parce que les fautes sont complètement insupportables dans les CV et les sites professionnels. J'ai trouvé une bonne journaliste / rédactrice sur Hopwork, un site où on peut chercher des travailleurs indépendants en France. Et avec un peu de chance, j'aurai aussi des cartes de visite bilingues pour la conférence.

Quand j'utilise mon français dans un environnement francophone à temps plein, beaucoup de choses deviennent de plus en plus faciles.

Edited by emk on 23 June 2014 at 3:02pm



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