Some CPD to
continually please and
dazzle from here on
In the name of CPD – Continued Professional Development – I’m excited to start a course on ‘eco-design for cities and suburbs’ today through a certain MOOC website on-line. I hope it will be good as I’m very interested in this area. I’ve already started an architectural-related course with a different university on the same website. The latter is both theoretical, referring to philosophers like Emanuel Kant, and practical in that it gives assignments on comparing architecture, identifying features on plans, drawing plans, etc.. As with the other courses available, you can choose (up to a certain time before the course ends) whether or not to pay for a verified certificate of achievement.
Taking courses like this by actual professionals in architecture or whatever domain really enhances your translation work and that’s always a plus. Courses given by translators experienced in translation of the architecture/other domain are fine too but only to a point.
There are many things that interest me in life but architecture is definitely one of them. I’ve been more interested in the architecture of various places I have visited than any other typical holiday activity. A recent visit to Riga (and nearby Jurmala with its frozen seaside) in Latvia was a real feast for the eyes (while also broadening my travel horizons at the same time). Riga is known for its Art Nouveau and it’s a place I definitely recommend for anyone with even the slightest interest in architecture. For anyone confused between Art Deco and Art Nouveau, the latter is the decorative form of architecture/design (practically everything in Riga but another example would be the arches in the Eiffel tower) and Art Deco is the sleeker form (e.g. the spire of the Chrysler building).
How architecture – beautiful or not so beautiful! – fits into its environment and whether it’s beneficial to it is also important. I’ve already translated documents about architecture, and interior design relating to large developments, and have my architectural/construction glossary long compiled (but with several extra online resources to back it up) and I’d like to do more, hence these two courses (and my existing resources) to enhance my work.
Of course architecture worldwide, like other professions, has its own jargon and humour that is ‘foreign’ to laypeople (even intralingually) so that’s another challenge as end clients need things in plain English. I have seen a book about this, by an architect, which takes a satirical look at the language architects use (in this case in English) and translates it into everyday English.
Important note: You can’t hope to continually please and dazzle existing or prospective clients if your area of translation doesn’t please or dazzle you yourself (passion/ate is an overused word in my opinion*). Don’t you think? Your efforts will hopefully bring a continuous flow of new business for you.
* P.S. devastated is another word I find to be overused, often in ridiculous contexts.