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Privacy Policy

BACKGROUND:

This Policy applies as between you, the User of this Web Site and George Trail Translate the owner and provider of this Web Site. This Policy applies to our use of any and all Data collected by us in relation to your use of the Web Site and any Services or Systems therein.

1. Definitions and Interpretation
In this Policy the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Account”
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“Data”
means collectively all information that you submit to the Web Site. This includes, but is not limited to, Account details and information submitted using any of our Services or Systems;
“George Trail Translate”
“Service”
means collectively any online facilities, tools, services or information that George Trail Translate makes available through the Web Site either now or in the future;
“System”
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“User” / “Users”
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“Web Site”
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2. Data Collected
Without limitation, any of the following Data may be collected:
1.1 name;
1.2 date of birth;
1.3 gender;
1.4 job title;
1.5 profession;
1.6 contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers;
1.7 demographic information such as post code, preferences and interests;
1.8 financial information such as credit / debit card numbers;
1.9 IP address (automatically collected);
1.10 web browser type and version (automatically collected);
1.11 operating system (automatically collected);
1.12 a list of URLS starting with a referring site, your activity on this Web Site, and the site you exit to (automatically collected); and
1.13 Cookie information (see Clause 10 below).

3. Our Use of Data
1.1 Any personal Data you submit will be retained by George Trail Translate for as long as you use the Services and Systems provided on the Web Site. Data that you may submit through any communications System that we may provide may be retained for a longer period of up to 6 moths.
1.2 Unless we are obliged or permitted by law to do so, and subject to Clause 4, your Data will not be disclosed to third parties. This includes our affiliates and / or other companies within our group.
1.3 All personal Data is stored securely in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. Fore more details on security, see Clause 9 below.
1.4 Any or all of the above Data may be required by us from time to time in order to provide you with the best possible service and experience when using our Web Site. Specifically, Data may be used by us for the following reasons:
4.a.1 internal record keeping;

4.a.2 improvement of our products / services;

4.a.3 transmission by email of promotional materials that may be of interest to you;

4.a.4 contact for market research purposes which may be done using email, telephone, fax or mail. Such information may be used to customise or update the Web Site.

4. Third Party Web Sites and Services
George Trail Translate may, from time to time, employ the services of other parties for dealing with matters that may include, but are not limited to, payment handling, delivery of purchased items, search engine facilities, advertising and marketing. The providers of such services Do Not have access to certain personal Data provided by Users of this Web Site. Any Data used by such parties is used only to the extent required by them to perform the services that George Trail Translate requests. Any use for other purposes is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, any Data that is processed by third parties must be processed within the terms of this Policy and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

5. Changes of Business Ownership and Control
1.1 George Trail Translate may, from time to time, expand or reduce its business and this may involve the sale of certain divisions or the transfer of control of certain divisions to other parties. Data provided by Users will, where it is relevant to any division so transferred, be transferred along with that division and the new owner or newly controlling party will, under the terms of this Policy, be permitted to use the Data for the purposes for which it was supplied by you.
1.2 In the event that any Data submitted by Users will be transferred in such a manner, you will not be contacted in advance and informed of the changes. When contacted you will not be given the choice to have your Data deleted or withheld from the new owner or controller.

6. Controlling Access to your Data
1.1 Wherever you are required to submit Data, you will be given options to restrict our use of that Data. This may include the following:
1.a.1 use of Data for direct marketing purposes; and
1.a.2 sharing Data with third parties.

7. Your Right to Withhold Information
1.1 You may access certain areas of the Web Site without providing any Data at all. However, to use all Services and Systems available on the Web Site you may be required to submit Account information or other Data.
1.2 You may restrict your internet browser’s use of Cookies. For more information see Clause 10 below.

8. Accessing your own Data
1.1 You may access your Account at any time to view or amend the Data. You may need to modify or update your Data if your circumstances change. Additional Data as to your marketing preferences may also be stored and you may change this at any time.

1.2 You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal Data on payment of a small fee.

9. Security
1.1 Data security is of great importance to George Trail Translate and to protect your Data we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure Data collected online.

10. Cookies
1.1 George Trail Translate may set and access Cookies on your computer. First-party Cookies that may be placed on your computer are detailed in Schedule 1 [and third-party Cookies that may be placed on your computer are detailed in Schedule 2]. [All Cookies used by the Web Site are used in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 as amended by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.] George Trail Translate has carefully chosen these Cookies and uses them to facilitate certain functions and features of the Web Site. [We also use Cookies for analytics purposes. These Cookies track your movements and activities on the Web Site and are designed to give us a better understanding of our users, thus enabling us to improve the Web Site and our services.] 1.2 By using this site you consent to the setting of our Cookies, you are enabling us to provide the best possible experience and service to you through our Web Site. If you wish to deny your consent to the placing of Cookies, certain features of the Web Site may not function fully or as intended.] 1.3 [Certain features of the Web Site depend upon Cookies to function and are
1.4 deemed, within the law, to be strictly necessary. These Cookies are detailed in Schedule 1A. You will not be asked for your consent to place these Cookies however you may still disable cookies via your web browser’s settings, as set out in sub-Clause 10.4.] 1.5 You can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your web browser. By default, your browser will accept Cookies, however this can be altered. For further details please consult the help menu in your browser. Disabling Cookies may prevent you from using the full range of Services available on the Web Site.

1.6 You may delete Cookies at any time however you may lose any information that enables you to access the Web Site more quickly.

1.7 [The Web Site uses the third-party Cookies detailed in Schedule 2 for the purposes described therein. These Cookies are not integral to the services provided by the Web Site to you and may be blocked at your choosing via your internet browser’s privacy settings or via your response to the request for consent detailed in sub-Clause 10.2.] 1.8 It is recommended that you ensure that your internet browser is up-to-date and that you consult the help and guidance provided by the developer of your browser if you are unsure as to how to adjust your privacy settings.

11. Changes to this Policy
George Trail Translate reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by law. Any changes will be immediately posted on the Web Site and you are deemed to have accepted the terms of the Policy on your first use of the Web Site following the alterations.

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A TASTE FOR SUBSTANCE IN TRANSLATION

Surely the worst thing that can happen to a professional translator, like myself, is to be lost for words when at work. I mean, nothing can substitute the confidence that you are doing a translation job not just “well” i.e. at a perfunctory level, but with a certain kind of mastery that will make the reader feel confidence from the start, even if it had not been suggested to them beforehand that they should specifically assess their confidence in you and your work. I am wholly committed to pursuing and maintaining that. I mean, how would I be taken seriously as a professional translator otherwise? And a reasonable part of that is to do with a taste for the substance in the subject matter of the original material.

Have you ever felt like you were looking for something without really knowing what it is? When was the last time you reached the point of no return in your interest in a subject? And did you ever ask yourself about its substance – what really makes it… just what it is (and specifically in the real world, not just in your creative imagination – at the risk of causing shock, probably more the subconscious, rather than conscious, aspects of it)?

Now, having said all that: it’s far easier to translate something with little to no substance than it is to translate something with a lot of it. To provide an example, Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_K6971WmAs (as sung in the feature film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – 1991) certainly has no substance, nothing capable of any kind of intellectual enlightenment whatsoever (the chorus in particular), because its entire content revolves around a “less than fine” kind of entertainment that only a child with a lot to learn, or someone in an altered state of mind, could get momentarily lost in and indeed carried away by and call it pleasurable / satisfying (forgetting the worries of the real world, of course). Everything is outlandish as it calls for suspension of disbelief. Compare that with something objective and formal in real life, like a business presentation or court documents. They will be much harder to translate, won’t they?

It should help to put this into some sort of context: here I have translated a slew of, shall we say, things that children have actually said which are amusing and endearing for varied reasons, into French and German. But I will strictly state that they are (at least most of the time) things which have a “not fully true / sensical” element about them; but that said, it is hardly likely that they will have any bearing on anyone’s opinions of or attitudes toward anything “real”. That’s my account of what gives them their appeal and allows them to command attention the way they do. They are all taken from the “humour book” “Small talk” (Nanette Newman).

English: “Once you’ve had a baby you can’t put it back.”
French: “Après avoir né un bébé, on ne peut pas le remettre.”
German: “Nachdem man ein Baby gehabt hat, kann man es nicht zurücksetzen.”

English: “My rabbit was very sorry to die because he liked eating.”
French: “Mon lapin était très triste à mourir parce qu’il adorait manger.”
German: “Mein Kaninchen war beim Sterben sehr traurig, weil das Essen ihm gefiel.”

English: “I say my prayers with my eyes open so I can hear what I am saying.”
French: “J’annonce mes prières avec les yeux ouverts pour que je puisse entendre ce que je dis.”
German: “Ich sage meine Gebete mit offenen Augen, damit ich hören kann was ich sage.”

English: “You must take care of love – if you don’t it goes bad.”
French: “Il faut prendre soin de l’amour – si on ne fait pas cela il devient pourri.”
German: “Man muss sich um die Liebe kümmern – wenn das nicht gemacht wird, dann verfällt sie.”

English: “We are going to Windsor Castle to see the Queen’s private parts.”
French: “Nous allons aller au château de Windsor pour voir les parties intimes de la Reine.”
German: “Wir werden den Windsor-Schloss besuchen, um die privaten Parts der Königin zu sehen.”

English: “My mummy cried on my first day at school so I had to take her home.”
French: “Maman a pleuré pendant mon premier jour à l’école, alors j’ai dû la ramener à la maison.”
German: “Während meines ersten Schultages hat Mutti geweint, deswegen musste ich sie wieder zu Hause bringen.”

English: “No-one covered Jesus up when he was born, he could have caught flu.”
French: “Personne n’a couvert Jésus pendant sa naissance, il a pu attrapé la grippe.”
German: “Als Jesus geboren wurde hat niemand ihn umgehüllt, er könnte die Grippe bekommen haben.”

English: “Peace. Mummy and Daddy like peace. They don’t often get it.”
French: “La paix. Maman et Papa aiment la paix. Ils l’ont guère.”
German: “Der Friede. Mutti und Vati lieben Friede. Sie bekommen ihn selten.”

But here’s an example of a topic with substance which, in a way, revolves around language in the real world: maybe you have heard of all this talk about people in the UK wanting to forbid the term “junior doctor” in case it sounds condescending to those it labels. The substance behind all this? It’s the pressure that the NHS is under right now. That’s what really stimulated it. Everyone knows it, even if they won’t admit it.

You see, stuff with substance is not just “important” (but it’s not like that word is to be regarded as a label which automatically confirms some kind of high status on whatever it designates); it’s accepted as genuinely engaging by most people (no matter who they are or who they think they are), and not just in the short term. In a way, it’s possible to be both right and wrong about certain aspects of such stuff. These topics are very easy for anyone to have half-intelligent, if potentially contentious, debates about, and, depending on the particular circumstances, it is ultimately capable of fostering education and / or ongoing personal development. There is an afterword to this point: is it not an intelligent idea that the hardest psychological / mental thing to destroy is your own ignorance in connection with something, especially when you are incapable of making guesses with regard to it?

The only possible response to this in a context of producing quality translation work is to find ways to be receptive to what goes on in the real world – outside of the boundaries of my cosy office, in my case. It may be true that I am on my guard against being too casual and insouciant with regard to the expressions I use in my work on a surface level… and yet there are still times when I feel like a fool, as if I should know better than to be “reluctant” or “ashamed” to be inclined to consider more potential in if otherwise quite ordinary things in life; potential which, for all I know, could indeed go as far as what might be technically termed “occasional wonders”. Instead I seem more given to just always regard things purely logically rather than with any kind of human touch – but it would be terrible if, every time I tried to articulate my own reasoning about something, it would sound like I was using a lot of clichés and PBAs, or making excuses for failing to understand others’ sensitivities regarding it – sensitivities which only exist because of who they are.
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THE PURSUIT OF FLAWLESS TRANSLATION: CONSIDERATION OF CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES AND THE END OF SOCIAL IGNORANCE

Foreword: are translators, or even just linguists, considered artists by default? Consider this quote: “[The artist’s] function is to make his imagination… become the light in the minds of others. His role, in short, is to help people to live their lives.” (Wallace Stevens) It is also said that understanding is an art, and not everyone is an artist.

That said, I am a professional translator, and here’s a good question: why do people get so emotionally attached to their mother tongue – not just because it merely enables communication in its basic general sense (and I can say that with authority because I know that the French authorities once tried to crack down on franglais)?

Can you answer that easily or coherently?

Knowing how a given language tends to be so intertwined with local culture: in some ways, it is the very basis of one’s way of so-called thinking for quite a lot of people – no offence.

That said, I think I should highlight that I indeed said “no offence” at the end, for a good reason. For I totally intend to relate the general topic of social ignorance / awareness to the subject of professional translation worth the name here – and I didn’t want to upset people by making it look like I am thoughtlessly suggesting that they are thick and ignorant, and it is but good manners in action; and that in itself is at the opposite end of the spectrum from social ignorance. For good manners and observation of social norms are key ingredients of social cohesion, and – especially to those that observe them – they are essential things that can and do help to form sound expectations of one’s peers which are not against their better judgement (unless of course you’re a progressive feminist or a Guardian reader or something like that).

Of course, in reality, people will always try to form judgements of their peers, whether they like it or not. It’s just human nature. Think about it. So, surely the idea of good manners by anyone’s interpretation thereof is basically one of unfaltering consideration of other people’s rights, concerns, wishes and situation – asking yourself what you owe it to other people to acknowledge; it’s not solely a matter of asking yourself what you owe it to other people to do for them, whether or not reasons for it speak for themselves. With this, it always pays to ask yourself how much of a judge of others’ mood, concerns and situation you really are – whether or not everyone does this speaks volumes about their own values, and this is probably the biggest “thing” that ultimately makes a society what it is. I mean, how much does the pursuit of “justifiable” (if tacit) conceit really pay off?

In the context of translation, of course, you get different societies with differing values and perspectives, forged and reinforced by different cultures; and people will inevitably sometimes be very passionate about their opinions about what expressions are acceptable / passable or not in any given situation (whatever that exactly means pending consideration of the concept of context) (of course, the consensuses are not always consistent…); although, that said, at this point I am inclined to talk about that which has greater emotional value to me as an individual personally, not that it is in any way related to my identity. (Can you ponder the emotional significance factor in translation?) You see, I grew up thinking that “happy” was but the opposite of “sad”, and I always thought that I knew a sad person when I saw one: someone who was in tears, the ends of their lips pointing down rather than up, whatever (NB I was born autistic). And yet, since those days I have actually, somehow, become someone inclined to view this man www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ-fgWXPOBY as “sad” (in the catachresic, somewhat comical sense) because he actually agreed to spend enough time in his life to create a video which would end up lasting more than 3 hours in which he reads out the longest word in the English language (methionylthreonyl... [...] ...serxisoleucine, or the chemical name of titin) for the public while looking what I once would have regarded as merely bored. (He’s not even a native English speaker, interestingly enough.) But what does that say about me? But then, what about him? Maybe someone should ask him if he actually expected to be commended or praised for this “accomplishment” (i.e. because of how unlikely it is that anyone would do something like this) – which, in reality, he likely (probably subconsciously) doesn’t consider any more likely than I do – and it’s the same with you, right?

The point I am trying to make which is of such relevance to professional translation is this: getting to know another culture in the truest sense is pretty similar to getting to know someone better in the truest sense: for getting to know someone better in the truest sense requires knowing how to put aside labels and (specifically) suggesting that they have qualities similar to whomever else, especially if it’s someone else who has been a defining person in your life for very personal reasons, particularly if you believe that no-one else knows the same. And in particular if they are a fictional character. And while it is quite OK to adhere to harmless ideals, I cannot emphasise how important it is to ask yourself if known claims related thereto are actually grounded in something tangible rather than casuistry.

But please don’t be daunted by the idea of “bending over backwards” to learn a new culture in the truest sense. We live in an age where global travel is easily accomplishable as long as you have enough money and whatnot, so it should come as no surprise that many people claim that they have travelled to at least one foreign country and immersed themselves in the local culture there. But if any given local culture is to be truly understood by anyone, maybe remembering not to be too attached to hypothetical debates regarding “potential” with it is a good place to start. Don’t forget that you could have been born into another country’s local culture, just like the people there could have been born into yours. They say that “education is the progressing realisation of our ignorance” for a reason, you know.

You know, me writing that alone was enough to remind me of the quote “a different language is a different version of life”. So, yes, let’s keep open minds – while never forgetting to account for the significance of our new discoveries: in photos, diary entries, audio recordings, whatever. That’s what immersing yourself in a new culture (without necessarily “submitting to it”) is all about!

Of course, nothing is set in stone. Things change. And professional translators should be proud to wrestle with untested “truths”, as well as tested ones, born of whatever culture, for the sake of better choices in the production of their work.

If this is all too much for you, consider this: which of the following rings truer to you: “the best is yet to come”, or “the worst is yet to come”? Right… now what if I suggested that whichever one you have more psychological / emotional investment in will indeed determine your fate as such?

Thank you and goodbye.
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