Etobon Project Blog - Journal posts are listed below
The Etobon Project

KED Language Services, LLC


How it works: If you'd like an estimate on your translation project, send me an email including a copy of the document (Word or .pdf) and your deadline date. I will respond with an estimate for your project.

Cost and Payment: I offer a per-hour rate for translation clients. This rate includes research on your translation project, formatting of your translated documents and personalized service. For clients with large or ongoing projects, my per-hour rate may be the best choice. Charges for translation services can also be based on the number of words in the original (source) document. For small projects, I charge a minimum fixed rate. Payment is normally due 7 days after the translation is delivered. This gives you time to review the document. I accept PayPal and, for some projects, EFT and checks on U.S. banks.

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Entries in translation (8)


How is Translation Quality Measured?

Translators often talk about the quality of their work. What does that mean? I recently learned that I've been ranked as the #1 linguist in my language pair for my biggest client. Here's how I received that ranking, a testimony to the high quality of the translations I produce:

  • Timely delivery: I deliver translations on or ahead of schedule. Overbooking my time is not helpful for me or my clients.
  • On-budget: I only accept work that I can deliver within the client's budget, and then make sure to meet those constraints.
  • Accuracy: I choose projects that fit my expertise. I want to be comfortable that my translation accurately reflects the meaning of your text.
  • Ease of editing: I work hard to reduce the amount of editing needed on my work. I use a variety of tools for proofing, grammar and spell-checking documents before I deliver them.
  • Reliability: The theme of reliability runs through my clients' reviews of my work. You can count on me.

Translation quality can be measured, and when my client measured the quality of my work, they ranked me at the top of the list.


Mentoring a New Translator

I have a background in mentoring, having led the Woman to Woman Mentoring program and personally mentored other professionals along the way, but I was quite pleased when a young colleague asked me to mentor her a couple of months ago. She is a recent graduate and lives in a very cosmopolitan European city, but she, like many translators, finds the work can be isolating and that it's hard to get started and maintain motivation.

What I like about mentoring is that it's a two-way street. The mentor usually gets just as much (if not more) out of the relationship as the mentee does. In our meetings (via Skype) so far, we have held each other accountable for maintaining a schedule, researching new market opportunities and reading in the translation literature. I fully expect that I will grow as a professional through our mentoring relationship, and I hope that she will, too.

Mentoring another professional keeps both parties on their toes and keeps them accountable. In a profession where work is often done solo in front of a screen (or two or three), it's good to have someone who understands the challenges and is willing to share ideas.

Do you have a mentor or are you mentoring another professional? If not, you might want to give it a try: you may find it's one of the best ways to grow in your career.


A Visit to Etobon and Struthof

September 27, 2014, I was honored to speak at the 70th commemoration of the massacre at Etobon, France. The sun shone on over 200 people gathered to remember those who were murdered by German troops at the end of World War II. The mayor, my colleague Pastor Samuel Kpoty and I were joined by students from the Etobon-Chenebier primary school and community members in honoring those who died for France.

September 29, I visited the only World War II concentration camp in France, at Struthof in Alsace. It is a sobering place that housed over 52,000 prisoners during its time. Many of the prisoners were resistance leaders from countries in Western Europe and high-level officers in the Free French Army. Most died there. Some survived and shared their testimony of their days in the death camp. Their drawings and writings are a powerful witness to systematic evil. It’s important never to forget the history of this little-known camp. Even though reliving this part of France’s history is painful, continuing to share the story means the thousands who died at Struthof did not sacrifice in vain. Translation of this history makes this story accessible to people around the world.

The monument overlooking the Struthof concentration camp


The Year of Commemorations: 100 Years After World War I, 70 Years After World War II 

2014 marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I and 70 years since the invasion of Europe by Allied troops, resulting in the liberation of much of western Europe. Around the globe, including in places like India and New Zealand, people are remembering 1914 and 1944 through letters, diaries, photographs and newspaper articles. This is a year to remember the sacrifice and worldwide suffering resulting from those wars.

Some families have documents related to their ancestors' service in the wars that are in another language. Joe Atkinson's family, for example, had several newspaper articles and letters in French that they wanted to have translated so they could share them with future generations. Those who safeguard the memory of British Indian troops in World War II are glad to have access to the story of Commonwealth soldiers translated from French into English. Translation makes these important accounts available to new audiences and preserves history.

Does your family have letters, articles or journals from the World Wars that are in French? Would you like to have them translated into English? Contact me and I can provide you with a price and timetable for your translation. Understanding your family's history is important.


My Summer Reading List: What does a translator read?

"What are you reading?" is a question booklovers, writers and translators often ask one another. Our reading lists are a window into our imagination and our passions. I've got a long reading list for summer 2014, but I'll be spending some quality time in France with plenty of time to dive into my chosen books. Here's what's on my list:

  • The Luminaries - I've been reading Eleanor Catton's prize-winning novel set in 19th century New Zealand, and it's first on my list to complete.
  • The Suitors - I'm reading Cécile David-Weill's lighthearted account of a family's attempts to save its French country house.
  • Des Gens Très Bien - Alexandre Jardin's exploration of family betrayals promises to be a window on 20th century French morality.
  • The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair - The book that has taken Europe by storm is on my list.
  • The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize winning novel rounds out my summer reading for 2014.

Will other books come along and shoulder their way onto my list? Of course. The Washington Post gave Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes a stellar review, so I may have to read it. Other authors vying for my attention include Françoise Sagan, James Salter, Ruth Rendell, Torqil MacLeod, Pieter Aspe and Frédérique Garlaschi.

What are you reading?