Lost in Translation

The author of the following article is Caterina Berger. She works as a freelancer for the translation agency Linguation in the field of content creation and online marketing. She majored in Japanese Studies and is working towards a doctorate in General Linguistics. Her favourite area is sociolinguistics and intercultural communication. We are pleased to have her as a guest author.

Admittedly, my title is not exactly original, but there are good reasons for that. In fact it is hard to describe life as a translator more accurately. Between clients who question every syllable of their ten-year-old internship testimony and those who would like to have their 500-page dissertation translated into Chinese by the end of the week, we have the pleasure of coping with unpaid invoices, unclear instructions and corrupt file formats.

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Home Office in Quarantine

Up to now, some of my colleagues have worked from home because they wanted to do it themselves (and sometimes their managers had to be convinced). Those who received management blessing then took special care to appear just as professional from home as from the office – or even more professional. The webcam background was checked for telltale elements that could allow conclusions to be drawn about private life, and any acoustic disturbances were also eliminated. It is better to sweat with the window closed than to risk the noise of the nearby carnival penetrating through the phone.

And all this is – at least in my experience – suddenly quite different…

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Underground Sustainability

In January, I told you about the “eco etiquette” and my attempt to reduce my own ecological footprint. In the meantime I have changed a number of processes and products in my everyday life and I am still in the process of finding out how big its effect might be. It is a complex undertaking… For some issues it is made easy for me: there is a credible book, an expert or a reputable website that can help. In other areas it is more complicated.

An example of this is the matter of how you would like to organize your parting from the Earth. Is there an “green” burial? You start at the end, so to speak, but everyone has to consider it eventually, so why not now? In addition to the relevant literature, I discovered a fascinating source of information on this subject: the local crematorium organised an open day.

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Nostalgia and sustainability – The Eco Etiquette

While sorting through my mother’s estate, I came across the “Öko-Knigge” ecological etiquette guide (unfortunately not translated into English). Rainer Griesshammer’s book was published in 1984, and I gave it to her sometime in the 80s as a birthday present – which proves that the admonishing index finger was not only pointed from mother to daughter, but also vice versa.

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Lukewarm champagne and tepid speeches – the office Christmas party

In the course of my working life I have participated in many – and different – office/company Christmas parties: with tea and cookies in the office, with pizza and games in the canteen, at the sausage stand at the Christmas market, in a specially rented small theatre (including performance) and at the big ball in an “exclusive location”. The number of guests has varied between 5 and several hundred, and as far as dress was concerned, anything from jeans to evening gowns.

But one thing all Christmas parties had in common was of course the speech by the management. Often this address has weighed on the shoulders of the selected (or coerced) managers since the previous October. And it also entails different strategies, depending on whether the previous fiscal year was successful or not.

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Fitness the Dutch Way – the “Vierdaagse“

Having repeatedly reported on the Dutch people’s preference for deep-fried delights on harlekin.blog, I would now like to address the issue of how the citizens of my adopted country manage to keep fit despite these temptations.

From my observations, I can say that this must partly due to the fact that cycling is still extremely popular in the Netherlands, even in sub-optimal climatic conditions. All manner of more or less roadworthy versions of child seats, child trailers, etc. are to be seen often with mothers or fathers and three small children distributed around the bike.

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Let’s go get some fries!

A decision aid for hungry foreigners in the Netherlands

French fry fans don’t always have an easy time in the Netherlands, because the established “extras” to French fries are different from what we know from the average chip shop elsewhere. Since we take the life-support function of our Harlequin blog very seriously, we would like to support you in your decision-making here as well.

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