January 22, 2011

Just what I needed

I'm down with the flu and I think it's man flu because I'm whiny, helpless and moody.
But I may have found the ingredients that will guarantee a quick and spectacular comeback: pumpkin soup, tea and oranges, disaster films, glossy magazines, aloe extract, Kurt Vonnegut, language blogs, eucalyptus oil and my all time favorite - cough pills. Lots of them. The worst part is I already missed two dance classes and despite the fogginess in my brain and the cough-pill induced lack of reaction, I can see how this might affect my mood and mental balance on a long term if I don't get back to my old self by Monday morning.
For now, the world seems to be made of cotton candy, I'm sleepy, lazy and mellow.

January 19, 2011

Translations gone wrong

Mine. And other people's.
Mine have once again managed to mess up my life, as if they had a will of their own. As if every now and then, mostly when things are looking normal and calm, a new translation comes to life to remind me I am getting dangerously close to the deadline. And so I panic. Which on the one hand is good because it adds up to the quality of my work - or maybe not? I couldn't tell, since not a single translation has been done without the stress factor. Oddly enough, even though I almost never finish my translations on time, I can't imagine life without them and there's nothing I'd give them up for. It just gets a little messy when I have to mix them with my day job. And my dance school. And the new salsa school, the diploma paper, the trip and its million little details, Portuguese lessons, social life and the Uni. Maxi thinks I have a schedule busy beyond sanity. I sometimes think she's right, some other times I think she's overreacting.
Luckily in my case a translation gone wrong means a month or two of hysteria, less sleep than usual and a hint of nostalgia when the process is over. When translation goes wrong and there's a brand involved then proportions change, campaigns fail and entire markets are disillusioned. Let it never be said that a translator's job is easy and of little relevance. Examples follow, as this was actually the purpose of my whiny digression:

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux in the US: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux"
Coors beer in Spain: "Turn it loose" translated as "You will suffer from diarrhoea"
Frank Perdue's chicken in Spain: "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" translated as "It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate"
Pepsi in Taiwan: "Come alive with the Pepsi generation" translated as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead"
(source: Matt Haig, Brand Failures)

And that brings me to the last order of business on today's agenda - I was about to make an attempt at translating from Portuguese a very funny post about a phenomenon we are currently dealing with in Poland, namely cinnamon hysteria. It's only obvious why I changed my mind, but you might want to give it a try, especially if wherever you go you are offered products that smel and taste like cinnamon simply because it's winter (luckily Warsaw looks like early autumn and smells like city dirt, which is definitely not what we might call a typical Polish winter and it's just another perfect reason to postpone some more and take El Santino out for a ride). Anyway, here's the cinnamon paranoia, I'm off to find some more excuses.

January 5, 2011

On the 12th day of Christmas

The quest for the perfect Christmas present has been a long and tiresome process, not so much for me (I actually enjoyed it) but for the people around me, most of them unwillingly involved in my pursuit. It all began with the chocolate chestnut which Wedel no longer sold when I started Christmas shopping. Then there came designer cupcakes. Truffles. A chocolate gay fish. A chocolate mermaid. A chocolate rabbit. A seashell. Ginger and cinnamon bars. One way tickets to Mexico. Liquid dishwasher. Broken Christmas tree decorations. Out of date mayo. A portable ashtray. Indian spices. Light bulbs. Hot sugar massage. Mistletoe. And then finally, just when I was about to abandon all hope, I found the perfect present:

January 2, 2011

Strategic planning

Last year was the first time I made New Year's resolutions and surprisingly enough I even managed to keep them. Might have been beginner's luck or it may be that keeping resolutions is not that hard but whatever it was made me think I could take things to the next level this year.
Not only do I have resolutions, I have a plan, a bibliography and a dress. It's for the first time ever that I have a vision rather than a somewhat blurry image of the whole year, the agenda is already set, there's almost no room for anything else because all the details have to be taken care of and I'm just looking forward to it. I'm excited, enthusiastic and convinced that this is one of the smartest, boldest and most creative plans I've ever had.
When dancing meets research in a faraway land, the outcome can only be fabulous.