Last month, I published an article about improving public speaking skills. I got many feedbacks and recommendations on Linkedin. Here is one of them: Toastmasters International. Its working system is a little bit different but professionnals on Linkedin say that it helps a lot. Here is some information that I copy from their site:
Looking to improve your speaking and leadership skills? Ignite your career? Win that job interview?
You’ve come to the right place. Since 1924, more than 4 million people around the world have become more confident speakers and leaders because of their participation in Toastmasters.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Today, our membership is 270,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,000 clubs that make up our global network of meeting locations.
Membership in Toastmasters is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself. At $36 every six months, it is also one of the most cost-effective skill-building tools available anywhere.
How Does It Work?
A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. A typical group has 20 to 40 members who meet weekly, biweekly or monthly. A typical meeting lasts 60–90 minutes.
For more information: http://www.toastmasters.org/
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There is something wrong with the picture, right? It clearly shows that there should be some limits for the translator’s note. Although there is much to say about the translation, the footnotes should be somewhere at the end of the book, not at the bottom of the page. Many people find this kind of note-giving very distracting. I do not mean that there should never be any footnotes on the page. Of course, sometimes they are very useful especially when there are foreign words or concepts; however, the translator (or the editor) is supposed to use the words in the most effective way. The length of the footnote should not scare the reader away (like the one picture-it is half and half!).
And the second picture (from the same book) shows the optimum length for a footnote.
What do you think about the lenght of a footnote?
PS: The name of the book is “The Gift of Death” by Jacques Derrida. Translator: David Wills
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When I was in high school, I started studying English more intensively. I chose the department ‘Foreign Languages’ and I had English courses for almost 20 hours a week. Until that time, I had been using only bilingual dictionaries. However, at the first class of the term, my English teacher told me that I should buy a big English- English monolingual dictionary (Oxford or Cambridge). Well, I had to buy it you see 🙂 For almost one year, this dictionary was a nigtmare for me. I did not want to even look at it because I had a limited time and looking up in the dictionary was taking ages. While I was looking up a word, I was coming across another unknown word in the explanation. This was how it went, I was looking up at least three words to get the meaning of one word. After all these years, I can say that both bilingual and monolingual dictionaries are useful.
1. Monolingual Dictionaries
Those who are in a business related to languages have one of these dictionaries: Oxford, Cambridge or Collins. Monolingual dictionaries (MD) leaves you space to interpret a word in your own language. You see many different meanings and their use in English. You can understand in which contexts you can use the word you are looking up. MDs also help in improving your English. By reading the meaning, you always see the English grammer structure and syntax. Without noticing, you expose yourself to English all the time.
2. Bilingual Dictionaries
I admit that bilingual dictionaries (BD) make you a little bit lazy because you just choose one of the meanings which you think is the most suitable according to the context. However, as translators, we use them a lot. If I have difficulty while translating a sentence, I ask the opinion of my friends. Looking up a bilingual dictionary is the same thing. You check the translations of the same word and get an idea. Sometimes, even if you know the meaning of ‘X’, you look it up to confirm and see how other people interpret the meaning.
These are my humble ideas about dictionaries. When I come across an unknown word, first I look up a bilingual dictionary. If I am not satisfied with the alternatives I have, I consult a monolingual dictionary and try to come up with my own translation.
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