How not to get trapped by a translation app

Please welcome Christine Camm, an expert French-English translator whom I met recently via social media. Despite my being bilingual English-French myself I’ve often wondered how the hell professional translators manage to sleep at night, given the ridiculous differences between these two lingos.

And … how English speakers, in particular, manage to destroy whatever co-comprehension there might remain considering that the Brits still feel the French will understand their English provided that they shout it loudly enough, and the French think anyone living from the White Cliffs of Dover northwards is a totally unhinged rosbif who probably needs not only French lessons but also to stop shouting and get a life.
 article about english to french translation

Christine takes up the story with a charming anecdote … 

A young London couple, Carol and Simon, start planning their next short holiday

“Let’s go to Paris,” suggests Simon.

Carol raises one eyebrow and instantly pictures the two of them on a boat, gently floating along the Seine past Notre Dame, sipping champagne and grabbing that all important click of the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower against the deep blue Parisian sky. The air is warm and accordion music is gently playing. [Read more…]

Why you’ll fall in love with Bullet Journaling

Please welcome my friend and colleague Sarah Sibley, the founder of Got2Jot – a fashion stationery company with the most gorgeous designs of all kinds, both for personal and some business uses. Sarah is a huge fan of Bullet Journaling – a highly personalised type of ordinary journaling . I asked her to tell us about it … and why she fell in love with it. Now I’m falling in love with it, too…over to Sarah:

article about bullet journaliing by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maurI came across Bullet Journaling about three years ago. Attending trade shows and working in the stationery industry gave me a chance to find out more and see what this craze from the US was all about.

Since then I’ve been hooked. It is a simple system for those who still love putting pen to paper but are looking to be more organised in their lives.

We know that writing things down helps to offload some of that stress so that you can clear your mind and look at things more objectively. But sometimes writing lists and more lists can make things worse, as it can be overwhelming. [Read more…]

Black lives don’t just “matter.” They are our world.

So, so sad for George Floyd and his family and friends: with love and fondest condolences from me and HTWB. Suze.

Racism is a poison.
Please help destroy that poison.
George and many others like you in the past: you never, never deserved this hideous end to your lives.
We cry for you: not just for you, but for the implications of how you died and what those have come to mean in the USA – as in, for that matter, other countries around the world.
And we cry even more about the hideous mess that US politics has become; ironically at a time when national unity should have been even more important than ever.

George Floyd, RIP.

 

How important are grammar and spelling? Really?

Now that the mass media with its “newspeak” vocabulary has been part of our lives for several generations we really can’t afford to be pompous about spelling and grammar any more.

Even the stuffiest of academics has had to admit that stiffly formal writing is not clever; it’s boring. They may look down their noses at the language of popular websites, social media, blogs and so-on, but that’s the language nearly everyone speaks today.

article about spelling and grammarI won’t waste your time with my theories on why that has happened, but the bottom line is that English as a language has become simpler and less complex than it was 100 years ago.

And quite right, too. I’ve never understood why some people get so uppity about the fact that a language has evolved.

Well, you and I haven’t got time to mourn the relegation of Shakespearean English to the theatre, even if we want to. We’ve got work to do here and now, and these days we write as we speak.

“Writing as people speak” is not a cop out

[Read more…]

Are our storytelling tenses getting too tense? YOU decide!

Have you been reading a lot of books during coronavirus lockdown? I have – my particular favourite genre (not exactly intellectual but provides what I need as a light-hearted break…) crime and psychological crime fiction. Yum, yum.

The current fashion in high-anxiety fiction like this is to tell it in the present tense…presumably to increase the dramatic speed.

Fine for a film or TV synopsis. But a whole, 80,000 words or longer novel?

I suppose this should be OK with me, largely because I spent years working with film and TV synopses in which it’s customary to describe the main action in the present tense, using the past and other tenses to suggest action movements in the story other than what’s happening right now.

But do I have enough lung power to keep up with the breathless pace of present tense narrative in these best-selling contemporary fiction hits that fester within my Kindle? [Read more…]

Why you’ll never need me to help you write a book

It’s no longer a twinkle in my eye. No longer a metre-high pile of scribbled notes.
The sequel to my Amazon bestseller How To Write Winning Nonfiction … a complete new self-coaching book, not just an update.

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I must be out of my mind.

On Amazon pre-order soon:
The ultimate book on how to write a book.

36 published books’ worth of writing experience
35 years’ worth of marketing experience
To be published by BetterBooksMedia

With this book, you won’t need me.

Contains everything you need to make
your nonfiction book a successful reality.

Want to reserve your copy now?
Drop me a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com

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Here’s what the beta readers have to say about it

[Read more…]

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