Erika Baker's blog

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 12:51 Erika Baker

Life in the UK test


Life in the UK test - Brexit Residency Test

And there you have it – I know what carding is. And I know what Robert Arkwright was famous for. And I know who brought shampooing to Britain. And, believe it or not, I know that people usually eat turkey for Christmas.

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 10:27 Erika Baker

Translators vs Interpreters

Translators vs Interpreters

Translator-vs-InterpretersYesterday there was an item on the news about a Dutch man who needed "translators" in hospital to communicate with the medical team.

Did you hear the collective sigh from the linguist community? Did your Twitter feed burn with exasperated comments?

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 21:19 Erika Baker

Counting text

Counting TextIt’s not the most exciting topic, but it is one that frequently causes clients and translators to be at loggerheads.

How long is the translation you’re placing? How do you best count it?


This should be easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult.

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 18:50 Erika Baker

Translating qualifications

Translating qualifications

“Why did you not translate my Abitur as A ‘Levels”?

Because translating qualifications is fraught with difficulty.

Equivalence of school leaver’s qualifications

Qualifications are completely different in various countries, and although, colloquially, we tend to equate the top school qualification in one country with that of another.

Sun, 10/16/2016 - 21:27 Erika Baker

What to do in Britain when clients don’t pay

It comes up time and time again – clients pay late or don’t pay at all. It usually happens with new clients but can also happen with long-standing good clients.

While good working relationships are paramount and small businesses should do what they can to retain clients, getting paid – and getting paid on time! – is important for small companies and freelancers alike.

So what to do when a client doesn’t pay?

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 00:00 Erika Baker

Bacon… or ham… or what? A conversation among translators

This delicious piece of South Tyrolean "Speck" was struggling to find a translation into English and so I asked on a forum of qualified translators.
South Tyrolean websites always translate it as ham, following the example of Parma ham.
But many English speaking tourists, when reading menus and imagining what they might fancy, tend to think of ham as a cooked, pink meat, eaten either hot or cold.
Bacon doesn’t work either, because this Speck can be eaten without further cooking, something I would not recommend for your average British bacon.