Translation Blogs Are Boring




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    I’m sorry to mention this. I don’t mean to sound overly critical. But the problem with most translation blogs I’ve read is that they’re boring. I can barely stand to read them. And I’m in the translation business for goodness sake!

    The ‘Offside’ Rule

    In the past 24 hours I’ve watched at least 20 YouTube videos in my attempt to better understand the rule of ‘offside’ in soccer. I’ve been watching my daughter’s soccer games over the past few years (she’s 13 now) and I finally decided it’s time that I understand that particular rule. I’ve been casually confiding to other spectator-parents along the sidelines on game days that my understanding of that rule is rather vague. No more though. I’m now confidently less uncertain than I was before.

    Every one of the videos and explanations of this rule of soccer I found online I watched and/or read with interest. Not every one of the explanations of the rule was elegantly presented or beautifully illustrated. Some of the explanations mispronounced the rule. It’s ‘offside’ and not ‘offsides’. Ironically one of the best explainers of the rule consistently mispronounced/misspelled the rule in their presentation. It didn’t matter.

    What’s The Point?

    Why bother writing a blog (translation or otherwise) if it bores me and others to tears? How can a blog from a translation company be made interesting? Better yet how can it be made interesting to an audience we care about? Our customers for one right?

    I’ll be thinking about this over the next few days especially. If I come up with any answers I’ll write about it here. And if you already know, or have an idea, please leave a comment below.

    Ron McCoy

    About Ron McCoy

    7 thoughts on “Translation Blogs Are Boring

    1. I don’t know, Ron. I wouldn’t say that “All translation blogs are boring” otherwise I wouldn’t be building a blogging community. :) I can see where you’re coming from, though. As readers we have our own expectations and when we’re looking for a great read online we already have some basic requirements that the said read have to meet. Since the Internet is so vast and endless, finding that one blog post that changes everything in your life is quite challenging.

      From my personal experience of reading 500+ blog posts over the past year I can say that we could use some improvement on the ideas front. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading the same advice over and over again and even if it’s well written it still feels… repetitive?

      I guess the wider problems is that most translators are, well, translators. Yes, we know how to convey the message of the others, but we don’t have the experience of creating a message of our own (with an exception of folks who work in adaptation). Multiplied by a rather narrow subject matter (translation is not as sexy and popular as, say, marketing or web-design) it leads to a phenomenon that you’re describing where the writing of your colleagues can come across as boring.

      Writing is a form of art, just like translation. Mastering both of them takes a lot of time and practice. And most translators don’t practice their writing that often.

      The thing is: you need to find an author who’s writing resonates with you. I read everything here since I’m the moderator, but I do also have my favorite authors who write something compelling and something that makes me think.

      1. Thanks for your comment Dmitry and for better explaining why many translation blogs are recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

    2. What exactly about them bores you, Ron? If we can understand this, perhaps we can understand how translators can make their blogs more interesting.

      1. Lloyd, my suggestion to translation bloggers is to look outside the translation community for ideas, best practices, techniques, etc., to elevate their blogging and content creation game in general. Here’s a link to an article I read a couple days ago, and within the article there are several additional good links to relevant resources.

        link to moz.com

    3. I don’t find all translation blogs boring. Some are, but some I look forward to reading. But to know if any of the latter would also appeal to you, it would help if you were a little more specific about what it is that you find boring. I’m not suggesting you name and shame specific blogs, but you could give us an idea of what you dislike. Is it the listicles on 10 keys to SEO? Or the terminology posts on how to translate tricky terms like elaboración? Or the previews of conferences you’re unlikely to attend? Or all the CAT posts (or cat posts)? Or something else?

    4. Sure they are boring, the majority of them have been only created because everybody tells you you have to write a blog to be successful. Simple rule: only write something if you have something to say:)

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