Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Parick's Day!

I already celebrated St. Patrick's Day a few weeks back, when friends hosted an Irish brunch before the St. Patrick's Day parade in Queens. Since New York hosts several such parades, they are held on different weekends, starting in early March.

A few years back I read a newspaper article about how Dublin was becoming the Silicon Valley of the translation industry. It does seem to make sense that a country with a relatively high level of education and English as the majority language would turn to translation as an industry that needs no natural resources and has relatively low start-up costs. On the other hand, one would expect that role to be filled by a country where most of the population already grows up bilingual - Belgium, say, or Switzerland.

To be sure, Canada appears to have a thriving translation industry - although much of it seems to be between English and French. And Swiss companies seem to outsource much of their German-English translation to other European translation agencies. I have had a fairly steady stream of Swiss German documents to be translated into English -- all from agencies outside Switzerland. Since Swiss business German is different from standard German, I assume there isn't such a large translation industry within the country -- or maybe there aren't enough native (or near-native) English speakers in Switzerland.

This leads me to a request for help: do any of you know of a good Swiss German business dictionary (preferably Swiss German - English, but Swiss German to standard German would work too)? I tracked one down, but it apparently is out of print. Thanks in advance for your help.

Until next week,
Barbara

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Thanks for your comment. I will review comments weekly, so please be patient if you are expecting a reply. - Barbara