“The difference between knowing your sh*t and knowing you’re sh*t”…


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Perhaps this is not the most politically-correct or client-friendly post but in my view, our inaction and apathy towards blatant mistakes make us equally accountable in perpetuating the crime. Forgive me, “crime” is probably a grave exaggeration in this case but just humor me.

My bone to pick for the day? Evaluating one’s very own language proficiency. It is really quite simple. The pot should not call the kettle black. My Facebook news feed was interestingly inundated with links to many popular bloggers and writers’ professional site, lamenting about “how to write a press release” or “how to not piss me off with your writing”. So I thought to myself, “Well, this is my lucky day! I could learn a thing or two from these fellas, right?”

The entry I came across went:

I received so many press releases every day. Do not crammed too much details into the text.

In the quiet words of Virgin Mary, come again?

Yes, the point is not lost; save for credibility. And since the writer’s intent is to impart knowledge on how to write better, the purpose is utterly defeated.  I later discovered that the author actually writes for one of the national dailies. I scanned through a few columns and nary a mistake was found. Must be a tough job for the editor.

I am not trying to put anyone down. I think to love a language is to honor it by learning it well. Anything less is defilement and sacrilegious, especially when one claims to be an expert on the subject.

I leave you now with the most embarrassing typo today, coming from the Obama administration.

ObamaCarePiece Out!

Calling all freelancers!


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If you are interested, do send me a quick introduction and some samples. Occasionally (key word), I get projects out of my expertise or  availability so I would like to extend the offer to someone else. Typically, I am sought to do translation and copy writing in either English, B.Malaysia or Chinese.

I am physically based in Malaysia so if you are too, please indicate that as well because sometimes I get offers which will require freelancers to go on-site.


  • This is not a con. I have more important things to do with my life (e.g. crocheting, watching NGC documentaries).
  • If there’s work available, you will deal directly with the client after the initial introduction.
  • I do not guarantee the frequency or availability of work.
  • I don’t ask for rates because I’m just passing your information along.
  • I do need to see samples because most of my clients have become good friends over the years and since I’m indirectly “recommending” you for the work, this puts my judgment on the line.
  • Serious inquiries only. If your definition of ‘proficient’ means “Google Translate”, let’s spare each other the trouble.
  • If I do not contact you to confirm receipt after your initial email, that means you’re not the right fit and I am sorry. But please do not give up on doing what you love!


Something Sweet & Everything Nice


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Something Sweet & Everything Nice

I had the pleasure and opportunity to work with the creators and residents bakers of “I have Sweet Tooth”, Marina and Shio Wei this past month! They are two incredible women who decided to throw caution to the wind and start from scratch in the name of passion. Their journey has been daunting, disheartening and at times downright terrifying but they stuck to their guns because they know success is the result of hard work and perseverance. If you’re in the K.L-Selangor area, do check out their products and services.

Here’s to pursuing your dreams and how it’s never too late. Cheers!



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Updates: Since issuing the invoice in early September, I finally received payment via PayPal yesterday (Dec 9). Nothing like waiting a quarter of a year ( and some) to get paid.

I started accepting work from this agency (based in India) posting jobs on Translators Cafe back in July of this year. I really enjoyed the work though they were always rushing me at odd hours with ridiculous deadlines. But it was a very interesting project so I put up with it.

To-date, they haven’t paid me a single cent out of the USD150++ I billed them for. I am disappointed because fellow freelance writers/translators have warned me against anything that comes out of India but I thought there must be exceptions to the rule, right?

Apparently, I am thoroughly and sorely mistaken.



Religious Salutations


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Recently I started working with audio translation and came across the following point with the client:

“…please take care of the following.

Alhammdo Lillaha should be translated as Praise be to God.
Assalahm alaikum = Peace be upon you.
Allaha                            = God.
Similarly any word spoken in any language other than English should be translated even if these are customary greetings.”
I had chosen to stick to the original words because I felt that they are already common enough in our daily language. While they are specifically used by Muslims and not as interchangeable as “Shalom” or “Namaste”, the idealist in me thought as the world gets smaller, the mind should get a little broader too.

KickStarter Project: Underage


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I believe that at different points in our life, we are meant to serve one or more purposes. Sometimes we succeed, other times we don’t. While it is hard to lose gracefully, it still wins over apathy any day.

I came across this project pitched on KickStarter called Underage. Unfortunately I found out too late and the pledge was unsuccessful. I don’t know how much I can help. I don’t know if I can help. But I know if I don’t do anything at all, then I definitely cannot help.

It is heartbreaking to witness the stories of these boys. They seem to have come from a horrible place, only to be in their current worse state. I do not have the answers. I just want to try.

Take away what you wish from this.

Another day, another rape victim in India


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Earlier in the year, I had written about about Jyoti Singh Pandey, the female student in India who was brutally gang-raped and subsequently died from the attack.

This week, the world is rocked again where this time, it involves a five-year old who sustained equal, if not worse injuries.

I had expressed my doubt of things ever improving in India, a country where women are not the fairer sex; but rather, the sub-human gender. But Indian women are not the only victims, as this poor  Swiss tourist and her husband discovered. And how can the powers that be reason with culprits who are most likely witnesses to attacked, brutalized and abused women all their lives; where the perpetrator(s) never had to face any consequences? How to reverse millennium steeped in the practices of honor killing, sati, casteism and victim-shaming?  It is a culture that has thrived on segregating its people.

The government promises to be resolute in convicting the guilty and righting the wrong. Yet stories of victims being coerced to recant their stories or paid to remain silent continue to leak.  I for one, continue to see little hope.


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