Practical aspects of a translator's work

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  • October, 2015
  • Seminar für neue Übersetzer und Dolmetscher im November

    Logo ADUE-NordGegen Ende November bietet mein Übersetzerverband ADÜ Nord ein zweitägiges Seminar an, das für neue und werdende Übersetzer und Dolmetscher sicherlich sehr interessant wird: "Mit Erfolg in die Selbständigkeit: Sprachmittler starten durch". Diese Fortbildung ist das zweite von insgesamt drei Seminaren extra für Berufseinsteiger, und zwar aus der Reihe "Selbstständig als Übersetzer und Dolmetscher arbeiten". (Das erste befasst sich am 24. Oktober mit Microsoft Word, das dritte am 28. November geht um CAT-Tools – weitere Infos hier).



    Datum und Ort:



        Freitag, 20. November 2015, 14 bis 18 Uhr, Hamburg

        Sonnabend, 21. November 2015, 10 bis 18 Uhr, Hamburg



    Lerninhalte (ich zitiere aus dem Infomaterial):



    "Dieses Seminar vermittelt in komprimierter Form alles, was Sie für den Geschäftsalltag als Freiberufler wissen müssen: von rechtlichen Grundlagen und der Vertragsgestaltung über Steuern und Versicherungen bis hin zur Kalkulation und Akquise von Aufträgen. Außer geballtem Wissen gibt es jede Menge Tipps von »alten Hasen« und die Möglichkeit, sich auszutauschen und Kontakte zu knüpfen:




    •     Unternehmensform und andere rechtliche Grundlagen

    •     Steuern und Finanzamt

    •     Versicherungsschutz

    •     Kosten der Selbstständigkeit

    •     Finanzierungsbedarf und Fördermöglichkeiten

    •     Kalkulation und Preisbildung

    •     Marketing und Kundengewinnung"



    Vorkenntnisse sind nicht notwendig.



    Referentin: Dr. Thea Döhler, Trainerin und Beraterin für Sprachmittler und deren Berufsverbände.



    Teilnahmebeitrag für das zweitägige Seminar (einschließlich 1 Mittagessen sowie Pausenverpflegung und Seminarunterlagen):



        Mitglieder: 150 Euro

        Nichtmitglieder: 190 Euro



    zuzüglich 19 % Mehrwertsteuer.



    Frühbucherrabatt (€ 10,-) verlängert bis 27. Oktober 2015! Die Anmeldung läuft schon.



    Für weitere Infos und die Möglichkeit, sich online anzumelden, siehe hier.



    .......



    Weitere Infos zum Thema Berufseinstieg vom Verband ADÜ Nord: http://www.adue-nord.de/leistungen/berufseinstieg/



    Einsteigerstammtisch der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer in Hamburg am 29. Oktober 2015 ab 19:30 Uhr im Abaton-Bistro im Grindelhof, Grindelallee 14a, 20146 Hamburg.



    BDÜ-LogoÜbrigens, der Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (kurz: BDÜ) hat neuen Übersetzern und Dolmetschern ähnlich viel zu bieten. Zum Thema "Wie wird man Übersetzer oder Dolmetscher?", zum Beispiel, siehe die Informationen auf dieser Seite.



    Für BDÜ-Seminare und Webinare, siehe hier. Unter anderem ist das Seminar "Was Sie schon immer über Existenzgründung wissen wollten" am 3. November in Saarbrücken für Einsteiger höchst relevant.



    Viele Grüße



    Carl



    ................



    Nachtrag am 6. November: Soeben hat der BDÜ eine neu überarbeitete und erweiterte Ausgabe des Buches "Erfolgreich selbstständig als Dolmetscher und Übersetzer" herausgegeben. "[A]uch erfahrene Kollegen können mithilfe dieses Bandes aus dem BDÜ Fachverlag ihr eigenes Geschäftsmodell auf den Prüfstand stellen und Antworten zu Versicherungsfragen oder Kalkulationsmodellen finden", heißt es. Das Werk kostet ca. € 22 und ist hier erhältlich. ISBN: 9783938430606.





    Bilder: Logos © ADÜ Nord e.V., BDÜ e.V.


  • September, 2015
  • Two virtual events from Proz on International Translation Day

    Translators' platform Proz.com is going to be staging its 7th annual virtual conference shortly, in celebration of International Translation Day on Wednesday, 30 September 2015.

    Proz.com

    This conference is actually one of two training events for translators running over two whole days starting from 29 September.




    • 100+ hours of scheduled and on-demand sessions and content

    • 30+ hours of LIVE content including Q&A sessions, panel discussions, chat rooms and more

    • Panel discussions on “Terminology management” and “Customer relationship management”

    • Exhibit booths where you can chat live with exhibitors and software vendors (including prize giveaways)

    • Earn 10 ATA CE credits for attending

    • Save up to 50% on popular CAT tools including SDL Trados Studio, memoQ, Wordfast, Déjà Vu and more



    Here are some of the topics that are going to be discussed according to Proz:




    • How to find direct clients and run a business that you love

    • Translation or Interpreting? & the Emerging Market for Hybrid Communication Models

    • Getting in the game: a 'how to' for translation beginners

    • The beauty of machine translation

    • 10 essential tips that are most helpful for a professional translator

    • Where to find clients and how to approach them and do the follow-up without sounding too pushy

    • Glossary & terminology management

    • Panel discussion on client relationship management

    • Panel discussion on leveraging voice-recognition technology for greater efficiency.



    View the full programme here, after which you can click here to register as an attendee. (It's free!)

    N.B. If you attend at least one live event, this will give you free access to recordings after the event, which you can watch any time for a period of at least 90 days.



    For events concerning CAT tools on 29 September, see the special programme here. This will include the following talks:




    • Free Tools for Translators

    • Technical translation: is it really about terminology?

    • Setting up an MT system

    • Managing client expectations

    • Economics of pricing for the translation industry

    • Panel discussion on meeting clients

    • Panel discussion on machine translation

    • Medical documents for academic publishing: creating English content with precision, accuracy and style

    • How to participate in EU tendering procedures for translation services.



    I'm sure you'll find something worthwhile as the topics are very varied. There are also quite a lot of pre-recorded webinars to accompany the two-day event that you can watch on demand, i.e. whenever it suits you.



    Regards,



    Carl





    image: © Proz.com


    Related links



    FIT (the International Federation of Translators) on International Translation Day



    The British Library's day-long programme of events on translation in London on 2 October ("An opportunity for translators, students, publishers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers and reviewers to gather and debate")


  • July, 2015
  • A pledge to continue your professional development

    "Continuing professional development", or CPD for short, has become something of a buzzword in business these days, even though it's something translators and interpreters have been doing for donkey's years. In a bid to get their members to commit themselves to ongoing training, some professional translators' associations like the American Translators Association (ATA) have made CPD obligatory and set members a goal of achieving so and so many points or credits for getting relevant training within a specific period. Other translators' associations like the British ITI and German BDÜ recommend CPD, but feel it's a personal choice and should therefore be voluntary.



    Various educational organisations offering us videos, workshops and training courses on aspects of our work have eCPD Webinars' logobeen set up over the years, one of which is eCPD Webinars, which I've mentioned here before. This small but dedicated training company based in the UK offers an impressive range of online videos, live and recorded webinars, and courses designed especially for translators and interpreters. Some of these cost a fee, while others are free of charge.



    eCPD Webinars is currently running a campaign to encourage linguists to show how committed they are to continuous professional development. You can do this by downloading a kind of virtual badge expressing your pledge to CPD. CPD badge

    You're free to put this on your website, in your e-mail signature, on your business cards and anywhere else where you might draw attention to your professional activity. To get the badge, which is free, you only need to read their CPD Manifesto; if you agree with all the points it lists, you're entitled to use the badge. (You can work on these points, of course, and then download the badge later once you meet all the criteria.)



    To help you keep track of your CPD activities, eCPD Webinars is also offering a free log template, which you can download from here (a Dropbox site).



    What CPD activities have you taken part in so far this year? Have they been worthwhile?



    What do you get out of attending workshops and courses that you don't from participating in online webinars?



    Have you thought of doing your CPD activities in a more systematic way? Or recording them in a special file as proof of what steps you've taken? What about developing some new skills that might prove useful in future? Or attending a conference where you can network with lots of other translators as well as attending workshops on topics of interest? CPD can boost your own motivation and open up new avenues of work for you one day, so it's worth investing in.



    Regards,



    Carl

     





    images: © eCPD Webinars


    Topic-related sites





     


  • May, 2015
  • Book review: 'Alltag in Großbritannien'

    the book coverBook review: 'Alltag in Großbritannien. Leben und arbeiten in England, Schottland und Wales' by Katrin Koll Prakoonwit, Conbook Verlag, 2013



    ISBN 978-3-943176-15-5, 384 pages, €18.95 (in Germany)



    If you really want to learn a foreign language quickly, one of the best ways of doing so is by going to a country where it is spoken and living among the locals for a while. Practically every professional translator and interpreter will have done this at some point in their life and then have experienced a 'culture shock' when they discovered life was organised in a different way than what they were used to. This is where books like 'Alltag in Großbritannien' [Life in Great Britain] come in useful – for people who move abroad for a certain period (or even for good) and want to understand the way society works and get their bearings as quickly as possible.



    'Alltag in Großbritannien' is aimed primarily at German speakers, but I'm sure it would be equally useful for anyone who can understand German and is intending to move to the UK. It explains what everyday life is like there and points out any obvious differences between British and German life where this is likely to provide some helpful insights.



    The book was first published in 2013, which means some sections of it are slightly outdated now (in May 2015), but the publisher saw this coming and has kept it pretty much up to date on its website, providing current information and new material – see this page. A great idea!



    Besides being able to refer to these, readers of the book are also provided with a large number of web links to further sources of information on the subjects covered in each chapter.



    This practical guide focuses on many aspects of daily life in England, Scotland and Wales and is divided into 24 chapters and five annexes, including a helpful glossary of key terms (what's an ISA? It tells you here), and it has a comprehensive index in German and English as well so you can look up individual terms and see what sections to read.



    The book starts with a general introduction to the country's geography and history and then goes on to describe its institutions (e.g. the political and judicial system, the police and armed forces, and the monarchy) and Britain's multicultural society. The next sixteen chapters (3 to 18) each focus on a particular aspect of everyday life, e.g.

    - how to look for a house or flat (ch. 3)

    - moving to Britain (ch. 5)

    - driving (ch. 6)

    - public transport (ch. 7)

    - looking for employment (ch. 8 )

    - insurance policies (ch. 12)

    - marriage and family life (ch. 13)

    - schools (ch. 14) and higher education (ch. 15).

    The author even looks at shopping and British food (ch. 16 and 17).



    To help German-speaking readers understand the British mentality better, Katrin Prakoonwit also touches on this subject (ch. 19) and provides some language tips to make it easier for them to communicate naturally with the locals (ch. 20 and 21).



    In chapter 24, she comes full circle again by explaining what practical steps are necessary if you decide to move back home again after your stay. You can tell she has put a lot of thought and practical research into every single subject she has covered here. (She moved to the UK herself a few years ago and is therefore talking from personal experience.)



    In my opinion, this book is essential reading for anyone who is considering moving over to the UK to work, study or simply to stay for a while. The sections I have read so far are all written in a compact way and yet often make interesting and even entertaining reading. It's an excellent introduction to everyday life in Britain with lots of valid internet references for further reading.



    Incidentally, the publisher has also produced six other guides of this kind so far on living in the US, Australia, France, Sweden, Switzerland and even Mallorca (a favourite destination for many Germans). See this page on the Conbooks website for more details.



    To order a copy of the book, go to the publisher's website or purchase it via Amazon.de, for example. (The Amazon page lets you browse through parts of the book.) You can also order it from your local bookshop if you prefer, of course.



    Hope you enjoy the read.



    Carl

     





    image: courtesy of Conbook Verlag

     

     


  • April, 2015
  • A webinar on how CAT tools have changed

    eCPD Webinars runs webinars for translators + interpretersIf you are interested in hearing what a prominent speaker and writer on computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools has to say about the state of the 'art', a forthcoming webinar is likely to appeal to you.



    Jost Zetzsche, the author of a newsletter on translation tools that I reviewed here back in August 2013, will be holding a webinar entitled 'Translation technology – what’s still missing and what has been fixed?' on 21 May (4 pm British time). This is actually a continuation of an earlier interactive webinar he held in January 2014 (see below for more details).



    As the organiser, eCPD Webinars, explains in today's newsletter announcement about it, Jost 'will be talking about what has happened in the intervening 16 months and how, if at all, things could further improve for translators'. If you attend the talk, you will also be able to participate in it actively by asking Jost questions.



    This webinar is free of charge, eCPD Webinars says. To sign up, just go to http://www.ecpdwebinars.co.uk/events_122730.html (or click here). Places are limited, but fortunately, the event will be recorded for later viewing.



    Regards,



    Carl






    image: © eCPD Webinars


    Related links



    Jost's initial webinar on this topic, which can also be viewed free of charge (lasts 1 hr 11 mins).



    The Tool Box Journal ('a monthly journal for people in the translation industry who want to get more out of their computers')



    Subscribe to eCPD's free webinar newsletter on their website to keep up to date with their events.




     

  • March, 2015
  • Coping with a bug in memoQ 2014

    memoQThis post is rather technical and will only be of real interest to other users of memoQ, which is the main computer-assisted translation tool I use. Software bugs can be minor annoyances, but from time to time, a major one appears in a new software build that can play havoc with your workflow and productivity. So much for CAT tools saving you time! Don't believe everything you read on the glossy pages of CAT-tool websites!



    Over the last week or so (middle/end of March), a serious bug has appeared in memoQ 2014 (build 71) and R2 (build 58) that has been causing many users headaches, it seems (including me). It stops you from exporting your translation back to the original .docx file format – you get a puzzling error message like this:



    ..............

    TYPE:

    System.InvalidOperationException



    MESSAGE:

    Die Sequenz enthält kein übereinstimmendes Element.



    SOURCE:

    MemoQ.Project



    CALL STACK:

       bei MemoQ.Project.TranslationDocImportExport.LocalExportController.<DoJob>b__12(ExportUnitBase eu)



    ..............



    [The equivalent English version is this, apparently:





    TYPE:

    System.InvalidOperationException



    MESSAGE:

    Sequence contains no matching element



    SOURCE:

    MemoQ.Project



    CALL STACK:

       at MemoQ.Project.TranslationDocImportExport.LocalExportController.<DoJob>b__12(ExportUnitBase eu)]



    .............

    ... and can't get your translation out of memoQ! There is a simple way of dealing with the issue, however – if you happen to know how.



    First of all, don't panic, as your translation is safe and sound inside memoQ; nothing has been lost. One way of getting your translation back into the original file format (only Word files are affected) is to re-import the source file, pre-translate it – in which case everything will be inserted automatically if the segmenting has been done the same way – and then simply export the file as usual. Voilà! And it's all done in a matter of minutes.



    So why does this work if the export didn't work before? Well, it's because your original translation will have contained comments, apparently. (Comments can be inserted deliberately, but they are also added by memoQ by default if you happen to mark a word or phrase to highlight it and return to it later.)



    To get things working smoothly again until the bug has been fixed (which will probably be the case shortly in the next build), change the settings to export .docx files without any comments:



    - go to 'Options' in R2 (use the icon in the top menu bar)the Options icon in memoQ 2014 R2(or go to 'Tools' > 'Options' in memoQ 2014) and select the 'Miscellaneous' category. 



    There are five options in the middle that you can set to define which type of comment you want to export (e.g. 'Export information-level comments to final file'):



    uncheck the 5 comments boxes



    - uncheck all of them, click on 'OK' to save the setting and then try to export your documents again. It ought to work now.



    Thanks to Technical Support at Kilgray for this advice, which I am passing on here to spread the word faster. (Once the bug has been fixed, you will need to go back to these settings and tick them again to re-activate them if you want comments to be exported, otherwise they won't.)



    Last but not least, despite all the enhancements that Kilgray's developers keep on adding to memoQ, which, like any piece of user software, is a work in progress, it's always worth remembering you can re-install a previous, stable build of memoQ and work with that until the major bugs in the latest build have been rectified. Just double-click on the installation file and it will get installed 'on top of' the current installation. That will also save you a few headaches.



    It's a wise idea to keep the last few builds on your computer for this reason rather than deleting them soon after installing them – that way, you will always be able to access them, no matter where you are and what your internet access is like (sometimes it can be poor or even non-existent, especially if you're travelling somewhere and trying to work at the same time). Alternatively, you can just ask Kilgray's Support team for a particular build and they will send it to you.



    Hope these pointers prove helpful.



    Carl

     





    image credits: memoQ logo courtesy of Kilgray Translation Technologies


    Useful links and addresses



    E-mail Kilgray's Technical Support team at support [@] kilgray [dot] com



    The thread about this particular issue on the memoQ user group at Yahoo! Groups, where memoQ users can discuss issues they are having with memoQ and sometimes resolve them with each other's help (you will need to have a Yahoo! account to be able to access this).

     


  • January, 2015
  • MemoQ in 5 minutes (2): keyboard short cuts

    memoQworking on a keyboardThis short post is about a selection of keyboard short cuts I find particularly useful in memoQ.



    There are actually quite a number of blog posts on this topic already, which are either quite detailed or just brief lists of short cuts the writer has found to be useful personally. My post here falls in the second category. Perhaps you'll also benefit from using these combinations of keys in your own work with memoQ.



    Five useful "F" keys (in the top row of your keyboard)




    • Press F1 to call up memoQ's help documentation

       

    • ... F2 to edit a source segment, e.g. to correct a spelling mistake

       

    • ... F4 to auto-assemble a target segment, i.e. automatically insert matching target terms from your project TBs into the target segment to assemble a preliminary translation (using your own resources, not MT)

       

    • ... F7 to do a spelling check

       

    • ... F9 to insert the next tag into the target segment.





    Five other useful functions called up by pressing Ctrl and another key simultaneously



    Ctrl + K
    : calls up the concordance window so you can search for a word or phrase in all the TMs attached to your current project. To use it, double-click on a term to mark it, then press Ctrl and K at the same time. You'll then see a list of occurrences of the term in your TM entries if it crops up there.



    Ctrl + Enter key: confirms the current target segment and sends it off to your primary TMs



    Ctrl + P: look up a term in your project TBs



    Ctrl + Q: save a source and matching target term to your primary TB instantaneously (remember, Q = "quick")



    Ctrl + E: save a source and matching target term to your primary TB and then change or supplement either entry in a term-base dialogue (remember, E = enter a term)



    ------------------



    On a final note, it's helpful to know that quite a number of keyboard short cuts used in memoQ are identical to those used in the popular Office programs made by Microsoft. One example is Ctrl + F (or H) to find (and replace) a phrase (F = "find"). Pressing F1 to call up the program's help documentation is another.



    A full list of keyboard short cuts is included in memoQ's help documentation, both offline (press F1!) and online (http://kilgray.com/memoq/2014/help-en/index.html).



    Try some of the short cuts out and see if you find them handy. There are far too many of them for users to be able to remember them all, unfortunately, but the ones you use most often will obviously be the ones you recall best. Whichever short cuts you pick up, they'll save you time and improve your productivity.



    Incidentally, did you know you can customise a lot of short cuts in memoQ? To find out more, see Kevin Lossner's blog post and Kilgray's help documentation on the subject (see the links below).



    Regards



    Carl



     



     





     



     



    Photo and logo credits: memoQ logo © Kilgray Translation Technologies, keyboard © Viktor Mildenberger, pixelio.de


    Related links



    Kilgray has a detailed list of short cuts in its online knowledge base (there's a PDF file you can download from there, too)



    Here's a nice overview of memoQ's short cuts arranged in practical groups



    Kevin Lossner's post on customising keyboard short cuts



    For the sake of comparison, here's one on SDL Trados Studio 2014:

    Translator Emma Goldsmith has written several blog posts on keyboard short cuts found in this CAT tool. This one is on basic commands



    and this is one on short cuts for more advanced users of Studio 2014.


  • December, 2014
  • MemoQ 2014 R2 is due out soon...

    memoQFor anyone interested in computer-aided translation, which has become as omnipresent in the translation world as Microsoft Office has in business generally, it's always intriguing to hear when a major new release of a CAT tool appears on the market. MemoQ has become very popular among freelance translators and translation agencies in recent years and has been evolving at a very fast pace – faster than the product documentation, in fact. This week (the second week of December), a new version of the tool is going to be released called memoQ 2014 R2.



    What exactly's new about it? Well, the most obvious change is that it now has a ribbon interface. This aligns it with Microsoft's Office products as well as with a number of memoQ's competitors like SDL Trados Studio 2014 and Déjà Vu X3. Although memoQ's current interface (I'm referring to memoQ 2014 "R1" and memoQ 2013 here) has been around for a while and users have got used to it and can find functions reasonably easily on it, there have been plenty of calls for a better menu bar from users.



    The new menu bar is now divided into sections of related functions. This makes the interface more intuitive to use and less cluttered, which is also due to the fact that the functions that used to be available in the bottom half of the screen have now been moved up into the ribbon as well. The groups of features have been designed to reflect a typical translation workflow:



    the ribbon reflects the translation process



    The ribbon bar can be reduced in size just like Word's menu bar to save space if you need more room to view your translation or other windows in the interface. This is also useful if your list of projects is quite long as more of them are now displayed. At the moment, the ribbon can't be customised by removing or adding any features, however (which I personally like about Word). What it does do, though, is change its contents, depending on whether or not you have opened a project to work on. Besides having a "memoQ" tab and "Project" tab, it then adds one called "Documents", another one called "Preparation" and one called "View". If you click on an icon like "Translate" in the "Documents" tab, four more tabs appear: "Translate", "Review", "Edit" and "Quick Access", all of which contain functions of particular interest for that step of the translation workflow. So this is a nifty way of putting a lot of functions at a user's disposal as and when they need them.



    memoQ's informative tooltipsThe ribbon toolbar displays tooltips whenever you move your mouse over specific icons, which can be instructive en passant and may even help you re-discover features you forgot about in the old interface, where many of them were hidden from view.



    Another new aspect of memoQ 2014 R2 is that its translation memory editor has been pepped up and made more convenient to use. Meta-data (e.g. the name of a customer) can now be altered, for example, and tags can be handled better (e.g. they can all be removed from the segments you select just by clicking a button). It's also possible to edit an unlimited number of segments at one go, whereas that was limited to a hundred in the past. Filtering has been enhanced as well: you can now select specific groups of segments (those translated by a particular person, say) and then search for certain segments in that group (e.g. those containing a particular term). To make it easier to resume your editing work later, it's now possible to mark segments with a flag as well. A short video on these points is now available on YouTube.



    Segmentation of source files has also been improved by making it easier for users to add abbreviations to the list of existing segmentation rules and even re-segment a file on the fly after doing so, giving better segmentation results in the translation grid.



    Compatibility with other software formats has always been an important aspect of memoQ, which supports a large number of formats and makes working with files processed by users with different CAT tools relatively simple. In memoQ 2014 R2, Kilgray has improved compatibility with WorldServer by improving how it deals with SDL WorldServer’s file formats, XLZ and WSXZ.



    To help you learn more about this new version, Kilgray is offering a number of free webinars on it in December. These are intended for both freelance translators and project managers (as each user group works with a different version). To see which webinars are being staged and register for them, go to their webinar page.



    Regards,



    Carl





    picture credits: courtesy of Kilgray


    Related links



    - Overview of memoQ 2014 R2 on Kilgray's website



    - Kilgray's blog



    - A recorded webinar on memoQ 2014 R2 by Kilgray on YouTube



    - Translator Dominique Pivard explains how to create a project and translate a file in memoQ 2014 R2



    - Kevin Lossner's blog post on the first project he did using memoQ 2014 R2



    - A post of my own on the introduction of SDL Trados Studio 2014, which also features a ribbon interface.


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