Author: Eman Elbehiry

Technical Trainer at Future Group Translation Services, Freelancer Translator, and Content writer. LinkedIn:
Wanna Be a Certified Machine Translation Post-Editor/ Project Manger

Wanna Be a Certified Machine Translation Post-Editor/ Project Manger

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Machine Translation Post Editing Courses From Transparent Campus.

Transparent Campus is a learning community developed by Transparent. It is developed to help bridge the gap between theory and practice in the localization industry.  It contains self-paced online courses, webinars, and interactive forums. All courses are customized to the learner’s role, providing the learner with the quizzes and assignments to enhance their understanding and knowledge. After the learner completes the course, they will remain enrolled to receive any updates, news, or webinars related to the course material. 

In the MTPE Skills Category:

  • MTPE Crash Course

Target Audience: Linguists

Duration: 1 Hour

Course Overview: This course is designed as a crash course for linguists. It equips linguists with the know-how to start working on MTPE related tasks. This course focuses on the main MTPE tasks (MT evaluation, light MTPE, and full MTPE). It provides learners with the needed skills along with a simple overview on the MT world and the difference between over-editing and under-editing. 

Certificate: Learner will be awarded a certificate of completion after successfully completing the final quiz with a pass grade.

  • How to Manage MTPE Projects?

Target Audience: All roles involved in handling MTPE projects, i.e. sales, account managers, project managers, and vendor managers. 

Duration: 2 Hours

Course Overview: This course is a journey into the Machine Translation (MT) world, that is rapidly affecting the translation market. During this journey, the learner will delve into how MT works and the history of MT engines. The learner will be equipped with all the necessary skills, along with tips and tricks, to know how to successfully manage MTPE projects and how to choose qualified linguists. It consists of four modules. Each module contains one or more than one quiz.

Certificate: Learner will be awarded a certificate of completion after successfully completing ALL quizzes with a pass grade.

  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (Generic)

Target Audience: All linguists. 

Duration: 1.5 Hours

Course Overview: This course is a journey into the Machine Translation (MT) world, that is rapidly affecting the translation market. During this journey, the learner will delve into how MT works and the history of MT engines. The learner will be equipped with all the necessary skills, along with tips and tricks, to know how to evaluate and post edit MT output. It consists of four modules. Each module contains one or more than one quiz. All course quizzes are especially designed for this course, and not language specific.

Certificate: Learner will be awarded a certificate of completion after successfully completing ALL quizzes with a pass grade.

  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Arabic) 
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Farsi)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Indonesian)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Thai)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Malay)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Vietnamese)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Japanese)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Turkish)
  • MTPE Basics and Best Practices (English – Polish)

           Target Audience: Linguists work in this language pair. 

Duration: 3 Hours

Course Overview: This course is a journey into the Machine Translation (MT) world, that is rapidly affecting the translation market. During this journey, the learner will delve into how MT works and the history of MT engines. The learner will be equipped with all the necessary skills, along with tips and tricks, to know how to evaluate and post edit MT output. It consists of four modules. Each module contains one or more than one quiz. All course quizzes are especially designed for this course, and will be assessed by native senior linguists. 

Certificate: Learner will be awarded a certificate of completion after successfully completing ALL quizzes with a pass grade.

MT Isn’t Good For Languages, But..

MT Isn’t Good For Languages, But..

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a Sci-Fi movie we all know, there is the machine invention merging in to fulfill a certain demand and a great need covering all the routine and dangerous work. But, there is this end; that we all know by heart as well, the machine evolves and revolts against the maker and works for the maker’s destruction. This shows us the double edged weapon that the machine has. In this article we will reflect these edges: pros and cons, of the machine translation.

The machine has been always a great tool in saving time and money for the sake of exerting the effort to enhance it to produce a better quality. Luckily, we have achieved this, and the machine translation has saved a lot of time translating repetitive content such as the financial field that is full of numbers and the technical content that is full of saved terminology,…etc. Machine translation also grants accuracy translating such content, where no complex structure or ambiguity surrounds the content. It also translates fast, which means less time; and in a world where time means money; this is the best to rely on.

Such applications also evolved to translate images and signs on the spot. Imagine you’re lost in a country you don’t speak its language! No one to understand, no one to ask!

If a programmer or a developer wants to make his application or software or even a website to be used in the whole world, what would he do? Get translators from all the whole world and pay them and get broke before he even takes off?

Machine translation is the answer here as well, as it will be of a great help to this programmer because such a repetitive content will can be translated in a good quality.

On the other hand, the climax of the movie emerges. And we come to the question: does it scheme to destroy the translation profession and the death of the language?

Did it prove high quality in the artistic translation? No, why?

This is due some factors, which are:

  • Perplexity

Language is an evolving living entity. One of the language schools measured the elevation of a language by its ability to complicate. The more complicated the structure and the diction, the higher this language.

Unfortunately, machine translation lacks the ability to deal or understand such complication. This, by turn lead us to the length ratio.

  • Length Ratio

After much trainings and tests to the machine translation followed by evaluation, it appears that the produced is more of chopped sentences, cut off, simple, and normalized affected by the source. This also relates to the language complication; consequently, it defies the language elevation and richness. And speaking of richness, we go to

  • Lexical Density

According to MacMillan Dictionary, it is: “the proportion of content words to function words in a text. The higher the proportion of content words, the greater the lexical density”.

Machine translation is effective at these types of texts that don’t really have many of content words, and it gets sometimes lost the more content words existed. This also applies to the diverse significant word in a translated text, which adds to the richness and the uniqueness of the language. How does the machine translation work with this?

The Machine works with the most frequent words, to keep the text consistent; which threatens the less frequent words with death and oblivion.

However, don’t get disappointed dear linguist, there is this MT Summit that gets to be held globally every 2 years, and regionally every year. They discuss such issues and they try to find solutions for it based on research papers and tests with evaluations. Furthermore, we have you to post-edit these translations, creatively. Machine translation will never replace you, it’s just you who will upgrade and drench yourself more in your language linguistics.

Here, we reach a conclusion that tells us that machine translation is not scheming to the linguists death, unless they allowed, for sure. Nevertheless, it might affect the language.

You do what you got to do.

“Okay Google”! How Do You Interpret Me?

“Okay Google”! How Do You Interpret Me?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sphinx offers you a riddle to solve before you continue reading:

A blind Chinese man had a house on fire, went to his deaf and mute American neighbor to ask for help. How will the mute tell the blind about the catastrophe if the two don’t speak each other’s languages?

Many riddles appear every day, yet many fascinating solutions technology offers for the industry of machine translation and transcription.

And that was the first phase of Google advancing their machine translation. It takes what you want to “say”, and views it typed on the screen. Thus, this is a good solution to the Sphinx riddle.

The blind will address his speech to a transcription machine to convert it into a typed translated text to be read by the mute in no time.

But Sphinx isn’t technologically advanced. Yeah, at least we are!!

In Sequence-to-Sequence Models Can Directly Translate Foreign Speech, a paper published by Cornell University, the researches explained the powerful new method of translation. The encoder-decoder deep neural network architecture directly translates speech in one language into text in another, trained and unsupervised.

Furthermore, researches continued to skip this step of transcribing the audio of the source language that is done by the auto-recognition engine, to translate directly from the audio in a zero-shot performance. Like these apps here.

Are we there yet?

Not yet. In the International MT Summit 17” held in Dublin, 2019, there were researches to even translate audio to audio. So instead of this process of speaking to the engine, then transcribing them first, then translating it, and then produce it in a translated voice. It happens even in a more Zero-Shot process.

Suggestions to this were even farther. It included personalization and gendering. So when a man talks in Chinese it will be interpreted into English with the same man’s voice. Surprisingly, if it’s a female, the same thing will apply. No machinal voices anymore. Only in-person humanly pure voice.

But how does the machine understand voice AND produce an interpretation of it?

I am Cortana, What Can I do Now
I am Cortana, What Can I do Now

A good question was asked in Quora saying does the computer understand a language while its language is only 0 1, which also might answer the question of, how does google, and other voice recognition systems respond to us.

“Sound is made up of information, just like words, or numbers. Sound is analog in nature, and is represented by frequency (pitch) and amplitude (loudness) over time. More complex sound, i.e. songs, contain multiple frequencies being played at the same time.”

Thanks to neural network, this is exactly how we train the machine. As the engineers give the machines bits and pieces of the audio, we call it “samples”. The audio gets divided to bits that the engine receives shorter than just a click. Collecting all of these bits together forms the full audio. That’s the normal way of it.


The trend is now rising to convert and jump above these audios. For example, the machine is trained to interpret Chinese into English, and another machine is trained to interpret English into Arabic. The future interpretation machine will interpret Chinese…. and VOILA Arabic COMES OUT directly in one move in no time.

A final apology to Shakespeare who once believed that “Tomorrow will never come”, because technology is finally here.

Try Google’s interpretation and other good apps for interpretation share your experience with us.


5 Websites for a Better Linguist

5 Websites for a Better Linguist

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Translation International Day, we are celebrating the breakthrough translation made in the world, starting from making the far wide world approachable for all, till making it approachable for each.

Translators, interpreters and terminologists were, are, and will always be the unknown soldiers through history; they moved civilizations, transferred knowledge, widened minds, enriched cultures, and consequently, languages.

For this, we here provide the heroes with 5 websites that will help them enhance their skills and update their knowledge of today’s market.

  1. GALA

Globalization and Localization Association. GALA’s blog offers a wide knowledge about new automation systems, machine translation, translation tips. Furthermore, it holds contests and educational webinars. Not only this, but also, it helps project managers with some tips and advice for better management of projects.

  1. Taus

Taus blog is one of the best blogs updating translators with the latest trends in the translation industry. It even gives insights about today’s investment in the industry. In addition to this, they offer a variety of online courses with certification.

  1. Translationdirectory

This blog here offers a lot of thoughtful articles about the translation industry, helping to spread awareness about the terminology used and functions in the industry. Awesomely enough, it provided a lot of articles on different languages, to reach the maximum number of translators.

Moreover, it helps the freelancers to enhance their way in freelance translation services.

  1. Tekom

 Tekom is one of the leading translation and localization companies in the market. It highly spreads knowledge technically and softly.

Thus, it offers webinars, live events, updates and trends.

  1. Proz

Proz is the global hub of freelance translators in all languages, that’s why they give insights of the technological trends and professional development. They have a lot of articles addressing interpreter and translators. It guides them through their tools and gives them the advice to proceed surely in their career.

We wish all the heroes a fruitful career, and a productive international day.

Don’t hesitate to share with us the helpful websites that help you although.

What makes Snickers, Snickers Around the World?

What makes Snickers, Snickers Around the World?

Reading Time: 2 minutes



In USA: Who are you when you’re hungry?

In UK: Oh Deer, it’s hard to spel when you’re hungry

In the middle East: You’re not the same when you are hungry

Three different phrases, slogans, yet they reflect the same message; you need to grab a bite of Sinkers when you are hungry to act yourself again.

Unifying the message to connote the same meaning in the whole world isn’t with an easy moving process. Speaking of moving, let’s first understand what does the word “Translate” mean.

Translation:  “to remove from one place to another,” also “to turn from one language to another,” from Old French translater and directly from Latin translatus “carried over,” serving as past participle of transferre “to bring over, carry over.

But translation in the case of Snickers isn’t really the perfect solution. The secret word of Snickers is: Transcreation, and that’s what we are going to discuss in this article.

 The etymology of the word is: to carry over with creation. Upon this Wikipedia explains further, “Transcreation” is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context. A successfully trans-created message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language. And this is exactly how Sinkers transcended the barriers of language and culture.

But, is it the same as marketing?

The answer is No; however, it’s one phase of the marketing process. Transcreation has two forms: copywriting and content creating, which we will differentiate between them in later articles.

So all I need is to be a writer? Nope! That’s not “ALL”. But further,

  1. You need to be an ambitious writer with the ability to learn, as you will adapt your message to the other culture.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the source text and the connotations held behind words.
  3. Read more about the matter.
  4. Analyze the target market needs to concentrate your message.
  5. Learn more about how they say it in the target culture concerning the structure, and the tone.

Nevertheless, to make a good copy, you need to acquire some skills.  And here, we state some:

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪research skills‬‏

  1. Mastering both languages: source and target, and their cultures.
  2. Wide knowledge of both languages vocab and styles.
  3. Research skills
  4. Refined writing skills
  5. Ability to reform and create

N.B: It’s okay if your first copy wasn’t as expected; read more, write more.  Needless to say that it’s a highly demanded profession nowadays. Just a little persistence will make it perfect.

In a nutshell, adapting cultures to convey a meaning to another isn’t with the easy kick. However, with some skills and curiosity, you will be able to create after chewing on the source text.

Secret Recipe for being a Super Doper Project manager

Secret Recipe for being a Super Doper Project manager

Reading Time: 4 minutes

For the old secret recipe to do the perfect jump, Tigger, our mentor throughout the article, introduces it saying:

“The whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce
The whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce
It’s got the zip that makes you flip
And that’s what really counts

In the whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce”

As a project manager representing the zip, you connect sides altogether. And for the perfect successful flip from one project to another, and best quality of delivering projects; you must acquire some skills and potentials to do things right. After you receive the project from the sales department, your journey starts and continues in 5 phases. With the need for some skills, you sign off your project successfully.

#1 Initiation

This is the first stage and the most important one. As it is where you lay your base and stand solid along with your team. Furthermore, you foster a good relationship with the client and establish mutual trust.

This is also what I call “The Know What and How”, where you FULLY understand what the client needs and measure the complexity of his demands, and accordingly, identify your available needed assets for the matter, whether they are in-house/freelance linguists, reviewers, DTP specialists, subtitl-ers, subjects of expertise,..etc.

In this phase, you also measure the cost and the profit depending on your givens and conclusions. You identify the time needed as well to set the deadline for your team.

For this initiation, you need to have high communication skills to establish trust friendly and professionally. You also need to be highly organized to manage your priorities well.

Keep being goal-oriented and stay away from distractions and manage the pop-ups well.

#2 Planning

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪planning graphic HD‬‏

The stage of actual work. As you start setting a business plan. If it’s a big project into too many languages, you divide it into smaller parts with even shorter deadlines for early submission and revision. Freelance to manage the shortage if occurred. Moreover, you set a plan B for risks.  Here you start distributing tasks. And for knowing that it could be hustling, put this in mind: “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don’t have to manage them.” – Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of GE. By this we are led to the third phase, which is Execution.

#3 Implementation

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪machine working gif‬‏

A project manager must be a multitasking person; as in this stage, you will be communicating with all parties, you send tasks, you follow up on receiving, solving concerns and problems, answering questions. You pay all that it takes to keep your work on the track. Furthermore, if you can keep their work in parallel instead of phases, do it.

Needless to mention, that within the implementation, a lot of problems appear, things happen and stakeholders apologize for personal reasons, you need to be ready. Risks may also arise, you need to be ready. If your team isn’t well-trained to technicals, as the usage of the CAT tools, enroll them in training. In addition, if they are stuck in searching for something, ask the subject of expertise to advise.

Monitor your team and leave the ground for them to create and flourish, and always keep in touch to be ready for emergencies.

You made some mistakes? That’s okay, new lessons are added, learn and adapt for the next project. And as Tigger says:

“The whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce
The whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce
The more you try, the more you fly
And that’s what really counts

In the whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce”

#4 Closure

That’s a crucial stage in your project because

  1. It’s where you analyze team performance.
  2. You run quality assurance tests on the full project.
  3. Send the files to Fix mistakes if any found.
  4. Gather your files again.
  5. Then, send it to the client.

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪planning graphic HD‬‏#5 Post-closure

For a smart project manager, that’s the true closure. As you receive the client’s feedback on the project; consequently, you need to feed your stakeholders back for improvement. As you learned, let them learn from their mistakes. Take them steps further. A good feedback is feedback that helps you improve.

Within the phases, the project manager is a friendly, adaptable, risk-taker, decision-maker, proactive person. Nevertheless, he must even be supportive whenever technical issues pop up, which means that he must have a wide knowledge base and awareness to provide the support needed; or at least to deliver it, if complicated, to those who know better.

That’s why, the project manager is a mixture of soft and technical skills; it’s to know well, run well, and deliver well, and reach the destination guided by the plan he made.

And always remember that: “The Four Keys of Great Managers: (1) When selecting someone, they select for talent … not simply experience, intelligence or determination. (2) When setting expectations, they define the right outcomes … not the right steps. (3) When motivating someone, they focus on strengths …, not on weaknesses. And (4) When developing someone, they help him find the right fit … not simply the next rung on the ladder.” -Marcus Buckingham, a global researcher, and thought leader.

Step by step, and project by project, your management skills will improve, and as finally, Trigger says:

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪growth gif‬‏

It activates, it elevates, accelerates and more
You’re bouncin’ off the ceiling like you never did before

The whoop-de-dooper loop-de-looper ali-ooper bounce.


10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Believe it or not, normal human beings can turn into superheroes! Well, not by flying or shooting lasers… but by taking the time to learn certain techy skills can transform your life as no spider bite could ever do.

In the new age of translation, an elevated style and diction will be no good if it’s not supported by a fast, advanced and efficient implementation of skills and technology. Yes, here are 10 skills to acquire to be a super translator.

  1. Touch typing

Writing is no longer part of the translation process, even the written texts are OCRed now. When typing took over, translators must take it to a farther step, touch typing, which we call touch typing. Touch typing will not only speed up the process of translation, but also will increase the productivity. Touch typing, with better accuracy could be mastered by practice and learning.

Test your typing speed to see how far you want to improve.

You can improve it by taking this online course by Alsion.

  1. Keyboard command and shortcuts

You can save up to 30 minutes per day only if you knew how to utilize your keyboards better, how to copy, cut and paste, move between tasks and pages, and give some basic commands on Word.

  1. Translation tools
    CAT tools

CAT tools using, such as Trados, as a CAT tool example, and Xbench, as a quality assurance tool example must be acquired. No more of “I don’t work with CAT tools” thing, or “I want to work with the regular methods.” Or “I’m afraid of technology”. Yes we know that you’d like to go with your own unique style of translation, and you want to take your time processing. But actually, in today’s business, things must be done fast and perfectly. CAT tools help you to abide by the instructions of the client, work fast, and produce the closest translations to perfect translation. In addition to this, if you are working with a team, CAT tools will be your right hand to sustain consistency among you all, as working with translation memories and glossaries will increase your efficiency.

  1. Research skills

Unlike the past, now you have an online encyclopedia. But how to reach what you are seeking fast? This is question. A good translator must have their solid database, to include some trusted dictionaries, and good research specialized engines. You also need to be updated with google’s new features and free products.

Here Google is providing a course to power your research skills.

  1. Microsoft Office

Away from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and their tips and tricks that help you work smarter, Microsoft excel and spread sheets are one of the skills you need to know, or how are you going to calculate your payment, or profit if you are a freelancer? Especially in the big projects.

Some basic knowledge about sums and numbers will do.

  1. Handling Computer Emergencies

Of course, IT problems were meant to be handled by the IT specialist. But at least you need to have the basics to save yourself while you’re in medias res. You also got to be aware of all the features of your computer, and of the tools you are using.

You also need to have a good idea of the terminology used in the industry, such as: extensions, online project, server, HTML, synchronize…, etc.

  1. Internet and email

“Accessible” is one of the magical merits that a client would like to witness dealing with his translator. That’s why, ways of online communication such as online calls, or chatting, or emailing are there. Consequently, a super translator will be active for any updates, new instructions, or edits the client might need. The client wants to feel saved before asking for help!

Furthermore, you need to know how to write professional business emails, and how to communicate well if things went wrong or in case of emergencies.

Another thing is that, you need to be aware of the internet, how to reach what you are seeking, how to use it professionally. Simply, you know the where to go and the when to go.

Being online is a must-acquire skill, not to lose your clients and to enhance your knowledge and skills, even if you don’t like to be online, or you’re techno-phobic.

Speaking of online presence, we are lead to..


  1. Active online presence

Now, there are many websites and blogs that gather all translators to share and exchange their experiences, and to answer their questions, etc. You also need to be active on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and Proz.

  1. Computer security

I saw this with a friend of mine, while downloading a program, her laptop got infected by Ransom Virus, a virus that locks your access to your files and ask for money. That’s why you’d better be careful and choose trusted sites, powerful antivirus, and keep updating the windows and its firewall to protect you from malware and such. You must know how these things work, and how to secure your work and computer the best way possible. And ALWAYS know how to take a back-up of your files.

  1. Online learning


Since the world is going digital and learning is part and parcel of the translator’s personality, you’ve got to learn how to function on the e-learning websites. Online courses can save time, and can be learned in a better state of focus. A translator is a full-time learner, right?

Moreover, you might actually want to improve the skills mentioned above by taking an online course of your own on a website like Skillshare. You may ask “Is Skillshare actually good?” and the answer is to see for yourself, as many people have used online learning courses like theirs to upgrade their understanding of their own skills and help them learn new tools. That’s why being opened and adaptive for online learning could possibly help you generate more clients and more income as a result.

To sum up, a translator with technical skills is a better-hire resource because simply they make the clients more comfortable and confident in delivering their business to an understanding, literate and reliable resource. Technology when connect promotes. So, UPGRADE!

How many skills of the 10 do you own? Tell us in the comments below.

Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“I speak two languages, one is my mother tongue and the other worked on it through movies, songs, and some grammar books. I want to work as a translator, what can I do”, he asked.

That is a typical question of an amateur translator. Why? Because a translator is way far beyond just speaking two languages. Translation is not speaking two languages; it’s about mastering two languages. And here five skills a professional translator needs to master.


Just passed by a story published that goes like:

My first year in Campeche, Mexico, I was always complaining about the heat. The correct way to say this in Spanish is “Odio el calor.” I, however, kept making the verb reflexive: “Me odio.” This means “I hate myself.” Everyone must have thought I had a real self-esteem problem!
Having contemplated this situation, we will find that this person wasn’t really aware of the cultural context. It’s not necessary for something in your culture to mean the same in other cultures. That’s why you have to read more in this language history, culture, and contexts.


“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Observation is one of the most aiding skills as it, by time, facilitates the translator’s work and gives his work quality.  Observing the speakers of the languages your translating from and to gives you mastery over your translation and phrasing. Observation helps granting nativity.


Having many levels in speech and communication depending on the addressee and the addresser makes it necessary to vary your style of writing. You can’t buy your groceries speaking Shakespearean language. Pragmatically, everyone will laugh at you thinking that you are saying a joke.

That would even, wrongly, signify the background of the speaker. Is he coming from the medieval ages through time machine? What if he is illiterate? What if he has come from a Proletarian descendants? Would he say the same idioms and proverbs as a sophisticated educated professor?
Each and every character will communicate the way that tells about him. That is, they will definitely use different structures, different vocabulary, and different use of words. Consequently, you will have to tailor your translation with the same meaning that transfers the message of the speech with its reflection to the character.


Lately, Oxford Dictionary has changed the word “light” to “lite”, and added the word “roasting” to mean “Online bullying”. It also has labeled the word “fool” as an archaic words.

Language is a living organism, as it always evolves, develops, dies, and gets reborn. And so, the translators must evolve with it; otherwise, they simply will retreat unconsciously because he couldn’t cope with the trends, and the changes in the language.

The world is going digital, you will also need to learn the new technology of translation, such as: CAT tools, machine translation and other helping aids. You need to cope with the fast evolving market. And don’t worry, we will address that in the coming post, stat tuned!

Time Management

If Procrastination was the flaw of Hamlet in the old age, then it has never died if it’s the translator’s. Burning time within your work-time will burn you out. One of the most needed skills that translator should master is time management; and Organization is its key.

While you have many tasks to do, prioritize them over one another: the most urgent to the least important. Start with what motivates you to keep achieving. Eliminate distractions, like social media notifications that keep getting you out of the mood of creating. Don’t forget to give yourself a five-minute break every hour. That would help you to keep your mind focused and refreshed.


Know one thing about everything, and know everything about one thing. That where POWER relies.
Having a field that you expert in is what makes you reliable as a “subject matter expert”, where you points of strength appear.

How many skills of these do you master? Share them with us in the comments. And if you have any special skills, don’t forget that “sharing is caring”.

Did you lose hope in your past translations? Try again!

Did you lose hope in your past translations? Try again!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Written by : Eman Ebehiry

After knowing more about the Translation memory, our assiduous translator starts lamenting his luck for not knowing it earlier. He looks at his work with pity for the loss of those past years of hard work, and his coming years of re-making what he already did.

But for one more time, technology saves the translator’s world, and offers him the solution: “The Alignment”.  What is translation alignment? How does it work? When would I use it? And why? What types of translation alignment are available? Are all question will be answered in the article.

First, translation alignment is the matching that we do between the source and its translation in the target in order to make a translation memory out of it. Simply it works through pairing the segments in its language pair; thus, it will be stored as units just like any translation memory. There are actually many ways of doing this. Furthermore, there are many tools that can get the job done, such as

A translator aligns his previously-translated material to build a database, instead of building one from scratch. It saves his time, and his previous work experience that might be repeated. But only the initial step of alignment that might take some time; as it may happen that the tool align some segments you have merged, or even split. So it’s closer to be giving probabilities. Hence, the human factor will be needed in reviewing and editing.

Now, what about trying to make your own alignment translation memory, and tell us about your experience?

You can learn to align your previous work from here via Trados.

Or if you have tried it already, share some of the benefits with us.

Translation Memory and Survival

Translation Memory and Survival

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Written by:  Eman Elbehiry

Homer and Langley Collyer, two brothers, were killed by “hoarding”, and storing things in their house. That led psychology scientists to categorizing this “hoarding” under “psychological disease” umbrella. But when it comes to Translation, sorry psychology! You’re wrong this time. Why? Because “Hoarding” is a big sign of perfectionism, and adulthood.

How many times did you looked at your outstanding translation and wished you could use it again? How many times have you came across a sentence that you bet your life that you have translated it before, but unfortunately you can’t remember in which file, or which project exactly? How many times have you translated similar texts, and wished for something that could help you get the job done in half of its time?
Though you are stuck in only “wishing”, hoarding and storing this translation has found its way to you through translation memories, TM.

While the CAT tool divides the whole text into segments, the translation memory becomes where all your translation is stored in units; exactly as it was saved either in sentences, paragraphs, headlines, or titles. Which means that it stores the segment with its language pair. Consequently, you can get back to it in the time of need. According to SDL description of the translation memory “When a translator’s jobs regularly contain the same kinds of phrases and sentences, a translation memory will drastically increase the speed of translation.” This makes it one essential component of any CAT tool par excellence.

Later, when you summon this translation memory to re-use this “stored” translation; it starts suggesting for you a translation. You can add and enhance this translation, you can modify it, or replace it with a better one. For the translation memory being so smart; it updates itself all through. It has whatever you added, and enhanced. If the translator accepted the exact suggested translation, the tool will choose to call this an exact match; which is percented as 100%.  We can see this crystal clear especially in the texts that include a lot of repeated patterns. Furthermore the minimum similarity between a new segment and a saved segment in TM varies from 99% to 50% depending on the similarity match is called “Fuzzy match”.

According to what we mentioned above, the translation memory is best fit for texts including repetitions, or similarities. Which means that it is most suitable for technical, and legal translations, for having specialized and repeated expressions and vocabularies. Moreover, if you are working on one project in a team, it is very possible that each translator have his own distinctive expressions, and vocabulary in his mind, but if you are working with one translation memory, your documents will be more coherent and cohesive, and you are always on the same track.
As a result to this, translation memory saves time and efforts, which results in reducing the cost of the long-termed projects. Therefore, by now, we agree that it provides the best quality possible, and it’s definitely unlimited.

            Genius ha! Wondering how it works? Here is a hint:
The mechanism is called “Edit Distance”. This mechanism’s role is to identify how dissimilar two entities (e.g words, segments, units) are. Thus, in the case of the fuzzy match, it tries to measure approximately how close these two patterns are, and consequently, suggests to the translators who have the power to accept or modify, so that it could improve itself.

            The translation memory allows you to use it hundreds of times, to include it in whatever project and keep updating it. But the question here is “What if I didn’t use it before, will my past treasure go in vain?” The answer is NO!
Actually you are allowed to “Align” the segments of your past work to make a translation memory out of it, we will explain that the alignment in another article. It will also be your own made-dictionary to search in your previous work for any terms, sentences. In addition to this, you will be able to share your translation memory, and use the shared-with you, so that you have a solid, and saving base. The reviewer can have a part of the share with you so you have everything updated, and flawless. This is seen usually in the online tools. And yes it happens to have a movement of exchanging translation memories. “Sharing is caring” right?!

            And here emerges another question, which is: What if I am using a specific tool, while my peers, or my reviewers are using another? How can I share with them my TM? Or how do they share theirs?
Now, there is an extension for sharing which is “TMx” (Translation Memory Exchange). This allows you to import and export the translation memory among many different tools. Never easier!

According to Martín-Mor (2011), the use of TM systems does have an effect on the quality of the translated texts, especially on novices, but experienced translators are able to avoid it.” And here we say to all translators, experienced or beginners, “hoarding” is not killing, and there is nothing better than hoarding and storing years of hard work embracing experience. This storing and hoarding is exactly “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Share with us a story in which you used a TM and it was super beneficial!