Tag: Translators

OW TO BUILD A WINNING TRANSLATION PORTFOLIO

OW TO BUILD A WINNING TRANSLATION PORTFOLIO

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In the huge talent pool of the internet, there’s plenty of competition for even the smallest job, and if you can’t show yourself in the best possible light clients will pass you over and find someone else. This is where a top quality portfolio comes in, allowing busy potential employers to see at a glance if you’ve got the skills they’re looking for. It’s no good offering free sample translations alone. If they’ve already spotted that your competitor Fantastic Fred has a couple of shining marketing translations in his online portfolio they won’t even bother getting in contact with you, and you will have lost a client without even knowing they exist.

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QUALITIES OF A SUPERB ARABIC TRANSLATOR

QUALITIES OF A SUPERB ARABIC TRANSLATOR

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If you don’t speak Arabic, it can be a challenge to determine the proficiency of an Arabic translator. Rather than searching for flaws in their Arabic or English, keep a mental checklist of the above qualities. If a translator values attention to detail, is knowledgeable about the culture of the region, and is willing to make themselves available at odd hours for an affordable fee, they are indeed a superb Arabic translator.

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Where Freelance Translators Can Find New Clients: Three Proven Strategies

Where Freelance Translators Can Find New Clients: Three Proven Strategies

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Finding new clients for any business is not an easy task, but it is not an impossible mission. Without clients, no one can have a real business. And without more clients, any business will fail to survive the unexpected changes of any market.

 But where can you find them? In this article, I am going to list some strategies you can use to find new clients.

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Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

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“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.

Bicultural

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.

Observation

“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.

Writing

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.

Learnability

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.

Knowledge

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”.

The Seven Virtues of the New Translation Era

The Seven Virtues of the New Translation Era

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This article was first published in 1997 on the NCTA (Northern California Translators Association) website in the earliest days of the web. It’s a window into the translation industry as it existed more than 20 years ago, but the advice is more important than ever in today’s supercharged technology and business environment.

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How can it be that the word count for the same file differs from (translation) tool to (translation) tool?

How can it be that the word count for the same file differs from (translation) tool to (translation) tool?

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The way a translation tool counts words can differ from any other translation tool as well as the word count you can do in Word. The reason is the way words and word boundaries are defined in the tools. Some specify that a word with a hyphen (like “tool-related”) should be counted as one word, others see it as two words. The same is true for other delimiting characters, like slashes (/) or apostrophes (‘). It can even happen that a character like a slash, if it is surrounded by spaces (like in “in / out) could be counted as a word on its own in one tool, but not at all in another.

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Transitioning to a post-editing machine translation business model

Transitioning to a post-editing machine translation business model

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When someone argues that MT engines produce poor results, the first thing I ask is when they last tested machine translation. Many in the industry are still basing their opinion on results from years ago, which are no longer valid. The reality is that machine translation is cheaper, faster, more secure, and increasingly better quality. LSPs that do not adopt this quickly dominating technology will not be able to compete in this new market.

Read more about machine translation post editing.

Becoming a successful international translator

Becoming a successful international translator

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ProZ.com was a turning point for me. Before finding out about it, getting big clients and jobs was a Dantesque task. I had to “knock on each client´s door” and offer my services, without knowing they needed help and many times, having a real hard time to find an email for contact. I always imagined how great it would be to have some kind of online worldwide yellow pages, online newspaper job ads, like the old printed “Help Wanted” section, but exclusively focused on the translation industry.  An online place where I could get up every morning, enjoy my freshly brewed coffee and start the day looking for job postings, making job offers, contacting clients, reading articles about translations, watching webinars, getting suggestions of books to read. Then I found ProZ.com. It’s all that and even more! Becoming a paid member was the best thing I’ve done, and I recommend it to all my colleagues. Thanks to ProZ.com, some of the largest companies in the world are now my clients, and ProZ.com helped me achieve a successful international career.

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Will the interpreter survive technology?

Will the interpreter survive technology?

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The Mesay 3.0 translation computer was launched as a crowdfunding project earlier this week. The device, made by Mesay in Shenzhen, China, is the third edition of the Mesay translation computer, offering simultaneous two-way voice and text translation in 50 languages without the need for any apps.
Mesay had already introduced the Mesay and Mesay 2.0 in the last years, but Mesay 3.0 has a new design and offers WIFI and Hotspot support, while its double microphones must ensure that spoken words are recognized more accurately. According to the Indiegogo project page the crowdfunding project only needs $3,000 to get the project successfully funded; at the time of writing this review and blog the project was 60% funded already. The early bird price for one Mesay is $99, but the actual retail price will be $179.

To know more about it, click here Mesay 3.0 translation computer

HOW LANGUAGE SERVICES PROVIDERS CHOOSE THE BEST TRANSLATORS

HOW LANGUAGE SERVICES PROVIDERS CHOOSE THE BEST TRANSLATORS

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From the onset of the Worldwide Web in the 1990s to present day, the Internet has diverged in unimaginable ways- and it keeps on changing right before our eyes. Once dominated by the English language, the Internet is now a multilingual platform with more and more users deciding to search in their native language for products and services. This means translating all the content on your website. It means translating your social media content, your marketing campaigns, your newsletters, and your promotional giveaways. This also means of course, that not only do buyers need to find LSPs that will deliver exceptional work, but LSPs too need to hire the right freelance translators for the job. So how do they do it? How do LSP project managers decide on what translators or translation companies to hire? You may be shocked at what we found out.

We surveyed over 100 LSP project managers about what matters most to them when choosing a translator, and here is what they had to say…

Top 3 factors that LSP project managers look for in a freelance translator Check them here