Saturday, October 16, 2010

Business Success for Freelance Translators by Alex Eames

Alex Eames has launched the third edition of his well-known ebook How to Earn $80,000+ per Year as a Freelance Translator. Nine years ago this ebook was the only source for translators who wanted to start a freelance business. Only some days ago Tess Whitty blogged his book among the Great books for translation and localization professionals. Nowadays there are many books and blogs helping the freelance translators to success in their business. In addition to the list of Tess Whitty I could point out Oleg Rudavin's Internet Freelancing: Practical Guide for Translators, which is very useful for beginning freelance translators in Ukraine and Russia. Among all of them the Alex Eames' ebook stands out because of its effect on lives of many translators at the beginning of the century.

I've read the ebook today and tried to compare my impressions and this edition with the ebook I read in 2001. Yes, Alex Eames has amended a lot of new text. The ebook contains 145 pages compared with 127 pages of the previous edition. He has corrected the book according to new trends, such as crowdsourcing, machine translation, social networking... However, its basics have been kept, and these basics are topical at present. There are a few new ideas, but they are of great worth. For example, how NOT to set your rates, how to cope with isolation, how to get the life balance right, how to use the job portals and others.

My main impression is that my professional life is ripe for correction. So I like when Alex cited Ecclesiastes:

"There is time for everything, and a season for every activity"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Translation Forum Russia 2010 - Jost Zetzsche

Jost Zetzsche participated in Translation Forum Russia 2010 as a speaker of two themes: Moving Beyond the Hype to What Really Matters in the Translation Industry and Translation Environment Tools Roundabout. Jost Zetzsche is well known by his ebook Translator's Tool Kit (indispensable guide for novice translators), his biweekly newspaper Tool Kit, his 20 video presentations on translator's tools Translators Training and certainly by Jeromobot, the patron saint of the modern translator, who has the profile in Facebook, the channel in YouTube and the timeline in Twitter.

At the conference Jost Zetzsche showed the highest competence and inspired and shared the passion of his ideas among listeners.

For myself I have kept in mind two ideas of Jost Zetzsche. The first idea is that we already live in the machine translation age. Yesterday I read the tweets of Olexandr Pysaryuk from the conference Localization World in Seattle. The speakers of such companies as Autodesk, Cisco, Symantec and Adobe indirectly confirmed the idea of Jost Zetzsche:

MT Doing Leaders, not Thought Leaders, on #locworld panel: Autodesk, Cisco, Symantec, Adobe. Intro by @lorithicke

Adobe works with 7-8 post-editing LSPs. Raymond Flournoy at #locworld

Autodesk did MT post-editing productivity tests. Proved to work. #locworld

MT is safe, and definitely cheaper to post-edit than translate. Pablo Vasquez, Cisco. #locworld

Best is to use at least 3 MT engines, depending on needs. Symantec at #locworld

It's not about testing just the MT technologies but also testing what data you should and shouldn't mix. Autodesk at #locworld

What engines Autodesk, Cisco, Adobe & Symantec use?: (not in company order) ProMT, Systran, Moses, Language Weaver, both, several. #locworld

There is a need for tool providers to come up with MT post-editing environments. #locworld

There is a reason for thinking.

The second idea is that a translator shall constantly work on his/her translation environment tools (TEnT). As Jost Zetzsche wrote in his ebook:

It is time to adopt a new paradigm for our profession: Not only is it acceptable to use computers well—it is critical to our success.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Translation Forum Russia 2010 - Renato Beninatto

Хотя доклад Renato Beninatto был вторым, но был самым общим и программным по сути.

От одного из лидеров отрасли чего-то подобного и можно было ожидать. Вот как представили Ренато вчера на конференции ProZ: "Renato is the CEO of Milengo Inc., a full-service worldwide provider of localization, engineering and testing services with operations in 18 key markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Renato has forged a reputation for visionary leadership, most recently as the cofounder and former chief connector of Common Sense Advisory, the industry's foremost market research firm. Previously, Renato served as the vice president of sales at both ALPNET and Berlitz, where he drove global growth and profitability. His signature, straight-talking approach has made this Brazilian citizen a sought-after speaker on localization industry trends."

Ренато же подтверждает свою роль лидера и тем, что использует все возможные пути для пропагандирования своих идей, как традиционные конференции, типа Translation Forum Russia 2010, так и виртуальные, типа вчерашней конференции ProZ. Также он активно пользуется всеми популярными на сегодняшний день сетевыми ресурсами: у него есть twitter-лента @renatobeninatto, блог Localization Industry 411 и канал на YouTube milengoTV. Не говоря уже о том, что у него множество контактов и друзей в социальных сетях типа LinkedIn и Facebook.

Презентацию Ренато можно найти в сети, например, в записи блога Ренато от 2 ноября 2009 года, хоть и под другим названием. Но одно дело посмотреть презентацию или видео в сети и немножко другое послушать Ренато вживую.

Среди основных предсказаний Ренато:
- Before 2015, Translation Memory Tools will be free or irrelevant.
- Most large translation projects will be collaborative in nature, with multiple people working on the same files, online and in real-time.
- Translator productivity will be measured in tens of thousands of words per day.

Для переводчиков же попытаюсь сформулировать идеи Ренато в виде советов:

1. Use Twitter.

2. Take part in crowdsourcing (community) translation projects, such as Facebook Translation, HootSuite Translation, TED Open Translation.

3. Try cloud-computing environment or SaaS, such as Google Translator Toolkit, Lingotek, XTM Cloud etc.

4. Learn how to disintermediate your translation services.

5. Improve your productivity.

О том, как повышать продуктивность работы с помощью инструментария переводчика, рассказывал Jost Zetzsche в своем докладе Translation Environment Tools Roundabout. Но об этом в следующий раз.