Freitag, 17. Februar 2017

4 Questions

This week, I came across a post over on the blog of TM-Town about what a customer should ask himself or herself before hiring a professional translator. Just four simple questions:

#1 What type of content do you want to translate?
#2 Where is the audience of your content located?
#3 What is the subject matter of your translation?
#4 How do you intend to use the translation?
 
I would have thought that's only logical, but maybe not? I don't think I've ever had this happen to me before. Have you? Has anyone ever had the situation where you got a request from a customer who had no clue what he wanted or for what he needed it? And if so, how often does that happen? Frequently? Just once? 
I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Samstag, 11. Februar 2017

Ich mache einen Feinkostladen auf...

... zumindest ist das der Plan. Nicht, dass ich bis jetzt ein Discounter gewesen wäre... Naja, vielleicht ein bisschen... Aber jetzt mache ich einen Feinkostladen auf! Hat etwas mit dem Seminar letzte Woche zu tun...
Der erste Schritt ist schon getan, der nächste kommt vielleicht schon in zwei Wochen (und die ersten Kunden vielleicht auch).

Ich spreche in Rätseln? Dann hilft dieser tolle Beitrag von Mirima Neidhardt auf ihrem Blog "Überleben als Übersetzer"

Sonntag, 5. Februar 2017

New direction, new ideas

Yesterday, I attended a very interesting BDÜ workshop on marketing in Munich. And although I wasn't too happy about the long day initially (since I have a ton of work), it turned out to have been a very good idea, indeed to go.

It started out with us having to pick a picture and then introducing ourselves and using the picture to describe our current (professional) situation. Here's the one I picked:


Now, if you know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, I am first and foremost a musician at heart, and one of the reasons why I registered for the workshop was that I would love to make that my specialization professionally even more.
The other reason, both for the workshop and the picture, was that I love being "on stage", which is where an interpreter is most of the time, and I would love to do much more of that, too.

Throughout the workshop, we got a lot of input and ideas and had to do some "soul searching", i.e. look at all kinds of things from different perspectives, such as our strengths or our target groups aka (potential) customers. The goal was to see where we are experts and are able meet the needs of others, which will make us more content with our work AND boost our businesses at the same time. Win-win, I'd say!
And the result for me was quite surprising and not at all what I had expected. It also means quite a bit of work, primarily on my web presence (yikes!), but if things actually go the way I imagine, then a year from now, my freelance work could look somewhat different from how it is now - but even better!

I bet you're wondering what I want to change, aren't you? Well, not to make it a big secret, but you know what we Germans say: "Don't talk about unlaid eggs." And one important point we learned yesterday was to stand out from the rest, and giving away too much too soon might lessen my chance at doing just that, so for now, you'll just have to keep wondering - sorry!
But don't worry, I'll let you in on the new stuff once I'm ready to go public, as it were! ;-)

Samstag, 28. Januar 2017

Traumberuf... ?

Wie froh bin ich, dass ich einen Beruf habe, der mir Spaß macht!!!
Das war der erste Gedanke, als ich diesen Kurzfilm des argentinischen Illustrators Santiago Grasso gesehen habe. Und auch wenn der natürlich total überzogen ist, fühlt man sich nicht so, wenn man einen Job hat, der einem nicht liegt, nicht gefällt, mit einem schrecklichen Chef behaftet ist?
Wie gesagt, ich bin sehr froh, dass mir mein Beruf Spaß macht und ich mich (zumindest meistens) auf die Arbeit freue.

Samstag, 21. Januar 2017

Alignment - yes or no?

I just talked about term extraction in my terminology class, and during preparation,  I was also thinking about alignment. After all, if you have multilingual reference material, for example in order to prepare for an interpretation assignment, what do you do? Right, you place them next to each other and look for vocabulary etc., in effect aligning the corresponding documents (whether on paper or on screen is a matter of personal preference).
And it just so happened, that wrote an article on the topic of alignment very recently on LinkdIn which I found quite interesting and wanted to share with you:

To align or not to align? Is that the question?

Is it still useful for a translator to use alignment tools? and to create what? A translation memory?
Since the advent of CAT tools, for most people alignment is synonymous with creating a translation memory: otherwise what would be the purpose of spending all that time matching up source and target sentences or paragraphs, if not to recycle them through a translation memory? However not only does this require ensuring that the texts to be aligned are truly parallel, one the accurate translation of the other, but also, that the results will be useful and the contents are likely to recur in new documents. This is not always the case. Furthermore, despite the advances in translation memory technology, the splitting of content into bilingual fragments, stored in a database, is frequently to the detriment of the context which is decisive for selecting the correct translation.
This is frustrating for the translator who may have to wade through numerous inappropriate 100% matches, but it is also of little use for MT purposes. It can, however, be useful for academia to illustrate to students some of the many pitfalls in transferring content from one language to another.
But if you have a large quantity of valuable translated assets how can these be made readily available to the translator in an efficient and positive manner, providing all the necessary context where it is needed, at the translation interface?
This material can be more usefully made available by creating parallel corpora, to be consulted by the translator for approved terminology as well as company style and appropriate translations, without having to have many documents open at the same time.
Are translators aware of this option? What skills and tools are most useful to help professional translator take advantage of this opportunity today?
Although there are differences between:
·       the needs of professional translators with time and economic constraints
·       academia where the creation and use of comparable and parallel corpora are now rightly considered to be an essential part of translator training
·       the needs of MT builders/providers who rely on the availability of large volumes of comparable and clean parallel corpora, such as that made available by the UN in May 2016
the recent advances in the creation and use of corpora deserve more attention, debate and testing to improve the technology solutions available.

Posted on LinkedIn by Juliet Margaret Macan Vice President at Asling - Geneva & Independent Translation tools consultant

So what do you think? Alignment? Corpora? Or something completely different?

Samstag, 14. Januar 2017

Sicherheit online

(c) www.bloggingrepublic.com
Zur Zeit habe ich einen Auftrag zum Thema Cyber-Sicherheit bzw. Cyber-Versicherung auf dem Tisch liegen. Und auch wenn ich im ersten Moment etwas erstaunt war, wurde mir sehr schnell klar, dass es ja nur logisch ist, dass es solche Versicherungen inzwischen gibt. Ich sehe es ja alleine schon an meinem Geschäft - es geht irgendwie alles übers Netz: Kommunikation, Auftragsabwicklung, Rechnungen... Selbst Dokumente von Privatkunden, die dann persönlich in mein Büro kommen, werden in der Regel vorab digital geschickt.

Spätestens wenn man dann ständig in den Nachrichten hört, dass wieder irgendjemand gehackt wurde, oder schon wieder ein neuer Virus oder Scam die Runde macht, sollte man mal überprüfen, ob die eigenen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen noch angemessen und ausreichend sind - und zwar auf allen Endgeräten, also nicht nur dem Computer, sondern auch auf Handy, Tablet und u.U. vielleicht sogar dem Fernseher!

Und es geht nicht nur um die Antivirussoftware, sondern auch um E-Mail-Sicherheit (Stichwort Signatur und Verschlüsselung), vertraulichen Datentransfer (Stichwort FTP-Server), Online-Banking und -Shopping und all die Passwörter, die man für alles braucht.
Software und Apps gibt es ja inzwischen wahrlich genügend, um das Richtige für die eigenen Bedürfnisse und Anforderungen zu finden.

Nur eine Sache halte ich (übrigens auch für Privatpersonen!) für nicht verantwortlich, nämlich kostenlose Software. Sicher, etwas schützen sie bestimmt, aber heutzutage halte ich es für naiv zu glauben, dass das reicht, v.a. wenn man so gut wie alles online erledigen kann und dies auch tut!
Als Geschäftsperson ist es sowieso ein absolutes No-Go - schließlich geht es nicht nur um mich und meine Daten, sondern auch die meiner Kunden! Aber das sollte ja eigentlich eine Selbstverständlichkeit sein...


Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

Happy New Year!

The short vacation over the new year is almost over, but I wanted to share at least a small impression and hope all of you have had an equally great start into 2017!

The view from the restaurant