30 Online Resources for Business People in the Translation Industry (PART 1 )

 

                                                                                               the keyto workingproductively-1

Because I am always searching for new applications and programs to work more productively, I compiled the following list of resources that I currently use, have used in the past or trying out for possible alternatives.  It is by no means an exhaustive list, the amount of resources and programs available out there is overwhelming and confusing that researching all of them becomes  a bit of information overload. So I selected several programs within each category.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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1. Trello-https://trello.com/

 Overview

Trello is  project management tool that allows you to work on several projects at once.  Each project  board allows you to list, color code, and name tasks according to priority and due date.  When assigning tasks to a team, by double-clicking  on the “card” or task and  adding comments, attachments, and instructions it allows  you to “chat” with your team members and get a general progression of your project. Although considered a collaborative  project management tool,  it is great for freelancers who are tackling many projects at once or who freelance in more than one area ( as I do).  The beauty of this program is its flexibility; you can arrange it to fit your needs. The kanban board (workflow board) is a very practical feature. As you move and complete tasks, you can drag and drop them under the To do, Doing and Done columns of the board, so you see your own progression. I personally use this program and love it so far. I can have several projects( boards) open at once and can set weekly tasks by date for each project. I use it  mainly as my content calendar and social media schedule board for each of my blogs and keep track of my translation projects as well.

Pros

  • Full integration with Dropbox, MailChimp,  Evernote, Twitter and others (paid version), Calendar view, desktop notifications for important tasks.
  • Web, IPhone/ IPad, Android, and Kindle applications.
  • Available on Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers.  It is a free tool with unlimited board capability. You can upgrade for more functions.

Cons

  • No time tracking but does integrate with time tracking apps in the paid version.
  • Phone apps are not fully integrated with all the features of the web application making tasks difficult to access.
  • Less powerful than other tools because its lack of features. Although it has the ability to comment, there is no ability to “chat” with team members on the task (on the free version).

Best for:

This is great  for freelancers to visualize, brainstorm and collaborative ideas.

Continue reading 30 Online Resources for Business People in the Translation Industry (PART 1 )

Awesome Tips About Language and Translation From 8 Unlikely Sources

Awesome Tips About Language and Translation from 8 Unlikely Sources

TED VIDEOS

“Don’t Insist on English” Patricia Ryan

Sometimes you find tips about our industry in the unlikeliest of places. Although TED talks are highly recognized and are a great source of information and insight, not too many of them focus on  translation or the language industry per se.  In the following  lecture, Patricia Ryan discusses language loss and the globalization of English. Because of globalization and economy, English has been  the most preferred and spoken language for business around the world, and because of this cultural globalization and language education, we may be contributing to language loss and the diffusion of new ideas. Focusing solely on English, she argues, we are diminishing the importance of other languages and the importance of  contributions other cultures have to offer.

 

 

NEW YORK TIMES

Who’s ‘They’?- by Amanda Hess

Language is continuously changing and evolving. In the following article, the author discusses the use of  the pronoun “they” as an inclusive gender pronoun for the transgender and LGBT community.   The “they” or “we” as gender pronouns give more ambiguity and a more gender neutral quality to speech that results in a more inclusive and accepting reference.  It also avoids a static role to the person that otherwise does not or cannot relate to their gender identity. On this vein, the author refers to  a study that has  found that when there is a distinction between “he” and “she”,  behavioral patterns change even among children when referred to  as “boys”and “girls” reinforcing  the behavioral  stereotypes that both these pronouns have. Clearly when there was no distinction and a more inclusive reference was made, people were free to make their own. Although “they” is becoming the more accepted form of speech as a gender neutral pronoun,  it is  ultimately up to the person to tell you how they want to be addressed.


Continue reading Awesome Tips About Language and Translation From 8 Unlikely Sources

10 Productivity Resources Used in Business

There are several tools and software applications that  have helped me  become more productive in my business.  This post will discuss a few of these resources  and how they can increase  your productivity. I would have named this post “A Practical Resource  Guide ” but I have one with that name. Anyhow, the  following is my personal  resource guide list that covers  many areas from resources to software and finally to  social media.

Evernote   (evernote.com)

The one the tops the list of resources  for me because of its many, many uses is Evernote.

I have been using Evernote since March 2011 and I would say that I could not imagine working without it anymore.  t is in effect a note – taking software but it doe also have many uses such as organizing, bookmarking and clipping useful information from websites. This is where I store all of my online dictionaries/glossaries , marketing ideas, blogging notes tagged by subject and by notebooks. It has a wonderful feature where you can share the notebooks(folders)with another user. It is a great feature when working in a team project where you can share or email your files with fellow translators. I recommend it fully.

Awesome Screenshot http://awesomescreeshot.com

This is a  Firefox, Chrome or Safari add-on that allows you to capture portions of text, highlight , circle, annotate or underline material so you can share and email. This works well when you are proofreading and correcting material without altering the original content. Again if you are working on a group project with other translators it is a way of suggesting ideas without altering the original content. It also allows you to gray out sensitive information when you email. It reminds me of the methods used before computers. To me there is still something about circles, arrows and side notes that I find helpful. This is a way of doing that.

Dropbox    https://www.dropbox.com/

This is a remote server application that allows you to take your files with you and access whenever needed. When you upload this file it downloads under the “My Documents”folder . When you work remotely you drag the files needed into Dropbox file  and  access them from the their website . I have used it sparingly  I must admit but do see its benefit. I got used to my thumb drive or memory stick with a little added security that I am still in control of my files. Given that they are saved in a remote server when you upload, the idea of someone else having my information gets me a bit uneasy.

Gist (CRM)   http://gist.com/


This Customer Resource Management tool is the one I use for all my contacts and updates. It is a hub where you can integrate Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook and soon Linked-in (you can upload contacts but not automatically).  I have used it for over two years now and although I do love it because it does keep everything about your contacts together, it lacks in many ways too such as a follow-up feature. Yet it searches Google for everything about the contact and for marketing purposes this is great. The shared contacts is great too so as to see which other people they know that you may have in your database. It is a free service and web-based so there is no download. I am still waiting for the upgrade so as to have the full integration with Linked-in and follow-up feature.

WordWeb– A Windows-based dictionary (monolingual) that serves a quick reference for a particular word. There are many others just check out http://www.dicts.info/offline2.php

Wordfinder http://www.wordfinder.com/ Allows look up in various dictionary resources from any Windows-based tool and on the other hand IntelliWebSearch  http://www.intelliwebsearch.com/ does the same although it searches internet resources and offline as well.

Yet just yesterday I stumbled upon TransTools Suite http://www.translatortools.net for Word and all the Microsoft programs and although they had been around since 2007, I had not used their services at all. By what I read is integrates fully with TRADOS  and Wordfast. I will do my research on this one and although it seems straightforward I will have to check that one out.

Friendfeed  friendfeed.com

Ping.fm ping.fm

Finally, one of my marketing efforts is using social media to promote my blogs and my website because of the most difficult things to do is to drive traffic to both. So you have to find ways to promote them all over the internet. I use Twitter and Facebook ( I have a fan page and link my blog there) extensively for this but that cannot be the only areas. Using bookmarking sites, like  Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Stumbleupon can help you get your site read my many, many people. However, that also depends on the followers you  have so truly the first thing will be to begin participating and th contributing to these sites,  and like Twitter, people will begin to follow . I had opened these accounts back in 2008 but abandoned them for a while and as yo have seen people are fickle, if you are not contributing they  drop you quite quickly. So this is where these internet aggregator like Friendfeed and Ping.fm are useful. When you use Friendfeed, you link all your accounts like Twitter and all the accounts you belong to, and when you update an account you update ALL which reduces time.  I read a blog post one day that summed it all with these two: You update with Ping.fm but you receive all updates through Friendfeed and that is the difference between the two.

5 Bilingual Data Resources That Work With Your CAT Tool.

The use of translation memories has become somewhat of a standard in our industry. If you work for agencies they are now expecting that you at least have a command of TRADOS. Although I have used TRADOS, and  see that our productivity increases using it, I don’t personally own a copy of the software yet. I won’t be discussing about TM programs per se, I believe too many articles and blogs have discussed the pro’s and con’s of it. Rather, I would discuss the resources that can work well with  the use of a TM program or CAT tool or use  as a standalone resource.  They are large amounts of bilingual data (corpora) extracted from websites in all particular areas.  The reason I love these resources is that they are not the result of machine translation but rather large sources of data that have been translated by translators in a specialized field. So the result is an accurate copy of what you search for. The following list is but a few that I have in my arsenal of resources and some that I have used so far. They are in no particular order.

Linguee
www.linguee.com

This is the corpus that I use the most and like the most.  I do find it the most complete and it is continuously  improving its site. It first started with an English German language  pairing. It then included Spanish and Portuguese and now French.  It gathers  large bodies of information from websites and the internet and matches it with your search. It also tells you the link to the website where this information appeared and gives you several contexts in which the query appeared  and  the website link  ( This can also be downloaded and aligned to your TM). On the side bar there is a dictionary that will help you to understand the phrase and it also allows you to add information to improve the corpora itself. Of all the TM’s I use I find this one the most useful and most complete. You may even download their dictionaries as a GTL file.

My Memory
 mymemory.translated.net

Established in 1999, My Memory is another  resource that I use extensively. It gives you both, internet searches done by human translators and when none is available it  gives you  machine translated text (from Google Translate). Like Linguee, it tells you where the source came from but here it allows you to rate and improve the entry. Furthermore, you can also use their existing memory by downloading  a TMX file  of your  document into their system. It searches the memory for you so you can work with it through your  CAT tool.  You may also contribute your memory to improve the site. They do protect the identity of the material and only use the memory they need. It is available in many language combinations and you can either search by phrase or word. It does not have a dictionary entry like Linguee, but it is also another resource . It is free to join and given that they can provide massive information for you , this is not quite bad at all.

TAUS Data Association
www.tausdata.org

This corpora is a paid subscription that allows you to download the memory directly into your CAT tool. Through their website you can browse their extensive catalog, some are public and others are for paid members. Categorized by subject, you have access to a vast variety of subjects and through this website www.taustracker.com you will soon be able to have access to directories from a specific translation memory.

Finally, there is always Google, but they to have a particular bilingual engine.

2lingual
2lingual.com

Powered by Google and now Bing search engines this bilingual engine provides side-by-side  samples of websites in the language pair that you are looking for by word, phrase, or keyword. Just another free source.

And there you have them, these are just a few that I have found useful to me. There are many others of course , just google “translation memory” or “bilingual data” and  hundreds of pages will appear. However, you have to select the ones that are more useful to you. This is my sample.