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Is Excel useful for translators?
Thread poster: Swaiyam

Swaiyam  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:11
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 24, 2003

Is Excel useful for freelance translators?



Do some of you actually use Excel for anything other than glossaries.


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:11
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
It is to me Jan 24, 2003

Not only for glossries but also for invoicing, keeping work log and other managerial tasks.

I also frequently translate Excel files or tables exported to Word or PowerPoint - it is very useful to have a knowledge of how it works.



Cheers,

Magda


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
English to German
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Frankly, I don't see the point in your question Jan 24, 2003

I find Excel a useful program, anyway. As for the translation part, I create my bills and do my bookkeeping, cost analysis, tax-relevan6t tables etc. in Excel. At least, once I have entered the formulas, it keeps me from counting everything on a calculator.

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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 23:11
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Maybe Jan 24, 2003

Hello,



Excel is useful, if you get excel files from your clients.



Otherwise maybe not.



Greetings



Hans


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Swaiyam  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:11
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Point of the question Jan 24, 2003

first of all, thanks for taking the time on a Fri evening to reply...



I have a basic (and a bit more...) knowledge of Excel, but have never really used it to make my life simpler. Not that my knowledge is theoretical - if someone tells me what they want, I`d be able ,to produce something (good!)within 24 hours.



If I were to offer a tutorial especially for interpretation and translation students who already know the rudiments of Excel/OpenOffice Calc, what would be some of the more necessary useful tasks...



What is a work log btw...



reg,

anu







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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:11
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Why Excel is useful: Jan 25, 2003

Good knowledge of Excel is essential for almost all translators except of those may be who do literary translations only. Typical tasks to do when translating an Excel file would include formatting cells, columns and rows (because of different length of a text in target language), changing separators (in different languages different conventions are used), calculating a wordcount (for billing purposes) and formatting graphs. Translator is less concerned with formulas because he/she is not expected even to touch them, but it’s good to know the basics at least to avoid messing up.



Another thing is using a spreadsheet for your own managerial and tax purposes. I find it very useful. Since I keep a log of all my jobs in terms of number of pages and hours by customer, by price, etc. it is very easy to analyze this data using Excel. I once was considering dropping out a client who, I felt, was supplying me with small jobs at not high enough rate. After I’ve looked into the hard data stored in my spreadsheet I’ve realized that I was about to make a big, big mistake: this very customer was responsible for a big part of my total income. Only because single jobs were small and relatively easy I had this *feeling* that she was a minor customer.

For freelance translators it is very important to be aware of where your money really come from. Typically 20% of your customers will be responsible for 80% of your income and you need to know precisely who is in your 20% group. Excel is one the tools which enables you to know.



Magda



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-25 21:30]


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