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I'm a newcomer into this career and have some general questions about this business.
Thread poster: Yuan (Andy) Wang, M.A. Ed.

Yuan (Andy) Wang, M.A. Ed.
United States
Local time: 04:09
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 5, 2004

I apologize if these questions are answered elsewhere. I'm new to the business and needless to say, very busy getting started. Here are some of my general questions.

1. Are there any other software programs that you find helpful with translations? (CAT tools?) What do you think of Trados?

2. What Chinese system do you suggest for use with Windows XP. What kind of fonts do we need?

3. What are payment options online? How do we get paid from people clear across the world? (We've been using PayPal; is that the best one?)

4. How important is a professional website? Have you found your website to be your main attraction for customers?

5. I've been asked for a quote on my "target word" count. I'm only aware of source word counts. Aren't target word counts too arbitrary?

6. How many different combinations of price quotes are there? For example, do you charge a different price for native language into target language as you would for source language into native language?

Thanks for the help!


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-10-05 06:34]


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Jing Nie
China
Local time: 18:09
Member (2011)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Welcome to PROZ! Oct 5, 2004

1. Are there any other software programs that you find helpful with translations? (CAT tools?) What do you think of Trados?
Trados is a good Software except its price. I think Yaxin CAT 2.5 is also a good CAT tool, since Yaxin have its database of words, while Trados have not.

2. What Chinese system do you suggest for use with Windows XP. What kind of fonts do we need?
I think you can use Chinese version of Windows XP, or you can choose Chinese language in English Windows XP, you may ask others to help you .

3. What are payment options online? How do we get paid from people clear across the world? (We've been using PayPal; is that the best one?)
I am in Shanghai, and I have no PayPal, but Business Check is also Ok for me.

4. How important is a professional website? Have you found your website to be your main attraction for customers?
I think a professional website is not necessary if you are a freelancer, since you have had a webpage on PROZ.

5. I've been asked for a quote on my "target word" count. I'm only aware of source word counts. Aren't target word counts too arbitrary?
This is a difficult question. I encouraged my clients use source word counts , but if the clients insist, I will give them the quote on target word count. If you use target language count , you should tell your clients how you count Chinese characters in advance to avoid bother.

6. How many different combinations of price quotes are there? For example, do you charge a different price for native language into target language as you would for source language into native language?
I have different rate for E>C and C>E translation, but I do very few C>E translations , I 'm only confident with translations into my native language.


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Welcome to the big family at ProZ.com! Oct 5, 2004

Hello, Andy and Heather,

Welcome to the big family at ProZ.com! The wonderful part of the Chinese Forum is that you can get great feedbacks and advices from the experienced translators such as NieJing. To share personal experiences and grow together is what I am trying to promote here.

Remember, you are welcome and also encouraged to use Chinese to post your messages in Chinese Forum. English is the working language at ProZ.com.

Here are my responses to your questions:

1. Are there any other software programs that you find helpful with translations? (CAT tools?) What do you think of Trados?

I have Trados 6 Freelance and Systran Premium 4.0. Like I said in the past, it is a sad "catch 22" situation for the translators. You have to have all possible software programs to be sure you are ready to handle or bid all types of jobs. But when you have all the software programs, they cannot guarantee you to get all the jobs. I wasted lots of money on the software programs, let along the yearly upgrading costs. Please do not follow my suite. Spend money wisely, only on those programs you definitely need for your services. ProZ.com has a site comparing all the Cat tools, called "CAT Fights". It is very helpful but is offline right now due to the website construction. For me, I use such software program only when the client requires it. Trados definitely sets the standard in the translation business. The price tag is kind of breathtaking, but check at the ProZ.com. It offers special sales to the members from time to time.

2. What Chinese system do you suggest for use with Windows. What kind of fonts do we need?

Windows 2000 and XP came with its own Chinese input systems. Do NOT install any additional Chinese input systems by other companies, because those Chinese input systems will be likely to fight with the Windows system and cause problems. To setup, go to Control Panel ->Regional and Language Options -> Languages tab -> Details button –> Add button. If you need further help, let us know. I do not think you need additional Chinese fonts other than what Windows XP has already offered if you only provide translation files at this point. If you move up and begin to offer formatting and graphic design services, then you must have more Chinese fonts.

3. What are payment options online? How do we get paid from people clear across the world? (We've been using PayPal; is that the best one?)

Yes, PayPal is what I use. It is OK. I would not say the best. Another one by the name "Moneybookers" was mentioned in our Chinese Forum: http://www.proz.com/topic/15674?start=0.

4. How important is a professional website? Have you found your website to be your main attraction for customers?

It is very important. Like Niejing said, the Profile at ProZ.com will definitely serve the purpose. A good profile can definitely make a good impression about your service and give the customer an idea about what you can do and how professional you are. As a starter, I suggest you should spend time to enhance your profile at ProZ.com. I found it also improves your ranking in the Google search and becomes the first place clients would like to visit.

5. I've been asked for a quote on my "target word" count. I'm only aware of source word counts. Aren't target word counts too arbitrary?

The easiest and most accurate way to estimate word count is to count the English words by using MS Word. Try every possible way to educate your client and insist on using English word count for your quote regardless what direction the job requires you to translate.

6. How many different combinations of price quotes are there? For example, do you charge a different price for native language into target language as you would for source language into native language?

Yes, you should quote different price rates for CH>ENG and ENG>CH. This is because you must have a native linguist to proofread your CH>ENG translation. We had lengthy and emotional discussions in the Chinese Forum over the issues when a translator omitted the proofreading procedure that should be performed by a native speaker or native equivalency.

Have a great day!

Kevin

[Edited at 2004-10-05 19:31]


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