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Which software do you find most useful and which ones are mostly required by agencies?
Thread poster: Evelyne Morel

Evelyne Morel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:29
English to French
Jun 22, 2006

Hi dears,

Another question for you.
Wishing to usefully full my spare time (I mean instead of waiting for the next nice project doing nothing) I will learn how to use new softwares (I am not speaking about CAT Tools, but softwares like QuarXpress, FileMaker...) and I was just wondering :

1/ which ones do you find more useful (for you and to get job offers)
2/ which ones are mostly required by agencies

If you have any other suggestion about what might be really useful to learn in order to be a top professional translator, do not hesitate to let me know.....

Thanks for sharing your experience with me


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-06-22 23:12]


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 11:29
German
+ ...
Tagged Formats Jun 22, 2006

Learning how to use a specific program might be helpful, but limits your options to that program only.

Maybe it would be a good idea to delve into the realm of tagged formats in general as most DTP format files will have to be edited in TagEditor or a similar environment.

Learning how XML functions, or HTML, what "elements" are, or "entities" or "attributes" can greatly help you work with any kind of tagged files.

I suggest you work through the corresponding sections of your Trados manuals & Getting Started guides. Try working on some of the example files and check out the info on pages like
http://www.w3schools.com/xml/
or
http://www.w3schools.com/html/

Once you know how this all works, understanding files prepared for translation from DTP formats like Quark Xpress, FrameMaker, InDesign etc. will be much easier, enabling you to safely and quickly navigate and translate them.

HTH,
Benjamin


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Evelyne Morel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks to you Benjamin Jun 22, 2006

Thank you indeed, this will help me a lot knowing where to start from.
For the moment I had enough project offers without knowing specific softwares, but I will soonly need to know more and this will help getting further.

.....will let you know how things are going on


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The techniques are basically the same Jun 22, 2006

Evelyne Morel wrote:
Wishing to usefully full my spare time ... I will learn how to use new softwares ... like QuarXpress, FileMaker...


IMHO the techniques you'll learn in one DTP program will do you good for all DTP programs. So you might as well learn how to use a free one such as Scribus and when you are nicely skilled, possibly try out an evaluation copy of one of the paid ones. If you try the paid ones directly, you'll only have 30 days in which to learn all there is to know about DTP, and that is not enough time.

http://www.scribus.org.uk/

Take a newspaper or magazine, find a nice advertisement, and try to copy it in Scribus. That's the way to learn.


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Evelyne Morel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Samuel Jun 22, 2006

....will try the link you provided. I Agree with you, no doubt the best way is to practice and understand by yourself. Did not know scribus was free (great news).

Thanks again


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:29
English to French
+ ...
PowerPoint Jun 22, 2006

Hi Évelyne,

PowerPoint is something most translators dread, and many of us simply don't accept PowerPoint jobs. However, if you are interested to offer this service to your client, I would definitely practice using a CAT tool to translate PowerPoint presentations, as it can be tricky. You always translate these using you CAT interface and never directly in PowerPoint, so it basically comes down to translating a tagged document. But since PowerPoint is such a visual sofware, once you export the finished translation to PowerPoint, you also have to manually edit the document.

For example, when I translate from English to French, the translation takes up more space than the original, because usually, it takes more French words to say things than in English. But when the textbox where the text was has a fixed size, obviously, the end of your translation will not show, so you will have to either make the textbox larger, or change the font to a smaller size. When you do this, you are not translating anymore, but rather DTPing. Also, when there are graphics including text that was translated, the graphics are ruined and they need to be fixed, but if you are not experienced with the software, this can be nearly impossible to correct.

In any case, if you are planning to translate PowerPoint documents, it is good practice to charge your regular rate for translation, and then charge for DTP. Often, fixing the translated document takes as much (or even more) time as translating it, and you should be compensated for this time.

All the best!

[Edited at 2006-06-22 18:28]


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:59
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
My choices Jun 23, 2006

Almost 90 per cent of my work is done on MSWordXP, especially after Windows starting providing support for Hindi and Unicode with its version 2000 onwards. With this I could do away with a custom Hindi Word Processer which I had been using earlier for Hindi.

Some agencies insist on the use of Trados/SDLX for some of their work. They also generally insist on a "trados rate" with discounts for fuzzy matches and repetitions, which effectively brings down the overall rate of translation.

For accounting purposes I use Translation Office 3000. I would be totally lost without this one in keeping accounts and track of my various jobs. Recently they have come out a new version (Version 8).


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:59
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Does Scribus support Unicode? Jun 23, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:
IMHO the techniques you'll learn in one DTP program will do you good for all DTP programs. So you might as well learn how to use a free one such as Scribus...


Hi Samuel,

Many thanks for drawing my attention to Scribus which was hitherto unknown to me.

A small query, does Scribus support Unicode?

The reason I am asking is that none of the star DTP programmes (and with hefty price tags) like QuarkExpress, FrameMaker, PageMaker, etc., support Unicode and therefore cannot be used for DTP work in Hindi if the text is in a Unicode font. In all such cases, one is forced to rely on the limited DTP facility provided by MSWord which is the only worthwhile software out there which has full support for Unicode.

If Scribus supports Unicode, it will be THE DTP package for me as I work mostly in Hindi.

Thanks,
Bala.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:59
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Also learn web layout softwares Jun 23, 2006

Hi Evelyn,

Good to know that you have decided to tackle your spare moments in a systematic and productive manner.

In addition to learning DTP packages, you should also familiarise yourself with web layout packages like FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Flash, Director, etc. With a little effort you can master all of them in a very short while, especially if you a bit of programming experience.

Also you should learn a smattering of HTML, XML, PHP, ASP and other web related technologies. There is a lot of work up there in the area of web site and software localization which are highly paying. You can dip into this if you are equipped with this kind of skills and knowledge.

Good luck.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:59
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Yes that is so Jun 23, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
In any case, if you are planning to translate PowerPoint documents, it is good practice to charge your regular rate for translation, and then charge for DTP. Often, fixing the translated document takes as much (or even more) time as translating it, and you should be compensated for this time.


Very wise words Victoria!

I wish I had read this a couple of days before. I just completed a "small" powerpoint based translation which turned out to be quite a big and complicated affair.

Going by the word count in the document, I had taken it to be a breeze, but after translating it in the Hindi, I noticed that all the font size and the line spacing and the para spacing in the Hindi was awefully wrong and I had to spend hours manually correcting them. Since I had already quoted a price, all this was free (and frustrating) labour


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:29
German to English
+ ...
Scribus and Indic fonts Jun 23, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:

A small query, does Scribus support Unicode?


See: docs.scribus.net/index.php?lang=en&sm=setup&page=fonts3

- Marc


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 11:29
French to Dutch
+ ...
Powerpoint and fonts Jun 23, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
In any case, if you are planning to translate PowerPoint documents, it is good practice to charge your regular rate for translation, and then charge for DTP. Often, fixing the translated document takes as much (or even more) time as translating it, and you should be compensated for this time.


Very wise words Victoria!

I wish I had read this a couple of days before. I just completed a "small" powerpoint based translation which turned out to be quite a big and complicated affair.

Going by the word count in the document, I had taken it to be a breeze, but after translating it in the Hindi, I noticed that all the font size and the line spacing and the para spacing in the Hindi was awefully wrong and I had to spend hours manually correcting them. Since I had already quoted a price, all this was free (and frustrating) labour

There is a real font problem in Powerpoint, even in western langages. Lots of Powerpoint files are made on MacIntoshes with Macintosh fonts, smaller or bigger than the Windows fonts. So when receiving a Powerpoint file, you should ALWAYS verify the lay-out of the file, before beginning to translate, and even before quoting a price to your client. If there are two pages, it will not be a big problem, but for 200 slides this may be the case. Ask your client which font to use, or buy the necessary fonts, and send a test on one or two pages to your client, in order to be sure that he can use your file.

In my latest Powerpoint file (some 200 pages, 10 MB) there were 5 or 6 pages "lost" at the end of the file. So check the layout until the end of the file. As I already said before, when sending the Powerpoint files to your client, everything must be allright, because mistakes, a bad layout and even punctiation problems will be visible when projected on a big screen.

For big Powerpoint translations, I don't print anymore but work on two screens (old laptop for the source text, another PC for the target text). It's against my quality principles but I like trees.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:59
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Umm... no support yet for Hindi in Scribus :-( Jun 23, 2006

Thank you Marc.

I looked up the link.

Unfortunately, Scribus is still working on supporting Indic languages (Hindi etc.). I do hope they will be able to come out with something interesting in the next version itself, then they will be able to steal a significant march over mainstream DTP softwares, none of which support Unicode for Indian languages.

[Edited at 2006-06-23 10:18]


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Evelyne Morel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks.... Jun 23, 2006

Ok....great ! So much to do, so much to learn, I am starting asap !
Viktoria: As for charging DTP, do you usually tell the client that you will charge X amount per word for translating and X amount per hour spent on DTP work ? And what would you say is the average rate for DTP work ?
As it happened for you, Balasubramaniam, you sometimes end up with a translation that requires much more than only translating (adapt formats, change layouts.....)
It is sometimes difficult when checking the project first time to know how difficult the task will be. How do you cope with that ?
Well....if you have one more minute to tell me more...:)


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:29
English to French
+ ...
DTP rate = translation rate Jun 24, 2006

Hi Évelyne,

I cannot stress enough on this: no matter what work you perform, in terms of hourly rate, you should charge the same amount.

If you translate for $50 per hour, you should also proofread, edit and DTP for that much. As a translator, you fixed your hourly rate. In your mind, it is how much an hour of your time is worth, and it is how much you need to charge to be able to pay your expenses and live a life worthy of a freelancer. If people want you to do something else, your time IS still worth $50.

Here, consider this: it takes about 1/3 of the time taken to translate a text to proof it. Proofing rates by the word are also about 1/3 of translating rates by the word. So, the money you make is in proportion. If you make $100 on a translation job, and it takes 1/3 of the time to proof it, then you will make $33 for proofing, whether you charge by the hour or by the word. Many people don't realize this - and waste a lot of time...

I hope this helps!

Oh, and do a sample CAT translation of a FrameMaker document. The file structure and the tags are a bit particular for those, so you might want to get familiar with this. There is something called the ancillary file that you will need to understand. By the way, often, when you get a PDF to translate, the PDF is based on a FrameMaker document. If the client sends it to you converted, you will be translating not a PDF but a FrameMaker document. And clients systematically fail to mention this. Better safe than sorry!

Have fun learning - you'll feel very confident when you are done. Great idea, too! I wish I would have had the time to learn my CAT tools in one shot...


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