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CSOFT (#22 on our global list of the 100 largest LSPs) has banked on mobile being a driving force behind language needs. In December 2015, the company released Stepes (pronounced /’steps/), a human-powered mobile translation app designed to mobilize professional translators and Uberize the world’s bilingual population in the process. Last year, the company broadened the offering to support on-demand social media and image translation, again harnessing the power of the crowd. However, 2017 will be the year of interpreting for the company. EVP Carl Yao briefed us on CSOFT’s latest offering: on-demand interpreting from mobile devices.
This new capability is significant for several reasons:
- Stepes combines multiple desirable attributes into one package. Yao said that the service lets you access interpreters on demand, but still have the ability to schedule calls. It taps into local interpreters who are knowledgeable about the area in which customers need service. The platform is designed for both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, enabling simple one-to-one conversations where the customer often puts the interpreter on speakerphone.
- The service leverages the power of the crowd. The company relies on a pool of 100,000 professional linguists today, but CSOFT plans to tap into the much larger population of bilingual people. Many of them essentially provide language services for extra revenue in their spare time. Linguists can indicate when they are online and able to accept jobs. The Uber-style app shows you a map with the location of nearby interpreters on standby. Upon completion of each interpreting session, customers have the opportunity to rate the performance of each interpreter.
- The service will evolve the role of Interpreters into that of a multilingual concierge. You can ask a bilingual crowd member for a restaurant recommendation or tips on how to use the local public transport system. Interpreters step out of the role of linguistic mediator between two parties exchanging information to become an information source themselves.
- CSOFT is going after travelers frustrated with MT results. It sees tremendous potential when looking at the numbers of downloads of apps such as iTranslate and Google Translate. The company wants to provide a more personable service with a local helper, yet at a modest cost because its fees range from US$0.60 to 0.75 per minute.
Of course, this disruptive offering brings up a lot of questions. What about the ethical boundary for interpreters not to add to or change the message being delivered by another? How do you ensure the privacy of interpreters? How can the system’s ratings distinguish between linguists’ language skills and their knowledge of gluten-free restaurants in the area?
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Australian start-up, Lingmo International, has brought us one step closer to the science-fiction dream of a universal translator earpiece. The Translate One2One, powered by IBM Watson artificial intelligence technology, is set to be the first commercially available translation earpiece that doesn’t rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Translation technology has been rapidly progressing over the past few years. Both Google and Skype have been developing, and constantly improving, both text-to-text and speech-to-speech systems, and the current Google Translate app offers fantastic translation functionality through your smartphone, but we haven’t seen that transferred into something like an earpiece until very recently.
Last year, Waverly Labs launched its Pilot earpiece, which communicates with an app via Bluetooth to offer near real-time speech-to-speech translation. Waverly Labs made US$5 million from its initial Indiegogo campaign, and is set to ship the first round of pre-orders later this year. The handheld ili translator also promises Wi-Fi-free language translation when it launches in October.
With the imminent launch of the Translate One2One, Lingmo is poised to jump to the head of the class with a system that incorporates proprietary translation algorithms and IBM’s Watson Natural Language Understanding and Language Translator APIs to deal with difficult aspects of language, such as local slang and dialects, without the need for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
“As the first device on the market for language translation using AI that does not rely on connectivity to operate, it offers significant potential for its unique application across airlines, foreign government relations and even not-for-profits working in remote areas,” says Danny May, Lingmo’s Founder and Director.
The system currently supports eight languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish. The in-built microphone picks up spoken phrases, which are translated to a second language within three to five seconds. An app version for iOS is also available that includes speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities for a greater number of languages.
The Translate One2One earpiece is available now to preorder for $179 with delivery expected in July. A two-piece travel pack is also available for $229, meaning two people, each with their own earpiece, could hold a real-time conversation in different languages.
Just a few years ago the idea of a universal translator device that slipped into your ear and translated speech into your desired language in real-time seemed like science fiction, but between Lingmo, Waverly Labs, Google and a host of other clever start-ups, that fantastic fiction looks to be very close to becoming a reality.
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With ever-increasing demand for local content, the pressure is growing on translation teams to do more with their available resources.
AdaptiveMT, introduced in SDL Trados Studio 2017, is a game-changer for machine translation (MT) technology. By learning from post-edits it provides translators with a self-learning, personalized MT service that improves the quality of suggestions and boosts productivity.
Learn about how AdaptiveMT is transforming the role of MT in this white paper.
Download this white paper here >>
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More than a year has passed since our first edition of startups to watch. So it was time to check in again with language industry founders and see what new business models are emerging. The companies we cover in this edition have all been founded after 2013 and are starting to get traction.
Interprefy: BYOD Remote Simultaneous Interpreting
The Pitch: Get rid of those clunky translation headsets and listen to a live interpreter at conferences using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Variations in streaming speed and audio quality considered, it should be easy, more convenient, fast, via an app or a web browser.
Cadence Translate: Real-time Interpretation for Business Meetings
The Pitch: Hire an interpreter from anywhere in the world for your business meetings, conference calls, and livestreams. As you talk, remote interpreters are translating your message on the fly in another language or multiple languages. A proprietary matchmaking platform called “SmartMatch” can connect buyers with the right interpreter.
VoiceBoxer: Voice Interpretation for Multilingual Webinars
The Pitch: Live voice interpretation for international webinars, virtual meetings, and web presentations is made easy with VoiceBoxer’s multilingual web presentation and communication platform. Established in 2013, the startup is run by a team of five in its headquarters in Copenhagen.
MiniTPMS: Management System for Small LSPs
The Pitch: If you still use spreadsheets and post-its to track your translation business projects, then you’re living in the wrong century, says MiniTPMS Founder and CEO Nenad Andricsek. These tools may get a job or two done, but in terms of technology, it’s prehistoric, he continues. Andricsek’s startup offers a tool which helps organize the business of very small, boutique LSPs.
Translation Exchange: Website and App Localization
The Pitch: More and more companies are discovering the value of localization, but the traditional process of localizing websites and mobile apps is outdated, cumbersome, and error- prone.
“Translation Exchange automates the entire localization process,” says Co-founder and CEO Michael Berkovich. “My co-founder Ian McDaniel and I led the localization efforts at a company called Yammer and that was the genesis of Translation Exchange.”
For several years, the field of quality checking tools has been largely stagnant, with incremental updates to established tools. Recently, TAUS’ Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) and the EU’s Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) have set the stage for new developments in quality assessment methods thanks to their new methods and push for standardization. In this blog, we’ll review three new market entrants that are hoping to shake up this area. But let’s start with an overview of the types of tools out there:
- Automatic quality checkers. These tools use pattern recognition and other language technology approaches to identify potential problems, such as broken or missing links, inconsistent terminology, and missing content. These applications help linguists identify and fix problems during production to ensure quality.
- Quality assessment scorecards. Many LSPs use spreadsheet-based tools or simple software applications to count errors in translations to generate quality scores. They use the figures these produce to decide whether target text meet thresholds for acceptance. The classic example of such a system is the now-defunct LISA QA Model, but most CAT tools have some basic functions in this area.
Both of these approaches serve their purpose and help both LSPs and their clients, but three companies are bringing energy to an area that has been something of a language technology backwater. In CSA Research’s briefings with the developers of these tools, we saw encouraging signs that quality assessment is taking off again.
See full review >>
San Francisco, California: Boostlingo, a next-generation interpreting delivery platform, has partnered with ProZ.com to bring the world’s largest community of freelance interpreters to users of its platform.
Boostlingo has made interpretation widely accessible all service types, offering language service providers (LSPs) on-demand access to Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Over the Phone Interpreting (OPI), advanced scheduling and administration, 24-7 customer support and usability across all devices. Leveraging pre-screened freelance interpreters from ProZ.com, Boostlingo will provide LSPs direct, efficient access to the ProZ.com database and its worldwide interpreter network.
“ProZ.com has built an amazing reputation and brand in the language industry. Combining the power of Boostlingo technology with the marketplace benefits of the ProZ.com ecosystem will create an unmatched interpretation network,” Boostlingo CEO Bryan Forrester said of the partnership. “We are excited to join forces with ProZ.com.”
ProZ.com has provided tools and opportunities to members in the language industry since 1999. Boostlingo will integrate with ProZ.com’s pre-screened freelance interpreter pool, syncing with ProZ.com interpreters to efficiently fulfil immediate VRI, OPI and in-person interpreting opportunities.
“We’re excited to help interpreters expand their businesses through this partnership with Boostlingo,” said ProZ.com President Henry Dotterer. “Boostlingo has built an impressive platform for businesses that offer interpreting services, and we’re glad to help connect interpreters to the resulting business opportunities.”
To generate greater use of the ProZ.com interpreter network and the Boostlingo platform, both parties have agreed to cross-promote, maintain high industry standards, and work closely together to improve the speed and ease at which a third party can access a qualified interpreter. More information can be found at www.ProZ.com and www.boostlingo.com.
ABOUT BOOSTLINGO: Boostlingo, LLC is a language software and technology company based in San Francisco, California. Boostlingo is focused on defining the next generation of interpretation technology solutions. The software is device agnostic, infinitely scalable and compliant across all common regulatory and security requirements. By providing access to On-Demand VRI, OPI and On-Site scheduling services, Boostlingo intends to advance global visibility and support the interpreter community.
ABOUT PROZ.COM: Founded in 1999, ProZ.com is home to the world’s largest community of freelance translators. Companies that require translations can use the site’s directory to find translators or translation companies at no charge. In addition, translators working on jobs have a structured means (called “KudoZ”) of obtaining assistance from colleagues on challenging terms. Many other services are provided for translators, including discussion forums, in-person and virtual meetings, the “Blue Board” database of translation outsourcers with reviews, and more. The ProZ.com interpreting pool launched on June 1, 2017.
Qualified interpreters may apply at http://www.proz.com/pools/interpreters.
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They look a bit more stylish than your average babel fish, but it remains to be seen if they work as well. From the article:
The earbuds run on a new version of Bragi’s operating system, which will come to the original Dash as well. It enables the simpler pairing process, helps the buds auto-detect a workout, and refines the on-bud touch controls, which until now were about as easy to learn as Morse Code. The new OS also introduces two of the more futuristic features Bragi’s been talking about for years: real-time translation, through a partnership with the iTranslate app, and a gesture interface that lets you control your music just by moving your head.
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Kató is the improved and expanded translation platform, formerly known as the Translators without Borders (TWB) Workspace, and it is where much of the magic happens. Kató connects over 500 non-profit partners with a diverse community of volunteer translators and many other language services. First established as the TWB Workspace in 2011 following a collaboration between TWB and ProZ.com, the online platform has since helped non-profit partners such as Doctors without Borders, Refugee Aid and Save the Children to share essential information in local languages and to translate over 40 million words. Today, the revamped Kató is more robust than ever with computer-assisted translation tools, functionality for storing common words and taxonomies and even bigger incentives for the community. Translators can now use Kató to interpret for all media, including providing subtitles and voiceovers for videos. The platform is even being used to train fluent speakers of languages that desperately need more translators and interpreters.
KATO – BRIDGING THE LANGUAGE GAP
40+ million words translated so far
4,000 professional translators
500+ non-profit partners
190 language pairs
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Translation Management Software (TMS) provider, smartCAT and Lilt, an interactive and adaptive Machine Translation (MT) tool, have partnered to combine the latest in MT technology with a robust collaborative translation environment.
Lilt’s adaptive MT is now available within the smartCAT editor, giving smartCAT’s customers access to this technology in a single activation click.
“Lilt fit just right into the smartCAT ecosystem. We loved the futuristic approach to machine translation it promotes, so delivering the technology to our users instantly became our priority. What makes this integration so special is that it takes smartCAT’s unique real-time multi-user collaboration to the next level. Each time a translator confirms a segment, the engine instantly trains and provides the correct suggestions to all the participants in the project, helping them to maintain consistency across the text. Despite the technology behind the new feature being complex and unfamiliar, we made sure it’s intuitive and easy to use.” said Ivan Smolnikov, CEO at smartCAT.
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With its Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft promised that users would have the option to postpone future updates for a limited period of time and many rejoiced. But now that the update has started rolling out, it’s become apparent that there are still some stability issues and performing a manual installation isn’t recommended right now.
In a blog post, Microsoft’s director of program management explained that the latest update has been rolling out slowly because there are known issues that could be a problem for anyone who isn’t an advanced user. The post doesn’t go in depth on what those issues are but it appears that all the bugs haven’t been ironed out for certain devices. For instance, PCs that use a certain type of Broadcom radio were having connectivity problems with Bluetooth devices.
If you aren’t the type to manually install updates, this probably isn’t your problem. Windows 10 has automatically pushed updates to users since it debuted. The Creators Update has a lot of cool little features, but the most useful one is that it offers a simple way to pause installing updates for up to seven days. Updates are good for security but Windows has had an insidious way of suddenly deciding it’s time to install that latest patch and restart right when you’re in the middle of something important.
Microsoft is still automatically updating users this time around and if you encounter problems, you can find instructions for rolling back the update here. If you’re the cavalier type who doesn’t care about warnings and just wants to start making 3D dogs in MS Paint, you can manually download the update here.
A new voice-transcription software, named Trint, can listen to an audio recording or a video of two or more speakers engaged in a natural conversation, then provide a written transcript of what each person said.
Trint’s technology is still nascent, but it could eventually give new life to vast swaths of non-text-based media on the internet, like videos and podcasts, by making them readable to both humans and search engines. People could read podcasts they lack the time or ability to listen to. YouTube videos could be indexed with a time-coded transcript, then searched for text terms. There are other applications too: Filmmakers could index their footage for better organization, and journalists, researchers, and lawyers could save the many hours it takes to transcribe long interviews.
As machine learning and automation technologies continue to transform the 21st century, voice recognition remains a pesky speed bump. Transcription in particular is a technology that some have spent decades pursuing and others deemed outright impossible in our lifetimes. While news organizations and social media outlets alike have invested heavily in video content, the ability to optimize those clips for search engines remains elusive. And with younger readers still preferring print to video anyway, the value of transcribed text remains high.
Based in London and launched in autumn 2016, Trint is a web app built on two separate but entwined elements. The company’s transcription algorithm feeds text into a browser interface for editing, which links the words in a transcript directly to the corresponding points in the recording. While the accuracy is hardly perfect (as Trint’s founders are the first to admit), the system almost always produces a transcript that’s clean enough for searching and editing. At roughly 25 cents per minute (or $15 per hour), Trint’s software-as-service costs a quarter of the $1 per minute rate offered by competitors. There’s a reason Trint is so cheap: Those other services, like Casting Words and 3Play, use humans to clean up automated transcripts or to do the actual transcribing. Trint is all machines.
Microsoft has released voice recognition toolkits for programmers to experiment with, and Google just last week added multi-voice recognition to its Google Home smart speaker. But Trint’s software was the first public-facing commercial product to serve this space.
According to lead engineer Simon Turvey, Trint users report an error rate of between five and 10 percent for cleanly recorded audio. Though this is close to the eight percent industry standard estimated last year by veteran Microsoft scientist Xuedong Huang, the Trint founders consider their product’s editing function the thing that gives them a stronger competitive edge. Trint’s time-coded transcript and the web-based editor allows users to quickly find and work on the quotes they need.
Trint can currently understand 13 languages, including several varieties of English accents. Since it’s a cloud-based application, Trint’s voice transcription algorithm can be updated frequently to add new languages, new accents (Cuban-accented English is tough), and fresh batches of proper nouns.
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Last year, Google Translate introduced neural machine translation, which uses deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases, to figure out the most relevant translation. Since then we’ve been gradually making these improvements available for Chrome’s built-in translation for select language pairs. The result is higher-quality, full-page translations that are more accurate and easier to read.
Today, neural machine translation improvement is coming to Translate in Chrome for nine more language pairs. Neural machine translation will be used for most pages to and from English for Indonesian and eight Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. This means higher quality translations on pages containing everything from song lyrics to news articles to cricket discussions.
From left: A webpage in Indonesian; the page translated into English without neural machine translation; the page translated into English with neural machine translation. As you can see, the translations after neural machine translation are more fluid and natural.
The addition of these nine languages brings the total number of languages enabled with neural machine translations in Chrome to more than 20. You can already translate to and from English for Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and one-way from Spanish to English.
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Language I/O has released LinguistNow Chat, enabling companies to provide real-time, multilingual chat support inside several major platforms, including Salesforce.com and Oracle Service Cloud.
The LinguistNow product suite works within the Oracle and Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) systems. It enables companies to provide customer support in any language over any support channel. Using a hybrid of machine and human translation services, LinguistNow let’s [sic] monolingual agents provide support in any language simply by clicking a button.
“With LinguistNow, companies can receive outstanding translations for self-help articles, ticket/email responses, and chat,” said Kaarina Kvaavik, co-founder of Language I/O, in a statement. “Our customers are already seeing tremendous cost reductions by using our existing products. Some of them have seen a more than 40 percent reduction on customer support costs.
“We use a unique combination of human and machine translation, which is why our translations are both fast and accurate,” Kvaavik continued. “We help companies improve their quality of customer support while also reducing their costs. First, we allow customers to answer their own questions by providing outstanding article translations. Second, we allow agents to accurately and quickly respond to emails and chat in the customer’s native language.”
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Omniscien Technologies (formerly Asia Online) has announced the release of its new version of Language Studio™ with next-generation hybrid Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology.
With this latest release of Language Studio™, Omniscien Technologies has combined both Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) and next-generation, machine learning based Neural Machine Translation technology in a single platform for all 548 Language Pairs supported.
“By offering a choice of technologies at the same price point in our secure Cloud, customers are free to choose the solution that best fits their specific use cases and requirements, guided by Omniscien Technologies’ experts where needed. We don’t believe in merely releasing the latest technology in support of the most recent development trends. We prefer to focus on quality, choice, compatibility, value and expert advice to ensure that our customers can achieve their goals”, says Andrew Rufener, CEO of Omniscien Technologies.
Prof. Philipp Koehn, Omniscien Technologies’ Chief Scientist, adds: “Neural Machine Translation is an evolving technology. In many cases NMT does very well. However, there are still a number of limitations with a pure NMT-only solution. With that in mind, during the development of the new version of Language Studio, our R&D teams focused on the inherent weaknesses in the existing NMT technologies that had not yet been solved by academia or commercial NMT solutions. While we will continue to make significant progress in the future, we have now solved the most significant challenges. In doing so, we have developed a unique hybrid NMT, SMT, Syntax and Rules based solution that provides unprecedented translation quality and control, and the new system is ready for production grade deployment now.”
See full press release >>
From the Microsoft Dynamics site:
The purpose of the forum is to give our partners and users the opportunity to give feedback on our existing terminology and translations for future products.
Our professional translators have defined the list you will see in the forum.
Participation is completely voluntary. You may participate as much or as little as you wish, and you may stop participating at any time.
- Follow the easy registration steps, then review the glossary and vote for the suggestions listed, or give your own suggestions.
- Don’t forget to come back and vote more! Before the program closes why not come back and vote for the suggestions that came later.
- April 20 – 27th: Suggestions & voting accepted anytime during these dates.
The site works as a discussion forum where you can vote for the suggestions submitted, submit your own suggestion, or comment on other participants’ suggestions.
We have included a proposed translation for each of the source term. [sic]
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After April 11th, Windows will no longer support Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 9. This means there will be no further security patches, bug fixes or technical help for those versions of these products.
Fortunately, Vista’s bad reputation led most people to abandon it years ago. Some estimates put its current marketshare among all desktop computer operating systems at less than one percent. By contrast, Windows 7, which Microsoft scrambled to released two years after Vista in 2009, is currently the most popular operating system in the world, used on roughly half of all personal computers. In fact, Vista never gained huge market share to begin with; many Microsoft customers opted to stick with the pleasing and reliable Windows XP for years.
If you are a Windows user and you happen to still be on Vista, be sure to upgrade.
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If you use WordPress for your web site, you may be interested in this explanation of multilingual plugins and ranking of the 19 best multilingual plugins for 2017:
19 Best WordPress Multilingual Translation Plugins for 2017
Recently TM-Town has received inquires from various language service providers asking how the TM-Town API can be used in their own TMS or online tool. Some potential use cases for the TM-Town API include:
- Finding and messaging the most appropriate professional(s) for a translation job.
- Finding relevant glossaries for your translators based on the parameters of a client job.
By using the TM-Town API, language service providers can more easily automate their internal processes and create a custom solution that can connect directly to their in-house TMS system.
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Now it’s easier to manage and accept projects on the go with the Memsource mobile app. The mobile app gives users the access and flexibility to manage translations, and to respond to project issues directly from a mobile phone.
The app was announced at the 6th Memsource User MeetUp prior to the 2017 GALA Conference in Amsterdam.
For Project Managers, the mobile app allows them to easily create new jobs, select desired settings, assign translators and due dates, and monitor the progress of all projects, without needing to boot up a computer. Resources like translation memories and term bases can be assigned to projects and users can filter projects to find specific clients or project names. With the mobile app, project managers can easily respond to urgent client requests, have an overview of projects in progress, and see which jobs are overdue.
Translators can also accept translation jobs on the go through the mobile app. After receiving an email notification about a new job, simply open the app, and change the Job Status to “Accepted”.
See more >>
We’re happy to announce our new ebook The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Freelance Translator.
Covering everything you need to know from day one, including qualifications, key skills and how to win your first customers, this Ultimate Guide also shows how you can branch out and grow your business over time. The back of the book contains an extensive list of resources for translators and other language professionals, including translators’ associations, conferences, blogs, podcasts, online dictionaries and handy Internet links.
It’s ideal for translators who are just getting started, those thinking about making the leap into freelancing, or even established translators looking to pick up some tips and tricks for taking their business to the next level.
Why the Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Successful Freelance Translator isn’t just for beginners
Of course, this Ultimate Guide is ideal for new freelancers. If you’re just starting out in the translation industry, we aim to give you a comprehensive introduction to every aspect of it, so that you can feel confident about setting up your own business and diving in head first. After all, the career of a freelance translator may be exciting and fulfilling, but it can also be risky and even intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with it. Having an expert guide will help you to confront the challenges you’ll face along the way.
At the same time, though, there’s also plenty here for experienced translators. Once the basics are dealt with, the book gets to grips with all kinds of advanced tricks and techniques that respond to real challenges that all translators face. Ever asked yourself any of these questions?
• How can I market myself more effectively?
• What can I do to improve my relationships with my clients?
• Am I charging enough for my work?
Over 150+ pages, we give you the skills, resources and advice to answer these questions and more.
Being a freelancer means taking responsibility for our own continuing professional development, and everyone can always find some way to improve. For example, many translators still don’t offer a translation portfolio that their clients can access at a glance – so in one chapter of the book, we lay out why portfolios matter, how to build one, and how you can make sure people see it once it’s ready. In other chapters, we explain the importance of social media, discuss the pros and cons of working for direct clients or translation agencies, and explore what we can learn from one of the worst translations in history.
Our aim is for this book to be a valuable companion whether you’ve been a translator for a few weeks or a few decades. To find out more about the book and what it can do for you, visit translatorsbook.com or our Amazon product page.
Make sure to tell us what you thought of the book after reading it: your feedback will help us to reach out to the broadest possible range of translators all over the world.
You can get this book at a 50% discount if you apply the following code at the checkout page of our website translatorsbook.com:
The discount is valid until April 30.
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