How to get started as an translator?
Thread poster: xxxWouthan
xxxWouthan  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 11:44
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Jan 26, 2015

Hi
I am a newbie to translations and I am looking for any good advice I can get...
I am also very serious and dedicated to become professional one day.

At this point
I have installed and learned the very basic of SDL Trados Studio Starter and Deja Vu X3
Unfortunately, I do not have any large Translation Memories, nor Term Bases. Just a small one, which a friend gave me.
I know there are lot of add-ins to Trados, such as SDL passolo and clouds, BUT it all cost a lot of money, in which I am not ready ti invest yet. Not until I am absolutely certain that I could do a translation job properly.

So, what should be my next step?

I would like to do a real test run on a real job that involve the whole prosess. Is there a way I could do that?

What else should I do, that not cost a lot of money?


kind regards
Jarle


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Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Spanish to English
give it a test run Jan 26, 2015

I wouldn't worry too much about not having a memory built up. This is something that happens over time and in many cases, the clients asks you to use their specific memory for a project.

If you want to really test out Trados to get an idea of how it works, load a source document of any kind you want and translate it. Once you've finished the document you will have a memory associated with it. Then, make several minor changes to your source document, re-load it, apply your memory and see just how it all works. You'll see where there are 100% matches, and how it shows you changes in the memory compared to the source document.

Unfortunately translation software has a learning curve that is only overcome through practice.


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xxxWouthan  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 11:44
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How to get the first test-job? Jan 26, 2015

Tiffany Hardy wrote:

I wouldn't worry too much about not having a memory built up. This is something that happens over time and in many cases, the clients asks you to use their specific memory for a project.

If you want to really test out Trados to get an idea of how it works, load a source document of any kind you want and translate it. Once you've finished the document you will have a memory associated with it. Then, make several minor changes to your source document, re-load it, apply your memory and see just how it all works. You'll see where there are 100% matches, and how it shows you changes in the memory compared to the source document.

Unfortunately translation software has a learning curve that is only overcome through practice.





I have already translated a few pages, using Trados and it works just fine. But unlike any demo video, I get to translate every single word manually each time. No auto-suggestion nor machine translation.

Do you know anywhere I could recieve a test-job (free of charge off course), do the translation, and then send back the translation-job for a review and comments...or something like that?


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sounds "business as usual" Jan 26, 2015

Wouthan wrote:

Do you know anywhere I could recieve a test-job (free of charge off course), do the translation, and then send back the translation-job for a review and comments...or something like that?


When you approach a potential customer (here "agency"), they usually ask you to perform a translation test (300 words or so, mostly free of charge), provided they think you are a good fit for their language pairs / subject matters.

Some agencies provide you with a rated/corrected translation. Others simply tell you it was "good" or even "excellent". You may also actually "fail" the test.

Go for it (oftentimes, there is even no way around it).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
We normally have to build our TMs from scratch Jan 26, 2015

Wouthan wrote:
unlike any demo video, I get to translate every single word manually each time. No auto-suggestion nor machine translation.

That's where we all started, although I don't know what you mean by "each time". If a segment is sufficiently similar to a previous one then Trados should be proposing a fuzzy match. You can't expect matches when you have no TUs to match with - no CAT tool works on a word level (except for glossary entries).

It is possible to align existing source and target files (e.g. if you find a text that is in both languages) and thereby produce TUs, but it normally involves a lot of manual effort and special tools. And there's very little to be gained unless it's the exact type of text you know you'll have to tackle AND you reckon it's an ace translation. As for using MT, I can get that with Wordfast (for all the good it does) but I don't use Trados.

Look on the bright side: if there are no matches, you can't possibly be expected to give discounts!


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sacale  Identity Verified
Iceland
Local time: 10:44
English to German
+ ...
Trados Studio Features Jan 27, 2015

Hi Jarle!

I do have some experience with Trados. Tthe two features you mentioned aren't just active by default... To use machine translation, you need to subscribe to the SDL service for their machine translation (I know incidentally that there are engines for NO-EN and EN-NO) and to activate it as well in your project. As for auto-suggest (suggesting single words when you type a few letters), this feature does simply not exist in the starter version, you'd need at least the freelance-version to have a chance to use that.

If you add an existing (matching) translation memory to a new project, you should however get matches from that if there are any in the TM. If you use standard settings, the match value would have to be at least 70%. Alignment is not activated either in the starter edition, so you can only test the translation memory feature by translating something and then translating something very similar afterwards, using the transltion memory that was created by finishing the first translation.

I hope this helps a little.
Forresten: så hyggelig å se en nordmann rundt her! Jeg kunne ikke la være å skrive noe på norsk også, det får jeg altfor lite anledning til


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xxxWouthan  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 11:44
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
About SDL Language Cloud Jan 27, 2015

sacale wrote:

Hi Jarle!

I do have some experience with Trados. Tthe two features you mentioned aren't just active by default... To use machine translation, you need to subscribe to the SDL service for their machine translation (I know incidentally that there are engines for NO-EN and EN-NO) and to activate it as well in your project. As for auto-suggest (suggesting single words when you type a few letters), this feature does simply not exist in the starter version, you'd need at least the freelance-version to have a chance to use that.

If you add an existing (matching) translation memory to a new project, you should however get matches from that if there are any in the TM. If you use standard settings, the match value would have to be at least 70%. Alignment is not activated either in the starter edition, so you can only test the translation memory feature by translating something and then translating something very similar afterwards, using the transltion memory that was created by finishing the first translation.

I hope this helps a little.
Forresten: så hyggelig å se en nordmann rundt her! Jeg kunne ikke la være å skrive noe på norsk også, det får jeg altfor lite anledning til


Maybe I expecting to much? I thought it would be more like this: http://youtu.be/e5cfyAt-0rU
But of course, that applies only for the full-version

Well, I am not giving up yet...

I do have an SDL Language Cloud account, in which I log into everytime I fire up Trados...but I haven't had the time to figured out how it is suppose to work(?)


@sacale Du kan skrive på norsk til meg, så ofte du vil...


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cranium
French to English
+ ...
Native language Jan 27, 2015

I see your profile is for translation into English, so just another newbie tip: the generally accepted standard is to translate into our mother tongue.

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Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:44
English to Spanish
... Jan 27, 2015

Please do not get confused between being a good translator and being a good CAT tool operator.

There are many excellent translators, with many decades of professional experience under their belts, who do not use a CAT tool, and probably never will.

On the other hand, being an excellent CAT tool operator and using all the modern aids (cloud, machine translation, terminology services, etc.) you can think of, is no guarantee that the person will be able to produce decent, passable translations.

Your main craft will always be translation, not CAT tool operation.

I do not know how advanced you are, but if you are just starting out, I would strongly recommend you to devote most of your efforts to improving your translation skills: source text understanding, terminology, precision, grammar, fluidity, etc., not your CAT tool skills.


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:44
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
In a nutshell Jan 28, 2015

Get your show on the road. Do some acquisition, do test translations if requested (max. 200 words), built up a network, be original, design your own website (= your business card, worked like a charme for me), have fixed and reasonable prices and stick to them, invest, learn to master at least 1 CAT-tool, accept (almost) all jobs you get in the beginning, be prepared to have a low income for the first 1, 2 or 3 years (probably not enough to pay your bills), and eventually you will find your way in the "translation jungle", that is, if you are a good translator, if not, find another profession (sorry!).

[Edited at 2015-01-28 23:27 GMT]


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
CAT tool: to buy or not to buy, this is the "nobainer" Jan 29, 2015

No matter whether you are starting or have been doing it for a number of yaers. You should get a CAT tool; that of your choice (CAT tool "hopping" is a productivity killer).

Will it make you a better translator? No. Will it make your work more confortable? Yes. I use my CAT tool even if I do not benefit from TM repetitions. It is just so much more confortable to have the source text segmented for you, to have the same format in the target text, to have wordcount going as you translate, etc.

By the way, you do not have to offer any discounts to your customers for fuzzy matches if they did not provide you withtheir TM for a specific project (I never do).

I see CAT tool as a "means" to use your translation skill; it is not the skill itself. It is like being a writer today and refuse to use computer for your work. Neither computer nor typing machine will turn you into a professional. These tools, however, will make your life a lot easier down the road.


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Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Spanish to English
I wholeheartedly agree with Merab. Jan 29, 2015

Fuzzy discounts are given when the client provides me with a TM, otherwise, I benefit from any built up TM content over time.

But for me there are many other important features besides the TM and glossaries that Merab mentions. Personally I use MemoQ and find the search features to be great. You can search and replace a term in ten documents on a project at once. You can also search how you've translated a word in the past, even if no TM matches come up. You can search how you've translated something in the same document (sure you can do this in a word document, but this pulls all instances up at once and allows you to edit them very quickly if necessary). You can analyse the text and see how much repetition there is to gauge how long it will take you. It helps with time planning because you can see exactly how much of the project you've finished already. Also, just having the text lined up side by side to translate makes it much easier on the eyes and probably saves loads of time compared to going back and forth between source and target texts.

All in all, I find my CAT tool to be a huge time saver, TM and glossaries aside.


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