Preparation work for a project involving several translators
Thread poster: Thomas Rebotier

Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:34
English to French
May 8, 2010

I was wondering what is the most proper way to handle large projects with too little time to have a single translator handle them. How much work should be put ahead of time for a glossary? Is the glossary the only thing to be built ahead of time? How about a style guide? Who should be in charge of that, how expert would that person have to be--monolingual in the source text or just bilingual handling only the source side of the glossary? Or rather a senior, uber-experienced translator? How much work is involved to get consistency between the pieces that are returned form different translators?

Please let me know as you share what experience you base this on (hearsay and theory are good too! but I want to hear also from people who have actually done it!) Thank you!


 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:34
Spanish to English
The translator's perspective May 8, 2010

Having worked in quite of few of these large projects, I've never really received a decent glossary, so the agency that were the best at managing these, put us translators in communication with each other and we built the glossary as we went along.

I also think ideally you would want to break up the project as much as possible according to themes and send these themes to the people best qualified to deal with them. I have often noticed that the subject I am translating is also being translated by another person with whom I cannot communicate. So we are both searching separately for the same vocabulary with the risk that we will not coincide in our choices.


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:34
English to Czech
+ ...
Resources May 10, 2010

Hi Thomas,
what I usually send out to translators are the following:
- files in the desired format (TTX, SDLXLIFF etc.)
- possibly a good termbase: I don't really like the term "glossary" as my termbases usually include other meta information such as "Term Status", "Approved By", "Approved On (date)", "Definition", and possibly images;
- a brief styleguide: not too long as translators usually don't pay much attention to lengthy information and, above all, will never remember everything.

Plus, I will set them up for my dedicated forum (you can implement e.g. the Simple Machines Forum in an hour or so) so I can keep track of any questions and issues that might arise during the translation process.

At the end, I use QA Distiller to find any inconsistencies and possibly other problems, such as puncuation errors, double spaces etc.

[Upraveno: 2010-05-10 08:18 GMT]


 

Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:34
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Details? May 10, 2010

First, I notice that you have already cast the project into a TM process; this is interesting by itself.

Second, I would like to ask you about details. What is the "right size" for the style guide? 1/2 page, 2 pages, 10 pages? You can give a couple examples since it may obviously depend on document length and complexity. And how do you get the termbase worked out if this is the first project for the client, especially if this is a rush first project? I am looking at extractors (Trados, Terminotix...) and I am still not convinced that a large project can be farmed to several translators without having beforehand someone knowledgeable read the entire material and make the decisions...


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:34
English to Czech
+ ...
Details? Know-How. May 12, 2010

Hi Thomas,
I'm sorry, but I think I have said quite enough. Going into greater details would mean to reveal some parts of my know-how. Although ProZ is a nice and friendly community, all translators are in fact competitors and my (and probably other people's too) know-how is the most valuable thing I have. Most of it was learned through experience, which was sometimes easy and sometimes quite painful.

I'm sorry if this disappoints you.


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:34
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Glossary May 12, 2010

I'm assuming you don't have some sort of server-based solution for simultaneous TM and glossary access for everyone.

If that assumption is right, I would very warmly suggest managing your glossary in a Google docs spreadsheet.
Unless you have the luxury of having/being able to create a full and authoritative glossary before the actual translation starts, a google docs spreadsheet is the best thing you can do for the project and the translators.
Just set up a Google account if you don't have one and create a new spreadsheet with the right columns (SL, TL, added by, status, notes etc.) Add terms if you make a glossary before the start of the project, or just start it off blank.
Then you can make the spreadsheet public and editable by anyone and give all the translators the link.
All your translators need to do is visit the URL you gave them and they will all have real-time access to the latest version of the glossary. They can all add terms, comments and other content simultaneously, and see the changes mady by anyone else instantly. You can save the spreadsheet as .xls and there is even a chat area in there.

Do back up the spreadsheet regularly as Google docs isn't as stable as one would like it to be.


Edit: obviously, using a CAT is basically mandatory. If the source format is not too complex, you may get away with all translators using whatever CAT they prefer and exchanging memories in TMX format. The common glossary and daily TM exchanges between all participants should mostly suffice to keep everyone on the same page.
You'll want to have some sort of boss who makes decisions on terminology etc. in case of doubts/disagreements. This can be either one of the translators or a PM of some sort.

[Edited at 2010-05-12 08:44 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:34
German to English
+ ...
Someone needs to be in charge May 12, 2010

There are many ways to handle the technical aspects, so I will limit my comments to the one thing I find most important as a translator - someone with knowledge of the project and hopefully contact with the client needs to have the final say on questions pertaining to style, terminology, etc. My least favorite group projects are the ones where the translators are left to "decide amongst themselves" how to handle these matters. Usually one person ends up stepping up to the plate and making these decisions, which are best left to a designated project manager. Or scores of e-mails are sent back and forth to hash out these issues, wasting precious time. It might be worth your while to pay one of your translators (most senior, most subject-area knowledge) a bit extra to handle the project management aspects if this is a freelance team. It really does need to be someone with intimate knowledge of the project.

[Edited at 2010-05-12 14:31 GMT]


 


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