4Visions manager http://4visionsmanager.com 4Visions manager is an application developed for and by translators for managing your projects, contacts, planning and invoicing in an easy and intuitive way Thu, 03 May 2012 15:54:00 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.2 Interview with Pablo Muñoz, the translator who does more than translate http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/05/03/interview-with-pablo-munoz-the-translator-who-does-more-than-translate/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/05/03/interview-with-pablo-munoz-the-translator-who-does-more-than-translate/#comments Thu, 03 May 2012 15:45:48 +0000 Pilar del Rey http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=706

The basic 4

How long have you been working in localisation?

In proper localisation, about 4 years. In 2007 I started working at a translation agency in Granada, where I translated all kinds of texts (mostly technical), but it wasn’t until I began working at Nintendo in 2008 that I became fully involved in the localisation industry, both of video games and software.

What advice would you give to a translator who is starting out?

Assuming they are doing a degree or master’s related to translation (because I think it is pretty difficult nowadays to start working as a translator without any training in translation, which is not to say at all that is impossible), don’t wait till you finish your course to get some more or less real experience. That is, as well as all the translations you do in class, take the initiative and look out for projects where you can help out as a translator, like open-source software programmes, fansubs, etc. The experience you will gain is invaluable, and on top of that it will set you apart from other beginner translators.

How did you get into this field?

I was lucky enough to know what I liked when I was very young, so I suppose I just followed my dreams even though I wasn’t sure where it was going to lead me. I think that’s what’s important, to always have a goal in your head, and take another step each day even though it’s into the unknown, because there will come a time when everything will start to feel more familiar. More familiar because it will be that goal that you set for yourself.

What would you like to achieve?

I like to be ambitious in the sense that I always have ideas in my head. I’ve always believed that is very important not to stagnate and I feel it is time to do new things. I’m very attracted to the idea of being an entrepreneur, but not necessarily translation-related, in order to diversify a little and not burn myself out with one single thing. I love the idea of co-ordinating projects, mentoring someone, trying to help others, encouraging people to fulfil their dreams, raising game developers’ awareness of everything they have to do to make localisation a success starting from the very moment the game is designed… Many, many things! :)

Do social networks help you in your work? How can they help translators as a group?

Of course. And in many ways! The visibility of my blog led to me getting two fantastic jobs that you can only dream of, one working as a translator at Nintendo and another as a proofreader and language tester in the leading Internet and technology company around today (although I work at the client’s premises, I am an external collaborator, so I can’t mention the name). Other than that, they help me to meet new people and keep in touch with others, which is very important to be happy: maybe this sounds a bit silly, but I think it important to feel good to work better. On the other hand, they allow you to learn a lot from other professionals and you can even pose questions and get answers in seconds. As to how they can help translators… by giving visibility to the profession! :)

Your blog Algo más que traducir has over 5,000 followers, how do you do it?

I wish I knew! I guess it’s all due to the blog now being over 5 years old, and of course, I am lucky enough to have been one of the first, in that, although I did not start out alone, I am one of the few who has continued to blog. Now the number of new followers has dropped significantly, I suppose for two reasons: a) there comes a time when people who are interested in you already follow you, and b) the number of posts published has dropped dramatically in the last year. When I post I always win new fans on Facebook and Twitter. However, something tells me that all the work I do on Twitter (such as live broadcasting of translation events) makes me gain a following on Facebook (and on the blog, of course). That’s another of the virtues of social networking (although often it doesn’t necessarily happen): what you do on one network at the end of the day has a knock-on effect on the others. Everything is exponential.

Tell us a challenge that you have encountered in your day-to-day work and how you solved it.

A challenge I often encounter in my day-to-day work is how to find time for everything I would like to do. In the end I have to prioritise, which is pretty hard and you never quite manage it. The first step is to reduce noise as much as possible: start to unsubscribe from newsletters and websites that you no longer read so you don´t even have to spend seconds in deleting the notifications, use labels (in Gmail) to filter emails, file emails that don´t need any action (I use my email inbox as a to-do list but a lot of people don’t recommend doing that), make use of idle moments to do semi-productive things (for example, if you have a smartphone, check out your social networks on the underground or even running in the gym, etc.). With this alone you’ll have saved a lot of time to spend on other tasks.

You choose to go to translation events, give talks, be very active in social networking, you socialise with other translators… the opposite of the paradigm of a translator who has difficulty interacting with colleagues. In general, do you think this trend is changing?

Perhaps what is happening now is that translators are more visible than before, although it is true that there are more translators than before due to the fact that many faculties are offering the Translation and Interpretation degree. It is also true that you often bump into a lot of people from one event to another, so I don’t know if there is an increasing number of “social translators.” At the end of the day, I actually think that the translators are very sociable people, because it would be impossible to relate well to clients (and find them) if we were quite shy. I don´t know, I find it hard to believe that someone can be very sociable online and then come across differently in person, although there are all sorts, of course. I think this has to do with social networks: they help us get to know people before a first face-to-face meeting, so it makes it less awkward. In this sense, if you see that your translator friends or colleagues who you speak to quite frequently on social networks are going to a translation event, it will probably encourage you to attend. Maybe that’s why we seem to socialise more now than before.

As a translator specializing in localisation, do you recommend translators to specialise? What benefits do you get from being a video games localiser?

Of course! Without a doubt that´s the secret, specialisation. And not only specialising in one field, but in several. I specialise in software and video games localisation, but I also specialise in some science subject areas and have translated things not related to localisation per se more than once.

As for being a video games localiser, the truth is that I think I am a lot more creative now. I had never considered myself particularly creative, but when you have to make the text fun or give a special quality to a character´s dialogue, in the end it brings out your creative streak, which we all have and many of us think we don´t. Of course, knowing that your text will be read by many people motivates you even more to do a good job, naturally. :)

You can find Pablo Muñoz in his blog Algo más que traducir and his professional website: http://pablomunoz.com/.

What would you ask him?
Translated by Catherine Stephenson
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How to translate websites, technically http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/24/how-to-translate-websites-technically/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/24/how-to-translate-websites-technically/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 07:00:05 +0000 Asier Marques http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=644 Without any doubt one of the most obvious aspects of the internationalisation of a website is translation into the user´s language.

Nowadays website interfaces are very often displayed in different languages, depending on the language of the browser or the session data configured in the web application they are using.

For some years an increasing number of options have emerged to facilitate this task, so that translators can do their work well without having to worry about navigating around the whole website in question or viewing the html code. In 2012, that shouldn´t be necessary under any circumstances.

Many companies even end up designing systems which allow the translation to be done directly in the website interface or in a web control panel specifically designed for this purpose.

However, mostly commonly the strings are in translation files which adhere to a specific format. This format can be read by text editors specifically designed to enable translators to work on these files quickly and easily.

In the past, depending on the design, content included images that had to be edited by a graphic editor in order to be modified. Today, thanks to the developments in CSS style sheets and javascript, it is practically possible to have all a website´s strings in text format regardless of the design. A design rarely requires multiple images for each of the application´s languages.

Another part of the web that might seem difficult to translate are Javascript scripts. Years ago these were rarely used for any function other than validating forms or avoiding right- clicking on the website.

However, today Javascript is increasingly important and is used for more complex purposes than in the past. In fact, the trend is for web applications, at least in their interface, being entirely developed in Javascript language.

Javascript, like the other most commonly used programming languages today, has many options which are compatible with the formats discussed previously, which are described below.

Possible Formats

GetText

GetText is the longest-standing and most widely-used option for translating websites through string files outside the application code.

Technically speaking, all that is needed in the application is to write the strings in the language in which the website is programmed, for example in php it would be:

<h2><?php echo __("Title to be translated", "domain") ?></h2>

There are utilities which then allow us to extract all the strings of the application in a .pot file.

Subsequently, with a translation editor such as poEdit we can easily generate a .po file to the desired language or locale.
GetText is so extensively used that it is available in practically all the existing programming languages, including JavaScript, php, or c#. It is very unusual to find a language that does not have a library or support for GetText.

XLIFF

XLIFF has a very similar concept to GetText, but technically it is based on XML files rather than text files.

In terms of programming, ideally programmers would follow the GetText convention seen above and through configuration, the type of format to be used, GetText, XLIFF or any another, could be modified.

However, the only thing translators should worry about is the XML format generated through XLIFF, an example would be as follows:

<trans-unit approved="no" xml:space="contexto">
 <source xml:lang="es">
   Text in Spanish
 </source>
 <target xml:lang="en"/>
   Text in English
 </target>
</trans-unit>

Similarly to gettext, there are editors that allow us to work on the XML files we’ve generated.

YAML

While the YAML format is designed to present configuration files rather than to translate strings, it can be used for the latter purpose.

The following is an example of a YAML file:

#en archivo cadenas-en.yml
string-id:
   original:   " Text in Spanish"
   translated: "Text in English"
string-id2:
   original:   " Text in Spanish 2"
   translated: "Text in English 2"

In this case the names and file structure are free and will depend on each application and how it was decided to present the strings.

Hardcoded (Arrays)

Another common option is to have the strings in a code file which contains strings assigned to an array or matrix within the chosen programming language.

An example of this in php would be:

// in the file strings-en.php
$variable["key_of_the_chain"]  = "Text in English";
$variable["key_of_the_chain 2"] = "Text in English2";

I hope that this post has helped you to understand and become familiar with the most popular options that are currently being used to translate websites and applications of all kinds.

Translated by Catherine Stephenson

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Quotations: whose job are they? http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/17/quotations-whose-job-are-they-2/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/17/quotations-whose-job-are-they-2/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 08:16:41 +0000 Irene Vidal http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=617

Good evening,

I would be grateful if you could give our agency a quotation and completion date for the attached document.

Best regards,

Over the last couple of years, it has become increasingly common to receive emails like the one above. They tend to be sent by translation companies which we don’t know at all as we have never worked with them. They do not even take the trouble to briefly introduce themselves in the message. They go straight to the point. Why waste their time? I’ve also noticed that these requests are particularly common when they need a translation of documents in pdf format. Is that by chance?

I have to admit that the first couple of times I fell into the trap. I received the email, saved the attached documents to the appropriate folder and started all the usual process to obtain the total word count, the total price of the job and a rough idea of the time I required. I included all this information, carefully detailed and set out in a document, stating the company name, reference number and date of the quotation, followed by a breakdown of the items, noting that this was a translation from this language to that language of the document named “xxx”, the total word count in each document, the applicable rate and relevant comments.

After sending off the magnificent document containing the quotation, here comes the surprise: I didn’t receive a single message in reply. Two days later I sent an email to see if they’d taken a decision on my proposal. Again, absolute silence. Even so, I came up against the same situation, an exact replica, a second time.

From then on I realised that this situation is not unusual and that it is a sheer waste of time. Their tactic is highly productive: without lifting a finger they receive several proposals giving them the word count of the documents and, on top of that, a varied range of prices, from which they select the lowest.

All this work, which is no small job, falls upon the translation company. They are responsible for preparing the quotation, calculating the volume, knowing the collaborator’s conditions (rates and potential surcharges) and estimating a delivery time. Once this has been put together, they send the proposal to a regular collaborator to find out if they are available. That’s how reputable and professional translation companies work.

Emails of this kind denote that the company does not have a regular team of collaborators, but assigns the work to the lowest bidder and the one who offers the shortest possible time-frame, however implausible that time-frame may be. Nothing could arouse the suspicion of the potential collaborator more. Nevertheless, however indignant these emails may make us, we must reply to them. It’s as simple as thanking them for getting in touch, telling them our rates for the potential work and the surcharges that may apply. Lastly, we can suggest that they provide us with the word count so that we may propose a completion date. We are professionals and must show ourselves to be just that.

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Los contactos son la clave http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/10/los-contactos-son-la-clave/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/10/los-contactos-son-la-clave/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 15:03:01 +0000 4visions http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=625 Tener contactos siempre ha sido el secreto del éxito en muchos casos. Estar bien relacionado es la clave para encontrar nuevos y mejores clientes. Pero los contactos no se consiguen de la noche a la mañana y generar una red de contactos amplia y bien distribuida lleva un tiempo.

Contacts are the key

Lo primero que debemos tener en cuenta es que cualquier persona es susceptible de ser un cliente en potencia o presentarnos a un posible cliente. Nuestros amigos y nuestros conocidos pueden ser una primera red de contactos que nos pueden llevar a conseguir algunos proyectos. Todos ellos tienen trabajos en empresas que pueden necesitar nuestros servicios o, a través de su red de contactos, pueden conocer gente con esas necesidades. Explicar a todo el mundo a qué te dedicas y qué haces, aunque sea de forma muy resumida, es muy importante para que todos piensen en ti cuando surja la necesidad de contratar a un traductor. Tus compañeros del gimnasio, del equipo de fútbol o de la clase de baile pueden ser un buen principio. Ten siempre tarjetas a mano y repártelas a discreción.

Las redes sociales son otro puntal en el que apoyarnos para crear nuestra red de “networking”. A través de Facebook, Linkedin o Twitter, por citar las más conocidas, podemos llegar a un gran número de contactos con los que podemos entablar una colaboración. La imagen que proyectemos en ellas es muy importante y también lo es que ellas siempre nos asocien con nuestro trabajo.

Por último, es importante acudir a actos de los sectores en los que estemos especializados. Un traductor médico podría asistir a una conferencia de cardiólogos con un objetivo doble: primero, ampliar sus conocimientos en la materia para ofrecer un servicio mejor a sus clientes actuales y, segundo, ampliar y mejorar su red de contactos en este sector concreto en el que somos especialistas. A menudo observo que los traductores solo asistimos a actos de nuestro sector y nos olvidamos por completo de asistir a cursos, ferias, conferencias o charlas de los sectores a los que prestamos servicio y donde somos percibidos con un gran valor añadido.

Una vez tengamos definidos esos círculos en los que nos vamos a mover, necesitamos paciencia y persistencia. Los resultados a veces tardan en llegar, aunque no siempre es así y en otras ocasiones podemos ver el fruto de nuestro esfuerzo en un tiempo récord. Sea como sea, debemos ser persistentes e incorporar el “networking” en nuestra actividad profesional habitual. Para que esta red funcione de manera efectiva, debemos alimentarla constantemente, aprovechar cualquier circunstancia para estar en contacto con todos nuestros conocidos. Felicitar un aniversario, enviar una noticia que pueda interesar, etc. son buenas excusas para permanecer siempre presentes en la mente de nuestros contactos y conocidos.

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Aprende a venderte. ¡Eres tu marca! http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/03/aprende-a-venderte-eres-tu-marca/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/04/03/aprende-a-venderte-eres-tu-marca/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 15:04:50 +0000 4visions http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=629 El señor Ordóñez es el director del departamento financiero de una gran empresa, con la que dos traductores tienen muchas ganas de establecer una colaboración. Partiremos de la presunción que ambos han indagado bien y han conseguido la dirección electrónica del director, y que no están escribiendo a la dirección general de la empresa.

El director abre su correo, y entre el gran número de correos que recibe, se encuentran estos dos:

Primer mensaje

Rmte: Ana Pérez | traductora financiera EN>ES mail: ana@aptraducciones.com

Asunto: Presentación de Ana Pérez Traducciones

Apreciado Sr. Ordónez:

Me llamo Ana y soy traductora financiera de inglés a español. A lo largo de mis diez años de experiencia en el ámbito económico y financiero, he colaborado como traductora autónoma con un gran número de agencias de traducción y empresas de este sector. [...]

Me encantaría iniciar una colaboración con su empresa. Adjunto le envío una presentación de mis servicios. Asimismo, le invito a visitar mi sitio web (www.aptraducciones.com) donde podrá ver con detalle los servicios que ofrezco, una muestra de trabajos realizados y mi cartera de clientes. Si lo desea, puede contactarme por correo electrónico a la dirección o por teléfono al número 654 904 000.

A la espera de sus noticias, reciba un cordial saludo.

Ana Pérez

Traductora EN>ES

Especialidades: economía y finanzas

Correo-e: ana@aptraducciones.com

T.: +34 654 904 000

Segundo mensaje

Rmte: Sergio Domingo mail: sergio.dm093@gmail.com

Asunto: CV

Estimado señor:

 Me llamo Sergio y soy traductor financiero de inglés y alemán a español. Le escribo para ofrecerle mis servicios de traducción, por si fuesen de su interés. Le invito a visitar mi página web www.tribulacionesdeuntraductor.wordpress.com. Gracias por su atención.

Sergio Domingo

Traductor EN / DE>ES

 ¿Qué mensaje creéis que tendrá mayores posibilidades de captar su atención? ¿Un mensaje cuyo remitente escribe desde una dirección gratuita o el que se envía desde una dirección de un dominio propio? Yo lo tengo bastante claro. El mensaje de Sergio quizá ni lo abra. En el mejor de los casos, lo reenviará al servicio de recursos humanos, pensando que es el correo de una persona que desea incorporarse a la plantilla de la empresa. En cambio, el mensaje de Ana tiene muchas probabilidades de ser leído. Que luego surja o no la posibilidad de establecer una colaboración es otra historia, pero esta traductora habrá conseguido pasar la primera criba.

 A la hora de hacer prospección, hay que tener bien claro que un cliente directo no quiere nuestro currículo, quiere una presentación de nuestros servicios: busca una solución a un problema concreto y dispone de poco tiempo. ¡Aprovechadlo al máximo!

 Cada autónomo es dueño de un micronegocio y como tal, debe cuidarlo día a día. Y transmitir la mayor profesionalidad posible en cada una de sus acciones. No es necesario gastar una partida desorbitada de dinero para crearse una imagen, pero sí deberíamos invertir en unos mínimos. Si invertimos en nuestro negocio, demostramos que somos los primeros en tomarnos en serio nuestra actividad.

Los imprescindibles de un freelance:

  • un dominio propio
  • un sitio web con la descripción de nuestros servicios, una muestra de trabajos realizados y nuestros datos de contacto
  • una presentación de nuestros servicios
  • un perfil actualizado en redes profesionales como LinkedIn y, adicionalmente, en otras redes como Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  • Una identidad visual (un logo, una gama de colores)

Hay quien decide “venderse” bajo su nombre real, otros prefieren adoptar una identidad corporativa para separar su persona de su trabajo y reservar su nombre real al ámbito personal y privado. Ambas opciones son perfectamente válidas. Sea cual sea la decisión que tomemos, debemos ser consecuentes y mostrar nuestra profesionalidad en todos los ámbitos en los que nos desenvolvamos.

En las redes sociales como Facebook y Twitter hay que andarse con mucho ojo. Cada cuál es libre de expresarse como quiera, por supuesto, pero no hay que perder de vista que nuestros intercambios pasarán al ámbito público y cualquiera puede ver lo que hemos dicho. De vez en cuando es bueno hacer el ejercicio de pensar cómo nos expresaríamos si estuviésemos en presencia de los otros. No solemos expresar pensamientos en voz alta y según qué palabras las reservamos a nuestro círculo más íntimo.

Cada uno de los actos y las acciones que llevamos a cabo a lo largo de nuestra trayectoria profesional reflejan nuestra profesionalidad. Es importante pues cuidar al máximo nuestra imagen y nuestras actitudes. Debemos ser coherentes y no perder de vista, más aún con la proliferación de nuestra presencia en Internet, a través de las redes sociales y profesionales, que cada día somos más visibles y que los clientes pueden encontrar muy fácilmente información sobre nosotros.

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¿Estás en la nube? http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/03/28/estas-en-la-nube/ http://4visionsmanager.com/2012/03/28/estas-en-la-nube/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 15:08:32 +0000 4visions http://4visionsmanager.com/?p=636 El pasado 15 de marzo asistimos al foro sobre cloud computing celebrado en el marco del e-show  de Barcelona para conocer de la mano de expertos cómo se percibe actualmente esta nueva tecnología y qué ventajas aporta a empresas y profesionales.

El cloud computing es una forma nueva y mejor de hacer las cosas sin que la tecnología sea un impedimento.

Es una oportunidad para posicionarse y ganar valor.

La tecnología SAAS (software as a service) se está implementando cada vez más en las empresas y está generando un cambio en las oficinas. Si bien hasta hace poco existían plataformas que estaban reservadas exclusivamente a las grandes empresas, con el cloud computing los profesionales y las pequeñas empresas pueden disponer de esas funcionalidades sofisticadas a costes económicos. Se esta convirtiendo, además, en una tecnología importante para su crecimiento e incluso empieza a formar parte de su estrategia.

Cada semana 160 empresas españolas se suben a la nube. Sin duda, nos encontramos en una etapa de transición en la que las licencias están dando paso al pago por uso, que aporta una mayor flexibilidad, una mayor escalabilidad y una menor inversión.

Hasta el momento en el sector empresarial se ha frenado la adopción de una tecnología que desde el lado del consumo está mucho más implementada. La causa es la diferencia de criterio entre una empresa y un particular a la hora de seleccionar una herramienta. Por descontado, no se trata de basar la plataforma de consumo para la empresa, porque las soluciones y los requerimientos son diferentes, pero el hecho de que el usuario ya use este sistema está ayudando a su implantación en el trabajo.  Por otro lado, esta gran adopción del cloud computing por parte del consumo está liderando la usabilidad y la colaboración, en cambio, la empresa está liderando todo lo relacionado con la seguridad y la fiabilidad de la tecnología cloud.

Indudablemente una de las principales barreras a la implantación del SAAS es la seguridad. Según los ponentes, la seguridad es fundamental, pero no puede convertirse en una obsesión. La tecnología cloud permite pasar de un entorno no seguro, el domicilio particular o la oficina, a otro mucho más seguro. Además, dejamos la cuestión de los servidores y las copias de seguridad en manos de los profesionales, la empresa responsable del servicio. Es cierto que hablar de un servidor que no se sabe donde está crea desconfianza, e incluso a pesar de estar bien documentado y explicado aún hay reticencias, pero entre tener una copia de seguridad en un cajón de la oficina a tenerlo en la nube, la segunda opción es siempre más segura.

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