Monday, August 18, 2014

An interview on the CTA website

Marion Rhodes, CTA Social Media Coordinator, interviewed me for the Colorado Translators Association website... and now the interview has been published:
Imagine translating without the help of the Internet – or the computer for that matter. The tools that have become indispensable to today’s translators haven’t been around all that long. Today, we talk to a translator who has witnessed the changes in our industry over the past three decades: Riccardo Schiaffino, an ATA-certified English into Italian technical translator and president of Aliquantum, Inc., in Denver.
 You can read the interview by following this link.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Useful infographic: SEO for an international website

Smoke & Croak, a multilingual digital marketing agency, have just released an interactive infographic with a step-by-step guide to SEO for websites targeted at an international audience.

Each step includes links to resources and guides about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), from SEO basics for beginners and to elements which are more specific to international SEO.

While the infographic is not exclusively aimed at translators, it could be useful for translators looking to improve their visibility on search engines in different countries.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Xbench world cup promotion

I’ve just heard that ApSIC has a very interesting promotion for Xbench: until the kick off of the quarterfinals, you can get the chance of winning an eight-year subscription to Xbench for the price of a single year:
The World Cup games have shown to be a lot more equal than anticipated. Most games have required extra time and tiny details (and often a ton of luck) have decided who passes to next round.
But if you already saw clearly who is going to win, here is a great deal for you: Buy one subscription year, make your guess of the World Cup winner, and if you are right, you get eight subscription years instead of one.
This deal is valid for both new customers and also existing customers who wish to renew their subscription ahead of time to benefit from this deal.
To place your order, simply go to
After your order is processed, you will receive an email to ask you for your World Cup winner.
And hurry up, this promotion ends on Friday July 4, at 6pm CET, with the France-Germany kick-off!

Xbench is a great tool even without any promotion – and with this you could get a great deal on its price.
Personally, I think they could have made things even more interesting by taking into account realistic odds of winning.
For example, they could have said that if you choose Brazil to win, you get three years free when you pay for one (provided Brazil wins), but that if you choose instead Costa Rica (and it wins the World Cup, against all odds), you would get Xbench free forever after you pay for one year… Since I’m not in charge of the promotion, however, it’s eight year no matter which team you prefer (so long as that team wins the World Cup).
To help you select your team for the competition, this is the first of the two goals Uruguay scored to beat Brazil in the 1950 decisive match.

So, remember: even the overwhelming favorite is not always the winner.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Discounts on memoQ and on déjàvu

Kilgray's is currently offering memoQ at a 40% discount; the offer is available until June 2, 2014 (or until there are still licenses offered at that price - only 4 remain as of this post).

In this promotion you can buy a memoQ translator pro license for 372 EUR or 462 USD instead of 620 EUR or 770 USD.

If you buy a memoQ license now, the price includes a full year of upgrades and support, a ten-lesson online course, and also a free copy of Kevin Lossner's e-book "memoQ in Quick Steps: Configuration".

If you are interested in Déjàvu X3, instead, you still have two days to take advantage of a 20% discount (if you do, you need to enter the code CREATIVITY. Click here for a link to the Atril web store.

NOTE: From time to time I post these links to software or discounts that may be of interest to other translators. When I do that, it's on my own initiative: I'm not surreptitiously selling ads on this site.

Xbench plug-in for SDL Trados Studio 2014

After a successful beta test, ApSIC announced today the official release of the ApSIC Xbench Plugin for SDL Trados Studio 2014.

This plugin integrates the two programs, and allows translators to: 
  •  QA Studio projects with Xbench just with one click from the Studio ribbon.
  •  Instantly edit any issues found by Xbench right in Studio, with all Studio project settings in place.

It also makes it even easier the use of Xbench's powerful search to look into the translation memories (and other resources) you have loaded in your project.  A very useful feature, considering the deficiencies of SDL's own concordance search.

The plugin for Studio is a free add-on and requires ApSIC Xbench 3.0 build 1186 or later and SDL Trados Studio 2014 SP1 or later.

You can watch a 5-minute video featuring this cool integration at

To download the latest buids of ApSIC Xbench 3.0 and the plugin, visit

Remember: the plug-in is only available for Xbench 3.0 - another excellent reason for upgrading to the new version of the program.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Will SDL ever learn the difference between letters and words?

I have been using translation memory tools for about twenty years now. More and more, I’ve come to the conclusion that their most useful feature is not the ability to offer fuzzy and perfect matches (useful as they may be), but rather the concordance search, which can suggest previous translations from segments that are not similar enough to the one you are working on to qualify for a fuzzy match.

And this is why I get so annoyed with SDL: they think that if the memory does not contain the word you are looking for, it is useful to show you words that sort of look like it.

This is not useful: if I don’t have a word in my memory, I want the concordance search to clearly show that. I don’t want it to show me words that, since they contain most of the letters in the word I’m looking for, are considered by the algorithms used by SDL to be similar enough.

Not only this is not useful: it is positively annoying and harmful: if the program does not show any concordance, I just go on with my translation. If it shows a bogus concordance, I waste some precious time before I realize that the help I’ve been offered by the program is crap.

Case in point: I’m translating some marketing copy about watches, and wanted to check in my memory how I had translated previously the adjective “striking”. Turns out I had not translated that word before, but instead of indicating that no match had been found, Studio offered as suggestions “ticking” and “training” (with “ticking” considered as a 79% match for “stricking” and “training as a 75% match).

A memo to whomever designed the concordance matching algorithms used by Studio: if two words are not the same, they are not a match for each other: not a 79% match, nor a 75% match. Don’t waste our time with bogus matches that are no help at all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Déjàxu X3: 20% discount until May 30

If you are planning to buy déjavu X3 (or upgrade to this new version), Atril is offering a 20% discount until May 30.

To take advantage of the discount, used code CREATIVITY in Atril's web store.

I have good memories about the early versions of déjavu, and of the outstanding service Emilio Benito provided: I was one of the very first users (I think that the serial number on my diskette was as 27), but I haven't used the program in over twenty years now.

Still, it's good that SDL and Kilgray still have competition.

Update: Role of Translation in Nation Building now available also as an eBook

Role of Translation in Nation Building (see my previous post about this book), a book edited by Ravi Kumar, the President of the Indian Translators Association, is  now also available in eBook format.

If you are interested, you can use this link to go to the Hind Center web page. There you can purchase the book or find more information about it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

About Translation nominated for Language Lovers 2014 Contest

Once again, the language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog have chosen various blogs, facebook pages and twitter accounts as candidates for the "Top 100 Language Lovers 2014" list.

About Translation has been nominated in the "Language Professional Blog" Category.

About Translation was chosen among the top 100 language blogs in 2008 and 2011, and in 2011 among the top 25 language professionals blogs.

If you like this blog, and want to add your vote, you can do so, by clicking on the button below:

Vote the Top 100 Language Professional Blogs 2014 

If you prefer another language professional blog (there are many good ones from which to choose) you can go to the site, and vote for your favorite.

In addition to the Language Professional Blogs 2014, you'll also find voting buttons for the other categories:
  • Language Twitter Account 2014, 
  • Language Learning Blogs 2014,
  • Language Facebook Pages 2014, and
  • Language YouTube Channel 2014
The voting phase lasts from May 20nd to June 9th. During this period, everyone can vote for their favourite language lovers in the five social media categories. The final results will be based on Lexiophiles’ ranking criteria (50 %) and user votes (50 %). The winners will be announced on June 12th.

Monday, May 12, 2014