Monday, September 14, 2020

A couple of quick tricks to make the translation of legal texts easier

ALL CAPS PASSAGES

 If you regularly translate legal texts (such as EULAs), you’ll frequently encounter long passages where a single segment continues for many lines, with all the text shouting in UPPERCASE (and maybe even all bolded):

LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET, CONSECTETUR ADIPISCING ELIT, SED DO EIUSMOD TEMPOR INCIDIDUNT UT LABORE ET DOLORE MAGNA ALIQUA. UT ENIM AD MINIM VENIAM, QUIS NOSTRUD EXERCITATION ULLAMCO LABORIS NISI UT ALIQUIP EX EA COMMODO CONSEQUAT. DUIS AUTE IRURE DOLOR IN REPREHENDERIT IN VOLUPTATE VELIT ESSE CILLUM DOLORE EU FUGIAT NULLA PARIATUR. EXCEPTEUR SINT OCCAECAT CUPIDATAT NON PROIDENT, SUNT IN CULPA QUI OFFICIA DESERUNT MOLLIT ANIM ID EST LABORUM

This is very hard to read, and therefore even harder to translate. To make it easier to translate, just select the whole passage, and hit Shift+F3 to convert the whole passage to lower case. You can then translate it, and, once you are satisfied with your translation, select the passage again, and hit Shift+F3 again to convert the passage to all uppercase. Works in MS Word, SDL Trados Studio and memoQ.  

Single segments with numerous subclauses

Another quirk of legal texts that may make them more difficult to translate is that they often contain long passages rife with numbered subclauses:

(i) consectetur adipiscing elit; (ii) sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua; (iii) ut enim ad minim veniam; (iv) quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat; (v) duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur; (vi) excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident; (vii) sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This would be seen as a single segment by most CAT tools, a segment difficult to translate because too long. The best way to deal with this problem is to split the segment before each of the subclauses. You can do this either by suitably changing your CAT tool’s segmentation rules or by splitting the segment manually.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Full stops considered rude?

Athena Scalzi is a young writer, currently contributing to Whatever, a long-running blog by science-fiction writer John Scalzi (her father).

She has recently written a well written and interesting post on how the newer generations view punctuation in general and the period in particular: Periods. What Are They Good For.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Pseudo-English terms in Italian

Vera Gheno, Zanichelli’s “Linguista Errante” has recently published an instructive article (in Italian) on “pseudoanglicismi” -- those words and terms in Italian that look like English words, but whose meaning is quite different from their meaning in English.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A special place is reserved in purgatory...

... for all clients who answer questions which require a choice between two alternatives with a simple “yes”

For example:

Question: In the sentence “Blah blah blah XYZ blah blah”, does “XYZ” mean “ABC” or does it mean “DEF”, instead?
Answer: Yes

The only thing answers such as this tell me is that the client hasn’t bothered reading the question properly.

A correct answer to the above could be “ABC”, it could be “DEF”, or it could even be “Neither: it means GHI”.

But “yes” is never a correct answer to a question that asks which of two proposed alternatives is correct.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Everything - A great freeware tool to find files on your computer

I've been using Everything as a search tool for finding files on my computer and home network for several years, and it is one of the few tools I really find I could not do without. 

Much better than Windows' own tools for searching files you know you have but that you can't quite remember where you put them... or even what the exact name of the file was. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

My apologies

A few months ago I published here a guest post: “Spotlight on the Israeli Translation Market”. I was recently made aware that the author of that post, in a separate article published elsewhere, advised new translators “Depending on your language, you may start as low as $0.01/word and aim to increase that ten-fold to $0.10 . . .”.

Since I completely disagree with such an approach to professional translation, I apologize for publishing the previous post, and will replace it with this same message.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

AIT Tools Free or Deeply Discounted "To contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 virus"

Besides Yamagata Europe (see my last post), AIT is also offering its tools for free (to medical translators) or deeply discounted “To contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 virus”. Here is the text of a message I received from AIT:
We hope you are safe and healthy. We also hope that you keep calm, stay home, and learn new tools for translators.
AIT joins in the international community’s efforts to contain a pandemic, and we’d like to support translators at this challenging time.
To contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 virus, all medical translators can get software for FREE! Please, contact the AIT customer support to get your license.
We wish to support you in overcoming this difficult period, so even if you do not work with medical translations, you can get an unprecedented 80% discount on all our software products for translators, to work from home safely, and be on the top:
Stay home, take care of older loved ones, and above all, stay healthy!
P.S. If you have friends or colleagues who are engaged in medical translation, please share this email with them, so they will be able to get the software for free.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Free Translation QA Tool to Help Fight COVID-19

I repost this message which I have received from Yamagata Europe:

Yamagata Makes QA Distiller Free For All to Help Fight COVID-19


From April 2020 onwards, Yamagata Europe will offer its QA Distiller software for translators and technical documentation professionals free of charge. Instead of paying for the software, companies who download QA Distiller will be invited to donate to Translators without Borders. 
The partnership with Translators without Borders (TWB) represents Yamagata Europe’s commitment to making sure everyone has access to information in a language they understand, especially during the fight against COVID-19. TWB is a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies worldwide. Donations will help TWB fulfill its mission to eliminate language barriers that prevent the dissemination of critical health information. 
TWB uses language expertise and technology to help people access health-related information. TWB offers translation of content for partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Red Cross, monitors and prevents the spread of misinformation, and shares verified multilingual content. The need for this work is underlined by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “We’re not just fighting an epidemic, we’re fighting an infodemic.” 
The most trusted QA tool since 2004
QA Distiller is a stand-alone tool developed by Yamagata Europe that makes it easy to find formal translation mistakes in bilingual files. You can use QA Distiller to detect inconsistencies, terminology mistakes, wrong numbers, missing brackets and much more.
The free QA Distiller version will include all features of what was previously the Professional License, with support for over 90 languages. QA Distiller users will also benefit from regular updates, including new features and languages, and basic usability and functional support by Yamagata Europe.
Today, QA Distiller has over 1,000 satisfied users. Yamagata Europe developed the tool originally to fulfill its own need for improved language consistency checks after translation. QA Distiller was first presented to the industry at the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) congress in Saint Petersburg in 2004. A commercial release followed later that year.
QA Distiller was always offered on a ‘buy once, use forever’ basis, with the addition of an online license check. Basic support was always free and optional support & maintenance contracts with free upgrades were added a few years after the launch.
The software came in three versions: Freelance, Professional and Enterprise. From April 2020 onwards, only the Professional version will be available, free of charge. This version will not be limited in the number of languages and there will no longer be a license check.
The current version and license server will continue to be accessible until the end of April 2020. Current users can visit our QA Distiller support page to find info on how to switch to the new version.
Fight the COVID-19 infodemic: donate to Translators without Borders
A donation to TWB will help the organization fight the current infodemic. According to TWB’s Head of Fundraising and Communications, Sharda Sekaran, “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people more than ever need access to accurate information in a language and format they understand. The donations through this partnership will support TWB, so that we can support the emergency response.”
Download and donate now!
You can make donations starting from $10, but we hope that companies will find the generosity to donate substantially more.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Translators’ Attitudes towards Machine Translation

I’ve received the following message, about a questionnaire regarding translators’ attitudes towards Machine Translation, together with the request to share it with other translators:
Greetings,
I’m a BA student from the English Studies Department of the University of Sheffield and I would appreciate it if you took the time to fill in the questionnaire for my dissertation regarding translators’ attitudes towards Machine Translation. It would also be very helpful if you shared it with other potential participants. Thank you in advance! Here’s the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdgRSy8Ys-zlxXSKtw--oOELkvr5BjOcfzncua20l0HwGTK-g/viewform?usp=sf_link
Kind regards, Irene Chamali
The questionnaire includes, at the beginning, before any questions are asked, a full “Participant Information Sheet”. I’ve checked (and answered) the questionnaire, and I believe it deserves that translators answer it, as it comes from a legitimate study.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Spotlight on the Israeli Translation Market

A few months ago I published here a guest post: “Spotlight on the Israeli Translation Market”. I was recently made aware that the author of that post, in a separate article published elsewhere, advised new translators “Depending on your language, you may start as low as $0.01/word and aim to increase that ten-fold to $0.10 . . .”.

Since I completely disagree with such an approach to professional translation, I apologize for publishing the previous post, and will replace it with this same message.