Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rush Jobs

Corinne McKay has an excellent post on "How to do an acceptable job on a rush job".

I would add a few things:

  1. Set a rush rate with your customers, and demand it for rush jobs. When you set a rush rate, also remember to define what a rush job is for you, for example:
    "Rush/weekend rate: from +30% to +50% of base rate, depending on the project. Rush: projects that require the translation of more than 2,500 words, or the editing of more than 7,500 words, or the proofreading of more than 10,000 words in a day. Weekend: projects that require a substantial part of the work to be done on Saturday, Sunday or other holidays."
  2. The importance of QA is greater on rush jobs - the quality is already going to be lower because of the time constraints, and the chance of making errors increase when we work faster. All the more reason to devote the necessary time to QA.

  3. If you are translating with a CAT program, use a Translation QA tool (XBench is a good one, and is free; you can find a list of other QA tools in this post from Translation Quality Blog). A QA tool helps catching such errors as untranslated and inconsistent segments. The latter are particularly slippery: in the flux of fast translation you may accept a fuzzy match without changing the translation, but you do not notice that a small word completely changes the meaning of the sentence. A QA tools is also very useful to catch inconsistent numbers and measurements, and wrong terminology (if you have a key terms glossary).

  4. Both in your source segments and in your target ones, search for those words which, by themselves, are liable to completely change the meaning of a sentence. It is just too easy to forget (or add) a short word such as "not" and completely change the meaning. After all, "Do not pay attention to him" and "Do pay attention to him" look remarkably similar, when you are in a hurry (especially when you see them as suggested matches in a CAT tool).

On a lighter note: if you can listen to music while translating, put on your earphones (to help your concentration), and some fast music. If you enjoy classical music, the William Tell overture helps establishing a fast typing rhythm. When you are in a tearing hurry, Khachaturian's Saber Dance from the ballet Gayaneh is just the ticket.

1 comment:

  1. When translation people refer to "XBench", especially when talking to newcomers, they should clarify that they're talking about ApSIC XBench, not the XBench Macintosh benchmark tool (at This confused me until I figured it out.


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