Friday, November 26, 2010

Actually, no, I won't excuse the mass e-mail

A certain biggish translation company always sends me urgent requests for my availability. Unfortunately, they are always sending the same message at the same time to other translators as well...
Hi sorry please excuse the mass e-mail :). We have an urgent draft translation request. Pls see details below and sample file attached and let me know if you can take this job.
Dear project manager,

I understand, of course, why you have to resort to mass e-mail (translation spam, in other words): you have to find a translator desperate (or inexperienced or gullible) enough to work for the pitiful budget you claim you have (but I do wonder if that is true), or the low rates you offer, and rash enough to accept your kind of deadlines. I imagine that you don't actually expect to receive high-quality translations with this approach.

And that is the main reason I won't excuse the mass e-mail: constantly sending urgent requests for translation to all and sundry, as you do, clearly signals that your company sees translators as interchangeable cogs in your machine, that you think any translator is as good (or as bad) as any other, that such things as education, experience and specialization really don't matter, that the only thing that matters in your model is to find someone (anyone) available for cheap at a moment's notice, and too bad about the quality.

I have to wonder if your customers are fully aware of what you do with their translations. Do they know that they may get their translations quickly, perhaps, but that what they are getting is likely of poor quality? Are they aware that to find a cheap translator with your mass e-mails you are often sending your customer's files to many translators who won't translate the document, in addition to the one who will get the assignment? Is this really in your customers' best interests?

If you need me for a project for which you think I am the most appropriate translator, I'll be happy to send you my quote for the job; otherwise, please refrain from contacting me: I am tired of having my inbox clogged with your (and your fellow project managers) translation spam.

Best regards,


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to run Trados 2007 with Word 2010

Supposedly, Trados 2007 (the last "classic" version of Trados) does not work with Word 2010: since Office 2010 was released after Trados 2007, Trados does not detect the new version of Office.

SDL, however, provides a workaround. I have tested the fix with Word 2010 on a Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate machine, and it does work, as you can see from this screenshot.

The workaround is neither guaranteed nor supported (as the SDL article makes clear). But since it seems to work, it might extend Trados "classic" usefulness on newer machines.

For detailed instructions, see the following instructions (suggested by SDL's original article: "SDL Trados 2007 Suite toolbar compatibility with Microsoft Office 2010", article # 3359):

To use Trados 2007 toolbar with Microsoft Office 2010, hook up Word 2010 with SDL Trados Translator's Workbench 2007, as follows:

  1. Make sure that Trados, MultiTerm and Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, etc.).
    are not running
  2. Find the file Trados8.dotm in the folder C:\Program Files\SDL International\T2007\TT\Templates.
  3. Copy Trados8.dotm into the following folder:
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup\
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup\
    • If the folder already contains a Trados8.dotm file, overwrite it
  4. Find the file MultiTerm8.dotm in the folder C:\Program Files\SDL\SDL Multiterm\Multiterm8\Templates\.
  5. Copy MultiTerm8.dotm into the following folder:
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup\
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup\
    • If the folder already contains a MultiTerm8.dotm file, overwrite it. 
Start Microsoft Word 2010. You should now see, and be able to use, Trados's Workbench or MultiTerm from Microsoft Word 2010.


I've updated this post, adding the above detailed instructions, since the link to SDL's article was not working properly.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Useful suggestions for translation bloggers

Fabio Said, of Fidus Interpres, has written a thoughtful and useful comment to my post about the updated Blogging 101 presentation.

While I'm not sure I agree completely with  his suggestion about the RSS feed (I have set the feed of About Translation to full text, but personally I don't mind those blogs that only show the first lines of the post in their feeds: three or four lines are usually enough to decide whether a post is interesting or not), I plan to incorporate his suggestions in future versions of my presentation.

Thanks, Fabio!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lionbridge's path to profit

A previous post about Lionbridge's Translation Workspace has just received the following comment from Arnie, which I quote here in full:
Even though I have not worked for Lionbridge for years, they still keep me updated on their exciting Path to Profit. I just received the next instalment and you couldn't have made it up. Last week I received a message (which, incidentally, clearly stated ‘DO NOT REPLY’) in which we are asked to reduce our rates because the climate makes it ever so awkward for Lionbridge to make ends meet. A few days later we are invited to join their Job Posting Pilot Program, which means that for a monthly fee you increase your chances to get work. Of course this program is only open to people who already pay a monthly fee for the use of their pointless Workspace… So they somehow believe it would be to our advantage to a) work with their tool and in their workspace, and pay for this, plus b) pay to be able to get work, and c) work against a reduced rate of our normal rate. Does this sound good? In the meantime, TAUS seems to have quite a few TMs from Lionbridge available, so I wonder if the information translators feed into this magic Workspace is also somehow put to work to line the Lionbridge pockets? I find the whole thing totally ridiculous and a blatant insult to our intelligence.
We also have received this message, which demanded from all Lionbridge's providers a 5% discount on all invoices for all work between November 1 and January 1. The message was then followed by some slight backpedalling (we could disregard the "DO NOT REPLY" label, which supposedly had been added by mistake), and by further messages from some regional offices (one of which indicated that the 5% discount was not mandatory, but that PMs would be instructed to assign jobs by preference to those providers who had acceded to Lionbridge's demands).

My question to Lionbridge's customers: do you realize that your translation provider is actively pursuing a strategy that seems designed to chase away Lionbridge's best translators?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Updated “Blogging 101” presentation and article ready for download

The updated version of my “Blogging 101” presentation, and the pdf file of the “Blogging 101” article from the November/December ATA Chronicle are ready for download: you can either click on the previous links, or click on the Blogging 101 tab above.

If you downloaded the previous version of the presentation, the text is similar, but I updated the links and some of the text.

Since I could not be there, the presentation was given at the 51st ATA Conference by Corinne McKay (thanks, Corinne!).