Friday, April 27, 2012

Does the Blue Board tell more about bad translators than about bad translation companies?

I've just received from an English translation company, which will remain unnamed, the following message:
Dear Riccardo, 
My name is [...] and I am a Linguist Manager at [...].
We are looking long term English to Italian translators located in the US time zone. We are contacting you as we believe you would have the expertise to help us.
We are working with translation rates of 70USD per 1000 words translation and 20USD for proofreading per hour. We will require for you to take a 300 word test (free of charge) as part of the recruitment process. [...]  
If interested in the collaboration, please reply to this email with an updated CV and I will provide more details. Kind regards,
Now, 70USD per 1000 words is 7 cents per word: clearly unacceptable.

But they can afford to offer such bottom rates because apparently there are plenty of people very happy to work with them: their Blue Board rating is 4.9, and full of comments like "Professional and reliable company with professional and friendly people", "Great collaboration, prompt payment. Very reliable", "I've worked for [...] for a few years now, and with several PMs. They've treated me right".

They may be "professional and friendly", "prompt with payment", even "very reliable", but if what they pay is so low, I hardly think they can be said to have treated translators "right".

So once again the Blue Board proves useful: not so much in identifying a good company to work for, but rather to help find translators happy to work for peanuts.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A truly useful article on the quality of legal dictionaries

R. De Groot and Conrad Van Laer, of Mastrich University, published a few years ago a very useful article: The Quality of Legal Dictionaries: An Assessment.

In this article, De Groot and Van Laer assess the quality of many bilingual and multilingual legal dictionaries for the European Union languages. A truly interesting and useful part of the article is at the beginning, where the authors write some general remarks about translation issues to consider when tackling legal terminology - this is in effect a short but useful course on legal translation.

My thanks to Daniela Zambrini, who pointed this article out in a recent post on ProZ.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SDL Trados Studio Manual: first impression

I've just bought Mats Linder's SDL Trados Studio Manual. I plan to write a fuller review later, once I've had a chance of using the manual for a while, but my first impression is excellent: the book (which comes as two pdf files with the same content, one formatted for printing in A4 size, the other as an A5-sized booklet) is well organized and contains a wealth of information on SDL Trados Studio 2011.

Price: USD 45 (available through SDL's Open Exchange).