Tuesday, May 8, 2012

36 Requirements for working in the translation industry

requirements working translation industry
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36 comments:

  1. It's not always the case my friend. I am a translations project manager, I do love people and I speak 5 languages and just started a 6th one.

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    1. Indeed, the interview is just wrong because there is another requirement for being a translation project manager: total lack of a sense of humor.

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    2. Proud translatorMay 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Anonymous, why you didn't say anything about the first panel? I find it much more offensive to PMs, but maybe it is just the truth...

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  2. Human Resources Director at Puente de LeónMay 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    That's the ideal candidate!

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  3. I'm a PM, qualified translator and in-house reviewer, so I've always worried about Mox's perception of PMs. Then we started working as a sub-contractor for a much bigger agency, and I see exactly what he means. Just don't tar us all with the same brush :-)

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  4. Is everyone catching this? All the PMs are posting as "Anonymous": they're all cruel AND cowardly!!!!

    (I'm just teasing, dear PMs... it's all in good fun.) ;-)

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    1. I'm sorry, I don't understand. I don't have a sense of humour ;-)

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  5. I've been, and am, both, and oh how I wish that translators could have a taste of what it's like dealing with them and their day to day "occurences":
    -"my Trados won't open"
    -"I'll be a bit late because I have to go to the airport to pick up my girlfriend"
    -"my motorbike broke down" (WTF!)
    -"what makes you think I subcontracted it out to friend who knows nothing about portuguese..? I mean, which bit exactly...?"
    -"I know I said I would do it but I got another job"
    -"you'll have to send it another format, I don't work with .zip"

    Oh yes, all true, and there are many, many more....

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    1. Boy, exactly that is your job. If translators would know everything and be perfect all the time, you'd be out of business.
      Actually, we just don't want you to be fired, that's all.

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    2. LOL, yeah, that's my job, just wiping the drool off the translator's mouth, fixing his7her computer and taking round a cup of nice hot milk in the morning so that they can get underway. Just had a new one - new today, that is, as it's actually the most trusted, tried and favourite of all:

      - After having agreed to translate x thousand words at the agreed price and within the agreed term (after having seen a sample), I've changed my mind and I won't do anymore unless you raise the rate....

      Don't you just love 'em!

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    3. Hi Anonymous
      I could add dozens of such stories :). Just a sample:
      Me: Hi X, I am sending the formatted text for final linguistic check
      X: Hi Agnieszka, the review will take longer, there are so many mistakes in the text.
      Me: Hi X, you translated it, how did it happen there are so many mistakes there?
      X: Agnieszka, please find attached my comments. I only corrected 2 double spaces....

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    4. and another one:
      Y: Hi Agnieszka, there is an unknown term in the text. Please clarify.
      Me (after finding a definition in Google, which took 3 minutes): Hi Y, please find below an explanation for this term. I would suggest you use the Internet when you find an unknown term
      Y: (silence)

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    5. >>>I know I said I would do it but I got another job"
      -"you'll have to send it another format, I don't work <<<

      You will have to distinguish who are pros and who aren't and work with those who are. It's so simple. Some take their job serious and some - I don't know (really don't).

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    6. Just like that time, when I sent a query to my PM asking if the client could confirm if the "Air System" mentioned in a mobile phone manual was some kind of wireless connection. The answer we got from the PM 3 minutes later was "Air: a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases that surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere." :-/ So, in 99% of the cases, behind that "(silence)" you have a translator thinking: "No sh*t, Sherlock! I already searched the web up and down and nothing fits in my context, so could you please do your work and ask the client???"

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    7. UI term, no context, a string in sofware localization. Quite well known BTW to anybody who has ever dealt with IT projets. But it is easier and faster to compile a list of queries than to waste time investigating or going through the reference materials. There are so many of them and deadlines are so tight...

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  6. I'm a translator now and been a PM in the past. Nothing is true and all is true. I love Mox.

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  7. How did you become PMs, dear PMs? I hope you had some translation experience before, so I suppose that everything you say about translators can also be applied to you. Isn't it ironic? :D

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    1. Maybe that's why I get so annoyed when a job comes back and the quality is poor even though the deadline was reasonable and the client was helpful with query answers: because I was a translator too, and I hold my own work to high standards. Too bad some individuals are careless! The worst though is when they get annoyed when you ask them why there are mistakes. And then the excuses come.

      I once had a translator tell me, "Well your colleagues don't care that I'm always late, so you shouldn't either... There are mistakes because I was rushing to finish two other jobs to finish by the same deadline..."

      He then went on to say that the reason why I was complaining was because I didn't understand that translation is not an exact science. It might not be exact but it is not the source text's fault that you agreed a deadline you could not keep, or you took on too much work at the same time!

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    2. Sorry, that should be "to finish two other jobs by the same deadline."

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    3. I'm reading how you're all complaining about "translators", do you hire professionals or bilingual people? Being a translator myself, having worked for a very long time with translation teams... sounds rather strange. What rates are you/your company paying for having to deal with those "anything but real translators"?

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  8. I'm a freelance translator and I occasionally subcontract work out, for instance going the other way in my language pair. You find out really fast who you are going to work with again and those people for whom it's more bother than it's worth.

    PMs are exactly like agencies and indeed translators. There are good ones and bad ones. Some PMs respect you and the luckier ones have bosses that expect their PMs to respect you.

    A really good test of a PM is to post them a link to Mox's blog and see how they react...

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    1. Agreed! I too am a PM with experience as a translator (in-house and freelance - it's not true that none of us have translation experience. It's a real mix.). I've seen awful translators and excellent translators. Awful PMs and excellent PMs. Come on people, it's just a comic strip. Nothing to get offended about. :-) Bigg'up Mox!

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  9. ... the last one, I promise :DD
    Me: Hi Z, there were 9 files to translate, and you sent me back 7. Can you plese send the remaining 2 files?
    Z: I am sorry. I did't notice the last two.
    Me: (going out to get some fresh air)

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  10. The comic was great. And the comments, priceless.

    Thank you all for putting a smile on my face!

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  11. Fun read, all of this! :)

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  12. I understand the PMs, each person thinks their job is the wors. But this is a space for TRANSLATORS, my dear PMs. Here is where WE talk whatever we want about YOU, if you wanna talk abou us, start your own blog. LOL, just kidding, everyone is entitled to their opinion (or are they?)

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  13. sorry: *worst

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  14. This is hilarious. Even if it's not true, I know PMs joke about it all the time...at least the good humored ones. You might be interested to know that PMs sometimes feel the same way as depicted in this small comic: http://goo.gl/4BKa0

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  15. Hahaha all these comments are even more hilarious than the comic itself! Dear Anonymous PM, are you sure you work with "translators"??? :DDDD
    (Anonymous Translator)

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  16. Haha, great comments ;)

    I've worked as both a translator and PM, and all of this - from both perspectives - sounds so familiar! The stories I could tell ... (But I won't.)

    There are great translators and there are great PMs, just as there are shitty ones of both. Can't we just all get along? :)

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  17. Hahaha, great post, Alejandro!

    "Se non è vero, è ben trovato"

    (Italian speakers, forgive me for potential mistakes, I hardly speak any Italian).

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  18. Hi there Alejandro, I have been a freelance translator for a couple of years (gave up soon) and a PM for 10 years now and I find your strips absolutely hilarious (and absolutely true)! You are a genius.

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  19. -Hi This Martino from Sla Very Translation Agency. When can I expect my files.
    - I tried to find FTP on Google like you said. I found FTP. But I did not find your files.
    - You don't FTP on Google. You need FileZilla.
    - Oh! But, I am not a Japanese translator. I only do Spanish
    - Did you get the PDF with the FTP instructions?
    - Yes! But it has more words that what you told me. So it's taking me longer to translate.
    - Coño (Click)

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  20. So fun! I love the PM going out to take some fresh air ! I love this post and he comments it has generated! So enriching and ..funny LOL!

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