Happy Holidays!

Summer is here and it is quite difficult to write good articles when temperatures are close to 40 ºC. For this reason, and before our brain melts, our blog will go on holidays; we will be back in September with more posts about the language and translation industry, and more interviews with our staff.

But this is the only thing closing on Jensen Localization! Our offices in The Netherlands and Spain are open as usual, so continue placing your orders to your allocated PM, who will deal with it at the earliest convenience.

Happy holidays!

Job opportunities for future translators

Very often, the academic world and the job world are as different as chalk and cheese. When you start working in a company, you notice that your job does not have much to do with what you experienced at university. This is why it is important that students learn, before they finish their degree, what the profession they are getting ready for is actually in the real world.

In our annual visit to the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville (Spain), we talked, as usual, about the world of translation agencies, but this time we also wanted to talk about employment opportunities for translators and keeping up to date in this business. Many future translators are not really interested in the translation world and end up working as tourist guides or language teachers.

This year it was not an exception, but we were happy to see that students were interested in other employment opportunities, such as jobs related to International Business and, what is more important for us, an increasing in their interest of becoming part of the localization industry.

20140515_105802_resizedApart from explaining the structure of a translation company and the different tasks done by each department (with a deeper focus on the PM and translation tasks, test translations and tools), we talked about the changes in the industry. There is no doubt that MT is changing the industry, but we are against those who claim that the translation profession will disappear because of MT. We think that our job as translators will simply change.

But there are other changes in the industry. Changing and demanding client needs are forcing the need of translators to become experts in many other areas apart from the linguistic ones, but which are part of the localization process, such as DTP or app and website development. Do not misunderstand me, we will not replace DTPers or web developers around the world, but it is true that the technical side of the localization profession is becoming more and more important in order to provide a good quality translation. After all, we are all part of the same team with a common goal: delivering a final product tailored to the local needs of a specific market.

Students are also concerned about how to get practice as a translator, as usually companies ask future employees and freelance collaborators to have at least 2 years of experience as a translator. We suggested to work with local or international NGOs, and also mentioned Translators Without Borders, which make translations for humanitarian causes. I am sure many of you have heard of them, otherwise please click on the link to learn more about the great job they are doing. Collaborating as editors for other professionals (bloggers, communication specialists or other content creators) can also be a nice start if you want to focus your job more on editing than on actual translation, both for source documents or translated documents.

Finally, we mentioned the importance of keeping up to date with courses, webinars and attendance to industry events, and the important role of social networks. As we always say, social media are not used to directly sell, but they are certainly a way to start having a name in the industry and also keeping contact with other colleagues which you may actually never see in person, but from whom you will learn much more than from the person next to you.

In all, it was nice to be back at university and we hope to come back next year. Once again, thanks to University Pablo de Olavide and to Inmaculada Serón for inviting us!

Meet our Staff (III). Cristina Romero, Project Manager at our Spanish branch

This interview is the third in our series of interviews with Jensen Localization staff members. Here you will get a closer look into our Project Manager Cristina Romero’s background and daily tasks at JL in the Spanish office.

CristinaWhat is your origin?

I was born in the Canaries, specifically in Gran Canaria island.

What did you study?

I studied Translation and Interpreting in the Canaries and then I did a Master on Translation for the Publishing World in Malaga.

Did you always want to become a PM or did it happen be coincidence?

I had always dreamt about being a vet J. I even studied science at high school, but it turned out I was good at languages and my English teacher encouraged me to attend a test at the University of Translation when I was 18. I decided to give it a try and finally declined Veterinary to start my degree in Translation and Interpreting.

How long have you been working for Jensen Localization?

2 years

Did you start working for JL right after finishing school or did you gain experience from other jobs?

I first worked at a Translation/Interpreting company in Dublin for a year (as an interpreter and then as a PM), then moved back to Spain where I worked as a language coordinator/online teacher and finally I landed in Jensen.

What are the pros and cons about being a PM?

On one hand, being a PM is an exciting job, you never have time to stop, there is always something to do, it´s nice to speak English with clients and translators, there is always a new challenge when a new project comes in. On the other hand, it´s sometimes frustrating not to be able to satisfy all clients and even receive bad feedback on your job when you´ve done everything in your hand to make it work. Sometimes we find clients and translators who are difficult to deal with.

What tasks do you usually do?

Deal with clients, negotiate deadlines, deal with translator´s queries, prepare the files for translators, assist them when they need it, prepare the files back for the client, make sure the system is updated with projects information…

What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

I go to the gym, attend dancing lessons, read. I love going to the cinema, to the beach, eat out with friends.

How many languages do you know?

Spanish (mother tongue), English, French and Italian.

What is the most important element to you when working with new clients?

When working with clients we have to be quick, effective and polite. We have to be proactive, offer our best solutions, negotiate and be diplomatic.

What advice would you give a new PM working in the same business as you?

I would recommend him/her to learn how to manage time effectively, and also to handle stress. I would recommend to deal with clients in a diplomatic way, never taking things personally. I would recommend his/her to do his/her best within the available time.

Being a PM how important is it to work in teams and communicate with other staff members?

It´s very important to work in teams, we have a lot to learn from the other PMs. Communication between PMs is basic to offer a good service to the client. We all need to be on the same page as we are working for common clients and with a common objective.

Do you communicate with the staff from the other JL department?

Yes, we talk almost daily.

Do you think machine translation will ever replace JL’s services?

I think machine translation will grow up, but it´s hard for me to believe it will replace our services as machines lack context, which is a basic for translation.

What types of projects do you prefer working with?

My ideal project would imply an interesting task within the marketing field with a good deadline, but as ideal projects don´t exist, I am just happy to work with any project allowing me to deliver quality in time.

Despite being the last one to join the PM team, Cristina’s experience has enabled her to get used to our procedures quickly. In our next interview we will talk with one of our in-house translators.

Misconceptions about Localization Costs for Companies (II). Saving Costs on your Source Text and using Alternative Translation Methods

In our previous article, we talked about how to save costs on localization by selecting the texts that we want to translate.Reducing costs on translation

In this article, we are going to learn how to prepare the text to reduce costs and how we can use Machine Translation in some types of texts in order to reduce costs.

Preparing the source text

Translation is usually charged by source words, so one of your main objectives will be to reduce the volume of your text.

At Jensen Localization we use translation tools that enable us to save all translations and reuse them in new releases of your products. If you merge or split sentences, change the position of punctuation marks, or remove them, or change terminology, our translation software may not recognise the text and it will not consider that old translations can be reused. Therefore, the costs of the translation will be higher.

In order to avoid this, apart from carefully reviewing your texts, it is important to keep record of the decisions that affect texts that appear over and over again in your products, such as product names, dates and time formats, units of measure, currencies, style, use of bulleted lists to reduce sentence length, etc., to name a few.

This can be easily registered in a Style Guide. Once you have these clear in your source language, agree with your translation provider how these will be dealt with in the target languages. If you do not know where to start, you can use the Microsoft Style Guides, which are publicly available.

Machine Translation

Whenever possible, we will always advise you to run a full translation, editing and proofreading process, done by professional translators that use technology to work more efficiently.

However, when budget is an important constrain, and depending on the language pair, the type of text and the purpose of the translation, working with Machine Translation may be useful.

As explained in our article Computer Aided Translation vs Machine Translation (TM vs MT), Machine Translation is used when you do not need a high quality text and you want your audience to have a general idea. Following the example of our previous article, we could use MT for translating customer support tickets. Please note, however, that you have to be sure of the quality you have and the quality you want to achieve. If not planned correctly, using MT may be more expensive than standard human translation. In any case, even if you want to use MT, we will always advise you to run a Post-Editing phase where you will fix the most noticeable errors.

We hope these two articles help you understand how the benefit in the costs of a translation process are more related to the project planning and execution than to the actual rate. Feel free to contact us for more information about the best translation strategy for your business.

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Meet our Staff (II). Brian Jensen, CEO at Jensen Localization

In this new article about our staff, we would like you to know more about the person behind our company name, our CEO Brian Jensen, a Danish businessman living between Denmark, The Netherlands and Spain.

How did you get the idea to create Jensen Localization and why did you choose this particularBrian Jensen, CEO at Jensen Localization industry?

Working for another translation agency in The Netherlands I saw the need for more translators with more technical and commercial skills. Previously it was a very conservative business where I remember the resistance to get email and Internet. Fax, phone and hand delivery were the preferred tools. After having worked across Europe and being educated as programmer and economist as well as having worked with IT since the very first PC in the early 80’ties this was my first choice when I wanted to go independent!

Is it a tough industry?

Previously no, but today yes. The competition is fierce due to dumping of rates from low cost countries where quality is less important. Now we are required not only to deliver 1st class quality, but at the lowest rates. Also the technical knowledge is getting more and more important and localization today is a teamwork of people with many different skills. Today just being a translator is not enough.

If so, how did you manage to bring the company to the level it is at today?

Hard work, persistence, innovation and not being afraid of working with cutting edge technology I think are the main reasons. But this question can’t be answered with “I”! Our team takes just as much credit as they have learned to live with this crazy environment and work with new tools and ideas almost every day.

What did you study to become?

First as Pascal and Cobol (and Assembler) programmer and developer. Later in The Netherlands I completed a bachelor in Economy, marketing and organization.

What would you do differently if you could?

Not that much really! Of course there are always small things I could have done better but in the big picture I wouldn’t change much.

What tasks do you usually do?

Supervising, innovation, strategy planning (long term) and financial controlling.

What is your origin?

Danish but 25% Swedish (Swedish Grandmother), lived for many years in The Netherlands and now mostly in Spain.

Why did you choose to open up a business in Holland and Spain?

Holland because that was where I lived at the time and it is a great country for entrepreneurs. I also initially included Spain in my Business Plan to be able to cover all of Europe, but only about 6 years later I had the resources to do so.

What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

Horseback riding in the mountains of Andalusia, gardening, movies and theaters.

What are the pros and cons about being the CEO of a company?

The pros is that you kind of are your own boss and you have the opportunity to form and design the company. The cons are that you always carry the final responsibility whatever happens and you are on duty 24-7. If things go bad it is you who take the damage and the beating. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not very popular or perhaps even can be very serious for other individuals – that is part of the hardest things to do, but unfortunately it is necessary.

Do you keep up with the technological development? And do you see this development as an opportunity or a threat to Jensen Localization?

Oh yes we keep up! As much as we possibly can but that doesn’t mean that we buy any piece of technology offered to us. Every piece of technology and tools are considered and often tested before decisions are made. A lot of these offers are just waste of money, but as we have a good team of technical staff we are well equipped to make the best selections. As for threats the most imminent is Machine Translation. We are involved in a exclusive club (TAUS) that follows this very closely and even aim influencing this development. I do not see it as a threat but more as an opportunity. But is is a serious threat to traditional translation agencies.

Where do you see the company in ten years?

I strongly believe that Jensen Localization will continue to grow and as we are already among the leading companies in Europe and known worldwide I have no doubt that it will continue in the front of the business. Perhaps mergers or acquisitions will occur to form even bigger and stronger business units, but that I believe is the way ahead when you reach a certain size and dominance of any company.

Do you think there still will be a demand for translation and localization in the future?

Yes, absolutely and even more than today. The world is getting smaller and more countries are joining the technology industry. Even when machine translation becomes effective enough to do 75% of translations there will always be need for humans to develop, control and edit! And as translation becomes cheaper the demand will grow. So yes, this industry will continue to grow but also change radically.

Thanks, Brian. We are looking forward to see if your forecasts on the translation industry are met.

Keep checking in on our blog, social networks and website if you want to learn more about the localization industry and our staff.