Summary of 2014

For new visitors and for those who do not want to check our archives month by month, we are now offering you a selection of articles posted in 2014, so that you can get a quick update.

During 2014, our blog has been addressing issues so important to our clients such as how they can save money on translation.

On articles Misconceptions about Localization Costs for Companies I and II, we explain you in detail how you can easily save costs on your translation by applying easy procedures:

You may be interested in sharing theses posts with your content creators before starting your translation adventure.

We have also talked about procedures that may not be so known to our clients, but that are quite important in order to consider a translation job as finished. In October, we talked about the testing phase, which usually takes place after a website has been translated.

In a global world and a global crisis, all companies want to increase their sales. And in order to do it, they increase their marketing strategies. And as they want to sell abroad, marketing becomes international marketing. And, guess what? Translation is an extremely important tool in international marketing! For this reason, in March we published an interesting article about the relationship between Market Entry Strategies and Localization.

For translators, we published in November an interesting article about how to prepare your files for translation with SDL Trados Studio and make sure that you only translate what you need. Your clients will also appreciate it, since this also prevents charging for text that is not actually to be translated.

Finally, we also published an article about our new service, the Controlled TM+MT Environment, available for companies that do their translations in-house but do not have a system in place for keeping consistency and reusing translations.

We hope to continue writing about interesting topics in the translation, localization and interpreting industry. Is there any topic of interest for you that you would like us to research on and write about? Feel free to propose it in the comments section or contact us!

 

Meet our Team (VII). Isabel Guijarro, Project Manager

In this interview, we want to introduce you to Isabel Guijarro, one of our Project Managers in Spain, who got experience in other localization companies before joining our team.

IsabelWhat is your origin?

I am from a small village in Málaga, La Cala del Moral

What did you study?

I studied a “Degree in Translation and Interpretation ” at University of Malaga. I also did the first year of PhD in Malaga and then I moved to Madrid and studied a MBA in Software Localization in University of Paris, in Madrid.

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

Since very early during my studies I decided that I would prefer to coordinate better than to translate.

How long have you been working for Jensen Localization?

Almost 5 years

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

I had other jobs. I worked in videogames localization in Dublin and then in Madrid for several years. Always in the videogames industry.

What are the pros and cons about being a PM?

For me, the pros are that you are daily in touch with many people, from all over the world, and that you can change of task every now and then. It is challenging to manage many projects at the same time and remember every detail from all of them. Specially at the beginning, it is a challenging job.

The cons can be exactly the same things when things are not doing good J. It is not easy to be in the middle of a Chinese PM and a Norwegian translator, for example. They both have their own way of working and you need to match both. Being in the middle of different cultures (and adding my own) is challenging.

What tasks do you usually do?

I receive requests from clients, cast resources (based on their experience, price and availability), organize schedules, tools and procedures for each project and control the process.  

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

I like reading, writing, watching movies, practising sports, hiking, but most of all, being outdoors and travelling.

How many languages do you know?

I have studied English, French and Italian but I don’t practice French and Italian and I am not fluent anymore. I am now studying French again.

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

I think that the most important is to make them feel that you have everything under control and they can trust your work.

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

I am not good in advices J

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

It is very important to work as a team and constantly communicate with all members of the company since we wouldn’t be able to do our work without the support of each single department.

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

We always try to be as communicative as possible, but it is true that we are not always perfectly communicated. We are all immerse in our routines and sometimes we don’t find the time to communicate with others.

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

Yes, I even think that, in a long future, machines will replace all kind of person’s jobs.

What types of projects do you prefer working with?

Multilingual big projects with many people involved and requiring a lot of planning and attention. Challenging projects.

We hope you keep coping with challenges at Jensen Localization, Isabel! In our next interview, you will feel we are repeating an interview, but you will meet a person we are sure you have not met before. Keep tuned!

The Neverending Story of Word Counts

 Do you remember Michael Ende’s book, The Neverending Story? Or, like me, do you remember more the them song by Limahl’s?

Whenever I have to make a quotation for a client and I ask them for the source files, I enter in the fantasy world of word counts, which is full of  fantastic creatures that can make your word count as big as Falkor, the luckdragon, if not prepared correctly.

Our last adventure in the fantasy world of word counts took place quite recently.

We got a quotation request for translation of a website, and we asked the client for the source files. The client exported the website into individual xml files, and we analyzed them to get a word count. We used Trados Studio for that, and we got a word count that was a very nice starting point, but which we knew that was not real: more than 60,000 words.

The file was not prepared correctly for translation, so we had to prepare it ourselves. We needed to create a configuration file that Trados would use to know what is translatable and what is not. If you are a translator, follow these steps to learn how to do it. If you are a client, just skip to the end of the article, and you will be happy to know what the word count will be after all these steps.

When you create the Project in Trados Studio, you will reach a point where you have to select the files to translate. Before doing that, go to the File Types option:

File types

When you click on File Types, you will see a list of all file types supported by Trados Studio. However, as I mentioned, we want to create our own file type, based on the files we are going to translate.

Just click on New and select the desired type. In our example, we are going to select XML.

Select Type

Follow the instructions of the wizard and select if you want to create an XML file based on default settings or based on settings from an existing settings file. In our example, we are going to select the second option, and we will browse to select one of the translation files:

Create File Type

The Parser Rules dialog box will now appear. Here is where we need to select what is translatable and what is not. Just go through the list of rules and double click on each of them in order to select the status from Translatable to Not Translatable.

Parser Rules

Once you are done, your file type will appear in the list of files types.

Project File Type Settings

And when you add the files to translate to the project, they will all appear under the file type you created.

New Project

By doing this, when you analyze the files, your word count will be much real, as it will only take into account those strings that need translation.

In our example, we moved from a word count of more than 60,000 words to around 19,000 words. It is a big difference in our income, but if we had not done it, the client would have not accepted our quotation or he might have paid much too much.

Also, translating segments full of xml code that is not to be touched can be really annoying, so the translators will end up spending more time than expected.

However, even if we have sorted out this problem and managed to provide clients with an accurate word count that matches with what they need to translate, we still need to face another issue: how can we convince clients that they should send the full source files for quotation? Have you managed to get them? Tell us your strategies in the comments!

Related articles:

Why do repetitions have to be included in a text to translate?

  • Don’t touch my source files!
  • When the file to translate is sent “as is”
  • The Localization Project. Part 3: Creating the Source

Meet our team (VI). Ferdinand Sloof, Accountant

In this post, we decided to leave the Translation department for a while and talk to Ferdinand Sloof, the person in charge of the administration. His job is crucial for the day-to-day operations of the company, and it’s a complex task, since he is in charge of the administration of both the Dutch and the Spanish branches.

What is your origin?

I was born in a small village in the province of Utrecht, Kamerik (Holland)

What did you study?

Industrial Economics

Why did you decide to move to Spain?

Ever since I was a teenager and had the opportunity to travel, I just knew that I would live abroad some day. Holland is a lovely country, but the climate makes you live indoors most time of the year, unlike here in Andalucía. That blue sky over her is a gift, and allows me to enjoy life more than I did back in Holland.

What are your main tasks?

Bookkeeping and invoicing. It may sound boring to most of you, but with our business partners located all over the world, I regard my job as quite satisfactory and interesting.   

What are the pros and cons of your job?

Really can´t think of any particular pros and cons. For example, arguing with the Spanish Tax Authorities is not something I enjoy a lot, but it is part of the job I guess.

Working with authorities in both countries, do you see many differences between each of them?

Social Security and Hacienda are two different entities in Spain, in Holland they are united in one entity. Apart from that, there is not much difference, also due to the overall European regulations.

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

Cycling with my daughter, gardening, hiking, camping, classic vehicles, motorcycle racing.

What do you think are the most difficult challenges Jensen Localization will face in the next years?

Business is extremely tough these days, the profit margins are minimized. We will have to be very alert to new developments in our industry, renewing our skills, keep on working very hard and try to be better than our competitors in the market.

Why is the Testing Phase so Important?

We should better start this post by explaining why companies usually skip the testing phase. To put it simple, our first reply would be simply to save money.

However, after talking to clients we have noticed that it is usually due to ignorance of the testing phase.

The testing phase is an important phase in order to consider a localization project as finished.

Testing is done both in software and websites, and briefly explained, it consists in the comparison of the source and target software/website to make sure that the layout and functionality are the same.

During the testing phase, no translation errors should appear. However, even if the text has been reviewed before compiling the software or building the website, it is during the testing phase when translators can really see the text in context, so some adjustments may still be made to the translation.

Also, when changing from one language to another, the text can expand or can collapse, and this will also affect the layout of the software/website. Clients do not always send us their string limits, so it is not until the testing phase when we can see if the translation actually fits in the space provided.

In the example below you can see typical errors that you can find in a website testing.

Source Website

Source

Target Website. We asked the web developer to enter some errors on purpose. In a web testing project, the comments in red are the ones the translator would enter in the testing bug report.

Testing errors 2

In some cases, clients decide to do the testing phase themselves. However, we advise you not to do that. Just a pair of reasons to support this statement:

  1. In the case of string shortening, a translator knows some kind of ‘default’ string abbreviations that can be used to shorten a string without affecting the meaning. People who are not in the Localization industry tend to shorten strings without any compassion for grammar or spelling to a level that is totally illegible for the target reader.
  2. Translation companies save all translations in a translation memory, which enables them to reuse the translated content to keep consistency between different versions of the same product. If the testing phase is done on the client side, the translation company will not have access to the most updated files. In the event of spelling mistakes or terminology changes, if the translation files have not been updated with such changes after the testing period, the same errors will appear in subsequent versions of the product, which will lead to extra time and costs.

Unless you have your own localization department, where you use the same translation tools as your language service provider, we advise you to leave the testing phase in their hands, so that you can receive a final translated product and make sure everything will be ready to be reused in the future.

I hope this post helped you to learn more about the testing phase. If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact us.

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