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Translation Market & Recession

With the current credit crunch and deepening financial crises, many businesses are re-considering their production processes and employment policies.

During the times of economic downturns administrative expenses and cost of sales are the two very important variables that become regular items on the corporate agenda, as these are the areas that more readily lend themselves for quick savings.

For any company which uses the services of freelance translators or translation agencies, translation costs would have a direct bearing on the short term measures that could be implemented to reduce costs. While some firms, which are using multilingual communications as long term market prodding gimmicks, may afford to do away with translation costs all together, most international businesses rely heavily on such services for the survival of their operations. That does not however, stop these companies from looking for ways of enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of fulfilling their translation requirements. Risking the probable confidence shaking repercussions,  they may decide to seek for cheaper suppliers, or take the route of cutting the middle-men out and go directly to the source - freelancers. More often than not though, the best line of action opted could be to make better use of the technology that would satisfy the cost saving needs and this is precisely where the CAT tools come into the equation.

There are still a great number of small or medium size or even large businesses at the international arena which rely on the traditional methods of translations. But, when the threat of recession is looming large and imminent, they will soon discover the relatively new technological wonders of the translation market and start demanding the use of these tools from their current translators or go as far as changing their allegiance to those that do.

Whether the recession takes hold of every fabric of the global market or not, one thing is certain; CAT tools are here to stay and soon no translator would be able to do without them, save a small minority who provide purely literary and artistic translation services. can make the transition from traditional to computer assisted translation format a painless and seamless process. And, what’s more, you can rely on us not to desert you once you complete one of our training courses and enjoy continued free post training support until you become up and running with the use of Trados in your everyday translation work and beyond.

What are CAT tools?

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are software applications that aid the translation process by making automatic use of previously translated text segments and terminology. Most of these tools rely on translation memories to retrieve existing translation units without the need of having to re-translate or re-type matching chunks of text.

What is a translation memory?

Translation memory (TM) is an interactive database which stores bi-lingual units of text. These translation memories enable the translators to use sentences, phrases etc. That have already been translated and stored, and to add further units of translation on the fly during the translation process. Hence, creating an ever growing pool of bi-lingual units of text.

What is the difference between translation memory and terminology memory?

Translation memory (TM) is the database which stores bi-lingual segments (sentences, headings, paragraphs etc.), whereas terminology memory is a separate database that houses the glossary of the translation process. While translation memories are usually bi-lingual and works from source language to target language only, terminology memories can me multilingual, storing glossary items (terms, words, phrases) in as many language as desired in multi-directional formats.

Can I store my previously translated material in the translation memory?

Yes. If your source and translated documents are kept in electronic format and are true replica of each other as far as the text content and flow are concerned. You can actually use the WinAlign component of Trados for instance to create Tms from these documents.

How do I charge for the translation work done using Trados?

If you were asked to use Trados for your translations, you need the breakdown of word-count figures for charging. This is sometimes called Trados matrix. Trados has a tool called ‘Analyse’, which automatically produces the word-count matrix, listing the breakdown of number of segments, words or characters falling into several bands containing new segments, fully matching (matching what already exists in the TM) or partially matching segments and repetitions.

What is the difference between repetitions and 100% matches?

Repetitions are, as the term suggests, units of text or sentences that occur more than once in the documents. 100% matches on the other hand, are the segments that have been translated previously and already exist as bi-lingual units in the translation memory. A unit of repeated text remains a repetition until the first instance of that text is translated and recorded in the TM. Thereafter, it is no longer a repetition and becomes a 100% match.

My client is asking me to translate documents in different file formats like, InDesign, FrameMaker, QuarkExpress, XML etc., but I do not have any of these applications?

You can translate documents with practically all file formats with Trados, without the need to have those application installed on your computer. The TagEditor component of Trados would be an ideal solution. Most file formats are supported by TagEditor directly or through inherent Trados filters. When you open these documents in TagEditor you will only be offered the text that needs translation, without worrying about the underlying formatting and structuring processes. Once you complete the translation, all you need to do is just save the document in its original format and TagEditor will converted it back to original format replacing the source text with the translated text.

I can not open the TM sent by my client.

This could be a Trados version issue. If you have the earlier version of Trados than the TM is saved in, you will not be able to open it. All you need to do is to ask your client to export the TM into txt format and when you receive it, just go to ‘File’, ‘Import’ and point to the txt TM sent by your client and import it into the blank (new) translation memory.





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