Jump to content
đź’¬ Smartcat Community

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'tips'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Forums
    • Smartcat talks
    • Introduce yourself
    • Translating & freelancing
    • Managing projects & running an agency
    • Linguistic discussions
    • Anything
    • Archive


  • Smartcat Freelancer Essentials
  • Smartcat Tips and Tricks
  • Smart Agents
  • Senior Blitz!
  • Smartcat Wave


  • Senior Blitz!


  • Contests
  • Webinars
  • Webinars (RU)
  • Meetups


  • Collaborations
  • Private Teams

Found 17 results

  1. Today I'm dedicating the post to those starting out. We occasionally get a high influx of new people, mostly when we have a new webinar set up, and some people get here with the same questions we, the old schoolers, had when we were starting out. These 5 steps bellow were written years ago, but they have mostly remained the same for today's translators. You'll find the same tips in the books being sold today. Hiram from ALTA brings us the following steps to becoming a professional translator (from scratch): Now, as mentioned in the post itself, being certified isn't the only way you can become a professional, but it's often the best place to start if you have just become an adult (or close to that) and you intend to follow that career path. Even if you are bilingual in nature, there are numerous things you still need to pick up, and getting a certification is going to help you in two fronts: the experience gained, and the education. The education is what will help you be attractive to prospective clients, the experience is what will make you retain them. I ended up getting certified even before I decided to be a translator, but frankly that didn't do much to help me acquire clients. What truly helped me were the approaches I decided to take, connections, and portfolio. This is yet another good idea, I just want to bring your attention to one thing: As the post specifies, this is another resume building technique. While having a resume will help you land jobs in agencies (and there's nothing wrong with that), the most successful people in the translation universe have direct clients who love their work so much that they only want to hire him (or her) for the job. And the best thing you can do here to make that happen is to specialize. Specialize and show off that expertise, with experience, with demonstrations, with adequate marketing and proper contacts. But the main thing you need to be able to show is expertise, portfolio. Depending on which specialization you work with, and whether or not you are actually taking a translation course, you'll find different places where you can get experience. If you work on video game localizations, for instance, there are numerous groups out there who perform fan translations for old games, sometimes even new games, and that's one of the best places to start. If you work with fashion, medicine, pharmaceutics, engineering, you have an abundant range of materials you can freely find online that companies in those industries divulge for clients and partners, and you can go there and translate them yourself. You can also download websites and translate them yourself. Show off the result to the owners. Doing any of that is going to place you in translation situations you weren't expecting, and you'll learn a lot from it. Also, see if you can get tested by niche agencies. They often have the best tests around. Marketing yourself is something that most translators neglect simply because they don't like it. But hello, that's no reason to dismiss it. If you want to work in-house, then you may not need that, but if you want to be a freelancer, that means you are the owner of every aspect your business have, which includes finances, marketing, technical support, client relationship... Marketing is probably the most important aspect you can have in your business as a freelance translator. Proper marketing will get you places. There are numerous resources around who help you with that, if you don't know where to start. Search our forum and you'll find some posts I set up and a few webinars on that as well. Further commenting on this step: a proper website is likely the best way to gain long-term clients "passively". Always think two steps ahead. If you just landed your first project, don't fret, it's going to get harder. It doesn't stop on your first success. Being a translator is always about working on a new challenge. If you think that's too much effort, it's because it is, and likely more than you are imagining, and if you are not feeling butterflies in your stomach with the idea of dedicating towards that goal, then you are better off looking for an alternative career path! But if you do believe this is for you, then you are in for a treat, because as challenging as it might be, there's nothing more rewarding than being the sole person responsible for your own success.
  2. Expanding on our previous coverage of language learning, I'm bringing to you today another share on gaining fluency in your non-native languages. Joseph Philipson talks about some of his favorite methods of learning languages outside the classroom, and I'll comment on them. People have different brains, and each brain has different wirings and needs. To some, putting the effort into learning something is all it takes for your brain to make all the connections necessary for a quick absorption. To most, however, both time, distractions and dedications to other affairs would drain you of its effectiveness. "While it's unlikely that you'll become fluent just by using these types of resources" I did. The rest was just bonuses. The best way I know of to learning anything is by having fun with it. Whenever you are having fun with something, your body is telling you that that makes good to you. Everything that is good to you is more naturally taken in. When you like to skate, just for the sake of it, you eventually start making more and more stunts. If you practice every day, because you like it, you'll soon become a pro. The same thing with any other topic. You have a genuine fun with something, it becomes a second nature to you. Gamification is a powerful tool. I know a few websites that use gamification for language learning. In older times, I used Livemocha (no longer exists) - I even met a couple of romantic endeavours there. Today, I know two which seem to be highly effective. They are Duolingo and Babbel. That's the second best way I know of learning something new: getting involved with it. Speaking, as much as strain ourselves in the beginning, is a great way to tell your mind that you need to make something happen. In this case, that something is gaining fluency on another way of thinking. Practicing with a friend is both fun and effective. As far as both have an understanding of what to do and are fare and consistent with it. This one goes hand-in-hand with number 2 and 3. Being within the environment gives you the learning stimuli, all the time. You don't even need to force yourself (bad training process) to learn it, your mind does it for you, naturally. That's it. What are your favorite techniques? If you've used any of those already in your life, what was your experience with it?
  3. We've already superficially mentioned that having a specialization is good for your career. Today I'm sharing some ideas on how you can find the right specialization for you. Chiara Grassilli tells us in her blog, A Translator's Thoughts, how to find an area of expertise. These are all areas that are constantly having new material to translate. Video Games don't have so many launches than, say, the copywriting field, but web apps, technical translations, social media, transcreation (in the marketing genre) and eCommerce are all fields which have a constant stream of revenue flowing. This list is all well and good, but the real thing is in the paragraphs that follow, as the mindset, a few steps and some interesting links are there to help you reach your goal of finding your specialization. Do check the whole article. Chiara also has a post on why she believes it can be right for you to get a specialization. See you tomorrow!
  4. I'd like to cover a little further the branch of rates and negotiations when it comes to us freelancers. So I looked it up and I found this great blog by Marta Stelmaszak which covers numerous situations in our lives. Marta made a list with 9 of what she believes to be the most common mistakes in translation negotiations. I imagine that some of her pointers might not be fitting to you at some point. Cultures vary, right? But, keeping them in mind may help you realize when you could have done more, and when you should have done less. Here are the ones I appreciated the most: Go check out what she has to say and let us know what you think of, whether it's applicable to you, and what you hadn't thought about before! She also has quite a large archive of numerous other interesting topics. Worth exploring. She's no longer maintaining it, but the knowledge there is still quite valuable.
  5. When NOT to translate

    Hey everyone, Today I came across a blog on literary translations. One of the most interesting posts I read was from a guest called Zack Rogow. He has a personal blog on advice for writers as well with an endless bookshelf at the background. Having won and being nominated to many awards on literary translations, he's a man that knows his trade and wanted to share some of his practices. He then expands on each of them with examples and explanations. Indeed, I can't think of reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea without references to multiple other languages and cultures. This is another resource for those wishing to enter or specialize in the field of literary translations. The blog where the post was published has also the accounting of many other people on various subjects of this work-style, and I recommend you check it out to learn more! Let me know if you liked the content, below. Do you have any examples of a moment where translating something was a bad idea and you left it in the source?
  6. I found an a-m-a-z-i-n-g resource for those of you wanting to assert and negotiate your translation rates. Tom Ewer, the author, is a freelance writer that has a blog about his experiences leaving a job and building an online business. He covers many topics, successes and failures alike, and has many tips to share. This post in particular, titled Freelancing: a Complete Guide to Setting and Negotiating Rates, was quite a masterpiece in my opinion and I'm happy to share it over here. He begins by talking about how you can assert your Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR), and expands to an extensive and detailed post: As you can see, this post covers a variety of important topics you ought to know. In his website you can also find many other useful topics and materials to research. As a blogger, he also has information on how you can benefit from blogging in your career. What are your best negotiation tactics? Have some examples to share? Post them below!
  7. Best practices for subtitling

    I was thinking about which kind of field I haven't yet covered properly when I remembered "subtitling." It's an even more niche area of translations (and not just translations), but one that is well sought. So I did some digging and found a recent article by Seelan Palay on great practices for those creating subtitles--and translating them. Some of them are very particular and you have to use your best judgement (or a client's preference) in order to adopt them, but they regardless, they are all good tips for those both starting out and those already working in this area. Here's some of them: These are some of the best. The first three here need to take in consideration the average reading speed of the audience. Children get to read about 13 characters per second and adults get to read 17 characters per second. Also, the greatest documentation of timed text style I know of is from NETFLIX. That's an invaluable resource. "Filler words" are another issue you get to tackle in subtitling. The key is equilibrium: don't let them flood the text, but don't exclude them all either. In TV series, they are often deliberate and beneficial. In shows, they are often a hindrance and can be cut off, largely. These are also good practices on punctuation and formatting. The interruption and ellipsis ones are great. The last one largely depends on the style being used. Whatever you do, be consistent. Seelan also cover Sound, Capitalization, Numbers, Line Breaks, Italics, Phonetic Words and Miscellaneous in the article. Do take a look at it yourself! Add your own tips if you dare!
  8. Growing our article coverage a little bit, I wanted to give you guys something on a field that we haven't spoken much of yet. I'm talking about literary translations. Plenty of people have shown interest in it before, but we haven't had seen many examples of people specializing on that. So today I'm sharing a blog post from Susan Bernofsky. She's a writer, translator and blogger, and from what she tells us in this post her tagline has been "literary translator" for quite some time now. She has various tips to give you when it comes to entering the world of literary translations. That's probably not the most encouraging thing you'd like to hear right now, but keep in mind that this is true for most translation niches. Hell, even translation itself when starting out. She has quite a more promising paragraph at the end of the post on this matter. Susan develops the post by talking about where you should publish your translations, she handles you a list of groups who might be potentially interesting in taking a look at your work, she mentions networking opportunities, how to connect with cultural institutes, and various other details worth checking out. There are various words-of-warning, simple advice that go a long way in helping you assert your path, and I recommend you go take a look at it yourself. I might add that plenty of her advice are also useful for people wanting to get into other fields, such as the game localization field. I was surprised to notice that a town not too far away from my own here in Brazil had a translation contest a few months ago. Very obscure and I only came to hear it by word of mouth, but it was interesting to see something so distinct going around here. Are you working within this field already? Share your stories! I believe @Aleksandra works with literary translations, yes? Also, do tell us how these tips helped you out on your business.
  9. Today I have plenty of amazing things to talk about. I'll actually try and be brief, only indicating to you what you can search for yourself, but it's great content. Triston Goodwin is a video game translator, who also happens to work on SEO optimization and has numerous blog posts and other resources on how translators can improve their game. Their business, I mean. In this article, Triston talks about why blogging is such a good practice for translators in general. And he also talks about Call To Actions, what SEO basically is, and it's fun (lots of gaming references). I recommend you go take a look at the article yourself (it's quite short) and have some laughs. I got to know Triston through another of his articles, on Video Game Translations in 2017, and he has numerous other interestings things to see in his websites. And we have a member here who practices proper content marketing, and he's @Anthony Teixeira. You can check his website at at-it-translator and see how it's meant to be done. I'll add to the list: translation is writing someone else's words. Having a blog is writing your own, which helps you setup your identity. Not only for others to understand you, but also for you to understand yourself a little better. What is your blog going to be about? Discuss!
  10. Some time ago I mentioned in one of our discussions that having a unique way of writing, thinking, and speaking is not only positive, it can also be a great differentiator. Today, Pieter Beens talks about how translators can help companies stand out using their unique tone of voice. It's absolutely true. We know that there are people, something even ourselves, that can work competently on many given fields. And that's great. Only, there is even better. And something that makes even more sense, given that: companies don't want agencies to do the work, they want a single person with the right fit. Agencies have huge pools of translators, someone is bound to be able to perform it well, but ultimately, what a company wants is someone that represents them -- My own words, mind. Speaking of mastering a second voice, I've known a game localization company that trains new translators for years until they are ready to take projects head on. They train their style, their skills, their productivity, their understanding... They invest. The translators leaves the better for it, and they gain a person competent to tackle their kinds of projects. What an amazing combination. To those starting out, it's understandable that you don't want to turn down any job in potential. You have your responsibilities, your numbers to crunch, and you want to handle everything. That's O.K. As you grow and develop your status you'll be able to choose, and those instances will become more numerous. Just be aware of it, for now. And that's quite an amazing feat. It's rewarding in various ways. Try and strive for that. I hope you liked it. I know I did! Give it some thought. There is, assuredly, plenty to benefit from that thinking. Have you found your company that loves the way you translate? Share your experience! If not, would you like to? What's your plan to find them? If you enjoyed it, leave your comments below.
  11. Today I'm sharing a post from Sherif Abuzid, on TOM, where he talks about some of the practices that translators can observe from translation agencies and replicate to their own benefit. Without further ado, these four things are: He expands on them. I like the idea of considering freelancers as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a mouthful, but it's one of my favorite words. In reality though, most translators do not treat themselves as a serious business. Which makes it harder for others to treat them like that as well. These are simple lessons, and we covered them already in our various conversations, yet there's always room for one more little reminder. Sometimes we need to be reminded just enough times for it to break the barrier of inaction. Would you add any lessons to that list? What have you been consistently doing from this list already?
  12. Hey everyone, Today I'd like to share an old post from Tess Whitty, of Marketing Tips for Translators, which notes a few suggestions for those starting out and thinking on how to best develop yourself. You can find the post here. Below, are her suggestions: I loved the tips, I'm just not entirely sure about number 4. Yes, I'm certain that some areas can be difficult to find work on in some regions, surely, but in general there is always a steady stream of material that needs to be translated in almost any given field. So, in order to expand that idea a bit, I'd recommend looking for things that people constantly need. If there is a constant need for something, there will always be translations for that something. I also recommend you check out her website which is full of incredible ideas, hers and of others around there. Do you believe these will help you? And if you're already quite experienced, which suggestions would you add?
  13. It's natural that some of you, if not most of you, has some interest in learning a new language, or mastering the ones you already know. Speaking is a part of the language, and while it's perhaps not essential for you to be good at it in order to communicate well, you may still want to develop proper levels of speech for any reason. Adela Belin shares some of the practices as educator for those wishing to learn on this post at The Lingua File. Reading has been the major reason why I learned another language. Funnily enough, I had to purposefully force myself to read things in Portuguese, because I've always prefered to read them in their original (often English, for me) form. Instead of reading aloud, I like to read in my mind, as most people do, but by voicing. I read something as given my own voice and pace of speech, and as I often find, I'm moving my tongue together with the reading. Works nice. Not the same as reading aloud though, that's for sure. Louise from the other topic also has some ideas on mastering a language fluently, here. I can definitely relate to the vocabulary portion. Ever heard about how your company marks your personality? So does your books with your vocabulary. About a book club... This forum is a book club. We've already started some talk about Dracula, and you can start your own! Not just about the originals, but their translations as well. Learn something in the process. Have fun! What are your techniques for improving your speech? Maybe you just get to practice a lot every day?
  14. Hey everyone, Claudia Befu wrote a nice guide on website localization, here, at The Open Mic. She went through it really thoroughly, and whether you are starting out on website localization, or you've done this a few times already, it's a good idea to check out what she has to say, for there might be great suggestions to improve your game. Here's some snippets: Often overlooked, but it's a great idea to have one. Collaboration is unfortunately something that you won't always get, but try and achieve it and incentivize it as much as possible. For the sake of keeping it short for the forum format, I had to paraphrase some of the article's content. These are in italics. Letting your client in the loop is great. They don't expect this level of detail when a translator communicates with them. It's always good to go above and beyond what you're expected to do. Communicating with them is a part of it. Just keep in mind that most people don't care, and if that's the case, avoid the details. Another problem with too many details is that you may hit some barriers that prevent you to do something the way you intended to. This is extremely valuable. Just like in any other translation, actually. But in website localization, you have to deal with so many variables, such as different browsers, coding, browser settings, etc. Making sure that everything is in order will make you stand out from everyone else, a lot. Especially if you are a one-man-army. (Or woman, of course) Again, excellence is shown in the details. Go beyond what you are expected to do. Alright, I hope this helps you prepare for your website localization project. I encourage you to take a look at her full article if you have the time. Then come here and tell us what you think, and if you have any other steps you like to include in your process! Let us know if this has been useful.
  15. Coming straight from another localization topic, I found this simple and direct post on a few great techniques to deal with complicated words in translations. Published by Juan Pablo P. on Trusted Translations' blog, he discusses 5 "tools" you can use to handle untranslatability. Being a Spanish translator, Juan uses a couple of simple Spanish<->English examples. While reading, I thought about a situation I came across on the Fallout 3 DLC: Anchorage. Anchorage is a word in English used to describe the feeling of belonging to a place so much that you feel anchored to it. There are many ways to describe it, but as far as I heard, there aren't many languages with a word for this very definition. In Portuguese we have Saudades, which means longing for, but that's not quite the same thing. Here are a few other examples if you wanna satiate your curiosity. Anyway, let's take a look at what Juan had to tell us. Like the example with Anchorage and Saudade, yes. Simple, but often neglected by people in the process of gaining experience. As mentioned in the post, often happens with technological innovations, but that's something I like to do in my day-to-day life as well. So much simpler like that. "Calque", as a word, wasn't familiar to me. That's another solution I made use of in some occasions. A very simple solution, broadly used in translations, I see this as one of the most common and simple ways to solve the issue. Often making an improvement upon the original, might I add. This is often neglected, but it's another powerful technique one should always keep in mind. And Juan had a few interesting notes to part with: Thanks Juan, that post was great. I recommend you go ahead and read it yourself, the post is a pleasure to read and there are more details to munch. Do you people know of any other interesting techniques you'd like to share? @Tanya Quintieri, @Una, maybe you girls from marketing translations has something special in store.
  16. Hi, there, surfers! I've been told I am the record holder on how many people have signed up for smartCAT through my Wave link, so I will tell you what I did and how, so we can all get the best out of this program. I am a translator, I taught translation for a bit at a private university and I am also very active in specialist groups for translators and interpreters in FB, mainly. I "designed" a spread program to get people to use my link and this is how I did that: I posted the link the first time advertising the amazing CAT capabilities of smartCAT, the fact you can upload your own work, create a profile, use TMs, etc. and I told everyone that signing up was free and that's the post that, I think, got most of the people that actually signed up. In the second post, which I posted yesterday in the same groups, I highlighted the forums, the community, the fact you can get paid through smartCAT and that you can even get clients, either your own or international ones, using the environment. My third post, which will appear in mid July, will highlight the Senior's program, all the benefits we get from being Seniors, the sense of community a peer-review brings, etc. In my fourth, and last one, I will talk about the webinars, the constant online support we get from Vova and the team and, again, the sense of community we get from being part of smartCAT. Every post will add the "free" idea, since that seems to be quite interesting for most of us, freelancers with no fixed income. So, as you see, what I did was taking advantage of my social media contacts, knowing the advantages of smartCAT and finding out exactly what the best (and most attractive) features are, so I can just advertise the truth, no tricks. Finally, I have to say that every post says that if they have questions, doubts or general enquiries about it, that they could contact me through the messenger or by mail, and some did and it was great to get the environment the spotlight it deserves. That's what I've done so far and what I plan to do and maybe you can do something similar and get the best out of your wave. Hugs! Paz S.
  17. Hello, dear people of smartCat! I was asked about the typical erros I find while working, as I am a translator but also work a lot as a style corrector in both English and Spanish. Also, they asked if I had any advice for newcomers, you guys who are just starting in this amazing world of translation and cultural adaptation. So, here I am, posting the answers I gave and sharing a bit of my experience with you, guys. 1) What is the most common errors in test translations? Grammar, terminology, style, anything else? For EN and for SP language? The most common errors I have found deal with literal translation, not taking cultural or idiomatic aspects in mind. Also, and everytime more often, I have found a lot of machine translation that goes unchecked and leads to mistakes in the target language. In general, terminology is an issue for people who are not specialized in a given area, like engineering or medicine, but that usually happens with young, new translators who are just starting and take any job just to make ends meet! I usually tell students that, in order to get a better grasp of terminology, grammar constructions and the sort, they should watch TV with a notebook, to take notes! It's fun and it helps a lot. Another big issue I always find in ENG-SP is that the structure of the text is kept in the target language. English, for example, uses short sentences, uses hyphens and puts the final stop inside the quote marks ("... ."), while Spanish uses more connectors, commas, parenthesis and puts the final stop outside the quote marks ("... ".). 2) What was the most terrible translation in your practice? Some specific errors? I saw once that a translator had not modified the commas for points in numbers. As you know, thousands are separated by commas in English and decimals with points and it is the other way around in Spanish. That led to a child almost being poisoned due to a badly mixed dose of medication =( 3) Maybe some funny or repetable errors? The funniest one I can remember was one that clearly used Google Translator -or something similar. It was listing the names of the companies they were working with, telecommunications companies, to be more specific. It read: a) Entel; b) Movistar; c) Of Course; d) GTD. I was struggling to find what "of course" meant, since that is not the name of any company, until I realized it was "Claro", which translates as "of course" is you use machine translation! That client had hired proofreading and, therefore, negotiated a lower rate, but when I found that he had used Google Translator, he had to tell me the truth and ended up paying for the translation of the entire document. 4) If I were new in translation industry, what advice can you give me in my first test for important client? What should I do and don't? You should prepare yourself ahead of time. If you know what company it is, the area and all, study, research, use the internet and go beyond the second results page, use Google Scholar, ask people in Forums, get involved, watch TV, watch YouTube videos and write everything down! This job requires us to always study, to always investigate, to always update our knowledge. The biggest don't is to stop doing that, to think you are an expert and free from making mistakes. The world is changing rapidly and so do the terms Please, share some of your funny stories, what you've seen, what you'd rather unsee and also maybe some advice for the rest of the team. Hope it helps! Hugs, Paz ^_~