Austin Area Translators & Interpreters Association

Mark your calendar for upcoming workshops

Ted Wozniak AATIA will offer two great professional development opportunities in coming months. The first, “Business Basics for Freelancers,” will take place on the morning of June 14th. This four-hour workshop will cover general business aspects of freelancing, including basic bookkeeping and record-keeping requirements, ensuring payment, and tax and financial planning. The presenter, AATIA member Ted Wozniak, holds degrees in Accounting and German and has worked as an accountant in both the private and public sectors. Ted is also the owner of the well-known Payment Practices website.

Jost ZetzscheThe second event will be a “Translator’s Toolbox” seminar presented by Jost Zetzsche on September 6th. This all-day affair, designed to help you unleash the power of your computer for greater speed and efficiency in your work, will include two sessions, the morning devoted to computer basics and the afternoon to specific translation and terminology management tools. Participants will have the opportunity to register for one session or both. Jost is an ATA-accredited English-to-German translator, a consultant in the field of localization and translation, and a writer on technical solutions for the translation and localization industry, including the Tool Kit newsletter for translators. He is a frequent presenter at ATA and other conferences.

Mark your calendar, and watch this site for further information about these two events. Registration for the Business Basics workshop will begin in mid-May.

  • Filed under: events, learning
  • Facebook users translate site but get paid nada

    Facebook's translation page The social networking site Facebook is using the wisdom of crowds to localize the site into nearly two dozen languages, but the user-translators do it for nothing more than bragging rights, according to a recent article in the Austin American-Statesman.

    The four-year-old company, now estimated as worth $15 billion, has 69 million users, 60 percent of whom live outside the United States, hence the effort to serve those who don’t speak English. But Facebook’s approach has been controversial.

    The concept of collaborative translation is familiar in open-source programming communities. But Facebook’s effort — as it builds sites in Japanese, Turkish, Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch to join versions in Spanish, French and German that launched this year — is among the highest-profile attempts to harness users’ energy to do work traditionally handled by professionals.

    The Spanish-language version has taken a particular beating for grammatical, spelling and usage problems throughout.

    Ana Torres, a 25-year-old professional translator in Madrid, Spain, called the translation "extremely poor," citing "outrageous spelling mistakes" such as "ase" instead of "hace" (for "makes" or "does") and usage of the word "lenguaje" for "language" rather than the more appropriate "idioma."

    Other critics say Facebook just wants free labor.

    Valentin Macias, 29, a Californian who teaches English in Seoul, South Korea, has volunteered in the past to translate for the nonprofit Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia but said he won’t do it for Facebook.

    Wikipedia is "an altruistic, charitable, information-sharing, donation-supported cause," Macias told The Associated Press in a message. "Facebook is not. Therefore, people should not be tricked into donating their time and energy to a multimillion-dollar company so that the company can make millions more — at least not without some type of compensation."

    Other prominent social networking websites Friendster and MySpace also have international versions, but use professional translators for their localization efforts.

    Read the complete article by Associated Press writer Tomoko A. Hosaka, and then express your own viewpoint by leaving a comment on this post.

  • Filed under: diversions
  • The Ultimate Vista Experience?

    I finally broke down and bought a laptop with the Windows Vista operating system preinstalled. The reason was that my 5-year-old laptop running Windows XP was simply no longer fast enough for the programs I needed to use.

    I specifically chose a machine with Vista Ultimate. Here are the reasons why:

    • Vista Ultimate allows you to download and install language packs that change the interface language (menus, buttons, messages, etc.) of Windows. This is an enormous advantage for translators who often translate computer manuals or localize software. In the past, you could download Microsoft glossaries to find the official translations, but recently Microsoft replaced the complete glossaries with a limited version. Therefore, Vista Ultimate is really useful when you have to translate sentences such as "Click on Start, then Settings, then on Control Panel" into Spanish, or French or German or any of the other 36 supported languages (see a list of features of various Vista versions here).
    • You can switch between interface languages or associates languages with specific user accounts, which is nice in a multilingual household.
    • Another advantage of Vista Ultimate is Ready Boost, a technology that allows you to use a (sufficiently fast) USB stick as "extra RAM".

    So far, my Vista Ultimate experience was better than expected. The laptop recognized my wireless network and connected to the internet without any problems. By default, the operating system is a bit overcautious, constantly asking whether you really want to do this or that…

    Of course I still do most of my work on an XP desktop and have not tried to hook up older peripherals to the Vista machine. Yet sooner or later, Vista will be unavoidable, and when you select your next computer, you might want to consider Vista Ultimate for its multilingual features.


  • Filed under: resources
  • The Yellow Beetle: a localization story

    Localization is a crucial element in the process of translation because it involves the precise understanding of meaning. This is obviously a factor when communicating a message from one language to another. But it also comes into play within languages, for example from one region to another. As in this story about a chance encounter.


  • Filed under: diversions
  • Best Breed of Project Managers

    “No, seriously….”A new cartoon by Tony Beckwith illustrates an article by Fabiano Cid, "The Best Breed of Project Managers: How to make the most of your feline or canine features when managing a project," in GALAxy, the newsletter of the Globalization and Localization Association.

    Some may think of cats as smart and superior beings, while others consider them self-centered and unreliable. The same occurs with dogs: they may look stupid and subservient to cat lovers, but cynophiles consider them loyal, sociable and dependable. Project managers can also have either characteristic when performing their daily work. The trick is to balance your feline and canine qualities to make sure the most important goal is achieved: client satisfaction and retention.

  • Filed under: milestones
  • AATIA is one of the nation’s leading resources and advocates for the translation and interpretation community. Our mission: to serve AATIA members through education, networking, and promotion of translation and interpretation professions.

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    02 Tony Beckwith welcomes10 Jonathan Cole, Patricia Bobeck, Katy Scrogin, Tom Johnson setting up refreshments01 Marian Schwartz, Patricia Bobeck setting up