Austin Area Translators & Interpreters Association

November 12 Membership Meeting

Need to know more about CAT tools for translators? Join us for an introduction to Fluency presented by Dan Law, and Wordfast presented by Casey Butterfield. 
 You won’t want to miss the celebration of our last meeting of the year where you will have access to great prizes, networking opportunities, presentation of our new website and AATIA’s latest accomplishments. Also meet the new AATIA Board of Directors.
Join us and pick up some handy tips for honing your skills and putting them to work. As always, there’ll be refreshments and lots of information.
Don’t miss these interesting topics!
Date:   Saturday, November 12
Time:   1:00 to 4:00 PM
Place:   AATIA Headquarters (map at right)
              International Center of Austin
              201 East 2nd Street
              Austin, TX  78701
(Free parking available in Convention Center Parking Garage on Brazos).

January 9th Membership Meeting

AATIA is pleased to present a complimentary translation memory tool webinar for freelancers during our next membership meeting on January 9. A qualified trainer from Across Systems will demonstrate how to put this tool into practice.

Please join us at the International Center of Austin. The meeting begins at 1:00 and the webinar begins at 1:30. 

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may also join us online by registering via this link:

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

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
  • Beware of spear-fishing

    Computerworld warns of a new variation in "phishing" scams which tries to lure victims into downloading malware. According to this article, recipients of the scam e-mail

    …are told that they have been sued in federal court and must click on a Web link to download court documents. Victims of the crime are taken to a phony Web site where they are told they need to install browser plug-in software to view the documents. That software gives the criminals access to the victim’s computer.

    As these scams may included the intended victim’s name, company and phone number, they are more targeted and believable than generic phishing attacks.

  • Filed under: tips
  • A sceptical view of machine translation

    In his article “Computing’s Final Frontiers“, PC guru John C. Dvorak takes a critical look at several technologies (among them machine translation and voice recognition) that, in his opninion, have not and will not fulfill the great expectations associated with them. My favorite quote:

    A few gizmos out there can say “Hello, where is the train station?” or “I have a blue pencil” in 40 different languages. But we’re still yearning for a real translation system. Most written translations I see of memos, newspapers, books, and magazines are a joke. Sometimes it is a miracle if you can even get the gist of the text [….] It’s laughable. And this is with the written word, which should be easy to understand. The final frontier with this technology is the gadget that translates what you say and speaks it in a foreign language. I am certain that the smart money has long since bailed out of these types of projects.

  • Filed under: resources
  • 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
  • You might have received files in .docx format that your version of MS Word did not know how to handle. The reason for this is that Microsoft uses a different file format for Word 2007. Users of the new version of Word can save documents in the familiar .doc format, but they have to remember to do so, as the default format is now .docx.

    So what can you do if you only have Word 2003 or Word 2002? You can download a compatibility program here that covers Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This is not a perfect solution, as Microsoft points out that some elements in Word documents will be changed by using it:

    Although you can open Office Word 2007 files in previous versions of Word, you may not be able to change some items that were created by using the new or enhanced features in Office Word 2007. For example, equations will become images that cannot be changed.

    In the long run, we will end up using Office 2007, but if you are not quite ready to make the jump and usually deal with simply formated documents, this compatibility program might bridge that gap for the time being.

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: resources
  • Getting Files from Here to There

    I remember the olden days, when we translators had to wrap our cuneiform tablets in mammoth hide and saddle our saber-toothed tigers to deliver … well, not quite. Yet the business of receiving files from agencies and direct clients and delivering finished translations to them has changed somewhat over time.

    Gone are the days when the fax machine (preferably on a separate fax line, so you could be reached 24 hours a day) was the main conduit of information. I actually retired my trusty fax machine, as 95% of the incoming faxes were junk faxes.

    Now I use a web-based faxing service named Trust Fax to send and receive the few faxes that are still needed. The fee for this is much lower than the cost of keeping a separate fax line and buying toner cartridges for the fax machine, and it actually offers a toll-free number for clients to reach.

    In many cases, though, agencies might state that they want contracts signed and faxed to them, but they are perfectly happy if I convert the files to PDFs, sign them digitally and then e-mail them as attachments.

    Most translators, of course, use e-mail for file transfer these days. If you have a broadband connection, with its greatly increased transmission speeds, this works so much better than in the case of dial-up.

    Just remember that compressing your files with a program such as Winzip or Filzip can shrink them considerably (depending on the file type) and also makes life easier for the recipient who won’t have to deal with 37separate attachments.

    Yet even with increased mailbox sizes and compression programs, e-mailing files sometimes is not always an option, as some files, such as PDFs or graphics, might simply be too large to send this way. Many agencies have reacted to this problem by setting up FTP servers (FTP stands for file transfer protocol) and will send you instructions containing FTP address, username and password that allow you to download these files.

    While you could use Internet Explorer for this purpose, it is much more convenient to employ a dedicated FTP client such as Core FTP with its more user-friendly interface. However, a direct client might not have an FTP site available for file transfer. What do you do then?

    There are a number of free or low-cost web-based file transfer services available. I have used YouSendIt that allows transfers of up to 100 MB. Other services of this type are Big Upload and Send This File. The client will then receive an e-mail with a URL that allows for the download of the large file you sent.

  • Filed under: resources, tips
  • 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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