If you read Part 1, Introduction & Review, of this mini-series on ‘memoQ for the non-tech savvy’, you’ll know that I switched over to memoQ from Wordfast Classic a few months ago. My main reason to suddenly change from one CAT to another was because of ongoing problems using Wordfast after updating my system to the latest versions of Windows and Word. I was also fed up of the constant crashes every time I switched on Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) to dictate my translations.
In this second post on memoQ, I’ll highlight the basic steps you need to know to do your first translation in this CAT without watching any videos or webinars or reading the manual in case you’re short of time as I was. Or your mind starts to boggle at too much techspeak.
Changing from Wordfast Classic to another CAT tool had been at the back of my mind for some time. Especially after I updated to the latest Windows and Word versions, which robbed Wordfast of some of its functionality and slowed it down considerably. And coupled with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the dictation software I prefer to use for all my translations, things would often come to a complete standstill and crash. Still I resisted because I loathe trying out new programs, resent the time it takes to set them up and learn how to use and fear something going horribly wrong.
Sometimes life throws you a curveball and the unthinkable happens: a family member is struck with a long-term illness and you suddenly have to take on the role of carer. Caring for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining and as time-consuming as looking after a baby, but often with none of the happy milestones marking a transition from one phase to another. Not only does caring take huge bites out of your available work time, it often does not put you in the frame of mind to focus when you finally do manage to sit down at your desk.
Giving up work entirely is not always a financially viable option for the family. In my case, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on my hours and learn to work smarter. Although my earnings have dropped by about 20% in the past two years I’ve been a carer, I reckon the time I spend translating, on admin and other work-related matters is 50% less. I now very rarely work in the evenings or at weekends and I certainly don’t always work a full day either during the week. My aim is to get back to the same level of earnings without increasing the number of my working hours. In this post I’d like to share a few of the ways I’ve managed to ensure that the unthinkable didn’t turn into a financial disaster for my family.
Corregidme si me equivoco, pero el principal factor causante de que los traductores finalicen su relación con una agencia es que no les paguen (es de cajón: seguir trabajando para un cliente que no te paga, sean cuales sean sus excusas o promesas, carece de toda lógica empresarial), y el segundo, que les paguen tarde. Por suerte, en todos los años que llevo traduciendo, esto ha ocurrido en contadas ocasiones. Una agencia unipersonal quebró justo después de haber acabado un pequeño trabajo para ella y nunca vi un céntimo, y otra no me pagó todas las palabras que había traducido porque no nos poníamos de acuerdo en la cantidad exacta. Sin embargo, se me ha pagado tarde más veces de las que me gustaría y he dejado de trabajar para varias agencias por este motivo, incluso para algunas con las que llevaba años trabajando. «Estaba de vacaciones en la otra punta del planeta y por eso no te pude pagar en agosto, y ahora no dispongo de fondos hasta que me pague mi cliente» no me vale.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the overriding factor causing translators to end their relationship with an agency is not being paid at all (no-brainer really, as continuing to work for a client that is not paying you—whatever their excuses and promises—just doesn’t make good business sense), and secondly being paid late. Fortunately, in all the years that I’ve been translating, I have seldom not been paid. A one-man band went bankrupt just after I completed a shortish job for him and I never saw a penny. Another agency didn’t pay me for all the words I’d translated as we disagreed on how many I’d actually done. However, I have received my money late more times than I care to remember, and I’ve stopped working for several agencies as a result, even some I had been collaborating with for years. “I was enjoying a wonderful holiday on the other side of the planet, so I couldn’t pay you in August, and now have no funds until my clients pay me” just doesn’t cut it.
La semana pasada acabé escribiendo una entrada motivada por una desagradable experiencia relacionada con la traducción automática (o, más bien, pseudotraducción automática) que quería compartir con todos vosotros. Esta semana me toca hablar de una nueva afrenta a nuestra profesión que por desgracia parece haberse vuelto bastante común a juzgar por las ofertas que recibo por correo electrónico y las entradas que leo en los foros.
Hablo de las herramientas TAO (traducción asistida por ordenador), los descuentos que se espera que ofrezcamos por usarlas y los ridículos plazos impuestos desde el convencimiento de que mejorarán nuestro rendimiento por arte de magia elevándolo a niveles que rozan lo sobrehumano.
Last week, I found myself suddenly rolling out a blog post because of an unpleasant experience involving machine translation (or should I say machine pseudo-translation), which I wanted to share with you all. This week I’m shaking my head at yet another affront to our profession, which sadly seems to have become rather commonplace judging by email job requests I receive and forum posts I read.
I’m talking about CAT tools, the discounts we’re expected to give as a result of using them, and the silly deadlines imposed in the belief they will magically improve our performance to near super-human levels.