6 Tips For Translating More Words Per Day

These are some of the things I do in order to be more productive when I translate:

1. Listen to music while you translate

Most of the time I listen to music while I translate, but only music without lyrics. I’m not sure why it helps, but it just changes my environment completely.

I get access to a new energy, and I can get more work done, without getting bored or tired in the same way. I think that it’s the other part of my brain that is fired up, when I start the music.

Mostly I listen to jazz, or electronic music, sometimes techno without lyrics.

2. Use Skype instead of email

Using Skype chat is a great way to get access to more jobs, because sometimes email is just to slow for clients, who are in a hurry. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in a hurry.

If you are just finishing up on a project and ready for a new job, and the terms suit you, then you could also take jobs in via Skype chat. It’s kinda like a mild version of a phone call.

Don’t limit yourself to email or phone communications, but look out for people, who are just looking for attention, and don’t really have any interesting jobs, in terms of deadline, field and word rate.

3. Get 8 hours of sleep at night

My short-term memory doesn’t work very well, when I’m tired. It’s just such a nice thing to have when you’re a translator 😉

4. Get assistance from machine translations

Some clients allow it, some don’t, and some don’t care. It depends on the job.

It can be a help to see, what the great machine thinks. Sometimes it’s just garbage, but occasionally it comes up with interesting segments, that are worth taking into account.

If you’re completely lost on a certain term, it can send you in the right direction.

5. Say no to jobs that you don’t find interesting

It’s easier to feel motivated when it’s an interesting topic that you’re translating. Of course you need to bring in the money you want by saying yes to enough jobs, but after that you can choose the interesting ones.

6. Reuse the existing termbase

If the client haven’t sent you a termbase for the current, you can ask if there is one already. Or perhaps existing translation memories or even translations, if you’re revising a document.

Do you have any productivity tips that you want to share?

3 Great Freelance Translation Quotes

Do people understand what you do, when you say you’re working as a freelance translator?
  1. I don’t have a real job. I don’t have to work more than 20 hours a week and I make significantly more money than my accountant friend who works 60 hours a week – if he’s lucky.
    Given that, I’m ok with not having a real job.

    Lincoln Hui
    It’s all about helping people, and getting paid for doing so.
  2. In Japan, if you say I am a translator, everybody respect you because it’s kind of our dream job.

    Akiko Kawagoe
    What a great country for freelance translators!
  3. When we do our job properly, our reward is invisibility (and a decent cheque, of course). The fact that people don’t know/understand what we do is unintended praise on their part.

    Andy Watkinson
    My goal is that the reader will be able to question if there ever was another version of the document. I strive to make the translated text flow as easily as it would have done, had I written it in my native language in the first place.
Do you have other great quotes, that you want to share?

3 Lessons I Learned From Working as a Freelance Translator

“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
~ Albert Einstein

 

  1. There are some things that I know I don’t know. For example, I know there are plugins available for OmegaT, but, I don’t know how many, and I don’t know how to write one myself.
    There was also a time, where I only knew that CAT tools in general existed, and at that time I didn’t know that I didn’t know how many plugins were available for OmegaT, because I didn’t even know that OmegaT existed. I other words, I was completely blank on the subject.
    I have learned that it’s wise to go to a forum like for instance the forum on ProZ.com, and just listen to the people there who are experienced freelance translators, because they might be talking about changes to a plugin, for a CAT tool you didn’t know even existed. Then you know, that you don’t know something, which is actually better than not knowing what you don’t know.
  2. As much as we want to move along in our evolution as humans, we still carry a brain and a body with us, that haven’t changed as fast as technology has. You just sit in front of your computer as a freelance translator, and oh, sometimes you have to go eat, sleep, exercise, and nature, she’s just adorable, isn’t she?
    If someone needs a manual for a new blender, you really don’t need all these thing, they’re kind just in the way. You’re using your intellect for the job.
    I find it a bit weird, but for me it’s actually possible to satisfy some of the inherited needs by using a tool like Noisli.com. It’s like going for a virtual walk in nature, but I can work at the same time.
    Kinda cool – and kinda sick too.
  3. Interruptions seem harmless, perhaps even welcomed at times, but they are actually followed by a period of time where you’re trying to find out where you left off before you were interrupted. And, on top of that, if you know that there’s a risk of being interrupted, you spent much of your energy in alert mode, and not fully dedicated to the task at hand.
    It’s not always necessary to be interrupted by phone, email alerts, chats or people wanting to tell you something. If you work hard, you can allow yourself to play hard, but you’re not working hard when you’re constantly switching channels of incoming information without filters.
What have you learned, that could benefit others?

3 Essential Tools For Succeeding in Freelance Translation

Are you familiar with these tools for translators?
  1. The ProZ.com Invoice System

    Using this great tool on ProZ.com allows you to get started fast as a freelance translator. You get a certain number of free invoices to begin with, but as a ProZ.com member, you get an unlimited number of invoices. It includes templates, that you just have to fill out, which shows you what kind of information is needed on an invoice.
    There’s a whole system behind this tool, that helps you keep track of contacts, correspondence, dates and more.

    Click Here to Learn More About The ProZ.com Invoice System
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  2. memoQ

    This is a CAT tool that I have used for a couple of jobs. I like working in this tool, as there are many cool features built into it. It has a very nice editor, and many people are using it, so you can find help in many places. It supports a lot of different source formats, and I would say it’s probably in the top 5 of best CAT tools out there. And, there’s a free trial version, so you can check it out. You can borrow a license to the full version from some clients, when you’re working on their jobs.

    Click Here to Learn More About memoQ

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  3. Wikipedia

    We all know Wikipedia, but you can use it as a translator, by finding the article in the source language, and if you’re lucky, you can scroll down and look in the left side of the screen and find the target language.
    This is useful if there’s a term in the source language, that you don’t understand. It’s not a bulletproof way to look up terms, but Wikipedia often crosses the borders of languages this way, because the same article is published in multiple languages.
    If the article is not available in your target language, you might find something useful in a language, that is similar.

    Click Here to Learn More About Wikipedia

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What tools are you using, that are helping you produce results?

3 Excellent Websites For Translators

Have you seen these cool websites that you can use as a freelance translator?
  1. ThoughtsOnTranslation.com

    This is a blog for freelance translators, by Corinne McKay. She launched it in 2008, so you can read for a very long time before you get to the start. She even wrote a couple of books for translators, so you should be able to find some gold here.

    Click Here to Learn More About ThoughtsOnTranslation.com

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  2. JAZZRADIO.com

    I’ve found that jazz music, without words, helps me get into the zone, or flow. On this site there are 36 different channels, each with their own style. It’s funny, I didn’t listen to jazz before I started working as a freelance translator. And now, there’s no turning back.

    Click Here to Learn More About JAZZRADIO.com

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  3. DubLi.com

    On this site you can find shops that will give you cashback if you use their online shop. The account is free, and you can find travel agencies, computer stores and clothing, just to name a few.

    Click Here to Learn More About DubLi.com

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Do you know someone who could benefit from this list of websites?

How The Myers-Briggs Test Has Changed My Life

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.
~ Carl Jung

Drained

I used to be completely exhausted when I came home from work. I would go to all these meetings, that were very draining to me, with lots of people, and facts and arguments flying through the air. Decisions would be made based on the cold facts on the table, and weighing the different parameters against each other, like price, speed, quality etc. I would constantly be on my toes and in overdrive mode, because I didn’t feel at home in this work environment. Actually, the word ‘feel’ was given very little attention. It was almost an alien word or a scary word, that would have to be avoided.
Even the parties I used to go to would drain my energy. I was kinda like tossed around by the circumstances in my world, and that did cost me a lot of energy. It was just so much easier to turn on the TV at the end of the day, but that just presented even more circumstances that could throw me around.
Left with little energy to set a course, I would get nowhere. And why should I even go anywhere in my life? I was depressed.

Personality

Throughout the years I came across the concept of personality tests. It seemed unimportant to me, since people were divided on the subject, and because I didn’t really have any respect for something that couldn’t be measured in a way that was completely objective.
Here’s the thing: If you see something once, it might be a coincidence. When you see it twice, it may be weird. The third time – you listen. Somebody or something might be trying to tell you something. You owe it to yourself to check it out and form your own opinion.
The Myers-Briggs test brought me home in a way, to my self. With all the good stuff, and all the bad. Gradually I stopped pretending, that I was good at the bad stuff, and I realized, or remembered, that there were things I was actually good at.
I found out were I was, and that was the only way I could figure out a plan for getting to where I wanted to go. It’s like sitting in the car, waiting for the GPS to figure out, where you are, before it will spit out the route and the travel time.
Knowing where you are is not at all the same as staying where you are. It makes no sense. In fact, the opposite makes sense: Knowing where you are is the trigger, that will make you want to get moving – and leave you personality type behind.
For my part, I now have a great love-hate relationship, with my INFP personality.

Meaning

Today, my life is full of words and feelings and meaning. Yes, I know what it says, and yes, I know what you said – but what is the meaning behind it? This is the blessing and the curse of the INFP personality. Just like the 15 other personalities have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s easier for me to accept other people, because I know we’re just different, not right or wrong. I’m strong and you’re strong, but I’m also weak, and you’re also weak.
I’m able to use my strengths to help people, and it’s not embarrassing to ask for help with the things I’m not so good at. Remembering that there is something I’m good at, and actually doing it on a daily basis gives me a lot of energy, and that gives me strength to help even more people.

No matter what personality type you are, I believe everybody should have their own blog as their virtual home on the Internet, where they can share their story. A place that is yours.

3 Translation Tool Hacks That Can Help You Translate More Words

Do you want to know how I hacked my tools so that I can now get even more work done in the same amount of time (and earn more money?) Here are a few of my tricks:
  1. Google Machine Translation in OmegaT

    This is a big no-no with some clients, as they don’t want Google to know what they’re working on, which is perfectly understandable. After all, Google is another company, not God.
    If you’re working on material that is going to end up on Google anyway as soon as possible, then it can be a help to activate the machine translation within OmegaT, so that you’ll have a translation suggestion from Google displayed directly in the program.
    If you want you can go ahead and start OmegaT with this command:
    java -jar -Dgoogle.api.key=***** OmegaT.jar
    Replace ***** with your own Google key.

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  2. Add a Second Screen

    You can save time by adding an extra screen to your computer setup, so you don’t have to switch between programs all the time. Also, it saves you time because it’s easier to maintain an overview of your project, and if you do get lost in all those windows, it’s easier to get back on track because there’s more room on your virtual desktop.

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  3. Use a Remote Desktop Program

    I have two PC’s, that I use for translation work. The first is running Linux, and the second is running Windows. If you don’t want to have two corresponding screens on your desk, you can install a remote desktop program and choose which desktop you want to have displayed on your one physical screen. Just turn on both computers, and log on remotely on the one that doesn’t have a screen attached, using the one with the screen. You could even move the second computer to another room, if you wanted to free up more space.
    Having only one screen also saves electricity.

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Do you have any great hacks that you want to share?

2 Most Interesting Videos About Translation Tools

Are you using translation tools on your computer? Or do you prefer to rely entirely on your own brainpower for translation work?
  1. What’s Lost (And Found) In Machine Translation

    Machine translations requires human translations to feed off, which is why I don’t worry about machine translations. It cannot live on it’s own, it can only be a help to you.
  2. First steps with memoQ 2014 R2

    A nice and quick tutorial that gives you an overview of the work-flow in memoQ. The tool is available as a standalone version but it’s also possible to borrow a license from some agencies, when you are working on jobs for them.
Do you have any interesting videos that you want to share and discuss?

3 Remarkable Success Quotes

“Every thought we think is creating our future.”
Louise L. Hay
  1. Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.

    Dale Carnegie
    Your success is not determined by the things that happens to you, but instead by what you did to make them happen.
  2. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

    Zig Ziglar
    That is why it’s important to listen to people, who already have what you want, and get motivated by their results.
  3. The success combination in business is: Do what you do better… and: do more of what you do.

    David Joseph Schwartz
    If you don’t like fiddling with poor tools, then buy the best you can afford. Also, find an accountant who will take care of the financial tasks in your business, if you want to focus on translation work.
Do you have some great quotes that you want to share and discuss?

3 Lessons I Learned While Looking For Translation Jobs Online

Do you find it easy to dig up translation jobs on the Internet? Here are a few things I’ve learned about this process:

 

  1. This week I attended a free webinar presented by Maria Kopnitsky called “Meeting Clients at ProZ.com”, and it was packed with tips on how to find more jobs. One of the important points she made was, that the majority of the jobs on ProZ.com is NOT distributed through the job board, but instead through the directory.
    It actually makes sense, because I think clients can save a lot of time just picking a translator from the directory, instead of going through the hassle of creating job posts, answering emails, following up, answering questions, perhaps dealing with offended translators etc.
    So, if you have a ProZ.com profile, you would want it to shine. And I think that goes for every online translation workplace out there. I’ve seen lots of translator profiles, which are not even complete, so lots of work to do here.
  2. In an ideal free market you would have all sorts of translators and clients, making money in all kinds of ways. But who decides when a translation is good enough? Do they want speed, or quality? There are all kinds of requirements in a free market, so it all boils down to what kind of service you want to provide.
    Do you easily get bored with a text, and want a new one as fast as possible? Or do you prefer to really dig in and make sure every detail is covered in every possible way? Remember, you set your rate.
  3. China, oh China. Made in China. For a long time I’ve seen this as a negative label, and I have just automatically carried this belief over to my translation business.
    But lo, and behold, along comes a client from China, who wants to pay what I want, and with their first priority being quality. So in this case, if you want quality, and you’ve got the money to pay for it, then Made in China is the way to go.
Have you learned something valuable that you want to share with others?