tonybaldwin | blog

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Posts Tagged ‘translator

How NOT to apply to Baldwin Linguas

with 3 comments

I get a lot of letters like this:

Dear Sirs/To whom it concerns:

I am a native (Language X) speaker. I am available for any potential project you have.
My resume is attached.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.

(name).

These letters are NOT effective.
I delete lots of them, sadly.
As I also do for those who give me a rambling, 3 page life story, but include little of relevance.
Even worse are those who send HTML formatted mail, with flashing images, and about 5 gigabytes of attachments.
I always make certain to report those as SPAM.

On the whole, I rather enjoy “meeting” new providers, colleagues in the field (as I am a translator). I particularly enjoy the various consummate professionals with whom I already work. They are intelligent, fascinating people. Their letters of application reflected those qualities. They were concise, but thorough enough to capture my attention. The letter itself must get my attention. I won’t open an attachment if the letter doesn’t give me a reason to do so. On the whole, I’d rather not receive attachments, anyway. I´d much rather receive a link to your proz profile (be sure it is complete and up to date). They also took the time to see if their language pairs and/or expertise meet my currently expressed needs. (ie., if I have announced I am seeking translators working ONLY in EN, FR, PT, and ES, why do you write me telling me you work in Pali, Lithuanian or Navajo?)

What I really want to see in a letter of application is more like:

Prezado Sr. Baldwin,

I am an experienced translator of Language X & Y to Language Z.
I have experience in the translation of documents pertaining to (area of expertise), having worked for Company H…I have provided interpretation for jkl…
[ie. insert a brief description of experience.]
I acquired a BA in (field, ie. electrical engineering and/or language X, translation, etc.) at University de Fulano Tal in Cidade Bela in 1992, going on to complete a MA in Translation Studies at Cerebro College…
[ie., a brief description of academic background.]

I work with Openoffice.org, Omega T and other open source tools, having the capacity to work with all major MSOffice document formats, .pdf, and .html files. [ie., description of technological capacity.]

My rates for translation are US$0.xx/word, and I can translate a volume of n words per day.
I accept payment via paypal/moneybookers (very key to Baldwin Linguas).

You may learn more about me and my services on my proz profile (insert link).
I look forward to working with you.
Thank you for your time.

Atenciosamente,
Name

Ie. Get my attention; tell me what I need to know; and tell me no more.

(originall posted here, on the Proz.com forums (thread contains additional commentary and discussion).

The best means of applying, of course, would be to read our website, find the appropriate link thereon for application, and following the instructions therein. It’s always best to familiarize yourself with a company before applying to work with them.

Tony

Written by tonybaldwin

September 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

Tux Trans: Linux for Translators released today!

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This morning I awoke to find announcement in my inbox of the release of Tux Trans, a gnu/linux distribution, based on Ubuntu Linux.

TuxTrans - gnu/linux for translators

Tuxtrans includes all of the software any professional needs for their usual office and communications needs, including web browsers, e-mail clients, VoIP and chat, the fully featured OpenOffice office suite (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.), tools for multimedia, pdf file manipulation, creation, and other desktop publication tools, plus additional programs specifically useful to translators, including CAT (Computer Aided Translation) software, text aligment tools, software localization, tools, even video subtitling tools, such as:

With these tools, any professional translator is fully equipped to conquer the industry. Seriously.
The underlying system, Ubuntu gnu/Linux, of course, is a solid, fully featured, and very popular gnu/linux distrubtion (I have Ubuntu on my laptop and my netbook, but Debian on my desktops).
Tuxtrans can be tried without affecting your current system, being a LiveCD distrubtion (it can run from a CDRom, without being installed to or effecting your hard drive, while, installation is, of course, an option once you’ve tried it).

Kudos to Peter Sandrini for putting this all together!

Written by tonybaldwin

May 5, 2010 at 4:06 am

Yes! You, too, can use Free Software and Succeed as a Freelance Translator

with 5 comments

This past weekend new versions were released of two Free software programs very important for translators, OmegaT, CAT program (Computer Aided Translation), and Anaphraseus, another CAT program, both Free (as in speech) and free (as in beer).

OmegaT, developed in Java, is the CAT program is most used by translators in the Free Software community, and has been used in translation and localization of other important Free Software projects such as OpenOffice.org, the complete, Free, office suite. It is rather distinct from other CAT programs, broadly useful, with ample functions and the ability to deal with a wide variety of files formats, including all those most common to the translation industry, such as all MSOffice® file formats, various software localization formats, and, of course, all Open Document Format files. In addition, OmegaT works with the standard translation memory format, TMX (Translation Memory eXchange).

Anaphraseus CAT works similarly to another, proprietary CAT program, Wordfast®, in its earlier incarnations, but as a macro in OpenOffice.org, not with MSOffice®, as does Wordfast. Anaphraseus developed in StarBasic, is important because it allows translators who are users of free software to provide their customers “unclean” .doc or .rtf files, a bilingual word processing file (containing both, the source and target languages), widely used in the translation industry. With both these tools, translators using only free software are able to compete with those who work with proprietary products that dominate the industry. Both programs are cross-platform, able to run in GNU/Linux, Mac or Windows.

I announced the release of these new versions over the past several days, but today, I’m taking the time to elaborate again on these release, because I believe these programs are extremely important. I’ve already discussed why I believe open document formats are important at some length, but it is a topic I am likely to revisit, and my original article touching on the matter is, as I see it, a work in progress. I’m certain I will continue to revise and update that article and repost it from time to time. Why freedom of information and open standards are important in my industry, translation, should, as I see it, require little explanation.

Now, my industry, translation, like so many others, is dominated by the use of propietary software tools, such as Trados® and Wordfast@, and inundated with the widespread use of MSOffice®. That’s no surprise and no secret. Many translators, in fact, believe that you simply can’t work successfully in our industry without MSOffice® and Trados® or Wordfast®, and I’m living proof that the notion is completely erroneous. I’ve been working as a freelance translator now for half a decade, and using only Free Software on my computers for a full decade, and my family eats three square meals a day. My three most used programs are the above mentioned, OmegaT, Anaphraseus, and OpenOffice.org (the 4th being a web browser, for research and to communicate with clients, providers, etc., and fifth being mocp to listen to music while I work. Seriously. But that’s a matter for another article). I work for private clients, government agencies, school systems, and large translation warehouse agencies, the vast majority of whom use the popular proprietary products mentioned above. I’ve never had any difficulty due to lack of compatibility, and have always been able to deliver the product that my clients have demanded of me. Furthermore, it is my belief that I can do so more efficiently using the Free Software I use, especially since I use them with a GNU/Linux operating system. My system is secure, stable, and efficient. It uses fewer resources than popular proprietary operating systems, doesn’t fall prey to the hordes of viruses and attacks to which those other systems are so easily and frequently prey, has never crashed on me (seriously, not once), and is far more customizable and configurable, allowing me to set it up in the way that is more “ergonomic” and efficient for me, allowing me to work as efficiently as possible. I save time, not having to deal with AV software updates, fixing crashes, removing intrusions, etc. Heck, I never even have to reboot the darned thing. Another factor, and, in my opinion, this is probably the least important, but often the most touted in some circles, is that none of my software has cost me a penny. Seriously. I have powerful CAT tools and office tools for my translation work, all the web communication tools needed (e-mail, chat, voip), tools for managing the financial back end (some day I should write an article on gnucash), powerful image manipulation software (sometimes I edit images for clients), essentially, everything I need for my work. (I also have all the toys, games, multimedia software, etc., I could possibly ever not need to distract me when I should be working…).

A common proprietary operating system, cat program, and office suite, alone, would cost me in the neighborhood of US$1500.00. Proprietary image manipulation software would easily tack on another $700, and, let’s not forget that I’d have to pay for security tools to protect all my data, with regular AV updates, etc. I could easily spend US$3000.00 or more for the software I would need to do the work that I do, were I to use proprietary software tools. So, I’m not only more efficient in terms of time/energy waste maintaining my machine (able to focus more on work than maintenance…except when I’m blogging or facebooking), I’m also more efficient in terms of expenditure of financial resources, which enables me to pass the savings on to my clients, making, in fact, more competitive than my colleagues who use proprietary software tools.

Now, do I use Free (as in speech) Software just because it’s free as in beer)?
No. For me, the issues of freedom of information and open file format standards, and the freedom to control my own computer (not be licensed to use a product over which I have little control, and in a fashion that gives its creators rights over the software on MY machine) are FAR more important to me than price. In addition, the added efficiency and configurability I have with the Free Software I use are convenient and agree with me immensely. Nonetheless, I do feel that it’s worth mentioning the added financial advantage these tools bring.
With that, I will get back to work translating these Brazilian articles, and bid you good day.

./tony

Written by tonybaldwin

February 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

Anaphraseus 2.01 released!

with one comment

The release of Anaphraseus 2.0 was announced today.
Anaphraseus | Get Anaphraseus at SourceForge.net.

According to lead developer, Ole Yansen:

The main advantage of Anaphraseus 2.01 is implementation of UTF-8 text encoding for TM, glossaries and TMX.
Also there was text format preservation with the system clipboard, but not all functionality was checked with it.
So, now, we can use rich text with formatting, formulas, pictures etc.
In next release we’re planning to add keyboard configurator, color picker, cleanup with filling of TM.
Also we’ll check functionality with format preservation (It doesn’t work with the glossary, for example).

Written by tonybaldwin

February 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Linguas OS 2.0 – Coming Soon to a computer in YOUR neighborhood!

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I have been working on making new LinguasOS isos.
Synaptic/apt is giving me woes, though.
I’m trying to update all the packages before remastering the system, and, as is often the case with PCLinuxOS, for reasons unknown to me, it is having trouble fetching packages from some repos.
I hate that.
Usually if I keep trying, eventually I get everything.
As soon as I have everything, I will remaster.
But, Most of it is already updated, including some package line-up changes:
Added Esperantilo
Removed xfmedia
Added gxine and xmms
Added TclUP and TclScreen
(not that either has much to do with translation, but an FTP tools is quite frequently useful.)
Updated the other applications I wrote, such as TickleDict,
TickleText
and TransProCalc.
Added slock.
Removed ActiveState’s Tcl8.5, and installed regular old tlc8.5,
since, to be for sure, I should not be redistributing ActiveState’s package.
Added new wallpapers and fluxbox themes…very important…
Basically, it will have nearly everything I’ve recently done to my laptop, although, I am building
it on my experimental box, as before. (Laptop has Last.fm client, and a few other things I am
not adding to the iso, but, otherwise…)
One thing I am still pondering is whether to remove the OmegaT
from PCLinuxOS repos, which is 1.7.2, and install OmegaT 1.8.0.
1.8.0 is a huge improvement, and that’s all I’m using, but, I consider
that it is useful to have the apt-able program there.
I don’t know.
I have considered attempting to build an apt repo at linguasos.org
just for packages I write, and a few other things not available in the PCLinuxOS repos (such as bitext2tmx and esperantilo), and things they don’t keep up with (OmegaT)…That may prove difficult, however, since
I can’t get a shell on the server…
But if I can figure out a way around that, I could add said repo
to the apt repos list in Linguas OS and simplify keeping my packages
up to date, and some of these other matters.
I am considering moving my hosting, too.
I paid for a whole year on the server where linguasos.org is now, but,
I think once that’s up, I will seek hosting where I can get a shell.
I’ve found hosts that offer even more bandwidth and space for comparable, if not better, prices.

In other news, TclScreen is now up at both freshmeat and sourceforge.
It was just approved at SF this morning, however, so, I have done nothing to set it up there, yet.

Written by tonybaldwin

August 26, 2008 at 10:36 am

OmegaT splash screen

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OmegaT splash screen
OmegaT splash screen

splash screen I made for OmegaT
a free, cross-platform, FOSS Computer Aided Translation program.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm