When you translate/edit/review one assignment after the other, you don’t even realize just how many you do in a whole year. Now I did just that: I made a quick count of how many translation assignments I worked on in 2011.
In my regular folders I found 315 projects for a total of 22 clients. These jobs covered almost 50 brands, incuding Agfa, Burger King, Citi, Dymo, to name but a few from the beginning of the alphabet. Now, most of these were small repeat jobs, but a few do stand out.
In February I was asked to do a 15k French into Hungarian legal translation, which seemed a routine task at first, but when I actually received the source text, it turned out that it’s heavy on biochemistry. Luckily enough there’s a pharmacist in the family, so within a couple of days I was fully aware of cycloalkylenes, inferior alkylydenes and similar delights.
Most of April saw me busy with another challenging project, this time in the field of lean management. In this case the terminology did not pose a major problem (a “kaizen” is a “kaizen”, after all). The source file was a large Excel file with 11 tabs. The challenge lay in finding a smart way to extract translatable text, process it in my CAT tool (which was still my long-lasting companion, Deja Vu X), then export the translated text, and finally make sure that everything looks exactly the same as in the source.
In mid-July I found a couple of slower days, and this proved to be the right moment to switch to a new CAT tool, MemoQ. Even though I prurchased the software back in April, I hadn’t had the time to learn it on a new project until July. It was an instant love, and I’m using it ever since, learning new functionalities as deemed necessary by upcoming projects.
In September I was busy working for a Canadian direct client that produces smart payment cards. Once again, the source file was an Excel file, and a rather complex one at that. Here all the cells included untranslatable codes, so I had to find ways to strip cell content into translatable strings of text. I had to rely heavily on Excel’s text functions. For some tabs, I had to export Excel content into Word where I had to record a few simple macros to get rid of untranslatable characters. Obviously I could’t simply delete unwanted characters, I had to hide them instead. When the entire process was over, I had to unhide everything so that the final delivered documents includes all these garbled looking code again.
The next interesting job I did in November, when I was selected as a “second reviewer” for this challenging task. The source text consisted of several individual “passages” and 3 to 6 related statements for each passage. The purpose of the text was to evaluate the reader’s level of comprehension. After reading the passage, the reader is supposed to the read the statements and decide whether they are true, false or “cannot say”. A translator translated all text first, then two separate translators created back-translations into English (one native English, one native Hungarian). The end client then came back with some questions regarding any mistranslations. My task was to compare all these texts (original source, first translation, both back-translations, client’s comments) and come up with a final and perfect localized version. It was a fun project and a great intellectual challenge 🙂
Apart from these, I did my routine repeat jobs for long-standing clients: manuals for medical imaging equipment, smart teaching techology, and many more; codes of conduct, training materials, web copies, ad campaigns, corporate communication campaigns, etc.
The new year starts off with another busy period. As of today, my capacities are fully booked until mid-January. Bear with me if you can’t see any new blog posts: it means I’m busy translating.