Mikhail Yashchuk

15 years in Russian translations

Translation • Transcreation • Editing • Quality assurance • Vendor testing

Belarusian Notary Chamber sworn translator

American Translators Association-Slavic Languages Division group manager


2,173 followers | 500+ connections

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Hi. I’m Mikhail.
Visit my LinkedIn page to connect, chat, and see my certificates and more posts.

My tips and a step-by-step QA procedure

✅Built-in CAT tool QA:
Most computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools (e.g., Trados Studio or memoQ) offer built-in QA functionality. Enable the relevant options in the CAT tool menus and run QA.

✅Export to Word and use Word’s proofing features:
If your CAT tool allows it, export the translation to Microsoft Word. Press F7 to check for additional mistakes that the CAT tool may have missed. Ensure that Word’s proofing options (grammar, repeated words, uppercase words, etc.) are activated.

✅Standalone QA tools:
Use standalone QA tools for comprehensive checks. Xbench, Verifika, and QA Distiller are some of the oldest and most popular ones.
QA Distiller is completely free, Xbench has a free limited-functionality version, and Verifika (my personal favorite) has a fully functional free web version, provides language-dependent checks, and covers numerous mistake categories. Take the time to configure Verifika with the options you need—it’s worth the effort.

✅Double-check and run QA again:
Correct any mistakes the tool found and run another round of QA to catch any overlooked errors or newly introduced mistakes.

✅Use multiple QA tools:
If you’re doing a test translation or working on a particularly important project, consider running QA using multiple tools. It’s better to spend time reviewing false positives than to miss an embarrassing error.

✅Impress the client:
Go the extra mile by exporting a final QA report containing only false positives. Demonstrating your commitment to quality will leave a positive impression.

Let no mistakes slip through into your translations!


This is the last of my three-article series published on the American Translators Association’s Slavic Languages Division blog. All the articles can be found at https://www.ata-divisions.org/SLD/blog/

Navigating Translation Tests: Tips for Success

As a former boutique agency owner, I was responsible for linguist selection for 15 years. That meant that part of my routine was checking test translations. Here are some tips I can give test-takers.

✅Before taking a test, agree on rates, payment methods and other terms with the client.

You don’t want to pass a test only to find out the client can only pay you half of your regular rates, 90 days after the invoice, or using a payment method you can’t accept.

✅Leave comments if you want to clarify anything or support your linguistic choices.

Not all tests are ideal—some have ambiguities, some are out of context, some have inconsistent terms and some even contain mistakes.

Don’t be afraid to ask the client to clarify certain things. Asking relevant questions doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. On the contrary, it shows that you are attentive to detail and don’t translate blindly.

Linguistic choices can be very subjective; there are usually many correct ways of saying the same thing in the target language. So, if you think your choice of a word or term is not obvious and might be considered a mistake, leave a comment for the reviewer. Your reasoning, supported by a link to an acknowledged website or an industry standard, will be appreciated by the reviewer.

✅Use correct quotation marks (e.g. «» for Russian).

Whether you translate your test piece using Microsoft Word, a CAT tool or an online environment that may not directly support all punctuation, make sure you use correct quotes.

You can use keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Alt+0171 and Alt+0187), tick Replace straight quotes with smart quotes in Trados or simply copy and paste correct quotation marks into the translation.

✅Use a spell checker and make sure the UPPERCASE option is turned on.

Make sure the spell checker is turned on and all relevant options are ticked. If you work in Chrome, choose Enhanced spell check in Settings-Languages so that Chrome shows your mistakes in words in uppercase.

✅If you work in a CAT tool, run automated quality assurance (QA) in Xbench, Verifika, etc.

The test translation must be spot-on, so it may be a good idea to use as many QA tools as possible, because not all of them are able to find the same types of mistakes. While such tools often produce lots of false positives, it’s better to spend time checking them than to miss an embarrassing error.

✅Check your text several times.

If time permits, leave the translated piece aside, then come back and check it against the source for meaning. Then leave it aside again and check it later without looking at the source, correcting typos, punctuation, grammar and style. Repeat the last step at least twice.

✅Rephrase sentences that don’t sound natural.

If a sentence is correct in meaning but sounds awkward, try to change it—split a long sentence into two, merge two short sentences into one, use a verb instead of a verbal noun, change word order, etc.

✅Check the translation for double spaces.

Run this check (by pressing CTRL+F and typing 2 spaces) several times to find all double and triple spaces and be careful with extra or missing spaces around tags—sometimes they need to be searched for manually.

❌Don’t use hyphens (-) instead of n-dashes (–) and m-dashes (—).

Know the rules for your language (compound words, minus signs, number ranges, complex sentences, etc.) and use the correct dashes, even if the tool you work in doesn’t directly support them.

❌Don’t blindly copy source grammar structures.

That’s what Google Translate is for 😊. Human translations need to sound natural, and that often entails changing the original grammar and word order.

❌Don’t try to hand in the test ASAP.

I came across an agency once that required completing test translations within 30 minutes. But most clients expect quality and not speed, so take your time to provide your best translation ever, since there may not be a second chance.

❌Above all, don’t take a test in a domain of which you have no knowledge.

This is the last tip, but it should probably be the first on the list.

Good luck with passing your tests and finding good clients!


This is the second in a series of posts on translation quality. The first post can be found here, and the third and last, on ensuring quality by using QA tools, here.

Keeping your customers happy...

Recently, I worked on a project and part of it was the translation of SMS messages. I translated them as short as possible, but they still were over the limit.

The challenge with SMS messages lies in the varying limits: 160 characters for Latin letters and only 70 for Cyrillic.

When a Russian SMS exceeds 70 characters, the recipient will still receive it, but the sender incurs the cost of multiple SMS messages. For large-scale campaigns with thousands of recipients, these costs can add up significantly.


The client didn’t specify any character count restrictions. However, I noticed that all the English SMS messages remained within the standard 160-character limit. So, I informed the client accordingly.

Tip: Try to go the extra mile for your clients if you are happy working with them and want to keep them.

My first article has been approved by the American Translators Association
It is now published on the Slavic Languages Division blog at https://www.ata-divisions.org/SLD/tips-for-self-checking-your-translations/

A huge thank you to an ATA-certified Russian-English translator and a former Slavic Languages Division administrator, Eugenia Tietz-Sokolskaya, for editing my publication to make it sound more English!

This is the first in a series of posts on translation quality. Stay tuned for more on ensuring quality when doing translation tests and using QA tools.

 

💡How to avoid false terminology mistakes in QA reports

A glossary helps to achieve consistency, but it can be a nightmare when you have to check dozens of false positives in the QA report.

This happens when the glossary only includes terms in their base form (singular number, masculine gender, nominative case, infinitive, etc.) without considering all the possible forms the target term may have.


What can you do❓


Before importing the glossary into a QA tool, remove word endings so that the core part of the term covers all its variations.
This approach is particularly useful for small glossaries and large translation files.

Russian
исполнитель > исполнител
третейский > третейск
ходатайствовать > ходатайствов

American Translators Association Slavic Languages Division meetup

We had a great American Translators Association Slavic Languages Division meetup yesterday. It was pleasant to see both familiar and new faces.


We covered various topics, including strategies for finding direct clients, effective email marketing, and my personal favorite, the Apollo.io website.


We discussed deciphering Russian handwriting and advocating for the rights of translators and interpreters. We delved into modern slang used by teenagers, despite the fact that all attendees were well past their teenage years 😁. And, of course, we explored AI.


I even learned 2 new words: 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩 (short for interpreter) and 𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫 (short for translator). Have you seen these terms used before?


❗️Lastly, the Slavic Languages Division is actively seeking a new editor for our SlavFile newsletter, which is published a few times a year. If you’re interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please let me know.


Apologies for not taking a photo at the beginning of the conference when more people were present.

💡Did you know you can open a Trados package directly on your phone?
Last Saturday, I received an email from an old client. They hadn’t sent me any projects for several months, so I wanted to reply promptly. Since I don’t usually receive requests on weekends, I didn’t have my PC with me that day.

The client sent a source PDF document and a Trados package. I wondered what the detailed word count was, but they didn’t provide a separate Excel sheet with the word count.

So, I simply clicked the Trados package on my phone, and it opened as if it was a regular zip file. I was then able to access the Reports folder and the XML file to view the figures I was interested in.

Some agencies are reluctant to provide formal references to translators
And sometimes translators are not comfortable asking for them.

 

In this case, it would be a good idea to check your profile on the agency’s translation platform to see if there’s a summary of completed projects, ratings, etc.

 

Remember, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words

 

Have you seen 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 movie?
Nine translators are hired to work on the eagerly-awaited final book of a bestselling trilogy. These translators are confined in a luxurious bunker to ensure data security. However, when the first ten pages of the top-secret manuscript appear online, their dream job turns into a nightmare.


What I liked is that the scriptwriter is familiar with the translation industry.
Here are some quotes:
💬I thought translators worked from home. That’s why I married you.
💬Why did you give us only the first 20 pages? Where is the entire context?
💬You won’t be able to translate more than 20 pages per day, anyway.
💬Are your translations edited?
💬Why can’t we use the Internet? – You can find all you need in the library.

⚖️ I am now officially a sworn translator
My translations can be certified by a notary, thereby becoming legally recognized by authorities.


I started my translation journey back in 2008, but decided to apply to the Belarusian Notary Chamber to become a sworn translator only now.


I submitted my English and Law diplomas, proof of translation jobs, a letter from tax authorities, an application form, and some other documents. I thought it would be enough to be immediately certified, but I had to wait until a monthly meeting of the commission of public notaries.


The commission analyzed my application and even closely studied my university grades. I was a little anxious about my C grade in English literature, as I didn’t enjoy reading Shakespeare when I was a student 😁.
However, they didn’t care and seemed more interested in my Law diploma with distinction and 15+ years of translation experience.

Non-natives teach how to translate into English 😱

I’ve examined the websites of 3 different Russian companies that offer professional courses for translators. The companies have been in business for years and employ language experts.

What struck me is that they offer such courses as:
·      Legal translations from Russian into English
·      Sports Translations (RU-EN)
·      Medical translation and editing (Ru-En)
·      Scientific translation from Russian into English

The course instructors are native Russian linguists who live in Russia, not in an English-speaking country.
It’s understandable for non-natives to teach beginners, but these courses are specifically designed for experienced translators.

Another problem is that, unlike ATA and ITI, both the 𝐑𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 and Russia’s 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 seem to be totally OK with their members translating into non-native languages. They even give recommendations on how to translate into English in a document titled “Translation. Recommendations for translators and clients”.

Is it OK to translate into your non-native language❓

I do translate into English, but rather rarely, and only when my clients ask me to.
In this case I say my English level is C2 Proficient but it’s not even close to that of native speakers, therefore, my English translations may contain errors and lack fluency.

Recently, I read a translation by a Russian person and stumbled upon “The planned number of users”. It looked like an awkward word-for-word translation to me, so I had to search the internet. It turned out I was wrong and the phrase is idiomatic in English (please correct me if I’m wrong).
 
So, the opposite must be true too—when I read an English text, I can miss a phrase that would sound awkward to a native speaker. So, translating into your native language only makes perfect sense.

✅Here is what ATA and ITI have to say.
 
𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧:
“Professional translators work into their native language. If you want your catalog translated into German and Russian, the work will be done by a native German speaker and a native Russian speaker. Native English speakers translate from foreign languages into English.”
 
𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 & 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠:
“Members shall translate only into a language which is either (i) their mother tongue or language of habitual use, or (ii) one in which they have satisfied the Institute that they have equal competence.”

Editor wanted + some bragging 🙂

I have been in the translation industry since 2008 and joined the American Translators Association (ATA) in 2018.
 
Today, I found out that my humble contribution was mentioned by Eugenia Tietz-Sokolskaya, the Slavic Languages Division (SLD) administrator, in the Winter 2023 edition of SlavFile.

In the meantime, we are looking for a new editor for our quarterly SlavFile newsletter.
If you can be that person or know someone, let me know.

💎Don’t type the same text again.

No, I’m not talking about TMs or CAT tools.

I often have to type the same text when I give translation quotes, send completed jobs, issue invoices, ask queries, explain my workflow, etc.

There are lots of great text expansion tools out there, but I don’t like having too many programs running on my PC.

Since I already use Microsoft’s AutoHotkey that automatically opens dictionary websites with the highlighted word (please see my previous post), I decided to add several lines to my existing script.

For example, you can add these scripts and the tool will turn seninv or sendq to a long text.

::𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘷::𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴. 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦. 𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘺!
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯
 
::𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘲::𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘲𝘶𝘰𝘵𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘴 $𝘟𝘟𝘟. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬, 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘺𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘘𝘈 𝘣𝘺 𝘝𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘬𝘢, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘢𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘣𝘺 𝘖𝘳𝘧𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘬𝘢. 𝘐𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘟𝘟 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯

You can even use text expansion when translating.

If you have to use the same long word combination in your target language over and over again, it would make sense to create a short script.
You would need to type GD and AutoHotkey will turn it into Общий регламент защиты персональных данных (GDPR). When the translation project is over, just delete the script that you don’t need anymore.

::𝘎𝘋::Общий регламент защиты персональных данных (𝘎𝘋𝘗𝘙)
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯

The text expansion feature works in CAT tools, Microsoft Office, Outlook, Gmail, Chrome, and any other programs. Please see my previous post for details.

💎This free tool saves lots of time and reduces wrist strain

What are the most frequent and tiring operations you do when translating? For me, it’s searching on Google and using online dictionaries.

Until recently, I copied the word or word combination in question in the CAT tool, opened my browser, typed in a web address, pasted the copied text and clicked the Search button. This is time consuming and involves lots of clicks and mouse movements that is not very good for your wrist.

I thought there should be a way to automate this. I started searching and came across Microsoft’s AutoHotkey. It’s small, extremely powerful, and free.

I can’t write code from scratch, but I can do some basic editing, so I used the code made by Zack Webster and tweaked it to my liking.

Now, all I need is highlight a word or phrase and press a keyboard combination.
CTRL+G opens Google
CTRL+M opens the Multitran dictionary
CTRL+T opens the Academic dictionary (CTRL+A would make sense here, but this is a standard shortcut for SELECT ALL, so I used another one)

✅The shortcuts work in CAT tools, Microsoft Office, Acrobat, Chrome, etc. and you can use your own keyboard combinations that you can easily remember.

You can download the tool (please use version 1), original script, and instructions at https://github.com/zaxwebs/google-it. Don’t forget to add the script to Startup so it loads each time you turn on your PC.

 

And this is my script.
^𝘮::
𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥,^𝘤
𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 150
𝘶𝘳𝘭 := “𝘩𝘵𝘵𝘱𝘴://𝘸𝘸𝘸.𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯.𝘤𝘰𝘮/𝘮.𝘦𝘹𝘦?𝘭𝘭1=1&𝘭𝘭2=2&𝘴=” . 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦(𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥, 𝘈_𝘚𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦, “+”) . “&𝘭1=1&𝘭2=2”
𝘙𝘶𝘯, %𝘶𝘳𝘭%
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯

^𝘨::
𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥,^𝘤
𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 150
𝘶𝘳𝘭 := “𝘩𝘵𝘵𝘱𝘴://𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘨𝘭𝘦.𝘤𝘰𝘮/𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩?𝘲=” . 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦(𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥, 𝘈_𝘚𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦, “+”)
𝘙𝘶𝘯, %𝘶𝘳𝘭%
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯

^𝘢::
𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥,^𝘤
𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 150
𝘶𝘳𝘭 := “𝘩𝘵𝘵𝘱𝘴://𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦.𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘤.𝘳𝘶/” . 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦(𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥, 𝘈_𝘚𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦, “+”) . “/𝘦𝘯/𝘳𝘶”
𝘙𝘶𝘯, %𝘶𝘳𝘭%
𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯

AI will replace you sooner if you…

·      Don’t specialize
·      Don’t take into account the target audience and purpose of the text
·      Don’t raise queries
·      Don’t tell the client about mistakes in the source
·      Translate word-for-word
·      Don’t use QA tools
·      Don’t use separate tools for checking grammar, punctuation, etc.
·      Don’t invest in continuous professional development
·      Don’t provide value to the client
·      Translate into a language in which you are not native
·      Don’t ask for feedback
·      Don’t talk to the client and don’t know what matters to them most
·      Rush to hand in your translation without taking time to check it carefully
·      Ignore opportunities AI brings 💎

Test translation tips

I have been checking test translations for years. Here are some tips I can give:

✅Leave comments if you want to clarify anything or support your linguistic choices
✅Use correct quotation signs (e.g. «» for Russian)
✅Use a spell checker and make sure the UPPERCASE option is turned on
✅If you work in a CAT tool, run QA in Xbench, Verifika, etc.
✅Check your text several times
✅Rephrase sentences that don’t sound natural
✅Check the translation for double spaces

❌Don’t use hyphens (-) instead of n-dashes (–) and m-dashes (—)
❌Don’t blindly copy source grammar structures
❌Don’t try to hand in the test ASAP
❌Above all, don’t take a test in a domain of which you have no knowledge

Do you use Microsoft's Copilot❓

I devoted early January to Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

I took 3 short courses ✅

Two were theoretical, focusing on the fundamentals of large language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s PaLM 2. We explored transformers, tokens, context windows, and more.

The third one was more practical – we experimented with various prompts for idea generation, term extraction and text editing and rewriting for different purposes.
Ekaterina Chashnikova focused on ChatGPT and Bard, but I went for Microsoft Copilot that is now part of Windows 11. It is based on the most powerful GPT-4 engine and is free to all Windows users.

Learning new languages can be easy. Sometimes.
Not many people, not even my friends, are aware that I know 6 languages.

I’m happy I effortlessly absorb languages—courtesy of my parents. It allows me to take a laid-back approach, sparing me from the traditional struggle of learning.

Here are my languages:

1. Russian – my first native language that was spoken in my family

2. Belarusian – my second native language. I learnt it when my family came back to Belarus when I was at the 6th grade.

3. Polish – another Slavic language. I picked it up by watching TV first and speaking with Poles later. At first, it was like Chinese to me 😁—I understood nothing. Now I fully understand spoken and written Polish and can talk, but have some difficulty with writing.

4. Ukrainian – it was easy to learn it (by watching TV again) when you know 3 other Slavic languages. I didn’t have a chance to speak the language, but understand 99% of it.

5. German – my supervisor spoke it with our German partners when I worked for a transportation company. I listened to him and gradually started understanding and speaking on regular transportation or very basic daily topics with my colleagues from Germany.

6. English – the only foreign language I formally studied at school and university.

✏️An alternative to using Track changes
I did an editing job and the client asked why I made no corrections. I did, but the client couldn’t see them because I didn’t use track changes.

Track changes have their pros and cons.

✅Pros:
-The client can 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐣𝐨𝐛 and not just returned an unedited file

-The 𝐧𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬 is visible

-The 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐬 can be seen (punctuation, spelling, complete retranslation, etc.)

-The original translator can 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭/𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 each change

❌Cons:
-The original (crossed out) and edited (inserted) letters, words, punctuation signs, spaces and symbols 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐱𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐩 especially when you have to make many edits

-It may result in double spaces/lack of spaces, typos, punctuation 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬, because you can’t clearly predict the final version when the edits are accepted

-If imported improperly, 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐠𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 containing both crossed out and inserted symbols can be brought to the TM

💎Best practice for me:
I don’t use track changes, but send the client a list of corrections. You can use Word’s 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦 feature or a stand-alone software like 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐫 (the link is in the Comments below). You can even add comments to the Excel table, if needed.

💎Free but powerful translation quality assurance tool
I’ve been using Verifika for several years now and just found out they offer a free web version of the tool. It has tons of customizable options and it even checks grammar. 

https://beta.e-verifika.com/

English proficiency certificate

Believe it or not, but I am 43 and I’ve never taken an English proficiency test before.

I was a little embarrassed when my godson asked me what my English level was yesterday and I didn’t know what to say, so I decided to give it a try.

www.efset.org/cert/3JGVfL

💎Do you happen to work in a web-based CAT tool that has no dedicated spell check?

Turning on Chrome’s spell check is a must but is not enough, because Chrome ignores words in ALL CAPS.

You may want to go to Settings-Languages-Spell check and turn on Enhanced spell check.

Note: The text you type will be sent to Google, so make sure there are no confidentiality or NDA issues.

American Translators Association Member Card

💡 An easy tip to evaluate quality if you don’t speak the target language

Go to Google Translate and back-translate the translation to the source language.

If the output closely resembles the original text, it’s likely that the translator simply translated words rather than conveying the intended meaning.

On the other hand, if the output differs from the original in terms of word choice and sentence structure (while still conveying the original message), it may be a good sign that the translator made an effort to understand the meaning of the original text and provide an idiomatic translation.

Here’s an example.

SOURCE: Compact and portable, ready to use in just two simple steps

❌TRANSLATION A: Компактный и портативный, готов к использованию за два простых действия
BACKTRANSLATION A: Compact and portable, ready to use in two easy steps

✅TRANSLATION B: Легко переносить, занимает мало места, устанавливается за считанные секунды
BACKTRANSLATION B: Easy to carry, takes up little space, installs in seconds

The tip may not be applicable to every language pair and domain, but for 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐥𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐜 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 (Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian) in marketing context it often works like magic.

💎We had an awesome time at the American Translators Association’s 𝘚𝘭𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘤 𝘓𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘋𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 meetup yesterday!
Since there weren’t too many people present, everyone had a chance to share their thoughts.

We talked about the amazing possibilities of 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐆𝐏𝐓 and large language models, such as improving the quality of source text, contextualizing it, and even assessing and correcting machine translations (𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭-𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠). However, we also acknowledged limitations, like hallucinations and privacy concerns.

We also shared some 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐚𝐝 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 as linguists and talked about interpreters’ and translators’ work in 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.

We even briefly touched on 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐫𝐲! 😮

P.S. If you work with Slavic languages, check this link for some useful free resources. http://www.ata-divisions.org/SLD/

Want to know how long a company has been operating? Try this quick tip 💡

When you want to work with a new company, an important thing to consider is how long the company has been in business.

Here’s how you can do it:
1. Visit the Wayback Machine website (web.archive.org).
2. Enter the company’s URL address.
3. The first available date will give you an idea of when the website was first created.
 
You can even click on different dates to see what the website looked like in the past.

Here’s an archive of my company’s website. It starts with 2010 because we used a different domain name in 2008 and 2009.

Yesterday, a strange email came in.

It had all possible red flags I can think of.

– weird subject line
– typos
– numerous recipients
– different translator’s names (𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐚 and 𝐌𝐢𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐚)
– date
– “freelance 4translator”
– reference to “this listing”

I’m not sure you will read this, but just in case 😁
Dear Marina or Mirona, please avoid sending such emails in future.

Sometimes numbers need to be translated too

When I attended school in the USSR, we were taught that there were two types of numbers: Arabic (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) and Roman (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X).

I was confident there were no other types of numerals. Imagine my surprise when I traveled to the UAE, an Arabic country, and saw numbers that were different from “our Arabic” ones.

I did some research (thanks, Wikipedia) and discovered that the numbers I saw in the UAE are called 𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧 𝐀𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐜, while the ones used in Europe and other countries are 𝐖𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧 𝐀𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐜.

💵 The most amusing thing was seeing a banknote with a “zero” denomination. Fortunately, on the other side of the note, the “zero” is translated to English “five” to put foreign visitors’ minds at ease.

Here’s a list of Eastern Arabic numerals from 0 to 9.
٠ ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩

Please note that these numerals are written and read from right to left.

My most unusual experience in the translation industry

One day, our agency received a piece for translation. We completed the job and the next day, another client approached us with an editing project. To my surprise, it was our translation.

🌍Two different clients from different countries… What were the chances of that happening?

This was about 15 years ago. I was young, inexperienced and didn’t know what to do. Without disclosing to the second client that it was our translation, I accepted the editing job. Additionally, I thought we couldn’t simply tell the client that the translation was good and no changes were needed, so we made some edits.

I submitted the edited file, but the next day, the first client returned, inquiring about the mistakes in the translation. It was a disaster.

💎 Fortunately, it eventually ended well and we continued working with the clients, but I learned a tough lesson – never hide anything from your clients.

Could 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 become a new term for individuals with disabilities❓

In the UAE, where English is commonly used in government agencies and businesses, individuals with disabilities are referred to as ‘people of determination.’

𝘜𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘗𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘌𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘚𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘕𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴, 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘴 ‘𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯’ 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘴.

If you ask me, it reflects a positive perspective on the abilities and potential of these individuals and is more preferable than terms like ‘disabled,’ ‘challenged,’ ‘handicapped,’ or ‘impaired,’ which may be considered offensive.

The client sent multiple source or reference files❓

You need to switch between them numerous times to find what you need?

📂Use the 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐬 feature in Adobe Acrobat to make a single file. Then press Ctrl+F and easily find the necessary context or all instances of the term in question.

If the files are not in the PDF format and the output is not perfect, try the 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐏𝐃𝐅 option first.

✅PMs, send your translators all references as a single file. This way, the chances are higher they will actually open and refer to them.

👇 ­­Always ask where your translation is going to be used

A client sent a translation job the other day. It included a list of updated names for internal policies.

… 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺
… 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺
… 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺

It was tempting to quickly translate the names and consider the job done. But we asked the client where the translation was going to be used:

𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘙𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 (𝘦.𝘨. “𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘣𝘺 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘌𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘺”), 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴.

✅ It takes you just a minute to ask such a question, but builds trust and shows the client you really care.

How to stand out as a translator in Chrome

When I take part in browser-based chats or calls, I often notice translators don’t care about proper punctuation and typography.

It’s not a big deal in casual friendly chats. In professional environment, on the contrary, PMs and vendor managers pay attention to such “little things”, because they may think the translator will be as careless in translation projects too.

❌”Мне нужно 2-3 часа”, – сказал он.
✅ «Мне нужно 2–3 часа», — сказал он.

I use 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐐𝐮𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐬 extension for Chrome. It automatically converts hyphens to N-dashes or M-dashes, dots to ellipsis, and standard quotation signs to correct ones in your language.
💎It supports multiple languages and it’s free!

By the way, do you know you can easily put N-dashes, M-dashes and quotation signs on mobile devices using standard iOS and Android keyboard?

Tips for self-checking translations 💎

This is what we ask our translators to do.
 
– After the text is translated, leave it aside for some time
– Compare the translation against the source for major issues (meaning, terminology, etc.)
– Leave the translation aside for some more time if possible
– Read the translated text without looking at the source
 
The last step is very important and can’t be skipped!

✅ It helps to spot punctuation and grammar issues and see if the text flows well and sounds natural. During this step translators usually make many changes which results in a high-quality target text.
 
P.S. The above steps should not replace standard editing by a second person. Even the most experienced and careful translators can make minor stylistic or major meaning mistakes.

How many websites and apps does it take to translate a document❓

Here are applications and websites our translators and editors use when working on clients’ projects.

1.      Trados Studio for translation
2.      Source PDF file for seeing the text in context
3.      Style guide for following client’s preferences
4.      End client’s website in English and target (if available) languages
5.      Client’s instructions
6.      Gramota for checking tricky punctuation rules
7.      ChangeTracker for making a list of changes between translated and edited files to give feedback to the translator
8.      Verifika for running QA
9.      Orfogrammka for checking spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, semantics, and typography
10.  Kartaslov for marketing and transcreation jobs to find synonyms, word collocations, associations, etc.
11.  Google — my favorite 😊

The list may be different depending on the language pair, project, market, client, personal preferences etc.

💎 Make sure your clients don’t treat you as 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘳 and are aware how much time, knowledge, and effort you put into their projects.

A great way to start a new year is to renew the corporate ATA membership

I’m sorry we joined ATA too late — in 2018. We should have done it from the very start, back in 2008.

As an American Translators Association’s Slavic Languages Division group manager, I invite ATA members working with Slavic languages to join our LinkedIn group at https://lnkd.in/daXCa6C9

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.

P.S. ATA is open to individuals and companies from all over the world, not just the USA.

Editing, proofreading, review, revision, check… Who can tell the difference❓

Here’s what the ISO17100 standard says about the terms:
–         Check: examination of target language content carried out by the translator
–         Revision: bilingual examination of target language content against source language content for its suitability for the agreed purpose
–         Review: monolingual examination of target language content for its suitability for the agreed purpose
–         Proofreading: examination of the revised target language content and applying corrections before printing
 
 
To make things even more complicated, there are two notes in the standard:
1.      The term bilingual editing is sometimes used as a synonym for revision.
2.      The term monolingual editing is sometimes used as a synonym for review.
 
 
I have seen the above terms often used interchangeably when an LSP wants a vendor to check the translation against the source for all sorts of mistakes. Many translation agencies that are ISO17100 certified sometimes mix up the terms too.
 
No matter what the client may call it, most often they want you to check the target against the source for all types of issues.
 
It would be a good idea to ask the client about their quality expectations and if they want just a check for “real” mistakes like meaning, grammar, and punctuation or would they also expect you to improve style and consistency. In the latter case several rounds of checking may be necessary to ensure top-notch results 📃

Does your translation occupy more space than the English source? It doesn’t always have to 👉🏻

When one translates from English into French, Spanish, German, Ukrainian, Arabic, Russian, Hindi and many other languages, the text can expand by up to 35%. The problem can be even more serious, if source text is wordy.
 
Here’s an example from a survey that we translated.
 
𝘞𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘱 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰?
18-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
65 𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘦𝘳
 
The above sentence works fine in English, but you don’t have to translate every word if there’s a shorter way to express the same meaning in the target language.

Here is how our linguist translated the question. 

𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶? ✅

It may seem too straight-forward for an English speaker but is totally fine in Russian surveys. The word-for-word translation would be over polite for a Russian language audience.

If the context, style guide, text domain and purpose allow, translations should be concise and straightforward.
This saves the reader time and helps them quickly and correctly understand what the author wanted to say without having to wade through words and word combinations that carry no useful meaning.

It helps the client achieve their goal too 💎

Is 3,600 words per hour a new standard ❓

I came across a research made by an LSP.
 
Over the years, the company was measuring how long it takes their best vendors to edit machine translation output. The takeaway is that the quality of MT is getting better and it takes less time for translators to do editing. No surprises here ✅
 
According to the research, now it takes a translator slightly over 2 seconds to edit 1 word of machine translation. However, the benchmark for a perfect translation that doesn’t need any editing is 1 second per word which makes 60 words per minute or 3,600 words per hour.
 
Is the “good old” standard (that we use at our translation agency) of editing 1,000 words per hour gone? Will a translator be able to understand context, do research, check meaning, terminology, consistency, grammar, punctuation and style at a pace of 3,600 words per hour?
 
According to The Editorial Freelancers Association (US) the median pace of monolingual copyediting is between 4 and 10 pages (1,000 and 2,500 words) per hour depending on the subject (fiction take less time, medical texts take longer). And monolingual copyediting has nothing to do with translation or texts in foreign languages.

A client sent one page for translation… 📃

It may seem like a piece of cake, but here’s what steps we had to take:

  1. Export the PDF file to Word
  2. Create a Trados project with the client’s TM and termbase to ensure consistency with previous jobs
  3. Do pre-translation analysis to understand the text, its purpose, and audience
  4. Translate the file. Google search didn’t take much time and there were no queries for the client this time. PHEW!!
  5. Have a second person edit the translation
  6. Check 20 false positive issues in 7 categories produced by the Verifika QA tool
  7. Save the Trados bilingual file to a Word document
  8. Check spelling and grammar in Word (just in case Verifika missed anything)
  9. Check 2 stylistic improvements the Orfogrammka tool suggested
  10. Adjust the textboxes and font sizes because the target copy occupied more space than the original
  11. Export the Word file to the original PDF format
  12. Compare the layout of the original and target PDF files

 
I’m not making a mountain out of a mole hill — some of the steps took a minute or less.
I’m trying to say that your clients need to know what efforts you make to deliver top-notch translations, so they value your work and stay with you 💎

Join ATA's Slavic Languages group 💎

As a new American Translators Association’s Slavic Languages Division group manager, I invite all ATA members working with Slavic languages to join our LinkedIn group.

SLD facilitates networking and sharing of knowledge through social media, quarterly SlavFile newsletter, and blog, as well as conference activities and a certification exam practice group.

Please use the below link ⬇️

https://lnkd.in/daXCa6C9

Sometimes just one sentence is enough to understand the translator’s skills ✏️

Here’s what our translator had to deal with the other day. To be able to show you this example, I changed a few words because of the NDA with our client.

✏️ Michigan State Primary Care at Outpatient Care Commerce

 

What can go wrong here?
1.      Michigan State is not a state name, but a short name of an educational establishment (Michigan State University).
2.      Primary care is not a type of medical care, but a primary care facility.
3.      Outpatient Care, again, is not just a type of care, but an outpatient care clinic.
4.      Commerce is not a synonym for business, but a town (Commerce township, Michigan).

 

So, the correct translation to another language should be something like:
Primary care facility at outpatient care clinic at Michigan State University in Commerce township.

What a great time we had at LocLunch Monterey yesterday 👏

I reminisced about 1999 when I worked in Monterey County.

Stefan Huyghe shared some great examples from his article “Bet you didn’t know that much of your English is actually Dutch”.

Caroline Crushell talked about the Irish language and accent. I love how the Irish pronounce letter R!

Thank you, Paulina Perepelkin, for sharing your optimism about future.

We discussed how crazy it is to learn Russian, Polish, Ukrainian or another Slavic language because of cases and genders resulting in a huge number of different word endings.

We even discussed Carmel’s former mayor Clint Eastwood.

One major global problem with MT 💡

Numerous machine translation engines… Statistical, rule-based, hybrid, neural MT types… Constant developments, new players, promising technologies…
 
Machine translation helps save time and money and is here to stay forever.
 
But when we talk about MT quality, we assume the source is error free, consistent in terminology, is written in a clear understandable way and does not require any Google search to understand the context and real meaning.
 
But is it always the case ❓

Trying to reduce costs doesn’t start with the translation stage.
Sometimes source content is created by unskilled technical writers or even non-native speakers, text in the original language is not edited by an industry expert, new document is made by combining parts of previous documents written by different authors, etc.

Are there any technologies that help MT engines fix source issues, understand meaning and translate the meaning and not words?

How long does it take to become a good translator❓

✏️ When posting jobs many LSPs require 2 or 3 years of experience.

✏️ The translation industry’s most stringent standard, ISO 17100, suggests:
–      A person has a degree in translation but no real-life translation experience
–      A person has a degree in any field + 2 years of translation experience
–      A person has 5 years of professional translation experience

👉 In my experience as a translator, editor and recruiter, a person achieves excellent translation skills after 5 to 7 years of translating and receiving regular feedback from a seasoned editor. At Lexicon Center, we only use translators and editors with at least 10 years of experience in a particular field.

I had a great time hosting the virtual side of #Locworld Silicon Valley After-Party 🎉

A huge thank you to Michelle Kuniko, Marina Gracen-Farrell, Óscar Curros, Stefan Huyghe, Paul Barlow, Joseph Holtman, Stephanie Harris, Marie Flacassier, Iti Sahai, Gary Lefman and around 70 other localization professionals who met offline 👏

Sorry not all of them are in the picture.

Does MTPE make a translator's writing style worse❓

At yesterday’s #LocTalk panel discussion by Josef Kubovský, Derick Fajardo and Igor Afanasyev I brought up a question.

❗️When a person actively does post-editing, they gradually (and unwillingly) adopt machine translation approach in their human non-MT translation jobs.

They may start copying source sentence grammar structures and word combinations that may not be characteristic of the target language. It results in unidiomatic translations that don’t sound natural.

This is what I have seen a lot.
Solution?

✅For translators: be very careful to accept MTPE jobs if you have a good writing style and specialize in marketing, transcreation and other demanding fields.

✅ For LSPs: think twice before giving a particular translation job to a translator who offers MTPE.

Finding a good translator... 👉🏻

WHERE: A popular translation platform.

WHO: A translator with 15 years of experience, 90 positive reviews and 5 million translated words.

WHAT: A 500-word general translation. Deadline – 2 days.

OUTCOME: Overall, very good style and understanding. But when our editor dug deeper, he found 3 minor meaning mistakes, 2 stylistic issues, 1 unnecessary comma and 1 ambiguity. The editor pointed out the issues to the translator, and she quickly made necessary changes.

QUESTIONS:

Is it just bad luck?

Do clients avoid leaving negative reviews unless there are major issues with the translation/translator?

Or do they just don’t dig deep enough?

💎 TAKEAWAY: Always use an editor, because even a very good translator can make mistakes