SeproTec Translator of the Month: February 2019

marzo 20th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the second winner of the 2019 edition of our Translator of the Month action!

This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

In this ocassion we would like you to meet Alexander Lichanow, one of our most trusted German translators.

What do you start your work day with?

I get up on my own terms (no alarm clock!) since I have become quite an early bird in the past years. I brew up some coffee, feed our cats and then boot up my PC. Then I spend about half an hour listening to music and reading some news before actually getting to work. My focus is best in the morning, so I make sure to take my break by noon to restore some focus. I am working on large jobs more often than not but I always make sure to make space for “breakfast jobs”, as I am calling small jobs that take no more than an hour to complete. I handle those jobs as a “warm-up” for the large chunk of work coming up with my larger jobs.

Why did you choose translation as a career?

I always had a knack for languages, which was probably inspired by our move from Kazakhstan to Germany when I was 7 years old. As a child, I felt the urge to integrate myself into the surrounding culture so I made a point to learn German as quickly and proficiently as possible. Later, at secondary school (“Gymnasium” in Germany) I realized that my talents were definitely not with maths or sciences. When I was in 10th or 11th grade, the translators’ academy where I did my studies was presented at my school, so from this point on I knew for certain that I would go ahead to pursue a career as a translator.

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

First and foremost: Don’t ever feel compelled to do badly paid work! Even if you are just starting out, your work still has its value, and if you are going to pay your bills by translating, low rates just won’t do the trick. Also, don’t bite off more than you can chew (sort of goes hand in hand with not accepting low rates). Sure, you CAN do those 10k words within a day, I have been there myself. But neither the quality of your translations nor your personal wellbeing should suffer from this. Find a viable volume for your everyday work and don’t deviate from it too regularly.

What are the most common translation problems in German, your mother tongue?

German tends to be pretty verbose, which is especially egregious when translating PowerPoints or other files with space restrictions. Software strings will have to be abbreviated or otherwise clipped more often than not. Also, most machines (see question 6 below) are completely overwhelmed with the three grammatical genders and case-based inflections, which makes editing machine translations – which are horrible to begin with in most cases – extremely tedious and frustrating.

What do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?

The PMs I have worked with so far are very friendly and understanding, I am getting a very constant flow of work (SeproTec IS my largest and most important customer after all), mostly without having to overstrain my capacity, and payments are always on time, which is not a matter of course in today’s translation business.

Human translation vs Machine Translation: what is your opinion?

100% human translation! First of all, I actually enjoy my job as a translator, not so much as an editor. I enjoy having the freedom to convey concepts, not just translate mere words. Also, while I absolutely recognize the future aim of machine translation for both translators and end-clients (faster turnaround for the client, less work per job for translators), commercial machines at their current state as of March 2019 are horrible. This makes editing those “masterpieces” at a reduced rate an extreme headache absolutely not worth the time and nerves spent/wasted/lost on this work. Mark my words: If Skynet ever takes over the world, I did nothing to contribute to it

Translating a tweet: the best way to do it

marzo 19th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Did you know...? | International | Marketing | Social media - (Comentarios desactivados)

One of the main characteristics of the social media platform Twitter is that it has a character limit for each of the messages you want to publish, the famous 280 characters.

You have to express whatever it is you are thinking in that precise moment or convey it in an understandable way within that limit. By the way, increasing the character limit in Twitter posts from 140 to 280 characters was, according to many experts, one of the most important changes in PR and marketing in 2018.

Longer tweets give you an opportunity to get more content.

Tweet translation

Because of the social media platform’s character restriction, translation is a real challenge in certain language combinations. For example, from Spanish to English it is usually not that complicated as it has a simple structure that usually takes up less space. On the other hand, a translation into German can be quite complicated as it has longer words.

How to translate with space limits

This is a question that pertains not only to social media, but also to subtitling. The best approach is to take a number of factors into account:

- The maximum number of characters in each message. This may seem obvious, but you must take this into account because otherwise the message might not be published.

- The linguistic characteristics of the target language. To continue with the last example, if you know that German usually takes up more space then you need to come up with different solutions to successfully convey the same message as in the original language. In this case we’re talking about adaptation.

- The essence of the message you wish to convey. If you want to translate a publication originally written in English into German, the best thing you can do is identify the main gist of the message. If you are clear on what you are trying to convey, you can create a translation that, while not saying it in the same way, does convey the same idea.

- The marketing structure of the target language. You need to see the social media platform Twitter as just another marketing tool among the many that exist. This complicates everything a bit because, while also successfully conserving the original message’s meaning in the translation without exceeding the medium’s character limit, you must also choose the right terms to sell the product being marketed.

- Who is the intended recipient. In addition to all of the aforesaid, you must always be aware of who the intended recipient of the message is. This way you can adapt the tone and the terms used in the translation to catch their attention.

The limited number of characters we can use on Twitter may seem like a limitation, however a short message format allows you to share information very quickly. This is what distinguishes Twitter. Twitter users respond quickly to emerging information, and therefore, you cannot allow yourself to be out of date or to publish content that is not adapted to your audience.

These are some tips for achieving the most accurate translation possible. The best thing you can do, however, is to leave it to the professionals and steer well clear of machine translations or word-for-word translation. At SeproTec we have extensive experience with marketing translations. We know that it is not enough for messages to be understood – they also have to connect, as while targeting a given market we must adapt the communication strategy to the culture and customs of the target audience. That is why our team is backed by professional translators with expertise in different marketing disciplines.

By the way: are you following us on Twitter?

 

SeproTec at DIA 2019 Global Annual Meeting!

marzo 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in conferences | events | Life Sciences | Localización | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

Sharing views and expertise with industry leaders, meeting 6,000+ life sciences professionals, networking… This is what awaits SeproTec Team at DIA 2019 Global Annual Meeting in San Diego, June 23-27. We will be exhibiting at booth #621.

This meeting is a must-attend for all life science professionals around the globe. Stay tuned for more info!