SeproTec Translator of the Month: February 2020!

marzo 17th, 2020 | Posted by admin in Interviews | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

We are more than happy to announce the winner of February 2020 edition of our Translator of the Month action

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

We would like to introduce you to Matthew Schlecht, one of our most trusted patent translators, translating from: Japanese, German, French and Spanish into English, with an extensive knowledge and experience in the research field.

Hi Matthew, thank you for finding some time to answer our questions :) Let’s start!

What do you start your work day with?

Upon waking, I scan my email inbox to see if any critical overnight emergencies have developed. Then, I usually start out with a two-mile vigorous early morning walk unless the weather is terrible. After the walk, I settle down with a big mug of coffee and process the merely important incoming overnight email before starting the day’s work.

Do you have a fixed schedule for work, or do you usually finish your day when your work allows you to?

I work through the morning until midday and then stop for lunch. If the schedule is tight, I get right back to work, but on a normal day I take some time to do errands and chores, and work in the garden in season, to clear my head. Then I get back to work. If I can finish up the day’s schedule by early evening I’ll stop then. If not, I continue until I finish up whatever work must go out by the next morning.

It is often said that translation is an underrated job. Do you think that people understand and value this profession or are there any misconceptions?

Although some end clients have an appreciation for the value that a translator can add, I think that many have little idea of what is involved in the translation process, or over how great a range quality can vary, and they consider translation to be a commodity. These latter clients seem to believe that high quality is still available even when budgets are driven down. Most agency project managers have a much better appreciation of how the translation process should work properly, but they too frequently have an uphill battle conveying this appreciation to the end clients.

What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I can summarize the challenges in terms of two drivers: faster turnaround and downwards pressures on rates. The two together are incompatible with the expectation of a professional-grade, quality translation product. Machine translation is addressing these challenges to an extent, while at the same time defining a new role for the translator as the “final out” person, the one who ensures that all aspects of the product (the translation) are of suitable and deliverable quality.

What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

First, foremost, and always the project managers! They understand the translation process, and appreciate how to collaborate productively with their translators and editors. They take most of the heat from the end clients, while still treating their translators and editors with respect. The projects are also quite interesting, and the PMs realize the importance of a good fit between the translator/editor and subject matter.

What advice would you give to beginner translators?

One tip would be to focus on one or a few areas of expertise, and not to adopt the generalist or factotum translator model, which I believe has a poor future. Another is to become comfortable with machine translation, because it is not going away. There are few subject matter areas and language pairs where MT isn’t making major inroads, and those few will diminish as time goes on. One more, and perhaps the most important, is to develop good relationships with your PMs; to deal with them honestly, professionally, and with respect. This sort of investment will always pay dividends, whether in your current dealings or at some future date when you get a referral or are brought along when a PM changes positions. Become the “go to” person in your areas of expertise and language pairs, maintain high quality, and you will rarely want for work.

Thank you so much, Matthew! It’s a great honour to have you among the team of our translators. And… enjoy your SeproHoodie!

SeproTec Translator of the Month: August 2019

noviembre 5th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Blog | Interviews | Translator of the Month | Translators - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce August 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.

We would like to introduce you to Daniel Olkowicz, one of our most trusted English/ German – Polish translators.

SeproTec Translator of the Month_August 2019

Hi, Daniel. What would be your best advice for a student who has just begun to work as a freelance linguist?

Fulfil all the expectations of your clients who are assigning jobs to you. Work smart and be patient even if the results may not be satisfactory at the very beginning. Keep consistently high level of your services and the results will come.

Which are the fields of expertise that you most enjoy translating?

IT, machinery, sports

Working more than 8 hours and even on the weekends in front of a computer may bring serious damages to our health. Have you adopted some specific healthy habits to put in practice during your working hours or after work?

I usually make a brief break every 60 minutes. I just walk around my working space or do some stretching especially for arms and upper body. After work I play football or volleyball every 2nd day.

What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

Very nice project managers I usually am dealing with and very clear and organized way of working.

Do you have a life motto?

Quality matters more than quantity

Thank you so much, Daniel, for taking the time to answer our questions.  It’s been a pleasure! And enjoy your SeproTec hoodie!

A la caza del traductor – On the Hunt for a Translator

julio 19th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)


A la caza del traductor

En las búsquedas y procesos de selección de traductores intervienen un gran número de requisitos, lo que con frecuencia hace difícil (o muy difícil) ajustar entre las características de los candidatos y nuestras necesidades en esos momentos concretos. Las variables que debemos tener en cuenta son la lengua de partida, la lengua de llegada, la especialidad, las tarifas, la disponibilidad del traductor, la fluidez de comunicación con la persona (esto incluye factores como el lugar de residencia del traductor y la diferencia horaria, pero también otros aspectos que tienen más que ver con sus circunstancias personales o su forma de ser, como que tenga acceso al email y al teléfono de manera ágil y que se muestre disponible y colaborador para responder a nuestras preguntas).

La lengua de partida y de llegada es el primer factor decisivo y eliminatorio. Por cuestiones de calidad, solo pedimos a nuestros traductores que trabajen hacia su lengua materna. Es decir, que si el cliente nos pide una traducción de sueco a ruso, necesitamos a una persona nativa de ruso. Pero si nos pide un trabajo de ruso a sueco, necesitamos a un traductor cuya lengua materna sea el sueco. ¡Una gran diferencia! Por ejemplo, hay infinitamente más traductores de inglés a turco (nativos de turco), que de turco a inglés (nativos de inglés). Nos consta que hay traductores y agencias que ofrecen traducciones en ambas direcciones. Sin embargo, a excepción de ciertos casos muy, muy excepcionales de bilingüismo real, nosotros entendemos que un traductor tiene una única lengua de llegada, que es su lengua materna o preferente.

Otra dificultad es la especialidad. Muchas veces trabajamos con textos de contenidos muy específicos y que requieren conocimientos muy técnicos, no solo del área en sí, sino también de la terminología adecuada que debe emplearse. Por ejemplo, es muy dispar la experiencia y cualidades que debe tener un traductor de marketing, que sea capaz es escribir con soltura textos publicitarios y adaptarlos muy bien a la cultura de llegada, que lo que le pedimos alguien encargado del manual de seguridad de una central nuclear, o de la descripción química de un medicamento, o del lenguaje de programación de un software. No se trata de ser mejor o peor traductor, sino sencillamente de tener las habilidades y experiencia para ese trabajo en concreto.

Las tarifas en determinados casos también son decisivas. Intentamos que no sean eliminatorias, pero a veces, cuando los precios que ofrece un traductor están por encima de los de otros colaboradores nuestros con experiencia y habilidades parecidas, hacen que tengamos que decantarnos por los de costes más competitivos.

También valoramos mucho la profesionalidad que los traductores muestran en la comunicación con nosotros. Puesto que buscamos profesionales de la traducción, los currículos o los mensajes mal redactados, con faltas de ortografía, estilo, puntuación y maquetación quedan automáticamente descartados. Necesitamos traductores que se preocupen por la calidad del servicio que ofrecen, y esto incluye cuestiones técnicas y personales. Entre las técnicas buscamos a personas con un alto dominio de la lengua de partida y la de llegada, que sepan traducir bien (lo que a veces no tiene que ver con el hecho de conocer bien una lengua, ni dos), que escriban adecuadamente, que se fijen en los detalles, que sigan correctamente nuestras instrucciones, que se ajusten a los plazos de entrega, que dominen los programas de traducción asistida que empleamos, etc. En cuanto a las habilidades personales, necesitamos a traductores motivados en trabajar con nosotros, que se muestren dispuestos a colaborar, que sean flexibles en la negociación de las condiciones, que sean honestos con respecto a su experiencia y formación, que cumplan con su palabra, que sea fácil comunicarse y trabajar con ellos, etc.

En ocasiones, las búsquedas también se complican cuando nos piden trabajar de o hacia lenguas que hablan (o escriben) un número reducido de personas como el finés, el gaélico, el escocés, el occitano, el criollo haitiano, el camboyano o el tamazight. O cuando lo que resulta poco común es la combinación, como por ejemplo de italiano a griego, de hebreo a español de España o de japonés a sueco. En algunos casos (hasta ahora reducidos, afortunadamente) hemos tenido que sugerir al cliente una traducción intermedia pasando por el inglés, pero en la mayoría de las veces, al final encontramos a los colaboradores que necesitamos. Con frecuencia, toda una aventura de investigación…

Margarita Sánchez-Barbudo

Vendor Manager



On the Hunt for a Translator

In the searches for and the selection processes of translators, a large number of requirements are involved, which often makes it difficult (actually, very difficult) to find a good fit between the characteristics of the candidates and our needs at that particular time. The variables that we have to keep in mind are: the source language, the target language, the area of specialty, the rates, the translator’s availability, the ease of communication with the person (this includes factors like where the translator lives and the time difference, but other aspects as well that have more to do with their personal situation or their personality, like if they have quick and easy access to email and the telephone, and if they show that they are available and cooperative in answering our questions).

The source and target languages are the primary decisive, qualifying factors. For quality reasons, we only ask our translators to translate into their native language. So, if the client asks us for a translation from Swedish into Russian, we need a native speaker of Russian. But if they ask us for a translation from Russian to Swedish, we need a translator whose native language is Swedish. A huge difference! For example, there are infinitely more translators from English to Turkish (native Turkish speakers), than from English to Turkish (native English speakers). We are aware that there are translators and agencies that offer translations in both directions. However, with the exception of certain very, very rare cases of true bilingualism, we understand that a translator has one unique target language, which is their native or preferred language.

Another difficulty is the area of specialty. Many times we work with texts that have very specific content and that require very technical knowledge, not just in the area itself, but also in the proper terminology that must be used. For example, the experience and skills that a translator of marketing has to have – they have to be able to write advertising copy fluently and adapt it very well to the target culture – are very different from those that we require of someone in charge of translating the safety manual for a nuclear plant, or the chemical description of a drug, or software programming language. This is not about being a better or worse translator, but simply about having the skills and experience for that particular job.

The rates are also critical in certain cases. We try not to make them the qualifying factor, but sometimes, when the prices a translator offers are higher than those of other partners we work with who have similar experience and skills, this means we have to opt for the most competitive pricing.

We also very much appreciate the professionalism that translators show in communicating with us. Since we are seeking translation professionals, CVs or emails that are poorly written, with spelling, style, punctuation and layout errors, are automatically discarded. We need translators who care about the quality of the services they offer, and that includes technical and personal issues. Our searches include looking for people with a high proficiency in the source language and the target language, who can translate well (something which sometimes has nothing to do with the fact that they know a language well, or even two), who write properly, who pay attention to details, who follow our instructions correctly, who comply with delivery deadlines, who know how to use the computer-aided translation programs that we use, etc. Regarding personal skills, we need translators who are motivated to work with us, who show that they are cooperative, who are flexible in the negotiation of conditions, who are honest about their experience and education, who stick to their word, who are easy to communicate and work with, etc.

Sometimes searches can get more complicated when we are asked for translations from or into languages that are spoken (or written) by a smaller number of people, such as Finnish, Gaelic, Scots, Occitan, Haitian Creole, Cambodian, or Tamazight. Or when the unusual thing is the combination, such as from Italian to Greek, from Hebrew to Spanish for Spain or from Japanese to Swedish. In some cases (not that many so far, fortunately), we have had to suggest to the client that we do an intermediate translation through English, but most of the time we finally do find the partners we need. Many times, it’s all a research adventure…

Margarita Sánchez-Barbudo

Vendor Manager


Some time ago we came across a report which is very positive for our sector, and which we have now translated and summarized in broad terms to share with you. The report, prepared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, asserts that both interpreters and translators will be the professionals most in demand next year.

In a society such as ours, communication is more important than ever before, and crucial for developing our relations and businesses. Every message, whether economic or political in nature, risks being misunderstood, especially when complex ideas are being expressed. It is for this reason that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that the translation and interpreting professions will see above average growth in the period to 2018.

In a world as globalized as ours today, the well-prepared message has become a vital and fundamental tool for the survival of any organization, regardless of its nature. Messages, if misinterpreted, can lead to disaster for a business or a person, or to whole governments losing credibility. This fact has led many organizations to opt for professional translation and interpreting services in practically all sectors or areas of internationalization.

Another point worth highlighting from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report concerns the main users of these services. It says that multinationals and governments will be the main entities requiring the assistance of interpreters (translating the spoken word) and translators (written translation).

Lastly, we should mention the importance attached by this type of report to organizations such as the ATA (American Translators Association), of which SeproTec is a member, and which is composed of more than 11,000 members, including layout, localization and software engineers, etc. This type of organization certifies translators and interpreters for work in public and private spheres, lending prestige to the organization. For this reason we do not wish to waste this opportunity of speaking up for our profession and pointing to it as a possible way out of unemployment, which is one of the major problems facing so many countries, especially one as vulnerable as ours.