Excellent synergy of TMS and CAT = BaccS + Memsource: Guest post by Jakov Milicevic Reply

Once upon a time there were two translators, Jelena and Jakov. They decided to set up a boutique translation agency and named it Verbosari. Their goal was to provide a unique experience to clients requiring services in translation and localisation fields.

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At the beginning, our workflow was quite small since we had just a few clients. However, during the years, our reputation grew owing to our unique professional approach and impeccable quality of our work. It started to reflect in the growth of our business and we needed to do something to boost our efficiency and facilitate the whole process for our clients. We wanted to offer them a unique personalized approach by giving them full monitoring of the process, from the price quote to the final translation. The process is completely transparent and based on 5 steps: direct contact with the translator, a single PM, a personalized customer portal, involvement in the whole process and providing feedback.

After a long research and trying different TMSs and online cloud-based CAT tools, we decided to place our trust and the fate of our business in the hands of Mr Eugene Kuchynski who decided to integrate his TMS, BaccS, with Memsource for us. We got in touch with Eugene who embraced the challenge and decided to dedicate his time to make a full integration (the estimated time was around 2 months, but it was completed in 3 weeks). After the integration, we did some testing to fix initial bugs and subsequently decided to move all our business to the new system. Why, then, did we decide to just transfer everything to BaccS and Memsource?

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At Elia together.

 

First of all, BaccS is one of the most powerful, advanced and cost-effective TM systems on the market. Its continuous development (fixing bugs, introducing new features) is in line with requests of translators, PMs and clients. Eugene offers the best (yes, truly THE best) customer service in the world, responding fast to all queries, helping set up the program, fixing bugs, and introducing customised features. We are using the server version of the programme (as well as his web portal version) which has worked flawlessly since the beginning. Our colleagues, translators, like the web portal version where all their assignments are listed, they can generate invoices, deliver their work, check project-specific instructions – all in one place. Thanks to this, we managed to cut down our e-mail exchange by 50% as everything is already in the assignment e-mail (accessible on the web portal) which is sent to the language specialist. Should the need arise for any additional info for the language specialist, everything can be sent from BaccS as you can connect all your e-mail accounts to it. The list of advantages doesn’t stop here. The project set up process is easy and user-friendly; BaccS does all the calculation of quotes and PO sums for language specialists based on the parameters and information stored in the database as BaccS has plug-ins to import analysis from any CAT tool (Trados, MemoQ, Memsource) during the creation of the project.

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With Euguene Kuchynski, creator of the BaccS platform.

 

Memsource is already a well-known and established cloud-based CAT tool which has been on the market for some time and offers excellent pricing packages and exceptional support. The tool is easy to use and since it is cloud based, language specialists don’t need to have their own licences as licences can be assigned and cancelled on a project-to-project basis. The integration with BaccS was quite easy as their APIs are just amazing and let you tailor the tool to your own needs.

After just 4 months of using this magnificent synergy of BaccS and Memsource there haven’t been any catastrophic failures and we managed to increase our productivity and efficiency by 35% and raise our feedback score to 95%. The whole system is extremely user-friendly for clients, PMs, managers and language specialists, so the entire translation and localization process is easier, faster, more consistent and simply better.

 

I believe it’s time you tried alternative solutions (not just known TMSs and CAT tools) since this synergy can really allow you to position yourself better in the market, with cost-effective solutions which will help you further develop your businesses and achieve goals faster.

Should you want to find out more about this synergy, do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly or stay tuned for future posts in which I will give more detailed insight – as a case study – about our transition to the new system.

 


1068586_r56589da34ef87Jakov Milicevic is an English and Italian to Croatian translator and translation agency operator, ProZ.com member and part of the Certified PRO Network.

 

ProZ.com profile: https://www.proz.com/profile/1068586

Website: http://verbosari.eu/


 

BaccS is a translation project management platform for freelancers and teams, with both a desktop and web versions. If you are a ProZ.com Plus subscriber, BaccS is included in your membership, and it integrates with ProZ.com services like the “What I am working on” feature and the Blue Board, as well as CAT tools such as Trados, memoQ, Deja Vu, Memsource and others.

To find out more about Memsource, see user reviews in the ProZ.com software comparison tool. If you are already a Memsource user, leaving a review there will help future users in deciding which tools best suit their needs!

 

Originally published as a ProZ.com article: http://www.proz.com/doc/4513

Celebrating ten years of translators and interpreters coming together in Cardiff 2

For those not familiar, a ProZ.com powwow is an informal, local get-together of language professionals. Any ProZ.com member can propose and organize a powwow in their area. Since 2001, thousands of powwows have been held around the world, in 110 countries.

So far, 454 powwows have been held in 63 cities in the UK, with 3,748 attendees total. At least 50 of those powwows have been organized by Victoria Burns and Alexandra Chapman. This May 5th, Alexandra and Victoria are celebrating 10 years of powwows in Cardiff by holding — you guessed it — another powwow!

I asked Alexandra and Victoria to talk a bit about how the Cardiff powwows got started, what the experience has been like, and what benefits they have been able to see from coming together in person with colleagues. Here is what they had to say:


Celebrating ten years of powwows in Cardiff is a great opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come. Vicky and I met at the first Cardiff powwow, which came about as a result of Cardiff-based translators Vicky and Trinidad Clares meeting at an earlier powwow in nearby Bristol, back in May 2008 and immediately hit it off. We had both started translating the previous year, Vicky full time after deciding to finally bite the bullet and leave her job in export sales and me more gradually as my daughter started playschool. We had both studied languages at school and university, shared a love of travelling and hoped that a powwow would offer social opportunities to enhance our more solitary professional lives. It did that and more!

To date we’ve organised over 50 powwows between us with other local translators organising at least another 50 in that time. We’ve had attendees from all over the world with a wide variety of language combinations and we’ve heard about powwows in other countries where minutes are taken or talks are given. Ours are more informal, usually a meal or drinks in a city centre bar or restaurant where we chat about current projects, share tips on translation issues and plan our next social gathering. We’ve grown into a group of fifteen or twenty regulars of many different nationalities and we’re joined by new people almost every time we meet, usually on the first Saturday of the month. There’s been a Christmas powwow every year and often a summer picnic. We’ve celebrated birthdays, weddings and baby showers, with more and more children joining the scene, not to mention Vicky’s dog Alfie. Recently, we even arranged a Mother’s Day powwow and brought our mums along! That’s something we may now find we have to make an annual event….

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We travel further afield together too, organising a bunkhouse weekend and camping on the Gower Peninsula and attending translation conferences in Berlin (ELIA), Brescia (MET) and Vienna (BP18). Regular powwow attendee Juliet Haydock owns a house in Capena, near Rome, and that’s become a regular destination for some sunshine and co-working.

Perhaps the greatest outcome of the Cardiff powwows has been the foundation of ITI Cymru Wales, the Welsh network of the Institution of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK’s professional association for practising translators and interpreters. Although founders Trinidad Clares and Elvana Moore initially met at a powwow in nearby Bristol, it was the Cardiff powwows that formed the recruitment ground for at least 28 of the current membership of 40, of which 15 to date (including Vicky and me) have taken the prestigious MITI assessment to become qualified members of the organisation. Its aims are to promote the highest standards within the profession by supporting on-going career development for language professionals and to represent the sector at the very highest level. When the ITI Conference was held in Cardiff in 2017, our members, who had met through the Cardiff powwows, played key roles in welcoming delegates to the city and organising fringe events alongside the informative talks.

Under this same banner, the Cardiff co-working sessions have become a weekly fixture, thanks to the organisational efforts of local boy Lloyd Bingham. We bring our laptops to a central café and work alongside each other, building ever-greater potential for professional collaboration. As several of us translate from German, another regular Andrew Godfrey recently initiated a Peer Review Group, where we all translate a text and then meet to discuss the relative merits of our different versions. It’s rather like a translation slam and is a great way to pick up new ideas for those ‘untranslatable’ expressions. We pick up new clients from powwow contacts too, stepping in when someone is on holiday and likewise passing on work in return, as I did when I was on maternity leave. This close collaboration is possible not only because of the trust brought about by friendship but also because of our mutual professional respect. As a group, we take the opportunity to learn from one another, rather than considering other translators to be competitors, and this mutual inspiration and support brings out the best in us all.

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We’ve come a long way since that first Cardiff powwow, and have plenty of exciting things in the pipeline for this year, including our 10th anniversary powwow in May, to which everyone who has attended a Cardiff powwow over the past 10 years has been invited, the seemingly now-annual summer picnic, another bunkhouse powwow and potentially a Cardiff translators’ ski trip next winter – our first ‘international’ powwow!

The on-going benefits are clear to see and they play a crucial role in our success as translators. What started as a simple lunch is now a fully-fledged network of high-calibre professionals even greater than the sum of its parts. If you’ve tended to shy away from networking, maybe it’s time to give it a try. And if there’s nothing in your area, setting something up is straightforward using either the ProZ.com powwow system or another social media channel. Meeting for lunch might just be the best thing you ever did for your career!

 


Well, there you have it! Congratulations to Victoria and Alexandra, to all the language professionals who have contributed to making these get-togethers a success, and have an excellent anniversary powwow!

If you are wondering whether there are extraordinary colleagues like these in your area, chances are there are– it’s simply a question of getting the ball rolling, and good things can happen. 

 

 

Marketing for freelance translators and interpreters who hate marketing Reply

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A recent survey of freelancers centered around their marketing efforts showed some interesting finds:

  • 55% of freelancers spend 3 hours a week on their online marketing efforts
  • 51% of respondents considered marketing too time-consuming, and 41% felt marketing was too costly
  • 83% are investing financially in online marketing of some sort
  • 72% say they are spending less than but up to 100 USD a month in marketing (those who spend more than that report earning more)
  • The average survey respondent had reached their income goal within two years of starting out

The survey sample were some 2,000 US freelancers of all types, so it is reasonable to expect those numbers to be somewhat different if we narrow it down to translators and interpreters, expand the sample to other countries, or both.

One number in particular that caught my eye was the monthly investment in marketing. 100 USD a month sounded pretty steep to me, but maybe I’m wrong. 1,200 USD in freelancer marketing a year. Do you spend that much on your marketing? If so, drop me a line, I’d be very interested in hearing about it and if you find it to be a good investment.

If you are already a paying ProZ.com member, you are spending between 12 and 18 dollars a month on marketing through your membership, though you get all the rest of the tools and opportunities available along with it. It’s a kind of marketing that is easy to do, what we’d call passive marketing.

Be an ant, not a grasshopper

For some kinds of work, sending CVs, applications, emails, calling or meeting potential clients, printing business cards or flyers, posting ads, and all of that active marketing, can be effective. Many freelance translators and interpreters find that kind of marketing tiring, frustrating, and also expensive, both in terms of money and time. You’d rather be translating or interpreting, right?

You may have to rush to do active marketing if you suddenly find yourself short on clients or workload. This tends to happen when a freelancer has no kind of marketing in place while they are fully-booked, a bit like the grasshopper who watched the ant stock up for winter, unworried during the summer because food was plentiful, and then sorely unprepared for the winter.

Passive marketing is your ant stocking up for winter. It can help save you from the unexpected, even though work might be plentiful now. And sometimes it’s a gateway to new opportunities that can pop up and replace what you’ve got going on with something even better.

Where is your shop window?

As I said, passive marketing is easier to do, if you do it right, and the time/monetary investment is quite different too. It basically consists of opening up a brightly-lit shop window (your online presence) on a bustling street. Many people walk by, window shopping, but if your shop has the right goods (your services, expertise, samples, things that make you stand out), shoppers will pop in to look and talk to you. Some will be interested in buying now, some will simply make a note of your shop for when they do need what you have to offer.

Where is that bustling street, though? Well, ProZ.com is one of them. You should have a professional online presence in any serious work-related venue for language professionals (a profile on LinkedIn, for example). But since ProZ.com is the busiest street when it comes to searching for and finding language professionals, if you are not figuring there as prominently as possible, you are definitely missing out on client contact. So that ProZ.com membership, roughly the cost of a new pair of shoes per year, is all you need to keep your shop window on the busiest street in the industry.
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Check your directory ranking in your top language pair and area of expertise. What page of the results are you on? How many pages of results will your ideal client browse through to get to you? They say, “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google search results.” Directory results work in a similar way. Chances are, by the time a client has gone a few pages in, they’ve already found the people they are looking for.

Don’t waste my time

Now, when I say “online presence” I don’t mean having a profile registered on a place and having the bare minimum of information filled out there. Nowadays, if I’m looking for a service/service provider online, I don’t even look twice at people who have not put some time investment into presenting their services. No picture? No thanks. No real name? See ya. No details about the services you offer or why I should choose you? Don’t waste my time! This is where the time investment comes in. It’s mostly an up-front investment. Put in the time to craft that presentation, then go do whatever else you want, and let it go to work for you in the background.

Now think about your two biggest clients…

I’ve got all the clients I can handle right now, no need, you might say. OK! But how many times would you try to go back to a shop that was closed every time you went there?

Now, think about your two biggest clients. Would you be in trouble if tomorrow, through no fault of your own, you lost those two clients? If so, why not put your shop window out there, and occasionally field an inquiry from an interested potential client? The worst that can happen is that you’ll make some new contacts while you’re working, and heaven forbid your fully-booked status should change, you’ll have some good leads to work with.

What’s in your shop window?

Now go over to your ProZ.com profile. At the top of your profile you will see a link to “Force visitor view”. Click on that. What you see is what any visitor to your profile will see when they are evaluating working with you. Put yourself in the shoes, or eyes, of your ideal client. Does what you see there look professional, attractive, keep your interest, “sell” you on the idea of contacting this person with a work offer? Does it speak to that person’s strengths, what makes them different from the competition?

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By the way, if you are looking for ways to build, update, or fine tune your online presentation, many of the same principles of decorating a real shop window apply! Thinking about it this way may also help get your creative juices going. If you need some inspiration, you can find some pointers here:
https://www.appearhere.co.uk/inspire/blog/how-to-dress-your-shop-window

 

 

Translators Plus part 4: On proofs and puddings Reply

ProZ.com Plus membership comes with all the benefits members have come to know over the past nineteen years, plus a lot of new tools and opportunities designed with the serious freelance language professional in mind. This series takes a look at these additional benefits, one at a time.

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“The proof is in the pudding,” I’ve heard, in response to the question “How do you show potential clients you can deliver what they are looking for, at the quality they seek?”

 

Well, I have a problem with foods of a certain texture, and many serious clients are not willing to risk their clients or their work on how your first pudding for them turns out. They want as much proof as possible, beforehand, that previous puddings have gone off without a hitch, and that the pudding they are buying is the right pudding!

Sorry, I may be writing this from a place of anger, after having found out, years ago, that black pudding was not made of dark chocolate, but something much more sinister. But you get my point.

I’d like to continue ranting about desserts, but the important thing here is that, nowadays, you can show proof before someone orders and eats that pudding. And it’s easier to do than ever. Successful translators and interpreters have strong, professional online presences/presentations that take much of the guesswork out of deciding who is good, or who is right for the job. And they show as much as they can (rather than simply telling clients they are good). Client feedback, project histories, sample translations, detailing your data security procedures, certifications of training or of entry to groups like the Certified PRO Network, or the new expert pools— all of these can help make a difference.

Your ProZ.com profile is one of the most visible presences you can have on the web, especially if you are a ProZ.com paying member. But that visibility is only as effective as what you are showing in your profile. If you have your own website, you wouldn’t leave it empty, would you? No, you make it look good, and pack it with all the relevant information a client needs to decide to contact you for their next project. If you are not doing the same with your ProZ.com profile, you are missing out on client contact in an important way. Details like a strong tagline (visible to clients searching the directory, the main channel through which work is passed), client feedback, a history of previous projects, sample translations, all come together to build a stronger picture of you as a professional for clients to see. If you are doing it right, potential clients will be able to taste the pudding before they order it.

But, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, or where to fine tune your profile to speak to your ideal clients.

If you want to make sure your profile is really flan-tastic (Sorry! It was the pudding, I couldn’t help myself), as a ProZ.com Plus subscriber you have access to a set of free webinar-workshops with exactly this in mind. These webinars are given by a member of the ProZ.com site team, to small groups of Plus subscribers, which allows for more personalized help and feedback in crafting your online presentation. Sometimes just minor changes in how you are presenting yourself can make a difference, and the ProZ.com site team is trained to detect what those changes might be, and they are dedicated to helping you find new clients and collaborators. And to be clear, most of what we’re talking about here are changes or strategies you can apply anywhere you have an online presence, not just on ProZ.com.

If you are a Plus subscriber and have not already signed up for one of these webinars, you can find them here.

In the meantime, you can also check out this short video, which describes how your profile works to show what you have to offer to clients, and some of things you can do to increase your client contact:

 

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If you already have a Plus subscription, be sure to refer to your Plus subscriber checklist to see what you can do to get the most out of your investment.

If you are still considering membership at ProZ.com, this is the full list of membership benefits.

If you have questions or need help, feel free to drop me a line.

 

 

Translators Plus part 3: Get connected Reply

ProZ.com Plus membership comes with all the benefits members have come to know over the past nineteen years, plus a lot of new tools and opportunities designed with the serious freelance language professional in mind. This series takes a look at these additional benefits, one at a time.

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An advantage, and, let’s face it, sometimes a disadvantage, of the world we live in now is that everything is connected. Or it should be. Or could be.

On a professional level, this connectivity can be a great way to stay ahead. If you are in your CAT tool working on your latest project, why should you need to stop what you are doing and go somewhere else when you need help with a difficult term, for example? In another post I mentioned that you can send your query straight to the KudoZ term help network and get answers back without even leaving CafeTran Espresso, if you are using it. You can even get notified of future potential projects of interest while you are working on that project, and you have not left your CAT tool. You can log in to ProZ.com with your Facebook or Google account if you want to. This sort of inter-connectivity is what we have come to expect. Things that don’t connect to other things intelligently, that stand alone (not the same, obviously, as standing out!), will lead an increasingly lonely and inefficient life online nowadays. And basically, we are talking about how well you are reaching and serving your clients, right? How many hoops does a potential client need to jump through to find out about what you have to offer, and contact you for work? Are you making it as easy as possible for this contact to happen?

Many of the tools included in your ProZ.com Plus subscription are geared towards allowing you to more efficiently be seen, be screened, and be contacted by potential clients. Now with a click, a client can call or otherwise contact you from the directory or your profile. You can choose to receive priority messaging from potential clients, on your computer or on the go via ProZ.com Mobile. You can show clients current and past projects in real time, allowing them to see you are an active pro and to further verify your areas of expertise, in your profile, or on your website. You can provide the option for potential clients to add you to their lists of interesting candidates, on ProZ.com and on the web in general.

The “call me” button

If you have configured a way for someone to call you, a “call me” button will appear in your profile and in your directory listing. Clicking the button will open a window that shows any contact information you’ve chosen to share, and provides a “click to call” option to authorized users.

Get the “Call me” button »

Click to call

With the “click to call” feature you can allow authorized people to phone you, while keeping your phone number private.

If configured, a “Click to call now” button will appear in your “call me” box during the times you’ve specified. The caller will use a browser-based app to call your phone number (you will talk on your phone, while the caller will use the browser-based app). Your phone number will not be revealed to the caller.

Set up “Click to call” »

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The “What I’m working on” feature allows you to share projects you are working on, creating a project history as you go. Clients can search and find language professional through their “What I’m working on” histories. It’s also a great way to network with colleagues!

You can add a “What I’m working on” widget to your own website, to show potential clients the kind of work you do, in real time.

Check out the widgets available so far »

 

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If you already have a Plus subscription, be sure to refer to your Plus subscriber checklist to see what you can do to get the most out of your investment.

If you are still considering membership at ProZ.com, this is the full list of membership benefits.

If you have questions or need help, feel free to drop me a line.

Participate online in Elia Together 2018 (free for Plus subscribers) Reply

As you may have already heard, the European language industry association (Elia) and ProZ.com have teamed up to broadcast this year’s event, Together 2018Together is an annual two-day event from Elia, where language service companies and independent professionals convene for open dialogue on industry trends, to learn mutually-relevant new approaches, to update technical skills and, ultimately, develop lasting relationships to serve their end clients better. This year, the event will be held on February 22nd and 23rd.

If you are a ProZ.com Plus subscriber, you will have access to the broadcast and recordings from this year’s event for free.

All you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your ProZ.com account.
  2. Go to ProZ.com/TV at https://www.proz.com/tv/Together2018 (also found under the “Member activities” section of the site menu).
  3. Enjoy.

Elia Together 2018

This event has been approved for up to 7 ATA Continuing Education points. Important: in order to earn CE points, you must click the “Get credentialed” button on the timer above the video player on https://www.proz.com/tv/Together2018.

Translators Plus part 2: Smart translators and interpreters are wearing sunglasses Reply

ProZ.com Plus membership comes with all the benefits members have come to know over the past nineteen years, plus a lot of new tools and opportunities designed with the serious freelance language professional in mind. This series takes a look at these additional benefits, one at a time.

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The future looks bright for a certain type of translator, interpreter, or anyone providing language services.

These are the language professionals who are able to adapt to the changes that affect us all in general, and the changes that affect how things work in the industry. Some of these changes are related to globalization, some are tech-based, others have to do with how we have come to expect a service to be delivered, in terms of time, cost, and quality, and very often without even having met the person or persons providing the service.

Tomorrow’s translator and interpreter is continually improving. They are staying up to date on what’s new, both good and bad. They are able to accurately inform their clients about what’s new, what the best solution might be, and deliver a service that really meets those clients’ needs. They are learning and incorporating the technology, processes, and tools that allow them to do this.

That brings us to today’s topic: watching videos on the internet.

Wait! Did you just open a tab and go to YouTube to watch cats and dogs doing funny things?

1. You did the right thing,
2. Stick with me a bit, because I was talking about something else.

Call it what you want– professional development, continuing education, training, “what every professional should be doing”– tomorrow’s translator and interpreter is taking in new information about all different aspects of the business, and putting it to work for them, in order to stay on top of their game.

ProZ.com has been offering language professional training for more than ten years, and the ProZ.com community is full of experts on all different facets of the business. This expertise and knowledge has been collected in the new Plus subscriber video library. If you want to learn more about translation software, or the art of translation or interpreting, or negotiating with clients, or finding new clients, or a particular field within translation and interpreting, the video library is a good place to start. It’s free with your ProZ.com Plus subscription, and you can watch what you want when you want, on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

At the moment, the video library contains over 1,000 hours of content, in various languages. If you were to pay for access to all of that content separately, it would run you around 20,000 USD, which, even if you have that kind of money just burning a hole in your pocket, you’re going to want to spend it on something else, right? Granted, not every course in the library will be of interest or applicable to you, as tends to happen with most libraries. But it could be a very valuable professional resource to have in your set of tools, and again, it’s free with your Plus subscription. And as the number of Plus subscribers grows, so grows that library of knowledge.

If you have not had a look yet, I encourage you to check it out, at http://videos.proz.com/

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If you already have a Plus subscription, be sure to refer to your Plus subscriber checklist to see what you can do to get the most out of your investment.

If you are still considering membership at ProZ.com, this is the full list of membership benefits.

If you have questions or need help, feel free to drop me a line.