Podcast: interview with Paula Góes about Lingua — Global Voices translation project 1

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

In searching translation news on the Internet I came across Global Voices. I noticed that many of the projects were very interesting and I was specially intrigued by its translation project called Lingua so I got in touch with Paula Góez, Global Voices multilingual editor to learn more about Global Voices and the Lingua project.

At the beginning of the interview I asked Paula how she got involved with Global Voices and she explained that she first trained as a journalist and worked as a TV producer. She felt at ease with the written word so she became a translator when se went to London in 2002. Searching for blogs about translation she found out that the Global Voices project in Portuguese had just been launched and after reading the manifesto she knew it was the kind of project with which she wanted to get involved. She started as a volunteer translator in 2007 and then she also started to write. She found that her job was coming in between her volunteering activity so she decided to become a full-time freelancer and was invited to join Global Voices as its multilingual editor. She explained that Global Voices is a community of more than 400 bloggers and translators around the world who work together to bring reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media. Global Voices was founded in 2005 by former CNN Beijing and Tokyo Bureau Chief, Rebecca MacKinnon and technologist and Africa expert, Ethan Zuckerman while they were both fellows at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. The idea for the project grew out of an international bloggers’ meeting held at Harvard in December 2004 and it began as a simple blog.

In addition to the main news room there are a number of projects which are mostly born from the communities. These projects include: Global Voices Advocacy, Rising Voices, and the one Paula finds most exciting — the lingua project, which is the translation project of Global Voices. When Global Voices started in 2005 it was only available in English and the communities felt the need to have it in more languages so in 2007 they started with 5 languages and now they have over 30 active sites with translations coming in every day. There have been 10,200 translations posted since January 2011. She also explains how lingua changed from being a translation project into being a multilingual newsroom and how this process came very naturally as the community grew and there were a lot of people who could both translate and write and create content in other languages. As the majority of bloggers and editors did not speak English as their first language it made sense to have them write in their native languages. They created a decentralized workflow, a multilingual newsroom, where a news is written in a language other than English and then translated into English. This means, for example, that a news can be translated from Spanish straight into French so that English becomes less of a dominant language and other languages take more space. They did this because it is easier for people to write in their own language and stories came out faster. And what is really important now is that, in oder to be a volunteer for global voices, you do not need to know English as you can write in your own language.

To get involved translators only need to get in touch. Global voices does not require a formal qualification but people in charge of translations should know the language they are translating from and should be good writers. There are many professionals performing this task now. It is a great opportunity for aspiring translators as it is a great way to practise and build a portfolio to show off. Those who would like to volunteer only have to get in touch. There is a form you can fill at the bottom of this page.

Listen to the interview with Paula Góes here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-09-02

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

Those interested in learning more about Global Voices and its Lingua project can check the bottom of the Lingua page and complete the form corresponding to the language of their interest. You can also follow Global Voices on Twitter @globalvoices.

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Romina

Podcast: interview with Rahzeb Choudhury about the upcoming “Great Translation Debate” 3

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

On September 29, 2011 TAUS and ProZ.com will host the Great Translation Debate online so I interviewed Rahzeb Choudhury, Operations Director at TAUS, to learn more about the ideas behind this debate and about the topics that will be discussed.

Before going into the details about the upcoming event I asked Rahzeb to explain briefly what TAUS does and describe its mission. He explained that TAUS aims to help people to use technology more effectively by informing properly about translation automation. They aim to help people improve their strategies for translation. TAUS’ mission is to increase the size and significance of the translation industry to help the world communicate better. He also explained that the idea for this event came up quite a long time ago, in December last year, as they were reviewing a series called translation in the 21st century where they covered what major companies were doing, the challenges and opportunities available for translation companies and a couple of articles on the changing role of translators. They wanted to continue on those topics because they are relevant so they thought the idea of the debate would open up the discussion. During the debate participants will be able to discuss a motion and vote for or against it and it is expected that this format will help create a lively debate.

I also asked Rahzeb about his opinion regarding translators and their changing roles. He said that in his opinion translators are vital for a successful and dynamic machine translation experience; translators are the source of quality translations, which often results in translation memories, and translation memories are a great fuel for creating the best in-class machine translation systems. He also indicated that translators play a complex role — as translators, post-editors, editors, terminologists, quality assurance advisers, etc. All this impacts on the role to play in machine translation workflows. Rahzeb believes translators will continue to be better than machine translation in many scenarios but they inevitably will want and need to shift their skills. This is normal in a lot of industries in which there is change or some sort of  revolution happening and it is important that translators are informed about translation automation in general. This debate will help in that process.

I was very intrigued by the concept of “interoperability” and Rahzeb explained it using very simple examples. He said that interoperability happens when you travel abroad and you can still use your bank card to cash your money in any cash machine or when you can use your mobile phone in other countries. This happens because the technology infrastructure supports standards protocols, standard information exchange formats and systems comply with these formats so then information can pass from one system to another seamlessly without losing value. In his view interoperability is important for the translation profession because it will make the industry more efficient and more capable. It will provide people with more choice of tools and access to cheaper tools.

During the debate the following topics will be discussed and presented as motions:

  • Translation automation is good for the translation profession
  • Interoperability is important for the translation profession
  • It makes sense for translators to share translation memories
  • Higher education courses prepare translators sufficiently for life in industry

These affect everyone in different ways so it is important that all players in the translation industry participate. The open format for the discussion that this virtual debate provides presents a rare opportunity to express everyone’s view. There will be constructive outcomes and everyone will learn from one another.

Listen to the interview with Rahzeb here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-08-26

You can also check this article on individual translators and data exchange standards recently published by TAUS.

Those interested in participating in the Great Translation Debate on September 29, 2011 can register here. This event will be one in a series planned for the 2011 ProZ.com virtual conference week (September 26 – 30, 2011).

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Romina

P.S. Sorry folks for the background noise!

Podcast: interview with Konstantin Kisin about productivity, negotiation and communication skills 1

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

This week I interviewed Certified PRO member and ProZ.com trainer Konstantin Kisin, who speaks at conferences all over the world on topics like managing relationships with clients, improving productivity and communication & negotiation skills to learn more about these topics.

In this interview Konstantin explains that a good negotiator is someone able to communicate with other people in a way that works for them and knows what motivates them. He describes the concept of “behavioral flexibility” which means being able to do the unexpected — being able to do things other people do not do. In the case of freelancers who are competing in the market with a lot of other freelancers it is important to stand out. From this perspective it is good to be doing things that your clients may not expect and may not get from other people. Konstantin also indicates that a good negotiator should also have confidence and that the way to achieve that confidence is to be certain about your position and of what you want from work and from life in general.

Konstantin believes that negotiation skills can be taught and that they are fun and very easy to learn. In his view, the problem with translators is that most of their communication is maintained via email and that most translators tend to work in isolated environments and are not used to face-to-face interactions with clients.

On the topic of striking a balance between work and life Konstantin mentions that the success of your business or even the quality of life that you have overall when talking about a balance depends on the kind of questions you ask yourself. The first big question that applies to all areas of like is “what do I actually want?” and the second question to ask yourself is “how do I get what I want?”.

On the topic of productivity, Konstantin explains that his approach to how translators can get more done is not so much related to translation technology but to adjusting your daily routine and habits to create a working environment and a working pattern that allows you to achieve very high levels of productivity. He emphasizes the fact that when you talk about productivity you cannot really separate things like work from rest and breaks. He firmly believes that a part of a healthy and sustainable daily routine has to include time off. He indicates that this pattern could help translators achieve a productivity level of 6000 to 8000 translated words a day.

Those interested in learning more about how to achieve high productivity levels and how to strike a balance between life and work should check Konstantin’s first blog post on this topic that will be published next Monday in this blog.

Listen to the interview with Konstantin  here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-08-19

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Romina

Podcast: interview with Claudia Brauer on interpreting in the Global Village of the 21st Century 1

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

On August 16, the first online interpreting course in a new series of live online workshops designed for working and aspiring interpreters and linguists will be launched at ProZ.com so I interviewed Certified PRO member and ProZ.com trainer, Claudia Brauer, who will be in charge of some of these online courses to learn more about interpreting in the Global Village of the 21st Century.

At the beginning of the interview we talked about how technology has impacted the interpreting field. Claudia believes that interpreters should embrace technology as a tool to enhance their profession. She explains that today interpreters can provide valuable services of communication via cell phones, land lines and video Web-based technology. Face to face encounters are just one part of this mix.

On the other hand, consumers of interpreting services are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. She explains that interpreters are no longer confined to the face-to-face encounters. At present there are three rapidly growing fields: over-the-phone interpreting, also known as OPI,  video remote interpreting or VRI, which uses high-speed Internet video connections to provide visual access to interpreters in a different physical location and web-base oral communication.

Claudia indicates that the interpreting profession is growing at a rate of 22% per year higher than most of other professions.

She also describes the new series of live online workshops with lessons on a variety of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) topics, designed for working and aspiring interpreters and linguists that will be available at ProZ.com on August 16. The online workshops will be offered in 15 sessions organized in 5 bundles of progressive knowledge acquisition.

As my last question, I asked Claudia what advice she would give to aspiring interpreters and she indicated that in her opinion to be a good interpreter one should:

  • be fast at making decisions,
  • have great interpersonal skills (including great patience and empathy)
  • be extremely familiar with the cultures of the languages one is interpreting,
  • develop a wide variety of technical skills.

She also believes that at the basis of interpreting a good interpreter should:

  • have full command of at least two languages,
  • be a very creative person and know how to improvise,
  • love learning and seek to learn something new every day,
  • develop their ability to listen, to speak in public and to take down notes,
  • study terminology and  glossaries,
  • enroll in a public speaking group,
  • practise speaking out loud, and
  • develop their memory.

Those interested in learning more about these online interpreting courses can check this link.

Listen to the interview with Claudia here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-08-12

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Later!

Romina

Podcast: interview with Lori Thicke about Translators without Borders’ work and needs 3

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

After reading a recent article published on Speaking for Translators without Borders regarding an urgent call for volunteers, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the work Translators without Borders are doing and their urgent needs, so I interviewed Lori Thicke, co-founder of Traducteurs sans frontières (TSF).

In this interview Lori explains what Translators without Borders is and how it all started in 1993. She describes the goals of the organization and how ProZ.com has helped. She also provides some stats regarding the number of translators who have volunteered, the number of languages and words covered so far and describes how the selection process works.

As a special note Lori explains what the urgent call for volunteers is about and mentions that, even though the need for translations is ongoing, Translators without Borders also have a need for volunteers who can make and/or edit videos, write articles, research funding programs, write grant applications, mentor translators in Africa, and of course translate.

They are also looking for LSPs who can evaluate tests in different languages using the automated testing platform ProZ.com has programmed for them.

Those translators who are interested in staying informed about Translators without Borders’ work can receive information on Translators without Borders’ website, subscribe to their Blog Speaking for TWB, or check their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter  @translatorswb.

Listen to the interview here: ProZ.com podcast, 2011-08-05

I hope you enjoy this podcast.

Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Later!

Romina

Podcast: Interview with Nataly Kelly on her role as Chief Research Officer with Common Sense Advisory and how freelancers can benefit from market research 1

Here’s a new ProZ.com podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement).

This week I had the chance to interview Nataly Kelly, a respected author, consultant and advisor with a specialized interest in language services and technology and Chief Research Officer at Common Sense Advisory. In this interview Nataly explains what Common Sense Advisory does and describes her role as Chief Research Officer. She also shares some insight on her view about translation technologies and what may be in store for those language service providers who do not embrace technology.

Nataly has recently published a book about Telephone Interpreting, the first book ever written about this topic. In this interview she explains why she decided to write this book and mentions some of the topics covered in it. (To get a free digital copy of the book, click here.)

During the interview, I also asked Nataly to mention the ways in which freelancers could interact with Common Sense Advisory and benefit from its research. Listen to the interview here to learn how.

ProZ.com podcast, 2011-07-29

I hope you find this podcast interesting. You can follow Common Sense Advisory on Twitter @CSA_Research. Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Later!

Romina

Time flies and here is a new and very special ProZ.com podcast — interview with Henry Dotterer (ProZ.com CEO) Reply

Hi all,

It’s nice to write a new post to announce that a new podcast is now available. ProZ.com podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun (see announcement) .

This week’s podcast is special as you will have the chance to listen to an interview with Henry Dotterer, ProZ.com founder and CEO, and Translators without Borders board member, talking about the work Translators without Borders has been doing with the aid of the Translation Center platform.

ProZ.com podcast, 2011-05-27

I hope you like it! Feedback and comments are welcome. You can reach me at romina at proz.com or via Twitter @ProZcom .

To listen to previous podcasts, check the podcasts tab in this blog.

Stay tuned!

Romina