Summary of the ProZ.com regional conference in Kalisz, Poland Reply

The ProZ.com 2015 Polish conference in Kalisz is over, but attendees and others in the Polish industry are still commenting on this event that offered two tracks of sessions in a wide range of topics: challenges and opportunities in online freelancing, what’s new in CAT tools, DTP basics and guidelines, sworn translation examination tips, interpreting techniques and more! (click here to see the full conference program)12068479_1190015794348396_5052982878560349459_o

In addition to sessions, this event also offered attendees the opportunity to network through a pre-conference walking tour around Kalisz. Language professionals got together on Friday afternoon and lead by a tourist guide, they visited well-know touristic attractions in Kalisz, including Market Square and the City Hall, where the conference took place on the following day.

12120059_1190011391015503_3163981549398209474_o (1)

The sightseeing tour was followed by a pre-conference dinner at Browar Kaliski, a restaurant and brewery with a fine selection of beer and traditional Polish dishes, and a good night’s sleep before the conference started very early on Saturday morning.

During the conference, Polish translators, interpreters and others in the language industry had full access to ten different sessions, and to coffee-breaks and a lunch that also allowed them to keep networking and having fun.

12141078_1190016371015005_1418763724556313727_o

At the end, after Maja Popęda, the conference organizer, summed up the event and thanked everyone for attending, they all joined for the traditional group photo and dinner at Restauracja Texas, a restaurant in the style of the Wild West and distinguished by diverse American cuisine.

grouppic

Those who attended the event left with plenty of new opportunities and surely some food for thought. And as days go by, attendees keep reliving those days with feedback comments and suggestions for future events.

To watch conference videos shared live on Saturday, October 3rd, click here. For conference pictures, visit this page. And if you attended this conference, please click here to leave feedback.

Watch Fakty Kaliskie‘s video report:

To read Fakty Kaliskie‘s news article, click here.

Special thanks go to Maja Popęda (Langbay) for her time and dedication in organizing this conference, to speakers Katarzyna Muller and Tomasz Muller (Pacific Translations), Karina Wieszczyk and Andrzej Jachimczak (Localization Care), Magda Sikorska, Rafał Kwiatkowski (Translax), Anna Biernacka-Wierzbicka (Magic Bus), Monika Rozwarzewska (From-To Translations) and Wojciech Wiesiołek (WIESIOLEK) for sharing their knowledge with the ProZ.com Polish community, to the City of Kalisz and the Kalisz City Hall for their warm welcome of language professionals, and to all those who attended this conference and made it possible!

 

Fabiola Baraldi and European Institutions: needs and opportunities in translation Reply

12006082_155973408080645_8644088182876260920_n

Fabiola Baraldi, conference organizer

Fabiola Baraldi is a freelance Italian translator specialized in banking and financial law, and the organizer of the ProZ.com 2015 Italian conference in Maranello, Modena: “European Institutions: common needs and new opportunities in translation”, scheduled for November 14th. She’s been a ProZ.com full professional member for four years now and part of the Certified PRO Network since earlier this year in two of her working language pairs: French to Italian and English to Italian.

In addition to translating legal and financial material for diverse clients, Fabiola also works at an Italian bank. Her job there involves, among other things, the writing and translating of internal rules, processes and procedures in compliance with the European Union regulatory framework. For this reason, she knows how individual European institutions impact the translation industry and she is organizing this event to help everyone in the Italian industry to seize new opportunities.

The conference

The ProZ.com 2015 Italian conference will take place in Modena, a city known for its unique historical and artistic legacy, birthplace of Luciano Pavarotti, one of the “three tenors”, and Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the legendary car company.

modena_1_x500

Surrounded by this wine and food paradise, attendees to the conference will have access to an entire day of sessions by well-known speakers, a pre-conference powwow, a gala dinner and the opportunity to learn, network and have fun!

museo-ferrari-maranello-horzx500To learn more about the conference (venue, comments, accommodation, sponsors, prices and discounts), visit the official conference page.


Thank you, Fabiola, for joining ProZ.com’s amazing group of conference organizers and good luck on your first conference!

Header1x1

Ten days left to the ProZ.com 2015 international conference: “Supporting each other, learning from each other” Reply

The ProZ.com 2015 international conference is just ten days away. Translators, interpreters, students, sponsors, organizers and staff are getting ready to support each other, to learn from each other in the great city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Program and speakers

The conference will be a two-day event showcasing outstanding speakers and presentations on the most trending topics in the translation industry:

  • Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask… Answered – Konstantin Kisin
  • Drafting legislation in 24 languages – Hans te Winkel
  • Paradoxes of freelancing: maintaining individualism when belonging to a community – Marta Stelmaszak
  • The Challenge with being international – Doug Lawrence
  • The globetrotting freelancer: making the most of your work’s flexibility – Pavel Janoušek and Daniel Šebesta
  • What works for me, could work for you – Doug Lawrence
  • Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading – A powerful though underrated way to learn from each other – Francesca Airaghi
  • Social Media or Anti-Social Media: a lifestyle choice or a death sentence? – Erik Hansson
  • Famous for 10 minutes – Nigel Saych
  • Translators: Stand Up! Time to confront the devil – Sameh Ragab
  • Honing your expert skills and building an expert translator profile through cooperation with other freelancers – Anne-Charlotte Perrigaud
  • Teaching Translation Today and Tomorrow: Breeding the next generation of translators – Joop Bindels and Nathalie de Schipper
  • Training the client – Gary Smith
  • Work-life balance during illness: a freelance perspective – Ellen Singer and Joy Maul-Phillips
  • Internships and mentoring – Attila Piróth
  • The first steps of a graduate in the translation market – Fedde van Santen
  • Find your balance with the aid of technology (and some other great tips!) – Fernanda Rocha
  • TransQuiz – Gabriel Cabrera

Speakers_tile

For more information and details about each session, click here to view the entire conference program.

Social activities

In addition to the two full days of sessions, workshops, round-tables, interviews and whatnot, the international conference will also offer attendees the possibility to network and have fun by taking part in other social events:

  • June 11th – Pre-pre-conference powwow
10914726_922878317731638_7342011569973094869_o

Tour behind the scenes at Schiphol airport and a subsequent dinner at Vork en Mes, Hoofddorp.

 

  • June 12th – Pre-conference powwow
Kinderdijk windmills, near Rotterdam 1583279

A boat trip to Kinderdijk, a walking tour to Rotterdam and a ‘Rice Table’ meal.

 

  • June 13th – Gala dinner
inntel-rotterdam-19

Dinner at the Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre.

 

  • June 14th – Post-conference powwow
ss-Rotterdam-panorama

Dinner on the SS Rotterdam, an ocean liner.

For more details on social events planned, click here.

Conference package

This year, the conference organizer, Nigel Saych, and ProZ.com have put together a conference package that not only includes full pass to Saturday and Sunday sessions, and to the gala dinner on Saturday night, but also the following:

inntel-hotels-logo-tile

Signup

There are still a few seats left for the conference. To book yours, visit the conference page and click on Buy now next to the package that best suits your needs.

For special discounts, please contact site staff through the support center.

header


ProZ.com and the conference organizer, Nigel Saych, would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of this event:

SDL_logo Travod_new

Platform developed for Translators without Borders now available to ProZ.com corporate members 12

After delivering over 25 million words, the translation center used by TWB is now being offered for use by ProZ.com corporate members in their own work

TWB translation center

“ProZ.com built and maintains the ‘translation center’ platform for the humanitarian organization Translators without Borders.”

Created as a Humanitarian Tool, then Improved Organically

In the days following the Haiti earthquake of 2010, we at ProZ.com, together with many others in the industry, tried to help in any way we could. The Paris-based organization Translators without Borders had been overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of volunteers (many of them ProZ.com members). TwB requested that we create something to help them process applications. In response we built a screening tool, and it proved useful enough that TwB decided to standardize on it.

That screening center helped right away, but it began to be clear that the manual approach to project management that the organization had been using (i.e. email) was going to limit its ability to scale. We were asked (and inspired!) to do more to streamline operations. One-by-one, in response to requests from Translators without Borders, we added features that enabled them to automate all aspects of their processes: translator sourcing, client communications, and so on were improved.

Now, five years later, the platform that we built — what Translators without Borders calls their “Translation Center” — is somewhat mature. A single Translators without Borders project manager can now handle about ten times as much work as was possible before.

The “Translation Center” is Now Available for Use by ProZ.com Corporate Members

While the objectives of Translators without Borders may differ in some ways from those of translation companies, operational procedures may in some cases be quite similar. Basically, like TwB, a translation company receives work from clients, passes that work along to translators or translator teams, they do the job, and the work gets delivered. There is some form of quality control and ideally, feedback, and the various parties — clients, project managers and translators — are able to communicate as necessary and appropriate at each stage of the workflow.

Given that, it occurred to use that the translation center platform might be useful to others.

Since we built the translation center from scratch for Translators without Borders, and now we have it, we are able to allow others to use it. Given that it is fairly mature, we felt we would be able to do that without incurring a great deal of additional expense. We decided to make the platform available to corporate members of ProZ.com at no charge.

This translation center is not a comprehensive TMS system, but a tool that enables companies to efficiently route work to translators with whom they already have a relationship. One person described it as a “messaging bus”. It does a bit more than that (files can be moved, for example), but that is the basic idea. It has a nice interface and good communications features, project managers and translators, and optionally clients, can all be in one place, and all the information around a given job is centralized. The platform also integrates with ProZ.com profiles. And with the help of some beta testers, we have added some of the accounting features, etc., that companies require (but TwB never needed.)

This platform can save time and hassle for companies that are doing a lot of emailing back and forth with clients and translators. It can be even more useful for translation companies that put clients and translators into direct contact and communication. To describe more about it…

A “White Label” Design

A key concern in the design was that, even though the translation center was powered by ProZ.com, Translators without Borders is the real force behind the whole operation and the organization’s identity had to be carefully preserved.

To this end, a “white label” philosophy was followed in the design of the platform in such a way that all players or visitors to any instance of the translation center will see the name, logo and colors of the organization managing it, thus preserving their corporate image. White labeling means that the whole operation will be perceived by all actors as an integral part of the managing organization.

Management of Translators

The managing organization will invite their trusted translators to the translation center, where individual information can be stored on language pairs, fields of expertise, rates and any other data, in the form of administrative messages. Files can be attached to such messages (for example a signed NDA).

Messages can be exchanged with the translator through the platform, and they will be stored and associated with the translator’s profile, thus avoiding the hassle of sending and tracking emails.

The translation center can support the operation with in-house or freelance translators, or with a mixture of both categories.

Job posters can provide feedback to each task when a job is completed, entering a comment and selecting among the following options:

  • Excellent: Surpassed expectations
  • Good: In line with expectations
  • Satisfactory: Below expectations but usable
  • Unacceptable: Not usable

Average and detailed feedback for each translator is visible to the administrators, and a notification is sent to the support email each time a feedback is posted in any of the two lower levels above.

Work Orders and Jobs

The translation from one source into many target languages is supported by a work order / job / task structure, where

  • A work order (W.O.) is the common section, including source and reference files, deadline, field of expertise required, notes and special instructions, etc.
  • A job is the application of a work order to a defined target language, so a W.O. can include several jobs into different target languages.
  • A task is an individual file offered to the volunteers for translation. A job can include several tasks, both independently added by the client and as the result of the splitting by the PM of larger source files.

Jobs can be posted directly by clients, as is the case with Translators without Borders. This could be useful also for large agencies that need a way of effectively handling many small document that can’t be refused because they come from large clients, but that are processed at a loss because of the heavy overhead of their complex workflow.

An agency will most probably have their own PMs posting jobs on behalf of clients. Client identity and associated documents will still be present in the translation center, but the isolation between clients and translators will be preserved.

Basic Workflow

A project manager from the translation company will post a work order with at least one job. Reference files such as glossaries, translation memories or style guides can be added as reference to a job, or to all jobs of a given client.

Release of notifications to translators can be automatic, or manually handled by the PM. With automatic operation the notifications are sent out in batches, inviting translators to a job posting page, where they can evaluate the tasks offered and eventually accept one or more of them. The first notified translator who accepts a task will receive the assignment. Once all tasks have been accepted or manually assigned by the PM, a job is no longer available to other interested translators.

In a job page the translators with tasks assigned, the PM and the client (if given access to the page) will be able to communicate and to exchange files. All information stored in a single page, no need to send emails or keep track of files.

Translators will upload their translations to the same job page. Once all tasks in a job have been delivered, the job is complete and deliverables can be downloaded by the client or by a PM acting on their behalf.

Editing tasks can be added in the same page once the translations have been delivered, and they are assigned and delivered just like a translation task.

Automatic notifications are sent to the translator and the PM when a task is behind schedule. PMs are also notified when a task has not been accepted 48 hours after being offered to translators.

You are Kindly Invited to Try this Tool

If you routinely outsource translation work, we invite you to experiment with this platform, and to use it within your company if it suits your business. If after trying it out you find you have questions or feature requests, we would be happy to hear from you. You can contact me at enrique at proz dot com.

Getting the most out of industry events: Part four 5

This is the fourth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (see Part one, Part two and Part three). As explained in the first part, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


Before the event

Tip 4: design a marketing plan

In general, attending conferences and other industry events costs not only time, but also money. Taking a couple of days off, sometimes travelling and staying at hotels, attending networking dinners, all these represent an expense. However, as your own business owner, it’s up to you to turn these expenses into an investment. How? By designing a marketing plan to be implemented before, during and after the event, and that allows you to see a return of your investment through new clients and collaborators.

GabrielCabrera

Personalized business cookies baked by Gabriel Cabrera and shared with attendees to the ProZ.com 2013 regional event in Madrid, Spain.

The first step in drafting a marketing plan to be implemented when attending an industry event may consist of defining three basic points:

  • What you want to accomplish: define your marketing goals. Do you want to make yourself / your company known? Do you want to build better relationships with colleagues? Do you want to meet new clients / collaborators? Do you want to share information, content or opinions with others in the industry? Do you want to explore new service types / approaches? Do you want to raise funds to support a further investment?
  • What tools you will use: make a list of the marketing tools you will use to reach your goals. Social media tools, CV / resume, business cards, demos, other marketing items.
  • How you will use those tools: decide how you will use each marketing tool. Will you give a business card to every attendee or just to those who may be potential clients / collaborators? Will you give a demo presentation of your services to potential clients only or to everyone? Will you use social media to target potential clients, potential clients and colleagues in general, or potential clients and potential collaborators? Will you give a copy of your CV to sponsors? Defining the use of your marketing tools will require defining your target audience and this will depend on what you want to accomplish.

Other important points may relate to timing (when you will use marketing tools or when you’d like to accomplish your marketing goals).

Once you have defined marketing goals, tools and their use, it’s time to implement your plan. Keep in mind that there are plenty of marketing strategies you can apply even weeks before an event (most of these using online resources). Start announcing your attendance to the event, show potential attendees how you are preparing yourself, get in touch with attendees you will want to meet in person and make arrangements. Almost everything counts when it comes to promoting yourself while learning, networking and having fun!

Do you have a marketing plan for attending industry events? What does it include?

Post below.


The next part in this series will start introducing tips to get the most out of industry events while they occur. Stay tuned!

Getting the most out of industry events: Part three Reply

This is the third post in a “Getting the most out of translation industry events” weekly series. As explained in the first part, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


Before the event

Tip 2: plan your event

Attending an industry event should be more than just showing up. Yes, signing up and being there are important, but these two may not pay off if not supported by some serious planning. Mind you that planning here does not entail flight and hotel booking, or finding a good friend who is willing to water your plants. Planning your event means preparing yourself to learn, network and have fun.

iStock_000017671802XSmallIf you are planning to attend an industry event, here are some tips for you to start making your own plans:

  • Carefully pick the sessions you will attend: check the conference program and the learning objectives of each session. Keeping in mind your own learning objectives and your business plan, sign up for sessions that will provide you with information that you don’t have and that could help you to improve your work and expand your business (i.e. presentations that you could not give yourself).
  • Prepare questions: once you have signed up for sessions of your interest, prepare a set of questions for which you would like answers. You may ask these questions during the QA portion of the session, or to the speaker during a coffee break or at lunch.
  • Know the speakers: familiarize yourself with speakers, know their names, their background and the presentations they will be offering. Remember that, even if you are not attending a given speaker’s session, you will still have plenty of opportunities to network with them and discuss topics of interest to both.
  • Know the sponsors: in general, translation industry events are sponsored by companies that are also part of this industry and that may offer a wide range of solutions to language professionals. Find out who is sponsoring the event you are attending and what they offer. Do they sell language services? If so, are they hiring? Do they sell translator software tools? Which ones? Can you get a demo for free?
  • Spot attendees with common interests: if there is a list of attendees available, search for colleagues working in your top language pairs and fields of expertise. Get their names and, if possible, contact them in advance and make plans to share a drink. Meeting with colleagues who have the same specialization could help you to learn more about your niche (rates, volume, types of clients, etc.).
  • Share your plan with others: now that you are familiar with sessions and have signed up for the ones that interest you, and you know the speakers, the sponsors and a few colleagues with the same interests as you, share your plans with other attendees. Let colleagues know the sessions you are planning to attend and why, the questions you would like those sessions to answer, the speakers you can’t wait to meet. This will encourage other attendees to do the same and set the tone for the event before it even starts. For more pre-event networking tips, see Getting the most out of industry events: Part one and Getting the most out of industry events: Part two.

Remember, if you want to optimize the value of attending an industry event, making plans before attending is as important as showing up that day (if not more!). Think of your plan as a strategy to achieve a return on your investment of time and money into an event. In the end, you will attend an event to network, but also to learn how to do your job better and more efficiently.

Do you make your own plan before attending industry events? 

Post below.


The next part in this series will discuss tips to develop a marketing plan before attending an industry event depending on your goal(s).

Meet the speaker: Federico Gaspari, reflecting on machine translation 2

Federico Gaspari is a part-time lecturer and tutor in English language and translation at the University of Bologna and the University of Macerata. He is also a postdoctoral researcher affiliated to the Centre for Next Generation Localization of Dublin City University, a member of the editorial and advisory boards of the online international peer-reviewed translation studies journals inTRAlinea and New Voices in Translation Studies, and an editorial assistant for the international peer-reviewed journal of contrastive linguistics Languages in Contrast.

Federico will offer a presentation and a workshop at the upcoming ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy, that will take place on June 28th and 29th, on the topic of machine translation, quality and post-editing.

1681361_r53599530c5e0a

The interview

How did you get involved with the study of languages and translation?

Although I am not a professional translator, but rather a researcher and lecturer, I remember being interested in translation and languages ever since I was a very young child. The first clear memory I have of being fascinated by the different ways in which people used “languages” (you will understand in a minute why I put the word in inverted commas) dates back to my early childhood. I grew up in Italy, surrounded by immediate family members speaking not only standard Italian, but also quite often – especially at home – local dialects, of which there are literally hundreds in Italy; the dialects used by people speaking informally in Italy vary quite dramatically from each other in terms of accent, pronunciation, vocabulary used to refer to everyday objects, etc., even within relatively small areas, to the extent that most dialects are mutually unintelligible. I clearly remember being very intrigued (but also slightly confused…) by the fact that my grandparents, who were originally from two villages only 30 kilometers apart from each other, used quite different words in their own dialects to refer to me as “the baby” at family gatherings (in case you are wondering, these dialect words from the Marche region are “frichì” and “fantillu”, which have no resemblance to their standard Italian equivalent “bambino”!). This is the earliest indication that I remember of my strong interest in linguistics and translation, although I can’t explain how I ended up working with English from my precocious interest in Italian dialects!

What was the most important obstacle for you to overcome in building your career as a language professional?

I got my first degree in translation studies from the School for Interpreters and Translators of Bologna University in Forlì, Italy. I then went on to earn other postgraduate degrees in the UK, but ironically I had to struggle quite a lot to complete my first degree in Italy. This was because we had to study two foreign languages, which in my case were English and German, in addition to Italian. I was a rather weak student in German, so much so that at one point I considered abandoning it to replace it with Russian (which I enjoyed learning and for which I got good marks as an elective optional subject). On the other hand, especially in the first half of my 4-year degree, I consistently got very low marks (and quite a lot of fails, sadly!!) for my German exams. But I persevered and in the end I managed to get my degree, although to this very day I don’t quite know how I managed to pass all the very tough German language and translation tests!

What is the greatest issue facing translators working in your country?

Probably the greatest challenge for translators in any country and working with any language today is to be flexible and open to embracing the far-reaching changes brought about by technology in the profession.

What is your prediction for the future of human translation?

I expect it to be bright and shining, especially for quality-oriented talented and trained translators who are skilled enough to offer diversified and competitive services for text types and domains in high demand. For sure, translators working with high-density languages such as English and Spanish will continue to prosper, but I think that there will also be good opportunities for professionals focusing on niche language combinations.

You will be presenting in the upcoming ProZ.com international conference in Pisa on the topic of “Machine translation, quality and post-editing”. What can conference attendees expect to learn or know from your presentation?

Everything (OK, make that NEARLY everything…) they ever wanted to know about machine translation and post-editing but were afraid to ask…

ProZ.com international conference in Pisa, Italy

Join Federico and other language professionals on June 28-29 in Pisa, Italy, for the annual ProZ.com 2014 international conference.

Visit event page »            View event program »            View related social events »


How would you describe machine translation usefulness, limitations or threats?

Post below or discuss in ProZ.com forums.