13 May, 2011

Translation strategies

Translation strategies I: methods and procedures
1. Introduction
Having looked at Phase 1the analysis phase – of the process of translating, we will now turn to
Phase 2the transfer phrase – as we look at different strategies and methods of translation.
The purpose of translation methods and procedures – and of translating itself – is to achieve maximal equivalence, or equivalent effect.

2. Equivalent effect
Equivalent effect is virtually the same as maximal equivalence. The term “equivalent effect” refers to the target text having the same effect on the target text reader as the source text has on the source text reader. Note that, the term “maximal equivalence” does not imply this focus on the readership, but, like maximal equivalence, a totally equivalent effect is impossible to achieve. But, with a high level of naturalness, among other things, it is possible to, at least, achieve optimal equivalence.

3. Translation methods vs. translation procedures

Translators distinguish between global translation strategies and local translation strategies:
  • global translation strategy (translation method): the overall strategy you apply to a text as a whole – the primary choice you have to make here is how close to the source text you want your target text to be.
  • local translation strategy (translation procedure): strategies you apply in the translation of individual expressions in the source text, such as words, grammatical constructions, idioms etc.)
4. Global translation strategies / translation methods
You have to make the choice between imitative translation and functional translation – the first  striving to retain as much of the purely formal aspects of the source text, and the latter aims at getting the message of the source text across, even if it takes drastic changes in the formal aspects of the text.
Newmark lists the following translation methods, which essentially fall along a cline of focus, one extreme being total focus on the source text/language and the other extreme being total focus on the target text/language:
  1. ST/SL focus (imitative translation), and
  2. TT/TL focus (functional communication)

ST/SL focus (imitative translation) includes:
a. word-for-word translation: preservation of word order and as literal translation as possible of individual words, including cultural words.
b. literal translation: apart from as literal as possible translation of individual words, grammatical structures are converted into the nearest target language equivalents.
c. faithful translation: stays, if possible, within the constraints of the grammatical structures of the target text, but draws on certain contextual factors.
b.  idiomatic translation: makes use of idioms and colloquialisms that are not present in the source text.
c.  free translation: focuses on the content of the target text rather than the form, which means that the same content is expressed in the target text but with very different grammatical structures if need be.
d. adaptation: the freest form of translation and more of a target language/culture based  interpretation of the source text than a translation as such, this is sometimes called document design.

5. Local translation strategies / translation procedures
   Lundquist lists seven translation procedures, while Newmark lists a whole bunch of them. Here is an overview which integrates the Lundquist's and Newmark's procedures into one list:

I.   Direct procedures, 
II. Indirect procedures, and
 III. Others.

 I. Direct procedures:
a. Literal translation: word-for-word translation.
b. Transference / loan: transferal of a word or expression from the source language/text directly into the target text without translating it at all.
c. Translation loan: retention of syntactic construction, but translation of the words in it.
d. Through translation: literal translation of collocations and combinations – the difference between this and translation loans is that in through translation, you strife for literal translation and a higher degree of formal retention.
e. Naturalization: basically transference in which you apply target language spelling and
morphology (and pronunciation) to the expression or word in question.
II. Indirect procedures:

a. Equivalence: here, you focus on equivalence in meaning in the perspective of the reader of the target text – this means that you may sacrifice equivalent in form, or you may have to choose something which is note exactly the same thing as in the source text, but which is the closest get to it in the target language.
a.1 Cultural equivalent: translating a culturally rooted word in the source text/language with a roughly equivalent culturally rooted word of the target language/text – note, this is what Lundquist calls “tilpasning”
a.2 Functional equivalent: translating a word in the source language/text with a functionally equivalent target language word (i.e. a word which has the same meaning).
a. 3 Descriptive equivalent: translating a source language/text word using a description of the concept it refers to in the target language.
a. 4  (Near) synonymy: translating a source language/text word or expression with a target language expression that is nearly, but not completely, functionally equivalent.
a. 5 Reduction/expansion: adding or removing elements in translation (essentially a type of shift).
a. 6 Paraphrase: amplification or explanation of meaning in target text.
a. 7 Compensation: making up for the loss of something in the source text, by adding something else in the target text
 b. Shifts: this is when you use:

b.1 Transposition: translation of a source language/text expression into a target language expression which involves change in grammatical structure or in word class.
b.2 Modulation: change of viewpoint or substantial conceptual concept in the translation, for instance, using the name of a category for a specific member of the category, using a part for the whole (and vice versa), active for passive, changing polarity etc.
b.3 Componential analysis: splitting up a lexical unit into meaning atoms and translating those.

III. Others:

a. Recognized translation: using a well-known accepted target language translation for  a specific source language institutional term.
b. Translation label: provisional target language translation of a source language term that does not have any conventional translation in the target language. 
Based on: http://www.hum.aau.dk/~kim/BoT10/bot5.pdf
Basics of translation, 2010 SIS English-Aalborg University.
Peter Newmark, A Textbook of Translation New York: Prentice Hall, 1988) 69, 81-93;
Jean-Paul Vinay and J. Darbelnet, Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais (Paris: Didier,1973);
Jean Delisle et al., ed. Translation Terminology. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins,1999.

d. semantic translation: more emphasis on naturalness than in faithful translation, and translation of certain cultural words into neutral equivalents in the TL.

TT/TL focus (functional communication) includes: 
a. communicative translation: aims at reproducing the exact message of the source text content-wise and context-wise but with emphasis on naturalness and acceptability/comprehensiveness to the target text readership.

11 May, 2011

CV/ Resume Writing

CV/ Resume Writing
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A curriculum vitae is essentially a verbose version of your resume. While it covers the same general aspects of your life, namely education and experience, your CV will delve into more of the nuances of your skill set and especially your accomplishments.
You need to know how to write a curriculum vitae when you’re applying for a position in the academic field, medicine and sciences, and other specific circumstances.
Resume vs. CV
A curriculum vitae, or CV for short, is not the same as a resume. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but there are some important differences you should be aware of.

The major difference between a curriculum vitae and a resume is the scope of the content. A curriculum vitae generally has a much wider scope, covering areas of your life and background that a resume won’t.

  • A curriculum vitae is generally a much longer document, commonly ranging anywhere from five to ten or more pages in length. A CV gives the employer a bigger picture of you as a person as well as you as a worker.

  • A resume is a brief, to the point, fact-by-fact analysis of your educational and professional life.

  • Curriculum vitae are preferred over resumes in Europe and other parts of the world. Resumes are the preferred document in the USA generally.
Which should you use?
First and foremost, give the employer what they ask for. In the USA, in most fields, if they do not specify whether they want your curriculum vitae or resume, it’s safe to assume a resume is what they’re expecting. It’s best to have both documents prepared before you start your job search if you’re in a field that generally requires a CV.
It’s less time-consuming to create a resume once you’ve got a CV, so if you think you’ll need a CV it’s best to get it out of the way and then condense it into a resume afterwards.
Here are some rules that govern which document you are likely to need:
 When to use a Resume
 You are seeking an entry level job right out of college or high school.

  1. You are applying for a job in most non-academic sectors.

  2. The position relies almost solely on your technical skills (accounting, marketing, finance, computer programming, etc.).

  3. It is a ‘job’ rather than a ‘career.’ 
When to use a Curriculum Vitae / CV

  1. Higher level positions where you will be given more responsibility.

  2. You are applying for a job in the academic or medical fields.

  3. You’re seeking admission into a program (Ph.D., fellowship, internship in an academic or creative field).

  4. When you’re applying for a ‘career’ rather than a ‘job.’

  5. If you’re applying for jobs overseas, especially in Europe, employers generally expect a CV if they don’t specify a preference. 
If the employer does not specify and you think a CV would be best, don’t hesitate to send both. In these cases the more information you provide them with, the better. Put your resume in front of the curriculum vitae.

  Resume Format

There are two decisions you need to make with regard to resume format.
1.Resume or CV

2.Chronological or Functional format

You should first decide whether you are going to write a resume or a CV. They are completely different documents, and if  you choose to write a CV, you will almost certainly a hybrid of the two resume formats.

The most popular format for recent graduates and those without several years of work experience in their field is the functional resume. It emphasizes the talents and skills of an individual rather than their track record. The functional resume format is also recommended for people who have gaps in their work history, as it de-emphasizes this problem area to some extent.
The chronological format is technically a reverse chronological structure. In it, you separate your resume into a few broad categories (usually Work History and Education) and then begin listing your most recent jobs and schooling and work your way back in time. This format works best for people who have been in the workplace for several years. It is not recommended for the majority of recent graduates, as it doesn’t do a very good job of selling skills so much as it does experience – which is the one thing recent grads lack.
 Cover Letter
Don’t forget your cover letter! You still need one even if you are submitting a CV rather than a resume.

The cover letter is of vital importance to your resume. It’s what employers see first – it’s your first chance to grab their attention; it’s also your first chance to lose their attention. For this reason you should treat your cover letter with as much care and consideration as you do your resume.
Addressing your cover letter

Address the cover letter to the individual in charge of hiring. If this information is not readily available in the job ad or on their web site, it is acceptable to address it to “Human Resources Manager” or “Hiring Manager.”
Tone and style

Your cover letter should be written in a more casual, conversational style than your resume. This does not mean it is acceptable to use improper grammar – in fact, you should be doubly cautious not to make any mistakes, as the cover letter is the first impression you will make. Use it as an opportunity to show off your writing skills.

You should avoid the rigid sentence form you use on your resume; this is a letter, designed to grab the attention of the employer without going into nearly as much detail as your resume.
Customizing your cover letter

You must take the time to customize the cover letter of each resume. This is the place – not the resume itself – where you should show an interest in the particular company. Let the employer know you went to the effort to find out something about them, what they do, and how your skills would compliment the company.
What to say

Your cover letter should answer the following questions:
1.Why are you writing? Did you see their help wanted ad in the newspaper? Which job, specifically?

2.Who are you? Tell a little about yourself and why you are interested in the position.

3.Why should they consider you? Briefly give an overview of the skills you possess that they could benefit from.

4.Answer any questions/requirements that were in the help wanted ad – number of years experience, salary requirements, etc.

What not to say

You should avoid the following pitfalls on your cover letter:
1.Salary requirements. You should be careful not to paint yourself into a corner. If you say you require a low salary, you’ll hurt your ability to negotiate later on; if your salary requirement is on the high end, they may not even look at your resume. Don’t specify an exact number unless required – try to give a range from the lowest you would consider to the most you think you could possibly get. Let them know that your requirements depend on the job responsibilities and duties.

2.Copying information from your resume. Don’t copy portions of your resume into your cover letter. If your resume is written in an appropriate form and tone, it shouldn’t read as conversationally as your cover letter. Only include the most relevant information on your cover letter – don’t talk about specific jobs you’ve had, but mention that you have experience doing the things this position requires.
Parts of a Curriculum Vitae

The following sections list the parts of a CV, and what employers want you to provide in each. It is not meant to be a strict set of rules, but rather a general guide to curriculum vitae content and structure.

 This first paragraph should provide the employer with a summary of your curriculum vitae. It should name your best attributes and achievements, without too much detail. You’ll go into the specifics later on.
This section should be no more than a few sentences. It’s the attention grabber, so list only the qualities and accomplishments that you think this specific employer is looking for.
 Here you will list all your jobs in a chronological format, much as you would on a resume. You should provide a small description of your duties as well as any major accomplishments while you held each position.

Date, job title, company, duties, accomplishments are all required components of each entry here.
Other Experience
List any experience you may have that was not in a traditional job setting. If you have conducted research independently, written a book, taught a few classes as a freelance professor, or any other experience you should include it here.
 Date, company [if applicable], and a thorough description of each entry should be included here.
Education & Honors
This section of your curriculum vitae will be very similar to the education component of a resume. Feel free to elaborate where you feel necessary. Be sure to include the names of any relevant clubs you participated in, accomplishments in extra curricular activities, and other achievements. If applicable, you should include the title of your thesis and optionally a brief description. If you were a teacher’s assistant as part of your graduate studies, list it here.
Date, institution, degree, honors, GPA, thesis, and other important activities.
Industry Involvement / Conferences
This section is used to describe your ongoing studies and educational activities after school. If you’ve attended work-related conferences or conventions, list them here. This lets the employer know you’ve been involved in the industry beyond the 9-5; if you’ve attended several such events you’re likely to be abreast of recent changes and news in your industry, networked, and generally be interested in your profession beyond the paycheck.
Date attended (e.x. January 3-5, 2004), city/state/(if necessary, country), conference title & sponsoring organization.
Industry Contributions / Papers / Projects
How have you contributed to your industry? If any of your papers or research has been published, include it here. If you have volunteered and worked as part of a team (e.x. work for a foundation, think tank, open source software programming, etc.) include information regarding your specific contributions and level of involvement.
If several of your papers have been published or you’ve contributed to several projects, you should break this into more than one section.
Date, publication or organization, paper title or project, description of your involvement.
Additional Sections as necessary
The above sections are those most commonly found in a curriculum vitae, and provide the employer with the information they usually take into consideration. If you think a particular employer would be interested in another aspect of your life, and it’s not an inappropriate personal matter, let them know about it.
If there’s anything else you feel your employer should know about your experiences or expertise, include it. Don’t worry about being too long winded – if they wanted a single page summary they would have requested a resume. At the same time, don’t shoot for a certain number of pages. Only include information that will give a prospective employer the ability to gauge your abilities and experience.

02 May, 2011

Electronic Tools for Translators in the 21st Century


 Personal computers and the Internet have brought about a shift in the way translators work. Twenty years ago most freelance translators used a typewriter or dictated translations to a secretary; ten years ago they had a computer with a word processor; nowadays most translators need to know how to use translation-memory software and terminology managers, and must be expert Internet users. They might also have replaced the secretary with a voice-recognition software system. Telecommuting is now a reality within the profession, since electronic means of communication mean that customers and translators no longer need to be in the same geographical area, and members of the same translation team may live and work in different places. The Internet (and, by extension, computer proficiency) is not only a source of information or a tool for translations, but also the platform for communication with clients, agencies and fellow translators.   
  • Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) software is helpful to translators, since it speeds up the translation process.
  • The translator has to consider the software licenses restricting the use of the program and its cost.  
  •  Licensing schemes are of two categories: open-source/ free software and close-source/proprietary software.
  •  Accordingly, the programs are one of the following types:
1. Commercial software is computer software sold for commercial purposes.
2. Free software can be used, copied, studied, modified, and redistributed without restriction. ‘free’ of ‘freedom’ and not ‘free of charge’
3. Freeware ‘free of charge’ copyrighted computer software which made available for use free of charge for an unlimited time
4. Shareware (opposes freeware) the user has to pay after some trial period (usually no longer than 30 days.)
  • CAT technology is either electronic tools or other useful software packages

·   A blog can be created by following easy steps in a free weblog publishing system as Blogger (http://www.blogger.com/) after which a person can talk about any topic and can publish.
·   Among the blogs from which translators can get some recommendations as translation notes is (http://www.transnotes.blogspot.com/)

 Image Editors

·   ‘Translators are expected to have some basic skills in order to undertake a translation job which deal with graphics’
·   They should be aware of the existence of image editors such as Photoshop (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/, commercial), Pain Shop Pro (http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Corel3/Products/Display&pfid=1047024307383&pid=1047025487586,%20/ shareware), Photo Filtre (http://www.photofiltre.com/ freeware), and The GIMP(http://www.gimp.com/ free)

 CAT Tool

Translation Memory Systems

·   Using translation memories allows translators to leverage previous translations
·   The most popular translation memory system is SDL Trados (http://www.trados.com/, commercial)
·   Other cheaper ones are Wordfast (http://www.wordfast.com/, commercial), and DéjàVu (http://www.atril.com/, commercial)
Terminology Tools

·   For terminological consistency, terminologists may use term-extraction and concordance tools such as WordSmith Tools (http://www.lexically.net/worlsmith/, commercial; version 3.0 is freeware), TextStat (http://www.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/texstat/software-en.html, freeware) and AntConc (http://antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/antconc_index.html, freeware)

 Web Localization Tools

·   To have a multilingual website, translators are advised to become familiar with tools for web localization such as the HTML editors like Dreamweaver (http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamwweaver/, commercial) and NVU (http://www.nvu.com/, free) in order
·   Such tools preserve the original layout by avoiding any modification
·   Other CAT tools may also allow the user to see both the source and the target texts at the same time and preview the translation in the browser
(http://www.stormdance.net/software/catscradle/overview.htm, freeware) is a reference for CAT tools for web localization

Software Localization Tools

·   In order to translate software, it is necessary to deal with localization tools to extract or edit the menu, window and message strings in a single resource file.
·   The leading CAT tools for software localization are Alchemy Catalyst (http://www.alchemysoftware.ie/products/catalyst.html, commercial) and Passolo (http://www.passolo.com/, commercial).

 Subtitling Tools

·   Many young translators prefer translating a film through subtitling than a legal contract.
·   Many subtitlers subtitle TV shows and spread them over the internet, while others code software programs to subtitle TV series to get some feedbacks from other subtitlers via forums.

   Machine Translation Systems

·   Nowadays, machine translation produces good-quality results with simple texts or texts with controlled language such weather forecasts.
·   However, some editing is still required before and after processing a text in a machine translation system.
·   There are many free online machine translation systems such as Altavista’s Babelfish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/); commercial systems (http://www.smartlinkcorp.com/), Systran (http://www.systransoft.com/) and Power Translator (http://www.avanquest.com/)

 PDF Tools (Portable Document Format)

PDF files can never be modified, so there is no risk of losing the format when different version of the same software is used.

 PDF Readers

·   The PDF reader is Acrobat Reader (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/acrobat/readstep2, freeware)

·   Another PDF reader is Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php, freeware)

 PDF Creators

·   To produce PDF files, PDF creators can be installed as “virtual printers”
·   Such PDF creators are  Acrobat Professional (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatpro/, commercial) and PDFCreator (http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/, free)

 PDF Converters

·   To edit a PDF file, it needs to be converted by a converter to a Word document.
·   Good converters are Solid Converter (http://www.solidpdf.com/, shareware) and ABBYY PDF Transformer (http://www.abbyy.com/pdftransformer/, shareware)

 PDF Editors

·   Converting a PDF file to a Word document may not maintain the same quality.
·   Thus, PDF editors can be used to edit PDF files directly, preserving the original layout.
·   PDF editors are (http://www.iceni.com/infix.htm, shareware) and Foxit PDF Editors (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/pe_intro.php, shareware) 

 Desktop Publishing Tools

·   As opposed to Word Processors, which are used to write documents, Desktop Publishing tools (DTP) are used to design a stylish layout for a journal or magazine.
·   The translator does not necessarily need to know how to create a document from scratch, but s/he will be benefited from having the DTP skills
·   The best-known DTP tools are FrameMaker (http://www.adobe.com/products/framaker/index.html, commercial), InDesign (http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/, commercial), QuarkXPress (http://www.quark.com/, commercial) and Scribus (http://www.scribus.net/, free)

 Proofreading Tools

·   ‘Proofreading is a process which focus on the correction of errors such as misspellings or typos and mistakes in grammar and punctuation’
·   PDF proofreading tools are Highlight Tool and the Strikethrough Tool
·   Other cheaper alternatives are Foxit Reader Pro (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_rd_pro.php, shareware), Jaws PDF Editors (http://www.jawspdf.com/pdf_editor/index.html, shareware) and Bluebeam Revu (http://www.bluebeam.com/web03/products/BbRevu.asp, shareware)    

Tools for Freelance Translators
Billing Software

·   Before attempting a freelance job, it is advisable to know the price the translator will charge.
·   Among the billing software that can help to manage translation invoices are BillQuick (http://www.bqe.com/, shareware), Freeside (http://www.sisd.com/freeside/, free), and FactuSol (http://www.sistemasmultimedia.com/es/factusol.htm, freeware, in Spanishh)  

 Internet Fax Services

·   Windows comes with a fax service that uses a modem to send fax.
·   Another source fax service is though the Internet like InterFAX (http://www.interfax.net/en/, commercial), FaxZero (http://faxzero.com/, free for the US and Canada) or TrusFax (http://www.trustfax.com/pricing.asp?code=reseller6, commercial)

 Other Useful Software Packages

·   There are three other useful software packages which come handy when using the computer: anti-malware software, file compressors/decompressors, and miscellaneous tools

 Anti-malware Software

Malicious software is designed to infiltrate computers. It includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and adware.

 Antivirus Software

·   It is important to install an antivirus program to detect and eliminate computer viruses
·   The best antivirus software packages include AVP (http://www.packagw..kaspersky.com/, commercial), Norton Antivirus (http://www.symantec.com/index.htm, commercial), McAfee Antivirus (http://www.mcafee.com/index.htm, commercial), AntiVir (http://www.free-av.com/, freeware) and AVG (http://www.grisoft.com/dec/1, freeware)

 Anti-spyware Software

·   The most popular software used to fight spyware is Ad-aware (http://www.lavasofrtusa.com/software/adaware/, freeware)
·   There are two other alternatives such as SpyBot Seach & Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org/, freeware) and Spyware Terminator (http://www.spywareterminator.com/, freeware)


·   ‘A firewall is a piece of software that tracks every attempt to access a computer and asks its user to grant permission to execute something when software receives data from the Internet’
·   It perfectly works together with antivirus software to block online viruses.
·   Examples of firewalls are ZoneAlarm (http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp, freeware & shareware), Kerio (http://www.kerio.com/, shareware) and NetDefender (http://www.programmerworld.net/personal/firewall.htm, free) 

  File Compressors/Decompressors

·   File compressors reduce the file size depending on the file type to be able to send and receive the file on the Internet.
·   Compression file formats are zip, rar, ace, 7z
·   The most popular file compressor is WinZip (http://www.winzip.com/, commercial)
·   Other alternatives are WinRAR (http://www.rarlab.com/, shareware), WinACE(http://www.winace.com/, shareware), 7Zip(http://www.7-zip.org/, free), ALZip(http://www.altools.net/, freeware), and IZArc (http://www.izarc.org/, freeware)  

 Miscellaneous Tools

Miscellaneous tools are other useful tools for translators:

·   Search and Replace Tools: InfoRapid Search & Replace (http://www.inforapid.de/html/searchreplace.htm, freeware) and Actual Search & Replace (http://www.divlocsoft.com/, shareware)
·   Screen Capture Tools: WinSnap (http://www.ntwind.com/software/winsnap.html?index.html, freeware), MWSnap (http://www.mirekw.com/winfreeware/mwsnap.html, freeware) and Snaglt (http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp, shareware)
·   File Compression Tools: WinMerge (http://winmerge.sourceforge.net/, free) and ExamDiff (http://www.prestosoft.com/ps.asp?page=edp_examdiff, freeware)
·   Mass Renaming Tools: ReNamer (http://www.redbrick.dcu.ie/~den4b/, freeware), Lupas Rename (http://ww.azheavymetal.com/~lupasrename/news.php/, freeware), Flexible Renamer (http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/V%20A014830/english/FlexRena/ freeware)


·   Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) includes electronic tools and other useful software packages
·   Electronic tools are NINE: word possessors, electronic dictionaries and encyclopedias, tools for the Internet, image editors, CAT tools, PDF tools, desktop publishing tools, proofreading tools, tools for freelance translators
·   Other THREE useful software packages include anti-malware software, file compressors/decompressors, miscellaneous tools.