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Protect Your Most Valuable Assets

December 4th, 2011 | by MiW | No Comments

Author: Michael Wahlster

While it is easy to grasp that shiny new computers or feature-loaded laptops have a tangible value and should be protected against damage and loss, it is actually the intangible data residing on those computers that are much more valuable and, in many cases, irreplaceable if the proper protective measures are lacking.

It’s always shocking to learn
how many translators give no thought to
and spend no effort on
securing their data,
even though these data are
the lifeblood of their business.

For better or for worse, most data that drive a freelance translator’s business exist in electronic form. This goes way beyond source and target documents. We all keep reference material and glossaries on our hard drives and accumulate translation memory entries. The e-mail correspondence with our clients resides on the same drives, as do our bookkeeping files where we keep track of invoices and payments. And that is probably not everything. What about software we downloaded, our fonts, or credentials for access to websites and accounts? What about browser bookmarks and other important reference material we found on the Internet?

In discussions with colleagues, it is always shocking to learn how many translators put no thought or effort into developing strategies to secure their data, even though these data are the lifeblood of their business. Where does that leave you in case something happens to your computer after a fire, flood, or theft? Hardware is easy to replace – just walk into the nearest Best Buy and you are all set. However, with your accounting, your e-mail archives, and translation memories gone, not to mention any projects you may have been working on, you will have a much harder time to recover.

Read on »

Online Tutorials For OpenOffice.org

November 16th, 2011 | by LTD | No Comments

Author: Corinne McKay

Last night I was at a Colorado Translators Association event at which the presenter (the ever-popular editing consultant Alice Levine), mentioned an online tutorial for the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word. This made me realize that there must be similar websites for OpenOffice.org. Here are a few that I’ve found:

A really comprehensive resource for OpenOffice.org users is Get OpenOffice.org, which offers all kinds of training materials, transition advice, tips on running OO.o on Vista, etc. Solveig Haugland, the founder of Get OpenOffice.org is also the author of the OpenOffice.org 2 Guidebook, so this website rates high on the reliability index! She also has a blog about OO.o, at OpenOffice.blogs.com.

Learn OpenOffice.org offers a variety of free online tutorials that focus on how to solve a particular problem using OO.o. Their tutorials look really helpful and you can choose between text-only or Flash mode (thank you!). The only drawback is that there are tutorials for Impress (OO.o’s presentation program) and Calc (spreadsheet), but not for Writer, which is the application that most translators are likely to use.

The official OO.o website has a tutorials page, with lessons written by various contributors. The topics are a bit random since they’re contributed by volunteers and most of the tutorials require you to download a file, but these are definitely worth a look.

A very helpful site is VnTutor, which has a lengthy list of tutorials for Writer, Base, Impress and Calc and allows you to view them right on the site. The tutorials also have lots of pictures to make their points clearer.

Although it’s not specifically a tutorial, my pick for online OO.o information would be Solveig Haugland’s blog, and you can use the Categories menu on the right to find the topic you’re interested in.

[First published in Corinne McKay’s blog Thoughts On Translation.]

Translation Productivity Tools… Reviewers anyone?

December 31st, 2009 | by mm | No Comments

Another grandparent of TM has recently undergone a major update. Star Transit. I found an interesting review at a really well maintained ATA Chapter blog the NCTA Translorial at http://translorial.com/. The article of interest can be found at

Migrations made easy…

December 31st, 2009 | by mm | No Comments

I was pointed the other day to this informative new blog on the ups and downs of migration to SDLTrados 2009. Watch Tuomas Kostiainen as he masters his new domain… http://tradoshelp.wordpress.com/.

Wordfast discount until the end of the year!

December 5th, 2008 | by Naomi de Moraes | No Comments

I have never tried Wordfast, but I know many translators swear by it. It can work with the SDL Trados segmented format and, from what I hear, is easier to use and learn than SDL Trados. It also runs on many different platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux).

The current version of Wordfast (5.5), which works inside MS Word like SDL Trados, is now being redubbed Wordfast Classic, and the company is launching a new version called Wordfast 6.0 which does not depend on the MS Word interface. If you purchase Wordfast 5.5 by the end of the year, for 250 euros, you will get a free license for Wordfast 6.0 when it is released.

And, if you live in a disadvantaged country, the price is cut in half. See the Wordfast site for more details.

Naomi de Moraes

SDL (Trados and SDLX) Upgrade rules changing

March 25th, 2008 | by Naomi de Moraes | No Comments

I recently received the following email from SDL, which many of you may find interesting:

“From the 1st April 2008 our promotional pricing eligibility is changing for versions older than 3 years.

“If you are on versions Trados v6.5 or previous or SDLX 2004 and previous, we recommend you upgrade to SDL Trados 2007 now in order to retain discounted upgrade pricing for the software. From the 1st of April 2008 onwards, there will no longer be upgrade eligibility from these versions.”

See the SDL announcement page for complete details.

The previous policy was to allow users to upgrade even the oldest versions of SDLX or Trados, with upgrade price increasing with the age of the prior version. What do readers think of this?

Naomi de Moraes