False friends, those tricky words that are a translator's enemy and that can be found in almost every document we translate, also exist between English and Finnish. In this article, we take a look at them so that they won't cause you a nightmare during your next translation project.
So, what’s a false friend? Well, as many of you might know, a false friend (from the French faux ami) is a word or an expression that shares a similar written form in two languages, but which has different meanings. Therefore, false friends can be quite problematic because, when you see them, you might assume they have the same meaning as a similar word in your native language.
Sometimes, even fluent users of a language can confuse them; even professional translators can be misled by a false friend. That’s why, as a translator, it’s crucial to familiarise oneself with them. Remember that when it comes to translation, ‘false friends are worse than bitter enemies’, as the Scottish proverb says, and you should keep your eyes peeled, because they might be waiting for you around every corner.
It seems no language is free of false friends, and the Finnish language is no exception. During the years I’ve spent working as a translator, I’ve come across many false friends; they were in that urgent assignment, or that translation I finished off without first having my coffee, trying to confuse me. Luckily, I was able to spot them and translate them properly. Therefore, I would like to help you in your war against false friends by sharing some of them with you.
|Finnish word||It looks like…||But it means…|
|dokumentti||document||documentary / document|
|kudos||kudos||tissue (as in muscle tissue)|
|riski||risky||strong / risk|
|uni||uni||dream (sensations occurring while sleeping)|
Quite a few, huh? I’m sure there must be many others I’ve missed; so, I invite you—Finnish translators, Finnish native speakers, Finnish language lovers—to contribute to this list by leaving a comment below. Thanks!
This article was written for the purpose of educating translators on how to increase blog traffic on their websites. From referring readers to your personal content and that of your colleagues to creating an RSS feed for your blog, we hope that the tips listed below will provide you with assistance in generating website traffic for your blog.
We live in an era where business transactions are conducted via the World Wide Web on a daily basis. The world of professional language services is not exempt from this postmodern method of earning a living. That said, it is necessary to familiarise oneself with techniques on how to increase blog traffic. This article offers several ideas and tips on how to generate website traffic for your blog. This is the second of a two-part series on the topic. The first article Tips for Translators: How to Increase Blog Traffic (I) was released a few weeks ago.
- Refer readers to your content and that of your colleagues
- Comment on blogs by your colleagues
- Create an RSS feed using Feedburner
- Keep blogging
One effective way to achieve targeted traffic for your blog is by sharing with your readers links that are neither spammy nor overused. This establishes your credibility with your audience and is helpful to readers who wish to know more about the topic. It can also help generate website traffic for your blog should your readers happen to stumble upon previous posts that they have not read before.
Referring readers to your content is also beneficial for other bloggers and site owners as website traffic is also driven to their blogs. In the same manner, search engines also receive a signal directing them to your previous posts.
Another way to attain targeted traffic for your blog is by discovering other blogs that also cover translation services.
One useful resource for this endeavour is FollowerWonk (discussed last week). When doing this, it is crucial that you be consistent with the name that you use and the URL you point back to when linking your blog.
Add real value by leaving interesting and substantial comments. In the process you will raise awareness, generate website traffic for your blog, and build backlinks.
In order to attract a larger audience, you should enable subscriptions via feed and email.
Feedburner is a very useful tool which you can use to create an RSS feed. It is also possible to add a visible button anywhere in the post.
If you are using WordPress, it is really easy to burn a feed. There are many great plug-ins available for this platform too.
You can find out through trial and error which posts generate the most website traffic, and from there come up with similar content for your subscribers to enjoy.
One of the things you need to remember when learning how to increase blog traffic is that it will not happen if you don’t regularly produce fresh content. Do not fret if the targeted traffic for your blog is not achieved immediately—attaining results takes time and will require effort and hard work on your part. The key is to be consistent and to invest time as you build your audience.
These are only a few of the many tips that can be applied in learning how to increase blog traffic. Feel free to leave a comment and share your own experiences about what methods you utilise to generate website traffic for your blog.
Whether you have just recently launched your blog or have been maintaining one for years now, this article provides you with a few tips on how to increase blog traffic. From familiarising yourself with SEO techniques to gaining exposure via social networks, it is our hope that this article will help you generate more website traffic for your blog than you ever imagined.
Living in a world where technology has managed to penetrate virtually every sector of business, the world of freelancing and professional language services are certainly no exception. Having said that, it is absolutely necessary to educate oneself on how to generate website traffic for your blog if you wish to carry your business with you into the twenty-first century. This article offers advice and ideas for translators on how to increase blog traffic. This is the first of a two-part series on the topic. The second article will be released in a week.
Below are some tips on how to generate targeted traffic for your blog:
- Write your content with SEO in mind
While search engine optimisation (SEO) may have a tainted reputation these days, it is only bad press and poor experiences that have made it so. Do not underestimate the power of SEO to help you generate website traffic and catapult your blog to success. Search engines place a high premium on SEO and writing your content with SEO in mind can help you attract targeted traffic for your blog.
Some useful resources include:
- → Blogger’s Guide to SEO (from SEO Book)
- → The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (from SEOmoz)
- → WordPress Blog SEO Tutorial (from Yoast)
With the plethora of benefits that social networking provides, spreading the word effectively and efficiently about the professional services one offers is definitely one of the highlights. Social networks provide a convenient avenue for you to give your blog exposure, and therefore generate website traffic for your blog in the process.
- → Twitter has 465 million accounts.
- → Facebook has 850 million.
- → Google+ has nearly 100 million.
- → LinkedIn has over 130 million.
You can share content that you find interesting; whether yours or your colleague’s.
On Twitter, you can use hashtags such as #xl8 (translate), #t9n (translation) and #l10n (localisation) to engage in conversations with other translators or with prospects. You can also post the URL of your blog and add the said hashtags to the tweet.
Google Analytics offers free membership and is helpful for finding top-notch sources of traffic. Here, you can discover which sources can bring in high-quality website traffic for your blog and concentrate on them.
One fundamental tip to keep in mind when learning how to increase blog traffic is to perform thorough research on the correct keywords to use. In order to achieve targeted traffic for your blog, it is essential to use the specific terms and phrases your audience will be typing in the search field.
Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool is a free resource you can use to help generate website traffic for your blog. Experiment with it and find out which terms are the most popular with regard to the topic you will be blogging about.
Use the keywords you find in the title and the headline of your post, then proceed to write high-quality content on the topic.
These are only some of the tips you can use to help achieve targeted traffic for your blog. Feel free to share your experiences and some of your own tips to educate other translators on how to increase blog traffic.
In the world of Spanish translation, the application of neutral Spanish is a request often made by translation buyers to linguists and translators alike. But what exactly is neutral Spanish, and is it possible to achieve it with the language being spoken in over twenty different countries around the world? Read on to find out.
Spanish is a language that is understood and spoken by millions around the world. Whether you are a translation professional or a translation buyer, we hope to provide you with a better understanding of translation into neutral Spanish. It is important to realise that while some clients may request a neutral Spanish translation, this is almost impossible to achieve considering the diversity of the Spanish locales. Essentially, our goal is to debunk the myths surrounding neutral Spanish and help you progress in your Spanish translation endeavours.
Together with Mandarin, English and Hindi, Spanish ranks among the world's four most widely spoken languages. Over 440 million people in more than twenty different countries speak Spanish. That said, it is not difficult to understand why Spanish from Spain has evolved with its own unique distinctions in the different countries it is spoken. This evolution was necessary in order to adapt to the unique needs and settings of the different and diverse societies and communities in which Spanish is spoken.
In essence, neutral Spanish is a language that claims to belong to everyone, but in fact belongs to no one.
Moreover, there are twenty-two academies of the Spanish language in the world. These represent the language's different varieties and idiosyncrasies. Since a thousand years or more ago, Spanish from Spain has certainly come a long way.
Neutral Spanish that uses Spanish words which are acceptable throughout the Spanish-speaking world is the preferred medium in Spanish translation. This technique is effective in significantly reducing localisation costs, as the need to produce a unique translation for each Spanish-speaking country is eliminated.
The problem is that there is actually no such thing as neutral Spanish. Those working in the line of Spanish translation end up writing or translating in their own locale (e.g. American Spanish, Mexican, Argentinean, etc.); therefore, rendering the utilisation of neutral Spanish as futile.
Granted, it is possible to use a somewhat neutral form of Spanish in cases where the text is highly cultural or academic, such as the fields of engineering or medicine. However, in cases where the writing style is more casual (e.g. marketing and advertising), this poses a greater challenge to translators as there are hundreds of frequently used words that do not have a translation that is common to all variants of Spanish. In cases where a universal term does exist, it is likely that the meaning or essence of the word will be ‘lost in translation’, so to speak.
In essence, neutral Spanish is a language that claims to belong to everyone, but in fact belongs to no one. It was created by linguists or translators in an effort to utilise terms that can be universally understood by a Spanish-speaking audience. This is put into action by inventing new words and avoiding local terminology.
Whether your locale is Spanish from Spain, American Spanish or any other variant of the language, what is your take on neutral Spanish? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on the subject.
This article covers the subject of how translators can learn how to negotiate with clients successfully. The first part discusses common mistakes that linguists often make when negotiating deals with potential clients, while the latter part of the article provides useful practical tips on how translators can sharpen their negotiation skills.
Whether you have been working as a freelance translator for quite some time now or have only just begun your journey, learning how to negotiate your rates is a necessary skill you are sure to need somewhere along the way. That said, here are some mistakes you should avoid as you familiarise yourself with the art of business negotiation:
- Assume there is no need to negotiate
While this may seem like an obvious tip to keep in mind, you may be surprised by how many linguists make this mistake. Do not allow the client to simply dictate the terms of the project if you have another rate in mind. One good way to put your negotiation skills into practice is by giving this a try the next time you encounter a client who presumes you are comfortable with the budget they are offering.
Remember that the point of business negotiation is that you and the client can come to an agreement regarding the desired outcome of the project as well as the price. Be firm on the price you are offering and do not allow your clients to haggle over your fee as if it were a product being sold at an auction or a bazaar.
- Offer discounts constantly
As mentioned earlier, you are in the business of professional language services. Therefore, it cannot be emphasised enough how much you could potentially lose if you constantly offer discounts. Keep in mind that the quantity of work assigned to you will never make up for the profits you will lose by shaving off a significant amount from your standard rate.
Do not assume that the client's absolute priority is to lower costs. This puts you in a vulnerable position and hampers your negotiation strategies. Instead, try to find out what your client really cares about and stand by the price you are offering.
- Justify yourself
When it comes to negotiation techniques, this is one of the worst mistakes you can make when dealing with a client. When faced with a potential client, you need to have 100% confidence in your skills and your ability to deliver the client's order. Assume that the client already knows who you are and what your qualifications are. Be confident, and stand by the quote you are offering.
Now that you are aware of the possible mistakes you might make while learning how to negotiate with clients, here are a few items to bear in mind to help you hone your negotiation skills:
- You get what you negotiate
It is likely that you will not get paid what you think you deserve based on your reputation and experience, but you will receive the amount that you negotiate. So, negotiate wisely.
- Learn to deal with difficult people
As you brush up on your negotiation techniques and deal with different clients, you will inevitably discover that there are clients who will stop at nothing to get some kind of discount. Be prepared for some yelling here and some intimidatory tactics there. No matter what happens, maintain your composure and stand by your quote.
- Identify your weaknesses and work on them
Do not be frustrated if you feel that your negotiation strategies are leading you down a dead end. Realise that it takes time to master the art of business negotiation. Pinpoint the areas that you can improve on, work hard to get there, and, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
These are only a few of the negotiation techniques that you can use as you embark on your journey of working as a translator. Feel free to share your own experiences or other helpful tips on how translators can brush up on their negotiation skills.
This article offers you some tips on how you can obtain more work and clients, from giving out business cards, to going local and joining your local chamber of commerce to get some exposure. Read on and take the first step towards expanding your client base in the world of freelance translation.
If you work as a freelance translator, then you fully understand that the line of work you have chosen is unstable at times. Therefore, you want to do everything that you can to make sure you always have a project or two on your roster. After all, what you do for a living is your bread and butter, and you want to get as many clients on board as possible. With this in mind, here are some ways to help you obtain more jobs:
- Be sure that your circle of influence knows what you do for a living. This includes friends, family, neighbours; and people you encounter at the gym, library, bookstore, coffee shop, etc. Always carry business cards—you never know when you will come across a potential client or someone who may want to refer your services.
- Keep your current and past clients posted on new services and promotions that you are offering. Get creative. You can do this via email, a monthly newsletter, or even through an attachment to your invoices.
- Inquire about how you can get listed in your local yellow pages or business pages. Sometimes, you can even get listed for free. Keep your eyes open for local companies that are on the lookout for someone with your skills.
- Set aside a day or two to create an entry for your business in translators' directories or business listing pages. This includes TranslationDirectory.com, GoTranslators, TRADUguide, ProZ.com, and many more.
- Go local and join your local chamber of commerce. Here, you will be afforded the opportunity to meet other SMEs and hopefully obtain some projects. Put yourself out there as often as possible by attending industry events, conferences, seminars, association meetings, and the like. Try to meet people in the same profession and collaborate with them. You never know where those connections will lead you.
- Never stop marketing. No matter how many clients you have at the moment, or how much you have in your bank account, freelancing is a very risky business, and it doesn't pay to be lax. Always take the initiative; be on the lookout for prospective jobs; and seize the opportunity to tell people you've just met about what you do for a living.
All in all, while working as a freelance translator may be altogether more challenging and less secure than being employed by an actual company, the reason that many do it is because of the benefits and advantages that come with the job. After all, we get to wake up at noon, and still get the job done before the day ends. Just be tenacious with your job-hunting efforts and the work will surely find you. What are some ways that you've found effective in getting more work? Feel free to weigh in and share your thoughts.
Listed below are some tips on how to use Google effectively as a research tool. Here, you will find advanced search operators and other operators which you can utilise to help accomplish your translation work in a more timely fashion. Read on to find out exactly how.
This is the second of two articles related to this topic; the first post on how to use Google as a research tool was released last week. With this article, it is our hope that you will find the information on advanced and other search operators useful in your research as a translator. In your line of work, time is money, and we want to help you work as efficiently as possible using these tips on how to use Google effectively as a valuable research tool:
Advanced Search Operators:
- Website operator — [site:]
The use of this operator tells Google that you want only results that can be found in the specific site you specify. Basic search operators can also be used in conjunction with this operator. For example, the search [site:microsoft.com “computer terminology”] will yield results from the site ‘microsoft.com’ that contain the phrase ‘computer terminology’.
- File type operator — [filetype:]
A file suffix can be added (e.g. ‘pdf’ or ‘doc’) and Google will show only results which contain pages that end in those specific suffixes. For example, the search [recycling glossary filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc] will yield results related to recycling glossaries in ‘pdf’ or ‘doc’ formats.
- In title operator — [intitle:]
The in title operator lets Google know that you are looking only for pages that have the term added after the operator in their title. For example, the search [genome intitle:glossary] will yield results that contain the word ‘glossary’ in their titles, and the word ‘genome’ anywhere within the document (regardless of whether it is found in the title).
- In URL operator — [inurl:]
When this operator is used, Google restricts results to sites that contain the term specified after the operator in their URL. For example, the search [printer site:samsung.com inurl:troubleshooting] will yield results from the Samsung site that contain the word ‘troubleshooting’ in the URL and also mention the word ‘printer’ anywhere within the text.
Other Search Operators:
- Define operator — [define:]
This operator is quite useful for looking up word, sentence or acronym definitions. The operator simply needs to be placed in front of the word you wish to look up. For example, the search [define:article] will yield results for the definition and synonyms of the word ‘article’.
- Unit conversion operator
This simplifies unit conversion. All you need do is type in the conversion unit you are looking for after the unit that you already have: e.g. [25 miles in km] or [370 Fahrenheit in Celsius].
These are only some of the many search operators you can use to help conduct your research via Google much more efficiently and effectively. Feel free to leave a comment and share with other readers any search operators that are not mentioned and that you find useful.
This article about how to use Google as a research tool was written to help you make the most of Google in your work as a translator. This is the first of two articles related to this topic; the second will be released in a week.
As a freelance translator, it is likely that you are very busy and want to save as much time possible, while doing your work without compromising its quality. In order to do this, we are providing you with some helpful tips on how to use Google as a research tool. Whether you are looking to search for the meaning of a certain acronym or technical word, or are looking up the manual of a product, listed below are some basic search operators you can utilise to help you maximise Google's usefulness as a research tool:
- Quotation marks (“”) — [“key phrase”]
Using quotation marks before and after your search terms prompts Google to search through its database for the exact sentence as opposed to any combination of the words. For example, the search [“cartography glossary”] will yield only results with the words in that exact order.
- Logical operator ‘or’ (OR) — [keyword1 OR keyword2]
By default, Google uses all the words typed in the search box. That said, it is necessary to use this operator if you wish results to be shown with either of the keywords you type. Note that OR must be typed in all caps: e.g. the search [“hoover manual” OR “vacuum cleaner manual”] will yield results for manuals of both Hoovers and vacuum cleaners.
- Minus sign (-) — [keyword1 -keyword2]
This search operator can be used if you wish to eliminate results that contain a particular term. For example, the search [“computer terminology” -wikipedia] will yield results containing the phrase “computer terminology” that are not found within Wikipedia.
- Plus sign (+) — [keyword1 +keyword2]
Using the plus sign tells Google that you want results to include all the keywords you have typed, without exception. For example, the search [glossary +spanish +legal] will yield results that contain the three keywords glossary, Spanish and legal.
- Asterisk (*) — [“keyword1 * keyword2”]
Google recognises the asterisk or ‘wildcard’ operator as a placeholder. This comes in handy when searching for a phrase (always between quotation marks) that matches one or more words. For example, the search [“manual of * construction”] will find manuals from different types of construction—road construction, building construction, etc.
- Tilde (~) — [~keyword]
This search operator prompts Google to return results of the specific keyword you typed along with its synonyms or alternative endings. For example, the search [architecture ~thesaurus] will yield results of architecture thesaurus and thesauri, dictionaries, glossaries, etc.
While these search operators may be tedious to use in the beginning, as you get the hang of them, it will soon become second nature to input these operators, and you will find that using them is seamless and, more importantly, convenient and helpful.
As a freelance translator in the twenty-first century, you will inevitably need translation tools. Many translators purchase proprietary software at a high price, unaware that there is a world of free and open-source software and tools available for public use online. Read on to find out where and how you can access these tools.
While the phrase ‘free and open-source software’ (FOSS) might seem like a mouthful, this is simply what it means: many translators are unaware of the fact that there is a plethora of free software and tools out there that are available for them to download and utilise. It is called ‘open-source’ because the source code has been made available to the public for their usage.
FOSS is useful for translators, as many translators are self-employed. This means that income is not always stable, so it is helpful to have access to tools that are necessary in one’s work, and not have to spend a considerable sum on them. One website that can help you get acquainted with mixing translation and FOSS is Linux for Translators, where an overview is provided explaining how to implement FOSS options.
- tuxtrans — this desktop GNU/Linux System offers a myriad of software packages designed specifically for translators, such as OpenOffice, Anaphraseus, OmegaT, and more. There are also programs for CAT software and tools for localising software, aligning text, managing terms and subtitling videos and more.
- Linguas OS — an alternative GNU/Linux System developed for translators.
CAT (computer-assisted translation) Software:
- OmegaT — this program is written in Java and is compatible with the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. It offers a free translation memory application and translation tool.
- OmegaT+ — a user-friendly translation program that has features such as translation memory, full and partial matches, a glossary function and a search engine. It also supports a variety of document types.
- Anaphraseus — this tool functions as a macro in OpenOffice, and can be likened to how Wordfast is crammed into MS Word.
- Open Language Tools — an XLIFF (XML localisation interchange file format) translation editor and an XLIFF filter. This program is written in Java and is compatible with the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. It also supports a variety of document types.
Dictionaries and Terminology:
- IntelliWebSearch — a time-saving tool that can be highly customised by users.
- TDict — this program is compatible with the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems and offers access to 48 different dictionaries and resources.
- ]project open[ — open-source management software.
- TransProCalc — free/open-source translation project management tools.
- GnuCash — free/open-source accounting software with a multitude of features.
- OpenOffice — this is a comprehensive software suite with applications such as word processing, database front end, spreadsheets, drawing tools, presentations, HTML/web page editor, and more. It is completely free and can be used across all platforms.
- Mozilla Thunderbird — a free, open-source, cross-platform email and news client.
- Mozilla Firefox — a free Web browser, lauded for its low demand on PC resources. It has a built-in spell checker, tabbed browsing, a download manager, and other useful functions.
FTP (file transfer protocol) Software:
- FileZilla — can be used across all platforms and offers many useful features. The graphical user interface is also very intuitive.
These are only some of the software programs and tools available online that can be useful in your translation projects. If you are not sure of how to utilise them, that’s what Google is for. If you know of any programs or tools that are not listed here, feel free to share the information by leaving a comment below. Any questions are welcome as well.
To work on comprehensive projects often means to encounter high fences and moments of zero inspiration. Translators also have moments of this sort, even though most people think their job requires no imagination. The best way to improve the word flow is by taking a break and changing the activity for a short period.
The translation process is not as easy as one might think. It's important to find the appropriate words, not only to provide their equivalents, but also to make sure the translation sends the same message as the original text. When working on a large project concerning the same subject, at some point the translator will get stuck. The loss of inspiration in writing is usually caused by a long day filled with the same activity. To avoid a lack of ideas, it is imperative to take regular breaks and use that time to brainstorm through diverse activities:
People use different methods to relax and gather inspiration; so for each translator, there is an unwinding ritual to follow.
- Take a walk — getting some fresh air is always a good idea when the brain gets tired. A stroll in the park or around the block offers a new perspective and stimulates the imagination by introducing new sounds, smells and images.
- Read an article — sometimes finding more information on the subject will increase the knowledge level and the word fluency; in other cases, reading totally different subject matter will allow the brain a pause from the translation project and provide a fresh start.
- Take a relaxing bath or a sauna — a relaxed body is the home of a relaxed mind. To get inspiration means to basically empty the mind and allow ideas to flow freely. The best way to achieve that is to unwind and simply allow the brain to take a break.
- Practise sports — an hour of jogging, cardio, fitness or tennis boosts the endorphin levels, and the feeling of happiness rushes in. When one is in a good mood, ideas come easily and words are quicker to find.
- Have a coffee/tea/cocoa/sandwich/cigarette break — sometimes even a five minute break can help with brainstorming. A short chat with a friend over a cup of coffee will change the course of thought and provide a fresh start to the original project.
- Listen to music — some people are extremely inspired by music, and whilst sound waves course through their brains, ideas flow with great ease.
People use different methods to relax and gather inspiration; so for each translator, there is an unwinding ritual to follow. Whatever the formula, sometimes a writer simply needs a break from the long working hours and to change activities. The longer the brain focuses on something, the less productive it is on that subject. That is why translators need pauses from their projects—to gather new information and brainstorm fresh approaches to the original texts.
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