tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
Many critics, no defenders,
translators have but two regrets:
when we hit, no one remembers,
when we miss, no one forgets.


#translation #translators
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
My response to their "corrections" to my test materials:

I have reviewed the Marked Up file, and it is, frankly, completely and utterly ridiculous. I am an expert in the English language, I assure you, having studied and taught English and other languages, and worked as a translator, together, for over two decades. I know my skills and qualifications, and while I might not be a skilled basketball player, I know my native tongue. There are no grammatical or spelling errors in my work. I have thoroughly checked it, several times.

Your editor actually "corrected" items with incorrect spellings, even, such as replacing a word with "undertkakings". What in the Hell are "undertkakings"? "Sign undertkakings" is somehow more correct than "establish commitments"? Not in any court of law in the US, I assure you, and I've worked in the courts for 7 years. In another location, they "corrected" "court clerk's office" with "registry officie". "Officie"? Every court I've worked in has a court clerk. None of them here have a "registry officie".

Did you even look at the "corrections"?

They (your editor) changed "they/their" to "it, its".

Or perhaps, I should say,"It changed..."?

Do you see how ridiculous that is?

"Lawyer" and "attorney" are completely interchangeable in US English (1).

These are merely examples. There's much more I find very questionable in your editor's corrections, and other "corrections" that are absolutely preposterous. It's embarrassing, really, for you, for Merril Brink. Were I to publish your "corrections" your company would become a laughing stock in the industry. (Recall, I haven't signed any NDA in regard to your test materials, either, of course. Had I, I would honor it.).

Where did you dig up this editor? A local high school?

If this is representative of the work you provide clients, perhaps it is best I do not work with you.

I do not want my name on the garbage that your editor returned to me.

tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
Today I spent some time hacking on TransProCloud.

It still has a long ways to go before it is fully functional, although, the provider and client management parts of the database have been functional for a while now.


Today I finally tackled the beginnings of the actual project management interface and database. I have the rudimentary framework for the financial aspects of the project management interface duct-taped together. There will be more work in this particular area to do yet.

Also, today I started to build the document management aspects, and have a lot of that squared away, now.

Still, the TODO list includes rounding out the financial aspect, polishing up the document management, and, I haven't even started work on the assignments management and building in security. As mentioned on the site, I have my own test/dev installation and the demo installation locked behind an htpasswd wall, which works for now, but eventually I believe I will have to build a better user access system into the application.

In any case, I took advantage of a lull in workflow and did something productive. There's still much work to be done, but I'm hacked out for the day. Soon I will have a working online/cloud translation project management system hacked together. Stay tuned!

Also, if anyone wants to lend a hand, of course, jump in and clone the git repo and have at it!

#tpcloud #translation #projectmanagement

posted from
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
This, my friends, is why Professional Translators are still a necessity.

Il Foglio, an Italian newspaper, has come out critizing the NY Times, who (OMGSTFUBBQ...can't believe they did this!) used a computer generated translation of an article regarding the Vatican's response to sexual abuse complaints.

The failure to translate led the American newspaper to argue that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was protecting a sexually abusive priest from Milwaukee.

The article, titled "New York Times does not translate,” starts by saying, "New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd returned to attack the Pope. Commenting on the words of exorcist Gabriele Amorth, who said that behind pedophile priests is the devil, Dowd suggested a way for the Catholic church to solve the problem: hire a 'sexorcist.'" 1

Learn from this, kiddies.
When the text is important, neither Google Translate, nor Yahoo! BabelFish is truly your friend.

Go to, and find a real, professional translator.
Of course, if your text requires translation from any of French, Portuguese or Spanish to American English, I've got you covered, right here.


posted with Xpostulate
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
A few days ago, as mentioned, I initiated the process of moving TransProCalc onto google code, feeling that it was time to dust off the project and move forward with it. I had merely signed the project up at that time, so, last night, before my brain turned to complete jello after spending the day slogging through the translation of some pretty heavy Brazilian academic articles, I took some time to configure the google code pages for the project, make a couple of wiki pages, upload the current, stable release, and, upload the existing code for the project.

Now, google code offers two version control systems, Subversion and Mercurial. I've never used either one before, but, at least I've heard of Subversion, so I chose to go with that one. It is, apparently, the default system, Mercurial offered as an option. I have used CVS before.

So, I aptitude installed subversion (svn) on from the debian/lenny repos, and set about trying to import my code for the first time to the project.
The instructions on the google Subversion FAQ for importing your code are rather succint.
Just use the 'svn import' command.
Very thorough...
So, the first thing I did was, logically, try to read the man page. Now, people frequently complain that man pages are written for the hopelessly, inhumanly geeky, and not very useful for the rest of us (ok, I do write code, but I am far from being a real hacker, yet), that they are written in some secret language, and that they are generally useless. Of course, those in the know say to read them, and find them rather useful. I confess, I have actually come to the point where I can make sense of some man pages. I'm not even ashamed to admit it. Some of them are insanely usefl (ncftp, for instance, has a very thorough man page). So, I called up "man svn".
This is what I got:

svn - Subversion command line client tool

svn command [options] [args]

[sarcasm]That certainly cleared everything up for me...[/sarcasm]
How about explaining the options? What args? Hello!
I tried "svn help", and that gave me a list of commands, as least, but with no explanation of how to implement them, or what they did, what options or arguments could be passed to them... Folks, the Subversion project needs documentation writers. No doubt. So, I did the next natural then, and did some googling.
In defense of subversion, I must say, they have an entire book/manual for Subversion, available to be purchased in print, or read online for free.
Of course, the instructions I found in said book was that in order to import my code to my google code project, I was a bunch of garbbledy-gook, and said nothing of importing to a remote repository, only creating a repository on a local machine. I needed to import my code to a remote repository.
I did some ranting on some forums, to no avail of course (ah, but the sweet release of venting...), and did some experimenting.
I ended up resetting the repository a total of about 4 times, before I finally managed to figure out how to a) set up the svn repo at my end, b) import the code to google, and c) check in and check out.
So the code is up there, now.
Now, there do seem to be instructions available for checking out and checking in. That's not too bad. But considering the complete lack of instruction on how to actually import the code of the first time, I thought I'd share the culmination of my efforts.

:~$ cd /path/to/project/files
:~$ svn import --username yourname

There! Your code is imported to the svn repo... I know looks simple, but there was nowhere that I could find an explanation thereof.
(okay, it might as well be martian to some of you, dear readers, but those who right code and participate in open source software projects will understand).
Happy? I am.

So, TransProCalc is now up on google code and ready to start a new life. I actually made a few minor changes to the code already, last night, before loading it up there, but not enough that I would call it a release or new version...just a little clean up, rewrote the install script, and, more than anything, a lot more commenting, since I'm hoping to have collaborators. Commenting your code makes it easier for others to find stuff and figure out what you're doing.

And, happily, I have a collaborator already! Anindita Basu, who had previously written a manual for TransProCalc, has rejoined the project (it's been out of development for nearly 2 years, recall).

ADDITIONALLY, TRANSPROCALC NEEDS TCL/TK DEVS! Want to sink your teeth into an open source translation project management project? Check out TransProCalc.

I have big plans for TransProCalc, many new features to be implemented, including but not limited to incorporation of a providers and client db, more user configurability of project parameters, and a calendar/reminder system to annoy you when invoices are due (either to you, or to your providers).
No time to work on any of that today, though...back to these articles...

originall posted to tony baldwin | bloguiando
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
I've decided I need to drag out the transprocalc code and get hacking again.

TransProCalc is a little program I sarted building back in late 2007/early 2008, when I was outsourcing a lot of translation work, and found that the time I was spending managing the projects didn't justify the meager profits I was making from outsourcing. I determined that I really needed to find a way to automate parts of the process, and I couldn't find any existing free/open source software projects that would meet my needs. I was "scratching an itch", as they say in the hacker community. I had a need; I started hacking.

TransProCalc IS handy, too. It helps me keep track of all the documents and assignments for a project, and crunch of the financial numbers, and spits out handy little reports. It needs work, though. I want to get it playing with a database to manage information on clients and providers, get it hooked up with a real calendar/reminder system, to remind me when invoices are due (to providers, or from clients), keep track of which clients have online invoicing systems and help me automate the process of dealing with those, etc....much trabajo.
I have good ideas on how to get a lot of that accomplished, but I need to set aside some time to get to work on it.
Additionally, I would not mind other devs jumping on board with the transprocalc project.
I added transprocalc on google code this morning, which may assist in finding other hands to get into that code, perhaps, and provide tools to manage the project.
Of course, it is already on sourceforge, too.
At the moment, I have some academic articles from Brazil to translate that are keeping me pretty busy.

Furthermore, I have a lot of really good friends in Santiago, Chile, where there was an 8.8 earthquake early this morning.
So, today, I am spending a lot of time, today, worrying about them and trying to track them down and make sure everyone is okay, and obsessively checking the news, etc... VIVA CHILE, MIERDA! (a todos los chilenos, les quiero mucho, mando abrazos, cuidense)

Originally published at tony baldwin |

tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
A Translators' Petition Concerning's Job Policies.
Over recent months, we have witnessed a steady and alarming increase in the number of job offers that contain rates and working conditions we consider totally unacceptable. One recent example of such a post provoked the enraged reaction of thousands of translators and interpreters and was reported in the Italian national press, in addition to being widely discussed by thousands of other translators on translator mailing lists, blogs, Facebook, and elsewhere. The Italian Minister of Tourism ultimately released a statement disavowing the working conditions contained in the job posting that appeared on

Originally published at tony baldwin |

tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
This past weekend new versions were released of two Free software programs very important for translators, OmegaT, CAT program (Computer Aided Translation), and Anaphraseus, another CAT program, both Free (as in speech) and free (as in beer).
OmegaT, developed in Java, is the CAT program is most used by translators in the Free Software community, and has been used in translation and localization of other important Free Software projects such as, the complete, Free, office suite. It is rather distinct from other CAT programs, broadly useful, with ample functions and the ability to deal with a wide variety of files formats, including all those most common to the translation industry, such as all MSOffice® file formats, various software localization formats, and, of course, all Open Document Format files. In addition, OmegaT works with the standard translation memory format, TMX (Translation Memory eXchange).
Anaphraseus CAT works similarly to another, proprietary CAT program, Wordfast®, in its earlier incarnations, but as a macro in, not with MSOffice®, as does Wordfast. Anaphraseus developed in StarBasic, is important because it allows translators who are users of free software to provide their customers "unclean" .doc or .rtf files, a bilingual word processing file (containing both, the source and target languages), widely used in the translation industry. With both these tools, translators using only free software are able to compete with those who work with proprietary products that dominate the industry. Both programs are cross-platform, able to run in GNU/Linux, Mac or Windows.
I announced the release of these new versions over the past several days, but today, I'm taking the time to elaborate again on these release, because I believe these programs are extremely important. I've already discussed why I believe open document formats are important at some length, but it is a topic I am likely to revisit, and my original article touching on the matter is, as I see it, a work in progress. I'm certain I will continue to revise and update that article and repost it from time to time. Why freedom of information and open standards are important in my industry, translation, should, as I see it, require little explanation.
Now, my industry, translation, like so many others, is dominated by the use of propietary software tools, such as Trados® and Wordfast@, and inundated with the widespread use of MSOffice®. That's no surprise and no secret. Many translators, in fact, believe that you simply can't work successfully in our industry without MSOffice® and Trados® or Wordfast®, and I'm living proof that the notion is completely erroneous. I've been working as a freelance translator now for half a decade, and using only Free Software on my computers for a full decade, and my family eats three square meals a day. My three most used programs are the above mentioned, OmegaT, Anaphraseus, and (the 4th being a web browser, for research and to communicate with clients, providers, etc., and fifth being mocp to listen to music while I work. Seriously. But that's a matter for another article). I work for private clients, government agencies, school systems, and large translation warehouse agencies, the vast majority of whom use the popular proprietary products mentioned above. I've never had any difficulty due to lack of compatibility, and have always been able to deliver the product that my clients have demanded of me. Furthermore, it is my belief that I can do so more efficiently using the Free Software I use, especially since I use them with a GNU/Linux operating system. My system is secure, stable, and efficient. It uses fewer resources than popular proprietary operating systems, doesn't fall prey to the hordes of viruses and attacks to which those other systems are so easily and frequently prey, has never crashed on me (seriously, not once), and is far more customizable and configurable, allowing me to set it up in the way that is more "ergonomic" and efficient for me, allowing me to work as efficiently as possible. I save time, not having to deal with AV software updates, fixing crashes, removing intrusions, etc. Heck, I never even have to reboot the darned thing. Another factor, and, in my opinion, this is probably the least important, but often the most touted in some circles, is that none of my software has cost me a penny. Seriously. I have powerful CAT tools and office tools for my translation work, all the web communication tools needed (e-mail, chat, voip), tools for managing the financial back end (some day I should write an article on gnucash), powerful image manipulation software (sometimes I edit images for clients), essentially, everything I need for my work. (I also have all the toys, games, multimedia software, etc., I could possibly ever not need to distract me when I should be working...).
A common proprietary operating system, cat program, and office suite, alone, would cost me in the neighborhood of US$1500.00. Proprietary image manipulation software would easily tack on another $700, and, let's not forget that I'd have to pay for security tools to protect all my data, with regular AV updates, etc. I could easily spend US$3000.00 or more for the software I would need to do the work that I do, were I to use proprietary software tools. So, I'm not only more efficient in terms of time/energy waste maintaining my machine (able to focus more on work than maintenance...except when I'm blogging or facebooking), I'm also more efficient in terms of expenditure of financial resources, which enables me to pass the savings on to my clients, making, in fact, more competitive than my colleagues who use proprietary software tools.
Now, do I use Free (as in speech) Software just because it's free as in beer)?
No. For me, the issues of freedom of information and open file format standards, and the freedom to control my own computer (not be licensed to use a product over which I have little control, and in a fashion that gives its creators rights over the software on MY machine) are FAR more important to me than price. In addition, the added efficiency and configurability I have with the Free Software I use are convenient and agree with me immensely. Nonetheless, I do feel that it's worth mentioning the added financial advantage these tools bring.
With that, I will get back to work translating these Brazilian articles, and bid you good day.

originally posted to the baldwinsoftware blog.
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)

This is my first entry to dreamwidth.

I have other blogs:
baldwinsoftware | blog is my main blog.

I hack stuff:

I translate stuff:

I also paint stuff, photograph stuff, sing stuff, write poetic stuff:

That's enough stuff for my first post.



tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)

December 2013

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