IT Translation

Courtesy of picjumbo, by Viktör Hanacek

And here I am again, apologizing for not being able to post! =/ This time, the post was ready, but my newborn nephew and his first-time mom didn’t “allow” me to actually publish it. So here it is today, exactly the way it should have been posted yesterday.

Hi, there! I hope you’re doing fine. As for me, after a crazy week last week (by the way, my sincerest apologies for not publishing my weekly post), this week has been all about splitting myself in half: working part-time and helping my sister with her newborn son the other half of the time. I must admit it’s tiring, but all worth it! 🙂

I know you were expecting our guest post today, but we had a change of plans. I’ll write my weekly post today, and on Thursday Paula Ianelli will talk about translation of games, so you don’t miss anything. 😉

Some of my guests asked me to write on my area of expertise in translation. Since I’m asking them to write about their domains, why shouldn’t I, right? So today I’ll talk about IT translation and how I ended up being specialized on it.

Well, by now, you should be familiarized with my beginning in the translation profession. In case you missed it, here is the post I talk about how I fell in love with translation and the educational path towards starting out as a freelance translator and here is the post I talk a bit about my rates when I started.

I started working with only one translation agency that sent me several different kinds of texts in different areas. With time, though, I started being frequently consulted to translate for their IBM account. Besides translating, I also had some experience as project coordinator – I used to coordinate all the translators of a specific project (usually an extensive one involving several translators and weekly deliveries), send instructions to all of them, validate glossaries, review their translations before delivery and send them feedback. It was a very fruitful experience. I even had the opportunity of replacing an employee on vacation for one month, working remotely as QA Editor for this same translation company, same account.

All in all, I provided services for this account and agency for about two years. By the time I started marketing my services to other clients, I already felt quite comfortable translating IT. Then I had the chance of working with other great accounts with other different translation agencies, such as Google, Apple, GoDaddy, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Philips, Red Hat, etc.

Although the terminology used seems to be “simple”, in that some words are translated the same way in all accounts, most of the accounts have very strict instructions, style guides, glossaries and different translations of the same term from other accounts. They usually have a very strict QA and demand a lot of experience, attention to details and openness to feedback and to learning with our mistakes. It’s an ongoing and endless learning process, especially because they are constantly changing their translation preferences. Besides, even within an account, they may have subdivisions which have different translations for the same term. For example, when I worked with the IBM account, requirement used to be translated as requerimento in one specific project and requisito in another. Additionally, some terms may be translated in one account/subdivision of an account, but not in another.

Bottom line is we must always be extra observant, read the client’s material (style guides, glossaries, etc.) carefully, pay attention to the client’s feedback and always try to learn with them not to make the same mistakes again, and find ways of memorizing/learning the different specificities of each client. My way of not getting lost in all this flood of different information is to keep glossaries with important terms/notes for each client/account. If I’m in doubt or suspect a term may have a specific translation, I consult all the material, including my personal glossary. We may not be able to memorize everything by heart, but we should find ways of keeping track of changes/differences.

The more we work with a client/account, the more we get used to it and the more it gets easier and faster to translate. However, in order to get that far, we must be patient and do a lot of research and consultation in the beginning.

P.S.: I also translate marketing, business and legal (contracts) material for the same reason: they chose me. These were the domains I was mostly requested to translate in the beginning. And you know, practice makes perfect.

Do you also work with IT translations? Would you have a different experience/tip to share with us?

3 thoughts on “IT Translation

  1. Pingback: Weekly favorites (Mar 28-Apr 17) | Lingua Greca Translations

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