This is the second part of my post about the Abrates Conference. Read the first part here.
After having such a good start, the second talk I watched on Saturday was Isabel Gorg’s, also on automated translation. The speaker conducted a survey and found out that 22% of the interviewees used some sort of MT strategy. Her presentation was mostly based on pointing out common mistakes in MT, such as spacing, capitalization, grammar, sentence structure, local standards and terminology. Being aware of their frequency makes it simple to spot and correct them. And, needless to say, source quality can also highly influence the quality of MT translations. The takeovers from her talk were: MT will not disappear, but rather get better; MT can increase productivity; we should concentrate on what MT does right, not wrong; and we should align our expectations.
The third talk I attended on Saturday was by Felipe Cichini Simões, on personal and professional budgeting for freelancers. According to Felipe, we must never spend every cent we earn, but have some savings for vacation, professional investment, variable income, etc. The speaker suggested the YNAB (You Need A Budget) method and briefly showed us how the app works. According to Felipe, in order to start a budget plan, we must forget the past and start planning from now on. Felipe also said that giving each cent a function helps us understand what we can do with our money. Acknowledging our actual expenditures (besides our fixed ones) is also important for planning our future budget. However, he also points out that budgets are not always perfect, and sometimes they may not work as planned, especially for us, freelancers, who do not have a fixed income. It can happen, and we may not lose heart. The speaker also suggested the Wave Accounting app for financial control. I will surely try any of those apps, because I myself am very bad at budgeting and planning for the future. I know, shame on me!
Next on the presentations I attended on Saturday was Adriana de Araújo Sobota’s, on how to start working with translation agencies. The large room was totally full and people loved her presentation. Adriana mentioned methods for receiving payment from overseas (PayPal, Moneybrookers, direct bank transfer, wire transfer through Payoneer and TransferWise) and how to check a potential client’s reputation (Payment Practices, Blueboard, Hall of Fame and Shame, Untrustworthy Translation Agencies). It is also important to check if they have a physical address, on-line domain, professional e-mail address, etc. When looking for translation agencies on Google, we should be careful with the search results, because they can return one-person companies/entrepreneurs, not only agencies. Adriana also mentioned the importance of professional behavior, having a good CV, knowing how to behave on-line, communication, etc. The translation market is fast, so we should make sure we do not lose a chance for nothing. All the information needed on how to find potential clients is out there: research and search for it. The speaker concluded her presentation stressing out some don’ts: do not depend on only one agency; do not pressure the potential client for the result of the test; do not ask if you can send a CV, simply send it; do not send bulk e-mails; do not complain about an agency in public (social media).
After lunch, I attended GALA’s presentation, “Economic Crisis at Home? The World is Yours – How to Overcome Obstacles When Selling Abroad.” You can read more details about this one here, on a post I wrote for their blog.
After that, I ran to a presentation I was actually part of, about the Abrates Mentoring Program. Steering Committee members William Cassemiro, Adriana Sobota, Mônica Reis and yours truly explained how the program works and what the rules are to those who wish to take part both as mentor and mentee. Our current mentors and mentees, both represented, respectively, by Filipe Alverca and Sabrina Fuzaro and present among the attendees, had a voice and spoke about the enriching experience they are having with the program. You can find more information about the program on its web page and on this blog post I wrote a while ago (both in Portuguese). Juliana Tradutora has also written a blog post about our presentation, also in Portuguese, here. Should you not understand Portuguese, here are some important points:
- The program is totally free, from all parts: both Committee members and mentors are volunteers, and mentees do not have to pay to take part.
- To be a mentor, the person needs to be an Abrates member and have at least five years of experience in the area.
- To be a mentee, the person also needs to be an Abrates member and have a maximum of two years of experience in the area. Or be in the last year of a Translation/Interpreting course.
- The program lasts two years with a minimum of two hours of mentoring per month (in person or via Skype or other method agreed upon both parts).
- The program’s coordinators closely follow their assigned pairs through follow-up reports both the mentor and the mentee have to fill out separately after every meeting.
- The coordinators must be aware of every decision made by their assigned pairs in order to avoid any potential issue, including change of date of the meeting.
We had a fantastic feedback from our current mentors/mentees, from potential mentors/mentees and from people who run mentoring programs in other associations all over the world, such as Canada, Argentina and Israel. They were mesmerized by our organization, quality and professionalism. The presentation was followed by our own coffee break filled with positive comments, feedback, nice conversations with people who were interested at the program and future contacts. Should you be interested in learning more about it, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sum up a perfect first day, Renato Beninatto hosted a round-table about, once again, machine translation with Kirti Vashee, Ricardo Souza, Ronaldo Martins and Marcelo Fassina. Marcelo Fassina, from Lionbridge, started talking and said that usually material with low access by the general public or the end user goes through MTPE (machine translation post-editing). However, the agency must always inform the translator when they use MT. The translator’s feedback is extremely important to feed the MT and improve it, as Kirti also mentioned in this morning’s presentation. Ronaldo Martins took the floor and spoke beautifully and eloquently. I was in owe with his perfect choice of words. According to him, evolution is inevitable. Technology may close some doors, but it will certainly open other windows. Ronaldo explained the difference between accelerated, delegated and augmented technologies. The first ones are not revolutionary; they only assist, but do not replace; for example, bikes. The second ones are substitutive, but are not necessarily better than what they replace. The last ones, on the other hand, enable us to do things we were not able to do before. In spite of what people think, MT involves science. Ricardo Souza followed, representing translators. Last but not least, Kirti Vashee also gave his opinion on the subject. According to him, human translation is the driving force of technology.
This was it for Saturday. Sunday talks in Part 3 (final).
Read the impressions and reviews of other attendees:
Adriana de Araújo Sobota: Como começar a trabalhar com agências de tradução – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Traduzir livros para crianças é coisa de gente grande – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Silvana Nicoloso: Identidade de gênero e o trabalho de interpretação simultânea em Libras – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Mesa-redonda sobre machine translation – Kirti Vashee – Ricardo Souza – Ronaldo Martins – Marcelo Fassino – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Comitê de Mentoria: Adriana Sobota, Caroline Alberoni, Mônica Reis e William Cassemiro – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
Marina Piovesan Gonçalves: Inglês geral x inglês jurídico: diferenças e/ou semelhanças – VII Congresso da Abrates, by Juliana Tradutora
7º Congresso da Abrates – Resumão, by Laila Compan
5 insights que tive no 7º Congresso da Abrates, by Laila Compan
Ensaio sobre o fracasso, by Thiago Hilger on Pronoia Tradutória blog
Como começar a trabalhar com agências de tradução, Adriana de Araújo Sobota’s PowerPoint presentation
The Larger Context Translation Market, by Kirti Vashee
Other links can be found in Parts 1 and 3.