Gabriela Janiszewska Translite

Category Archives: In English

6 Things That I Love About Trados Studio 2015

6 Things That I Love about Trados Studio 2015

As you might know from my birthday wishlist, I wanted to buy the new version of Trados Studio. Well, I am generally very much into the idea of fulfiling my dreams, so I decided to use the special offer for SDL vendors and upgrade from Studio 2011 to Studio 2015 for EUR 99. After a month of using the new version, I think that it is certainly worth the money I spent. The new features really make me translate faster. I won’t bore you with describing them all – you will find the necessary details on the product site. I just want to list 5 features that I find the most useful from my point of view as a freelance translator.

Raising My Child Bilingually – the First 3 Months

My baby is 3 months old – well, that have been the most tiring but also beautiful 12 weeks of my life :). Today, I would like to share with you my thoughts on my first attempts at introducing my baby girl to the English language apart from my mother tongue.

To be honest, I haven’t really started speaking to her in English until the third week of her life. Earlier, I was too overwhelmed by the whole situation to do anything more than trying to survive! Then, I started to talk to her in English during the morning hygiene routine. I simply described what I was doing – „Now, mummy will take off your clothes”, „I will clean you eyes with a saline solution”, etc. At first, it felt very strange and clumsy and I didn’t want anyone to hear it so I avoided speaking English when we were not alone. However, after several days, I felt more comfortable and it turned out that I can come up with many sweet, cuddling words to talk to my baby.

What helped me overcome my initial stiffness and shyness were songs and nursery rhymes. When I was pregnant, I bought two books with CDs (Angielski dla dzieci. Piosenki and Nursery Rhymes), but actually at first it was much more comfortable to play them from YouTube on my mobile phone together with lyrics. If you want to learn some English baby songs, I really recommend subscribing to the HooplaKidz channel. The English nursery songs are so catchy that me and my husband had no difficulties in memorizing them. In fact, my husband found himself humming „Wheels on the Bus” at work.

Our favourites:

  • Old MacDonald had a farm
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider (I got many smiles from my baby girl when I sing it, it seems that she likes it best at the moment)
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Hush, Little Baby

I found it much easier to sing in English than in Polish. Maybe the Polish nursery songs are more demanding in terms of singing abilities and I am not a very talented singer :).

At the moment, I talk to my girl for about an hour in the morning when she is freshly awake from her night sleep.  I ask her what she was dreaming about at night, tell her what the weather is like and what we are going to do during the day. Apart from that, I usually sing her English songs during other daily activities (especially after her evening bath). It seems that for now she doesn’t mind me speaking in a different language – she enjoys being spoken to equally in Polish and in English.

What are my plans for the following weeks? I would like me and my husband to speak English in front of our baby girl during the weekends, so that she is able to listen to adult conversations in English. We’ll see whether we will feel comfortable enough to do it :).

When I started speaking English to my baby, I realized that I don’t know some English words for things and processes that are inextricably connected with infancy. You will find some of them below. You may find them useful if you too decide to speak English with your baby.

Polish-English Baby Dictionary – Part I

  • ulewać – spit up
  • ulewanie – regurgitation
  • odbijać – burp
  • smoczek – dummy (GB), pacifier (US)
  • karmienie piersią – nursing
  • przystawianie do piersi – latching
  • mleko modyfikowane tzw. mieszanka – baby formula
  • odstawianie od piersi – weaning
  • otulanie (ciasne spowijanie niemowlęcia) – swaddling
  • kikut pępowiny – umbilical stump
  • przewijak – changing table
  • nakładki na sutki – nipple shields

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos. A picture by Jomphong.

How to Avoid Frustration at Work?

Although freelancers are usually perceived by full-time employees as those happy individuals who work 3 hours a day sipping drinks on a beach (check out stereotypes about translators), we are as prone to get frustrated as any other worker. I would even argue that the frustration risk is much higher in our case, since many of us perform several functions in our businesses. We do our job (be it translation, taking and editing pictures, copywriting, etc.), perform marketing tasks, keep the books, clean the office, make tea/coffee, receive calls, etc. And while doing all these things, we struggle to meet the deadlines. Well then, check out my 5 tips on how not to get frustrated (at least that often):

Why Quality in Translation Is So Important?

By Gabriela Janiszewska

At one point of running a business, you start considering whether it would be beneficial for you to enter foreign markets with you products and services. To do that you will ultimately have to translate your company content, such as a company website, brochures, folders, data sheets, manuals, etc. into a foreign language. As it is time-consuming and very often impossible to do on your own, you decide to contact a translator or translation agency to outsource translations, but as you are a first-timer, you don’t really know what to expect from them.

Expect quality!

It may sound pretty obvious, as quality is something that every consumer expects from the product or service. However, quality translations may really boost your business and prevent you from running into serious legal problems.

  • For instance, a high-quality translation of a device manual will help users use it in an intended and safe way. If it contains mistakes, such as changed voltage values or incomprehensible instructions of use, using a particular device might be dangerous to the customer and cause some serious injuries or even death. As a manufacturer of the device, you might be held responsible for it.
  •  You certainly want your product or service to be credible. No one would buy your product, even if it outstanding, if its description is so badly translated that a customer doesn’t really know what it is for.
  •  Before placing some products and services on a foreign market, it is worth checking whether their names or descriptions are not offensive for the target audience. For example, Mitsubishi had to change the name of its car called Pajero for Spanish-speaking markets due to the fact that pajero in Spanish means wanker. Such translation service is very often described as localization and you can expect that a professional translator will take into account such considerations when producing a high-quality translation of your content.
  •  There is nothing worse for the seller than marketing content that is rather hilarious than appealing after translation. A potential customer may think: „Well, they have been cutting costs when translating the description of this product, so how can I be sure that this product will not be a cheap crap altogether?” If you were in a restaurant, would you order a Grilled Salmon with Green Fuck? Fuck is a common Polish mistranslation of pepper, as a Polish imperative verb form pieprz (fuck) looks exactly the same as a noun pieprz (pepper). Well, it is certainly funny to see such translations in a menu, but what impact does it have on the brand of the restaurant? Would you expect the dish to be really tasty and be ready to pay more for it?

As a translator and consumer, I honestly recommend focusing on high quality when ordering translations for your company. Although it may take a little more time to find someone trustworthy and appropriately skilled to translate your company documents and it may cost you a bit more to pay for such services, it really pays off by driving to you more clients, building your brand and boosting your sales.

If you would like to read more on translation, localization, running a small business and language learning, visit my blog – Translite

If you are looking for a trustworthy and skilled translator to handle your English-Polish or German-Polish translations, contact me:

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5 Free Multilingual Resources That Will Make You Translate Faster

I would like to recommend five of my favourite multilingual resources that make translation much faster and increase terminological correctness. As I usually translate into Polish or from Polish, all of them contain Polish terminology.

My review of memoQ 2014

As you probably know, I have been given an opportunity to test memoQ 2014. Well, it took me quite a long time to gather my thoughts and write a review, mainly due the fact that I have had to work with Trados Studio for a couple of my clients who prefer this tool, but also due to one feature of the new memoQ which irritates me so much that I have been unable to work with it for longer projects.

Since I have already mentioned it, I will start with the shortcomings and especially with the one that makes me want to scream. I am not sure why, but in this version of memoQ it is not possible to shrink the memoQ window so that it takes a half of my screen. MemoQ 2014 window is a bit wider and covers the other window with an Internet browser, Outlook or a dictionary that I usually open on the right side of my screen (see the picture to understand what I mean). It makes the whole process of looking for reference materials and terms so much more time-consuming and distracting due to those switching layers of windows… Maybe I don’t understand something or haven’t found an important configuration option? MemoQ development team, please do something about that and do it quickly!

Another thing to complain about is the new mode for inserting tags. In the previous versions, it was enough to press the F8 key to insert a tag in the text in the appropriate place. Now, after pressing F6, a transparent tag appears next to the cursor and you can drag it wherever you want. Why I don’t like it? For me it’s much quicker to stick to the keyboard and insert the tags as I write instead of doing it after completing the translation of a particular segment.

The third feature that caught my attention and in my opinion is not particularly practical is that memoQ automatically starts the segment with a capital or small letter if the source segment also starts with a capital or small letter respectively. Why it is not good? When I translate a list of nouns in German into Polish, in most cases I don’t want to have Polish nouns to start with a capital letter, because it wouldn’t be correct. MemoQ changes the case automatically and I have to use the Toggle Case option to correct it.

Let’s now move to something I enjoy. Project templates in the form introduced in memoQ 2014 are really great. At last, I have a chance to organize my projects in some reasonable categories and automatically connect them with appropriate translation memories and termbases instead of creating new ones every time. The creation of project templates isn’t very time consuming and you don’t have to know anything about variables or memoQ screensomething to configure them. After that, the programme automatically detects the source language and you can choose the type of project you would like to create.

The possibility to join the files together or split them for editing also sounds promising, although I haven’t used it so far. Nevertheless, I can see many potential advantages of this solution, especially when I have several small files in which I have to change one term, so that it is exactly the same in all files. Or when I don’t remember in which file there was a sentence that I want to change, because I have come up with much better wording when washing my head (the best ideas spring to my mind when I have my head down).

I also like the idea of measuring the time spent for translation and the possibility to disregard breaks of certain length. Well, it certainly shows you how quickly you would end your translation if you hadn’t been visiting design/culinary/parenting blogs at the same time :). However, the access to this feature should be more straightforward. I needed to browse the Help section to find out how to turn on the clock that is visible below the translation window. I would add there play/pause and reset buttons or at least a direct link to the appropriate Tools menu.

I didn’t have the chance to test the image localization feature so far, as no pictures from my files have been extracted to memoQ. They were probably of wrong type, so I don’t blame Kilgray here and still wait for an opportunity to test it.

In general, there are some new features in memoQ 2014 that deserve attention and are really helpful (you will find the list of new features here). By saying this, I mean mainly the project templates option and splitting/joining the files. However, some shortcomings have made me work slower than with my previous memoQ version (6.2), but I hope that they will be eliminated as soon as possible.

How to convert IATE tbx file into a SDL Trados Studio termbase… and achieve nothing

As I posted yesterday on Facebook, it is now possible to download the whole IATE database in a TBX file which is perfectly convertible to the formats typically used in CAT programmes as termbases. That would be extremely useful for every translator working for EU institutions. Let’s try to do this:

  1. Unzip the IATE_export_25062014 file (you can download it here).Convert1
  2. Start SDL MultiTerm Convert.
  3. Choose New conversion session and save it if you wish.
  4. Choose the last option „TermBase eXchange format” to convert the .tbx file into MultiTerm XML file.
  5. Select the input file (you will find it in the directory to which you have unzipped the IATE_export_25062014 file).
  6. You may change the directory where the output file is supposed to be saved.
  7. … Well, that’s the point where I got stuck – every time I try to move to the next step I get the message „The conversion option could not be initialised properly. Exception of type ‚System.OutOfMemoryException’ was thrown.” Trados Studio ErrorAlthough my computer is quite powerful (8 GB RAM), it is not able to handle such a big file (IATE file weights more than 2 GB). I have tried to clean up my C drive a little bit, hoping that it might help, but removing 10 GB of files hasn’t changed anything.
  8. Finally, I decided to switch to memoQ 2014 that I have obtained for testing purposes, but it also hasn’t managed to convert the file (after several minutes of processing I got a bunch of errors).

So, it turns out that the TBX file with IATE database is completely useless for me. If you have time, try to convert it – I would be grateful if you share your experiences with me. In the meantime, I am going to write to IATE team to ask them to make available the TBX files for separate pairs of languages. After all, there won’t be many users that need all language combinations available. A German-Polish file only would be much smaller and thus more convertible.


Paul Filkin from SDL responded to my post:

@trans_lite Looks good though… might try importing more to see how many I can use (when I have more time!)

— Paul Filkin (@paulfilkin) lipiec 9, 2014




MemoQ 2014 briefing and website updates

Sorry for not writing for so long. I have been really busy with several translation projects (I have been doing some medical translations and a pretty big telecommunications project and many many smaller things), decorating our new home and another big project that I will probably describe to you quite soon so stay tuned ;).

I have just finished a briefing on new memoQ release. As a translation blogger, I have been asked to check out the new version of this software and share with you my opinions on new features. From what I have learnt during the meeting, the memoQ team has introduced 71 new features and some of them sound really interesting. I am particularly keen to test project templates, image localization and grammar checker function. According to the briefing document that I have received, the project templates might be helpful in creating projects that are similar to each other. I think that I might use this function to create medical projects for separate clients and automatically assign to them my medical TMs and TBs.

My dream CAT tool…

CAT tool

… probably hasn’t been created so far, but as I have recently learned to use several tools such as Google Translator Toolkit and Translation Workspace I started wondering what features it should have to make translation process easier, more effective, less time-consuming and stressful. So I decided to create my list of must-have features which might inspire CAT software developers if they ever happen to visit my website 🙂

  1. Vertical (column) view with the original text on the left and translation on the right. I personally hate horizontal views which were used for instance in Trados Translator’s Workbench and Wordfast and have been adopted in Translation Workspace. Well, the first CAT tool I have ever used was memoQ with a column view, so I simply got used to that way of presentation, but in my opinion it is also much easier to compare source and target text when the equivalent phrases are more or less on the same level (although it is not always the case, as it is sometimes necessary to restructure the sentence taking into account the theme-rheme requirements of a given pair of languages).

How to work from home faster?

Time is money

When I tell somebody that I am a freelance translator working at home, they usually react by saying something like this: „Wow! You must be a really strong-willed person! If I were you I would never be able to get down to work at home”. Well, certainly I am (oh how modest of me to admit it ;)), but I suppose this is one another must-have trait for any freelancer (not only translators/interpreters). However, sometimes even the most motivated person in the world is tired/bored/distracted/nervous, which is reflected in lower efficiency and speed of work. Taking into account deadlines, the good old saying that „time is money” (which is particularly true in translation business) and shrinking time for private life, it is certainly a negative phenomenon. But how to avoid it and always work fast and efficient? Let me describe some software tools which might help you achieve that.