Point on the graph: direct-client rates for J2E translation

A job offer was recently posted to the Honyaku mailing list, looking for a translator for a book by a Japanese researcher into English. The offered rate was ¥7,600 per 200 English words. That works out to ¥38 per word, or according to the XE.com Universal Currency Converter, US $0.42/word at today's exchange rate (31 […]

Translator Flow

Flow is defined in Wikipedia as "… the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity." I knew about flow before I knew about the concept of flow. I […]

End of an era: Goodbye, fax-to-email service

Faxes used to be an essential tool for translators, but they seem to be going the way of the dodo these days. Back when faxes were on thermal paper and I got most of my translation documents via fax, having a fax-to-email service was a godsend. It was quicker and cheaper, the faxes were easier […]

Qt to be released under LGPL

The news that Qt will be released under the LGPL is taking the micro-ISV (mISV) world by storm. Qt is a cross-platform GUI framework that was recently bought out by Nokia. Until now, Qt has been dual licensed under a commercial license and the GPL. That wasn't very popular with mISVs, because the commercial license […]

No bed of roses on the bottom: the problems with low rates

Photo by Steve Wampler A lot of translators charge lower rates than they could otherwise get, especially when they're starting out. There are a few possible reasons for this; here are a couple. Lack of knowledge about the market Desire to get more work Desire to avoid haggling Lack of confidence Lack of knowledge about […]

An easy way to write XML in Python

David Mertz's gnosis utilities include the module gnosis.xml.objectify, which makes parsing XML in python as simple as could be. from gnosis.xml import objectify xmltext = """<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <root><first canned="true" yummy="false">spam</first><second>egg</second></root>""" inst = objectify.make_instance(xmltext) print "first:", inst.first.PCDATA print "  canned:", inst.first.canned print "  yummy:", inst.first.yummy print "second:", inst.second.PCDATA Output: first: spam   canned: true   […]

Translation versus word salad

The About Translation blog has a great post about choosing the right translation for a given term. The sentence in question was: Heathrow Airport is one of the few places in England you can be sure of seeing a gun. The question revolved around the word "gun," which can be translated various ways in Italian, […]

Differences in Japanese and Western website aesthetics

One of my New Year's resolutions is to create a Japanese-language website. Researching designs for the site, one thing that strikes me is the different design tastes of Japanese and Westerners. The current fashion for design on Western websites is a clean and clutter-free look, while Japanese sites tend to prefer the "energetic" look. As […]