The problem of translation without localization

I recently bought some books from Packt Publishing. I was happy with the smooth purchasing process (especially free shipping to Asia — woot!), and they've made some much appreciated improvements to their ebooks, eliminating the onerous copy-protection scheme that they used to use. But they really dropped the ball localizing their purchase page: The first […]

cpptempl: A string templating library for C++

cpptempl is a simple string templating language (or templating engine) for C++. It has loops, conditionals, and variable interpolation. cpptempl relies on the boost libraries (shared_ptr, string_algo, and lexical_cast). I originally wrote this engine because I was generating HTML files in C++, and generating the HTML right in the C++ quickly got very hairy, besides […]

py2exe gotcha: Building on Windows Vista/7, deploying to XP

py2exe is a fantastic module that will package up a Python program into an executable that will run on Windows. py2exe is amazingly good at sussing out your program's dependencies, but it's a complex task, and inevitably there are some gotchas. One of them is the DLL file "POWRPROF.DLL". This happens when building your executable […]

Rates: Barbarians at the gate

This is kind of a follow-up to my recent post about the 2010 work situation. It seems to me that a lot of translation buyers are shopping around for extremely cheap rates — as in a third or less of what I normally charge. That in itself isn't so unusual, as there are always cut-rate […]

Work situation 2010

How has 2010 been shaping up for you? I've been pretty busy. 2009 was fairly slow. I earned about 10% less than my average, although I also took a lot of time off (about two months total). But right around the beginning of 2010, my work started to pick up, even more than average years. […]

If you’re not writing code for your users, you’re doing it wrong

Paul Querna recently asked in his blog, "Who are you writing code for?" He listed several possible people/goals: the deadline, management's metrics (lines of code, test coverage, etc.), the computer, yourself, and the programmers who will maintain your code. What surprised me is that nowhere in Paul's post did he mention the only person you […]

Simultaneous interpreting course, day 4

I'm back from the fourth day of my intensive simultaneous interpreting course. Being halfway through the course, I'd thought I'd put down some thoughts while they're fresh. Today, we had our first live day of simultaneous interpreting, with a guest speaker. The manuscript he gave us beforehand would take about 15 minutes to read, and […]

Taking a simultaneous interpreting course

Starting next Monday (August 2), I'll be taking an eight-day, intensive simultaneous interpreting course at Okinawa Christian University. My friend and colleague David Ulvog is one of the instructors, and I think that I heard about the course from him. I'm not really interested in becoming an interpreter, simultaneous or otherwise, but the profession has […]

Ignoring reference translations

A few weeks ago, a translation agency asked me to do a trial translation for a potential new client. They sent me a short text to translate, and a few past translations that the potential client had commissioned before to serve as a reference. (The agency paid me for this trial, incidentally. An agency that […]

Moving “Recycling Oriented Society” to the compost heap

If you translate out of Japanese, you've probably come across the term "循環型社会." According to wikipedia, it means "a society that efficiently uses and reuses finite resources in a sustainable cycle" (my translation). For some reason, the accepted translation for this term seems to have become "recycling oriented society" (it's the only one listed in […]