ProZ and Cons

Clients who are unsure what a reasonable fee for translation is will likely look online and find average rates on translators’ platforms such as or Translators’ Café. Unfortunately, these websites have their limitations despite their best efforts and should be taken with a (generous) pinch of salt.

First, these platforms are open to Continue reading

Technology in Translation

I have been quite busy lately, with little time to write a blog post for this week. However, here is an excellent article on technology in translation that you may like to read: Why So Many Translators Hate Translation Technology.

For clarification as to what CAT tools are, please see my post on the topic: The Translator’s Little Helpers.

Schoolboy Error

An acquaintance of mine once told me about a friend who had a small business and decided to target the French market. He designed a flyer, prepared the text in English, had it translated “on the cheap” (whatever that involved), had a stack of these printed, and off to France the flyers went… Unsurprisingly, he had absolutely no return on investment and had to Continue reading

The Downward Spiral

Translation agencies never cease to amaze me. A couple of weeks ago, an agency I have never worked for emailed a list of professionals (including myself) saying that they work extensively with machine translation and are therefore recruiting post-editors. To try and convince translators to drop their standards and self-esteem and accept such work, they list the following “benefits”: Continue reading

Cheaper, But at What Cost?

Last month I was commissioned by a translation agency to proofread an English-to-French translation for an art centre. I was simply told that the end client wanted to make sure that the text was impeccable. The proofreading task turned into an editing one.

While all translation agencies claim to focus primarily on quality, the reality from a supplier’s experience is often, well… Continue reading

Lost in Delusion

A well-known multilingual website has recently advertised for a vacancy: Machine Translation Manager. Looking at the job description, they required the person to have a degree in one or two languages, in linguistics, or something in that area; be fluent in at least one foreign language; and have extensive experience of CAT tools (which have nothing to do with machine translation (MT), by the way). These criteria clearly tell us that MT is not up to the task yet.

In my experience, fixing an MT, i.e. trying to make sense of it (even with the source text under your elbow) and Continue reading