Saturday, March 06, 2010

Many thanks to members of ITI's ScotNet group for the warm welcome that they gave me when I gave a talk on "Customer service for translators" in Edinburgh on 6th March 2010.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Like most professionals, translators sometimes tend to focus on what we do, on our professional skills, rather than how we deliver it. And yet, customer service is as crucial for translators as it is for any other professionals.

On Saturday, I'll be running a Customer Service Workshop for translators in Edinburgh. The Scottish Network of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting have kindly asked me to run i tfor them, and I look forward to seeing translators that I already know in Scotland, and to the pleasure of meeting new colleagues.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Translate it, then check it: This evening, I'm attending a seminar organised by the North West Translators Network in Manchester. The presenter, Heidi Kerschl, will be stepping us through different approaches that translators use when checking, editing and proofreading a translation. The Germans have a good phrase that is valid here: Vertrauen ist gut, kontrolle ist besser (in English, that's something like Trust is good, but post-production quality inspection is better)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cost-effective document design for a translation workflow was the short, snappy title of a webinar that I presented in November 2009 for my friends at Scriptorium - and now you can see it on YouTube, for free.

In the webinar, I explained some tricks and tips for saving money on your translation budget. As a long-established translation company, helping our clients to spend their money effectively is one of the things we specialise in at SalfTrans.

The presentation covers some conceptual issues (think about multiple languages from the start, for example), shows how XML formats can save you money on your localisation budget, and gives practical, money-saving tips if you produce your use manuals using more traditional workflows such as FrameMaker, Quark or InDesign. It also looks at the implications of text expansion during the translation phase, and how to plan for it from the start. Finally, the presentation offers information on emerging standards in the translation field, such as XLIFF and TMX, and explains how they can benefit you as a translation buyer.

They say that good things come in threes, and my Cost-effective document design for translation presentation is split into three sections on YouTube:

Part 1 of 3

Part 2

Part 3


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow in Stockport
Snow in Stockport:

This is a pretty view of the snow in northern England at the start of January 2010. Whilst it is very beautiful, travel in our area is very difficult at the moment. We are staffing the SalfTrans office for a few hours every day, but we are putting our staff safety first with so much ice and snow on the ground. Please bear with us if we take slightly longer than usual to respond to you this week.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Heavy snow in Manchester: Tuesday 5th January 2010, we have had a heavy snowfall overnight. Many roads are passable only with extreme care, and our staff are having great difficulty getting into our office today. The best way to contact Salford Translations Ltd today is to send an email to Nick, which will reach him.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SalfTrans Christmas break: We're taking a few days off over Christmas and New Year, so the Salford Translations Ltd office will be shut from 12:00 on 23rd December until 10:00 on 4th January 2010.

This has been a challenging year for all businesses, and as we all head towards economic recovery I'd like to express a very warm "thank you" to everyone that we have worked with in 2009.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heavy snow in Stockport and Manchester over the weekend means the team at Salford Translations Ltd will be working slightly reduced office hours between now and Christmas. Roads and pavements in our area are covered in snow and ice, and the safety of our staff is important. We will be open, but you may get our voicemail if you telephone before 10:00 or after 15:30 during the next couple of days. Thank you for your understanding.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Maybe I'm a bit of a geek, but I am excited by the possibilities that XLIFF offers to translators. (If you'd like to know what XLIFF is, check out the XLIFF page on our SalfTrans website)

A couple of years ago, XLIFF was just another open standard. Now, it is the default storage format for several leading translation memory tools, such as MemoQ, Trados and Swordfish.

Use this first link for general information about the two "How to translate your DITA files using XLIFF" webinars that I presented on for OASIS in September 2008

Or use this next link to go straight to the .WMV file of DITA to XLIFF and back.

We still have a way to go - I'd love to see a "Save as XLIFF" button built into the main menu of mainstream applications such as Microsoft Visio or Adobe Indesign, because that would make translation of files in those formats so much easier, and so much more cost-effective. But I do think we're slowly starting to make progress!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas is coming. Now, I don't know if the goose is getting fat, but I can tell you that our translation company website is wearing its winter coat.

Click on the following link if you'd prefer to see our French website, or here if you fancy the German Christmas website. Oh, and we have it in Dutch for our friends in Belgium and the Netherlands, too.

It seems a tad early to wish you Merry Christmas - so for now, I wish you "Happy pre-Christmas build-up"!
The Institute of Translation and Interpreting recently asked me to resume writing a column for their newsletter, the ITI Bulletin. Back in the 1990's I used to write a regular column called "Computing in Nick's Attic", about the experiences of one translator in dealing with technology. The Editor of the ITI Bulletin, Rachel Malcolm, was kind enough to contact me and to ask if I'd be interesting in picking up where I left off over ten years ago.

The first issue with my "Nick's Attic" column in it came out in October 2009, and several translators have been kind enough to send me very positive feedback. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

"So what on earth do you talk about?" is a question people often ask me about Twitter, and about how I use it.
My own use of Twitter is a bit of a cross-over. I certainly use it for work, for posts about translation, for sharing information about my work in the professional development field for translators.
But I also use it to ask questions, to seek opinions and information from others - and people are generous in their replies, happily sharing information. And I also use it to post a bit of information about me as a person, about my cycling, photography and coaching activities.
Today, I generated a "word cloud" that shows the most frequent words I have used on Twitter in the past year. You can see it here. So, now you know what I talk about on Twitter!

You can find my Twitter posts at