Sorry, free internet is not here

As a translator in the digital age, you cannot survive without internet. The online information is a living dictionary and library to ensure the accuracy and fitness of the translation. Also, the project communication is mainly done through internet – the email, e-conference, and even instant messages. Furtherly, you need the online platforms to do the marketing so as to get more high-end offers. The importance of internet cannot be over emphasized. In fact, internet is indispensable for all industries in this century.

However, the essential philosophy of internet – the democracy of knowledge sharing – has been manipulated by political elites in some regions, such as North Korea, Cuba, and unfortunately in my homeland China. I should have been satisfied with the internet services compared with that of North Korea and Cuba. Some of the domestic services are somewhat nice and convenient – the e-commerce, the taxi hailing, video sharing, domestic social media platforms, etc. But the essence is lacked in the core: a free internet, the true democracy feature of internet.

Two days ago, in January 22, 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of PRC announced a new police which aims to regulate the internet access services. It says the current internet access services market in China is too messy so it is necessary to regulate and shape it – clear up those illegal services and maintain a healthy development of the internet industry. It aims to complete the whole regulation job by March 31, 2018. I am so shocked by one of its regulations: No VPN is allowed unless being approved by the telecommunication authorities.

The reason most people use VPN is because lots of excellent internet services are blocked by the government. For example, Google services are not available in China, but there is no qualified equivalent to substitute Google. When I need to search new terms in translation jobs, only Google can give the most efficient and effective hits. The Chinese equivalent Baidu.com is dull, especially in searching English content. Google is blocked because it refuses to play nice with the Chinese government, but rather sticks to its rule of playing no evil. The internet service here is becoming complicated which mingles with politics. I need Google, and I know little about politics. I just want the free and true internet service to keep my daily translation possible. But the fact tells me: sorry, free internet is not here.

A neat and clean internet market is expected to be available next year, which is hard to image how the small businesses like me could thrive. What is worse is that I do not know how to stop and handle with this terrible thing, and how to contribute to a better and democratic homeland for my children. What is described in George Orwel’s dystopia novel 1984 is kind of playing alive in the land where I am living. Terrible.

The punctuation issue and solutions of subtitle translation into Chinese

There are available Chinese punctuation rules approved by national standardization institution, but they basically apply to general writings, like publications and documentations, not covering subtitles, a specific writing genre, let alone translated Chinese subtitles. This causes inconsistency among different subtitle translation producers. Here I want to briefly picture the existing punctuation solutions of subtitle translation into Chinese.

The issue: To copy the source punctuation or not, that is a question.
Continue reading The punctuation issue and solutions of subtitle translation into Chinese

Set automatic replies for those unavailable hours

We freelancers are known to have a flexible work style, from the workplace to the work time. And the client might reach us through emails anytime anywhere. Since there is no stable contract set us for us, we intent to impress each and every client so as to win the offer. One of the tricks is timely replies to client emails. Continue reading Set automatic replies for those unavailable hours

How to change font in Trados Freelance 2015

It happens that the font size of the source is too small, and the default setting of Trados copies such font size, which then puts lots of burden on the translator’ eyes. To avoid such annoyance, you just need to enlarge the font size in Trados, which does not affect the exported target translation. Here is the route to change the font size in Trados 2015: File > Option > Editor > Font. Below is the snapshot which is in Chinese but the placement is the same to other languages: Continue reading How to change font in Trados Freelance 2015

A Beautiful Chinese Adaption of the Poem When You are Old

The beauty of poetry is without borders, and it becomes even more affecting when equally expressed in music. The touching When You Are Old by W. B. Yeats  exemplifies such beauty of poem, and the adapted song 当你老了 carries the beauty into Chinese through music. Continue reading A Beautiful Chinese Adaption of the Poem When You are Old

File management as a freelance translator

As a freelancer, you can never emphasize too much the importance of file management. I am not saying content management which is a much big concept. I mean one of the key part of content management: to arrange the translation-assignment related files. Efficient and effective file arrangement improves efficiency and makes your life as a freelancer as easy as it can be. Continue reading File management as a freelance translator