关于客户反馈

理想的翻译流程少不了客户的参与。客户反馈就是非常珍贵的资源,它有助于更直接地捕捉客户偏好,细腻把握好产品/品牌文案风格,也是向客户展示自己服务水平的理想机会。但是,并不是所有客户反馈都是有效的,实际上,客户完全可能提供内容是错误的反馈。而不管反馈内容是有建设性的,还是有原则性错误的,作为翻译服务提供方,我们都需要做出回应。而经常地,越是”错误”的反馈,越要针对性地进行更详细的解释,不但要内容专业,而且要语气专业。

这个过程,对于语言服务当事人来说,真是痛苦,但也是快乐的。痛苦是因为客户反馈内容可能让你哭笑不得,明明是”自然而然”的”正确”做法,可”外行”的客户却偏要提出异议,有时还会提供他们的方案。

快乐是因为这正是所谓的价值创造过程。翻译服务除了要面向产品/品牌,面向最终消费者/读者,它还有一个重要的面向,那就是活生生的客户当事人。因为客户当事人在目标语、目标语文化上是非专业的,他们需要知道自己的产品/文本在另一个语种和市场中发生了什么,说这是知情权并不为过。满足他们的这些需求,自然也是语言服务的价值所在。就像病人去医院看病,那患者就是客户,医生是服务提供商,身体/疾病就是作业对象,而医生向患者讲述相关病理问题就好比是语言服务者对客户反馈做出应答,虽然这不是治疗本身,但绝对是医疗服务不可或缺的一个环节,是价值创造的重要组成部分。而创造,总是能给人带来快乐。

今天收到一份客户反馈,是上月初的一份不到两千字、分成四个小文件的案子。我花了很长的时间和精力来答复客户给的各种”外行”反馈。比如客户用香港的表达方式来纠正大陆的说法。比如客户有多个当事人在提供反馈,而不同当事人对同一个问题又提出不同的方案。还有反馈内容本身是错误的,按照他们的建议执行后只会在译文中引入错误。

今天的这一作业经历也是写这篇文章的”导火索”。虽然很高兴能遇到上心的客户,但”上心”的客户一不小心就”走心”了。有时难免觉得时间就这样荒废在解释了,好在也总会转过念来。因为所谓的价值创造,每一个环节都有价值生成,要想创造更多更高的价值,不但要在一个环节上有所作业,而且要在更多环节上有所作为。

为了快乐,爱上创造。

A language difference between Chinese and English: classifiers

Chinese and English are two languages different from each other in both macro and micro ways. In this post I want to briefly talk about one micro difference: the usage of classifiers.

Classifiers, also called counter words or measure words, are used to accompany nouns and to classify/measure the noun depending on the type/amount of its referent. Classifiers are not a common feature of English but in Chinese they play an important role.

When Chinese want to say one envelope, they say 一枚信封/one piece of envelope, which is constituted of the numeral 一, the classifier 枚, and the noun 信封. So the basic structure is numeral + classifier + noun. Classifiers are an indispensable element in Chinese for such expressions.

The Chinese equivalent of two envelopes is 两枚信封/ two pieces of envelops, which only updates the numeral 一/one into 两/two while the classifier and the noun remain identical with the above singular expression. This briefly explains how to express plural information in Chinese.

Numerals in English can stand alone as the subject or the object, while in Chinese numerals are normally followed by classifiers to express such information. For example, Table A has two apples, and table B has four. The equivalent Chinese is A桌有两个苹果,B桌有四个。In the second part of the English example “four” on its own functions as object, but its equivalent Chinese is 四个 which is constituted of numeral 四 and classifier 个.

However, language is always flexible and complicated. Modern written Chinese inherits lots of expressions and styles from ancient Chinese, the former was considered vulgar and the latter is too elegant to be understood by ordinary people. Idiomatic phrases are such typical heritage, and they generally do not include classifiers. For example, the equivalent Chinese proverb of  “Kill two birds with one stone” 一石二鸟 has a literal back translation: one stone two birds. So you can see there is no classifier at all, and it is punchier than an explanatory expression with classifiers.

Happy International Translation Day 2016

Today is the International Translation Day, themed Connecting Worlds. I feel so proud and blessed to become a professional translator. Happy International Translation Day, my colleagues from around the globe.

international-translation-day-2016-connecting-worlds

Connecting Worlds

The world of the translator and the world of the interpreter are two professions dedicated to one goal: facilitating communication between people. As the world becomes more integrated, fostering understanding between the multitude of speakers is more critical than ever. Whether it is in writing or in speech. Interpreters and translators are at the junction point that impacts the development of business, science, medicine, technology, international law, politics and a host of other areas. We provide the ability for each of these worlds to learn from each other to the benefit of society as a whole. The role of translators and interpreters in connecting worlds is to open up the whole world to all of us.

—International Federation of Translators

连接世界

笔译与口译工作者共同致力于同一个目标:促进人们之间的交流。随着世界一体化程度越来越高,加强众多讲者彼此之间的理解也变得越来越重要,不管是出自文字还是演讲,都是如此。在商业、科学、医学、技术、国际法、政治以及其他众多领域的发展过程中,笔译与口译工作者共同发挥着至关重要的作用,赋予各领域互相学习的能力,为全社会带来福祉。笔译与口译工作者扮演着连接世界的角色,为我们所有人打开了全世界。

—国际翻译家联盟

Be alarmed at and open to the evolving Neural Machine Translation

Google debut its neural machine translation product (GNMT), which based on their arguments and real examples can be called a milestone in machine translation. I do not fully understand the involved technologies explained, but I am amazed by the translation examples they provided which are much better and smarter than the previous performance. All these mean human translators are welcoming a powerful partner or a threatening competitor.

Google also explains that their  GNMT which relies on the phrase-based translation is still far from being robust. Based on my understanding what makes GNMT a milestone is that it goes far beyond word, but treats the source on a phrase base while takes the sentence as an unit during the encode-decode translation process. I do not know what these mean in the technology term, but I do believe something intelligent is happening in this translation/language process field, because it sounds closer to artificial intelligence. And it is out of question that a different age is coming to human translators. Be alarmed, colleagues.

But this is not the end. Technology is designed to free and empower humankind. Be open to all these advances and benefit from them. When MT is intelligent enough to dominate the standard translation field, it would be a marvelous world beyond our imagination.

 

How to calculate the word count in PPT2016 win10

Unlike MS Word which displays the word count directly at the bottom bar, PPT hides such statistics. But it is easy to dig out the data: Click the File tab in the PPT file, and then Info>Properties>Advanced Properties, then in the pop-up window go to Statistics tab to find the data. See below:

how-to-calculate-ppt-word-count-win10-1 how-to-calculate-ppt-word-count-win10-2

Customize your default column dispaly of win10 file explorer

In windows explorer, I basically only need one column information besides Name to explain the contained folders: Date modified. But the original default column display gives me many other unneeded information, such as Album, album artist, etc. Below explains how to customize your default column display in the explorer, making each and every folder display the column information as you need.

There are essentially two operations: customize your column, and set it into default.

First thing first, customize your column.

  1. Open the explorer.
  2. In the top tool bar, choose View>Add columns>Choose columns, and tick/untick the column as you needed. See below:

set-defual-column-in-explorerchoose-details

Second, set the above column display as the default in all explorer folders

In the opened folder, go to the top tool bar, and click View>Options>Change folder and search options. Then in the pop-up window go to the View tab, and click Apply to Folders, then click Apply and OK. Done.

set-defual-column-in-explorer-2
set-defual-column-in-explorer-3

Before and after.

customized-column-display-in-explorer

SDL Trados Studio Freelance 2015: Character Limitation Setting

Character limitation is applied in certain jobs related with titles, SEO key words,  etc. , which means the total characters in one segment/line should not exceed the required amount.

Below is a brief note about how to set the character limitation in SDL Trados Studio Freelance 2015. Although this function does not make the user unable to type more than a certain amount of text, it does help as a QA option which will indicate for the user if s/he exceeded the character limit. Continue reading SDL Trados Studio Freelance 2015: Character Limitation Setting

背部肌肉痉挛在告诉你什么

背部肌肉痉挛可产生剧烈的疼痛,甚至有可能因此去急诊。如果出现背部痉挛,一定要停下来倾听身体发出的信号:你的背部要么是在告诉你不要再做导致出现这次痉挛的活动,要么就是再警告你脊柱存在更严重的问题。

Continue reading 背部肌肉痉挛在告诉你什么