Translation Software Tools Seminar
Hilton Garden Inn   l   Chicago, Illinois   l   July 9-10, 2005
Presented by the American Translators Association
 and the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters

A Translator's Toolbox

As a technical translator and localization consultant, I've been continually surprised at the lack of technical expertise and knowledge of software tools among many translators and project managers. I've seen countless hours wasted on tasks that could have been done automatically or in a fraction of the time. And, as an editor, I've often struggled to improve texts that were translated with an adequate level of linguistic or subject-matter expertise, but whose quality was sub-par because the translator did not know how to use the necessary tools or formats. At some point, after it became common for translators to use computers for their work, many of us became convinced that we were really not smart (read: technical) enough to become proficient computer users. The irony is that many of us translate highly technical and complex subject matter every day. There is no lack of intelligence among us, merely a prevailing not-smart-enough-for-computers fallacy that we have bought into. It's time to adopt a new paradigm for our profession: Not only is it acceptable to use computers well, it is critical to our success as translators.

This seminar attempts to bridge the gap between our technical paralysis and our potential. It provides translators with:
An insider's look at computer-assisted translation tools, with some no-nonsense assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major tools.
Specific instructions for fine-tuning your operating system and office applications so they work best for you. (Please note that I will be concentrating on the Windows platform and applications.)
Tips on free software programs that allow you to operate more efficiently and advice on which ones to avoid at any price.
An understanding of the practical and impractical sides of desktop publishing software.

My goal is to encourage you to understand this learning process as a positive, fun-filled, and necessary investment in your business as a translator. You do not need to bring your own computer to this seminar. During the seminar you will be given a handout with many of the useful links, tips, and tricks we will be covering, and at the end of the seminar you will also receive a copy of the latest edition of my 200-page e-book Translator's Tool Box: A Computer Primer for Translators.



Jost Zetzsche
is an ATA-certified English>German translator and a localization and translation consultant. A native of Hamburg, Germany, he earned a PhD in the field of Chinese translation history and linguistics and began working in localization and technical translation in 1997. In 1999, he co-founded International Writers' Group on the Oregon coast. His computer guide for translators was published in 2003 and he now sends out a biweekly technical newsletter for translators.

Increasing Productivity and Maintaining Quality
Without Pricing Yourself out of the Market


Speed, quality, and lower fees—our clients insist they want it all. Is it possible to meet all three criteria at the same time? If not, how and when should we compromise? What is a reasonable standard of quality in a world that seems to be placing more and more emphasis on speed and cost and less emphasis on quality?

This interactive workshop will discuss these questions and provide tools and strategies for increasing your productivity without sacrificing quality. As a result of this workshop, you will be able to:
Take advantage of software to increase your translation speed and productivity.
Measure and monitor your own productivity.
Define quality as it applies to you and your translations.
Negotiate the speed vs. quality vs. cost triangle with your clients.
Identify and apply personal time-management strategies to increase your overall productivity without lowering the quality of your translations.

Extensive handouts will be provided.

Courtney Searls-Ridge
is a bureau owner and project manager (German Language Services, Seattle), freelance translator, and translation instructor. She has translated and edited numerous trade books from German into English, several in collaboration with other freelance translators. She teaches Ethics and Business Practices of Translation and Interpreting at the Translation and Interpretation Institute in Seattle where she is also Academic Director of Translation. She served two terms as Secretary and one term as Director on the ATA Board of Directors. She is co-chair of the ATA Mentoring Committee.