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An ATA Professional Development Event
Presented by the American Translators Association
and the Colorado Translators Association
Translation Tools Seminar
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Grand Hyatt Denver     Denver, Colorado    June 16-17, 2007  
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Abstracts & Bios

A Translator's Toolbox

As a technical translator and localization consultant, I am 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. The seminar will particularly focus on translation-specific tools, including tools that provide functions for:

translation memories or corpora
terminology maintenance
localization
time and project management
word and character count
conversion and protection of complex file formats
and many of the other small or large things where computers can make our lives as translators so much easier

Please note that I will be focusing on Windows-based tools.

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 280-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.

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Free and Open Source Software for Translators

Free and open source software presents an attractive option for translators who want to run secure, functional, and stable software without worrying about high purchase prices and licensing constraints. This session will take a look at open source applications such as Firefox (web browser), OpenOffice.org (office suite), and OmegaT (translation environment tool), as well as the Linux operating system. Attendees will learn about other translation environment tools—such as Heartsome—which are not themselves open source but which support open standards. Finally, this session will illustrate how to run a successful freelance business using open source and open standards software.

Corinne L. McKay is an ATA-certified (French>English) translator based in Boulder, Colorado, and the author of How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator (Lulu Press, 2006). She has a special interest in free and open source software (FOSS) for translators, and has run her freelance business using FOSS almost exclusively since 2002. She has presented a session on FOSS for translators at the past three ATA Annual Conferences and, since 2005, has edited the e-newsletter Open Source Update, a periodic publication for language professionals interested in free and open source software.

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Raising Productivity with Speech Recognition

Imagine yourself making a presentation to translators convincing them to abandon their typewriters for word processing software on a computer a few decades ago. Now you have an idea of the challenges I face! The goal of this presentation is to introduce this amazing and time-saving technology and encourage you to give it a try, or another try if your first attempt (like mine seven years ago) did not work out so well. This presentation will also offer some pointers for those of you who are already using speech recognition and want to get more out of it. And, as an added bonus, the speaker will unveil his productivity-boosting, zero-gravity cockpit layout. Get ready to strap in!

Chris Blakeslee has over a decade of experience as a freelance Japanese-English translator in the fields of finance and economics. Currently based in Denver and working exclusively as a translator, he has also worked as a salesman in Tokyo, an economic development consultant covering East Asia, and a businessman working in the fields of trademark licensing and offshore joint ventures for a fast-growing public company—all of which happened after logging over 900 hours in the backseat of an RF-4 for the U.S. Air Force. He is an avid user of Dragon Naturally Speaking and has been using the speech recognition software for over six years, the last three of which have been with the professional version.

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