Welcome to the news section!
Here you will find all the news related to ATRIL and the translation market.
With the era of new technologies many of us have become heavily dependent on the access to the Internet, computers and various IT tools. The number of professions that can be performed from any place, using just a PC or a laptop, is growing every year. Translators belong to a large group of those, who often decide to work from the comfort of their own homes. But how to make working from home as comfortable as possible? What should you keep in mind when designing your own office? Naturally, there’s choosing the right computer, a keyboard and arranging the whole office in the most efficient and optimal way possible. One of the most important issues to consider is choosing the right workplace desk.
Workplace desk ideally suited to your needs
Before buying a desk think what you’re planning to do with it. As a translator, you’ll probably spend long hours sitting at it, trying to meet another crazy deadline. But is that all? Perhaps you also need to meet with your clients or other translators you collaborate with? If so, this should be reflected in the size of your desk and overall arrangement of your office. There are numerous aspects to take into account to choose a piece of furniture that has been adapted accordingly. The basic factors seem to be as follows:
Comfortable, spacious worktop
The general principle seems to be the more space, the better. Naturally however, it all depends on the size of your office. Think about all the things you like to keep on your desk. Working with two screens? Take that into account, as well. Average basic workstation is about 80 centimeters deep and 120 centimeters wide. The depth of the desk is so important because it influences the distance between the computer monitor and your eyes. Experts advise that this value should be at least 50 centimeters.
System unit space
Most computer desks usually come with a special shelf or cabinet for the system unit often referred to as computer case. But take a closer look at how it was designed. At the front of the case, the PC has an optical drive, a switch and other buttons and an increasing number of various ports and slots or a card reader and a display panel. This means you need to have convenient access to the front of the computer case. Preferably, you should be able to reach it without getting up from the chair. Furthermore, bear in mind that the ventilation openings in your PC shouldn’t be covered by any elements of the desk. It’s also worth making sure the cables can be easily connected to the back of the computer. In other words, a workspace desk with a special system unit cabinet is worth considering only if it’s functional. Otherwise, it would be much more comfortable to place the system unit on the desktop or on the floor.
Pull-out keyboard drawer
A popular option in many computer desks, although in most cases a drawer that can be pulled out significantly reduces the comfort of work. It’s located below the table top, which often interferes with the comfortable positioning of the legs and lacks the necessary space to support wrists. Most of these drawers can’t fit a mouse either. In the era of CRT displays, these drawbacks were acceptable, because thanks to the retractable shelf we saved a lot of space on the desktop. However, LCD displays take up much less space, which can be used for placing a mouse and a keyboard.
Power strip area
Besides computers and monitors, you might need several other tools for your work. There’ s a printer, a scanner, external hard drives, routers etc., and all these devices require power, preferably via a filter strip or a UPS. Therefore, make sure if your desk can accommodate all of these items. It doesn’t have to be in a very accessible place, but you should be able to effortlessly connect power cables from all your equipment on your desk.
Ducts and cable openings
Although more and more devices connect wirelessly, cables are still an unavoidable necessity. Make sure your desk has openings (in the worktop, in the back or side walls of cabinets, drawers and shelves) that allow you to easily connect your devices. Special rails and channels (e.g. at the back of the desk) are also useful for organizing the cable routing.
Sitting all day is hardly beneficial for both the body and the mind. That’s why, height-adjustable desks are the best investment to improve health, efficiency and creativity. The way you sit, stand and walk is much more important to your well-being than you can imagine. The truth is, even if you have the most ergonomic office chair and all of the gadgets, spending a whole day in a sitting position will never be good for you. This is where sit-stand desks come into play. If you can afford to shell out a bit more for the arrangement of your office, it’s definitely an option worth considering.
Being able to stand while working (or perhaps switch between sitting and standing position) can help burn more calories and is good for your posture. Moreover, research shows that stand-capable desks can do wonders not only when it comes to relieving pain usually related to sedentary lifestyle, but also have a positive influence on your cognitive productivity. Researchers believe it might be partly caused by reduced body discomfort.
There are many types of sit-stand desks. The most expensive ones are electrically adjustable, which is the most user-friendly and makes it possible to tailor it to your height and needs. You can easily and effortlessly change the height of your worktop, while all of your equipment stays in the same place.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can opt for an adjustable-height desktop add-on. All you need to do is to place the extension on top of your current sit-down desk. Then there are fixed-height desktop risers, which you can use simply to elevate the height of your monitor or a keyboard, so that they can be used in a standing position. The drawback with the last two option is that they take up much of your space and can dominate your workstation.
The agony of choice?
Workplace ergonomics are an extremely important but often underestimated issue, and this applies not only to offices, but also to domestic workplaces. Unfortunately, when buying a computer desk, we often pay much more attention to its appearance than functionality, the negative effects of which you may feel in the future. It’s worth remembering that though a narrow desk and a designer chair may look attractive, they often don’t provide comfortable conditions for longer work or study, so you’d better look for practical and ergonomic solutions.
A substantial number of translators worldwide are freelancers, many working from the convenience of their own home. While home office has its own undisputable allures, there are plenty of pitfalls you might fall into. Make sure you don’t make the following freelancing mistakes!
Freelancing mistakes: #1 Bad organization.
You get up late, then breakfast, catching up with the news, the social media, a couple of YouTube videos, another cup of coffee… After all, you are your own boss, right? Wrong. By the time you actually get down to working, you realize it’s way past midday and you haven’t done anything. As a result, you end up working late into the night, desperately trying to make up for the lost time.
Good organization is key to successful freelancing. You need to keep a consistent schedule and try to minimize distractions, striving to be more productive. Try to always work within steady hours – for some people it will be early in the morning, others prefer working in the afternoon or evening. As a freelance translator working from home you have the comfort to be able to experiment. Check out what works best for you. But once you find you productivity peak – stick to it.
Freelancing mistakes: #2 Wasting time on multitasking
Many people like to believe they can multitask when it comes to work. In the past, multitasking was believed to increase productivity. But the sad reality is, that it doesn’t. Think about the last time you were trying to do a few things at once. Can you honestly say you gave each of the tasks the attention it deserved? Was it really efficient? The experts say, that when most people try to multitask, they end up switching back and forth to different activities, which has a negative impact on the end-result. You’re losing focus and waste your time, because your brain needs to familiarize itself with the task again.
Freelancing mistakes: #3 Forgetting to plan ahead
First of all, specify your goal well. Consider the pros and cons carefully and a given decision will bring you closer to your goal. As a freelance translator, you need to take care of more than just translation projects. You need to build good relationship with your current clients and look for new ones. You are solely responsible for creating your online presence and marketing your services to others. Thinking ahead is an important skill allowing you to allocate your resources wisely and organize your work in the most efficient way. The last thing you want to do is to make random, haphazard decisions.
Freelancing mistakes: #4 Messy workplace
Seems pretty obvious, but a disorganized working area may really distract you and have a bad impact on your productivity. Let’s start with separating your working space from the rest of your home. This is even more important, if you don’t have a separate room. The lack of a permanent working area at home is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Keep your workplace tidied and organized – the messier it gets, the more distractions it creates. Disorder prevents you from concentrating on the task you are doing. When the desk is tidy, you’ll be faster and more efficient.
Freelancing mistakes: #5 Not setting a boundary between work and private life
It’s easier to turn off your laptop and leave the company than to stop working when your home becomes both an office and a place to live. You need a lot of self-discipline to work as much as you really should. It’s best if you’ve developed the rhythm to clearly define the times you work and when you definitively call it a day. Keeping a work-life balance is an important factor that helps both prevent work burnout and reduce stress.
No matter if you’re just getting started, or have already learned the ropes of the freelancer lifestyle, making mistakes isn’t something you can avoid altogether. Don’t beat yourself up. The important thing is to take a step back once in a while to look critically at your day-to-day life and see if there’s any room for improvement.
A lot of newbies entering the world of translation believe the translators working with every customer who contacts them. If you, too, think that you can translate any text, you’ll soon realize this is not the case. We live in a world in which specialization is the most important factor and that is why you should choose one field of translation as soon as possible and try to become a master in it. To be able to achieve that, you need to make good use of glossaries.
Glossary, also known as a lexicon or a termbase, refer to a collection of terms and their meanings relating to a specific subject. Deja Vu X3 comes with a number of interesting features that make it easy to keep your glossary up-to-date and well-organized. Make sure you learn all about the Lexicon and Terminology Database!
The market dictates the rules
A number of translators focus primarily on those areas that generate profits. These would be fields like engineering, medicine, translation of contracts or administrative documents. Each of these areas uses specialized vocabulary, and searching for some phrases can mean more than looking them up in the dictionary or the Internet. Sometimes it can take several hours, and in some cases, you may need to ask for help. It may happen that the customer themselves ask us to translate the text in a specific way.
Each sentence can be translated in dozens of possible ways. Although all of the versions you come up with might be correct, only a few will be accepted by the customer. Glossaries make it easier to translate some phrases and stay consistent throughout the document. They provide the translator with suggestions on how to translate a given term or expression. This makes work much easier, smoother and much faster.
Sometimes these hints are incompatible with what the dictionaries say, because the client prefers to use a different phrase. This is a particularly common situation with translations of commercial offers or advertising campaigns. The “customer comes first” principle also seems to apply here. Your client might think that a given term will fit the target group better or sell their product better.
Glossaries mean accuracy
This rules applies especially if you provide technical translation and you want to make sure you use company- or industry-specific terms. In some cases, it might be advisable to consult your client about the glossary, to know you’re both on the same page. That way you’ll avoid confusion and be sure your translations are 100% correct. Having a glossary is also a good idea when collaborating with a team of translators on a project. Having a lexicon of terms is a guarantee that everyone understand the specific notions in the same way and use consistent terminology. Just imagine the horror of having a given word translated differently each time it appears in the document! Another benefit of working with a glossary is speeding up the whole process. Thanks to a clear up-to-date lexicon, you no longer need to think about correct terms and definitions. High chances are it will significantly reduce the time needed to complete the project.