Friday, July 28, 2006

Quote by J_B in the wiktionary chat

"and I also state (although I'm no linguist) that there is no language around the world that is spoken the same way by everyone ;) "

Something really true ... we were talking about natural languages.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

0,046 EUR/word????? ... pure madness ...

Well, I would not have wondered about 0,06/word - that is a price you often see in Italy from an agency ... but today there was that hilarious job from a new agency that got a fairly normal price per page from me ... I got a mini-job from them 22 words ... well, being it only 22 words I did not bother about the price (it costs more to create the job, write the invoice etc ...) ... sending the file with the 22 words back I noted the price of the p.0. 22 words for 0,046/EUR = 1 EUR .... now imagine all the work around 1 EUR .... the agency has to create a job, has to invoice the customer, has to check that the customer pays, has to check my invoice, has to pay .... I have to create an incoming job, write an invoice, have the accountant work, have to pay VAT and taxes .... all in all almost half an hour of work for what? 0,50 EUR net income???????????????????????

I just couldn't believe .... but even for the rest .... imagine a translator getting 0,046 EUR/word from which he has to pay expenses, taxes etc .... so if he is happy he has 0,023/word net income (from where insurances phone etc. need to be paid). Now according to many colleagues it is not possible to do much more than 2000 words per day (a normal working day) ... that means 46 EUR/day ... well cleaning the neighbours house I would earn more than that .,...

But let's go ahead with that calculation ... a normal month would bring 920 EUR with loads of responsibiliy ... imagine: companies depend on our doing a good job ... now if I go and work in an office I get 1200 EUR and do not even have half of the responsibility, no problems if I am ill, no private insurances necessary, no accountant necessary .... these would be there for me just to spend them and I would not even have to care about contacting new customers etc ....

Where's the world going? Sorry, but I am just too shocked ... or are all translators people just doing things for fun ... and not to live on???

Well: I deliverd that 22 words and asked them to simply delete that ridiculous p.o. ... at least it gave me the reason to write a blog ;-)

Monday, July 24, 2006

WiktionaryZ has its first logo

User Stefreak created our first logo and I find it great! It was time to have one - WiktionaryZ is out of its baby clothes ... time to wear the teen-outfit :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

From today we can add new words to WiktionaryZ

Finally we have it ... it is another one of all these big steps .... we can add new defined meanings - this means new lemmas + definition and then of course add translations etc. WiktionaryZ is getting to its teenage stage :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I would like to see some more kids singing ...

Today I was down in Maiori with the kids. This evening at ten there would have been a contest with singers from various countries, but it was too late for us - the last bus to go home was at half past ten and the event started at ten. When we passed the gardens of the municipal building we heard music and so we had a look. They were doing some tests and singers tried out where they had best conditions. So we sat down and watched. Really I was a bit surprised: my earthquakes sitting down, high volume music (normally they don't like loud music), and them listening .... after approx. half an hour they were done and simply had to wait for ten o'clock to come.

The funniest part for me was when they started to say "this is English, this is Italian, this is Neapolitan" to each song. And then, when tings were over Luna siad: "why did they stop? I want some more kids to sing .... it is soooooo fun".

Yes, the evening was fun ... and now back to work :-)

ISO 639-3 Babel templates - why should we use them?

Most wikimedia projects use so-called Babel templates. These shall help to find people who speak and/or understand a specific language. On 90% of the Wikimedia projects people use the Wikimedia project codes to indicate their language, but there are at least two projects that do use codes that in ISO-639-3 stand for another language. Therefore on WiktionaryZ we created all babel templates with ISO-639-3 codes and in that way we separated the project codes from languages.

These ISO 639-3 language codes are now in use on the Neapolitan wikipedia and will be used on the Piemontese wikipedia soon as well (there is some problem with the bot that does not seem to work there).

What we try to point out is: Babel templates must be about languages with proper language codes and not about projects that sometimes use different codes than the official ones for certain language versions.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ubuntu ... and passing over step by step to linux

Well, up to some weeks ago linux did not work on my laptop. Today I downloaded the latest live-CD of Ubuntu and: it works!!!! This means that this week-end I will create a partition of my hard disk (well Ubuntu does this for me) and install the software. Having a partition means that I can still work with my windows-software, if needed, but I can choose with which Operating System I work. Let's see if everything works smoothly - I hope so and I will let you know.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Organising a pool of highly specialised translators

Well, we are at a stage now that we need to deal with considering a huge amount of highyl specific, mainly scientific, papers into various languages and from various languages into English. It is not us who are the customers - we should just think about the what, when, who, how long, price etc. At this stage we need a huge network of translators that tell us in a detailed way which exact skills they have. In the case of the potential customer outsourcing to an agency is not a good idea, but working with a PM who organised the translators for that company.

Reasons: the papers are highly specific of any kind of science. Often a direct contact between author and translator will be needed. The contents is free content, so budget is not the highest even if also not the lowest. Agencies will not be able to deal with such a way of working, because it implies much manual work by the PM which means relatively high costs. We need to know each single person. Huge agencies often outsource to smaller agencies that handle that specific language combination (sometimes it is about rare languages ... not easy to find translators) or a specific area (for example medical translation). The smaller agencies often cannot say "sorry, we cannot help you", because otherwise they could loose an important customer. They need to find someone who does the job. In the worst case the second agency does outsource to a third agency in a low-price country (I don't say all do it - don't get it wrong, but some do it ... and you don't know who are that "some"). Then you have a translator working on a text where he very likely has questions - these questions then must go back the whole chain to find answers and then these answers must follow its way back to the translator. For certain kinds of translations: this is simply not the way it may go. Another thing that is to be considered: translators must live on their work. If the texts are highly specific they need time for research - so how much can they do in an hour? How much can they earn?

We are translators, not scientists, nor engineers - finding a scientist who is a translator or an engineer who is one: that is a reall rare case ... these are the jewels for very specific texts and finding them means knowing many people, passing word of mouth, asking, communicating, reading some of their texts.

We need people who do not worry to say "no thank you, this is not a text for me" if they cannot deal with a job - only working in such a way these people will be able to be part of that community. And: we will need a huge community of translators to cover all the needs. It will take time to create all these connections, but on the other hand: in that period needed we will create one of the most particular networks of translators that are around - different to anything that you know by now.