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Working freelance for an international organisation

Working freelance for an international organisation

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Working freelance for an international organisation

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  1. Working freelance for an international organisation

  2. General EU resources • Guide for freelance translators (EU) • Resources for freelance translators (EU) • Freelance translation checklist (EU)

  3. In-house or freelance? • Wagner (2005): EU context • in-house translators preferred for translation of legislation and documents important for EU image • freelance fine for translations for publication for general public or specialist readership, and for documents required for information purposes only (i.e. not external publication) • See also Wagner et al. (2002)

  4. EU freelance work: amount & procedure • From 12% to 50% depending on particular body (figures Wagner 2002) • Procedure: bid for tender to be on a list of contractors • Dynamic ranking in terms of price and quality

  5. UN freelance/external translation (Geneva) • Recruited through tests • Mostly to work in-house; sometimes at home • ‘Local’ if living nearby; ‘non-locals’ receive travel and subsistence allowances; local preferred • Employed at variety of levels (junior translator to senior reviser)

  6. Checklist (1) • Spelling • Verified and consistent terminology • Quotations from and titles of legal acts and other documents according to their existing official translations • Formal features (standardised phrases, etc.) according to national style guides • Completeness of the text, such as - have I translated the entire original (all paragraphs, embedded charts, tables, footnotes, headings and footers, etc.)?

  7. Checklist (2) • Second reading and revision – grammar, punctuation, functional sentence perspective (in languages, where applicable), double spaces, quotation marks in the target language format, etc. • Correctness and format of figures – are the numbers in the translation the same as those in the original, decimal points vs. commas, thousands separators, currency symbols, measures? • Layout – have numbering, fonts, styles, tables and other embedded objects been preserved?

  8. General resources for freelancers (1) • Professional associations, e.g. ITI – www.iti.org.uk • ITI offers • Advice for beginner freelance translators • Training/CPD • Code of Professional Conduct • Sample/model terms and conditions • Rates and salaries information (from survey) • ITI Bulletin

  9. General resources for freelancers (2) • Independent support for fellow freelancers • Translation Client Review (TCR) List: • www.tcrlist.com • subscription basis • find out about agencies/clients • Payment Practices • www.paymentpractices.net • info on agencies and payment practices

  10. International Association of Conference Translators (AITC) • Professional body representing translators, précis-writers, revisers and editors working on a temporary or permanent basis for international organizations • founded 1962, particularly for UN freelancers • now 450 members • www.aitc.ch

  11. AITC’s members • Candidate members = translators at the outset of their careers, 100 days’ work experience in international organisations. • Active members = independent or permanent translators, 300 days’ experience • Associate members = permanent post or retired translators

  12. AITC’s activities • Defends interests of its members • Ensures that their work is of high quality • Provides advice • Publishes: • Professional Code • Guidelines on External Translation • Directory of Members (searchable online) • Bulletin, Newsletter

  13. More EU/DGT resources (1) • Online term banks, databases and websites previously seen • In addition, translation memory for the Acquis Communautaire (body of EU law) available since Nov 2007: • parallel texts in 22 languages (see Table 1) • can be used to produce bilingual aligned corpora for any of the 231 language pairs • Info and download: http://langtech.jrc.it/DGT-TM.html

  14. Table 1: Number of translation units per language in the DGT translation memory

  15. More EU/DGT resources (2) • Full texts (i.e. not TM translation units) also available: • langtech.jrc.it/JRC-Acquis.html (see Table 2) • For more information, see Steinberger et al. (2006)

  16. Table 2: Number of full texts per language in the JRC-Acquis

  17. References Steinberger, Ralf et al. (2006) ‘The JRC-Acquis: A multilingual aligned parallel corpus with 20+ languages’, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Genoa, Italy, 24-26 May 2006. Wagner, Emma, Svend Bech and Jesús M. Martínez (2002) Translating for the European Union Institutions, Manchester: St Jerome. Wagner, Emma (2005) ‘The quest for translation quality in international organisations’.

  18. Tasks • Explore the resources mentioned • Translate a short text excerpt from an international organisation of your choice, or consider an existing translation as though you were revising it. Apply the freelance translation checklist. Is it helpful? Are there additional elements not listed which are also important to check?