Archivi categoria: How to

It’s not the technology, stupid!


Let me say that I do like technology. Even if I am not a techy, I am happy when I can use technology to speed up my work, and to automate processes, in my professional and personal life. But I take it as a personal insult when I have to stop using my brain.

Since I have never worked much with translation companies and big LSPs, I had only glimpses of the newest Translation Management Systems until recently. In the past few years, also investment companies started to use TMS to manage multi-lingual content and translation workflow.

What are cloud-based TMS? Translation management can be defined as the automation of the translation process. It should eliminate repetitive “manual” tasks and increase efficiency through project management functions, incorporating translation memories, and storing information.

What do they promise then? Continua la lettura di It’s not the technology, stupid!

Last night a DA saved my life

Changing home is always a shock.  Moving to a new house is the third most traumatic thing after death and divorce, experts said. Moving to another country is not easier, even if you wish it. You need to do a lot of paperwork, find a house, open a bank account, register at the town council, buy a stable Internet connection and, yes, find a doctor.


If you are a freelance, you may also need to register for VAT or open a new company in the country you are going to pay your taxes.

Now I am the owner and director of Financial Translation Hub Ltd.

New habits, new language, new faces around me.

I like it. Though it involves a lot of work and appointments. A lot of things to buy, to arrange, to do.

A few years ago, when I found myself overwhelmed by tasks and did not know from where to start, I discovered the GTD method. Today, after some years of practice, David Allen is saving my life for the second time. Or maybe the third.

Thanks to GTD, I have some spare time to write this blog!

Things are not perfect, yet. I need to improve, but the Getting-Things-Done approach helped me to clear my mind and decide my list of “priorities”. Hopefully, it may help other people who find themselves oppressed by tasks, ideas, appointments and really need to stop and reset.

It includes time management tips, but this is only a small part of it. You need to change your attitude. GTD helped me to clarify my objectives, collect ideas and tasks, both in my personal and professional life, and review them on a regular basis.

  “Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” Bil Kean

Continua la lettura di Last night a DA saved my life

The Whys and Hows of Translation Style Guides. A Case Study.

Last week, a marketing manager of a global investment company called me. He was referred to me by a colleague. They are launching the company’s website in Italy and had it translated into Italian by a global translation company. However, they were not convinced of the Italian translation and asked me for an opinion and for a review.

I started reading the translations. I could not find big mistakes, such as grammar or spelling. The main issue was that the text sounded too much like a translation. Sometimes I could not even understand the Italian without reading the English source. This lead to various misinterpretations. Moreover, it was translated literally, and Website menus and buttons were too long for the Internet layout.

It was evident that nobody visited the English website before or during the translation process. You could understand it from naïve mistakes, where charts were confused with tables, buttons mistaken for menus, and the translated metaphors had nothing to do with the image shown online.

Translators were not informed (and probably did not ask) about the intended destination, the target reader, the “ideal” client of the website. Who was going to read and visit it? Institutional or retail investors? Should the language be easy to understand for everybody, or specifically directed to investment professionals. What is the brand “tone”, formal or informal?

A 20 minute call with the client’s local team was enough to understand their expectations and draft a very short “style guide” for an effective translation into Italian: words not to be translated, reference materials, a description of the market they wanted to reach in order to launch their products in Italy. A professional translator can start from such information to hone the language for the purpose.

When talking about style guides or manuals of style, you may think they are too academic, while a simple short guide for effective writing is a valuable reference for translators and does not need to be too complicated. You can combine this guide with glossaries and reference material to do a better job, a translation that does not sound like a translated text, but as an original document improving the quality of the message, increasing the audience engagement, and even cutting costs.

WHY… a style guide?

Continua la lettura di The Whys and Hows of Translation Style Guides. A Case Study.

Long Live the Press Release

Financial communication: how clients can help translators convey the right message

Most people think that financial translation mainly regards annual reports and financial statements. As a financial translator specialising in investments and asset management, accounting is a marginal part of my translation business. More often, I translate market commentaries and press releases communicating financial data and company’s results.

A press release – or media release, or video release – is a written or recorded communication directed at the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. It is an important tool of corporate communication. Continua la lettura di Long Live the Press Release

Financial Glossaries and Resources – Part II


In the first post of the series Financial Glossaries and Resources, I collected glossaries and resources in English. In this second post, I would like to share resources in other languages (Italian, German, French, Spanish), as well as multilingual glossaries and advanced search tips.

This is books scramble. Many books on white background.

Continua la lettura di Financial Glossaries and Resources – Part II

Translations on the Fly


How long does it take to complete a (good) translation? 

I could translate 2,000 words in less than 30 minutes”, a potential client said to me, declining my offer to deliver the job within close of business on the same day. “Wow, how quick you can type!”, I thought*.

Translators may be superheroes with resources beyond imagination, though there are objective or reasonable limits to be considered. In general terms, a professional specialised translator can translate around 2,500-3,000 words per day, but there is a but.


How long does it take to complete a professional translation?

Variables are numerous. Delivery time varies with the language, length and difficulty of the text. Needless to say, specialisation and availability of the translator are also to be taken into account. Continua la lettura di Translations on the Fly

Killer Tips to Triumph on the Web


Why and How to Translate Your Company’s Website

Do you want to play a triumph march like Verdi’s Aida? In order to captivate Attention, raise Interest, elicit Desire and inspire Action – the AIDA principles of marketing communication – you need to speak your client’s language.

Are you wondering why you should translate your company’s website into a foreign language, for example from English into Italian, since it is expensive or time-consuming? Have you already translated your web presence, though it does not seem to produce the expected results?

Translating your company’s website in view of expanding into other markets is necessary not only to increase the number of visitors and visibility. As I pointed out in this blog before, according to a study run by Common Sense Advisory, 75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. The survey highlights that more than half of respondents shop on-line only from websites that show information in the consumer’s native language, especially when buying insurance and financial services.

Your company can gain a competitive advantage, differentiate from competitors and gain trust, which is particularly important when people have to invest their money. Although English is considered the language of the web, once clients have access to a local version of the website, their uncertainty decreases and are more inclined to buy.

Multilingual websites increase web ranking in search engines and help you gain market share. If you are also planning a presence on social networks, do not forget that not all countries use social channels in the same way. You will need to localise your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy and possibly interact with potential clients in their language.

Once understood why you should translate your website, you need a strategy in order to produce the expected results. A survey among more than 500 global marketers in 2013 found that 60% of them have no strategy for multilingual content marketing. Continua la lettura di Killer Tips to Triumph on the Web

Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading

Get it Write
(CC BY-SA 2.0 quinnanya)

These days, there is a lot of fuss and debate around Post-Editing (and Machine Translation) that made me reflect upon effective editing and proofreading as a key part of my work.

Are there revision and proofreading parameters that can be applied to check the completeness and correctness of a translation, as well as compliance with the client’s specifications?

Let’s start trying to define editing, revision and proofreading. Revision means checking the quality and completeness of a translation through a sort of bilingual editing, e.g. it is a comparison of the source (original) text and the target text (translation). Editing refers more to style. After “polishing”, the translation should read as if it were written originally in the target language and should be suitable for its audience. Proofreading means to re-read the translation and correct any grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

I started my career in the translation industry more than 20 years ago revising and proofreading translations made by expert professionals. Over the years, I applied and developed various methods to check and edit translated texts, as Quality Manager at LSPs, as well as a freelancer checking my own work.

In my opinion, the best method is to use a check-list and stick to it. You can group similar controls and go through the text three or four times.

Continua la lettura di Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading

How to Become a Successful Financial Translator? Upcoming Webinars

As part of the Prozcom webinar series “Getting established in the translation industry” and “Business and finance translation”, in September and October, I will present a series of webinars on financial translation (in English “How to Become a Successful Financial Translator” and in Italian “La traduzione finanziaria: una specializzazione vincente“) .



How do you become a financial translator and work for banks, investment companies and international corporations?



Specialising in a high-demand sector such as finance and economics is a great opportunity for a translator.

We will answer these questions, providing examples and personal experience.

  • Which type of documents do you translate?
  • Who are the main clients of a financial translator?
  • How do you become a financial translator?
  • How can you develop expertise and style?
  • Which are the main criticalities of this specialisation?

This one-hour webinar will introduce you to financial translation.

Continua la lettura di How to Become a Successful Financial Translator? Upcoming Webinars