A little bit about you…
What is your name?
What is your job role?
I’m working as a Business Consultant for the Language Service Providers (LSP) segment in Europe.
My role involves a variety of tasks: I’m there to help new customers get started, to provide tips & tricks to more advanced users, to give advice on handling complex (often XML-based) file formats, to assist in case of technical issues, to discuss specific client requirements and propose the best matching product and/or workflow, to set up pilots of our server-based products, etc…
Which SDL office do you work in?
I report to the office in Maidenhead (UK), however I work from home, in the south of France. I don’t suppose I need to explain why!
How long have you worked at SDL?
I’ve been working for TRADOS in Brussels for 8 years, starting in 1997 (fresh from university), and I joined SDL at the beginning of 2010. During the period in between, I worked as a freelance translator – first with Trados 2007 and then with SDL Trados Studio. Actually, even during the last year of my studies, I already worked with Trados MultiTerm – since I spent my traineeship at the Dutch National Criminal Intelligence Service, where I helped set up their terminological database.
So you can say that I’ve ‘marinated in an SDL TRADOS sauce’ for about… 19 years.
Lets talk about SDL and the translation industry…
What is your favorite feature in an SDL translation productivity product?
Oh dear there are so many to choose from! But if I had to pick one, it would be the MT Autosuggest feature. This function in SDL Trados Studio allows you to use an MT engine of your choice, to get machine translation proposals on a sub-segment level. The engine suggests translations for part of your sentence while you type, and you can decide on the fly whether any of those suggestions is useful or not. I think it’s a great way to combine human and machine translation because it can really speed up your translation productivity, without jeopardizing your creativity as a translator. It’s definitely a lot less boring than post-editing full sentences.
Other than that, I personally love to play around with the customization file types and embedded content processors. It’s really great to be able to transform highly complex files that look like Chinese in a text editor, into a perfectly streamlined and comprehensive text in SDL Trados Studio. Like puzzles to be solved…
What excites you about the translation industry in 2015?
The fact that concepts as big data, big content and the digital content explosion in general, are slowly but surely transforming the status of translators from that of a boring ‘secretary-look-alike’ into that of a ‘global business enabler’. I think the translation industry will become more dynamic than ever before. And I’m happy and proud to take part in it.
From your experience, what would be your best bit of advice for translators?
Don’t be afraid of change. Welcome it and adapt yourself, be pro-active and pick up the fruit before others will. Don’t let yourself be blinded by the usual workload and time pressure that all translators have to deal with; take time to pull back and reflect on the market situation, in order to recognize where money can be made.
During your time at SDL, what is the most common myth that you’ve come across?
That SDL is not ‘open’ – both in terms of our software as in terms of being accessible and receptive to our clients’ needs. I haven’t seen a single CAT tool offering as many possibilities as SDL Trados Studio to extend its functionality or to integrate it with other tools, either with the help of the APIs (for the more technical users), or simply by downloading one of the many plug-ins that exist on our SDL OpenExchange app store. I think our product really caters for all types of users and scenarios.
Moreover, when I look at the online user forums, the dedicated YouTube video channel, the free webinars, the live chat, our online Knowledge Base and Online Help, the SDL Roadshows during which clients are free to give us their feedback, the ideas.sdl.com website allowing users to post enhancement requests, the free services that my colleagues and I deliver… I fail to see why some people still consider SDL to be unreceptive / inaccessible.
Tell us about your interests and hobbies…
Away from the world of translation, what do you do for fun?
First of all I think working in the translation world – is – fun! However, when I’m not working, I love to transpose myself into different worlds, either mentally – by ‘losing’ myself in a good book, or physically – by traveling to other countries. Most of all, I like to spend time with my 9 year old daughter, who’s definitely the most fun person to be with.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
Hmmm, all depends on what you consider interesting. That I almost became a ballet dancer but decided that universe to be too ‘narrow minded’? That I walked out crying during my first computer course at university (who would have guessed I’d become a Business Consultant in a software company)? Or rather… that I studied sexology for 1 year and had to stop because I fell pregnant?
Where can we find you online?
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the online social media channels like Facebook and Twitter where people often act as if they’re playing in a reality show.
Considering the fact that I spent most of my days behind a computer, I think I’m ‘connected’ enough as it is… However people who wish to reach me online can find me on LinkedIn.