Fresh Beginnings for 2014

Skybridge would like to provide help with your translation projects.  It is here that you can find information about the software that we use.  Our small team of 8 translators are eager to help you with your translation requirements.  Myself, Michael Arsenault, will help communicate to the translators your needs and requirements.  I personally act as the main “bridge” between you, and the translators, and help promote our services. That way, the translators work together and stay focused on their work.  To do this we have created a simple and effective office layout, rather than that of typical office cubicle setting.  Communication amongst the team members and myself abides to a principle of voluntary simplicity.  I, acting as the coordinator, communicate directly with you and in turn, keep the horizons of the translators clear of distractions.   The office setting strives to create a more interactive translation process.  Our team is a quite happy with this work environment since all our translators have experienced working with large translation companies and appreciate how it is more conducive to creativity.  Here is our current office layout. Voluntary simplicity!

Ideal New Office Setup 2014
Skybridgetranslation: Ideal Office Setup Goal for 2014

Management Plan
The Skybridge team has worked in various fields, which includes field of computer science.  We are all curious about doing research on new topics, have a broad knowledge with various fields, and make sure to keep a rigorous method to their translation work. The following gives you an idea of how we collaborate.

Work Process for Skybridgetranslation
Work Process for Skybridgetranslation

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OmegaT translation software
Advantage: Open Source Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) software with useful
add-on scripts, created by team members.  These script add-ons help improve speed of
our translation.  Our translation fees and costs are drastically reduced using this free
software.  The software does not make use of an alignment tool, but with a glossary that does automatic fill in.  This help speed up the translation process.  OmegaT also makes use of fuzzy match and dictionary suggestion to help provide useful suggestions to
the our knowledgeable translators.

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Word Office, iWork and OpenOffice
Advantage: Experience of the translators using it, compatibility with the mostly used
format (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).  We also have access to iWorks & OpenOffice.  Both
growing in popularity as well.

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Why we use these tools
Our translation team, all acting as equal members in the company, participate actively
with the OmegaT software mailing list and the trust that they have developed over time
with the OmegaT user base can give you an assurance that their involvement with your
projects can solve all kinds of technical problems quickly.  They also like the simplicity of
this software, as well as the fact that this Open Software tools never generates licensing
issues, that often delay what really counts.  PRODUCTIVITY.  This simplicity is a real
advantage.  No tool hopping distractions and mishaps.  The work with Word Office is to
simply provide you with the final product.  The crux of the work is done using OmegaT.
No alignment tools needed since the glossary setup, done by the alignment specialist
(which is assumed by an alternating member of the translation team).

Large companies can be costly, since  they generally have a overly large team, must
pay the rent of an expensive downtown office, pay for licensing of their software tools, such as Trados SDL, provide training on the use of their updated software, pay for the
lost time use on updating the licensing that often creates issues with their workflow.
Our company chooses to use OmegaT computer assisted translation (CAT) software,
and not the automated translation software.  The reason being that the usage of
automated translation can produce a text that feels overly automated, without the
unique flavor and style of a text translated by a human.  We nevertheless, still
automate certain tasks, but make sure to review the texts unique segments.  OmegaT
glossary feature, which also helps provide fuzzy matches, and a dictionary definition of
the terms being translated, comes in handy.  We leave it up to the translator to make
rational decisions on which segments of the text should have human translated
segments and automated segments.  In the end, our translation output is unique and
diverse in language content.  Automated translation, done within larger translation
companies do not give their translators this input option to their translators.  We have
often been called upon by unsatisfied clients, to revise and update the work done by
these large translation offices.  So our argument, is that, although automated translation
is developing quite quickly, it still has not attained the personalized human level of
distinguishing between the unique nature that should be kept of certain document
segments.  The appendix to files are ideally translated using automated translation,
however, the more important segments, explaining on the usage of software, for
example, should make a careful notice on keeping the human touch of the original
writer.  Contact us to discuss the content of your material.  Our translation mantra is all
about quality and not quantity.  Automated translation can often create clumsy to read documents, since errors are often overlooked, and too much trust is put into the
automated process.  Our method might appear slower, but you can rest assured that
our initial study of your requirements and revision system will provide you with a very
clear and legible document.  Large companies that make use of the automated process,
sometimes overlook this and their large teams create a work flow that makes it difficult
to pinpoint where errors occurred.  Our paired translation ↔ revision system, gives the
translator a more active role in the whole process.

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How we train our translation staff
Again, our staff classmates at University and have developed a real friendship and
understand each other very well.  Our informal training sessions are done with our
weekly activities.  Activities include suppers and outings such as archery, horseback
riding and slackline  Anything to get away from the humdrum of the digital spectrum that
translators must adapt to.  It is within this kind of work environment that we discuss on
how to solve problems, share tips on using new tools and scripts and improve our
overall workflow communication.  We do not rely on an formal training, but rather the
teamwork atmosphere that can only be acquired from people who trust and understand
each other.  Our suppers and outings abide by the rule of “no smartphones”, but only
smart and congenial communication.  Our small team of translators actually initiated this
idea.  Again, we work not from a top down management style, but all have our say on
the decision-making process.

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Quality Assurance with the translation of your text / terminology
The QA of the translation makes use of a relatively simple, but effective process, where
each translator helps review, each others work.  We work in pairs, and in order to make
the whole process fresh, we make create alternate pairing, every week.  Each of the five
members take turns assuming the role of the alignment specialist.  The paired reviewing
process itself is done at the end of the day, where each translator must spend one third
of his / her time, providing revision work for the paired member.  This helps create a an
interesting workflow for each translator.  Rather than spending time at one task, the
work of revision, helps the translator review work that deals with the same topic being
translated earlier during the day.  It helps break the routine of working tediously at one
task.  Therefore, we all work equally on the project and do not make use of a hierarchy
in the work process.  The final revision is done by myself along with the alternating
revisor (see Management Plan on page 3).  Rather than have each translator
communicate with the customer, Skybridge works with a organizational structure where
one person, myself acting as the coordinator, communicates with the client.  This also
helps us create a more simple and efficient communication strategy with your company.

How we can help you reduce costs
As mentioned earlier, our usage of Open Software helps reduce costs drastically.
Software licensing costs for 5 translators would amount to roughly $5000 CAD.
OmegaT is free software.  We earn our profit with a per word translation system and the
hourly rate provided to the revisor(s).  Although SDL Trados looks quite sophisticated
and their website claims to save on translation costs, our use of Open Source free
software will in the end, save you on translation costs.  No fine print licensing price
schemes, no loss of data due to an updated licensing. Contact us to find out more about
our rates.