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Jan 1, 2014

Looking back and ahead in translation

This time the old year went without a bang or whimpers from the dogs, for which I was grateful. The years since I moved to Europe have been too filled with fireworks and stress for pets at this time of year, and it was nice to walk my friends in foggy silence shortly before midnight, play a bit in a quiet park, hear a few distant fireworks for about ten minutes, then enjoy a peaceful walk home.

The past year had many surprises, personal and professional. Most were pleasant I would say, though cumulatively they were often exhausting. It has been a long time since I learned a new language, and the process is more gradual than I remembered it. In 2013 I continued my re-thinking of approaches to teaching and work and began to use combinations of media that were largely new to me, with mostly satisfying results. I expect that will continue.

The new year has also started with new work equipment and an anticipated new approach to application management. For more than a decade I have worked primarily on laptop computers, which have followed me many places. I have been very fortunate to experience few hardware failures in all that time, but the limitations of the hardware became a serious irritant as I began to work more with video and extreme data scenarios with my translation support tools. Questions from friends with similar data concerns who spend a lot of time travelling and the example of a few associates who use sophisticated remote access strategies for computing have led me to consider a more powerful system - including 32 GB RAM, several SSD drives and caching on a RAM disk - configured for secure access from anywhere. Combined with an increased use of certain online resources, my relationship with information technologies is probably experiencing its greatest (and hopefully most productive) changes in a long time. The ultimate goal is greater simplicity so that more thought can be devoted to the work I enjoy with less effort required to prepare for it.

Toward the end of last year, Translation Tribulations also passed the million visit mark. One would think that after five years of blogging I would have a better grip on some important technical aspects, but technology is a fragile, evolving thing, and solutions today are too often tomorrow´s cumbersome scrap. The convenient Google search function I gratefully implemented about a year ago as an alternative to my chaotic tag cloud broke recently; this seems to happen very often to add-ons for this blogging platform. And I still waste far too much time dealing with spam comments. But the exchange of ideas over the years far outweighs the inconveniences, and I´m surprised and pleased that the blog has proved to be my own most useful reference for solving work-related problems with translation technology. Often someone will ask me a question beyond what I know, and when I start to research the answer I´ll find it in my own past words here somewhere. One of the best blogs I know started as a personal study guide for an exam, so I probably should not be so surprised to find that mine helps me prepare for the endless tests of complex translation workflows.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the ideas and discussions here in the past, and I look forward to the fun and learning of future exchanges! In 2014 I´ll continue to look at ways to work more effectively alone or in teams with a mix of preferred tools and methods and try to find a better balance for many things.

1 comment:

  1. A very Happy New Year to you Kevin. I really enjoy your blog and am looking forward to many more insightful and critical posts.

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