Jul 26, 2013

New tutorials for translation productivity

As many may have noticed from reading this blog or following me on Twitter in recent weeks, I have begun to create and post on YouTube a larger number of videos on various topics related to translation support tools or processes to make the business of translation a little easier. Many, but not all of these videos cover the use of memoQ; there are also discussions of special file preparation, VBA macros, piece rate equivalency calculations and more.

Subscribe to the channel and keep up to date as I add more material on a range of software tips and other productivity ideas for translators.

I have used a number of different tools to record and edit these videos - Camtasia in a few cases, and so far mostly the free Open Source tool CamStudio, both for Windows. The production values of the clips vary considerably as I get back into video production after a 17 year break. I'm not aiming for perfection here, but rather for quick and practical - more or less in the spirit of my memoQuickie tutorials which formed the basis of much of the e-guidebook of memoQ tips I released last year. I start gnashing my teeth before the 4-minute mark with many translation tool tutorials I see, so I try hard to keep most of the clips well under that length. I find that even the good longer videos are difficult to use as references, because I often have to search for the few minutes that interest me in an hour-long webinar recording, and without a reasonable index, that's just too difficult.

Many of these videos and the ones that follow will be embedded content in courses I am developing for translator and project manager education using Moodle. These combine text, video and audio along with practice files in many cases for multimodal learning of basic and more advanced processes that those in the translation business often require.

I've watched the growth of webinars in recent years as well as various other forms of distance assistance and instruction. But aside from coaching sessions for clients and colleagues using TeamViewer, I have refrained from taking part in these popular new media, because I am unconvinced of their effectiveness in many cases. This is not to say that there are not many very good webinars available, both live and recorded, but even with the best I am often left with the sense that there should be something more. Maybe something like a self-paced review course online with the resources where one can practice what was just covered in the long webinar and go over its most important points more easily. Such a resource might also be useful as a backup to live lectures or courses I or others might do.

I think that having a "toolbox" of online short courses might change the way I teach in person in some positive ways. It would likely give me more flexibility in how to cover topics for groups where a range of skills are present - the "outliers" requiring more remediation or greater challenge could perhaps be served better by offering them appropriate online follow-up resources, or even drawing material from these in a live workshop as the need arises.

Careful study of a wide range of current e-learning approaches in recent months has led me to think about what appears to work best and how I can learn from that and encourage others to do so as well. This has been an active and interesting discussion with quite a few friends and colleagues, and I don't expect we'll ever find the ultimate answers. But I imagine we will have fun and probably learn a lot, and maybe help others to learn some useful things too.


  1. Steven SegaertJuly 27, 2013 6:54 AM

    Thanks so much for these little tutorials. When I have an issue, I need to-the-point, reliable information. This certainly helps - thank you!

  2. if only they were in Italian ... sigh
    the bad side of a video is that you must understand the spoken language
    I'll do a look anyway
    thanks for sharing


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