Volume 6, No. 3
Reader Survey results
by Gabe Bokor
his evaluation of the Second Reader Survey of the Translation Journal coincides with the fifth anniversary of this publication. As the hit counter approaches the 200,000 mark, I once again wish to thank our contributors, readers, and advertisers who have made the Translation Journal the number one on-line publication for professional translators.|
By the closing date of this issue, June 17, the survey had been answered by 86 respondents, over 65% more than the first survey taken four years ago. Thanks to you all who have taken the time and effort to respond! While this number is far from adequately representing the 250-300 daily visitors to the Journal, I believe it's a statistically significant number to reflect your hardware, software, tastes, and opinions.
The percentages in most cases do not add up to 100%, because many of you did not answer all the questions.
Country: You log onto the Translation Journal from 35 countries and five continents. Fifteen of you (17%) are from the U.S., followed by Brazil and Canada (7 respondents or 8% each), Spain (6 respondents), Germany (5 respondents), France (4), Belgium and China (3), Argentina, Australia, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, Mexico, Portugal and South Africa (2), and Austria, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Russia, and Uruguay, with 1 respondent each.
Occupation: Not surprisingly, most of you (57 or 66%) consider translation and/or interpretation your main occupation. Eight of you (9%) are part-time translators, 8 (9%) are educators, 3 are students, 8 managers, the rest of you is engaged in different occupations ranging from trademark agent to builder.
Internet Connection: You have kept up with technological development. Only 6 of you (7%) are using 28,800 bps or slower dial-up modems, while four years ago (when 28,800 bps was considered high-speed) still 17% used even slower connections; 23 (27%) of you are using high-speed (56K) dial-up modems, 18 (21%) use DSL or ADSL, 9 (10%) use cable modem (the two latter technologies didn't even exist four years ago), while the rest use satellite, ISDN, and other high-speed connections. Many of you weren't sure about the type of Internet connection you're using.
Referral: You were introduced to the Translation Journal in many different ways. Many of you (16 or 19%) were referred by search engines (Google 6, AltaVista 4) different translators' forums (Lantra-L 12, FLEFO 9, Trad-prt 3, Proz 2). Sixteen of you (19%) were referred to the Journal by miscellaneous websites, 9 (10%) by friends, and 6 (7%) came across it just by browsing the Web.
Platform: A predominant majority of you use the Windows platform (81 or 94%) while only 4 (5%) use Macs. Among Windows users, Windows 98 is used by 37 (43% of the total), NT or 2000 by 24 (28%), Windows XP by 9 (10%), ME by 8 (9%), and older versions of Windows by 3 (3.5%).
Browser: Most of you use Microsoft Internet Explorer (69 or 80%), 7 (8%) use Netscape, 2 (2%) Opera, and 1 (1%) AOL's proprietary (MSIE-based) browser. These figures confirm the results of polls among the general population, which show an increasing predominance of Microsoft's browser. Four years ago MSIE was used by only 38% of Journal readers against 54% Netscape users. Most of you use the latest or next-to-latest versions of your browsers.
Monitor: The most popular horizontal resolution seems to be 651-800 pixels used by 21 (24%) of you, followed by 801-1024 pixels (15 or 17%), 1025-1280 pixels (9 or 10%), and higher than 1281 pixels (6 or 7%).
Many respondents were not sure about the resolution of their monitors. Both Windows and Mac users can find and adjust the resolution of their monitors under Control Panel - Display; Windows users can also right-click on their Desktop (not on any icon), and then select Properties - Settings. The Journal looks best at a horizontal resolution of 1024 pixels and with Text Size selected "Smaller" in the View menu of your browser.
Load Speed: One-half of you (43 or 50%) think Journal pages load "reasonably" fast; almost as many (37 or 43%) think they load "fast." Interestingly, the percentages four years ago were almost reversed (40% and 56%, respectively), although the average speed of access was considerably lower then. I attribute this phenomenon mainly to the change in the perception of what is a "fast" loading speed, in addition to some increase in the average size of Journal articles.
Appearance: Most of you (69 or 80%) like the appearance of the Journal, while 13 (15%) think its appearance is "nothing special." No one thought the Journal was "unattractive or confusing."
Interest: Most of you (52 or 60%) think most of the Journal's articles are "interesting," while 18 (21%) think they are "somewhat interesting." No one has found the Journal "uninteresting."
How Read: A clear majority of you (52 or 60%) read the Journal on-line; those who read it mostly off-line are evenly split (10 or 12% each) between those who print out the pages that interest them and those who download the files for later reading. Twelve of you (14%) read both on-line and off-line.
Topics: You have suggested the following topics for future issues:
The concentration trend in our industry
Translating from Korean into English;Translating from Oriental languages into Western languages;
The profession of a translator
Rate guidelines for freelance translators and average wages for in-house translators
Editor's Note: Sorry, U.S. laws and ATA guidelines prohibit us from discussing translation rates.
Translation rates, Payment terms, CAT tools
Rates in Europe and America
Editor's Note: Sorry, the above also applies to rates outside the U.S.
The use of computer tools, teaching translation
Translation courses on the Web
Cultural adaptation while translating technical texts (yes, it is sometimes necessary), how to deal with difficult clients (not for business issues but regarding translation itself, for ex., the ones who answer the question "What exactly do you mean in this sentence?" with nothing more than "what it says"; the ones who *want* word-for-word literal translations of their texts, etc.), in-house positions vs. freelancing and how the translator's role/responsibility for content changes
The use of computer tools, teaching translation
Translation markets: Which business sectors generate which translations and how much
Experience sharing among interpreters, more discussions on the English language, provide more timely information on translation and language.
Localization and online translation; localization courses and training
Technical writing, military translations
Financial translation, legal translation, reviews of dicitonaries,
glossary/terminology management with and without TM programme, and the integration of both.
I'd like to increase the part allotted to the translator education
Concrete details on taking fly-by-night intermediaries to court in different countries; interviews with non-linguist captains of industry on how they rely on/buy in/use translation & interpreting; a "Desert Island Disques"-type series with a few prominent translators asked to say which books (maybe even dictionaries?) they'd take with them if headed for a desert island (BBC radio has a program like this)
Translation of economic and/or financial texts (concrete problems encountered during the translation, training of the translators)
Corpus-Based Translation Studies, More theoretical issues
Translation of Hebrew into English and of English into Hebrew.idioms
The role of Translators in the Translation Class
Sites of glossaries or dictionaries
Language teachers as translators and translation learners; translator education
International & cross-cultural payment practices issues
I would be interested in reading more articles discussing specific translations, no matter the subject matter; available choices, how decisions were made, what type of research was donelike case studies (for instance 'In the Tracks of the Giants' by R. Paquin about subtitle translation and 'Speech Allegory' in [the April 2002] issue). I find I learn more from these than from theoretical discussions. Articles about specific challenges within a language pair are also interesting to me (for instance Danilo Nogueira's What Is the Word for "you" in Portuguese?)
Machine Translation, Localization; market size of Translation in different languages
How to start in the field of translation
Online dictionariesoccasional updates of sites, etc, would be nice
Translating legal documents; "certified" or "legalised" translationscomparison of the requirements in different countries
I'd like to see more about conference interpreting, which is my major field of work
Business aspects of the translation industry; research in translation; more on dictionaries
Translators' rights, mainly dealing with taxes
Terminology management; contrastive analysis; use of corpus in translator training; publishing a selection of articles focusing on a specific topic such as translation theory or translator education.
Quality of translations, non-paying customers
What to do with invented English words that do not seem to exist in other languages, especially "technology"-related words
While some of the topics suggested go beyond the scope of the Journal and others have been addressed in previous issues, I hope that experts in some of the subjects requested will take up the challenge and share their knowledge with the rest of us in the near future.
Comments: You have offered the following comments:
I enjoy the Translation Journal very much and appreciate the diversity of subjects covered. Nevertheless, I find some of the more "academic"/"university-level scholarship" articles somewhat difficult to read. I still strongly believe that if you can't say it simply, you don't know what you're saying.
By all means, please continue the supberb articles by Danilo Nogueira, Cathy Flick, and Alexandra Russell-Bitting and the spiceyness of the Fire Ant and Worker Bee column.
You should set up a fund for voluntary contributions. I am starting to feel guilty ;-).
Editor's response: Don't. I enjoy doing this at least as much as you enjoy reading it.
A notification by e-mail when the new issue is out, would be interesting.
Apart from that: very interesting publication; I hope it goes on like before! Thank you for all your efforts!
Editor's response: For the past five years, the Translation Journal has appeared on time every quarter before or during the last week of March, June, September, and December. We intend to follow the same schedule in the future.
Get an editor to improve the writing of some of the academic contributions.
Your magazine is an excellent and very useful tool for translators. Congratulations!
Some articles and tables have been very difficult to print on an A4 portrait page, because rows go over the paper edge. Check these things before publication, please.
Editor's response: Try to scale down the printout (in IE's Print dialog box choose Properties - Graphics - Scaling).
The menu on the left of each article eats up space and makes the article long. A printer-friendly version of each article would be nice.
Editor's response: To increase the viewable area, increase the resolution of your screen as explained under the heading "Monitor" above. Your screen is now set at 800 horizontal pixels; if your video card allows it, I recommend you set it at 1024 pixels. To squeeze more material into the printout, try to scale down the printout (see response to the previous comment).
Could English be the only language in the mag?
Editor's response: This is an international publication, and most of our readers are not native speakers of English. We welcome articles written in languages other than English; however, for practical reasons, we can only accept contributions written in the major European languages.
I appreciate all topics dealt with. Don't you think using other languages reduces the reader range?
Editor's response: See above.
The journal is looking very nice. And it looks great on my Mac
I find a good half of the articles in TJ very interesting, and the rest pretty interesting. I really enjoy Fire Ant and Worker Bee, other articles under "The Profession" heading, translator profiles, book reviews, discussions of translation toolsI guess articles about the more practical side of the profession. I think you have gathered a solid and entertaining group of contributors on these topics; this is really one of TJ's strengths.
Keep on the same track. This e-zine is really great!
Love the site! I like the stories from other translators
I find the Translation Journal really helpful and often visit the site. Thanks for all your hard work.
"Fire Ant and Worker Bee" is my favorite section because it gives excellent tips with good humor.
Your positive comments and constructive criticisms are the best present for the Translation Journal's 5th anniversary. Thank you!