MedTranslate Speaker spotlight: Ronny Stiffel

MedTranslate 2014, international conference for medical translators, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, Oct. 3-5
www. medical-translators-conference.com


Ronny Stiffel

Ronny Stiffel, Branch Manager at Sonovision Deutschland GmbH, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

After 12 years in the German Naval Air Wing 2, I started my career as a design engineer in the aerospace industry at Airbus in Hamburg. In addition to my main tasks as a design engineer for parts of the Airbus A380, I also started writing Ground Test Requirements for several Airbus aircrafts.

In 2008, I was offered the opportunity  to work as technical author at EADS Military Aircrafts in Manching, Bavaria with a focus on the PA200 Tornado, an aircraft I have been working on for several years now . After an initial training, I took a few courses to improve my writing skills. The most important course in this industrial field was my Simplified Technical English Course in March 2010.

From 2011 to mid-2012, I worked as a project manager for BMW in Munich where I learned a great deal about Lean Management Processes and Six Sigma in several projects. It was BMW that gave me the initial spark to take a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course which I completed a year later.

Since mid-2012, I have been the branch manager and general project leader at Sonovision Deutschland in Donauwoerth. We develop several types of technical documentation for our main customer, Airbus Helicopters. Joining us in mid-2013, Merck Millipore became our first customer from the life science industry. We are also developing technical documentation for several products.

In late 2013, I took a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course to learn the Six Sigma methods and tools. The objective was to improve our projects with a focus on customer satisfaction, the highest possible quality, and efficiency. Six Sigma in combination with simplified English, standardized documentation and translation have been a success for our projects.


Presentation: 

“The advantages of standardized documentation and translation with the support of Lean Six Sigma and Simplified English”

The highest possible quality in documentation, authoring and translation, is the main focus of our company. In order to achieve highest possible quality in the documentation and translation, it is absolutely necessary to use standards or develop them. The use of standards enables the use of IT-based editing and translation tools.

With the use of standards, the use of quality measurement methods and quality assurance measures is facilitated. This leads to a reduction in production costs and increases the quality of the products.

Six Sigma is a very efficient method for the development of solutions to ensure almost error-free processes. The main objectives of Six Sigma are quality improvement and cost savings.

Every error, made by the company or the employee, has consequences. A customer refuses the work package, a process must be done again and time and/or resources will be wasted. This leads to less efficiency, less productivity and less profit.

Six Sigma describes a process quality which points out only 3.4 errors per 1 million opportunities.

Companies thatuseSix Sigmamethods and toolswill achievelong-term: a continuouscost reduction, revenue growth, improved customer satisfaction andminimizereworkin projects.

Based on mentioned facts and positive examples from companies which have Six Sigma already applied, Sonovision Germany began in late 2013 with the Six Sigma implementation at the site Donauwoerth.

Due to fact that Six Sigma comes from the industrial sector it was necessary for Sonovision to adapt the DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve and Control) project methodology for the authoring and translation business.

Simplified Technical English, or Simplified English is the original name of a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. It is a carefully limited and standardized subset of English. It is now officially known under its trademarked name as Simplified Technical English (STE). STE is regulated for use in the aerospace and defense industries, but other industries have used it as a basis for their own controlled English standards.

Simplified Technical English is claimed to:

  • Reduce ambiguity
  • Improve the clarity of technical writing, especially procedural writing
  • Improve comprehension for people whose first language is not English
  • Make human translation easier, faster and more cost effective
  • Facilitate computer-assisted translation and machine translation

Visit the conference website: www.medical-translators-conference.com
View list of MedTranslate speakers: www.medical-translators-conference.com/speakers

MedTranslate 2014 – International medical & pharma translation conference, Freiburg, Germany

logoWe’re delighted to announce the first MedTranslate conference that we are organizing this year.

It will take place October 3-5, 2014 in Freiburg, in the South of Germany. The event, aimed at international medical and pharma translation professionals, will feature many expert speakers from our industry – such as Emma Goldsmith, Pablo Mugüerza, and many others – as well as speakers from clients’ industries.

Among the excellent speakers and rich programme, Konstantinos Stardelis will discuss the question of rates in medical translation, while Marion Alzer (translator, clinical monitor, phase 1 manager) and Susanne Geercken (Drug safety specialist at Pfizer Germany) will give some keys to find your way in the jungle of pharmaceutical texts. Maarten Milder from Medtronic will discuss Q/A issues, and Ed Zander, author and veteran of the biopharma industry, former research manager at Glaxo, will walk us through the waters of drug discovery and development.

And much more! Check out the line-up of speakers here.

Come and join fellow specialized colleagues for a rich and interesting weekend of learning and networking, in the gorgeous setting of the Panorama Hotel Freiburg and its breathtaking view over the city and the Black Forest!

More information: www.medical-translators-conference.com

What do translators need?

Blank notepad over laptop and coffee cupThe Alexandria Project is now in its second year of existence and we would like to have a better understanding of what professional translators and interpreters need/wish in terms of resources and continuous education (aka CPD – continuous professional development).
We created a short survey – and we need your help! Your answer will help us achieve this and will allow us to constantly refine and improve Alexandria by offering resources and CPD that match your needs and expectations.
This survey is completely anonymous and will take just a few minutes to fill – click here to view it

Thank you very much for your time!

Resources for translators: DGT TM AutoSuggest Dictionaries

Flag of european unionSince 2004 the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation has made its multilingual Translation Memory for the Acquis Communautaire (DGT TM) publicly accessible in order to foster the European Commission’s general effort to support multilingualism, language diversity and the re-use of Commission information.

The Acquis Communautaire is the entire body of European legislation, comprising all the treaties, regulations and directives adopted by the European Union (EU). Since each new country joining the EU is required to accept the whole Acquis Communautaire, this body of legislation has been translated into 23 official languages. As a result, the Acquis now exists as parallel texts in the following 23 languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, German, Greek, Finnish, French, Irish, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish. For Irish, there is very little data since the Acquis is not translated on a regular basis.

The Alexandria team created (is still creating) AutoSuggest dictionaries from the TMs created from this materials (click here for more information). Creating these takes hours, if not days of work and of blocking a computer… but not anymore, we are serving them to you on a plate!

Visit the Translation Resource Center on Alexandria for more information, to view the language pairs available and download DGT AutoSuggest Dictionaries (more language pairs will be added over time).

Good luck and enjoy the Dictionaries!

“Translation Resources” area now open on Alexandria – first resources added

Blank notepad over laptop and coffee cupThe “Translation resources” area is now open in the brandnew Alexandria Library, with the first two sections: Translation memories and glossaries.
You can now download free translation memories and free glossaries – for now there are only glossaries extracted from the WHO Health Environment Lexicon and translation memories extracted from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) TM – all of them available for German, French and English.

Links:

Translation Resources Area
WHO Glossaries to download (extracted from the WHO Health Environment Lexicon)
Translation Memories landing page
ECDC Translation memories to download

If you want to contribute and help cleaning ECDC or WHO translation memories/glossaries for your language pair(s), just shoot us an email (info[at]alexandria-library.com). It would be great to be able to offer these free resources in more language pairs! A great way to contribute to the project (many colleagues are already contributing right now) and you’d get your own contributor page – another online profile for you to customize at will to promote your services.

Over time, more languages and more TMs and glossaries will be added and made available. Some will remain free while others will be for sale. If you have glossaries and/or TMs you want to share or sell, feel free to contact us. We’ll sell or distribute them for you. (You first need to make sure that the materials belong to you, that they are not copyright-protected or don’t contain confidential information from your clients).

For any question, enquiry, information, do not hesitate to contact us!

The Alexandria Library has moved!

1523019_716007601766834_324051246_oWe’re very happy to announce the release of the latest version of the Alexandria Library – we’ve been very busy with it these past couple weeks! Bigger, better, user-friendlier, and all placeholder are there for the future resource center we envisionned upon creating the platform.

The new website is available at alexandria-translation-resources.com – Still in beta, still a few glitches (particularly with Internet Explorer) but we’re working on them (and any feedback is welcome). In the meantime, the current website (alexandria-library.com) will remain as it is for a few more days before closing and moving to the new website too, including the domain name alexandria-library.com. So no worries, you’ll be able to access Alexandria with the usual URL http://www.alexandria-library.com

Regarding blog subscriptions (those of you who get email notifications whenever a new post is posted on the Alexandria blog), we’ll take you with us on the new website but the process is not complete until you hit “Subscribe” on the new blog if you wish to keep receiving notifications: alexandria-translation-resources.com/blog/

Please try and avoid posting a new comment here, instead please post your comment directly in the new blog: all articles are there, up and running.

Thank you for your patience and support – and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question, feedback or trouble accessing the new platform.

Warm regards,

The GxP Team

Standing Out, or the Art of Becoming an Outstanding Translator

By Andrew Morris, Morristraduction
This article was originally posted on the Alexandria Project’s blog

Gummy Bear Stepping out of LineThere’s a fair amount of victim culture in our little world of translation, between the evil ghost of Machine Tourism hovering in the wings, the rapacious agencies, (oh and don’t get me started on the Big Guys), the constant lament about the crowded market place, and the ever-present refrain about how fees are being driven down.

My goodness, it’s carnage out there. So much so that it’s possible to throw your hands up and say “With things that bad, what can a translator possibly do to survive?” If you’re that way inclined, that is.

But I’m not that way inclined. And my answer to the question is simple. “Everything”.

When I started out I’d never heard of multi-language vendors, I wasn’t familiar with the term machine translation, and I certainly knew nothing about the lurking monsters and the clouds hanging over the industry, if some of the prophets of doom are to believed. I simply began by working on what I had to do, creating my own space, in a tiny village in rural France, and doing it as well as I could, and the rest gradually fell into place. And it’s not over yet…. I’m just getting into my stride.

The fact is that your life as a translator is in your hands, not anyone else’s and certainly not “the industry’s”. Realising this is about making the shift from victim to agent, from someone at the mercy of “market forces” to someone who decides that from now on, they are in control, and they will call the shots. It’s about understanding that your own professional world, with all its ups and downs, is nothing but your own creation.

Always assuming, of course, that you’re actually good at what you do, and that you haven’t missed your real vocation, somewhere along your journey, which was to become a trapeze artist, a concert cellist or a master baker of cupcakes.

So rather than trying to change the whole world, if you work on your own little patch of it and become the best translator you can be, showing yourself in the best possible light, and pushing yourself to grow, you will stand out. And that’s a promise. Not only that, you will thrive and watch your professional life begin to develop in ways you never even imagined…

How am I so sure of this? Because it’s exactly what happened to me in the five years since I first became a translator. And I’ve seen it mirrored in countless other colleagues since.

Now don’t get me wrong. Getting ahead and standing out from the crowd doesn’t mean trampling on other people. There’s room for everyone, all standing out from each other. It simply means finding your unique niche and letting your own individuality shine through.

So forget about who else is out there and what they’re up to: just work on yourself as a professional practitioner and the rest will follow. When your own vision is stronger than the other hectoring, doubting or complaining voices around, and when you do what inspires you, in a way that inspires you (or, as someone once said, ‘You tap-dance to work’), then you will soon see that people can’t wait to get what you have.

Of course along the way there will be challenges, obstacles and experiences that may initially appear as mistakes or even failures, but are in fact the most valuable feedback you can have. It’s part of the game. Who wants an easy life anyway?

My forthcoming webinar here on the Alexandria Project will identify 50 of the many practical and easily applicable ways in which you can stand out just by changing your own professional practice as a translator. But it starts with a shift in mindset, which is the basis for all that follows. We will begin by examining your values and deciding what you want, before going on to explore the best ways to brand and showcase your unique contribution, to attracting (and keeping) clients, the organisation of your working life and finally professional development and continued learning, but all connected to your fundamental understanding of yourself, your unique contribution to the world of translation and your vision.

Believe me, building a successful business takes enterprise and hard work, but it’s not rocket science. The secrets of success are in your hands. And in your mind. And the fact that you’ve read this far already shows you have the enthusiasm, commitment, drive and energy to start exploring ways of doing so, perhaps not for the first time. This commitment is something I share, and I’m looking forward to working with you towards making your mark. Join me on April 2nd and watch those opportunities unfold.

Andrew’s webinar: “50 ways to stand out as a translator” – April 2nd, 2014, 120 minutes (English).
For more information and to register: click here


AAndrew Morrisbout Andrew 
Andrew Morris has always been captivated by languages and the mysterious secret worlds they open up. This led him initially to a degree in modern languages at Oxford followed by a long career in language teaching and teacher training. But when in 2009 a series of chance(?) life events dictated it was time for a major change, a lightbulb flashed in his head… ‘Why not translation?’
It was a leap of faith… apart from a fascinating correspondence course for translators, his CV as a translator on the first day of his new life was a totally blank sheet. But with lots of hard work, some luck, a dollop of inspiration, a drop or two of perspiration and a hitherto undiscovered entrepreneurial spirit, things slowly began to fall into place. Now, fewer than five years later, he heads Morristraduction, a thriving boutique agency, working both with other agencies and major direct clients with a primary focus on culture and travel, and outsourcing to a regular team of 20 hand-picked colleagues. Business has grown by 475% in that time and the future looks bright…
But we never leave the past entirely behind, and Andrew’s constant search for new experience along with his background as a teacher and trainer have led him to reconnect with his training skills, offering webinars with the Alexandria Project as well as tailored one-to-one Skype coaching to translators at various levels of their careers…