The Virtual Cooperative, Dream or Reality?

July 17, 2014

All human beings need to feel that they are receiving affection, attention and friendship from those near and dear to them. We need to have a sense of belonging. In addition, we all need to feel competent, to leave our mark, and to sense that we can win. We need a sense of power and recognition. Surrounding ourselves with people who occasionally recognize that we have important things to say helps us satisfy these needs. Achieving a sense of belonging, power and recognition nurtures our confidence. If these needs are not adequately met, can technology help?

I believe so. In 2011, I conducted a survey on the well-being of translators. Of the 102 surveyed, nearly half (48%) admitted to having few or even no professional relationships. One solution to professional isolation might be a virtual cooperative organized around a platform that lets members create personal accounts and interact as necessary in order to build teams. This platform should also make the creation, importing or exporting of TMX files (translation memories) possible and available to the team. Team members could then create records available to the entire team. All of these activities could be performed in real time, a big plus as clients become ever busier and more demanding. The beauty of such a platform is that professionals in different cities might participate in a team. Once established, the team’s size can change to adapt to the workload.

It’s up to you to develop relationships with your colleagues, for example, through live conversations. With Skype or Google Hangout, you can share what you did over the weekend or chat about vacation plans, conversations that usually take place around the coffee machine (organic coffee, of course).
But you need more than that, for example, a user-friendly tool that allows you to escape from the artificial environment imposed by translation memory tools. You know what I’m talking about: aligned segments that mask paragraphs or make you squint as you try to delete the superfluous spaces between words.
An interface that respects the mental processes involved in translating already exists. It gives you instant access to pre-translated segments, to records as your team creates them, to term banks, concordancers and other similar tools.This platform—a living ecosystem—is TradooIT, and includes Memory, Termidoo for term records, and Gazoo, the interface that respects your work environment. Happy translating!
 
Translation: Nancy A. Locke
 
Illustration: Studio Steve Bergeron
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