Jeromobot’s 200th

by Translation Guy on September 28, 2011

Z, the translator formerly known as Jost Zetzsche, at least on this blog, is a giant in the translation industry. Literally, from my point of view, he looks like he’s about 6.5 feet tall, which I guess is one of the reasons why I look up to him. That and that he has also undertaken the thankless task of bringing translators and technologists together into the fly-blown trenches that delineate the daily word-by-word struggle that marks the advance of our field.

Jost, I mean Z, recently published his 200th edition of the Translator’s Tool Kit, a computer newsletter for translation professionals, having written almost a half-million words devoted to helping translators improve their craft (and income) through the thoughtful application of technology. The premium edition is bi-weekly required reading in my office, and pretty much the only translation industry must-read for me.

For any translators who read this blog, I suggest you do the same. (Cheapskate alert: There’s a freebee version too). Here’s the link.

Anyway, to mark the occasion, Z has made up a new term, “Translation Environment Tools” (TET), to replace “Computer Aided Translation” (CAT) and “Translation Memory” (TM), so often confused with “Machine Translation” (MT). So as a translation cadre committed to proper terminological vigor, I am happy to wave the acronym banner and join the TET offensive. “For the translator, I see these as positive steps toward a much greater connectedness with colleagues and clients, and a possibility to bring technology a good step forward and harness even more power from our friend, the computer. ;-)” Z has spoken! Forward!

So TET it is, even if he does use emoticons. However, I must respectfully remind our industry term-coiner that he still owes me the appropriate German word for “pleasure in the translation errors of others.” Well? I’m still waiting. I’m thinking something like Übersetzungsfehlerfreude.

But regardless of Z‘s contributions to translation technology and terminology, his most lasting legacy must be Jeromobot.

St. Jerome, translator of the Bible into Latin, is the patron saint of translators, and Jeromobot is his TET iteration. His antics are well known to those procrastinating translators (that would be you, gentle reader) who do their terminology research on YouTube. Granted these aren’t exactly high concept, but I have to admit, I find them hypnotic.

I should mention that, on top of being a good friend, Jost is also a consultant to 1-800-Translate on technology issues. Many years ago, when I still talked to vendors, he had responded to a job with a rate I found extraordinarily high. I emailed him back with something along the lines of “How the hell can we pay you more than we charge our clients!?!” or something equally provocative. His thoughtful and considerate response instantly made me feel like a jackass, so I picked up the phone to call him, and have enjoyed a wonderful conversation which has continued these many days.

Why, just the other day, he taught me how to correctly pronounce his last name.

“Be ever engaged, so that when the devil calls, he may find you occupied.” –St. Jerome

Congratulations, Z.


  1. Jost says:

    Thanks, Ken! (and that would be 6 foot 7 inches — or, more impressively — 2 meters)

  2. Beard says:

    first thing I did was google this guy to find out how to say his name. Not that I am going to say it outloud, but I like to read things in my head correctly. Jost but said with a “Y”.

    • Ken says:

      Jost call him “Z”

  3. Thanks for the freebie version. If I like this I may spring for the deluxe.

  4. I’m lost. Exactly how do the videos relate?

    • Ken says:

      Jerombot is Jost’s tin avatar, or rather the avatar of all translators.

  5. benkingery says:

    TET for president!

  6. Congrats on the 200th. I look forward to the next 200.

  7. Wow, has it already been 200? Seinfeld didn’t even have 200 (there were only 180 over nine seasons).

  8. Don’t bother with the freebie version. Spring for the Premium…it’s only $25.

    • Ken says:

      Definately worth it, plus we have to make sure Jost’s kids get their oatmeal in the morning too.

  9. I google Jost too and found a Youtube video of him. I imagined a much thinker accent and was pleasantly surprised at how well he spoke English. Not much of an accent. This from a guy who majored in sinology (all things Chinese).

    • Ken says:

      The only German accent Jost has is the Teutonic precision he brings to his third (second?) language. He’s the kind of guy whowill argue with you about the usage of “assure” vs. “insure.” I’ve been there.

      Reminds me of a story. We had this actor client, some famous guy, who wanted to work on his German accent for a film. We ran a couple of our German talents past him he could train with. Not enough accent. See, he didn’t want a German accent. He wanted a German movie accent, so I guess he probably ended up doing his voice training watching Colonel Klink. “Hogan!!!”

  10. Actually, I didn’t know that St. Jerome translated the bible into Latin. Was it origninally Hebrew?

  11. Check out Jeromobot on twitter.

  12. Tits McGee says:

    Weekly I mix up TM and MT. TET is good although I didn’t mind CAT. Although CAT made me think of black and yellow soled boots.

  13. Leon Flowers says:

    I had to watch the videos a few times each. I love the one with the electrical outlet. I was cheering the guy on. Come on, you can do it! No, not that one. Yes! That’s the one. You did it!

  14. The word you’re looking for would be “Übersetzungsfehlerschadenfreude”. You’re welcome!

    • Ken says:

      Jens, that is awesome. I should get some T-shirts printed up. Thanks a million.

LiveZilla Live Chat Software