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