When translators come across TM-Town for the first time, it often takes some time to understand what exactly TM-Town is and what TM-Town offers translators. TM-Town is rather unique - it is not a traditional translator directory or portal, it is not a CAT tool, it is not an online translation agency -- but TM-Town does include some elements of the aforementioned businesses and tools.
So how does it all fit together? Is TM-Town right for you? In this blog post I will try to answer some frequently asked questions of translators who visit TM-Town for the first time so that you can more quickly evaluate whether TM-Town is the right choice to help you grow your translation business.
It is true that up until now, translators who could not load work (due to NDAs) could get little value from TM-Town. However, this is changing and going forward TM-Town has new features on the road map to help translators who can not (or choose not to) load work use TM-Town and grow their translation business.
The first step in this direction is Nakōdo - TM-Town's brand new translator search engine. While translators who have loaded the most work appear higher in the traditional TM-Town directory, Nakōdo is a whole new innovation in translator search and discovery.
Nakōdo is a first-of-its-kind translator search engine by TM-Town that utilizes state-of-the-art natural language processing technology to match translation professionals with clients in need of translation. With Nakōdo a visitor enters the text of a document she or he needs translated and the language of the desired translation. Nakōdo analyzes the terminology of the document and compares it against documents translators have loaded into TM-Town's system and recommends the best specialists who have translated similar material (watch video).
So how does this help the translator who can not load their prior work? The really neat part of Nakōdo is that the chance of a translator being recommended as the best match is independent of the amount of work they have loaded into TM-Town.
This means that if you can load a sample translation (a 1 or 2 page translation you have done that is public) that includes a lot of specialized terminology from your field of expertise you can start benefiting from TM-Town.
TM-Town also has a great new feature that makes it easy to complete a sample translation. TM-Town has a catalog of source texts across many different fields of expertise that you can choose from to easily get started on TM-Town.
Yet another feature that all translators can benefit from (whether you load work or not) is TM-Town's new productivity tracking tool. In less than 5 minutes per day you can start tracking your daily work and get instant insights to help you better manage your freelance business.
This seems to be a common misconception about TM-Town, which I can understand as TM-Town does have a feature that allows translators to share a specific document with another TM-Town member for purposes of collaborating on a project. However, general sharing of TMs or making TMs public is NOT allowed on TM-Town.
For more details on TM-Town's policies with regards to the work you load, please read TM-Town's Terms of Service. I think you will find that they are clear, fair and translator-friendly.
TM-Town is a cloud service and cloud services may not be for everyone. Most likely though, you already use cloud services every day.
Every translator starts somewhere. In my opinion TM-Town gives you a great opportunity to start specializing at the beginning of your translation career. Start with a sample translation and grow from there. As mentioned in the answer above, Nakōdo search will help you get discovered as you don't need to have a library of work loaded to get matched by Nakōdo.
Over the coming months I will be focusing on making TM-Town more accessible to all translators. The path to a better translation world includes translators both new to the industry and those with deep experience, those with prior work they can load and those who have work they can not load. So join TM-Town and let's make TM-Town the place for end clients to find the best freelance translation specialists in the world. It's free to register and become a TM-Town member.