One goal of TM-Town's translation enablement platform is to help match clients in need of translation with the best subject matter translation expert(s) for the job.
Since TM-Town launched at the end of last year I have spoken with a lot of translators and one thing I have learned is that there are a significant number of translators out there who are experienced and who have substantial domain expertise, yet for whom loading prior work into the system is not an option. In some cases this is because all of their prior work is under NDA or similar restrictions. In other cases, the translator is simply not comfortable having the work leave her/his own systems.
I have always understood this, and always respected it. Until now though, my focus has been primarily on serving the translators who do have work that can be loaded in. Those who can not load in work have largely been outside of TM-Town's purview.
My intention in this blog post is to signal that this will no longer be the case. Which is to say that:
Going forward, TM-Town will be providing powerful new ways for translators who can not or choose not to load in work, to demonstrate their expertise and get discovered by clients.
I will be posting some of the particulars of how TM-Town will try to accomplish this in the future. For now, I will just say that at the end of the day, TM-Town's goal, when it comes to the site's matching functionality, is to enable clients to find the best, most capable translators for a given job.
In my opinion the status quo of traditional directory search leaves much to be desired. While TM-Town is not yet positioned to replace this status quo, I believe TM-Town is making big strides in this direction. TM-Town recently released a first-of-its-kind translator search engine called Nakōdo. Nakōdo is a first step to better discovery and allows translators who have only loaded small samples of work in their field of expertise to be successfully matched with translation jobs in their area of specialization.
While term-based analysis of prior work is a new and effective approach - many other ways of ascertaining expertise, not involving analysis of prior work, can also be imagined. TM-Town intends to explore these alternative approaches aggressively, so that they can be used in parallel with the methods based on prior work.
The bottom line is that if you are an experienced and capable translator who happens to have no plans to load in prior work, TM-Town is now setting out to serve you as well. So join TM-Town and let's build the best place for end clients to easily, simply and accurately find the best expert for their translation job.
I welcome your ideas and feedback on this topic in the comments below.