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A Translator's Worst Fear

A Translator's Worst Fear

“Gather round the campfire, children. I have a story to tell...”

“... a story about losing it all.”

“And the worst part is...”

“It’s all true...”

The old man’s knees and spine cracked as he slowly lowered himself down by the fire, the shadows grew longer as they danced higher and higher up his heavily wrinkled face.


Oooo, I don’t know about you, but I love a good scary story!

I know it’s not Halloween yet, but I heard a true translator horror story the other day that I just had to share with you so that the same thing doesn’t happen to you...

Peter was a translator just like you.

Also like you, he did all of his work on his home computer where he stored something vital to his career and livelihood...

His TMs.

One morning, it was business as usual.

Peter sat down in front of his computer with a cup of hot tea.

He pressed the power button and took a careful sip before placing the cup down on the desk.

Mentally going over what he needed to get done that day, he took a deep breath, ready to begin, when all of a sudden...

The blue screen of death appeared right before him!

Yes. That’s right.

Peter’s computer had crashed...

He tried not to panic as he forced it to shut down.

Anxiously tapping his fingers on the edge of the desk while the computer tried to reboot, its fan whirling and roaring, he prayed it would come up...

You see here’s the thing.

All the work Peter had on his computer would be lost if it didn’t reboot.

But this time, there was no blue screen of death.

Just a quiet clicking sound made by the disk as it turned off, made even more audible since the fan had stopped blowing...

The screen was black, and nothing was bringing his computer back.

All was lost! What was he going to do? His priceless work was now gone, stuck on a dead computer...

While that is a terrifying story for anyone who makes their livelihood from files and resources that exist on his computer, it’s also a story that could easily happen to anyone.

And it happens all the time.

This also happened to Judith just the other day who told me she had to get another computer after hers died.

She lost glossaries she had invested time and money into, along with lots of other data.

But fortunately, that is not the end of Peter and Judith’s stories.

You see, Peter and Judith are both users of TM-Town (names changed to protect the innocent), and we were able to transform these horror stories into stories of salvation.

In Peter’s case, he had stored his most valuable assets in his TM-Town account.

All he had to do was login, and download the original files.

Everything was soon back to normal!

For Judith, the purchased glossaries she lost were also still available in her TM-Town account. So she could download everything again.

Whew! What a relief!

So, the moral of these stories?

Make sure you have your files backed up!

While there are many places and ways to back up files, let me remind you that backing up your precious work with TM-Town also adds the extra benefit of potentially being matched with a client looking for someone with your experience and expertise.

Think about the files you have on your computer right now.

If your computer suddenly crashed, would you lose something that you wouldn’t be able to get back?

If the answer is either “yes” or remotely leaning in the direction of “I’m not sure...”, head to TM-Town today to start backing up your most important files before it’s too late!

Because if you’re not backed up...

Your story may not have a happy ending like Peter and Judith’s fortunately did...

Be careful out there, and backup some work while you're here.

Nate Hill at TM-Town

About the Author

Nate Hill
TM-Town Developer

Nate is building TM-Town to help translators optimize their work, hone their art, and find better paying work based on their expertise. More about me

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Comments (7)

piotbienkowski Piotr
Poland
Posted over 2 years ago.

True story about me. :-) I am an early adopter of TM-town. Now with the starter plan (I can't afford going Pro at the moment) I have already maxed out on the number of units I can store in TM town. Until I go pro, I must find some other place to keep backups of TMs, right?
As the IT guys’ saying goes, there are two types of people: those who make backups and those who will. :-)

natanio Nate Hill
Japan
Posted over 2 years ago.

Hey Piotr, thanks for your continued support! Just FYI - although you have maxed out what you can index into search, your account has space for 1,000 documents as you were an early adopter. So you still have plenty of room left to back up your work :smile:

piotbienkowski Piotr
Poland
Posted over 2 years ago.

Thanks fro your, response, Nate. So if someone does a Nakodo search, the hits from my TM are limited by the Starter Plan, right?

martin Martin Janda
Czech Republic
Posted over 2 years ago.

That reminds me 'horror stories' generated by insurance company PR departments, with the only aim - to scare me to death to buy their insurance. I hate those.

BTW, even though I am already a member - and you can bet your post would not make me to join if I did do it before - I have better places to backup my TMs.

natanio Nate Hill
Japan
Posted over 2 years ago.

Hi Martin. Sorry, this post was simply meant to be a fun way to share a couple of cases where we were able to help translators out in a way that we hadn't really expected.

I know there are plenty of places to backup your TMs for simply backing them up, but by backing them up at TM-Town, we can also add the extra benefit of helping you be matched to clients through Nakōdo.

piotbienkowski Piotr
Poland
Posted over 2 years ago.

@Martin Janda: to be sure there are plenty of options for backups, but I just happened to upload most of my resources to TM-town a few months before the catastrophic event, and these uploaded resources just 'happened' to be my most recent backup. I also had older backups on CDs/DVDs but these were the most recent.
And to be sure, there are also other options for backup ‘in the cloud'.
The most important thing is to HAVE backups. :-)

natanio Nate Hill
Japan
Posted over 2 years ago.

Piotr, the hits in Nakōdo are not limited by your Starter plan. Any eligible documents (translation memory files, Deshi .town files, glossaries, or aligned source and target documents) loaded in your account will help you get found in Nakōdo. The segment and term limit for the Starter plan limits what is indexed into your personal search (i.e. if you try to search your TMs from one of our CAT tool extensions or from the Search Your Translation Memory page)

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