I have two 8870 manuals that are key to understanding exactly how the 8870 works under the hood as it were. The NIROS manual (version 3.3 for now), and the Field Engineering Manual. The problem is they are in German, and my German is rather limited.
My partner Heike, is German by birth, so I printed out the NIROS 3.3 manual, sat her and the manual down and said, “you translate it, and I’ll key the English into my laptop… should only take a couple of hours”. It took around thirty minutes to get a half decent translation of a single paragraph. The problem is Heike doesn’t know technical German and her translations were too literal. This is exactly what Google’s language tools did. I decided I was going to need help.
I went to the Internet huning around for an independent or freelancer who would take pity on my, and translate my 160ish pages for the price of a bag of peanuts, but I didn’t have much success.
What I did stumble across was a website Freelancer.co.uk and the concept is rather simple. You create a project that defines what you want doing, your specify a budget range and let people ask additional questions or bid to do the work.
So, I created a project, uploaded a low-ish quality scan of the manual for bidders to see, set the project bidding stage to run for 10 days, and sat back really expecting for nobody to reply. Within 10 minutes I’d had several offers ranging from the peanuts I wanted to pay, up to £250 (which was my maximum). I also had one chap ask if I was serious as he charges £30 per page; odd really, I didn't force him to bid. The next day I had a look and had around 15 bids for the job. The site on-line help advises you not to just decide on price, which makes sense but what DO you use to help you decide.
I remembered than when Heike and I tried to translate a very simple passage we got into a terrible mess. So, I sent the four lines of German to my friend VAXMAN and asked for his translation. I then picked four bidders based purely on gut feeling, and if the English they used in messages they had sent me, appeared half decent, and asked if they would translate the four lines for me.
After 48 hours, only one person replied, and she replied almost instantly and her translation was pretty accurate; well,good enough for me anyway.
So, Ioana in Romania is currently in the middle of translating my NIROS 3.3 manual. We’ve agreed a price, and the work will be divided into five equal parts. I get to see the quality of her work, and she gets paid after each part. Stage payments are all handled by the Freelancer website so it really is quite simple. If she does a good job, I’ve got another couple of thousand pages of manuals for her to translate as well. Lucky girl.