A Project Naming Convention & Workflow suggestion

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 »  Articles Overview  »  Art of Translation and Interpreting  »  Translation Techniques  »  A Project Naming Convention & Workflow suggestion

A Project Naming Convention & Workflow suggestion

By Shane Wall | Published  12/23/2007 | Translation Techniques | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://pol.proz.com/doc/1564
Shane Wall
wietnamski > angielski translator

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A Project Naming Conventions & Workflow suggestion

Dedicated Hard Drives and Directories

The structure starts at the Drive level. On a multi-drive PC used only for translation-related work, one of the hard drives is named "Translation" and all work is done on this drive. A second drive is dedicated to Computer Aided Translation tool resources (TMs, Glossaries, word lists, bitexts, etc.). This is named "CAT", although any other name could be chosen, as long as this is the drive that contains these resources. Creating desktop icons for TM, Glossary and Translation Directory resources provides quick access to them.

Within the "Translation" drive, project directories are labeled using the Naming Convention below. Each project directory consists of an "Original", "Working" and "Final folder". These folders respectively contain the client originals, copies worked on during the translation process and the finalized translation for delivery. It is useful to create a template directory with these folders already created.

In addition, a "Completed" directory is used to archive all completed projects which have been invoiced and payments received. Using the "@" or "#" symbols as the first character of the template and the completed directories will ensure they appear at the top of the list of directories in the file viewer.

Dedicating a hard drive to Computer Aided Translation resources allows for quick, comprehensive searching of glossary and TM resources from within the different Computer Aided Translation tools.

Naming Convention

Any naming convention should contain enough essential project information to be instantly recognizable by the translator and make project directories, folders and files or emails much easier to locate. The convention suggested here allows quick recognition of the project date, client and languages involved, and organizes projects to be listed in the file viewer from oldest to newest or vice versa. It is ideally suited to working with multiple clients, projects and languages. If only working with one source and target, and in only one direction, then the SL-TL can be dropped. Likewise if working with only one client, although that is a potentially dangerous situation for a freelance translator!

The naming convention consists of a date stamp, project number, client name, source language and target language. This ensures every project has a unique identifying 'label', whether for the same date, client or language pair. Any project can only ever have one, single name.

Date stamp Expressed as YYMMDD. This and the Project Number serve as the Project Number for invoicing.

Project Number A 'one up' sequential number for projects received on that date, regardless of client or language pair. This number resets to 1 at the beginning of each day.

Client Name The name of the client;

Source Language The ISO-3066-1 digraph is used.

Target Language The ISO-3066-1 digraph is used.

As an example, a project named "071225-1 Santa Claus VI-EN" would be project number 1, dated December 25, 2007, for the client Santa Claus, in the language pair Vietnamese to English.

Email Message Filters

The naming convention can be used to filter email messages automatically into their correct respective folder or sub-folder. This is especially useful when undertaking concurrent projects. Use the project label as the first entry to all email subject lines, then create a filter in your email client to send these to the correct folder.

File Naming

Within the "Working" folder, which is itself contained within the appropriately named project directory, a variation of the naming convention is used to identify source files, files "in-progress" and target files. The project date stamp and project number are used, to identify the project when the file is viewed in isolation (i.e. as an email attachment) from its parent directory. However, additional 'tags' are added to indicate version and progress.

The naming convention - is used to identify the copy of the original that is saved in its original state into the Working folder. The first file version altered for working is then saved as ---, i.e. "071225-1 Santa Claus VI-EN-TAGGED-01". Copies are saved at regular intervals and the version number is increased by one at each save. Once the work is complete, the naming convention - is used and this file is saved into the "Final" folder.

This workflow allows for quick identification across different projects and for tracking progress within a project. Keeping different versions as the work is being done makes it simple to regress to a previous stage if needed. It is also a good work practice to recover from computer/software-related 'crashes' with minimal time lost. Interim versions can be saved into an archive if potentially needed in the future or destroyed.

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