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
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.
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.
Expressed as YYMMDD. This and the Project Number serve as the Project Number for
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.
The name of the client;
Source Language The
ISO-3066-1 digraph is used.
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.
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
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.