A bad day with a happy ending

Today started really well and tailed off badly at lunchtime. I went out to meet a friend for lunch and we were sitting in a little roadside cafe minding our own business. As it was such a lovely day we moved outside and sat at a roadside table. It’s lovely there because the sun hits the pavement in the afternoons, making it quite warm, and as it’s quiet little road, there’s hardly any traffic or people around so It’s really peaceful unlovely.

But today was horrible, as we were sitting at the table somebody grabbed my phone. I didn’t really see what happened, I just saw this man with a hood up walk past, then snatch the phone and ran off up the road. Before we can react he was quite a way way and then he turned a corner and disappeared. I called the police, but there was nothing they could do once they arrived, there was no CCTV in the area and no witnesses. So all I could do was cancel the phone, get it blocked and get a new one sorted out as a replacement.

So that was a horrible day. I got home I was quite down about it really. I was a bit shocked that it happened in daylight and that there was nothing I could do. It wasn’t really the theft of a phone that worried me, rather the fact that it was so blatant.

Anyway, when I got home there was some better news. My friend emailed me to say that one of the online translation services I use has produced a really good copy of the article I wanted translated in Portuguese.

So this evening I uploaded all my website sales copy to the service and hopefully within a few days I have the first copies back in foreign languages. What I’m doing is using a detection script so that the site will automatically load in the native language when they visit. If they are not using a local IP address then the site will offer them options to choose a language.

I’m really pleased that finally the multilanguage version my site can be up and running, and that I appear to have found a reliable, cost effective and accurate translation service to use.

So is really a case today of a horrible day with a happy ending.

The translated articles are all in for comparison

I previously mentioned how I had tested three online translation services to see how they dealt with translating an article for me into Portuguese.

I wanted to compare the finished versions against each other to see how they match up. I then want to give them to my friend who is Portuguese to see which the best real-world translation is, so I can make an informed decision on which service provides the best translators.

It turns out that translate shark did the best overall translation of all the online services I tried. That’s not a recommendation really, it’s just a fact based on my own testing, and I always say do your own testing them.

But anyway, that means I have my service and now I can get my main sales copy for the website translated and then get the multilanguage versions up and running. I will then get them to do shopping item descriptions and also translate social media post as well, so that I have a complete suite of stuff I can launch the business with.

It’s been an interesting exercise and it just goes to show how great this online global economy is, it allows you to do so much that even 10 years ago would have cost literally thousands taken weeks to get organised locally.

In other news, the dining room has finally been painted, it took four days in the end but it looks really good. We have a friend who is good at that sort of thing coming in to lay a wooden laminate floor and then we have a new dining room table going in as well, so that’s really exciting and then we will have to entertain some friends so that we can start making use of all that hard work and money spent.

Anyway, that’s enough talk from me today, I have to get on, I have a bit more time before I get my head down to the night and I want to go and spend it with my wife who I have been sadly neglecting over the past couple of weeks because I’m trying to get this online business up and running. I know she understands, but once in a while I think I have to sacrifice that to show that she is my priority.

Painting and decorating is interfering with my business plans

It’s really frustrating when life gets in the way of your best laid plans. But unfortunately I’ve been putting off painting and decorating in various parts of our house for several years now and it’s got to the point where it just has to be done because it looks so dirty and dated.

My wife has been nagging me for ages to do it and I can’t justifiably sit and spend all my time working out how to get my niche online business up and running. I have spent a lot of time getting the website set up, and am currently in the middle of trying to decide which online translation service I should be using to do all my multi language copies of the website. It’s a tough thing to do, it’s a big job and it has to be done right so I’m looking for a translation service that fits the bill.

But anyway, I had to take a break from that a bit to start doing the work. I starting in dining room, and cleared that out earlier today. I then pulled up the carpet because we are having a wooden floor put down, and then I prepped up the surfaces ready to paint.

It took me several hours and I’m fed up with it already, and I haven’t even opened a tin of paint yet. Tomorrow I will get on with getting two coats of emulsion on the ceiling and the first coat on the walls. Then I will do the second coat on the walls, and the first coat of woodwork paint, then finish off. So I’m looking at three days worth of work, although it should not take a complete day each time, but with the speed I paint because I get so bored in may well do.

I’m a bit frustrated, but I’m hoping that I will get breaks where I can strip of my overalls and go and get on with some work on my site. I’m bit worried that my online business is starting to get delayed, and that could mean a gap in income. But that may not be a problem if I can get my act together soon.

A wasted night with a missing dog

This is one of those wonderful little stories which makes you laugh after it has happened but when it’s actually going on and think how ridiculous life can be and wish it would stop immediately.

I spent the best part of the afternoon writing content for my new online business. I’m also testing online translation services with a piece of writing I have done to see who does the best job for the best price. I am trying three translation services as I have researched those and they seem to be offering the best quality of service from me. What I’m hoping to happen is that the chosen service will then do all of my translation work for the new website.

But after I had been submitting the writing to the online translation services I’m considering using, I thought I would take the dog for a walk in the park. I wife was working late and the kids were out for the night so I thought I would do it.

While I was in the park the dog chased off after another dog and they both ran into the woods that border the park. The other dog came out but mine didn’t. After about half an hour of calling, it started to get dark and I wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily I had a torch my pocket, so I just had to patrol the edge of the woods calling the dog and try to see it.

About an hour later the dog came up to me from a completely different direction. I think it had gone straight through the woods, circled round the park and then heard me and come in through the gates again. It was ridiculous situation which took up most of the evening, and I was freezing cold by the time we got home. My wife and children were there, I had text them, but they laughed at what a stupid story it was.

Anyway, it was a happy ending because the dog was safe. I ran out of time to do any more work on my site, but I have had the first of the translation services responses back, so I will have a look at the quality of the translation tomorrow, and then work from there.

Online translation could be key to my new business

I don’t really want to go into too much detail about the online business I’m thinking of making. I think all I will say as an outline, because this is just a sound blog for me to sound out ideas I’m having, and document my progress, is that it is a small, specialist global retail site.

What I’m selling will appeal to anyone, anywhere. Which means I have two tap into that global market, which means I have to think about the language barrier.

I have been looking at options to create my website so that it delivers product descriptions, blog content and everything else, in the language of the person visiting it.

One of the big problems I’ve been encountering is the cost and reliability of getting my English language text translated reliably. I have been looking at translation services, specifically I’ve been looking at finding a very reliable online translation service that I can use for the long term.

Just in case you are wondering what on earth I am talking about, I’m talking about an online translation service like translateshark.com, where you submit text in your own language and a foreign language version is given back to.

I have tried the free options out there, like Google translate, but they are just not that good, because they literally translate the text, rather than altering it to read fluently. So I need something that involves human translators.

I looked at freelancing sites, but again, the problem is if I’m translating it into 10 languages, that means reliable translation of 10 different lots of text, using 10 different people, it would take forever. So I’m thinking that something like a translation service where you submit the text and they do all the work could be the best option, if slightly more expensive. At least I will be getting what I want.

Other than that, my biggest problem is going to be marketing in multiple languages as well. Again, I suppose I can get things like tweets translated, that should be a lot simpler. That is something I need to look at once the main site is completed.

A little bit about me and my life

Blogging is not something I have ever considered until now. But I’m now starting a new part of my life, a new journey, a new chapter if you will and I want to make sure that I document it for several reasons.

1. I want to make sure that my thoughts are clarified by discussing them. I thought a great way of doing that is to write blog posts. I can think about what I’m going to write, which should help me to clarify my thoughts, and I can clarify them further when I write a blog post, and then when it is published, I have something I can read back on and be held accountable to buy myself.

2. I want to document my progress on setting up a little online business so that I can look back at it for the long term. I might even print it off and make it into something I give to my kids so that they can see how my journey to hopeful success happened.

3. I want to vent and get my anger out here. That will be easier than putting my wife through the grinder when things don’t go right.

4. I want an anonymous place to discuss everything about what I’m going to do. I don’t want this blog to be linked to the online business I’m going to do, because that can be detrimental, but I want to be able to speak candidly and get things out in the open, I think that by writing a blog, I can get things off my chest and not take that frustration negatively to my customers or family.

So that’s the basic reasons for me starting this blog. As you can see, I’m a very organised person and I like to get things laid out. That’s why I think blogging could be good for me as I make progress in my plans.

In other news, my life is pretty good and I intend to counter the stress of setting up a little online business by making sure I still focus on my family life, which is very important to me. I also want to make sure that I focus on my sporting activities. I love golf and I love tennis, and I want to make sure I keep playing and watching the exports, and that I don’t start losing the passions I have in order to chase something which may start to become a negative in my life.