First there was XP (OK…there were others before XP but who remembers anything pre-XP?), then came Vista, then the return to XP – under the guise of a new coat of paint and a new name (Windows 7)… but now… …now comes something ground breaking, something genuinely NEW!
Translators like to read: if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be translators. Reading for fun is all well and good, but sometimes it’s nice to read for professional development. But what to read? We’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of six must-read books to start you off.
Although this isn’t a blog about food for translators (as the somewhat misleading title suggests), we thought it might be fun to write a post about food for translators. So, food/snacks that translators might like to eat whilst keying in a translation: chocolate obviously isn’t a good idea, and with crisps you run the risk of flavorings (not to mention crisp fragments) getting in between the keys… I once heard a story of a translator reputed to motivate himself with cashew nuts – eating one for every paragraph he writes… so nuts (presumably unsalted) must be OK… For the sake of writing a blog post about food for translators, we racked our brains to come up with seven more suggestions:
In the eyes of many freelance translators, agencies often get it wrong, and surprisingly, many of the best-known agencies survive (even thrive) whilst continuing to get it wrong – speak to any freelancer who’s been in the game for a while about their experiences and most will be able to tell you dozens of translation-agency horror-stories. The problem, as most freelancers will tell you, is that a lot of translation agencies don’t seem to treat the very people who make them their money as well as they perhaps should. So here’s a few tips for agencies interested in starting off on the right foot when trying to impress new freelance translators.
Coinciding with the release of their latest OS (Lion), Apple have made some huge improvements to Safari – too many to mention really… for a full list check out the ‘Safari‘ section of Apple’s ‘OS X Lion: 250+ New Features‘ page. But we’re not about to get bogged down by going through all of those here (especially since we’ve already mentioned a few of the reasons why translators should be using Lion in a previous post), instead, we’d like to focus on just one – a system-wide feature that can make looking up the meaning of words (something that translators probably do more than most) in Safari altogether easier: ‘Lookup‘.
Translators are some of the zaniest people around*, they are often very opinionated and usually regard themselves as intellectuals who are ‘above’ mere materialistic emotions. It follows then, that translators are particularly difficult people to buy presents for. However, fear not, as we’ve put together a list of things that would light up any translator’s face on Christmas morning – providing, that is, that they haven’t got them all already!
If you’re not already addicted to ‘Three Finger Drag’ on the Mac, put aside any stick-in-the-mud ways you might have and give it a try. After a few minutes (worst-case-scenario a few hours) of ‘this feels a bit unnatural’ you may well find moving things around on the screen starts to feel altogether more fluid than ever before*. Could actually pressing down on the trackpad be on its way to becoming a thing of the past?!
Freelance translators spend a lot of time waiting: waiting for assignments to come through; waiting for a few days to bill a client (to try and disguise how quickly they managed to earn x amount of [insert relevant currency here]); waiting for their full-time friends to finish work at five o’clock… and we’re all quite used to waiting for our computers to do things: like sending emails with large attachments, loading webpages, and, oh yeah, booting up! – a topic that just so happens to lead me (at last!) to the gist of this post: ‘How much time do you spend each year waiting for your computer to boot up?’.
Assuming you’ve tried all the usual things – reading around, umpteen Wikipedia searches, as many dictionaries and thesauruses (online or offline) as you can find – you’ll no doubt begin to worry that you might be getting stuck. However, fear not (yet), because depending on the particular type of ‘stuck’ you’re about to do battle with, there might be a few more things worth trying. Here’s ten of them (feel free to add some more in the comments below):
There is an abundance of new features in Lion – Mission Control, Launch Pad, and Full Screen Apps to name but a few of the more prominent ones – and although the upgrade might not suit everyone – particularly those with software that isn’t compatible and those with computers that don’t meet the upgrade requirements – we think that Lion is well worth the thirty dollars (approx) that it costs. Sadly, we don’t have the time (or the interest or the patience) to go into all 250 new features, instead, we’ve picked out just five lesser-known ones – that you might not even have noticed had we not pointed them out – that will almost undoubtedly make the upgrade that little bit more welcome.