Still thinking unit conversions = a conversion chart + a calculator? Wolfram Alpha to the rescue!

So, you’re working along, deep in concentration, when up pops a value written with units that won’t be understood in the target language. What next? Do you: a) Pull out an old battery-powered calculator and a printed conversion chart. b) Use an online conversion chart and the infuriatingly crummy calculator built into Windows/OSX c) Type… Continue reading Still thinking unit conversions = a conversion chart + a calculator? Wolfram Alpha to the rescue!

There’s more to Wikimedia than Wikipedia…

Wikipedia is so helpful to translators that most of us would rather not admit quite how much we rely on it — partly because, as everyone knows, Wikipedia has a certain less-than-perfect reputation when it comes to accuracy. However, a surprisingly large number of translators don’t realize that the Wikimedia Foundation (the organization that actually… Continue reading There’s more to Wikimedia than Wikipedia…

Five other useful things to do with Google Search

In light of the somewhat surprising popularity of our last post (Fifteen Helpful Google Search Operators), we figured we’d continue with the Google theme by revealing a few more not-so-secret Google-search-secrets. Read on to learn five (well, actually six – except the Kevin Bacon one can hardly be called ‘useful’…) other useful things you can… Continue reading Five other useful things to do with Google Search

Techniques to help spot typos in your translations

Typos, or lack of them, can mean the difference between a happy client and an angry client. They are, quite simply, your worst enemy. Spotting mistakes in someone else’s work is relatively easy, but spotting them in your own work can often prove quite the opposite. It makes sense then to have someone else proofread… Continue reading Techniques to help spot typos in your translations

Seven ways to improve your source-language proficiency

If you’re able to make a living as a translator then you’ve obviously already reached a relatively high level of source-language proficiency – a level of proficiency that no doubt gives you the means to impress even native speakers without breaking that much of a sweat: provided, that is, that you stay within your source-language… Continue reading Seven ways to improve your source-language proficiency

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Ten tips for agencies trying to attract/impress new translators

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… Continue reading Ten tips for agencies trying to attract/impress new translators

Why translators might like to go on Safari with Lion

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… Continue reading Why translators might like to go on Safari with Lion

Boost your window-moving efficiency with ‘Three finger drag’

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… Continue reading Boost your window-moving efficiency with ‘Three finger drag’

Ten things to try when you’re completely and utterly stuck

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… Continue reading Ten things to try when you’re completely and utterly stuck