Hashtags for translators (Part II)

Following on from our previous post, Hashtags for Translators Part I, which dealt with the different hashtags commonly used by translation professionals, we’ll now delve deeper into the world of hashtags by mentioning a few of their specific uses. What can you do with hashtags? Why are they useful? How do people make use of them? Let’s take a look at a few specific examples… Continue reading “Hashtags for translators (Part II)”

Hashtags for translators (Part I)

Twitter is a now a worldwide phenomenon, with people tweeting about everything from breaking news to what they just ate. Put simply: Twitter is a platform from which to share short snippets of information (limited to 140 characters) about whatever takes your fancy. And with so much information flooding into Twitter every second of every day it’s not difficult to see how vast this pool of information is… so how do people sort through all these snippets of information? Well, partly by using hashtags: strings of information (often words) used to group tweets together into categories – thereby facilitating searches and enabling users to filter tweets into topics that they have a specific interest in: such as translation. So which hashtags do translators tend to use? Continue reading “Hashtags for translators (Part I)”

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 your work. However, with deadlines forever looming, employing the services of a proofreader just isn’t always practical. So what’s the best way to proofread your own work? Well, different people prefer different techniques: here’s a few favorites: Continue reading “Techniques to help spot typos in your translations”

Five things to like about Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion actually seems a bit scant on new language-related functionality. Sure, it’s got plenty of exciting new features, like PowerNap, Messages and Airplay Mirroring, but hardly any of them seem particularly relevant to translating. No doubt translators who own more than one Apple product will be pleased with Mountain Lion’s tight integration with iCloud, and translators who like to spend a lot of their time on Twitter and Facebook* etc will surely appreciate Built-in Sharing, but what of new features that might be of specific interest to translators in general? Here’s five: Continue reading “Five things to like about Mountain Lion”

Browsers for translators (an introduction to the main five)

There’s no denying it, translators tend to spend more time on the web than most, and depending on how you work, your choice of browser can sometimes make doing things on the web (like mining information) altogether more efficient, which translates to less frustration and more time to do other things: like tweeting or walking the dog. So what then, makes one browser more efficient or ‘better’ than another? Continue reading “Browsers for translators (an introduction to the main five)”

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 comfort zone; for you know in your heart-of-hearts that acting outside of said comfort zone would be about as frightening as suddenly finding yourself in the same room as Dracula. Continue reading “Seven ways to improve your source-language proficiency”

Acknowledging great translators with Wikipedia pages

As we all know, translators all too often remain in the shadows. For example, although a huge number of people will have delighted in English translations of works by the famous Japanese author Natsume Soseki, very few of those people will be able to recall the name/s of the translator/s who actually wrote the words on the pages they read. The same is, of course, true of books that have been translated into any language: from any language. It’s also true of course that translators who translate novels generally get their name printed somewhere in the book (all be it usually in relatively small print), however, we think that’s just not enough: we think that every truly outstanding translator deserves his or her own Wikipedia page! You may think that your favourite translators already have their own Wikipedia pages but, in many cases, you’d be wrong. Furthermore, as translators ourselves, we think that translators are perfectly positioned to plug this gap in Wikipedia’s knowledge. After all, if WE don’t have the passion, the knowledge and the interest to fill this hole in the world’s knowledge then who does?! Continue reading “Acknowledging great translators with Wikipedia pages”

All change for Windows 8

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! Continue reading “All change for Windows 8”

Six must-read books for translators

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.

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Seven snacks that won’t mess up your keyboard!

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: Continue reading “Seven snacks that won’t mess up your keyboard!”

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 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.

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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 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‘. Continue reading “Why translators might like to go on Safari with Lion”

Ten Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Translators (2011)

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! Continue reading “Ten Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Translators (2011)”