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A translator’s conversion to a mechanical keyboard

Source: The Keyboard Company
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

As a translator, I spend many hours a day at my computer, yet for years I didn’t give my keyboard a second thought. I switched happily between a basic external keyboard – the sort that comes bundled with a desktop computer – and my laptop keyboard when I was out and about. After all, I thought, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Six months ago, I was asked to give a webinar on typing tips for translators (on touch typing, shortcuts and other time-saving solutions) and I exchanged a few emails on keyboards and layouts with The Keyboard Company experts, who casually mentioned that “mechanicals are like the old car advert… Once driven, forever smitten”. Fascinated to discover what I had been missing all these years, I bought a Filco Majestouch-2. More.

See: The Keyboard Company

The Magical Search engine for Terminology

Source: Terminology Coordination Unit
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

MagicSearch is a multilingual tool which allows visitors to look-up multiple sources with a single click as well as customizing the sources included in the search and the order they appear in. The sources are dictionaries, corpora, machine translation engines and search engines.

MagicSearch supports over 10.000 language pairs and the list of source definitions is over 17MB of text.

The engine searches in all 24 languages of the European Union, but many other languages are covered quite extensively too, such as Catalan, Russian or Thai. More.

See: Terminology Coordination Unit

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Our work requires trust and a little respect

Source: AIIC
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In this era of high speed communications and world trade the function of the interpreter is of unquestionable importance. There cannot be a globalized society without mutual understanding, and all efforts to understand other cultures begin with the transmission of a proposal or an idea by means of the language they speak.

The interpreter is defined as a person who converts a thought or expression in a source language into an expression with a comparable meaning in a target language, conveying all semantic elements as well as the tone and register, and every intention and feeling of the message that the source language speaker is directing to the target language recipients. Basically, it is the action of transmitting ideas between two groups of people who are physically (or virtually) present, but do not understand one half of what is being said in the room.

The question that immediately comes to mind is: Why do these individuals, who have something important to communicate to the other group, believe the conveyed information and base their decisions on what the interpreter says in their native language? What on earth makes them believe what the interpreter utters, especially in the many instances when they had never seen this person before? More.


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The continuing importance of translation in a globalised world

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: TranslateFamily

Looking at the modern world, it’s easy to believe that everything is becoming, well, a little more homogenous. Over the last century or two, with the rise of air travel, industrial power and lightning-fast communication, it definitely feels like our planet has become a bit smaller. These days, we’re all pretty multicultural, businesses span all kinds of national and cultural borders, and everyone speaks the same language… right?

Wrong. Because even as economies integrate and business deals cross borders, as education levels rise and more and more people speak foreign languages, there remains an urgent need for translation – not in spite of these things, but because of them. Now more than ever, it’s simply not good enough to offer a product in English, or any other single language, and be done with it. More.

See: Translators Family

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Marketing: as a daily effort or toward a specific goal?

Source: Thoughts On Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Here’s a common question from other freelancers: How much time should I spend on marketing? A percentage of my time? A certain amount per day? Should I market even when I have tons of work? The easy answer would be to say: spend 15% of your time on marketing, and you’ll always have just the right amount of work. But it’s not that easy, and as I’ve mentioned before, “just the right amount of work” is a goal that perhaps .01% of translators achieve. More.

See: Thoughts On Translation

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‘SignAloud’ gloves translate sign language gestures into spoken English

Source: Daily Mail Online
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

For people living in a world without sound, sign language can make sure their points of view are heard.

But outside of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, this gesture-based language can lose its meaning.

Now a pair of entrepreneurial technology students in the US has designed a pair of gloves to break down the communication barriers, by translating hand gestures into speech. More.

See: Daily Mail Online

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Using Skype Translator to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation

Source: IT News Africa
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Success in business often relies on the strength of the personal relationships you have with affiliates, partners, suppliers and customers within a given country. Simply being able to greet them in their own language can be one of the easier methods of allowing for a deeper level of engagement.

Breaking down language barriers through Skype Translator
By using this tool on any Skype-enabled device, users can make free Skype Translator video or voice calls with someone who speaks another language. Translator is currently available in six languages including English, German and French. More.

See: IT News Africa

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New sign languages hint at how all languages evolve

Source: Science | AAAS
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

A new study presented at the Evolution of Language meeting here last month shows that the new generation has come up with richer, more grammatically complex utterances that use ever more parts of the body for different purposes.

Most intriguing for linguists: These changes seem to happen in a predictable order from one generation to the next. That same order has been seen in young sign languages around the world, showing in visible fashion how linguistic complexity unfolds. This leads some linguists to think that they may have found a new model for the evolution of language. More.

See: Science | AAAS

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Why a universal language will never be a thing

Source: Motherboard
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Why are distinct languages still a thing?

There have actually been various attempts at creating a universal human language; the most famous one is called Esperanto. But it turns out that, for many reasons, we’ll probably never have a universal human language.

You can probably take a stab at a few of these reasons, and you’d be correct: Language is culture; not everyone has the internet, which would presumably be used to disseminate a universal language; getting everyone to agree on anything is difficult; politics are complicated, etc.

What I’m saying is it’s not hard to see why we still have languages. But this is not the end of the column! There are technical, scientific, and cultural factors that are instructive in exploring why humans, and Earth as currently constructed, aren’t well-suited to having a universal language. More.

See: Motherboard

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Microsoft Translator app for Android updated with support for image translation and more

Source: MSPoweruser
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Microsoft today announced an update for Microsoft Translator app on Android with several new features including instant translation of images.With this new image translation feature, you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text. This update also includes the new inline translation feature and additional downloadable language packs to use the app when you’re not connected to the Internet. More.

See: MSPoweruser

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Working with individuals: why do so many translators avoid it?

Source: Thoughts On Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The individual client market–working directly with people who need anything from a birth certificate to a book translated–is a legitimate segment of the direct client market. But still, lots of translators avoid it.

[...] My sense is that most freelancers avoid the individual client market for two reasons: they’re afraid of not getting paid, and they don’t want to spend a lot of time negotiating a rate and turnaround time for a $100 job. I would argue that the solution is simple: require that individuals pay in advance, and don’t negotiate. More.

See: Thoughts On Translation

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Reverso Context, an app for language learners that can also help translators

Source: About Translation
Story flagged by:

A few months ago Reverso announced the release of Reverso Context as an app for iOS and Android, also available as a web page. I downloaded the app, and found something that will look familiar to users of Linguee: translations of words and phrases in context (hence its name).

The app has a slicker interface than Linguee and offers more functions and commands (see the screenshot below).  It records a history of your searches and their results — a good way to find which terms to add to your glossary, although this function would be more useful if it included a way to download your history.

You can propose alternative translations and explain why the translations suggested are bad. And you get links to several other Reverso applications including free bilingual dictionaries. More.

See: About Translation

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Effective writing and revision processes in professional translation

Source: Translator Thoughts
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In order to establish effective communication, it is essential to deploy professional translation services that are reliable and efficient. Accuracy and precision are the main features that are required. A small business miscommunication can lead to a huge loss in terms of client relationship and monetary loss, and it hampers the image and goodwill of the company as well. Therefore one must be very careful while considering translator services.

It is always a safe option in this case to be dependent on professional translator services. Translation services that are EN-15038 certified, have the highest amount of credibility and quality in the sphere of professional translation.
When it comes to the revision process in professional translation, it is quite different from the proofreading or editing that we do with articles or any written piece of literature. More.

See: Translator Thoughts

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Apply now for a 2016 ALTA emerging translator mentorship

Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

This is the second year the American Literary Translators Association has offered amentorship program for emerging translators, and this year the number of languages in which translators are invited to apply has been expanded. The languages for this year’s mentorships are: French, Polish, Russian, and any Singaporean language. Applicants must be translating out ofthese languages into English. More.


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How to get paid on time as a freelancer

Source: MTM Translations
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In a freelance setting, getting paid on time is often an issue.
Still, there are a few best practices freelancers can implement to minimise the risks of a delayed payment (or non-payment at all).

As freelancer, keeping a healthy cash flow is key – but dealing with multiple customers, and invoices due at different times of the month, can make it harder than it looks.

Indeed, paying on time is the customer’s duty (AKA their part of the deal). However, this doesn’t mean we should sit and wait for them to “wake up” at their convenience. More.

See: MTM Translations

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CAT tools and translation style

Source: About Translation
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Most professional translators use Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. Many of the translators who don’t use CAT tools, however, claim that CAT tools are useless for more creative translations: no time is saved by translation memories – no repetitions, fuzzy or 100% matches – while using the tool weakens the translator’s writing style.

I believe that these translators are both right and wrong. Yes, segment matching is less useful for translating documents that are not repetitive, but the use of translation memory is still of great help even for texts that are not repetitive at all: concordance search – offered by all translation memory tools – is what helps most, here: it lets us see in our translation memories how we translated similar words or phrases before, even in sentences that are not close enough to the one we are translating to appear as a fuzzy match. More.

See: About Translation

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Interview with Alicia María Zorrilla

Source: Terminology Coordination Unit
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Alicia María Zorrilla is an Argentine linguist specialized in normative grammar and lexicography. She obtained a degree in Philosophy and Letters at the Complutense University of Madrid and a PhD in Letters at Salvador University in Argentina. Her reputation allowed her to become the vice-president of the Academia Argentina de Letras (Argentine Academy of Letters), which carries out research on local popular vocabulary and publishes works on the norms of written and oral Spanish. She is also a member of the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy), which participates in the creation of standardized dictionaries for general and specific uses of Spanish. With other member institutions, she carries out terminology research in the field of Grammar.

Dr. Zorrilla is a founding member of the Fundación Litterae, a training and research facility which offers grammar, lexicology and terminology courses. Her foundation has created an innovative degree in proofreading for translators. Both she and her foundation work closely with translation and editing associations in Argentina. More.

See: Terminology Coordination Unit

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M&A wave reaches platforms as buys TM-Town

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Deal fever broke out in quarters not usually associated with big business. Translation community and translator-client matching portal acquired upstart and competitor TM-Town for an undisclosed amount.

Translators checking job postings online on April 13, 2016 must have been stopped in their tracks by the announcement that appeared on both portals. “ to Acquire” the website read; while TM-Town blog announced “TM-Town has joined the family.” And because the latter was a blog post, reactions were immediate.

One user feedback said the acquisition was’s way of eliminating the competition and that “TM-Town, even with its paid membership, looked like a sensible alternative” to adding, “now, I’m not so sure about that.” and TM-Town are competitors in the translator-job-matching space, where freelancers and translation buyers get mutual access to each other. A glance at their UIs―or even the way they announced the acquisition―gives one an idea of how different the two portals are; and why any perceived merger may cause translators and clients pause if they had gotten used to either or TM-Town’s distinct UI. More.

See: Slator

More details about’s acquisition of TM-Town can be found here.

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Maintaining good relationships with translation customers

Source: Lingua Greca Translations
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] We firmly believe that long-term partnerships are a key component of effective translation services. After all, the longer you work with a given customer, the better you’ll get to know them, their products and services, the way they work and the way they like to communicate. Given the importance of these partnerships, it’s in a translator’s best interests to maintain a strong relationship with each of their customers.

Make no mistake: these kinds of business-management issues really do matter. If you’re a translator reading this, you might feel like you went into this career to – well – translate. But you won’t get to showcase your magnificent translation skills unless you have customers who like you and want to work with you. In other words, professionalism extends beyond your actual translations and includes – along with many other things – the way you relate to your customers.

With that in mind, what can translators do to keep their customers happy? Here are a few of our favorite tips. More.

See: Lingua Greca Translations

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Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Syracuse, NY, April 13, 2016 —, Inc. and TM’s for Translators, LLC., today announced that the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which will acquire TM’s for Translators, LLC., including its “” website. The acquisition will enable, the world’s leading community for freelance translators, to offer its members an innovative new channel for obtaining more of the type of work in which they individually specialize.

At most freelancer websites, including, translators create profiles that describe their services and areas of expertise, and companies seeking to hire translators search those profiles for candidates. In contrast, in TM-Town’s patent-pending approach, a central agent (dubbed “Nakōdo”) characterizes translators’ areas of expertise by statistically analyzing the terminology that appears in work they have completed previously. When a new document needs to be translated, candidates with experience in the field can quickly be identified, through a process that involves comparing the “terminological profile” of the new document with that of documents previously translated by TM-Town translators.

To learn more about this announcement, please visit TM-Town acquisition (2016)


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