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Common Sense Advisory survey on translation tools May 7, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation.
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Nataly Kelly of the Common Sense Advisory (and the Global Watchtower blog) is inviting freelance translators to participate in a new survey on translation tools, your clients, and the various translator communities you are active in. You can take the survey until June 1st. I just took it and can vouch that it will only take a few minutes of your time. The more people who take it, the more comprehensive (and thus better) the survey results will be. You might also want to bookmark this page to weigh in on their surveys.


New blog on the blogroll: Mox’s Blog May 6, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, Translation Sites.

There’s a new translation blog (Mox’s Blog) out there that has a unique approach that sets it apart – he’s a cartoonist and translator who draws translation-related cartoons. I just discovered the blog yesterday and have enjoyed his past cartoons. The translator behind Mox’s Blog is Alejandro Moreno-Ramos. Alejandro lives in Madrid, Spain and is an electromechanical engineer and English-French to Spanish translator. His main character Mox “is a young but well educated translator with two PhDs, six languages… and he hardly earns the minimum wage.” You know – a typical translator :-). I have taken the liberty to post my favorite cartoon here, but I urge you to subscribe to this very amusing blog.


Fantastic new Internet research tool for Germans: Linguee.com May 5, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Tools, Translation Sites.

Marita Marcano just shared this great research tool on the GLD list this morning. I immediately bookmarked it prominently on my toolbar. Although only a beta at the moment, Linguee is a powerful online search tool that searches millions of bilingual texts in English and German for words and expressions. Every expression is accompanied by useful additional information and suitable example sentences. It is an online dictionary and a BBI dictionary of word combinations all-in-one. It is essentially a corpus search, which is what the professors at Kent have been talking about for several years now. Now, you should remember that any term found on the Internet needs verification, but with the wealth of examples from so many different locations it should be immediately obvious if one translation is hideously off.

As the Linguee site so capably explains:

When you translate texts to a foreign language, you usually look for common phrases rather than translations of single words. With its intelligent search and the significantly larger amount of stored text content, Linguee is the right tool for this task. You find:

  • In what context a translation is used
  • How frequent a particular translation is
  • Example sentences: How have other people translated an expression?

By searching not only for a single word, but for a respective word in its context, you can easily find a translation that fits optimal in context. With its large number of entries, Linguee often retrieves translations of rare terms that you don’t find anywhere else.

Linguee is used like a search engine. You search for a word or a phrase, and you find pairs of sentences that contain the word or the phrase as an exact or similar match. If the search is not successful, it usually pays off to simplify the search phrase and search again. The search result is clearly arranged in groups of expressions and ordered by frequency. By clicking on the “Examples +” button you are presented with more example sentences.

Happy Day after Cinco de Cuatro May 5, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, Random musings.
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Yesterday President Obama greeted a White House crowd gathered for a May 4 celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday honoring an upset military victory over the French, whose troops didn’t do so well in North America and don’t celebrate the same day much. In a well-intentioned attempt at Spanish and a joke about being a day early, Obama said: “Bienvenidos. Welcome to Cinco de Cuatro — (laughter) — Cinco de Mayo at the White House. We are a day early, but we always like to get a head start here at the Obama White House.” As most of us with any semblance of language skills know, he wasn’t saying “Happy May 4th.” He was saying, “Happy fifth of fourth.” He should have said, “Feliz cuatro de mayo.”

Well, you’ve got to give him points for trying…