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Linguee to launch in other languages today December 4, 2013

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

One of my favorite tools when I translate is Linguee, an online search tool that searches millions of bilingual texts in English and German for words and expressions. It is also available for French and Spanish. It uses translated text (aka corpora) that are on the web and compares the original sentence and the translation.

When you search for a term or phrase, it shows the actual sentences in which the term is used on the web side-by-side, allowing you to get an idea of how the term has been translated on other sites and giving you some possible ideas. One caveat is that some of the examples are poorly translated, but it can be an excellent starting point for your thought process when trying to find a good solution for a particularly tricky phrase. Just think critically before using the term or phrase blindly and if you are unsure make sure you double-check it using other means.

They are branching out into other languages such as Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Italian and others as of today. As they explain, “In Germany, France and Spain, Linguee’s new bilingual dictionary concept is already a huge success story: over a million daily unique users have recently reached 2 billion searches.” (although probably a thousand hits a day are probably from me ūüėČ ).

By indexing translations available online, Linguee can provide 1000 times more entries than the largest traditional bilingual dictionaries. While traditional online dictionaries offer editorial content only – which sets natural limits on its size, even for the most elaborate ones – Linguee is able to search a vast amount of translations published by companies and various institutions on the internet, leveraging the know-how of millions of translators.

Using the site is really easy, but if you need a quick overview please watch their video.


Accurapid Translation Journal June 18, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation Sites.

The July issue of the Accurapid Translation Journal is out, featuring Chris Durban’s Fire Ant & Worker Bee advice column and (of particular interest for those interested in becoming a translator) Danilo Nogueira’s Letter to a Would-be Translator. The Translation Journal features a total of eighteen feature articles by authors from Brazil to Iran and China, and access is free of charge and you don’t have to register. Enjoy!


When did I become a paying ProZ member? February 22, 2012

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

I googled “Dear Client” today and clicked on the third hit, which was the ProZ Blue Board listing. I learned something very interesting while submitting my non-payment report to the Blue Board. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I somehow became a paying member of ProZ in December 2011. This is news to me. I never authorized a payment to them. Consider me gobsmacked. They must be really desperate to inflate their member numbers if they are adding members without receiving payment from those said members. Anyone care to offer any insight because I would never knowingly become a paid member.

Beware the Blue Board January 11, 2012

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

Kevin at Translation Tribulations has brought to light more questionable behavior at Proz.com in a post entitled “How low can ProZ go?“. I wanted to post it here in case some of you don’t read his blog (and if you don’t, why not? It’s very informative!). Apparently ProZ is supporting corruption in the Blue Board ratings by banning certain posts for arbitrary reasons. The person making the accusation illustrates her argument by presenting her recent history with a slow payer and her attempt to post a negative rating. It gives me pause to wonder just how accurate the Blue Board is. I’m glad I rely on Payment Practices, Zahlungspraxis and WPPF (WorldPaymentPracticesFree) over the Blue Board. Payment Practices does not censor ratings unless libelous claims are made. Rating are based on “just the facts.” Apparently the ratings on the Blue Board should be taken with a grain of salt. Definitely give Kevin’s post a read.

A ‚ô• for Language Blogs July 4, 2011

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

I was on vacation when Judy and Dagmar Jenner from Translation Times suggested a little experiment for translation bloggers to write a post listing their favorite language-related blogs. I don’t need a copy of their book, as I already own it, so I’m just doing this to share some blogs with my readers that they might not otherwise know. It seems most of those who have embraced this idea are introducing their readers to blogs that other bloggers have not suggested yet. I was going to avoid duplicates, but a lot of my favorites (like Thoughts on Translation, Translate This!, Translation Tribulations, There’s Something About Translation, Blogging Translator and the aforementioned Translation Times) have been mentioned and deserve mentioning again. Plus, I still have about 250 unread blog posts in my RSS feed after my vacation and can’t guarantee that they haven’t already been suggested. For what it’s worth, here are my favorite blogs (that are still active – I was shocked by how many translation blogs I have in my feed that haven’t posted in over a year or more!):

1. Naked Translations by C√©line Graciet: this blog is completely bilingual (in English and French) and I can’t even imagine how much time she puts into each post.
2. Mox’s Blog by Alejandro Moreno-Ramos: Who doesn’t enjoy seeing our industry lampooned in comic form? Alejandro’s insights are hilarious.
3. Catherine Translates by Catherine Jan, a French to English translator who is from Canada (southern Ontario) but now lives in France. Her posts are insightful and interesting. She also posts interviews with notable translators.
4. Bunch of Thoughts on Translation by John Bunch, a German to English translator. He has been a translator since 1996 and a full-time freelancer since 2007. I also follow him on Twitter.
5. The Translator’s Teacup by Rose Newell, who writes about the translation industry and life as a freelance translator. I recently enjoyed her two-part series on what makes a good, successful and happy freelance translator.
6. false friends,¬†good and bad translation, denglish, Tipps f√ľr √úbersetzer by Martin Crellin. The blog is a mixture of German and English (but mostly German) and is often written quite tongue-in-cheek based on actual experiences with German clients who feel they “can English.”
7. Financial Translation Blog by Miguel Llorens. It is nice to hear well-reasoned arguments about how the sky is not falling (aka MT will not be taking over the industry as we know it).
8. The GITS Blog by Ryan Ginstrom, a Japanese to English translator and programmer. Ryan recently moved from Japan to take a job with Nintendo in the U.S. and his blog hasn’t been updated in a little while. I hope once things settle down he will be posting again soon.
Honorable mention: The Masked Translator (oh, where art thou, MT?!?! We miss you!).

Favorite non-language-related blogs:
1. Hyperbole and a Half – because it is pee-in-your-pants, fall-off-your-chair funny
2. Screw You! – a website by a freelance writer who rails against poorly paid writing jobs and job boards (surely we can all relate).
3. The Simple Dollar – because every freelancer should live frugally and understand investing.
4. Meet the Germans by Rory McLean – he lives in Berlin and writes about German culture for the Goethe Institut. It’s quite interesting.
5. The Grounded Traveler – because translators are at heart grounded travelers and love to travel. The author (Andy) normally writes about Germany and living as an expat there, but he recently married his wife in the U.S. (who he met online through Twitter) so he is also writing about the U.S. through the eyes of an expat who hasn’t been back in 10 years.
Honorable mention: Letters from Germany – even though Francesca died and her friend no longer maintains the blog, reading through the blog posts is well-worth your time if you are interested in German culture

I have to say that I am enjoying these lists. There are lots of blogs out there I was unaware of!

Duden Online May 6, 2011

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

German translators, rejoice! Since early May Duden has put its Duden Rechtschreibung and Deutsches Universalw√∂rterbuch online for us to use – free of charge at www.duden.de. If you want to look up a word, check its correct spelling, or learn more about its meaning or etymology the Duden is the reference work of choice. It is one of Germany’s most respected line of grammar books. The Duden was first published by Konrad Duden in 1880. The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years. It is currently in its 25th edition and published in 12 volumes, covering different aspects of grammar like spelling, foreign words, pronunciation, synonyms, quotes and idioms (those are just the volumes I own).

Bloggers to watch in 2011 January 6, 2011

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

Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in, but the December 21st post on the GTS Blog about the T&I bloggers to watch irritated me to no end. The list of bloggers only included one person (Jost) whom I consider to be a freelancer and he doesn’t have a blog per se – he writes an e-mail newsletter (albeit a very good one) and runs translatorstraining.com. Everyone else was an agency owner, represented a company that I feel does not have freelancers’ best interests at heart (yeah, Common Sense Advisory, I’m looking at you…), or represented the MT industry, ProZ.com or Google Translate. Seriously?!?!

So here are the translation industry bloggers who *I* feel are worth following if you are a freelance translator (in alphabetical order since they are all equally good):

1. Alex Eames – Alex Eames is the founder of translatortips.com (which I have long considered to be an invaluable resource), the author of How to Earn $80,000+ per year as a Freelance Translator, and the editor of tranfree. Since he is one of the best translation self-marketers out there, his blog posts are well worth reading.

2. C√©line Graciet of Naked Translations – C√©line is a freelance English to French translator who blogs in both languages (quite the feat considering I often don’t have time to blog in ONE language). Some of her most recent posts address marketing, the importance of maintaining your language skills with a concrete example from her life, and fax to e-mail systems. She doesn’t post often, but when she does it is always interesting. She is also an interesting and personable person to follow on Twitter.

3. Corinne McKay of Thoughts on Translation – Corinne always has something interesting and insightful to say about the translation industry and her tips are invaluable to translators who are new to the field and old hats alike. She is a freelance French to English translator specializing in legal and international development.

4. Judy and Dagmar Jenner of Twin Translations (Translation Times) – If you want to be successful as a translator you must think like a businessperson. Judy and Dagmar offer some invaluable tips on being an entrepreneur. Judy and Dagy translate English<->Spanish, English<->German, German<->Spanish, and French into German, English, and Spanish.

5. Kevin Lossner of Translation Tribulations – Kevin is a freelance German to English translator and a MemoQ guru. His blog features MemoQ tricks and tips, translation technology as well as insight into marketing, workflow optimization, etc. His rants on ProZ.com censorship are worth their weight in gold and are always a fun read.

6. Michael Wahlster of Translate This! – A freelance English to German translator, Michael always has a very interesting take on technology and the translation industry. He is also one of the early adapters of technology and I always value his insights.

7. Mox’s Blog – Alejandro Moreno-Ramos is a freelance English & French to (European) Spanish translator. His cartoons depicting the life of a freelance translator are inspired by real-life examples and are a huge hit among translators.

8. No Peanuts for Translators! – No Peanuts!’ About page describes it best when they say, “No Peanuts! provides support and resources to professional translators and interpreters in demanding and receiving a living wage for their work.” No Peanuts! compiles articles from freelance translators and interpreters on low wages, low-paying jobs, and miscellaneous financial-related rants, because we all know only monkeys work for peanuts.

9. Patenttranslator aka Steve Vitek – The blog’s subheading is “Diary of a Mad Patent Translator.” I haven’t figured out the point of the embedded videos (they are songs he is listening to when he is writing the post perhaps?), but his posts are interesting even though I do not translate patents. For example, his most recent post was using Google to find a sentence that you wrote on your blog or website to see who has copied and pasted it and passed it off as their own words. He is “a freelance technical translator who specializes mostly in patents and articles from technical and medical journals…, mostly from Japanese and German, but also from French, Russian, Czech and Slovak, and a few from Polish to English.”

10. Sarah Dillon of There’s Something About Translation – Sarah is a freelance French, Spanish and German to English translator. Her blog has offered insight on what should be on a business card, refining translation skills, etc. In other words, tips on actually being a translator.

It’s too bad Chris Durban doesn’t write a blog, but we’ll just have to settle to read her Fire Ant & Worker Bee column in the Accurapid Journal and buy The Prosperous Translator, which is a compilations of the best FA&WB columns spanning the last 10 years.

There are several more bloggers who I regularly follow, like Margaret Marks of Transblawg or Abigail Dahlberg of The Greener Word, but they are very specialized to my language pair and interests.

Blogger lunch at the 50th ATA Conference November 18, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings, Translation Sites.

We had a really good turnout for our second annual blogger lunch, which offered bloggers and readers a chance to sit down and get to know each other during lunch on the first day. This year it was a little difficult to get everyone together, because I was unfamiliar with the layout of the hotel. Luckily I had specified the restaurant, The Stage Deli, ahead of time, so four readers were already there when we got there.

We had a total of 18 people attend our blogger lunch. Corinne McKay of Thoughts on Translation, Judy Jenner of Translation Times, Riccardo Schiaffino from About Translation, Tom Ellett of The Wor(l)d-Weary Translator, and Eve Lindemuth Bodeux of the Speaking of Translation podcast represented the bloggers. We had quite a few readers join us as well. I am not able to list you all, but I am so glad you all could join us. Unfortunately we weren’t able to all sit together, but I hope everyone enjoyed talking to those at their table.

The food was good. I had really looked forward to trying one of their famous monster sandwiches and taking the second half back to the hotel for later, but since the hotel didn’t offer a refrigerator in the room that wasn’t an option. I decided to order a bowl of matzoh ball soup and a half a corned beef sandwich instead, which was just right. We also really enjoyed the kosher dill pickles they served. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did.

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.