It’s always good to find a new book on translation – for reading yourself or as a gift for a translator friend. 101 Things a Translator Needs to Know contains “over 500 years’ collective experience in translation pondered, distilled and published: nuggets of translation wisdom from prominent exponents of the profession”. The introduction describes 101 as “a book for […]

Yesterday, 16 August, was International Apostrophe Day, and the cue for lots of apostrophe articles and Twitter posts. The following quick guide to when and how to use an apostrophe was taken from an article in The Guardian by David Marsh: If you can’t use an apostrophe, you don’t know your shit. How to use an apostrophe […]

A really useful message has just popped into my inbox from the Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord) at the European Parliament. Very timely, as I’ve just been up-dating my own resources page. Here’s what TermCoord’s message contained: Glossary Links. A glossary search tool with a database of almost 1,400 glossaries available online. All the links in the […]

A resource for anyone who, given the rapidly expanding horse-meat scandal, is working on food safety issues right now and needs to consult the relevant legislation. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has compiled a database called FAOLEX, which lists food safety laws and regulations from just about everywhere. FAOLEX is a comprehensive […]

Just enough time for one more gift idea for book lovers: “Spell It Out –The Singular Story of English Spelling”, by David Crystal. In the words of the publishers, Profile Books: Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in Spell It Out, our foremost linguistics expert David […]

For Mac users who still haven’t ventured away from Microsoft Office, the “iWork for Mac OS X Cookbook” by Alexander Anichkin provides lots of ideas on how to create great documents and presentations. The iWork suite consists of Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets) and Keynote (presentations). According to Packt Publishing, you can: “Use iWork to create high quality documents […]

Macs are great computers but we don’t always use (or even know about) their full potential. If you know someone who’s recently bought a Mac, or who’s had their Mac for ages but doesn’t use it to full effect (who does?), then a Peachpit Press user guide might make a good present. I know — a […]

One of the participants at the Web-Writing Webinar on 11 April asked me how translators should deal with keywords when working on website translations. The question threw me for a minute, but I realised afterwards (as you do) that the answer should have been: “With great caution”. Selecting keywords is an important part of the […]

Keyboard shortcuts are a great timesaver when you’re spending hours typing away on your computer. I’ve just learned a couple of new ones, for inserting smart (curly) quotes in text where autoformat functions, such as Word’s, don’t work, and for doing the opposite: inserting straight quotes when you’re working in AutoFormat mode. I discovered these tips […]

Back in November 2010 I wrote about Nitro Software’s free PDF to Word web-based application for converting PDF files (with graphics) to editable Word files (with the graphics more or less intact). Since then, I’ve invested in Docudesk’s deskUNPDF convertor, which costs about $70 for a single-user licence (add another 14 or 20 dollars if you want 2- […]