Archive for the ‘Reference and Tools’ Category

A word from Freek…

November 18, 2007

Mr. Freek Lankhof, he of InTrans Book Service, he whose first name rhymes with “brake”, has written a letter to the editor for the October 2007 issue of The Chronicle on the subject of independent booksellers.

It is your independent bookseller that gives you personal service and attention, who makes the effort, and pays for the trip to the conference or seminar in your region so that you can check out dictionaries and books before buying them sight unseen.

 Something to think about the next time you want to rush to

Vik’s Crochet and Knit Translator

August 13, 2006

As both a translator and a crocheter, Vik’s Crochet and Knit Translator has proved very helpful.

Perhaps some explanations are in turn. British and American crocheters have different names for the same stitches. It appears that Spanish and Argentinians (like Vik) are in the same situation. Not only has she provided an English-Spanish glossary for knitting terms (for the record, knitting and crocheting are NOT the same thing), but she also included a list of crocheting terms in Spanish for Spain AND for Argentina.

And all of this started because I decided to add crocheting terms to my’s glossary. I used Lion Brand‘s instructions on how to crochet to build a vocabulary. Mind you, their Spanish translation leaves something to be desired, such as a proofreader. However, I found it helpful to learn how to call crocheting stitches in Spanish.

Fast forward to me realizing that I had used the Argentinian terms, as opposed to the Spanish terms. (I also find Vik’s blog, by the way). It also appears that the Spanish terms are the most common, if Google can be trusted. Maybe there are more crocheters in Spain than in Latin America? Maybe the translations are mostly done in Spain? Who knows?

Need help with chemistry terminology?

August 9, 2006

Once again, I am working on a project that requires me to translate chemical terms. I found a link providing an English-Spanish glossary clinical chemistry terminology and nomenclature in a variety of formats, from the Federación Internacional de Química Clínica

The DPHD is here

August 5, 2006

Finally, an end to the DPHD saga. The Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas was on the dining room table, waiting for me when I came back from Puerto Rico.

Now, I just have to start using it. Hooray!

DPHD, I am waiting.

June 30, 2006

I ordered the DPHD a month ago from a certain online retailer. It still has not arrived.

It is entirely possible that I am attributing this particular dictionary more power than it promises. It is not like it will energize my career, or land me more clients, or even clean up my desk.

It’s only a reference guide.


Summer resolutions and’s rates calculator

June 8, 2006

Forget exercising, dieting, eating 5 or 7 vegetables a day.

My resolution for this summer? Pursue translating opportunities more aggresively. I have gotten a little lazy about the whole “marketing myself” aspect of translation.

In other news, has a new rates calculator. You plug in your desired gross income, anticipated expenses, how many hours you want to work, and other bits of info.

I tried it out, and I found out that my rates should be higher. Now the question is: IF I set my rates to ones that allowed for a living wage, could I actually make a living wage?

As usual, good questions never have a good answer.

Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas Now Online

March 8, 2006

The Real Academia Española now has an online version.

On one hand, the DPD is a great resource for language service providers, and it is very useful that the RAE is posting its content. On the other hand, it is not very user-friendly. The font size used is very small, so you may want to bring a magnifying glass or prepare to squint. The subjects are organized in a confusing way. Their search mechanism requires following certain instructions to the letter (my translation):

Nouns and adjectives that can be used in either singular or plural form must be searched in their singular form: búnker, especia, gente, políglota, etc.; those that are only used in their plural form must be searched in that form: ambages, arras, comicios, etc.

Overall, the online version has gotten me more interested in purchasing an actual hard copy.

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The Translator’s Home Companion

March 5, 2006

For fun, I did a search on Google using the phrase “translation news”. The link for the Translator’s Home Companion was the first to come up (

The section on news is hopelessly outdated, with the most recent posting dated July 2004. However, this section also includes links for translation organization online newsletters, such as the ATA Chronicle.

Other offerings include:

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The translator’s diet, and another translation directory

February 16, 2006

(Note to self: You are not allowed to eat ice cream while translating. Coffee is allowed in moderate quantities. And drink water, for crying out loud. And eat raw veggies, even though you hate them. It builds character.)

Enough about me. I was looking up my name in Google (and don’t pretend that you don’t do it) and somehow, found a profile I had completely forgot I made at TRADUguide. Not only that, but it doesn’t mention that I have TRADOS. I corrected that immediately.

I must keep better track of all the websites with my profile in them. Let’s see:, Translators’ Cafe, etc.

Technorati tags: translation,,

Musings about a dictionary

February 15, 2006

At work, I have at my disposal the Collins English-Spanish dictionary. Half the time I use it; the rest of the time, it is WordReference.

I must say I sometimes prefer using the printed copy, even though it is falling apart (I am very hard on books). Plus you can read tidbits about things like April Fools’ Day. WordReference has an advantage in that it features discussion board. This helps in finding the term used in a particular country. For example, yesterday, I was looking up “refrigerator”, and found:

  • nevera (Puerto Rico)
  • heladera
  • refrigerador
  • frigorífico

Technorati tags: dictionaries, translation