The first main section lists general dictionaries and glossaries. The new subsection here is General Into & Out of Spanish, which I’ve added to make it easier to find resources that are primarily for looking up how to translate words from and into Spanish. As I work from ES to EN, there’s a heavy bias towards this language pair in the first couple of sections. New here is: Diccionario español – mallorquín. The other resources were previous listed under General Multilingual.
Sometimes life throws you a curveball and the unthinkable happens: a family member is struck with a long-term illness and you suddenly have to take on the role of carer. Caring for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining and as time-consuming as looking after a baby, but often with none of the happy milestones marking a transition from one phase to another. Not only does caring take huge bites out of your available work time, it often does not put you in the frame of mind to focus when you finally do manage to sit down at your desk.
Giving up work entirely is not always a financially viable option for the family. In my case, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on my hours and learn to work smarter. Although my earnings have dropped by about 20% in the past two years I’ve been a carer, I reckon the time I spend translating, on admin and other work-related matters is 50% less. I now very rarely work in the evenings or at weekends and I certainly don’t always work a full day either during the week. My aim is to get back to the same level of earnings without increasing the number of my working hours. In this post I’d like to share a few of the ways I’ve managed to ensure that the unthinkable didn’t turn into a financial disaster for my family.
It’s been over two years since I decided my bottom was going to spread no further and that it was high time I got off it and started being more active. Walking the dog (I’ve got a greyhound) just wasn’t enough to counteract the huge amount of time I was spending sitting down either at my desk or with the family on cold winter nights in front of the TV or playing board games.
As I’m not the most tech-savvy of people, it usually takes me a while to pick up the basics, let alone the niceties, of any program. In March I finally learned a few more commands in DNS (Dragon NaturallySpeaking), specifically how to underline, put in italics and make bold. For example, in the previous sentence, if you want to put “specifically” in italics, you say “select specifically” followed by “italicise that”. If you want to underline it, you select it and then say “underline that” and (I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now) if you want it to be bold, you say “bold that”.
Made a mistake and want to reverse what you’ve done? Just select the word again and repeat the same commands. In other words, if specifically is already in italics and you say “select specifically, italicise that”, it will revert back to normal Roman type. I also tried this with “All caps that” (the command to capitalise a word or phrase you’ve previously selected), but unfortunately it didn’t work.
My apologies for taking so long to get around to writing another Bite-sized Tips post. This one has been on my to-do list for a while, as have many others. In fact I could quite happily spend my entire working life writing for my blog were it not for the need to earn a living!
A recent argument with an agency about the word count for a job handed in weeks previously has driven home just how sordid this practice of counting words really is. Thankfully, this type of situation doesn’t rear its ugly head that often, and this particular client is not one of my main sources of income. But when an agency forgets I charge by the source word because their arrangements with other translators differ, and they then send a series of short documents as they arrive from the end client with embedded text that the counter in Word doesn’t recognise, problems and tetchy emails can ensue. And I do so loathe any suspicion that I might be trying to pull a fast one by adding more words to the invoice than I am entitled to, especially when the difference we’re squabbling about is a laughably small amount.
Here are today’s ten words, which, as ever, are based on the spellings I find in the New Oxford Style Manual or the Oxford English Dictionary(OED). Regular readers will know that, in the absence of alternative instructions from my client, I base my translations into English on Oxford.
Given that we are bombarded with not only different versions but also varying levels of written English on a daily basis, my brain cells can get a trifle confused on occasion, so I look words up just to make sure that I’m being faithful to the style I have chosen to follow and can answer any queries (if any come my way) on why I have chosen to spell a word a certain way.
If you use Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) or another dictation software, you’ll probably have realised by now that it sometimes has a life of its own. That’s why you need to pay attention to spelling and that you are being faithful to whichever style manual you are following (either your own personal decision or dictated by the client), especially as the spellchecker in Word might not highlight spellings as wrong that are not consistent with your style guide. Regular readers will know that I base my work on the New Oxford Style Manual. From now on in this series I’ll be highlighting terms that DNS can get wrong.
It’s been four months since I wrote my first post on my treadmill desk set-up and so I now feel I have more insights to share, especially as I’ve gone from feeling ever so slightly dizzy after every session on the machine to being able to dance to rumba and salsa music (no, sorry, no videos available. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it is actually possible to groove on a 33-cm moving band).