‘Useful Links’ Page Update – February 2019

For readers that don’t know the ‘Useful Links’ page, it basically consists of four main sections that are each divided into several subsections. These are packed with links to help you translate your texts, run your business and even enjoy your leisure time. This post gives you a quick overview of what’s new since the last update in October.

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.

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memoQ for the non-tech savvy – First Translation (Part 2)

If you read Part 1, Introduction & Review, of this mini-series on ‘memoQ for the non-tech savvy’, you’ll know that I switched over to memoQ from Wordfast Classic a few months ago. My main reason to suddenly change from one CAT to another was because of ongoing problems using Wordfast after updating my system to the latest versions of Windows and Word. I was also fed up of the constant crashes every time I switched on Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) to dictate my translations.

In this second post on memoQ, I’ll highlight the basic steps you need to know to do your first translation in this CAT without watching any videos or webinars or reading the manual in case you’re short of time as I was.  Or your mind starts to boggle at too much techspeak.

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memoQ for the non-tech savvy – Introduction & Review (Part 1)

Changing from Wordfast Classic to another CAT tool had been at the back of my mind for some time. Especially after I updated to the latest Windows and Word versions, which robbed Wordfast of some of its functionality and slowed it down considerably. And coupled with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the dictation software I prefer to use for all my translations, things would often come to a complete standstill and crash. Still I resisted because I loathe trying out new programs, resent the time it takes to set them up and learn how to use and fear something going horribly wrong.

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When the unthinkable happens and giving up work isn’t an option

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.

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The truth and nothing but: 2017 update on my stand-up desk set-up with treadmill and Steppie

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.

Galvanised by all the New Year’s resolutions popping up on social media and after reading yet another article on the dangers of our current lifestyle, I decided to get a stand-up desk and a treadmill to go with it in 2015. You can read all about my purchases in my first post on the topic and more details in ‘Answers to Your Questions on the Pros and Cons of Using a Stand-Up Treadmill Desk’.

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What I learned in March 2016

calendar-1174839_1280As 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.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 23: Spellings – Part 18 – Disagreements with the Dragon

Red DragonMy 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!

Last time I looked at ten spellings that DNS gets right when I’m dictating. Today I’m focusing on ten that DNS does not get right according to the New Oxford Style Manual, which I base both my work and this series on. And if I can’t find what I’m looking for in the style manual, I turn to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

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