Bite-sized Tips No. 28: Common Mistakes Part 5 – Numbers (3)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 5 – Numbers (3)

This is the third and final post on numbers (see below for links to the previous two posts).

Whether to write numbers as figures or words, put abbreviations before or after them, or leave spaces between symbols preceding or following them is all far more complicated than we might at first imagine.

It’s also easy to get confused as style-guide rules and recommendations can differ and many non-native speakers writing or translating into English simply copy usage in their own language, which is often not correct. As a translator and editor, I’ve written these posts on numbers to highlight errors I’ve come across in my work and also to clear my own confusion between source usage and UK and US English preferences.

As always, I’ve used The Chicago Manual of Style for US English and New Hart’s Rules (part of the New Oxford Style Manual) for UK English.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 27: Common Mistakes Part 4 – Numbers (2)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 4 – Numbers (2)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication is a series within the Bite-sized Tips series.

In the first and second instalments, I presented some common errors I find in the academic papers I revise or edit. Although they are generally made by non-native speakers of English in the texts I see, a lot of them can trip us up as well, especially as there are often differences between US and UK usage and everything can become quite muddled.

For the US English rules, I use The Chicago Manual of Style and for UK English New Hart’s Rules, which is part of the New Oxford Style Manual.

In the third instalment I looked at some issues with numbers. As it’s a vast, complicated area and lots of mistakes crop up, I’ve divided the focus on numbers into three parts. This is the second of those parts on dates and currencies.

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Bite-sized Tips No. 26: Common Mistakes Part 3 – Numbers (1)

Common Mistakes in Papers for Publication Part 3 – Numbers (1)

I spend a lot of my work time improving academic texts. This can involve revising the translations that authors have produced of their own work or editing their non-native efforts at writing directly into English. Unfortunately, the results are never error-free and, as I mostly revise and edit articles and papers written by Spanish speakers, I repeatedly come across the same mistakes.

In the first instalment of this series within a series, I highlighted ten of these common mistakes including the use of etc. and et al.

In the second, I focused on whether to use data is or data are, some punctuation problems and issues with capitalisation.

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Purchase Orders Revisited

Way back in 2015, I asked my blog readers whether the purchase order I’d produced was merely a pipe dream or a document I could actually use with my clients. The general consensus was that my overly long PO would prove daunting for direct clients and unnecessary for agencies. After tweaking it a bit based on the many suggestions I received, I instead came up with a purchase order checklist. The idea was to fill it in ourselves using the information we gleaned in negotiations with clients and for it to be a handy reminder of what questions we should be asking.

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Results of the Translation Qualifications Survey – Part 1

Back in February last year, I asked you all to answer some questions about translation qualifications in a survey. I kept extending the deadline because I was hoping for more responses. And then when I should have being doing a write-up of the results, Brexit and the UK general election, family issues and the ever-present threat of the climate emergency filled my head and my spare time leaving me with no energy or enthusiasm for the blog.

Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, my work has all but come to a halt so at least I can finally get around to thanking everyone who took part in the survey and giving you the results. As there were only 59 respondents and I imagine this post might make some colleagues want to give their views, I have reopened the survey and will continue accepting responses until the end of July 2020.

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Translation Qualifications Survey

It’s survey time again on My Words for a Change. Back in 2015 I ran my first survey on adverts on translation blogs (TLDR: don’t have any adverts on your blogs!). The following year I ran one on revisions (thus combining two of my favourite subjects). I spared you all my intrusive questions in 2017 and last year I ran a survey on whether blogging is dead (TLDR: no, it isn’t yet, but it really depends on the blog).

This year I want to quizz you about qualifications. As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, lots of guest posters have written about their experiences of MAs and MScs in translation for this blog, and the vast majority of them have been positive. But taking out a year or two to study a degree at university, even if it’s a distance-learning course, isn’t an option for all of us.

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‘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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UK Pensions Basics for Freelance Translators

Great news! Human life expectancy is increasing. Earlier this year, The Independent newspaper published an article with the bold headline: There is someone alive today who will live to be 1,000 years-old. “Hurray, more time to translate!” I hear you cry. But what if, secretly, you’d really rather not? Perhaps you quite fancy taking a break to travel the world in your golden years? Maybe, by then, it could even be a space shuttle cruise around the galaxy.

Even if we live to the more widely-expected average age of around 80, we might just have to think about that thing that 43% of freelancers in the UK (compared to only 4% of those in employment) don’t yet have: a personal pension.

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Bump up your CPD with BP translation conference videos

You have until 4 November to take advantage of special discounts to watch BP conference videos. You can decide to watch just one, all of the BP18 videos, the current library (BP16 to BP18) or everything plus lifetime access to future videos. Your purchase (except buying just one video) will also give you chances to win a ticket to the next conference, BP19 in Bologna, at the beginning of May.

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How ‘No’ Days Can Be Good for Your Business

In a recent panel discussion during a Wordbee webinar on freelance translation management, we talked about how it’s important to specialise. This helps you stand out from the crowd of translators that offer to translate everything or almost everything under the sun. It also makes you more credible. Because being good at every subject is impossible, even if you do pride yourself on your research skills.

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