Blogs et traduction, Mes Outils
While I'm frustratingly trying to enjoy the sun and nightlife study my Spanish in Barcelona between two projects (no one's complaining here), I wanted to share a few more useful tools.
For the record, I already presented Xmarks (and Firefox Sync, which works with FF mobile on Android phones and tablets), Dropbox and iDispo (which doesn't seem to passionate my readers), let me introduce you to some useful websites.
1) Others already wrote about it (in French), and that's why I hadn't mentionned it yet, but Linguee has became an essential tool in my work, especially as I regularly work on EU and UN texts. I only regret the lack of Italian to French search, just like Word Reference (while there's Portuguese).
2) I found this one on About Translation blog. I am sure you already googled some phrases to see which one was more frequently used (we all did)? Well, "there's an app for that" now. It's called Phras.in; enter the two phrases you want to compare and you'll immediately have the number of hits for each one. Easy, fast, efficient. Plus, it works in every language.
3) Another very simple website: Corrige-moi (spellcheck me)! The name says it all: this is an online spell checker (which is far from having the efficiency of a professional software such as Antidote for French). Just choose your language and paste your text in the box. The big pro is that you can choose 15 national languages, 3 regional (Afrikaans, Breton and Catalan) as well as Esperanto!
High Tech, Mes Outils
After Dropbox and Xmarks, let's continue with useful tools. The one I am going to talk about today is not ready yet, but it's already full of promises. And it's a French who created it, Ismaël Nzouetom. This potentially big gem is named iDispo. The principle is fairly basic, but its potential is almost infinite.
Here's a screenshot of its homepage:
So this project is all about creating a "universal service to manage availabilities" (you can read a detailed article in French here).
In other words, this service allows you to book a restaurant, a doctor and why not a week of translation! It will help making appointment between business and consumers or business to business. You will be able to link other accounts like Facebook or Google, and every event in those calendars will be automatically added to iDispo. You will then be able to share your availabilities with your friends, for example. Service providers will also share their free time slots, and you'll be able to book an appointment with just a click.
Let's imagine: you doodle your colleagues for a meeting. Then, the assistant just has to set a new meeting in iDispo and it's automatically shared will all collaborators' calendars.
What about the translation industry? It's still hard to imagine the full extent of its implication, but we can guess that project managers would have access to all translators' calendars and will dispatch translations more easily and quickly.
iDispo should be officially presented in the next few weeks. IMHO, all the ingredients are here to make iDispo one of the biggest innovation since Google.
High Tech, Mes Outils
Freelance translators are kind of geek (says My French Neighbor). And it's true: if I can't run dozens of softwares at the same time on my computer, I start shaking like a junkie. That was the case at the end of 2010, when my laptop started to suffer from wear and tear. I took a real pleasure buying spare parts and assemble a new computer.
But then I had to face a new problem: how could I have the same documents on both computers, so that I can work on either one of them? And I had absolutely no will to spend hours looking for the latest version of my translations or to constantly use USB sticks.
Well, I chose Dropbox, a service (free up to 2Gb) that allows to back-up your data in the cloud, as they say, that is on a web server. But this "box" also allows you to sync these files between two or more computers. I use it since some time now, and it really became a useful tool.
The other pros of Dropbox are that you can access your files online from any computer and also that "There's an app for that", which means that you can also access your files from your smartphone. Pretty useful. IMHO, the only con is Dropbox only sync files from a "My Dropbox" folder, so you have to have all the important files in the same folder. But that should change, as it is in progress in their "Votebox".
[Edit: There's actually a way to sync different folders, as well as another software: you can read it all in the comments below]
Finally, Dropbox allows two or more users to share a folder. In our industry, this means that a translator and a project manager can share files without having to send heavy e-mails or using services such as YouSendIt.
I have now my most important files sync between my computers. But what about my Internet bookmarks? For this, I use a nice little add-on for Firefox, Xmarks, which save your bookmarks on a server and then sync them between registered workstation. It can even remember your tabs!
[Edit 2: I just discovered another add-on, Firefox Sync, which is Mozilla's official sync plug-in. It should be integrated to the next versions of Firefox and allows also to sync with mobile versions f Firefox on Android phoness]
You will find additional information about online storage on Naked Translations and Musings from an Overworked Translator. Also, don't miss out on Translate This!'s warning about the cloud. And if you'd like to have an additional 250Mb free space on Dropbox, just leave a comment or send me an e-mail, and I'll send you a referral email.