Category Archives: Tips ‘n tricks

Technique: The calculus of translation

I recently saw a beautiful book about Mercedes. It’s all pure glossy prestige — 400 richly illustrated pages in German, English and French. But there’s a catch… A translation catch. The text begins with a story… Es ist der 19. August 1997, so … Continue reading

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“Brilliant translations” happen when the translator gets beyond the words and grasps the inner meaning. Here’s how to do it…

Originally published at There are those who claim that there is no shortage of customers who will pay top dollar for translations of very high quality. Chris Durban, an expatriate American translator living in Paris is a well-known proponent … Continue reading

Posted in Tips 'n tricks, Translation Industry | 5 Comments

“I want to translate a web page… but using Word!” Converting HTML to Word format

I was chatting with Danielle Gehrmann (@danielletrans), friend and Italian to English translator from just ‘across the ditch’ (the Tasman Sea) in Sydney, and the conversation turned to translating website content… Danielle: Sometimes my clients want their web pages translated, but … Continue reading

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Easy! Easy! How to copy a table from a PDF into Word… for beginners

So the source document for your translation is a PDF – and it contains some complex tables! You just want to copy and paste them directly into your Word document so you can overtype the text with your translation… Right? … Continue reading

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How to put a PDF cleanly into Word or into your TM tool using really (really!) simple skills

I have often observed that while many translators and project managers may be skilled users of a number of sophisticated software tools, they sometimes lack some really simple skills in Word. Like for instance knowing how to find and replace tabs or paragraph and … Continue reading

Posted in OpenBorder, Tips 'n tricks | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Oh, no! My translation just won’t fit into that table! More super squeezing for translators.

What translator hasn’t had the exasperating experience of trying to squeeze text into a table that was created for a completely different language? Narrow columns for words that are now too long and wide columns for words that are now very short. … Continue reading

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Squeezing a translation that’s too long into a space that’s too small – a cheat sheet for beginners

So you’ve overtyped the original Word document, but your translation is longer than the original text – and it won’t fit neatly into the available space. What can you do? The most common trick is to drop the point size until the translation … Continue reading

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Translators! Let Stephen Hawking help boost your proofreading productivity

Translation can be a wonderfully creative and intellectually stimulating process – but it has its dreary moments too. Pity the poor reviser or proofreader who regularly gets the task of admiring some other translator’s skill after all the inventive fun is over… Such has … Continue reading

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