I have compiled the following list of tools, either purely translation-related or general-use, to be very useful and time-saving.
Not all of them are free, so you may need to look a bit around the web, or even pay for them. Do not worry, though, but rather
consider their purchase as a good investment for your professional future…
– IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe) has been operational since the summer of 2004 with the aim of providing an internet-based service for sharing terminology between institutions. In 2007 a public version of the site was launched which enables all EU citizens to search for specific terminology in any of the official languages. The Internet version of IATE now receives over 70 million queries a year.
– Glossary Links: Collection of Links to Glossaries about various scientific sectors, created by the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Numerous language combinations, among all European languages.
– SDL Trados; most translation companies nowadays use this program in their collaboration with translators. You will probably need to invest a good deal of time and money in order to acquire and master Trados but, in my opinion, it is worth the try. Not only will you be able to extend your network of partnerships, given that most agencies consider it as a prerequisite when selecting their collaborators, but you will also save time and boost your accuracy when translating large bodies of text. Its function as a term-database helps speed-up translation, by automatically returning all translations you used for each word in the past, within the particular context of each and every time you met the word. You can now forget about going back and forth among texts, in search for how you translated this word the other time…
– F-lux; although not purely a tool for translators, the fact that this application adjusts the brightness of your screen renders it translation-related. After all, think of the time a translator spends in front of a computer screen. Eye-protection, in this sense, arises to a most prominent position among health concerns and an integral part of translators’ safety net.
– Abby Fine Reader; another originality by Adobe, this application allows you to convert images into text, text into pdf and vice versa, and many more options. It can save you from much trouble in a number of occasions…
– MS Office 2007; this is my favorite program-suite, which allows you to carry out hundreds of bereaucratic tasks and not only. However, if you cannot afford to purchase this suite or are not willing to use a cracked version of it, which is always a possibility 🙂 you can still use Open Office, which is comparable to Microsoft’s quality and compatible with all apps of MS Suite.
– Biblionet; THE BOOKS-IN-PRINT DATABASE – Created in 1998 by the National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI), the main publishers’ associations and 45 individual publishers. Useful for translators, as it can help identify which books have been translated in/from Greek, by whom, when, etc.
– Speech Word Count; This simple and freeware tool, allows you to have an estimate of how much time will you need to read a text, whether it is a speech or a voice over/narration for a multimedia production.
– Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.