Confessions of a Translator: Cheatsites

Maggie did my makeupHi, Tabi here.  I just had to share the news!

Mike and I are about to begin a new project.  Personally, I’m a little nervous about it, but I’m also very excited.  We’ll be translating a book!  I’ll let you know more about this project later on.  For now, we appreciate your prayers for us.

All of this got me thinking about translation.  When I was younger, I would have adamantly declared that I would NEVER do translation.  Too much work.  Too boring.  Interpreting was pretty cool, but I wouldn’t want to do it as a JOB.  Yuck.  Ah . . . the mouth-watering aroma of humble pie.

I love what I do.  Translation has turned out to be a delightful job, and though I keep relegating it to the closest category to “part time” that I have, I now find myself committing to a hefty project.  And I find I’m excited.  Truly, honestly, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die excited.

I’ve been asked before if I use any backup for when I translate my material.  Short answer: I most certainly do!  I imagine that very cool, very professional translators have all the words up there in their heads, because they’re brilliant.  (Pause here while all the grammar freaks grin at the end of that sentence.)  Well, I’m not that cool, so I thought I would share my translator “cheatsites,” that is, the websites I turn to when I can’t find the right words.  These are the websites I keep bookmarked.  Some of them I keep open in my browser any time I’m working.

So, without further ado, my list of helpful websites:

Google Translate
Certainly not without its flaws, but usually quite useful for translating one word at a time.  Its translation of phrases is usually laughable at best (and stinkin’ hilarious at its glorious worst), but at this point has had enough input to translate single words satisfactorily.

Linguee
A useful website for translating phrases.  The idea behind this one is that it searches text on all kinds of websites and shows you how the phrase you’re looking for has been translated by other translators.  This allows you to browse several options for how to translate your phrase.  I find it useful for phrases that are specific to a trade or business (like medicine, theology, or government).

Wikipedia
I also use this one for when I have a word specific to a trade or business.  I’ll search it in English and switch to its page in Spanish to see what it says.  I’ve found it most useful when searching people, like Flavius Josephus, Bede, or Zwingli.  Historical figures such as these tend to have their names spelled differently in each language.

English and Spanish dictionaries–
Of course, it’s always useful to know what words mean!  Especially when a word’s connotation might change the entire meaning of a sentence.  Best to always look up words you’re not entirely sure about to familiarize yourself entirely with their meanings.

Guide to Latin Phrases
Theology tends to use a lot of Latin phrases and abbreviations.  I don’t always know what they mean.

Spanish Thesaurus
Always try to expand your vocabulary, especially if you’re a translator.  On the occasions that you need a little boost, this page helps you freshen up your translations.  But remember to look up all the words so that you know exactly what they mean and how they’re used!  Don’t just use words so you can sound fancy.  Here’s another one.  They’re both good.

Religious Spanish Grammar
Grammar is different in Spanish.  This page gives a run-down of capitalization in religious writing.

Spanish Grammar
And just in case you’re not sure about something pertaining to grammar, it’s best to read up on it.  When in doubt, read about.  Ok, that was bad, but you get the idea.  (And now all the grammar freaks will kill me for leaving that sentence incomplete.)

The Bible
I have, of course, various resources for Bible verses and such.  This one is good.  I also recommend e-Sword.

 

So there you have it, folks.  These are the websites I use to help me translate.  If you’re a translator too, I hope this list is at least a little helpful to you.  In fact, if you have any suggestions for me, please feel free to share!

Blessings to you all!

 

In Him,
Tabi

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