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Business Diversification?

September/October 2020 Issue

I love the way some languages and cultures count. What speakers of European languages call “twenty” is rendered in the Papua New Guinea language of Mairasi—and many other languages—as “one person” (with all 20 fingers and toes combined). As someone who is not naturally mathematically inclined, my early calculating life would have been so much […]

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Guest Column: What’s New in Subtitling Translation Tools?

July/August 2020 Issue

A few weeks ago, I asked Damián Santilli to write an article about the current state of audiovisual translation tools for my own Tool Box Journal ( He did, and my readers and I were very impressed by the depth of his knowledge and his vision for a field that’s growing very rapidly. So, in […]

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What Are Translation-Specific Tool Providers and Developers Doing to Assist Translators During COVID-19?

May/June 2020 Issue

In light of the current situation, it was suggested that I write something connecting technology with our all-consuming health crisis. None of us can predict what things will be like when this column goes to print, but it’s safe to say that our lives will not have returned to normal—whatever “normal” is now. I really […]

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Like Two Porcupines Making Love—VERY CAREFULLY!

January/February 2020 Issue

This was likely the best answer (and certainly the cleverest) response I read on a large cork board located in the registration area at this year’s ATA Annual Conference in Palm Springs. The board contained one main question to which attendees were encouraged to respond: “Do you use machine translation (MT), and how?” Here are […]

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Taking Screenshots on a Windows System

November/December 2019 Issue

Screenshots are pictures of the complete or partial computer screen, and taking screenshots is often part of a translator’s job description. For instance, you might have to replace the source-language graphics in a software manual with those in the target language (assuming the software is already translated and functional). Windows offers a number of “traditional […]

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Of Translators and Librarians

September/October 2019 Issue

This was the title of a short article I wrote a little more than 10 years ago, in 2008. The point of the article was to highlight the remarkable speed with which librarians had accepted technology (unlike translators at that point). I contrasted the well-known “The Bookworm” painting by Carl Spitzweg of 1850 with this […]

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Fake News

July/August 2019 Issue

Yes, I hate this buzzword as much as you do, at least as it’s used in the present political climate. But it did capture your attention, and, like it or not, there actually is some meaning associated with the concept of “fake news” in a more traditional sense. I believe we’re dealing with several “fake […]

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Using Neural Machine Translation Beyond Post-Editing

May/June 2019 Issue

In the past, I’ve conducted a number of back-and-forth email conversations with experts on topics that are interesting and useful to me and, hopefully, to the community at large. The following conversation turned out to be very useful as well, but it was not conducted as straightforwardly as some of the others. Why? Well, it’s […]

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Artificial Intelligence and Translation Technology

March/April 2019 Issue

I recently asked all the translation technology vendors that came to mind this question: What are the areas in which you see artificial intelligence playing a role in your technology and/or in the translation-related technology of other vendors? Why ask that? Well, there’s been a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in technology in […]

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