Translation tools

I’m busy translating.  The University of Santa Fe kindly furnished me with a shiny new list of documents that I need to present along with my degree certificates.  The list includes a translation of the syllabus and programmes of study from both my degree courses.  Manchester kindly furnished me with a course handbook ninety-two pages long.  Cambridge kindly informed me today that their course handbook tops the hundred and wonder if I would like it scanned or posted.  The professional translator here in San Francisco charges one hundred Argentinean pesos per page.  Since there are around eight Argentinean pesos to the UK pound at the moment, that’s two hundred pages at twelve pounds a sheet, so that won’t be happening. 

I’ve started on the Manchester document.  First I reduced it down to the pages which are actually relevant to the course content, having sacked everything about student loans, policies on plagiarism and library services.  Now I have thirty pages, of which I’m on page 18 and hoping to have this one out of the way before the Cambridge beast lands in my inbox or on my doorstep.  My theory is that even if the University of Santa Fe insist that it is properly stamped by a professional, it’ll still work out cheaper for someone to read and correct it if I’ve done most of the work for them. 

Fortunately I have discovered Wordfast Anywhere, a free online translating tool, which you can find at  It’s not entirely intuitive, and the manual’s huge so I haven’t read it all yet.  But it is making a huge time saving even if I am still somewhat confused about my source tags and fuzzy matches. 

So even if I never manage to validate my degrees, now I have another transferrable skill to add to my CV.  Unfortunately despite all my linguistic brilliance, I haven’t yet discovered any language in which to persuade my youngest child to stop pooing in the bath.  Maybe that’s the bit of the manual that I didn’t read yet. 

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