Useful web tools (part 3)

Here’s another round-up of some useful tools and websites I’ve come across recently which I’d like to share with you.

For Translation

  • Jost Zetzsche shared this link to Useful free or inexpensive tools for translators in one of his recent International Writers Toolkit newsletters. It’s a list of 23 useful tools to make a translator’s life easier.
  • I’m currently experimenting with Terra TMS which is a web-based translation management and invoicing system for language professionals. You can use it on any platform, and import your contacts from Excel or Outlook. There are different versions: Standard, Starter and Free. The free version lets you add up to 200 jobs and clients. I’ll write more about how I’m getting on with it in a future post. The same people have also developed a free Chrome extension called “Word Counter for Translators” to count the words (and characters) on a web page and calculate the number of standard lines.

Free Google Chrome extension

  • On his Translation Tribulations blog Kevin Lossner shared his Excel rate equivalence spreadsheet that allows you to express your source word rate as a cost per standard line or page of target text. The downloadable file is full of Kevin’s own calculations to show you how it works, but you can replace it with your own statistics.
  • Finally, CAT guru Dominique Pivard compares Terminotix Toolbar for Microsoft Word with the similar Intelliwebsearch in this video. Both are free; Terminotix is best suited for translators who work with French, English and perhaps Spanish and who translate directly in Word or use a Word-based translation tool, while IntelliWebSearch is more difficult to configure but is also more flexible and can be accessed from any Windows application. However as both are for PC computers only I haven’t been able to try them out myself – but I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has.

Language

  • If, like me, you’re a non-native speaker of French you might occasionally get confused when you have to write out French numbers as words (do I need a hyphen? is it cent or cents?). With dCode you just enter the number as a figure and it gets converted to words.
des chiffres et des lettres

Des chiffres et des lettres

General internet

  • Collusion is an experimental add-on for Mozilla Firefox which allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. The result is quite … scary. Of course not all tracking is bad, but most of it happens without our knowledge and consent. So if you’re at all interested in internet transparency this is for you.
  • Still on the subject of  Mozilla, I’m a great fan of Ted Talks, and in this short talk Mozilla Foundation’s COO, Ryan Merkley, shares Popcorn Maker, a new web-based tool for easy video remixing.  It’s based on the principle  that videos on the internet should work like the web itself: dynamic, full of links, maps and information that can be updated and edited live. With it you can use your web browser to combine video and audio with content from the rest of the web — from text, links and maps to pictures and live feeds. Impressive!
  • ryan merkley

    Ryan Merkley at Ted talks

  • Gaelle Gagné of Trëma Translations recently mentioned IFTTT, a service that lets you create connections (it stands for If This Then That). The idea behind it is as follows: if  ‘This’ happens Then it triggers ‘That’ action. An example of This might be ‘I publish a blog post’ or ‘I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook’, and the action that you’ve defined might be ‘send me a text message’ or ‘publish on Twitter’. There are currently triggers and actions for more than 56 channels (LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr, Dropbox, etc).
  • Not long ago I was travelling for a month with my laptop, and of course checking my e-mails using my e-mail software (I prefer this to using webmail). When I returned home and was using my main computer I didn’t have access to my recent Gmail messages in my e-mail software because they’d already been downloaded onto my laptop. The solution is to go to your POP client settings and replace ‘username@gmail.com’ with ‘recent:username@gmail.com’.  This downloads messages from the past month.
  • If you follow Marta Stelmaszak’s Wantwords blog you might have seen her three posts “Do We Use The Right words on Our Websites to Offer Translation Services?” which took a look at the texts agencies and freelance translators use on their websites. To do this she used the nifty tool Online-utility.org which finds the most frequent words of web site content (or any arbitrary text). (The 5 most frequent words on the English version of my website are: to, smart, translate, a, of).

Twitter

Books

  • Small Demons is a literary search engine and self-proclaimed ‘storyverse’ that lets you explore the world of books. You can search for a person, place or thing and see which books they or it occur in. It only searches books in English, and to be honest I found it somewhat limited – a search for Madagascar as a place brought up no results, for example  – but I’m sure it will improve over time. But for the moment I think I prefer sticking to a tag search on Librarything (546 tags for Madagascar, by way of comparison!).

You might also like:

Useful web tools (part 2)

Here’s another round-up of a few useful web tools and links which I’ve come across and had the occasion to use. Hopefully you might find some of them useful too. All of them are free, although some have paying versions with more features.

For translators
  • Webwordcount is an online tool to count the number of words on a website. Website word counting can be tricky (if you need to draw up a price estimate for a client for example), and with this tool you just enter the page address and it goes to work. It’s free for up to 100 pages and 5 different websites per day, which is pretty generous; if you do need to analyse more than that prices are very reasonable.
  • I came across Inquiry Wizard in a Translation Times blog post. It’s a web-based application that allows you to track the number of inquiries you receive and the number of projects that are actually confirmed from those inquiries. It also lets you see which customer contact medium (e-mail, phone, etc.) brings in the most inquiries.

Insanity Streak by Tony Lopes

Twitter:
  • Thanks to Al Navas I discovered Chirpstory which is a nifty little tool for creating and sharing stories from Twitter. It automatically loads the latest Tweets (from a specific user, keyword, hashtag or list) from your Twitter stream .
  • Whathashtag: have you ever wanted to tweet about a topic but didn’t know the best hashtag to use? WhatHashtag is an application that lets you find the most used Twitter hashtags for a given keyword.
  • I’ve just come across Twitlonger thanks to Paul Edgar. Its tag line is “for when you talk too much for Twitter” and effectively it’s a way to let you post Tweets when 140 characters just isn’t enough. So you write what you need and a link is automatically posted to your Twitter account.
  • Untweeps is a method for unfollowing Twitter users who don’t tweet often enough! ManageFlitter and JustUnFollow do a similar job but also show you who’s following you that you aren’t following back. You can then choose whether to not to follow such users.
Social Media 
  • Although social media is not that old, we may still have trouble remembering some of our past posts. Memolane brings together past posts from different social media services. I find it useful if, for whatever reason, I’m trying to remember or find an old tweet that I posted – I can easily do a search on the timeline. It’s available in English and Japanese.
  • If you have a professional page or personal profile on Facebook, Trickedout Timeline is a little tool that can create some effects for your cover photo, for example merging your profile and cover photo, or zooming your profile photo. (See mine here).  Talking about Facebook pages, did you know you can add extra tabs? I currently have 11 instead of the standard three. (Tabs are those boxes containing links just below your cover photo and to the right of your profile photo).
If you have your own website 
  • Alexa – you’ve probably already heard of Alexa, but if you haven’t it provides traffic data, global rankings and other information on websites. It can be a good idea to register your website(s) on it to see how it (they) rank.
  • Favicon.cc lets you create a personalised favicon for your website (Favicons are those small icons associated with a web page that you see next to the web page address). I have to admit I’ve got favicons for my two blogs, but I haven’t got round to doing one for my website yet …

  • PRCheckerInfo is a tool for measuring your site’s Google Page Rank. It does this by measuring the number of sites that link to your particular web page. The page rank is displayed as a number between 0 and 10.
favicons A-Z

A-Z of favicons

Books
Just for pleasure here are a few book-related sites I like:
  • Librarything is a web application to catalogue your books. It’s free for up to 200 books. You can organise your books into “want to read” “read but unowned” and “currently reading” collections, amongst others. It can give you recommendations based on the books you’ve entered into the database, lets you write or read reviews, and gives you statistics on the books and authors you’ve read, including the male:female ratio and nationality breakdown of authors!
  • Bookmooch is one of a number of book swap site for exchanging used books.  It lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want by means of a points system. I still use it now that I’ve moved back to Reunion Island, but to be honest it worked out a lot cheaper when I lived in South Korea where postal costs are very reasonable!
  • Book depository – if, like me, you live in a place where Amazon doesn’t offer free delivery then you’ll like this book ordering web site. It gives you free worldwide delivery on all its books, and book prices are fairly similar to those on Amazon, sometimes even cheaper.

Finally, a web tool that I haven’t yet tried myself but looks promising: LogMeIn gives you free secure remote access to your computer from over the web. It means you can stay connected no matter where you are.  I’ll probably try it out while I’m travelling in July & August.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know your comments on any of the above, or tell me about web tools you’ve used and enjoyed!

Some useful web tools

I came across a few useful web tools recently and thought I might share them with you. They are of interest if you have your own website(s) and/or blog(s).

  • www.woorank.com calls itself an “instant website review”, and although it’s perhaps more aimed at SEO specialists it can be useful for those of us who are less specialised too. You enter your website/blog URL, click on “website review” and it generates a report which covers different categories such as Visitors (e.g. traffic rank, visitor localisation),  Social Monitoring (e.g. social network popularity), Mobile (e.g. rendering and optimisation), SEO Basics, Content, Links, Keywords, Authority (e.g. most popular pages), Backlinks, Usability, Security and  Technologies.
Image representing WooRank as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Based on the woorank analysis of my three sites (this blog, my professional website and my personal blog) I headed to the following sites:

  • www.copyscape.com is a plagiarism checker which allows you to search for copies of your webpages elsewhere on the internet. It’s free (but also has a paying professional version), and once again you just enter your URL and let it get to work. Luckily none of my sites have been plagiarised, although it did bring up the Wilhelm von Humboldt quote in my Taking Turns blog post, for a quote is obviously not original and is to be found elsewhere on the net.
  • www.dmoz.org is an open directory project which is “the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web”. It is constructed and maintained by a large worldwide community of volunteer editors. It’s aim is for the internet to organise itself, using these editors (‘net-citizens’) to organise small parts of the Web, keeping the good stuff and getting rid the bad and useless. You submit your website(s) and within a few weeks an editor will review it and decide whether or not to include it in the directory. BEing catalogued on dmoz.org can help search engines to find your site(s).
Open Directory Project

Image via Wikipedia

One last thing I found out recently – if you have website based in France do be aware that it’s compulsory to show the “Mentions Legales” on your site. The exact content needed varies slightly depending on whether your  website is for a “personne physique” or a “personne morale” but this link should help you. ‘Forgetting’ this legal information on your site could mean up to a year in prison and a €75,000 fine!