Work smarter, not harder is an old proverb that we are all familiar with. The question often is how to achieve that. Translators and interpreters are often short of time, overloaded with work and need to travel from one assignment to the other. In such a hectic situation, it is great to have some useful apps on your smartphone that can help you improve your work in many aspects.
In our digital world there are apps dealing with almost everything, so for sure there are tons of them that can be useful to translators and interpreters both for their professional and personal everyday tasks. We will have a look at some that can improve your linguistic skills, time management, and help you while you are on the go.
Dictionaries and Linguistic Helpers
Whether if you are dealing with document translation or interpreting at a business meeting, you need all of your linguistic skills in order to do the job properly. To improve them, you can choose between different dictionaries, proofreading apps and linguistic helpers:
There are several dictionaries that you can choose to help you with your translation.
- The Oxford Dictionary of English is a free app that offers the most comprehensive coverage of English. It has more than 350,000 words, phrases and meanings along with 75,000 audio pronunciations. It is useful for finding spelling variations and synonyms, as well as for checking slang words.
- The Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus is a paid app that is really worth the money. It offers over 200,000 words and explanations and allows you to play interesting vocabulary games that can help you learn while having fun.
- Ultralingua Dictionary Bookshelf is a wonderful app that allows you to check both English synonyms or slang terms and browse through a great range of multilingual dictionaries. You can check the conjugation of irregular verbs, look up idioms and much more.
As a translator it is helpful to have an app that will proofread your translated text and help you with the corrections.
- Grammar Up focuses on business-related vocabulary and grammar and is ideal for those dealing with contracts and negotiations. The app provides you with graphs and charts that help you track your skills and identify the places that need improvement.
- English Grammar and Spell Checker and Translator will help you produce high-quality translated texts in English. Once you are done with the translation, it will go through the text and identify errors, while offering advice for replacement. The app allows you to quickly access a thesaurus, choose between UK and US English and even create your own dictionary with specific names, terms or locations. It is a must-have for all translators.
- Language-learning apps
There are a few apps that can help you increase your vocabulary or even learn a new language.
- Word of the Day is a daily English Dictionary App that helps you grow your vocabulary. It sends you a new word every day indicating its origin and usage. You can mark some words as your favorites and review them later or choose a random word to learn each day.
- Sounds is a pronunciation app that is very useful for interpreters. You can check both UK and US pronunciation and record your own to compare. There are also funny games and quizzes that help you improve your pronunciation.
- Duolingo is a free app that helps you learn any language you need. It has funny grammar exercises and colorful pictures and you can chat with friends and peers in the created language groups. It’s perfect to learn a new language or polish one that you have started forgetting.
- Time management apps
Time management is very important both for translators and interpreters. As a translator, you have a given period to finish the text and submit and therefore it is essential to be able to concentrate. As an interpreter you need to be able to focus on a given topic and prepare for the next meeting.
- 1Focus helps you work online without the usual distraction. It can block websites such as social media or news portals that would otherwise distract you while you work. You can set up the duration of this blocking, so that you can concentrate for as long as you need.
- TopTracker is a tool that helps you follow your productivity levels. It is a time-tracking software that analyzes the way you work. You receive reports that show your own patterns. You can use it with different projects and see if there are specific areas that you need to improve. The app was created with freelancers in mind and is therefore ideal both for translators and interpreters.
- Swift Keyboard is an app that helps you improve your speed while writing, especially if you are using a touchscreen. The app suggests full words as you type and it is easy to insert them with just one tap. It is available in 61 languages and provides accurate autocorrection option.
- Priorigimi is a useful app for those who are afraid that they might forget one or more of their tasks. The app allows you to create to-do lists and prioritize your tasks. You can select top three tasks and check your progress over time. It is a guarantee that you will never forget a task again.
Professionals in the field of translation and interpretation often travel a lot, so it is useful to have some apps that will help you while on the go.
- Umano is an app that allows you to listen to news and articles, while traveling, cooking or running in the park. The app has access to a list of articles from world publishers and bloggers that is constantly updated. It uses sources such as The New Yorker and The Atlantic. You can also download articles that you can listen to at a later stage and while offline.
- AccuWeather is an app that will help you check the weather forecast for the day or week at the place you are travelling to or staying at the moment. Thus, you can decide what kind of clothes you need or whether you shall take an umbrella with you to the next meeting.
- City Mapper is a very useful guide for those who often travel to new locations. It is user-friendly and helps you navigate through new cities. It will give you information of the public transportation system, which can save you lots of time and troubles.
There is a great list of apps that can help you do your job even better. You can share the apps you find useful with your peers across the social media that you use or get inspired by their suggestions too. Along with the essential skills each translator and interpreter should have in order to excel in their job, these apps are an ally to make your life a bit easier and help you learn new things and always stay updated.