Author Archives: sjpinson

I’ll just throw it into Google Translate

Ever wonder if you should save some money by using Google Translate instead of a professional human translator? If the text is anything important, then you probably shouldn’t.

The technology is impressive, but it’s not yet ready to replace humans. As a fun example of why I say this, consider what happens when you use Google Translate to translate the lyrics of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Takin’ Care of Business into Russian and then back into English.

Original lyrics in English

English to Russian and back (via Google Translate)

You get up every morning from your alarm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above and people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls, who try to look pretty

You get up every morning with a warning on the Service in
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle at the top and the people pushin ‘people shovin’
And girls who try to look pretty

And if your train’s on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

And if your train is on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get their salaries
If you ever annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love working for the whole day nothing

And I’ll be takin’ care of business every day
Takin’ care of business every way
I’ve been takin’ care of business, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of business and working overtime, work out

And I’ll be takin care of business every day
Care Takin ‘business in all respects
I’m taking care of business, it’s all mine
Care Takin ‘business and working overtime, work out

If it were easy as fishin’, you could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you’ll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of fellows

If it were easy, like Fishin ‘, you could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a used guitar, chances are you will go far
If you get the right bunch of fellows

This is taken a bit further with Adele’s “Hello” in the following video by Malinda Kathleen Reese.

Here’s her description of the process of generating the lyrics.

Please comment below if you have any funny examples of Google Translate falling short.

Heading to Chicago

Yesterday I finalized plans to attend the American Translators Association’s 55 Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois. This will be the third consecutive conference I have attended. I look forward to socializing and learning with my fellow translators. Next year I may consider presenting a session at the conference, which will be held in Florida.

Pinson Linguistic Services offers native support for Déjà Vu projects

When I learned that one of my new clients prefers using Déjà Vu X2 Professional for project management I decided to evaluate its merits as a computer aided translation (CAT) tool. I was so pleased with what I found that I shelled out the money to buy a couple of licenses once my free trial expired.

If you are looking to purchase a CAT tool, you should seriously consider Déjà Vu. If you’re looking for a translator who is proficient with Déjà Vu project files, please contact me today. I’d love one more reason to play with my new tool!

ATA-Conference First-Time Buyer’s Guide

While attending my first ATA conference last year in San Diego I was asked to write a review for the Slavic Languages Division’s quarterly publication, Slav File. You can read about my experience starting on page 5.


Syncing Outlook tasks with an iPhone without Exchange Server

Last night I signed up for an subscription. I redeemed my first credit for an audiobook that I had enjoyed listening to years ago: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. After getting through the first few chapters I wanted to find a way to sync my non-Exchange Outlook tasks with my iPhone. Surely, I’m not the first person to want to do this.

I was surprised how difficult it was to find a solution. First, I looked at Producteev, which has an iPhone app and an Outlook plugin—or at least it used to. Then I came across Appigo Todo, which supports syncing Outlook tasks to the iPhone without the need for Exchange Server—until the end of the year. Finally, I found Toodledo and gSyncit—and now I’m syncing my tasks without Exchange Server. Total cost: $22.98.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Sign up for Toodledo (free).
  2. Install the iPhone app ($2.99 on 11/15/2012).
  3. Buy a license for gSyncit, an Outlook plugin ($19.99 on 11/15/2012).
  4. Install gSyncit on your PC.
  5. Add your Toodledo account to gSyncit
    1. Go to the gSyncit tab in Outlook
    2. Go to Settings > Toodledo Sync > Task Sync
    3. Click New
    4. Add your Toodledo username and password
    5. Click Verify Account
    6. Click Select Folder… and select your Outlook task folder





This may not be directly related to translation, but it’s a technical solution that will help this freelancer better manager his time. Enjoy!

If you have an alternative, possibly better, solution, please do share!

Recap of 2011 for Pinson Linguistic Services

As the year draws to a close, I’ve taken a moment to assess my progress as a professional RUS>ENG translator.


  • Nearly 300,000 words translated.
  • As of 12/29/2011, among 10,463 RUS>ENG translators registered on, I rank 8th in RUS>ENG KudoZ points earned the last 3 months (and 22nd for the past 12 months).


Lessons learned

  • SDL Trados 2009 is buggy software.
  • A freelancer’s best clients are the ones that contact him or her—as opposed to those that respond to spam.
  • Your target language should be your native language.
  • In the world of translation, “proofreading” is very often code for “I ran the source text through Google Translate and now I want to pay you less”.

Looking forward to 2012

I look forward to building on these achievements in the coming year! In 2012, I expect to:

  • add another 40 agencies and customers to my clientele
  • translate at least 400,000 words
  • be ranked in the top 10 for KudoZ points earned in 2012

I express my gratitude to all who have helped make this year a success.  Thanks to my clients and fellow translators!

Pinson Linguistic Services supports Adobe file formats

Do you have Russian content in an Adobe file format that needs to be translated into English? Pinson Linguistic Services supports native editing of files created in Adobe Photoshop CS5.5 (.psd), Adobe Acrobat X Pro (.pdf), Adobe Illustrator CS5.5 (.ai), and Adobe InDesign CS5.5 (.indd). Call, email, or Skype with your Russian to English translation needs!