Category Archives: Review

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.


Great Russian quotes about language

May I bring some more Russian goodness from to your attention?  I love their collection of quotes from (mostly) Russian literary heavy-hitters such a Tolstoy (Толстой), Pushkin (Пушкин), and Chekhov (Чехов).

Here are a few good ones that I’ve quickly translated from Russian into English:


Нравственность человека видна в его отношении к слову.

“One’s virtue is seen in how he treats words.”


Слово должно быть по росту мысли.

“The word must be as tall as the thought.”


Чтение – вот лучшее учение!

“Learning is better than reading!”


As always, any comments on the translations are welcome!  Thanks!

Test your Russian Grammar skills

Can’t afford a personal Russian language coach?  The “Interactive Dictation” (Интерактивный диктант) feature on may be the next best thing.  It’s always available and is never in a bad mood.  You can practice at your own pace, and—best of all—it’s free!

Here’s how it works.  Once you go to the website, you’ll see a list of names of authors.


Each author’s name is followed by the name of one of his or her works.  Pick one.

You’ll then see a passage of text sprinkled with yellow boxes.


Each yellow box is a test of your skills in Russian grammar or spelling.  Click on a box to reveal a dropdown menu of punctuation or letter combinations.  Choose one of the options for each yellow box.


Then click the “Check” (Проверить) button to see how you did.


Correct answers will be rendered green, and incorrect answers will be red.


That’s great, but there’s more!  Not only do you get to see what you got wrong, you get to learn why!  Click on each red box to see an explanation of the grammar or spelling rules that you broke.





What a great resource!  Enjoy!

Helpful Russian links on

I’ve joined the Russian forum at  This looks like a great place to share linguistic expertise.  I look forward to making a contribution.


You won’t want to miss the excellent collection of links related to the Russian language.  You’ll find specialized dictionaries, glossaries, online courses, pronunciation, and more!

Podcast: Russian Business Vocabulary

If you’re looking to learn some basic Russian business vocabulary, you may be interested in the audio recordings produced by Anna Kudyma of the UCLA Center for World Languages.

There are 7 episodes covering topics from “Company structure” to “Taxes” to “Company representation”.  They range from 12 to 15 minutes, and each includes a companion PDF file with transcripts and vocabulary lists.

You may also be interested in Beginner’s Russian With Interactive Online Workbook: A Basic Russian Course by Anna Kudyma available through

Translation Tool: IntelliWebSearch

I’ve come across a helpful translation tool called IntelliWebSearch that can accelerate your translation speed.  It allows you to create keyboard shortcuts for repetitive web searches.  For example, I’ve created a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+I) to automatically initiate an image search using whatever text is currently selected as the query string.  The more time consuming alternative would be to copy the query string from your document, switch to your browser, navigate to the image search page, paste the query string, and hit enter.  If you find yourself searching the web a lot during a translation job, this tool is for you!  Kudos to the developer: Michael Farrell.  There are dozens of preconfigured search engines and online dictionaries.  You can tweak them as needed or add your own.


Mr. Farrell has created some explanatory videos for IntelliWebSearch:


Friends don’t let friends use ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0 on academic papers

I’m translating an academic paper on image registration.  The paper is published online as a PDF by E. V. Mjasnikov at Samara State Aerospace University, but I what I wanted was a Word document.  I thought I’d give ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0 a whirl.  Fail.  It destroys mathematical symbols and formulae.  Not the right tool for the job.  For example, this equation for the mutual correlation between two images


becomes this:

II /i (ti, t2 ) / 2 (ti -Ti, t2-T2 ).

Of course, that was before I realized that I needed to add Greek to the list of PDF Document Languages:


While that improved the results, it did not satisfy me.  The improved-yet-unsatisfactory results follow:

ΣΣ7ι (‘ι,’2)12 (‘ι-τι,h-Т2)

C (τι,

ΣΣ722 (‘ι -τι,’2 -τ2)

If ABBYY’s PDF Transformer 3.0 is not the right tool for the job, what is?  Any suggestions?