January 28, 2015

If You Are Drowning in Paper Dictionaries…


Maria Helena Brenner Kelly

If you are lost amid tons of paper dictionaries, I hope you didn’t miss the presentation at ATA’s 55th Annual Conference by PLD member Thaïs Lips, “Fahrenheit 451? You Don’t Have To Burn Your Dictionaries… Learn To Research in a Savvier Way.” Even if you did miss it, you can still take advantage of the tips she offered. Read on!

Thaïs, who is President of the Colorado Translators Association (CTA), an ATA chapter, explained that her idea for the presentation came up when she realized that many colleagues still rely mainly on paper dictionaries, even when the same or similar dictionaries are available in digital format. As examples of digital dictionaries, Thaïs listed Oxford, Michaelis, Merriam-Webster, Granada, Aurélio, Houaiss, Collins, Larousse, Britannica, and the Oxford Thesaurus.

After a brief review of the evolution of the tools translators use in their daily work, from the fourth century all the way down to digital dictionaries, Thaïs noted that having these dictionaries in the computer is not enough. To take real advantage of them, one needs a dictionary manager, a piece of software that allows for easy storage and searching of digital dictionaries.

Thaïs discussed two alternatives, GoldenDict and Babylon, using the latter for her examples, since this is the software she uses every day.

To use a dictionary manager, she said, you first need to load the digital dictionary into the software. Thaïs pointed out that there are several free and paid monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, as well as glossaries in a variety of subjects and languages. You can even easily create your own dictionaries and glossaries.

Thaïs walked the audience through the steps for loading dictionaries and glossaries into the software and for using shortcuts to search effortlessly. She also showed an extra feature of Babylon that allows for easy conversion of measurements and currencies.

At the close of the presentation, Thaïs noted two compelling reasons to use dictionary managers: you will have more time to attend to style and terminology choices, and you will increase your word-per-hour average by at least 25%. And who doesn’t want that?

To learn more about what Thaïs does, please visit her website, Translation Decoder.


MARIA HELENA BRENNER KELLY was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. After working with  both finance and IT for 25 years, ten of which for IBM in the USA, she moved to the Brazilian state of Bahia. She is a freelance translator and holds a bachelor’s degree in statistics from USP and a graduate degree in business administration from FGV. She also holds a certificate in translation from NYU.

January 22, 2015

Our 2015 Blog


2014 was the first year we transitioned away from a formal newsletter and focused on the PLD Blog, and what a great year it was!

We received a lot of contributions from PLD members who wanted to share their experiences and knowledge. We had more than 50 posts, including news, interviews, reviews and opinions on various topics. As the blog editor, I learned a lot and I know I couldn’t have done this without amazing help from Lynnea Hansen, our reviewer, who donated so much of her time and was always available for us. I’d also like to thank Maria Helena Brenner Kelly for her regular contributions as a writer and Bianca Bold for her ongoing involvement and great ideas. I can’t name every single person but I’d like to show my appreciation for each and every one who contributed to the blog this year.

For professional and personal reasons, I’m passing the ball to Rafa Lombardino, an experienced blogger who will certainly do an exceptional job in taking the PLD Blog to the next level. I will stay on as her assistant to help with the transition.

I’d like to remind everybody that the PLD Blog is OUR blog, it belongs to our Portuguese Language Division. If you are a member and you have something to write about, send us your text! If you are unsure and would like to test the waters first, contact us at ata.pld@gmail.com and tell us what you are thinking; we can gladly provide advice and feedback.

Mirna Soares

December 22, 2014

Footie lingo: the language of soccer in Portuguese and English

Jayme Costa-Pinto has shared the slides and other reference material he used for the session he presented last month at the ATA Conference: “Footie lingo: the language of soccer in Portuguese and English.”


From its humble—and bloody—beginnings in England, football (soccer) grew to become a multi-billion dollar global sport, influencing different cultures and peoples around the world. This session will address several terminological equivalences between Brazilian Portuguese and English (both American and British). A glossary of the more colorful terms will be provided at the end. In addition, the speaker will touch upon the cultural and social impact soccer has had in Brazil, with special emphasis on how the sport has been portrayed in Brazilian literature.

Slides in PDF: Click here to view or download

Additional reference material:
Glossary (by Jayme) – Soccer_glossary
Laws of the game 2012/2013 (by FIFA) – Laws_of_the_game
Regras do jogo de futebol 2010/2011 (by FIFA) – Regras_do_jogo_de_futebol

Jayme Costa-Pinto is the head of studies of the Associação Alumni’s Department of Translation and Interpretation in São Paulo, Brazil. He also devotes time to freelance translation and interpreting. His literary translations include works by American authors Richard Greenberg, John Updike, and Warren Adler. A former translation and interpreting student at the Associação Alumni, he has a BS in geophysics from the University of São Paulo. He has also participated in a special training program for interpreters at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

ATA-Chicago (1)