Posted by: patenttranslator | February 8, 2011

My First Blog About Search Terms Found on My Blog’s Dashboard

I had this brilliant idea the other day that I could write a blog about search phrases that were used by people who somehow ended up on my blog. I swear to God, the text in italics below is the genuine article. I simply picked a few assorted items and only added question marks where I thought they were intended. So here it is:

1. don’t understand how to use trados, 2. don’t like trados, 3. why not to use trados, 4. can i make a translation memory out of files I translated without trados? 5. can use trados 2009 with pdf?, 6. trados is hard, 7. trados sliding scale, 8. i absolutely hate sdl trados studio 2009 9. is christiane amanpour monolingual? 10. does christiane amanpour speak arabic? 12. ivan watson russian? 12. richard n. haass shape shifter 13. best uses for japanese degree  14. mad patent translator. 15. google translate threat.

Some things seem pretty clear from these search terms right away.

1. don’t like trados

It seems that quite a few people hate Trados. I don’t blame them. I hope these poor souls found some consolation on my blog. The likelihood that I myself will start using Trados, now that I know how so many people feel about it, is approximately 0.000000001, as I write also in another blog.

2. Is Christian Amanpour monolingual?

Christiane Amanpour must lose her British accent. Otherwise, nobody will believe that she speaks Farsi or anything else for that matter other than English. If you have the kind of British accent that she has, you are automatically considered to be monolingual for life. Fortunately for her, there are people who give foreign accent lessons to native English speakers. I used to know a guy like that in San Francisco. His name was Scott, he spoke about 4 or 5 languages, including some Arabic. He was in fact so good at faking foreign accents that he was making money giving “fake” foreign accent lessons to actors and actresses. He was going to take the US foreign service exam about 20 years ago, which was when I saw him last. Maybe he is wherever Christiane Amanpour is now, in which case he could give her lessons in fake accents. He can also play Celtic tunes on his fiddle when he had something to drink, which is great for parties.

3. ivan watson russian?

I don’t really know what I should say about Ivan Watson, except that the only way he will be probably able to use Russian in Cairo is to have a talk with Mubarak who allegedly speaks Russian because he was trained as a bomber pilot in Soviet Union. But it may be that after so many years, Mubarak  does not speak much Russian anymore, in which case Ivan Watson’s Russian will remain totally useless in Cairo as I suggested in one of my blogs.

4. Richard N. Haas shape shifter

I don’t really know much about Richard N. Haass, but I do know that most of these people who are paid by “think tanks” like Brookings Institutions “to think” are shape shifters. They know what they are supposed to think and say if they want to get their next paycheck. It’s pretty clear if you listen to them for a while. If they are paid to think “four legs goood, two legs baaad!”, that is what they will be saying until they are paid to think “two legs goood, four legs baaad!”.

5. best uses for japanese degree

One of the best uses for a degree in Japanese studies is in my opinion indeed to become a mad patent translator as I did, provided that you really do know some Japanese (and some English) and you enjoy translating highly technical texts. I mean, look at me. After 36 years of studying Japanese (I started studying Japanese in 1975 and got my degree in 1980) and translating it for a living since 1980, I am still only at the level of a moderately advanced beginner. At least it feels that way most of the time. So if I can make money translating Japanese patents to English, so can you, now that you also have a degree in Japanese studies.

Incidentally, I also found on my dashboard a link to a blogger in Japan. Her name is Kimura-san and she agrees that foreign correspondents who don’t know the local language simply cannot be well informed about what is really going on. She wrote a really interesting blog on this subject in which she says that you will be missing something if you only speak English. For instance, if you can look at Japan only from the viewpoint of an English speaker, you will probably have a skewed impression of Japan. (英語だけだと分からない部分、英語では手が届かない部分があるのですよね。日本を外国人から英語だけで見られると、なんかずれが生じるというか、、ちょっと違うんじゃないかな~というのがあるように).

6. Google translate threat ….

If you don’t read Japanese, click on the TRANSLATE button on the top of Kimura-san’s page or run it through another free TM program if you don’t use Google Translate with your software. This will demonstrate very clearly what machine translation is. It will give you some idea about what this blogger is saying, but it will not tell you what she is really saying. You would have to learn the language or pay a translator to find out what she said.

Most days I have quite a few queries about whether MT poses a major threat to human translation, presumably from fearful translators who are anxiously wondering how long will they be able to ply their trade. The most popular article on my blog so far is a piece that I called Is Machine Translation a Threat to Human Translators?

I think I will write a second blog about search terms on my blog’s dashboard exclusively about this subject at some point.


One French blogger who left a comment on my blog wrote a blog in which she contrasted the Subprime Translator term, coined by yours truly, with the Enterpreneurial Linguist concept, created by Judy and Dagmar Jenner, two sisters in translation.

Her blog is introduced by a cartoon by MOX Engineer Translator. As always, a clever cartoon is worth a million words. If you read French, you can read the blog here. If you don’t read French, you can run it through Google Translate (and weep, probably).


  1. Hi, patenttranslator-san

    I’m Kimura you mentioned above(5).

    I was surprised when I found my name in your article (incidentally)!! Thank you for your comments on my article.

    Yes, I wrote about your opinion on my blog. Excuse me, I should’ve commented on your article directly. However I was afraid of writing in English. I’m still learning English and writing in English is tough.(Sorry my incorrect English)

    And I didn’t realize you understand Japanese! お恥ずかしい、恐れ入ります。

    Well, I’ve found some information about CNN’s Ivan Watson. He is American and grew up in the US but his mother comes frome Russia. Because of that he is familiar with Russian language and its culture.
    He was once a Middle East correspondent for NPR, though I don’t know whether he had studied Arabic or not. At least he seems to not unicultural. Perhaps he knows importance of languages.

    But still basically I agree with you.




  2. Hi Kimura-san:

    Thank you for your comment. I also read your blog about Ivan Watson and Anderson Cooper. I agree, they are very capable and interesting people. My problem with CNN is that they don’t really have reporters who speak Arabic …. and few who speak other languages. Ivan Watson at least speaks Russian.

    Yes, I do read Japanese. I finished translating a long Japanese patent into English today (14,500 English words) and I am very tired right now.

    I look forward to checking out your blog every now and then if you don’t mind.

    Best regards,

    Steve Vitek


    • Hi Steve-san,

      Thanks for your reply. Of course not!
      I will check your blog, too.

      Best regards,



  3. P.S.

    CNN’s Web site says Arwa Damon, Hala Gorani and Ben Wedeman speak Arabic.
    Today Arwa reported from Cairo…


  4. Ah, finally! They must have read my blog!

    But I never saw Arwa Damon or Hala Gorani on CNN and one commenter said that Ben Wedeman speaks “some Arabic”, whatever that means.


  5. Hi Steve,

    I’m looking forward to your blog post next week explaining how a computer beat the two top champions on “Jeopardy!” despite the fact that a computer cannot understand context or meaning.

    This should be good….

    I’ll start you out on how to argue this if you blog on the victory. Something like “Watson beat the champions by answering complex clues including those with puns because the human champions aren’t really “thinking” when they play Jeapordy! All they do is sort through a large set of knowledge and spit out answers, and any computer with a large enough database can spit out the same thing.

    But translation requires true thinking and so a computer will never threaten translators.”

    How’s that for starters?


  6. […] I said in one of my blogs (don’t you love it when you can quote yourself?) the […]


  7. Japan from industrial to calamities’ nation.Beyond their well discipline written or code of ethics in Bushido. There is one greatest important thing lacking in Japanese lives, acknowledging Almighty God the Father! There religion is Shintoism, worshipping Japanese ancestors as well treating their Emperor as ” god”. Only few of them acknowledging Jesus Christ as their personal Savior ( Almighty God’s name here on Earth when He redeem our sins, thru dying at the cross). Almighty God created people in order for us to worship Him.


  8. The only one thing we need is to learn English alphabet since, English is our international language. No need for us to translate/ a translator if we are eager to learn English. Me as Filipina from the Philippines I’m really ardent to learn English since, it’s our way of communicating other people.


    • English is a very good language to know, but imagine the fun you could have with something more exotic, like Chinese or Japanese, or even Portuguese.


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