Friday, February 29, 2008

January 2008 Recap

In January, I talked about various add-ons that you could install in Firefox to facilitate your work, such as Rikaichan, Needlesearch, IETab, Cooliris Previews and Split Browser in Some cool add-ons for Firefox - 1 ; next, I related to you the advantages of using a free command line utility called SlickRunSmall powerful command line utility; I then told you how you could use Google efficiently to search for glossaries related to specific phrases, search for definitions in Japanese, search for a phrase at a particular site, search for specific file types, search for glossaries in pdf format, and perform various conversion operations with Google such as currency and unit conversions, using it as a calculator and so in Google Tips; described small macros I had recorded to change character case and table operations in MS Word in Some small macros to ease repetitive tasks; introduced you to AutoHotkey, a free scripting utility, and how to write simple scripts with it in Creating simple scripts to automate tasks; and finally ended the month with an Autohotkey script that acts as your own customized autocorrection utility and corrects the spelling mistakes that you often make in Automatically correct spelling mistakes. I hope the above were as useful to you as they were to me. I have also put up an RSS link that you can click and immediately subscribe to so that even if you forget to visit this blog, you get the feed on your browser. Cheers!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

December Recap

I started this blog on December 18 last year, and told you how to use an Indispensable Paste Special Macro to copy and paste text without formatting, to which a reader pointed out a useful application called PureText that pastes unformatted copied text across applications rather than in Word alone; how to extract all text marked with a red font in a Word document and dump it to a separate file in Macro to copy red font text; how to convert single-byte Katakana to double-byte Katakana characters in a Japanese document in Getting rid of pesky single-byte Katakana from Japanese source documents; how to quickly print a list of files to a file using a DOS command in Quickly printing a list of files to a file; how to reduce wear and tear of your wrist by using keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse in Very Useful Word Shortcuts; how to extract text from text boxes in a Word document to a separate file using a macro and translate this text in Translating text in text boxes; how to use a freeware application to search through multiple CDs copied to your hard drive in Searching multiple dictionaries simultaneously; how to use insert special characters such as superposed characters and characters with a horizontal bar above them using fields in Inserting special characters in Word; and how to install a browser add-on and search online references such as Honyaku, Goo, and Life Science Dictionary in Quickly searching online references using a browser add-on. I should have posted this message at the end of December, but better late than never! I hope to post a recap at the end of every month so that you get the entire month's posts summarized in a single message and can go to any article you like by clicking on it. Have fun translating!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Finding place names in Japanese

Knowing how to pronounce and translate a Japanese place name is probably the most irritating and time-consuming task for a technical translator. Luckily, I don't often come across many of them, but once in a while, a place name turns up in the text I translate. In the past, it took me several valuable minutes to decipher the reading, but I'm now ready.

What happens if you come across a place name like 下吉田?You could of course guess, but you need to know the correct name. Sometimes 吉田町 may be pronounced Yoshidamachi or Yoshidacho depending on where it is located. The first thing I do is get hold of the postal code, or at least the name of prefecture to which this place belongs. In the first case, I had a postal code so the task is easy. Just go to either of these locations below and enter the postal 3691503.

If you want the name in Japanese, go to the Yubin Senmon Net and enter the postal code which gives you さいたまけん ちちぶし しもよしだ, 埼玉県 秩父市 下吉田

If you want it straight in English, go here: and enter the postal code which gives you Shimoyoshida, Chichibushi, Saitama-ken.

The Yuujiro 郵次郎 site gives you the results in Japanese. You could also copy and paste just the name in the search box, in which case you are presented multiple locations with the same name in various parts of the country (13 下吉田s all over the country).

Another source that helps you dig finer into place names until you reach small towns and villages when you don't know the postal code but have the detailed address is Mapion .You select the prefecture name, dig down and you can reach a village too (some of these may be called "azas" (字)). For 下吉田, select 埼玉県、秩父市 and look under . You can find the location on the map too.

A reader of this blog who chose to remain anonymous (Thanks, Anonymous), pointed out a Firefox add-on called OpenSearchFox that helps you add search engines quickly to your browser. I just added YubinSenmonNet to the search, and all I need to do now is enter the name or postal code to perform the search. See the images below with the search for 3691503 entered and the corresponding results.

You can also download a huge file consisting of place names in Japan from Prof. Jim Breen's site, place it on your hard disk and search for the place names. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Quickly searching online references using a browser add-on -1

This article is an extension to the one already published on December 30 giving details on how to search online references using Needlesearch. Since then, I have hacked some more online resources gleefully, and in addition to the settings for Honyaku, Goo, Life Science Dictionary given earlier, here are the settings for six more search engines/dictionaries. Should you have find more resources or would like more to be added, write to me through Post a Comment.

To recap, after installing Needlesearch, click on the Launch Needlesearch Editor icon (image of a wrench), click on Properties, and copy and paste these settings one by one into the respective boxes. Once you have finished, enter any Japanese string in the Needlesearch box in your browser, select one of the engines you have registered and hit the Enter key. I have tested these settings on Firefox 2.00 on Windows XP and they work fine. Let me know (by clicking on Comments and explaining the problem in detail) if they don't work for you and I'll try to do some more hacking and respond to you whenever I find time!

The references and their settings are as below (some URLs are fairly long; make sure you copy the entire line and paste it at the URL location correctly):

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1. Progressive Dictionary

Enter Name: Yahoo Progressive Dictionary

Enter Search URL: http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?enc=UTF-8&p=Needlesearch&stype=0&dtype=2

Encoding: UTF_8

Method: get

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2. Microsoft Terminology

Enter Name: MS Terminology

Enter Search URL: http://www.microsoft.com/japan/terminology/query.aspx?id=&q=needlesearch&x=21&y=10&kbid=&ui=L

Encoding: shift_jis

Method: get

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3. Chemical Substances JE database

Enter Name: Chemical Substances Database

Enter Search URL: http://www.saglasie.com/bin/chemsrch.dll?Q=Needlesearch&L=J

Encoding: UTF_8

Method: get

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4. Science Terms JE/EJ

Enter Name: Science Terms JE/EJ

Enter Search URL: http://sciterm.nii.ac.jp/cgi-bin/list.cgi?sa=on&f_name1=GEN&f_name2=OCN&f_name3=MET&f_name4=CHR&f_name5=INS&f_name6=LNG&f_name7=NUC&f_name8=ARC&f_name9=AER&f_name10=MIN&f_name11=SSM&f_name12=BOT&f_name13=PSY&f_name14=MTH&f_name15=NAV&f_name16=GLG&f_name17=GEO&f_name18=AST&f_name19=ZOO&f_name20=LIB&f_name21=CIV&f_name22=PHY&f_name23=SPE&f_name24=LOG&list_count=24&limit=0&refer=Needlesearch

Encoding: shift_jis

Method: post

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5. e-words (IT)

Enter Name: e-words

Enter Search URL: http://e-words.jp/?q=needlesearch&cx=003568274145226911062%3Adfxin19bvrq&hl=ja&lr=lang_ja&ie=Shift_JIS&oe=Shift_JIS&inlang=ja&headline=%8C%A9%8Fo%82%B5%8C%EA%8C%9F%8D%F5&cof=FORID%3A11

Encoding: ISO-8859-1

Method: get

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6. J-Tokkyo (Patents)

Enter Name: J-Tokkyo

Enter Search URL: http://www.google.co.jp/custom?domains=www.j-tokkyo.com&q=Needlesearch&sa=%8C%9F%8D%F5&sitesearch=www.j-tokkyo.com&client=pub-9789517901181258&forid=1&channel=4824883313&ie=Shift_JIS&oe=Shift_JIS&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1&hl=ja

Encoding: ISO-8859-1

Method: get

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Incidentally, I have added a Subscribe Now option that enables readers of this blog to subscribe through various readers. Try this out too. Happy searching!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Free online storage and free software

1. Free online storage

I'd like to tell you about a free online storage resource that gives you for free 50 GB (yes you heard right fifty gigabytes of space). This space would be more than adequate for you to store all your data including translation memories, glossaries, macros, and other useful stuff as backup here. Of course, there'll always be people wondering what if somebody at the site looks into your private, confidential data. Well, personally, I won't go storing my bank account data and credit card information - I don't mind keeping all my painstakingly created glossaries and TMs, my carefully selected songs assembled into neat folders after downloading from the Internet, photos and movies that I have taken and saved on my hard disk, zipping all these a password and storing them at this site. 'Nuff said. Here it is; go sign up and get yourself an account before it is full up: Adrive

You can login from anywhere and access this site. I created an an account and received my mail confirmation almost immediately.

2. Free software

I'll tell you about a source that gives away a free commercial software just for a day (24 hours). You download it and register it on that day and its yours to keep on your PC. Of course, you'll have to fork out some money for any upgrades to the software. Hey! You don't get a free ride all your life :) Most software are written by small companies that are trying to make their name – some of them are very good. So try your luck. Visit the site everyday – around 6 pm JST, there's always a new software that you can download, register and keep it for yourself if you like it. The site is called giveaway of the day. Enjoy!