Advantages of Working with More than One Screen

It took me quite a while to get from the idea of trying out a multi-screen set-up to actually implementing it this summer. I think I thought it would be more complicated to set up than it actually was and I’m so glad I had a go because it was really straight-forward and the additional screen has revolutionised the way I work.

Advantages of Working with More than One Screen

  1. Working with more than one screen increases productivity (providing you use it sensibly – if you tend to get distracted and use your second screen for social media or private e-mails, your productivity is likely to decrease, however).
  2. If you work with more than one program, which translators normally do, you can have your main program (CAT tool or word processing program) open on your main screen and use your second screen for internet research or reference documentation. The second screen stops you having to toggle between windows or having to resize all of your windows to fit everything you want to see at once on one screen.
  3. Putting later source text amendments and additions into the target text is a doddle with two screens. I often used to end up having to print out the source text for this type of work. Using two screens allows you to have both documents open at full size and to easily copy and paste between documents.

There are lots of online step-by-step guides which show you how to set up an additional screen and once you are up and running you can simply drag windows between the two screens. The best thing, in my view, is the fact that each program remembers where it was last open and so opens on the screen and in the position it was in the last time you used it.

I would say that, for me at least, having two screens (of whatever size) is a definite improvement on having one large screen. It has reduced, by far, the number of times I have to click on different tabs and has definitely greatly increased my productivity.


Part 4 – The secret power of search engines

(This post is going to refer to Google specifically because Google is still the search engine I use the most and the search engine I know best but I’m sure you will be able to apply the tips you read here to your favourite search engine too.)

We’re all familiar with search engines these days and how to use them but are you using them effectively and getting the most out of them for translation purposes? Here are a few tips and tricks. Perhaps one of two of them will be new to you. And if you have any tips or tricks of your own you’d like to share, please post them below!

Finding authentic documents

In the Advanced Search Window of Google you can set the search parameters to find documents in PDF format only. These documents may be more useful to you and more reliable than the templates we often otherwise first come across online. Authentic documents are a good place to check how terminology is used in equivalent documents in the target language and a good place to look for collocations and turns of phrase. The quickest way to set the file type is to type “filetype:PDF” into the search box along with your search term.

Finding a term on a specific website

If you have a term which you know you can find on a multilingual website, you can get straight to that term on the multilingual Website by entering your term along with “site:” followed by the URL you are interested in into the search box.

Finding a term on a specific language or country-specific website

If you are translating a document into British English and you want to ensure that your hit list brings up British websites only, you can type: “” into the search box along with your term.

Field of translation

Do you automatically add the field of translation when you are searching for a term? Many terms are used across different fields. You can save time and search more efficiently by adding the field to your first search, i.e. “Abgrenzungsvereinbarung” Markenrecht. Also try typing the term in the source language and the field in the target language.

Do you know part of the translation?

Translating from German into English I often find that I know exactly how to translate part of a very long compound noun. If you type the source language term along with the parts of the target language term you already know into the search box, you will often come up with the correct or at least a suggested term which may help you to find the actual term you are looking for.

Do spend some time clicking through the advanced search settings to see what else search engines can do for you.