My iPad Translation Apps – Efficiency on the Road

By |2017-10-13T02:48:55+00:00October 16th, 2017|Technology|

I have an iPad ProPlus. I started using these apps on my iPhone as an interpreter, but was dissatisfied with the readability and upgraded the screen size one level at a time. Many of these apps are at least as up to date as my paper dictionaries. They are faster and more reliable than doing online research, so I now rely on them as a primary source. I consult these resources both on the road and at my office.

Translation apps

ResourceSpecialtyLanguageShort description
Word Magic dictionariesThere is a collection of dictionaries: Legal, Medical, Unabridged, Business, Slang, Thesauruseng-spaThey are resident on my iPad. I have not found inaccuracies in these dictionaries. I don’t have to say what my source language is.
VOXThere are several in the Vox collection: Médico, Español, Español-Inglés, Español-Inglés médico, Español enciclopédico, Español general and sinónimosSpanishVox is one of the best publishers in the Spanish-speaking world.
Diccionario de la Lengua Española descargableGeneralSpanishIt has the complete dictionary at my fingertips. Published by RAE/ASALE.
Diccionario del EstudianteGeneralSpanish40,000 entries with examples of usage. Published by RAE/ASALE.
Black’s 9thLegal dictionaryEnglishThis is the dictionary attorneys use, edited by Bryan Garner. The go-to reference for legal terms in English.
Wordbook XLGeneralEnglishYou can enable or disable the profanity filter. I disable it, because I am often interested in slang.
Merriam WebsterGeneralEnglishOne of the stand-by references of many translators.
Merck Manual Consumer VersionMedicalEnglishIntended for patients. This is a reference app.
Merck Manual Professional VersionMedicalEnglishIntended for medical professionals. This is a reference app.
Oxford Learner's ThesaurusGeneralEnglishA dictionary of synonyms. When we are drawing a blank on the word we need, this gets us there!

Though the American Translators Association (ATA) does not allow the use of iPads or iPhones at its translation certification exam, most of our work is not done in that setting. When I am travelling, I like to know that I will be just as effective as when I am home, so I travel with my portable library. This is a sample of what I have. The combination of my laptop and my iPad Pro, where I can see the source document on a large screen and check my resources, almost duplicates my regular work environment, where I have two large screens to work with on my main office computer.

 

About the Author:

Helen Eby grew up in Argentina, the land of the gauchos. She is a certified Spanish language translator. She co-founded The Savvy Newcomer and the ¡Al rescate del español! blogs, both of which are team efforts to provide resources for other language professionals.