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Dialogue boxes slow to open in Word

A problem I’ve been experiencing for quite a while on my computer is that dialogue boxes have been very slow to open in MS Word and Excel. I assumed it was a result of the UBitMenu, a handy add-on that restores the old-style drop-down menus we used to use before Microsoft introduced the awful ribbon. I accepted it as a trade-off, since the delays were more than offset by the time I gained by finding option quicker thanks the drop-down menus (and being able to open up the drop-down menus thanks to a script I wrote).

But then things started getting really slow, and I’d also experienced some sluggishness in my browser. I trawled through the forums and found many people with the same problem, but nobody was proposing a solution that worked.

Then I read a post by someone who hypothesised that it was down to hard drives that were dying. The writer of the post (which I can no longer find) had the issue on two computers, both of which then experienced hard-drive failure. He then started working on a laptop that was more than 10 years-old, and therefore should have been much slower, and found that he no longer experienced the problem.

The hard drive that came with my computer has been playing up recently, with one of the partitions not working very well. Fortunately, I only use it as a backup drive, as I migrated my operating system and documents to a solid state drive several years ago (I recommend all my colleagues do the same, as will make your system much quicker), but it seems that even having the hard drive connected was slowing down my system, especially (for some reason) when opening and closing dialogue boxes in Word and Excel.

If you are experiencing the same issues, try disconnecting any old drives that no longer perform properly. Of course, if it’s the drive that your operating system is running on, then you can’t just disconnect it, but it’s a good excuse to buy a solid state drive, which will definitely speed up your system, even if it doesn’t fix this particular problem.

If, like in my case, the hard drive playing up is one that you can safely disconnect, but it is an internal drive, you don’t need to get out the screwdrivers. You can simply go to the device manager, select “Disk drives”, then right-click on the device that’s playing up and select “Disable device” (whatever you do, don’t do this on the device that runs your operating system!). After restarting your computer, check whether the problem has gone away.

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La facturation en monnaie étrangère : un formulaire pour convertir les prix en euros selon la loi française

La loi française permet la facturation en monnaie étrangère, et le portail de l’Économie, des Finances, de l’Action et des Comptes publics explique comment le faire.

Pour le calcul du montant en euros de vos factures, j’ai créé un formulaire Excel. Il suffit d’introduire la date de facture, le montant et la devise pour que le formulaire vous calcule le montant en euros selon les deux méthodes permis par la loi française. Les taux de changes utilisés pour les conversions sont les taux officiaux de la Banque centrale européenne, qui publie les taux de référence utilisés par les autorités françaises.

ConversionFacturesDevises par anglopremier.com.

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Discount code for GoOpti and for Flixbus

To get a €5 discount with GoOpti, use the voucher code RFLID5M5H3VW on the payment page.

GoOpti is a door-to-door service, so although it costs a little bit more than the train to the airport, you won’t have to get a taxi or walk 1.5km to the train station. The service can take you to any of the recommended airports near Brescia: Bergamo, Verona, Milan-Malpensa, Milan-Linate, Venice-Marco Polo.

GoOpti also runs buses in other parts of Italy: Bologna, Cesena, Faenza, Ferrara, Forlí, Genoa Airport (Genova), Imola, Mantua, Modena, Padua, Parma, Piacenza, Pordenone, Ravenna, Regio E., Rimini, Rovigo, Savona, Treviso, Triest, Udine and Vicenza.

In Slovenia, GoOpti runs shuttles to and from Bled, Brnik, Ljubljana, Maribor and Murska Sobota, with connections to Budapest Airport in Hungary, Graz Airport in Austria and Trieste Airport in Italy.

In Croatia, it operates in Opatija, Pore, Portoroz, Pula, Rovinj and Zagreb, with connections to Belgrade in Serbia and Budapest Airport in Hungary.

In Austria, it shuttles run to and from Graz, Salzburg and Vienna airports and connect with Klagenfurt and Villach. From Salzburg airport you can connect to Munich airport in Germany.

For Flixbus, the following code should work for the next month, provided that you make the purchase using the app. But this code can only be used once, so first come, first served! Discount code: CRL623BB8HB.

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A guide to pronouncing the place names in reports about the terrorist attacks in Catalonia

Journalists have been struggling with the pronunciation of Catalan place names in the aftermath of last week’s tragic events in Catalonia. Strangely, sometimes the names of places in Catalonia and the rest of Spain are pronounced as if they were French, with a nasal vowel creeping in to place names that begin with “Sant”, for instance. This phenomenon is known as a hyperforeignism.

Journalists should not be expected to pronounce place names exactly as they are pronounced in the original language, but the purpose of these tips is to offer the best compromise pronunciation, i.e. a pronunciation that uses sounds that we use in English. In other words, it would sound pretentious to pronounce the r of the French city Rennes out of the back of the throat, like the French do, but it makes sense to avoid pronouncing the final s, since it is easy for an English-speaking person to do so and it does not sound unnatural.

I’ve refrained from using phonetic symbols to make this guide accessible. A linguist will spot inconsistencies in my “transcriptions”, but they’re intended to be read by English speakers as if they were English words. The syllables written in all caps are the stressed syllables. The letters uh indicate a schwa sound, like the initial a in the English word about.

Barcelona: This one’s easy. I think we can consider this one to be Anglicised, like Paris (in which we pronounce the s, even though it is silent in French). So just pronounce it the usual English way. But whatever you do, please don’t pronounce the letter c as a th! It sounds pretentious, and although it is part of the Spanish pronunciation, in Catalan, the c in Barcelona is pronounced as an s, just like in English. Recommended pronunciation: [bar-suh-LO-nah].

Cambrils: Another easy one for English speakers. Read it as written, including the final s. The stress in on the final syllable: Recommended pronunciation: [kuhm-BREELS].

Sant Sadurní (d’Anoia): I’ve put the final part in brackets because, although it is part of the official name, it is usually left out, in the same way that Newcastle-upon-Tyne becomes Newcastle. The pronunciation is quite straightforward. Note that in Catalan and Spanish (unlike in French), accented vowels indicate the stress, so Sadurní is stressed on the final syllable. The only other thing to note is that the final t of Sant is silent in most Catalan dialects. Recommended pronunciation: [SAN suh-dur-NEE (duh-NOY-a)].

Sant Just: Like in the above, you can drop the t, so Sant is pronounced [San] (don’t make it sound like the French word Saint!). The j of Just is pronounced like the s in vision, or the j in words borrowed from French, like jus. Recommended pronunciation: [SAN JOOST].

Alcanar: The main mistake I’ve heard with this one is a stress on the first syllable; it should be on the final syllable. The final r is silent in standard Catalan, but is pronounced in the accent of the people living in that part of southern Catalonia. Recommended pronunciations: [uhl-kuh-NAR] or [uhl-kuh-NA].

Subirats: The important thing here is to place the stress on the final syllable. All the letters are pronounced. Recommended pronunciation: [soo-be-RATS].

Ripoll: No, it doesn’t sound like the English word ripple! The double l produces a sound that doesn’t exist in English and is hard to pronounce. But we can get close enough by pronouncing it like a letter y. The stress is on the final syllable. Recommended pronunciation: [ri-POY].

Vilafranca (del Penedès): There are several places called Vilafranca in the Catalan sprachraum, but since this one is the biggest, Vilafranca del Penedès is often shortened to Vilafranca. The pronunciation of the short form is straightforward; English speakers will even relax the unstressed vowels in the same way that a Catalan would. If reading the long form, the word Penedès is stressed on the final syllable, as indicated by the accented vowel. Recommended pronunciation: [vi-la-FRAN-ka (duhl puh-nuh-DES)].

Pau Pérez: Not a place name, but the name of one of the victims. The first name should be familiar to basketball fans, thanks to Pau Gasol. I’ve written it as “pow” in the recommended pronunciation. Note that this should rhyme with cow, not with bow. In the surname Pérez, the first syllable is stressed, as indicated by the accented vowel. It is a Spanish name, so most Spaniards (including Catalans) would pronounce the z as a th sound, but in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world people would pronounce it as a hard s sound, so this would also be acceptable. Recommended pronunciations: [POW PEH-reth] or [POW PEH-ress].

Have I missed any out? Leave a comment below, or tweet me, and I’ll add any other places you’d like to know how to pronounce.

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Preventing Windows updates from using up your bandwidth

Is your Internet connection running mysteriously slow? Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s only slow when one computer is connected to the network?

That’s what happened to me today. While testing my wireless router in different parts of the building to see if the signal improved, I eventually realised that the connection was only slow when the router was connected to my desktop computer. Because the desktop computer is connected to the router using an Ethernet cable, it wasn’t connected while I was moving the wireless router around the building, which is when the speed improved.

As soon as I reconnected my desktop computer, I noticed that the speed went down again.

I then investigated what was using up all the bandwidth on that computer, concerned that I had some malware running in the background.

To do this, you can press ctrl+alt+del and open the Task Manager, select the Performance tab, then click on “Open Resource Monitor” at the bottom of the window.

Open resource monitor

Once in the resource monitor, open the “Network” tab, and you’ll see a list of the processes that are sending and receiving data. If the bandwidth is being consumed by Windows Updates downloads, you’ll notice that the amount of data being downloaded by “svchost.exe” is far higher than what other processes are downloading, as in the screenshot below.

ResourceMonitor

You can double-check whether Windows is doing updates by opening up the start menu and typing “Update”, then clicking on “Windows Update Settings”, which will open up the window shown below. This will also show you how much of the update has been downloaded. If you’ve already downloaded 98%, you might just want to let it finish, as the procedure described below will mean that you have to restart the download when you want to download the update.

WindowsUpdates

If you’re connected to your router wirelessly, then you could tell windows that your connection is metered. However, this may affect the behaviour of other software and prevent you from getting important software updates (which are generally much smaller, so they won’t take up bandwidth for hours on end). Also, Windows says that it delivers certain essential updates even on a metered connection, much to the chagrin (as evidenced by comments on numerous forums) of many users of metered connections, especially in developing countries where Internet usage per megabyte can be very expensive.

If you’re connected using an Ethernet cable, you can’t mark the connection as metered.

Many websites will tell you commands to stop the update service. The problem, though, is that since the “Anniversary” update of Windows 10, the service restarts itself, so we need to use an additional command to stop the service from automatically restarting.

First, open a command prompt as Administrator. To do this, open the start menu, type “cmd”, then press shift+ctrl+enter.

Once command prompt opens, type the following command to prevent the update service from restarting automatically once we stop it: sc configwuauserv start=disabled

Next, type in the following command to stop the Update service: net stop wuauserv

Finally, type in the following command to stop the Delivery Optimisation Service: net stop dosvc

Your command prompt should now look like the following screenshot.

StopWindowsUpdates

You can now close the window if you wish.

In the resource monitor, you should now begin to see the network activity of “svchost.exe” decrease. The number does not disappear immediately, as Windows calculates the download rate over the past minute, but wait 60 seconds and you should see the amount of data being downloaded by svchost.exe fall to less than 100B/sec.

When you do want to do the download (such as overnight), use the following commands to restart the services:

  • sc config wuauserv start=auto
  • net start wuauserv
  • net start dosvc
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How to remove an initial cap from glossary entries

Many online glossaries start every term with a capital letter, such as in this example:

  • Comptes d’accumulation
  • Accumulation accounts

Since these terms would only be capped at the start of a sentence, translators ought to import them without the initial caps.

Use the following formula in Excel to remove leading caps. The formula below assumes the first term is in cell E1, but to change it to wherever your first term is, then paste it down all the rows containing terms.

=IF(EXACT(UPPER(MID(E1,2,1)),MID(E1,2,1))=TRUE,E1,LOWER(LEFT(E1,1))&RIGHT(E1,LEN(E1)-1))

Please note that if you don’t use Excel in English, you will need to translate the formula words. Also, if you have your system set to use decimal commas, replace the commas in the formula with semi-colons.

The reason the formula is so long is because it initially checks to see whether the second character is capped. If the second character is also capped, it assumes the term is an acronym, and therefore does not change the first character to lower case.

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Configuration de l’orthographe traditionnelle dans Word

Word vous souligne le mot “oignon”, ou il ne vous signale pas que vous avez oublié l’accent circonflexe sur le mot “parait”? C’est parce que par défaut Word utilise l’orthographe réformée de 1990.

Si, comme moi, vous préférez l’orthographe traditionnelle, ou c’est ce que votre client exige, il suffit de changer les options dans Word. Cette vidéo vous expliquera comment le faire.

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Una mala traducción comprensible, pero rectificable

El New York Times publicó, hace 4 días, un editorial en el cual instó el gobierno español a buscar una solución política a su conflicto con el gobierno catalán. El último párrafo dice en inglés:

“The best outcome for Spain would be to permit the referendum, and for Catalan voters to reject independence — as voters in Quebec and Scotland have done. Otherwise, Madrid’s intransigence will only inflame Catalan frustrations.”

La primera frase se tradujo o se interpretó erróneamente en varios medios de comunicación (El Periódico, Antena 3, El Confidencial, La Vanguardia, El Economista, ABC), que aseguraron, correctamente, que el editorial instaba al gobierno español a convocar un referéndum, pero que también aseguraron, incorrectamente, que decía que rechazar la independencia sería el mejor resultado para los votantes catalanes.

En realidad, la frase dice que el rechazo de la independencia por parte de los votantes catalanes sería el mejor resultado para el gobierno español; no dice cual sería el mejor resultado para los catalanes.

La mala interpretación de la frase es comprensible. Un lector que no es de habla inglesa fácilmente podría entender que dice “The best outcome…for Catalan voters [would be] to reject independence”, así que no creo que sea una manipulación. Pero pregunta a cualquier persona de lengua materna inglesa – sea a favor o en contra de la independencia de Cataluña – y te explicará que lo que realmente dice el editorial es: “The best outcome for Spain would be…for Catalan voters to reject independence”, es decir “El mejor resultado para España sería…que los votantes catalanes rechazaran la independencia”.

La razón por la cual esta última interpretación es la correcta, y por la cual hay que convertir “for + infinitivo” en “que + subjuntivo” lo explica muy bien Albert Pla en este artículo en Catalán en el diario Ara (ya sé que es un diario catalanista, pero si no te lo crees, puedes preguntar a cualquier persona de lengua materna inglesa).

Y si hubiera alguna duda (que no la hay, pero si la hubiera), esta interpretación la confirma la última frase: “Otherwise, Madrid’s intransigence will only inflame Catalan frustrations”. Aquí, la palabra “otherwise” significa “Si el gobierno no permite un referéndum” no “Si los catalanes no rechazan la independencia”. Si no fuera así, la última parte de la frase – “Madrid’s intransigence will only inflame Catalan frustrations” – no tendría sentido.

Como ya dije, la mala interpretación es comprensible. En cambio, lo que es inadmisible es que los diarios no rectifiquen.

Si yo descubriera que una traducción mía contenía un error grave como este, contactaría a mi cliente de seguida para pedir la rectificación. Los diarios tienen que hacer lo mismo: rectificar las traducciones o interpretaciones erróneas del editorial que todavía tienen publicadas en sus páginas web.

Y para evitar que eso vuelva a pasar en el futuro, podrán consultar a un traductor profesional en caso de duda sobre el sentido de un texto en una lengua extranjera. ¡Estamos a su disposición!

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IVA en las entregas intracomunitarias

Los traductores en España tienen ciertas obligaciones cuando quieren hacer una entrega intracomunitaria, es decir, un trabajo para un cliente en otro país europeo. Voy a explicar, paso a paso, lo que hay que hacer.

  1. Hay que darse de alta en el registro de operadores intracomunitarios a través del Modelo 036 (casilla 130)
  2. Hay que comprobar que el cliente está inscrito en el registro equivalente en su país, haciendo dicha comprobación en la base de datos llamada VIES. Si el cliente no está en esta base de datos, el traductor en España tiene la obligación de cobrarle el IVA español, y las instrucciones siguientes no se aplican.
  3. Si el cliente está registrado en el VIES, hay que emitir una factura sin IVA y incluir la mención “inversión del sujueto pasivo” en la factura. Ya no es necesario citar ninguna ley. Las palabras “inversión del sujeto pasivo” son suficientes.
  4. Puesto que esta mención proporciona información a nuestro importante a nuestro cliente, recomiendo incluirla también en su propia lengua (ver la lista aquí abajo).
  5. Estos ingresos hay que incluirlos en la casilla 59 del modelo 303 (y, como todos los ingresos, en la casilla 1 del modelo 130).
  6. A parte, hay que declarar los datos de nuestro cliente a través del modelo 349, el cual muchos traductores tendrán que presentar trimestralmente, pero los que tuvieron ingresos (es decir, sin desgravar gastos) inferiores a €35.000 en el ejercicio anterior tendrán que presentarlo anualmente, en abril del año siguiente.
  7. Equivalencias oficiales de la mención “inversión del sujeto pasivo” en las otras lenguas oficiales de la Unión Europea:

      Alemán: Steuerschuldnerschaft des Leistungsempfängers
      Búlgaro: Oõратно начисдявае
      Castellano: Inversión del sujeto pasivo
      Catalán: Inversió del subjecte passiu
      Croata: Prijenos porezne obveze
      Checo: daň odvede zákazník
      Danés: Omvendt betalingsspligt
      Eslovaco: prenesenie daňovej povinnosti
      Esloveno: obrnjena davčna obveznost
      Estonio: Pöödmakssustamine
      Finés: Käännetty verovelvollisuus
      Francés: Autoliquidation
      Griego: αντιστροφής επιβάρυνση
      Húngaro: Forditott adózás
      Inglés: Reverse charge
      Irlandés: aistriú táille
      Italiano: Inversione contabile
      Letón: nodokļa apgrieztā maksāšana
      Lituano: atvirkštinis apmokestinimas
      Maltés: Inverżjoni tal-ħlas
      Neerlandés: BTW verlegd
      Polaco: ogne odwrotne obciążenie
      Portugués: Autoliquidação
      Rumano: taxare inversă
      Sueco: Omvänd betalningsskyldighet
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VAT in cross-border transactions

One query that new VAT-registered translators in the EU often have when issuing an invoice to another EU country is what to put on the invoice to indicate that the VAT is due in the country of supply (i.e. the client’s country). In some countries, it used to be necessary to refer to a law, but more recently, under an EU directive, it is sufficient to add the words “reverse charge”, or the equivalent phrase in another EU language.

Since it is important to inform the client that the reverse-charge mechanism applies, I recommend including the equivalent label in the client’s language. The following list shows the official label in all the official languages of the EU.

    Bulgarian: Oõратно начисдявае
    Catalan: Inversió del subjecte passiu
    Croatian: Prijenos porezne obveze
    Czech: daň odvede zákazník
    Danish: Omvendt betalingsspligt
    Dutch: BTW verlegd
    English: Reverse charge
    Estonian: Pöödmakssustamine
    Finnish: Käännetty verovelvollisuus
    French: Autoliquidation
    German: Steuerschuldnerschaft des Leistungsempfängers
    Greek: αντιστροφής επιβάρυνση
    Hungarian: Forditott adózás
    Irish: aistriú táille
    Italian: Inversione contabile
    Latvian: nodokļa apgrieztā maksāšana
    Lithuanian: atvirkštinis apmokestinimas
    Maltese: Inverżjoni tal-ħlas
    Polish: ogne odwrotne obciążenie
    Portuguese: Autoliquidação
    Romanian: taxare inversă
    Slovakian: prenesenie daňovej povinnosti
    Slovenian: obrnjena davčna obveznost
    Spanish: Inversión del sujeto pasivo
    Swedish: Omvänd betalningsskyldighet
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