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Institutional style guides

During my presentation entitled “An overview of institutional styles: from excellent tips we can all apply to the downright weird guidelines we should probably ignore” for the 2021 conference of Mediterranean Editors and Translators, I talked about the style guidelines of different international institutions.

The style guides I mentioned during the publication that are publicly available can be downloaded from the following links:

Council of Europe English Style Guide
European Commission Claire’s Writing Tips
FAO Style
OAS English Language Style Guide
OECD Style Guide (third edition)
United Nations Editorial Manual Online
WIPO Style Guide
WMO Writing and Style Guide
World Bank Group Publications Editorial Style Guide

This information has been posted on my blog. Please also visit my main website to find out more about the services I offer.


Peer-to-peer lending platforms: referral codes with special offers

Referral codes:
EstateGuru: EGU22806
October: TBARTON
Reinvest24: nhv4dof8
EvoEstate: 5eccdd7a62c79

In this post, you will find affiliate links to EstateGuru, Iuvo, October, Reinvest24 and EvoEstate, four peer-to-peer lending platforms that I use. By using these links, you’ll benefit from special offers.

I won’t write about the pros and cons of using these platforms, as plenty has already been written about them online. Please note that this post contains affiliate links that benefit me as well as the person using them.

EstateGuru provides property-backed business loans. It includes an auto-invest option. My current annual return, at the time of writing, is 10.82%. If you use this sign-up link or the promotion code EGU22806, we will both receive an extra 0.5% on investments in the first three months.

Iuvo provides loan to businesses, and includes the option to buy back. My current net annual return at the time of writing is 9.96%. The platform doesn’t provide a referral link. Instead, I have to send an invitation by e-mail. Leave me a comment or send me your address to my own e-mail address, and I’ll send you an invitation. If you invest more than €1,000, we’ll each receive an extra 2% of your invested amount, up to a maximum of €200. Normal: For investment of €1,000+, 1.5% each, up to €150

October also provides links to businesses. They offer a mixture of loans at rates of 6-9% and State-guaranteed loans at 2%. The downside is that there’s no auto-invest function, and many of the loans sell out within a few minutes of opening. If you use this referral link or the referral code TBARTON, then we each get an extra €20 for every €500 that you invest.

Reinvest24 is a platform for investing in property. There is no auto-bid function, but if you visit fairly regularly (say, once a week), it’s easy to find investment opportunities. If you use this referral link or the referral code nhv4dof8, we each receive an extra 1% of the amount you invest in the first year (full terms at https://www.reinvest24.com/en/referral-terms).

EvoEstate is also for investing in property. It includes an AutoBid function and allows you to limit your bids only to loans in which the platform has skin in the game. If you use this referral link or the referral code 5eccdd7a62c79, we each receive an additional 0.5% from your investments during the first six months.


Macro to prepare documents for monolingual review in memoQ (and possibly other CAT tools)

MemoQ’s monolingual review feature works best with clean Word documents containing no tracked changes or comments. If you import a document in which changes are still visible or in which there are comments, memoQ will add lots of code to the target text, which you don’t want.

This macro cleans the document up and saves it under a new filename (so that you don’t overwrite the commented version), making it ready to be imported as a monolingual review.

The macro includes comments to explain what some of the lines are doing and how you can adjust the macro to meet your needs.

Since many translators use only straight apostrophes and quotation marks in memoQ, then convert them to the curly variety in the final document sent to the client, the macro includes an optional line (deactivated by default) that will revert all apostrophes and quotation marks to the straight variety. Please read the instructions carefully if you wish to use that line.

Thanks to Kevin Mote, who provided the code for the part of the macro that renames the file. My code is a slightly modified version of his. In particular, unlike Kevin’s version, mine does not overwrite the old version, since most translators would want to keep a copy of the commented version they sent to their client.

Sub PrepareForMemoQMonolingualReview()
' memoQ's monolingual review feature works best when you import a document with no tracked changes and no comments.
' This macro removes them, then resaves the file with "clean-for-import" appended to the file name.
' The part that appends the filename is adapted from the macro provided by Kevin Mote (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmote/) at https://superuser.com/a/781501. Thank you Kevin. This was very helpful!
' Please note that, unlike Kevin's macro, this version does not delete the original file.
Dim strFileFullName, strFileName, strNewName, strFileExtension As String
ActiveDocument.AcceptAllRevisions ' Accepts all tracked changes
ActiveDocument.TrackRevisions = False ' Switches off track changes
ActiveDocument.DeleteAllComments ' Deletes all comments in the active document.

ReplaceQuotes ' Reverts quotation marks and apostrophes back to the straight variety, assuming that this is the variety that was used while working in the CAT tool.
' Remove the apostrophe from the above line if you want the monolingual review document to revert to straight apostrophes and quotation marks.
' Note that to run the above line you also need to have installed the "ReplaceQuotes" and "QuotesReplacementBothWays" macros, which I provided along with several others in a blog post at http://www.anglopremier.com/blog/?p=1119.

' Get current name:
strFileFullName = ActiveDocument.FullName 'for Word docs
'strFileFullName = ActiveWorkbook.FullName 'Use this line instead for for Excel docs
'strFileFullName = Application.ActivePresentation.FullName 'Use this line instead for Powerpoint presentations
If (InStr(strFileFullName, ".") = 0) Then ' Checks whether the full file name contains a file extension by looking for a dot.
res = MsgBox("File has not been saved. Can't rename it.", , "Rename File")
Exit Sub
End If
' strFileName = Right(strFileFullName, Len(strFileFullName) - InStrRev(strFileFullName, "\")) 'strip path - not used. Next line used instead.
strFileName = strFileFullName
strFileExtension = Right(strFileName, Len(strFileName) - InStrRev(strFileName, ".")) ' Identifies the file extension
strFileName = Left(strFileName, (InStr(strFileName, ".") - 1)) ' Strips the extension from the strFileName variable
' If InStr(3, strFileName, "_Delivery", 1) <> 0 Then strFileName = Left(strFileName, (InStr(strFileName, "_Delivery", 1) - 1))
' The above line is not used. Originally intended to strip the word "_Delivery" and the delivery number from the file name (assumes "Delivery" is at least the third character; not case-sensitive). But I dedcided I wanted to keep the delivery number.
' If you wish to remove something from the file name you can reinstate the above line (remove the apostrophe) and replace "_Delivery" with whatever you want to remove.

' Prompt for new name. Replace "_clean-for-import" on the next line if you prefer something else to be appended by default.
strNewName = InputBox("Rename this file to:", "Rename File", strFileName & "_clean-for-import." & strFileExtension) 'Saves with the new name. Extension is not changed.
If (strNewName = "") Or (strNewName = strFileName) Then ' (Check whether user cancelled)
Exit Sub
End If

' Save file with new name:
ActiveDocument.SaveAs2 FileName:=strNewName 'for Word docs
'ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs2 FileName:=strNewName 'for Excel docs
'Application.ActivePresentation.SaveAs FileName:=strNewName 'for Powerpoint presentations

End Sub


Macros to replace apostrophes and quotation marks before and after using a CAT tool

To ensure that concordance searches in translation memories work properly and to increase fuzzy matches, many translators systematically replace curly apostrophes and quotation marks with straight ones before importing a document into their CAT tool, then revert them back to the curly variety before delivering the final document to the client.

Until recently, I used a very simple find/replace macro to achieve this, but then I realized that the macro didn’t replace apostrophes and quotation marks situated. I searched online and found a solution that works not only in the main document but also in footnotes and text boxes. Thanks to Doug Robbins and Greg Maxey, whose work I drew on to create one of the macros below.

Copy the following code into a single module in your normal.dotm template, then run the ReplaceQuotes macro before importing your document into your CAT tool and the ReinstateQuotes macro after you have exported from your CAT tool to Word.

I’ve included extensive comments so that you can understand what each line is doing and adapt it as necessary.

Sub ReplaceQuotes() ‘ Replace curly quotation marks and apostrophes with straight ones.
Options.AutoFormatAsYouTypeReplaceQuotes = False ‘ Sets autoformat option not to replace curly quotes with straight ones. This is reset in the final like of the QuotesReplacementBothWays macro.
End Sub

Sub ReinstateQuotes() ‘ Replace straight quotation marks and apostrophes with curly ones.
Options.AutoFormatAsYouTypeReplaceQuotes = True ‘ Sets autoformat option to replace curly quotes with straight ones, in case the user has manually set the option to false before running the macro.
End Sub

Sub QuotesReplacementBothWays()
pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “‘”
pReplaceTxtFromOtherMacro = “‘”
pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “””” ‘ Find all quotation marks (smart or curly). Four quotation marks are needed because the ” symbol has a special meaning that must be cancelled.
pReplaceTxtFromOtherMacro = “””” ‘ Replaces with smart or curly, depending on whether ReplaceQuotes or ReinstateQuotes was run.

‘ Remove the apostrophes from the start of each line in this section to replace French guillemets with English-style straight quotation marks.
‘ pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “« ” ‘ Find all opening guillemets followed by a space (incl. non-breaking spaces).
‘ FindReplaceAnywhere
‘ pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “«” ‘ Find remaining opening guillemets with no space after.
‘ FindReplaceAnywhere
‘ pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = ” »” ‘ Find all closing guillemets preceded by a space (incl. non-breaking spaces).
‘ FindReplaceAnywhere
‘ pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “»” ‘ Find remaining closing guillemets with no space before.
‘ FindReplaceAnywhere

pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “” ‘ Makes the variable empty again
pReplaceTxtFromOtherMacro = “” ‘ Makes the variable empty again
Options.AutoFormatAsYouTypeReplaceQuotes = True ‘ Reverts to Word’s default setting. Change this to “False” if you prefer Word not to replace straight quotes with curly ones as you type.
End Sub

Public Sub FindReplaceAnywhere()
‘Performs a find/replace on all parts of a text, including footnotes, text boxes, etc.
‘Found on various webpages, but seems to have been originally created by Doug Robbins and Greg Maxey (https://wordmvp.com/FAQs/Customization/ReplaceAnywhere.htm).
‘Adapted so that it can be run with the find and replace strings pre-defined by other macros.

Dim rngStory As Word.Range
Dim pFindTxt As String
Dim pReplaceTxt As String
Dim lngJunk As Long
Dim oShp As Shape

If pFindTxtFromOtherMacro = “” Then
‘ This macro can be used on its own, in which case the user is asked what Word should find.
pFindTxt = InputBox(“Enter the text that you want to find.” _
, “FIND”)

If pFindTxt = “” Then
MsgBox “Cancelled by User”
Exit Sub
End If

pFindTxt = pFindTxtFromOtherMacro
End If

If pReplaceTxtFromOtherMacro = “” Then
‘ This macro can be used on its own, in which case the user is asked what Word should replace the found string with.
pReplaceTxt = InputBox(“Enter the replacement.”, “REPLACE”)

If pReplaceTxt = “” Then
If MsgBox(“Do you just want to delete the found text?”, _
vbYesNoCancel) = vbNo Then
GoTo TryAgain
ElseIf vbCancel Then
MsgBox “Cancelled by User.”
Exit Sub
End If
End If

pReplaceTxt = pReplaceTxtFromOtherMacro
End If

lngJunk = ActiveDocument.Sections(1).Headers(1).Range.StoryType ‘Fix the skipped blank Header/Footer problem

For Each rngStory In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges ‘Iterate through all story types in the current document

SearchAndReplaceInStory rngStory, pFindTxt, pReplaceTxt
On Error Resume Next

Select Case rngStory.StoryType

Case 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
If rngStory.ShapeRange.Count > 0 Then
For Each oShp In rngStory.ShapeRange
If oShp.TextFrame.HasText Then
SearchAndReplaceInStory oShp.TextFrame.TextRange, _
pFindTxt, pReplaceTxt
End If
End If
Case Else

End Select

On Error GoTo 0

Set rngStory = rngStory.NextStoryRange ‘Get next linked story (if any)

Loop Until rngStory Is Nothing ‘ Loops back to the “Do”

Next ‘ Loops back to “For Each rngStory”

End Sub

Public Sub SearchAndReplaceInStory(ByVal rngStory As Word.Range, _
ByVal strSearch As String, ByVal strReplace As String)

With rngStory.Find
.Text = strSearch
.Replacement.Text = strReplace
.Wrap = wdFindContinue
.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End With

End Sub


AutoHotkey script to move the focus away from the Concordance window

Sometimes you want to keep the MemoQ Concordance window open on your second screen while you work on your document. But there’s no built-in method to achieve this with the keyboard. You can only do so by clicking with the mouse.

This short script moves the focus away from the Concordance window and to the main MemoQ window, allowing you to work on the document while keeping the Concordance window open. Just press ctrl+k to activate the script.

#IfWinActive, Concordance
^k:: ; MemoQ: Move focus away from Concordance window
WinActivate memoQ

The following script closes the Concordance window. Continue reading


Spot the foreign-language influence

Amazon.com: For If The Flies - t-shirt: Clothing

¡Por si las moscas!

Anyone translator living in his or her source-language country needs to watch out for source-language interference. Similarly, an author who writes in one language but lives in a country that speaks a different language needs to be wary of interference from the host country’s language.

Today, Google recommended an article to me in which I noticed foreign-language interference almost from the beginning. See if you can spot it too in this article about the level of English in Spain, then click on “Continue reading” to reveal the answers.

Continue reading


Day 3 of WFS Live: How football clubs secure partnerships outside their local geographies

This week I’ve been attending World Football Summit‘s second WFS Live event. Day 3 included a panel discussion on “How football clubs secure partnerships outside their local geographies”.

As a translator, this session was of particular interest to me, since translators play such a vital role in helping football clubs and leagues to reach new markets.

Matthieu Fenaert of Real Valladolid explained that, in the current economic climate, it was important to consolidate existing partnerships, rather than building new ones. Asked how international sponsors could be retained in these difficult times, he said that clubs needed partners, not sponsors, a view echoed by the other panellists.

On the topic of foreign investors, he said that they had to respect the history of their new club, noting the uproar among Cardiff City fans when Vincent Tan changed the club’s colours from blue to red – a decision eventually reversed due to fan pressure.

Marc Armstrong of Paris Saint-German said that clubs had had to adapt their sales methods due to travel restrictions. He said that, while on the one hand there was no replacement for face-to-face travel, perhaps it would not be necessary to travel so much in future.

He also spoke about the club’s shift from national sponsors to global partners. When I lived in Paris and attended games at the Parc des Princes, nearly all PSG’s sponsors were French brands, many of which operated solely in France. Fast forward 20 years, and the club’s partners are much more global, a deliberate strategy by the club.

Marc added that the club had created a lifestyle brand to stand out from other clubs. Other strategies had included establishing innovative partnerships, such as with Finnish mobile game development company Supercell, and putting key players in contact with the leading influencers in key markets. Creativity, flexibility and intelligence, said Marc, were necessary to find opportunities.

Casper Stylsvig talked about some of the innovations that AC Milan had introduced, reaching out to fans through music and entertainment. He noted that many big brands sponsored both music and sport. Since people today consume sports differently, clubs needed to change their narrative. By way of example, Casper Stylsvig referred to the virtual concert the club had organized the previous Friday, in collaboration with Roc Nation. Such events should be connected to the club’s image: last week’s concert featured many upcoming stars from the world of music, in keeping with a club that had one of the youngest teams in Europe.

I was particularly interested in hearing the thoughts of Andrew Hampel, since, like me, he provides clubs with skills and expertise that they do not have in house. For instance, moving to a new stadium is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most football clubs, but Legends International has already worked with several football clubs that have built a new ground. Like the other speakers, Andrew Hampel stressed the importance of partnership, rather than sponsorship, and said that, to engage in a sophisticated way, clubs needed to understand their partners’ businesses – which is where companies like Legends International come in to provide the necessary expertise.

Despite the current economic climate, football clubs – especially the heavyweight clubs – are looking to go ever more global. Although there is currently a major focus on new markets in the Asia Pacific region, which will require language consultants who work with major Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai, the English language is still going to be a vital part of club’s communication strategies, perhaps even more so than the local language in some cases.


Useful links related to PerfectIt

PerfectIt checks: A brief explanation of each check performed by PerfectIt, with links to a full explanation.

PerfectIt style sheets: Information on working with style sheets and customising them.

PerfectIt settings tab: What the options in the Settings tab do and how to configure them.

Introduction to MS Word wildcards: An exercise providing a basic introduction to using wildcards in Microsoft Word. Includes links to other, more comprehensive resources on Word wildcards.

Users’ Facebook group: A Facebook group for PerfectIt users. Users ask how to configure certain settings. Particularly useful if you can’t get a wildcard search working.

Associations offering discounts: a list of associations whose members are entitled to a discount on PerfectIt.

Interested in a workshop?

I organise PerfectIt workshops for translators’ and editors’ associations in which I provide an overview of the program, then delve into its advanced features. I usually end with an interactive section in which participants can ask me how to enforce certain style rules using PerfectIt. For more information, write to the e-mail address found on my main website.

If you have already attended one of my workshops and have not received How-to…with-PerfectIt4.pdf, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you a copy.

IntelligentEditing’s playlist on building stylesheets


On the usefulness of machine translation (hear me out!)

Colleagues who know me know that I’m not a proponent of offering machine translation post-editing as a service. There is just so much to fix in a machine-translated text that it’s not a productive way of working, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me, who would find it to difficult to leave a sentence alone if the translation can be understood but could be improved.

Nevertheless, I don’t belong to the camp who believe that machine translation (MT) is never useful. In fact, I challenge anyone to tell me that MT would not save them time if they were translating the following sentence.

Continue reading


I’m going to Cannes!

As I was doing the washing up last night, I decided to tune in to France Info. And it was perfect timing: a few minutes later the presenter interviewed Aurel about his film, Josep, which had been selected for the Cannes Film Festival 2020.

The animated film, produced by Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée, tells the story of Josep Bartoli, a Catalan artist who was among the many Republicans who fled north into France to escape the Spanish Civil War. The French government placed the refugees in concentration camps, in awful conditions, in the middle of winter. You can read a full review in English here.

So why was I so excited when this interview came on the radio?

Continue reading