METM09 presentation Thread: Promising practices

Microsoft Reader and Microsoft Word

David Cullen -” Barcelona, Spain

There are a number of pitfalls when revising your own or other people's work. One such danger is overlooking certain typographical, transcription or factual errors. Did a -œform- slip in where a -œfrom- should be? Did the translator type 1948 instead of 1984? At times, it would be great to have someone by your side reading the text aloud to you so that you could compare it simultaneously to the original, but even then people aren't infallible. There is a well-known viral email explaining how we are capable of reading a sentence full of misspelled words provided the first and last letters are in the right place. This incredible skill can often lead to our skipping over errors when reading texts on the page or screen. This is where text-to-speech technology comes in.

This presentation looks at a simple and free system designed to help translators and editors in the difficult task of detecting small, easily missed errors in translations by having Microsoft Reader read them out loud. It also takes advantage of the option in Microsoft Word (2003 and later) to compare two documents side by side. There will be a practical example of the system in use, comparing the English and Spanish versions of the Bologna declaration.

is an English Language Specialist. He was born in Northern Ireland, raised in Leeds, educated at Oxford and has been living in Barcelona for the last 10 years. After stints in hospitality, language teaching, and freelance translation, David is now taking care of the translations into English at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC).