Excerpt from Expert Python Programming: Writing a Package in Python

I'm currently reading Expert Python Programming by Tarek Ziadé. I plan on writing a review once I'm done, but in the meantime the publishers over at Packt have kindly sent me an excerpt from the book to publish here. Download "Writing a Package in Python" (PDF)

Volume discounts

One question that often comes up among freelance translators is whether we should give volume discounts. I'm not against giving them in principle, but I think that we need to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Crossed purposes Often agencies will ask for rather large volume discounts — larger than translators are willing […]

Translator output

In the comments to this post by Thoughts on Translation, several translators said that they use 2,000 words per day as a benchmark (or rule) for daily output. In an article about how much to charge for translation, I estimated that translators probably produce around 2,400 words per day on average, and Masked Translator agreed […]

Learning the B language as an adult

I'm a professional Japanese-to-English translator, but I didn't start learning Japanese until I was 22. There's a somewhat controversial hypothesis in linguistics called the critical period, which when extended to second-language acquisition, states that after a certain age people find it difficult to impossible to learn a second language with native-like fluency. The cutoff age […]

Notes for using Unicode with Python 2.x

Python is very Unicode friendly, but there are still a few quirks that people new to the language (or not so new!) need to assimilate in order to use Unicode effectively. To avoid going over old ground, for a primer please see this excellent article on using Unicode with Python. Here, I want to talk […]

Whence and whither machine translation

As a translator, machine translation is something I always want to keep an eye on. As a dropout from a PhD in computational linguistics, I also find it a fascinating topic. In this post, I want to discuss the past, present and future of machine translation, with a bit of a focus on its implications […]

Generic adapter class in Python

The adapter pattern is often used in programming when you need to adapt one interface to another. Here's a simple generic adapter class that can adapt just about any interface to just about any other. class Adapter(object):     """     Adapts an object by replacing methods.     Usage:     dog = […]

Ding-dong, the patent witch is dead

According to this article by ITExaminer.com, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Washington DC has just made most software patents go up in smoke. This is horrible news for all the big software companies with huge patent portfolios, because now their IP is going to be worth a lot less. […]

Translation tip of the day: use proofreaders

This is a tip that could have saved Swansea council in Wales a lot of grief. From BBC News: When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed. Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at […]