September 2000







Dear Netans,
A new business year is about to begin, and with it, a fresh year for NETA.
Last year, we had a full schedule of monthly meetings that included sessions on localization, translation memory tools, voice recognition software, poetry translation, human rights, and the differences between translation and interpreting. We also joined the Global Business Alliance of New England (GBANE), an umbrella group of organizations involved in international trade. We hope that over time, we will be in a position to go before trade groups and discuss the importance of competent translation, and thereby make NETA more of a portal for translation and interpreting work in the region. This project will take time and energy. I would be pleased if it began to bear fruit in a year or two. We also pulled off a very (for us) ambitious fair, which was the result of the efforts of about a dozen or more NETA member volunteers.
This year, we will continue to work on what we have started. In addition, several people have expressed an interest in organizing longer professional workshops. If the interest is there, we will put our energies into that as well. So much depends on members stepping forward to commit their time in order to realize the potential that is there.
Since the fair, NETA has gained about 60 new members. I still lack faces for many of the new members we picked up the year before. Of course, the point of gaining new members is not just to swell the rolls (and the NETA bank account), but to bring together people who have a stake in building an even stronger and more vibrant professional organization for translators. I hope to meet many of you over the course of the next year.
Ken Kronenberg
President, NETA



The Spanish Division will be holding its annual meeting during the upcoming ATA Conference in Orlando (Sept. 20–23). All of you who are members of the Spanish Division are invited and encouraged to participate. This year we are introducing a new feature. We will be raffling a series of dictionaries, reference materials, and translation tools generously donated by several participating companies. All the specific information will be appearing in the next issue of Intercambios.

See you in Orlando.



Conducting Internet Searches: Symbols to Know

There are four simple and important symbols to use in searches and each one has a particular function.



  • The signs of plus and minus placed in front of a term or phrase will allow you to add or exclude the term or phrase from the search.
  • The quotation marks allow you to search for complete phrases.
  • The symbol (*) allows you to broaden your search. (truncation, wildcard)

For example:

  • + Include the term in the search
  • +respirator +hospital
  • - Exclude the term from the search
  • +respirator +hospital -paint
  • "…" Search for the words as a phrase
  • "assets and liabilities"
  • * Search for words that begin with specified letters
  • poli*, you will have hits for policy, politics, political, polite (truncation)
  • hon*r, you will have hits for honor, honour, Hon. (Placed after the third letter, it will replace up to five letters.) (wildcard)

Important notes:

  • Make sure the signs are placed immediately before the keywords or phrases without any spaces between the sign and the term. You may use any or all of the symbols within the same query, but it will be necessary to leave a space between each keyword and phrase.
  • Use lowercase letters to get all hits.
  • Use the browser’s Find function (CTRL-F) to locate a term, don’t scroll.


The Web is a great place to find various glossaries.

  • To find a glossary in a specific field, enter:
    +field +glossary
    (Use the word for ‘glossary’ in the same language as the field.)
  • To find a bilingual glossary in a specific field, enter:
    +field +glossary +source language +target language
    (Use the word for ‘glossary’ in either language; the combination of English, anglais, French, or français is irrelevant.)
  • To find a term in a glossary, enter:
    +term +glossary
    (Use the word for ‘glossary’ in the language of the term.)

Important Reminders

  • Validate your findings. Make sure the term works in the target language in the proper context by looking it up again in the search engine.
  • Evaluate the quality. Find out if the solutions are acceptable. Check the quality by looking at the language and the grammar.
  • Use more than one search engine.
  • Leave out nonessential words (of, and).
  • Replace accents with wildcards.

 The May 2000 issue of Wired magazine had an extensive section on machine translation. Watch for a review in December’s newsletter.


By Rudy Heller


The last GBANE meeting prior to a summer recess was facilitated by Kari Heistad of Creative Concepts. About 30 organizations were present, among them NETA with two reps, Laura Nakazawa and Rudy Heller. The subject was membership: How to attract members and how to retain them. Most of the member organizations at GBANE differ from NETA in many ways. One difference is that our membership is for individuals—not the case with foreign-American chambers of commerce, for example, which have mostly organizations and corporations as members.

Kari's very capable way of eliciting responses led the group through a series of exercises which showed that we all have similar concerns. The one that hit closest to home for me was that people are so busy in their lives that in order to have a successful event (meaning one that will attract lots of people), you must schedule it on the right date and time, be at a good, central location, have free food, and offer speakers that will make the reader of the proposed agenda whistle and say, "That, I don't want to miss."
All thoughts to keep in mind for our next NETA Conference (except for the free food Bit, which we could not afford with 200+ visitors).
Anyone interested in coming to a GBANE meeting with Laura and/or Rudy should contact us. They are informative meetings with great promise for potential customers for NETA members. They are also good opportunities to extol the virtues of our organization and get its name and offerings out there among a very internationally oriented group of people and organizations (read: potential translation users).


By John Rock


(John Rock is an ATA member based in Houston, Texas. This article is a revised version of a presentation made at the 1999 ATA Conference in St. Louis. It also appeared in the January 2000 issue of the Gotham Translator and is reprinted with the author’s permission.)

The author voices some controversial opinions in this article. What do you think of them? Would you like to see more controversial articles in this newsletter? Write a letter to the editor and let everyone know: Diana Rhudick, 419 Grove St., Reading, MA 01867, or





The following are writings on ancient history penned by American students and collected by Richard Lederer, author, self-professed word-lover, and former teacher. Visit his excellent website on language, Richard Lederer’s Verbivore

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. David also fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. …There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn’t climb over to see what they were doing.

Without the Greeks we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns—Corinthian, Doric, and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth.


In an attempt to profess his love for a group of Latino leaders listening in, Al Gore stated, "Yo quiero mucho."


And for anyone wondering how to say "scooter" or "kickboard" (those skateboards with handlebars that are all the rage lately) in French, it’s "trottinette," as seen in a recent issue of Le Point.




Sept. 11 General Meeting
Election results will be announced
Oct. 16 Career Management and Self-Promotion
Life/work planner Deborah Knox
Nov. 13 Voice-over Work
Voice samples will be taken after the presentation
December Christmas Party—Who has a house to volunteer?
Jan. 8 TBA
Feb. 12 TBA
March 12 Taxes for the Self-employed
April 21 NETA Conference and Exhibition
May 14 TBA
Also planned: How ATA Accreditation Exams are Graded, presented by NETA members who grade the exams.

Meetings are at Boston College’s McGuinn Hall, fifth floor faculty lounge. For directions and a map, go to




ATA 41st Annual Conference
Sept. 20–23, 2000
Orlando, FL

ATA Accreditation Exam
October date being planned
Contact: Terry Hanlen, ATA, (703) 683-6100.

Multilingual Documentation for the Automotive Industry Symposium
Oct. 12–13, 2000
Presymposium workshop on how to buy the right translation
Oct. 11, 2000
Dearborn, MI
Contact: Tel. (724) 772-7148,

BU Translation Lecture Series
Spring 2001
Watch this space for more details.


Change your e-mail or street address? Please send the new information to Christine Castle,, and to Jill Orenstein,



Jacq Benard,
Christine Schmitt Castle,
Regina Correia-Branco,
Françoise Forbes,
Bill Grimes,
Rudy Heller,
Ken Kronenberg,
Isabel Leonard,
Brigitte Mackowiak,
Jill Orenstein,
Suzanne Owen,
Diana Rhudick,



PRESIDENT:  Kenneth Kronenberg

VICE PRESIDENT:  Regina Correia-Branco

SECRETARY: Jill Orenstein

TREASURER:   Suzanne Owen

MEMBERSHIP: Christine Castle

419 Grove St., Reading, MA, 01867

NETA accepts individual members only. A one-year membership costs $30 and runs Sept. 1–Aug. 31.

Election results to be announced at the September 11 meeting!

mailbox.gif (319 bytes) Ken Kronenberg

57 Goodale Street
Marlboro, MA 01752