Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I have to say that I really like using Scrivener for translation! I've been using this app for almost two years now, but only for writing, drafting work, both nonfiction (essays, a book) and fiction. With this new translation project, though, I decided to try it out for this purpose. It only took a few minutes to set up my view in a way that made sense to me, to my process.

I'm using v. 2.6 for Mac OS X.

In the left column you'll see how the project is divided into two folders–one for the Polish text and one for my English translation. Each page in the folder represents a chapter of the text.

For the main view, I'm using a divided screen with the Polish on the left and the English on the right. It's easy to scroll through each chapter on the screen with the mouse and from chapter to chapter using the navigation arrows in the top right corner of each screen. I find it helpful to be able to look at both texts/languages at the same time as if I were reading a bilingual book.

If I want to do a search and find all the instances of a word or phrase within the project, I can use ⌃⌥F (control-option-F) or the Search bar at the top right. This kind of global search functionality makes it possible to always check the usage of a word or how I've previously translated it. With ⌃⌥F as well as with ⌃⌥⌘S (control-option-command-S)–Scrivener's Text Statistics function–I can check the verbal density and word frequency of the text. This helps me to track important words in the source text as well as check the consistency of my translation.

I can't wait to have the time to transfer a translation project that I've been working on over the years to Scrivener. It's a book of poetry from Polish. The poet uses several key terms throughout the poems, repeating themes, terms, phrases. With the app, I'll be better able to track those repetitions and resonances–the essence of this volume of poetry.

Are there any other translators out there using Scrivener? What does your setup look like? What are your tricks for translating more efficiently with this app? Please feel free to comment.

The following image link below will take you to a landing page where you can check out the Mac version, read reviews, and generally be blown away with its features. If you do happen to buy a product, I get a small percentage of the sale through their affiliate program. Not only would it be great to have your support in this way, but I do think that this app is game changing for writers. And now for translators!

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)

Or you can buy Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence).

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