Why Everyone Needs to Know at Least a BIT about “Styles” in WORD

“Styles” is a very powerful tool in WORD and a basic understanding of it and will save a lot of  time! Really, a LOT of time!

Here is my very basic primer about STYLES. Why you need to understand and use Styles

Click on the link above to open a pdf document. It’s long (11 pages) because there are lots of pictures! (If you want to print it, you don’t need to print the last two pages.)



The translator as researcher – Translating a CORI

An interesting job came, literally, to my door yesterday. It was to translate a “CORI” report for a certain individual from English to Hebrew. I don’t do English to Hebrew as a rule;  I don’t feel my Hebrew is good enough to qualify me to translate into that language.

However, my neighbor had apparently approached various lawyers / translators / individuals, who looked at the report and couldn’t even begin to decode it. So she came to me as a last resort, having remembered that I used to have an “English Teacher” sign up on my front gate. I speak English, I speak Hebrew: I must be a translator! Right? I wasn’t happy taking the job, but she seemed rather desperate, so I gave in, saying that if I thought I couldn’t do it, I would call her and let her know.

“CORI” stands for “Criminal Offender Record Information.” The one I was to translate had about 11 entries, each one looking something like this (the text here is from an online sample):

 “DT: 1/1/2009 RAN CRT: QUINCY DISTRICT (56) DKT#: 0956CR0001 OFFENSE: ASSAULT AND BATTERY DISPOSITION: C 2/1/09 DF D/R 3/1/09 C 4/1/09 G PROB 3/31/10 VWF REST VN 5/1/09 6/1/09 VOP G SS 6/1/11 TERM STATUS: C “

I photocopied the document (which also included two signed documents: one from the Department of Criminal Justice records keeper and another from the notary that verified the information as original and accurate), and got busy.

Luckily, with the internet at one’s fingertips, the undertaking wasn’t impossible.

By searching the site of the government of the American state involved, I actually found a link to “How to Read a CORI” report,” with a sample report and a list of disposition codes used in an arraignment report. Then, I opened the wonderful Mako-Morfix Hebrew/English dictionary. Using that, I managed to find appropriate translations for many of the English terms.

The job was rather painstaking, especially remembering that a date such as 2/5/02 in English means February 5, 2002, whereas in Hebrew it would mean May 2nd. To make sure that there would be no misunderstandings, I used text to indicate the month in every case.

Another problem was the fact that some acronyms meant different things depending on where they appeared in the report. “C” within the report means “continued” (the trial is scheduled to be continued at a later date) and “CC” means “court costs paid.” However, “C” in the status section means “case closed.” Very confusing.

There were two terms which proved problematic since they did not show up in the list of disposition codes: CSW and D/R.  I tried sending an email to any government address that seemed appropriate, asking them to tell me what it means, but  I have not yet received any response. More googling finally did reveal the answers: “CSW” means “community service work,” and “D/R” means “default removed.”

Because of the complication involved, I ended up doing it a bit differently, leaving in the English codes, and putting their meaning in parentheses. Thus one of the entries ended up looking like this (I have removed the year, to keep the record somewhat anonymous):

האשמה: תאריך האשמה: 02 למאי שנה   תחנת משטרה: TAU        בית דין: מחוז טאונטן  מספר תיק בית המשפט:          POSS D 0231CR1371C CSA    עבירה: Poss class d cont sub   אחזקת חומר מבוקר קלאס ‘ד’  – מריחואנה      מצב: C (המשך) 9-מאי-שנה   (JT) (הופיע לפני חבר משבעים) 25-יוני-שנה   PTP (קיבל תקופת מבחן לפני משפט) 24-דצמבר-שנה   C (נמשך) 11-פברואר-שנה   DISM (שוחרר)    סטאטוס: –case closed)  C)  תיק נסגר WPD: ללא תחנת משטרה

As a final touch, I typed up a table of the codes with their English and Hebrew explanations, and added some links.

I think my client got his money’s worth.

A Sample Contract

For both parties, a written agreement is always the best option. A contract doesn’t intimate a lack of trust, but rather being straightforward about exactly what, when and how services will be given, and what, when and how payment will be expected. I also think that a contract makes one look much more professional.

Of course, it goes without saying that the editor/translator must have already seen and done a sample page or two. Never, but never, accept a job without seeing a sample of a number of pages, preferably NOT from the beginning of the document. And to clients I advise never agree to a job without seeing a sample (1-2 pages) of work. Surprises are just not good things.

Sending a contract by email, as far as I am concerned, works well. The client simply has to write back with “I agree.” Keep the entire email, and that is proof enough of intentions.

Here is a sample contract in English, the text in italics is not to be included in the actual agreement.


Date of Agreement: ____________
Assignment: Editing/Translating of (Title of Document)  by (Author’s name).

Editor’s detailsMy name, address, phone numbers, I.D. number, and Skype name

Client’s details: (please fill in) Client’s name, ID No. , Address,  Phone numbers, Skype name

Scope of work: (Here you write exactly what you will be doing: translating, proofreading, editing, polishing [style, grammar, and syntax] of text, etc.  If this is an academic article, state whether the contract includes editing the references and footnotes for style, which is a very time-consuming job.)
Unless otherwise requested, style will follow American English spelling and usage (e.g., “color” instead of “colour”).
Format: The assignment will be sent to the Editor as a Word file, and all work will be done electronically and shared through email. The Editor will have no obligation to print the document, in part or in full.
The Editor will employ the “Track Changes” function to enable the client to follow changes and suggestions made by the editor, and thereby accept or reject them. The Editor agrees to be available for questions and queries, either by email, Skype, or by phone.
Estimated Cost: The text including footnotes will be edited at _____  per page. A “page” is considered 250 words. (Note: If it’s a translation, the count is done in the target language. This should be stipulated in the contract. If it is a piece to be edited, you may want to count original no. of words and final no. of words, and take the highest. Or you may charge by the hour, or just one global charge. For academic article, you may charge the text by the word, but the references by the hour.)
Note: During editing, the Author is entitled to suggest alternate words/phrasing, etc. to a reasonable degree. However, any quantity of text rewritten by the Author and submitted for editing again, will be considered new material and the number of words added to the total charged. (Note: This is to leave yourself an out if the author decides to “fix” the work over and over again.)
Note that this is the final price and DOES NOT include VAT. (I do not charge VAT as I am an “עסק פטור”.) I issue receipts (קבלות), NOT VAT invoices (חשבוניות מס).I can send pro-forma invoices (חשבוניות עסקה) if required. (Change as required.)
Timeframe: The work is to be ready for review by  (day) at (time, if applicable), Israeli time. This is contingent on the client reviewing and returning my edited pages promptly of receiving a file so that I may continue further in a timely manner. If the client so desires, the project may be divided into sections to facilitate faster review.
Payment : (Write the terms here. I usually ask first-time clients for a deposit up front. For short pieces I request payment upon completion [I send a bill]; for longer projects I request payment in installments along with the work. Sample follows. )
To show good faith (for all new clients) first installment (minimum 25% = xxx shekels) to be made immediately by check, PayPal, or Bank Transfer (details below). The remaining cost is payable immediately upon completion of the project.
NDA (Non-disclosure agreement): The Editor agrees to keep the work in strict confidence and will not share or reveal any parts of the work to any other party unless given express permission by the author to do so. This NDA becomes null and void in the event that the client fails to pay money owing in full, and in a timely manner.