App for Translators and Interpreters

I recently attended the InterpretAmerica Summit and one of the things that called my attention was the amount of people with a smartphone glued to their hands throughout the entire summit.  I know many of my colleagues are extremely savvy users of social media, but I guess I was not prepared to see so many people tweeting at once in a room.  This made me wonder (once again) if I should own a smartphone as well. How important is for a freelance translator/interpreter to have a smartphone? Is it vital? Was I missing out on something crucial? After all, I do have a solid online presence that I can manage from my laptop. From my point of view, buying a smartphone seemed like an investment that just wasn’t worth it, if its only benefit was immediate updates from my social networks.

When I asked a colleague from Brazil what she thought about this, she reminded me of something I had completely forgotten: Apps! She told me there were many apps that made her work as an interpreter and translator easier and more productive.  You could find a myriad of dictionaries, glossaries or podcasts.  Suddenly, having a smart phone didn’t seem like a vain luxury, but a sound investment. So, when I moved to a different city and had to change my phone plan, I also got a new (smarter!) phone.

I did some search on useful apps available for translators and interpreters with the most popular areas of specialization (legal, financial, foreign trade, and health care) Here is my list of useful apps. What about you? Do you use some apps that you absolutely love? Do you use at all apps for your job as an interpreter?


Financial Terms by Santpal Dhillon

This app is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

It contains more than 1200 terms.  It is specially designed for people working in in finance, insurance, banking, accounting, consultancy industry. The great thing about this app is that you don’t need an internet connection as you can use it offline. This is a great advantage when you are in the booth or a meeting and need to look up a term quickly. Other features include them ability to add comment, make notes, mark terms as favorites, and email the terms. The best thing of all is possibly the fact that all upgrades will be free.


International Trade Dictionary by Slig Logic

This app is a great reference if you work with texts from the procurement and logistic industries. The app has been designed for both iPhone and iPad. This app is note free, but you can buy it for 1 USD (0.99, to be precise). It contains more than 1000 terms related to the import-export process, custom codes, and logistics terminology.


Incoterms App

This is a must-have if you translate international sales contracts. This app is great when you need to quickly reference the 2010 (or 2000) Incoterms on your mobile phone. If you don’t have internet access, this app gives you offline access to the 2010 Incoterms and the 2000 Incoterms for past reference.TheBook of Jargon®

Under this name, you can find several glossaries aimed at law and financial specialist. Do you need to find out the meaning of some jargon used in the banking/legal/ financial world? It is very likely that this series of Apps can answer your question. The great thing is that it includes terms used   for several countries e.g. United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France (FRA), Germany (DEU), Italy (ITA), Qatar (QAT), Russia (RUS), Saudi Arabia (SAU), Singapore (SGP), Spain (ESP), among others.

Also, because this is a global guide, you can search for terms in a number of convenient ways:

Using the free text search box

Browsing in alphabetical order

Separately reviewing the terms for a specific jurisdiction

Time Tracking Apps

As a court interpreter, I always need to know the exact time when my assignment starts and ends. It is also valuable to have information about the case (client’s name, office room, judge’s name, etc.) here are some apps that allow you to track your time and even generate invoices.


TimeClock: A Time Management Tool for the Android Market

If you are using an Android phone, this app is for you. It has a number of features interpreters will appreciate; including the ability to enter several time increments and generate invoices. It is very easy to use and it is certainly a good choice for interpreters using an Android phone.

Time Master
for iPhone and iPad

This app has got high reviews, and I think the reason behind that is its great versatility. These are some of the feature of this time-tracking app:


  • You can track time by start time, stop time and/or by duration.
  • Timers can keep running even if you are not running the app.
  • You can have time entries are by client and even sub-categorize them by project or task.
  • You can set billing rates that can be defined by client, project, task or custom for a single entry.
  • You can enable time rounding by hour, minutes and/or seconds..
  • You can use filters to sort by: day, week or month. By client, project, etc.
  • Reported and Invoice Status (if you decide to add the invoice module).
  • You can track your expenses (mileage, meals, hotels, etc.)
  • You can photograph your receipts for Expenses.


And finally….. Podcasts! But that deserves a whole new blog post.