What Are We Made
the very first column I wrote for the ATA
Chronicle six or so years
ago, I talked about an opportunity for translators to work with
technical authors on TM-based authoring because of our experience in
working with translation memories. Since then, some of the products
that allowed for TM-based authoring have actually been discontinued
(including SDL's and Sajan's tools), and it would be fair to say that
TM-based authoring never quite delivered what many -- including me --
saw as a promise. I can't help but wonder how much responsibility we
actually had for that. And with "we" I don't mean the tool vendors
(though it's always fun to blame them), but "we" as service providers
who had some very good insights on how to work with TMs and what to
course, by now this is all water under the bridge, but then I also
thought about this: In our day-to-day work, we often fail to realize
the incredible expertise we have accumulated and continue to build with
every additional day as translators.
I talk to young translators or translation students, I always try to
encourage them to start thinking about at least one complementing but
separate professional activity next to translation. Not because there
isn't enough translation work or because I feel we need to protect
ourselves from the day when the machines take over (that's not going to
happen!), but because I feel that it's helpful to step away from
translation every once in a while, whether to clear the mind or to
guard against tunnel vision or to use your talents in different ways.
see, translation is a field that requires complex and curious people.
And whether we're aware of it or not, we're building a large portfolio
of unique and worthwhile insights and areas of expertise.
a list that I compiled in a matter of minutes (you could call it a
brain dump of sorts). It's certainly one that can be added to many
times over. I encourage you to look through it, add your own insights,
and imagine how you could use those skills professionally, maybe in a
way not directly related to translation. (And while we're at it, let's
resolve not to let go of the next set of opportunities that comes our
- Editing and
- Ability to
process new information quickly
- Balancing of
technology and human skill
understanding of AI
- Grasp of the
changing nature of languages
- Awareness of
the need to preserve languages
of the power of language(s)
- Unicode and
other code pages
or: How We Can Do Better (Premium Version)
just released a completely overhauled version of its... well, I've
always had a hard time describing exactly what it is. Corpus tool?
Search engine? Dictionary? Finally, in its latest incarnation, it's
clear just what it wants to be: a dictionary. And according to its CEO
Gereon Frahling, it's not just a dictionary but it's going to
be the online dictionary.
you've used Linguee in the past and found it as helpful as I
have, you'll immediately see what's different (in fact, you might have
discovered this long before reading this if you use it day-in-day-out).
you search for single terms in one of the supported languages (here's a complete list), you
won't primarily see the previous results from its enormous corpus of
online material; instead, you'll see results from its dictionary
(including synonyms and usage examples) at the top of the page.
Previously those entries were shown as well, but less prominently and
with lesser quality.
. you can find the rest of this article in the premium edition. If
you'd like to read more, an annual subscription to the premium edition
costs just $25 at www.internationalwriters.com/toolkit.
Or you can purchase the new edition of the Translator's Tool Box ebook
and receive an annual subscription for free. A subscription to the
Premium edition will also give you access to the archives of
newsletters going back to 2007.
The Words You
Want. Anywhere, Anytime
WordFinder open a new world of opportunities
-- get access to millions of words and translations from the best
dictionaries, on your computer, via a web browser, on your smartphone
or tablet. Stuffed with lots of smart features. WordFinder has what you need as a
translator in your everyday work -- anywhere, anytime!
more at www.wordfinder.com.
2. Battle of Wits
enjoying the battle of wits taking place between the makers of memoQ
and Trados (actually, it's SDL's Paul Filkin speaking for Trados,
though Paul insists that sometimes -- especially on weekends and in the
evenings -- he is a sans-SDL Paul Filkin).
you've glanced at even a few of the past 244 Tool Box Journals, there's
a reasonable chance that you've seen a mention of memoQ's
Do-not-press-this-button button, a delightful button devoid of any
immediate productivity-increasing features but reminiscent of an
episode perhaps equally devoid of significance in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
Ford? Ford! Help here!
Ford: Um...let's push this button here! [Pushes button] [
Screen displays "Do not press this button again"]
Arthur: Uh, no! no no no no no!)
eliminated that magic button from the latest incarnation of its
program, so the sans-SDL Paul Filkin responded with this YouTube video that
unveiled the latest (imagined) SDL Trados Studio with a feature
"specifically for memoQ users":
upon a time, the world of desktop publishing was oh-so-nice and
predictable. No one (important) really cared about languages other than
English (and if they did, they'd have to shell out some extra dough),
everything happened only on the desktop computer, and the only ones
interested in DTP software were professional print shops with their
pockets still lined with money. QuarkXPress was thriving and
essentially owned the market. But as so often happens, the developers
became lazy, lost touch with modern developments, and things started to
was indeed the story of QuarkXPress, and though they're still
around, they're lagging far behind Adobe InDesign and the many
DITA and XML-based solutions.
course, the "still around" part forces us translation service providers
to pay attention. Not everybody has to be able to support clients who
ask for the translation of Quark files, but everyone should
know what it entails, and some of us need to be able to step up and
actually serve those clients.
seems easy enough. Lots of translation environment tools say that they
support QuarkXPress. In practice, however, most support either
a prohibitively tedious process of saving each text box (story) within
a Quark file individually, or they support a third-party
product such as CopyFlow Gold for QuarkXPress,
which produces a tagged file format from Quark files, or ex TranslationFilter by CoDesCo, which produces an XLIFF file.
Either of these tools allows for all stories to be exported in one
process, translated, and then reimported in one go as well.
ex TranslationFilter already supports Quark
current version 10 and plans to support the upcoming version 2015,
Peter Baumgartner, the guy behind CopyFlow, sent out an email
to customers that I really appreciated:
We are evaluating again whether to proceed with
a project to port CopyFlow Gold to Quark 10 and the upcoming Quark
2015. There is a considerable development effort to accomplish this on
both the Mac and Windows platforms. I'd like to ask you to quickly
reply to this email if you think you will have an interest in
purchasing CopyFlow Gold for Quark 10 or Quark 2015; and if so whether
for Mac or Windows. If we do go forward we expect these upgrades
will be priced a bit more than usual at $295.00, list price will remain
you have it. Those who have worked with CopyFlow know that it's
extremely reliable. If you still need to support Quark and are
already using CopyFlow, rather than shell out €495 for a
copy of ex TranslationFilter, send Peter an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know what you need.
that Star Transit actually offers XGate, a plug-in that
directly processes Quark files up to version 9.2, and Quark offers an integration of Across
into its workflow.)
Communicate faster than
ever with MindReader for Outlook
MindReader for Outlook makes your communication more efficient by
suggesting text from previously sent e-mails. Compose your e-mails more quickly, more accurately, and more
spending time deciding how to communicate your message and concentrate
on the content of the message instead. This heightened efficiency
provides you with extra time to manage important work, freeing you from
the minutia of your daily routine.
MindReader for Outlook supports Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2013 and is
available as a single-user license or site license.
your free trial license at STAR Group
my bet in the last journal that by the end of this year at least two
more tools would also have memoQ's cool new feature to quickly
build up segmentation exceptions by scanning files you import for such
candidates? An unbelievable four days after sending out that edition, Cafetran
(see my last review in the archives in edition 224) had already
implemented that feature,
and Kilgray's István nobly reminded me that Star Transit
has had a similar feature for years. I guess it would be reasonably
fair to say that I won my own bet, though a little sheepishly because I
had forgotten about Star Transit's feature.
interesting concept is Kevin Dias's TM-Town (full disclosure: I've done some consulting for
Kevin). At some point I will write a more comprehensive review of the
product that he has built (and is still in the process of perfecting),
but here is the "interesting idea" part: TM-Town enables
translation buyers to locate a suitable translator by comparing the
texts that need to be translated with either the translation memories
of translators or some other texts the translators have already
translated and with which the client's texts might have some
not going to be easy to make this all work seamlessly, and it requires
a certain number of participants to make it worthwhile for clients to
look for translators, but I love the idea and would encourage you to
check out what Kevin has come up with.
another intriguing idea comes from Across System, which has
started a consultation forum of translators that will regularly meet
with the Across product development team to make the tool more
translator-friendly. This follows a similar initiative last year when a
comparable forum of translation companies was launched.
a long time, Across was an easy tool for many in the world of
translation to dislike, despite the fact that a fully functional
version is free for freelance translators. After all, the main customer
base consisted of translation buyers who used their leverage to make
their suppliers ("us") use the tool as well. So the very conception of Across
was not meant to be attractive for translation providers (including an
almost complete rejection of exchange standards). But if these two
consultation forum initiatives are a sign of a changed approach, I for
one certainly welcome it. I have the names of the translators who are
part of the forum and would be glad to pass them on to anyone who is
interested (note: I'm not part of it). (You can find my last write up
of Across in edition 237 in the archives.)
game translation fanatic Alain
Dellepiane has already
received a lot of attention for this year's game translation
contest LocJAM, but I would like to give him a shout-out nevertheless.
The competition started on February 22, and you can find all you need
to know at locjam.org.
number of years ago I couldn't help but make fun of the term
"unconference"; now it's no longer even recognized as a typo in MS
Word. It's also become a rather established form of meeting in
localization circles, and reader Martin Wunderlich asked me to announce
the first German unconference in Munich on June 18 and 19.
colleague Alessandra Martelli has published21 Free Tools & Utilities for
Translators. It's exactly what the title says it is, and
it's free as well (if you don't count a social media nod in return as
payment). As a reader of the Tool Box Journal you'll be familiar with
many of the tools she mentions, but some were new to me (and might be
for you). I especially liked RescueTime and SlimTimer.
Wanna know more? Download the book.
Doikas of the English-Greek translation portal Translatum has
developed a number of online conversion tools, including a TMX to tab delimited text converter, an Excel to TMX converter, and an Excel to Multiterm XML converter.
I asked Spiros about the development of these
tools and the safety of the uploaded data. Here are his responses:
I developed them with the help of a programmer.
A couple of them (tmx to txt and Excel to tmx) were based on similar
(offline) tools by András Farkas.
The idea behind it is, yes, there are some great
offline apps that do a similar job, but sometimes we may not have
access to them or just need a quick conversion without much hassle. And
then again, most people who are not tech-savvy appreciate the
simplicity of just upload and have it converted.
Files are deleted hourly from the server using a
cron job which checks the age of the files and if they are older than 1
hour, deletes them. They are not used in any way whatsoever. However, I
would not recommend anyone trying to convert files which contain any
kind of sensitive information, as the process is done through CGI and
HTTP and not HTTPS.
The World Speaks v6
-- What About You?
its release in mid-2014, more and more users have deployed the Across
Language Server v6 with its modern, appealing user interface. A
switch to the latest version is associated with countless advantages,
especially in the field of project management: New features such as the
Across Dashboard, the Project Management Cockpit,
and the Across Data Cube for analyzing indicators make the
daily work easier.
Are you curious, and would you like to learn more about
Check out the new features
The Last Word on
the Tool Box Journal
you would like to promote this journal by placing a link on your
website, I will in turn mention your website in a future edition of the
Tool Box Journal. Just paste the code you find here into the HTML code
of your webpage, and the little icon that is displayed on that page
with a link to my website will be displayed.
you are subscribed to this journal with more than one email address, it would be
great if you could unsubscribe redundant addresses through the links
Constant Contact offers below.
you be interested in reprinting one of the articles in this journal for promotional purposes, please contact me for
information about pricing.
© 2015 International Writers'