After attending the xl8cluj conference in Romania a few weeks ago, which was an excellent, and very technical conference for translators, I thought it was about time I wrote an article around the things you can do with the Regular Expression Delimited Text filter since it is so useful for solving all kinds of tasks related to text based files that don’t fit any of the out of the box formats available in the product. Files such as software string files and csv files are common examples of where understanding how to work with this customisable file type can yield many benefits. So this article is food for thought and a few things that might be helpful to you in the future. It’s also pretty long (I’m not kidding!), so maybe grab a cup of coffee before you start to go through it!
… Really Awful Tucker, Radically Altered Terminology, Rheumatoid Arthritis Test, Race Against Time, Recurrent Acute Tonsillitis, Real Acquisition Technology, Republicans Against Trump… the list goes on! All with the same acronym RAT. A comment on the SDL AppStore this week relating to a new plugin called the RAT inspired me to write this article this evening. Everyone is loving this plugin so far but one user had an objection to the name, the acronym, because he didn’t get it. Actually to be fair someone else on the SDL Community didn’t like it either… Rats are dirty! Continue reading
Santa’s little helper… and if any of you are fans of “The Simpsons” I’m not talking about a greyhound… is a xmas gift from the SDL Community and SDL AppStore teams to make it easier to get help when you’re working in SDL Trados Studio. The SDL Community has become incredibly busy in the last few years, so on the whole I’m confident people have learned how to find where to post and navigate through the myriad of forums available to them. Certainly we have some good short links and I have written about the communities before:
Once upon a time, of course, the translation environment was just black and white with gray in between. Black and white and gray? The AppStore gods were understandably bored and angry, so they went looking for other colours to brighten the world for their users. The resulting colours emerged from the Microsoft Word palette resulting in fifteen colours to choose from. The AppStore gods were so happy with these colours they decided to paint the translation environment from the AppStore. They opened Visual Studio and flung the colours around, resulting in a brand new app. they called “Wordlight” and a new colourful feature for the “Community Advanced Display Filter”.
I can remember being asked in early 2007 to organise a report on the benefits of Passolo compared to other tools that also supported visual software localization. In the same year, shortly after that, SDL purchased Pass Engineering and SDL Passolo was born. At the time I didn’t know a lot about Trados Workbench or SDLX either as I had a very different role, and I only started getting interested in the technology we (and our competitors) use in 2008 just prior to the release of SDL Trados Studio 2009 the following year. In all that time since then, until a few months ago, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never taken more than a cursory look at it. It’s taken a course I’m doing at the moment at the University of Strasbourg to really bring home the value. One of the modules on this course is “Localization of Graphical User Interfaces” and under some expert tutorage I’m plugging many of the gaps I have in my knowledge of this industry. I’m even putting it to good use in my daily work!
When I started to look at the subtitling industry little did I know just how fragmented it would be! For years we have talked about SRT and yet when I look at the filetypes that tools like Subtitle Edit claim to support I find over 200! Normally I’m not a big fan of standards but that’s probably because I live in a world where there is little variation and supporting different bilingual files is trivial in comparison. But if there was ever a good argument for one it would be here! Asking people what format they see most often does help to narrow it down, but as we often find when developing software, the interest usually comes after the event and not before! So what formats can a translation tool support today?
Ever since the release of Studio 2009 we have had the concept of Language Resource Templates, and ever since the release of Studio 2009 I’d risk a bet that most users don’t know what they’re for or how to use them. To be fair this is hardly a surprise since their use is actually quite limited out of the box and access to the goodies inside is pretty hard to get at. It’s been something I used to see users complain about a long time ago but for some years now I rarely see them mentioned anymore. This article, I hope, might change that.
When I write these articles I always start with thinking about the image at the top. I do this for two reasons, the first is because it usually helps me think of some bizarre introduction (like this!) that helps me start writing, and the second is because every now and again I like to play around with Gimp which is the free image software I occassionally use. It’s always nice to spend a little time doing something frivolous because it’s good thinking time without being distracted by the job! I don’t really know how to use this software at all, but it’s fun seeing what turns out… and I confess I often use a combination of powerpoint and Gimp simply because some things are just easier in powerpoint! Eventually I might actually learn how to use it properly… I’ll keep practicing anyway.
There are people who believe that the original intention of the internet during its inception in the 1980’s was to put the power of information in the hands of its users. In fact the last three or four decades has seen the return of the wild wild west with the internet, e-mail, mobile technology, social media, online shopping, big data, cloud computing and now the internet of things. All of this has been accessible to anyone, and anyone with the ability to create a website can give the impression they are far more trustworthy and capable than they actually are. The way the growth of the internet has taken place has meant that only large organisations are able, in theory, to provide “security” and “trust” and we rely on them to validate our financial transactions, willingly handing over our personal data so that we no longer have any control over what happens with it. Since the global social media phenomenon we even hand this data over to less secure environments sharing our lives with the world and in the process becoming less and less oblivious to the implications of what we share. Certainly a far cry from the original idea of a secure and private network for the users, and today individuals have next to zero control over their personal data at all.
Studio 2019 has arrived and it brings with it some nice features on the surface, and some important improvements under the hood… but it also brings with it a lot more upgrades than just Studio, and I don’t just mean MultiTerm! The SDL AppStore is one of the unique benefits you get when you work on the SDL technology stack and there are hundreds of apps available that can provide additional resources, custom filetypes, file converters, productivity enhancements, manuals, etc. When you upgrade your version of Studio you are also going to have to upgrade your apps. Many of the apps are maintained by the SDL Community team and these have all been upgraded ready for use in Studio 2019, but the majority have been created and maintained by others. I’ve written this article to explain what you need to look out for as a user of SDL Trados Studio or MultiTerm, and also as a reference guide for the developers who might have missed the important information that was sent out to help them with the process. Continue reading