Keep Calm and use your Project Templates…

01I think I’ve discussed Project Templates in the past, although perhaps only in passing.  So let’s start off by painting a picture of the situation you find yourself in where templates come in handy.  You maintain your own Translation Memories, in fact you have five you regularly use for every project but keep them separate because they are based on different sublanguages and you have some clients who adhere strictly to the minor linguistic differences.  You have a couple of termbases that you also like to add to every project and you find it easier to manage the terminology for your clients in separate termbases rather than use custom fields that complicate the ability to import/export with your colleagues.  You also have very specific quality assurance rules that you’ve honed over many years of translating and you know these are reliable and help you when you work.

So that’s a nice straighforward scenario that is probably followed by many of your colleagues… but then a new Project Manager with an agency you regularly work with starts to send you Project Packages for the first time, and another direct Corporate client of yours purchased GroupShare and you started to receive links to online projects.  The Project Managers in question are not as experienced as you and they create their projects with default settings and their own less relevant resources, and they send them out to you.  No problem you say, and you just add your own Translation Memories one at a time, your termbases one at a time, and you import your own quality assurance rules. This is all fine as Studio lets you take advantage of your own resources and your client is quite happy because you’re still turning in quality translations as you always have. But then you have to do this again… and again… and again… and it all starts to get a little tiresome.  Surely there’s a way to add more resources at a time and apply them to an existing project? Continue reading

The ins and outs of AutoSuggest

001The AutoSuggest feature in Studio has been around since the launch of Studio 2009 and based on the questions I see from time to time I think it’s a feature that could use a little explanation on what it’s all about.  In simple terms it’s a mechanism for prompting you as you type with suggested target text that is based on the source text of the document you are translating.  So sometimes it might be a translation of some or all of the text in the source segment, and sometimes it might be providing an easy way to replicate the source text into the target.  This is done by you entering a character via the keyboard and then Studio suggests suitable text that can be applied with a single keystroke.  In terms of productivity this is a great feature and given how many other translation tools have copied this in one form or another I think it’s clear it really works too!
AutoSuggest comes from a number of different sources, some out of the box with every version of the product, and some requiring a specific license.  The ability to create resources for AutoSuggest is also controlled by license for some things, but not for all.  When you purchase Studio, any version at all, you have the ability to use the AutoSuggest resources out of the box from three places: Continue reading

The ATA55 in Chicago and the SDL OpenExchange… which apps?

001This year at the ATA in Chicago all the tool vendors who attended the event were given the opportunity to run a little “Tool Bar” where attendees could come and ask any question they liked. This was a great initiative, and despite the first day where we were perhaps mistakenly tucked away under the arctic air conditioning in the corner where nobody could see us, I think they were very well attended. Certainly from an SDL perspective we were non-stop from the moment we started till the end of each day. It was a great experience for us as we get to meet lots of new users and many we only speak to by email, or on twitter, and I hope it was an equally great experience for anyone who attended.
Continue reading

FIT XXth World Congress – Berlin

001This week I attended the FIT XXth World Congress in Berlin hosted by the BDÜ where I got to meet many translators and technology specialists who I’ve only spoken to via email or through the community forums and twitter… that was really great!  It was my kind of event, hundreds of translators… thousands even… and lots of interesting and taxing questions about how to use Studio and MultiTerm.  In many ways it was similar to my favourite annual event which is the ATA event… the main difference between the two for me would be the lack of air conditioning which you’d never see in an American event and maybe the lack of facilities for the tools vendors as I had to resort to running my 90 minute session with my laptop balanced on my knees and displaying on a large TV screen that was really too small for this type of a workshop.  Hopefully if these sessions are repeated the preparation will be improved and perhaps the scheduling too so that more people could attend.  The ATA events are always really well attended, so I guess this was another difference between the two as the room provided wasn’t much bigger than my hotel room… in fact I’m ready to do a deal if the opportunity arises in Brisbane in 2017 😉 (Thank you Hans for correcting me about the date in the comments!)
Continue reading

Great ideas!

001This week SDL launched an OpenExchange Developers competition.  Actually it was launched a month or so ago but the number of downloads for new applications started counting at of the beginning of this week.  The key dates are these:

19 March to 31 July          Apps can be submitted
1 June to 31 July               Downloads counted
Early August                       Winners announced (Actual results are here)

Over the last month or so I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the things the developers are creating and there are really some fantastic ideas and apps in progress.  Most of the apps for this competition will be free for Studio users, but you will have to be using Studio 2014 to take advantage of them.  This is because the competition is all about using the integration API in Studio 2014, so developers can create new ribbons, new views, new ribbon groups etc.  This allows for anything from a simple feature to a full blown application, and I’m seeing some fantastic examples of both.

Continue reading

Yanks versus Brits… linguistically speaking!

001The debate over who’s right, and what’s the correct spelling… localization or localisation… will undoubtedly go on for a long time, unless you ask my Mother who knows the British are right of course!  I always lean towards the British spelling, probably the result of my upbringing, and when asked I always take the British point of view.

There are many Americanisms that have crept into our everyday speech, and if I’m really honest I use them too!  If I’m even more honest I think I always used them and didn’t even know they were American English and not British English.  The “z’s” are easy, but who gets cypher and cipher the wrong way around, disk and disc, gaol and jail or even meter and metre.  No doubt there are those amongst us who would never get them wrong (my Mother would never get them wrong) but I think there are plenty of words like this that have become, dare I say it… interoperable!  But what happens if you don’t want to get them wrong, and if you always want to stick to American English or British English?  In our business this is often an important distinction, so with that introduction let’s take a quick look at how you could manage something like this using MultiTerm and Studio.

Continue reading

You only need a key!

01Why is the SDL OpenExchange called the OpenExchange?

If you weren’t familiar with SDL and the OpenExchange initiative then perhaps the name suggests it could be a platform of some kind that supports an open exchange of information or tools to help manage the open exchange of data or processes that are not supported out of the box in the core products.  Maybe you might also think that the word Open could refer to some kind of opensource facility?

Continue reading

X-CAT… the next generation?

01If the title and image I have used for this article reminds you a little of something you might see from Stan Lee in an episode from Marvel Comics, then you have discovered my guilty secret… beneath a “slightly” more serious exterior I have a hidden desire to be able to extend my capabilities and demonstrate super human powers!  Unfortunately I don’t think this is going to happen for me any time soon, so my dream lives on in the mind of my son and probably every imaginative child on the planet!

So I may never become a mutant superhero… but I might be able to redirect some of these latent powers in another direction.  By now, if you know me, you may have guessed it or you may simply be thinking “what is he talking about?”… so with that slightly improbable introduction I’ll elaborate!

Continue reading

SDL OpenExchange Application Security

01

Every now and then I see someone ask how they can be sure that the applications available on the SDL OpenExchange are safe to use?  This is a very valid question and I read in a whitepaper from Adobe, where they quoted a PwC survey carried out in 2013, that nearly 30% of respondents from 123 countries claimed financial losses due to a software related security incident.

Controlling the security of our own applications, and ensuring we have proper controls in place is one thing… but how do we make sure that applications that have been developed by others, for installation and use with our products via the OpenExchange, are similarly controlled?

Continue reading

Solving the Post Edit puzzle

#03It would be very arrogant of me to suggest that I have the solution for measuring the effort that goes into post-editing translations, wherever they originated from, but in particular machine translation.  So let’s table that right away because there are many ways to measure, and pay for, post-editing work and I’m not going to suggest a single answer to suit everyone.

But I think I can safely say that finding a way to measure, and pay for post-editing translations in a consistent way that provided good visibility into how many changes had been made, and allowed you to build a cost model you could be happy with, is something many companies and translators are still investigating.

Continue reading