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.

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Making variables work for you

01It’s funny, but when I think of “variables” I think of something that changes… a bit like the Transformer robots my son used to play with.  So when I look at how they are used in Studio, and in Trados before that, the name doesn’t really make sense at first!

In practice, “variables” in Studio are words or phrases that don’t change at all when you translate them.  So it’s useful to be able to ensure they are handled automatically in Studio by defining lists containing these “variables”.

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Psst… wanna know a few things about file types?

01Studio has some excellent capabilities for getting more from your file types, and I’m often surprised by the reaction of Studio users when they find out what’s possible.

It seems we’ve been keeping a big secret that nobody was supposed to know… so I thought it would be worth taking a quick look at just one file type, everyones favourite, Microsoft Word.  The mechanism for finding these options in any filetype and seeing how they can benefit you will be the same as it is for Microsoft Word… and just as simple.  It’s a long post but hopefully useful.

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Advanced Renamer… and QuickMerge

#01Today I decided to share a Freeware Application I came across whilst trying to find a neat resolution to a problem posed by a Translator using Studio.  I know many of you don’t like to use Freeware so I’m not saying anything about this tool other than I think it’s great, and if you’re happy to install it then I’m pleased to have passed on awareness of this tool to you.  I am not endorsing it in any way other than that!  If you have a policy not to install Freeware tools and still like the idea then I’m sure there are plenty of paid for applications that do a similar job.  This tool is called Advanced Renamer and is developed, and supported, by Kim Jenson.
The problem I wanted to solve is that the user receives several hundred files that make up a technical manual.  These files are not in alphabetical order, and they are not numbered, but they do come with a PDF that explains what the order is.  So the task for the translator, in order to tackle the manual in the most sensible way, is being able to merge the files together for translation in the appropriate order.
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Glossary to TM… been there, done that…

#01So now let’s flip the process on its head!
I’m not sure how often the need arises to create a Translation Memory from a Termbase but I can tell you that the article I wrote previously called “Creating a TM from a Termbase, or Glossary, in SDL Trados Studio” is the most popular article I have ever written… closely followed by an article on why wordcounts differ between tools called “So how many words do you think it is?“.  It’s an unfair competition because the latter was written some 4-months afterwards so needs more time to catch up… but there is no denying that the process of converting a Glossary to a Translation Memory is something people are interested in.
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"Memory is the mother of all wisdom"

#01I believe this interesting quote can be found in “Prometheus Bound”, a play by a Greek dramatist called Aeschylus.  I haven’t read the play, but I like the quote, and it certainly lends itself to the importance of memory… even when we refer to a Translation Memory rather than your own built in capability.  It’s because your Translation Memory is such an important asset to you that you need to regularly maintain it, and also reuse it wherever possible to expand the benefits you get from it.
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My favourite OpenExchange apps in 2012…

When I started writing this blog the first article I wrote was about the SDL OpenExchange.  I thought I’d start this year off by sharing my favorite applications … my favourite FREE applications.  We had a fair few of these over the course of the year but I’ll pick out six that I think are well worth a look.  In no particular order (well… alphabetical order) these six are:

  • Glossary Converter
  • Package Reader
  • SDLTmReverseLangs
  • SDLXLIFF Compare
  • SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter
  • Terminjector

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Identifying numbers in your analysis

Handling number only segments is a question that comes up a fair bit, and for a number of reasons.  Mostly it’s the more simple question of how to handle them at all; sometimes they are recognised and Studio can auto-localize them; sometimes they aren’t recognised and you need to work around this a little.  This question I’ve addressed a few times, so here’s a few links as a reminder.

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What can you do with the SDLXLIFF Converter?

Whilst SDL Trados Studio 2011 SP2 incorporates the ability to export and import Word documents for review the application originally developed is still available and working (in fact SP2 has an updated version).  @jaynefox wrote a very nice blog post about how to use the SDLXLIFF Converter for Microsoft Office that is available for Studio 2009 through the SDL OpenExchange and is installed with Studio 2011 in the program group.  So I thought it would be interesting just to note what the different options are for this application.
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