More power to the elbow… upLIFT

001“More power to the elbow”… this is all about getting more from the resources you have already got, and in this case I’m talking about your Translation Memories.  In particular I’m talking about enabling them for upLIFT.  upLIFT, in case you have not heard about this yet despite all the marketing activity and forum discussions since August this year, is a technology that is being used in SDL Trados Studio 2017 to enable some pretty neat things.  I’m not going to devote this article to what upLIFT is all about as Emma Goldsmith has written a really useful article today that does a far better job than I could have done.  You can find Emma’s article here, called “SDL Trados studio 2017 : fragment recall and repair“.  But a quick summary to get us started is that upLIFT enables things like this:

  • fragment matching
    • whole Translation Units
    • partial Translation Units
  • fuzzy match repair
    • from fragment matching
    • from your termbase
    • from Machine Translation

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Target Wordcounts…

001CAT tools typically calculate wordcounts based on the source material.  The reason of course is because this way you can give your clients an idea of the cost before you start the work… which of course seems a sensible approach as you need to base your estimate on something.  You can estimate the target wordcount by applying an expansion factor to the source words, and this is a principle we see with pseudotranslate in Studio where you can set the expansion per language to give you some idea of the costs for DTP requirements in the finished document before you even start translating.  But what you can’t do, at least what you have never been able to do in all the Trados versions right up to the current SDL Trados Studio, is generate a target wordcount for those customers who pay you for work after the translation is complete and are happy to base this on the words you have actually translated. Continue reading “Target Wordcounts…”

square pegs in round holes…

01It’s all about the termbase definition when you want to merge termbases, or import data into MultiTerm termbases.  The XDT… otherwise known as the MultiTerm Termbase Definition file is the key to being able to ensure you are not trying to knock square pegs into round holes!  I’ve written in the past about the flexibility of MultiTerm and it’s this flexibility that can make it tricky for new users when they try to merge their collections of termbases together, or add to their data by importing a file from a colleague.

So what do we mean by definition?  Let’s think about keys as I think this is quite a good analogy… the four keys in the image on the right will all open a lock, but they won’t all open the same lock.  If you want one of these keys to open another lock then you need to change its shape, or it’s “definition”, to be able to open the lock.  A termbase definition works in a similar way because MultiTerm is flexible enough to support you creating your own lock.  That lock might be the same as someone else’s, but theirs could also have a different number of pins and tumblers which means your key won’t fit.

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Two heads are better than one…

001… and hundreds or thousands of heads are better than two!!

I wrote an article a little while back called “Vote now… or have no say!” which was a follow up to the SDL AppStore competition SDL ran for a few months.  I wanted to remind everyone to go and vote if they wanted to have an opportunity to see an app developed that would be useful for them.  Well the competition is over now and we have a winner, so now we can move onto the task of creating it.

The winning idea from Marta, a Spanish freelance translator, was the “Quick Wordcount” idea and we have encouraged all users to contribute to this so it’s as useful as as we can make it for as many users as possible whilst ensuring we deliver the intent of the original idea.

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The spelling & grammar antidote!

002Over the last year or so I’ve been asked by quite a few translators whether SDL Trados Studio supported using Antidote as a spelling and grammar tool.  To be honest I’d never even heard of them but duly looked them up and discovered that this great sounding name for a correction tool was a plugin for Word and various other applications aimed mainly at French speakers, although they do offer a “Module Anglais”.  They also have an API, but it’s not made public on their website… so this is where our fun starts!

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Vote now… or have no say!

001This year seems to be the time our voices can be heard.  There’s been some pretty big decisions on the table already this year that have produced some very surprising results.  Brexit… who knew the majority of people in the United Kingdom would vote to leave the European Union.  Who knew it would be called Brexit… guess UKexit  was too hard to pronounce!  Who knew Donald Trump would become the Republican Presidential nominee; who knew Bernie Sanders would not fare so well for the Democrats?  If you live in these countries then these were all big decisions that you may have had a hand in even if you didn’t vote.  If you’re unhappy with the result, you should have voted; if you think now they were bad decisions then perhaps more could have been done to help ensure you were better informed?

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The importance of flexibility…

001aThis time a couple of weeks ago the image on the left was me, doing something I’ve never done before… Yoga.  I’ve never seen this as anything I’d ever do but agreed to a Yoga holiday in Portugal with the family (There are no photos!).  Even though I was reasonably determined from day one that this would be something I would do on holiday and never again, I have to say I do feel better for it, and have even been caught activating my uddiyana bandha in the morning and enjoying a little meditation when I thought nobody was watching!  But now I’m back to work… so where’s the link?

Well, it’s all about flexibility and the importance of having this if you want to weather the demands of daily life.  In the weeks running up to my holiday my team, Andrea in particular, took on the challenge of updating the Number Verifier app with a couple of bug fixes and a few new bits of functionality asked for by various users.  This is a brilliant little application preferred by anyone who has problems with false positives and negatives when dealing with numbers for verification.  However, this task was not as easy as it should have been and every little change broke something else that worked before.  The original app wasn’t developed by our team so we inherited the code, and this can be quite tricky when you have to change it as unexpected things can often happen.  This app in particular has an expansive array of options and the array of possibilities in terms of number formats is even greater.  So being able to be flexible with this app in particular is very important, so this is what my team (Andrea & Romulus) did… Yoga for apps!

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Tackling a translators graffiti!

001a“Tags” are something we normally like to avoid, whether it’s graffiti or documents prepared for translation in a CAT tool,  and you can find articles and forum threads all over the internet about how to avoid them.  But what if you want them… the ones in a CAT tool?  Let’s say you receive a project from your client in a package, and they didn’t prepare the files as well as you would have liked, leaving you to deal with strings you’d rather have protected as tags, or even tags you don’t want to have to tackle at all.  In a nutshell, if you’re using Studio you’re stuffed!  You can prepare the files again as you like (possibly), translate them in your own project, and then pre-translate the real project afterwards from your TM, correcting any tag differences before returning the package to your client.

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Spot the difference!

001I don’t know if you can recall these games from when you were a kid?  I used to spend hours trying to find all the differences between the image on the left and the one on the right.  I never once thought how that might become a useful skill in later life… although in some cases it’s a skill I’d rather not have to develop!

You may be wondering where I’m going with this so I’ll explain.  Last weekend the SFÖ held a conference in Umeå, Sweden… I wasn’t there, but I did get an email from one of my colleagues asking how you could see what changes had been made in your bilingual files as a result of post-editing Machine Translation.  The easy answer of course is to do the post-editing with your track changes switched on, then it’s easy to spot the difference.  That is useful, but it’s not going to help with measurement, or give you something useful to be able to discuss with your client.  It’s also not going to help if you didn’t work with tracked changes in the first place because you’d need some serious spot the difference skills to evaluate your work!

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Managing your SDL Plugins…

001The SDL Appstore is growing!  At the time of writing this article there are 161 apps on the store and over 220 thousand downloads from our users.  This is quite impressive and we are still only getting started as the number of APIs available for developers increases.  At the moment, in Studio alone we have APIs that allow a developer to do these sorts of things:

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