Every now and then I see an application and I think… this one is going to be a game changer for Studio users. There have been a few, but the top two for me have been the “SDLXLIFF to Legacy Converter” which really helped users working with mixed workflows between the old Trados tools and the new Studio 2009, and the “Glossary Converter” which has totally changed the way translators view working with terminology and in my opinion has also been responsible for some of the improvements we see in the Studio/MultiTerm products today. There are many more, and AnyTM is a contender, but if I were to only pick my top three where I instantly thought WOW!, then the first two would feature. So what about the third? You could say I have the benefit of hindsight with the first two although I’m not joking about my reaction when I first saw them, but the third is brand new and I’m already predicting success!
It’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.
I first wrote about the Glossary Converter on September 17, 2012… over three years ago. Not only is it a surprisingly long time ago, but I still meet people at every conference I attend who have never heard of this marvelous little tool, and in some cases never heard of the OpenExchange either. So when I toyed with the idea of writing an article about Xmas coming early and talking about the OpenExchange and all the goodies inside, part of me couldn’t resist writing about this tool again. In the three years since it was first released it’s morphed beyond all recognition and today it’s awash with features that belie it’s appearance.
I like to take a little credit for the emergence of this tool because back in 2012 I asked around trying to get someone to create one so that it was straightforward for anyone to create a MultiTerm Glossary from a simple two column spreadsheet… the sort of glossary that most translators use for their day to day needs. I was over the moon when Gerhard (the developer) was interested and created the tool I wrote about back then. But I can take no credit whatsoever for what the tool has become today and it’s well worth revisiting!
I ran a beginners and an advanced workshop at the ATA56 pre-conference day in Miami this year. A really fun day for me as we start the day with no specific agenda or pre-defined course and then try to shape the session to suit the needs of the attendees. The beginner tends to be a little more prescribed, to start off with at least, and the intention is to try and cover the basics of how Studio and MultiTerm work.
The advanced is a lot different… after all, what is advanced?
When the developer of the Word Cloud plugin for SDL Trados Studio first showed me the application he developed I was pretty impressed… mainly because it just looked so cool, but also because I could think of a couple of useful applications for it.
- You could see at a glance what the content of the project was and how interesting it might be for you
- It looks cool… or did I say that already?
I 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? Read More
Why is MultiTerm a separate program, I can do exactly the same thing with another CAT tool? This is a fairly common question, and it has a very good answer too. It’s because MultiTerm is multitudinous! That is, it can be extended by you to provide a variety of termbases, so many in fact that you could probably create a structure to match anything you liked and you won’t be shoe horned into a fixed structure. As I thought about this the Penrose steps came into my mind. They don’t necessarily have anything to do with terminology solutions for translators, but these steps don’t behave in a known manner either and my mind enjoyed the nonsensical link! I also liked this word multitudinous; partly because of the obvious use of the prefix multi- but also because the use of a word like this suggests complexity to me, and in many ways this is what users think when the subject of MultiTerm comes up.