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!
In 2013 I wrote an article called “Solving the Post-Edit Puzzle” which was all about finding a way to measure, and pay for post-editing translations in a consistent way. Then in 2015 I wrote another called “Qualitivity… measuring quality and productivity” that was all about everything Post-Edit Compare could do but then added many layers of detail and complexity through Qualitivity to support Quality Measurement including a TAUS DQF integration, and incredible metrics that are still not matched by any tool today that I am aware of, and are so good that they are often used to support academic research into translating and post-editing behaviour.
This is all great stuff and I have always been a huge fan of the work that Patrick Hartnett has done on all of the applications he developed over the years. You don’t often find experienced developers with indepth domain knowledge like this and his apps have always been really relevant to solving problems in the localisation workplace. So I wanted to bring up and discuss the app that was actually the predecessor to these great apps I just mentioned. It was also an app that was no longer supported once it’s first successor, Post-Edit Compare, was released. The app was released around 2011 I think and was called SDLXLIFF Compare.
“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
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.
… 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.
Over 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!
This 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?