About this blog

Translator's Shack is a collection of links, news, reviews and opinions about translation technologies. It's edited and updated by Roberto Savelli, an English to Italian translator, project manager and company owner of Albatros Soluzioni Linguistiche, a team of English-Italian translators, which hosts and supports this blog.

The Life as a PM category, managed by Gabriella Ascari, contains topics that are less technical in nature, but which we're sure will be appreciated by owners of small translation businesses and freelancers.

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Some news from Terminotix


Yesterday I received the latest edition of the LogiTerm newsletter. You can download it here. There are some interesting announcements:

  • Agreement with SYSTRAN:
    Terminotix has entered into an agreement with SYSTRAN to  add  machine  translation  solutions  to  the  Terminotix product  line.
  • YouAlign completely free:
    YouAlign, the   text   alignment   website   launched   by Terminotix in August 2009, was supposed to be free for a limited time only, but is now completely free. YouAlign lets you  quickly  and  easily  create  HTML  bitext  and  TMX translation memory files from pairs of input files. Bitext and translation  memory  files  generated  by  YouAlign  can  be downloaded for use with bilingual full-text search engines and translation memory systems. No software to install — everything  is  done  through  your  web  browser.
  • SynchroTerm 2010 released:
    The 2010 release of SynchroTerm, the powerful bilingual term extraction program, is now available. Enhancements include  optimized  memory  use  for  handling  larger  files; support  for  Greek,  Dutch,  Hungarian,  Norwegian,  Polish and Turkish;

L10NWorks offers a good selection of web-based and downloadable localization tools


The Tools section of the L10NWorks website contains a wealth of free resources for translation and localization professionals.

L10NWorks The list is neatly divided into logical categories such as Encoding, QA Tools, etc. and is easy to navigate. Some of the tools do not need any download or install: You upload your data (the site promises not to retain or use it in any way) and let the programs process it. Once the procedure is complete, you can download the modified data for reuse in your projects. Tools that need a local PC for processing can be easily downloaded and installed with a simple click.

imageEach single tool contains specific sub-sections with brief instructions, a feedback form that allows users to rate the tool, and some information about the tool’s author.

All in all a very useful, easy to navigate site which I hope will be kept up to date as new tools are created or improved.

Okapi Framework (localization tools) release 00022

imageThe Okapi Framework has recently received a general update and is now available as release 00022. Part of Okapi is the TMX editor Olifant, a utility that I strongly recommend to all translators who use translation environments / CAT tools. Below is a brief description of the various components and their main functionalities.

  • Rainbow – A ready-to-use graphical user interface to launch Okapi-compliant utilities. Utilizing Rainbow allows the users to have a simple and common way to specify some of the options of all utilities. Rainbow can also be used in command-line mode.
  • Translation Package Creation – A utility that makes use of the various Okapi filters to extract translatable text from different file formats and generate translation kits in different formats such as XLIFF or RTF that can be used with different translation tools such as Wordfast or Trados Translators Workbench. It can also create more specific packages some products such as OmegaT.
  • The Regex Filter – A component that provides you a way to read and write any text-based file and extract text parts using regular expressions. It implements the programming interface common to the all the Okapi filters. This simplify the development of programs or scripts to perform any type of tasks on the translatable text of the files. Many other formats are have also their own filter.

SourceForge.net: Okapi Framework: Files

Lingobit Localizer 6.0 (software localization tool) available

Here is the changelog for version 6:

  • New parsers for source code localization: Java, C++, PHP, Perl, Java Script, VB Script, Symbian LOC and RLS files, SQL.
  • Samples for all major platforms and common localization scenarios
  • Now you can translate Style, StyleEx in Win32 applications
  • .NET, MFC and VCL: Flipping for Right-To-Left (RTL) languages localization
  • Terminology added: pretranslate and check consistency
  • Exchange Wizard usability is improved a lot
  • Translation Hints panel: translation matches from terminology, translation memory and Google Translate
  • VCL and .NET: Control mapping in Form Editor. Now you substitute any specific control with common control
  • VCL form editor is improved dramatically: colors, images, alignment, autosize and fonts
  • VCL image localization
  • Multilingual rebranding support
  • Accelerator localization for VC++, MFC
  • Language specific exclude from localized file
  • Automatic translation with Google Translate was improved drammatically
  • Preview fonts and colors in form editor for VCL localization
  • Localizer Standard edition – base functionality for small localization projects
  • Edit Translations allows multiple edit operations for coordinates other parameters.
  • Find panel was redesigned completely
  • More than 500 other improvements for .NET, VCL, MFC, Database and Java localization, usability and productivity

via Lingobit Technologies – Software Localization Tool.

Radialix 2 – Software localization tool

image This looks like a promising localization tool that includes several features, among which translation memory, and that has an affordable price.

Below are the specifications. The Radialix website contains detailed descriptions and screenshots of all the main features.

Localize PE32, PE32+ files, .NET assemblies, resources and INI files

Localize .NET applications that do not support standard localization methods

Localize strings in the application code

Plug-ins for IDA

Unicode support

Auto-translation, including fuzzy matching

Auto-translation using PROMPT 8

Translation validation check

Edit dialogs, forms and menus visually

Memory translation editor

Project files in XML

via Radialix 2.

Alchemy Catalyst 8.0 localization environment pre-announced

Alchemy CatalystIn a message sent out today to current users, Alchemy announced the imminent release of its localization environment Catalyst 8. Alchemy’s website does not seem to contain any information about version 8 yet.

The main problem with previous versions of Catalyst, in my opinion, is the overdone attempt of making its interface user-friendly through floating windows, bars, widgets, context menus, and a whole series of interface gadgets that are only accessible through mouse clicks. This only makes the program confusing. Sometimes I have to read through the manual several times before I can find out how to perform simple tasks, such as applying multiple filters to sentences. Let’s take a look at the main changes introduced with 8.

After skimming through the usual marketing blurb, here’s what I have found to be the most interesting new features:

Extensive Support for XML Content Management Systems: Alchemy ezParse technology has been extensively redesigned to support multi-lingual and conditional-based XML documents. The best bit!, as with all ezParse solutions, these parsers are developed in a highly visual development environment so you avoid writing the code yourself, Alchemy CATALYST does all the hard work for you!

My recollection is that the ezParse feature was not totally accessible in the Translator-Pro Edition. We’ll see if this has changed in any way.

The New Terminology Standard: TBX is rapidly becoming the standard for term-base sharing and lookups. Alchemy CATALYST 8.0 embraces this new standard and displays suggested terms within the Translator Toolbar. You can also export candidate terms to TBX files using the new and improved Export Project functionality.

This is a welcome introduction, although the previous version already allowed for simple terminology exchange through CSV files.

Machine Translation: Combine the accuracy of TM with the flexibility and speed of Machine Translation. Source segments that cannot be matched in a TM will automatically be sent to a web based Machine Translation service (MT) so that a translator always gets a translation suggestion while working.

As predicted by the main observers in this market, like Global Watchtower, almost all providers are scrambling to add some sort of machine translation functionality to their products. I’m skeptical that this overhyped technology will introduce any concrete benefits for professional translators, unless it’s considered as part as a whole process that includes strict terminology creation and control as a prerequisite.

Support for virtually every TM format: Alchemy CATALYST 8.0 is compatible with virtually every industry TM standard. It supports both desktop and server based TM technology, all integrated seamlessly into the Translator Toolbar. Technologies currently supported include Alchemy TTK (all versions), Alchemy PPF (PUBLISHER TM), Alchemy LANGUAGE EXCHANGE, WordFast, GlobalLink, SDL TM Server, Trados Teamworks, Trados Workbench, XLIFF, TBX, XML and TMX.

This could be interesting. Especially if it allows to export a non-visual Catalyst project (like error strings that do not have any graphical context attached) as a XLIFF file that can be translated with a “text-only” CAT tool more flexible than Catalyst and then imported back to Catalyst without problems. We’ll see if that is possible. The import-export functionalities offered by the current version 7 are sparse to say the least.

Enhanced Total SDL/TRADOS Compatibility: Work seamlessly with past, present and future versions of SDL TRADOS desktop and enterprise technologies such as SDL TM Server, TRADOS Translator’s Workbench (3.x, 5.x, 6.x, 8.0, 2007) and MultiTerm iX Server. No other tool gives you such wide range industry support for 3rd party TM tools.

Let’s hope that the integration will as seamless as described above. In its current incarnation, the integration between Catalyst and Trados is far from that.


I think that most localization professionals do not care about fine-tuning the placement of their toolbars and windows. Instead, they require a solid product with an easy to understand workflow. In my personal experience, Catalyst 7, while offering a huge list of features as far as supported environments are concerned, left something to be desired in terms of usability.

The list of improvements included in the announcement e-mail is very long and impressive. Hopefully Catalyst 8 will be able to deliver on those promises.

CTI – Crowdsourcing for open-source localization

The Sun Wikis site contains a post about Community Translation Interface, a system that allows translators working on open source projects to use Sun’s globalization management system remotely by viewing and editing the translation memory. Sounds like a translation crowdsourcing project done well. More »

Compendium of translation software: directory of commercial MT and

The Compendium is a long list of  translation environment and machine translation tools, sorted by product name and by supplier, and containing links to the relevant websites. At 100+ pages, this PDF file is a very exhaustive source of information for people interested in computer-assisted and machine translation. New entries are in green.  

Compendium of Translation Software

directory of commercial machine translation systems and computer-aided translation support tools

compiled by John Hutchins

on behalf of the European Association for Machine Translation and the International Association for Machine Translation

Current edition (15th edition, January 2009) [PDF, 605KB]

via Compendium of translation software: directory of commercial MT and translation tools.

Globalizer.NET localization tool

Globalizer.NET provides a complete solution for localizing software built using Microsoft’s .NET development platform.

Here some of the features, straight from the developer’s information page:

  • Globalizer.NET can be used to localize ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications and components written in Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 using C#, VB.NET and C++.
  • Globalizer.NET can localize the Windows Installer (MSI) files generated by Visual Studio and other tools, into any language
  • Automatically scan Visual Studio Projects and Solutions for resources to translate
  • Globalizer.NET can generate the language specific resource (resx) files for your application and automatically add these into your Visual Studio projects.
  • Build the satellite assemblies (that contain language specific resources) for your application directly using Globalizer.NET. Developers can use this to build localized versions of an application without having to modify the Visual Studio project. Translators can use this mechanism to build and test localized versions of your application without them requiring access to your source code or needing to purchase and use Visual Studio.
  • Translators can install and use the free Translators Edition of Globalizer.NET to translate your applications at no additional cost to you.
  • Test your localized Application directly from Globalizer.NET using a selected locale without having to use the Control Panel to set the locale
  • Allows Translators to preview application forms and controls directly from within Globalizer.NET.
  • Supports importing and exporting industry standard Translation Memory eXchange (TMX) format files to allow interoperability with other Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools
  • Automatically translate duplicate strings
  • Filter and sort the displayed translations based on a variety of criteria
  • etc.

Here is some pricing information:

Basic License (allows up to 1000 translations per workspace) $120
Standard License (allows up to 5000 translations per workspace) $240
Pro License (unlimited translations) $480

Infralution Globalizer.NET

SDL Passolo Upgrade “Amnesty” for users of versions 3 and 4 of the localization tool


SDL today announced a so-called “amnesty” upgrade for users of older version of their recently acquired localization tool Passolo. Quoting from the announcement:

We continue our offers with an upgrade amnesty for all the PASSOLO veterans, still working with PASSOLO 3 and 4: Upgrade now to one of our special offers such as SDL Passolo 2007 Professional for only €840 or $1,192 (instead of €1050 or $1,490). Get great savings with a 20% discount off our list price representing savings of minimum €210 or $298 and more, depending on your specific edition. Upgrade to SDL Passolo 2007, and:

  • Localize your HTML help files as well as many other file formats
  • Take advantage of the unique and fully integrated SDL Passolo and SDL Trados technology
  • Automate your localization processes
  • Increase your productivity and save time with great new features
  • Reduce your costs by shortening the process time and costs of creating multilingual software applications and related supporting documentation
  • Improve consistency by receiving direct access to existing translated content and approved terminology
  • And finally, don’t worry, SDL Passolo is still very easy to use! Hurry! Offer only valid until 30th June 2008!

However, as pointed out by Riccardo on his blog About Translation, SDL’s choice of the word “amnesty” will undoubtedly raise some brows.

SDL Passolo Upgrade Amnesty