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.

Here are links to my pages on some social networks:

Highly recommended:

WikiCross: Consult Wikipedia in several languages simultaneously (first paragraphs)


TAUS Widget

The Translation Automation User Society (TAUS) offers a desktop program that can be used for searching their database. The TAUS Data Association comprises 45 organizations, including well-known companies as Intel, Dell, eBay, etc. and large language service providers such as Lionbridge and SDL.

One of the the main reasons that brought these companies together to share their large translation memories and glossaries is the improvement of existing machine translation systems. However, the TAUS database represents a very valuable source of bilingual texts in many languages and it is freely searchable (but requires registration) through a Web interface. The widget goes one step further by taking this powerful search tool to the desktop.

Let’s take a look at this “widget”:


Here I ran a simple search for the common term “taskbar”. The results include dozens of human-translated text with the term highlighted in the source (and in the target too, after the system somehow computed its translation by analyzing the words that form the searched term).

The user can make the search more specific (and I think this will vary by language combination) by selecting specific industries (e.g. hardware, software, business services), data owners (e.g. ABBYY, Adobe, Dell, etc.) and content type (instructions, marketing material, software strings, etc.)

The search is fast and accurate and it displays the data in a clear two-column layout. Users can interact with the database by reporting problems with specific segments or sentences (just click on the grey “X” to the right of the segment.)

The widget requires registration, is multi-platform and runs on the Java Runtime Environment.

TAUS Widget | TDA

List of glossaries and parallel texts on en.europa-eu-audience

This link contains a list of well-known (and less well-known, at least to me) linguistic resources that can be useful to translators.

I’m looking forward to adding any bilingual resources found here to our website’s English-Italian search engine.

en.europa-eu-audience: Multilingual resources, parallel texts and translation.

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.

Open-Tran.eu – depository of open-source localization strings

Open-Tran.eu is a searchable database of strings taken from several open-source applications and operating systems.

Here’s an example of how the system works: go to Open-Tran.eu, choose the source language, the target language and type a string that you would like to look up. Finally, click on “Translate”. In the example below, we are looking for the Italian translation of “taskbar”:


The results page displays all the occurrences of the string with the relevant translation:

By clicking on the icon at the right side of each entry, you can obtain extra information about the project the string belongs to (in this example KDE and OpenSUSE), as well as the source string surrounded by its context:

This is a great idea for translators who are localizing open.source content. The system can also work as a reference for those hard-to-translate software terms, as the sources the strings originate from are pretty reliable.