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:

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Wordfast Pro 2.3 released

Wordfast Pro 2.3 is out. It’s available for Windows only for the moment. Here’s the changelog:

New Features:

  • Wordfast Aligner™ BETA**
  • MIF, PDF, and TTX support
  • Machine Translation Integration
  • MS Office Spellchecker option
  • TM Administration Module**
  • User-Defined Segmentation


  • Autopropagation now has orange color coding
  • Added placeable shortcuts
  • Allow for full connection string to be entered when defining a Remote TM connection
  • Added Concordance search on Target
  • Added shortcut for Confirm/Unconfirm Segment
  • Copy source / target glossary terms options added
  • Memory used by Wordfast can now be adjusted for opening larger files
  • Ability to confirm and unconfirm multiple segments has been added
  • Added Norwegian Bokmal support and spellcheckers
  • Added Toggle between capitalization option and shortcut
  • Added Ctrl+H in addition to Crtl+F as a find/replace shortcut
  • Removed marking segments as unconfirmed when clicking on another segment
  • Pressing Ctrl+Tab copies individual word from source to target
  • Warning added when user copies all source to target
  • Right-click in editor options updated

**Feature is not present in the free demo version.Available with the purchase of a license only

Wordfast Pro website

memoQ 4.0 Client released (Server version yet to come). Here are the new features

Yesterday Kilgray released version 4.0 of their translation environment memoQ. To download and test it, you can use this link (update: see below for new link). Here are some links and snippets containing some further information about the new version:

memoQ 4: Interview with István Lengyel on the Localization, Localisation blog.

The following are edited excerpts from the memoQ mailing list on Yahoo Groups. I’m sure the users who submitted them originally won’t mind if I publish them here:

  • Brand new editor, with smaller inline tags display, view hidden spaces, drag & drop.
  • The new editor fixes the scrolling issue existing on 64 bits Windows editions for 3.x
  • Named undo list (like in Microsoft Word)
  • Real-time spellchecking (errors underlined with red squiggle like in Word/Firefox/Thunderbird)
  • Unified "Resource console" to manage all resources
  • On top of TM/TB, autotranslatables, ignore lists, etc. (basically all project settings) are now also treated as resources
  • All resources can be shared and/or imported/exported
  • Easy multilingual project management thanks to a handful of new features (handoff export/import, new stats available, etc.)
  • Handoff import/export relies on open standards for better interoperability
  • Improved QA with less "noise" (false positives)
  • Revamped interface – referred to as the Dashboard, new icons and more modern feel
  • Resolve QA errors – different interface allowing you to hide warnings/errors
  • External view similar to the one found Déjà Vu will not appear in 4.0 but will be ready in 2nd quarter of 2010
  • Post-translation analysis feature, which  Kilgray considers this a major breakthrough
  • If you bought the software between 1 Sept 2008 and 1 Feb 2009, you need to pay an upgrade fee to be eligible for memoQ 4. This relates both to freelancers and corporate users.

Regarding the Server version, it will be available in about two weeks. The developers are ironing out some details in the installer.

2009-02-05 UPDATE:

A new 4.0 build is now available at http://kilgray.com/memoq/memoQSetup.4.0.16.exe. In this build we have fixed about 30 issues, focusing on the more annoying problems you have been reporting since Monday. In particular, there are improvements in the following areas:
— Migration of legacy settings
— Pre-translation
— memoQ 3.6 an 4.0 in parallel
— Extra tags in DOC/RTF import
— Stability while working in the editor
— Joining and splitting
This version also has the AutoUpdate module enabled again, which means that memoQ will be able to update automatically from this build to the next one, 4.0.17, when that is out. Download and enjoy!

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;

In reply to “How to run two copies of Trados freelance while sharing the same Internet connection”

Riccardo Schiaffino’s excellent blog About Translation had a new intriguing post yesterday about circumventing a limitation in Trados that will not let you run two copies of the freelance version on a LAN. He suggested a hardware-based solution. Read more about this on his post.

However, this reminded me of a quick hack I pulled off a couple of years ago when we were still using Trados quite a lot:

Hi Riccardo,

good tip, but I can recall a better one from the time we were still using Trados quite a lot (we later transitioned to memoQ and never looked back) and some freelancers were hooking up their laptops at the office for the purpose of importing/exporting files and memories.

As a workaround for this license limitation I installed a free copy of a software-based firewall (I think it was Comodo Firewall, but the functionality is similar in other firewall packages). I then disabled some of the packets that the newly-connected laptops were sending out on the LAN. I may be wrong, but I think these were the multicast packets. You may need to fiddle a bit with the options before finding the type of packet you need to disable.

With some luck, file sharing will not affected by the modification, while Trados will not complain any longer about the extra licenses.

Legally speaking, I’m not sure how such a modification can be considered in view of the software license agreement. But since you are not touching Trados in any way and are only changing some of the networking features of the OS, let’s say there’s room for interpretations…

Wordfast Pro Translation environment tool version 2.2.1 released


The people in charge of Wordfast development have certainly worked hard since the introduction of Wordfast Pro (the multi-platform tool that uses its separate editor, as opposed to Wordfast Classic, which is Microsoft Word-based). Here is the change log for the latest version, released yesterday. Of particular interest is the "Pre-translate entire file" feature, which may simplify the process of translating Wordfast using a different tools, as explained here.

Added Word 2007 and Excel 2007 Filters

Glossary Stemming (Wildcard searches using *)

Text based formats such as XML and HTML can be opened directly using File > Open

TransCheck supported in table mode

TransCheck can be run while translating

Enable/disable Autopropagation

Edit placeables in the target segment

Pre-translate entire file

Open multiple windows

Adaptive leveraging

via Wordfast: Release Notes.

MemoQ translation environment tool 3.6 announced

image Kilgray yesterday announced version 3.6 beta of MemoQ. Although a beta, this is a minor version number change (from 3.5. to 3.6), so, unlike what happens with the numerous revision number changes  (e.g. 3.5.23 to 3.5.24) that Kilgray uses to solve bugs, this one contains some significant new features. Let’s take a look at the change log posted by the developers:

Our long-awaited DOCX filter.

This is definitely a very welcome change. MemoQ will now be able to handle Word 2007 files natively and, from what I heard, it does that very efficiently and fast. By the way, MemoQ has always been my top choice for handling complex Word files (performing consistently better than Trados TagEditor 2007).

A PDF filter built on the open-source Xpdf tool that allows you to extract plain text from PDF files for alignment and translation.

Like some users pointed out, this is probably a catch-up feature that allows MemoQ to be as buzzword-compliant as Trados Studio 2009. From what I’ve heard about Trados’ implementation of this filter, it’s definitely not a one-stop solution that will solve all the translator’s PDF problems. (Hint: charge extra when you have to translate PDF files. Half of the time, the client will miraculously find those editable source documents).

MemoQ can now be officially installed on 64-bit systems.

This is very important in view of the introduction of Windows 7 that will take place this Autumn.

A feature to auto-insert the best hit when you enter the next segment after Ctrl+Enter. Look under Translation / Automatic Lookup and Insertion.

This is the single feature I’m most happy to hear about. Until now, if you pretranslated a file and automatically inserted fuzzy matches,  MemoQ would not warn you if a better match was saved into the TM since your last pretranslation, so you could end up editing the older, lower-matching segment contained in the pretranslated file if you failed to notice the better match in the TM.

An option (by default, on) to show TB hits in their order of appearance in the source, not alphabetically. Double-click the orange icon above Translation results for settings.

Until now the term base matches were shown in alphabetical order. This makes more sense and it should indeed be turned on by default.

The Concordance window can now be left open as you continue to translate.

Another very welcome new feature for users who like to have more reference windows open. Until now the concordance window was a modal dialog that needed to be closed every time you needed to go back to editing mode.

You can now safely use local projects stored on a network drive (only one user at a time).

I was never affected by this problem since we use MemoQ server to connect to remote projects through the internet and we save all project files locally.

We reinstated our old friend, F4, for inserting the fragment assembled hit. The shortcut can be configured, of course.

This is a minor change. I’m sure some users felt very strongly about it and the developers decided to re-introduce this feature.

An improved terminology check in the QA module that will yield fewer false positives for missing terms.

I have not tested this feature. All I know is that previous versions of MemoQ’s QA module left a lot to be desired, so hopefully this will be a step in the right direction.

MemoQ : Message: MemoQ 3.6.2 [beta] announced.

Anaphraseus (open source CAT tool) Manual

A brief manual, including screenshots, has been posted for the open source CAT tool Anaphraseus. Here are some of Anaphraseus’ main features:

  • Text segmentation
  • Terminology recognition
  • Plain-text TM (Unicode UTF-16)
  • Fuzzy search in Translation Memory
  • Unicode UTF-16 TMX export/import
  • User glossary
  • OpenOffice.org extension

Update: the previous link does not work any longer. Apparently the domain has expired. A new version of the manual is being published on this page.

XTM Version 4.0 coming next week

XTM-logoAn e-mail sent from XTM today describes some of the new features offered by XTM (“the leading web 2.0 complete translation environment”) version 4.0:

  1. Documents can be split into bundles of segments to allocate to multiple resources.
  2. Multiple translators and reviewers can work simultaneously on one document.
  3. Greater flexibility within the workflow to reroute jobs and reallocate resources.
  4. Many more standard workflows available for selection.
  5. Enhanced project metrics showing the progress of each step of the workflow.
  6. Individual translator statistics for progress monitoring and reporting.
  7. Improved performance from XTM Engine for analysis and matching.
  8. PDF filter – XTM can now process PDF files.
  9. Faster and more consistent processing of complex .doc files.

To sign up for a free test drive of XTM version 4.0, click here

TAUS: What you don’t (want to) know [about Google Translation Toolkit]

Jaap van der Meer of TAUS (Translation Automation User Society) says in his recent post about Google Translation Toolkit:

Translators using the Translation Toolkit ‘share’ their translations with Google. If 100,000 translators start using the service, Google will be harvesting 50 billion words of good quality translation data per year to help Google improve their automatic translation engines. In addition translators may be uploading their own (or their customers’) TMs.

Read the ret of the post at the URL below:
Google Translation Toolkit | Technology.

Google Translator Toolkit

This link came through Twitter this morning. Google has taken one more step towards implementing a web-based translation environment that supports both human and computer-generated translations. Here is a brief description from Google Translator Toolkit Help:

Google Translator Toolkit is part of our effort to make information universally accessible through translation. Google Translator Toolkit helps translators translate better and more quickly through one shared, innovative translation technology.

Here’s what you can do with Google Translator Toolkit:

  • Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML, text, Wikipedia articles and knols.
  • Use previous human translations and machine translation to ‘pretranslate’ your uploaded documents.
  • Use our simple WYSIWYG editor to improve the pretranslation.
  • Invite others (by email) to edit or view your translations.
  • Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
  • Download documents to your desktop in their native formats — Word, OpenOffice, RTF or HTML.
  • Publish your Wikipedia and knol translations back to Wikipedia or Knol.

How is this different from Google Translate? Google Translate provides ‘automatic translations’ produced purely by technology, without intervention from human translators. In contrast, Google Translator Toolkit allows human translators to work faster and more accurately, aided by technologies like Google Translate.

Here’s a 1 1/2 minute YouTube video that illustrates the main features.

Google Translator Toolkit basics