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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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Meme Miner: get translations of Wikipedia article titles

Wikipedia is a good source of terminology. Wikipedia articles often appear on top of Google search results about specific terms of concepts, and since many articles are translated, or at least written in different languages, it’s often sufficient to click on the corresponding target language in the Wikipedia Languages side bar to jump to the corresponding translated article.

But that’s a lot of clicks, especially because translations are not always available for all languages. If you are only interested in obtaining the translation of the title (which would be the keyword or concept you are looking for), wouldn’t it be nice to just type the source word and see its translation immediately?

There are several online services that offer this functionality. After trying out a few of them, I have settled for Meme Miner for its nice interface and speed. Here’s what a simple search looks like:


So Meme Miner not only displays the term’s translation, but also offers the translated definition, as it appears in the Wikipedia article that uses the searched term as the title. Very useful.

It would be nice to see vendors of translation tools enter into an agreement with Wikipedia about integrating this type of search mechanism into their programs, for instance for pre-populating a glossary, complete with definitions, about a text that is about to be translated.

I also wonder if it would be possible to download bilingual Wikipedia article headings in a way that is easy to manipulate in order to generate bilingual term lists. Any comments about this possibility will be appreciated.

demaquina Select: sub-sentence segmentation, propagation etc. on TMX, XLIFF [@joaoalb]

a tweet I “intercepted” today led me to this potentially interesting interesting tool: demaquina Select.

from the website:

Select is a sidekick tool for preprocessing and boost works on CATs with support for XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) and Translation Memory Interchange (TMX).

Select offers an unequaled sub-sentence free segmentation ability which together with its own chunk-based Dual-memory System?, and Sub-sentence Case Aware Propagation delivers an ultimate terminology reusability.

With Select, each technical term, common expression or single word translation is typed ONCE in life!

From your elected CAT, export your work to a file with XLIFF format, create a Select Project and experience an incredible time saving with its intelligent sub-sentence term/chunk resuse and case-aware propagation… and many other time-saving driven features. Thereafter import the XLIFF file back into your CAT and sharpen your work, from Sub-sentence Zero Inconsistency to Perfection… Free to Care About Wording and Semantics…

Eradicate inconsistency at sub-sentence level from existing memories and term bases!

Export your elected CAT’s memories as TMX, open them with Select and see how easy it is to select segments with specific terms or expressions and use the Replace process with Sub-sentence Case-aware Propagation to eradicate inconsistency through all them at once!


Select is intended to:

Translate given XLIFF files’ content

If your elected or current project required CAT has support for XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format), you can export your work to a XLIFF file and create a Select Project from it. Taking advantage of Select’s Sub-sentence Case Aware Propagation, you can deal with language common expressions and project specific terminology like software UI elements like never before! Then import the XLIFF file content back to your CAT and resume your work from Zero inconsistency, Free to Care About Wording and Semantics!…

Edit Translation Memories (particularly spot and eradicate inconsistency at sub sentence level)

If your elected CAT has support for TMX (Translation Memory Interchange) you can export any of your translation memories to a TMX file and create a Select Project from it. Then you can use the Replace Process together with Sub-sentence Case-aware Propagation options to eradicate inconsistency and securely change wrong terminology!

It is also possible to translate using a TMX file as interchange file,

creating a "temporary" memory with the content of your source files, with both Source and Target units of each segment filled with the source text. (See bellow, how its TMX exported file should look like to be imported into a Select Project.)

Sub-segment leveraging is certainly one area in which modern TEnTs have a lot of potential for improvement. If implemented correctly, it can save time and, most importantly, facilitate consistency without requiring a lot of time spent on creating and tweaking glossaries. I intend to take a close look at this program after the holidays.

Importing the Microsoft Terminology Collection

The latest Tool Kit contains a nice description and details about importing the newly-available

Microsoft Terminology Collection into the translation environment of your choice. If your tool does not support the TBX format, however, you will have to transform the data into the proper format (e.g. CSV) before importing it.

The Tool Kit suggests using the excellent XBench for importing the TBX terminology file and exporting it into a comma-separated file. It also warns that XBench drops the “definition” field which, in my opinion, contains very useful context information. So in this case I’d say XBench is not the way to go.

By digging into the memoQ user discussion formum, I found this useful tidbit of information by Denis Hay:

True, we don’t have official support for TBX yet, but just add ".xml" to your file, open in Excel 2003 or 2007 and save as Unicode text. You will easily be able to import that into any memoQ termbase, picking only those columns you want.

Excellent. This should solve the problem and make the TBX easily accessible even if your favorite translation tool does not support this format natively (as is currently the case with memoQ).

Another solution that I tried and found to be working flawlessly is using Wordfast Pro, which supports TBX out of the box and allows you to export an imported glossary to CSV format. Wordfast Pro is available in a free trial version, which has some limitations. I’m not sure if the free version will allow to import and then export the whole Microsoft glossary, but my guess is it will.

Italian Localization problem n. 1 – System tray

There are some recurring terms in software localization which do not seem to have a well-established Italian translation, even if their meaning is very clear and they should be treated as 1-to-1 correspondences.

One of them is “system tray”, a commonly-used term that refers to a “portion of the taskbar that displays icons for system and program features (…)”, according to Wikipedia.

On the same Wikipedia page, we learn that

The notification area is commonly referred to as the system tray, which Microsoft states is wrong, although the term is sometimes used in Microsoft documentation, articles, and software descriptions.

What this means is that the term “system tray” should be avoided in English documentation that refers to Microsoft operating systems. If found while translating, you may want to warn the author to change it to “notification area”.

If we take a look at Microsoft’s own glossaries, here are the results for system tray. The term is not displayed in the blue “Microsoft Terminology Database” area, indicating that it may not be an official Microsoft term. The in-context results displayed in the orange area contain several inconsistencies. The Italian translation that seems to be used in the newest products (Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008) seems to be “area di notifica”.

A quick search for notification area reveals that this term is also translated as “area di notifica” and that this is an official Microsoft term (contained in the Microsoft Terminology Database).

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

University of Ottawa – Survey on use of terminology management systems integrated to translation environment tools

The aim of this study is to learn about the community’s perception of terminology management systems integrated with translation environment tools as well as to find out more about the approaches taken regarding their use.

via Use of Terminology Management Systems Integrated to Translation Environment Tools.