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

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. 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.

GlobalSight (open-source Translation Management System 7.1.3) released


Here is the changelog:

  • TM Precedence – Adds function in TM Profile to allow arranging of TM order. Presents TM matches to translator in that order.
  • Download All Offline Files – When translating or reviewing offline, new button allows for download of All Files from All Tasks with status “In Progress”  with one click.
  • Consolidate TM’s for offline work – When translating or reviewing offline, allows user the option of consolidating TMX files into one when working a job with multiple source files.
  • TermBase API’s – Allows access to Terminology Management through Web Service API’s. Perform tasks such as add, edit or delete of terminology entries from an external application.
  • New TermBase Search – Provides more flexible and granular search capability on terminology entries.
  • SID Support – provides support for String ID fields in GlobalSight TM’s.
  • XML Rules Testing – Allow ability to test an XML file when building  XML Rules (similar to testing SRX).

Via GlobalSight 7.1.3 Streamlines Offline Translation Process

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.

Microsoft Translator: machine translation for Microsoft Office documents

The Microsoft Research Machine Translation (MSR-MT) Team Blog has published some details about a translation plug-in for Microsoft Office.

Now you can translate your Microsoft Office documents with Microsoft Translator – right within Office! You can translate words, phrases, or even your entire document, through the Research task pane. We blogged about setting this up manually for Office 2007 or Office 2003 previously – now it’s really easy!

This works for both Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007. The current default in Microsoft Office is WorldLingo – this installer will update your task pane to use Microsoft Translator as the default translator for the languages we provide.

Download the installer now and let us know what you think over in the Forum!

Via Microsoft Research Machine Translation (MSR-MT) Team Blog

New features of SDL Trados Studio 2009

imageThe English-Bulgarian freelance translator blog has a post detailing some of the new features that will be available in Trados Studio 2009.

Judging from the content posted on SDL’s website, it seems that Trados Studio 2009 will be presented during the SDL Trados Roadshow Maidenhead (on April 22nd).

Let’s take a brief look at some of the features:

An unified interface – no more Translation Workbench + TagEditor or Word, everything will be in a single application – SDL Trados Studio. All file filters, project management tasks, and the actual translation work will be done in the same window.

Wow, this could certainly be seen as a “bold” move, considering the vast amount of translators who still use the Word macros + Workbench duo to do the job. Although I welcome this change, I’m not sure how well it will be accepted by freelance translators in general.

A two-column view in the translation editor just like SDLX, Idiom, Déjà Vu or Accross with a stronger orientation toward WYSIWYG mode. The placeables and term hits in the source sentence are presented like in Workbench (blue and red lines) and the upper case words work now as placeables.

The two-column view seems to be the general trend nowadays and Trados is one of the last tools that is adhering to it.

A live preview capability enabling the user to see the changes that are being performed in the translation editor pane.

I have seen this feature in action in MemoQ and I think it is essential for any serious computer-assisted translation tool.

The translation memories will be stored in MS SQLite databases (for the freelance editions of SDL Trados Studio).

I wonder if this will have any effects on speed. So far Trados always shined in terms of access speed to local translation memories and was disappointing (in my opinion) when accessing shared TMs though the internet. Perhaps the migration to an SQL database format will mean not-so-great performance on local access but acceptable access speed for internet access.

The TTX format will be replaced by XLIFF and XLIFF will be the actual translation format from now on. You can still open TTX files created in previous versions. The new projects in the XLIFF format however will be  no longer compatible with the previous Trados versions. The TM exchange format TMX will continue to be supported.

This is the single best piece of news in the whole package and it will mean (hopefully, unless SDL have screwed up the XLIFF format by creating their own flavor) much better interoperability between different translation environment tools (TEnTs). Ideally, translators will be able to use the tool they prefer and deliver files that can be read by Trados (or any other tool that properly supports XLIFF).

The termbase exchange standard TBX (more info here) will now be supported.

Same as above, although not as big a deal as XLIFF.

Real-time quality assurance features will be supported, which means that the errors will be displayed as you translate.

Hmm, sounds like one of the options I’ll turn off immediately.

The AutoSuggest feature will interactively suggest terms as you type, drawing terms from the content within the translation memory. The freelance version of SDL Trados Studio will not be able to build the AutoSuggest dictionaries but will be able to use externally created ones. When you begin typing the translation text a little drop-down menu appears under the cursor suggesting possible word choices.

I’m not so sure about this one, either. If properly implemented, it might be useful.

The PerfectMatch feature (i.e. in-context matching) will be now available in the freelance edition but it will leverage the matches from the existing translation memory, not from the previously translated files.

This is another feature I love in MemoQ and which has been introduced in Trados. Although my impression is that several translators do not know what “in-context matching” really is, I think it’s a feature that can largely improve the reliability of 100% matches, which, if inserted blindly, can create serious problems. To think that some agencies refuse to pay for 100% matches and are happy enough to insert them automatically!

Via New features of SDL Trados Studio 2009 | News | Bulgarian freelance translator

TranSphere hybrid machine translation system for Windows


AppTek, a developer of software for human language technology, has completed its hybrid machine translation (HMT) system for both Windows server and 32-bit Windows for PC. AppTek’s TranSphere HMT system is a full integration of statistical and rule-based methodologies.

Via MultiLingual Computing, Inc., News

OmegaT (multiplatform computer-assisted translation tool): 1.8.1 update 3

Here is the changelog:

Implemented requests:

  • Add keyboard shortcuts in Search dialog (Effective in English and in French, other translations must be updated. As for all dialogs, dialog shortcuts are not available on a Mac.)

Other enhancements:

  • New Welsh localisation (UI, readme, instant start)
  • Czech localisation updated to 1.8 (UI, readme, instant start, documentation)
  • Hunspell for Mac and Linux-i386 is updated to 1.2.8
  • Hunspell for Windows is updated to 1.2.7

Bug fixes:

  • Tags are counted as characters in statistics
  • French dictionary cannot be downloaded and installed
  • Linux: Exception on reading omegat/learned_words.txt

via OmegaT – multiplatform CAT tool: Files.

Thoughts On Translation blog: Resources for free and open source software users

Corinne McKay’s blog contains a useful post about free and open-source resources for translators. I have posted a comment to her post, but I’m re-posting it here because I think it’s relevant to this blog.

Perhaps Linux “live CDs” are a good option for Windows users who have doubts about switching to Linux from Windows and do not want to alter their system’s partitions, settings etc. I have tried Knoppix and I think it’s a good choice if you want to get a taste of Linux without getting into trouble.

One aspect that I would like to point out is the choice of your main translation environment tool TEnT. If you are a professional translator and if you spend a great deal of your time working with such a tool, perhaps choosing the platform Linux, Mac, Windows first and then choosing your TEnT as a consequence might not be your best option, since your choice will be very limited on certain platforms.

My suggestion is to gather as much information as possible about TEnTs and choose the one that best fits your and your clients’ needs, and then choose the operating system as a consequence of that.

Wordfast Pro, Heartsome and OmegaT are good tools, but, like all other TEnTs, they have limitations. Perhaps choosing a commercial tool that works on Windows instead of Linux might be a better choice if you notice that this makes you more productive. Of course some commercial tools look expensive at first sight, but what you really should consider is your productivity and why not? fun in using the tool.

Any initial saving you make by using an inexpensive solution no matter if this is open-source, commercial, shareware, etc. will be wasted if this solution is noticeably less productive than another product that has a high purchase price but that will perfectly pay for itself in the long term.

via Resources for free and open source software users « Thoughts On Translation.