Translating text in AutoCAD drawings

The excellent Translator’s Tools blog  contains a post on TranslateCAD, a utility that can be used to translate files saved in the AutoCAD format. We receive files in this format only occasionally, but I will definitely go back to that post the next time we receive this type of request.

via Translator’s Tools | Translating text in AutoCAD® drawings

Global Watchtower – Article on rule-based machine translation

The Global Watchtower blog contains a post about recent developments in rule-based MT.

For a brief overview of rules-based MT as opposed to its competing technology, statistical MT, about the differences between the two approaches and why they might matter to technical translators, see also the following Wikipedia links: Continue reading “Global Watchtower – Article on rule-based machine translation”

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. Continue reading “CTI – Crowdsourcing for open-source localization”

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.

High-quality, free PDF to Word conversion

i_index Using PDF files as the source for a translation is always challenging, especially with documents that have a non-linear text flow like brochures and presentations.

Our standard policy is to ask our clients to send the original file that was used to produce the PDF file that they want us to translate. This is usually the best option and allows us to deliver a translated document that is editable with the same program that was used to produce the original (although I do not like working with the verbose “tag soup” produced by XPress or InDesign converters and would sometimes rather convert the PDF to Word when dealing with these two translator-unfriendly formats).

Freewaregenius has published a review about PDF to Word Free. Here is a short excerpt

[…] in terms of conversion quality this is hands down the best free PDF to DOC/RTF converter that I have seen; there is simply nothing that comes close.

The service is still in private beta. The freewaregenius review contains an invite code that may allow you to join the program.

Update: Lifehacker also posted a review about PDF-to-Word. One piece of information that is added by this review is the fact that the service actually performs an OCR extraction of the source file. So the conversion to Word allows to extract text from those lousy “static” (non-editable) PDF files that contain text pages pasted as images (yes, sadly we sometimes receive that sort of file from clients). Lifehacker also offers an invite code to test the service.

Update 2: as pointed out by readers on the LifeHacker blog and on this MemoQ forum thread, PDFtoWord does not perform any OCR.

PDF to Word Free: a web service that delivers free, high quality PDF to DOC conversions |
PDF-to-Word Converter Pulls Readable Text from Scanned Images

MadCap Lingo 2 – new features

MadCap LingoLingo, the translation memory and authoring solution by MadCap, has been updated to version 2.0.

Here are the main features introduced by the update:

  • Translation alignment
  • Database editor
  • DITA files
  • Microsoft Word™ documents
  • HTML and XML files
  • Statistics reports

Update: The I’d Rather Be Writing blog has a review about MadCap Lingo 2.

MadCap Lingo – Features
Translating with the New Madcap Lingo V2

GlobalSight Release 7.1.1 Now Available

imageGlobalSight, the open-source translation management system initiative, has published an update. Here are the details:

The new GlobalSight release 7.1.1 is now available in the Download section. See below for details.

The download also includes the new Upgrade Installer application, which will simplify the update process going forward. Instructions are included in the download.

This update includes the following:


  • New Upgrade Installer application
  • Enhancement for adding new locale pairs – for only
  • Enables some features by default during GlobalSight installation
  • Update XLIFF support to make it TMX compatible

Fixed Bugs:

  • Unable to upload text offline files
  • The number of days for Duration is wrong in email
  • Error when PM user clicks on Activities
  • System Error in Popup Editor/View PDF for Ubuntu
  • Can’t export using DesktopIcon, Http response code 505
  • Translator can access the Globalsight.log
  • Segment Editor failed to find terminology matches
  • “Taiwan” time zone description is set to “Taiwon” wrongly
  • Update the “year” in About GlobalSight
  • Update Ambassador to GlobalSight in Upload Aligner Package page
  • Blank uid error in ldap
  • Download finished files modify date
  • The Duration time is not actual time in Job Details report
  • Fail to create new job using some PPTX files
  • Skip Activity does not work if a workflow contains 2 or more Condition Nodes

via GlobalSight Release 7.1.1 Now Available.

LTD Newsletter 4/2008 is Out

ATA’s Language Technology Division Newsletter issue 4/2008 is available. Here are the featured articles:

Can I Remove a Word from Office’s Speller Dictionary?, by Thierry Fontenelle
If you ever wanted to improve Office’s spell-checker, here are some suggestions for you.

ATA Language Technology Division Annual Meeting Minutes taken by Laurie Gerber.

Trados Tip, by Tuomas Kostiainen
Tuomas reminds us that MultiTerm is part of the Trados package and should not be forgotten.

Sil Converter: A Freeware, Universal World Font Converter, by Ravishankar Shrivastava
Glimpse into the world of pre-Unicode font conversion – and why it is still relevant today.

The Continuing Evolution of Automated Translation Technology: RbMT vs. SMT, by Kirti Vashee
A look at the two main approaches to machine translation.

via LTD News » Newsletter Archive.

Always check the background of potential new clients (or scammers)

It does not happen very often, but our team receives messages of this type every now and then:

We are XXX. Now we have a large translation project from English to Italian. We want to find the translator for this project.

When you have interest, could you tranlate a little text from English in Italian for the test? Looking forward to cooperate with you.

This topic is regularly discussed on various blogs and forums, see for instance:
Should we haggle like Levantines?
Taking free translation tests

We do not have a standard policy about accepting or refusing requests for translation tests (paid or free). Instead, we try to check the background of the company that sends the request. In this case, a quick trip to the ProZ Blue Board (lately one of the few areas of ProZ that we find useful enough to justify the subscription fee), showed the following in this company’s profile:

This outsourcer has been banned from posting jobs at
Well, this should be enough to make a simple decision. I think this is the result of the company having violated ProZ’s policies and is a strong indication of poor reputation.

“Likelihood of working again” is very low
This score summarizes the feedback given by the translator about the company. In this particular case, the company has a long track record starting in 2005. Until March 2007, the feedback given by translators was very high (almost invariably 5 out of 5), but from that date on it deteriorated dramatically, and there is nothing but negative feedback (20 or so comments showing 1 out of 5 points).

The feedback numeric score is available to non-paying users of ProZ. If you are a paying user, you get to see the long list of textual feedback. In this case it reports this outsourcer’s habit of paying invoices with incredible delays.

OmegaT beta version 2.0.1 released

OmegaT beta version 2.0.1 has been released. The new beta version of OmegaT contains 7 enhancements. Some of them concern usability, such as a more efficient display of glossary matches, while the others focus on extending the possible uses of OmegaT, such as a new console mode for server and batch usage, and a new interface for scripting languages.The user interface is now available in Slovenian. The OmegaT Project always welcomes developers, localizers and users to contribute their experience, knowledge and insights to the software we release.

Release notes
Download link

via News: OmegaT beta version 2.0.1 released.