While attending the “Train the Trainer” course in Pécz last week, I was pleased to hear that the developers are still progressing at a very fast pace, adding interesting features to all new releases of our favorite translation environment tool. Below is a brief outline of what I found out. Be sure to attend the Introducing memoQ 4.5 webinar that is offered tomorrow from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM CEST to double-check the information I am giving here.
TM Performance improvements
Kilgray showed me a real-life comparison between the current version (4.2) and the new one (4.5) by running an analysis of a particularly complex file (containing many tags and many segments with numbers) against a TM (I do not recall if it was a server or a local TM, but it should not make any significant difference for the purpose of this comparison). Version 4.5 was visibly much faster than 4.2 in this test. I would say 4, or perhaps more, times faster. This is true both for analysis and pretranslation.
In version 4.5, the “Alignment” tab will be gone, to be replaced by a brand-new concept called LiveDocs. This is a collection of text files, or a “corpus”, which can contain files in different formats (monolingual files paired by a specific function, bilingual files and monolingual documents such ad PDFs).
When added to the corpus, all these files are immediately available for fuzzy searches. There is no need to align them. Add multiple files (you are no longer limited to one pair of files as in the alignment feature of the previous versions) from your reference folder, and you will see them appear in the concordance results. If you have the source and the target language version of the same document, you have the chance to highlight terms in the source and in the target to add them to your term base. Apparently, the new alignment algorithm also uses the term base entries and inline tags as reference points for alignment, elevating the score of the sentence containing the term pair or tags for a more precise alignment.
More importantly, when the user makes an alignment correction, the pair of strings is added as a reference point for the ongoing alignment function that works in the background, using the reference point to fine-tune and improve the alignment. So if you spot any misalignment in the corpus while doing a search, you will be able to correct it on the fly, and your correction will immediately be used for optimizing the index. The index is continuously updated in the background, but this feature can be temporarily stopped if it interferes with other resource-hungry applications.
By inserting monolingual files into the corpus, even if no translation is available for them, you will be able to obtain precious suggestions that include more context. Something that a translation memory alone cannot do, since it’s limited to one segment at a time.
Although not ground-breaking (if I’m not mistaken it’s offered, among others, by Multicorpora’s MultiTrans, but at a much, much higher price) this feature seems to have been implemented very nicely. Translators who have dozens of reference files will be able to access them instantaneously from the translation environment. One important concept that may not be obvious from the description above is the following: you will no longer waste time aligning sentences that you probably will never need to use. Instead, you will access useful linguistic data right when you need them.
This will be a very welcome addition for users, like us, who have a memoQ Server. Up to now, while creating a new project your choice is limited to online projects (with files residing on the server, which implies that the translator has to be online all the time and is unable to create “views” from the documents), and to handoffs, which are local files with references to the server’s resources.
Version 4.5 introduces the concept of “desktop documents”. In practice, we are still dealing with an online project, but the translator will work on local documents and will benefit from superior manipulation options, such as the creation of views. However, the project will still be synchronized on the server, so the project manager will not have to give up precious progress information.
This mode has a separate window now. What I understood about this feature is that you will be able to translate a project and at the same time manage it (or another project) without having to go through the annoying step of closing your working project before switching to PM mode. Again, a great time-saver for our team.
- It’s now easier to create new users thanks to links available in several places of the interface
- An InDesign CS5 filter will be available in the upcoming months
- Reverse lookup in TM will be possible (only for reference TMs)
- Slider to choose between “better recall” or “faster lookup” from the TM
- Backup feature for local projects to facilitate moving from one PC to another
Here is some more information I gathered on the memoQ mailing list:
- LiveAlign is the name for the “on the fly” alignment feature
- ActiveTM is the one which gives matches from all the documents in the corpus when you’re translating, indeed leveraging your previous assets
- […] monolingual indexing à la dtSearch is the Library.
- Along with ezAttach, which allows the addition of binary files (pictures, music, anything)
… this dynamic quad team constitutes the LiveDocs all-in-one feature. Get the most out of your resources, whether monolingual or bilingual!
Thanks to Livedocs, the time when reference documents were simply ignored by the translator because they were too long to read or only scarce parts were relevant is almost over!