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…

Acronyms and co.

Clients have been very generous with me over the years. They’ve identified for me countless things that I should or should not do and most of all they’ve taught me the importance of acronyms and abbreviations in this business.

I’m joking of course. Yet to be honest with you I never cared much for acronyms used on a regular basis. Those who make use of them have always seemed to me to be a little pretentious and whenever I hear people making a large use of acronyms I always think that they don’t really give much importance to the effect that their choice of words will have on their audience.

But, be that as it may, one cannot deny that our job is fraught with acronyms that identify tasks and functions. We have PM for Project Manager, to start with the most obvious one. Then we have TEP for Translation, Editing and Proofing, possibly the most common set of tasks for a translator. We have LSO, which stands for Language Sign-Off, and which is a kind of proofing whereby the translator reviews and then endorses the linguistic quality of a translated text. Among the most recent ones we’ve learnt are PLP, which also refers to a kind of proofing, but unfortunately we’ve not worked out the exact meaning (or it was simply forgotten) and now we simply perform PLP without asking too many questions. The very latest one is TAT, which stands very aptly for Turn Around Time, a very nice and very important latest addition to our list of localization acronyms.

There are others of course, many others, though sometimes and for some of them I find it hard to make out whether they have been made up and spread by a single client or whether they are indeed widely used in the business.

Yet at the end of the day, this massive use of acronyms does nothing to advance clarity of purpose while it does, in fact, make you feel that it is sometimes more important to know what a few initials stand for than to perform a task that somebody else is asking you to perform.

[Tue, Jan 12th 2010]
PLP = Post-Layout Proof

The elusive PO [#1]

For a few weeks now I have been putting off dealing with a PO I received because I just know I won’t be able to match it to a set of projects for the same client I have in my database. How typical! So typical in fact I’m almost ashamed of having been had for the umpteenth time! And yet it happens, more often than we’d like to think.

Sometimes clients put off sending POs to translators/LSPs because they simply have other, more pressing things to do. And if you’re not 100% on it, you end up delivering the job without a PO to show for it. Sometimes, even when you kindly ask your client to send you the PO at his/her earliest convenience, they don’t do it promptly, then a few more days go by and — again — if you’re not on top of things, you may just end up forgetting yourself, because you have other, more pressing things to do. And when, weeks later, you go back to that item, you discover you have forgotten all the specifics about the job, the PO, your request for it etc. and you have to trace your steps and go back to the beginning. In the worst case scenario, you sometimes have to chase a PO for weeks, spending precious time doing something that should have been automated to begin with.

There was a time when Purchase Orders were sent out together with the job assignment they referred to. Mostly this is still the case, but in my experience, when there is no clear PO system at the clients’ end, or when there is no clear distinction between the PM and the person in charge of issuing POs, things can very easily get lost in the cracks. And when that happens, patience, accuracy and quiet obstinacy on your part are usually the only remedy.

The bare necessities

Wouldn’t it be great if our clients could send us only the information we need when they submit a job to our attention — and no more than that? It would indeed, but then, come to think of it, how often does it happen? Not quite often enough, at least in my experience.

Sometimes I have to read a submission message over and over again trying to make out exactly what the client is requesting. Other times the client throws everything they’ve got into the submission without giving much thought to priorities and essentials. This happens a lot when they send you a TM or a glossary you already have and they omit to tell you if is has been updated, and you then need to use/import it, or if it is exactly the same as the one they sent you before, and you can therefore disregard it entirely.

The fact is, at least from my experience, that because the stress at the multi-language vendors’ end is on quick turnaround times and speed in general, the concept that “spending 30 minutes now helps you save 3 hours later” is just no longer a principle that carries any weight.

When we started working for large multi-language vendors, particularly from the US, standard practice had a PM “digest” the entire bulk of intormation, reference material, terminology, translation memories, etc. that would come with a job and then serve you the “filtered” version, i.e. ONLY those things that were truly needed to carry out the job at best. What would be the use of sending 3 XLS glossaries when you can create a single termbase out of them and send that to the translator/single-language vendor company? And why send a dozen PDF reference files when the time allotted for the job barely allows you to translate and review? The trouble is, devoting time to preparing, checking, converting, streamlining a job in a way that makes life easier for the translator/SLV is apparently no longer part of the Project Manager profile. Project Managers in a MLV company seem rather to be focused entirely on clients and clients’s needs, sometimes at the cost of requesting very unconventional and unsuitable things of the translator/SLV (but I will come to this issue in a separate post).

As a PM in a smaller single-language vendor company, when I have to assign jobs to my translators (whether in-house or freelance), I always try to put myself in their place and, with that in mind, to decide what needs to be conveyed to them and what doesn’t. I write specific job instructions, and our system allows us to retrieve end-client specific instructions that have been entered only once and can then be updated as needs be. I also try to mould my instructions so that they are logical and consequential, with every task in the right order of discharge. And naturally, the less organised is the material and the instructions I receive from our client, the more time I will have to spend trying to make sense of it so that my translator is spared the aggravation. I don’t always achieve what I set out to do, but at least this is the direction I’m heading towards and one that makes sense in more ways (and for more people) than one.


[Definitions from the Localization Industry Standards Association’s glossary]
multi-language vendor (MLV): A language service provider that provides translation or localization into more than one language, as well as (usually) project management and a variety of value-added services.
single-language vendor (SLV)
: A language service provider that provides translation or localization into one language. The smallest SLVs are freelance translators, while larger SLVs may employ many translators.

My life as a PM

My name is Gabriella Ascari and my job in Albatros is to do with Project Management. Although I hold a degree in Interpreting and though I double as a translator within the company, I have always been a Project Manager, ever since the company started and since before I knew what it involved.

So, to make my 12-year experience in this field available to whomever is interested, today I’ll be starting a new section of this blog focused on Project Management as a way of life — so to speak.

Before I delve into one of the areas of PMing that are part of my everyday routine, however, I should perhaps describe our individual vantage point. Because while Albatros is by no means a large company, we do have to deal with some of the same issues that large multi-language vendors deal with on a daily basis (eg. assessing turnaround times, assigning jobs to internal and external resources, receiving and sending queries, etc.).

On the other hand, though Albatros is not necessarily small by some standards, we do have quite a few things in common with freelancers and with their relationship with clients (eg. obtaining the material we need to carry out a translation job, negotiating deadlines, making sense of translation kits that baffle any attempt to make head or tail of them, etc.).

So in this light, and with no intention of naming names or making my blog entries too heavy or irking, I’m planning to share some of my daily mishaps and endeavours while Project Managing through this blog. Hopefully, it will be interesting. If not, I hope it will at least have been therapeutical.

TAUS Widget

The Translation Automation User Society (TAUS) offers a desktop program that can be used for searching their database. The TAUS Data Association comprises 45 organizations, including well-known companies as Intel, Dell, eBay, etc. and large language service providers such as Lionbridge and SDL.

One of the the main reasons that brought these companies together to share their large translation memories and glossaries is the improvement of existing machine translation systems. However, the TAUS database represents a very valuable source of bilingual texts in many languages and it is freely searchable (but requires registration) through a Web interface. The widget goes one step further by taking this powerful search tool to the desktop.

Let’s take a look at this “widget”:


Here I ran a simple search for the common term “taskbar”. The results include dozens of human-translated text with the term highlighted in the source (and in the target too, after the system somehow computed its translation by analyzing the words that form the searched term).

The user can make the search more specific (and I think this will vary by language combination) by selecting specific industries (e.g. hardware, software, business services), data owners (e.g. ABBYY, Adobe, Dell, etc.) and content type (instructions, marketing material, software strings, etc.)

The search is fast and accurate and it displays the data in a clear two-column layout. Users can interact with the database by reporting problems with specific segments or sentences (just click on the grey “X” to the right of the segment.)

The widget requires registration, is multi-platform and runs on the Java Runtime Environment.

TAUS Widget | TDA