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Which of the CAT progs allows one to colour-code sentence-components?
Thread poster: fvg
fvg
Local time: 21:06
German to English
+ ...
Jan 26, 2003

Dear colleagues and list members,



I have the following problem.



German sentences in philosophy text-books can sometimes be half a page or longer, with several verbs, relative clauses, hyphenated inserts, brackets. When I use MS Word I colour-code the relative clauses - and anything else in the sentence which looks tricky - before starting the translation.



Is there a CAT prog which enables one to do this? Or offers something similar?



This beginner in the CAT world would be most grateful for a bit of advice - I\'m still in the process of deciding which CAT to buy.



best regards,



Dr. Frederik van Gelder


[addsig]


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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
In my experience... Jan 26, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-26 12:00, fvg wrote:

Dear colleagues and list members,



I have the following problem.



German sentences in philosophy text-books can sometimes be half a page or longer, with several verbs, relative clauses, hyphenated inserts, brackets.....







In my (fairly) extensive experience with various CAT tools, I can say that the problem with the current CAT programs out on the market today, is that they work on a *sentence* by *sentence* basis (aka segments).



So if you often have sentences which are about half a page in length, I can tell you that (unfortunately) you will not get much use out of the current CAT programs out there.



As for pre-coloring certain areas of your text: do you highlight the text or do you actually change the font color?



You can highlight certain segments of your text in MS Word before using certain CATs.



However, when it comes to actually changing the font color of certain portions of your source text, things could get confusing.



Programs such as Trados automatically change the colors of the text (i.e. to help you differentiate between \"untranslated text\", \"text which you have entered in the memory\" and \"text that you have not yet entered in memory but where you have closed the segments for the time being\" (i.e. when you want to come back to it later - when you need to check something, before officially uploading the segment into the memory).



You can modify those font colors in the translation memory options etc... so you could eventually play with the settings to better suit your needs.



I hope this information helps you a little bit... perhaps someone else has other ideas?



P.s. Welcome to Proz



Regards,

Nathalie



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-27 00:16]

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 21:06
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
CAT philosophy Jan 26, 2003

By definition, CAT tools are useful if the translated text(s) have a tendency of including frequently recurring sentences. This means: the longer the sentences, the less likely you encounter any fuzzy or perfect matches later on in the text.



Having said that, Deja Vu may be partially useful in this case: it has a feature that it can compose sentences from words and multi-word phrases that had been entered into the termonilogy database.



All in all, if you mainly translate texts in philosophy or other social science where sentences are long, CAT tools are probably not very efficient.



If you highlight parts of your texts before processing in any CAT tool, you will find formatting codes/tags at the beginning and the end of the highlighted sections.

In the CAT tool itself, you will see something like this:

Kritik der (code1) reiner Vernunft (code2).



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Florian v. Savigny  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
English to German
colour-code sentence-components Jan 27, 2003

Dear Frederik,



Assuming that - as other colleagues have said - CAT is not too efficient for translating philosophy texts with very long sentences (which seems very plausible to me), I\'d draw your attention to an \'outsider\'s\' approach:



If you use GNU emacs for editing plain text, you can highlight text in as many colours as you wish (you have to write the functions yourself, but that\'s very easy; I can even provide you with a template). Those colours disappear once you end your session (i.e. they are not saved to the file). This might be seen as safe (since it is impossible to deliver text which is inadvertently marked up in colours) or tedious (since you have to re-code them every time you open the file).



The whole approach can be made more systematic by coding your text using XML. That\'s also a quite intuitive thing, and Emacs could be tweaked to automatically display different elements in different coulours (in can be tweaked to do just about anything). Using XML, coding sentence components can also be combined with a synoptic approach, i.e. having the source sentences (or whatever fragment size you choose to be appropriate) alongside the target sentences, quite similar to CAT.



Using XML is a way which enables you to do just about anything you wish - in theory, that is. I am experimenting with an XML markup that allows me to synoptically do a translation by fragments. Outputting is a seperate step; I can choose what to output (usually I will take only the target text and omit things like annotations inserted for private use) and how to output it (this applies to the style as well as to the format;currently, I can do RTF, plain text, HTML, TeX (indirectly, this means Postscript and PDF) - I think RTF is most useful). Apart from doing the editing in a structured manner, this enables you to produce different things from the same working file, such as e.g. \"bilingual\" text for proof-reading purposes.



If this sounds interesting to you (if only in part), feel free to contact me. I\'d assume that it is ensuring quality rather than saving time.



Regards, Florian



PS: BTW all the programs needed are free. You can also buy commercial programs that deal with XML. I would not deem that necessary, however.


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fvg
Local time: 21:06
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Highlighting sentence components Jan 27, 2003


Thank you all for the welcoming words of advice. For this newbee to the forum it\'s an interesting experience to in contact with other translators.



The way I\'ve worked until now was simply to open up two MS word windows and highlight the relative clauses etc before getting down to the translating. That\'s quite time-consuming, and it struck me that with the various grammar-checking modules around, perhaps there\'s some way of automating these things. (I visualise a prog in which the user can determine: \"the relative clauses highlighted yellow, the verbs blue\".) If that program also has a module to create my own - large - databank based on a scanned dictionary, I\'ll buy it right away.



Regards, and thank you for your time.



Dr. Frederik van Gelder


[addsig]


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fvg
Local time: 21:06
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
emacs - sounds interesting Jan 27, 2003

Hi Florian,



this sounds very interesting. I did a lot of work with emacs some years ago, for an OCR project. Am prepared to spend a couple of days trying it out.



Quote:


On 2003-01-27 01:22, F. v. Savigny wrote:

If you use GNU emacs for editing plain text, you can highlight text in as many colours as you wish (you have to write the functions yourself, but that\'s very easy; I can even provide you with a template).



I\'d be most interested...

Quote:


The whole approach can be made more systematic by coding your text using XML. That\'s also a quite intuitive thing, and Emacs could be tweaked to automatically display different elements in different coulours (in can be tweaked to do just about anything). Using XML, coding sentence components can also be combined with a synoptic approach, i.e. having the source sentences (or whatever fragment size you choose to be appropriate) alongside the target sentences, quite similar to CAT.

...

If this sounds interesting to you (if only in part), feel free to contact me.





best,



Frederik van Gelder
[addsig]

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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
English to French
Work with wordfast Jan 29, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-27 21:19, fvg wrote:



Thank you all for the welcoming words of advice. For this newbee to the forum it\'s an interesting experience to in contact with other translators.



The way I\'ve worked until now was simply to open up two MS word windows and highlight the relative clauses etc before getting down to the translating. That\'s quite time-consuming, and it struck me that with the various grammar-checking modules around, perhaps there\'s some way of automating these things. (I visualise a prog in which the user can determine: \"the relative clauses highlighted yellow, the verbs blue\".) If that program also has a module to create my own - large - databank based on a scanned dictionary, I\'ll buy it right away.



Regards, and thank you for your time.



Dr. Frederik van Gelder









I would recommend Wordfast because :



1. All the stuff you normally do in Word can still be done with Wordfast (Wordfast works fully inside Word and does not impede Word\'s usual functions)



2. Wordfast can be set to run macros before and after segmentation. Since you need highly customized settings to do what you want, macros are the way to go. Good news is that once again, it is Word, so everything you already know about Word and Word macros is 200% valid.



3. For what you do, the TM is worth nothing in terms of matches, no matter which CAT you choose - as explained by my collegues. But CATs possesses terminology functions that will be of great interest to you: Context search, Glossary handling, Quality check based on the glossary, and, with Wordfast, even a concordancer.



4. You need to keep your documents in a format as open as possible to fiddle with them, and once again, Wordfast is the one for that.



Now, when you talk about highlighting grammatical parts of sentences, you are stepping beyond the scope of CATs, and into machine translation. That\'s not the same branch of programming at all.



There might be some pgms doing that, as you said, grammar modules, ... What you describe seems possible, even relatively easy.



It may exist - I don\'t know of any - but since it is not really in large demand, I think that if you want it, you will have to do it yourself. (ie: Find a list of verbs, prepositions, etc. and using a macro, pre-process your word file to highlight any word or preposition that is contained in each of your lists -with a different color of course)



All and all, CATs can do much less for you then they can for us -technical bunnies- but still they can help. In you case, better stick inside Word, so that you can use all the things you already know, and as Trados interferes with some functions and formating, the way to go is to use Wordfast.



As a last note, I don\'t sell Wordfast. I just use it.

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