How to translate .TEX files?
Thread poster: Endre Both

Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:33
Member (2002)
English to German
Jun 25, 2003

I've just received a few .TEX files for translation, they were edited in LaTeX, I believe.

While I have heard a lot of praise about the LaTeX approach in the past, the text I'm supposed to translate is simply appalling at first sight. It is a kind of source code including all formatting commands along with the text, similar to but a lot worse than HTML.

I've tried an editor (WinEdt5) which at least colours codes differently than plain text, but it's still a nightmare, e.g.
- special characters appear as a combination of two caracters: 'ö' is '"o', making the whole thing extremely hard to read
- footnotes and margin notes appear in the middle of the sentences they are linked to
- ...and a few other details

My best shot so far has been to open the source code in Word, write macros to hide all codes and import the whole thing into DéjàVu, where it still looks terrible, but the codes are masked by the usual DV-style {123} codes, making it somewhat less unreadable. Of course, macros always have potential for trouble: I won't be able to hide everything I would like, and, worse, I might hide text that should in fact be translated.

Has anyone come across this type of text, and what approach did you use for translation?

Finally, a small extract for your pleasure:

Das Produkt kann bei \SmartCompany bzw.\ dem zust"andigen Landesvertriebspartner bezogen \index{Produkt!Bezugsquelle} werden. Es hat die Gr"o"se \index{Produkt!Gr"o"se} 70cm x~100cm und enth"alt 11x16~Me"szellen.

Thanks for your ideas
Endre
EB Communications


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:33
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I can give you a hand Jun 25, 2003

Dear Endre:
I use LaTeX daily; right now I am translating a book on electrodynamics (from hard copy), and to re-format the text with really nice equations etc. LaTeX is necessary.
I do not use any CAT tool with LaTeX - basically because the source is hard copy. However, it is not impossible: \"o, \H{o} can be changed to ö and õ, and LaTeX will understand them if you use the Latin2 package. I work in WinEdt to enter the text. Perhaps the best idea would be this: do not let DV or Trados remove anything, just keep and copy-paste the formatting commands. To recognise things a bit better, have a hard copy next to you. (If you have problems in generating one I can help.)
However, if you do not have experience with LaTeX, you might have some difficulty.
As a rule of thumb: commands start with backslash and can have more arguments. Mathematical formulas are between $ signs (or \[ ... \] etc.)
If you wish, send the file, and I will change basic things like \"o's etc.

Best of luck
Attila


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 20:33
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Conversion to rtf Jun 25, 2003

Hello,

long time ago i see some tools for conversion of tex files to rtf. Maybe they will work, if the structure of the latex files are easy enough.

You can search for "tex2rtf" in Google.

Hans


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ttagir  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:33
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some remarks Jun 25, 2003

Hi,
I work in TeX - LaTeX permanently since 1997. You will laugh, but I translate and edit in a very old DOS editor called ChiWriter (it is related to DOS-based Russian which is the source to be translated).
However, there are some specific software programs working specially with TeXt-like files (Scientific Notebook, Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace, MiTeX, etc.). In any way,
1. ask the author to provide you with DVI or PDF of the book text;
2. either print it to have the source in front of your eyes or start PC with two windows: one for your source and other for DVI/PDF to trace the things you do;
3. after completing a part of text (a chapter) ask outsourcer to DVI it again for proofreading, etc..
Note that TeX-user groups which are numerous in the world of science will readily advise you how to download a (usually shareware or free) program for creating DVI. You cannot work without DVI for previewing what to translate since you do not have 6 years of experience. All other questions can be directed to me (ttagirov@ksu.ru) and as soon as I will have answers/comments to your questions, I will try to help.
Yours,
Dr. Tagir S. Tagirov (editor of a scientific monthly === >90 pages written in TeX - AMSLaTeX every month since 1990:)
see www.math.nyu.edu/phd_students/mconsult/documents.html
www.augie.edu/dept/phys/latex.html
math.uprm.edu/~rozga/mathsci/format.html
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/academic/ class/15251/Site/Materials/Latex
chandra.astro.indiana.edu/isongs/texintro.html - (note this is complete URL chain - join it in browser!) - here it is explained how to DVI TeX files:)
PS. RTF-ing TeX files AUGMENTS porblems:). Next note: ask your jobgiver: what kind of formatting and style files s\he will have to have in the result? If the style file will not be modified too strongly (but it will an any case since of the change of language), then you are happy. If the style will be changed, thenre leave this problem to softmen/women:)
T.

[Edited at 2003-06-25 07:52]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:33
German to English
+ ...
TeX Jun 25, 2003

Aha, a Windows user having to cope with a UNIX file format. So there is justice in this world!

It should not be too difficult to either edit TeX directly, or convert it to another format such as RTF. Do a Google search on "TeX for Windows" and you will find plenty of pointers.

Finding a a means of converting it back reliably, or of finding CAT tool that can handle TeX directly, is another matter. You MIGHT be able to use a tool that can handle XML, but I'm not making any promises.

It looks as though you also have an encoding problem, which is a separate issue.

You might try posting your query on a more specialist newsgroup such as

groups.yahoo.com/group/cat_conv
or
lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/translation-i18n

Good luck!
Marc


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Gabriele Zöttl  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:33
English to German
+ ...
Background information Jun 25, 2003

The praise LaTex receives is quite justified, as it saves you the trouble of worrying about formatting matters. But if you are used to working with text processors and DTP programmes, your first contact with LaTex is bound to be somewhat nightmarish.


http://www.giss.nasa.gov/latex/ltx-2.html This page lists LaTex commands and their meaning - among others German umlauts.

If you are interested in what the formatting commands mean and how they are applied, you can find a German introduction here: http://www.weinelt.de/latex/

http://www.stud.tu-ilmenau.de/~latex/inhalt.html lists tools, gives installation instructions, tips for determining which tools you need and so on (in German).

I'm rather giving you links here than tell you what to do, because the other replies already offered good help. And, well, if you want to work with LaTex, there just is no way around doing quite a bit of background reading.

Good luck
Gabriele


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 15:33
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
You have already received some good advice... Jun 25, 2003

but I just wanted to add my support should you need any help with LaTex.

First of all, you should find out whether your client needs an identical translated .tex file or just a printable version. He probably wants the former, but you don´t loose anything by asking. If you´re lucky and he just wants a document for printing, you can convert the .tex file to .rtf or .pdf and work your way through as usual (I can explain it to you in detail if you don´t know how to do that, or -if there are no confidentiality issues at stake- you can email me the file and I´ll return you a .pdf in just a few minutes). You´ll need that in either case!.

If you have to mantain the .tex format, then you started with the right foot: use WinEdt to edit the text and use the dvi preview to see the output as has already been suggested (I´m assuming you have a suitable release like MikTex installed on your system). In any case, you´ll be working with a "readable" printed copy of the original text in fornt of you and you can download a good latex manual for free with symbol charts to help you along. BTW, WinEdt has a good Symbol GUI bar (enable it by clicking the epsilon button).

If you find Latex symbols and interface too dificult, perhaps you can try this roundabout (I´m not sure it will be more easy). Convert the .tex to .rtf (you will loose some formatting). Translate it as you usually do. Convert the file back to .tex (you can download evaluation software to do this). You now have a very different .tex document in code but at least the text has all the right symbols. Now copy and paste each line where it should replace the original text et voila.

Good luck!.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another happy LaTeXer Jun 25, 2003

In general, for anyone faced with a TeX file, if your platform is Mac, I recommend Alpha as a text editor (for download, go to http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/editors.html. If it is PC, then either WinEdt, which has already been mentioned, or NoteTab at http://www.notetab.com. The shareware version of NoteTab is free, and it is sufficient for your needs.

Learning enough LaTeX to understand what is going on in your document may seem like a challenge at first, but it is easier to pick up the basics than you might think at first glance. For the project I am working on, I received the files in Chi, and had to rewrite them into LaTeX, which was a bigger job than the translation itself.

I am translating in Deja Vu, too, but I didn't hide the LaTeX coding because I wanted to see what was going on. I think that in the end, it is more helpful to learn a bit of LaTeX than to try to hide it. I have been converting the files to .txt to import them to Deja Vu, then converting the translated files back to .tex to run them.

An essential part of the process for me has been LaTeXing each translated file to check that it runs correctly. The Usenet newsgroup comp.text.tex is where LaTeX questions can be asked. A common program to run LaTex is Miktex, available as free shareware; see http://www.miktex.org/.

Here is more than you need to know for picking up the basics of LaTeX:

http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~dwilkins/LaTeXPrimer/

http://www.emerson.emory.edu/services/latex/latex_toc.html
http://www.tjhsst.edu/~dhyatt/latex/node2.html

http://www.cs.nyu.edu/~yap/student/LatexBasics.html


[Edited at 2003-06-25 13:59]


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Samy Boutayeb  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:33
German to French
+ ...
Kile for Linux (former Ktexmaker2) Jun 25, 2003

Hallo Endre,

I recommend you Kile for Linux. It's a powerfull integrated LaTeX environnement for for the desktop environment KDE3. This all in one application enables you to edit your documents, generate the DVI output as well as the Postscript, PDF, HTML variants, and visualise them in a userfriendly GUI. F.e. syntax highlighting helps you to differentiate translatable text from LaTeX-code.

I can confirm personnaly that Kile is a valuable working environment, after having translated with one colleague a 700 p. book formatted in LateX.

As for Linux, a valuable alternative to have a Linux OS installed on your hard disk is to use a live Linux distribution running from your CD drive. For example, Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/)), with Kile, enables you to edit your files on your HD, while running from the CD.
However, some Knoppix-versions don't include Kile, so if you are interested, I can help you find which one you may need.

Best regards,

Samy


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:33
Member (2002)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Can I hide comments (%) in WinEdt? Jun 25, 2003

First, many thanks to all of you, after so much helpfulness from its users, LaTeX's balance is almost in credit again in my accounts

I'm beginning to familiarise myself with it, and while I still think it's a pain from a translator's point of view, I'm beginning to see its advantages too.

I think I've solved the encoding problem for the time being (at least for the source text), and I've adapted the colouring to my needs, so everthing looks slightly better now.

I've all but given up on the Word-DejaVu approach, although I've already devised some really nice macros to hide most of the codes while keeping most of the text...

One more question for those familiar with TeX editors: is there a way to hide comment lines (preceded by "%") in WinEdt (or any other Win32 editor you know?

Thanks again,
Endre
EB Communications


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Try the WinEdt FAQ & list Jun 25, 2003

Endre Both wrote:
One more question for those familiar with TeX editors: is there a way to hide comment lines (preceded by "%") in WinEdt (or any other Win32 editor you know?


Try the WinEdt list; they'll know better than anyone else if it's possible, and if so, how to do it. The WinEdt FAQ is at http://www.winedt.org/Doc/FAQ/

[Edited at 2003-06-25 20:03]


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:33
Member (2002)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Hiding irrelevant parts of TEX files - solution (kind of) Jun 28, 2003

Thanks to GoodWords for pointing me to the WinEdt FAQ and list; I did a fair bit of searching (without actually posting a question to the list), but didn't find a way to hide comments.

What I found out, however, is that by tweaking the colour settings of the syntax highlighting function, I can make almost any part of the text nearly or totally invisible. I chose to make comments and some other codes light gray; making them totally invisible would be dangerous as they can still be edited.

This makes it a lot easier to find my way around the text. Still, the problem of sentences sliced apart by notes, references and indices remains, and the customer is in for a 20 to 50% surcharge.

Thanks again to all who offered help,
Endre
EB Communications


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 21:33
English to Russian
There is a tool which helped me Jan 3, 2005

Endre Both wrote: I've just received a few .TEX files for translation, they were edited in LaTeX, I believe.

I have just completed a tool which makes it much easier to translate Latex. Please check http://www.proz.com/post/193811


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