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Wordfast is Great but not perfect (peeves listed). Alternatives? MetaTexis?
Thread poster: Timothy Takemoto

Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
Jun 9, 2007

Wordfast is free for small to medium jobs! This makes it truly wonderful. All hail WF!

Update: MetaTexis is not free for small to medium jobs, but it is free in education as is WF. I wish that one of them bribed educators a bit more. The cheaper it is to educators - even if they use it NOT only for educating - the more likely educators are likely to teach its use.

WF does not use much memory.

WF works in Word, which I have been using for many years. So does MT.

WF does not crash at all on my computers. I think that in some earlier incarnations it did crash occasionally, but not these days. Fear not WF is stable.

WF is easy to use. Just press the “f” and start translating using "alt down" to go on to the next segment (once you have set up a translation memory).

WF is installable even without an admin account on university computers, so I can teach its use to students. I guess that since MetaTexis uses a database, one needs to be an administrator to install it. Is this so? Update: Yes, I am pretty sure that MT needs an administrator login to install.

However

I don’t, and my students, don’t find WF very easy to use.

Setting up the translation memory is not all that easy for students. Update: MT has a wizard thing for starting a project. I think that for experienced users this is may be a bind (someone says so on the proz forums) but for novices easier.

The biggest problem with WF, especially with my students, is the accidental deletion of the greyed out delimiters “{” etc. This can really put a spanner in the works. I have “protect delimiters” set (as default) which stops one from deleting the delimiters using the backspace and delete keys, but they can still be removed by cutting (Ctrl X) them accidentally. And if one types inside the delimiters it is impossible to delete that which one has just typed (unless one knows to use cut, or undo). This leads to a lot of problems.

“Alt down” is not the easiest key press. I am pretty sure one can change the default. Having just looked through the WF set up now, I did not see a place to change the key press.

Update: it is easy to change the key press in MetaTexis. Here is the MetaTexis shortcut key settings screen.
metatexis shortcuts
I guess that there is this sort of setting in WF but I have not found it yet.

In WF I sometimes want to skip a section and go onto the next, but if I don’t type anything and try and go onto the next section WF assumes that I want to stop translating, GRR! I want to be able to flick through sections with greater ease.

I generally translate prose (academic papers, lecture notes). There are few matches despite there being similar phrases and sentence endings. I wish that WF would replace those parts of the sentence that match. In both WF and MT “segments” are defined by the presence of “end of segment punctuation,” and not by the existence of a series of words that match previously translated text. To hope that a translation memory might translate matched word series is probably an unrealistic dream because the software can't know which part of the word series matched which part of the translation. But maybe one day.

On the third occurrence of the same word series it might be replacable because then the software could look back and see the part common to the two previous translations. Does any software do this?

Fuzzy matching in yellow and pink in WF (is it?) is nice, but it does not leave the original, so it is a mixed blessing. As I just wrote it would be nice if it match the bit that matches and not replace the words that do not match. Again, hoping for too much. Someone mentioned that DeJaVu can deal with phrases somehow but it is outside of my budget.

This is silly but I am not all that keen on the look of the WF toolbar. This is entirely a matter of taste. Here it is
wordfast toolbar
Update: Here is the MetaTexis toolbar next to the WF button. For some reason when one turns the WF toolbar on, the MT toolbar disappears so I can't capture them side by side. I realise why I am not so keen on the WF toolbar and why I prefer the MT one; the WF toolbar puts those blue and green bands on all the buttons. Thus the colour has no meaning (just branding). The MT toolbar presents a less uniform appearance but colour is used to distinguish the buttons.
matatexis toolbar

I still have not worked out how to use the WF Glossary. I wonder if it will replace matched terms leaving the rest of the sentence in the original language.

Update: I am getting to like Metatexis - it is a lot like WF but to me it seems a bit more powerful, perhaps because it is more than a Word "add in" (it includes dll's hence the disadvantage of requiring an admin account).

Comparison here
http://www.condak.net/metatexis/en/00.html

Tim

[Edited at 2007-06-10 02:09]


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Milan Condak  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
English to Czech
Wordast has a features Propagate and CopySourceWhenNoMatch Jun 9, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:

I wish that WF would replace those parts of the sentence that match.
In both WF and MT “segments” are defined by the presence of “end of segment punctuation,” and not by the existence of a series of words that match previously translated text.

To hope that a translation memory might translate matched word series is probably an unrealistic dream because the software can't know which part of the word series matched which part of the translation. But maybe one day.

On the third occurrence of the same word series it might be replacable because then the software could look back and see the part common to the two previous translations. Does any software do this?

Fuzzy matching in yellow and pink in WF (is it?) is nice, but it does not leave the original, so it is a mixed blessing. As I just wrote it would be nice if it match the bit that matches and not replace the words that do not match.

I still have not worked out how to use the WF Glossary. I wonder if it will replace matched terms leaving the rest of the sentence in the original language.


Hi Tim,

Wordfast can propagate (= translate a terminoly) text using 3 different glossaries. Here are some links:

1. Import terminology into MetaTexis is more difficult than into Wordfast
http://www.condak.net/metatexis/ja_glo/en/00.html

2. Example of translating in Wordfast by using glossary made from translated list of extracted words from English source text
http://www.condak.net/ukazky/lv/en/00.html
In glossary are all words from source text.

3. Example of translating with small glossary
http://www.condak.net/ukazky/kog/en/00.html

4. Here are some Microsoft glossary for download and testing
http://www.condak.net/fast/data_cs/permission_notice.html
http://www.condak.net/fast/pl_test/en/note_pad_glo2.html

Translating Czech-Thai, Thai-Czech:
http://www.condak.net/testing/thai/en/pic.html

Milan


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Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why was this topic moved to the Wordfast forum? Jun 10, 2007

Thank you Milan,
I see that you are an expert on both MetaTexis and Wordfast. Thank you very much for sharing your expertise.

Milan Condak wrote:
1. Import terminology into MetaTexis is more difficult than into Wordfast
http://www.condak.net/metatexis/ja_glo/en/00.html

Though it is more difficult it seems pretty easy to import a glossary from an excel file.
I am afraid that I did not really know what was going on in the other links. In what way is MetaTexis more difficult?

Is MetaTexis INcapable of
1) Using three glossaries?
2) Making a glossary from a translated list of extracted words? (I.e. does WF offer more tools for glossary creation?)

Thank you very much for the glossaries.

Why was my topic moved to the Wordfast forum? It is a shame that topic was moved to the Wordfast support forums, because I wanted to hear especially from MetaTexis people, not only those special people who use Wordfast and MetaTexis like Milan. Please would you be so kind as to move it back to a neutral forum, where I can hear comparisons of Wordfast and MetaTexis?

Tim


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Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
Czech to German
+ ...
Skip a section Jun 10, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
In WF I sometimes want to skip a section and go onto the next, but if I don’t type anything and try and go onto the next section WF assumes that I want to stop translating, GRR! I want to be able to flick through sections with greater ease.


Hi Timothy,

did you already try to put the cursor at the beginning of where you want to go on and press SHIFT+ALT? This should be working!

Charlotte


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Milan Condak  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:01
English to Czech
MetaTexis can handle with more target segments Jun 10, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:

Milan Condak wrote:
1. Import terminology into MetaTexis is more difficult than into Wordfast
http://www.condak.net/metatexis/ja_glo/en/00.html

Though it is more difficult it seems pretty easy to import a glossary from an excel file.
I am afraid that I did not really know what was going on in the other links. In what way is MetaTexis more difficult?

Is MetaTexis INcapable of
1) Using three glossaries?
2) Making a glossary from a translated list of extracted words? (I.e. does WF offer more tools for glossary creation?)

Tim


Glossary in Wordfast is without language codes.
TXT file can be easily searched.

1) By using three glossaries in Wordfast I can distinguish by color from which glossary is a term propagated. I use only one TDB ("glossary") in MetaTexis.

2) In PlusTools is tab +Extract for extracting a terminology.

Back to MetaTexis:
Just for presentation I created a lesson
"Web-translation with reference language"

http://www.condak.net/lekce/ttagger/mt-cross/en/00.html,

translated text is from Readme to Tortoise Tagger.

Milan


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some answers Jun 10, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
Setting up the translation memory in WF is not all that easy for students.


It would be interesting to see how MT's setting up a TM is easier. In WF, just click the main Wordfast icon, then click "New Translation Memory", then follow the prompts (and there are only two... one for source language code, and one for target language code). Then save the TM anywhere.

Too difficult for students? I would scoff, but unfortunately I have experience in dealing with some brilliant translators who are totally computer illiterate.

The biggest problem with WF, especially with my students, is the accidental deletion of the greyed out delimiters “{” etc. This can really put a spanner in the works.


Yes, but at least this can be fixed easily. Just press Ctrl+Z or press the "Undo" button. Some people try to fix it "going forward" instead of "going backward", and that is when they get stuck. Even so, if delimiters have been deleted, simply type them in manually, select them, and change their style to "tw4winMark".

Some programs like Transit PE doesn't allow you to fix accidental deletion or duplication of delimiters (only undo works), but in WF you can fix it fairly easily.

And if one types inside the delimiters it is impossible to delete that which one has just typed (unless one knows to use cut, or undo).


True. This also happens when I start typing after I placed my cursor directly after something in tw4winInternal -- then everything I type is tw4winInternal also. But you know, that is actually an MS Word problem. Put your cursor directly after anything in MS Word, and what you type next will be in the style of the character preceding your cursor. Silly, really. I never suffered that when using WordPerfect...

“Alt down” is not the easiest key press. I am pretty sure one can change the default. Having just looked through the WF set up now, I did not see a place to change the key press.


I guess it depends on your keyboard and on how you use your keyboard. I prefer to use Alt, Shift+Alt, Ctrl+Alt and Shift+Ctrl+Alt with the directional keys. Some people prefer to use them in combination with letters A-Z.

Changing the keyboard shortcuts is easy... remember, Wordfast is a Word macro, therefore the keyboard shortcuts are actually Word shortcuts. In MS Word 2000, go Tools -> Customize -> Keyboard. In the left pane, select Macros, and in the right pane, scroll down to the Wordfast macros. Then simply reassign the keyboard shortcuts.

In WF I sometimes want to skip a section and go onto the next, but if I don’t type anything and try and go onto the next section WF assumes that I want to stop translating, GRR!


This is to prevent newbies from having untranslated sections of their documents. You can disable this behaviour in WF's Pandora's Box (and it is fully documented too). There are many features in WF that were added especially for newbies or less computer literate translators, that can be overridden using switches in Wordfast's settings.

Fuzzy matching in yellow and pink in WF (is it?) is nice, but it does not leave the original, so it is a mixed blessing.


I'm not sure what you mean. Shift+Alt+M (show memory)? If so, then you can also customise how it behaves, in the Pandora's Box (eg show memory only when match is more than X or less than X).

This is silly but I am not all that keen on the look of the WF toolbar. This is entirely a matter of taste.


If you mean the colours, well, yes, but it is familiar. You know you can add additional features/icons to the WF toolbar, right? It is a normal Word toolbar, and what applies to the customisation of any Word toolbar also applies to the WF toolbar. Heck, you could even use MT's toolbar buttons for WF's toolbar...

For some reason when one turns the WF toolbar on, the MT toolbar disappears so I can't capture them side by side.


WF disables it. Why? Because sometimes WF uses the same shortcuts as other macros present in your document, and to prevent a clash, WF disables any other custom macro it finds. If you want the MT toolbar to remain, simply add it in Pandora's Box under the KeepTemplate setting (again, this is fully documented).

I still have not worked out how to use the WF Glossary. I wonder if it will replace matched terms leaving the rest of the sentence in the original language.


It could, if you want it to. Again, fully documented in the WF user manual (it is called "propagation"). You can set your preference in the Pandora's Box. The glossary in WF is very simple, and IMO very easy to use.

To add a new term to the glossary, select the source, press Ctrl+Alt+T, select the target, press Ctrl+Alt+T again, edit the glossary item in the little box that pops up, select which glossary it should be added to, and press OK. You can let WF highlight recognised words without automatically copying them to the target box, and vice versa, and both.



[Edited at 2007-06-10 22:06]


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Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I did not manage to get Shift ALT to work on WF Jun 11, 2007

Charlotte Blank wrote:
Timothy Takemoto wrote:
In WF I sometimes want to skip a section and go onto the next, but if I don’t type anything and try and go onto the next section WF assumes that I want to stop translating, GRR! I want to be able to flick through sections with greater ease.


Hi Timothy,
did you already try to put the cursor at the beginning of where you want to go on and press SHIFT+ALT? This should be working!
Charlotte


Dear Charlotte

I just tried that but it does not seem to do anything. My WF version is 5.25.

I would like to just be able to keep pressing alt down, alt down, and have the segments shown one by one.

I will let you know if MT can do this.

I guess that I could press ALT S (to copy source) then ALT down to move down, but then the source would be the translation and I would have to delete it.

Tim


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Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you kind Wordfast user Jun 11, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:
Too difficult for students? I would scoff, but unfortunately I have experience in dealing with some brilliant translators who are totally computer illiterate.

Well, then you know how it is.

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
The biggest problem with WF, especially with my students, is the accidental deletion of the greyed out delimiters “{” etc. This can really put a spanner in the works.


Samuel Murray wrote:
Yes, but at least [accindental deletion of the greyed out delimeters] can be fixed easily. Just press Ctrl+Z or press the "Undo" button.


Yes. I think that the problem is they do not notice what they have done at the time.

Does MetaTexis prevent delimeter deletion more or less thoroughly, or to the same extent?

Samuel Murray wrote:
Changing the keyboard shortcuts is easy... remember, Wordfast is a Word macro, therefore the keyboard shortcuts are actually Word shortcuts. In MS Word 2000, go Tools -> Customize -> Keyboard. In the left pane, select Macros, and in the right pane, scroll down to the Wordfast macros. Then simply reassign the keyboard shortcuts.

Thank you very much.

Samuel Murray wrote:
This is to prevent newbies from having untranslated sections of their documents. You can disable this behaviour in WF's Pandora's Box (and it is fully documented too). There are many features in WF that were added especially for newbies or less computer literate translators, that can be overridden using switches in Wordfast's settings.
thank you very much.

Fuzzy matching in yellow and pink in WF (is it?) is nice, but it does not leave the original, so it is a mixed blessing.


Samuel Murray wrote:
If so, then you can also customise how it behaves, in the Pandora's Box (eg show memory only when match is more than X or less than X).

ooh. That is a neat function.

Samuel Murray wrote:
If you mean the colours, well, yes, but it is familiar. You know you can add additional features/icons to the WF toolbar, right? It is a normal Word toolbar, and what applies to the customisation of any Word toolbar also applies to the WF toolbar. Heck, you could even use MT's toolbar buttons for WF's toolbar...



I still have not worked out how to use the WF Glossary. I wonder if it will replace matched terms leaving the rest of the sentence in the original language.


I need to get to know "pandora's box" (I think that all the settings screens in MT are just in the main settings screens).

It certainly seems that WF users are in greater number.

Thank you very much for all this useful information.

Tim


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Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again Milan Jun 11, 2007

Milan Condak wrote:
Glossary in Wordfast is without language codes.
TXT file can be easily searched.
1) By using three glossaries in Wordfast I can distinguish by color from which glossary is a term propagated. I use only one TDB ("glossary") in MetaTexis.


I can see that this would be an advantange for some. I think that I only need one glossary myself.

Milan Condak wrote:
2) In PlusTools is tab +Extract for extracting a terminology.

And the equivalent of (2) is not available in MetaTexis?

Milan Condak wrote:
Back to MetaTexis:
Just for presentation I created a lesson "Web-translation with reference language"
http://www.condak.net/lekce/ttagger/mt-cross/en/00.html,
translated text is from Readme to Tortoise Tagger.
Milan

This makes using machine translation look pretty easy. I have never set up WF's machine translation because it says "refer to the manual"

Tim


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Blind typing? Jun 11, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
I think that the problem is they do not notice what they have done at the time.


Sounds like they're not blind typing...?


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Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 09:01
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
wf users are helpful Jun 11, 2007

Thank you again Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray wrote:

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
I think that the problem is they do not notice what they have done at the time.


Sounds like they're not blind typing...?


No, nothing so advanced. They just don't notice that they have cut part of the delimeter or copy pasted over it.

Tim


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A skill you learn... Jun 12, 2007

Timothy Takemoto wrote:
They just don't notice that they have cut part of the delimeter or copy pasted over it.


I think this is just a skill on learns after a while when working with formatted word processing tools. Some people don't use their directional keys properly but prefer to correct mistakes afterwards -- but proper use of the directional keys can be a lifesaver. This includes approaching the formatted thing from the correct side, and disabling any features in the word processor that automatically selects an entire word even if the cursor is in the middle of the word. Also let them learn how to use the Ctrl key and the Home/End keys in conjunction with the arrow keys to select text.


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