My Suggestion for the Perfect CAT Tool
Thread poster: Harvey Utech

Harvey Utech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
Member (2008)
German to English
Aug 29, 2008

Why hasn't someone come up with a translation tool that works quietly in the background, not trying to take over my work but just tries to help me? If a tool like this already exists, perhaps some kind soul will tell me where I can buy it. But if not, why doesn't somebody build it? Seems to me there would be a big market.

The basis of my design is as follows:

I only want help with * vocabulary *, in my case, German to English.
I only want help when I ask for it.
I want it to work with all of the common word processing/editing software, e.g. MS Office, iWorks, Adobe, RTF, Plain Text, and ???
I don't want the software to change the appearance of the page/window I am working in.
The tool should work intuitively. I don't want to have to need any training in order to be able to use the tool--OK, maybe a 5-minute blurb explaining the features.

Here is how the software should function:

Whenever, I don't know a word, I move my cursor over the German word and up pops a window, adjacent to the cursor, that lists all of the meanings of the word, as defined by a widely accepted dictionary, i.e. Duden, Langenscheidt, etc.

If I want to use one of the listed words in my translation, I simply click on that word and the German in the text is replaced by the English word I clicked on.

If the German word I roll my cursor over is a name or proper noun, the software recognizes this and automatically brings up the URL for that page in Wikipedia that tells me about the word, so that I only need to click on the URL to be taken right to the relevant Wikepedia entry, should I feel I need the explanation.

Next time the word comes up in the same text and I roll my cursor over it again, I want the translation I chose before to now appear at the top of the list, perhaps bolded or in color.

Seems to me a program like this is well within the state of the art. I would be willing to pay up to 100 euros or $150 for such a program right now. (I recognize that a good part of this fee would have to go to the dictionary supplier but I hope they would recognize this as a new market and not hold out for so big a fee that the cost of the program becomes so high that sales are hurt). I would hope that the software in which the program is written would be open source, so that those of us who bought it could be reasonably assured that the program will evolve with new features in the future.

I can think of some additional features that could serve as refinements for later versions of the software but I hesitate to make the design any more complex than it needs to be in order to make we want to buy it.

Dear reader--
Does anything like this already exist?
Other comments, supportive or critical?
Are there other translators out there who would respond positively to a product like this?
Are there any software developers out there who are reading this? If so, I would appreciate your comments.
Any CAT tool vendors reading this? Then please explain why something like this doesn't already exist. Or does it?

Thanks--

Harvey Utech


Direct link Reply with quote
 

patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Great idea! Aug 29, 2008

You asked, "Are there other translators out there who would respond positively to a product like this?"

Yes, me. I'll definitely be following this thread...thanks, Harvey.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:50
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
? Aug 29, 2008

What I like in TRADOS is that you see the source segment and have the box for typing the translation + you create TMs.

Don't you want to have the same features in you CAT?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:50
German to English
+ ...
My Suggestion for the Perfect CAT Tool Aug 29, 2008

Does anything like this already exist?


The functionality you describe sounds very much like Babylon to me.

I recently wrote a small utility (OnDiLoTo) that looks up words in online dictionaries; it has similarities to some of the features you are looking for. However, the word first has to be highlighted and the utility launched with a keyboard shortcut. Also, it only runs on Linux at present. However, it is open source. It could be modified very easily to look up Wikipedia pages or similar resources.

Some CAT tools have a similar feature built-in: Cafetran is one. Doesn't Wordfast have an automatic link to KudoZ?

Other comments, supportive or critical?


You are not asking for much and what you are looking for probably already exists. However, any product which becomes popular attracts requests for extension, with each extension it becomes more complex, and complexity and intuitiveness - to the extent that no instructions need to be read at all - are generally mutually exclusive. From your comment about complexity, I think you already realize this.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:50
English to French
+ ...
A genius for such a software Aug 29, 2008

Harvey Utech wrote:

Are there any software developers out there who are reading this? If so, I would appreciate your comments.
Any CAT tool vendors reading this? Then please explain why something like this doesn't already exist. Or does it?



Harvey Utech


I am sure Yves Champollion (Wordfast) would love to read you and would think about it and maybe come out with the CAT tool you/we are dreaming of.
You will find a way of contacting him when you google his name. First link takes you to his site. Unfortuantely I have a problem with my screen and cannot see the URL of the website I am on, which means I cannnot copy/paste it for you. This unfortuante state of afairs happens since I got this large second-hand monitor.Sigh...

I do hope you get somewhere, somehow, Harvey.

Claudette


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harvey Utech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
Member (2008)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yves Champollion Aug 29, 2008

Claudette wrote:

"I am sure Yves Champollion (Wordfast) would love to read you and would think about it and maybe come out with the CAT tool you/we are dreaming of."


Claudette--

Thanks so much for the referral. I shall drop him a note and let you know if anything comes of it.

Harvey


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harvey Utech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
Member (2008)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Features? Not me! Aug 29, 2008

Mykhailo--

Thanks for your response. I have never used TRADOS, only 'across'. My comments are based on that experience.

But my answer to your question is 'NO'. I don't want features such as you describe in my CAT software. The boxes break up the text and lead to discontinuities in the target text that I then have to fix after it is all put back together.

Furthermore, I hate having to learn and use all those icons on the top of the page. Perhaps that goes with not being a full-time translator; if I were, it might justify the learning curve. On the other hand, aren't there a lot of other part-timers in this business?

Also, the more features, the more sluggish the program.

Harvey


Mykhailo Voloshko wrote:

What I like in TRADOS is that you see the source segment and have the box for typing the translation + you create TMs.

Don't you want to have the same features in you CAT?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harvey Utech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
Member (2008)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for adding your vote. Aug 29, 2008

Harvey


patyjs wrote:

You asked, "Are there other translators out there who would respond positively to a product like this?"

Yes, me. I'll definitely be following this thread...thanks, Harvey.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harvey Utech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
Member (2008)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Your Suggestions Aug 29, 2008

Marc--

Thanks for your response.

I tried Babylon when I first started doing translations. Didn't like it but I don't remember just why, now. Maybe I need to take another look at it.

OnDiLoTo sounds like it is on the right track but couldn't it be made to respond to cursor rollover? I work on an iMac and downloaded a little program called LEC DotNet that sounds similar in design and function to the program you have written. However, it was too cumbersome on the one hand and too little useful for continued use.

I don't want what I am asking for to come with the baggage that conventional CAT programs, like Wordfast or 'across' come with. Maybe I'm unique but I find that translating isn't so hard that I need a big program to manage my workspace for me. And based on my experience with 'across', I could have done just as well and maybe, better on the translations I did with it by just using a word processor and overtyping the source language with the target.

I do appreciate your comments.

Harvey

Marc P wrote:

Does anything like this already exist?


The functionality you describe sounds very much like Babylon to me.

I recently wrote a small utility (OnDiLoTo) that looks up words in online dictionaries; it has similarities to some of the features you are looking for. However, the word first has to be highlighted and the utility launched with a keyboard shortcut. Also, it only runs on Linux at present. However, it is open source. It could be modified very easily to look up Wikipedia pages or similar resources.

Some CAT tools have a similar feature built-in: Cafetran is one. Doesn't Wordfast have an automatic link to KudoZ?

Other comments, supportive or critical?


You are not asking for much and what you are looking for probably already exists. However, any product which becomes popular attracts requests for extension, with each extension it becomes more complex, and complexity and intuitiveness - to the extent that no instructions need to be read at all - are generally mutually exclusive. From your comment about complexity, I think you already realize this.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:50
German to English
+ ...
My Suggestion for the Perfect CAT Tool Aug 29, 2008

Harvey Utech wrote:

OnDiLoTo sounds like it is on the right track but couldn't it be made to respond to cursor rollover?


I don't think that's possible, no. I don't know any other way of grabbing a string of text in tcl/tk in a third-party application without at least marking it. I would be surprised if this were generally possible in all applications, in fact, but I don't honestly know.

To work on other platforms, OnDiLoTo needs an alternative to w3m (which can be implemented using internal tcl/tk protocols, but that's extra work that I'm unlikely to have time to do) and an alternative to the primary selection, which if I'm not mistaken doesn't exist on the Mac.

I have to confess that the utility is ultra-primitive, but when you begin writing stuff yourself it's surprising how little code is often needed to achieve just what you need.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Maria Castro[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

My Suggestion for the Perfect CAT Tool

Advanced search







WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums