Recommendations for Standalone Translation Memory/Glossary Referencing Tool
Thread poster: onkadonk
onkadonk
United Kingdom
Jan 7, 2016

Hi there,

I work with a small group of freelancers on an ongoing series of video games. Due to various fiddly technical issues, it's very difficult to load our translation files into a CAT tool, work on them there and then export them.

As such, we're not able to move our entire operation into a suite like MemoQ or Trados.

However, we'd really like to find a tool into which we could put all of the previously translated text for the series and all the glossaries, and then search for individual terms/phrases/strings that could then be copied and pasted out into the programs we use.

I've been trying my hardest to research this, but I keep encountering sales people who want me to invest in full suites packed with features we don't need/can't use.

Does anyone have any recommendations for simple, standalone tools that could do what we need, and wouldn't require us to load translation files into a specific piece of software and work on them there in order to gain translation memory and glossary referencing benefits?

Any and all help very much appreciated, and if I've posted this in the wrong place, apologies.

Thanks!

O


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:53
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
need some more info Jan 7, 2016

onkadonk wrote:

Hi there,

I work with a small group of freelancers on an ongoing series of video games. Due to various fiddly technical issues, it's very difficult to load our translation files into a CAT tool, work on them there and then export them.

As such, we're not able to move our entire operation into a suite like MemoQ or Trados.

However, we'd really like to find a tool into which we could put all of the previously translated text for the series and all the glossaries, and then search for individual terms/phrases/strings that could then be copied and pasted out into the programs we use.

I've been trying my hardest to research this, but I keep encountering sales people who want me to invest in full suites packed with features we don't need/can't use.

Does anyone have any recommendations for simple, standalone tools that could do what we need, and wouldn't require us to load translation files into a specific piece of software and work on them there in order to gain translation memory and glossary referencing benefits?

Any and all help very much appreciated, and if I've posted this in the wrong place, apologies.

Thanks!

O


Hi onkadonk,

I don't think I will be able to make any useful suggestions until I properly understand what it is exactly that you're trying to achieve. You said, "Due to various fiddly technical issues, it's very difficult to load our translation files into a CAT tool, work on them there and then export them."

A few questions:
1. What exactly are these "fiddly technical issues"?
2. Why exactly are you unable to move your entire operation to a tool like memoQ or Studio?
3. What exactly do you mean by "simple, standalone tools"?
4. What format are your source files in?

Can you maybe give us a brief sketch of your team's current workflows? This would enable me too better zoom in on exactly what you are trying to achieve.

There are quite a few smaller/lesser-known/free tools (both entire CAT tools and smaller tools) out there, which might be strung together to do what you require.

Michael

[Edited at 2016-01-07 14:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-01-07 14:48 GMT]

[This post was dictated using Dragon Professional 14. Please excuse any typos!]

[Edited at 2016-01-07 14:48 GMT]


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onkadonk
United Kingdom
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry- Some More Details Jan 8, 2016

Hi Michael,

Thanks so much for getting back to me on this. A couple of answers to your questions:

1. & 2. We are required to translate into files with exotic proprietary formats by our client, and extracting the text from these files and preparing them for translation in a CAT tool, then reinserting the translated text back into the files ends up being far more time-consuming than simply translating within those files.
Due to the dynamic nature of the translation process (several people working to tight deadlines and having different roles within all the files we work with) we also need our whole team to have full oversight over all the files at all times, and to be able to move/edit/jump around within them/update them at will. We're also required to share these files with the development team, often with little or no notice.
Putting the files into a CAT tool makes this approach very difficult because we'd need to be importing, preparing, translating then exporting again constantly, and doing this would lose translation time rather than save it. It would also mean that if the dev. team needed a file at short notice, it would be that much harder to provide it.
These and other reasons mean that while it would be very useful to be able to do word/term/phrase searches within a set of glossaries and a corpus of previously translated text and then paste results into the files we're working on, it just wouldn't be practical or beneficial for us to move the entire process to a fullly-featured suite like MemoQ.

3. Essentially, what we're looking for is a tool which offers a simple corpus/glossary lookup, and could provide suggested translation(s) based on a pasted-in string without all the extra bells and whistles of a full translation suite.

4. As mentioned, our source files are in a proprietary format used by the developers, and they feature lots of programming code and other elements that make it fiddly to separate out translation strings. These files often have only one or two text strings buried in reams of code, so file-by-file preparation for a CAT tool is a nightmare, and automating the extraction causes all kinds of headaches.
Trial and painful error have taught us that working within the original files is by far the simplest way to do things. All we need is a tool that will let us easily search a corpus of previously translated text so we can quickly copy and paste in any relevant results from an ever-growing body of legacy text.

I hope that explains enough of what we're looking for to make a recommendation easier, and apologies for not being clear enough in the first place.

Thanks,

Oli


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:53
English
It sounds to me... Jan 8, 2016

... as though you do need a CAT tool. Perhaps if someone helped you with the file format things might becomes more manageable for you? Having an exotic file format does not mean you cannot use a CAT tool. If you are interested I'll happily take a look at how your file format could be handled using Studio and then show you how the process could work in an easy way?

Regards

Paul
pfilkin@sdl.com


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onkadonk
United Kingdom
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but... Jan 8, 2016

Please believe me when I say we've tried. Our team isn't wanting for CAT evangelists, and on other projects we do use these tools, but in this particular instance it really isn't practical.

It's not the exotic format per se, it's the fact that files need to be passed back and forth between ourselves and the dev team very quickly, so the added complication of putting things in and out of a CAT-ready format just won't work.

Given that this is the case, if you or anyone else knew of a tool (or even a feature of one of the bigger suites) into which we could just plug our previously translated text and glossaries and get quick suggestions based on search queries, that would be great.

I'm sure such tools must exist, but as mentioned in my original post, approaching companies directly about this ends up getting me tangled with salespeople who try to upsell us on things we don't need.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:53
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
no time for a proper answer (I'm translating), but: Jan 8, 2016

onkadonk wrote:

Please believe me when I say we've tried. Our team isn't wanting for CAT evangelists, and on other projects we do use these tools, but in this particular instance it really isn't practical.

It's not the exotic format per se, it's the fact that files need to be passed back and forth between ourselves and the dev team very quickly, so the added complication of putting things in and out of a CAT-ready format just won't work.

Given that this is the case, if you or anyone else knew of a tool (or even a feature of one of the bigger suites) into which we could just plug our previously translated text and glossaries and get quick suggestions based on search queries, that would be great.

I'm sure such tools must exist, but as mentioned in my original post, approaching companies directly about this ends up getting me tangled with salespeople who try to upsell us on things we don't need.


You might want to have a look at the following tools:

TMLookup: http://www.farkastranslations.com/tmlookup.php
You can create massive databases consisting of collections of TMXs and glossaries in TMLookup, which stores them in a SQlite db, so you can run concordance searches (from anywhere on your computer, by merely selecting something and pressing the shortcut) on the biggest databases I have ever used (my current TMLookup database contains around 45 million translation units, and can be searched lightning fast), all searches completing within seconds.

Felix: http://felix-cat.com/
If your files can be opened in MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can use Felix. The cool thing about Felix is that, unlike in every other single CAT tool, you do not need to either import your src files into the tool, or change your src file sin any way (by adding hidden code, such as in Wordfast Classic or any of the other Word-based CAT tools). All you do is open the file in one of the three programs mentioned above, then select a sentence or piece of text and press the Felix shortcut. Felix will then look in its TM or glossary to see if it has any matches. You then just translate your selection (in e.g. MS Word), and press another Felix shortcut, which will save the scr/trgt pair to your TM/glossary.

Now, if you also keep all of your src files in something like Dropbox, your entire team would have permanent, synchronized access to said files.

You could of course also keep your Felix TMs and glossaries in Dropbox too.

Michael

[This post was dictated using Dragon Professional 14. Please excuse any typos!]

[Edited at 2016-01-08 15:30 GMT]


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:53
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Xbench Jan 8, 2016

You can use Xench to search through many different translation memories in various file formats (TMX, Studio, memoQ and others), as well as several different formats of glossaries (tab-delimited txt, Multiterm, etc.), and bilingual files (Studio, memoQ, old-style Traos, etc.).

To download ApSIC go to http://www.xbench.net.

For a full presentation of what Xbench can do, go to http://www.aboutranslation.com/p/xbench-training.html.

There are both a free (v 2.9) and a paid version (v. 3.0) of Xbench - the paid one offers more features and file formats.


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SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:53
English
I guess you could use T-Windows... Jan 8, 2016

onkadonk wrote:

Given that this is the case, if you or anyone else knew of a tool (or even a feature of one of the bigger suites) into which we could just plug our previously translated text and glossaries and get quick suggestions based on search queries, that would be great.



... and the MultiTerm Widget. This way you could work within the exotic file itself using a simple text editor but still look up translation memories and glossaries.

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2012/11/21/t-window/

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2012/11/27/widget/

Is this the kind of solution you're looking for? Maybe you have these tools already if you use CAT tools on other projects?

Regards

Paul

[Edited at 2016-01-08 15:53 GMT]


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onkadonk
United Kingdom
TOPIC STARTER
Amazing! Jan 8, 2016

Hi all,

Thanks so much for the various suggestions!

I'll give all of these a try and let you know how I do.

I'm sure something here will work for us.

Thanks again!

Oli


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:53
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
T-Windows looks interesting Jan 8, 2016

SDL Community wrote:

onkadonk wrote:

Given that this is the case, if you or anyone else knew of a tool (or even a feature of one of the bigger suites) into which we could just plug our previously translated text and glossaries and get quick suggestions based on search queries, that would be great.



... and the MultiTerm Widget. This way you could work within the exotic file itself using a simple text editor but still look up translation memories and glossaries.

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2012/11/21/t-window/

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2012/11/27/widget/

Is this the kind of solution you're looking for? Maybe you have these tools already if you use CAT tools on other projects?

Regards

Paul

[Edited at 2016-01-08 15:53 GMT]


Wow, very cool. Never heard of T-Window. Looks very interesting, especially since my recent experiments with Felix, and translating in MS Word, instead of in a grid-based CAT tool.

Incidentally, Igor is currently also adding new features to CafeTran's own so-called "clipboard workflow".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
WFC and OmegaT etc Jan 8, 2016

onkadonk wrote:
Does anyone have any recommendations for simple, standalone tools that could do what we need, and wouldn't require us to load translation files into a specific piece of software and work on them there in order to gain translation memory and glossary referencing benefits?


So, you want a concordance look-up, glossary look-up, and optionally also fuzzy match look-up, without having to create a project that takes many steps, is that right?

WFC

WFC runs inside MS Word, so you have to open MS Word to use it. In MS Word, with WFC installed, press Ctrl+Alt+C (TM search) and paste/type your query. You don't have to have the file open in MS Word itself. WFC's concordance search is non-fuzzy, unfortunately, and WFC's glossary look-up (Ctrl+Alt+G) is not very user-friendly. I would expect that you should be able to use the demo version of WFC, even if you only want to use the concordance search (TM search).

You can also open your file in MS Word (remember to keep "Confirm conversion at open" checked, and select "Encoded text" when prompted). Then you can use that open file for easier concordance searches (select the source text and press the shortcut).

In fact, since WFC segments on the fly, you can even translate the file. Simply select the text that you want to translate, then press Shift+Alt+down, which will put the selected text in a standalone segment. This will make WFC use the TM, with fuzzy matching etc. Then press Alt+End to close the segment (don't use Alt+down, which means "next segment", because you want to segment manually). Before you save the file, perform a "clean up" (Shift+Ctrl+Q) to remove the source text and all segment markers. Then save the file as-is (which should still be in its original format, unless you've saved as DOC(X) in the mean time).

OmegaT

OmegaT may also be an option. You can't use OmegaT's look-up features unless the file is loaded in an OmegaT project, but: loading a file in an OmegaT project is fast. Simply create a dummy OmegaT project on your Desktop that you can use every time you use OmegaT. You can drag and drop your file into OmegaT's editor (every time you do that, it will add to the file to your dummy project, so your project will end up with lots of files if you don't remove them again).

OmegaT will attempt to parse the file with you open it, so you'd have to register your file's extension as "plain text" in OmegaT to ensure that OmegaT displays all of the file in its editor. You can then scroll to the text you want to do a look-up on, open that segment (double-click) and let OmegaT do the look-ups (e.g. glossary look-up) or do your own concordance look-ups (Ctrl+F).

Unfortunately, OmegaT does not offer easy re-segmentation, so you might not get many fuzzy matches from your TM if OmegaT mis-guessed where to segment your text.

Depending on your file format, you may be able to actually translate the file in OmegaT, using the plain text filter, but you'd have to test it. After you've translated the text to be translated, press Ctrl+S (save) and then press Shift+Ctrl+D (create current target file) and find your translated file in the project's /target/ folder.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 14:53
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Xbench Jan 8, 2016

For offline searches of various TMs and glossaries, I would recommend Xbench. The older free version is fine if it's still available from apsic. Maybe a shared dropbox folder would work if you want to update resources on the fly. It would need to be tested, though.
I'm the author of TMLookup, which would also work, but I would only recommend it over xbench if a) you want to use multilingual resources (3+ languages) or b) your TMs contain more than 1 million segments in total. Otherwise, xbench is more polished.


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onkadonk
United Kingdom
TOPIC STARTER
Wow Jan 8, 2016

If the author of one tool is recommending another, that's a strong recommendation. Thanks, Farkas.

Can't wait to try all these solutions. Thanks so much everyone!


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:53
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Xbench 2.9 is still available Jan 9, 2016

FarkasAndras wrote:

For offline searches of various TMs and glossaries, I would recommend Xbench. The older free version is fine if it's still available from apsic.


Version 2.9 (the last freeware version) is still available (http://www.xbench.net/index.php/download). Depending on the format of the available translation memories and glossary files,, however, the new version might be better, since certain file formats were not supported by Xbench 2.9, but are supported by Xbench 3.0.

Bear in mind that the paid version is free for a trial period (30 or 45 days - I don't remember which).


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pep
Local time: 14:53
English to Spanish
Xbench 3.0 30-day trial is for 30 days of actual use, not 30 calendar days Jan 10, 2016

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:
Version 2.9 (the last freeware version) is still available (http://www.xbench.net/index.php/download). Depending on the format of the available translation memories and glossary files,, however, the new version might be better, since certain file formats were not supported by Xbench 2.9, but are supported by Xbench 3.0.

Bear in mind that the paid version is free for a trial period (30 or 45 days - I don't remember which).


It is a 30-day trial, but the 30 days are of actual use, not 30 calendar days. This means that if you only have time to test it once a week, the Xbench 3.0 trial will last 30 weeks.

So it is unlikely that the Xbench 3.0 free trial ends before you have the opportunity to evaluate it thoroughly, no matter how busy you are.


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