Preferred CAT tools for patent translators?
Thread poster: Paul Denlinger

Paul Denlinger  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2012)
Chinese to English
Jun 10, 2016

What are the preferred CAT tools for patent translators, and why? Am doing some initial research, and would like to hear what the tools are.

Thank you in advance.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 10, 2016



[Edited at 2016-06-10 18:16 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:11
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I use memoQ these days, and am (happily) working on a patent as we speak. Jun 10, 2016

Paul Denlinger wrote:

What are the preferred CAT tools for patent translators, and why? Am doing some initial research, and would like to hear what the tools are.

Thank you in advance.


Hi Paul,

I don't think any specific CAT tool is any better suited for patents, although some of them have features that are more or less useful.

(ONE) For example, I like the ability in CafeTran (my previous favourite) and Studio (which I own, but don't recommend) of inserting paragraph marks in the source and target box, which can sometimes be useful when working on extremely long segments. This allows you to divide the source and target text onto separate lines to facilitate visual understanding. I asked the guys at Kilgray (the people behind memoQ) about this, and they might consider it for a future release.

Having said that, I recently discovered that you can select text in both the source and target segments simultaneously in memoQ, when working on long segments, which is great because this means that you can work your way down through a very long sentence, each time selecting a unit of meaning on the source side, and linking it with its translation on the target side. Since they both remain selected (i.e. highlighted), this allows you to move down through your long sentence, ensuring that you don't miss any pieces.

There are a number of other features specifically useful when translating patents, but I can't think of them at the moment. If I do, and have a moment to spare, I will post them here!

Michael

OK, as promised, I just thought of a few things:

(TWO) I think the CAT tool should make it very easy to quickly add terms to your termbase. As I go along, whenever I come across a term or phrase I know I will be re-using later, and which I want to ensure remains consistent, I select src and trgt and click Ctrl+Q, which quickly sends it to my active termbase. Which brings me to my next point:

(THREE) As I move on down the text, I can often assemble most of a segment automatically in memoQ by pressing F4 (aka "fragment assembly"; see: http://kilgray.com/memoq/2015-100/help-en/index.html?fragment_assembly.html ). Any good CAT tool should have a decent auto assembly system, but AA can work particularly well with patents, as they can contain quite a bit of repetition.

(FOUR) Another thing (not specific to patents) is the CAT tool should play nicely with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which memoQ does very well. memoQ is one of the only tools that currently offers "Full Text Control" (which is Dragon lingo for the ability select words by voice in the current text field, allowing you to edit them). I find I am using Dragon more and more these days and any computer without it feels positively crippled.

(FIVE) To promote consistency, I think the CAT tool should have a good concordance and src/trgt filtering system. For example, the little boxes at the top of the translation grid in memoQ, into which you can enter keywords or phrases so as to filter on them in your project is invaluable. That is, I want to be able to see, at a glance, all instances of a particular term as it appears throughout my (source and target) text. Most grid-based CAT tools have this in some form or another, but I find memoQ's approach the clearest and most useful here.

(SIX) And this one goes to CafeTran: CafeTran is the only CAT tool I know of that allows you to run a find & replace on stuff in your project (i.e. in the grid), your termbases and your translation memories simultaneously. Let's say you've been translating a while, and all of a sudden want to change a certain phrase. In CafeTran, you can change it throughout your current project, in your termbases and in your TM, simultaneously! Very handy. I've sent this one to Kilgray as a feature request.

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

[Edited at 2016-06-10 19:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-06-10 19:25 GMT]


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Selcuk Akyuz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Word for patent translations Jun 11, 2016

For patent translations, with sentences consisting of hundreds of words, I prefer Word. Otherwise, with shorter sentences, any CAT tool will help.

@Michael:
I thought your new favourite was Felix. Hope, you will get a new toy soon.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:11
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
open sesame! Jun 11, 2016

Selcuk Akyuz wrote:

For patent translations, with sentences consisting of hundreds of words, I prefer Word. Otherwise, with shorter sentences, any CAT tool will help.

@Michael:
I thought your new favourite was Felix. Hope, you will get a new toy soon.


Ha ha, almost forgot about Felix. Indeed, between CafeTran and my current memoQ, I used Felix for a while. I'm currently testing: http://www.sesametranslate.com/ (developed and recently resleased by a client of mine)

No more Word for me, there are just too many things a grid-based tool can do that you can't do properly in Word.

Michael


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