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Seeking quick opinions on MemoQ
Thread poster: Simone Linke

Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Feb 5, 2011

Hello all,

I'd like to gather some quick opinions on MemoQ, the reason being that one of my clients wants to switch to MemoQ and I'll have to do so too (or probably lose the client).

I'm not too fond of using yet another tool but judging from the screenshots it does at least look rather similar to Trados and others. What I find a bit troublesome is that in the free version you can only use one TM per project. So, I guess if I want to enjoy any benefits of the program, I
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Hello all,

I'd like to gather some quick opinions on MemoQ, the reason being that one of my clients wants to switch to MemoQ and I'll have to do so too (or probably lose the client).

I'm not too fond of using yet another tool but judging from the screenshots it does at least look rather similar to Trados and others. What I find a bit troublesome is that in the free version you can only use one TM per project. So, I guess if I want to enjoy any benefits of the program, I'll have to do some manual TM importing/exporting etc.

Those of you in a similar situation, doing a lot of switching back and forth between different CAT tools, are you satisfied with your MemoQ options or are there any obstacles that I should be aware of?

And in general, are there any (dis-)advantages compared to, say, SDL Studio, Wordfast or SDLX? (For example, Studio is very heavy and often slow; SDLX is rather fast but offers less functionality; where does MemoQ stand in comparison?)

Thank you in advance for your opinions!

(This question refers to the free version of MemoQ, as I probably won't buy the full version at this point. I use Win XP on a notebook or netbook.)
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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Swedish to English
+ ...
I'm a great fan of MemoQ, but... Feb 5, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:

(This question refers to the free version of MemoQ, as I probably won't buy the full version at this point.


...the free version is pretty useless.

I use the professional version on my personal Mac book (MemoQ is the main reason why I have a Windows partition) and find it very effective and easy to use. However, I also have a free version on a PC in my in-house office* and it's driving me crazy with all the missing functions - alignment being one of them.

Using the free version as a freelancer might depend on how the agency sends you files, TMs, etc, but I've never used it with external projects.

I can't comment on how MemoQ compares with SDL's tools as I don't use these; think you better wait for Tomás.

*I've been trying to convince this non-agency company to install the server version for some time now, but have just about given up trying to negotiate internal management structures...


 

Epameinondas Soufleros  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:31
Member (2008)
English to Greek
+ ...
memoQ has many innovations, but… Feb 5, 2011

memoQ is surely very innovative and due to this fact it gets much attention and a constantly rising number of users, but the truth is that, as of now, it is lacking in the bare essentials.

For example, they released the LiveDocs feature, which is supposed to replace translation memories and also offers alignment capabilities, but there is no significant benefit to using a LiveDocs corpus instead of a translation memory (BTW, they did a webinar on LiveDocs and the presenter did not o
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memoQ is surely very innovative and due to this fact it gets much attention and a constantly rising number of users, but the truth is that, as of now, it is lacking in the bare essentials.

For example, they released the LiveDocs feature, which is supposed to replace translation memories and also offers alignment capabilities, but there is no significant benefit to using a LiveDocs corpus instead of a translation memory (BTW, they did a webinar on LiveDocs and the presenter did not offer any concrete reasons why LiveDocs is better than regular TMs; he only offered a bunch of hypothetical scenarios where LiveDocs could, perhaps, offer some benefit):

(1) The advanced alignment featues of it could have been added to the normal alignment functionality memoQ already had.

(2) The "corpora" of LiveDocs are not really corpora, at least according to the linguistic definiton: a corpus is a collection of texts which has been compiled according to strict rules and guidelines. The "corpora" in LiveDocs are, in the best case, text archives, not corpora.

(3) The ability to add binary files to a LiveDocs corpus is utterly useless: you already have the files in a folder on your PC and you can open them from this folder; why add them to a "corpus"?

(4) If I only want to align one or two documents, why do I have to create a LiveDocs corpus? It's an overkill.

So, they released this "big new feature", which surely is an attention grabber, but they have not overhauled basic functionalities, which are much better implemented in competitive CAT tools. A few examples:

(1) The terminology module is extremely lacking in flexibility, versatility and usefulness. Serious terminology work in memoQ is a no-no.

(2) The auto-translatables and non-translatables are useless. They are very hard to edit (due to the most inflexible dialog box you have to work in) and they don't behave well: when you have more than one non-translatable in a segment, for example, they are displayed in alphabetical order, instead of in their order of appearance, and you can't change that (as you can for hits coming from the termbase); also, non-translatables are always case sensitive, which adds to their inflexibility and uselessness.

(3) Spell-checking is awful and again inflexible. For on-the-fly spell checking they use Hunspell (it's a Hungarian project, I know...), but for a proper, post-translation, spell check you can either use Hunspell or Office's spell checker. If you right-click on a word with a red squiggly line you get no spelling suggestions, so the on-the-fly spell checking is rather useless.

(4) You can't use regular expressions in the Find & Replace facility, nowhere in memoQ. Not anyone knows regexes, but they could have implemented user-friendly expression builders for those who are not familiar with regex syntax.

(5) There is no support for XLSX yet.

(6) The light resources, which they introduced in version 4, are of little use; they offer more fuss than help.

(7) The user interface wastes much space for nothing, because of the large "Project home" tab (which could simply be a different colour than bigger) and the empty space on its left. (By the way, colour-coding of tabs would be great, in the style of Internet Explorer 8, with colour-coded groups of tabs).

That's all for now. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

[Edited at 2011-02-05 14:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-05 14:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-05 14:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-05 14:49 GMT]
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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:31
German to English
Get memoQ professional Feb 5, 2011

I've been using MemoQ for about 15 months. The developers are very enthusiastic and support is great.

The program handles a wide variety of formats and you can work with TagEditor files without hassle. You can use several translation memories/term bases at one time. Some of the menu commands are not intuitive in my opinion (The QA function should be under "Tools" rather than "Operations," "Find and replace" is likewise under "Operations" rather than "Edit," as with Word). Allegedly
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I've been using MemoQ for about 15 months. The developers are very enthusiastic and support is great.

The program handles a wide variety of formats and you can work with TagEditor files without hassle. You can use several translation memories/term bases at one time. Some of the menu commands are not intuitive in my opinion (The QA function should be under "Tools" rather than "Operations," "Find and replace" is likewise under "Operations" rather than "Edit," as with Word). Allegedly the keyboard shortcuts are customizable, but I haven't had much success with that.

There's a built-in quality control function that alerts the user to missing tags, mismatched numbers, inconsistent translation, etc. It's a lot less hassle to use this than an external program like XBench.

You can use the program on two computers (2 licenses), and moving the license does not involve the same arcane process as with SDL Trados products.

Kilgray offers webinars on an ongoing basis, some of which are held in German.

Purchase of the program provides free updates/support for a year. After a year, you are asked to buy an upgrade for a certain fee. You can continue to use the program after that period, but you'll have to rely on the Yahoo support group for help. Given the rate at which features/improvements are offered, it's worth staying current.

I have 3 CAT tools (DVX, Trados SDL, MemoQ), and MemoQ has become my tool of choice/
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Epameinondas Soufleros  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:31
Member (2008)
English to Greek
+ ...
What they could have done instead of LiveDocs Feb 5, 2011

Instead of LiveDocs, they could have simply implemented the ability to group translation memories or create views out of them, the way you can with translation documents.

Say you have several translation memories from various projects about smartphones, i.e. you created one TM per project. Instead of creating a "big mama", you could simply select those TMs which belong together and which you would like to add together to subsequent projects, and, at the click of a button, add them t
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Instead of LiveDocs, they could have simply implemented the ability to group translation memories or create views out of them, the way you can with translation documents.

Say you have several translation memories from various projects about smartphones, i.e. you created one TM per project. Instead of creating a "big mama", you could simply select those TMs which belong together and which you would like to add together to subsequent projects, and, at the click of a button, add them to a TM group, e.g. "Smartphone materials". This would be much more intuitive and easier than having both LiveDocs and regular TMs to manage, and would help reduce the clutter in the list of TMs, in case you, as I do, create a new TM for each new project. With the grouping functionality, you could have both project TMs and subject TMs with no fuss at all.

Coversely, in the case you had large TMs and would like to clean them up, it would be useful to have the ability to split them up using a dialog box similar to the one you get for creating views out of translation documents.

Simple, isn't it? But those things wouldn't have got their own catchy name and they wouldn't have created as much hype as LiveDocs (TM) and EZAttach (TM) and LiveAlign (TM). You see? Three brand-names for what could have been an improvement of what they already had in the application

Moreover, the list of TMs (and the list of TBs and any other list within memoQ) could be made to look much tidier if they implemented a few simple features like the ones in Windows Explorer. Instead of only sorting, they could have implemented Grouping, too. In this way, the user could select "Group by Domain" or "Group by Subject" or "Group by Client" and the list would then display a list (or, better, a grid with big icons) with domains, subjects or clients, respectively. Then, the user would have to click on the domain, subject or client he is interested in and he would view the relevant TMs or TBs. It surely beats going down long lists, doesn't it?

[Edited at 2011-02-05 16:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-05 16:57 GMT]
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Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:31
Member (2004)
English to Polish
LiveDocs Feb 5, 2011

Epameinondas,

While some of your remarks are quite well-founded and I agree with them; (for example, I still cannot understand why the same editor is not used for translation and for terms/TM editing nor was I given a proper explanation, the match ordering is indeed a mess, etc.), I think you do not get the point of LiveDocs altogether - which might be to a bit overenthusiastic ad blurbs, but you know how it is in marketing...

The tool is for quick checking of various s
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Epameinondas,

While some of your remarks are quite well-founded and I agree with them; (for example, I still cannot understand why the same editor is not used for translation and for terms/TM editing nor was I given a proper explanation, the match ordering is indeed a mess, etc.), I think you do not get the point of LiveDocs altogether - which might be to a bit overenthusiastic ad blurbs, but you know how it is in marketing...

The tool is for quick checking of various sources for phrases or segments relevant to your translation - no more, but it is quite a bit actually.

One example: I have recently found on Polish government pages a text of an regulation, both in English and in Polish, which seemed to be quite relevant to a portion of the text I was working on. However, due to the length, I could not precisely determine how useful it could be...

The traditional scenario would be: grab the two text versions, meticulously align them (unless you have industry-grade alignment, most CATs make the process quite work-intensive), import it into a separate TM, both due to the little relevancy and the garbage content, use that TM along your regular TM - quite cumbersome if you did not know beforehand how useful the content is.

With LiveDocs the process is delightfully simple - save the content to compatible files, import and use it right away, both for TM matches and for concordance. I've suggested that it would be even simpler if one could use just the URLs for the content, but I guess it would require adding some sort of webparser module, which might not justify the effort; beside this would mean keeping a persistent temporary files somewhere on the local drive, which some people are not very fond about.

I apologize the Topic Starter for this rather long digression... More to the point, I would like to add that I use MemoQ for most projects now, even the Trados ones, if the client's workflow allows it, as I found it much more convenient than other tools I have tried. If you are familiar with other CATs, you might find no-nonsense approach MemoQ offers to be refreshingly easy.
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Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 12:31
Member (2010)
Russian to English
+ ...
The client Feb 5, 2011

If the client has a server version of memoQ, and they want you to use it for a specific project, they might be willing to provide you with a remote license. It's worth asking about, anyway!

 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:31
German to English
+ ...
mQ on a 2nd computer, general comment Feb 6, 2011

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:
... I also have a free version on a PC in my in-house office* and it's driving me crazy with all the missing functions - alignment being one of them.


As the other Kevin pointed out, you can use your license on the second computer too. Just change the last three digits of the serial number to -002.

Despite a few geeky rough edges, memoQ is probably the most versatile, straightforward CAT tool on the market today. I disagree about the "uselessness" of its terminology module; for practical work it's quite sufficient. You can mark forbidden terminology (an old WF feature I think), the stemming function is very nice, and I appreciate the ability to adjust the case sensitivity (& more). If you plan a server installation and want something higher-end for terminology, try Kilgray's integrated qTerm module.

I'm also a DVX and Trados user, have been for decade now, but these tools have been reduced to the role of occasional file prep or post-processing where a particular filter isn't available in memoQ or isn't as good. For the actual work of translating, memoQ is usually the lowest pain option.


 

Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 6, 2011

Thank you all for your comments so far. They're addressing some of the very issues I'm contemplating.

Working with this particular client wouldn't be a problem with only the free version (the client will prepare and maintain all TMs, project files etc., so they'd simply send me the files, I open and translate them, and send them back.. nothing else).

But from my perspective, this makes the point of using CATs rather obsolete. I don't just want to be able to open files
... See more
Thank you all for your comments so far. They're addressing some of the very issues I'm contemplating.

Working with this particular client wouldn't be a problem with only the free version (the client will prepare and maintain all TMs, project files etc., so they'd simply send me the files, I open and translate them, and send them back.. nothing else).

But from my perspective, this makes the point of using CATs rather obsolete. I don't just want to be able to open files and give fuzzy discounts - I want to build some TMs and terminology lists etc. in the long run. That's why I'm hesitating to simply buy the professional version. The price isn't that high but since it's the first client ever to ask me for MemoQ, it feels a bit rushed. I already have a collection of TMs from 3 or 4 other tools and have yet to find the time to go through them and make the most of them.. using yet another set of TMs would increase this mess.

Some of the issues Epameinondas mentioned also seem to be a bit of a problem (e.g. wasted interface space - I'm used to working on a small screen) or the spell-checking problem (this is driving me nuts with Studio as well.. it constantly underlines words that are spelled properly).

A no-nonsense approach, on the other hand, sounds quite appealing... I guess I'll try the interface with the free version for a while, and depending on how many projects the client will eventually send, I might give the full version a try...

So, thanks again for your comments!
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Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:31
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
memoQ Feb 6, 2011

I've started working on translation with Trados 2007, I've done certificates and I've learned to use the tool a lot. I was, for quite some time, one of the few people that defended Trados as I thought that if you really know how to use it, it's not that bad. And then I met memoQ.

It's much, much easier. You can work on all trados files, I work with memoQ whenever I can and never has any of my customers said anything about the TTX files I've processed in memoQ. If need be, I have Tra
... See more
I've started working on translation with Trados 2007, I've done certificates and I've learned to use the tool a lot. I was, for quite some time, one of the few people that defended Trados as I thought that if you really know how to use it, it's not that bad. And then I met memoQ.

It's much, much easier. You can work on all trados files, I work with memoQ whenever I can and never has any of my customers said anything about the TTX files I've processed in memoQ. If need be, I have Trados to make sure everything is OK or work in it, but if I can choose - memoQ is what I'll stick with. I can't compare it to Trados 2009, but generally the benefits are:

- great support
- price-wise, it's significantly cheaper
- unlike in Trados 2007 (Multiterm), the terminology module is simple to use and offers enough flexibility for translation work. It's not a full-fledged terminology module for terminologists, but it's not intended for that purpose.
- the advanced filters (text, status, etc.) - I found them extremely useful
- the on-the-fly QA - I love it that I can see double spaces, spaces at the end or number issues as I translate.
- on-the-fly spell-checker - it would be more useful if there were right-click correction options, but unlike Epameinondas I don't need them that much. I can see the error straight away.
- Unlike Trados, which consumes most of your computer's power, memoQ is much, much lighter.
- Although there have been some errors, they were much less frequent then in Trados 2007. It handles INX files much better too.

Obviously, it's not perfect, but I have had the chance to work on Trados 2007, Deja Vu, Transit NXT, Wordfast Pro and I think memoQ is the best, easiest to use and provides great usability without munching on your ram or processor. This is all about the Pro version, never used the standard.
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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sounds good Feb 6, 2011

That sounds great. I'm one of those who started using Trados when Studio came out, so I received both the old version and the new Studio version. In comparison to the Studio interface, I actually hate working with the old version and Tag Editor etc. Probably because I'm not one of those who got used to it long ago and then found switching to Studio quite a big change.

But as you said, Studio uses most of my ressources and it happens regularly that I'm typing too fast and Studio thin
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That sounds great. I'm one of those who started using Trados when Studio came out, so I received both the old version and the new Studio version. In comparison to the Studio interface, I actually hate working with the old version and Tag Editor etc. Probably because I'm not one of those who got used to it long ago and then found switching to Studio quite a big change.

But as you said, Studio uses most of my ressources and it happens regularly that I'm typing too fast and Studio thinks I must have hit some key combination. I had to get rid of almost all of the shortcuts in order to be able to work with Studio properly. And the autosuggest feature is absolutely useless for me.

A lighter CAT version that will even be able to work with the ttx files without any problems for the client sounds great.

Does MemoQ also support the TM settings/filters/ini files the way Trados (the old version) would?

P.S.: Another question: I just noticed that there are actually 3 different versions: a "free" version (only one TM per project and not much else), a "translator" version (seems to have most features except for remote TMs - which I don't need - and some other small things I could live without), and a "pro" version. So far, I thought the Translator version was the Pro version.. The Pro version is not up for debate right now, since I'm not willing to make this investment for one client. So, my questions would refer to the regular Translator version. Any reasons why the Translator version wouldn't suffice?

[Edited at 2011-02-06 13:04 GMT]
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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:31
Swedish to English
+ ...
Off topic Feb 6, 2011

KSL Berlin wrote:

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:
... I also have a free version on a PC in my in-house office* and it's driving me crazy with all the missing functions - alignment being one of them.


As the other Kevin pointed out, you can use your license on the second computer too. Just change the last three digits of the serial number to -002.



True. I haven't yet installed my 2nd license as I have only one computer at home, but me subsidising a FTSE 250 company by installing my personal 2nd license on one of their computers is not likely to happen any day soon.

Occasionally bringing my laptop in to the office is as far as I will go


 

Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
French to Polish
+ ...
Personally... Feb 6, 2011

Michal Glowacki wrote:

I've started working on translation with Trados 2007 (... )
And then I met memoQ.

It's much, much easier.

Honestly, you can't compare a tool based on a prehistoric conception to a modern MQ design.

You can work on all trados files,

Including Trados 2009.
Not trumpeted but it works.

I can't compare it to Trados 2009,

Generally, much lighter and more intuitive.
In my preferred "counting click" hobby, MQ was always a winner, AFAIR.
Generally, the MQ learning curve is incredibly good e.g. if compared to the old Trados (at least four, five times, including the terminology).
Trados 2009 is much better than the "classic" editions but all its terminology stuff is still a pain in the neck a newbie can't understand in a breeze.

- unlike in Trados 2007 (Multiterm), the terminology module is simple to use and offers enough flexibility for translation work. It's not a full-fledged terminology module for terminologists, but it's not intended for that purpose.

But it simply works, unlike Multiterm, damn well known for its stability flaws.
Of course, it's decidely not a tool for a true terminologist but if you understand the way MQ matches terms, it's incredibly precise in the practical use.
In the real life, the only thing I'm really missing is the * wilcard for prefixes and the preferred terms.
Nonetheless, if you switch from another tool, you may experience some matching problems depending of your language, the matching algorithms may differ.

- Unlike Trados, which consumes most of your computer's power, memoQ is much, much lighter.

A standard Trados 2009 takes approx. 700 megs on the hard drive, MQ takes only 70 MB.
It's not an absulute rule but a ligher tool generally performs faster

Obviously, it's not perfect, but I have had the chance to work on Trados 2007, Deja Vu, Transit NXT, Wordfast Pro and I think memoQ is the best, easiest to use and provides great usability without munching on your ram or processor.

Well, I'm between memoQ and DVX.
As I'm an old date DVX user, I still see some big DVX advantages (e,g, concurrent data access. i.e. I may translate and pretranslate in the same time, I may share a project with my wife with no data synchronization hassle) but generally the MQ environment is simply... pretty...

This is all about the Pro version, never used the standard.

Neither me.
You must ask your customer.
If he has a MQ server, you must select Pro.
Without the server workflow, the Std versions should be sufficient.
Attention, the Std is a one year licence.

Cheers
GG


 

Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
French to Polish
+ ...
TTX... TM settings... ini... Feb 6, 2011

Simone Linke wrote:

(Studio)

And the autosuggest feature is absolutely useless for me.

Probably the most funny thing is it's strictly case sensitive

A lighter CAT version that will even be able to work with the ttx files without any problems for the client sounds great.

MQ handles TTX pretty well.
Attention, you should presegment the TTX files in Trados (Workbench, Tools, Translate, check the case "Segment unknown sentences").
Algough MQ can handle TTX file directly, the segmentation may be crazy.

Does MemoQ also support the TM settings/filters/ini files the way Trados (the old version) would?

Generally, if you preprocess the file with Trados using the Trados ini, MQ doesn't need its own ini.
The TM settings and filters work in a similar way in the current release candidate versions (the most recent is 4.5.66).

P.S.: Another question: I just noticed that there are actually 3 different versions: a "free" version (...)
Any reasons why the Translator version wouldn't suffice

Projects stored on the MQ server of your client.
Std is strictly local.
Maybe something more, not sure, I have Pro.

Cheers
GG


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:31
German to English
+ ...
memoQ trial is fully functional for 45 days Feb 7, 2011

Simone, are you aware that when you install memoQ after downloading it that you have a fully functional Pro license for 45 days until it reverts to the memoQ4Free version? That's plenty of time to try the key features, migrate data, etc.

One other note on TTX: if you use Trados (at least the old versions, don't remember for Studio), numbers and dates that stand alone are ignored, i.e. not segmented. This means that I have to change this information by manually editing outside the se
... See more
Simone, are you aware that when you install memoQ after downloading it that you have a fully functional Pro license for 45 days until it reverts to the memoQ4Free version? That's plenty of time to try the key features, migrate data, etc.

One other note on TTX: if you use Trados (at least the old versions, don't remember for Studio), numbers and dates that stand alone are ignored, i.e. not segmented. This means that I have to change this information by manually editing outside the segments. In an environment like TagEditor such data is easily overlooked.

memoQ provides you with the option of importing unsegmented TTX data, so numbers and dates can all be processed efficiently. It also means you can translate an unsegmented TTX, though this is usually a bad idea as there will be nothing for the client to "feed" to a TM later. (The "bilingual" file will actually be monolingual in the target language.)
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