Are quality tools worth it?
Thread poster: Gerhard Wiesinger

Gerhard Wiesinger  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Nov 29

Are quality tools like AceProof adding anything that is not already covered by the quality tools within translation memory software such as SDL Trados, Wordfast Pro or Cafetran Espresso? Are they worth the additional expense?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Gerhard Nov 29

Gerhard Wiesinger wrote:
Are quality tools like AceProof ... worth the additional expense?


Maybe. They may support more formats, they may offer more types of checks, and they certainly offer a single interface for multiple types of formats. However, not all of these types of tests are useful for all languages, and sometimes a test may seem like the same test as in a CAT tool, but it works slightly better or worse.

Aceproof is $50 per year, and they claim to check 34 types of errors, but they list only nine of them on their site:

- Inconsistencies between similar translation items
- Consecutive spaces
- Consecutive punctuation marks
- Differences in punctuation
- Spaces in front of punctuation marks
- Discrepancies in HTML and XML tags
- Inconsistent capitalization
- Untranslated words
- Source vs target lengths

Some of these types of errors are better checked during translation than after. For example, I can tell whether a "consecutive spaces" flag is true or false by looking at the text for a fraction of a second, but whether a "space mismatch around punctuation or tags" flag is true or false requires me to read the text carefully, so I end up spending a lot of time on what are mostly false positives. So, it's more productive to check for space mismatching during the actual translation process, while you type.

(Unfortunately, none of the major CAT tools offer any assistance with space mismatching in real time, though fortunately I use WFC, which allows me to highlight chunks of source text in a variety of colours on screen.)

Will using Aceproof save you more than $50 per year? I doubt it. Sometimes business expenses are not "necessary" but "very nice to have".


 

Georgi Kovachev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 16:03
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
@ Samuel Nov 29

Samuel Murray wrote:

(Unfortunately, none of the major CAT tools offer any assistance with space mismatching in real time, though fortunately I use WFC, which allows me to highlight chunks of source text in a variety of colours on screen.)


Not really, Fluency Now is not considered a major CAT tool in my opinion; however, it automatically fixes redundant spaces when moving to the next segment, i.e. it replaces consecutive spaces with a single space.
It does not remove a space before a punctuation mark.


 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
QA in your CAT tool Nov 29

Samuel Murray wrote:

- Inconsistencies between similar translation items
- Consecutive spaces
- Consecutive punctuation marks
- Differences in punctuation
- Spaces in front of punctuation marks
- Discrepancies in HTML and XML tags
- Inconsistent capitalization
- Untranslated words
- Source vs target lengths



I prefer to run all QA checks in CafeTran Espresso 10, since I can correct them in the project and memory at the same time, batch-wise.

I think that most of the categories above are covered by default or can be added by the user via QA Non-translatables.


 

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 15:03
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Free version of Xbench Nov 29

Hello Gerhard,
You can try out the free version of Xbench (2.9)
It's a decent QA tool.
Regards,
Ivana.


Christine Andersen
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:03
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
One of the agencies I work for uses X-bench Nov 29

Ivana Kahle wrote:

Hello Gerhard,
You can try out the free version of Xbench (2.9)
It's a decent QA tool.
Regards,
Ivana.


I would not pay for it for the work I do. It picks up on inconsistencies, which are sometimes deliberate, and a few small things that are not already picked up by Trados Studio, which we use.
It is probably more useful for technical texts, where inconsistencies have to be avoided.

I introduce so-called inconsistencies to make my translations readable, or I may for instance use a name instead of a pronoun in a 100% match to make the text more easily understood in a different context, or I translate the sentence differently simply for the sake of variation.
(Remember = don´t forget, but you may use them differently, or I use a synonym for one reason or another - contexts vary!)

The more you use mechanical checks, the more false errors you will find... So you have to weigh that against the time taken and the additional number of real errors it discovers. I still prefer a check by a human being!

The paid-for version of X-bench is probably easier to fine-tune, but I have never felt the need for it after I have used the QA that is built in with Studio (and probably most CAT tools).


 


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