Microsoft Helium
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:53
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2011

I have just received an offer of a job using Microsoft Helium. As I have never used the program, or even heard of it, I would like to know what other users think of it. The outsourcer did send a manual but it seems extremely complex. Is there anyone in Brazil who knows about the system who could offer a course in this software to those interested?Or is there a book about the software, with easy explanations and available in Brazil? Is this software widely used, as I don't recall it ever having been mentioned in ProZ job offers or forum discussions? I don't intend to invest in a software that I may never use again.

PAUL


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Nicolas Coyer  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 14:53
Spanish to French
+ ...
my experience Aug 16, 2011

Hi Paul,

From what I recall (I used it once to translate some Microsoft online help), you need training.
Back then (that was in 2007), my client (a translation agency) provided both the training and the software license. I don't think you can buy any license, but don't take my word for it.
I remember using it in combination with LocStudio. Both are tools developed by MS for their own translation needs.

HTH
Nicolas


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Harris Couwenberg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:53
English to Dutch
Helium Aug 16, 2011

It is a tool solely for use by Microsoft vendors. I use it quite regularly and it looks more complicated than it is. You also need LocStudio and Trados. You can email me with specific questions. The tools are not available commercially.

Harris


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Harris Aug 16, 2011

Harris Couwenberg wrote:
You also need LocStudio and Trados.


Do you also need Microsoft Office installed (e.g. for spellchecking)? I know some CAT tools can't do spellchecking unless the user has a certain version of Office installed.


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Harris Couwenberg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:53
English to Dutch
Office Aug 16, 2011

yes

from the Help:


Installing Spellers

Spellers for multiple languages must be installed before Helium can use them.

You can enable Spelling in Helium by installing any of the following:

Microsoft Office 2003 - ships with all spellers (all of these are fully Unicode enabled).
Microsoft Office XP - only Unicode spellers installed by Office XP are supported.
Note: Some language spellers (e.g., Welsh or Irish) are only available as downloads from Microsoft.com.


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:53
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 17, 2011

Thanks to all who have replied. I have decided to turn down the project, a lot of hassle for 450 words initially, as I have no knowledge of any of the systems mentioned (Trados, LocStudio and Helium), also I have no idea what "Unicode spellers" are. Hopefully the outsourcer shall provide some kind of training should this develop into a larger project. I shall be keeping the thread open for any further comments.

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Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Correct decision Aug 17, 2011

If you don't have Trados, then the memory handling won't work in Helium (you can still translate the text, but won't get any help from the memory).

Also, you would have to download and install LocStudio first, then download and install Helium. Then you'll have to figure out how it works (not too complicated, but it takes some time).

It will take you a lot longer to install everything and figure out the program than it will take you to finish the translation. (You would't have to learn to use Loc Studio, though, it only need to be installed, not actually running.)

Not worth the trouble for only 450 words, unless it is only the first batch in a large project.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Helium without Trados? Aug 17, 2011

Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
If you don't have Trados, then the memory handling won't work in Helium (you can still translate the text, but won't get any help from the memory).


So... if one can use an external TM program, or if the client's TM is near empty, or if the text is likely to have very few fuzzy matches anyway, one can safely use Helium without having Trados installed, is that right?

Also, you would have to download and install LocStudio first, then download and install Helium.


Can one use Helium at all (to successfully translate something) without LocStudio installed?

What are the source files for Helium -- simple HTML files, or special files that have been prepared by some client-side module?


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Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Helium projects Aug 17, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:
So... if one can use an external TM program, or if the client's TM is near empty, or if the text is likely to have very few fuzzy matches anyway, one can safely use Helium without having Trados installed, is that right?

Can one use Helium at all (to successfully translate something) without LocStudio installed?

What are the source files for Helium -- simple HTML files, or special files that have been prepared by some client-side module?


I haven't actually tried to install Helium without Trados, so I don't know if it is possible. The memory being used by Helium is a Trados tmw memory, though it is possible to translate without having any active memory selected (just don't know if Helium will check if Trados is installed during the installation). Helium is used exclusively on Microsoft projects, and the TMs usually have a few hundred thousand TUs, so having a Helium project with few matches from the memory is unlikely.

And, no, Helium can't be installed without first having installed LocStudio. There are some ddl files that are shared and LocStudio memories can be used as references in Helium.

Both Helium and LocStudio are proprietary programs only used for Microsoft translations. LocStudio is used for the software translation and Helium is used for the help files. You don't have to pay anything to use the programs, but they aren't useful for anything else than Microsoft-prepared projects, so there's no need to install them unless you actually do work on Microsoft projects.


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