Friday, April 28, 2006

Translating contents for small Wikipedias

Well, often it makes a lot of sense to translate articles for small Wikipedias. There are various reasons - one of them for me is: fast contents creation in order to allow other people to go on working on what I put there. Now, when it comes to whole articles people still often ulse the slowest method: open a Wikipedia page and copy the contents pasting it to another Wikipedia page where they then translate it step by step. A faster approach, using a good glossary, is the work with a CAT-Tool like OmegaT, but you still have to open the wiki page, copy the text, paste it in the text editor - or in, save it, translate it with the CAT-Tool and then open the .odp file and copy and past the text to its destination page. Now this copy and paste takes some time and if you do it frequently you will note how fast you reach an hour that you loose in only copying and pasting ... time ago there was that proposal of a wiki-read - translate - wiki write feature for OmegaT. It would be great to have it - simply to save so much time and to be able to do much more for the wikipedia instead of handling copy/paste mechanisms.

Then there is that part I mainly do on the Neapolitan wikipedia I mainly translate calendar pages there - or better actually only the "born" people. I did this for approx. 15 pages up to now and today I noted that 80% of the work is already done, because most people listed are those we all know: writers, composers, politicians etc. OmegaT is particularly valuable with this thanks to its extraordinary flexible segmentation rules - they allow me to strip out only the part to be translated since the name of the person remains - only the profession or what that person was known for needs translation. The segmentation rules are based on regular expressions and compared to my first calendar page they make me save 80% of the translation time :-)

This is simply something we need.

A further advantage: it could happen that on certain wikipedias people simply decide to update certain articles always according to their original source ... for certain stuff that would make sense (example: science) - this means that if an article is updated and you want to update the translated one you just have it run against the old Translation Memory you built and all that remained the same will show up and does not need to be translated anymore.

A further advantage is terminology consistency and style consistency when several people work on similar or related articles. They can exchange translation memory and search for terminology in there (besides exchanging their glossaries that one day anyway will come from WiktionaryZ). This means better quality and faster translation because over time more and more terminology will be in the Translation Memories and glossaries and so people don't need to search in further ressources.

All in all having that wiki-read - translate - wiki-write feature would be a huge advantage. I would simply love it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

And another nice idea ;-)

Well, after having worked on WiktionaryZ for over one and half a year it is pretty funny to see sooooo many nice ideas around ... the last info on what translator's cafe is doing came through the uw-creations list - where we discuss the connection of Wiktionary with CAT-Tools.

So now we have also a termscafé - the funny thing is: all try to get their slice from the market instead of wanting to co-operate - instead of creating a real ressource that all of them could use ... well WiktionaryZ wants to co-operate and this should be clear to anyone. Being of a free license it is accessible and usable by anyone. Of course there is copyright to the entries: and that remains to the original authors - and of course there is proper licensing under a free license.

Well ... it is fun to see all these initiatives spot up and say: hey, we had the great idea to create a real good ressource for you ... uhm ... why not just co-operate and link???

SDL TRADOS Certification Program

Why do they need to find the most nifty marketing strategies to make sure people buy their software? What SDL TRADOS is obviously trying to do is monopolize the market. They are experiencing some difficulties, because they are trying to cut out translators who don't use their software (you must have a license of SDL Trados 2006) ... well I do not need to have a compute with Windows installed to get a Windows certificate ... so that is about sales and not about knowledge.

People for sure will put being a good translator with being SDL TRADOS certified on one level - well that should not be the case ... because knowing a software well does not mean you are a good translator. But: we must now outline the differences ... we must now show that it is not the software that makes a great translation ... it is the person, the translator.

I am wondering when they will trademark certain expressions like CCM Methodology - which means nothing else than Createing, Cleaning, Maintaining methods - something that any translator does with his/her TMs (Translation Memory). Well this takes me to the next level ... we need a long list of How To's where people work on collaboratively to show that we indeed have the same goal: giving quality to our customers.

I hereby open the English section of "Translator's How To's" starting a first entry on "How to Create, Clean and Maintain TMs?"

Other blogs about the same theme:
- by Werner Patels
- by Sonja Tomaskovic

Please let me know about further blogs that talk about this theme.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A reference implementation for a translation glossary - other usages ...

Well ... there is that ... we want that application and it would make so much sense in so many ways ... now: if we use it within a CAT-Tool does not mean we cannot use it also differently. Having source + target + definition + photo (very useful for technical stuff) + link to the soundfile with the pronunciation + feedback mechanism is a great thing ... but translators are not the only ones that can make use out of it ... how about kids? Couldn't these tools help integration in particolar for those kids coming from countries where there is no dictionary in that language combination? Wouldn't it make sense that they have their own definition (for kids) + photo + pronunciation? This would help them on one hand to integrate in the new community in another country and on the other hand they would have an instrument that helps not to forget "their language".

I would create the application in a way that the downloaded tbx file can be used for several applications, one of which to create a dictionary for kids including maybe also some games (crossword puzzle for example). It is the same routine, it does the same work

- download a certain dictionary
- includes images, soundfiles etc. (or available when internet connection is active or have to be downloaded)
- if a translation/definition/pronunciation etc. is missing: it can be added by the user directly in that application
- direct possibility to load for example audacity in the background and record the soundfile (attributing automatically the correct name + upload to commons)
- if there is no picture direct possibility to add a picture by searching it on the own computer and uploading it to commons

So the engine behing all that is the same - what is different is the user interface and the other applications it is connected with.

A further use for kids would be one I'd love to see for my kids: a word is pronounced and they have to click on the right picture. Or: a picture is displayed and they have to choose the correct term for it. These are additional applications that can retrieve the information from the downloaded tbx file. So as to the reference implementation for a translation glossary: it is useful for more than only translators.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Menu translations ... OmegaT ... TMX exchange

Well today happened what I already had foreseen time ago, something I anyway would have liked to start, but did not do it due to many, many other things to do. A friend needs translations of menu terminology into several languages. Now you would say: well, why doesn't she offer translation services for this. Of course, I could do this, but: I would not get the job ... not because I am lacking of qualifications, but because this job would never be outsourced.

The idea some time ago was to create a glossary with translations for menus, get people working in hotels, which are supposed to do that job, together to exchange their translation memories. Then we did not have the complete infra structure to do this ... today we have. So maybe this is the right moment to launch this project and promote a Open Content project for menu translations.

Terminology: for now it makes sense to host the terminology on – in a second stage it will be transferred to and from there it can also be used in TBX (Term Base eXchange) format.

Translations: are done using OmegaT – that helps to create translation memories that can be exchanged between co-operating parties. An file of course is preferred for the translation within OmegaT.

Translation Memory: in order to allow for the exchange of translation memories you need to have a repository. OmegaT creates a TMX (Translation Memory eXchange) file and we already enabled so that TMX files can be uploaded and downloaded, improved etc.

Well, so let's start this adventure and let's see what comes out of it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Filo muoviti finchè non vedi più contatto ...

Ho riletto questo post a distanza - meglio chiarire - si potrebbe fraintendere: la traduzione era da fare dall'italiano al tedesco - il casino "fatto in casa" si riferisce al cliente finale, che forse, per risparmiare, ha fatto fare la traduzione a ... hmmm ... non si sa chi dall'inglese all'italiano.

Questa era una frase dell'ultima traduzione che ho consegnato ... ovviamente è sbagliata. Il testo in precedenza era stato (molto probabilmente) tradotto dall'inglese e c'erano cose davvero strane. Be' è umano che qualche errore si fa, ma questo testo qui era uno di quei testi che bisognava prima ritradurre all'inglese per poter capire l'italiano. Un'altra barzelletta: "detettiamo" ... be' è chiaro ... qualcuno aveva voglia di re-inventare l'italiano ... era un'italianizzazione di "detect" ... solitamente non scrivo dei lavori che faccio qui, ma questo davvero mi ha fatto lasciare di stucco. Non era solo un pochino qualcosa di qua e di la - tutto il testo era strano ... anche se le frasi grammaticalmente erano corrette. Be' vediamolo come l'ennesimo esempio di casini "fatti in casa" - forse per risparmiare ... forse per incompetenza ... ho deciso di ridere, altrimenti sarebbe da piangere. :-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 is up

Well, we are working, working, working - slowly is growing ... it did not make sense to have too many people there right now since we are still working at the basic stuff like templates for online CVs, templates for language schemes etc.

Where I myself and Nautilus can do a lot is on the translation related side. We hope that Interpreters and Copywriters will join us soon, so that we can discuss what is needed to meet their needs.

WiktionaryZ again takes some more time as expected - anyway the language portals of and are going to be connected. The Babel templates, that are used to show the users proficiency in a language and if he works (earns money) with a certain language have been transferred to as well. They definitely proofed to be not suitable to find translators. That's why we started to create categories with language combinations ... but we have to find even better ways to categorise people ... by giving the possibility to search also on a second level, the specialisation. A further hurdle is: we need to show the information in more than one language ... that could mean that we need a very detailed filtering possibility per language combination and specialisation. The funny thing then comes when someone, like me for example, translates from two or more languages into the mother tongue ... it is not said that I can cover the same topics translating EN-DE, IT-DE and NAP-DE - in all three combinations I strange enough have very different specialisations ... so how to combine these thingies ... well: I know how to combine them, but how to make it simple ... so that anyone can add these categories to the own user page.

Where are we going to post jobs and how are we going to market ... well, I want to wait a bit before writing these plans out ... be sure that I already have them in mind.

If you are a translator, interpreter, copywriter or simply someone interested in languages and translations, and maybe also someone who searches for good people, well, we would very much like to welcome you on

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