The topic of machine translation capacity is being quite hot these days
Machine translation systems often amaze us with the quality of their product, both brilliant and horrible. Mr. Translator by Tencent, for instance, made a fool of itself.
As of today, the biggest issue about machine translation lies in reproducing the syntax of the source language in the sentence in the target language. But people do it in another way. We decode the phrase meaning in the source language first and then encode the meaning using the target language.
Generally speaking, the underlying issue of machine translation systems in their current state is failing to work with the meaning. When they give a wonderful text, it is no sign of their excellence in translation. It is the sign of their excellence in imitation. Hence, there is a question of whether it is just to recognize an imitation system as artificial intelligence.
While using old versions of WordFast, you may get an attribute error
If you use WordFast Pro 5.6 or another version older than Wordfast Pro 5.12 and try opening TXLF files generated in the new version, you may get the following error message:
Attribute ‘gs4tr:uuid’ is not allowed to appear in element ‘file’
It takes place because earlier WF versions can’t recognize this attribute. To solve this problem, you can download and install a new 5.12 version. But there is another bypass solution.
Open the TXLF file in the text editor Notepad++, use the search function (CTRL+F) to find “gs4tr:uuid,” and delete the attribute together with its number and the redundant space as shown in the screenshot. Click the Save button and close the file tab.
After this, the file opens in WordFast 5.6, and no error messages appear.
Waste no time on copying and confirming email addresses in Trados Studio: you can move and confirm them all at once.
Let’s assume you have a Word file containing a lot of email addresses, like this one:
(All names, addresses, and phone numbers here are random.)
You have to translate this text in Trados Studio. You create a project, and the text there looks this way:
However, as you can see, the text includes a very big number of email addresses that don’t need to be translated. If you “translate” them and confirm each segment one by one, it will take much time. But there is a way to copy them to target and confirm them all in no time.
Let’s take advantage of the distinctive feature of email addresses, that is the at sign, @. We have to find and filter out all the segments containing this sign. To do this, go to the Review tab on the ribbon and enter this sign in the Search field. Since we’re looking for it in the source language only, it’s important to select In Source in the search pane:
Press the ENTER key. The work pane will feature only the segments containing the @ sign, that is, in our case, email addresses:
Now click the cell with the number of the first segment (2), scroll the list to the end, and click the cell with the number of the last segment holding the SHIFT key. All segments will get highlighted:
Now go to the Home tab and press the Copy Source to Target button.
What’s left is confirming all the filtered segments. To do this, highlight them all again, right-click the number of any cell, and change the status to Translated:
Then, go to the Review tab again and reset the filter with the Reset Filters button:
That’s how we’ve got all the email addresses copied to target cells and all the segments containing the addresses confirmed.
This method can be used for filtering and confirming any segments if they have a distinct feature that can be used for filtering.
You can convert all straight quotes in the text into chevrons with one replacement.
We already know how to quickly convert straight quotes into guillemets (chevrons) in Trados Studio and memoQ. Sometimes you get to do this not in the “cat” (that is not in the CAT tool, a computer-aided translation tool) but right in the so-called “monotext,” i.e., the text in the target language in Word.
In Word, press CTRL+H. The Find and Replace dialog window appears:
Press the More >> button there. Additional parameters will appear in the dialog window:
In this window, select the Use wildcards check box; it turns on the mode of regular expressions. Next, enter in the Find field: request \"([!^13]@)\", and in the Replace field: code «\1»:
Like in Trados Studio and memoQ, this replacement should not be performed blindly. The text may contain unusual cases or simply mistakes, and blind autocorrect will “miss.”
In other words, pressing the Replace All button is reasonable only if you are 100% sure that all straight quotes in the text are actually used as quotes (and not as inch marks, for instance), that all of them are in pairs, etc. Generally, it’s better to go through all the cases one by one pressing the Replace button and checking whether the replacement is correct. Usually, there are only a few quotes in the text.
Arrange Trados Studio on your laptop screen to make it convenient to work with
When you work with texts, it’s desirable to have two monitors. According to studies, the second monitor allows for productivity gains averaging 25-30%.
It’s nice translating or editing on the computer with two displays: throwing a CAT-tool on one monitor and dictionaries with the reference on the other and having a blast. But what should you do if there is no second monitor and the only one you have is too small? Quite a common situation for a translator, particularly a freelancer.
The classic size for a laptop screen is 15 inches. If the screen is smaller, it’s extremely inconvenient to work with; if the screen is larger, the laptop turns out to be too heavy and “ravenous”: its battery dies after a few hours of work.
Let’s consider the working process in Trados Studio and find out what can be sacrificed for the sake of the enlargement of the work pane and how to hide unnecessary elements of the user interface that take up too much space.
The “unprepared” Trados Studio on the 15-inch display looks something like this:
As you can see, the work pane here takes up only about one-third of the screen. It is enough for seven segments only. It’s too small for full-fledged activity; too much space is occupied by other elements.
Let’s free some space for the work pane. First, hide the ribbon by pressing CTRL+F1:
The ribbon is minimized, and there is more space: the work pane holds 10 segments now. When needed, you can show the ribbon with the help of the same key combination—CTRL+F1.
Now it’s time to minimize the project navigation pane on the left. To do this, click the minimize arrow at the top right corner of the pane:
The navigation pane is now narrowed but still functional. Its text has been turned into icons. Thus, the work pane occupies the bigger part of the screen, and the number of visible segments has increased to 12. Two simple commands allowed us to make it almost two times larger.
There is also a more radical way of enlarging the work pane (no, we’re not going to sacrifice the font size). Press F11:
Trados Studio goes into a special mode when only the work pane is actually displayed. The rest, including the translation memory, termbase, concordance windows, the ribbon, and even the Windows taskbar, are hidden.
Since this mode displays only the text and hides all additional elements, it is handy for editing, final self-proofreading before submitting the file when nothing should distract from the text.
Word offers a lot of commands for selecting text fragments. They are very well-chosen and easy to memorize:
SHIFT + → — one symbol to the right
SHIFT + ← — one symbol to the left
CTRL + SHIFT + → — one word to the right
CTRL + SHIFT + ← — one word to the left
SHIFT + END — from the cursor to the end of the line
SHIFT + HOME — from the cursor to the beginning of the line
SHIFT + ↑ — one line upward
SHIFT + ↓ — one line downward
CTRL + SHIFT + ↑ — one paragraph upward
CTRL + SHIFT + ↓ — one paragraph downward
CTRL + SHIFT + END — from the cursor to the end of the page
CTRL + SHIFT + HOME — from the cursor to the beginning of the page
As we see, the distinctive feature all these commands share is the usage of the SHIFT key.
Apart from these selection methods, Word offers another astonishing opportunity known to a few: one can select random rectangular text fragments.
Where can this feature come in handy?
Let’s say you have a text fragment like this:
And you need to delete the bullets—those circles in the list lines. How to do it quickly?
You can delete them one by one. You can use AutoCorrect—replace “a circle with a space” with “nothing.” And you can also take advantage of the circles being placed aside the text, select them all at once and delete them all at once.
In other words, there are only two actions to do:
1. Press and hold the ALT key (not SHIFT!), select an area in the file capturing all the circles and leaving the text untouched:
2. Press the DELETE key:
And that’s it—all the circles are gone.
The only thing is that it’s impossible to do this rectangular selection without a mouse.