Sunday, March 9, 2008

Quickly search glossaries and translation memories during translation

To increase your productivity in fields that you translate once in a while, you need quick access to glossaries in that field. A tool that allows you to search for terms and phrases while you are translating such a document, preferably by using a hot key, and also enables you to paste results into your document. Apsic Xbench is such a tool.

How to use it

In short, here's what it does. Say you are translating from Japanese to English and get stuck over how to translate a term or a phrase. Select it and hit Ctrl + Alt + Ins, and Xbench brings opens up a window almost immediately with all the hits in glossaries, translation memories or tab-delimited text files you have already registered earlier. Here is a sample of the screen with a search for a "船首楼甲板":

The matches on the right hand side are from all your references – glossaries, translation memories and other text files. You select the term you prefer and hit Enter; the translation is copied to the clipboard, and the Workbench window closes. You can now paste the translation by Shift + Ins.

Input formats supported

This tool enables you to maintain your glossaries as simple text files and search them quickly. In addition you can use all kinds of common CAT bilingual formats such as Microsoft glossaries, TMX, Trados, SDLX, Star Transit, Wordfast, and IBM Translation Manager and save them under different projects. See the website for details of the input text formats supported. Recent formats supported TBX, Multiterm XML, XLIFF, or Mac OS software glossaries.

Other features

The best part of it is that this convenient tool is free! It also has some quality assurance features and can be used as an online quality tool to check consistency in terms used for ongoing translations. The QA function also warns of other problems such as tag mismatches and so on. Google-like queries from the application is also a recent addition. Definitely a keeper!

Until the next post, here's a thought from Robert Frost: The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

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