THE TRANSLORIAL TOOL KIT

The Tool Kit is an online newsletter that comes to its subscribers’ mailboxes twice a month. In Translorial, we offer a quarterly digest of Jost’s most helpful tips from the past season. BY JOST ZETZSCHE © 2012 INTERNATIONAL WRITERS’ GROUP, COMPILED BY YVES AVÉROUS

Refactored memoQ
Rather than just looking at the new features of recent tools and versions of memoQ, I chatted with the developers to get some of the background story. I met with István and Gábor to hear them out about version 6. → continue reading

STAR TRANSIT—THE NXT GENERATION

Cover of the December '09 issueAn ever increasing number of translation tools on the market means more choices and decisions for translators. Here, a review of STAR Transit NXT Version 4.0. BY MICHAEL SCHUBERT

The Swiss STAR Group was founded in 1984 as a technical editing and translation services company and now has 48 locations in 31 countries. STAR initially developed Transit as its in-house translation tool and began marketing it worldwide in 1991. The latest version, STAR Transit NXT, was released in November 2008.
The 150 MB download installed in under five minutes with no reboot required and also uninstalled quickly and cleanly. Comprehensive PDF user manuals are available in German or English (of sorts). The program user interface can be displayed in U.K. English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Swedish, Chinese or Japanese. → continue reading

THE TRANSLORIAL TOOL KIT

The Tool Kit is an online newsletter that comes to its subscribers’ mailboxes twice a month. In Translorial, we offer a quarterly digest of Jost’s most helpful tips from the past season. BY JOST ZETZSCHE © 2009 INTERNATIONAL WRITERS’ GROUP, COMPILED BY YVES AVÉROUS

Google ChromeGOOGLE CHROME SHINES
I always tend to use the software that I have just translated—after all, I know all the tricks once the translation is finished. Here are some things I recently learned that way about Google Chrome: My new favorite feature is a way to create stand-alone applications of web-based applications in Chrome. This means that you can run any website not within the tabbed browser- interface but in an interface that has nothing but the actual application. I really like this because it prevents you from accidentally closing an important application that you’re working in by closing your browser or browser tabs, and it lets you completely focus on your task. This is great for things like browser-based translation interfaces or many other important tasks for which it is not important to link continuously to other webpages. → continue reading

THE TRANSMUG REPORT – WOW!

BY YVES AVÉROUS

imacThere’s never been a better time to get a new Mac. Since last June, the whole line-up of consumer machines has been completely revamped. Choices include the cost-efficient MacBook or a super-duper quad-core iMac. I am particularly impressed with the pixel real estate made available on the new 27-inch iMac. With a finer resolution than previous pricey monitors, this new all-in-one desktop counts as many pixels in width as the 30-inch Cinema Display and only 160 less pixels in height than that flagship monitor that is still listed at $1,800 by itself. → continue reading

Translation Contract: A Standards-based Model Solution

Review by Stafford Hemmer

Translation Contract: A Standards-based Model Solution by Uwe Muegge, 100 pages, Authorhouse, 2005, ISBN: 1418416363

Translation Contract: A Standards-Based Model Solution is a toolkit in book form. Author Uwe Mr. Muegge dices the contractual relationship between translation buyer and vendor into a collection of checklists and work order forms. Using DIN 2345, ÖNORM D, and ASTM F15.48 standards, Mr. Muegge aims at four basic goals: improving communication between translation vendors and translation buyers, structuring and standardizing translation projects, improving efficiency, and improving quality. His intended audience includes “translation buyers and vendors who do not have comprehensive contractual agreements in place … and [those] who do not have much experience in the translation and/or localization field.” If this toolkit were presented in electronic form, it would be a hit. But in its present book form, Translation Contract misses its mark.

At skeptical first glance, publisher AuthorHouse should have considered condensing the booklet prior to its publication. “Section A: Master Data,” a full 21 of the booklet’s 100 pages, is a sparse presentation of basic contract elements that could have all fit into a one-page form. Indeed, the data fields presented in this section are obvious requisites to any valid and enforceable translation contract. But do neophyte freelancers or contract-deficient agencies really need four pages of prompting lest they forget to incorporate buyer and vendor contact info into their newly structured contracts?

The meat is in Sections B-H. Mr. Muegge guides readers on identifying and defining translation services, documents, textual and formal considerations, hardware and software used, additional agreements, and review procedures. Each section starts with a one-sentence “overview” of the objective; for example, “Section E: Formal Considerations. In this section, the contractual partners reach agreement on specific formal aspects of the translation project.” Here, Mr. Muegge succeeds in highlighting salient contract issues that users can take into consideration when structuring translation projects and contracts. The three-page “Appendix: Overview of Translation-Related Standards” adds value by filtering ISO standards, and listing references to Internet-based resources, thereby perhaps warranting the booklet’s $15.50 cover price. Still, the two-page set of definitions that preface the book, including such gems as, “target language: A target language is a natural language. Translation professionals use a target language to translate to,” could do with a little polish.

Mr. Muegge’s comprehensive approach is important for closing the loopholes found in various model contracts, such as those from ATA. Perhaps, then, the only thing wrong with this book is precisely that: it’s a book. His target audience certainly would have been better served if he delivered Translation Contract as a software product, because that data medium would enable the author to deliver the comprehensiveness he seeks to provide. In addition to presenting a useable boilerplate contract, the checklists and work order forms would then become more valuable to users because they could then be downloaded and modified. Mr. Muegge could also spend more time fleshing out the terminology, and delivering more information about the translation-related standards upon which the booklet is based, rather than just list them. If, in the future, Mr. Muegge decides to present Translation Contract in electronic format, he’ll be sure to hit the bull’s-eye.

PC Hardware AnnoyancesHow to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Computer Hardware

by Stephen J. Bigelow
Book review by Yves Avérous

When my cousin eventually decided to buy a PC after weeks of my twisting his arm to get a Mac, I told him: “I’m sorry, you are on your own. After years of troubleshooting my PCs I have not switched to the Mac only to plunge back into ‘dll hell’ again.”

Still, I try to be considerate towards my fellow PC users. Not all of you have a choice—especially if you have been enslaved by single-platform solutions or still believe, against all odds, that it’s more convenient to use a PC. And some of you cannot even be swayed by the fact that there aren’t any known viruses for the Mac operating system and that the system is immune to spyware! So what’s a good friend to do when facing so much resistance to common sense? Offer the next best thing to his own helping hand: PC Hardware Annoyances from O’Reilly, by longtime tech guru Stephen J. Bigelow.

As suggested by its title, PC Hardware Annoyances deals with the most common computer issues in the area of home office computing, with close to 600 questions overall (dare I say “plug and play?”). Drivers, connectors, cards, ports, settings, graphics (cards, monitors, etc.), sound (cards, microphone, speakers, even iPod,), hard drives, CD/DVD drives, networks, printers and scanners … how many times have you wished you could make sense (or better sense) out of those? With 17 years of experience talking about computers to the lay public, Bigelow knows how to make things light and simple. Of course, some areas, such as the BIOS, cannot always be dealt with elegantly: “… the Phoenix/Award BIOS version used with the Tyan Tomcat i7210 (S5112) Pentium 4 “Northwood” or “Prescott” motherboard provides a Quick Power On Self Test option in the Advanced BIOS Features menu …” Poetry not quite in motion. Fortunately, this comes with an illustration.

The question-and-answer approach — sort of a printed FAQ — is not my favorite format, but the publishers of this book have implemented it brilliantly, with easy-to-read “tip” and “warning” boxes, short definitions inserted strategically, and a plethora of screenshots and illustrations. It all conspires to make this smart and friendly book a valuable tool for the average to experienced Windows XP user. In the end, PC Hardware Annoyances can not only help you, but also help you help others.

Even though I tend to generally pick the big “bible” kind of manual when I choose a tech book—well-organized hierarchical opuses like the Missing Manual collection from O’Reilly, for example, for my critical apps like OS X or Office (Mac)—I must admit that PC Hardware Annoyances does a good job at corralling most of the support you might need in a manner that is logically organized and easily digestible.

Another virtue of this book is to remind me how fortunate I am now, as a Mac user, not to need this kind of extensive help anymore.

PC Hardware Annoyances: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Computer Hardware;
by Stephen J. Bigelow, 268 pages, O’Reilly Media, 2005, ISBN: 0596007159.