August 19, 2014

Heartsome Suite Goes Open Source

First the bad news...

Citing financial difficulties, Heartsome Technologies Ltd. ceased its operations as of July 31, 2014. Heartsome was the developer of Heartsome Suite, one of the few cross-platform CAT tools.

... then the good news

Fortunately, Heartsome shared its translation suite, i.e., Translation Studio 8.0 and TMX Editor 8.0, to the public. They are now available for free as open source at GitHub.

This is good news, especially for non-Windows tanslators, since their translation arsenal is few and far between. As a Mac-addict, I am hooked up to my svelte MBP and always reluctant to switch to Windows PC, just to use a CAT tool. Therefore, I rely heavily on OmegaT, and occasionally LF Aligner, for translation.

The followings are features of Heartsome Suite that I found most useful so far:

  • MT pre-translate. In addition to supporting machine translation from Google Translate API v2 and Bing Translator, Translation Studio 8.0 can also use it to pre-translate all the segments in the selected XLIFF. This pre-translation avoids reaccessing MT API, thus reducing fees and waiting time.
  • Better XLIFF support. As I've mentioned above, OmegaT is my main tool for translation. It is due to the fact that it can handle most, if not all, common translation file formats. However, I discovered that Translation Studio 8.0 has the upper hand when handling SDLXLIFF, XLIFF file format of SDL Trados Studio.
  • Portability. One of the main reasons of my using OmegaT is its portability. A portable application is a program that can run on a compatible computer without having to install it first. I found that the Heartsome Suite is also portable.
  • TM maintenance. As OmegaT is not designed to edit translation memory, the TMX Editor 8.0 is a very much welcomed addition .

Try it out

If you want to take it for a spin, just download Translation Studio 8.0 and/or TMX Editor 8.0, and read the Translation Studio 8.0 and/or TMX Editor 8.0 manuals to start. For those visual learners, you can also watch the videos below.

Photo by jakob fenger is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

August 15, 2014

Improving Website Speed with cdnjs

One of the ways to speed up a website is by offloading static content to other server. Static content includes images, and JS and CSS files.

Image files can be offloaded to popular image hosting web sites, such as Flickr, Imgur, Picasa, etc. While JS and CSS files can be offloaded to cdnjs.

Why cdnjs?

Although there are other script-hosting alternatives, such as Google Hosted Libraries, and Microsoft Ajax CDN, they only host most popular libraries. On the other hand, cdnjs has the most extensive, if not all, libraries.

Incorporating cdnjs

If you're using CMS, such as WordPress or Joomla, you can use cdnjs plugin. For other platform, you can manually offload JS and CSS by linking to the appropriate files in cdnjs with the script and link tags, respectively.

Improvements with cdnjs

After offloading all the JS and CSS files to cdnjs, I managed to reduce my website loading time to under one second. This is of course a much welcomed improvement, as no one likes to wait.

August 4, 2014

Translator's Best Friend

While a man's best friend is a dog, a translator's best friend is, as a poll shows, a CAT. Mind you, CAT here refers to computer-assisted translation tool, not a feline, a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws, which is widely kept as a pet or for catching mice.

So, what is this CAT tool?

If you're new to the translation industry, CAT tool is a software used by translator to support and facilitate the translation process. This software usually, at least, includes translation memory and terminology management programs.

Benefits of CAT tool

CAT tool, specifically the translation memory (TM) part, is deemed beneficial that most language professionals are using it, and many translation projects require its use. Personally, CAT tool was the main reason I got started translating professionally. The followings are the benefits I find most useful:

  • Translation acceleration
  • CAT tool helps accelerate translation by providing exact and/or fuzzy matching from previously translated materials. This feature is especially valuable when translating a document with many repetitions. On average, translators believe that CAT tool improves their productivity by 20-30%.
  • Terms consistency
  • Through the terminology management, CAT tool provides a means of automatically searching for a term when translating a document. Most of the time, though, I just manually search for the previously translated term in the translation memory.
  • File formats support
  • CAT tool also enables translation of documents in a wide variety of formats without having to own the softwares required to process these formats. The formats extend from the ubiquitous office files to desktop publishing files to files generated by other CAT tools.

Photo by kitty.green66 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, modified from its original.

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