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Jan 14, 2010

"Advanced" MemoQ webinar

Despite a horrible workload today and constant telephone harassment from Switzerland (literally dozens of calls from Guess Who), I managed to find a little time (i.e. took a necessary break) to join one of the many free seminars Kilgray offers. Today's topic was "Advanced MemoQ"; the material presented wasn't necessarily for power users, but there was a presumption that participants were familiar with basic functions.

Gábor Ugray, Kilgray's head of development was the presenter. I like his style: simple, clear and honest. When I made a comment praising MemoQ's handling of TTX files, he volunteered information about cases where everything might not work perfectly with unsegmented content. It takes integrity and confidence to share information like that, though I actually think he misunderstood the question and there is no issue for what I was talking about (numbers and dates). Anyway, any time I have the pleasure to hear or read information from him I learn a lot, and today was no exception.

He started off the hour by showing us important tricks for configuring an RTF import, including how to sort out footnotes properly. Other topics covered included the frequent questions about how to migrate term data from Excel (CSV works but can be a disaster with some languages, so he recommends saving as Unicode text from Excel to avoid code page issues - this also avoids the "guess the code page" game), custom settings for the termbase at the term level (very, very powerful for complex matching of multi-word terms, etc. - use to learn the pipe character!), cool shortcuts for using the text filters in the translation window, fixing segmentation issues by defining brand names with goofy capitalization like "iPhone" and "memoQ" as capital letters, other segmentation tweaks, creating special views for frequently occurring segments and a lot more. This is the first "advanced" webinar I have attended for MQ, but I have the impression that the content is different every time. At the end there was about 20 minutes of Q&A in which participants had a chance to ask their ow questions, which Gábor handled very competently.

Although I use the memoQ software a lot, I learned a lot today. I really appreciate a well-organized presetation with good information and no hard sell, and I especially appreciate Gábor taking the time to show special techniques of the "old" 3.6 version as he prepares for the release of version 4.0 in a few weeks. Thank you.

There are five more free memoQ webinars currently scheduled for this month; information on these can be found on Kilgray's calendar page.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the report. I missed the webinar today, but will take part in beginner webinar and be testing MemoQ later.

    By the way, was it your best friend, Mr. de Ville in person, who bestowed you dozens of calls today? :D

    - Sylvia

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  2. @Sylvia: I originally misunderstood the topic of the seminar and thought it was supposed to be on version 4.0 (and sent out an incorrect tweet to that effect), so I was both disappointed and delighted with the way things turned out. Disappointed because I've been looking at the version 4 beta for several days and using it actively, and I would have loved an overview (though I also enjoy the "journey of discovery" going it alone - MQ is so easy most of the time that I occasionally forget that there are help files).

    I hope Monique can find the time for a basics seminar soon; she's made a good start with the program and is oriented enough that she'll be able to appreciate more of what is shown than if she had never used the program.

    I hope Kilgray does a seminar on project management using the server. I've been testing that lately, and it's shockingly easy. I can't say how it compares to the SDL Trados TM server or similar platforms because I have always avoided those, but the MQ Server is so easy that a PM familiar with MQ Pro could probably work competently setting up projects and assigning them after less than half an hour of orientation. And that's allowing for the person being a bit "slow".

    As for the caller, right idea, wrong name - that one belongs to Cruella, who probably would have been better at running a translation agency on the whole. At least the Dalmation upholstery would be tasteful :-) Seriously though, constant calling when I have made it clear that I am working on tight deadlines and that he has an agreement to live up to (which he hasn't) do not make me kindly disposed toward him. It looks like I'll have to update the police again tomorrow morning and take further actions. If I really want to get back at him, I suppose I could offer to give him one of my Trados licenses for free! (Just kidding, Paul. My licenses *are* useful for some things, and I'll allow that they may become more so.)

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  3. Gábor is a huge asset to Kilgray. He's always very helpful indeed.

    I'm just sorry that Kilgray, like SDL, takes the parochial view that Webinars for Europeans only is an acceptable strategy. Since we Asians pay the same price for the software, it seems unfair that we should have to get up in the middle of the night to learn about it.

    Why this information can't be packaged in some downloadable format is quite beyond me.

    I mentioned this to Kilgray and they said that they like the feedback they get from Webinars. Well, they won't be getting the same level of feedback from Asian users with that strategy. And I believe I've provided a lot of feedback through email and their Wiki page which should be just as valuable as anything I might have to say in a Webinar. If Asian training needs continue to be ignored, I'll get tired of providing feedback, and as tired of MemoQ as I did of Trados.

    It would be nice if Monique could find the time for a basics video or PDF rather than a seminar...

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  4. @Rod: I agree the timing sucks for you. However, Gábor did say something about a recording of the full session being available for later viewing. Not as good as live participation I agree, but still useful.

    I think Angelika Zerfass is developing something with training for MQ. She's an Asian language specialist or was at one point; it would make sense for someone like her to get up early and do a live webinar for Asian groups. At least the examples might be more relevant or she would probably be more aware of specific challenges there. I doubt any "neglect" is deliberate at this point, and the current training materials will have to be overhauled completely for the next version very soon anyway. So don't feel left out until 4.0 has been out for a week or two.

    Not sure I understand the comment about Monique. She doesn't create tutorial material; all that stuff you see on our site is from me, mostly written for her. I'm an impatient fellow, and if I have to explain anything twice in three years, I'm often in a grumpy mood about it, so most of that documentation was created for "in-house harmony". The fact that clients or others can make some use of it is actually rather secondary. My first priority is to try to make her life with often-frustrating technology a little easier. But expect a lot more MQ-related instructional material from this corner over the course of the next year....

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  5. Sorry, I got Monique who takes seminars and Angelika who makes seminar muddled there. My apologies.

    I did contact Angelika a while back offering to provide info and ideas on the user experience, and while I got a positive response, I heard nothing more.

    I hope Kilgray starts addressing Asia too, because they could probably expand their market here.

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  6. @Rod: I don't know Angelika personally, just by reputation and mutual contacts. I almost fell over when I saw her at MemoQ Fest 2009, because she's a top trainer in the Trados camp (but she wasn't the only one from the SDL Trados world there).

    Last I heard (many months ago) she was putting together her own training program for MQ, and I suspect it's still being refined or she's waiting for v4 for the major effort to avoid redundant work. But really I have no idea at this point. I just think her background in Japanese/Chinese and relevant experience would make her quite helpful in that market.

    If I were writing training stuff I would want MQ4 for all my screenshots. Monique saw it for the first time last night, and her spontaneous reaction was "Wow, what's that???!!" Aesthetically it's a Great Leap Forward. Functionally it's very promising too, but it's hard to say what final form the beta will take. I'm still trying to get my head around the interesting new stuff.

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  7. While I am not a MemoQ user, this is interesting stuff. Thanks for the report on the Kilgray seminars; I have not attended one of their webinars, but I will look into them! Free professional development on the web? I love it!

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