Dec 2, 2012

Kilgray's Language Terminal: A Communist plot!

If you type definition: terminal into Google's search field, at the top of the hits you'll see:

Although it's clear that Kilgray's new Language Terminal is extremely useful, it's certainly not the end of the line. As in so many other cases in our profession, where a good translator will look up five definitions for a word and choose the sixth, his own, a very different definition is needed for this service, and it is by no means a final one. What the ultimate definition will be only time and the occasional information leak from Kilgray employees will tell, but I think it will be one well liked even by those who are not fans of memoQ.

Here was the official announcement on the Yahoogroups list for memoQ by the company's chief developer, Gábor Ugray, last Friday:
Hi All,

One announcement is not enough on a day like this. Today we are also officially launching LanguageTerminal.com, our first Cloud offering ever.

What are the benefits?

  • Convert InDesign files (even INDD) to mqxlz, and enjoy translating with a live preview
  • After translating in memoQ with a preview, or in any other XLIFF-compliant tool without a preview, get your export back in the original format
  • Review the source text and your translation in PDF format
  • Back up your memoQ projects into the cloud, straight from memoQ. We are giving away 1 GB of storage to you.
  • Share your favorite auto-translation rules or other light resources in the Resource Marketplace. No, it's not an app store to sell: it's a free space for sharing.
  • Create a profile and allow other members to find you
Why is this a beta?
This is the first Cloud offering we are launching. Until we see how this scales up to a growing user base, we are not charging for anything. We are also going to keep the basic service free once the beta is over. If you have any feedback or comments to share, do not spare us!

Signup is now open at https://www.languageterminal.com/.

Enjoy! BR,

Gábor 

WTF? I'm not sure what Gábor means by basic service, but I would gladly pay cold  cash (or cash of any other temperature) for this useful service. And free? Even to users of other tools like OmegaT and SDL Trados Studio? Not sure I like that. At least he hasn't revealed the secret to my competitors using other tools that the mysterious MQXLZ format (which reminds me vaguely of a villian's name in an old Superman comic) is really just a ZIP file with the extension changed, and that the XLIFF file can be extracted from it and translated with any tool. I'm certainly not going to help them out by revealing more. I hope SDL plans to respond to this outrage by introducing its own service and charging users a hefty fee and requiring verified competence in SDL Trados MultiTerm before allowing users to sign up. And I want to see it work only as a plug-in the the latest version of SDL Trdos Studio 2011, available on the SDL OpenExchange with a price tag of at least € 299.

I've tested the Language Terminal service myself, particularly for backing up some memoQ projects. Nice. The integration with memoQ 6.2 is excellent and easy to use; just choose the usual backup command under the project list and select the option to save the data to your Language Terminal profile.

PDF previews of InDesign translations are nice; I enjoyed these for years using Ontram, but this goes well beyond the functionality I remember from that high-end corporate tool developed for the likes of Daimler and CLAAS. The dynamic preview created for use in local memoQ projects is a very, very welcome feature, because in most cases, memoQ will not offer a preview of exotic formats. The "trick" for doing that in this case tells me that this might be possible in the future for other formats using a web integration approach like this.

I'm not terribly excited about this "marketplace" thing. The capitalist pig in me is vehemently opposed to giving things away, which is why each reader of this blog pays a hefty monthly subscription fee for the privilege of reading my tips and rants. This silly idea probably reflects the bad attitude of Kilgray CEO Istvàn Lengyel, who poo-pooed the idea of a commercial exchange for Kilgray modeled on the superb OpenExchange offered by his competitor when the suggestion was made at this year's memoQfest. You would think that a young entrepreneur like him would show a little more raw meat spirit. Oh wait. I forgot he's a vegetarian.

Another terrible thing about the Language Terminal beside its enabling of those disloyal enough to want to translate InDesign in tools other than memoQ and its awful Communist approach to a "marketplace" (and oh yes - István has spoken openly of Five Year Plans for Kilgray too!) is that fact that the best features are missing.

That's right. I was hoping to see sharable online translation memories and termbases integrated in memoQ which could be used by the teams of expert translators forming in transparent alliances to end translation agencies' reign of anonymous quality terror, where good but faceless translators are used to bait the client, who is later switched to a monkey translating in the jungles of Burpal. Declaring openly who they are and what they stand for, these allied freelancers, who blatantly sign their work and take responsibility for its usefulness, would be using those integrate features to outcoordinate and outperform the linguistic sausage factories in eastern Europe and India who salivate over the memoQ 6 features for slicing and dicing translatable text and passing it to dehumanized first-come-to-the-cattle-call resources in a sort of virtual assembly line linguistic whorehouse operation.

And when and if we ever do see these Cloud-based collaboration tools for memoQ , those pinkos at Kilgray will probably want to share the wealth and offer access to our enemies using other CAT tools. Next thing you know, they'll be getting endorsed by Obama.

 



3 comments:

  1. Hi István, I found that out earlier tonight; Gábor says as long as the meat is unrecognizable, you'll eat it. You should have studied at Occidental. We never had any idea what the mystery meat in the student cafeteria was. My mistake for thinking that anyone with the skills and cultural sensitivity to simultaneously interpret poetry had to be vegetarian, possibly even vegan....

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  2. That capitalist pig in you SHOULD be vehemently opposed to giving things away. Only a communist plotter would do a thing like that! <;-)

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