So I decided to put together a personal overview of the compatibility interfaces for the memoQ Translator Pro edition and my own thoughts on best practice and share it with my colleagues. I wanted to avoid burying everyone in technical detail but instead present the material in a way that most anyone can understand and apply. I don't believe in silly notions such as expecting the average intelligent user to learn and remember the use of regular expressions and other arcana that I, despite four decades of IT experience, continue to struggle with myself too often.
- referred to memoQ version 5 Translator Pro edition
- focused on facilitating project workflows with different platforms rather than actual translation
- was intended for anyone outsourcing on a small scale for a single target language in a project (multiple target languages require the memoQ Project Manager or server editions)
The goal was to achieve an understanding of memoQ as a central platform for
- translation project input - files, translation memories, terminology and reference material
- format conversion to facilitate work with different translation environment techniques and tools
- editing and quality assurance
- creation of deliverable target files and other resources such as term lists, special review formats and commentaries
- SDL Trados in all versions (though it is important to choose the right compatibility workflow!)
- Star Transit
- quite a number of other commercial and Open Source translation environment tools
- various content management systems (CMS)
- translators who decline to use any tool other than a word processor
- and of course memoQ!
memoQ is sort of like the Swiss Army knife of translation environment tools when it comes to compatibility. Only better. Some say it's more compatible with Trados than Trados. And in many cases they're right.
Output formats for translators
memoQ can prepare content for translation in
- optimized formats for memoQ users
- Trados-compatible bilingual DOC files
- XLIFF, a standard used by many environments
- RTF tables for those without special translation tools or for others to review, comment and answer questions using only a word processor
memoQ reads translation memory data in TMX and delimited text formats and outputs it to TMX. Term data is read in the same formats as TM data but output only to delimited text formats and a particular SDL Trados MultiTerm XML format.
memoQ can also integrate with external termbases, TM sources and machine translation engines.
I sometimes think of memoQ as the hub of a wheel with translators, reviewers and customers working with many different environments as the "spokes".
These typically involve:
1. Reading in the data after it is properly prepared
- files to translate in whatever source format
- translation memory data or reference corpora
- terminology data
- special segmentation rules (SRX files and segmentation exceptions) or other configuration data for optimized workflows
2. Analyzing the data
Many options are available here, including the weighting of tags to compensate the extra effort involved with complex formats and determining internal similarities in a text (aka "homogeneity" or "fuzzy repetitions") to facilitate better project planning.
3. Extracting terminology (particularly useful for large projects for one or more translators)
4. Preparing and exporting files for translators
Projects can also be sent to translators using memoQ as handoff packages or complete backups with all attached TMs, termbases and corpora.
5. Receiving and re-importing translated content
6. Review, QA and feedback workflows
7. Generating target files and other information for delivery, final statistics
Recommendations for best practices in choosing formats for translators, reviewers and others using a variety of tools will be covered in the second part of this summary. Those interested in a live presentation or relevant materials are welcome to contact me privately.