Feb 8, 2012

memoQ support & info: where to go

I recently had a conversation with a new memoQ user regarding a minor settings issue, but after a long return trip from Hungary, where I picked up my new dog Csővárberki Jámbor, I was too tired to remember even the most basic information about TM settings for fuzzy matches. (That's about on par with trying to pour milk directly onto a saucer, having forgotten the coffee cup and coffee, which is how the day started.) I made a few suggestions for alternative sources of information until my laggard brain return to function, and I was surprised to find that many free and excellent sources of help were unknown. So I would like to list a few of these here, with comments, and I encourage you to add any others of which you are aware. Preferably ones which are not contaminated with advertising.

There is, of course, the legendary Support department of Kilgray, which can be reached at support@kilgray.com by e-mail or via a web contact form even late in the evenings. Most correspondence is in English, but quite a number of staff are reasonably competent in German, at least more competent in German than many German customers writing to them in English can handle the other language. I presume correspondence can also ensue in Hungarian.

Some are reluctant to contact Support for fear of looking "stupid". If there are any stupid questions possible, I've probably already asked them in some state of mental torpor, so take consolation, timid colleagues, in that you won't look any dumber than I do much of the time. I believe it is important for Kilgray to see where the "obvious" is being missed by its users or where real projects diverge from the ideal scenarios of their development concepts, because this provides important clues for future improvements. The support department is a vital source of such information.

Users should not only contact support when things are not going right, but also to ask guidance for best practice. From its humble beginnings as a simple, free tool with just a few features, memoQ has developed in a very short time to become a leader in translation environment innovation, with the unfortunate side-effect that the many options it now includes sometimes obscure the software's essential simplicity and make the best approach less than obvious. (This was the original reason for the workshops I now design and teach.) The Kilgray team have years of experience with many different areas of application, and in relaxed, friendly exchanges with the support team many useful new approaches arise.

Nonetheless, "RTFM" isn't such a bad principle with Kilgray. Time and again, I am surprised by the high quality of the program's help files, though sometimes I can't always understand how to get to the points described. The latest changes to the help files are also online, where comments on the quality of the help information can also be submitted.

PDF user manuals for various translator and server versions are available in different languages here on the Kilgray site.

There is an FAQ from Kilgray here.

On its home page, Kilgray has a sign-up form for the e-mail newsletter, which often has useful information. There are regular, free webinars on a wide variety of beginning and advanced topics, and many of these are recorded and available for viewing and/or download later. There are also free training videos online.

So much for the resources from Kilgray. There are a lot, and I do find it a little confusing to navigate them at times, but there is a wealth of high-quality information available there. I think this information could benefit from a little consolidation of its presentation on the web site, but they get an A for effort and information quality.

The independent Yahoogroups forum for memoQ is an excellent source of advice and support in the larger user community. Just like in the groups for Trados and Déjà Vu, many experienced users share practical experience and solve problems that even the best support department might have a tough time sorting out.

I do not recommend the ProZ memoQ forum as a place to turn. The bad atmosphere on Ze Zite and censorship, including posting restrictions on many of the best CAT tool experts, make the it fairly worthless for timely, reliable information these days. The Yahoogroups forums for all the tools are generally more active, with more good information and an excellent database to search. While ProZ is useful for its periodic group buys, these days it cannot be taken seriously as a source of much of anything else. There are better places to go like those described above.

Other possible sources of information include this blog and a number of others, and in various regions, there are good trainers available for paid training, consulting and coaching sessions. Some of these are listed on the Kilgray web site.

Anything up to date that I've missed?

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