May 10, 2012

memoQfest 2012: practical outsourcing with memoQ desktop editions

This week I'm in Budapest for Kilgray's memoQfest, the annual gathering of users and curious bystanders as well as CAT tool competitors who want to learn how to get the technology right.

This morning I gave a presentation on a topic which has become a regular part of my consulting with colleagues and clients... or better said, has been a part of my work with them from the beginning of my association with the language services industry. Every time I hear a translation agency or corporate translation consumer say that a qualified translator with the subject expertise needed cannot be used because he or she doesn't work with the "right" translation environment tool, I am saddened by the foolishness of that statement or the lack of understanding it reveals. In mature IT sectors interoperability and lossless data exchange have been common for decades, though sometimes one must be clever to get there. But the cottage industries for languages are, in many ways, stuck in the IT mentality of the early 1980s despite the fact that the actual technology today is more like Y2K. Gut Ding braucht Weil as the Germans say.

At a memoQ master class yesterday, Kilgray COO István Lengyel stated that "Interoperability is the art of compromise." True, but if you keep your wits about you and apply them, the compromises are usually not as awful as originally assumed.

memoQ is distinguished by the great ease with which it can manage data to be used in translation with nearly any other translation environment. SDL Trados Studio actually does a few things better, but overall, the utility and ease of use for memoQ is far greater in most cases. It's like a Swiss Army knife of translation integration, with one or more reasonable workflows for almost anything.

Today's talk was a 45 minute distillation of a workshop I usually deliver in half a day. It was a bit of a challenge to pare it down in the limited time available with last-minute translation projects having more content than planned and late nights talking to colleagues from around the world. For experienced users, most of what I had to say was "old hat"; some new memoQ users were surely overwhelmed by a flood of "new" information. I hope that each listener was able to leave the session with at least one useful idea to apply and improve their business. For those who fell asleep and couldn't take notes or anyone else who likes to play "guess the context" with lecture slides, here is a link to the slides from the talk. Questions are welcome on whatever appears mysterious; most of it is somewhere on this blog in great detail. Re-use is permitted for any morally acceptable purpose (with attribution please). When Kilgray puts the video of the talk online, I'll post it here so those slides make more sense.


  1. Just donwloaded the files - but the text is really weird - just symbols. Any ideas?

  2. David, I think there might be an issue with your browser'sa PDF plug-in or you might have an issue with your PDF reader. I doubt it is a problem with the PDF format itself, because I used a very old freeware driver to create the file - with the intention of making it accessible to everyone.


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