Jul 21, 2019

"Faulty" memoQ light resource defaults and how to change them

So often in the decade since I began using memoQ, I've felt an undercurrent of irritation at some of the default settings for certain types of resources, and with the need to switch these resources manually in so many projects. But with so many other pressing matters, I didn't really focus on the problem until a participant in last week's summer school course at Universidade Nova in Lisbon expressed the same irritation with regard to the default QA settings.

QA settings are probably the most familiar irritants to many memoQ users. Some have declared memoQ QA to be "unusable" because of many false positives or a failure to check certain things, and these opinions are usually unfounded and reflect a poor understanding of the available options and how to use them. But even those of us who do know how to use them get caught out by forgetting to change the QA settings to our favorite profiles on many occasions.

No more. If, for example, you want to change the memoQ QA default settings, it is very easy to configure them to match your preferred profile. I started off by cloning my empty QA profile, a template file that I maintain in which no checks at all are enabled. This is the starting point I use for custom QA rule sets in memoQ.

I then edited the renamed file and configured it with the terminology, auto-translation rule and tag settings I prefer in routine cases, leaving many of the usual, irritating memoQ QA defaults disabled. Then I exported the MQRES file as a backup and opened it in a text editor.

There I copied all of the text starting with the XML declaration (skipping the MemoQResource header), and I looked (for example, in the Resource Console, though the Options and Project Settings would do as well) to see where the default resource was located:

Then I went to the file location...

... opened the file, and pasted the copied text of my desired settings into the file:

Default resources (as well as already-imported light resources) do not use headers. Then I saved the new default file and closed it. Then I started memoQ again and make a copy of the Default file for QA settings, and used the editor to examine its contents, which matched those I had pasted into the file for the QA option defaults.

I'm not sure (yet) whether these defaults will be replaced when bugfixed builds or new versions are installed, so I am keeping my exported custom QA configuration as a backup in case I need to do this again. And I will be looking at other light resources which might benefit from this approach.

I had originally considered setting my empty QA profile (with nothing set) as the default until I realized that this could lead to a false impression that nothing of interest was wrong if that default profile is accidentally chosen (or not deselected, rather) for a quality check. Then I realized that the best default to use would, of course, be the settings I use most frequently.

Jul 11, 2019

iOS 13: interesting options for dictators

Given the deteriorating political situation of many countries in the world today, the title of this post may seem ominous to some; however, the actual situation for those who use Apple's iOS operating system seems to call for some optimism in the months ahead. Among all the myriad feature changes in the upcoming Apple iOS 13 (now in the Public Beta 2 phase), there are a few which may be of particular value to writers and translators who dictate using their iOS devices.

Attention Awareness
This is 2019, and not only is Big Brother watching you, but your iPhone will as well. The rear-facing camera on some models will detect when you look away from the phone  perhaps to tell your dog to get off the couch  and switch off voice control. The scope of application for this feature isn't clear yet, and I have my doubts whether this would be relevant to more ergonomic ways of working with applications like Hey memoQ (which involve Bluetooth headsets or earsets to avoid directionality problems as the head may turn to examine references, etc.), but for some modes of text dictation work, this could prove useful. I have lost track of how often I've been interrupted by people and found my responses transcribed in one way or another, often as an amusing salad of errors when I switch languages.

Automatic language selection in Dictation
The iOS 13 features preview from Apple states, "Dictation automatically detects which language a user is speaking. The language will be chosen from the keyboard languages enabled on the device, up to a maximum of four." Well, well. I wonder how it will handle isolated sentences or paragraphs quoted in another language  or individual foreign words. I'm betting probably not. But I'll have great fun pushing this feature around with three or four spoken languages to find its limits.

Add custom words
This is what I have wanted for years. Custom audio recognition vocabulary  words and phrases  to ensure that unusual or specialist terms are recognized and transcribed correctly. BINGO!

On-device processing
All audio processing will be handled locally (on your iPhone or iPad), ensuring privacy if you believe the NSA and/or the Russians or other parties aren't tapped into your equipment.

Enhancements to voice editing and voice-driven app control
There are a lot of these. Read about them in the Accessibility section of the features description from Apple. My first impression of these possibilities is that editing and correcting text may become much easier on iOS devices, and the attractiveness of the three-stage dictation/alignment/pretranslation workflow may increase for some translators. (An old example of this is in an old YouTube video I prepared years ago for a remote conference presentation, but the procedure works with any speech-to-text options and has the advantage of at least two revision steps.)

It's even more interesting to consider how some of these new features might be harnessed by apps designed to work with translation assistance environments. And if Google responds - as I believe the company is likely to do - with new features for Chrome speech recognition and voice control features in Android and desktop computers, then there could be some very, very interesting things ahead for wordworkers in the next year or two. Vamos ver!