May 8, 2021

The official memoQ blog


There's been a lot more activity lately on the official blog for memoQ, maintained by the software artists formerly known as Kilgray. Some really good stuff too. The blog has existed for years, but I never added it to the blog roll here (see the left sidebar, down a bit), because various technical issues prevented updates from being seen as new content was added. And it also wasn't really that active, as the principal team members were focused on day to day matters of support and development.

But as the rest of the CAT tools market has increasingly come to resemble episodes of Star Trek: TNG, with RWS now playing the role of the Borgs as they  swallow one company after another, purge management of competence and independent thinking, then move on to the next anti-competitive, destructive acquisition, the last remaining independent CAT tool vendor with no compromising ties to intragroup LSPs competing with its technology customers, has really started getting its act together again.

Since the reorganization of memoQ Ltd. and the appointment of co-CEOs – co-founder Balázs Kis and Peter Reynolds – the company has been focused once again on its growing "technical debt", much to the relief of key staff with whom I've discussed development privately. 

Communication has become clearer and more consistent, and it looks like the good path of managing the flagship product memoQ, which really became apparent with the version 8.4 release under the competent coordination of Senior Product Owner Zsolt Varga and which has continued its winning streak making the software more flexible and responsive for evolving project needs. And the new Customer Marketing Manager Cedomir Pusica is strongly focused on making learning assets better and more accessible, expressing a strong interest in building a stronger user base through real, best practice education resources. I am very, very encouraged by most of what I see this year.

So check out their blog. There have been times lately when I read something there and thought "Damn, wish I had written that. Good job!" That wasn't such a frequent thought in years past, when it was sometimes clear that the post writer didn't really understand the features being discussed. What I read now meets my personal standards for useful content. (I admit to having some catch-up to do with the reading, but every time I look now, I end up smiling.)

I'll still be writing my own stuff on memoQ in my own way and doing education and consulting for friends and colleagues in the sector at all levels as before. But in recent years, after the retirement of my companheira, my energies are less invested in public matters, and only a small part of my writing, tutorial video work, custom development and whatnot is released publicly. There is a backlog of some hundreds of draft blog articles and many hours of raw and edited research video, recorded webinars and online tutorials that only occasionally see light with a few individuals who need them.

Really, its time to absorb what's useful out there, make it your own in your own professional environment and your own languages. Large parts of the translation sector remind me a bit of the Republican Party in the US, campaigning on their own Big Lies with regard to "AI", NMT and other recent fads, with an utter disregard of ethical issues and serious, disturbing occupational health concerns for those working with machine-generated texts (cf. Bevan et alia and published research at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, for example). It's really about the concentration of power and the disenfranchisement of individual professionals when you think about it. RWS: "You will be absorbed!" Renato B.: "Quality doesn't matter!" TWB: "Screw the local service markets, we need your free work to feed the machine translation engines of our corporate sponsors!" "BOHICA, baby!" And so on. Same as it ever was.

In the midst of all that noise, the memoQ team still offers a signal that can guide real professionals to better ways of working and less frustration. Sometimes it's hard to pick that signal up, but it is indeed there. And with improvements to their blog and a renewed commitment to serviceable education, that signal is getting stronger

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