May 5, 2022

Understanding and mastering tags... with memoQ!

Everything you need to know... in 36 pages!

Following up on the success of his excellent guide to machine translation functions in memoQ, Marek Pawelec (Twitter: @wasaty) has now published his definitive guide to tag mastery in that translation environment. In a mere 36 pages of clearly written, engaging text, he has distilled more than a decade of personal expertise and exchanges with other top professionals in language services technology into simple recipes and strategies for success with situations which are often so messy that even experienced project managers and tech support gurus wail in despair. Garbage like this, for example:

This screenshot is taken from the import of The PPTX from Hell, which a frustrated PM asked for help with just as I began reviewing the draft of Marek's book about a month ago. It contained nearly 32,000 superfluous spacing tags and was such a mess that it choked all the best professional macros usually deployed to deal with such things. Last year, I had developed my own way of dealing with these things that involved RTF bilingual exports and some search and replace magic in Microsoft Word, but when I shared it with Marek, he said "There's a better way", and indeed there is. On page 23 of this book. It was much cleaner and faster, and in a few minutes I was able to produce a clean slide set that was much easier to read and translate in the CAT tool. A page that costs 50 cents (of the €18 purchase price of the guide) earned me a 140x return and saved hours of working frustration for the translation team.

The book covers a lot more than just the esoterica of really messed up source files. It is a superb introduction to dealing with tags and markup for students at university and for those new to the translation profession and its endemic technologies, and it has sober, engaging guidance at every level for experienced professionals. I consider it an essential troubleshooting work for those in support roles of internal translation departments and, quite honestly, for my esteemed colleagues in First Level Support at memoQ. Marek is a superb trainer and an articulate teacher, with a humility that masks expertise which very often surprises, delights and informs those of us who are sometimes thought to be experts.

I am also particularly pleased that in the final version of his text he addresses the seldom discussed matter of how to factor markup into cost quotations and service charges for translations. memoQ is particularly well designed to address these problems, because weighting factors equivalent to word or character counts can be incorporated in file statistics, offering a simple, transparent and fair way of dealing with the frustrations that too often leave project managers screaming and crying in frustration shortly before... or after planned deliveries.

Whatever aspect of tags may interest you in translation technology and most particularly in memoQ, this book will give you the concise, clear answers you need to understand the best actions to take.

The PDF e-book is available for purchase here:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin, thanks for pointing that one out to me on your website -- and, obviously, acknowledgements to Marek as well for supporting the translation community with his telling guides as well...


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