Practical aspects of a translator's work

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Book review: "memoQ 6 in Quick Steps"

memoQ 6 in Quick StepsEarlier this year, an American colleague of mine, Kevin Lossner, published an e-book on memoQ, a CAT tool that has been around for a number of years and is developing at a break-neck pace. I read the book as soon as it came out and found it to be well-written, interesting and, most of all, helpful (which is what you'd expect a guide like this to be, but isn't necessarily the case). Well, I liked it – his way of presenting the material is a good one: using short-but-clear explanations with lots of screen shots to make the outlines and instructions easy to follow.

The book is around 200 pages long, so it goes into some detail, covering a wide variety of situations that memoQ users are likely to encounter in their daily translation work using the current version of the CAT tool (v6):

  • Initially, Kevin describes how to install memoQ correctly and set up memoQ projects that include TMs, term bases and other useful language resources such as LiveDocs corpora (= reference material). Setting up a spelling checker and rules for segmentation, auto-translation and auto-correction are also discussed. Covering these basic points was a wise idea because they affect how smoothly and accurately you can translate once you get started.

  • We then come to the essential topic of preparing source files for translation and pre-translating them automatically in memoQ. Good file preparation can reduce the number of tags that appear in a file after importing it into memoQ, but it can also protect sensitive formatting information by turning it into non-deletable tags (using the Regex Tagger) as long as the file is in memoQ. The next section discusses how to import and translate specific file formats: PDF, HTML, XML, bilinguals DOCs/RTFs, TTX, (SDL)XLIFF and other CAT-tool formats, plus Microsoft Office files containing embedded tables created using a different Microsoft application (e.g. Excel charts imported into Word).

  • Kevin also looks at internal quality-assurance checks and various ways of exporting translations and comments to file formats that external reviewers can check, edit and return for easy re-importing into memoQ (see the sections on collaboration and delivery). After this, the translation can be finalised and sent off to the customer.

  • Having finished an assignment, the translator may want to edit his/her term bases and TMs or align source and target texts in LiveDocs. These areas are covered in respective sections on managing resources.

So as you can see, the author has tackled memoQ's entire workflow from a practical viewpoint. (Congratulations on doing it so clearly and succinctly, Kevin.) This is a sound compendium of practical information that ought to be of value to anyone who uses version 6 (and probably the next version as well, "memoQ 2013").

Copies of the e-book are currently available via

P.S. Kevin also writes posts of his own on his excellent blog, Translation Tribulations.


image: courtesy of Kevin Lossner


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  • Amper Translation Service 
    A basic e-learning course on memoQ
    The good thing about e-learning is that it is generally done at your own pace rather than the speed set by a teacher, it's done at a time of day and a location that you can generally choose yourself, and in some cases, you can even tackle the subjects tha ...

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