Translator Toolbox

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Wikipedia is a great translation resource, especially for technical terms. Come across a rare animal species in a translation? Look it up on Wikipedia in English and then switch to the page in your own language (assuming it exists). This will generally give you a state-of-the-art translation.

Unit Conversion Tools

There are lots of unit conversion tools on the internet. Found one that was particularly helpful? Mention it here!

Suggested tools:

Multilingual Databases

  • InterActive Terminology for Europe incorporates all of the existing terminology databases of the EU’s translation services into one interinstitutional database containing approximately 1.4 million multilingual entries.

English Language Resources

Language Resources: Dictionaries, Terminological Glossaries and Text Corpora

Learning Languages online

Lingu@net World Wide --> Multilingual centre for language teaching and learning [1]

Transcription resources

This wiki contains a guide to transcribing talks, which may be very useful for translators working on TEDx Talks.

Language Technologies

This section is devoted to list the free language technologies which could help translators and reviewers to improve the quality of their work.

Even the person most reluctant to work with technology, uses it. And this also applies to translation. We cannot imagine any translator not using at least the applications listed below:

  • office tools: spreadsheets, word processor with its related applications such as spellcheckers or dictionaries of synonyms.

audiovisual tools: audio and video players, sound and image editors, etc.

  • system communication protocols
  • internal networks (intranet).
  • external networks (Internet/extranet).
  • web browsers and their related tools such as an online search engine.
  • electronic messaging.
  • database management systems.
  • data security programs (antivirus, backup manager).

These tools perform different tasks, enabling the transfer and storage of information.Without using most of these tools, the possibilities of producing translations and storing them would be seriously affected. Applying language technology is a necessary task in the translator's profession. In fact, the immediate possibility of extracting translatological resources makes the translator a netizen expert, as Hernández & Saladrigas (2002) pointed out a few years ago. That is why this subject is vital in applied languages and translation studies. In this respect, the most recent translation graduates have been trained in use of the following tools:

  • CAT tools
  • software resource localization tools
  • terminology managers
  • subtitle editors

It is in audiovisual translation where subtitle editor tools are learnt and used. It does not appear to have any use in other environments. However, some free technology developments such as the dotSUB website tool are not only determining a work methodology but are also encouraging the phenomenon of crowdsourcing and helping to improve translation tools for subtitles that incorporate, for example, translation memories.

In some cases, in the use of information technology in translation course, students come into contact with machine translation applications. Here, these applications are normally looked at to highlight the need for human translators. We are unaware of the experiences of using machine translation in specialised translation classes. It seems to be contradictory using these tools, which were initially demonised as a result of being considered usurpers of the good work of a human translator. In reality, several companies and institutions already use machine translation adapted to their specific work environment. In many of these cases, the functionality of translation memory management systems is linked to a machine translator through a computer program interface (Carbajo, 2004, Cámara, 2006) which defines bridges between the translation memory and machine translation application.

Google Translator Toolkit (GTT)

(Translation Memories) Google has developed GTT, an online translation tool enabling the automatic translation of both files from hard disk in .doc, .html, .odt, .rtf or .txt or .srt format, and websites, Wikipedia and Knol (Unit of Knowledge 6) articles. GTT is also an online translation service which supports collaborative work. If with the GoogleDocs tool, collaborative work is promoted because it is possible for several users to edit a document online inviting people to participate 7, GTT also offers this same possibility because translation memories generated can be shared by a user group or made public. This logically has an effect on the growth of Google's language resources and is later used for improving results in Google Translate or 2.Lingual, the Bilingual Search Engine, both which belong to the large Google family. Google has therefore managed to merge machine translation by default with computer-aided translation based on translation memories. For this it has adopted the methodology shared by most current CAT programs (SDL Trados, STAR Transit, amongst others), using the three essential components common to all of them: translation memory manager, terminology databases and an editor for translating or editing translation units. As García & Stevenson (2009) state: The Google Translation Toolkit’s merit is not so much innovation as intelligent synthesis because for every feature present we can find a precedent. Here you can see an introduction to Google Translator Toolkit, a free, online, translation application that helps translators bring content into their language faster and better. [2]