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Simple Computer Assisted Translation Tools

Context

This practice is applicable with any Collaborative translation community

Problem description

In most Collaborative translation communities, coordination among translators is much looser than it is in the context of a conventional translation team. This can introduce a lot of inconsistency in terminology and style.

Also, many of the translators in the community may not be professionals, and may therefore fall into many of the traps that non-professionals or beginner translators fall into.

Solution

Therefore, make sure your environment includes simple Computer Assisted Translation tools which can provide helpful, context sensitive suggestions to the translators. For example, approved equivalents for terms that appear in the source language segment, or entries from a translation memory that are relevant to the current source segment.

In other words, provide your volunteer translators with the same kind of Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools that professional translators have at their disposal. However, you may have to provide only the simplest possible version of such tools, as your volunteers may not want to go through the hassle of learning a complex CAT tool (see: Simplicity First).

For example, amateur volunteers may not know the difference between a Terminology Database and a Translation Memory, or the difference between a normalized versus non-normalized Terminology Database entry.

Links to related patterns

Real-life examples

  • Facebook provides their volunteer translators with rudimentary Translation Memory and Terminology Database functionality.