Paraconc and Wordfast – Improving Productivity

With the speedy development of the virtual global, the busywork of translation is reduced, allowing more time for the exploration of translation as an art form. Repetitive phrases are inserted robotically, dictionaries are accessed with the click of a mouse, and content precise terminology is cross-referenced to ensure accuracy. The question is, with so many positives, which are the negatives? And is it realistic that a contract translator can compete in ultra-modern activity market with out the assist of translation software? In the subsequent pages the blessings and disadvantages of the translation reminiscence programme Wordfast, created by using Yves Champollion, may be in comparison with those of the parallel concordancer, Paraconc, especially the loose beta version created through Michael Barlow. The two programmes could be examined on many ranges, a few very realistic, consisting of usability, performance, and fee effectiveness, and some extra theoretical, which includes their impact at the work and language comprehension degree of the translator.

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Before getting into the strengths and weaknesses of Paraconc and Wordfast, I will cope with the query of necessity. The flow closer to computer-assisted translation gear has been choosing up speed with the appearance of low cost or loose software. With such a lot of translators taking advantage of those gives and thereby increasing their productiveness, the ones who’ve no longer taken this step must ask themselves if they may be left behind. With a leaf through online activity postings for freelancers, it leads one to accept as true with that there may be simplest paintings to be had for those the usage of translation reminiscence. Most agencies are more likely to offer a task to someone who can do it in less time and with greater consistency. The stress to use TM won’t affect the freelancers who have mounted direct customers offering regular work and consider only them to do it. The fashionable consensus appears to be that without these gear the corporation work will be scarce 1.

The first problem that should be addressed is that of constructing a parallel corpus. The most important stage in any production is constructing a strong foundation. In the case of translation software, this is the construction of the corpus. This starts with locating parallel texts, texts which have already been translated and are to be had in both the supplied language and the goal language. Depending on the problem region and the language pair, these parallel texts can be hard to come back by way of. As Maeve Olohan points out in her book Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies, the Internet offers a few huge sources for building a corpus but while they may be published through international establishments and written by using several authors it is able to be tough to ascertain which one is the supply text.2 Being that texts published on the Internet are not necessarily edited or proofread before being made public, the supply texts and their translations must be scrutinized for accuracy. The availability of relevant fabric can pose problems because the character of texts varies significantly relying upon the language pair. Texts translated from Italian to English are usually written at a better degree, whereas those from English to Italian are greater often of the best-vendor range.

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The subsequent step in constructing the corpus is the alignment of the source and target texts. Precision is vital here; misalignment because of a further paragraph break or punctuation that splits a sentence in the wrong region throws off the whole technique and makes it not possible to match gadgets. The translation memory database is depending on correct matching. Due to the inherent traits of the language pair that I paintings in, German and English, there are common occurrences of misalignment. The fashion of written German frequently includes longer sentences than in English. Because of this, it’s far endorsed in the Paraconc commands that the shorter unit, normally the English version, be merged with the subsequent unit as opposed to breaking apart the longer, generally German, textual content unit. Another problem that results in misalignment is abbreviations. German and English do not always have corresponding abbreviated forms. Being that an automatic alignment breaks up devices at each complete stop, the English abbreviation ex., for ‘instance’, might spoil off after the whole stop whereas the German equal, z.B., for ‘zum Beispiel’, might break off twice. Another example that has become a trouble for me turned into the manner the date is written. In German, there is a full forestall after the day and month whereas English uses the shrink to split these. When aligning a big text, this information can upload as much as a massive amount of correction.

Depending on the software program used, aligning the texts can take days or hours. Using Paraconc, the translator needs to complete all the steps manually. This is accelerated with Microsoft Word’s “discover and update” tool but is pretty time-ingesting notwithstanding this. The supply textual content and goal textual content should be divided into devices by using putting paragraph marks at the end of each sentence. This is performed by means of finding and changing each complete forestall, exclamation point, or question mark with the identical mark observed by way of a paragraph mark. The trouble is, relying upon the texts being worked with, complete stops can be scattered generously all through the text, no longer always denoting the end of a sentence. This is, as referred to above, not unusual in German. With this being the case, paragraph marks have to be inserted manually rather than routinely. Microsoft Word then numbers every unit and the text is considered as an extended listing of gadgets, in the course of which the alignment has to be checked and edited. The subsequent steps are to do away with the numbers, spell take a look at the documents, and shop them as textual content files.

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Wordfast, alternatively, has a hard and fast of gear called PlusTools that offers a faster and greater green approach of alignment. Compared to Paraconc, that is a fairly simple and easy manner that shall we the pc do the work. After opening Wordfast, a couple of source files can be selected and the gadgets extracted concurrently. After extraction the translation gadgets are counted stored; the identification is carried out with the target texts. Following this, PlusTools is opened and by clicking on ‘Align’, the source and target texts will be processed and seem both aspects by using aspect in two separate files or as one record in desk format. The texts can then be manually changed and verified the use of keyboard shortcuts. During the exploration of these shortcuts, I did stumble upon a few problems; Alt M (merge), Alt W (delete cell), and Alt I (insert cell) did no longer paintings, therefore I used the mouse and the menu bar. The ‘discover and replace’ tool in MS Word can also be used to correct repeated reasons for misalignment. The documentation that accompanies the PlusTools download gives pointers for the alignment method.

Lee Hogan

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