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How Many Tools Fit in Your Pocket?Or in the Cloud?

February 16th, 2011 | by LTD | No Comments

Author: Rubén de la Fuente

Translators are often on the go, a wandering kind. The latest developments in IT have made it possible for us to carry around all the tools we need in a small USB stick. And if that is not enough, you can always resort to the cloud.

All Your Tools in Your Pocket


Silvia Flórez, who teaches a course in open source for translation at Universitat Jaume I, has put together PortableCAT, a set of free portable tools for translators that can be run in any Windows computer without needing to be installed. It includes general purpose tools (an office suite, email and ftp clients, browsers) and translation-specific tools (for tasks like translation, format conversion, term extraction, image localization and corpus analysis).

Once you have downloaded and unzipped the file, you just need to run the PortableCAT.exe file in the root folder. An icon will appear in the system tray and the menu below will be displayed.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the programs and what they can do for you:

  • OmegaT: a computer-aided translation tool, supporting the XLIFF standard and integrated with Google Translate for greater productivity.
  • Okapi Framework: a set of tools developed by ENLASO that allow you to extract translatable text from several formats (like InDesign’s INX) so that you can work with a CAT tool, extract terminology or run automated QA checks.
  • Bitext2tmx: a tool for aligning source and target files and creating translation memories in tmx format.
  • GIMP: an image editor you can use to localize graphics. It has more or less the same features as Photoshop.
  • AntConc: a concordancer that allows you to put together domain-specific text files and analyze them to see how words are used in context and to look for collocations.

Your Pocket Isn’t Big Enough? Try the Cloud

Dropbox gives you 2 GB of free space and allows you to sync files between different computers. When you install the Dropbox application, it creates a My dropbox folder. All the files saved in that folder will be copied to your Dropbox account in the cloud and then to other computers where you have Dropbox installed. The files are copied to the other computers when you start them up.

Wordfast has launched Wordfast Anywhere, a free online-based CAT tool. It is connected to the Very Large Translation Memory TM repository and also to Google Translate. It can be used from iPad as well.

Wordfast Anywhere

Not Enough? Try TeamViewer

If you still feel this is not enough to access all the tools you need while you are away from home, you can resort to TeamViewer, an application that allows you to access your PC from your iPad or mobile.