align assist Felix

Align Assist version 0.9 released

I’ve just released version 0.9 of Align Assist. The two main features of this new release are a “Check for Updates” feature, and a link to the online manual from the application.

Download the latest version here.

Check for Updates

From the Help menu, select Check for Updates… If the latest version of Align Assist is newer than your version, it will prompt you to download the latest version.

Align Assist will also check online for updates automatically once a week, unless you tell it not to (it will ask before going online).

Show Online Help

From the Help menu, select Online Help. The online manual opens in your Web browser.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free application that aligns legacy source and translation files, in order to make Felix translation memories (TMs).


Analyze Assist version 1.2 released

I’ve just released version 1.2 of Analyze Assist.

Download the latest version here.

Here are the main improvements in this release:

  • The new Felix translation memory (TM) extension (*.ftm) is supported.
  • You can now drag and drop files into the file lists on the Analyze wizard.

What are these “.fhist” files next to my MS Word files?

If you’ve installed Felix version 1.4 or later, you might notice that “.fhist” files are created next to your MS Word or Excel files when you translate them. This is due to a new feature of Felix called translation history. Translation history makes it easier to revise your translations, and reflect your edits in your translation memory. For details about translation history, see here for Word and here for Excel.

If you don’t need this feature or don’t want these files to be created, then you can disable translation history in the preferences.

In Word, from the Felix menu select Felix Preferences, then go to the “Translation History” tab and clear the checkbox.

In Excel, go to Felix >> User Preferences, and do the same.

Felix tools

AlignAssist version 0.6 released

I’ve just released version 0.6 of Align Assist.

Align Assist download page.

Align Assist main window

This is a bug-fix update. The previous versions of Align Assist didn’t properly display the grid rows in some cases when splitting segments, and the Split dialog box had some display issues.

About Align Assist

Align Assist is a free program for aligning legacy source and translation files, and creating Felix translation memories from them. It supports a wide range of file formats, including MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as XML, HTML, text, and CSV. There is also limited support for PDF files.


Align Assist version 0.4 released

I’ve released a new version of Align Assist. The main improvement in this version is the ability to specify URLs as the source/translation. Now, you can enter the URLs of any two web pages, and align their text.

Align Assist main window

What is Align Assist?

Align Assist is a free tool to create Felix translation memories (TMs) from legacy translations. You select a source file and translation file, then align them in a grid window. Once the source and translation segments are aligned, select File >> Save to save them as a Felix TM.

Align window

Align Assist can align many different file types, including Microsoft® Word (.doc, .rtf), PowerPoint (.ppt), and Excel (.xls, .csv), as well as HTML, XML, text, and PDF files.

Click here to go to the Align Assist page

translation memory

Charge for 100% matches

Translation memory can certainly improve productivity. Many purchasers of translation are of course aware of this, and want some of these productivity benefits passed on to them. This usually takes the form of offering discounts for sentences/segments already in the translation memory, and sometimes for fuzzy matches.

But this can be taken too far. Some clients will ask not to pay for 100% matches or repetitions at all.

On the face of it, it sounds reasonable — it’s already in the translation memory, so why should they pay for it twice? But there are two problems with this. First, it assumes that inserting the 100% matches/repetitions into the translation involves no work by the translator. This isn’t true; even 100% matches need to be checked for context in each situation.

To give a very simple example, Japanese doesn’t have a capital/lower case distinction. So if the same Japanese sentence is used in a title and the body of a section, you need two different English translations for it. One will be in Title Caps and follow English conventions for titles (e.g. leaving out articles), and one will be in sentence caps and follow normal English grammar conventions.

Also, Japanese very frequently elides the subject and/or object of the sentence, and verbs lack conjugation for person and number. On this basis alone, the same sentence can have many different translations depending on the context. He/she/it/they/we [will] put/puts it/them/him/her/us/the widgets on the list/in the box/over there…

The other problem stems from this dependence on context. Because context is so important to a translation, especially between languages like Japanese and English that are very different syntactically, you’ve got to pay a lot of attention to those 100% matches just to keep up with the context. Furthermore, if you’re using a translation memory created by someone else you have to pay even more attention in order to conform your translation style to the memory; otherwise, you’re liable to end up with some unreadable Frankensteinian hodgepodge of different styles and terminology.

It also follows from the above that simply leaving out the 100% matches, and sending you only the “new” parts, is even worse. You’re then left with a disjointed list of sentences and no idea of how the sentences fit together.

So sure, offer a discount for 100% matches. But think very carefully before offering to insert those 10,000 words of perfect matches for no charge.