Alois Matthias Stockklauser – Design & Consulting

Tools – in General

Craftmanship and a suitable toolset are fundamental not only in creative businesses.

Doug Engelbart's Mouse Prototype

Most people have only a narrow perspective of what kind of toolsets a professional translator could use all day and night. Human beings tend to underestimate other people’s business.

Computer Visionaries

A translator does not need to be perfect in all of the software systems, but she/he must be able to edit and format the texts in the documents – and this requires a minimum of experience. When it comes to desktop publishing programs, a deeper understanding is necessary to format complex technical manuals with images and diagrams or to edit footnotes, index entries and cross-references. This is a considerable investment, not only in regard of the license fees, but also in respect of the training effort.

  • Text Editors are probably the most obvious choice of writing texts and editing or translating texts. Microsoft Word is hardly challenged from the Open Source initiatives. As we often get some HTML also, we love our Dreamweaver. Texts are also contained in presentations and tables, so PowerPoint and Excel are a vital part of our toolbox.
  • File Formats are many and Converters are very important, but not always available. So you must hammer and forge yourself one. For this, a variety of editors, OS tools like grep, programming environments, but also standard office programs like Excel and Access are used.
  • Translation Memory-Based Software is our core system in the translation process. We feature Trados 2007, Studio 2009, 2011 and 2014, MemoQ 62, Transit XV and NXT as well as Idiom, Across and Wordfast. By means of these programs, we can on the one hand accelerate the translation work, more important, on the other hand we are enabled to write more consistently – the process is less error-prone. Perfect translations can be re-used as repetitions or fuzzy matches (similar sentences get suggestions of similar tranlated segments). Most of these systems support powerful termbases. SAP, for instance, uses a special vocabulary in German and English, which is not self-explaining in all cases.
  • Language Tools for source and target languages are the most important tools. Many good ressources are now also available for free in the internet. And the quality continues to improve constantly. The consequences can be seen already: In March 2012 Encyclopædia Britannica announced that it will no longer publish its printed edition. Many dictionaries are available as online tools. Initiatives like dict.cc or linguee.de may not be perfect yet, but they get polished by their supporters. De-commercialization started with Wikipedia, and the process is going on. wiktionary.org is a very broad approach, however, already very suitable. Of course, there still the traditional tools like Duden, Oxford, Collins, Longman and the specialty dictionaries, such as the Oxford Collocations Dictionary. Grammar checking software is a useful little helper for cleaning texts: PerfectIt is our favorite.
  • Desktop Publishing Software like InDesign, Quark XPress and Framemaker are our preferred tools to deliver perfect typesetting. 25 years of experience in preparing many books, manuals and advertising documents helps us to speed up this process. Amongst making books and flyers, cross-media publishing, e.g. both to the web and on paper, from databases is quickly realized. This means one consistent source for multiple output channels.
  • Graphics Software are the congenial partners of dtp systems. Illustrator and Photoshop are our companions for 25 years. We are capable to work with many other systems, but both have next to no more competitors.
  • CAD Software is important for our technical translations. We can provide cost-effective solutions to prepare the drawings with full discounts. When we talk about a solution it is a proven process. You can check what we do with AutoCAD files.
  • Programming Software is the ultimate option for editing the ressources in a localization project directly. We use Visual Studio 2013 and Eclipse in Windows operating systems as well as XCode on Macintosh OSX.
  • Modeling Software incorporating UML, SysML or BPMN or even some simple flowcharting enables specifying, analyzing, designing and verifying complex systems. These models are applicable over a wide variety of systems such as hardware, procedures, facilities, personal information, software, and many more.
  • Special Tools such as the XML tool for publishing annual reports and financial statements in German Bundesanzeiger require some knowledge about the Do's and Dont's of the tools to come up with some useful results.
  • Survival Kit Tools are vital to overcome desperate situations. A lost and/or overwritten password can be desastrous. But there is help with two freeware tools, Ophtrack and Offline NT Password and Registry Editor. Other tools such as Recover My PAssword are not for free, but do the jobs on Windows 8.1 systems.