Friday, January 27, 2012

New utility to keep track of changes in bilingual files

Change Tracker, a recently released freeware utility, helps translators, editors and project managers seeing what was changed in a translated bilingual file.

The program works by aligning two files (or two sets of files), to compare the original translation with the edited bilingual files, showing what was changed, added or deleted between one version and the other (similar to what the Track Changes feature of MS Word does – but for bilingual files). This information can be seen in the program interface, and also exported as an Excel file.

I’ve tried the program on a pair of files translated with Trados 2007, and with a set of files translated with SDL Studio. In both instances, the program worked well, producing a clear report of all changes made to the translation.


Several popular CAT file formats are supported:

  • Trados 2007 and SDL Studio (TTX, SDLXLIFF)
  • MemoQ (XLIFF)
  • Idiom, Translation Workspace (XLZ)
  • Oscar (TMX)
  • Wordfast (TXML)
  • Microsoft Helium (HE)
  • Microsoft Word (e.g., from Trados Workbench: DOC, DOCX, RTF)

This could e a very useful addition to your QA toolbox.

An important change to this site… and a summary of last year

I've finally decided to give About Translation its own domain name - so you can now find this blog at (the old address,, will redirect here).
My apologies for the very sparse posting during the last couple of months; I'll now start posting more often again, but, before that, a summary of how this blog did last year:


According to Site Meter, at the beginning of 2011 the total number of page views for About Translation was 220,036. By 12/31/2011 the numbers had climbed to 299,475, so the total for the year was 79,439 – up from 63,822 in 2010 (and increase of almost 25%).
The best day of 2011 was May 16, with 529 page views, and the best month was November, with 8,923. By the way, there seem to be a huge difference in statistics, depending on who is doing the counting. I use Site Meter, but Blogger (which started providing statistics only in July 2009) seems to count about three times as many page views as Site Meter: according to Blogger, the total for November was 28,101.
The free version of Site Meter does not provide stats by the post, so for these I have to rely on Blogger. The three most read posts of the year were Can translators ignore theory? (November 15 – 1,091 page views so far, and 19 comments), Why high-volume discounts seldom makes sense (November 25 – 694 page views), and Questions and answers: how to start out (May 18, 689 page views).

Awards and other things

During the year, About Translation was selected among the Top 25 Language Professional Blogs (and Top 100 Language Lovers) of 2011 by and Lexiophiles. It was also chosen among the Kwintessential Top Ten Translator’s Blogs of 2011.
Finally, Corinne McKay and I reprised the Blogging 101 presentation, which was well received at the 52nd ATA Conference in Boston.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop Internet censorship

Much of the content of this blog has been illegally reposted without attribution at least twice in the last couple of years, so you would think that I should be in favor of legislation allegedly protecting me from Internet “piracy”.

But the PIPA and SOPA bills currently before Congress are an overbroad approach that would do but much harm, by stifling legitimate discourse on the Internet.

For more information about why PIPA and SOPA violate free speech and harm innovation, please see:

How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation

To take action to stop the bills by writing to Congress, you can use this Electronics Frontier Foundation site.