Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Free Translation QA Tool to Help Fight COVID-19

I repost this message which I have received from Yamagata Europe:

Yamagata Makes QA Distiller Free For All to Help Fight COVID-19

From April 2020 onwards, Yamagata Europe will offer its QA Distiller software for translators and technical documentation professionals free of charge. Instead of paying for the software, companies who download QA Distiller will be invited to donate to Translators without Borders. 
The partnership with Translators without Borders (TWB) represents Yamagata Europe’s commitment to making sure everyone has access to information in a language they understand, especially during the fight against COVID-19. TWB is a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies worldwide. Donations will help TWB fulfill its mission to eliminate language barriers that prevent the dissemination of critical health information. 
TWB uses language expertise and technology to help people access health-related information. TWB offers translation of content for partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Red Cross, monitors and prevents the spread of misinformation, and shares verified multilingual content. The need for this work is underlined by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “We’re not just fighting an epidemic, we’re fighting an infodemic.” 
The most trusted QA tool since 2004
QA Distiller is a stand-alone tool developed by Yamagata Europe that makes it easy to find formal translation mistakes in bilingual files. You can use QA Distiller to detect inconsistencies, terminology mistakes, wrong numbers, missing brackets and much more.
The free QA Distiller version will include all features of what was previously the Professional License, with support for over 90 languages. QA Distiller users will also benefit from regular updates, including new features and languages, and basic usability and functional support by Yamagata Europe.
Today, QA Distiller has over 1,000 satisfied users. Yamagata Europe developed the tool originally to fulfill its own need for improved language consistency checks after translation. QA Distiller was first presented to the industry at the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) congress in Saint Petersburg in 2004. A commercial release followed later that year.
QA Distiller was always offered on a ‘buy once, use forever’ basis, with the addition of an online license check. Basic support was always free and optional support & maintenance contracts with free upgrades were added a few years after the launch.
The software came in three versions: Freelance, Professional and Enterprise. From April 2020 onwards, only the Professional version will be available, free of charge. This version will not be limited in the number of languages and there will no longer be a license check.
The current version and license server will continue to be accessible until the end of April 2020. Current users can visit our QA Distiller support page to find info on how to switch to the new version.
Fight the COVID-19 infodemic: donate to Translators without Borders
A donation to TWB will help the organization fight the current infodemic. According to TWB’s Head of Fundraising and Communications, Sharda Sekaran, “Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people more than ever need access to accurate information in a language and format they understand. The donations through this partnership will support TWB, so that we can support the emergency response.”
Download and donate now!
You can make donations starting from $10, but we hope that companies will find the generosity to donate substantially more.


  1. Do you really think, that your naive tool has anything to do with quality of translation? Your tool might help to remove some isolated text errors, but it cannot be used to improve a quality of natural language translation. Not by a Planck. What is wrong with you guys?

    1. I normally don't answer people who don't even sign their own comments, but I'll make an exception in this case.
      1) "your ... tool": the tool is not mine - it is by Yamagata Europe. 
      2) "naive tool": I'm not sure how a tool could be "naïve", so I'll just assume that the choice of that adjective is meant as a cheap shot against a tool to which Unknown has taken exception. QA Distiller is, in fact, a fairly sophisticated and useful QA tool. In my experience, QA  Distiller provides useful checks that do, in fact, help improve one's translations. (This is true, by the way, also of other translation QA tools, such as Xbench, Verifika, or the internal QA functions of such CAT tools as SDL Trados Studio or memoQ.)
      3) "Has [the tool] anything to do with quality of translation?": Well, yes, it does, because the use of tools such as this help translators avoid certain kinds of errors (e.g., source and target discrepancies, numerical errors, punctuation errors, terminology errors, and so on). It is perhaps true that the absence of certain types of errors from a translation doesn't automatically mean that the translation is free from errors, or of good quality. However, long experience teaches me that such errors often are a sign of a poor translation.
      4) "[such a tool] cannot be used to improve a [sic] quality of natural language translation": Quite the contrary: the use of such a tool is very useful in finding and correcting several kinds of common errors, and, therefore, the tool can in fact be used to improve the quality and consistency of a translation.
      5) "What is wrong with you guys?": Nothing much, I would say. Unless by "wrong" you mean that knowledge of the tools of our trade is something one should studiously avoid.
      I'll hazard a guess that our Unknown is someone who has little or no experience with translation QA tools, or translation tools in general. In fact, I bet that Unknown is someone who doesn't even really know the difference between various types of translation tools, and perhaps even confuses the use of CAT tools with the use of MT tools.
      But he (or she... but I'll also bet that “Unknown" is a he: such cheap cockiness is typical male) could write again, this time revealing himself, and prove me wrong. 

  2. Over the years, QAD has been quite pricey against competition, such as XBench or Verifika. I wonder if this shift in their licensing strategy will be consistent long-term for happy translators to remold their QA routines around QAD.


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