Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Me, CAT tools en Microsoft

When you are not a translator and when you have no dealings with the translation business, you would not expect that anything that I can do could threaten business interests of Microsoft. I was therefore very suprised when I was informed that my wish for a reference implementation of a translation glossary and my wish to integrate such a functionality in open source CAT tools like OmegaT do just that.

I am actively looking for money to enhance OmegaT. Not because I am likely ever to use it, but because I want quality translations in Ultimate Wiktionary. This reference implementation will do exactly that. In order to make OmegaT less user-feindly, there several little things that can be done. Sabine, defined some quirks that are a barrier for newbies. She also identified that "Trados" compatibility would be really important to introduce many translators to OmegaT.

A friend of mine is working on three annoying things. He is a professional programmer. He will inform us how much time it costs and how much it would cost if 100 translators payed for this. The point that I want to drive home is, that you can either pay for a license or you pay for functionality. When you pay for functionality, it will prove to be much cheaper.

I have my reasons why I want OmegaT to be a success, Microsoft happens to be the monopolist in the translation/localisation business. It is a genuine suprise but when you think about it, it should not be.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Working on the Logos website

You may apreciate that I have been spending time to learn how the Logos interface works. As the data has been worked on only by professional translators I am honoured that I am allowed to be an editor for the two languages I know best. With the content that I have available to me in Wikionary many translations in many languages are available to me. I have been adding words and translations like "gebarentaal" and the most recent one I worked on was "vakman". Now vakman is a tricky word; it is very imprecise in the translation and it has five different plurals. Now I have been looking how to deal with that in the Logos website but also to understand how it can be done in the Ultimate Wiktionary.

The differences between the current Wiktionary and Logos are profound. In Wiktionary anyone, even anonymous users can edit almost everything. In Logos an anonymous user can add words that are checked. When you are a professional, you edit translations in the languages that you know best. The thing that I missed were the talk pages; a place where you can discuss an individual word. I missed the IRC channel where I can discuss issues about words or meanings.

I understand the differences, they make sense because it shows where you are coming from. Logos provides very much a tool for translators by translators . Wiktionary is very much a tool for people who care about words/lexicology and share this in their mailinglist, IRC-channel and talk pages.

What kind of a community would result when these two communities were to merge? What kind of content? It would be an intersting experiment.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sign languages

Since Wikimania one of the things I am hopefull of is the inclusion of sign languages and oral languages in the Ultimate Wiktionary. Thinking of sign languages for me is really difficult; I do not sign I am not deaf and I do not know anyone who is. Wolfgang gave me an impression of what it is to be deaf; to me it is clear that the only thing I want to do is to create this resource that is there for them as well. It has to be their resource. It has to be their dictionary, they have to create the movies, categorise the content so that it can be found.

Consider what is going to happen when we can Free all the recordings of sign languages that exist in many universities and combine them with the content that we hope / expect to have, it will be a lexicological resource that will be awesome. Because of its scope it will get a relevance of its own and that is why it so great that an organisation like the Wikimedia Foundation will host it; it is not party in any of the rivalries between organisations or institutions it is just there to provide information to all the people of this world in their own language.


Sunday, August 14, 2005


Wikimania was an event. From my perspective it was great. We are going to have this weird and wonderfull thing that is going under the project name of "Ultimate Wiktionary" and given that we hope to merge our activities with the Logos project we may start with a cool 7 miljon and a bit of lemma's. We then still have to work out many details like the migration of the wiktionaries, the creation of a new community that is not logos or wiktionary but logos.wiktionary.

Wikimania was also important because it paved the way of including sign languages into the project. Wolfgang Georgsdorf gave a great presentation and together with Ascander we changed the data design to include sign languages as well. I learned that there are ISO-639 codes for sign languages as well :) .

When I came back I have worked hard to do many things that can be considered the fallout of the conference, I still have not finished to do all the things that I want to do. The nds thing did not go away and it does cost me my time. There are all kinds of things that I want to have done and I work on them. It is about priorities. Informing about what is going on is a priority, I did some work on the nl.wikimedia server. And now I finally have written here as well.