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Using Google Translate to process long texts without buying an API access key
Thread poster: Emal Ghamsharick

MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 23:00
Italian to German
+ ...
An Integrated Web Search tool is more reliable than MT and often free Nov 14, 2014

Hi,

it's perfectly normal that Google, Microsoft or other companies ask for a fee for their not-common services, and the fee is not exagerated at all.
That said, with Google Translate, you can always manually query on the site and enter a text manually, after chosing a possible wide combination of languages.

Personally, I want to point out my title here. AFAIK, only MemoQ and CafeTran has a Web Search tool that you can directly use in the CAT without having to bro
... See more
Hi,

it's perfectly normal that Google, Microsoft or other companies ask for a fee for their not-common services, and the fee is not exagerated at all.
That said, with Google Translate, you can always manually query on the site and enter a text manually, after chosing a possible wide combination of languages.

Personally, I want to point out my title here. AFAIK, only MemoQ and CafeTran has a Web Search tool that you can directly use in the CAT without having to browse apart, and it's a real time saver, especially because services as Lingee often display the source and context of an expression. For me this is more important than a fast auto-translation.

MT is only good for very short and simple sentences. My TM will put these out on the fly without me having to use any MT.

Greets,
Mike

[Edited at 2014-11-14 19:52 GMT]
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Mike Nov 14, 2014

MikeTrans wrote:
AFAIK, only MemoQ and CafeTran has a Web Search tool that you can directly use in the CAT without having to browse apart...


I'm not sure what you mean by "browse apart", but Wordfast Classic and Pro can also query web-based glossaries. The glossary's web sites doesn't open in Wordfast, but in the browser, but the user launches the query by selecting the term in Wordfast and pressing a shortcut.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Michael Nov 14, 2014

Michael Beijer wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
2. My workflow is completed in under a minute. If that is tortuous, then you really need to find another career.

Anything involving PlusTools is by definition tortuous. Isn't it from 1989?


Newer isn't always better. I have tried many, many alignment programs, and PlusTools is the most user-friendly, most speed-friendly alignment utility (for non-gigantic alignment) that I have seen so far. If you know of a faster, better, easier aligner than PlusTools, pray tell.

And since in my method (and that of the OP) the documents to be aligned are pre-segmented, the alignment is mostly a formality, and involves no more than clicking one or two buttons and scrolling down the page quickly. If that is tortuous, then you really need to find another career.


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:00
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
LF Aligner wins hand down. Nov 15, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Michael Beijer wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
2. My workflow is completed in under a minute. If that is tortuous, then you really need to find another career.

Anything involving PlusTools is by definition tortuous. Isn't it from 1989?


Newer isn't always better. I have tried many, many alignment programs, and PlusTools is the most user-friendly, most speed-friendly alignment utility (for non-gigantic alignment) that I have seen so far. If you know of a faster, better, easier aligner than PlusTools, pray tell.

And since in my method (and that of the OP) the documents to be aligned are pre-segmented, the alignment is mostly a formality, and involves no more than clicking one or two buttons and scrolling down the page quickly. If that is tortuous, then you really need to find another career.

LF Aligner! I'm really surprised you think PlusTools is better than LF Aligner. I assume you have heard of and tried LF Aligner, right?

I just tried to align two Word documents (approx. 6000 words each; both .docx) with LF Aligner and PlusTools. LF Aligner did an amazing job, while the results of PlusTools were actually pretty terrible. LF Aligner was also about 10 time faster. The best aligner is probably AlignFactory, but LF Aligner is definitely the best free aligner out there at the moment. The latest version has a great GUI and you can even auto-align two web pages by just entering the URLs! See: http://sourceforge.net/projects/aligner/

It's not the alignment part with PlusTools that's tortuous, it's all those other steps you go through to arrive at a crappy Google Translate TMX that frighten me:
Samuel Murray wrote:

Here's how I usually do it:

I open the file in Wordfast and then do a segment extraction. I save the extracted segment as aaa.txt. I then resave aaa.txt as bbb.txt and perform some preprocessing on it (e.g. remove sensitive information). Then, I translate bbb.txt in Google Translate (using the program QTranslate) and save the translation as ccc.txt. I then save ccc.txt as ddd.txt and perform some post-processing on it (e.g. fix the spacing errors that Google introduces). Then I align aaa.txt with ddd.txt using PlusTools, and when I'm happy with the result (usually it's perfectly aligned), I generate the TM. Finally, I change the translation units' user ID to something that tells me it's a Google translation. I create bbb.txt and ccc.txt to enable me to roll back to a previous state if I discover that I should have done something a little different.



[Edited at 2014-11-15 00:13 GMT]


 

Emal Ghamsharick  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:00
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for this productive debate Nov 15, 2014

I would like to link it under the article, for people searching this info. There are many ways to do things and everyone has their style. Great that you're all sharing your knowledge.

For me it's not the pricing, I just don't have a credit card anymore and Google's billing is very exclusionary.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Re: LF Aligner Nov 15, 2014

Michael Beijer wrote:
LF Aligner! I'm really surprised you think PlusTools is better than LF Aligner. I assume you have heard of and tried LF Aligner, right?


I have tried it in the past. It's useful for large bodies of text. I'm glad to see that it now has a GUI.

LF Aligner has features that PlusTools doesn't have, e.g. LF Aligner can align text from more than just two languages at the same time. But LF Aligner's editor's GUI is almost as bad as most other tools' GUIs as I have seen (it's great that the editor actually accepts keyboard shortcuts, which is more than one can say of some other graphical aligners). The biggest draw-back of LF Aligner's editor is that you're constricted to the cells.

With PlusTools you get all the features that normally occur in MS Word. One thing I find particularly useful when aligning texts (not just MT texts) is to highlight certain characters -- LF Aligner can't do that. For example, I can tell MS Word to highlight all numbers, or all brackets, or all punctuation marks of a certain type, and then it's much easier visually to spot a misalignment. Find/replace of text is also very easy in PlusTools -- if I notice a recurring error, I can quickly fix it globally without exiting the alignment. And of course "Find" also works on its own.

With LF Aligner's editor, you can't select text and copy/paste/move it from one cell to another, and you can't delete multiple rows (or insert multiple rows). When you merge two segments in LF Aligner, it doesn't move up all other rows for you. And if you lose your place in LF Aligner's editor, you've lost it (unless you remember the row number). I'm quite happy that one can move from one cell to another in LF Aligner's editor using only the arrow keys (some other aligners require one to use the mouse or press a shortcut to move the cursor), but one can't move the cursor to within a word using only the arrow keys (you have to use the mouse to position the cursor). You can enter and delete text, but DON'T TOUCH the arrow keys because it doesn't move the cursor.

LF Aligner's "split" function doesn't work on my computer. Instead of splitting the cell at the cursor position, it merges the cell with the cell below it and moves the merged text one row down. The editor's "merge" function also merges the cell... but moves the merged text into the row of the first cell. Is this a bug or is this what LF Aligner means by "split"?

I understand LF Aligner's need for many dialogs, but the fact is... there are many dialogs. With PlusTools, you simply open the two extracted files in MS Word, click the PlusTools icon, make sure the files are in the correct sequence, and hit the alignment button. There's a progress indicator telling you how long to wait, and the wait isn't long for average sized files (1000 segments).


 

FarkasAndras  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
English to Hungarian
+ ...
feature, not bug Nov 17, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

I'm quite happy that one can move from one cell to another in LF Aligner's editor using only the arrow keys (some other aligners require one to use the mouse or press a shortcut to move the cursor), but one can't move the cursor to within a word using only the arrow keys (you have to use the mouse to position the cursor). You can enter and delete text, but DON'T TOUCH the arrow keys because it doesn't move the cursor.

Yes, the moving the cursor is kind of a pain, especially because moving it by clicking the mouse is buggy if there is a lot of text. I did come up with reasonable keyboard controls though, you just need to learn them:
- up/down/left/right moves between cells as you say
- shift-left/shift-right moves the cursor by one character
- ctrl-left/ctrl-right moves the cursor by one word
- ctrl-alt-left/ctrl-alt-right moves the cursor by one sentence
- ctrl-up/ctrl-down moves the cursor to the beginning/end of the cell
Usually, ctrl-alt-arrow is all you need.



Samuel Murray wrote:
LF Aligner's "split" function doesn't work on my computer. Instead of splitting the cell at the cursor position, it merges the cell with the cell below it and moves the merged text one row down. The editor's "merge" function also merges the cell... but moves the merged text into the row of the first cell. Is this a bug or is this what LF Aligner means by "split"?

There are a good couple of different editing operations so that you can get things sorted with the least amount of operations. Shifting entire columns is slow if the file is large, so there are operations that only affect two rows instead of moving all the rest of the table (with autoaligned texts, misalignments usually only affect a couple of rows, not the whole file so there is no need for those expensive shift operations).
Split (F2) splits the active cell at the cursor and merges the second part of the cell into the cell below.
Split and shift down (F8) also splits the active cell at the cursor, but it bumps the rest of the column down. I guess that's what you were looking for.


Samuel Murray wrote:


I understand LF Aligner's need for many dialogs, but the fact is... there are many dialogs. With PlusTools, you simply open the two extracted files in MS Word, click the PlusTools icon, make sure the files are in the correct sequence, and hit the alignment button. There's a progress indicator telling you how long to wait, and the wait isn't long for average sized files (1000 segments).

I'm sure the interface could be more streamlined, but the main reason for the many dialogs is that lf aligner is designed to give you a high quality autoalignment so that you don't have to waste much time with manual corrections afterwards. In order to do that, it needs to know the languages you're working with etc. I could very easily write a program that takes two input files and spits out a completed tmx without asking any further questions, but the quality would often be atrocious.

[Edited at 2014-11-17 18:30 GMT]


 

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:00
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
This is dangerous in terms of privacy and confidentiality Nov 19, 2014

Not to offend anyone but
I do not want to sell documents to Google or any other company,
and I do not think neither client nor agency agree to do so.
Fortunately there are a few standalone dictionaries for special words so it will be sufficient.


 

KONSTANTIN
Local time: 00:00
English to Russian
+ ...
This works! Apr 5, 2016

Emal Ghamsharick wrote:
Using Google Translate to process long texts without buying an API access key


Thank you for your advise. This workaround greatly reduces the time for TM preparation.
I even don't use Wordfast Anywhere. Instead I've written a small Word macro in VBA, which performs segmentation by using regular expressions.

All the following is carried out by a couple of clicks:

Изображение - savepic.ru — сервис хранения изображений

[Edited at 2016-04-06 15:45 GMT]


 

Marcela Robaina Boyd  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
VBA macro for segmentation May 7, 2017

KRAFTER wrote:

Instead I've written a small Word macro in VBA, which performs segmentation by using regular expressions.



Seems like a good idea! Would you mind sharing your macro? I'd love to try it. Thank you.

Marcela


 

123Translations
Venezuela
Local time: 18:00
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Amazing May 7, 2017

It's pretty amazing how translators see themselves as some superior species of beings yet 90% of them use machine translation technology. What part of that would be the "translator" part. Aren't you all just post editing?

 
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