New Smartling CAT tool

Top 5 features we love about the new Smartling CAT tool

We are getting excited! Over the coming days and weeks, Smartling will be releasing their new and improved translation interface, which promises to increase translator productivity (so you can translate faster), improve translation quality (using comprehensive QA checks) and add some serious flexibility (by allowing you to customise shortcuts to your liking).

Here are five of our favourite features that we love about the new CAT tool:

1) Draft mode (never lose your translations again)

In the new interface, strings are shown in a table format (rather than displaying strings individually). This new layout makes it possible to translate and edit without immediately having to save your translation in order to progress to the next string. This is a nice feature allowing you to draft your translation and revise it before submitting it to the translation memory. But what happens when your internet connection is bit erratic or your browser decides to close down unexpectedly? Good news: translations are automatically saved in your browser cache, so if your internet, browser or laptop decide to have a meltdown, your work won’t be lost – if you reopen your browser and log back in, your work will still be there!

2) QA check

With the new CAT tool, Smartling will be introducing a very robust Quality Assurance (QA) check which is bound to massively reduce ‘mechanical’ translation errors. For the initial launch, the QA check will cover 5 error types (spellchecker, leading and trailing spaces, double spaces, missing placeholder and missing tags) but in the coming weeks, another 30 error types will be added!

3) Concordance search

Smartling already has a great concordance search, meaning you can search for a particular word or phrase in the translation memory simply by highlighting the source text and clicking on the magnifying glass. In the new version of the CAT tool, it will be possible to insert a concordance match directly into the translation memory – a great time saver!

4) Customisable shortcuts

The entire new translation interface is ‘pimped’ with shortcuts so that you hardly have to use your mouse at all during the translation process. But for those of you who are used to working in offline CAT tools like Trados, you don’t have to worry about learning new shortcuts, you can simply select the shortcuts from the tool you are used to working with. And you can even create your own shortcuts so that you can customise your ‘workspace’ just how you like it.

5) Tags

Traditionally, Smartling used to avoid the use of tags altogether in their translation interface by splitting strings that require formatting or contain links into several segments. In the new version of the CAT tool, Smartling will instead be introducing tags similar to traditional CAT tools like Trados. If like me, your palms are getting sweaty at the mere thought of using clunky tags, fear not, because tags in Smartling are a far cry from the traditional ‘tag soup’. Just for starters, tags are automatically inserted as pairs, so if you delete one of the tags in a pair, both automatically get deleted – no more trawling through translations checking and searching for missing tags. You can use a shortcut to insert a tag and then cycle through all available tag pairs to insert the one you need. But the icing on the cake is that you can toggle between a ‘simple view’ which shows tags as numbers and a ‘code view’ which shows you what a tag actually stands for. This is particularly useful for link text. Although it was previously possible in Smartling to see the formatting behind tags in the code tab in the translation interface, the same information is now available right inside the translation field, which greatly reduces the amount of time spent flitting between different parts of the screen.

If you regularly translate on the Smartling platform, now is the time to register for one of the many webinars that Smartling are running in the run-up to their release. Learn about the new layout, features and shortcuts so you can transition smoothly from the current to the new interface when the time comes.

Read more about the new Smarling CAT tool and register for a live webinar if you haven’t already attended one.

Like herrings in a barrel - Dutch idioms

Like herrings in a barrel: 5 quirky Dutch idioms

Although I am a native Dutch speaker and have lived in the UK for many years, I still have the occasional embarrassing steenkolenengels (literally coal English) moment.  Also called Dunglish: the popular term to describe the mistakes made by some native Dutch speakers when speaking English. The Dutch term steenkolenengels goes back to the early twentieth century when Dutch port workers used a very basic form of English to communicate with the personnel of British coal ships.

Of course there is nothing more hilarious to my British friends and family when I use Dunglish, especially on such occasions when I attempt to translate a popular Dutch expression literally. ‘You what!?’

The Dutch language is full of idiomatic expressions. Their origins are often found in our rich nautical and maritime history and in our everlasting battle with water. Others have animal themes, refer to parts of the body or find their origins in Scripture. Here are some of my favourite Dutch idioms:

Nu komt de aap uit de mouw (Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve)

This means that the truth is finally revealed or you have seen a person’s true colours. According to a Dutch dictionary of idioms, het Groot Uitdrukkingenwoordenboek van Van Dale (2006), this goes back to times when street artists would literally hide a monkey in their coat or sleeves as part of a magic trick. 

Haar op de tanden hebben (to have hair on one’s teeth)

To be very strong or assertive. Apparently people used to think there was a link between body hair and strength! The more hair, the stronger the person. Therefore if someone had hair on such an impossible place as their teeth, they must have been very strong indeed.

Ben je van de trap gevallen? (Did you fall down the stairs?)

You might be asked this question after a visit to the hairdressers. Originally the saying was: ‘did you fall down the stairs and break your hair?’

Als haringen in een ton zitten (to sit like herrings in a barrel)

You don’t need a big imagination here. It means being in a crowded place.

Een ezel stoot zich in het gemeen niet tweemaal aan dezelfde steen (a donkey doesn’t bump into the same stone twice)

You won’t make the same mistake twice. Similar to the English expression: once bitten, twice shy.

For more quirky idioms, check out our Utterly Butterly blog in which Théo shares five of his favourite buttery French idioms and Anja’s It’s all about the sausage blog which explores sausage-related expressions in German.