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Lindsay Gallimore

Lindsay Gallimore
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WordFast Anywhere: My Verdict

Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-03-12

So my initial test drive with WordFast Anywhere involved a random translation that I wasn't particularly invested in. I just wanted to see how the program worked. Step two was to use it for a translation I actually had to complete. I would have liked it to be some paid-work, but alas, volunteer-work is better than none at all. I translated an article for La Scena Musicale about an up-and-coming conductor named Jean-Michaël Lavoie, and I did so entirely using WordFast Anywhere.


What I liked:

- I used a setting where the automatic translation suggestions were immediately placed in my target section. Because this translation contained a lot of dates and proper nouns, this did save some time and ensured I didn't mistype any dates. Overall, it was only the dates and proper nouns that remained of the suggested translation, though I kept a few machine translations because they were exactly what I would have said anyway.


- Being able to work on your translation and access your TM and glossary anywhere with an internet connection is a definite plus.


- It is easy to learn the keyboard shorcuts and to translate in the WordFast environment. In some programs, I've felt like I'm not in control of my work, that I don't know how to go back and correct something without starting over again. This is definitely not the case for WordFast. I felt confident that I wasn't going to lose my work or mess up my document.


What I disliked:

- A TM and a glossary are not really useful unless you are translating a document heavy in terminology (I was not) and if you know you are going to be translating many similar documents for which you will often have matches in your TM or your glossary. The TM that was created by translating this document will probably never be of use to me, even if I am working on something else for Scena. The nature of the articles means there will not be much repetition.


- Using WordFast Anywhere rather than the program that integrates directly into Word means you do lose all the formatting of the original document when you copy-and-paste it back into Word. If you have a document with a lot different fonts, bold type, etc., this would be a headache.


- This may apply to most software of the sort, but it has to be noted that not all source texts are easily translated sentence by sentence. Sometimes entire paragraphs need to be rearranged, sentences merged or chopped up, additions or omissions made. This is not a possibility with a program that expects you to enter a translation for each sentence, and does not allow you to add or omit, nor move around segments.



- If I scored a contract to translate something that was naturally repetetive, such as an instruction manual, a recipe book, or anything that was in anyway formulaic, I would absolutely use WordFast Anywhere and maximize my productivity. The same goes for something laden with terminology.


And, just for fun, here are my favourite machine translation suggestions:


"I had a large blow of heart." (J'ai eu un coup de coeur)

"Pierre Swell" (For the name Pierre Boulez)

"It is thirty years old this month, and of the projects full the head." (Just try to guess the source sentence...)



Here is my guess:
Il a trente ans ce mois-ci, et la tête remplie de projets
How did I do?wink

> Here is my guess:
> Il a trente ans ce mois-ci, et la tête remplie de projets
> How did I do?wink

That's pretty much it!