translate5: A new approach to translation review

Richard Sikes
MultiLingual September 2013
Product Reviews

translate5 can be expected to gain more prominence on the tools landscape in the coming years, as it has been chosen as the front-end user interaction medium for QTLaunchpad, an initiative funded by the European Commission that seeks to improve translation quality throughout Europe. Because the application is open-source, organizations can tailor it specifically to their own needs as opposed to remaining beholden to a tool manufacturer’s vision of what such a tool should offer. . .

This coverage of translate5 captures the application in the very early stages of what will hopefully be a long and useful product life cycle. For this reason, and because translate5 is not positioned as a commercial product but rather as an ongoing open-source initiative intended to serve the language industry at large, criticism is perhaps less important than contribution to a feature wish list. To begin with, the current functionality is based exclusively on the SDLXLIFF file format, which is known to not entirely conform to published industry standards. While it cannot be denied that the decision to begin with this file format as opposed to a more generic flavor of XLIFF is surely pragmatic, the decision could be perceived as lacking a certain element of idealism. So, first and foremost on the wish list could be expansion of the range of supported file formats. Such expansion will, of course, be driven by funding which, in turn, will be driven by demand. But perhaps some of the tool providers who vocally support the concept of common standards could feel themselves compelled to step up to the plate through provision of funds or resources. . .