TM-Town Expert Translator Q&A

Exclusive Q&A with CafeTran Creator

Featuring Igor Kmitowski

Starts: November 19, 2015 Ends: November 21, 2015

CafeTran Espresso is a feature-rich CAT tool that works on Windows/PC's, Macs and Linux. Ask CafeTran's developer Igor any questions you may have about the tool that his users love.

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Questions: 6
Comments: 13

4

ofuentesj

José Omar Fuentes

Hello! I've been a freelance translator for a little over three years and I'm at that point where it is turning into a full-time thing and I need to invest in resources. It's mostly been dictionaries up to this point, and a couple of subscriptions, but now that I'm looking at CAT tools, what can CafeTran Espresso offer to someone in my position? How steep is the learning curve? In which aspects of translation would you say it excels?
Thank you!

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Igor Kmitowski

Hi Jose,

You will notice a huge difference in the speed you do your translations right away. Just prepare a short test text for translation and let CafeTran guide you. The program remembers your translations in the form of translation memory. Then, it auto-suggests not only exact sentences from the previous translations but also the fuzzy (similar) ones and the small fragments (words and phrases). You will see the difference as you type as well. Moreover, you can create your own glossaries, hook web resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses, machine translations, encyclopedias, etc. Even those resources that you exported here to TM-Town. The important point is that you are still the boss and the judge what translation, phrase or word to use. All the resources are there at your fingertips but how you apply them it is totally up to you. The learning curve is smooth when it comes to the basic workflow and features. It may get steeper as you start looking for more advance functions. But then, you have a very helpful community of CafeTran users where you can ask questions.

2

alinea-doc

Hans Lenting

CafeTran's strength is in it's ability to adapt to users' preferences. I notice that you get a lot of requests for micro tasks (e.g. case changing and other string manipulations). Are you planning to add any support for automation tools or even a scripting language, so that users can create their own solutions for these mini tasks? I'm having troubles to use Keyboard Maestro (about the only automation tool on the Mac platform) with CafeTran. Are you planning to improve the interaction between Keyboard Maestro and CafeTran?

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Igor Kmitowski

Hi Hans,

Adding the ability to record some common users' tasks in order to repeat them with one keystroke is an interesting challenge. I am going to investigate it. Currently, I am focused on making CafeTran the most intuitive of all CAT tools, especially for users who have never had any experience with such tools before. As for Keyboard Maestro, I think that it is rather a question to the KM developer who might be willing to tune it for Java applications, or at least give some public tips for Java developers on Mac OSX.

0

alinea-doc

Hans Lenting

Well thank you Igor, I'm really looking forward to a way to automate string manipulation in the Target segment pane and while writing term pairs directly to the tab-delimited glossaries. These are of utmost importance to me.

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diasks2

Kevin Dias

Igor - how do you balance/prioritize features for CafeTran working as a solo developer? I'm sure you get lots of feature requests from your power users, but it sounds like you also want to spend time improving the new user experience on CafeTran.

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Igor Kmitowski

This is a very good question which I ask myself almost very day when I power up my computer and see the new requests. :) I am lucky to have such innovative users with full of ideas. In the last few weeks I shifted my attention to the design of the user interface to make the program more accessible for new users and let them do their first translations in CafeTran smoothly. The complex features are still being added although at a bit slower pace than before. The final goal is to create two layers of complexity with the basic features exposed in the user interface and the advanced functions for power users accessible through the menus. If you compare the current interface to the one from CafeTran 2014, you will notice how much the program changed during the last few months. Currently, I split my development time in two parts - one for polishing various dialogs of the user interface, the other for implementing advanced requests. If there is some more time left, I complete the documentation.

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hans

Hans van den Broek

IK: This is a very good question

I'd say it's the question. An existential one...

IK: If there is some more time left, I complete the documentation.

I'd say that's priority number one. Forget about implementing string manipulation for segments in nested TMX folders using regexes for 1.5 KBM users on a Mac, and WTFM. Complete the documentation? You haven't even started.

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diasks2

Kevin Dias

Do you have any future plans to add detailed productivity tracking features to CafeTran? What I mean by this would be something at the keystroke level that can provide detailed data on things such as, for example:
*The time taken to translate each segment (segment by segment)
*A record of every single action that qualifies as an addition, deletion or adaptation of any of the properties in a segment

Perhaps something similar to the functionality of this plugin?

1

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Igor Kmitowski

Hi Kevin,

First of all, thank you for inviting me here. The productivity tracking feature sounds nice although I am asking myself who would like to measure, say, the time spent on one segment. What I mean is such advanced features are possible to implement and even useful for most translators (e.g. time spent on the translation of the whole document) but I am not really sure if there are translators who need to have the record of every single action. I need to see such requests from the users to focus on it.

1

eloise_testu

Eloïse Testu

Hello, for two years, I worked for a translation agency equipped with SDLX. When I quit this job to start working as a freelance, I saved all the translations I had done for them on my external hard drive. I would like to use my files, but I can't, because it is impossible to open them without SDLX and I can't afford it. So I've been looking for a good and more affordable CAT tool with which, if possible, I could open my SDLX files. Is it possible in CafeTran to convert files coming from another CAT tool and use them? I would very much like to be able to tap into my two years' work resources for my present translations. Thank you!

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hans

Hans van den Broek

I don't think you can do that without SDLX or Trados. If you still have the SL and TL documents, you could align them. If not, TM-Town might just be the right site to address this problem: TM-T already supports lots of file formats for uploading and conversion:
.tmx .xliff .xlf .sdlxliff .sdltm .txt (Wordfast) .txmlv .xlsx .xls,
so you may want to ask Kevin to add SDLX files.

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diasks2

Kevin Dias

If anyone has a sample SDLX file they could send me I will definitely look into it. A lot of the older SDL file types are proprietary binaries (with no documentation) though...so if that is the case TM-Town would not be able to support it. Happy to take a look though!

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Igor Kmitowski

Hi Eloïse,

Everything depends on the format of the files that you saved on your drive. If these are sdlxliff, sdlppx, sdlrpx or ttx files, CafeTran can open such files and convert them to the TMX translation memory format. Then you will be able to use your previous translations in the form of the translation memory. The best idea would be to put all the sdlxliff files (your previous translations) in one folder and load the whole folder in one go to CafeTran. For specific details, please ask this question at the official CafeTran forum (https://cafetran.freshdesk.com/discussions). I think there are users who faced the similar problem in the past.

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alinea-doc

Hans Lenting

Could you imagine to rewrite CafeTran in a programming language that allows compiling CafeTran natively for the currently supported platforms, thus making the Java virtual machine no longer necessary?

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Igor Kmitowski

That would mean putting on hold any further development of CafeTran for a year or two, which obviously is not a good idea.

1

diasks2

Kevin Dias

If someone were to ask "How is CafeTran different than other CAT tools" and you could only pick one thing as your answer, what would it be?

3

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Igor Kmitowski

This is a hard question as I have always avoided looking at other CAT tools when working on CafeTran. Not because of disregard, but rather to keep focusing on the ideas and features, both my own and those provided by the users. And it has given me that fantastic feeling of making something unique. But I can quote a CafeTran user who once wrote to me:
"CafeTran doesn’t have this awful feeling of having some kind of helmet being screwed upon one’s head. That’s very annoying experience and it’s something that affects the quality of a translation. This is not the case with CafeTran and that’s one reason why I am happy with it."

Personally, I would compare CafeTran to a "Transformer" CAT tool where it can be elastic, flexible and adjust its interface to various translator's workflows.

1

alinea-doc

Hans Lenting

I wholeheartedly agree with that: CafeTran's most unique feature is its flexibility. Pick your own font sizes, colours, arrangement of panes, even your preferred operating system. Other CAT tools allow customisation to some extent. CafeTran can be individualised completely.


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