10 Nov 2009
So, now that the MeedanMemory became available, how can you make best use of it?
First, lets clear some basics. MeedanMemory is a translation memory that is focused on Arabic and English. This memory contains text fragments (sentences) in aligned pairs of Arabic and English. These sentence pairs, also called translation memory segments, can be used in different ways. We will focus here on using them for translation purposes.
Translators can use these segments, previously translated by other translators, during their work to find similar or approximate matches, and to help define the translation context of certain sentences. So for example, if the source text contains the sentence “The door is red”, the translation memory will be queried using fuzzy matching for exact or similar translations. If the translation memory contains a similar translation for the sentence “The door is green”, this sentence can be presented to the translator, who can then modify the sentence, or better understand the translation context. This is particularly helpful in cases where sentences are frequently repeated, such as software localization and translation of instruction manuals.
Translation memories are usually stored in an industry standard file format called Translation Memory Exchange (TMX). Using this standard facilitates the integration of translation memories across different software applications and platforms. MeedanMemory is packaged as a standard-compliant TMX, and can be downloaded from the following location: http://github.com/anastaw/Meedan-Memory.
So, to start using MeedanMemory, you need first to download the TMX file. Then you will need a software application that understand this format and is capable of performing the required search and analysis functions. These applications are usually called translation memory managers, or computer assisted translation (CAT) software. You can find a list of possible options here. There are several open source and proprietary alternatives. OmegaT is a widely used and actively developed possible option.
After downloading and installing OmegaT, you will need to configure it to use MeedanMemory. From the “Project” menu, select “New”. The Create New Project dialog will appear.
In the “Translation Memory Directory” section, select the location that contains the downloaded MeedanMemory file. Click on “OK” and you should be able to start using MeedanMemory right away. Import the source file that needs to be translated by choosing “Project -> Import Source Files”. OmegaT will analyze the file during the import, break it down into text segments, and display the similar translation matches for each segment.
We hope that this brief introduction can get you started in using MeedanMemory. You will certainly need to learn more about the software application you will decide to use. The application’s website and user manual are excellent places to start. We are sure that once you get used to the features and controls of these applications, you will quickly appreciate the benefits an open access translation memory, such as MeedanMemory, can provide.