MemoQ is a program developed in Hungaria by a company named Kilgray.
Download and installation
On the download page you are told to have the choice between
- the 4Free edition without time limitation, and
- the fully functional Network edition, limited to 45 days.
The detailed instructions on download and installation did not work as intended in my case (that is I was never sent a key for activation to the e-mail address I provided), but the program started after several attempts to directly link to the company's website.
Once you completed the installation process it is very easy to have your first project and the files (doc, ppt, html etc.) assigned to it. You can also import projects from other applications (such as OmegaT). You can create your own glossary by naming it and filling the contents in the process of translating (using the short key CTRL+E). Export and import of glossaries with special characters may be problematic.
When you start MemoQ you will be asked, whether you want to open an existing project or create a new project. You can name the new project anything you like. Be sure to select the source and target language correctly. You can leave the other fields open.
I recommend to save the file(s) to be translated either in OpenOffice or in Wordpad as *.rtf (rich text format). That should reduce the number of useless tags that have to be both in the source and the target document. In the project manager you select the files for translation by clicking the button for Translations.
You then have to either create or choose a translation memory. There are two windows. On the right you'll see the existing translation memories. If this window is empty you have to create one calling it anything you like. You then have to add it to your project (left window).
A glossary is not obligatory, but in MemoQ it can make your work much easier. Again, you first have to create a glossary, clicking the button Term Bases in the project manager that always is the first tab on top of the windows opened for your work. Then you must allocate the term base (glossary) to your project. You can import a glossary saved as a *.cvs file. This can be achieved in OpenOffice (tables) or a program as Excel. When you save the document you have to opt for *.cvs.
Problem: Turkish characters may not be displayed correctly. For a start you should build your glossary in the program itself.
Watch the video on entering terms and matches in MemoQ. In plain words: mark a term (word or phrase) that you want to include in your dictionary. Then hit CRTL+E and the dialogue window opens with the term in the source language already included. Fill in the field for target language and hit "OK" and you are done.
Be aware that some complications arise from the fact that you have articles and cases varying from language to language. For adjectives as well you have to think about the possible endings. MemoQ will give you a warning, if a word suggested for translation is not included in identical form. If you take the German correspondent for police officer for instance you would need more than just Polizeibeamte, you should add Polizeibeamter and Polizeibeamten.
The importance of Tags and Warnings
Some formatting that can be invisible in the text (opened in Word for instance) will be shown as Tags like <f0>something in between</f0> MemoQ has no tags for formated text as bold or italic . This is done in the source and target texts directly. In MemoQ you cannot ignore other tags. A work-around is to either press F8 (copies one tag from the source to the target file) or ALT+F8 (copies all tags).
MemoQ will also list warnings in case
- a word in your glossary has not been included in identical form
- numbers in source and target texts are not identical (e.g. 7 in one place and "seven" in the other)
- several other reasons such as "sentence does not start with a capital letter"
This is a useful feature (if you mistyped the date for instance; 2008 instead of 2009), but it can also get disturbing, if you are used to write all numbers below 10 as words, but the original text does not.
Creating the final text
After you solved complications with tags and warnings, you can run a spell check with F7. Before you do that you have to specify which dictionaries you want to use. You can either use the dictionaries of MS Office (if installed) or use the Hunspell dictionaries that come with the software. My experience was that MS Office dictionaries are rather slow, while the Hunspell dictionaries make faster progress.
You can, of course, make your correction in the final document that you get under "Project-Export active document". You will find the document in the folder "Translation Documents".
Before you export the finished translation you should make sure that all errors and warnings have been looked at. You can tell MemoQ to ignore certain warning (e.g. misspelling of numbers), but an omission of tags cannot be ignored.
You can edit the segmentation rules in "Extras-Option". This seems to be somehow difficult for newbies like me. In the same window you can make further changes, e.g. create your own set of short keys.
Videos for Beginners
The clips for newbies to MemoQ are:
- Creating a project in MemoQ; 6:08
- Entering terms and matches in MemoQ; 6:26
- How to create a translated document in MemoQ; 6:26
Torsten Rox on MemoQ
(translated from German=
- you can open several documents at once
- you can format your text (bold, italic etc.)
- MemoQ is pretty fast
- it is hard to get rid of tags and you cannot save a translation if the tags are not identical
- spelling check is almost useless
In the end, I shall buy the product and use it.