This post offers instructions on basic OmegaT setup. Although OmegaT comes ready-to-use, its out-of-the-box functionality can be improved significantly by taking just a few simple steps. This post is intended as a one-stop explanation of these steps so that any user can start benefiting from the extended functionality quickly instead of taking the hard way of trial and error. As the instructions are very basic, I also provide links to more detailed descriptions. The post is intended for those translators who want to evaluate OmegaT or reviewers who need to connect to an existing OmegaT-based translation workflow used by a translation company.
- You need to start by downloading OmegaT from the SourceForge. It is important to download the latest beta version available in the Files > Latest section. I don’t think it makes sense to use the older stable version, because it’s obsolete. The beta version also seems safe to use. Choose the version appropriate to your operating system, normally without Java (unless you don’t have Java installed on your system). Under Windows, you will need to install and run OmegaT as you do with any other software. Under Linux, you need to unpack the downloaded archive and run OmegaT shell script.
- The next step is to enable spell checking. You can do this by going to Options > Spell Checking. Enable Automatically check the spelling of text option. Create a dictionary file folder and browse to it in this window. Then, click Install to install the dictionaries for your target languages. Unlike many other translation environment tools, OmegaT will now check spelling as you translate, making it easier to write correctly from the start instead of having to return and correct errors.
- Now, add the Language Tool, which is a style and grammar checker. Go to OmegaT plugin page at the SourceForge. Select the Language Tool and download the latest version. Since the Language Tool is a platform-independent plugin, you can use the same version both under Windows and Linux. Create “plugins” subfolder in OmegaT installation folder and unpack the downloaded archive into this subfolder. Restart OmegaT, go to Options and make sure Language Checker option is enabled. The Language Tool suggestions will be underlined in blue as you translate. A detailed instruction is available in the Readme file that comes with this plugin.
- The next step is to follow a similar procedure to install the tokenizer plugin. It provides better fuzzy and glossary matches by finding other forms of a given word such as a plural form. You can download it from the same OmegaT plugin page at the SourceForge as mentioned above. After unpacking, again, place all files to “plugins” subfolder in OmegaT installation folder. If any files already exist, just overwrite them. Now, running OmegaT with the tokenizer enabled requires creating and editing a launch script, but it’s nothing difficult really. You need to create a separate launch script per source language. For instance, if your specialty is English to Russian translation and German to Russian translation, you need an English script and a German script. To proceed with the below instruction, you will likely need to read this HowTo page, which provides all necessary details.
- Under Windows, you need to download (or create) the BAT script file provided by one of OmegaT developers, Mr. Marc Prior, at the HowTo page mentioned above. Create a copy of this file and name it e.g. “OmegaT_EN.bat.” Open it with any text editor and add the tokenizer string after “OmegaT.jar.” The entire script content will be as follows:
java -jar OmegaT.jar %* –Itokenizer=org.omegat.plugins.tokenizer.SnowballEnglishTokenizer
- From now on, use this launch script to run the program instead of the EXE file. For the German language, repeat this procedure to create “OmegaT_DE.bat,” replacing the English tokenizer with the respective German tokenizer.
- Under Linux, you just need to create a copy of OmegaT shell script file, rename it to reflect the source language, and add the tokenizer string after “…OmegaT.jar,” e.g.:
…OmegaT.jar” $* –Itokenizer=org.omegat.plugins.tokenizer.SnowballEnglishTokenizer
Now that you have extended the basic OmegaT functionality, you can use it more efficiently. If you have any questions about these instructions or other OmegaT-related questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments. Velior will be happy to help.
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