This post is designed to review some of the changes implemented in the latest version of OmegaT, 2.5.0, released this week. The new version introduced quite many new features. This time, however, I will focus on only those that we are already using for English to Russian translation on a daily basis.
- OmegaT now supports multiple translations of identical segments (>internal repetitions). Previously, whenever a repetition needed a translation different from the one used elsewhere in the project, we would insert a special mark in this segment. After creating the translated documents, we would search for the mark and adjust the translation as required. Hardly effective, this approach is now history. Whenever you want to use a different translation for an internal repetition, you can do this right away within the program by selecting the Create Alternative Translation command in the context menu available in the editor pane.
- You can now add notes to segments. Previously, we would add a special mark and insert a note directly inside a segment. Now, it is possible to enter or edit a note for any segment in a dedicated pane. When you re-open a segment that includes a note, this note will appear in the pane. To find all segments with notes, press Ctrl+F to open the search window, deselect all options except In notes, and perform search with an empty string. Needless to say, this is a very useful and long-awaited feature, especially for a translation agency environment like ours where a translator and an editor use notes to communicate with each other regarding their choices and questions.
- Another improvement is the ability to have project-specific file filters and segmentation rules. Prior to this version, you could only use one common set of filters and segmentation rules for all your projects, which was stored locally on your PC. In our case, this resulted in a problem each time a translator added a new segmentation rule to improve incorrect segmentation. Because the new rule was saved locally on this translator’s PC, opening this project on another PC, e.g. for editing, resulted in a different segmentation. Each time an editor had to either add the same rule manually or ask the translator to provide the segmentation rule file stored locally on this translator’s PC. Now, when adding a rule, you can make it project-specific by pressing Ctrl+E, selecting Segmentation and then Project-specific segmentation rules. The segmentation rule file will be saved to the omegat folder of this project. Whoever opens this project thereafter will get exactly the same segmentation based on the rules in this file. A further benefit of this improvement is that you can avoid automatic application of any rules set up in an older project to all new projects. Previously, all rules you once set up, however specific they might have been, continued to apply to all future projects, often ruining segmentation.
- The last new feature I want to cover today is the improvement to the process of detecting changes in the external translation memories. Prior to 2.5.0, if you made any changes to, or added, any TMXs in the tm folder of your project, you needed to reload the project to be able to see the changes. This was particularly time-consuming with multiple large TMXs. Now, the program automatically detects any changes or additions in the tm folder. One benefit we’ve already derived from this improvement is an optimized process of sharing TMs between two or more translators working on the same project simultaneously. Previously, whenever one translator placed their current TM to the tm folder, they had to ask a colleague to reload the project to be able to see the latest translations added by that translator to the TM. Now, you simply place the TM to the tm folder, and the other translator sees it immediately without any notification or reloading.
In summary, the new version is a big hit with us. We truly appreciate the continued efforts the OmegaT developers are putting into this highly successful free open-source tool. If you are in need of a high-performance translation environment tool to boost the productivity and quality of your work, I strongly encourage you to try out this new version. For more information about OmegaT, please read other related blog posts. We’ll also continue reviewing the remaining new features in future posts.
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