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Differences that Make a Difference

I’ve been longing for a new OmegaT ‘s version for over two months. The reason I was so anxious to get my hands on was that in early October, OmegaT’s developers added a new exciting feature to the program’s trunk, but most users had to wait until the official release. This feature is displaying the differences between the source text of a fuzzy match and the current source text. This post is about this new feature as well as another one that’s related to team projects.

Changes to the Original Text Are Now Visible

I’m no fan of Trados, but Workbench had a very cool way of showing which changes were made to the new source text compared to the source text of a fuzzy match. OmegaT lacked this feature until the recent version, 2.6.1 update 2. Those translators who work on long-term ongoing projects know how useful this kind of comparison is. When an author makes a lot of minor changes to the previous original text, a translator needs to see clearly what was added or deleted. Unless a translator can’t see the changes clearly, it’s very easy to miss some of them and insert the fuzzy match, i.e. old translation, unchanged. Often, this is a minor error, but it may cause major errors, too.

We’re lucky it’s over now. The latest version clearly shows all deletions using crossed-out text while additions appear in blue. In essence, this display is similar to that of Microsoft Word. Translating high-percentage fuzzy matches is now a breeze. You don’t even have to look at the new original. You just look at the differences and make the changes to the old translation accordingly. With lower percentages, it gets more challenging, though, because too many deletions and additions make the comparison look overwhelming.

To enable this new feature, go to Options => External TMXs. In the Match display template field, add the ${diff} variable wherever you want it to display. Here is my configuration for reference:



${id}) <${score}/${noStemScore}/${adjustedScore}% | ${creationId} | ${creationDate} | ${fileShortPath}>

You know what’s one of the best things about this new feature? It was originally developed by another OmegaT user, Aaron Madlon-Kay, who was kind enough to take the time to do it and contribute the resulting code to OmegaT project.

Synchronizing Translation Glossary in Team Projects

Another milestone improvement is making it possible to synchronize a glossary in projects involving several translators working simultaneously. Until now, it was only the translation memory that got synced. Imagine two people working on a project, an in-house translator and a freelance translator, each of them using a local copy of a glossary. Whenever one of them made changes to his/her local copy, the other wasn’t able to see those changes until they merged the two local copies manually by exchanging them by email. Aside from being inefficient, this manual process also created a serious delay before one translator could see the new glossary entries added by the colleague.

Thanks to the good folks at OmegaT, this bottleneck is history. All you need to do now is put a glossary in the glossary subfolder of your team project, and OmegaT will sync it for you just as it syncs the translation memory file.

Aren’t you excited to check out the new features? If you are, but you don’t know where to begin, one of the easiest ways to get started is to download the already configured version of OmegaT with all the latest plugins and scripts.

Do you agree that it’s kind of weird that some translators don’t even use project glossaries while others believe a glossary is so important that they think of ways to always get the latest version immediately and ensure they don’t miss a thing?

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About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.