How I used to convert units ….and you should definitely NOT

Published by: jankapoun, dated: February 21, 2021

Unit conversion is something you will definitely encounter when working as a translator.

How I have always done it

And this is how I have always done it: copy out the number, then go to Google and insert it along with the target units. So I would insert something like this: “9.5 inch in cm”. Then search for it and go back to my CAT tool to insert it back as a converted result.

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Not very practical…

Well, this is not very practical. If you have a list of 100 spare parts in inches and you need them to convert to mm/cm, this could become a really tedious task.

My motivation

So, this is why I have developed this solution of mine. Sure, there are some unit converters out there, perhaps even some SDL Trados plug-ins… but frankly speaking, I don’t give a sh*t. I just enjoy coding in C# and this is a downright easy task to do. And I wanted to create something that would just suit my needs completely.

My requirements

My requirement: I want to be able to convert units instantly in ANY CAT tool out there.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The solution

For this, I just used the Clipboard class and some simple mathematics to convert the units. Did you know that to convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, you need to subtract 32 and divide the result by 1.8? Yet another thing you just learned!

I also had to deal with some string parsing, to separate the number from its units. Then, it was just a question of mathematical conversion and adding the right units to the result.

How it works

You just select your number along with its units in the source text and press a hotkey. Bohemicus will take care of the rest and rewrite your original value with the result along with its corresponding units.

The advantage of this process lies in the simple fact that you don’t have to leave your CAT tool / application at all. Just keep working and press a hotkey. The resulting value will be inserted for you as if you wrote it yourself.

You can see this feature in action here in this (hopefully) entertaining video:

Or here:

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