Bohemicus 1.068 released!

What’s new:

  • improved machine-translation-marks remover, now removes also the AMT marks (adaptive machine translation, notably the ModernMT engine)
  • the machine-translation feature now sets the segments to draft status so that Trados Studio does not overwrite the machine-translated results
  • improved note-taking feature, added import-export for Evernote notes
  • fixed bug in invoicing – client and user data can now be updated directly from the Invoice window
  • improved invoicing – all invoices are now automatically saved into PDF
  • improved invoicing – a new grid view with all issued invoices is available on the Invoicing tab (you can now see all issued invoices at first glance)
  • improved invoicing – any issued invoice can now be clicked in the grid view to quickly show its contents and target folder where this invoice is stored
  • offline dictionaries can now be connected permanently
  • added explaining notes on individual cards
  • minor bug fixes

Quick content preview of Trados packages

This feature can be very helpful when you need to preview the content of a Trados package. For instance, when you receive a package from your translation agency asking you if you’d like to work on it. And you are just in the middle of something and you certainly don’t feel like closing your current project in order to unpack a new Trados package and see what’s inside.

So instead of opening it in Trados, creating a new project, etc., you can simply drag&drop your package onto Bohemicus and see what’s inside right away!

Bohemicus features a 2-column arrangement so that you can see source text as well as possible translations at the same time.

Also, you can view individual SDLXLIFF files.

See this video to watch this feature in action:

Changing the language code of your SDL translation memory

This post can especially be useful to users of older SDL Studio versions. If you are using newer versions of SDL Studio, simply select the “Any TM” option from your list of translation memories.

There might be occasions when you need to change your SDL translation memory language code. Example: You are working on an U.S. English-based project, but your translation memory is in British English.

Normally, the SDL Studio will prevent you from using such a translation memory, saying that your project does not support it. This can be really unpleasant, as you are translating FROM English into your respective language, so you don’t really care if the flavor of English is American or British.

Bohemicus allows you to simply change the language code by right clicking your SDLTM memory file and choosing the “Change SDLTM Properties“. Then simply select your language and click “Change“.

You can also watch this feature in action here:

How to translate PDF files

The PDF format is truly ingenious – documents in the PDF format will appear exactly as originally created and intended across all platforms, be it various versions of Windows, MacOS, Linus, Android, you name it.

Their only disadvantage is that they are not editable, or difficult to edit at best. This was probably the intention of Adobe, i.e. the manufacturer of this software, so that nobody could change the contents of such a document. They achieved this by effectively removing all information regarding the document’s structure. So you cannot load a PDF into your MS Word or SDL Trados. Sure, the computer must still know what to display and how to format it, but in case of PDF, it seems that such a document is optimized for viewing and printing, not for editing. And it takes some pretty clever algorithms to convert it back into an editable format. Even Adobe doesn’t seem be able to fully reconstruct the documents back into an editable form – parts of text might still remain ebmedded as images.

And as you can imagine, as soon as you try to actually translate such a document, a PDF format can be a major pain in the ass.

So let’s take a look at how this can be actually done.

How to translate a PDF document – step by step

First things first: You certainly don’t want to be translating it by opening the PDF, looking into it and then writing all the text into a Word document, manually formatting it and copying all the images… that would be very exhausting and would take an eternity to translate….. with you ending up working for a ridiculous rate per hour. So you need to automate this process a little bit.

Convert into an editable format

  • The first step is to actually convert it into an editable MS Word format (doc/docx). There are numerous programs and websites available, but I would recommend this one: https://pdf2doc.com/

It’s free and has pretty good results. In case you need to deal with some complicated document formatting, you can also try Adobe’s https://www.adobe.com/uk/acrobat/online/pdf-to-word.html.

This will allow you to convert a few documents free of charge, so it’s ok if you translate just a few PDFs here and there. Unfortunately, PDF to Word conversion is highly in demand, so paid services are not too cheap.

  • Open the https://pdf2doc.com/ website and upload your PDF document.
  • Your document will be converted. Click the button to download.

Translate in a CAT tool

6. Depending on how difficult the PDF’s formatting is, you might need to check if all text on your PDF has actually been translated. Open the original PDF on one side of the screen, the translated MS Word on the other and carefully compare them if everything has been captured by the converter and then translated by you.

7. And that’s it! Congratulations, you have just translated your very first PDF document!

Please watch this video to see the whole process in action:

How to use machine translation in Across (GoogleTranslate, DeepL…)

This is a short video on how you can configure the Across CAT tool (made by Across GmbH, Germany) to machine translate your files.

There are two options:

  1. use the MT in Across itself (leaves the machine-translation marks), or
  2. use Bohemicus to machine translate and leave NO marks at all.

The Ctrl+Alt+Space shortcut and why you should definetely use it

The raison d’etre

The Ctrl+Alt+Space shortcut was originally conceived to deal with the formatting tags in SDL Studio, memoQ, Wordfast, XTM etc. That’s because Bohemicus cannot, at least for now, work with the formating tags and it will remove them when using the machine translation feature.

The basic idea

The basic idea of this shortcut: select the portion of text between these formating tags and press Ctrl+Alt+Space to translate such text. In this way, the formating tags will be preserved.

Online CAT tools

You can also take advantage of this keyboard shortcut when working with online CAT tools (SmartCat, Wordfast Anywhere, etc.) that are not 100% compatible with Bohemicus.

You can use this function in this way:

Copy all text from the source segment into the target segment (usually the Ctrl/Alt+Insert keyboard shortcut, but can be different – please check your CAT settings), select all text in the target segment (usually Ctrl+A), press Ctrl+Alt+Space. The selected portion of text (i.e. all text, because you have selected all text) will be translated.

You might also want to watch this video:

The top 10 features of Bohemicus I use every day

These are the 10 features of Bohemicus I use every day.

You can watch this video to see them in action:

1. Machine Translation

Machine translation can be used everywhere by just pressing a hotkey – Ctrl+Space to translate the whole segment in your CAT tool or Ctrl+Alt+Space to translate just the selected portion of text (this is especially useful in online CAT tools or in text-editor applications such as MS Word).

What I like about this: It works in 100+ languages, it is instantaneous (I don’t need to look for any options how to set it up in a CAT tool), it does NOT leave any traces, such as the AT/MT machine translation marks.

2. Speech-to-text

The speech-to-text (voice dictation) can be used in 100+ languages thanks to the Google speech-to-text engine in your Android phone. Please connect your Android phone, run Bohemicus both in your Android as well as in MS Windows, and start using the speech-to-text functionality to greatly improve your effectivity.

What I like about this: It works everywhere, in any CAT tools or text-editing applicaiton. The speech-to-text engine is very reliable and also works in noisy work environments.

3. Fast and convenient search in online/offline dictionaries and translations memories

Just select your term in whatever CAT tool you are currently working, and press Ctrl+Alt+K to quickly look it up in your connected offline/online dictionaries and translation memories.

What I like about this: The look-up process is fully automatic, Bohemicus will show all relevant windows on the screen without any need to leave your current CAT tool.

4. Fast and convenient googling

This works very much like the previous feature: just select your term and press Ctrl+Alt+G to search it with your preferred search engine.

What I like about this: It is fully automatic, Bohemicus will show the browser window with all the results looked up without you ever leaving your CAT tool.

5. Note taking

Select your term/sentence you would like to make a note of in your CAT tool and just press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N to transfer the selected text into the Bohemicus note-taking tab.

What I like about this: It is very fast, can be done without too much clicking, and most importantly: I can create a whole block of notes that can be easily searched through, sent by email, edited etc.

6. Large files transfer

You can conveniently transfer large files of up to 100 MB with the large-files-transfer feature of Bohemicus. Simply right click your file and select “Send through the Bohemicus server” option. Your file will be instantly transferred to the Bohemicus server and a link to this file will be copied to clipboard.

You can then paste this link into an email and send it to your partner. Your partner can in turn click this link and download your file.

Why I like it: It’s slightly faster and more convenient than the competitors’ solutions, and you can add your own logo to the download screen.

7. Unit conversion

Unit conversion between the imperial and metric system has never been easier! Just select the value + its unit in the text and press Ctrl+Alt+F6/F7/F8 to convert it to your predefined units. You can set up to how many decimals you wish to round up the resulting value.

What I like about this: It’s very fast and easy, especially useful in long list of values that need to be converted between the imperial and metric system.

8. Quotation marks

You can very conveniently convert the default quotation marks into typographically correct quotation marks for your language on the fly.

What I like about this: You can set it up once and forget about it. Simply continue working in your CAT tool or in a text-editing aplication, pressing the quotation mark key on your keyboard any time you need. Bohemicus will always convert the marks to your typografically correct version on the fly. If you need to insert the U.S. qotation marks again, just press the Ctrl+Quotation mark key.

9. Clipboard manager

This is an immensely powerful feature: simply store frequently repeating strings into memory (up to 10 memory banks) and re-insert them from memory every time you need them, simply pasting them into your text.

What I like about this: I can easily see which string is stored where by just pressing the Ctrl key. I can also very easily store any string I choose by just pressing a hotkey combo (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1…9,0), and then paste it into my text by pressing Ctrl+1…9,0.

10. Changing between uppercase and lowercase

You can very simply and quickly change just the FIRST letter in your segment to uppercase/lowecase, or change everyting to uppercase/lowercase by just pressing ONE keyboard combo.

What I like about this: It’s fast and convenient, works everywhere.


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

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:

How to remove the machine-translation marks in every CAT tool

What are they?

As soon as you try to machine translate just about anything in any major CAT tool, such as Trados Studio, Across, WordFast…., you will notice that it will actually always leave a trace, a mark. You have those “AT” marks in Trados, “MT” in WordFast, a special icon along with a note in Across, etc. The only CAT tool that does not apparently leave any marks seems to be memoQ. Or at least I cannot see any.

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Sometimes, such behavior might be undesirable.

How to get rid of machine translation marks

You can get rid of those marks in e.g. SDL Trados Studio by pre-translating the project again. What it means? After you finish your translation in this CAT, you just right click your file, choose Batch Tasks, then Pre-translate Files and then you choose the “Always overwrite existing translation”. This will translate your document and every segment will be replaced by its corresponding match in the translation memory. All “AT” marks will be overwritten by the “CM” mark (Context Match).

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Not an ideal solution

This might be OK, but there can be some risks to it:

1) You are stressed, under time pressure, and you just forget to do it

2) You might complicate things greatly for your proofreader, becase he/she won’t be able to tell which segments to proofread. There will be no new segments, everything will be marked “CM” or “100%”.

I believe this tactics can be probably done in Across, WordFast and other tools as well, but cannot be sure, as I have not tried it. Also, I have tried the machine translation feature in Across, it its free translator edition, and it worked. But I believe, your project manager can disable the machine translation feature for you in Across project settings.

The ultimate solution

Yes, this is one of the advantages of this tool of mine. It does not leave any trace at all. Everything appears as manually translated. You can just press Ctrl+(Alt)+Space and have your segment machine translated without leaving any trace or mark.

What is means: You continue working in your CAT tool as usual (Trados, Across, WordFast…), but instead of taking advantage of your CAT’s machine translation feature, you connect your CAT to Bohemicus and press Ctrl+(Alt)+Space. Your segment will then be machine translated without leaving any trace or mark.

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Recommendation

Of course, this might border on some work ethics. If your agency or customer expressly forbids you from using machine translation, because you are working on some classified document… then you should by all means respect their wish and also your professional ethics. I do not recommend online machine translation services in such cases.

A clipboard manager. Why is it useful?

Definition of a clipboard manager

For those who don’t know what a clipboard manager is. Imagine the Windows clipboard on steroids. That’s exactly what a clipboard manager is.

An example: You are working on a document and you have these 5 strings, perhaps company names or spare part designations, that repeat all over the document. Sure, you could copy each of them into your clipboard (Ctrl+C) and then just paste them whereever you need (Ctrl+V). But the problem is that you can only store 1 such string. Also, whenever you copy something new into your clipboard, the previous string will be overwritten.

This is not very practical. Wouldn’t it be better if you just had, say, 10 memory banks, where you could store your strings, and leave the Windows clipboard free for your usual business? And then just press a dedicated hotkey or hotkeys to insert those strings stored in your memory banks into your text?

And that’s exactly the idea of a clipboard manager

The Story

Of course, during my translation work, I soon realized how useful a clipboard manager could be. So I started looking for a software solution to this problem. But at that time, there was not much I could use – all of the available clipboard managers were very clumsy to use or did occasionally not work, as they collided with other software programs running on my computer. The situation might be better now, but I am just a C# enthusiast, I enjoy programming… and most importantly, I very much enjoy using my own software written to exactly match my needs. It brings me a great deal of inner satisfaction. Also, I don’t want to have a gazillion of small utility programs running in my system – I just want one piece software that would address most of my translation needs.

So, I said to me: Hey, how difficult could it actually be to create a clipboard manager myself? These were my requirements: 1) I want to see what’s stored in my memory banks all the time and 2) I want to be able to very easily store and re-insert my strings by pressing a hotkey

The Solution

I already knew how to work with the Clipboard class and hotkeys in C# so this was just a real piece of cake. My biggest problem? How to create those semi-transparent boxes on the screen to indicate what’s stored where and how to make them appear and disappear every time I press the Ctrl key. I did not want them to be on the screen all the time, because that would hinder the view on my document I was currently translating. So only show the clipboard manager hints when I press the Ctrl key. When I release the key, make them disappear again.

It took me a couple of hours to tune this up so that these hints would not collide with other windows on the screen and would not steal the keyboard focus from my main application (usually a CAT tool).

You can see those hints on this picture:

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How it works 

And this is how it works: I can select a portion of text in my CAT tool that I would like to store in one of those memory banks, and I just press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1…9,0 (so all the way from the key 1 up to 0 on my alphanumeric keyboard) to store it into any of my 10 memory banks. If I wish to re-insert one of those stored strings into my text in my CAT tool, I simply press Ctrl+1…9,0 to re-insert it.

I have tuned it up really nicely, no collisions with other software at all, and it’s nicely animated to gradually appear and disappear every time I press and release the Ctrl key. And the best thing is: it preserves the content of my Windows clipboard so it is free for my usual work.

You can see it in action here:

A clipboard manager in action