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Re: Emacs as a translator's tool

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: Re: Emacs as a translator's tool
Date: Sat, 30 May 2020 02:58:07 +0900

> On May 30, 2020, at 2:39, Eric Abrahamsen <> wrote:

> I've thought many times over the years about what I would really want an
> Emacs-based translation environment to provide for me. I don't do
> technical translation, so there's not a whole lot of value in
> sentence-by-sentence correspondences.

Most translation tools I know (or I've used professionally) rely on a 
segmentation scheme set by the user. If the user wants paragraph based 
segmentation, so be it. What people call "sentence" segmentation is actually a 
regex based system that takes into account various signs in the source 

> But as Yuri mentions it can be
> very useful to keep track of how you've translated certain names, or
> certain important terms, in different places throughout the text.
> Basically I would want two things:
> 1. A way to keep track of location correspondences between the source
>   text and translated text. CAT tool split the text up by sentence,

(not true, see above)

> but
>   that's not very useful for fiction (particularly Chinese->English
>   translation) because there's rarely a one-to-one correspondence.
>   There /is/ a more reliable correspondence between paragraphs, though,
>   and I'd like to know which paragraph equals which. The point would
>   mostly be to find my place again when I start translating at the
>   beginning of the day, and to implement a more useful follow-mode.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. What's the difficulty that you are 
facing ?

> I
>   imagined this would happen when the mode was turned on: it would run
>   down the file and insert markers that would be used to find
>   correspondences. Special characters could be inserted into the file
>   to indicate that two paragraphs should be joined, or one paragraph
>   split.

What would be the use of such a marking ?

> 2. Link terms in the translation to a glossary pulled from the original.
>   This would be character names, places, special terms, etc. They might
>   not always be translated the same way, but I need to know how I've
>   handled them earlier in the document. Glossary terms would be
>   highlighted in the source text, and when you came to the equivalent
>   spot in the translation, you'd use a command like
>   insert-translation-term that would prompt for the translation,
>   offering completion on earlier translations, and then insert that
>   term into the translated text with a link to the original in the
>   glossary. There would also be two multi-occur commands: one that
>   prompted for a translation and showed all the places in the source
>   text where it came from, and another that did the opposite: prompted
>   for an original glossary term and showed all the places in the
>   translation where it was translated.

Very nice ideas.

Jean-Christophe Helary @brandelune

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