1. Madman
    Offline

    Madman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    72

    Writing Programs and Translators

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Madman, Oct 7, 2013.

    Hello there!

    I want to set up my workstation with some useful programs, mainly a thesaurus, lexicon, translator and some other necessary things.
    My workstation will be entirely offline so I wont be able to use online pages and sources.

    I would like to know what programs you might be using or that you can recommend?

    I know about these programs:
    Dictionary/Thesaurus
    -The Sage
    -WordWeb

    Translator

    -Lingoes (The interface was way too clumbsy on this one, so I decided not to use it)
    -Babylon (My anti-virus program reacted to a possible toolbar trojan as I tried to download it, so I will hold-off on this one)

    Writing Programs

    -Kingsoft
    -OpenOffice
    -FocusWriter

    I have everything I need except a good translator, it seems almost impossible to find a good offline one.
    Big plus if it's free, but at this point I'm also willing to pay a one time fee for a good translator.

    It should have most European languages but the most important ones will be:
    Swedish to English
    English to Irish
    English to Icelandic
    English to German
    English to Spanish
    English to French

    Any help would be very grateful!
     
  2. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    I don't know what's your definition of a good translator, but I guess if you need an offline one, they would have to be sitting next to you.
     
  3. Madman
    Offline

    Madman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    72
    I of course mean a translator program or "translation software".

    Having a living translator seated next to me would be very costly, I'd be have to feed them, nurture them and all that... unless... I grabbed one from the street and chained them in my basement... now there's an idea!
    Every time they translated a word for me, they would be rewarded with a piece of bread or half a cup of water.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    There's a reason translation services are costly. It takes a highly skilled translator to minimize the loss of meaning, or at least nuances, in the course of translation.

    The perfect translation almost never exists. You certainly will never get it through automated translation.
     
  5. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    *clears throat loudly so as to draw attention*

    I am a living translator. It's how I put food on the table. @Cogito is correct. Translation software is awaiting a paradigmatic change in how computers function before they will ever deliver a product remotely like that of a live person. Language is too complex and filled with idiosyncrasies, and in a translation you are dealing with the idiosyncrasies of not one, but two languages. And this is just at the level of syntax, never mind cultural dynamics that come into play. If I may ask, why do you need a translation to all of those languages?

    As for the word processors you mention, my application of choice, Scrivener, isn't on your list. I recommend it highly. ;)
     
  6. Gilborn
    Offline

    Gilborn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    http://code.google.com/p/google-translate-desktop/

    This a google desktop version of their translator, which gets me by. I actually have chats with non-English speaking friends using this and Pidgin.
     
  7. Madman
    Offline

    Madman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    72
    @Cogito & Wreybies
    I agree with you both.
    I'm not looking to translate whole texts, paragraphs or sentences. I'm rather looking at only translating single words as necessary.
    And the multitude of languages is for inspiration and brain-freezes.

    @Gilborn
    Thanks for your tip, but are you sure that's not an online tool? The size seems very small. Going to try it out.
     
  8. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I don't understand. Why on earth don't you just supply yourself with a good bilingual dictionary? You're only doing single words, after all. Otherwise if you have a iPad or any kind of tablet, just download a bilingual dictionary in every language you need, there're always free apps out there.
     
  9. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    This, entirely this. I translate things occasionally from Latin into English to give myself a challenge. In my experiance no translation is ever perfect, even if you are thinking from word to word, and have it still be entertaining to read. The connections a Roman would have associated with a word like 'deus' isn't exactly the same as things we would associate with the word 'god' to someone who speaks English. It's just not the same thing. A human translator, and a good one, will try to keep as much of the original meaning as possible but have enough of an interpretative edge too - a computer just will not have this capacity for subtly.
     
  10. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    By the way, although my fluency in other languages is somewhat limited, I have worked in the translation industry as a software developer, and have also made use of automated translation in a professional framework. I am very aware of its limitations, both practical and theoretical.
     
  11. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    For offline stuff, can't really help much. I use the dictionary of my
    university, MOT. It’s got thesaurus, and all kinds of dictionaries. Translation engines are incredibly crappy, so if I end up needing a language I don’t speak (and I can speak a few, luckily) or have virtually no knowledge of, I’ll just run it through a person who speaks that language, like some teacher or a friend.

    Then, of course, I use Word. OpenOffice is actually quite annoying at times, and I’m not sure if I should invest on Scrivener ‘cause it’s like… I’m not worthy of it before I’m a published author, lol.
     
  12. Gilborn
    Offline

    Gilborn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I'm also looking into scrivener. While I'm very open to using it, and really enjoyed my trial version, I just keep avoiding software I have to pay for. I use Ubuntu which is a Linux operating system, and on that I use Open Office.

    What about Open Office makes you unhappy? I've heard lots of issues about their Calc program which is similar to Excel, minus different formula codes, which is where the problem lies. However, when it comes to Writer, which I'm assuming is what you're referring too for writing, what issues do you run into? I enjoy having a software for free. I can use it on Linux and Windows for free, and save as Windows .doc files for easy sharing. However, I don't have to spend as much as $100 for Word.
     
  13. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    Kat and I aren't very computer savvy, so (if my memory serves me right as it was a while ago) we stumbled into some problems with getting proofreading to work. The issue isn't with the program but the users and we just couldn't be arsed to learn a new program 'cause we do have Word, but I still intend to familiarize myself with Open Office sooner or later since Microsoft.
     
  14. Gilborn
    Offline

    Gilborn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    If it was 3 plus year ago, I understand 100% not enjoying the Open Office experience. I'm a certified and trained computer technician, and that's why I was able to use it so easily when it first came out, and learn how to work around the program itself. However, in the past 2 and especially past 12 months they've made huge strides towards improving the software, due mostly to its growing popularity amongst college students as a free alternative to Word, but still has the same look and feel that they are use too. Plus, it can save as a .doc Word file, which means the professors are none the wiser.

    This goes for you and anyone here, if I can ever be of any assistance with free/open source software please let me know. I'm a strong supporter and advocate of free open source software and the free information movement associated with it.
     
    T.Trian likes this.
  15. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    Most of the time, transfers between Word and Open/Libre Office work, but it isn't hundred percent. I know that if I edit a .doc file created with my employer's template in LO, the layout will fall apart. And even with simpler ones, editing alternately in MSO and LO won't do much good, either. (Word opened my .odt file with half-written story once. Later, back in LO, it was still fine, but then I never managed to open it in Word again, it said it was broken; LO is still fine with it.) It's unreliable. I'm not saying whose fault it is, but transition from one program to another is always risky.
     
  16. Gilborn
    Offline

    Gilborn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've used Libre Office, but only the word processor and even that was on another persons terminal. You should consider switching to Open Office, I've had zero issues with formatting when on a Windows machine. Also many of the old issues were fixed by installing Microsoft's document viewer program which allowed you to view a word, etc... document, but just not be able to edit it. However, all of the formatting syntax code of Microsoft Office was still in the viewer program. You may try this trick to fix your LO issue.

    However, read this and consider Open Office,
    "OpenOffice.org was donated to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) on June 1, 2011. As with any code base brought to to the ASF, OpenOffice.org underwent incubation before graduating to a top-level project on 2012-10-17." http://openoffice.apache.org/index.html

    I've been able to get my partner's mother to use Open Office and she uses Mac because she needs an easy never fail OS. (To each their own, but bring back the old 2000 version iMac and I'll play Oregon Trail all day!)
     
  17. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    That's the problem, though. At home, I'm on Linux. At work, on Windows. And I want to be able to edit from both places.
     
  18. Gilborn
    Offline

    Gilborn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    If you use Open Office you can use Linux and Windows with no issues. I use Windows in most places, but I write on a Linux machine running Ubuntu 12.
     
  19. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    Yeah, that's what I figured (didn't want to install much additional software on my work machine, but I guess it'll be the best way). I've been using Google Docs until now, but it has its disadvantages too. Using OO/LO means learning to use it better, though - I'm pretty used to Word and its ways, so it'll be uncomfortable at first.
     
  20. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Oh I hate Google Docs. Can't imagine why anyone would use it! I worked at a company in the past where they forced everyone to use only Google Docs. It was a nightmare. That was 3 years ago, so maybe it's improved, but I'm never touching Google Docs again lol.
     
    Gilborn likes this.

Share This Page