26 November 2015

Word to FrameMaker?



Under the heading Word to FrameMaker? It's a no-brainer now.Stefan Gentz* has posted some interesting comments on Adobe FrameMaker 2015 that will be of interest to technical writers and their translators working on major technical writing projects.
(This means, incidentally, that this topic is peripheral to my interest in technical journalism and translators thereof.)

First, a quote that neatly encapsulated some of Microsoft Word's enduring weaknesses (my bold):
One big topic that came up again and again was the handling of big and bigger documentations. Word has no book functionality and the master document concept is, well, a concept only. This is why most Word authors prefer to keep all content in one document – resulting in all the problems that come with this: Terrible performance, one big content silo, no re-use of chapters / topics, problems in the translation process, difficult handling, tons of self-written macros to fix tons of problems. Other pain points for many MS Word tech writers are unreliable styles and unpredictable formatting behavior. Styles change "magically" in the whole document. Paragraphs live their "own live" and get or keep unwanted overrides. Lists get corrupted, count wrong, get messed up easily.
Gentz goes on to describe if not hype some of FrameMaker's benefits, including:
FrameMaker, on the other hand, comes with a clever book concept that allows you to break down your documentation in smaller, easy to re-use chapters, topics or simple content chunks. Templates, styles, numberings and tables are stable and behave exactly as you have defined them. You can create stable cross-references between chapters, add automated lists like table of contents, index entries, figures, tables etc., can use regular expressions for complex find and replace and output the whole book to smart PDFs with bookmarks and active links and even embed U3D graphics and videos. You can publish to modern and great looking Responsive HTML5 online Help (of course also Retina enabled) with easy to customize layout and it's easy as 1-2-3. You can even publish to native iOS and Android Apps, Amazon kindle and ePub and with the latest release to the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.
On translation issues, he writes:
And translation? It's a no-brainer, too. All professional CAT tools / Translation Management Systems like Across, SDL Trados Studio, Kilgray memoQ, STAR Transit, Wordfast, memsource and XTM provide robust and mature filters for FrameMaker documents. And Language Service Provider around the world love FrameMaker not only because of the excellent CAT tool support but also because post-translation DTP is much faster and more easy than for Word Documents. If you ever had to deal with big, messy Word Documents in a translation process you know what I'm talking about. And of course, FrameMaker 2015 comes with full support for all western languages, CJKV, Right-to-Left languages like Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew (including a one-click layout-flip!), support for Thai and many other languages.
On converting Word documents:
... FrameMaker 2015 comes with a totally revamped Microsoft Word import filter that makes the transition easier than ever before: Just create a template in the look and feel you want, and then just import the Word document. A new dialog helps you to map word styles to FrameMaker styles individually, keep or throw away manual formatting overrides.
Finally:
Adobe has created a small 2-minute video that shows this process in detail: here.
* GALA Ambassador, tekom Conference Board member, Consultant, trainer & speaker with focus on TechComm & Globalization.

16 November 2015

New Translation of Quran

On 15 November Jamaal Abdul-Alim signed a piece in Diverse Issues in Higher Education entitled Islamic Scholars Produce New Translation of Quran.

Some excerpts (my bold):
In an effort to bring about a richer understanding of the Quran, a group of mostly American-born and university-based Islamic scholars have produced a new translation of the Islamic sacred text.
They say a key aim of the new translation and commentary—titled “The Study Quran” and published by HarperOne—is to show how the Quran’s verses have been understood historically in order to better understand their meaning and applicability today.
A byproduct of that work is that it could lead to a better understanding of some of the more controversial topics in Islam, such as when use of force is permitted, one scholar involved in the project said.
...
The new 2,000-page translation and commentary, which will be formally released later this month, is the culmination of a decade’s worth of research that began after editors at HarperOne approached Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, longtime University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University. ... 
Nasr said he initially declined to take on the project but eventually agreed to do so out of religious conviction and on the condition that it be produced entirely by practicing Muslims. The Iran-born Nasr also said he wanted all of the scholars to be America-born and at least one to be a woman.
I note that the editors have chosen to write the name of the sacred book in English transliteration at 'Quran', not any of the other possible variants.

I note also that the first paragraph contains the expression "Islamic sacred text". While the expression does not lend itself to ready analysis according to OSASCOMP, some of the comments on Adjective order in English would suggest that "sacred Islamic text" might be more idiomatic. Feedback welcome.

13 November 2015

Corporate storytelling

Aside from the fact that too many corporations tell too many stories of the tall variety, corporate and business storytelling have been in the news of late.

So much so that 'business narrative' was recently added to the FT Lexicon. The definition and discussion read as follows:
Storytelling.
The use of narrative in business helps us to understand how and why businesses succeed or fail. Storytelling by sharing of actions, views and opinions shapes a business' culture and can be both a power for good, and a power for division and subversion. Bad narrative may exist in the form of divisive gossip around the water cooler, or finger pointing about mistakes and punishments. These subvert our shared responsibility to build trust, inspire others and create a healthy workplace community. A positive narrative can help build success by celebrating and encouraging the right behaviours.
Narrative in this sense has a profound impact on the attitude, behaviour and outlook of each member of a business community and ultimately affects its cohesion and success. It is the responsibility of business leaders to set the right tone from the top. To ensure that storytelling avoids the egotistical narrative that breeds division and poor performance, instead celebrating the shared values and behaviours that engage customers, colleagues and communities in the sustainable success of the business.
Here are two interesting little exercises for budding French-to-English translators:
(a) propose an equivalent for 'business narrative'
(b) translate the definition and discussion above into French.
Linguee won't be of much assistance given that, for the moment at least, it offers nothing useful for any combination of 'corporate', 'business' or 'company' + 'storytelling' or 'narrative'.

Feel free to post here if you have any comments or suggestions.

04 November 2015

M&M publie article sur #NavTechGloss


La 10ème édition du Glossaire français-anglais de la défense navale est récemment paru. Cet outil, unique en son genre, est écrit par Steve Dyson, traducteur et rédacteur technique freelance auprès des entreprises françaises du secteur de la défense navale pendant plus de 15 ans.

Les professionnels français du domaine naval militaire le savent : les traductions du Français vers l'Anglais de textes techniques sont, parfois, loin d'être évidentes. D'où l'idée de Steve Dyson de développer cet outil spécifique. « Cet ouvrage s'adresse aux traducteurs avertis et aux spécialistes de la défense navale. Il est le fruit de la traduction/adaptation de français en anglais de milliers de pages de journalisme technique concernant la défense navale et des sujets connexes », explique l'auteur.

On notera qu'il s'agit du seul glossaire français-anglais de la défense navale en format eBook, donc interrogeable et indexable par moteur de recherche.

A French-English Glossary of Naval Technology
Format: eBook ePub. Prix: €7,90.
- Vous pouvez l'acheter à la boutique Lulu

Glossary. Too little research.

Following this exchange on the Facebook  FR<>EN Translators   forum Catharine Cellier-Smart shared a link to the group: FR<>EN...