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Dr. Tom's Independent Software Reviews

presents:

Short Reviews



Introduction:
Up to 1999, Alain and Jos Bailleul worked for Alpnet, one of the world's largest translation companies which is now part of SDL. They were techies at the Belgium Office and part of a larger R&D team. In 1998, Alpnet started restructuring the company and in March 1999 they decided to close several offices, including the Belgium branch. Alain and Jos were offered to move to Amsterdam and continue to work at the Dutch branch of the company. As the two brothers were already playing with the idea of developing their own CAT tool, they decided to stay in Belgium and setup their own company, which they called Cypresoft.

Features:
TRANS Suite 2000 1.4.2 includes: TRANS Suite 2000 Editor, TRANS Suite 2000 Align (now individually available free of charge) , TRANS Suite 2000 DSU (Dictionary Setup Utility), TRANS Suite 2000 Master Dictionary Editor, TRANS Suite 2000 Master Translation Memory Editor and TRANS Suite 2000 Management System (TSMS).

  • As in the case for STAR Transit, the TRANS Suite 2000 Editor is the only editor necessary to handle all supported file types. There is no need for an Add-On to your text processing software which also means more independence from the development of such 3rd party products. After learning the quite intuitive GUI, the single-editor concept provides convenience and speed due to the fact that only one environment has to be mastered. This is supported by an intensive use of keyboard shortcuts which once learned by heart allow much faster working than when using the mouse.



    Fig. 1: The Editor of the Trans Suite 2000 supports an impressive number of file types.
    Please click on the image for a slide show!

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    • The editor works with several file type filters which are all included in every license of the suite (Fig. 1): RTF (Rich Text Format), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint 97/2000; WordPerfect 6/7/8/2000; Microsoft Access Databases; a HTML and SGML Filter; special HTML filters for web pages created using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel 2000; support for TMX and OpenTag (http://www.opentag.org); 2 filters for Windows Resource files (RC): text only or 'tagged' format to see the context; ANSI; Help RTF (Windows Help RTF document) and Help CNT (Windows Help context files); Trados RTF (tagged RTF created by the TRADOS ITP Filter Pack containing filters for PageMaker, Ventura, QuarkXPress and other tagged formats; and a user defined Filter which allows users to make their own filters. Tagged formats are displayed using graphical tags to protect non-translatable terms (Fig. 2).



    Fig. 2: Translation of a Resource File (RC) using the Trans Suite 2000 Editor. The GUI consists of several customizable menu and symbol bars, the source and target windows, the dictionary window to the right showing the terms found for the selection and the "Fuzzy Window" at the bottom displaying the fuzzy matches and machine translations corresponding with the current segment. Please note the non-editable tagging of parts of the source code!

    Please click on the image for a closer look!

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    • Trans Suite 2000 includes 12 Spell-Checkers, 160 Dictionaries containing between 300 and 96000 words per Dictionary and supports basic formatting (bold, italic, underlined).
    • The editor features an extended fuzzy matching engine capable to find similar internal and external (in reference documents) sentences instantly and allows the translator to select among several different matches. Master and associated dictionaries and translation memories are instantly and automatically searched while you translate. Concordance Search scans your master and alternative translation memories for sentences containing the selected words.
    • Dictionary and Translation Memory have to be pre-setup of each project. This provides higher processing speed while you work as you only use what you need, where and when you need it! Another advantage of this architecture is the protection of your Master Translation Memories and Dictionaries from corruption. Another advantage of the pre-setup is that it allows translators to exchange projects easier and without having to give other translators their full TM's and dictionaries.
    • You can connected Trans Suite 2000 to any machine translation software like SYSTRAN by importing and exporting files in specialized RTF format.
    • Projects can be easily and comfortably exchanged by loading and unloading compressed satellites containing all necessary reference material.



Fig. 3: The now freely available alignment tool of the Trans Suite 2000.
Please click on the image for a closer look!

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  • TRANS Suite 2000 Align provides another easy and intuitive user-environment that can be modified by the translator. Source and target segmenting and block functions ensure an easy and successful working. As the editor, one interface serves all your documents. An easy translation memory export rounds up a nice and now even free product (Fig. 3).
  • The TRANS Suite 2000 Dictionary Setup Utility (DSU) ensures an easy import of a variety of source document formats. Once created, the professional terminology management system TRANS Suite 2000 Master Dictionary Editor can be used to add multiple target terms, attributes like gender, creator and subject, as well as pictures, sound and video (Fig. 4).



Fig. 4: The Master Dictionary Editor of the Trans Suite 2000
Please click on the image for a closer look!

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  • Analogous, the TRANS Suite 2000 Master Translation Memory Editor gives you full control on every sentence you ever translated. You can do global replaces, edit a translation unit, change attributes and any other kind of useful manipulations (Fig. 5).
  • Finally, the TRANS Suite 2000 Management System (TSMS) allows you to get statistical information from your projects, dictionaries and translation memories such as number of translation pairs and terms, word and matching counts and progress, creator, creation and change dates as well as the identification of modified segments. It automatically regenerates databases, project information, dictionary and translation memory information which might otherwise went lost due to computer failures. As it also compacts your databases it ensures faster access to your projects.



Fig. 5: The Master Dictionary Editor of the Trans Suite 2000
Please click on the image for a closer look!

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Editions & Prices:

  • TRANS Suite 2000 Stand Alone: The complete Trans Suite 2000, including Translation Editor, Processing tools, Dictionary and Translation Memory Editor, Align Tool, DSU (Dictionary Setup Utility), 12 Spell-Checkers and 160 Dictionaries. Free updates and upgrade to version 2.0. By now at 595 € instead of normally 899 €.
  • TRANS Suite 2000 Educational: A limited Trans Suite 2000, including Translation Editor, Processing tools, Dictionary and Translation Memory Editor, Align Tool, DSU (Dictionary Setup Utility) 12 Spell-Checkers and 160 Dictionaries. For students and educational institutions only! Prices on Request.
  • TRANS Suite 2000 Align: FREE dynamic aligning tool for building Translation Memories from previous translated documents regardless in which file format they are.

There are no - no language-pair limitations languages pairs you can install per license).
Free upgrade to version 2 for all licenses!

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Usage & Evaluation:

Trans Suite 2000 is a pretty straight forward tool. This starts from the scratch. You can quickly gain results due to a really great comfortable alignment which is supported by convenient shortcut keys and an easy TM creation. As you only have to learn how to handle Trans Suite's single editor for all file types, your productivity will not be tempered by technical details. A minor shortcoming of the editor is that it only displays the concordance values of matches when you rollover the sentences. The editor also handles tagged formats quite well. I received best results translating RC files. Unfortunately, not all tags are visually shown in HTML and xHTML files. Some tags were insufficiently protected which could result in accidental translation. XML is handled by the Trans Suite's SGML filter. The current version did not check for the DTD specified in XML files - filters have to be created manually which can be quite laborious. I was told that version 2 will have a DTD Builder which will allow you to change the way the filter handles XML files. It will import DTD files and can also build a DTD automatically when
XML/SGML files are fed to the builder.

Almost the only real disappointing feature of the current Suite is its directory and file selection windows in old 16-bit style lacking important folders like the Desktop and My Files. Navigation can get quite awkward and complicated. Other minor back draws are the lack of a printed documentation, which is acceptable due to the Suite's small price and is compensated by various electronic manuals, tutorials and documentation. Although the Suite creates nice reports on your projects - these can only be printed but not saved if you do not use a work-around by Ctr-A, Ctr-C and Ctr-V. Another more serious disadvantage of the current Suite is the fixed setup of projects: You can not change the defined master TM nor the master dictionary. You can only add other sources but not replace the initially selected ones. This is because TS2000 works with a pre-setup system. This has historical reasons (the same system was used by Alpnet where the creators of the Trans Suite worked for a long time). There are some advantages of such a pre-setup system: The engine extracts all needed terms from the master dictionary, and saves it to a smaller "temporary" dictionary. This makes it much easier to exchange projects with other translators (the full master dictionary does not have to be send to that translator). In addition, searching is much faster and your full master dictionary is protected from corruption. As the secondary exchange of the master-sources is a function which was often requested, it will be implemented in version 2.
The setup of projects is also limited in allowing you only to add sources of the same file type. Although very common, it is therefore not possible to handle e.g. rtf and html files
within the same project. Again, I was assured that this will be fixed in version 2.

The Trans Suite lacks a real project management module. In the present version 1, the suite only takes care of file storage, fixes corrupt projects and their dictionaries and TMs and keeps them safe. This is again a burden from the Alpnet past. In version 2, there might be a complete project management module, but it will not be mandatory to use such as the new WorkSpace in TRADOS. The Trans Suite focuses on freelance translators where usually no detailed project management is necessary.
There is only a basic tutorial on how to handle the three major components of the suite but none on how to process special file formats such as RC, SGML, MDB and (x)HTML. As these filters have been completely revised and rewritten for version 2, and now contain wizards to guide people through the filtering processes, CypreSoft plans to include a proper documentation for version 2.

On the positive side, i can not mention enough how amazing the many export and import filters for dictionaries and TM are. Authentification of the Software uses a PIN code system instead of a dongle. Although this is more user-friendly, it is not more flexible as it requires a new machine-based serial, whenever you need to reinstall the application. Support is fast friendly and live-long free. Even if translators have problems that are not directly related to CypreSoft's product, they are still trying to help.

The Trans Suite 2000 is a smart and complete translation solution at a very nice price. It is highly recommended especially for freelancers. The few, mostly minor shortcomings, will be cured by the new version 2 which should come available within the first quarter in 2003. All customers will receive a free upgrade.

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System Requirements:
Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/2000 and XP, Pentium (II or higher recommended), 32 Mb RAM (64 or higher recommended).

Company Information:
Cypresoft; Industrielaan 31, 8900 Ypres, Belgium;
Phone: +32 (57) 213 824; E-mail: sales@cypresoft.com; URL: http://www.cypresoft.com

Alternatives:

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Dr. Thomas Wassmer, fax: +49 (6204) 9868263, e-mail: tom at infotom.com