Open-Source-Schnitzeljagd für München Schwabing

July 20th, 2012


im Rahmen einer privaten Feier haben wir eine Schnitzeljagd in München Schwabing organisiert. Start- und Endpunkt waren der Kaiserplatz. Für den Fall, dass jemand etwas Ähnliches arrangieren will, veröffentliche ich hiermit die Materialien als Open-Source unter der Lizenz “Creative Commons CC BY-SA” (siehe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons#Types_of_Creative_Commons_licenses).

In der Zip-Datei sind enthalten:

- Spielfeld (Stadtplan)

- Fragen auf Deutsch und Englisch in OpenOffice-Format (odt)

- Bildstrecke (modelliert nach dem SZ-Sommerrätsel, siehe www.sz.de)

- Translation Memories der Übersetzung in TMX-Format (erstellt mit OmegaT)

- Antworten zu den Fragen

Alle persönlichen Daten wurden aus Gründen des Datenschutzes entfernt. Bei der Erstellung des Rätsel war vor allem folgendes Buch sehr hilfreich:

Bauer, Reinhard und Knuth Weidlich, Schwabing, Unverhau Verlag, 2. Aufl. 1997

Das Material kannst du hier herunterladen: Open-Source-Schnitzeljagd für München Schwabing

Feedback und Fragen bitte an martin DOT wunderlich REMOVETHISWORD ÄT gmx DOT net.

(die Kommentarfunktion des Blogs habe ich aufgrund der Spam-Flut deaktiviert)

Viel Spaß!


Countries I’ve visited – nice visualisation based on Google maps

May 13th, 2012

visited 42 states (18.6%)
Create your own visited map of The World or website vertaling duits?


Having fun with Google translate

May 19th, 2011

By now it probably has become common knowledge that you can use google translate to entertain yourself with some beatbox sounds. The google translate blog points to a few other very creative uses of the tool, such as ordering food in Hindi, singing a Taiwanese song, understand what your pet has been trying to tell you.




I’ve been reminded of my old linklist of open-source tools for translators

May 3rd, 2011

The website heise.de, run by a German publishing house, is one of the most important sources of information for all things IT in Germany. They are also the makers behind the magazine “C’T” – a near must-read for German IT professionals. I am mentioning this here, because I have recently noticed that they have published a good article on open-source software for translators:

One of the links on the second page of the article points to my old link collection of open-source software, tools, and utilities for translators (also in German: DE). There is a reason why the site with the link collection isn’t active anymore and has been replaced by this blog: I haven’t had the time to properly maintain the list for the past few years. A lot has happened since it was last updated. However, quite a few of the links are still valid and the reader might discover something valuable. So, have a look around.

(And whenever I find the time, I will convert the stuff to a Wiki so that the maintenance work doesn’t rest on my shoulders alone :)   )



iPhone and IMAP – a little trick

May 1st, 2011

Minor annoyances, when consciously observed and acted on, can lead to great positive change.

Checking various email addresses in a number of environments (iPhone, private Macbook, work Macbook, webmail), I found myself annoyed by the following: emails that I had read on one device would still be marked as unread on other devices. I had heard of the IMAP standard (as opposed to POP/SMTP), whereby the clients are kept in synch with the server instead of downloading emails. Re-configuring the email providers and email clients was quick enough.

However, I ran into a problem with the iPhone: For some reason, when entering the account details, the iPhone will auto-select the account to be a POP account. Now here is the trick: This auto-selection only works, if you enter the _correct_ account details. So, in order to self-select IMAP over POP, I misspelled the password and – tada – the iPhone presented me with the full config details of the account and I was able to select IMAP.
Just in case, anyone else runs into the same problem…




Apple has bought SDL last Friday

April 4th, 2011

As per this here blog post:

In a similar move, Welocalize has also bought SDL, in addition to buying Moravia:

What a coincidence…. :)


So, your manager / your colleagues / your partners want you to use Google Translate to save time and money?

March 28th, 2011

There are probably quite a few translation and localization managers out there, who often have to fend off that “idea” to use machine translation. Colleagues or managers look at the likes of Google Translate and they look at the time and money spent on creating human-made translations – and suddenly machine translation seems like a fantastic option.

Translation guy has a few insights on this in his recent blog post.  As usual, the post is well written, insightful and does not shy away from critique. There are many other examples of machine translation gone wrong, such as the infamous “translate server error“.

In essence, there are four use cases at present where machine translation does add value:

- so-called “gisting”, i.e. if you want to quickly and roughly understand what a text in a certain language says;

- translation of highly controlled and structured source content (e.g. weather reports or virus warnings); cf. “controlled language“.

- pseudo-localization, i.e. testing a piece of software with regards to internationlisation or localisability.

- translation of content that wouldn’t otherwise get translated: this is a grey one, though. It certainly doesn’t apply to highly visible or printed content. You might want to use MT on support cases or forum posts, but they should be clearly labeled as having been translated using MT.

If someone thinks that you should use MT for anything else, simply provide them with a few examples, back-translations etc. This will quickly change their minds. Or refer them to the comment to this post which is a back-translation from this post translated into German and then English again using google translate.



Alain de Botton on Pessimism

March 24th, 2011

Alain de Botton is a Swiss-born philosopher and writer, residing in the UK, who has the great gift of putting new or forgotten thoughts into simple words – words that are as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Nowadays, where we have many professors of philosophy and few philosophers, de Botton has stepped up to the task of analysing, commenting on and evaluating daily life, be it by writing in an airport or by re-reading Proust. His writing often takes the form of a mock-self-help book, but avoiding the usual banalities and superficialities of that genre and instead presenting a critical view on Western life-styles and on their inherent lack of life and style.

This here is a great speech on why pessimism (or at least stoicism) is an appropriate attitude and will prevent unhappiness:

A fantastic speech to listen to when things don’t go as you believe they should, be it in love life or at work.



The disappearance of LISA

March 22nd, 2011

(in response to this here blog post on Content Rules)

Industry associations provide more than networking opportunities and conferences. LISA had it in their name that they were primarly a standards setting organisation and we definitely do need standards bodies. LISA’s demise might have something to do with the organisation not focusing on this core activity that much anymore in recent years. They did provide us with TMX, but TMX exists in many different levels and versions and hasn’t fully delivered on the promise of lossless TM exchange. How about GMX with its various flavours? How many tools are actually using it? How about TBX (which is way to complicated for daily use)?
LISA could have concentrated much more on making the existing standards rock-solid. In this regard, LISA should have been looking to the Unicode consortium as a model, for instance.

LISA have also missed the way into the cloud. We have a number of web-based TM technologies competing today (TDA, Wordfast, Globalsight etc.), but no standards for the web services APIs that are used to access these systems and applications. In a similar manner, we will probably soon see web-based terminology databases (and Wiktionary might provide the foundation for these). Again, this is an area where LISA as an independent organisation could have been leading the way by defining API standards and working with tools developers to implement them.

It is a pity to see LISA disappear and I do hope that another organisation will continue to maintain and develop the exchange standards. Because we need them badly, especially in an interconnected localization world that is more and more moving into the cloud.




Comment on the Mashable blog post “10 Ways to Turn Your Local Business Into a Global Success”

March 3rd, 2011

I have just read a blog post on Mashable with the intriguing title “10 Ways to Turn Your Local Business Into a Global Success“. The author mentions several good points, some of which are not immediately obvious. For instance, allowing for Bidi languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, in your web layout or respecting local preferences for payment systems.

However, the first item on the list I have to disagree with. The author advises to quickly translate a business’s website on the cheap, using services like myGengo or machine translation. With more than 10 years localization experience under by belt and the last three years dedicated to web localization, I can tell for sure that this is a recipe for disaster. Marketing-oriented web copy does not lend itself easily to MT. MT is usable for translating highly controlled source text or for the purpose of gisting, but not much more. Besides, there is a lot more involved than just translating the text when localizing web content. There are editing and review steps, web production, and other technical work.

Web localization is a complex craft that should not be diminished by suggesting that it could be achieved quickly and cheaply in the manners described by the author, while achieving results that provide professional quality. Maybe the blog post really is about only “9 Ways to turn your local business into a global success” and “One sure-fire way to turn your local business into a global failure.” IMHO.