We’re all very happy to see that migration to WPML 2.0 went OK (in 99% of the cases) and we’re continuing to WPML 2.1. The major new feature for this release will be seamless integration with CAT tools.
People who are not familiar with CAT tools deserve a short intro. You can skip it.
We’re not talking about the cats that chase mice, but about Computer Assisted Translation tools. These are programs that help translate better. Better means:
- More accurately
- More consistently
- Free from technical errors
- More efficiently
CAT tools include translation memories, taxonomy management and neat editors. They let translators concentrate on translating, without having to deal with technical issues.
For example, when translating HTML, translators will not have to deal with markup. They would translate just the texts and the tool will build the valid HTML.
When translators see sentences that they already translated, the tool will remind them what the previous translation was and offer to apply it quickly. It will also remind the translator how important terminology is translated.
Most professional translators have their own CAT tools (e.g., which they purchased) and they use them to in order to be more efficient and earn their living easier.
As we all know, WordPress holds pages that contain HTML. WPML helps translate those pages by typing in translations to new pages.
To work efficiently, translators need to use CAT tools. These tools will speed up the work and make it better. Translations done using CAT tools will be more accurate than those done by manually typing in text.
Today, in order to use CAT tools, translators need to go to HTML mode, copy the text and paste to their CAT program. They need to manually handle other fields such as title, categories, SEO fields and tags. For larger sites, it proves to be a lot of work.
WPML 2.1 will include an interface to CAT tools via XLIFF files. XLIFF is a universal format for translation. An XLIFF file includes all fields for translation, the text and existing translations.
When translators get XLIFF files, they open them in their CAT tools, work in their favorite environment and save.
Then, they will upload the XLIFF file to WordPress and be done with it. No manual copy/paste, no room for technical error and everything taken care of. Translators only translate and waste no time on anything else.
Which CAT Tools Are You Using?
Seems like we’re back where we started. Now that we know why CAT tools are such a great thing, help us by telling which CAT tools you, or your translators are using.
If you’re using a translation service, send them an email and ask them to comment here. The more people answer, the better we know which tools to support.
Leave your comment with the type of CAT tool and the version you’re using.