29 - Wordfast functions
«But, in my experience, it is only in rare cases that one is in a position to translate the lucidity or confusion of a dream, respectively, into a certainty or doubt in the dream-material»1.
In this unit we concretely examine the different Wordfast functions, starting with their icons and their respective functions.
In the unit 27 we have seen that by pressing the button (or the corresponding key combination Alt-down arrow) you end the translation of a text segment and open the translation of the following segment. But how Worfast decides how long a text segment should be? If you click on the Wordfast icon and then on Setup, and, then, on Segs (segments), you see a frame near End of Segments Punctuation (ESP). There are some punctuation marks in the frame. This means that the currently active setting provides for a segment to be considered finished when one of the listed punctuation marks appears.
The translator can add or remove punctuation marks from that frame. For example, you can add the marks for open and closed parenthesis, or commas, or other marks. We have already seen the advantages and disadvantages of having longer or shorted segment, therefore each translator can adjust the setting herself as she prefers, also in function of the text she has to deal with. For example, a translator handling mathematical formulas including parentheses certainly will not choose to add parenthesis to the list of ESP, otherwise the segments will often be interrupted even when it is not necessary.
If you close the Wordfast Setup menu, the listed punctuation marks remain active until the next setup. But if, while a work session is open - and therefore the Setup menu can't open - the segment Wordfast displays is not satisfactory, you can click onto the icon (or press the corresponding key combination Alt-Pagedown) to activate the Extend option, if you want to expand the segment to be translated, or you can click onto the icon (or press the corresponding key combination Alt-PageUp) to activate the Shrink option, if you want to reduce the segment to be translated.
Before starting a new working session, you can isolate the parts of the prototext that are not to be translated because they remain as they are in the metatext. To do so, you have to do the following:
Click on Word's Format menu and choose the Style option. Choose New. and, in the frame where you have to name the new style, choose whatever name you want so that you are led to think of a text not to be translated, for example "don't translate". Confirm OK.
Once the new "don't translate" style has been created, you must isolate the parts of the prototext that are not to be translated, and give them the new style. To do so, you need only select them and choose the new style. Now the Wordfast's Wordfast menu opens, you choose Setup and Ext, and you list among the "external" styles the name of the new style (in our example, "don't translate"). From this point on, the program will skip all the text portions marked in this way.
But if you want to leave the text unmarked and decide each time if the segment is to be reproduced as it is, you can use another function, that is called "Copy", that has the icon and whose matching key combination is Alt+Ins. Whenever you want to copy the prototext segment into the metatext segment, click on "Copy", then confirm with Alt-Down.
The main difference between this action and the marking the text not to be translated lies in the fact that in the latter case the text not to be translated doesn't enter the translation memory, while with the Copy command the two prototext and metatext segments, although identical, enter the translation memory and update it.
Another very useful Wordfast function is called "Context search" and has the icon. It also has a matching key combination, for users that prefer not to take their hand off the keyboard to use the mouse: Control-Alt-c.
You can open a frame from any place in the document to be translated, in either an open or closed session, by clicking onto this icon. In this frame you can insert a word or a word combination (words joined by a + sign). Once the command has been given, a new Word document opens, and it fills itself as it finds occurrences of the indicated word or words, reporting the context too. This function is useful for seeing if in given contexts that specific lexicon has been used elsewhere, or if it's used in a sentence construction of a given type.
If you wish, you can further specify the mode in which the context search must be done. Open the Wordfast menu and click Setup, the click P.B., acronym for Pandora's Box. In this frame, as far as context search is concerned, you can insert the following options:
By selecting a word before clicking on , the context search is made in the prototext (if the selected word is in the prototext) or the metatext (if the selected word is in the metatext) Adding one of these three options to Pandora's box, you have these outcomes:
ContextSearch=All Wordfast search contexts in all the segments, whenever the selected word is.
ContextSearch=Source Wordfast searchs context only in the segments of the Translation memory's prototext.
ContextSearch=Target Wordfast searches context only in the translation memory metatext segments.
A similar function is that launched by the Concordance search icon , or by the matching key combination Control-Alt-N. Before using this function, you must have text files (format with .txtextension) in which you want to search for concordances. Such files must be put into a folder that must be indicated in the Wordfast menu, Setup option, Files submenu, clicking on "Set concordance folder".
Concordance search is made both in the translation memory and in the documents in .txt format that are in the specified folder, therefore it is also a context search of texts added to that folder.
In the next unit we will go on with the overview of Wordfast functions.
FREUD SIGMUND, L'interpretazione dei sogni, in Opere, vol. 3, Torino, Boringhieri, a cura di C. L. Musatti, 1966.
FREUD SIGMUND, The Interpretation Of Dreams, translated by A. A. Brill, London, G. Allen & company, 1913.
CHAMPOLLION YVES Wordfast, available in the world wide web at the address www.wordfast.org, consulted 23 May 2004.
1 Freud 1900: 304.