About Term Extraction, Guesswork and Backronyms – Impressions from JIAMCATT 2018 in Geneva

JIAMCATT is the International Annual Meeting on Computer-Assisted Translation and Terminology, a IAMLAP taskforce where most international organizations, various national institutions and academic bodies exchange information and experience in the field of terminology and translation. For this year’s JIAMCATT edition in Geneva, I had the honour of running a workshop on Tools for Interpreters – and idea I found absolutely intriguing, as the audience would not necessarily be interpreters, but translators, terminologist and heads of language, conference and/or documentation services. So I chose a hands-on workshop setting called „an hour in the shoes of a conference interpreter“. Participants had to prepare a meeting using different tools and would then listen to a 10 minute sequence of this meeting and see how well they felt prepared.

The meeting to be prepared was a EP Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides on April 12, 2018. Participants could work in two possible scenarios:

Scenario 0: Interpreters haven’t received any documents and hardly any info about the conference. They have to guess and prioritise more than those working under Scenario 1.

Scenario 1: Interpreters have received all the documents one hour in advance (quite realistic a scenario, as Marcin Feder from the EP pointed out).

The participants were free to choose to work either alone or in a team. They were encouraged to test/evaluate one of the tools presented:

InterpretBank, a Computer-Aided Interpreting tool that covers many elements of an interpreters‘ workflow, like glossary creation, multi-dictionary search, term extraction, document annotation, quick search in the booth and flashcard learning.

InterpretersHelp, a cloud-based Computer-Aided Interpreting tool that allows online shared glossary creation, glossary sharing with the community, manual term extraction and flashcard learning, as well as document and job management.

OneClickTerm, a browser-based term extraction tool

GT4T, a plugin for looking up words in several online dictionaries or machine translation sites

Sb.qtrans.de, a toolbar for consulting several online dictionaries and encyclopaedias

At the end of the exercise, the participants watched the EP Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides on April 12, 2018 of the committee meeting. What followed was a lively and inspiring discussion, where each group described their workflows and how efficient they thought it was.

Those who had the relevant documents and ran them through the OneClick term extraction found that most critical terms that came up in the speech were in the extracted list. Others found the relevant documents by way of internet research and did the same.

Quickly installing programs or creating test accounts didn’t work out as easily for everyone, so some participants reverted to creating glossaries – common practice in the „real world“ – and felt well prepared with that. Ten terms of their glossary were mentioned in the 10 minute video sequence. Others spent so much time familiarising themselves with the new tools that they didn’t feel well prepared but were very happy with what they had seen of InterpreterHelp and OneClickTerm.

When it comes to preparing for an EU meeting – at least when working from and into EU languages – there is an abundance of information available on the internet. It became clear once more that EU interpreters, in terms of meeting preparation, live in paradise. The EP legislative observatory, IATE and Eurlex were the main sources of information mentioned. I was happy to learn from Mariangeles Torrent (SCIC) that Prelex has not disappeared, but simply has turned into a tab within Eurlex named „legislative procedures„.

A short discussion about the pros and cons of Eurlex led to the conclusion that for interpreters it would be wonderful to have more than three languages displayed in parallel, and possibly a term extraction feature or technical terms highlighted in the text. Josh Goldsmith had the news that by adding a hyphen plus the language code in the url of the multilingual display, a fourth, fifth etc. language can indeed be added, although the page layout is far from perfect then. For the moment I have decided to stick to the method I have been using for over ten years, which consists of copying and pasting the columns into an Excel spreadsheet.

I was very glad to hear one participant mention the word „thinking“ in the context of conference preparation. He looked at the agenda and the first thing he did was think about what the meeting might be about. He then did some background research in Wikipedia and other sources and looked up product names, which actually were mentioned in the speech. He also checked who were the members of the committee, who didn’t appear in this part of the meeting, but would otherwise have been useful.

While terms and glossaries were clearly the topics most intensely discussed, it became clear that semantic and context knowledge is crucial for interpreters to get a grasp of the situation they are working in. For as much as I appreciate a list of extracted terms from a meeting document as a last minute preparation, there is no such thing as understanding the content people are referring to. Hence my enthusiasm about the fact that the different semiotic levels (terms, content, context) did come up in the discussion. And indeed the notes I took while listening to the speech reflect the same thing: sometimes my doubts or reflections were simply about terms (how do you say co-formulant or low risk active substances in German), some about the situation (Can beer and talc be on the list of basic substances? Is the non-native speaker sure that this is the right word?) and some about meaning (What exactly is a candidate for substitution?).

It was also very interesting to see how different ways of preparing a meeting turned out to be useful in the meeting. Obviously, there is not just one way to success in meeting preparation.

Among the software features participants would like to see to support the information and knowledge work in conference interpreting, there seemed to be a wide consensus that term extraction and markup of glossary terms in meeting documents – like InterpretBank and Intragloss offer – are extremely useful. Text summarisation was also mentioned. Several participants found InterpretBank’s speech to text integration (based on Dragon) very interesting, but unfortunately, due to practical restraints we couldn’t test this.

When it comes to search functions, it is crucial that intuitive searching is possible in the relevant (!) documents and sources. Relevance seems to be an important factor in conference preparation. What with the abundance of information available nowadays, finding out what is really useful is key. However, many of the big international organisations like EU, UN and WTO do have very useful document management systems in place which help to find one’s way around.

From a freelancer’s perspective, I think that organizations should rather go for browser-based, i.e. device-independent systems to support their interpreters. This lowers the entry barrier of having to install something on each computer, apart from facilitating mobile access and online collaboration. Although I must say that I do also fancy the idea of a small plugin that works in any software, like my most recent discovery, GT4T. At least as freelancers, we change settings so often (back and forth from personal computers to mobile devices, Excel sheets, shared Google docs, paper, institutional information management systems etc.) that a self-contained environment for conference interpreters is maybe too clumsy and unrealistic. After all, hotkeys seem to be back in fashion: I also heard from the WTO colleagues that they have developed a tool quite along the same lines, creating special hotkeys for translators.

And finally, my favourite newly learnt word: Backcronym

Backronyms are acronyms that used to be normal words and were re-interpreted later. While translators have a chance to think twice or recognise the word as a backronym because it is written in capitals, interpreters may struggle much more with this. It may take us a moment or two to figure out that the sentence „we need to do what PIGS do“ refers to a „Professional Interpreters‘ Gymnastics Society“ rather than an animal.

Further reading:

Workhop Presentation (pdf) JIAMCATT 2018 Tools for Interpreters

Teresa Ortego Antón (2015): Terminology management tools for conference interpreters: an overview. In: Eleftheria Dogoriti  Theodoros Vyzas (editors): International Journal of Language, Translation and Intercultural Communication, Vol 5 (2016), Editors: Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Greece. 107-115.

Hernani Costa, Gloria Corpas Pastor, Isabel Durán Muñoz (LEXYTRAD, University of Malaga, Spain): A comparative User Evaluation of Terminology Management Tools for Interpreters. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Computational Terminology, 23 August 2014, Dublin, Ireland. 68-76
Anja Rütten (2017): Terminology Management Tools for Conference Interpreters –
Current Tools and How They Address the Specific Needs of
Interpreters. In: Translating and the Computer 39, Proceedings, 16-17 November 2017, AsLing, The International Association for Advancement in Language Technology, London, England. 98 ff

 

 

New Term Extraction Features in InterpretBank and InterpretersHelp – Thumbs up!

Extracting terminology from preparatory texts into a term database seems to be the hot topic of the moment, judging by what the two most active and innovative CAI (computer-assisted interpreting) tools, InterpretBank and InterpretersHelp, are working on at the moment.  So while I am still waiting to become a Windows beta tester of Intragloss, the pioneer in this field, I am eager to have a go at both InterpretBank5’s (beta) and InterpretBank’s (experimental) new extraction features.

InterpretBank by Claudio Fantinuoli has been adding quite some time-saving features for conference preparation lately. Apart from searching online ressources on the go while building your glossary, it now promises to extract terminology from your glossaries, view original and translation in parallel and link documents to glossaries. This does indeed sound like Intragloss combined with the sophisticated booth-friendly terminology management system that InterpretBank has been for many years. So off we go!

As you can see in the picture, a new „documents“ icon has been added to the familiar three others (editing, conference mode, flashcards). When I press the magic button, the documents pane appears in the bottom left corner and lets me add documents like pdf or pptx in my two languages and display them next to each other. Unfortunately, there is no synchronised scrolling and no search function to look up word in the documents, but these functions are to be implemented soon. The selected documents are now linked to the glossary, so whenever this particular glossary is opened, they will appear in the documents pane. Highlighting words in the two texts and inserting them into the glossary or looking up translations in my favourite online resources (like IATE, Linguee, Pons, LEO and others more) works so swiftly, when I first tried it the terms were in my glossary before I had even noticed.

For English texts, context examples can be looked up using the right mouse button or using the icon in the list of extracted terms.  And what’s great for sharing with colleagues and for using in the booth: The text can be opened in a separate window and annotated with records from the glossary:

Automatic extraction of terminology or key concepts so far only works for English, but will be implemented for other languages, too (German, Spanish, French and Italian are planned to be released in April). Quality of extraction, as always, depends on many factors, like the amount of text and the subject area, but it is good to get a first impression of the subject matter at hand.

InterpretBank as a locally installed application raises no confidentiality issues with your client’s documents being opened and processed, as everything InterpretBank does happens on your computer (unless you use the „send document to any device“ option).

If you are more of a team glossary and online networking person, InterpretersHelp by Yann Plancqueel and Benoît Werner is the other option to manage glossaries and manually extract terminology from texts. It is quite straightforward: Adding documents works via Copy & Paste, you just paste the text into a field for the respective language so you have the two language versions displayed next to each other (but with no synchronised scrolling either). When I tried it, inserting 20 pages from a pdf worked fine. Words can be looked up in the texts using the browser search function.

The highlighting and inserting also works very swiftly and you can look up terms in Google Translate and the Oxford Dictionaries. Once you have extracted all the vocab you need, you press a button to add all the new entries to your glossary. When changing back from the glossary view to the extractor, the texts have disappeared.

InterpretersHelp as a cloud-based tool addresses the data protection issue by encrypting the data that transit to and from the website (https://interpretershelp.com/help/secure_hosting).

Of course there are zillions of other functions interpreters need for CAI tools to support their workflow perfectly. But I think that both InterpretBank and InterpretersHelp have added one super useful feature to make our lives easier. Thanks a lot!

About the author:
Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C) and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.

Further reading:

Summary Table of Terminology Tools for Interpreters. <www.termtools.dolmetscher-wissen-alles.de>

Josh Goldsmith: The Interpreter’s Toolkit: Interpreters’ Help – a one-stop shop in the making?. In: aiic.net February 12, 2018. <http://aiic.net/p/8499>.

Anja Rütten: InterpretBank 4 Review. 31 July 2017. <http://blog.sprachmanagement.net/interpretbank-4-review/>.

Alexander Drechsel: App profile: Interpreters‘ Help. 2 Oct 2015. <https://www.adrechsel.de/dolmetschblog/interpretershelp>.

Anja Rütten: Booth-friendly terminology management revisited – two newcomers. 29 April 2014. <http://blog.sprachmanagement.net/booth-friendly-terminology-management-revisited-2-newcomers/>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paperless Preparation at International Organisations – an Interview with Maha El-Metwally

Maha El-Metwally has recently written a master’s thesis at the University of Geneva on preparation for conferences of international organisations using tablets. She is a freelance conference interpreter for Arabic A, English B, French and Dutch C domiciled in Birmingham.

How come you know so much about the current preparation practice of conference interpreters at so many international institutions?

The answer is quite simple really: I freelance for all of them! I am also pro paperless environments for obvious environmental and practical reasons. So even if some organisations offer a paper alternative (ILO, IMO, UNHQ, WFP) I go for the electronic version. Paperless portals of international organisations may differ in layout and how the information is organised but they essentially aim to achieve the same thing. Some organisations operate a dual document distribution system (paper and digital) with the aim of phasing out the former over time.

The European Parliament is already on its second paperless meeting and document portal. It used to be called Pericles and now it is called MINA, the Meeting Information and Notes Application. This required a bit of practice to become familiar with the new features.

I recently heard someone working in one of these paperless environments complain about the paperless approach, saying that they often struggle to find their way through a 400 pages document quickly. My first reaction was to say that hitting CTRL-F or CTRL-G is an efficient way to get to a certain part of a text quickly. But maybe there is more to it than just shortcuts. What is the reason, in your experience, that makes it difficult for colleagues to find their way around on a tablet or laptop computer?

I think that tablets represent a change and people in general resist change. It could be that we are creatures of habit. We are used to a certain way of doing things and some of us may be having a difficulty coping with all the changes coming our way in terms of technology developments. It could also be that some interpreters do not see the point of technology so they are not motivated to change something that works for them.

How is the acceptance of going paperless in general in the institutions you work for?

This depends on individual preferences. Many colleagues still prefer paper documents but I also see more and more tablets appearing in the booths. Some organisations try to accommodate both preferences. The ILO operates a dual distribution system as a step towards going completely paperless. Meeting documents are available on the organisation’s portal but are also printed and distributed to the booths. The same goes for the IMO where the interpreters are given the choice of paper or electronic versions of the documents or both.

Right, that’s what they do at SCIC, too. I take it that you wrote your master’s thesis about paperless preparation, is that right? Was the motivational aspect part of it? Or, speaking about motivation: What was your motivation at all to choose this subject?

Yes, this is correct. I am very much of a technophile and anything technological interests me. I was inspired by a paperless preparation workshop I attended at the European Parliament. It made sense to me as a lot of the time, I have to prepare on the go. It happens that I start the week with one meeting then end the week with another. Carrying wads of paper around is not practical. Having all meeting documents electronically in one place is handy. It happens a lot that I receive meeting documents last minute. There is no time to print them. So I learned to read and annotate the documents on apps on my tablet.

So while you personally basically did „learning by doing“, your researcher self tried to shed some more scientific light on the subject. Is that right? Would you like to describe a bit more in detail what your thesis was about and what you found was the most interesting outcome?

My thesis looked at training conference interpreting students to prepare for conferences of international organisations with the use of tablets. I noticed from my own experience and from anecdotes of older colleagues that meetings were getting more and more compressed. As a result, especially in peak seasons, interpreters may start the week with one conference and end it with another. Preparation on the go became a necessity. In addition, there are several international organisations that are moving towards paperless environments. Therefore, I think it is important for students to be introduced to paperless preparation at an early stage in their training for it to become a second nature to them by the time they graduate. And what a better tool to do that than the tablet? I created a course to introduce students to exactly that.

So when you looked at the question, was your conclusion that tablets are better suited than laptop computers? Currently, it seems to me that on the private market almost everyone uses laptops and at the EU, most people use tablets. I personally prefer a tablet for consecutive, but a laptop in the booth, as I can look at my term database, the internet and room documents at the same time more conveniently. I also blind-type much faster on a „real“ keyboard. I hope that the two devices will sooner or later merge into one (i.e. tablets with decent hard drives, processors and operating systems).

Now, from your experience, which of the two option would you recommend to whom? Or would you say it should always be tablets?

I prefer the tablet when travelling as:
– it is quieter in the booth (no tapping or fan noise),
– using an app like side by side, I can split the screen to display up to 4 apps/files/websites at the same time so the laptop has no advantage over the tablet here,
– it is lighter.

You have created a course for students. What is it you think students need to be taught? Don’t they come to the university well-prepared when it comes to handling computers or tablets?

The current generation of students is tech savvy so they are more likely to embrace tablets and go fully digital. The course I put together for teaching preparation with tablets relies on the fact that students already know how to use tablets. The course introduces the students to paperless environments of a number of international organisations, it looks at apps for the annotation of different types of documents, glossary management, more efficient google search among other things.

I also like to use the touchscreen of my laptop for typing when I want to avoid noise. But compared to blind-typing on a „normal“ keyboard, I find typing on a touchscreen a real pain. My impression is that when I cannot feel the keys under my fingers, I will never be able to learn how to type, especially blind-type, REALLY quickly and intuitively … Do you know of any way (an app, a technique) of improving typing skills on touchscreens?

I’m afraid I don’t really have an answer to that question. I am moving more and more towards dictating my messages instead of typing them and I am often flabbergasted at how good the output is, even in Arabic!

Talking about Arabic, is there any difference when working with different programs in Arabic?

Most of the time, I can easily use Arabic in different apps. The biggest exception is Microsoft Office on Mac. Arabic goes berserk there! I have to resort to Pages or TextEdit then. Having said that, a colleague just mentioned yesterday that this issue has been dealt with. But I have to explore it.

As to glossary management, not all terminology management tools for interpreters run on tablets. Which one(s) do you recommend to your students or to colleagues?

I use and recommend Interplex. It has a very good iPad version. The feature I like most about it is that you can search across your glossaries. I can do that while working and it can be a life saver sometimes!

If I wanted to participate in your seminar, where could I do that? Do you also do webinars?

I offer a number of seminars on technology for interpreters to conference interpreting students at some UK universities. I will keep you posted. I also have an upcoming eCPD webinar on September 19th on a hybrid mode of interpreting that combines the consecutive and simultaneous modes.

That sound like a great subject to talk about next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booth notes wanted for a study | Kabinenzettel für Studienzwecke gesucht

Dear fellow conference interpreters! For a study on information management in the booth, I am currently collecting sample booth notes (those papers you scribble terminology, names, numbers, acronyms or whatever on). So if you would like to make your personal contribution to this study, it would be great if you could email or whatsapp me a scan or foto of your booth notes to ruetten@sprachmanagement.net or +49 178 2835981. Your notes will of course be treated confidentially. Thanks a lot in advance!

Liebe DolmetschkollegInnen! Für eine informationswissenschaftliche Studie sammle ich derzeit Kabinenzettel, also die Blätter, auf denen Ihr Eure Notizen jeglicher Art verewigt, sei es Terminologie, Namen, Abkürzungen oder was auch immer. Wenn Ihr mir also einen Eurer Schriebe zur Verfügung stellen möchtet, würde ich mich sehr freuen. Gerne als Scan oder Foto emailen oder appen an ruetten@sprachmanagement.net oder 0178 2835981. Natürlich wird alles vertraulich behandelt. Schon jetzt mein herzliches Dankeschön!

How to build one nice multilingual file from several PDFs | Aus zwei (PDFs) mach eins – übersichtliche mehrsprachige PDFs erstellen | Cómo crear un archivo PDF multilingüe

+++ for English see below +++ para español, aun más abajo +++

Wir kennen ihn alle: Den über hundert Seiten langen Geschäftsbericht, vollgepackt mit Grafiken, Tabellen und wertvollen Informationen, und das – Halleluja! – nicht nur im Original, sondern auch noch in 1a-Übersetzung(en) . Einen besseren Fundus für die Dolmetschvorbereitung kann man sich kaum vorstellen. Nur: Wie bändige und berge ich diesen Schatz? In zwei Excel-Tabellenspalten kopieren? Funktioniert mit solchen Mammut-Dokumenten nur mäßig. Alignieren? Viel Erfolg, mit einem pdf-Dokument … Ausdrucken und nebeneinanderlegen? In einer handelsüblichen Kabine eher beschwerlich. So erlebt zuletzt im vergangenen Sommer, als dann Ignacio Hermo schließlich die Wunderwaffe im Internet zutage gefördert hat: A-PDF N-up Page, ein Programm, das mehrere pdf-Dokumente nicht nur einfach zusammenführt (also alle hintereinanderklatscht), sondern auch die entsprechenden Seiten ordentlich nebeneinanderstellt. Das Ergebnis eignet sich dann hervorragend zum Parallel-Lesen und als Nachschlagewerk.

Eventuell muss man nach der Installation einmalig unter Option/Settings/Page Range „merge all PDF files to one …“ aktivieren. Danach ist die Bedienung denkbar einfach: Man wählt oben die beiden Dateien aus und klickt unten auf „N-up Page …“.

N-Up_1 small

Als Ergebnis erhält man ein pdf, in dem die beiden Sprachen hübsch ordentlich nebeneinander erscheinen:

PDF merged English Spanish

Und natürlich funktioniert das auch mit Powerpoints und anderen Formaten, wenn man sie vorher in pdf konvertiert.

Möchte man nun womöglich mehr als zwei Sprachen nebeneinander sehen (wobei man dann bei der Lesbarkeit an die Grenzen handelsüblicher Bildschirme stößt), so fügt man immer zwei Sprachen in eine Datei zusammen und diese beiden zweisprachigen Dateien (oder auch eine einsprachige plus eine zweisprachige Datei) verschmelzt man dann wiederum in einem zweiten Schritt zu einer drei- bzw. viersprachigen.

N-Up four filesN-Up three files

 

 

 

 

 

Das Ergebnis sieht dann mit drei Sprachen so aus (für deutlichere Darstellung Grafik anklicken):

DE EN ES merged

… und bei vier Sprachen so:

PDF merged EN DE ES FR

Zwar gibt es auch einen so genannten „4-Up“-Modus, dieser legt aber dann die vier Sprachen nicht alle nebeneinander. Man muss dazu wissen, dass das Programm eigentlich dazu gedacht ist, die Seiten eines pdf-Dokuments für den Buchdruck passend anzuordnen. An Dolmetscher hat bei der Entwicklung eher niemand gedacht.

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Über die Autorin:
Anja Rütten ist freiberufliche Konferenzdolmetscherin für Deutsch (A), Spanisch (B), Englisch (C) und Französisch (C) in Düsseldorf. Sie widmet sich seit Mitte der 1990er dem Wissensmanagement.

+++ English version +++

We all know those huge annual reports, over a hundred pages full of charts, tables and valuable information, and, would you believe it, not only in the original language, but also translated (and excellently so) into the other relevant language(s). You couldn’t possibly think of any better source of information in order to prepare for your interpreting assignment. But how to best exploit this abundance of information? Copy everything into two columns of a spreadsheet? Hardly ever works with such massive documents. Align them in a translation memory program? Good luck then, as PDF files don’t actually have a track record of aligning easily. Print everything and spread it out in the booth? Maybe not, at least not if your booth is less than XXL.

When I last encountered this problem back in June, my team mate Ignacio Hermo went through the trouble of searching the internet for the magic solution, and finally found it – A-PDF N-up Page, a program that not only merges several PDF documents into one (simply putting them one behind the other), but also puts the corresponding pages of the different language versions neatly next to each other. The result perfectly serves our purpose of reading the different languages in parallel and of using this multilingual text corpus as a tailor-made encyclopaedia for this particular conference.

After installation, you may have to go to Option/Settings/Page Range once and activate „merge all PDF files to one …“. After that, the tool is really easy to handle: just select your files using the „add file“ button and then click on the „N-up Page …“ button below.

N-Up_1 small

The result is a PDF doc where the two language versions appear nicely next to each other:

PDF merged English Spanish

And obviously, this also works with any Powerpoint presentation and other file formats, as long as you convert them into PDFs before merging them.

If you are crazy enough to consider viewing more than two language versions at a time (the only limit is the screen, obviously) then simply merge two and two and then again merge the two bilingual files (or one bilingual and one monolingual).

N-Up four filesN-Up three files

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the trilingual result looks like (click on the picture to see it clearly) …

DE EN ES merged

… and here’s the quadrilingual file:

PDF merged EN DE ES FR

The tool also has a so-called „4-Up“ mode, but this does not put each page in four languages together. No surprise, though, considering that this program was originally made to arrange the pages of an ordinary pdf file in such a way that it can be printed as a book. No one had us conference interpreters in mind then.

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About the author:
Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C) and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.

+++ Versión española +++

Todos las conocemos, estas enormes memorias anuales de más de cien páginas, repletas de gráficos, tablas y un montón de información super útil, y todo eso incluso viene perfectamente traducido a todos los idiomas de la conferencia o la empresa. Increíble, ¿verdad? El único problema con el que nos encontramos ahora es el de saber cómo manejar esta inmensa cantidad de información valiosa, tanto en cabina como a la hora de prepararnos para la conferencia. Copiar y pegarlo todo en dos (o más) columnas de una tabla Excel a duras penas nos funcionaría, con tantos gráficos, tablas y demás cosas. Tampoco serviría de mucho alinearlo en una memoria de traducción, dado que los pdfs no tienen fama de alinearse bien.  Entonces imprimirlo todo y colocarlo sobre la mesa en cabina? Pues no, a no ser que la cabina sea de tamaño XXL.

La última vez que me encontré con este problema, este verano, nuestro querido compañero Ignacio Hermo se puso a buscar la herramienta mágica en internet, y – ¿como ven? – la encontró: A-PDF N-up Page, un programa que no sólo combina varios documentos tipo pdf en uno (colocándolos uno tras otro) sino que los ordena de tal forma que las páginas en los diferentes idiomas aparecen una al lado de la otra. Queda bien bonito y nos sirve perfectamente para leer en varios idiomas en paralelo y consultar este enorme corpus de texto como enciclopedia específica de esta conferencia en particular.

Después de haber instalado el programa, puede ser que tenga que ir a Option/Settings/Page Range una vez y activar „merge all PDF files to one …“. Después resulta facilísimo usar esta herramienta: Simplemente se seleccionan los archivos usando el botón „Add File“ de arriba y se pincha en el botón „N-up Page …“ de abajo – y ya se arma el archivo multilingüe.

N-Up_1 small

El resultado es un documento tipo pdf en donde aparecen las dos versiones lingüísticas una al lado de la otra:

PDF merged English Spanish

Evidentemente, esto también funciona con presentaciones tipo Powerpoint o cualquier otro formato mientras se convierta en pdf primero.

Y si se les ocurre visualizar más de dos idiomas a la vez (el único límite es el formato de la pantalla), simplemente tienen que combinar siempre dos con dos y luego, en un segundo paso, volver a unir los dos archivos bilingües (o uno bilingüe con uno monolingüe).

N-Up four filesN-Up three files

 

 

 

 

 

Así se ve el resultado trilingüe (para verlo más claro, hay que hacer clic en la imagen): 

DE EN ES merged

… y este es el archivo cuatrilingüe:

PDF merged EN DE ES FR

El programa también tiene una función llamada „4-Up“, pero ésta no coloca las páginas de tal manera que las diferentes versiones lingüísticas de una misma página aparezcan juntas. No es de sorprender, considerando que la idea del tool era la de reorganizar las páginas de un pdf normal como para poder imprimirlo como libro. Al programarlo, nadie tenía en mente las necesidades de los intérpretes de conferencias.

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La autora:
Anja Rütten es intérprete de conferencias autónoma para alemán (A), español (B), inglés y francés (C), domiciliada en Düsseldorf/Alemania. Se dedica al tema de la gestión de los conocimientos desde mediados de los años 1990.

Shared glossaries in Google Docs – How to make them work for everyone | Team-Glossare in Google Docs – So wird’s was

 

+++ for English see below +++

Team-Glossare in Google Docs – So wird’s was

Als unsere liebe Kollegin Leonie Wagener 2012 im Rahmen ihrer Masterarbeit eine Erhebung zur vorbereitende Terminologiearbeit unter Konferenzdolmetschern durchführte, gaben 93 % an, zumindest in der Kabine nie ihre Terminologie in Google Docs zu bearbeiten. Mittlerweile ist die gemeinsame Vorbereitung eines Einsatzes in einem gemeinsamen Online-Glossar schon beinahe State of the Art. Die Vorteile liegen auf der Hand:

Man spart Zeit, vor allem, wenn zunächst einmal alle ihre Termini ohne Entsprechungen eingeben und man die anderssprachigen Lücken in Teamarbeit ausfüllt, sprich jeder füllt zunächst die Lücken (der anderen), die er in seinem Wissensbestand ohnehin abrufbar hat. Fehler werden vermieden (Vier-Augen-Prinzip). Das gesamte Team hat den gleichen Wissensstand, alle sprechen „die gleiche Sprache“ und wissen auch um eventuell noch offene Fragen, die mit dem Kunden/Teilnehmern der Veranstaltung noch zu klären sind. (hierzu auch Leonies Beitrag im AIIC Blog).

Hinzu kommt bei sehr dichten Fachkonferenzen, dass man sich die Vorträge häufig aufteilt. In einem gemeinsamen Glossar hat dabei dennoch jeder Zugriff auf die Terminologie zu den jeweils anderen Vorträgen und kann darauf zumindest einmal einen Blick werfen und zur Not auch einspringen.

Abgesehen davon ist es einfach unterhaltsam und motivierend, sich „im Glossar zu treffen“ und live zu sehen, dass die Kollegen gerade auch dort herumhüpfen das Glossar wie von Geisterhand wächst. Und wie wir ja wissen, gibt es kaum etwas Besseres für eine tiefe Verarbeitung von Wissen als das Besprechen – hier vielleich eher „bechatten“.

Trotz dieser Litanei an Vorteilen begegnen aber viele Kollegen immer noch verhalten, wenn es darum geht, sich auf ein gemeinsames Online-Megaglossar einzulassen, und zwar teilweise zu recht. Oft ist es nur Gewohnheits- oder Geschmackssache, aber einige konkretere Vorbehalte habe ich im Folgenden zusammengestellt und versucht zu beantworten.

Kann ich vertrauliche Kundendaten der Cloud bzw. Google anvertrauen?

Zunächst einmal ist das Speichern bei Google (vorausgesetzt, man stellt die Daten nicht öffentlich) an sich nicht unsicherer als der Versand per E-Mail – bis auf die Tatsache, dass Google theoretisch „mitliest“. Grundsätzlich empfiehlt sich, Dateien nicht unbedingt nach dem Muster „XY AG – Vorstellung des neuen Glasreinigerpatents am 1.8.2015“, sondern eher „Reiniger“zu nennen und vor allem im Zweifel den Kunden vorher zu fragen. Eine weitere Lösung ist das Verwenden einer Verschlüsselungssoftware wie https://www.boxcryptor.com.

Mir ist so ein Riesenglossar viel zu unübersichtlich, ich weiß überhaupt nicht, was wo steht.

Wie in einer normalen Terminologiedatenbank auch, steht und fällt der Wert eines Gemeinschaftsglossars auch mit der Aussagekraft seiner „Tags“, also Kategorisierungen.

Gibt es mehrere Parallel-Teams, Konferenztage, Redner oder Themenbereiche, so empfiehlt es sich, dafür jeweils eine eigene Spalte zur Kennzeichnung anzulegen. Auch eine Kombination der Kriterien ist möglich, etwa Konferenztag und Redner in einer Spalte nach dem Muster „Mo – Schmidt, Mo – Müller, Di – Meier“. Der Mehraufwand ist nicht der Rede wert: Einmal getippt, kann man die entsprechende Kennung in die nächsten Zeilen einfach mit der Maus herunterziehen/-kopieren. So hat man dann gleich die nächsten Zeilen für die eigenen Einträge „reserviert“ und die Kollegen räumen ihre Einträge erst darunter ein. Wenn man Filter und Kategorien geschickt einsetzt, kann jeder Nutzer sich mühelos seine eigene persönliche Teilansicht des großen Teamglossars erstellen – hier findet Ihr auch ein zweiminütiges Erklär-VIDEO.

Es hat doch jeder seine eigenen wichtigen Termini. Kollegen schreiben oft Dinge ins Glossar, die mich gar nicht interessieren, und umgekehrt schreibe ich mir vielleicht Sachen auf, die andere lächerlich finden, aus Sorge, sie im Eifer des Dolmetschgefechts nicht abrufbar zu haben.

Hier bietet es sich an, jedem Teilnehmer eine „private“ Spalte zuzuweisen, in der er das markieren kann, was für ihn persönlich relevant ist oder zum Beispiel auf eine Kurzliste gehört. Die kann man sich dann für den eigenen Bedarf herausfiltern und womöglich sogar ausdrucken. Ganz abgesehen davon ist es hochinteressant zu sehen, wie fast schon lachhaft ähnlich sich die Aufzeichnungen unterschiedlicher Kollegen doch oft sind.

Wenn ich während des Arbeitens z.B. die Sprachen ausblende, die ich nicht brauche, oder nach einem bestimmten Redner filtere, können andere auf die ausgeblendeten Informationen nicht zugreifen. Wenn ich z. B. nach der Spalte „Deutsch“ sortiere, um nach Doubletten zu suchen, wird die ganze Reihenfolge durcheinandergeschmissen und jemand, der eigentlich gerade die Termini zu einem bestimmten Votrag eingeben wollte, ist völlig verwirrt.

Wenn wirklich viele Leute gleichzeitig in einem Glossar arbeiten, kann es praktisch sein, für die eigene Dateingabe oder für spezielle Sortierungen/Filterungen ein separates Datenblatt zu nutzen. Wenn die Tabellenstruktur identisch ist, kann man dort in Ruhe seine eigenen Einträge anlegen und diese dann nachher in das Gemeinschaftsglossar hineinkopieren, z.B. jedes Mal, wenn man einen Themenbereich oder einen Vortrag fertig bearbeitet hat. Dabei kann man dann auch störende Spalten ausblenden.

Es gibt auch eine große Auswahl von add-ons, die das Arbeiten mit großen Datenmengen erleichtern. So kann man mit EZ Query ein neues Datenblatt erstellen, das ähnlich einer Abfrage in MS-Acces ein Abbild der großen Gesamtdatenbank erstellt, in dem nur die Spalten gezeigt werden, die mich interessieren. Wenn ich bspw. in einem Team mit 10 Sprachen bin, kann ich für die Abfrage in der Kabine meine persönliche Ansicht zum Durchsuchen wählen, in der nur meine Sprachen und meine als relevant gekennzeichneten Einträge sichtbar sind. Wenn jemand in der Haupttabelle etwas ändert, sehe ich es in meiner personalisierten Ansicht auch in Echtzeit.

Insgesamt überwiegen meiner Einschätzung nach die Chancen dieser Form der Zusammenarbeit, um bei immer fachlicheren Konferenzinhalten und immer knapperen Vorlaufzeiten weiter auf hohem Niveau areiten zu können. Mich würde sehr interessieren, wie die gängige Praxis bei anderen Kollegen aussieht – ich freue mich auf Kommentare!

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Über die Autorin:
Anja Rütten ist freiberufliche Konferenzdolmetscherin für Deutsch (A), Spanisch (B), Englisch (C) und Französisch (C) in Düsseldorf. Sie widmet sich seit Mitte der 1990er dem Wissensmanagement.

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Shared glossaries in Google Docs – How to make them work for everyone

When, back in 2012, our colleague Leonie Wagener conducted a survey on preparatory terminology work in conference interpreting, 93 % of the respondents answered that they never used Google Docs for terminology management in the booth. Today, it seems, team preparation in the cloud by way of a shared mega-glossary is about to become state of the art.

The benefits are quite clear:  It saves time – your colleagues may know things you don’t know and the other way around, and with everyone feeding in their knowledge and filling in the missing bits, it’s just much less effort. Everything is double (triple …) checked and mistakes can be spotted more easily. The whole team has a common knowledge base, all interpreters speak the same language and everyone is aware of any open questions waiting to be sorted out (also see Leonie’s AIIC blog article).

Furthermore, you have these highly technical conferences crammed with presentations where the only way to get through preparation is by assigning to each interpreter his or her share of speeches. By working in a common glossary, you can still make sure that everyone gets at least a glimpse of what the other speeches are about so as to be able to jump in if need be.

Apart from that, it is good fun to see your glossary grow as if by magic and to „meet in the glossary“, seeing your colleagues jump about from one cell to the other. And then of course, there is nothing better than discussing things in order to really understand them and process them deeply, which is exactly what you end up doing when working in a common file, using the chat function or simply a comment field.

However, some colleagues still have their doubts when it comes to putting all their effort into these mega glossaries in the cloud, understandably so to a certain extent. Sometimes it is just a matter of taste or habit, but as to the more specific questions or doubts I have heard people mention so far, I have tried to summarise them below and provide possible solutions:

Is it safe to store my customers‘ confidential data in the cloud or with Google?

First of all, storing files in Google Docs (provided you don’t store them publicly, but with restricted access) is as safe as sending them around by e-mail – apart from the fact that Google can read your data. We know that some customers even refuse to send their files to a gmail address, so in any case it is good to double-check with them. Also, it is a good idea not to name your files „XY Corp. – Presentation of the new glass cleaning patent on August 1st, 2015“, but rather make it „cleaning“ or „glass“. Another possible solution might be the use of special encryption software like https://www.boxcryptor.com.

You get lost so easily in these huge glossaries, I just can’t find my way around there. I prefer to see what I need at one glance.

Just like in any (terminology) data base, the more „tags“ (labels) each entry has, the more useful becomes the data base. If, on your three-day, six-language conference, there are several teams working in parallel with many speakers or subjects in each session, then it may be useful to use special columns to indicate the day/speaker/session/subject, or a combination thereof (like „Monday – Miller, Tuesday – Matt“). Technically, the effort is not worth mentioning: Once you have typed this kind of category in one cell, simply drag & copy it to all the cells below in the same column. This way, you can „reserve“ the next couple of lines for your entries and the colleagues use those further below. The smart use of categories and filters is not too complicated and helps everyone to create their own customised view of the big master glossary – here’s a 2 minute VIDEO to illustrate it.

Each of us has their own important terms-to-remember. My colleague writes things into her glossary I would never dream of noting down, and I am sure that she would laugh at the ridiculous things I put into mine, just for the sake of feeling safer. 

It may turn out useful to have an individual „private“ column for each user where they are free to mark any terms that are relevant to them (or open questions etc.) to enable everyone in the team to filter their customised shortlists and even print them. The one thing to really laugh about is to see how much the glossaries of different colleagues for the same conference can look alike.

What with all this hiding, sorting and filtering, my colleagues will freak out if, while they are just busy entering terms, I start hiding their language columns, applying filters or changing the sorting order right under their noses.

When there are really many people working on the glossary at the same time, it may be useful, in order to avoid confusing other users when sorting or filtering, to temporarily copy the data from the „master“ sheet to a separate one. You might also wish to enter new terms for one speech in your private sheet first (e.g. hiding the language columns you don’t want to see) and then copy this batch to the big master glossary in one go. Just always make sure you have identical table structures so that you can copy your terminological entries (lines) back and forth from your personal sheet into the master glossary, which is the one where you keep all the data up to date.

There are also a great many add-ons that allow you to work with complex team glossaries more comfortably. With EZ Query, for example, you create a new sheet that, just like a query in MS-Access, shows a pre-defined selection of the data contained in the big master table. You can include just the columns you are interested in (e.g. hiding language or other columns irrelevant to you) and even filter for certain criteria, like only those entries you have marked as important. As soon as someone changes something in the master table, you will see it in your customised table in real time.

All in all, much more chances than risks to keep up with ever more specific conference subjects and short-notice preparation. I would be really interested to know more about the common practice of other colleagues – feel free to post a comment!

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About the author
Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C) and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.

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References

Wagener, Leonie (2012): Masterarbeit zum Thema „Vorbereitende Terminologiearbeit im Konferenzdolmetschen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Zusammenarbeit im Dolmetschteam“

Wagener, Leonie (2014): Conference preparation 2.0. http://aiic.net/page/6650/conference-preparation-2-0/lang/1

Booth-friendly terminology management: Intragloss – the missing link between texts and glossaries|die Brücke zwischen Text und Glossar

Intragloss

+++ for English see below +++

Wer schon immer genervt war von der ständigen Wechselei zwischen Redetexten/Präsentationsfolien einerseits und dem Glossar andererseits, der hat jetzt allen Grund zu jubilieren: Dan Kenig und Daniel Pohoryles aus Paris haben mit Intragloss eine Software entwickelt, in der man direkt aus dem Text Termini in sein Glossar befördern kann und das einen neuen Text mit einem vorhandenen Glossar abgleicht, gefundene Termini im Text hervorhebt und die anderssprachige Entsprechung in einem kleinen Kommentarfeld im Text anzeigt. Das Programm ermöglicht auch die parallele Anzeige von Original und Übersetzung, ferner ist eine Internetsuche in Portalen wie Linguee, IATE, Wikipedia etc. eingebaut. Fazit: Jede einzelne dieser drei „Killer-Funktionen“ ist für sich schon ein Kaufargument!

– Intragloss läuft momentan nur auf Mac, eine Windows-Version ist in Entwicklung (man kann sich als Beta-Tester registrieren!).

– Kosten: Sonderangebot bis 10. Juli 2015: 49 $ für das erste Jahr, danach bei Vertragsverlängerung 219 $/1 Jahr, 309 $/2 Jahre, 359 $/3 Jahre (Regulärer Preis: 49 $/Monat, 99 $/3 Monate, 269 $/1 Jahr)

Mehr zu dolmetschfreundlichen Terminologieprogrammen findet Ihr in der Übersichtstabelle TermTools für Dolmetscher.

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Über die Autorin:
Anja Rütten ist freiberufliche Konferenzdolmetscherin für Deutsch (A), Spanisch (B), Englisch (C) und Französisch (C) in Düsseldorf. Sie widmet sich seit Mitte der 1990er dem Wissensmanagement.

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If you are fed up with constantly jumping back and forth between your glossary and speech manuscripts or Powerpoint presentations, here’s a tool that will make your day: Intragloss, developed by Dan Kenig and Daniel Pohoryles from Paris, allows you to transfer terms from your text directly into your glossary, checks new texts against existing glossaries and highlights glossary terms that have been found in the text, adding its translation in a small comment between lines. Furthermore, Intragloss includes a parallel display function of original text and translation and lets you search for terms in internet resources like linguee, IATE, Wikipedia and the like. In short: Intragloss offers three killer functions, which each of them make this program worth trying.

– Mac-only; a Windows version is currently being developped (you can register as a beta tester!).

– Price: Special offer valid until July 10, 2015: 49 $ for the first year, then renewal 219 $/1 year, 309 $/2 years, 359 $/3 years (regular price: 49 $/month, 99 $/3 months, 269 $/1 year)

For more information about terminology management for interpreters, see this Summary table terminology tools for interpreters.

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About the author:
Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C) and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.

Organise your meeting documents with MS-OneNote – Sitzungsunterlagen perfekt im Zugriff mit Onenote

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Warum scheuen viele Dolmetscher eigentlich davor zurück, völlig papierfrei in die Kabine zu gehen, und wechseln lieber zwischen einem Stapel ausgedruckter Dokumente auf der einen Seite und einem Computer als reine Vokabelsuchmaschine auf der anderen Seite hin und her? Ich vermute, der Grund ist dieser:

Cluttered Desktop
Dokumentenchaos auf dem Computerbildschirm – zum Vergrößern klicken

Man kann einfach nie sicher sein, dass man das richtige Dokument zu richtigen Zeitpunkt auf dem Bildschirm hat. Aber – Ihr ahnt es bereits – auch für dieses Problem gibt es eine App! Das Notizprogramm OneNote von Microsoft ermöglicht es, Informationen aus verschiedensten Quellen an einer Stelle übersichtlich darzustellen, seien es Word-/Excel-/Powerpoint-Dateien, PDFs, gescannte Dokumente, Webseiten oder auch handschrifliche Notizen.

Ein Notizbuch mit dem Namen „Conference A“ kann beispielsweise in die Abschnitte Day 1, Day 2 und Day 3 gegliedert werden, die über die Reiter oben erreicht werden. Innerhalb jedes Abschnitts, also für jeden Konferenztag, kann man dann beliebig viele „Seiten“ anlegen – das sind die hübschen Registerreiter rechts an der Seite.

OneNote Bespielstruktur - zum Vergrößern klicken
OneNote Bespielstruktur – zum Vergrößern klicken

 

Dabei ist eine Seite anders als in der Textverarbeitung in der Länge nicht begrenzt auf ein bestimmtes Papierformat. In eine Seite kann man mehrere Dokumente einfügen, die dann untereinander erscheinen. Also bspw. unter „Agenda“ nicht nur die Tagesordnung, sondern auch andere Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa die Teilnehmerliste oder die Teamaufstellung. Selbst ganze Webseiten lassen sich einlesen. Gerade diese Woche noch habe ich ein 30-seitiges Excel-Glossar plus sechs Powerpoint-Präsentationen mit OneNote gebändigt.

OneNoteInsert
OneNote Einfügefunktion – zum Vergrößern klicken

Einmal in OneNote eingefügt, lassen sich die Texte und Abbildungen hervorragend bearbeiten, farblich hervorheben, bekritzeln und mit Textfeldern versehen.

OneNote Ttext bearbeiten - zum Vergrößern klicken
OneNote Ttext bearbeiten – zum Vergrößern klicken

 

Sehr charmant ist die Suchfunktion. Man kann sämtliche Sitzungsdokumente auf einen Schlag durchsuchen (STRG+E), aber am meisten beeindruckt hat mich, dass die Suchfunktion auch Zeichenketten in Bilddateien erkennt, das heißt OneNote hat eine eingebaute optische Zeichenerkennung (OCR). So können auch gescannte oder abfotografierte Dokumente optimal ausgeschlachtet werden.

OneNote PictureFileSearch
OneNote Suchfunktion – zum Vergrößern klicken

 

Wer ein MS-Office-Paket gekauft oder abonniert hat, bekommt OneNote kostenfrei dazu. Ansonsten kann man es separat kaufen. Für wen das nicht in Frage kommt, für den könnte das kostenlose Evernote oder auch Laverna eine Alternative sein. Letzteres erfordert nicht einmal eine Registrierung und wird vor allem mit der vertraulichen Umgang bzw. der Verschlüsselung der Daten.

Alle drei Programme ermöglichen die Speicherung in der Cloud und den Zugriff auf die Notizbücher von Computer und mobilen Geräten.

Wie immer freue ich mich über Eure Erfahrungsberichte!

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Why do many interpreters still shy away from going into the booth with no printed paper at all and prefer alternating between a pile of paper on the one side and their computer serving as a mere vocab-searching device on the other? I suspect the reason is as follows:

Cluttered Desktop – click to enlarge

You just never feel safe bringing the right document to the screen at the right moment. But – guess what – there is an app (if not a fully-fledged program) for that! Microsoft’s note-taking software OneNote enables you to organise and visualise information from different sources in one „notebook“, be it Wword, Excel, Powerpoint or pdf files, scanned documents, website or handwritten notes.

For example, a notebook named „Conference A“ can be subdivided in sections Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3, which can easily be accessed by clicking on the tabs above. Within each section (or conference day) you can create many different pages, which can be seen on the right hand side, e.g. one for the agenda, one for each presentation and one for glossaries.

OneNoteStructure
OneNote sample structure – click to enlarge

 

A „page“ in OneNote, unlike word-processing, is not limited in length to a paper format. You can add many different documents to one page which will then be displayed one after the other. So within the page named „Agenda“, you might well add the list of participants or your team sheet below. It is even possible to insert complete websites. Just this week I have handled a spreadsheet glossary of 30 pages plus six powerpoint presentations in OneNote.

OneNoteInsert
OneNote insert elements – click to enlarge

 

Once a document has been inserted into OneNote, texts, graphs and pictures can be highlighted, underlined, scribbled on and text elements added.

OneNote Draw
OneNote draw and highlight – click to enlarge

 

What I find most enticing is the search function. All the documents of one notebook can be searched in one go (CTRL+E), even (which is what impressed me most) image files. OneNote finds strings of characters in scanned documents, i.e. it has an optical character recognition included. So scans and photographs can be exploited to the utmost.

OneNote PictureFileSearch
OneNote search function – click to enlarge

 

Those of you who have a Microsoft Office license will get OneNote for free. Otherwise, it can be bought separately, or else you might try Evernote or Laverna instead, which are free of charge. The latter does not even require registration and encrypts your data for confidentiality.

All three solutions provide cloud storage and access both from your computer and mobile devices.

As usual, I will be happy to read about your experience!