InterpretersHelp is a very straightforward browser-based terminology and job management application that allows for secure online collaboration. It is great for keeping your terminology up to date on all devices and sharing it with colleagues. It has been around for about ten years now, reason enough for Benoit Werner, co-founder and technical brain of this wonderful web-based terminology collaboration tool, to take it a huge step further and completely rewrite the whole program to make it future-proof and flexible enough to accommodate the many features its growing community has been asking for.
The three things that made InterpretersHelp win my heart right away were the following:
- It offers a secure environment for interpreters to jointly work on a shared glossary.
- There is no user lock-in; you can export your data to a plain table format at any time.
- It is well structured and intuitive whilst covering a lot of an interpreter’s workflow
In your glossaries, you can have an unlimited (I take it) number of languages and additional columns (comment, category, definition, acronym, other). The search function is very swift with the hit list being narrowed down with every additional key you hit. Additionally, it offers a social network type platform for sharing and collaboration as well as a job, client, and file management module. There is manual term extraction from parallel texts that allows you to add terms from texts into your glossary by just clicking on them. The flashcards module is another feature I know many colleagues appreciate.
There will be a master database containing all entries. Entries can be assigned to different glossaries, which are sub-sets of the big database. (a bit like the suitcase you pack for your trip instead of bringing your whole wardrobe). So, if you make changes to a terminological entry, this will be reflected in all glossaries that contain this entry. Glossaries can be shared with colleagues for collaboration (the complete database can’t). You can remove entries from one glossary, and they still remain in the big database and in all other glossaries it was assigned to. You can perform batch actions on entries, e.g., assign a number of entries to a certain job, client, or glossary. You can basically move your entries back and forth between glossaries and the master database.
Creating new columns, moving them around, and hiding/unhiding them at your convenience is really intuitive, just like limiting the columns/languages you want to perform your search in.
In the search function, you can now choose if you want diacritics (umlauts, accents etc.) to be ignored or not. You can clear the search field by pressing Escape, and/or toggle the “erase search input after 3 seconds” option, so mouse-free searching won’t be a problem.
You can add media files to an entry such as images, sounds, videos, and they will also show in the flashcards once they have been migrated to the new version.
There is plenty of space with up to 100 000 possible entries. This will even work for the 30 000 entries worth database I have been growing over the past twenty-three years.
There are companion apps for Windows, Mac and Linux that allow offline use (including creation and edition of glossaries, entries, jobs, etc.) and automatically synchronise once you are back online.
The flashcards haven’t been migrated yet, but they are the next in line. I am personally very keen on having a filter function for the different columns. This would make it much easier to manage the entries from my legacy MS-Access database by adding, for example, all my automotive terminology from last year September to one glossary. But I have reason to believe that this will be implemented soon.
What happens if I am already an InterpretersHelp user and I want to migrate to the new beta version?
When you migrate from the old to the new version, as of today 15 August 2023, your old data, like glossaries and jobs, will remain in the old version for a certain time as a kind of read-only backup. Most app settings, billing info, or user profile changes will still need to be made from the old version. There will be some limitations when collaborating between users of the old and the new version. The current versions of the BoothMate app won’t work anymore. The learning data from your flashcards will not be migrated yet, once you have migrated to the new version, you will not be able to learn your existing decks of flashcard on the old version any more.
The glossary farm has not been migrated yet. So for the moment, glossaries that are currently public in the old version will not be public in the new one.
What about pricing?
The “free” subscription plan includes 1000 database entries and 100 MB storage space. The “professional” plan costs 20 EUR/month excluding tax and includes up to 100 000 database entries and 2 GB storage space. There also is an educational subscription plan for students and teachers free of charge.
There will be more features added in the coming weeks and probably months. If there is anything new you discover, feel free to post a comment. And it would, as always, be great to know about your experience with this tool – or any other thought on the subject!
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. She is a full member of AIIC, an accredited freelance interpreter with the EU institutions and the European Patent Office, and has vast experience as a university lecturer.