CHANGETRACKER AT A GLANCE
"ChangeTracker is a freeware application designed to compare bilingual translation files and detect any changes and edits," reads the first line of the welcome screen as you click on the application icon. Indeed, since ChangeTracker is a freeware—it can be downloaded for free, that is, at actually no cost and on no trial mode conditions that may otherwise expire or demand that you download a later or updated version in order to go on using the application.
WHAT DOES CHANGETRACKER DO?
ChangeTracker works as an analyse tool. It compares and contrasts file pairs from the point of view of the original translation in one file in contrast with the edited version of the same text in the other. The comparison results in a report (as the user clicks on the "Make report" button) and that report is displayed in the form of a spreadsheet which can be optionally exported to Microsoft Excel. The main goal is to provide an account of the differences between originally translated text and edited content so that the user gets a visual record of what changes and edits have been introduced into the original translation.
WHAT FILE FORMATS DOES CHANGETRACKER SUPPORT?
ChangeTracker supports a wide range of formats in its currently available version. ChangeTracker 1.0.2 supports the following: TTX, TMX, TXML, HE, XLIFF and Word formats such as DOC, DOCX and RTF. This means the application can be used with Trados, Oscar, Wordfast, Studio and Microsoft Word. However, this might change in the future if a later version is developed and the latter comes to support a wider scope of file types.
THE STORY BEHIND THE APPLICATION
ChangeTracker is a comparison tool developed by Eugene Levchenko. The tool was developed at Technolex Translation Studio, a translation company based in Ukraine that works with English, Ukrainian and Russian and specialises in the fields of IT, consumer electronics, legal and marketing, among others.
WHO IS THIS TOOL AIMED AT?
The target users of the application are said to be "all participants of the translation process", which means this can be a highly useful tool not only for editors and proofers but also for translators, project managers and customers as well.
When it comes to using ChangeTracker (CT for the purposes of abbreviation in this article), there are a number of advantages an editor can benefit from in just a matter of few clicks. Let's have a quick look at a brief—and biased—outline of what those pros can mean to editors and translators in general.
CHANGETRACKER CAN HELP YOU SAVE TIME—HERE'S HOW!
- CT avoids the need of having to memorise or note down even the slightest change you've made, so if you want or need to keep a record of your work for a later review prior to final editing delivery, you can rely on a comprehensive report that highlights all the edits made in format.
- CT can boost translator-editor coms both in short-term and long-term projects: sending feedback for translators has never been as easy as with ChangeTracker, if you ask me. Instead of piling up my edits in daunting bullet-point layouts for translators, I can use ChangeTracker to create a report that displays the chunks of text in which my edited version differs from the translator's output. The report spreadsheet can be exported into an Excel sheet in which layout is now visually-attractive and the changes are displayed in columns. Also, I can add a comment for the translator to notice why I have made this edit or other and they can provide their own insights into issues in a way that saves a lot of extra emails and unnecessary files or screenshots.
- CT helps fill in QA forms and scorecarding spreadsheets. Whenever accounting for changes made is a compulsory part of an editor's deliverable, it is a universally acknowledged truth that manually spotting and copying FILE NAME, SOURCE, TARGET and EDITED TARGET segments is both time-consuming and exhausting. With ChangeTracker, you can automatically create a report where the FILE, SOURCE, TRANSLATION and CORRECTION columns will help you see and easily copy-paste the information that is usually necessary when completing QA and Scorecard sheets.
- CT helps show the client (whether it be a direct client, an agency or other) you have actually done the job you were entrusted with! ChangeTracker reports provide evidence of the fact that an editor has not simply gone through translated segments in a sit-back-and-relaxed pose but, rather, has done the thorough review for which the client has paid. In the worst of circumstances, if translation is poor in quality and an editor needs to prove that they are actually retranslating a file, ChangeReports can help editors submit proof of the pains they are taking to boost a translation in order to have client either pay more or have the file retranslated before it is forwarded to editors.
◘ ChangeTracker Page (where you can find out more about this wonderful application, download the freeware while also read about further advantages for users and resources and more)
◘ ChangeTracker Wiki (learn how to use this application through Wiki how-to pages including screenshots and tips on using this tool!)
ADDITIONAL SITES OF INTEREST
◘ How to succeed in the industry: An interview with Marta Stelmaszak
◘ Thoughts On Translation, Corinne McKay's industry blog
◘ Marketing Tips for Translators, Tess Whitty's industry blog