Your Very own Interoperability Theme Park

I’ll Make my own Device!

In the spirit of these famous rebellious words, I would ask you to take a long hard look at the seamless joints on your cell phone and imagine what frustration it must be to try and open your device, should any of its internal components fail. You could use a hair dryer or a clothes iron to loosen the adhesive and get it open, but unless you want to risk turning your phone into a brick, you will have to go to a bar and find a genius there who can repair it for you.

Nowadays, it feels like all the devices we supposedly own are actually rented from the OEM’s. Licensing fees and complexity of repair that requires proprietary tools and software mean your purchases are not final; devices are like magazines, and for their upkeep and use, we must pay subscriptions.

Several states have proposed laws to allow users to repair the stuff they own. Proposals such as the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act in Massachusetts, and the Fair Repair Bill in Nebraska have gained some exposure in the media. Still, it seems a lot of new technology will remain out of  the user’s grasp.

Doc X’s Lair

While some of the devices we use today are made too complex for laypeople to modify and append, there is still a movement to keep tools and knowledge freely available. A great example is the software industry.

If you are as old as most people, you can probably remember the moment when the mysterious letter “X” began to appear in extensions to all kinds of filenames: HTML became XHTML; doc became docx; xls became xlsx; etc.

This “X” is the hero of our story. It stands for Extensible Markup Language, or XML. It was born of standards that allowed data to be separated from a document’s format, so they could be interpreted by a variety of applications. This concept is called interoperability.

Go Your own Way

Cat tools are designed to parse the data from XML documents into very simple multilingual structures. They can export this data using three industry standards: TMX for translation memories; XLIFF for bilingual documents; and TBX for terminology bases. And while each serves a specific purpose, their internal structures are basically the same. They look something like this:



  <segment xml:lang=”en-US”>Hello, World!</segment>

  <segment xml:lang=”fr-FR”>Bonjour, tout le monde !</segment>

  <segment xml:lang=”es-ES”>¡Hola a todos!</segment>



Even if you are not a programmer, you can interpret this code and make sense of the data structure it represents. This simplicity enables us to use any tool that processes text for manipulating our multilingual data.

To this end, we can use something as simple as a text editor’s spell checker or a code editor’s regex functions, we can write a short script in JS or PHP, and we take advantage of powerful industry tools. Full-text indexers, concordance and terminology tools, QA tools and the like work as efficiently as ever when using XML.

The possibilities are endless.

Trust Us

Whether your documents are neatly arranged in robust data structures or lumped into a shapeless mess, like a pile of dirty laundry, our staff should be able to process it without any trouble.

Contact our sales team to get a fast quote for your translation needs.