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Institute behind CLAT Signs Joint Venture with Across
Posted by Benjamin B. Sargent on October 6, 2010  in the following blogs: Business Globalization, Market Data, Translation and Localization, Best Practices
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Germany-based globalization software vendor Across Systems today announced a joint venture with Institute of the Society for the Promotion of Applied Information Sciences (IAI) in Saarbrücken – a body connected to the University of the Saarland that has a history of cooperating with industry. This is the group of brainy Ph.D.s that developed CLAT (Controlled Language Authoring Tool), now in use extensively in the automotive industry and in other industrial sectors. The joint venture will operate under the name Congree (pronounced con-GREE) and sell software and services for content source optimization. Information about the venture can be found at congree.com.The new company will initially resell the existing products crossAuthor, CLAT, and the current integration, called crossAuthor Linguistic, while it finishes work to combine these pieces under a common user interface. The combined product seeks to desegregate authoring and translation worlds by bringing linguistic assets to bear in the authoring environment, while at the same time providing for style guide definition and enforcement.

Congree brings to the table the standard list of features and functions for optimizing source content, and then some:
  • At the desktop, the applications install today as add-ons to common editors, such as Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe InDesign, Just XMetaL, Madcap Flare, Microsoft Excel/PPT/Word, and PTC Arbortext. Additional integrations are likely as the product matures.
  • At the server level, a single installation routine already exists to deploy both CLAT Server and Across Language Server, both of which are required for the system to operate.
  • Like the other tools in the “content source optimization” or authoring assistance category, Congree can be used either in real time as authors compose text or later as a batch step on a completed section or a set of files.
  • The CLAT component automates quality assurance, flagging style-guide violations, inconsistent word choice, grammatical errors and typos, while offering style and formatting suggestions.
  • The authoring memory and terminology modules interactively provide terms and translation memory (TM) segments based on language assets and configurable rules.
What’s the competition?
  • Acrolinx IQ. Acrolinx provided a lot of the early innovation in this space, although its early offerings required significant implementation assistance. The company recently announced IQ V2.0 which aims to simplify style guide definition and rule management, as well as improve access to the engine via documented APIs.
  • Boeing Simplified English Checker (BSEC). Originally tailored to the aeronautics industry, other heavy manufactures have adopted this tool. BSEC includes many aspects of the style guide enforcement piece, but lacks the integration with TM and multilingual terminology systems.
  • Sajan's Authoring Coach is another authoring memory tool that maps well to one particular environment, but may be used independently by linking in a TMX file in place of the full-blown centralized memory tool.
  • SDL Global AMS. The Global Authoring Management System (AMS), the successor product to SDL Author Assistant, integrates with SDL TMS, WorldServer, and Structured Content (Trisoft), making it an easy choice for companies using those environments. SDL recently announced a “type ahead” feature for terms and TM.
  • Star MindReader. Star’s offering works with a hosted Star Transit repository, but like Sajan's offering also works with any TMX file stored locally– making it a possible choice for standards-based, heterogeneous environments. It also supports a “type ahead” feature (hence the name) and ships with the Star terminology management software built-in.
One interesting feature of the Congree offering is the “foreign language mode” designed to help authors write in a target language and check the correspondence in his or her native tongue. This capability should be welcome news to the many authors in Europe and Asia required to write English source.

In our May report on authoring, we flagged a technology gap that exists between source language term definition on one side and multilingual terminology on the other. Defining, managing, and enforcing terms is a single, continuous process and it deserves a unified, cross-functional software solution. Acrolinx focuses on source language term definition and enforcement. SDL’s Global AMS relies on MultiTerm, which grew up on the multilingual side. Both these vendors have moved to encompass both halves of the equation, but we believe Congree has a good opportunity to rethink the two sides of this coin as a single Mobius strip of process and technology.

 

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