Michael Farrell received several descriptions of university courses to translate from Italian into English in early 2005. The syllabuses boiled down to a list of topics and laws of mathematics and physics: not many complex sentences, but a great deal of terminology which needed translating and double checking with the utmost care and attention.
To do this, he found himself repeatedly copying terms to his PC clipboard, opening his browser, opening the most appropriate on-line resources, pasting terms into search boxes, setting search parameters, clicking search buttons, analysing results, copying the best solutions back to the clipboard, returning to the translation environment and pasting the terms found into the text.
He quickly realized that he needed to find a way to semi-automate the terminology search process in order to complete the translation in a reasonable time and for his own sanity. He immediately started looking around for a tool, but surprisingly there seemed to be nothing similar to what he needed on the market. Having already created some simple macros with a free scripting language called AutoHotkey, he set about writing something that would do the trick.
The first simple macro he knocked out gradually grew and developed until it became a fully fledged software tool: IntelliWebSearch. After speaking to several colleagues about it, he was persuaded to share his work and put together a small group of volunteer beta- testers. After a few weeks of testing on various Windows systems, he released the tool as freeware towards the end of 2005.
At the beginning of his workshop, Michael Farrell will explain what prompted him to create the tool and how he went about it. He will then go on to describe its use and its limitations, and show how it can save translators and terminologists a lot of time with a live demonstration, connectivity permitting.
The workshop will conclude with a presentation revealing for the first time in public some of the features of a new version which is currently being developed under the code name “IntelliWebSearch (Almost) Unlimited” (pre-alpha at the time of writing).
The workshop is aimed at professional translators, interpreters and terminologists in all fields, especially those interested in increasing efficiency through the use of technology without lowering quality standards.
Translating and the Computer 36: proceedings. Asling: International Society for Advancement in Language Technology, 27-28 November 2014; pp. 211-216 (ISBN 978-2-9700736-2-8).