On 1 April 2017, 12 translators from all over Europe gathered in Leiden for six hours of regular expressions. This did not include translating sentences like “I regularly go to the library” or “We regularly visit my aunt”, but neat and short combinations of characters to for example make US English numbers (like 103,777.50) in a text transform into Polish or French equivalents, or how to make sure you replace all percentage signs with either a space and the sign or a space and “per cent”. (Yes, you can do that in MS Word, but on occasion, that leaves some unfinished business.) We also got some tips on how to improve our search and replace skills in MS Office files.
For the MemoQ and SDLX (Trados) users, there were also several tips on how to enter handy expressions straight into your tool of choice. Trainer and translator Marek Pawelec guided us with a steady hand until not even coffee could make us think straight anymore, but we’re now all well equipped to tweak our translation files into looking (and behaving) like we want them to!
Written by: Irene Elmerot