About the Woolly Bear Project

The Woolly Bear TM BuilderTM
is a simple, easy-to-use web-based application designed for language translators who use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools in their work. A CAT tool splits the translation source document into segments of text. As a translator translates each of these segments, a translation memory (TM) of the translator's work is created at the same time. This TM file contains translation units (TU) of the source text and target text, and becomes a potential resource for the translator to use on future projects having segments that are 'fuzzy' matches to the units contained in the TM file. Because translation segments come directly from a source document, the translation units created by a CAT tool are limited in scope. This limitation may reduce their usefulness for any future work that is not very closely related to the project first used as the source of their creation. Text alignment applications can also be used to create translation memories, but organizing and verifying each desired segment pair is sometimes a painstaking and time-consuming process.

The Woolly Bear TM BuilderTM is designed to work in conjunction with CAT tools and to enhance their functionality. It does this by allowing translators to build and download specialized glossaries having the power of TM-style fuzzy matching. In fact, the glossaries created by Woolly Bear are stored in the Translation Memory eXchange (TMX) industry-standard format. Woolly Bear thus makes it possible to create a translation memory from scratch, independently of any single source document or CAT tool. At the same time, the translator gains control over the size and content of each TU. Also with Woolly Bear, some file types not supported by CAT tools nonetheless become available to the translator for terminology harvesting.

In summary, the Woolly Bear TM BuilderTM is a convenient way for a translator to easily build a custom-made TM glossary to save and use in a CAT tool environment. The translator can enter any combination of whole words, phrases, sentences, or just parts of words, depending on the amount of fuzzy matching desired. By cutting and pasting text into Woolly Bear, a translator can even use file formats not supported by CAT tools as TM source material.

Please see the FAQ page for more information. Also, we would like to know how Woolly Bear works for you. Please e-mail us your comments.