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  • Writer's pictureAlfonso De Luca

Unleashing Your Potential: The Power of Localization with Regex

Today we're back on track with a topic that requires more exposure. Of course, we're talking about regular expressions (regex, for short).


We'll have a quick overview on how we can leverage that for use in the localization industry.



'Regex Experts' Anyone?


I keep seeing more and more advertising and job offers that aim at a professional with this specific skill set: localization and regex knowledge.

The link between these two is still unknown to me - it's surely something in early-stages of developing in terms of new opportunities! That said, I cannot fail to see how, now more than ever, knowing even a bit of regex can help us in our day-to-day lives as translators.


See, translators moved from being 'manual' writers to computer geeks that work around the world and around the clock, traveling and relentlessly gapping cultural and linguistic bridges thanks to their good approach to both languages and technologies.


What Regex Actually Is


So let's just introduce what a regular expression actually is:


"a sequence of symbols and characters expressing a string or pattern to be searched for within a longer piece of text"


In my own terms: a sequence with a bunch of weird characters, each playing a role in finding text and then handling them in the handier way for us, should that be filtering, extracting, replacing, creating QA modules, and so on and so forth.


These are all things that regular expressions can do, and some CAT tools come equipped with more stuff than others to do the job.


My personal preference fall on memoQ. This tool, developed by the Hungarian Kilgray, has all said features. You just need to know how to look, and how to write regex, of course!


There are other tools that can perform regex work in a way or another, but for now let's focus on memoQ.


Learn How to Regex


We can learn regex the hard way, so that means with trial and error via, for example, one of those debuggers available online, and analyzing what we're doing until we come up with the result we want.


For our purpose, I'd suggest debugging via this website: https://regex101.com/.


Or, I recommend you follow along these lines, as I'll show you how useful it is to get one of my sessions in regex available on my Services page. That's all for now, folks.


Thank you for your attention!

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