How to: CAT tool translation on mobile phone

There’s something I’d like to share with the translator community; I’ve figured out how to run a CAT tool on my Nokia N900 mobile phone.

This is the phone of geeks, anyway, featuring a full Linux operating system and root access (admin rights) to let you customise any aspect of the device. It even has Skype integrated; another bonus for a translator on the move.

Now, the CAT tool is the open-source (source code shared freely at no cost), cross-platform (PC, Linux, Mac) OmegaT. I’ve been singing its praises for several years now, much preferring it to the slower, more cumbersome CAT tools.

This may be just a novelty, but it’s great to know that I can use a CAT tool when not in the office. I don’t know if this is a first, translation tools on a mobile phone, but so far I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else online.

Here is a (very) brief rundown of how to set it up:

  • get hold of a Nokia N900
  •  download and install the easydebian image (instructions on, takes an hour)
  •  download the Linux OmegaT archive
  • open and extract in easydebian
  •  run OmegaT.jar (wait a minute for it to start)
  • import your OpenOffice, rtf or txt files and get to work!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some screenshots of OmegaT running on the N900:

CAT tool on mobile phone

Close-up of CAT tool on phone

CAT tool on mobile phone

Thanks for reading. I do translation from French and Swedish to English, so if that's useful to you, feel free to connect and message me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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