Saturday, December 24, 2011

Translating SDL Trados TTX Files in Déjà Vu X

This procedure describes how to translate SDL Trados TTX files with Atril's Déjà Vu X (DVX). Doing so enables users to take advantage of the superior CAT features of DVX for translation assembly, content filtering, etc. If you are a Trados user or in possession of an appropriate trial copy of Trados, you have all the tools needed to prepare and post-process the files. If you cannot obtain at least a working trial copy of SDL Trados of the version needed, then you will have to rely on someone else, such as your customer, to prepare and post-process the files for you.

When working on TTX files in DVX, be especially careful with the placement of codes and look carefully at a printed copy, PDF reference file, etc. of the original document to aid in understanding context and the function of these codes.

Step 0: Preparing the source files
Before creating a TTX file and presegmenting it for translation in DVX, it is a very good idea to take a look at the file and clean up any "garbage" such as optional hyphens, unwanted carriage returns or breaks, inappropriate tabbing in the middle of sentences, etc. This will ensure that your work will not be burdened by superfluous tags and that the uncleaned file after the translation will have good quality segmentation.

Step 1: Segment the source files
If the source files are of types which Trados handles only via the TagEditor interface, then they may be pre-translated directly by Trados Workbench to produce the presegmented TTX files. If they are RTF or Microsoft Word files on the other hand, you must first launch TagEditor, open the files in that environment and then save them to create the TTX files, which are then subsequently pre-translated using Trados Workbench.

Important Trados settings: In Trados Workbench select the menu option
Options -> Translation Memory Options… and make sure that the checkbox option "Copy source on no match" is marked. In the dialog for the menu option Tools -> Translate, mark the option to "Segment unknown sentences".

After the settings for Trados Workbench are configured correctly, select the files you wish to translate in the dialog for the Workbench menu option Tools  Translate and pretranslate them. This will create the "presegmented" files for import into DVX.

If the job involves a lot of terminology in a MultiTerm database, which cannot be made available for the translation in the Déjà Vu environment (perhaps due to password protection or no suitable MultiTerm installation on the computer used for DVX work), you might want to consider selecting one of the Workbench options for term translation. I usually don't do this, as I clear unmatched segments in DVX and run MultiTerm as a separate reference tool.

You may want to inspect the segmented files in TagEditor to ensure that the segmentation does not require adjustment. No changes to the Trados segmentation whatsoever may be made in DVX, though segments can be combined to produce better TM content in the DVX environment (do NOT delete any codes!). If undesirable Trados segmentation is noted in DVX, it is best to mark these places with a comment or otherwise indicate the problem and make the corrections using TagEditor after the uncleaned files are exported from DVX.

Note that if you fail to perform this step or if the option to segment unknown sentences is not selected, all or some of the source content will fail to import.

Step 2: Import the segmented source files into DVX
Set up a DVX project using the Wizard and import the files from the appropriate Wizard page or later using the Project Explorer. DVX will automatically identify the TTX file type. You shouls select the additional option "Prevent segmentation" to ensure that each DVX segment will initially correspond to exactly one Trados segment in the TTX file.

Step 3: Get rid of the "No Match" content (optional)
This is one step that differs radically from the procedure for translating Trados pre-segmented RTF and Microsoft Word files. With these files, the DVX filter for Trados Workbench ignores all "No Match" content, showing nice, empty cells in the DVX grid. The TTX filter, on the other hand, imports everything. This can be inconvenient if you use DVX's Autoassemble feature.

Here is how to get rid of the unmatched content in the TTX files to make them a little "friendlier" for the translation work:

  1. Open the file or, if all the files in the project are TTX files, open all the content by double-clicking the project icon in the File Navigator window.
  2. In the drop-down filter in the center of the translation window just above the grid, select "All Unpainted Rows". This will hide all fuzzy matches.
  3. Right-click on the translation grid and choose "Clear All Translations" from the context menu. Note that only the visible content will be erased.
  4. Choose "All Rows" in the filter box, and all the content will be shown ready to translate. Any fuzzy matches from the pretranslation with Trados Workbench will still be there.

Step 4: Translate the files as you normally would in DVX
Note that pre-segmentation in Trados brings with it some of the disadvantages of working with Trados, such as the fact that numbers and dates are ignored if they do not occur with other characters. This omission due to Trados segmentation will have to be remediated by post-editing the translation in TagEditor or a text editor. Depending on the client’s workflow, you may want to do this post-editing on the uncleaned or the cleaned file. (Some clients like to edit the uncleaned files and then generate a final translated version by cleaning the file they have edited; if you correct only the numbers, dates, etc. in the “cleaned” file, these changes will have to be made again.)

Changing segmentation as you work: While working in DVX, you may find that Trados has segmented the source file an inconvenient manner in some places. As long as you never delete a code, you can combine or split segments in DVX without affecting the integrity of the Trados TTX file.

Step 5: Export the finished translation(s) from DVX
The “product” of the DVX export is an uncleaned Trados TTX file.

Step 6: Cleaning the file(s) for delivery
If you have a working copy of Trados, files may be cleaned using the corresponding menu function in Trados Workbench or using the Save Target As… function in the File menu of TagEditor. If you do not have a working copy, then your client or someone else with a working copy of Trados will have to generate the final translated files.

What have you gained by going to all this trouble?

  • If you are a DVX user without Trados skills, you have possibly been able to take on a job you could not have done otherwise. This may be important for those in need of a “competitive advantage”.
  • You have probably saved time and made more money (considered from an hourly rate perspective), especially with a long translation, especially if there are a lot of repeated structures in the text. The ability of DVX to assemble using partial segments from the TMs, the termbases and the Lexicon is a huge advantage. Typical work metrics I have recorded over the past 5 years point to a 20 to 30% greater efficiency when translating in Déjà Vu versus Trados. This means much better earnings per hour!
  • With this approach you have “fully compatible” parallel TMs. If a job is done purely with DVX and a Trados TM export is made from the DV translation memory databases, differences in segmentation will result in some “loss” of TM compatibility. However, one must balance this disadvantage against the advantage of number and date handling by DVX in some cases. Source: