Updating existing translation with additional text

This article describes how to deal with already translated files, where the client adds some additional text in source language. For our purpose, let’s assume we have a translated Word file and the client adds some additional texts in its original language marking it with a different color (thus giving us a sort of “bilingual” file). Our task is to translate the additional text using CAT tools to include the new content into the translation memory, in our case with SDL Trados Studio keeping the translation memory clean.

One of the methods we could use to achieve this is to import the whole file into SDL Trados Studio and translate only appropriate units leaving the rest of them empty. However, this approach is very prone to omissions. In addition, we cannot use Ctrl+Enter shortcut to move to the next untranslated segment (since we would move to the very next segment instead of jumping over to the next translatable segment), and we would have to move the cursor to the appropriate line manually. This is quite inconvenient.

There is a very easy solution to this. It needs some time for preparing the file, but it is worth it.

Select the first row with the text that is already translated, i.e. the one, whose translation field needs to be left blank. With Shift or Crtl keys held down, select all (or some of) unwanted units, i.e. units that are already in target language (to select the translation units in Editor, you have to click to the left of the Source text column). Press Ctrl+L. This locks these units preventing them from access during translation. Leave color coded units (the ones that are to be translated) as they are. Repeat this until complete text have been processed.

Now we have a file with locked translated content and only appropriate text is available for translation. Translate the text in Studio as usual.

The shortage of this approach is that the analysis will also cover locked units and such analysis cannot be used for invoicing. To obtain accurate figures, you will have to extract the new text manually and run the analysis on this extracted text. There might be a solution to this analysis problem, and I am going to dig more into this when I spare some time.

This entry was posted in Computer-aided Translation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Updating existing translation with additional text

  1. Assuming the changes are to a document you already translated using Studio, probably the quickest approach is to just retranslate the whole thing: the translation memory will take care of everything that is unchanged, and you only have to deal with the new or changed parts.

    The drawbacks of this approach are that if originally you had to deal with layout and formatting after completing the translation, you’ll need to do it again… so this saves time only when no much layout/formatting work is to be done.

    A different approach (that should also take care of the analysis issue you mention) is to format all unchanged text as “invisible” – it should not then appear in Studio, and neither will it appear in the analysis. After the translation is complete and you save to target, Ctrl+A to select the whole text, and then change the invisible text back to visible.

    I haven’t actually tried this, but it should work.

  2. Just tested, and it works (BTW, when I said “invisible, I should of course have said “hidden”).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *