Monday, 25 August 2014

Use SDL Trados Studio for your GRIPS translations

In a recent project with one of our key customers, we managed to migrate our GRIPS data translation process from Transit to SDL Trados Studio. Our new workflow can now make use of all the advantages offered by SDL products without compromise.

GRIPS is a well-known content management system from the company Star, based in Switzerland. Star is also the developer of the translation program Transit and offers its customers a well-established workflow for the translation of GRIPS contents.

Until now, we used this standard workflow to translate GRIPS data, in the past with Transit XV and now with Transit NXT. The decision to look for a solution with SDL products was motivated by our extensive know-how in handling SDL projects and by our preference for using translation memories, which Transit does not support.

The political decision made by SDL to open their development to third-party developers triggered our migration and, as a result, we were able to develop a perfect alternative to using Transit:
  • Programming a file type filter to handle the sgm files which includes previews (for 2011 and 2014)
  • Migration of Transit file-based reference material (Transit “memories”, if you will) to our TM-Server so that the existing translations can be used without loss of the 100% matches
  • Migration of the termbases from TermStar to MultiTerm for term recognition during the translation in Studio
  • Adaptation of the QA rules from Transit NXT in Studio.

The entire workflow has been tested and successfully implemented.

As the file type filter has been developed for a specific customer, we can’t ensure that it will work for other projects without modification. For that reason we won’t publish it until we have assured ourselves that it works reliably. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in migrating your own projects to another CAT tool or if you want to test our filter for your project.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tips to work with the alignment editor - SDL Studio SP1

This may help if you have some difficulties to set your alignment project correctly.

1.    If the alignment is not perfect, set some connections manually and use the “Realign” button. Make some tests to get an idea how the “Realign” function works and use it instead of connecting manually each segment pair. You will be faster.

2.    Studio doesn't check if you choose the right translation memory (TM) with the right languages. Be careful when setting up your alignment project.
If you want to check the selected TM before importing your aligned translation units, click on the "Import into Translation Memory" text (with the down-arrow) and select "Advanced Import"

In the opening window, you can change the TM and also the fields and values that have to be saved with the translation units (TUs).

3.    If the segmentation in the source or the target text is not correct, there are 2 possible reasons for this:
a.    The file type settings are not correctly set. In this case you will see the same problem in both source and target sides and you will have to troubleshoot the corresponding file type filter
b.    The segmentation rules of the TM are not correctly set. Segmentation rules have to be set for each single language.

Note that the Realign Button won’t change the segmentation of the files to align: after a change of the segmentation rules, you will have to start over the alignment of your files to get new *.sdlalign files.

4.    Studio tries to align each segment of the source file with each segment of the target file. If one file has a paragraph more (which has not been translated yet for example), erase this part before aligning. This will help the alignment work and the final result.

5.    If you have imported aligned TUs in a false TM, you can delete them with a filter and the batch delete function in the "Translation Memories" view:

First set a new filter like illustrated below (Value is the name of the origin sdlalign file) and save it.

Then run the batch delete with the new filter selected.

You can start again…

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review of Studio SP1

The first service pack of Studio 2014 has now been published and with it the brand new alignment editor. SDL developed a new alignment interface to replace the old WinAlign which couldn't cope neither with new formats from Microsoft, Adobe… nor with the "new" bilingual standard .sdlxliff. The first step was already done without editor but many feedbacks have come to describe specific use cases where the alignment tool was not appropriate, for example when source document contains texts which are missing in the target document because of a difference in the document version. 
So SDL made it:

The new editor gives now a view in the alignment results before segments are imported in a selected TM as well as basic edition features to realign the segmented text. This way, it is possible to see if there are important problems in the alignment and to change erroneous connections.

The most interesting function in the new editor is the "Realign" function which permits to rework the alignment after having manually set or confirmed some connections. Studio won't change any of the confirmed segments and will "re-think" the alignment with these new "100% trustable clues". This function helps to correct several false connections at once and at the end to get a completed proofed alignment quicker than with the old tool.
The editor is in its first version and does not include all the functionalities of WinAlign yet like "join" and "split". This will be added in the next updates/service packs.

Another new function in Studio SP1 - actually a redevelopment - is the embedded content processing for XML file type filters. Since SDL Studio 2009, it was possible to enter regular expressions in the XML file type filter to tag embedded content, for example HTML tags in so called "CDATA section".

In SP1, you have now the possibility to select an HTML4 or HTML5 processor in the new embedded content section of the XML file type filter to automatically tag the HTML elements embedded in your XML files without having to write any regular expressions at all. You just have to check the box "Process embedded content using the following processor" and choose the HTML version.

The settings of the processor can be found at the bottom of the left-hand pane.
The plain text processor allow to write regular expressions as the old concept proposes.

This is a great improvement especially for users without experience with regular expressions and who used to copy-paste untagged HTML elements from source to target (i.e. in plain text), which is quite "dangerous”. For advanced users, this is a relevant gain of time in setting XML file type filters.

SDL chose to offer both solutions: old embedded content in the file type settings and new embedded content processors. It remains easy to adjust old settings without having to think about the new concept and to migrate all project templates. 

In this first version, the new processor misses some features that could be important for you:
-          No possibility to join HTML tagging and plain text regular expressions,
-          Preview of CDATA does not work yet.
The major advantage of the new processor is that it is possible to import and export embedded content settings. No need to search inside the “.sdltpl” file anymore to use them in other templates or project settings.

To me, 2 important enhancements: the first to replace an alignment tool that I couldn't use anymore and the second to make embedded content easier to handle.

The SP1 installer is a free upgrade available for those who have a valid license of Studio 2014 through the personal account on

 Another review here: