Wednesday, 28 October 2015

"TM Update" batch task is back again: time to upgrade to Studio 2015

Here it is. The problem I wrote about in my last 2 posts has now been solved: Studio is able to update translation units properly as in the past, i.e. by overwriting used TUs instead of overwriting or duplicating them.

The new standard option is nothing other than the old pre Studio SP2 CU8 default option: if a segment has been translated with a certain translation unit (TU) from a given TM, the ID of the TU is saved in the sdlxliff file. If a correction is made offline to this segment, for example through the Export for bilingual review, the batch task knows which TU has to be corrected in the TM. Good to see it back.

So this is certainly the time to upgrade now. 2015 has one very important neat feature which may transform your correction process: the retrofit function. Translations which have been reviewed in their original layout have always been difficult for translators and translation providers. Most of the time, each correction had to be entered in the CAT tool manually which was very time-consuming. The new function should change this situation completely as it is now possible to enter the corrected document as input for this function and get the correction entered automatically with track changes at the right place in the sdlxliff.

This may sound like magic for those like me who never heard of such possibility. In the background, this is pretty simple and very clever: The corrected document is "prepared", i.e. segmented exactly as the original document was. The segments are then aligned with the segments of the original translation. The differences are imported in the sdlxliff and shown as track changes in the editor to allow the translator to check their validity. For more on the retrofit function, see Emma Goldsmith's blog here

2015 is also interesting from the point of view of translation evaluation: A translation quality assessment (TQA) module has been developed which allows translation providers to organize the evaluation of their translators. The new module is fully customizable and you can create your own metrics.

Other new features: AutoCorrect, customizable ribbon, new interface languages and a new word filter which helped us to complete projects as the old one in Studio 2014 was not able to clean up the files.

More information about 2015 can also be found on the SDL blog as well as information about the service release

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

SDL Studio CU10: “Update Translation Memory” batch task may duplicate translation units

In my recent post about SDL Studio, CU8 and a conflict regarding the "Update Translation Memory" batch task and "Add as New Translation" function (Ctrl+Shift+U), I wrote about the new default setting in the "Update Translation Memory" batch task: "Overwrite existing translation units". If you haven't read it yet, please start there to fully understand the situation.

New default setting

Unfortunately, the old behavior of Studio of only overwriting the existing translation unit (TU), as Ctrl+Enter would do in the Editor, has not been reintroduced as a batch task option yet: in CU10, the default setting has been changed to "Add new translation units".
The good thing is that you cannot erase any TUs from your translation memory (TM) anymore (see former post); the bad thing is that the batch task will systematically create a duplicate TU as soon as the target text has been changed without a Ctrl+Enter validation in the translation editor, for example while doing a review in Microsoft Word or an offline review in SDL Studio.

"The overwrite option is fine for me"

I have heard from many users that the "overwrite" setting was a good thing for them and their translation projects: if an unwanted duplicate TU has been added during the translation process, the batch task deletes it as well as all other TU with the same source and saves only one occurrence-- the (last) one found in the sdlxliff.
To use this "overwrite" option with CU8 and CU9, it was not necessary to change anything in the project templates.
Now, as the default setting has been changed in CU10, it is necessary to select the "overwrite" option explicitly in all templates and running projects. Running the batch task with CU10 without having made such changes will use the "Add new translation units" and new duplicate TUs will be created.
In such a scenario, it is fortunately possible to delete immediately the created duplicates just by running the batch task again with the "overwrite" setting. All added TUs will be deleted and replaced by the (last) TU found in the sdlxliff file.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

SDL Studio CU8: Conflict between “Update Main Translation Memory” batch task and “Add as New Translation” function

With the cumulative update 8 for SDL Studio 2014, the batch task “Update Main Translation Memory” offers new functionalities and, above all, a new default setting which may change the way translators work.

New options for the “Update Main Translation Memory” batch task and new default setting

In the batch task prior to CU8, it was possible to “Always add new translation units” so that existing translation units with the same source segment remained in the memory and were not overwritten when the target segment differed. In this case, Studio created a duplicate translation unit.

Now, when you want to update a segment in the TM where the source is identical but the target is different in the sdlxliff file, it is possible to:
  • “Add new translation units”: a duplicate translation unit will be created. This is equivalent to the old option “Always add new translation units” in the former version.
  • Overwrite existing translation units: all existing translation units with the same source segment will be systematically deleted and replaced by the one in the sdlxliff. This option is the new default setting for the batch task.
  • Leave translation units unchanged: the batch task will only add translation units if the source segment is a new translation in the TM.
  • Keep most recent translation units: the last modification date of all existing translation units with the same source segment will be compared with each other, and the newest unit will remain in the TM. All others will be deleted.
The old behavior –only one translation unit is overwritten when duplicates are present – is no longer available. Either you overwrite all TUs which have the same source and keep only one, or don’t update any existing TUs at all.

Conflict with the “Add as New Translation” function 

The "Add as new translation" function is important when a segment should be translated differently depending on the context. Translators can store 2 different versions with the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + U. When you encounter such a segment, it will be regarded as a 99% fuzzy match because of the 1% default penalty for "Multiple Translations". The pre-translation process won't insert any translation in the sdlxliff file, and the translator will be able to consciously choose between both possibilities in the editor. The translator will get paid for this work just like for a "normal" 99% fuzzy match.

In a scenario where translators use this “Add as New Translation” function, the batch task “Update Main Translation Memory” with the default setting will delete all duplicates that were stored in the TM for the given segment. As the batch task is available to both translators and project managers, being unaware of this new setting can have big consequences for the translation resources: segments as described above will be recognized as 100% matches, which can mean not being paid for the segment. In addition, the segment may also have been potentially incorrectly pre-translated.

Here an example

File to update in the TM

TM before “Update Main Translation Memory”. It contains 2 duplicate pairs: TUs #1 and #3 have been intentionally stored by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U. TU #7 should have overwritten TU #5 but it was unexpectedly added in the TM.

With the old batch task, the TM would have remained as it is. With the new batch task and its default setting, the TM after “Update Main Translation Memory” looks like this:

Both TU #5 and TU #1 have been deleted. The deletion of TU #1 is counterproductive.

In the case you prefer not to take any risks with the deletion of important data, take time to set the default value on “Add new translation units” in your project templates.

The default setting will be re-discussed at SDL and could be changed through the cumulative update 10.