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Trados changing HTML tags? How to prevent?
Thread poster: Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 05:38
English
May 2, 2005

(sorry, no version available) I just received the Japanese translation of an English HTML text. It is a beautifully translated mess! Trados has changed some but not all of the tags, which leaves some tags without endings, making whole chunks "strong" or "EM" when only one or two words should have been inside the tags. It also inserted some "span" tags where I had none.

The translation was done originally from a RoboHELP English file that was going to go into Microsoft's CHM help file format. We realized that CHM had too many problems to fit into our build process, and decided to use plain HTML. I cleaned out the excessively rigid HTML from RoboHelp and made it into plain vanilla HTML. Did the original tags become re-animated? The file doesn't have all the tags from the original RoboHelp, just a few of them.


Can this be prevented? We were under the impression that Trados had a "protect the tags" feature that would preserve the HTML for us.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:38
English to German
+ ...
Who worked on the files? May 3, 2005

Hi,
I'm a bit puzzled by your statement that "no version is available". - didn't you work on the files yourselves? If a third party translated them, the first step should be to check with them.

Trados TagEditor has a tag protection feature - users are, however, able to deactivate that.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Try the tag verifier feature May 3, 2005

Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:

Can this be prevented? We were under the impression that Trados had a "protect the tags" feature that would preserve the HTML for us.


As Ralf said, users can disable the tag protection.

I don't know what might have happened but you can try running the Tag verifier feature from Tag Editor, which spot all the cases of changed or removed tags. If you didn't translate the file yourself, you can ask the person who did it to check the tags.

From your comments, it seems that the tags should have not been changed but it might also be possible that the change on the tags has been done on purpose, as different languages require different formatting conventions for some items (maybe they use italics where the source document used bold)... Just guessing...

Good luck!

Daniel


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 05:38
English
TOPIC STARTER
3rd party puzzled too May 3, 2005

[quote]Ralf Lemster wrote:

"didn't you work on the files yourselves? If a third party translated them, the first step should be to check with them."

It's a big company that requires lots of material translated into lots of languages, so the projects are often handled by several persons with various tools, and re-assembled. This one is "only" 10 languages.

The translation was done by person "A" (outsource) a few weeks ago by an unspecified means, and person "B" (in house) is the one who ran the English through Trados for me. She's puzzled too. It's the first try for them at doing plain HTML files, so the process is a bit ragged.

"Trados TagEditor has a tag protection feature - users are, however, able to deactivate that."

Thanks. I'll look into the user's manual for that feature tomorrow and see if we can get it to ignore the tag changes we made. Worst case, I do a lot of HTML fixing, because the language validators say the text is OK, it's just the format.

However, it's been a useful hassle because it revealed that we have to have the English text AND the HTML code in its final form before translating it to make the process go quickly. I can't expect the Trados crew to learn HTML too.


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 05:38
English
TOPIC STARTER
Trados IS sensitive to HTML code changes May 4, 2005

Thanks everyone:

LESSON: Clean up the HTML before sending it to the translators!

"Trados TagEditor has a tag protection feature - users are, however, able to deactivate that."

We found that the "tag protection" prevents the user from inadvertently deleting or changing a tag. It does not force Trados to ignore the tags and just evaluate the text.

Trados notices some changes to the HTML tags, and it counts them against the % match for the document. It didn't notice the changes I made to the attributes of existing tags, and didn't notice where proper LI commands replaced some funky paragraph classes, but did notice most of the changes that were within sentences, such as where a "span" that forced bold text was changed to EM or STRONG. Unfortunately, it tried to fix them, and introduced errors instead.


One enhancement I would like to see in Trados is an "ignore the formatting, just match the text strings" option for those times when a badly coded HTML document has already been translated.


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