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"Updating" a previous translation with new content - experiences? Techniques?
Thread poster: Charlie Bavington
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:38
French to English
Mar 9, 2004

My situation is as follows :
The client has sent me 3 Word documents. Version 1 in FR and EN, and Version 2 in FR. Each doc is about 200 pages long. The apparently simple request – produce a Version 2 in EN incorporating all the differences between Versions 1 and 2 in FR.
However the client is under the impression that Version 1 in EN = Version 1 in FR. This is not the case – some of the differences that appear in Version 2 in FR are already in Version 1 in EN.
It seems to me that the job is basically going to have to be a manual/visual compare and contrast job, to create a Version 2 in EN. Has anybody had any experience of this kind of thing, and can offer advice? (NB: this is one of my best clients, so “don’t do it” doesn’t count!!). Any guidelines on how long (say, in %age comparison to e.g. straightforward translation or proofreading) it might take?
What might be useful to me would be a way to compare the two French versions, if only to give an idea of the scale of the job. I’ve looked under “Tools”, then Compare option in Word, but all it seems to do is create a composite of the two documents. What would be cool would be some kind of indication of what *extra* text there is one document compared to another – anyone know if there’s a way to do this?
Thanks,
Charlie


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Emérentienne
France
Local time: 14:38
English to French
Word count Mar 9, 2004

Charlie Bavington wrote:
What would be cool would be some kind of indication of what *extra* text there is one document compared to another


Charlie,
Is it just a word count you want ? Tools / statistics will give you this reading automatically in a Word file.
cw


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:38
Member (2002)
English to German
Do you have a translation tool (CAT)? Mar 9, 2004

If yes:

1. Align Version 1 FR and EN to create a translation memory (TM).
2. Translate Version 2 FR using the TM you have created. Thereby you will avoid re-translating existing material.

After creating a TM and setting up the Version 2 project, most tools allow you to do an analysis (amount of 100%, 99%, 90% etc. repetition), which is handy in estimating the time and effort needed.

If you don't have a CAT tool, I'm afraid it won't be a lot less effort than a full-blown translation of Version 2. Comparing two documents is an extremely tough job. If after using "Compare documents" in Word, you see a lot of coloured text evenly spread across the document, you even have a chance to spend more time on comparing than on translating the whole thing from scratch.

It all depends on whether the changes are concentrated in a few passages (in which case you can reuse large portions of the existing translation), or if the text is full of small changes which a) are difficult to spot and b) reduce the scope for reuse. Since every text is different in this respect, I don't see any telling how much it will take you in this particular case.

Unfortunately I'm not aware of a better compare tool than Word, which is not 100% reliable to my knowledge.

Endre
EB Communications


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Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:38
German to Croatian
+ ...
Track changes, Compare documents Mar 9, 2004

Charlie Bavington wrote:
I’ve looked under “Tools”, then Compare option in Word, but all it seems to do is create a composite of the two documents. What would be cool would be some kind of indication of what *extra* text there is one document compared to another ...


You open first the file with the most recent version of the text, go to Tools, Track changes, Compare documents, select the old text file and the changes should appear highlighted (red/blue). This goes for Word 2000.

In Word XP, you proceed in a similar manner, but choose Tools, Compare and merge documents.


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Deborah Shannon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:38
Member (2002)
German to English
My experience Mar 9, 2004

Charlie Bavington wrote:
What would be cool would be some kind of indication of what *extra* text there is one document compared to another – anyone know if there’s a way to do this?
Thanks,
Charlie


Hi Charlie,

You can quantify it quite easily by analysing the new text against an aligned TM - but not if there are discrepancies between the old source and target texts to start with.

Basically if the changes haven\'t been managed systematically, you\'re looking at non-standard work, based on visual comparison of the texts as you suspect.

I happen to have had a series of jobs like this recently (though I tried to get out of them once or twice ) and I think of it as proofreading+plus. But, switching back and forth from proofreading mode to translation mode can be quite taxing, I find.

If the client can provide you with a totally reliable mark-up, and you\'re only responsible for inserting the marked changes, it\'s less stressful.

Otherwise it takes a lot more concentration. In my case, the jobs were more like 20 pages than 200, and that felt like enough. It needn\'t take much longer than proofreading, in fact, but the nature of the work makes it seem longer, so a decent hourly rate is quite important, from the motivation point of view.

HTH a little - Deborah


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:08
English to Tamil
+ ...
Try horizontal tiling Mar 10, 2004

I do not have any CAT tool and this is how I would proceed myself.
At the outset, let me say that it is the French version 2 that is required to be translated into English. Simplest solution will be to translate it directly from the French version 2 to get at the English version 2. Tell the client that the English version 1 is not the translation of French version 1. I would suggest that you persuade the client to accept the translation of French version 2 and not bother with the English version 1. This will be the best solution for both of you.

The client may not agree. In that case you can proceed as follows.

Open the French versions 1 and 2 in the screen and tile them horizontally one above the other. Take care to have a save as copy of the version 1 for this exercise. Let the version 1 be above the version 2. Go through each of them line by line. Whenever there are deviations, incorporate them in the version 1 at the top but use a different colored font to highlight the new texts. In that way you are reproducinng the desired version 2 in the save as copy of the version 1. The highlighted texts with a different color font will represent your actual work yet to be done. This can be charged on the word count. And the time spent on recreating the version 1 has to be paid on hourly basis as per the actual time spent for this purpose. Your preliminary work is not yet over.
Tile horizontally the save as copy of the English version 1 above the French version 1 and proceed in the manner earlier described to correct the English version 1 to be the exact translation of the French version 1. The modified English version 1 can then be tiled horizontally above the mofified French version 1 to proceed with the translation of the highlighted texts. And charge the client a hefty sum on hourly basis so as to demotivate him from giving you such painful jobs! (grin)

Head spinning? To avoid all this rigmarole it is better to translate the French version 2 and forget about everything else.

All what I have told is based on the assumption that he has given you editable soft copies. If on the other hand, he had just given you hard copies of all the 3 documents, proceed straightaway with the translation from the French version 2 to create the desired English version 2. There is no other way that will be fair to you.
Wishing you all the best.
Regards,
N.Raghavan

Charlie Bavington wrote:
My situation is as follows :
The client has sent me 3 Word documents. Version 1 in FR and EN, and Version 2 in FR. Each doc is about 200 pages long. The apparently simple request – produce a Version 2 in EN incorporating all the differences between Versions 1 and 2 in FR.
However the client is under the impression that Version 1 in EN = Version 1 in FR. This is not the case – some of the differences that appear in Version 2 in FR are already in Version 1 in EN.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:38
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
What about a more advanced tool Mar 10, 2004

such as CodeWright or Merge? There might be other similar programs around.

I have taken advantage of free 30-days trial versions of these programs to do comparisons between two different versions.
The programs will lead you from one change to the next as long as it can align the texts along some basic skeleton. They can even track whole blocks of texts that have been moved around.

Both programs have the option Compare in their main menus, and you just browse to your two files, so it should not be too complicated. I don't know whether you can manually edit one of the texts to mark the changes for later editing/translation; the tools are more meant to merge different versions. But at least you don't have to eye two different versions until your eyes pop out (which doesn't take too long).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Short and long answer: Get a proofreader. Mar 11, 2004

Charlie Bavington wrote:
It seems to me that the job is basically going to have to be a manual/visual compare and contrast job, to create a Version 2 in EN.


I get this all the time, although with documents of less than 10 pages long. Yes, it's a visual compare job, unless you have access to the original originals (which you apparently don't).

You could pay a proofreader to compare the two documents sentence-by-sentence or phrase-by-phrase and mark any additions or omissions he encounters (including omission or addition of "important" single words). But you'll have to impress it upon the proofreader that he must really read at *sentence* level and not just generally at paragraph level or even at the gist level.

Not all marked text will be true changes, because different languages treat sentenced differently, but at least you won't miss anything. You could even tell your proofreader to grade changes as A (big change), B (small change but possibly a true change) or C (small change and probably simply the previous translator's bad style).


[Edited at 2004-03-11 18:55]


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