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Automatic way to create a term base
Thread poster: Galia WF

Galia WF
Local time: 14:03
Apr 29, 2012

Hi all,

I am quite new to this. I was under the impression that there is some sort of auto tracking to every source and translated doc I enter which then automatically creates a term base as I go along.
Will I have to manually create a term base? If I understand correctly I will loose a substantial amount of time on creating a term base. I have a pressing deadline and thought that introducing a CAT
would save me valuable time.
I read that I could try to use an alignment tool but it seems to me that there should be an automated way to create a term base.
I am currently looking at Wordfast and Deja Vu.

Many thanks,


Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
Finnish to French
Several ways to do it Apr 30, 2012

Once you've created a translation memory and it's in use, it will grow automatically as you translate: each time you translate one sentence and move to the next one, the sentence pair you've just translated gets added to the TM. This applies to all versions of Wordfast (Classic, Pro, Anywhere, since you didn't mention which version(s) you're interested in), and to all other CAT tools as well.

Term bases (called glossaries in Wordfast Classic/Anywhere and terminogy lists in Wordfast Pro) don't work like that: creating them and selecting them for use with Wordfast is not sufficient, you need to add content to them. There are two main ways to do it: 1) importing existing terminology (if any), for instance from an Excel sheet or a Word table, 2) adding them on-the-fly while you translate. All three versions of Wordfast support 1) and 2), but the exact way to do it differs slightly in each program. For instance, the keyboard shortcut for 2) is Ctrl+Alt+T in Classic and Anywhere, but Ctrl+T in Wordfast Pro.

Most other tools (Déjà Vu, memoQ etc.) also let you do both 1) and 2). Some tools have a terminology extraction feature that will automatically pick up "candidates" for term pairs from bilingual files, but there is still a manual step involved in making the final decision as to which term pairs to send to your term base. memoQ has such a function built-in, SDL offers it as a separate product (PhraseFinder).


English to Russian
+ ...
indeed Apr 30, 2012

Hello Galia, welcome)

Fist, it seems you haven't grasped the concept behind CAT, which is Translation Memory accumulation and suggestion from already translated so-called 'body of knowledge'. So, to do it properly, you should have had your TM filled with relevant translations before accepting the offer for translating...
Why, it's possible to go from scratch, but most probably you won't benefit much, unfortunately.

Second, as good people have already suggested you can either add manually OR use some glossary made via, say, free PlusTools and other terminology extraction software. Sure, it's not really perfect and one should clean the suggestions up, but sometimes it does make wonders.

Moreover, besides using MT for no matching I would recommend you asking your client for their TM or glossary--also might help, especially if they need not 'correct' translation, but 'local standard' (it might happen too). Should you have time use ALIGNment for filling in your TMs from relevant bilingua corpus in your field and pair, not only terminology.

Good luck)


Galia WF
Local time: 14:03
Great! May 1, 2012

Thanks for your great explanations and help.
I think I will have to wait on starting to work with a CAT until I am done with this project.


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