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Number checking with CAT tools
Thread poster: James (Jim) Davis

James (Jim) Davis  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:14
Italian to English
Jul 27, 2013

Does anbody know if Trados or other TM software check that the numbers in the target text are identical to those in the source text (or any other software at all)? As a financial translator, I find that getting the numbers wrong can be a big nightmare.


Tony M
Local time: 17:14
French to English
+ ...
Number checking with Wordfast Jul 27, 2013

I use Wordfast Classic, and that handles numbers in most cases transparently — hence little if any further 'checking' is needed.

If numbers occur in isolation, they are not even presented for translation, but are simply left untouched as in the source.

If numbers occur in combination with letters, this MAY cause them to be interpreted as segments (e.g. model numbers, etc.) As long as the letter part does not require translation, you can simply copy the source segment into the target segment, so once again, no errors can occur.

If you have sentences that contain numbers, and these recur from your TM, then NORMALLY the numbers are treated as placeables, and so transfer automatically to the target segment in the correct place. So for example, if I have a source segment "The red bucket contains 18 green balls", the '18' wil be offered to me during translation as a direct placeable (hence no need to re-type it); if then I have a subsequent sentence "The red bucket contains 23 green balls", the TU will be suggested from my TM, BUT the figure will have been adapted accordingly — so again, no need to re-type and no possibility of error.

This works fine, until there is some change in the word / number order, or in the syntax, which can lead to the software's getting muddled up; usually, if your source text uses consistent, accurate syntax, this is not too much of a problem — I have mainly encountered it, for example, where a source text sometimes uses a non-breaking space between figures and units, but sometimes doesn't; in this case, 350 ml for example will behave correctly, offering '350' as a placeable or correctly automatically inserting when recovering a TU from the TM; and if you then have 820 ml, you will be offered 820.

But 350[nbsp]ml will get treated as a word, and so the figures will not be offered as a placeable next time round.

I'm sure there are ways of configuring the software to suit your source text, but I've never needed to look into them. Since the demo version of Wordfast is fully functional, I can only suggest you give it a try with a typical document, and see if its behaviour suits your particular needs.

Note that I have no experience with the behaviour of either Wordfsat Anywhere or Wordfast Professional.

[Edited at 2013-07-27 06:16 GMT]


SofieM  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:14
French to Danish
+ ...
Studio 2011 or XBench Jul 27, 2013

Hi James
In Studio 2011 you can click on Project settings in your project, then click on Verification and the expand the QA Checker. Here you can check different things that you want to check in your translation, e.g. inconsistent translations, punctuation as well as Numbers.

When you are done with the translation press F8 (or go to Tools in the top bar and choose Verify). Then you'll be presented with a list with things that need to be fixed according to what you checked in the QA Checker.

Otherwise you can also use XBench, which is a nice tool as well. Here you can also look for numeric mismatches.
I tend to use both, just to be on the safe side.

Hope this helpsicon_smile.gif


James (Jim) Davis  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:14
Italian to English
Thank you Tony Thank you Ann Jul 27, 2013

That was very helpful. To be honest, I write and use my own TM software and I am writing an extra routine to do a final check on numbers. My software already has controls and automations in place, but at present like wordfast it can't handle a change in the order of numbers.
Thanks again


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