Merge segment should always be possible
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:33
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Nov 6, 2013

I wonder if you agree with me. When using any CAT-tool, and you see a segment that has been chopped into senseless pieces, you need to merge the pieces into a mindful sentence. But most of the time the merge-function is grayed out or the software says: "segments belong to different paragraphs" or something the like.

I recognize that merging will cause the software to lose matches next time when the document is prepared for translation. But not merging and translating those senseless pieces one for one will induce false matches in the TM. For instance German verbs come often at the end of the sentence, but always at the beginning of the sentence in English and most other languages.

So my wish to Santa this year goes to all designers of translation software: Let us merge, let us merge, please!


 

Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 01:33
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Do not blame the CAT, blame the lazy PMs/DTP specialists Nov 6, 2013

Dear Heinrich,

I believe this is not the flaw of the CAT tools. You usually do not want to merge segments across paragraphs, as they belong to different logical units of the text. The reason of the problem is almost always the poor preparation of the source text.


Regards,

Gyula


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:33
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
@Gyula: strong disagree! Nov 6, 2013

Gyula Erdész wrote:

Dear Heinrich,

I believe this is not the flaw of the CAT tools. You usually do not want to merge segments across paragraphs, as they belong to different logical units of the text. The reason of the problem is almost always the poor preparation of the source text.


Regards,

Gyula


I strongly disagree with you, Gyula: While of course the reason of the problem indeed is a flawed source text, this is no excuse for CAT tools not offering this kind of basic functionality. I know what I'm doing when I want to merge segments, and I don't need the software developers to tell me that these paragraph marks shouldn't be there in the first place. In real life, they ARE there, and it costs me a lot of time to prepare the source documents before translating. And most of the time, I'll miss a couple of instances, which means starting all over again (open and edit source file, pretranslate in CAT tool again (splitting or merging any segments in the way I did during the earlier rounds of translation)....

In other words: Heinrich is spot on!


 

Gyula Erdész
Hungary
Local time: 01:33
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Different point of view Nov 6, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. Interesting point of view, indeed.

If I receive a source file with tag soup and/or bad segmentation, I immediately warn the PM. It is not my job to split/merge the segments in the source text. If it is needed, I can do it, by I usually hate to spend extra time in front of the computer because of other people's negligence.

On the other hand, it is so much easier to eliminate the unnecessary hard returns / paragraph breaks etc. during the preparation of the source text than in any CAT tools. And if you merge the segments, and next time your colleague does not do the same, it causes mess in the TM.

Silly example, but if you buy a loaf ob bread and find a handful of raisins in it, do you start to sort them out or do you complain at the baker?


Regards,

Gyula


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:33
Member
English to French
Many people don't care one way or the other Nov 6, 2013

I would think that everybody has already seen a customer TM riddled with bits of meaningless sentences because translators either don't know, don't care, cannot because of the CAT tool, or are explicitly not allowed to rework segmenting.
Heinrich Pesch wrote:
I recognize that merging will cause the software to lose matches next time when the document is prepared for translation.

This happens only if merging is not applied systematically. A comma added or margins moved in a brochure update may also lead to many missed 100% matches, because the hard breaks at the end of each line in the layout break sentences in other places during the DTP>CAT process.

So yes, CAT tools should all have a joining/merging feature whatever the tags/characters between both segments. AFAIC, I always try to create meaningful segments in TMs, including through resegmenting the source text after reformatting it properly. Why? More often than not, this extra work turns to my advantage, revealing repetitions and matches where there weren't, besides building a "good" TM.

But Gyula certainly has a point: it shouldn't be the translator's job to prepare a file suitable for CAT use. If I do it on large files, it's only because I am usually financially rewarded with commensurate TM results. The agency gains a cleaner TM, and I save nett time while translating.

By the way, I seem to have noticed in MemoQ 6.2 that you cannot join/split segments in a file when a view including that file exists, even if it is not open. But overall, I find MemoQ fairly flexible in terms of splitting/joining segments.

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
But not merging and translating those senseless pieces one for one will induce false matches in the TM.

Yes, especially on multiword table headers using hard breaks instead of proper formatting. And then some people think that not paying 100% matches is smart.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:33
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Another silly example Nov 6, 2013

Gyula Erdész wrote:

Silly example, but if you buy a loaf ob bread and find a handful of raisins in it, do you start to sort them out or do you complain at the baker?


Let me answer with an equally silly example: If you want a set of different screwdrivers (flat, Phillips, Pozidriv etc.) because you're working on an old piece of furniture where all of these are used - how would you react if the manufacturer only offered one of them saying that the type he offers is the best, and other screws shouldn't be used anyway?icon_wink.gif

[Bearbeitet am 2013-11-06 13:57 GMT]


 

Philippe Noth  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 01:33
Member (2015)
German to French
+ ...
Silly segments Aug 4

I hope nobody minds if I unearth this very old topic, its subject matches exactly what I'd like to ask.

As an occasional translator that is learning to become a full-time freelancer, I learnt a lot from this site and through practice, but I still have a few technical issues, in particular with segments and tags. About segments...

What is the correct way to handle the situation below (segments 331 and 332)? The customer had put a CR between the two words, hence the segmentation. The CAT tool does not allow merging:

khyimy3lndiceokzgumv.jpg

I only see two possible things to do:

  • skip the 2 segments and ask the PM

  • ignore and translate, because in such an easy case the end result will likely be correct (as shown by the source document)


As Heinrich wrote, between German and French there are often such inversions. This is an easy case but sometimes it can be much more intricated.

Philippe


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: dupli

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:33
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Ignore and translate Aug 4

Philippe Noth wrote:
  • skip the 2 segments and ask the PM
  • ignore and translate, because in such an easy case the end result will likely be correct (as shown by the source document)




Yes, just ignore and translate - the entries in the TM will be wrong, but this isn't your problem. You can also place the full translation and either leave the 2nd segment empty or fill it with some "placeholder" (like nonbreaking space, for example) and lock.


 

xulihang
China
Chinese to English
+ ...
SnowmanCAT alsway allow segment merge Aug 26

I often get indesign-generated pdfs to translate. So I have to transcribe texts from these pdfs. But the result may not be fullfiling and I have to proofread it.

Then I will import it into CAT tools. But there still may be problems. And as for English-Chinese translation, several English sentences equal one Chinese sentence.

So the merge function is very important for a flexible translation.

The SnowmanCAT(雪人CAT) works just fine for me.


 


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Merge segment should always be possible

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