New to CAT Tools; Trados or MemoQ for partially translated Excel files with lots of repetition?
Thread poster: FreelanceBass

United States
Local time: 05:25
Japanese to English
May 24, 2017

Relatively new translator here. I was just handed my first project; it's an Excel document which has already been partially translated into English, and comes with a significant amount of repeated words and phrases. I'm confident that I can do a solid job translation-wise, but have never translated through Excel - so I've been busy drawing up a plan of attack as to maximize my output and efficiency (I'll be paid per target word).

I was originally going to just straight translate it through Excel, but upon doing some research (and correct me if I'm mistaken) it seemed like going with a CAT tool from the outset would make my life easier in the long run. So I eventually narrowed down my choices to Trados and MemoQ, and ended up going for the MemoQ Adriatic trial - I heard it was the easier of the two to get into, and worked just as well.

I watched this tutorial (per MemoQ's recommendation):

I thought the instructor did a good job of explaining things and everything seemed intuitive enough, but nothing worked as expected. My document is already partially translated from Japanese to English, so I first tried importing my original source document and my partially translated document as a corpus into the LiveDocs section (this was covered in the tutorial video). The documents were imported successfully, but at least half of the translations did not line up at all. After some flailing, I decided to just move on to the actual translation...

I then tried importing all sorts of combinations into the translation section: The Orig. Japanese and partially translated Excel documents; just the partially translated document; and both Excel files combined into one document (on separate tabs). The preview creation failed each time - the error message said the file size was too big. Then when I would translate words, the % wouldn't change from 0% to 100%, even though it did so just fine in the video tutorial.

1. Would you say that MemoQ is on par with Trados when it comes to translating Excel documents? If so, where do you think I might be going wrong in importing/starting a partially translated document?

2. Is there any prep work you feel is a must before starting to translate, that I might be missing?

I have a deadline and unfortunately don't have as much time as I might like to study up on this kind of program - so I am hoping to focus on just one of them, and want to make sure MemoQ is a good choice for Excel. I've already spent a number of hours trying to sort this out that I could have used for translating, so I would really appreciate the help.

Thank in advance.

(By the way... I am using the Office 2016 version of Excel, and am on Windows 10.)


Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:25
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I'd start by aligning previous translation(s) into a TMX May 24, 2017

I'd probably try to create a quick translation memory (.tmx) from your previously translated material (Excel files), and then use this as my project TM in memoQ.

The aligner in memoQ is pretty good, but LFAligner ( ) is better, and free:

Also free, and good, but online (as long as files don't exceed 1MB) is:

Good luck!



Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:25
English to Russian
Import with options, not LiveDocs May 24, 2017

Based on what you mentioned above: both Excel files combined into one document (on separate tabs)
Can you, by chance, combine them on one sheet (2 columns)?

If yes,
With memoQ:
1. Import with options.
2. Locate your file.
3. In the 'Document import options' window, select Filter 'Multilingual delimited text filter'.
4. Click 'Change filter and configuration'.
5. Go to 'Column' tab.
6. Check 'First row contains column names' if this is your case. Select Japanese for 'Source language'.
7. See the letter of your source column (let it be A), click it in the list.
8. Change 'Meaning of selected column' from 'Not imported' to 'Source text'.
9. See the letter of your target column (let it be B), click B in the list.
10. Change 'Meaning of selected column' from 'Not imported' to 'Translation'.
11. Select A in the 'For column' field.
12. Select your target language in the 'Language field'.
13. Click OK.
14. Click OK again.
15. Enjoy your translation
***If you are pretty sure that your target column content (where populated) does not need further editing, then you may select 'Import as "confirmed and locked"' in the 'If input contains target language text' field.

[Edited at 2017-05-24 20:35 GMT]


United States
Local time: 05:25
Japanese to English
Thanks for the advice! May 24, 2017

Thanks - I'll give both of these suggestions a try, and report back on what seems to work best for me.

Would love to hear any other ideas in the meantime regarding using Excel with MemoQ, Trados or otherwise.


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New to CAT Tools; Trados or MemoQ for partially translated Excel files with lots of repetition?

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