Is TermBase eXchange (TBX) really an industry standard for terminology exchange?
Thread poster: anchelee
anchelee
Japan
Local time: 01:48
Japanese to English
+ ...
Oct 2

It seems that there are several tools/software that can import *.tbx file, but very little (or none?) that can export the pure *.tbx format.
Is that true?

Can you share with me what is your favourite method of managing terminology/glossary and how do you share them with other translators if not by *.tbx?


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Jean Dimitriadis
France
Local time: 17:48
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
Options Oct 3

I don’t know if TBX is an industry standard, but it is an open file format and an international standard for TermBase Exchange purposes.

Anchovy is a free utility by MaxPrograms, which offers the ability to convert glossary files (from TMX or CSV) to the TBX format (and their CAT tool, Swordfish, if I understand correctly - http://www.maxprograms.com/products/anchovy.html

Translate Toolkit offers various command line utilities, among which one called csv2tbx -
Download: http://toolkit.translatehouse.org/
Documentation: http://docs.translatehouse.org/projects/translate-toolkit/en/latest/commands/csv2tbx.html

Heartsome Translation Studio also offers the ability to convert CSV to TBX - https://github.com/heartsome/translationstudio8

TM-Town glossaries can be downloaded in TBX (and a number of other formats) and can be easily shared online with other TM-Town users (I’m not talking about selling them on the Terminology Marketplace) - https://www.tm-town.com/blog/sharing-files-on-tm-town

What method or format you use for sharing terminology files depends on who you want to share them with and what CAT tools you (both) use.

As a universal alternative to TBX, CSV files are a very simple format to handle. They can be converted and imported into most CAT tools.

My preferred CAT tool (CafeTran Espresso) also supports TMX for fragments and can be used for glossaries/termbases. Being an open and widely used format, TMX can also make a good candidate for file exchange.



[Edited at 2017-10-03 20:55 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:48
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
In the real world? Oct 3

anchelee wrote:
It seems that there are several tools/software that can import *.tbx file, but very little (or none?) that can export the pure *.tbx format.
Is that true?
Can you share with me what is your favourite method of managing terminology/glossary and how do you share them with other translators if not by *.tbx?

Well, I happen to know that there's a related ISO standard so the theoretical side has certainly been examined (and is under periodic review), but in terms of real-life practice I am not knowledgeable about this area. Jean Dimitriadis' answer looks like a useful start.

Dan


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 17:48
English to Hungarian
+ ...
No Oct 3

In my experience TBX is very rarely used by translators and translation agencies.
This area is a real mess so there is no simple answer. Pick your format depending on what the data is like and who you want to share it with. If the glossary is simple (no synonyms, just one column per language) and you don't know what software the addressee has then xls is probably the best. Everyone can open an xls file and every glossary tool should be able to import it.


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CafeTran Training
Netherlands
Local time: 17:48
Excel for exchange of terminology Oct 4

FarkasAndras wrote:

If the glossary is simple (no synonyms, just one column per language) and you don't know what software the addressee has then xls is probably the best. Everyone can open an xls file and every glossary tool should be able to import it.


I agree (apart from the synonyms part). I’ve never received a TBX file but many times an Excel file. Tools like SDL’s glossary converter can produce them for exchanging a MuliTerm base.

Rearranging and deleting columns in Excel is very easy. So is swapping of source and target language.

Tab-delimited is basically the same, with less extra data for the file format and also readable in text editors. You can paste a tab-delimited glossary in Excel for manipulation. That’s why I prefer them.

CSV are alike but can require field-surrounding delimiters like quotes, which adds extra characters and makes them more fragile to edit. You can import import them in Excel for manipulation.

Personally, I don’t like TMX for storing terms, since they have a lot of extra data and rearranging and manipulation is more complicated—though not impossible, with a dedicated TMX editor (or e.g. CafeTran). It has fans, but like I said: too complicated for my purposes. Editing a TMX in a text editor can easily lead to corrupted files that cannot be imported (opened) in other tools again. You have to know what you are doing (which is the case with the other solutions too ). Note that TMX comes in many flavours. It’s also (therefore?) the file format with the most problems regarding exchange. Wordfast, for instance, is notorious for not wanting to open perfectly valid TMX files from other apps (you have to use work arounds like WF Anywhere).


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anchelee
Japan
Local time: 01:48
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 5

>Jean Dimitriadis
Wow, so many options!
Many that did not come out of my research.
I will check them out.

>Dan Lucas
Yes, from what I understand, TBX become an ISO standard in 2008 and because Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) shut down in 2011, TBX standard is completely open now available to public (http://www.ttt.org/oscarstandards/tbx/tbx_oscar.pdf) but it seemed to me that no one is interested in building a simple and easy to use converter between TBX and CSV or Excel.

FarkasAndras wrote:

In my experience TBX is very rarely used by translators and translation agencies.
This area is a real mess so there is no simple answer. Pick your format depending on what the data is like and who you want to share it with. If the glossary is simple (no synonyms, just one column per language) and you don't know what software the addressee has then xls is probably the best. Everyone can open an xls file and every glossary tool should be able to import it.


Aha, so that is what I thought.
The only publicly available and useful TBX I found was that of Microsoft Terminology Collection (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/language/Terminology).
But when modifying and maintaining a list of terms, Excel seems to be a good old way to manage and share.

CafeTran Training wrote:

I’ve never received a TBX file but many times an Excel file. Tools like SDL’s glossary converter can produce them for exchanging a MuliTerm base.

Rearranging and deleting columns in Excel is very easy. So is swapping of source and target language.

Tab-delimited is basically the same, with less extra data for the file format and also readable in text editors. You can paste a tab-delimited glossary in Excel for manipulation. That’s why I prefer them.

CSV are alike but can require field-surrounding delimiters like quotes, which adds extra characters and makes them more fragile to edit. You can import import them in Excel for manipulation.

Personally, I don’t like TMX for storing terms, since they have a lot of extra data and rearranging and manipulation is more complicated—though not impossible, with a dedicated TMX editor (or e.g. CafeTran). It has fans, but like I said: too complicated for my purposes. Editing a TMX in a text editor can easily lead to corrupted files that cannot be imported (opened) in other tools again. You have to know what you are doing (which is the case with the other solutions too ). Note that TMX comes in many flavours. It’s also (therefore?) the file format with the most problems regarding exchange. Wordfast, for instance, is notorious for not wanting to open perfectly valid TMX files from other apps (you have to use work arounds like WF Anywhere).


Yes, I've found the combination of SDL MultiTerm and Glossary Converter is a good way to convert from Excel to TBX or vice versa.
But then I wasn't so sure if it was worth the effort to try to keep all my glossary in TBX format if no was using it in the first place.
I would definitely prefer Excel over CSV or tab-delimited for the reasons you mentioned.


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Is TermBase eXchange (TBX) really an industry standard for terminology exchange?

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