Content migration to DITA: TM useless?
Thread poster: Jan Lievens

Jan Lievens
Local time: 01:42
Member (Jan 2018)
French to Dutch
+ ...
Oct 13, 2017

Hi all,

I would like your opinion on this.

In the past, a client has always used Quicksilver to create its content. All content has been translated at some moment. Result: a very valuable translation memory.

Now, they're migrating their documentation to DITA. This results in new DITA files, containing the same content but this time with DITA markup.

Do you think the historic TM is useless now or is there a way to retrieve all those 100% matches, even if the new documents contain different (DITA) markup tags?

Thank you for your time!


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Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
English to Spanish
TM data is recoverable Oct 13, 2017


The main problem you will face is that DITA is not just another XML format. It has special features like content referencing and addressing via keys. If you use a CAT tool that treats DITA as plain XML, you will not have context and the TM will be almost useless.

You need a tool that understands DITA and resolves the referenced content and processes keys before extracting the text that needs translation.

In my experience, with proper DITA parsing you can reuse more than 80% of your legacy TM.

If your client uses ditaval files for content filtering, you can use Fluenta to process the DITA files and generate XLIFF that can be translated by any CAT tool.

If your client doesn't do filtering, you can use Swordfish to convert DITA maps to XLIFF for translating.

Check this article to understand some of the common problems that CAT tools have with DITA: Selecting a Translation Tool for DITA.


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