What is your favourite alignment tool?
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:04
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Mar 15, 2007

Hi all CAT-users out there!

I happend to try out for the first time the align-tool for SDLX (included in the SDL Trados 2006 package). And I must say it seems much more intuitive and easier to use than the Trados Align tool. So I would like to know what do you think is the best align tool for creating translation memories out of previously created documents.

Regards
Heinrich


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Maurizio Valente  Identity Verified
Italy
English to Italian
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Logiterm by Terminotix Mar 15, 2007

By far the most efficient (ASAIK)! The only drawback is: One more tool to buy. But it is worth while, definitely.

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:04
Italian to English
Agree with Maurizio Mar 15, 2007

Logiterm's alignment tool is great if you have industrial quantities of files to align. You can do single files or batches with a reasonable degree of confidence that the results will be usable.

You have to sort out the formatting (italics, bold and stuff like that) when you are post-editing but the segmenting is way better than other comparable tools and overall you save a lot of time.

If you don't have to do much aligning then the utilities that come with the standard CAT tools are more than sufficient but for me Logiterm is worth the cash.

FWIW

Giles


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Katie01  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2006)
French to English
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I use SDLX too Mar 15, 2007

Hi Heinrich

Having had some previous experience of aligning files with Trados (and frequently getting in a mess), I too find that SDLX aligning is much easier.

I don't have massive quantities to do, but when alignment projects do come up, I don't dread them like I used to!

I have been using SDLX since November and find the aligning, analysing and TM maintenance tools particularly useful. It really suits my needs.

Kathryn


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:04
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
industrial quantities... Mar 16, 2007

Logiterm's alignment tool is great if you have industrial quantities of files to align.


I'm just curious: who needs industrial quantities of aligned material? From my frog's perspective I see cases like EC legislation, Merck's ChemBase, UN internal documentation, pharmaceuticals marketing divisions ... big league, industrial level/size users as well. I mean, it's not exactly places where you would expect a freelancer with his notebook.

Giles, correct me if (because;) I'm wrong. Thank you in advance.

Regards

Vito


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:04
Italian to English
Well, "cottage industrial" quantities then... Mar 16, 2007

Hi Vito,

I quite often coordinate translation projects involving several specialist translators, not all of whom may have CAT tools.

After the editing has been done and the project has been put to bed, I find it useful to align the finished translations and create a translation memory for future reference.

This is especially useful for Gambero Rosso's Italian Wines, which I have been editing for a while now. I find it very helpful to be able to refer quickly to a significant corpus of past translations of recurring phrases, generally with a Trados concordance or maintenance search. This is sometimes to ensure uniformity but equally often I find myself mining the legacy for particularly brilliant solutions that the team has come up with in the past.

Every edition has about 2,000 winery profiles of 200-250 words each in perhaps 70-80 files. I wouldn't even attempt to align all this with WinAlign or DVX but with Logiterm it is quite feasible.

If you don't have team projects of this nature, though, you probably wouldn't need Logiterm.

Cheers,

Giles


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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You can't really ask... Mar 16, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
So I would like to know what do you think is the best align tool for creating translation memories out of previously created documents.


See, if a translator had been using a certain tool for a while, and he's happy with it, and it forms part of his thinking processes, then most other tools will seem strange to him... so asking translators about their favourite align tools is really just asking "which tool do you use"?

I use PlusTools from Wordfast. I have tried Cypresoft's tool (which is said to be excellent), I have tried the opensource tool Bligner, I have tried Trados' aligner, and I have never seen anything remotely as simple and elegant as PlusTools.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:04
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Others might find help here Mar 16, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

See, if a translator had been using a certain tool for a while, and he's happy with it, and it forms part of his thinking processes, then most other tools will seem strange to him... so asking translators about their favourite align tools is really just asking "which tool do you use"?

I use PlusTools from Wordfast. I have tried Cypresoft's tool (which is said to be excellent), I have tried the opensource tool Bligner, I have tried Trados' aligner, and I have never seen anything remotely as simple and elegant as PlusTools.


This thread could perhaps lead readers to reconsider their approach to aligning. That was the reason for my posting. I too thought align = Trados.

I had used PlusTools once and was not convinced. One had to create folders first, and it took ages.

Cheers
Heinrich


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Folders = old version Mar 17, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
I had used PlusTools once and was not convinced. One had to create folders first, and it took ages.


There has been a new version of the align feature for quite some time now. No need to create folders. Just select the two files, and click a button.

Here's a quick flow chart:

If your files are already segmented (ie one sentence per line and a line break between lines): Just open both files in MS Word, go Plustools, make sure the source and target files are correctly selected, and press the align button of your choice.

If your files aren't segmented yet: Open one file in MS Word, go to the Wordfast control panel, go Tools -> Extract. Then move/rename the extracted file somewhere safe (ie your desktop). I usually name it "source.txt" so that I don't get confused when Plustools selects the files. Repeat with the other file (name it "target.txt" or whatever). Then do as for segmented files, as above.

When the files have been autoaligned, use keyboard shortcuts to correct any mismatches. When you're done, open Plustools again and click "save TM" (or similar).

There are two align modes, namely (a) two separate documents and (b) single document with a table in it. The two-document approach is similar to the one in the old version of Plustools. The table method is very easy (it uses keyboard shortcuts to merge and split cells).

If the file you're aligning is very long and you want to take a break, just save it (in MS Word format) and continue later (read the manual on how to activate the keyboard shortcuts for the alignment process). In fact, unless I'm mistaken, you can use Plustools to create a TM from any two-column table in a single document.

If you're extracting text from two very different languages (with different segmentation rules), you could tell Wordfast about it by ensuring that a TM is present with that language as the source language (even a blank dummy TM should suffice). But if both languages use the same type of segmentation rules, you can simply use Wordfast with your existing TM (even a blank dummy TM, as long as the language codes have been selected right).


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:04
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
thanks, Giles Mar 17, 2007

I am about to cross the line between diggers and miners, when it comes to the assets collected (1 m words some time this month), so this is all very usefull for me.

thanks again


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
French to English
+ ...
Similis Mar 22, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
So I would like to know what do you think is the best align tool for creating translation memories out of previously created documents.


Similis looks very impressive and additionally extracts terminology and sub-sentence "chunks" during the alignment process.
It only has a limited range of languages though.

BR,
David Turner


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