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MemoQ novice with problems
Thread poster: GeorginaW

GeorginaW  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
German to English
Nov 4, 2009

I downloaded MemoQ Pro version 3.6.8. last week and set to work without any problems initially. But:

(1) no tags show in the text (Word and straight text with just headline in bold - is that the reason?),
(2) I set up a translation memory (fed in several previously translated articles) and term base - or I thought I had. If I click "Pre-translate", (now translating the third article with MemoQ) I just get occasional chunks of text in the right hand column - in German (German>English translation) - i.e. identical with the text in the left side.
(3) Sometimes the text in the Translation Results column far right shows German mixed with English words/phrases.
(4) The prospect of trying to export my finished work is terrifying. File paths etc are double-dutch to me. Is it possible to export a single translated file to see if it works, rather than the whole project?

I seem to have made a complete mess of this. I do know that I am a tech dumbo: I never work for agencies and I don't think my clients know what a translation memory is.But this time I have around 70 individual Word files to translate and so it's essential to have a TM. However, this is the first translation memory program I have felt at all at home with and I want to persevere.

(Trados just freaked me out, it was like a juggernaut when all I needed was a small, friendly uncomplicated support. Metatexis wasn't bad but I couldn't extract a clean text at the end/my client couldn't read it. OmegaT seemed promising, but it is full of jargon and no good for novices, in my opinion).

V grateful for some advice!!
Georgina


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some info Nov 4, 2009

Let me try to offer some quick advice if I can. Kilray's people usually respond very quickly and they do read this forum, so they might want to add more to this conversation.

GeorginaW wrote:
(1) no tags show in the text (Word and straight text with just headline in bold - is that the reason?)

The question here is whether your Word documents contain formatting or fields other than just text, bold and italics. If your Word documents contain other formats, like special character styles, field codes embedded in the text, index entries, etc., in MemoQ you should see more than just text with no single tag. To avoid clutter on screen, MemoQ does not show tags for simple formatting like bold, italics, etc., and you have buttons in the toolbar to apply those formats.

GeorginaW wrote:
(2) I set up a translation memory (fed in several previously translated articles) and term base - or I thought I had. If I click "Pre-translate", (now translating the third article with MemoQ) I just get occasional chunks of text in the right hand column - in German (German>English translation) - i.e. identical with the text in the left side.

Can you tell us how did you feed the previously translated articles? If this is your first go with a translation memory tool, I assume you did not have a previous memory. In order to pretranslate, you need to have something in your memory, i.e. segments in German paired with previously translated segments in English. My guess is that you don't have a single translation in the memory at this moment (other than the translations you are adding as you translate in this first project). If you had used another tool in the past, you could have exported the memory from that tool and import it in MemoQ.

If you have bilingual documents from your previous translations, you can easily feed the memory with them. MemoQ needs to know what translation goes where, and that requires either an exported memory from another tool or bilingual documents. Do you have any of these? If you don't, maybe what you should do is to have your old German and English documents aligned by someone and then import the results into MemoQ's memory.

GeorginaW wrote:
(3) Sometimes the text in the Translation Results column far right shows German mixed with English words/phrases.

Indeed. This is what MemoQ calls "fragment assembling". Based on the contents of your memory (if will contain something as you translate in your project), MemoQ tries to build up a proposal to try to save you time. Of course at the beginning, with an empty or very little memory, MemoQ cannot assemble sensible things for you. Just keep translating and confirming segments and MemoQ's suggestions will improve. Do not expect big things from the "fragment assembling" however as it will never replace a match from the memory or a reused translation you made.

GeorginaW wrote:
(4) The prospect of trying to export my finished work is terrifying. File paths etc are double-dutch to me. Is it possible to export a single translated file to see if it works, rather than the whole project?

Yes, you can export one single file. Just select it in the Project Manager and use "Export (dialog)". There you will be able to tell the tool in what folder you want to place your exported file. This file will be in the target language only. If you want to also sabe a bilingual document (one that contains both languages and which could help you in the future if you want to rebuild your memory or recreate it for some reason), use the Export bilingual function.

GeorginaW wrote:
I seem to have made a complete mess of this.

Do not feel odd about that. Using any CAT tool is cumbersome at first. The good news is that MemoQ is one of the easiest to use, yet powerful, industrial-strength tool. Do read the help, do not hesitate to ask your colleagues for advice or best practices, and you will soon be very confident with the tool.icon_smile.gif


 

GeorginaW  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Translation memory problem with MemoQ Nov 4, 2009

Thanks for your quick help, Tomàs:

no, the Word docs are completely bare of formatting, so that explains the absence of tags.
And no, I have never used any type of TM and have no bilingual documents to use.

[quote]This is what MemoQ calls "fragment assembling". [quote]

Aha.

Right I'll have another go - thanks v much


 

Mikhail Popov
Singapore
Local time: 11:31
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
Try another CAT Nov 4, 2009

Georginia, my personal advice is to start with another CAT-tool - Wordfast Classic(www.wordfast.net)
This soft is much simpler than MemoQ, you can work directly in Word interface, just with some changes. If you want to start using TM-software and your source files are in Word format - Wordfast is much better idea. After some practice in Wordfast you'll be able to start working in MemoQ.

MemoQ has much more functions and capacity in comparison with Wordfast (I mean Wordfast Classic). But it is much more sophisticated at the same timeicon_smile.gif

I learned CAT in this sequence (Wordfast - MemoQ - Trados) and it helped me a lot.


 

Dan Ilioiu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 05:31
English to Romanian
+ ...
off-topic - great (very) short review of Trados Nov 4, 2009

GeorginaW wrote:
Trados just freaked me out.


great


 

David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
French to English
+ ...
It sounds like you're doing pretty well so far Nov 4, 2009

You can export a file at any time, provided it's finished.
One simple way to make sure that a file will export OK before you start translating is to select all the segments in the file ("Edit" menu or control+shift+A) and copy source to target (control+shift+S).
Once you've established the file exports OK (memoQ remembers the import path and gives the file a different extension), you can then clear the target side through Translation/Clear translations.
If you have 70 files with overlapping content, you might want to create a unified "View" of all the files so you can work on them as if they were one big file. You can then sort alphabetically and filter on particular terms or expressions to speed up translation and ensure consistency. Use "Create view".
To do that, you first have to close any individual "documents" (files) that are included in the "View".
Once you've created a "View" of all the files, you can easily switch between (close and open) any particular "document" and the "View".


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
MemoQ is fine as a first tool Nov 4, 2009

Michael Popov wrote:
Georginia, my personal advice is to start with another CAT-tool - Wordfast Classic(www.wordfast.net)

I don't quite agree with this approach. As seen with the evolution of Trados and Wordfast itself, macro-based translation memory tools are bound to give way to side-by-side tools with an own environment, like MemoQ. Once you have learnt a little bit, MemoQ provides a lot of information that you will hardly get in a macro-based environment.

I reckon Georgina wants to ride a car, and asking her to go back to macros and translating in Word we are asking her to use a bike. OK, driving a car is a bit harder, but it will take you further.icon_smile.gif


 

Mikhail Popov
Singapore
Local time: 11:31
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, but... Nov 4, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Once you have learnt a little bit, MemoQ provides a lot of information that you will hardly get in a macro-based environment.

Absolutely agree with that! MemoQ functionality is wonderful, macros-based applications will never provide the same, they are the dead end in CAT's evolution.

But... When you was a little child, what was your first food? Definitely it was not a steak, it was a porridge, isn't it? And the very first thing was milk, yes?icon_smile.gif


 

T F F  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:31
English to Italian
CATS Nov 4, 2009

Hi Georgina,

looking after a cat, even the most docile one - like MemoQ actually is - requires a bit of care and knowledge...

I found the F1 (online Help) very well done: you can very quickly find what you need.
Furthermore, Kilgray has realized free videos that show you how the cat goes around...
Also there are free webinar you could attend and ask your personal questions during the final Q&A session.
If you want invest some money, the Training book costs only 50 Eur!

Finally, I agree with Tomas saying that Macro tools are at this point obsolete: it doesn't worth investing time in studying something you will not use in the future: better invest that time in something you will benefit from now on...And, no, Georgina is not exactly a "baby" (considering she has already played with several cats like OmegaT, Metatexis and Trados).

Regards,
Renato


 

David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
French to English
+ ...
Although Wordfast is admirably in many ways... Nov 4, 2009

Michael Popov wrote:
This soft is much simpler than MemoQ, you can work directly in Word interface, just with some changes.


... I wouldn't say it was actually *easier* to use than memoQ. WF's minimalist approach calls for careful reading of the 100-page manual before you start so if you're not the type to do that, I'd say you'd be be pretty lost for quite a while.
memoQ is very intuitive and must be one of the easiest translation environment tools to use.


 

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:31
English to Polish
+ ...
off topic Nov 4, 2009

David Turner wrote:
memoQ is very intuitive and must be one of the easiest translation environment tools to use.


quite so, but for me DJV is even more intuitive and easier than MemoQ.
I am a tech dumbo myself, but all I needed (to be able to use DJV for my translations) was ca. 15 minutes of introduction provided by my colleague.
greetings
Ewa


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:31
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Managing a large number of files & tools for grown-ups Nov 4, 2009

I think you'll find MemoQ to be an excellent choice when dealing with a large number of files. In a project I worked on recently with over 90 files, I found that the files overview with its list sortable by the percentage of a file that was complete made it easy for me to keep an overview. It is much harder to do that in other environments.

I would not suggest crippling yourself by sticking to a macro-based environment that would not help you in later projects where you might be asked to translate files in other formats. Babies might start off with porridge, but if Mama and Papa don't spoon feed it, it ends up all over their faces. At least this was the case with the little ones I knew. But as you are a competent adult, I think you will be able to orient yourself quickly enough, and the time invested will pay good dividends. Whether you're dealing with MemoQ, DVX, SDLX or its successor, the side-by-side environments is ergonomically the most productive paradigm. I quantified this for myself many years ago when I worked frequently with a number of tools, and I found it fascinating that SDL was advertising similar numbers when comparing its new product to the old Trados. The comparison was already there with SDLX & Trados, but no one dared talk bout it at the time.

But in any case, one of the most important aspects of a sophisticated product like a CAT tool is the quality of support. Good support can make up for a host of minor shortcomings. At the present time, I think you will find it difficult to get support equal to that provided by Kilgray (the company making and marketing MemoQ) for a product in the same class. Even SDL has some super individuals who can provide bright moments of great support, but AFAIK Kilgray is among the few who can do this consistently.


 

GeorginaW  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:31
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
MemoQ crisis ebbs Nov 4, 2009

So great to have all this help and experience - thank you all. I'm just off to Istanbul for five days - then it's back to work so I hope I will crack MemoQ next week.

 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:31
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Join the Yahoogroups forum! Nov 4, 2009

If you'll be working with MQ much, you would probably benefit from the Yahoogroups discussion list http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MemoQ/. There are a lot of knowledgeable, helpful people there, and you can probably get answers fastest through that medium.

 

Gergely Vandor
Hungary
Local time: 04:31
English to Hungarian
translation in Word is complex and dangerous and prone to errors Nov 5, 2009

Hello All,

Again and again, the argument comes up that translation in Word is the simplest thing possible, and everyone knows Word, etc. This is simply not so, in my opinion. Okay, you can take a very simple paragraph, and demonstrate that it is easy to translate it using Word and Wordfast Classic or Trados Workbench.

But if there is a Word field, a header/footer, a footnote refeence, an index entry, or just about anything that is a bit more involved than plain text in the document, the transaltor will need to understand these concepts, and know how they work in Word to be able to translate the segment. More complex formatting inside segents can be a pain to transfer from the source segment to the target correctly. With fields, the translator probably won't even notice them, and translate them into plain text. When using Wordfast Classic or Trados Workbench, the text is split up into segments by so called segmentation codes, which are hidden by default. I know that at least with Trados, it is quite easy to mess up these segmentation codes. And many, many translators will mess them up all the time, making these bilingual documents a pain for project managers at translation agencies. A good deal of their work is to correct all the technical errors. The process is quite shaky.

Word is not simple. It has an amazing number of features it has taken up during the decades of its life, and a good deal of those features will actually turn up sooner or later in the documents you translate. I would even reverse the argument, and say that no one really (fully) knows Word, it's that complex.

I don't even think Word is actually friendly at all for the translator. I'm not experienced with Wodfast Classic, but with Trados, you can choose to see only the translation or the source text and the translation interspersed per segment, with all the segmentation codes that hinder reading. What if you would like to just read the source text?

The very point of modern translation tools is to make the process simpler, easier, and more robust. There is a reason that all transaltion tool vendors have abandoned the Word interface. This didn't happen overnight either: Trados has treated TagEditor as much more important than the Word interface for a very long time. To the best of my knowledge, you could never use quality assurance or tag checking features in the Word interface using Trados.

And, of course, one shouldn't forget that Word documents are not the only format out there, and for all the other formats, Word is even less appropriate as a translation interface.

Best regards,
Gergely


 
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