Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Creating a bilingual Word documents with two columns
Thread poster: Vitor Souza

Vitor Souza
English to Portuguese
Oct 15, 2012

Hello,

A good customer of mine has just sent a company policy to be translated. Instead of delivering a clean document as usual, they want me to produce a two-column Word file, with source in the left column and target in the right column, and I can't find a way to do that. I have already discovered that a table would work better than the Column function. Nevertheless, the document contains, unsurprisingly, a lot of numbered paragraphs. I can't make Word to number paragraphs in the two colums separately. In other words, I need (left column - right column):

1 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 3
but instead I am getting
1 - 2
3 - 4
5 - 6

At first, I hoped that I could use the RTF bilingual export that MemoQ produces, but the document contains a lot of tags (e.g. tabulators, cross-references) that appear in as (MQ) in the export so this is not an option either.

Does anyone have an idea? The document has almost 30,000 words, so I need an elegant solution, not a slow manual method.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
English to French
+ ...
low tech solution Oct 15, 2012

I would translate the text, then create a two-column document, and copy-paste the source in the first column and the target in the second column. Although low-tech, this takes only a minute or two.

 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:06
English to Tamil
+ ...
How about going in for Excel Oct 15, 2012

It lends itself to this column business.The client should not mind as he is getting the two columns. Perhaps because of his ignorance he is asking for Word file.Do educate him.

Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2012-10-15 21:55 GMT]


 

Darmali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 19:36
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Agree with low tech solution Oct 16, 2012

Agree with JL01, but I think it would be better to create a two column document first, then copy/paste the source document in both columns, and use the right hand column to translate the text. This preserves the original format.I do this often, and it is easier, especially with long texts, because you can keep the source and translation side by side.
Hope this helps.
Angela


 

Vitor Souza
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Not working Oct 16, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to answer, but I can't make it work.

Creating a new document with two identical English columns is naturally the very first thing I tried, but it always gets renumbered. I doubt it will be any better if I translate the document first and then copy and paste it in the respective columns.

Excel kills a lot of formatting, and I doubt the client will like it. For example, the cross-references to other paragraphs, which are rather important in this document, did not survive. Moreover, the document has multi-level numbering, going from Arabic numbers over letters to Roman numbers, and each level has a defined indentation. Not least, the client indicated that they might later send me the bilingual document with tracked changes in the English column. In other words, Excel is not an option either.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Are you sure? And a potential trick Oct 16, 2012

Darmali wrote:
I think it would be better to create a two column document first, then copy/paste the source document in both columns, and use the right hand column to translate the text. This preserves the original format.


Are you sure that works for you (with regard to numbering)? As soon as you paste the second column, MS Word automatically renumbers all the numbers in *both* columns to the format that the original poster had indicated.

Vitor Souza wrote:
Instead of delivering a clean document as usual, they want me to produce a two-column Word file, with source in the left column and target in the right column ... I can't make Word to number paragraphs in the two colums separately.


Here's a trick that I discovered but haven't used extensively, so try it out: add a blank row to the bottom of the one-column table, then make a copy of it in a temporary file, then (in that temporary file) delete the blank row at the bottom and add a blank row at the top. Then copy and paste that column back into the original file as the second column. This will mean that the second columns rows are out of sync with the first column's rows, by one row. Then delete the blank cell at the top of the second column. In my tests, the numbering of the second column then remained intact.

Say, do you know how to copy and paste whole columns in MS Word? If you have two one-column tables in two Word files, you can select a whole column by hovering your mouse just above the first cell of the column until a little down arrow appears, and then clicking once -- it will select the entire column. Then copy it (Ctrl+C, for example). Then, in the other file, hover your mouse above the right-hand edge of the very top of the table, until the arrow appears, and click once -- it will select the "edges" of each cell. Then simply paste (Ctrl+V, for example).


 

Vitor Souza
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Nope Oct 16, 2012

Wow, an interesting approach. Sadly, it failed. Although the rows were out of sync, the document was renumbered as follows:
1
2 - 3
4 - 5

Nevertheless, thank you for trying.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:36
Member
French to English
+ ...
Is there a way...? Oct 16, 2012

If there exists a way of doing it, I'd have thought the easiest way would have been to 'freeze' the paragraph numbering in the source text before you start, then as you translate, the frozen numbers will simply go through as normal.

Getting your translated text into the 2-column format can be achieved relatively easily after translation by one of the several methods already described (here, and in another thread, qv) — personally, I usually use the paste columns in a table method.

OK, just tried an experiment, and it worked!

Original numbered sequence of paragraphs

Copy of same below (could have been translated) — numbering continues

Click in para number field (greyed) a starte of second block of paras, then right click 'recommence numbering' — numbering of bottom group of paragraphs re-starts from 1

Convert TOP sequence of paras into 1-column table
Insert column to right (numbers will appear, don't worry!)
Cut sequence of translated paras from below and paste into r/h column

Hey presto! The re-started numbers are retained!

[Edited at 2012-10-16 08:32 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Tony Oct 16, 2012

Tony M wrote:
Click in para number field (greyed) a starte of second block of paras, then right click 'recommence numbering' — numbering of bottom group of paragraphs re-starts from 1...


If I understand your workaround correctly, you'd have to right-click and select "restart numbering" for every numbered list. If a piece of text of e.g. 30 000 words contain 100 such lists, you would have to right-click and select that option 100 times, right?

Samuel


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Tell your client to do it Oct 16, 2012

Vitor Souza wrote:

Hello,

A good customer of mine has just sent a company policy to be translated. Instead of delivering a clean document as usual, they want me to produce a two-column Word file, with source in the left column and target in the right column, and I can't find a way to do that.


This is not part of your work as a translator. Potentially you could spend hours trying to find a way of doing it that works.

My suggestion: politely inform your client that you don't know how to do it in Word, and after consulting colleagues, that nobody really knows how to do it in Word. Very expensive DTP software might do it, but you don't possess any such software. Therefore (still being polite) say that you will deliver the translation as a stand-alone file, in the usual way, and that it's then up to your client to do whatever they want with it.

Life is too short......(etc.)


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:36
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Possible solution... Oct 16, 2012

I am not sure it will work in your case, but try this:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Convert_number_list_to_text_Microsoft_Word

If it works, you will have the same numbers, but inserted as text, not automatically. Naturally, your client would need to approve of this, as it removes some of the functionality from the document, but I do not think they would mind...


 

Vitor Souza
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
As Tom said Oct 16, 2012

Jabberwock wrote:

I am not sure it will work in your case, but try this:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Convert_number_list_to_text_Microsoft_Word

If it works, you will have the same numbers, but inserted as text, not automatically. Naturally, your client would need to approve of this, as it removes some of the functionality from the document, but I do not think they would mind...

Thank you but I won't even propose this. Imagine that you want to insert a new section 2. They would have to renumber the whole document manually, and, once again, the cross-references would not work.

I have already told them I was not able to do it, as Tom suggested. I proposed that they could print a bilingual document from two monolingual documents. Basically they will need to insert the sheets of paper in the printer twice - first to print the left (xource) column, then the right (target) column. If they want to work with both electronic texts, they will have to use two files unless they can come up with a brilliant solution.

Thank you everoyne.


 

alexmills
United States
Local time: 08:36
Member (2010)
Italian to English
+ ...
I think you can get it in MemoQ using Export Bilingual Oct 16, 2012

>>Two-column RTF (from Project View)

 

Vitor Souza
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
As I said Oct 16, 2012

alexmills wrote:

>>Two-column RTF (from Project View)

As I wrote in my first post, I can't. The numbering disappears and the document is littered with (MQ) tags.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:36
Member
French to English
+ ...
Two tables Oct 16, 2012

Vitor Souza wrote:

If they want to work with both electronic texts, they will have to use two files unless they can come up with a brilliant solution.



The solution might actually be very simple (though I haven't tried this yet) — it might be possible to simply create a single-column table for each language, and then paste the translated text column as a table (i.e. not as a column in the same table) alongside the source text.

Yup, just tried it, and it works perfectly!

Shame you gave up too soon!

I don't actually agree with the previous contributor who said it's not our job; whilst of course we can't be expected to get into heavy post-processing involving specialist software, I think we owe it to ourselves and our customers to have at least a basic command of office applications like Word and to know a few of the workarounds available.

I know that one of the things my customers appreciate is the fact that I offer them translation 'solutions', and am prepared to go that extra mile to solve their problems; OK, so it's not always something I can make an extra charge for — but it certainly does pay off in the long run!

[Edited at 2012-10-16 13:37 GMT]


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Creating a bilingual Word documents with two columns

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search