Segment-level source character count in Trados 2011
Thread poster: sommerz

sommerz
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:23
English to Norwegian
May 16, 2012

Hi,

As I couldn't locate any other threads about this, I'm starting a new one.

I'm translating mobile UI at the moment, where the character count of the target segments is limited to maximum 5 characters more than source. So basically, I need to be able to identify the difference in the number of characters between source and target for individual segments. Preferably fast and easily, preferably in real time.

The Trados Studio 2011 interface counts target characters on the go (bottom right), but strangely, it does not show the source character count for the active segment.

Hunting for a workaround, I found in the project settings that you can activate segment-level notifications/errors for when the target is xx % longer than source, and when the target is longer than xx characters, but for some reason not for when the target is xx characters longer than source.

It seems really odd that such a basic functionality is not available, let alone displayed by default. Could this really be the case for such a highly advanced, industry-standard tool?

I know you can use XLIFF Converter to export the file to Excel and count the character differences there, but this is not a viable solution in a fast-paced workflow. Neither is continuously copying source over to target to see what the length is.

Have I just not found the right setting? Or is there a clever workaround that could solve the problem?

Thanks in advance for any help offered!

[Edited at 2012-05-16 20:59 GMT]


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:23
English
Workarounds... May 17, 2012

sommerz wrote:
I know you can use XLIFF Converter to export the file to Excel and count the character differences there, but this is not a viable solution in a fast-paced workflow. Neither is continuously copying source over to target to see what the length is.


Hi,

You're correct in that there is not an out of the box solution to this. You can also set the maximum character count based on a number, but you can't set a maximum based on a number derived from the source count.

Only solutions I can offer are these:

Copy source to target for the entire file and then use the SDLXLIFF Converter to send to excel. Run off a report containing the segment by segment character counts in Excel, or leave on a seperate screen, so you check as you go against the character count provided for the target on the bottom right of the screen.

Or find some interested party who can develop and add a QA Check function that does provide a check derived from the source count. I think this is relatively simple for a developer to do through the OpenExchange as I've seen a few neat QA checks being developed by companies for their own use.

www.sdl.com/openexchange

Regards

Paul


 

sommerz
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:23
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 18, 2012

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply. Addmittedly I'm still a bit flabbergasted that the basic functionality of source character count is not available, but at least I have a few workaround suggestions to try out.

What's the likelihood of such a functionality suggestion making it into the Trados UI? As you mention, it should be a simple task for coders, and there certainly is space for a few more digits displaying in the bottom bar. Do you pick up on and forward suggestions posted on this forum, or would you recommend posting feature/tweak suggestions to SDL through some other channel?


 

István Hirsch  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:23
English to Hungarian
Idea May 18, 2012

Working on something in Studio 2009, I just highlighted a source segment, put its character count on the target side, and entered this into the termbase I was working with. Then when I clicked on the segment, the number of characters of the segment was displayed in the Termbase window.
If this method seems suitable, count the characters in each segment in Excel as you and Paul suggested - I would put the source segments in column A, then would write in B1:
=len(A1)+5 and fill column B with the formula. Then a termbase should be created from the two columns where the „target segment" is the number of characters that you can use in the given target segment.
To ease comparison, perhaps it will be convenient to draw the termbase window close to the target character counter.


 

sommerz
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:23
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
Clever idea May 19, 2012

Thanks a lot, István! I look forward to trying this method out, as it's the most feasible workaround yet, at least for larger projects. I'll let you know how it pans out in the workflow.

 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:23
English
The idea from Istvan May 19, 2012

Hi Istvan,

I just wanted to say I love your inventiveness... I would never have thought of this workaround..! Very clever.

Regards

Paul


 

István Hirsch  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:23
English to Hungarian
Thanks May 20, 2012

It was my pleasure to try and find out some solution to this interesting problem.

 

arterm  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:23
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Studio 2014 released, and no improvement in this area Nov 11, 2013

Dear SDL,

I have bought Studion 2014 just to ind there is no improvement in this area that is essential for localization of any software and multimedia products.

Interestingly SDL Trados TagEditor handles character count much better:

1) it shows character count for target segment

2) it shows current character number

3) it shows target character count for any selected text even with tags and across segments

only feature 1 is present in Studio 2014 which is supposed to be better than 2006's release, is not it?

SDL Support wrote:

Hi Istvan,

I just wanted to say I love your inventiveness... I would never have thought of this workaround..! Very clever.

Regards

Paul


 

Jalapeno
Local time: 13:23
English to German
Desparately needed Apr 8, 2014

"3) it shows target character count for any selected text even with tags and across segments"

This is something that's really essential for software localization. Even SDL Edit way back when had it.


 

Sonia Martos  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other ways to count source characters Jan 22, 2015

This only works when you just need to see how many characters there are in the source segment as a whole, not a portion. If that is your case, this is a really fast way:

-"Ctrl+Ins" to copy source in target segment. Check the number of characters in the target segment, which actually are the ones in the source segment.
-"Ctrl+Z" to undo, get your translation back and resume your work as it was.

If you need to select specific parts of a sentence, there is yet another way around, although not as fast and straightforward:

-Go to "Batch tasks" > "Export for External Review"
-Open the file and transfer to a Word file if needed.
-Select the sentence portion you need to count and double-click on "Words" (bottom left of the window). It opens a small window which will tell you how many characters are there in the selected part.

However, I would still love to see that feature integrated into Studio as standard, and not by adding a patch or an app. It was something really useful that TagEditor did perfectly and there are so many different character limited translations that I wonder why this feature was not considered important. Oh, and it should be "on the fly", too. There is no point in doing that check at QA stage. IMO, it would take too long to fix and would end up being like a re-translation.


 


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Segment-level source character count in Trados 2011

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