Newbie Q - how is the translation memory supposed to work?
Thread poster: adrienneiii

adrienneiii
United States
Local time: 21:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 28, 2012

Hello there, relatively new to professional translating, working with Studio 2009. Having trouble understanding how the translation memory is supposed to work, because until now, and based upon 4 translations with some reoccurring terminology, it's not giving me a lot.

For instance, in my current translation I have a bunch of paragraphs that start "The objective of this component is to design and implement [...]". Now, the rest of the paragraph differs, or course, but couldn't one expect the memory to suggest that initial section each time? Another example is "Componente 1", 2, 3 etc. Despite having translated Component 1, Component 2, I still don't even get a suggestion for the successive terms.

Am I missing something, or is this how it's supposed to be. (I've trawled a bit for any internet clarification, btw, but haven't come up with anything remotely obvious).

Thanks so much!

[Edited at 2012-06-28 22:02 GMT]


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:55
Danish to English
+ ...
TM finds matching segments, not individual words Jun 29, 2012

The TM saves your translated texts in segments, typically whole sentences separated by full stops. When you work through your translation, the TM will show you matching segments according to the match % (matching number of words) you have set up. If then, for instance, your match % is set to 70 (default), and the new sentence you are translating is only a 50 % match, your TM won't show any match at all. You can change the setting according to your needs.

And no, the TM will not find combinations of words within sentences. However, you can use the concordance to search for such combinations.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translator's Note: Jun 29, 2012

IMO, if you have a text with "a bunch of paragraphs that start "The objective of this component is to ..." and you begin them all the same way, using the clunky and IMO overused "objective", rather than the prefectly good synonyms available, you will end up with a best a lacklustre, pedestrian translation, whichever "magic wand" software you happen to rely on.

I suggest you translate yourself "manually" for a while first, and let the TMs build up to a point where they kick in and do start to help out.
And every time you see "objetivo" in Spanish, try to remember that "aim" is short and sweet, "purpose" is fit for itself, and the other options are also worth a whirl, rather than a knee-jerk "objective" every time it rears its head.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:55
Chinese to English
You need a termbase Jun 29, 2012

As Gitte says, the TM works only on "segments", which are usually sentences and headings. Studio will only give you a suggestion from the TM if the sentence is at least 75% (?) similar to one you've translated before.

For terminology suggestions, you need a termbase. Create a termbase in Multiterm (should have come with Studio), then apply it to your translation (deeply unintuitive: you have to go into project, settings, language pairs and load your termbase there). Then as you go, you can add terms (translate, then highlight the terms in both the source and target column and right-click). Next time you get a segment containing that term (or something very similar), it will pop up as a suggestion in the top right hand box.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:55
Chinese to English
I wasn't going to say anything, but... Jun 29, 2012

neilmac wrote:

IMO, if you have a text with "a bunch of paragraphs that start "The objective of this component is to ..." and you begin them all the same way, using the clunky and IMO overused "objective", rather than the prefectly good synonyms available, you will end up with a best a lacklustre, pedestrian translation, whichever "magic wand" software you happen to rely on.

I suggest you translate yourself "manually" for a while first, and let the TMs build up to a point where they kick in and do start to help out.
And every time you see "objetivo" in Spanish, try to remember that "aim" is short and sweet, "purpose" is fit for itself, and the other options are also worth a whirl, rather than a knee-jerk "objective" every time it rears its head.


I did wonder about that! I don't know Spanish, so I'm not in a position to comment, but I don't like objective collocating with component (part?) much. People have objectives; objects have purposes.

Do lots of reading in English in the genres in which you work.


 

adrienneiii
United States
Local time: 21:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the suggestions Jun 29, 2012

Hello, there, much appreciated and I understand a little better now. So basically the software is little less helpful than I had hoped for. I actually already had the match % set very low to try and generate more matches, but it doesn't seem to have had any impact so far. I like Phil's suggestion of the Termbase, but know nothing about that yet, and so will have to read up when less under pressure. I guess the Termbase has to be manually created, rather than just running the tool over past translations? If so, sounds like a painstaking process?

On "objective", sorry, lads - it's the right term for this international aid document. Anything else would be rejected - in this rarefied world, a "purpose" is a very different thing altogether!

Thanks a lot!


 

Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 12:55
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
Termbases and TMs Jun 29, 2012

adrienneiii wrote:

Hello, there, much appreciated and I understand a little better now. So basically the software is little less helpful than I had hoped for. I actually already had the match % set very low to try and generate more matches, but it doesn't seem to have had any impact so far. I like Phil's suggestion of the Termbase, but know nothing about that yet, and so will have to read up when less under pressure. I guess the Termbase has to be manually created, rather than just running the tool over past translations? If so, sounds like a painstaking process?

On "objective", sorry, lads - it's the right term for this international aid document. Anything else would be rejected - in this rarefied world, a "purpose" is a very different thing altogether!

Thanks a lot!


Hi adrienneiii

For the TMs, it takes time for them to build a significant database. So at the very beginning the software won't be of much help. Also the way you create a TM is important. Do you have a specific customer/brand that sends you regular work on a specific topic (Example, SERVERS or NETWORKS)? Then create a TM for that. Then setup the thresholds for fuzzies a little bit looser at the beginning (It will help to find more fuzzies, although less relevant). CATs like Studio are useful when you perform recurrent jobs on specific topics, or when you have repetitive tasks with just a few changes from a project to the other (Example, a catalogue of items where just a few items change from one year to the other. In these cases you'll get max benefits from the CAT). CATs don't suit literary translation, articles and news in general (But do suit marketing and advertising for a series of reasons, as well as they suit education books due to the fact that much terminology is shared although sentences may be different from a book to the other).
Multiterm Glossaries - You have to insert terms manually. This can be done on the fly while translating simply selecting the source term, then selecting the target term and then pushing the combination of keys that allow for direct insertion of the term into MT. The whole procedure won't steal more than a few seconds. There are also tools that extract terms automatically. However i never deemed them a real need. Also, don't forget you can search inside the TMs for terms you don't know or to see iif a certain term is already in (useful when you have big TMs or when you get a TM from the customer and are not sure whether a term was previously translated in another way. That can help you).

But give the software the time to build up segments. When i bought my first Trados 14 years ago i thought i had wasted my money. It took a while to understand it had been a good investment.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:55
Member (2008)
French to English
Some components have objectives Jun 29, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:

I did wonder about that! I don't know Spanish, so I'm not in a position to comment, but I don't like objective collocating with component (part?) much. People have objectives; objects have purposes.


Very rare that "objects" "design and implement" anything. Sounds more like the component of a program, organization, etc., not a part - in other words, people.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:55
Chinese to English
Thanks Jun 30, 2012

Sorry, I don't know this genre at all, so had misunderstood what you were writing about. Thanks adrien and John for the pointer.

Yeah, Termbase is a pig to use, and they take a long time to build up. Start as early as you can, though, because it's much easier to add terms while translating than by going through documents or trying to import term lists.


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:55
Danish to English
+ ...
A quicker way to add a lot of terms Jun 30, 2012

If you already have a lot of terms registered in some other format, one easy way to get started on MultiTerm is to convert whatever glossaries you have to Excel and then import the whole Excel glossary into MultiTerm. Could save you many hours of tedious work entering each term 'manually' into MultiTerm.

Then, once you are off to a good start, you will find that MultiTerm is a great tool to work with, very easy and convenient for registering all those terms you continually come across as you work.


 

adrienneiii
United States
Local time: 21:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh well.... Jul 2, 2012

I don't actually have any existing glossaries, so this is going to be a lot of work. To begin when the current rush is over!

Thanks so much for all your help and clarifications.


 


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