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Best route for 25K-word alignment project
Thread poster: Jacques DP

Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:47
Member (2003)
English to French
May 1, 2015

Hello there,

I have a 25K-word alignment project to do (haven't done any in recent years), and I am a bit puzzled about what I should use.

I tried the alignment tool in Studio 2014. When I reviewed the alignment files, the results weren't very good, and when I tried to adjust things manually it proved almost impossible. Among other things the segments aligned are not spatially aligned, but linked with curved arrows, which makes it almost impossible to check alignment.

So I went to WinAlign, but then it refused to take all my files because I should upgrade to be able to use more than 10 files. I have about 20 files. I might do it in two passes. Not sure about the limitations of the version before upgrade.

So I went to LF Aligner 4.1 for Windows, but it fails as it can't find some Perl modules (even though they are supposedly contained in the executable file in the Windows version). I just wrote a note to Andràs, the author.

Any suggestion? Is there some prevailing wisdom about the best route to take for such a project?

[Edited at 2015-05-01 12:28 GMT]


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:47
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Abbyy Aligner May 1, 2015

I had the same problem with Studio 2014, trying to align some large files (30K or so). It was useless, for the reasons you describe.
For your information, I tried Abbyy Aligner, which is better in that it doesn't have all those wavy lines and it's easy to see what you're doing. But it would have still been very time-consuming to fix all the different segmentation issues, so I gave up one third of the way through.

So, I'm no help to you, but would be glad to know if someone else has a good solution!


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Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:47
Member (2003)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, will go with WinAlign I think May 1, 2015

Thanks Susan for your input.

I had a look at Abby Aligner on their website, but I got a bad impression from it, the link for the Free trial doesn't work, and the one to buy it doesn't even allow you to see the price...

I think I will use WinAlign, I used it long ago and it's not so bad as far as I can remember. The only problem is the license. It tells me I need to upgrade to open more than 10 files. Since I have only 20, I guess I should be able to do it in two passes. Otherwise I will need to investigate the possibility of upgrading, but since it's 8 years old, I don't know if it's still possible.


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Ekaterina Kroumova  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
French to Bulgarian
+ ...
Across May 1, 2015

For that matter, Across used to have a pretty good and intuitive alignment tool, but I have not worked with it for ages and do not know how it is now. Across is free of charge for freelancers, you only have to subscribe to receive a licence. However, I will not recommend you start familiarizing yourself with it right now, having such a big project in the pipeline. The installation takes quite a lot of time (at least it used to).

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Andrey Korobeinikov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:47
English to Russian
+ ...
SDL Studio 2014 Aligner May 1, 2015

Hi,

You might want to have a look at Paul Filkin's tutorial as to how to use new Aligner. It looked awkward to me too at first but apparently I did not understand the logic behind it. You may do quite a big scope with it now within reasonable timeframe.

Regardless of some drawbacks (inability to align more than three sements for example) it still serves the purpose.

http://multifarious.filkin.com/2014/05/21/studio_aligning/


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Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:47
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
3 suggestions May 1, 2015

In the past I've mainly used WinAlign, but lately it has been more the Alignment tool in Studio. another tool I often use, is the one included in Dejavu, which I actually like much better than WinAlign or the one in Studio, but I am not sure if you can get it for free.

In my Installation folder I find 2 other tools (besides LF_aligner) that I've downloaded in the past, namely
SimilisFreelance,
which I seem to have tried 2 years ago, though I cannot remember how I liked it, and
Trans Suite 2000 Align, which probably would be Trans Suite 2014 or something today.

In the past Trans Suite had got an excellent review, but if it's still available I don't know.

Hope either of these will be of some help to you.

The third suggestion I had in mind, was DVX3 (Dejavu from Atril). I think you can download a trial, so you could see if it will work out. It is easy to combine or split segments, so could be worth a try.


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:47
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
@Andrey May 1, 2015

Thanks for the link to that video by Paul, which is useful.
I just can't understand why SDL does not put documentation in a place where people can easily find it (not to mention a comprehensive user's manual!)


[Edited at 2015-05-01 17:31 GMT]


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xxx2nl  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:47
AlignFactory? May 2, 2015

With an amount of words that large, I'd try to automate the alignment as far as possible. How about using AlignFactory or its free incarnation: http://www.youalign.com ?

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Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:47
Member (2003)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Will have a second look to Studio's tool, then May 2, 2015

Thanks a lot for all the comments. I will have a second look at Studio's tool, looking at Paul's article and video. My guess however is that I will probably end up doing it with WinAlign.

And I will convert all source files to .DOC first, since using file formats potentially more recent than WinAlign is probably not a good idea.


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Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:47
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
Sounds like a good suggestion May 2, 2015

2nl wrote:

With an amount of words that large, I'd try to automate the alignment as far as possible. How about using AlignFactory or its free incarnation: http://www.youalign.com ?


Thanks for the suggestion. I think it sounds a little steep in price, but if one has a hughe alignment job, then it's probably worth it. At least I'd like to try it out to see if I find it's worth the price (more than 400 USD per year).


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 13:47
English to Hungarian
+ ...
25K May 2, 2015

25K words is probably less than 3 thousand segments. That's not a lot - doable with a full review in less than a day if you have some idea of what you are doing. Probably takes no more than a couple of hours if you actually know what you're doing (i.e. you have a good aligner and use it efficiently). As such, tool choice doesn't matter as much (you could conceivably do the job in a day without using any specialized software whatsoever, using search and replace to split the texts into sentences and aligning them in Excel). Nevertheless, I would not recommend using WinAlign. You are probably better off with the new Studio alignment tool, even though that's not stellar either. AFAIK youalign offers no manual editing environment, i.e. you are stuck with the autoalignment it spits out. Probably not what you want.

[Edited at 2015-05-02 12:23 GMT]


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Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:47
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
Why is Studio Alignment preferable to WinAlign? May 2, 2015

FarkasAndras wrote:
You are probably better off with the new Studio alignment tool, even though that's not stellar either.


I believe I've heard differently from others, i.e. that the alignment tool in Studio still has some way to go before it's as good as WinAlign, though I may be wrong. So I would be interested in hearing why you think it's the other way around.


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Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:47
Member (2003)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Studio's tool unusable in my view May 2, 2015

I have watched the complete video by Paul, and the problem remains as far as I'm concerned. It's nearly impossible to verify that the alignment is correct because the aligned segments are not spatially aligned. Paul at some point says, "It's kind of difficult to see because you need to follow the arrow". Yes, it is. And later he says, "But you will see that they align properly when scrolling". No they don't, or only accidentally, from time to time. So the alignment is declared correct even though it's not been properly verified visually.

In Paul's example, the segments are mostly very short with distinctive elements (script with character's names in all caps etc.), so it's a bit easier. But in a typical document it's not manageable at all.

Or maybe our eyes don't function in the same way, I don't know, but that's how it looks to me.

And there seems to be no way to change font sizes either.

Maybe Studio's tool is useful for aligning a great number of documents without reviewing it, using the quality indicators, etc. (I would probably not trust it enough for this, given the way it fails even on the simplest challenges.) But in my case, where everything should go into the TM and be 100% correct, it can't be used.

I've been spending too much time on this.
I will do the work with WinAlign.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 13:47
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Well May 2, 2015

Roy Oestensen wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:
You are probably better off with the new Studio alignment tool, even though that's not stellar either.


I believe I've heard differently from others, i.e. that the alignment tool in Studio still has some way to go before it's as good as WinAlign, though I may be wrong. So I would be interested in hearing why you think it's the other way around.

The reason why I think it might be preferable is that at least it has an autoaligner. Bad as the editing interface may be, that fact should put it above WinAlign... assuming that the editing interface works.
I have no personal experience with the Studio aligner, though, just second hand information. Maybe the editing interface can't reasonably be said to "work". I have heard pretty awful things about it, but then WinAlign is awful too, so we're back where we started: at least the Studio aligner has an autoaligner, which means you have to use the editing interface a whole lot less.
As you may have guessed, I feel that this comparison is a bit like a beauty contest between Shrek and Qasimodo: a tough one to call.


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:47
Member (2002)
English to Russian
AlignFactory Light May 3, 2015

2nl wrote:

With an amount of words that large, I'd try to automate the alignment as far as possible. How about using AlignFactory or its free incarnation: http://www.youalign.com ?


+1

I purchased AlignFactory Light (CAD 420.00) (http://www.terminotix.com/index.asp?name=AlignFactory_Light&content=item&brand=1&item=11&lang=en), and, in my opinion, this is one of my best investments within the last 3 years.

AlignFactory Light demo (7 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD9lOgBeWwg&feature=related

[Edited at 2015-05-03 10:49 GMT]


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