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Thread poster: Tjasa Kuerpick

Tjasa Kuerpick  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 16:11
Member (2006)
Slovenian to German
+ ...
Apr 8, 2020

I would like to know your experience and feedback to PDF transformers you currently use or have used. Please provide the good and bad sides of the software, although with regard to proper language recognition, support of various languages, spelling and formatting (such as tables, chapters, bullets …), tendency to create text windows instead of fluent text, possibility to influence the output document before conversion (e. g. rubber function = deleting text not needed), conversion of text pictu... See more
I would like to know your experience and feedback to PDF transformers you currently use or have used. Please provide the good and bad sides of the software, although with regard to proper language recognition, support of various languages, spelling and formatting (such as tables, chapters, bullets …), tendency to create text windows instead of fluent text, possibility to influence the output document before conversion (e. g. rubber function = deleting text not needed), conversion of text pictures , pages from books … Add your comment regarding useful functions for translators, and state probable missing function(s), that would give the transformer software an extra value.

The reason why I ask is that over the past years I have tried many of them, but none of them resulted in an output document that can be used right away, but always needed to be either post-edited or completely reformatted, as after translation many places were hidden due too anchors in the text.
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:11
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Trados Apr 8, 2020

Tjasa Kuerpick wrote:
I would like to know your experience and feedback to PDF transformers you currently use or have used.


The problem with most OCR programs is that they assume that users would prefer to have similar or identical layout and formatting, and so they use all kinds of tricks to ensure that the text looks the same and is in the same positions in the Word file than in the PDF file. Also, Microsoft Word is a very bad program for precise design and layout, so when a PDF converter creates all kinds of boxes etc., it is due to the unsuitability of Microsoft Word.

The best PDF converter that I have used so far, is Trados itself. Using Trados for this is also better because Trados knows that translators need text to flow. An OCR program isn't going to try to make text flow. The OCR program is going to try to make the text look nice when you look at it.

I currently use ABBYY FineReader 14, which is not very good (earlier versions were better), but it's better than nothing. Also, you can change the settings in the OCR program to get a balance between good layout and good editability. Sometimes, it's better to just create a file from scratch.


Philippe Etienne
Dan Lucas
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 08:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
ABBYY Apr 8, 2020

I have also been using ABBYY Finereader 14 but I use it mainly to get a word count. As Samuel says, the converted document is often full of strange formatting, misread letters and other glitches, and it can be very time-consuming to catch them all. I rarely translate directly into a converted document; I much prefer to start fresh and translate from the PDF.

There have been other posts on this topic, so it may be worth looking at those as well.

[Edited at 2020-04-08 20:15 GM
... See more
I have also been using ABBYY Finereader 14 but I use it mainly to get a word count. As Samuel says, the converted document is often full of strange formatting, misread letters and other glitches, and it can be very time-consuming to catch them all. I rarely translate directly into a converted document; I much prefer to start fresh and translate from the PDF.

There have been other posts on this topic, so it may be worth looking at those as well.

[Edited at 2020-04-08 20:15 GMT]
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Vadim Kadyrov
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:11
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Manually Apr 12, 2020

Today I had translated an official document in Studio after conversion of the PDF in Finereader 12. Quite a mess with boxes and various margins. The problem arises when the target text flows longer than the source.
I then tried to translate the same straight from PDF in Studio. The same mess.
Then I created an empty docx, copied the translation into tables and adjusted the lines to run as in the original.
The best advice for such cases: Let the customer do the conversion and do
... See more
Today I had translated an official document in Studio after conversion of the PDF in Finereader 12. Quite a mess with boxes and various margins. The problem arises when the target text flows longer than the source.
I then tried to translate the same straight from PDF in Studio. The same mess.
Then I created an empty docx, copied the translation into tables and adjusted the lines to run as in the original.
The best advice for such cases: Let the customer do the conversion and don't care how the output looks, just do the translation.
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Tjasa Kuerpick  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 16:11
Member (2006)
Slovenian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, it is quite a mess Apr 12, 2020

Lately I had to convert a tender which was delivered in PDF with a volume of 150 pages, to prepare for translation.
These were the results:
The tables were not in the correct paragraphs, some tables were not converted properly which resulted in sentences that did not fit together. Some text was converted to pictures instead of text, and on the top I had text boxes anchored in the document with no possibility to make any corrections. To say nothing of the layout, it created numerou
... See more
Lately I had to convert a tender which was delivered in PDF with a volume of 150 pages, to prepare for translation.
These were the results:
The tables were not in the correct paragraphs, some tables were not converted properly which resulted in sentences that did not fit together. Some text was converted to pictures instead of text, and on the top I had text boxes anchored in the document with no possibility to make any corrections. To say nothing of the layout, it created numerous empty pages, so that the final number of pages was blown up to the double of the original page numbers.
Within the tables the words in the cells were transformed in such a way that they were separated by paragraph marks.

It ended up that I copied the text from the pdf into Notepad++, recreated the tables and formatted the text after I compared the source paragraph by paragraph, at which I noticed that some of the text was simply dropped.
The conversion was done with Abby PDF Transformer+ and IrisScan. The first one was more accurate, but none of them did his job to my satisfaction.

The PDF function of SDL – I do not like it all, because it tends to insert to many tags, which is too time consuming

Asking the client to do the layout, well this does not work with direct clients at all, especially if they are not the authors of the text. But in cases where the layout is a real catastrophe I get paid for the conversion and layout. Agencies are willing to do the conversion, rather than paying you extra money, but if this is done by someone who is not familiar with the source language one must be very careful as it usually ends up in a text that must be checked by all means before one can start with the translation.
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Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:11
English to Russian
PDF editor for vector PDF files Apr 12, 2020

If you work with vector PDF files, you can try any PDF editor such as Infix (https://www.iceni.com/) or Foxit PDF Editor (never tried it, though). Infix can save xml files from PDF that you can translate with your CAT tool and then import back to PDF as translated.

 


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