Clean versus Unclean
Thread poster: Josephine Cassar

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2012)
Italian to English
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Apr 12, 2013

Hi all, I would like to know the meaning of Clean or Unclean Files please. This appears in an agreement a company sends so I sign. It asks me to separate Clean from Unclean files when sending back, presumably. I do not use any CAT tools. Can anybody clarify please? Many thanks

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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If you do not use CAT tools, then you have no Unclean files. Apr 12, 2013

Without a CAT, all files are 'clean'.

You can go into more detail if and when you want to start using a CAT tool, but very shortly, when you do use a CAT, it processes the text one 'segment' at a time.

Segments usually amount to sentences, but may be shorter or longer.

As the translator works through the text, a so-called bilingual or 'uncleaned' file is created, where a segment in the target language is attached to each segment in the source language.

Finally, the bilingual file is 'cleaned'. This means it is run through a process that removes the source text and the CAT codes, so you end up with a document in the target language only.

This 'Clean' file is the one you produce directly if you translate without a CAT.

If clients want an uncleaned file (to add to a database for instance), they can produce one by 'aligning' the source with the target. But that is not your problem.

On the other hand, as it is aligned automatically, it may not be 100% accurate, so if you do produce an 'uncleaned' file as you work, many agencies ask you to send them a copy.

I hope that helps.


[Edited at 2013-04-12 09:08 GMT]


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2012)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
No Unclean files Apr 12, 2013

dear Christine, thank you for your response. That is what I thought too. So I just translate and then it is up to the company to do the rest, since i do not have a CAT tool; company aligns source to text. Many thanks.

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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Finnish to English
Trados Studio 2011 Apr 12, 2013

If you buy this latest Trados product the terms unclean refers to a bilingual file (showing the source text) amd clean to the target text file (I think!)

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Astrid Pustolla  Identity Verified
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Trados Studio 2011 Apr 13, 2013

does not produce bilingual (unclean) files in the old sense (target text line alternating with referring source text line) anymore, there is only a sort of table format for checking purposes. I found this out when a client using Trados 2007 insisted on the bilingual files as Trados 2007 had produced it. Since that time, I am very cautious with clients requesting unclean files.

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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:10
Member (2004)
English to German
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You signed a contract Apr 13, 2013

Josephine Cassar wrote:
This appears in an agreement a company sends so I sign. It asks me to separate Clean from Unclean files when sending back, presumably. I do not use any CAT tools.


Now you have to deliver. You do expect you customer to pay you don't you? Your customer has the same right to expect that you deliver what you agreed to.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Always tell the client up front that you don't use a CAT. Apr 15, 2013

There are reasonably simple ways of obtaining unclean files, if the client really wants them, but you should tell them that you do not use a CAT.

If they send a Translation Memory (TM) and expect you to use it, there may be terminology that you will have to be aware of and find by other means.
___________________________

It is true that Studio 2011 does not produce the same kind of bilingual files as earlier Trados versions. Clients used to 'clean' the bilingual files as a means of updating their TMs.

However, it is quite easy to make an export of the Translation Memory, which can be imported into the client's TM, and the result is the same.

You must make sure all the corrections are included and saved in the memory before making the export - that is one reason why clients like 'uncleaned' files. They can easily see what is being added to their TM, and check that the errors have been corrected. They can also remove names or confidential details first, or anything else they do not want in their TM.

But you should save corrections in any case in your own database, or it will accumulate errors.

If the client has a CAT, they will also have the Align program - WinAlign is the Trados version - which will quickly align the documents. Or they can import the TM export and run the source text against their TM. This will also produce the bilingual document fast.

Finally, there is an App, which is said to produce bilingual documents in Studio. However, I have not tried, it and one or two colleagues have had problems with it. Others are delighted.

So you should only use a CAT if you are comfortable with it, but let the client know first how you work.


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