Wordfast: super long source segments-help!
Thread poster: Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:11
French to English
+ ...
Oct 4, 2011

I'm just starting out with Wordfast, and have gone for the Pro, and have watched a few videos, but can't find and answer to this problem. I'm computer literate but not a techie...

I'm translating long, academic texts in French, where each sentence is often a whole paragraph, 6-7 lines...and wordfast uses the sentence as its segment--so you can imagine I will never get a match out of a TM, because no 7 line sentence is the same. So how can I break down the source segments into sub-phrases?

A related problem is that in the target English text, I of course break that one source sentence into 3-4 target sentences, so how will the TM cope with that, if I there is one source sentence/segment for 3 target sentences in the TU?

I've been told, and it makes sense, that for texts such as these I'll probably use the concordance search more than the TM, but still, Im hoping to find a way to make it work--because it's not easy to translate this stuff once, I dont want to have to do it twice

so thanks for any help that you guys can provide!

Cynthia


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:11
English to French
+ ...
Why would you want to do that? Oct 4, 2011

Why would you want to break up a sentence? If there are semi-colons (or the like), then you may (maybe) be able to do that. I routinely break up sentences at colons and semi-colons in Wf Classic, but I don't think that WFP can do that, anyway.

And, yes, in that specific case, the concordance will be more useful.

Still, I can't think of long academic text worthy of a TM tool. Usually, they don't contain that much repetition.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:11
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You can use forced segmentation Oct 5, 2011

Highlight part of the sentence and press alt+shift+down. WFC will form a segment and search for matches in the tm.
But this helps only, if the long sentence can be split into units that are translatable as such into the target language. Depending on the language combination e.g. the position of the main verb can vary quite a lot.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:11
Finnish to French
If you thought your segments were long... Oct 5, 2011

Cynthia Johnson wrote:
I'm translating long, academic texts in French, where each sentence is often a whole paragraph, 6-7 lines...and wordfast uses the sentence as its segment--so you can imagine I will never get a match out of a TM, because no 7 line sentence is the same. So how can I break down the source segments into sub-phrases?

...see this one, known as Claas' "segment from Hell":

http://www.claas-kazzer.de/temp/wordfast/gl_mismatch_long.jpg

If you have even longer ones, please let me know!

Cynthia Johnson wrote:
I've been told, and it makes sense, that for texts such as these I'll probably use the concordance search more than the TM, but still, Im hoping to find a way to make it work--because it's not easy to translate this stuff once, I dont want to have to do it twice

I agree concordance search (known as TM lookup in Wf Pro) will be one of the best ways to leverage your TM. Wf Classic has a feature called "expression search", which is an automatically performed concordance search at the sub-segment level, but I don't think Wf Pro has it. What you would benefit from is something like the LSC feature (longest substring concordance) found in memoQ.

Terminology would be another way to take advantage of Wf Pro.

[Edited at 2011-10-05 05:58 GMT]


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Cynthia Johnson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:11
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
wow thanks! Oct 5, 2011

thanks everyone for your answers--very helpful! thanks for taking some of your precious time to help a fellow translator--I'm always amazed by this.

I think Im going to try to switch to WF classic, then, as the expression search sounds very helpful for the kinds of texts I do, although I do like the WF Pro interface...

Thanks!!


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Yasmin Moslem  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 17:11
English to Arabic
TM Look up Oct 6, 2011

Dear Cynthia,

You can go to Edit > Preferences > Translation Memory and check the option: Perform TM Lookup automatically > OK. Now, every time you move to a segment (using the mouse), you will see all its words in the TM Lookup textbox which will be automatically searched.

Also, use your Terminology extensively.

HTH,
Yasmin


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:11
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Cynthia Oct 7, 2011

Cynthia Johnson wrote:
So how can I break down the source segments into sub-phrases?


Create a copy of your original file, and then on that file (in the source text, in the original format e.g. MS Word) add extra fullstops at the places where you want the segments to break. Then translate that file.

I of course break that one source sentence into 3-4 target sentences, so how will the TM cope with that, if I there is one source sentence/segment for 3 target sentences in the TU?


That is no problem -- you can safely do that, but if you do that, then you can't expect WFP to offer the individual sentences as matches later on. It is, however, still quite useful for concordance searches.


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