How best to deal with an updated source file once translation is underway? Using Wf Classic.
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Aug 10

I only really understand the basics of Wordfast Classic, so I tend not to attempt to "play around" with things at all. It always ends in tears . This time though, the client has just notified me that he'll be sending a revised file tomorrow, and I've already spent a fair time working on the existing file.

Obviously if there really are loads of changes then the best thing will be to restart on the new file, making use of any matches from the TM. But I've actually done quite a bit of tweaking of segments - expanding some, contracting others - so it won't be straightforward to get at those matches. In fact, I can see it taking quite some time and being very awkward. However, I don't know what else is feasible, so I'm bouncing it off you techies here, if you don't mind replying in very plain English.

If there are just a few odd words changed in the part I've already translated, or maybe a sentence or two added
- Can I edit the file I'm working on?
- Can I just overwrite words in the source segment?
- Can I add new source segments?
- What about the effect on those funny little half-sized things - are they called tags or markers or something?
Whenever I inadvertently touch them all hell breaks loose and I lose hours. Frankly, I don't have hours to lose on this one as I just had an urgent large job arrive from another client.

I realise it's a bit early to cry for help, as I won't actually know the extent of the problem until the revised file arrives, but maybe you know some brilliantly easy way for me to save myself some stress and my client some money (he WILL pay for this )


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
A little knowledge… Aug 10

Same here - although I've been using Wordfast Classic for several years now, I've never tried fiddling about with it and still don't know how to use many of the features. I usually just translate directly without trying to change the size of segments or anything like that. So, whenever a client sends me an updated file, which doesn't happen very often, maybe 3 or 4 times a year, I just start work on the new file, and make use of any matches which happen to appear. I've never really had any great problems or lost much time doing this.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Sheila Aug 10

Sheila Wilson wrote:
This time though, the client has just notified me that he'll be sending a revised file tomorrow, and I've already spent a fair time working on the existing file.


First, check the WFC user manual on how to disable segment protection. This will enable you to move your cursor to places outside of the active segment. You may wish to use this information.

But no, first, use MS Word to perform a tracked-changes comparison of the original file and the updated file, to see what has changed.

If you find chunks of text that have many changes in them, then copy those sections from the new file into the partially translated file (overwriting/deleting the existing uncleaned text in the partially translated file), and then retranslate them. Since you're a novice with regard to the segment markers, I'd recommend only replacing whole paragraphs or whole lists, while display of non-printing characters is enabled.

If you find sections where only small amounts of edits were made, then you can simply edit the target segments in the partially translated file directly, without opening and closing the segments. However, if you do that without also editing the source texts, you may find your TM getting populated with translations that don't match the source segments. So what I would do (if editing the source text is not feasible) would be to add e.g. "!!!" anywhere in the source text portions, so that the TM for those segment contain "!!!" to warn you that the translation is not a 100% match for the source text.

(Note that the TM is not updated automatically just because you've edited text in a segment. If you edit a segment without opening/closing it, then your edit does not end in in the TM. This is obvious, of course, but it may not be "obvious" to users of spreadsheet-type CAT tools like Trados 2009+ or MemoQ).

See if you can safely delete all text from the point where you've stopped in the partially translated file, and replace it with the new content. Then just continue translating.

Alternatively, you could simply start translating the new file against the existing TM. Whenever you discover a non-100% match, you might be able to see (e.g. using Ctrl+Alt+M to see the TM match) how you should re-segment that particular piece of text. Remember, you can close an unfinished segment using Alt+End (it saves the translation) or Alt+Delete (it does not save the translation, i.e. it reverts to the source text). You can also delete the translation of any segment by opening that segment and then pressing Alt+Delete. Then select the piece of text that you want to be in the segment, and press Shift+Alt+Down (I think).

(Opening a previous segment is done by making sure that there isn't actually currently an open segment, and then placing the cursor anywhere inside the source or target text of that previous segment and pressing Alt+Down. To check whether there is currently an open segment, and segment protection is ON, simply type "asdf" (if there is an open segment, the cursor will jump there). To check whether there is currently an open segment, and segment protection is OFF, press PgUp once (to move the cursor) and then press Alt+Down (if there is an open segment, the cursor will jump to it, but otherwise the text under the cursor till open as a segment). This may be too much information...)

- Can I edit the file I'm working on?


What do you mean... "edit"? You're constantly "editing" the file while you translate it in WFC. (-:

You can edit text that you haven't translated yet. You can also edit source text and target text of any segment that you have already translated (but when you do that, your edits will not make it to the TM unless you perform a clean-up type of operation, or unless you open the segment and then close it again (Alt+Down on the segment, then Alt+End)).

Do not attempt to edit text in the already translated portions if you have hidden text disabled. It is important to see all the purple tags. Do not attempt to merge segments across purple tags. If you need to do that, first revert both segments to their source text (Alt+Down, Alt+Delete) and then merge them (select, and then Shift+Alt+Down).

If you break the purple tags, you can often fix them, especially if you have a slightly older version of the file from which to copy uncorrupted text.

- Can I just overwrite words in the source segment?


Yes (if segment protection isn't on).

- Can I add new source segments?


Yes, but Shift+Ctrl+Z (ResetChar) is your friend. It's generally easier to paste new text into among a patch of existing translated segments than to try to type new text in manually. Also enable the display of non-printing characters to ensure that no hard returns end up in purple style.

- What about the effect on those funny little half-sized things - are they called tags or markers or something?


Segment markers. WFC will recognise them even if they're not purple (Trados 2007, on the other hand, wouldn't). Fix them when you break them. Or delete a corrupted paragraph and replace it from a slightly older, uncorrupted version of the file.

Sometimes a corruption will occur in which the text background is e.g. green or grey even after you've closed a segment. When this happens, just replace the corrupted chunk with an uncorrupted chunk from an older version of the file. But that's what you would do anyway, when editing in MS Word and something horrible happens to e.g. layout that you can't fix manually.

Whenever I inadvertently touch them all hell breaks loose and I lose hours.


The segment starts with { 0 >
The segment ends with < 0 }
Between the source and target text is < } 0 { >

Spaces between segments are not included in the segment, so make sure that there is at least one non-purple space between segment if you fix manually.

You can fix segment markers when you break them. Select a whole chunk of text and use Shift+Ctrl+Z to remove all styles. WFC will fix them again (or not) when you press Alt+Down again.

Generally, stay away from them. If you edit text directly next to one of them while a segment is not open, use Shift+Ctrl+Z before you start typing (but this is a normal part of using MS Word).

==

If the client wants you to deliver a WFC uncleaned file, then obviously you can't use the "!!!" trick -- you have to edit both source text and target text of all changed segments.

I would normally recommend praying that there will be no more updates, and then simply translating the new file from the start. Whenever you get a non-100% match, you can see in the TM display (Ctrl+Alt+M, I think) what to do: fix the translation and move on, or close the segment (Alt+End) and resegment that piece of text manually.


[Edited at 2017-08-10 21:23 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow, what a lot to digest Aug 11

Did you take in all of Samuel's post, Neil? Maybe you'd rather not . I've always appreciated the fact that there are at least two of us who really do mean "basic user". Some say they are and then go off into jargonese like a pro. It's embarrassing for me as I used to be a programmer back in the punched cards days, buy hey ho!

Thanks a lot for all that information, Samuel. I think it's in a language I can understand - most of it, anyway - if I really concentrate on it. As far as I can see, the bits that I don't really get have been explained elsewhere in a way that I do understand. And where you didn't understand my question you've actually managed to answer it anyway! Actually, I'm pleasantly surprised to see how much I understood and have actually been doing on a daily basis or to get myself out of trouble. But the "disable segment protection" is new to me and I definitely need to find out about that. It seems as though I might actually learn enough about those little purple things not to have any more nightmares about them. That would be great!

I'll come back if it doesn't work out so well in practice . Fortunately, I've never had to deliver unclean files, even for agencies (this is a magazine publisher) so I can always revert to the old-fashioned methods. But I don't like to admit to being too old to cope with these "new-fangled" things.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
TLDR Aug 11

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Did you take in all of Samuel's post, Neil? Maybe you'd rather not . I've always appreciated the fact that there are at least two of us who really do mean "basic user". Some say they are and then go off into jargonese like a pro. It's embarrassing for me as I used to be a programmer back in the punched cards days, buy hey ho!


No Sheila, I'm afraid I didn't. I tried reading it and swiftly descended into numbed incomprehension. No offence intended to anyone, but Samuel is the type of user I class as pretty expert. By this I mean that what seems elementary to him comes usually comes across as baffling technobabble to the less initiated... A bit like Sheldon in the Big Bang theory. There are other prozers who similarly fit the bill, but I'm naming no names...
Again, it's horses for courses, and anything implying much of a learning curve is usually too time-consuming for me. Even reading the WFC manual seems a bit of a slog, and it always takes me ages to find anything I happen to be looking for. However, I somehow usually manage to get by, albeit on a wing and a prayer, and deliver the goods.
For the case in point, I'd probably feel more comfortable simply translating the newly updated document from scratch, after saving what I'd translated from the previous version and hoping some of it would come up as matches.

PS: Actually, I've just had another look at Samuel's post and in hindsight it is pretty clearly explained and helpful. And now it's there for posterity, so we can come back and have another look at it later if need be…
Cheers Samuel

[Edited at 2017-08-11 11:06 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
NEVer Aug 11

One of my golden rules (it comes from bitter past experience) is:

Never accept any translation job until the source text is final.

If you do, your work will never end. By indicating a willingness to accept modifications while you are working on the t ranslation, the modifications will never stop coming.

Be very firm about this.

(later) oh, by the way: aren't CAT tools supposed to save you time?

[Edited at 2017-08-11 13:05 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Never say never, Tom :) Aug 11

Tom in London wrote:
Never accept any translation job until the source text is final.

As far as I was concerned, it was final. I actually think my client thought so too, but things change. The fact that I've asked now about how to handle it, after 10 years in the business, shows how rare it is for me. And my client is most certainly paying for the pleasure.

(later) oh, by the way: aren't CAT tools supposed to save you time?

They do, Tom, they really do. And I'm sure this little learning curve won't change that. But even when they don't, there are many other advantages such as the various QA checks, the glossaries and the concordance searches. I prefer to use Wordfast even when there isn't a single match in the text, not even a fuzzy.

Update: Most of the changes to the part I've already translated are within the boundaries of single segments, so they should be fairly easy to handle and will be a handy exercise for me try out some new knowledge gained thanks to you, Samuel . More extensive changes, e.g. a whole new paragraph, are in the untranslated part, so I can just sort that out with a copy-paste.

@ Neil: I'm sure it would be quicker for me to avoid doing the changes within Wordfast too. But I always get annoyed with myself when I give up on technology so sometimes I can't resist taking up the challenge. Maybe next time it will be a doddle. Or maybe I'll have learnt my lesson and accepted that I'm a silly old woman, and I'll just grab the slate and the chalk instead .


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:39
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I would first translate the whole thing to the end Aug 15

Then I would use the compare function in Word to look at the changes. I they are minor you could get along by editing your translation accordingly. Replace the changed parts by copying and replacing of the source text and re-translate each part at once.

You can use the function Cntrl+Alt+M (translation memory) to view the changes of the new segment compared to the previous version.

[Bearbeitet am 2017-08-15 18:15 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All done! Aug 15

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Then I would use the compare function in Word to look at the changes. I they are minor you could get along by editing your translation accordingly. Replace the changed parts by copying and replacing of the source text and re-translate each part at once.

Thanks Heinrich. The client actually marked all the changes with highlights and double strike-through. So I took his word for it that there were no other major changes. Anyway, hopefully the proofreading stage picked up any/all anomalies. He only got the translation late yesterday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The great thing is that I was able to apply one or two of your techniques, Samuel, and I'm keeping the post handy so I can check out more of them when I'm a little less pushed. I do tend to panic about technology when time is short and start pressing the wrong combinations of keys () so I kept things quite simple this time, using the cursor in preference to the short-cuts - a slower but surer method for me. And I've already lost some of my fear of those little purple beasties.

Thanks again for the help, guys ! (Hmm, just checked and there wasn't any input from women, even though we predominate in most ProZ.com discussions. However, I know they're just as much skilled technology users as the men so I imagine there's no significance to it.)


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