2011-12-25

Translating content from memoQ using Trados TagEditor

The growing popularity of Kilgray's memoQ among translation agencies and corporate clients has sometimes posed challenges for users of other tools. One of the great advantages of memoQ is its ability to provide data which is compatible with many other tools, but it is still necessary to know the best way to do so to avoid trouble.

If you use an older version of Trados with TagEditor, one way to work with your client using memoQ is to request the content to translate as a bilingual XLIFF (*.xlf) file where the entire source text has been copied to the target segments. SDL Trados 2007 includes a default INI for XLIFF which will then allow you to read those "target" segments as the source in TagEditor. However, the default INI file for XLIFF in TagEditor requires optimization; among other things, it does not protect sensitive header information in XLIFF files from memoQ and SDL Trados Studio. (The German consultancy Loctimize has written some instructions on updating the INI; although these are focused on SDLXLIFF files, some of the information is relevant to XLIFF from memoQ and probably other sources.)

Translation memory content, if available, should be provided to you in TMX format, which can be read into your TWB translation memory. memoQ can also export terminology content as CSV for opening in Excel or as MultiTerm XML to import into SDL Trados MultiTerm if you use that tool. Thus your client is also able to provide you with any translation memory or terminology resources which are available.

After you have completed your translation, clean the TTX file from TagEditor to create a target XLIFF file (or just use the File > Save Target As... menu option in TagEditor). This finished XLIFF is all you need to return to the client, not your "uncleaned" TTX. When the XLIFF file is re-imported to memoQ it will include your complete translation. In case there are problems with the tags, your client will also be able to determine this and make corrections using memoQ's QA tools, though you should of course perform a careful tag check using the functions in TagEditor before you deliver.

Another popular method of data exchange for clients working with memoQ is to use the "bilingual RTF tables" in memoQ. If the files are properly prepared with a special workflow involving hiding the tags and converting the RTF to Microsoft Word format (which is described here), this is currently the best method for translating content from memoQ with TagEditor. If the RTF content is imported unmodified into TagEditor, the memoQ tags will not be protected and must be checked by the client very carefully in your delivered file. (The bilingual RTF file from memoQ must also be saved as a Microsoft Word file, because TagEditor will not read RTF properly - after translation, the file needs to be saved as RTF again.) If the client uses this method, ensure that the entire content of the source text column is copied to the target column and that the text property of all the text in the file except the target column content to translate is set to "hidden". TagEditor will then ignore the hidden text and allow you to translate the rest. After you have finished the translation, create a target file and set all the text in it to visible again. If you do work with memoQ content in this format, it is convenient if your client includes a Comments column in the file, because when you proofread your work, you can note any uncertain terms or source text problems (or other matters) in that Comments column. When the bilingual RTF table is re-imported into the client's memoQ project, the commented content can be filtered quickly and any issues identified and addressed quickly.

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