CAT tool that allows to work on the same MS Word doc. (source lang. and target lang. side by side)
Thread poster: The Newbie

The Newbie
Spain
Sep 25, 2018

Hello. I'm new to the translating world and also to CAT tools. I only have OmegaT but I've never really used it. The thing is I'm working with a kind of document that requires the source language and the target language to be side by side inside a MS Word document, one in each column (it's a MS Word table). As far as I know, CAT tools create an exact copy of the original document, replacing the text of the source language with the text of the target language. But what if, as in my case, I want t... See more
Hello. I'm new to the translating world and also to CAT tools. I only have OmegaT but I've never really used it. The thing is I'm working with a kind of document that requires the source language and the target language to be side by side inside a MS Word document, one in each column (it's a MS Word table). As far as I know, CAT tools create an exact copy of the original document, replacing the text of the source language with the text of the target language. But what if, as in my case, I want to insert the target language not in a separate document but inside the same document beside the source language (in different columns, as I said)? Is this possible at all with any CAT tool out there?

To clarify, the translations I work on are not technical or repetitive at all, but I still think a CAT tool would speed up the process for me for a peculiar reason: I'm translating from Spanish into English and English is not my native language. I know this is not an ideal thing to do but the company I do it for is okay with it because there's just a large amount of work. Anyway, why do I say this? Well, because although these translations are not technical, the fact that English is not my first language makes me be slow, obviously, because I constantly have to make sure I'm using correct and natural English (even if I'm pretty sure something's correct I still look it up to confirm it). And I find myself constantly looking up the same basic expressions (en este momento --> at this moment, on this moment, at this point, etc. / por teléfono --> by phone, over the phone), "in the report" or "on the report", "in the video" or "on the video", and things like these, which is annoying and tiring. With a CAT tool I wouldn't need to be looking up these same things over and over again and I could work faster.

So, in summary, this is what I'd need:

- Be able to work inside Microsoft Word.
- Not create a copy of the document replacing the language, but insert the target language in the column beside the source language.
- Everything I type into the second column of the Word document (the target language) should be automatically included in a translation memory. In every project (document) I work on (and I'd need this for my past projects too).
- Using this translation memory, suggestions should appear throughout the document where there's something that's similar to something I've already translated before.
- Doing the same as the previous thing with a glossary would be useful too because the source language often includes slang terms.

Any suggestions?
Thanks!
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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:19
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Translating a side-by-side source-target table Sep 26, 2018

What you describe is a fairly common scenario. What I do is copy all the source text to the target column, then hide all the original source text and any other headers, etc., that should not be translated. Then proceed as normal in the CAT tool. The CAT tool will not see the hidden text and will not touch it. When finished you just unhide all the text previously hidden, leaving you with the untouched source text and the translated target text.

Michael Grant
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:19
SITE FOUNDER
Metatexis? Sep 26, 2018

I don't know of a tool that would do the column thing you are asking. But Metatexis works in Word, and last I knew at least, Wordfast does too. I think both let you start trying for free. Maybe they could do something close to what you want.

Others, feel free to correct me if I am behind the times on these tools.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Nameless Sep 26, 2018

Nameless person wrote:
As far as I know, CAT tools create an exact copy of the original document, replacing the text of the source language with the text of the target language.


Yes, but you can often specify which parts of the document must be translated and which parts should remain untranslated. So if you have a table with two columns, and you have the same text in both columns, you can sometimes tell the CAT tool to leave the first column as-is and only make changes to the second column. In certain formats, you can even translate columns even if the second column does not yet contain a copy of the first column (e.g. Excel files).

But what if, as in my case, I want to insert the target language not in a separate document but inside the same document beside the source language (in different columns, as I said)? Is this possible at all with any CAT tool out there?


Some CAT tools do indeed work inside the document itself (and does not simply create a translated copy of it). Wordfast Classic (WFC) is one such tool. To use WFC, you'd have to copy the source text from the first column into the second column, and then tell WFC not to translate the first column. So you're essentially translating the second column and gradually replacing the source text with the target text.

You can mark text as untranslatable in WFC by setting the font as "hidden", or by changing the style of the font to something, e.g. tw4winExternal style, or by using a font alteration that you specify as "do not translate". However, this is fairly advanced usage in WFC, so you'll probably spend some time figuring out how to do it.

I find myself constantly looking up the same basic expressions (en este momento --> at this moment, on this moment, at this point, etc. / por teléfono --> by phone, over the phone), "in the report" or "on the report", "in the video" or "on the video", and things like these, which is annoying and tiring. With a CAT tool I wouldn't need to be looking up these same things over and over again and I could work faster.


Most CAT tools can only recognise segments, not phrases within segments. [Some CAT tools do attempt to recognise phrases, e.g. Trados 2019, but your mileage will vary -- it is unlikely that Trados will recognise "en este momento", for example.]

So, if for example you have the segment "Programas ejecutándose en este momento o concluídos en XYZ", the CAT tool won't tell you that you've already translated "en este momento" nor will it tell you what its translation is. Even if you have translated "en este momento" separately once before, the CAT tool will still not flag "en este momento" in the segment "Programas ejecutándose en este momento o concluídos en XYZ" because that phrase is only 25% of the full segment, and very few CAT tools serve 25% matches.

You would be able to search for "en este momento" quicker if you've used a CAT tool, however, because you can search the TM manually to see how the phrase was translated previously. Or, you can add "en este momento" to the glossary and then the CAT tool will automatically recognise it and offer the translation to you. But creating the glossary with each translated phrase is something you'd have to do manually.

- Everything I type into the second column of the Word document (the target language) should be automatically included in a translation memory.


In order for a CAT tool do add something to the translation memory (TM), the CAT tool must have some way of accurately identifying the source text of the segment that you're trying to add to the TM.

In every project (document) I work on (and I'd need this for my past projects too).


You can use a single TM with more than one document.

To create a TM from old translations, figure out how "alignment" works (often available as separate programs).

- Using this translation memory, suggestions should appear throughout the document where there's something that's similar to something I've already translated before.


In WFC (and other tools that work inside the document itself), the suggestions do not appear automatically all over the document, but appear only at the point where you are currently busy typing a translation. Other CAT tools do have that feature, but they don't work inside the document itself.

Any suggestions?


Yes... the suggestion given by John Fossey (who has a name) is a good one.



[Edited at 2018-09-26 09:03 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tut tut (facepalm emoji) Oct 1, 2018

The Newbie wrote:

... I'm translating from Spanish into English and English is not my native language. ...

Any suggestions?
Thanks!


"Zapatero, a tus zapatos".

But seriously, if the client is OK with it, it's none of my business really.
Can't you just translate the column in a separate file, then copy and paste it back into (a copy of) the original, alongside the Spanish?


John Fossey
 

Olaf Schutze (X)  Identity Verified
Vietnam
English to German
+ ...
try Feb 13

if you can re-create that column.
Make a copy of the original, delete you column and copy the original again in place of the deleted. If it's working, than use the TM and paste your column to the final


 


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CAT tool that allows to work on the same MS Word doc. (source lang. and target lang. side by side)

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