How to Reduce the Error Rate Across Your Translated Materials

Freelance Services

If you externalize your translation needs be sure to allocate the translation and subsequent review of your translated documents to different companies or translators. This effectively enforces the highest level of impartiality. If splitting the tasks between two companies or freelancers is not a possibility, reviewed translations should also be rigorously checked internally or again by a third party.

Large Texts

Avoid splitting large texts into smaller chunks to distribute to multiple translators, as this will produce translations with variable quality output, heterogeneous terminology use, and stylistic changes where you would want them least. Voluminous translations need planning ahead. No translator can deliver good quality overnight, and when multiple translators work on the same project, terminology needs to be agreed upon.

A Most Valued Asset: Translation Memories from Your Final Document Versions

A review of the translated material must be performed in native format no matter how good it looks in your favourite CAT Tool. If the original is an MS Word file, the translated document must be reviewed in MS Word if for nothing else, then at least for the many formatting issues that are likely to be discovered and remedied. You may also bring improvement to the text. What then of your translation memory in SDL Trados or memoQ?

The SDL Trados Retrofit Function

The SDL Trados retrofit function is supposed to take care of smoothly importing externally-made changes into the translation, but does not as of Jan 2021 … work for text of moderately complex formatting. My recommendation is to perform an alignment of the final form of the texts whenever moderate to significant change has been introduced in the text upon review in native document format. SDL TRADOS 2021 seems better at alignments than its 2019 counterpart.

SDL PerfectMatch Function

You can also try the SDL PerfectMatch function.

LF Aligner

If you find that neither of these solutions work in your case, you can also perform the alignment in LF Aligner. Here though, you need to first rid your document of headers, footers and tables. This is well worth it for large texts, as even with the tables out, your generated translation memory is likely to still contain the bulk of your text. MS Word offers options for header footer removal from all document pages, but there is no direct help with mass table removal. This peice of VBA code will help spare you the time to manually remove one table at a time from the document:

Convert MS Word documents to RTF (RICH TEXT FORMAT)

Converting MS Word documents to RTF makes it easier to generate correct alignments, and implicitly correct translation memories.

Run *A*, Or Even Better – *Multiple*- Spell Checks

Almost worth buying a PA system to say this again and louder given the ignorance bestowed upon the F7 key. The number of documents that make it out there translated yet not spell checked is impressive! … Skipped at translation stage, skipped upon review, skipped even upon delivery, and unfortunately also upon upload on official public sources of information. You can run a spell check in SDL TRADOS STUDIO 2019 and a second spell check in MS Word on the entire document by pressing the F7 key. Microsoft’s spell check has (sort of) covered some ground in assisting with typos and more serious issues, though when it comes to scientific terminology, authoritative supplementary sources are still needed. Even the most unremarkable spell checking features offered by both Trados and Microsoft come as a true blessing when faced with long document translation. The human eye, brain or hand when given a finite amount of time and a sea of characters will inevitably slip, in spite of the most sincere intentions to keep documents accurate.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 supports the Microsoft Word spell checker in addition to Hunspell. Using the Word spell checker has the following advantages: higher-quality spell check, i.e. less false-positive errors, and reuse of your spell check settings from Microsoft Word, including your custom dictionaries.

To change the default Trados spell checker take the following steps:

  • Switch to the File tab, then click Options.
  • In the Options window drill down to Editor -> Spelling.
  • By default, Hunspell Spell Checker is active. Select MS Word Spell Checker from the Active Spell Checker dropdown list.