SLD Trados 2019 is still incapable of properly importing reviewed bilingual files... but is this a feature?

Dear All,

The latest version of Trados 2019 (SDLTrados Studio 2019 SR1 - 15.1.3.55768) still suffers from the same shortcomings that countless previous iterations have suffered from. Namely, it does not import correctly a reviewed bilingual file.

Translated segments are still empty in the Editor after the import, although they are clearly translated in the bilingual file. Then I have to manually copy the translated segments from the bilingual file into Trados Editor, which wastes me a tone of time and frankly drives me crazy.

But...

I am starting to think that this might be a feature rather than a bug (as some Trados proponents used to say back in the day).

I have noticed today that Trados correctly imports all segments that had had at least some translated text present (even a single word) before the export, but imports none of the segments that were completely empty (no translation whatsoever) before the export and were then translated from 0% to 100%.

Let us take a look...

This is how the bilingual file ready for import looks:

And this is what Trados actually imports:

So, could this be a lapse of logic on the part of SDL software engineers, rather than a software bug?

Here is the thing though: exporting for bilingual review and then re-importing the translated bilingual file is an essential part of my workflow when I outsource translations to linguists who do not work with Trados. And I am hardly the exception. So, whatever the reason, this bug or lack of functionality needs to be fixed quickly once and for all.

Best regards,

Pavel Tsvetkov

  • This process is supposed to be "Export for bilingual review", not "Export for bilingual translation".  The feature is intended to allow users to do some light editing and then import the file back in with the changes available to see and action appropriately.

    So if you wish to do wholesale translation with it then you need to always copy the source to text first.

    If you would like to see this feature enhanced to allow translation then the best place to make your suggestion is http://ideas.sdl.com

  • Hi Paul,

    So, this is indeed a 'feature' and not a bug? Please, note that none of the other CAT tools acts in the same way when importing reviewed files. Why differentiate between 'small' and 'big' edits, 'light editing', etc., and who would want that anyway?

    Thank you for providing the link, I will definitely post the suggestion there, just wondering why no one at Trados has thought of this previously?

    Imagine all the time wasted by thousands of translators copying text manually from the translated bilingual file into Trados Editor over the years... mind boggling.

    Best regards,

    Pavel Tsvetkov

  • Please, note that none of the other CAT tools acts in the same way when importing reviewed files.

    That's irrelevant really.  Other CAT tools use a different mechanism to us which is more robust.  We support track changes in the word file for this process and we use hidden metadata in each segment.  All of this is what makes the process prone to problems when the files are not handled carefully.

    Whe the feature was first delivered it was done so on the basis of "light review" and was never intended to be used for the purpose you, and probably many others, use it for.  In fact there was a lot of resistance to doing it at all because the approach we have always taken is one of more control by keeping things in the CAT tool workflow.

    just wondering why no one at Trados has thought of this previously?

    They have... but like I said, this just isn't the Trados way of working so offerring flexibility to do complete translation work outside of Studio in a Word file has never been a priority.  It's seen as a review tool and that's it.

    Imagine all the time wasted by thousands of translators copying text manually from the translated bilingual file into Trados Editor over the years... mind boggling.

    Indeed... but why are they doing this?  Understanding the way things work is key to doing anything, and as long as you copy the source to target first, don't change the format of the Word file, and especially don't introduce hard returns into the file, then you shouldn't have a problem.

  • Hm, Daniel Brockmann, Director Product Management at SDL, has chimed in at the suggestion page to inform us all how little our suggestions mean to the creators of Trados:

    Hi,

    We are not considering this change. By design, this feature does not support "reviewing" empty segments - i.e. translating from scratch is not supported in the bilingual export. A CAT tool should be used to translate any segments from scratch to ensure best productivity. So, as a consequence, it is important to make sure target segments are all available in the exported file. (Again, it's meant for review, not from scratch translation).

    Thanks

    Daniel

    My answer to that:

    Well, thank you for commenting on this, Daniel. The thing is that this 'feature' (not considering new translations in the import process) is counterproductive for your paying customers and they don't want it, so you 'not considering' to change it is going against the wishes of your most valuable asset (supposedly). This omission handicaps Trados, as all other major CAT tools have chosen to include it. So, why are you not 'considering' it? I guess, it is the desire to sell more Trados Pro licenses to outsources and also to try to sell more Trados Freelance licenses to linguists doing any type of translation work as part of a Trados workflow. This is a 'feature' in the same way that Apple and Samsung removing SDI card slots and headphone jacks is a feature. It is essentially selling less for more. This type of thinking trying to enforce unwanted 'features' on your customers as part of an effort to make them pay more, is ultimately a functional and PR disaster; it is damaging your company's image and not even helping your bottom line, as customers find workaround methods or turn to your competitors.