FIT XXth World Congress – Berlin

001This week I attended the FIT XXth World Congress in Berlin hosted by the BDÜ where I got to meet many translators and technology specialists who I’ve only spoken to via email or through the community forums and twitter… that was really great!  It was my kind of event, hundreds of translators… thousands even… and lots of interesting and taxing questions about how to use Studio and MultiTerm.  In many ways it was similar to my favourite annual event which is the ATA event… the main difference between the two for me would be the lack of air conditioning which you’d never see in an American event and maybe the lack of facilities for the tools vendors as I had to resort to running my 90 minute session with my laptop balanced on my knees and displaying on a large TV screen that was really too small for this type of a workshop.  Hopefully if these sessions are repeated the preparation will be improved and perhaps the scheduling too so that more people could attend.  The ATA events are always really well attended, so I guess this was another difference between the two as the room provided wasn’t much bigger than my hotel room… in fact I’m ready to do a deal if the opportunity arises in Brisbane in 2017 😉 (Thank you Hans for correcting me about the date in the comments!)

The one idea I did like however was attempting to elicit questions prior to the event through the Conference Bulletin Board.  I don’t think this was well advertised, but we did get a few questions and this gave me a starting point for the workshop.  In this post I’m going to cover the questions that were posted to the Bulletin Board and provide a short video where appropriate for each one so the attendees, and anyone who was unable to attend but wanted to, can still see the things we covered.  I have also uploaded the presentation I used for the workshop to slideshare.


Q1: How to localize English dates automatically

How can the English suffix for the day of the month (st, nd or th as in the 1st, 2nd 6th) be automatically replaced by a number followed by a full stop in the target segment?

At first glance you’d think was a simple question, and I did too.  But actually it’s quite tricky because something like 1st January, or 3rd March is not based on a pattern that is defined in the Region and Language settings for your computer.  Studio holds many advantages for a user because it uses these settings on your computer and many date and number formats are automatically recognised without the user having to do anything at all.  However, when the pattern is not recognised it gets tricky since there is no out of the box capability to add your own custom patterns to help you handle the exceptions.

So, I tried adding a custom pattern to my Region and Language settings, but this didn’t help me as I can’t handle st, nd, rd or th.  So instead I took advantage of the Studio platform which is something every Studio user has access to via the OpenExchange.  In this case using two approaches to solve it.  The first with the Terminjector; this is a very cool Translation Memory provider plugin that can apply custom patterns to your TM results as you work in addition to many other things.  I have written about this tool in the past:

The second with the SDLXLIFF Toolkit; this is also a great application that allows you to get access to information held in the Studio bilingual file and work with it in ways that are not possible in Studio itself.  I’ve also written about this tool in the past:

Both solutions are shown in the video.


Q2: Question STUDIO 2014 – Office 2007

I’ve problems with and Studio 2014 when the Word glossary is selected in Studio. cannot be closed and I’ve to save and rename every time.

This is something I only see myself when working with Studio 2011, and it’s normally caused by additional instances of Word running in the background.  So I call up the task manager, close down the offending WinWord process that’s running and all is well.  But there are a few very useful KB articles on problems linked to the Trados and MultiTerm templates in Microsoft Word.  So no video on this one, only some links that I hope will be helpful in clearing up this irritating problem:

  • KB #3924 : SDL Trados and SDL MultiTerm template or add-in problems in Microsoft Word

Then some specific articles that seem to be related to this problem:

  • KB #2086 : Troubleshooting Trados/MultiTerm template-related error messages in Microsoft Word
  • KB #2486: Troubleshooting the Save Changes prompt for or when closing Microsoft Word
  • KB #2407: Useful Word template to troubleshoot problems with and all Trados templates and add-ins
  • KB #1981: Troubleshooting the Save Changes prompt for or when closing Microsoft Word

If none of these help you should you get this issue then either log a support case through your account if you have a contract, or use the solution finder in the knowledgebase where you can also log a case if the articles don’t help.


 Q3: What happens if I close a project/meaningful data storage

What happens to a project if I “close” it (I have a number of projects in the projects list but can’t recognize them and do not know the location where they are stored). How can I name, organize and store trados work files, tms etc. meaningfully and close a project without loosing control of my “project inventory”? How can I avoid creating a “new project” every time and organize a file structure for each client? It is all mixed up… : -(

This was an interesting question that I’m sure crosses the minds of many translators as their workload starts to grow and they have to find meaningful ways to manage their work and translation resources on a computer based platform.  It’s also a question that was best handled through discussion on the day and we did just that with Jerzy Czopik providing some useful insights into how he likes to handle the management of his work.

You can find the basis of the things we discussed in the slideshare of the presentation above and I’m not going to repeat it here.  But I will just make a couple of points.  First of all, every piece of work you ever do in Studio is a Project.  It might be a single file project, a server project or a standard Studio project… but they are all projects.  So finding them is always really simple if you happen to have lost track of where you saved them.  Use these handy icons to open the project folders, or the file folders inside the projects:


There are also a couple of articles I’ve written in the past that might be useful to help understand some of these concepts and answer the question specifically:

The golden rule for me with the location of Projects, Translation Memories, Termbases, custom QA settings, custom profiles etc… is to always store them somewhere I can find them easily and back them up easily.  So I tend to keep them in my Studio 2014 folder under My Documents.  I keep the files files I receive to work on completely separate in client folders and these are never mixed up with Studio resources.  So this way Studio does its thing and makes the organisation of my work far easier.


Q4: MultiTerm glossaries – Import

How can I import terms from a Multiterm glossary that has English index entry names to a glossary that has German index entry names (i.e. “German” and “Deutsch”)?

This question was actually quite straightforward because in MultiTerm you can rename the index fields to anything you like and when we are referring to language index entries they are ignored when  it comes to import… instead the underlying language codes are used.  So you can handle this question in several ways.  On the day we covered two:

  1. Export the terms from the EN MultiTerm and then import to the DE MultiTerm
  2. Convert both termbases to Excel (Glossary Converter from the SDL OpenExchange) and merge, then recreate

I recorded a quick video just to show how this could be achieved in these two ways.  On the day of the session in Berlin we launched into many other things you can do with MultiTerm using some neat add-ons from the OpenExchange and you can find a video here that shows just how simple it is to handle things that I think would be quite tricky in any other other tool, or at least require a large amount of prep work.


Q5: Translation memories with different sublanguages

Is there an easier way for using TMs with different sublanguages (for example EN-GB and EN-US) for one project than exporting, creating a new TM and reimporting entries?

Of course… with a little help from the SDL OpenExchange!  There is an application, a free application, called AnyTM that I have written about twice so I won’t go into any more detail in here.  Instead you can find a few details in the slideshare at the top and then perhaps take a look at these two articles:

This plugin started life originally as a feature to allow you to use, in read only mode, an en(GB) Translation Memory for an en(US) project for example.  So it could ignore the sublanguages.  This is in itself an incredibly useful feature and when paired with the use of Project Templates in Studio it’s an excellent solution.  But the current version has moved a long way since then and now boasts these very useful features:

  • You can read/write to any Translation Memory you have access to in Studio that supports read/write access.  This includes Trados 2007 Translation Memories, all SDL Server Translation Memories, external providers such as the online MemSource Translation Memory and even Machine Translation providers
  • You can use your Translation Memories in both directions.  So you can handle a French to English translation project with your English to French Translation Memory
  • You can handle Projects with multiple source languages.  So if you have a text that contains French and English language that has to be completely translated into German then you can add the FR-DE and EN-DE Translation Memories to your project through AnyTM and it is capable of automatically recognising the correct source language and read/write the translation to the appropriate Translation Memory as you work.  Very handy if you’re a polyglot!

OK… because it’s quite interesting I added a video on working with multiple source languages too!  I didn’t show this during the event but I’m aware of at least one translator who obtained AnyTM at the conference and immediately put it to use in this scenario!

That’s all… I hope the article is interesting for anyone who was unable to attend the event, and for those people who did attend thank you very much for your attention and excellent questions on the day.  I’m looking forward to FIT 2017 (if I attend)… after Translation Forum Russia in Ekaterinburg and the ATA 2014 in Chicago of course!

  1. Hello Paul,

    It was a nice congress indeed. And it was nice meeting you :).

    However, regarding the next FIT congress, I have to disappoint you a little, since it’ll be in *2017*, in Brisbane (Australia):

    At the congress I asked you why Studio (just like Transit, BTW) doesn’t provide auto-assembling, whereas other CAT tools (memoQ, CafeTran, Déjà Vu) all offer this useful feature. As a technical translator from German into Dutch, two languages with very similar syntax, I couldn’t do without this über-useful feature. You answered me that you actually had no idea why this function is missing.

    Did you already have the opportunity to discuss this question with your colleagues from development and marketing?

    Best regards,

    Hans Lenting


    • Hello Hans, it was nice meeting you too! On 2017… the only disappointment is we have to wait two years! If I’m fortunate enough to attend Brisbane I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait!

      On your question. I think I asked you to send me an example text of why this feature is so useful for you. This is not a feature that we have users asking for unless it’s one they already use, and find useful, in another tool. So if you can send me something that makes it usefulness obvious then I will discuss this with our product management as we discussed.

      Thanks, Paul.


  2. Maria Diehn said:

    Thanks a lot, Paul. as always your article is very useful.
    Best regards,
    Maria Diehn


    • Thank you Maria, it’s useful for me to think about them and write them too!


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