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Team Translation

04.04.2017

I have been thinking of translating big files or a project jointly by a team forlong time. Cloud solutions aregood butI wanted something cheaper as my team is not that huge, we do not have a lot of huge projects, therefore it is not feasible to pay annual fees. The Paul Filkin’s article on using Dropbox for the purpose got me interested and I decided to try. Surely, it was not as smooth as I wanted from thebeginning butafter some trying, we managed to set up the process.

Below is the procedure.

I. Prepare the files in SDL Studio.

This is a mandatory condition if you want to make your text consistent. Out of my experience, it is better to spend some time at the beginning than struggle with the translation variants.

1. Run the file through your translation memory.

If the TM is available, you have to run the file through to block 100%matches. Just to keep them safe.

2. Filter repetitions

It is important to exclude first occurrences so that every segment is translated only once.

3. Split the file

Use Split & Merge app. I do it to count the share of every translator. Otherwise, this file can be left as is.

II. Prepare TMs

As a rule, I keep one main TM and working TMs for every translator.

1. Prepare main TM.

I create the following attribute fields in the main TM – Translator, Reviewed by, Document, Client (code) and Domain). This way I can see who translated and reviewed the segment. If there are several identical segments in the TM the one after review has a higher status. The fields make it possible to filter out and find the information I need when required.

1. Prepare working TMs

I create a separate TM for every translator in the team. Every file has a suffix of thetranslatorname. The TMs are empty. Then I create attribute fields Translator and Document to see who translated and which the file was if there are several files in the project. Reviewed by, Client and Domain are not necessary in the working TMs.

2. Put all the TMs inshared Dropbox folder

3. Set up TM update

Every translator must tick to update his /her TM only, put their name, and document in the respectiveattributeTM field. It is ofhighlyimportance as Dropbox allows only one person to work with the file. If two people try to update the same TM, it will create conflicting copies which is very confusing.

III. Termbase

If a termbase is available, it can be shared too. Just remember that it can be updated only when everybody is disconnected from the file. Otherwise, conflicting copies are created, Dropbox can block the file and not everybody can see the changes, or Dropbox can freeze at any of the translators. You will not be able to add terms on the fly. I make a working copy of the termbase and keep it away from the shared folder. After some time I ask everybody to close SDL Studio, then I update the file in the shared folder, after that the translators can continue. The translators do not need to do anything on their side. The file name should be the same of course.

After that, I set up a Skype team where we can discuss and problematic issues and distribute the files. My main file is updated from everybody’s TMs on the fly and I can check the file straight after translation. The only thing is that TMs are not updated instantly.

I have discovered another interesting option that may be useful for the teamwork. If you go SDL Studio – Options – Editor – Concordance Search Window and tick Perform Search if the TM lookup returns no results then concordance search is carried out automatically which can bring amazing results. That was a real discovery for me.

This way you can see fuzzy matches rather than only 100% matches, which can be quite useful too.

After the work is completed, you have ready translation without having to merge it. Have it checked and there you are!

Some conclusions:

1. It is quite possible to share a file or several files in the project for joint translations using Dropbox.

2. You have to prepare the files for work carefully, lock repetitions and 100% matches.

3. Prepare the TMs for translators; every translator must update his/her TM only.

4. It is not possible to update a termbase on the fly. It would be better to update it from the a separate folder when all the users are disconnected.

5. There is an issue of shared use of the TMs. No problem sharing them among the colleagues you know well, but may raise an issue when you have to involve translators from outside.

Do you share files for joint translation somehow? How do you do it? Please share your comments below.

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