Unable to convert completed translation back to original file format

Now it happened… I was not able to convert my file back to the original format (doc) from the SDLXLIFF file. I finished translating the file and was previewing it. Surprisingly, only about the first third of the file was displayed in Finnish in the preview and the rest was still in English even though everything was translated in the SDLXLIFF file.

OK… that’s just a preview. Who cares… I tried to stay calm. Then I converted the bilingual SDLXLIFF file back to DOC format hoping that this would work out fine. No such luck; most of the document was still in English. At this point, I started getting slightly worried. I made sure I was dealing with the correct version of the file since it’s easy to accidentally store project files in various places. OK, what’s next? I renamed the original file and opened it in Studio and  translated it again. With the TM it went very fast, of course. However, the same problem again. I even copied the file to another computer but all in vain.  Even though the XLIFF file was completely translated, I got only a partial translation out of it.

Since the deadline was pressing, I didn’t have time to try to solve the problem, so I converted the original DOC file to TTX format in TagEditor and then retranslated it in Studio. That worked and I got my translated Word file out of it.

What was the problem? I had some extra time today to look at the file and was going to send it to the Trados support when I noticed something peculiar at the point where the problem was (i.e. where the English text started in my translated target file). There were two ghost tags. I deleted them and the problem was gone.

Here’s also the response I got from SDL Support:

This project has tag protection turned off.  When tag protection is turned off, you can delete inline tags. If you delete a tag that is part of a tag pair, a ghost tag is placed in your document to remind you that your tag pair is not complete.  In this case, the tag that it generated completed the wrong tag pair, which led to the document displaying correctly when generated.  Normally, this does not happen but it is possible.  To avoid this, you can turn tag protection on by going to Format > Protect Tags and selecting Tag Protection.  Alternately, you can do what you did here and delete the ghost tags if you are sure the rest of the formatting is correct.

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