Translation Memory Fields – What, Where, Why And How?

Sure, I promised earlier to write the second part of the Working with Non-Studio Clients article, and it’s coming, but meanwhile I thought to share with you this handout that I had prepared for my workshops a few months ago. It basically reviews the various functions for TM fields and how these fields can be used in Studio. Having all this complex info in one place, makes it easier to comprehend.

One could argue that TM fields are not as important in Studio as they were in Trados 2007 where they made it possible to have multiple translations for the same source segment if the TM field values were different. This was very useful because you were able to use only one TM at a time. (You can find more information about using TM fields in Trados 2007 from here.) Since Studio allows multiple TM’s, it’s not as important anymore for that purpose. However, as you can see from the handout, there are still many good reasons to use TM fields in Studio, particularly for TM management. And since the functional problems in the feature were fixed in SP3 and it now works much better, I don’t really see a reason why not to use it.

TM fields are somewhat more complicated to set up and use compared to how they worked in Trados 2007 but with a little practice they can eventually become almost an automatic part of your translation process. I do have to say though that I don’t like the cumbersome way that the preset list-type field values are selected from the list but I guess I just have to get used to it. In any case, you can download the handout from here.

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Using Regular Expressions as a Display Filter

I discovered today that you can use regular expressions to define display filters in the Editor view.  I’m not a regular expression expert at all but I did learn something about them earlier while trying to modify some of the sample expressions included in the QA Checker verification tool (such as reversing the function of the sample “Space between number and % sign” expression to flag if the space is missing, since there needs to be a space in Finnish).  Anyhow, today I wanted to review all segments that had numbers in them just to make sure I had used them correctly in my translation. Rather than skimming through the whole file searching for numbers, I thought that it would be great if I could filter the segments so that only segments with numbers would be shown in the Editor. While wondering about this, I entered a regular expression [1-9] (= any number from 1 to 9) in the Containing box on the Display Filter toolbar.  And it worked. Reviewing all the numbers in my translation was a breeze after that.

You can also use regular expression with the Find and Replace functions in the Editor view but I was surprised to see that it doesn’t seem to be possible to use them when performing searches in the Translation Memories view. I could see plenty of use for this feature in TM management.