Upgrading, Importing and Exporting Translation Memories in Trados Studio 2009

Another issue that seems to create some confusion among Studio users are the various ways that other file formats can be used to create TM content in Studio. I had prepared an additional handout on this for last Sunday’s workshops in Boulder, so I thought to share it here as well. By the way, just to brag a little, both workshops were sold out and the participants seemed to be very happy with Studio. I have also noticed a clear increase in training requests by individual translators and translation companies. So it looks like the migration is picking up some speed…

Anyhow, here’s the info about upgrading TMs and importing files to existing TMs. You can also download the actual handout (incl. the pretty picture) from here in PDF format (new version, updated on May 18).

Upgrading, Importing and Exporting Translation Memories in Trados Studio 2009

In addition to the normal interactive translation, Trados Studio memory content can be created from existing translation memories and from certain bilingual files. The method used (upgrading a TM or importing) depends on the source file and whether a new or existing Studio TM will be used.

1. Translation memories as the source

Source tool File type Command in Studio
Trados 2007SDLX TMW, TXT, TMXMDB, TMX Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation Memories
Other CAT tools TMX Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: File > Import
Trados Studio SDLTM Home view: Upgrade Translation Memories
– OR –
TM view: Tools > Upgrade Translation MemoriesWith the upgrade function you can merge several SDLTM memories (and other compatible file types) into one or several new Studio TMs.
In addition, an individual TM can be easily copied (and renamed) outside Studio (in Windows Explorer) to create a new matching TM.

2. Bilingual documents as the source

Source tool File type Command in Studio
Trados StudioTrados 2007SDLX SDLXLIFFTTX (TagEditor)ITD TM view: File > Import

NOTE: Content imported from bilingual documents will also include Context Match data, so it’s advantageous to use them as the source.

3. Exporting Studio memories

Studio memories can be exported only as TMX files (TM view: File > Export).

4. Summary (compatible file types for each method)

Upgrade: TMW, MDB, TMX, TXT, SDLTM

Import: TMX, SDLXLIFF, TTX, ITD

Copying outside Studio (Windows Explorer): SDLTM

Export: TMX

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10 Responses to “Upgrading, Importing and Exporting Translation Memories in Trados Studio 2009”

  1. Paul Filkin Says:

    Nice blog Tuomas. Just wanted to add something about SDLTM as source. What you can do is take several SDLTMs and use the upgrade wizard to merge them all together. In fact it’s even better than that..! You can take any of the supported TM types (TXT, TMW, SDLTM, MDB) and even mix up the language pairs if you like, and generate a set of consolidated SDLTM memories by Language Pair or by Translation Memory (if only upgrading).

  2. Paula Says:

    When you are importing a TM, What does it happen with segments that have been translated differenty in the imported TM? Are they merged or does the source TM just ignore them?

    • Tuomas Says:

      Hi Paula,

      It depends… If you select the “Overwrite existing translation units” setting (in the General Import Options dialog box), then the new one replaces the existing one (including its translation memory fields). This is what the Help says about the setting:
      “When this option is selected, translation units that have the same source text as an imported translation unit are replaced with the imported translation unit. This means that only the translated portion of the translation unit is replaced and therefore this prevents there being duplicate translations for the same source segment.”

      If you don’t select it, the new TU is added to the TM if the translations differ. If the translations are the same but the translation memory field values are different, then the field values will be merged.

  3. Leticia Klemetz Says:

    Then simple text TMs (.txt) are not supported? I hope exported TMX (1.4b version) from my old Trados 7.1 work in Studio 2011!

    • Tuomas Says:

      Yes, also the Trados Workbench TXT-type memory is supported. It’s also called WinAlign TM (see the graph). And your TMX will work fine as well.

  4. DM Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the clear and concise description of the behaviour of Overwrite existing translation units in combination with field values above. Have been looking for that for a while now.

  5. Vaclav Says:

    Would be nice if Trados could simplify this process. Because in the 21st centure is a bit weird that the software can’t do all these tasks by itself. I waste my time first upgrading, then exporting and finally importing in my main TM. What is so difficult to make this whole thing automatic?

    • Tuomas Says:

      Hi Vaclav,

      I’m not sure which process you are referring to but if you mean the use of Trados Workbench (TMW) or TMX memories directly for translation in Studio without having to convert them first into Studio format, that’s actually possible in Studio 2011. When selecting TMs, you can select any TM in TMW, TMX, ITD or TXT format and Studio will automatically convert it into Studio format. That certainly makes that process easier. However, the TM upgrade function is good when you want to combine several TMs or change their direction, for example.


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