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Most of us, especially technical translators, use Trados Workbench and its associated applications. Trados Workbench (TW) enables us to compile memory databases (TM) based on our work, that is to say as our projects proceed, also the TM size increases proportionally. Besides creating new TM’s from scratch, TW also enables us to import already compiled memories, provided that they have been previously exported as text (.txt), in addition to generating memories from already translated works which were not elaborated using Trados.
Sometimes it happens you have a text in its original language and its translation, but no TM, because you did not use TW to process the file. In that case, you can use WinAlign to generate a TM from the two files, by means of comparison and alignment.
Procedure to Align Files
Creating a New Project
Open WinAlign and click File>New Project. The window below will appear, containing several options.
On the General tab, configure the options as follows:
Project Name: assign a name to the new project.
File Type: select the file format, e,g, .doc or .rtf
Source Language: select the source language
Target Language: select the target language
Source Segmentation: OK
Target Segmentation. OK
These two options are usually left unchecked, accepting their default values.
Intermediate Result Files: assign a path where WinAlign will store the alignment results, being careful to keep the files in the same folder as the target .rtf file.
Now, click OK and open the Files tag. The following window will open:
On the left side of the source file, click Add to add the source file, then do the same on the right side to add the target file.
Click Align File Names, then OK.
Now, on each side you should see the names of the source and target files:
Double click them both to open the files:
Now, you can opt to automatically connect all the segments at the same time and check their correct alignment afterwards, correcting any misaligned segments, or to carry out the operation manually. In the first case, just right-click on the green/blue icon next to the source file, then select ‘Commit all’: all the discontinued lines will be committed, aligning sentences/terms in the source file with the corresponding sentences/terms in the target file. On the other hand, should you decide not to align the file automatically, just click on the green/blue icon on the left – or on the right – and drag the line to the target term in the other column.
In case during the alignment process you detect any translation mistakes or typos in the target file, or simply you wish to make a change, just highlight the relevant segment and right-click: the ‘Edit Segment: Edit Active Segment’ window will appear to enable you to type in the change.
It is always recommended to save the project every now and then, as WinAlign tends to crash during the alignment operations.
Once you finish the alignment, you should export the project as .txt. file and click the File menu, selecting Export Project.
That way, the format of the file just exported will be suitable to be imported to Trados Workbench.
This episode is over. I hope it was useful and, as always, I will be glad to get your feedback.