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UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: SDL Trados translation units... but no translation memory/term base
Publicador del fil: Eliza Hall

Eliza Hall
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 20:24
Mebre des-de 2018
Francès a Anglès
+ ...
May 7, 2019

I have a file to translate that Trados told me had X number of translation units (several thousand, FWIW -- more "translation units" than there were WORDS in the document!). The client did not send a translation memory or term base. Can someone explain what a translation unit is when there's no translation memory to go with it? The client has suggested that I create my own translation memory for this. Uh... why?

To clarify: I have two questions.

(1) Is it normal to be
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I have a file to translate that Trados told me had X number of translation units (several thousand, FWIW -- more "translation units" than there were WORDS in the document!). The client did not send a translation memory or term base. Can someone explain what a translation unit is when there's no translation memory to go with it? The client has suggested that I create my own translation memory for this. Uh... why?

To clarify: I have two questions.

(1) Is it normal to be required to use Trados even when you're not given a translation memory? If so, why -- what's the point?
And,

(2) How can there be "translation units" in the source text when there's no translation memory? What is a "translation unit" in that case?

[Edited at 2019-05-07 22:31 GMT]
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MollyRose  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 19:24
Mebre des-de 2010
Anglès a Espanyol
+ ...
Translation units May 7, 2019

A translation unit (TU) is a combination of the source and target "segment," which is usually a sentence (however Trados segments the particular file). These units are numbered along the left edge of the file. There are TUs in each document for translation, and your translation memory (TM) is comprised of the TUs that you save in your TM. In other words, you have TUs in the file for translation, and you also have TUs in your TM (if you use a TM and update it).

I wouldn't know w
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A translation unit (TU) is a combination of the source and target "segment," which is usually a sentence (however Trados segments the particular file). These units are numbered along the left edge of the file. There are TUs in each document for translation, and your translation memory (TM) is comprised of the TUs that you save in your TM. In other words, you have TUs in the file for translation, and you also have TUs in your TM (if you use a TM and update it).

I wouldn't know why your statistics would show that you have more TUs in your file than words, though, unless you have a lot where the source only contains a link, e-mail address, numbers, or other non-translatable stuff.

As to why the client might want you to use Trados: Maybe they want you to create a TM specifically for the documents they send you, and then send it to them so they can keep it for future use. OR, they can add the TUs to their existing TM from the projects that you translate and return to them as a package.

Does this help?
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DZiW
Ucraïna
Anglès a Rús
+ ...
Reason out May 8, 2019

Eliza, a CAT breaks the document into pieces or fragments--"segments", usually by sentence, by paragraph or according to a custom rule. The problem is that different languages often use different length/tempo/wording and other features, requiring extra re/wording, re/moving, concatenating, deleting, post-editing and so on.

As for the point of using CAT, besides some relatively good reasons (e.g. some clients may prefer specific terms, styles, wording...), I see a big bad one--the in
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Eliza, a CAT breaks the document into pieces or fragments--"segments", usually by sentence, by paragraph or according to a custom rule. The problem is that different languages often use different length/tempo/wording and other features, requiring extra re/wording, re/moving, concatenating, deleting, post-editing and so on.

As for the point of using CAT, besides some relatively good reasons (e.g. some clients may prefer specific terms, styles, wording...), I see a big bad one--the infamous fuzzy/repetition/internal/grid "discounts" abuse, easily rendering $0.10/word as $0.01/word.
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Eliza Hall
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 20:24
Mebre des-de 2018
Francès a Anglès
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
It does help May 8, 2019

Thank you, MollyRose!

I'm still mystified by how an untranslated, monolingual document not associated with any existing TM can contain translation units.


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Noruega
Local time: 02:24
Mebre des-de 2010
Anglès a Noruec(Bokmal)
+ ...
Translating units have nothing to do with the use of translation memory May 8, 2019

Eliza Hall wrote:
I'm still mystified by how an untranslated, monolingual document not associated with any existing TM can contain translation units.

The translation units do not refer to the source document (the untranslated document), but to the number of segments that the project file has that the CAT tool creates. As others have explained, the CAT tool breaks up the whole monolingual document into segments at import, where each segment normally (but not always) is a sentence, and so the number of translation units is the number of segments that the CAT tool has broken the document up into.

Very simplified you could say that the number of translation units in a monolingual document would be equal to the number of sentences in the document. This is very simplified, because the CAT tool may break up the document at colons, semicolons or for instance < and >, depending on the segmentation rule that the CAT tool uses.

This breaking up happens before the CAT tool applies any TM, and is, therefore, totally independent of any TM used, if any.

I hope that clarifies it.

[Edited at 2019-05-08 07:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-05-08 07:22 GMT]


 

Eliza Hall
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 20:24
Mebre des-de 2018
Francès a Anglès
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
That makes sense, Roy, but... May 8, 2019

It makes perfect sense until I remember that I was opening a 10,000-word document and being told it contained 53,000 translation units. Thus, according to Trados, I couldn't use it in the Starter version of the software, because that is limited to 5000 translation units.

I remain bewildered.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Alemanya
Local time: 02:24
Mebre des-de 2006
Holandès a Alemany
+ ...
Bewildered May 9, 2019

Dear Eliza,

I'm bewildered, too. However, this may have to do with my using the German UI.

Anyway, could you explain what you mean by "Trados told me the text had x translation units"? AFAIK, the term Translation Unit appears only in the context of translation memories, not source files.

Please explain the steps that lead to the info about the number of TUs.

Kind regards,
Erik


 

Roy Oestensen  Identity Verified
Noruega
Local time: 02:24
Mebre des-de 2010
Anglès a Noruec(Bokmal)
+ ...
That definitely doesn't make sense May 9, 2019

Eliza Hall wrote:
It makes perfect sense until I remember that I was opening a 10,000-word document and being told it contained 53,000 translation units. Thus, according to Trados, I couldn't use it in the Starter version of the software, because that is limited to 5000 translation units.
I remain bewildered.


As other said, please indicate which steps lead to this, and, preferably, include a screendump of the actual message too.

Somehow I get the impression each character in the document is counted as a translation unit. Although it makes sense that a 10 k document has more than 50 k characters (based on 5 characters per word), it does not make sense that each character is counted as a translation unit.


 


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UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: SDL Trados translation units... but no translation memory/term base

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