Dec 27, 2011

Wordfast Pro: Translating memoQ bilingual RTF tables

After a recent crisis an agency friend of mine experienced when a translator did a large job of some 22,000 words and was unable to incorporate corrections by a reviewer (resulting in a rather creative but stressful rescue effort involving memoQ LiveDocs), I resolved to have a look at WordFast Pro myself and see if there wasn't some better, easier way to work with translators who have this tool.

The current version of WordFast Pro doesn't support XLIFF, so that's out as a possibility. However, it does read RTF files, so I tried the same techniques which have recently proved successful for improving the interoperability workflows with Trados TagEditor and SDL Trados Studio among others. And indeed this approach was successful.

A view of the memoQ bilingual RTF file imported into Wordfast Pro for translation.
By hiding the red tags with the
mqInternal style, the tag content is protected in Wordfast Pro
To prepare content in memoQ for translation in WordFast Pro, do as follows:
  1. Copy the source to the target for the entire text.
  2. Export a bilingual RTF file.
  3. Hide all the content of the RTF file which is not to be translated.
  4. Use the search and replace function in your word processor to hide the dark red text for the tags, which are marked with the mqInternal style. The settings for the dialog in Microsoft Word are show below and are set using the Font... option (marked with a red arrow in the screenshot) in the Format dropdown menu of the Replace dialog.

    The font color to hide will be found under More Colors... in the font colors of the font properties dialog:

    In this way, the translation can proceed without the risk of damaging the text constituting a tag, and the QA features of Wordfast Pro can be used to do a tag check before delivery.

    After the translation is completed and the tags have been checked, export the RTF file and unhide all the text. If there is a comments column available, any comments which are added to the table will be importe back to memoQ for feedback.

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