Business, NCTA

Workshop Reports

By Luis Salvago-Toledo and Maria Amilia

MultiTerm for TRADOS
The MultiTerm workshop was held on Sunday, September 17, 2006, the second day of the ATA/NCTA Translation Seminar held at the Embassy Suites in South San Francisco. Sponsored by NCTA, the Workshop was skillfully presented by NCTA president Tuomas Kostiainen.

MultiTerm is the terminology database creation software that accompanies the Trados translation software. It is basically a way to create and keep glossaries that can then be used with Trados Workbench during the translation process.

For those of us who have been using Trados for a while but have been a bit scared by MultiTerm or confused by it, this was an excellent opportunity to have somebody “digest” the basic—and not so basic—aspects of creating terminology databases and using them with Workbench. For those who were considering purchasing Trados, this was an opportunity to learn more in order to be able to make an informed decision.

This workshop dealt mainly with the most recent versions of MultiTerm, iX and 7.0. There are two ways to start. First, you can create an empty termbase where new entries can be added directly in MultiTerm or from Word during the translation process. Second, you can take those glossaries that you have been collecting for years and convert them to the MultiTerm format to be imported later into a termbase. In order to do this, you need to use MultiTerm Convert, which comes with the program. You can also convert Excel data, MultiTerm 5 data, as well as spreadsheet and database exchange formats (TXT or CSV files). Once you have converted the data, you create a database to which the data is imported.

Next, the databases can be connected to Trados Workbench during translation. This opens a terminology window in Workbench that highlights the terms in the open segment, which may be found in the termbase. These terms can be added directly into the translation window without having to manually enter them. At this point new terms can be added to the database directly from Word.

All this and more was clearly explained by Tuomas, aided by a very clear and organized handout. More information can be found in the MultiTerm iX First Steps Guide, March 2004 edition, available at

So … we now know what we can do during those periods when there is not much work. Lets get our glossaries into MultiTerm and start taking advantage of it! MA

Quality Assurance
Intuitively, the meaning of the expression “Quality Assurance” seems pretty straightforward; namely, to ascertain that jobs or products are developed according to a given set of client-supplied specifications and that they are functional. What’s not so obvious is how to accomplish this. Such was the clarifying aim of the “Quality Assurance Uncovered” workshop, led by Anja Belhazy on October 14th.

Ms. Belhazy, a Project Manager with HighTech Passport, Ltd., focused on the threefold character of the QA process her firm follows: Editing, Proofreading, and Testing. These three steps are separate but closely linked.

Editing, the  sequential leader  of the above triad, is the only step that impacts both the source and target documents. These documents are read in parallel and checked for language, style, technical soundness, consistency, and completeness. This process establishes the overall quality of a translating job and requires standard software including word processing programs, CAT tools, and dictionaries. An important aspect of editing occurs at the localization level, where cultural sensitivities must be accounted for, such as phone numbers having the same digits displayed differently.

Proofreading deals with the target document and is usually done in the original application. Issues that require careful attention include the complete translation of graphics, and the accuracy of headers, footers, and callouts, as well as that of generated lists, such as tables of contents and indices.

Testing is the final step in the QA process. It has a twofold character: software/website and help. While the former checks the overall quality of the running localized software, the latter does an online check of the overall quality of the localized website and online help (linguistic/functional). Though somewhat equivalent to Proofreading, this step adds functionality testing of table of contents/indexes (if any), and links.

The second part of the workshop was a hands-on section. Divided into three groups, we visually scanned three different jobs containing a variety of errors-many obvious, a number of them subtle. Elizabeth Riley, our volunteer scribe, lent a helping hand. Gifted with the ability to translate our sometimes-tentative suggestions into concrete corrective statements, she added clarity to a process that relies on both art and craft for success. LST