How to Solve an Error when Trying to Save Target Document in SDL Studio

One of the most annoying and stressful problems to encounter after processing a document in a Translation Environment Tool is finding out that the target file cannot be created due to some obscure and vague error. This type of scenarios is relatively common – it has actually just happened to me – so I thought that this would be a good opportunity to write a short article about this issue.

This error usually stems from missing tags, tags that were mishandled by the TEnT, or problems in the underlying structure of the source file.

The good news is that there are best practices to follow for diagnosing these issues in a timely manner before the work starts, preventing them during the work, and solving them even after the work has been completed. There are no guarantees because there are almost an infinite number of project-specific parameters, including the file type and the specific TEnT with its unique quirks, that vary between projects, but in most use-case scenarios following these best practices will save a lot of time, frustration and stress at the end of the project.Continue reading →

I Cannot Add or Edit Terms in SDL MultiTerm…What should I do?

Update: on November 27th, 2013 SDL has released ‘Cumulative Update 2’ that addresses the Java incompatibility issue. For more information go to the Update November 27th, 2013: Cumulative Update Released section below.

Update number 2: SDL has published a new Knowledgebase article (KB article No. 5060: Troubleshooting terminology issues in SDL MultiTerm and SDL Trados Studio 2011 and later with Java 7 Update 51 installed ) with an automated and manual fixes for the Java-related terminology issues in MultiTerm 2011 and 2014. If you have terminology editing issues, I suggest taking a look there and following their instructions.
For a workaround to speed up the terminology editing, see Tackling Studio 2014 Terminology Editing Slowness in this blog.

Update number 3: A source at SDL confirms that they do plan to get away from Java, and a new or revised terminology module will be released sometime later on 2014. I don’t know yet if it will be a full-fledged MultiTerm replacement (less likely), or a more basic terminology module (what most users need anyway), but that is good news.

Recently, Studio 2014 users were prompted to update their Java 7 version from update 25 (that comes installed with Studio 2014) to update 45. Studio and MultiTerm always had sporadic issues stemming form MultiTerm’s reliance on Java, but to my best recollection this is the first time that a Java update breaks the core functionality like that.

The workaround for solving this problem is quite simple and based on removing the new 45 update and reinstalling the old 25 update until SDL will release an update to solve this issue once and for all.Continue reading →

SDL Studio 2014: First Impression and Overview of New Features

The release of SDL Studio 2014 on September 30, 2013 marks the third iteration of the SDL Studio translation environment that supersedes the older Trados brand environment that is now officially discontinued.

SDL accompanied the launch with a formal press release (that I completely disagree with its message; TEnTs or any other technology are not means for artificially shorter deadlines and/or commanding lower rates) and a marketing brochure webpage.

In this review I do not intend to recycle the content of these documents, but describe my own experience as a translator using SDL Studio 2014; and specifically its new features. I want to thank SDL for granting me advance access to Studio 2014 as part of their Beta testing program that enabled me to use Studio 2014 for the past four weeks or so.Continue reading →

Understanding how to Work with Bi-Directionality (BiDi) Text

I’m a native Hebrew Speaker. Hebrew, as well as Arabic and several other languages, is a Right-to-Left (abbreviated ‘RTL’) language, meaning that it is written from Right to Left. Translators and other content creators working with bidirectionality (abbreviated ‘BiDi’) content – i.e. text containing both Left-to-Right (abbreviated ‘LTR’) and Right-to-Left characters and segments – are facing some unique challenges when it comes to formatting the text correctly. The development of the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm and the growing support that it has enjoyed in the last decade or so have significantly improved how softwares handle BiDi content. Today all modern Operating Systems – for the desktop and mobile – support BiDi virtually out-of-the-box. Usually there is still a setting or two to tweak, but long gone are the days of installing awkward languages packs and/or workarounds to overcome or mask some of the technical limitations of BiDi support.

Despite these advancements, some issues still remain. The algorithm is not perfect and although it makes life much easier, the difference in directionality is still a concern and something to keep in mind when working with BiDi content. The algorithm should be perceived as a mechanism that lays down the technical foundations upon which the BiDi content is built. It is largely the responsibility of the content creators to understand how the BiDi algorithm works and use best practices when preparing the content.

In this article I will attempt to explain how the BiDi algorithm parses and handles the directionality of text, its shortcomings, and describe some of the most common BiDi issues and how to solve them.

This article focuses on BiDi issues in a word processor and Translation Environment Tool (abbreviated ‘TEnTs’) enviroments, but the principles and solutions described here apply globally. For details about the corresponding terminology in a plain text or (X)HTML enviroment, please see Directionality of Paragraphs and documents section below.
If you are interested in the tl;dr version of this article, please jump to the Takeaway section.
Continue reading →

Analyzing Files in SDL Studio

One common complaint that experienced users of SDL Trados and some users coming from other tools have after switching to SDL Studio is that getting the file analysis statistics is complicated, slow, and cumbersome.

On the occasion of the upcoming release of Studio 2014 I thought to share the method I use for analyzing files in SDL Studio.

I want to lead by clearly stating that the purpose of this article is by no mean to encourage the practice of those arbitrary so-called ‘CAT tool discounts’, as if the translation work is about trading words by the bulk. The purpose of this article is to give a short overview of the difference in translation resources management and workflow between SDL Trados (and other tools that use the same concept) and SDL Studio, and suggest a relatively quick and efficient method to get the basic statistics for the professional’s own internal use for quoting and scheduling purposes.Continue reading →