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SDL Trados Studio – How to Effectively Deal with Translation Inconsistencies – Tips and Tricks

SDL Trados Studio – How to Effectively Deal with Translation Inconsistencies – Tips and Tricks

The translation process is associated with numerous challenges, with one of the most common being inconsistencies within the text. These inconsistencies may include numerous variations of industry terms, stylistic differences in preferential expressions, and many other factors that can cause confusion in translation or slow down the translator’s workflow. Even user-friendly expressions like ‘Control panel’ vs. ‘Panel for control’ can often present inconsistencies despite both being valid preferences. Fortunately, there are tools that can significantly simplify and streamline this process. One such tool is SDL Trados Studio, which offers many features focused on dealing with inconsistencies in translation. Here are a few tips on how to leverage SDL Trados Studio to effectively address translation inconsistencies.

Utilising terminology glossaries

Terminology inconsistency is a significant offense against translation quality. Inconsistencies in terminology can significantly affect the quality of translation and reduce its clarity for the target audience.

The principle of terminology glossaries involves creating and maintaining a database of terms and their preferred translations. In the initial phase we collaborate with the client to create a terminology glossary containing key terms relevant to the project. During this collaboration we adjust preferential expressions and ensure clarity in term usage.

Translators can start working once the terminology glossary is created. They can easily review the glossary while translating and search for specific terms and their translations. If a term appears in the text that is included in the terminology glossary, SDL Trados Studio automatically alerts the translator and displays the recommended translation from the glossary.

An essential part of working with terminology glossaries is continuously updating and expanding the database of terms. Translators can add new terms and define their preferred translations, thus helping maintain consistency throughout the project.

Concordance search function

The Concordance search function is a crucial tool in SDL Trados Studio, allowing translators to quickly search available memories and find specific phrases or terms in the text from the history of previous translations.

The principle of the Concordance function is that the translator can enter the desired term or phrase into the search field, and SDL Trados Studio will then search all available memories and display the results in context. This means that the translator is not only confronted with individual occurrences of the searched term, but can also see how the term was used in different contexts and translations.

This function is not just useful for ensuring consistency in term usage but also for better understanding how the term was translated in previous projects. Translators can analyse previous translations and evaluate what translations were the most successful and appropriate for a given context, which can be especially useful when working on projects in a similar field or with similar themes.

Utilising formatting rules and handling tags

Formatting, such as font styles, text size, bullet points or numbering, and active elements such as images or links, can significantly affect the appearance and readability of the text.

Translators often overlook differences in tagging when translating pre-prepared phrases, which can cause inconsistencies in text formatting. Tags represent active elements that can represent various formatting, images, links or other elements that may be necessary for the correct display of the text. Translators should be careful when handling these tags and ensure that they are always used correctly and consistently.

To ensure consistency among tags, translators can use a tool called Tag Verifier. This tool allows translators to check for inconsistencies between tags and identify any formatting errors. Translators should be able to easily identify tags and distinguish between them either by displaying tag details or by simple tag numbering for easier differentiation.

Real-time consistency checking

Real-time consistency checking is a significant benefit of working with SDL Trados Studio, allowing translators to constantly monitor the consistency of their translation throughout the entire process and quickly respond to any inconsistencies that may arise.

This process allows translators to continuously check and adjust their translation as they notice inconsistencies or issues. They can thereby ensure that the translation remains consistent and of high quality throughout the project.

However, it is essential to be aware of one significant difference when working with this feature, namely that each check only runs over open files in real-time. This means that if a translator is working with multiple files in a project, it is necessary to open all these files in the editor for the consistency check to be effective and run across the entire project.

Thanks to real-time consistency checking, translators can minimise the risk of errors and ensure that their translation is consistent and of high quality. This feature provides translators with the opportunity to actively manage their translation and respond to potential issues immediately, contributing to the overall efficiency and quality of the translation process.

It is also essential to have the project properly set up. At Skrivanek we continuously educate our language coordinators in workflow processes and proper project setup, as well as in the latest advancements in CAT tools. However, it never hurts to know how to check a project. We will address project setup for comfortable work in SDL Trados in our future tips and tricks.


Wishing you success with CAT tools!



Josef Mareyi, CAT/AI Specialist



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