Last September, I got a task to translate some UI files from one of my clients based in the USA. The client said that there would be so many repetitions across the files, so I thought that the process would be super fast. Unfortunately, the client asked me to use their own developed translation tool (not strictly required, but it would be good if I used it, the client said).

There is nothing bad with the translation tool from the client. I have been using various tools and platform provided by various clients, and I mostly able to learn the tools quickly. Until I found that the task I was about to handle should be done in a tool without a memory! That means all of the repetitions and the fuzzy matches should be re-translated manually. The files were a <.ini> file which could not be processed directly through CAT tools like Trados. So, how would I translate a huge project with a quite tight deadline in a tool that has no memory capability?

Then I remembered that I once had to handle a simple tab-delimited text file with a very simple structure. So I tried the similar way to import the <.ini> file to Trados. Here is how I did it:

#1 Preparation

After checking the file’s structure, I found that the files I got were only an ordinary <.ini> file with a very simple structure. The translatable texts were separated by < = >. So I decided to import the files into Ms. Excel, just the same as importing a tab-delimited text file.

When importing the files to Ms. Excel, I used ‘tab’ as a separator. Then, I hide the unwanted columns, leaving only the translatable text, and saved it as an ordinary Excel file.

#2 Processing in CAT tool

The next step was importing the ordinary Excel files to CAT tool (I used Trados 2014) and started to translate the files as usual. Once the translation was finished, I exported back the Excel files (save as) to <.ini> files.

Remember, when I imported the <.ini> files into Excel, the original text separator was < = > and I changed the separator to ‘tab’. So, when I exported the Excel files back to <.ini> files, I changed the ‘tab’ separator to < = > by opening the translated <.ini> files in Notepad. Then, I used the Find and Replace function, copied the ‘tab’ (represented by empty spaces) to the Find what field, and typed “=” (without quotation marks) in the Replace with field, then click Replace all.

processing .ini files

Changing the text separator.

Save the <.ini> file and everything was done.

#3 Another similar story

So, again, usually, there is nothing bad with the client’s translation tool. But I also have a different story. A “super annoying” experience.

Back in August 2017, I got a huge game translation project that needed to be done in a team. So I gathered 3 colleagues of mine to come to help me. In short, after I confirmed my team’s availability and signed the NDA, etc., the client started to send the files along with their own translation tool. The source files were an ordinary <.txt> file, but the client prohibited us to use other tools than the tool they provided. They said that the other tools might change the text structure, while their tool was developed to keep the text’s structure correct.

Unfortunately, the tool had no capability to handle repetitions—no memory! Every repetition should be typed manually, they provided termbase but the termbase feature didn’t work on their app, and the app never fit with the screen. I couldn’t see all the available panels and buttons. The client just said that my monitor was not big enough!

With their application, it was impossible to finish the translation timely. So I decided to process the files in Trados, anyway. So here is how I did it: read here.

In short, we finally could finish the project timely, and the files had no changes in their structure although we translated them in Trados. The most important thing, I guessed, was the encoding.

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