Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sometimes it’s the Little Things: Managing Abbreviations for Better Segmentation

One of the main sentence-level segmentation rules in Studio uses a full stop to indicate the end of a sentence and therefore the end of a segment. For most jobs, this default segmentation works well, but what if our source text looks like this?

Since Studio interprets each of those periods as the end of a sentence, our file will look like this:

If word order is different in the source and target languages, working with this file will mean entering the translation and locking each segment without confirming it, which means the new translations won’t be added to the TM, which will result in losing all concordance and propagation benefits, as well as any potential future leverage. And if the file has hundreds or thousands of segments like this, productivity can be significantly affected.

Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this: adding “ELEC.”, “HYDR.” and “SYS.” (or any relevant abbreviations, of course) to Studio’s list of recognized abbreviations. Basically, Studio will create a new segment after every period, except when that period is used as part of an abbreviation, so we can make use of this feature, as the list of abbreviations can be edited in the Translation Memory’s settings. Here’s how to do it.

First, go to your TM settings, then Language Resources > Abbreviation List, and click Edit.

This opens the Abbreviations list. Scroll to the bottom and add your abbreviations.

After clicking OK 3 times to close the TM settings window, the new abbreviations will now be recognized by the TM and therefore Studio will ignore them when segmenting a file.

Note that this new segmentation cannot be applied to an existing SDLXLIFF file, which is already segmented, so the source file will need to be processed again by either adding it to a project or opening it as a single file, using the TM that contains the new abbreviations.

After doing so, we get the following Studio file for our example above.

Much better!

As a final note, keep in mind that abbreviations are part of the Translation Memory, which means we can customize them as needed, based on our various files and projects.

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