memoQ for the non-tech savvy – Part 3: Alignment in LiveDocs

In Part 1 of this mini-series on ‘memoQ for the non-tech savvy’, I gave a brief introduction to memoQ and reviewed this CAT tool after switching to using it from Wordfast Classic. That was over three years ago and I’m still getting to grips with all the many features.

If you’re as bewildered as I am by all the tabs and buttons, I hope these posts will help you find your way around memoQ so you can start translating your first document with a minimum of fuss asap (because time is money, right?).

In this post, I’ll focus on LiveDocs, which is memoQ’s alignment feature. It allows you to quickly add any previous translations you’ve done for the client, or any reference files the client may send you. You can then easily see how you’ve translated similar documents before, in context, and incorporate the style and terminology the client prefers.

Before you add alignment pairs, you first have to create a corpus to put them in. There are two ways to do this, via the Resource console or via Project home.

Via the Resource console

Click on the Resource console (shown by the green arrow in the image above right) and then select LiveDocs.

Select “Create new” (shown by the green arrow on the left). Name your corpus in the box that pops up.

Via Project home

After creating a project (I explain how to do this in Part 2), you arrive at the Project home screen.

Select LiveDocs and then “Create/Use New”. Name your corpus in the box that pops up.

You can either add your source and target documents in the Resource console or in Project home.

The screenshots and explanation here show you how to do this from Project home.

In LiveDocs, click on “Add Alignment Pairs” (shown by the green arrow below) and the alignment box will pop up.

Here you can add several document pairs at the same time by selecting first “Add source documents”, then “Add target documents” and finally “OK” (see below).

On the whole, this feature works quite well, but some segments inevitably don’t get matched up properly so you have to correct this manually.

In LiveDocs, you can check to see whether the alignment has worked before you begin translating . Right click on the pair you want to check and then select “View/Edit”. This will take you to the Alignment editor (more below).

Alternatively, you can just wait to see whether there has been a problem and correct the alignment while you’re translating.

Alignment results are indicated by green documents and they are usually marked as an 85% match even though they are perfect matches if the alignment has gone well.

If the target in the Translation results pane isn’t as expected (as in the example below), you can right click on it and then select “Show Document”.

This will take you to the Alignment editor. Here you can split segments (Ctrl+T), join them (Ctrl+J) and edit any errors in the text. All the changes you make are automatically saved after a few seconds.

After splitting and/or joining segments, highlight the source and target ones you want to link and click on “Create Synchro Link”. Segments joined by synchro links have a blue line between them. The green line shows that the segments were auto aligned. The darker the green (there are four shades), the more reliable the alignment is.

And here’s the result after the corrections:

You can find out more about alignment, LiveDocs and the alignment editor on memoQ’s website.

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